Back in February 2015 the world was rocked by the news that ISIS had brutally beheaded 21 Christian men on the shores of a beach in Libya.
As you may know, Focus on the Family serves the Middle East region out of its Cairo, Egypt office – so when we learned about this unspeakable act of hatred and violence, we felt led to help.
Focus Egypt went to work immediately ministering to the families of the murdered men in the immediate aftermath of the event and, later that year, building houses for the remaining family members.
But while we set out to bless our brothers and sisters in their time of need, the reality is their example of steadfast, committed faith blessed us. Like one of our staff members commented at the time, “We saw a living Bible in how these precious men and women responded to their pain, loss, and adversity.”
Two years later, that is still the case.
Our Focus on the Family Middle East team recently gave us an update on the families. Here’s what they wrote to us in an email:
“The great news about the families of the martyrs of Libya is that even after more than two years they still live in the condolences of the Holy Spirit and they stick to their faith that their martyrs showed to the whole world; how the real Christian should live and die for the glory of Christ.
“While we have been visiting the families regularly we met with some of the wives of the martyrs and asked them about their kids and how they live right now, a common answer was, “Our kids in their new nice private school have been so proud of their fathers among their friends and they have worked hard to match with studying the new curriculums to stay up to that new level of education.”
We met one of the martyrs’ wives who told us: “Many times when I feel lonely I go to the room where I have the big picture of my husband and I pray to God while looking at the picture… I feel this prayer gives me strength and God is answering my prayers.”
“One of the great impressive signs of faith we witnessed very recently in the lives of those families, after the several attacks on Christians in Cairo, Tanta, Alexandria, and the most recent bus in Elminia, is that some of the families’ members went to give condolences to the new victims and share a real example of how God has been faithful to and strengthened them in such tough painful experience.”
We praise God for this good report.
The last paragraph brings to mind 2 Corinthians 1:3-5:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
I encourage you to continue praying for the persecuted Church in the Middle East, especially for the families of people who have been martyred by ISIS.
I’ll now leave you with some pictures our team sent us from their most recent visit to the families.
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