“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
– 1 Peter 4:12-14
Our suffering Savior and siblings in Christ
Lent is a 40-day period on the Christian calendar leading up to Easter that is marked by reflection and repentance. Many Christians around the world participate in Lent by remembering the days leading up to Christ’s crucifixion. At Take Heart, we also like to use the season of Lent as a focused time of prayer for the persecuted Church. As we remember our suffering Savior, we also remember our siblings in Christ who are suffering simply for believing in Jesus.
As Peter reminds persecuted Christians in his first letter, we do not need to despair when we experience slander, hate, or worse because of our faith. We can take heart, knowing that Christ has overcome the world; that unimaginable eternal joy is undoubtedly on its way to God’s beloved children.
This year, Take Heart’s Lent prayer focus is for persecuted Christian women and girls. In this blog series, we will highlight four incredible women and girls we serve in Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, and Iraq. Our persecuted sisters in Christ have much to teach us about standing firm with great hope in the midst of suffering.
Esther was born in a camp for internally displaced people in Nigeria and lives with her parents and seven siblings. When Take Heart opened a school in the camp, no child’s happiness matched Esther’s excitement. Esther enjoys attending school with 180 classmates. Thanks to a newly installed well, she drinks from a fresh water source that is located near the school every day. She is eager to learn new things about the world around her and about the God who loves her.
Pray for Nigeria
Will you pray this prayer with us every day this week?
Thank you for valuing all women and girls as your beloved image-bearers. We know that Nigeria is a dangerous place for Christian girls seeking an education. Please make a way for more of your children in Nigeria to be able to safely attend school, like Esther does.
Replace harmful cultural practices with your kindness and love. Comfort women and girls who are suffering from trauma and help each one to find hope and healing in you. Grow miraculous forgiveness in the hearts of families. Guard women and girls from shame, which can be forced upon them in every direction. Help more women to be empowered and equipped with the tools they need to gain an income and provide for their families. We know you can do all of this, and more!
Thank you and amen.
Sponsor a girl’s education
Are you moved by the plight of persecuted Christians in Nigeria?
Take Heart recognizes the inherent worth of girls and women to receive an education and to be able to provide for themselves. Our goal is to sponsor 400 girls in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Nigeria to attend school this year.
Learn more and give today at https://missiontakeheart.org/easter/