A couple of articles worth reading this week that speak to soul searching at the depth of faith in a world of worsening persecution.
An article in the New York Times interviews several people who have stepped into the Catholic faith in spite of the ongoing crises in the Church.
Another article in another publication gives statistics on the rise of persecution in the word, and specifically among Christians.
From the article:
“What we have forgotten in this atmosphere of political correctness is actually the Christians that are being persecuted are some of the poorest people on the planet. In the Middle East the population of Christians used to be about 20%; now it’s 5%.”
In our own context in America, one of my passions continues to be tackling racism. The ugliness of racism and anti-semitism keeps rising up. Another synagogue shooting. Three black churches in Louisiana were torched.
My own journey in Alabama continues to deepen my walk with the Lord as I learn more from my friends in the black church. I have been a part of a movement in my county that connects white and black congregations and this journey has filled my heart with joy. This past week has been filled with celebration and love as we’ve been with two different churches celebrating their pastors’ anniversaries. It’s included dinner with some new friends who continue to challenge us as believers.
It also included going over to Mobile to hear more from what their movement (called Shrink the Divide) is doing in the way of reconciliation.
The main speaker was John Rucyahana, an Anglican bishop in Rwanda who lost so much in the Rwandan genocide of 1994, then was used of the Lord to bring healing to the nation and between warring tribes. He is a powerful speaker and he challenged the Mobile community to rise up and not just “Shrink the Divide”, but then to get rid of it completely!
It’s been almost one year since we made the move to Alabama. The journey has been amazing. The Lord has been so good. I am so deeply thankful for the leading of the Spirit and the deep work that continues in my life.
It has been a year of transition. I am no longer a credentialed minister in the Assemblies of God, since I was not attending an Assemblies of God church in Alabama. We have joined an Anglican Church. If you have not heard that before, I go into a lot of detail HERE. (And, again, just reach out to me if you want to dialogue more on my journey. Silence is deafening.)
There is so much more on that journey, but on Mother’s Day we take a huge step by being received into the Anglican Communion through a special service at our church with the Bishop of our diocese. I am also in dialogue with leaders about becoming ordained in the Anglican Church. I have no idea where that will lead, but I do know this: my walk with the Lord is sweet and deep. I am challenged for what is ahead. I am excited in the new areas of ministry the Lord has for me.
The Body of Christ is wide… and deep. There are great challenges, but we have a great Savior.
Let us walk on.