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Blessed are the Persecuted

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 NIV

The police came four times. The next time meant prison.

Mr. Lim is the principal of a Christian school—but he lives in a country where it’s illegal to share the gospel and the government keeps a close eye on all religious organizations and activities. Nevertheless, Mr. Lim is determined to provide a quality education for students and a place where they can learn about Christ and grow as disciples. In a country where religion is heavily restricted, his school may be the only place where students will learn about the hope of the gospel.

Mr. Lim is one of the many persecuted Christians throughout the world that the Christian Reformed Church supports through the work of Resonate Global Mission missionaries and other ministry leaders. Resonate missionaries live and work in many countries where it can be dangerous to follow Christ. In some countries, believers face discrimination—they may unfairly receive poor grades or be passed up for promotions at work. In some countries, believers are harassed. Or arrested. Or killed.

It can be lonely, isolating, and scary to be a Christian in these countries—but many believers, like Mr. Lim, faithfully pursue Christ and work toward the portrait of shalom in Scripture.

“Mr. Lim has been dedicated to building up a Christian school for decades, fighting the good fight,” said Daniel, a Resonate regional mission leader.

But he can’t do it alone. Persecuted Christians need our support.

Resonate supports Mr. Lim through Educational Care training, a curriculum of Raise Up Global Ministries that Resonate missionaries utilize throughout the world. In Mr. Lim’s country, training opportunities in Christian education are few and far between. If they do exist, they are hard to find. So, Resonate coordinated training in a nearby country where Mr. Lim and his colleagues could gather safely.

“The training that Mr. Lim participated in was a powerful one,” said Daniel.

Mr. Lim brainstormed with other teachers: How could they incorporate a Christian worldview into every aspect of their school—into discipline, lessons, and classroom management? When Mr. Lim returned from the training, he got to work. Staff, students, and parents noticed a big difference.

But so did local authorities.

One day, a couple of policemen arrived at the school. Nervous, but not willing or able to turn them away, Mr. Lim invited them into his office and served them tea. The policemen told Mr. Lim that they were watching him. They got up, straightened their uniforms, and left. Mr. Lim was shaken.

What would happen if he continued his work and was detained in jail? What would happen to his family? The students, faculty, and parents of his school?

But what would happen if he gave up?

“He knew that he was not supposed to continue participating in Christian education training,” said Daniel. “But he also knew that it is vitally important to have Christian training for his school teachers, the students, and for the future of Christian education in his country.”

Cautious but determined, Mr. Lim continued his work. And the policemen came again. And again. And again. The fourth time they visited him, they gave him a stern warning: “If we come to you once again, then we will take you to prison,” they said.

Still, Mr. Lim has not given up. So far, he has not been arrested. He has attended more Resonate trainings and continues to provide an education that teaches students about God’s love for them and the world. Even through the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Lim has been able to lead his school in remote learning.

In Matthew 5:10, Jesus says “blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Give thanks that despite the challenges and risks, Mr. Lim and his school are helping to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth.

*Names have been changed. Because these believers live and work in countries where Christians are persecuted, it’s not safe to share their names or specific countries.

Photo provided by Resonate Global Mission


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