When 21 Egyptian Christians, working in Libya, were rounded up by Islamic State fighters and taken to the beach to be beheaded, not a single one denied Christ to save his life. They knelt and waited for martyrdom.
Egyptian Christians believe that the greatest gift which God can bestow on a believer is to allow them to die for Christ. It is a very Biblical view. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” (Psalm 116:15)
But how will bereaved families live, when their breadwinner has gone to glory?
Where will they find money for food, clothes, medicines or children’s schooling?
The 21 young men had gone to Libya to find work, and were sending their wages back home to Egypt to support their parents, wives and children. They were martyred in February 2015, three years ago. Time may start to heal the agony of grief, but it does not solve the practical problem of how to live, especially as parents get older and frailer, and children grow up and become more costly to support.
Barnabas Fund is supporting the 21 families.
All over the world
But it is not just Egyptian Christians who are called to lay down their lives for their Lord in the twenty-first century. Christians in many countries are targeted by terrorists or others intent on killing those who love the Lord Jesus. Their dependents need your help.
Mary’s father was murdered by jihadists in Nigeria, who also burned her school and home. They would not let Mary’s family bury her father’s body; it was “left for dogs and pigs to eat up”. Barnabas Fund is now paying school fees, food and accommodation for Mary (aged 14).
In Syria, Barnabas Fund is supporting 98 Christian widows and their children; all the husbands died violently in the recent years of war, many of them specifically because they refused to deny Christ.
A glorious opportunity
Most of us reading this will never have to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom for Christ. But we can stand by the families of those who do. We can give the practical help that their loved ones can no longer provide.
Will you help us in the glorious privilege of caring for the families of martyrs?
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