This week we pay tribute to Lao Lia Po's mother, a Vietnamese sister who died February 3, 2009.
In the province of Punjab, Pakistan near the border of India, grows Gods gift of sugar canes. Crushed to release its sweetness, its roots so firmly fixed that despite being cut down or burned, the plant will faithfully reappear to provide a new crop for the harvest. Just like the fields of sugar cane, roots had grown deep in a tiny Christian neighborhood in the Sangu-Wali village, even with indiscriminate attacks by Muslims. Shakeela Bibi, a member of the small Christian community, was a faithful follower of Christ. After being robbed by a Muslim man, in spite of the pressures surrounding her, she bravely sought justice for the crime. Then, on March 2, 2009, after the robbery complaint was filed, a mob attacked and killed Shakeela Bibi on her way to church for a Bible study.
Join with Christians around the world in remembering our martyred sister cut from this life and now in her eternal home. Please pray that her husband Manzoor Masih and their children are consoled by the love of Christ and encouraged in the faith for which Shakeela gave her life. In addition, pray for the Presbyterian Church in Sangu-Wali; that the weight of persecution will continue to make their roots of faith deeper, transforming Christs followers into true conquerors for the glory of God.
Father, today we remember and celebrate the life of our sister Shakeela Bibi. We ask that her husband and children may reach through the empty place left by the death of Shakeela and tighten their grasp on You. Please remind them that nothing can separate them from Your love. We join in prayer for all brothers and sisters in Pakistan and ask that your strength and protection be as You have promised in Your word, The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2). We pray that they become more than conquerors, and despite being crushed or cut down, they overcome, proclaiming through their lives the truth of the risen Savior. Amen"
Three More Christians Die in Eritrean Military Camps
Detained in a secret "dungeon" like confinement, these Christian sisters, Terhase Gebremichel Andu and Ferewine Genzabu Kifly, died last month. In August Angesom Teklom Habtemichel, our brother in Christ, died while in prison. Twenty-one Christians have now died in Eritrean military camps; countless others still remain imprisoned.
Zakaria Hussein Omar, who was beheaded by militants last month, knew his life was in danger after the NGO he worked for was banned by al Shabaab, a radical Islamist group.
Murder of Christian Leader Topples Nigerias Bridge
Gyang Dalyop Dantong, a Nigerian senator, physician and pillar of the Church of Christ, has had a profound impact on his country, and on the church he helped to build. On July 8 his earthy life was cut short by Muslim extremists who marauded through the villages of Plateau state. Open Doors News profiles Dantong and his legacy to Nigerias suffering church.
Sunday School Grenade Attack in Nairobi Kills Child
On September 30, a lone attacker deliberately targeted Christian children in a church in Kenya. The grenade he threw into a Sunday school class killed 9-year-old John Ian Maina and injuring nine others.
“I Will Never Forget That Day”
On a tragic morning nearly three months ago Hannatu’s husband, Nigerian Senator Gyang Dantong, was killed while attending a joint funeral for more than a hundred slain Christians. Though still in mourning Hannatu shares, “I find the greatest comfort in Psalm 23. I am reminded that the Lord will always care for me, even during this trying time."
Another Christian interned in an Eritrean prison died on July 5. Yosief Kebedom Gelai (41), a recently converted single Christian man, had a history of illness, but the harsh treatment at a secret Mendefera incarceration center seriously aggravated the effects of the disease. Yosief is the 24th reported death connected to punishment for religious activities outside of the government sanctioned religious institutions.