Children play in front of a hotel damaged by mortar shelling, in Humera, Ethiopia. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced military operations in Tigray saying they came in response to attacks on federal army camps by the party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Hundreds have died in nearly three weeks of hostilities that analysts worry could draw in the broader Horn of Africa region, though Abiy has kept a lid on the details, cutting phone and internet connections in Tigray and restricting reporting. | AFP via Getty Images/Eduardo Soteras
Have you paused to think about and then pray for the women, the children, the fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ in Ethiopia today? How about thinking about and praying about saints in other places on this violence-torn, sin-filled darkening world? How bout thinking about and praying for someone other than yourself? You’re immediate family members? Do you go beyond in your thoughts, your emotions, your worldview, your turning to God asking? Or is your worldview only within a meager radius and like those in Europe in the early to mid-1400s, all the educated, all the so-called wise, all the greatly informed of the day believed if you got in a ship and sailed it west that you would eventually drop off the edge of the earth and fall into an endless abyss?
Right now as you read this countless women and children around the world are being horribly persecuted, abused and treated. As well as men. True Christian women and their children, true Christian men — as the overwhelming number of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ live in lands extremely open and hostile to the word of God, openly hostile to Jesus, to the God of the Christian and Jews Bible, hostile to the Holy Spirit. And believers worldwide pay a heavy price as a result.
Do you daily think about them and pray for their strength? For their help? For their wonderful faith? Or do you ever pause and take even 3 minutes or so to ever ponder, consider, become acquainted with, and thus fervently prayerful for the persecuted saints of the Lord Jesus Christ?
That, whatever that is? Can wait. It truly can. Let us prioritize living in the Spirit, turning to the Spirit of God, living, acting how we say we believe, and daily exhibiting a Biblical worldview.
It is only by the faith, by the sincere belief, by the people of God in fervent, faithful prayer then real change can ever occur. Not in the polling place. Not by any ballot. Not by any person in office or assumed power. Not by a new law being written (for many are written and go unenforced, ignored, or rebelled against).
Do you know why the world is in the diseased, severely corrupted condition it is? By not only the people walking about in utter darkness — BUT PRIMARILY BECAUSE THE PROFESSED PEOPLE OF GOD HAVE TURNED FROM GOD, TURNED FROM THE TRUTH, TURNED FROM THE WORD AND LIVING THE WORD BY EXAMPLE; THEY FOR THE GREATER PART ARE NOT SHEDDING ANY LIGHT INTO THE DARKNESS. THEY, WE, HAVE BECOME IDLE, OTHERWISE OCCUPIED, LEAVING IT UP TO OTHERS, PUTTING OUR FAITH IN MEN, WOMEN, IN WORLDLY SYSTEMS RATHER THAN TRULY LIVING AS FAITHFUL VESSELS OF THE LORD! TRULY BELIEVING THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT TO WORK, TRULY BELIEVING THE WORD OF GOD!
WE, THE PROFESSED PEOPLE OF GOD, THE SO-CALLED CHRISTIANS, THUS SUPPOSED TO BE LIVING, SERVING DISCIPLES OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ARE THE MAIN REASON. WE ARE NOT BRINGING TRUE LIGHT INTO THE DARKNESS. MANY BEING DARKNESS THEMSELVES.
OH, WE MAY BE A WEE LIT CANDLE OR LANTERN — BUT WE’RE HIDING UNDER A BUSHEL AND NO LIGHT IS EMANATING FROM US. WE ARE AS INDISTINGUISHABLE TO THE WORLD AS THE WORLD.
Upper case not out of anger. Do not subscribe to what the world dictates in things. Upper case for emphasis. To hopefully garner some attention where a lot of attention has been lost.
We all, and I include myself first and foremost, we all need to not look into a mirror, for that is but a physical view, a worldly view — we all need to look deeply inward. To our hearts, our spirits, our minds, our souls. To the marrow. And be ruthlessly honest because if we imagine we can lie to God? Pretend around God? Pull one over on God? Oh, woe to us, woe to any who would for a nanosecond imagine such a thing!
It is the people of God, it is the disciples of Jesus, that determine the condition of the world. In truth.
What, you do not believe this?
I’ll tell you what you then need to do. Het ahold of a Bible. And read. And study. And learn. Because there are more examples, clear, plain, so easy to understand examples — hundreds, thousands in which when the people of God served the Lord, obeyed the Lord, lived for the Lord, turned to the Lord? They prospered. They had abundance. they had peace. They had immeasurable blessings and goodness from the Lord. By obedience and service and knowing and living God’s ways rather than the pagan world’s ways, the ways of darkness, the ways of sin and evil.
But when God’s people strayed? Turned from the Lord? To serve others? To follow others? To place self and what they imagined to be most important before what the Lord clearly says is important? Well, read the Bible and learn the consequences.
And think about, and pray over and about the women of Ethiopia, of every African nation. The entire continent of Africa is a seething mess. In dire straights. And the saints in Africa do not know from one day to the next if they will be beheaded, shot, raped, tortured, kidnapped for ransom, their children stolen from them, their wives raped and stolen from them, murdered in front of their eyes. Their homes, crops, churches burned and removed.
Think about those things. Pray on those things and set aside the worldly, temporal, non-spiritual matters consuming daily life.
Let each of us commit to truly being a light unto the world and not merely reading those words in the Bible and leaving them as words on paper. Let us bring those words to life. A true light in a dark, evil world. For it is only by the people of God casting light into the darkness that any in the darkness can find their way out of the darkness — and that individual, thus the world begin to truly change.
Having trouble doing this? Then put yourself in the place of a woman, a child, a man — a believing in the Lord woman, child, or man in Tigray, anywhere in Ethiopia, any nation in Africa, any Islamic nation or state, India, Pakistan, any nation in the Middle East, Russia, Communist China, Nepal, Tibet, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, South America, Central America — and on and on and on it goes.
Take some time, no matter how difficult it may seem, to confront reality. To come to know if only through information and not the actual suffering, the actual pain, the actual tribulations, the actual abuse and torture so many, thousands, millions are experiencing daily, nightly, continually. All for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Imagine if you will…but take the time…
…and then pray dear ones, pray, pray, pray! For it is ONLY through prayer, only through communicating with God sincerely, taking the time, of a pure faithful heart petitioning the Lord that any real PROGRESS and REAL CHANGE upon this lost, dark, corrupted sin-filled world can take place.
Do not waver. Do not cease faithful prayer. Do not be erratic. Mild, forgetful, otherwise occupied.
Do you want God to be otherwise occupied when you cry out in need?
Then why are we so casual, so worldly, so self-consumed, to otherwise occupied when we all ought to be spending a whole helpin’ lot more time in fervent, humble, faithful, large, powerful SPITITUAL prayer to the Lord? NOT worldly material prayer. NOT in constant selfish prayer not truly trusting the Lord to provide and care for you, those you love. NOT in self-consumed prayer. REAL, deep, large SPIRITUAL PRAYER, of God, for God, believing in the power of the Spirit of God before the Lord. Believing in what you ask. Not for yourself. For others. For the saints of the world. Because the sufferings and persecutions, the tribulations so many other disciples of the Lord are facing daily in places few take time to think about?
Those same sufferings, trials, persecutions, and tribulations are only a hair’s breadth away from landing within the place you reside. And cannot hide.
In God, in ALL THINGS, let each of us truly abide. All the day and night long. Truly separate from this world.
Leaving these matters up to “the international community?” To the governments of nations? To men and women walking in darkness vainly believing it is by their power things are done and they can change the world for good? Without turning to, having God in their lives? In the doing?
Vanity, profanity, banality, futility. It never has worked. It never will. Although none doing such or believing such ever learn.
It is only through and by the faithfulness, the belief, the ACTIONS, the PRAYER of God’s people — the turning from their sin, repenting, their turning back to the ways and word of the Lord that any true, visible change for good, for the better takes place.
Want revival? Want things to be different?
Don’t sit idle waiting for it to happen. Be a light, even a small light willing to shed that light into the darkness. Removed the bushel covering you. Let the light be seen. And pray, pray, PRAY! Because it is only through prayer, the fervent, faithful prayers of the people of God that revival, change for the better, anything considered and known to be truly GOOD can ever happen.
No election brings true goodness and change. No man of the world can. No placing our faith in anything of this world can.
Only God can. Only the power of the Spirit of God can — by His love and mercy and promises, to His faithful, obedient, prayerful people turning to Him. Believing. Continuing in prayer as they never have before.
Monday, June 21st, 2021
ACP — A Crooked Path
Tigray women forced to choose between rape or death
Saturday, June 19, 2021
By Anugrah Kumar
Reprinted from The Christian Post
Dozens of African and African-origin women observed the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on Saturday by speaking out against an ongoing campaign of sexual violence that’s at “a level of cruelty beyond comprehension” in the war-torn and predominantly Christian region of Tigray in northern Ethiopia.
Fifty-six women from Africa or of African descent wrote an open letter and launched a petition to be delivered to the U.N. Security Council, the African Union and the European Council calling for urgent action.
It is estimated that 30% of all incidents against civilians involved sexual violence used “as a weapon of war, as a means to humiliate, terrorize and traumatize an entire population today and into the next generation,” according to a study quoted in a report by the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Sir Mark Lowcock, the letter says.
Organizations, including Amnesty International, CNN and Sky News, have previously published investigations into massacres committed against civilian populations in the Tigray region. Fighting began after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front attacked an Army base as part of an uprising in the region, which sparked military responses from Ethiopian forces joined by defense forces from neighboring Eritrea last November.
“Reports continue to emerge from Tigray of wives being raped in front of their husbands; mothers raped in front of their children and vice versa; family members forced to choose between raping female relatives or death, and of women themselves being forced to choose between rape or death,” the letter states.
“Several victims report their assailants boasted of “cleansing” their bloodline, while others arrive at medical facilities having suffered additional traumatic injuries to their reproductive organs inflicted by attackers to prevent them from bearing children,” added the authors, which include human rights activists, writers, artists, parliamentarians, politicians, religious leaders, lawyers and academics from more than a dozen countries.
The perpetrators, the authors of the letter say, were identified as members of the “Ethiopian National Defence Forces, Eritrean Defence forces, Amhara Special Forces, and other irregular armed groups or aligned militia,” and nearly a quarter of the cases involved gang rape over an extended period of time.
The authors added that “appalling violations are underway in the nation where the African Union is based, and amidst profound silence from African leaders,” which “impugns the aspiration for ‘African solutions to African problems.’”
“Appeals and statements of condemnation are not sufficient,” said Dr. Khataza Gondwe, the U.K.-based group Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s head of advocacy and team leader for Africa and the Middle East.
“The international community must move swiftly, decisively and robustly to ensure a ceasefire, unimpeded humanitarian access to the entire region, and that those implicated in violations that may amount to atrocity crimes are held accountable using every available mechanism,” Gondwe added.
Thousands of civilians, including priests and Sunday school children, have been killed in Tigray since last November.
Priests, old men, women, entire families and a group of more than 20 Sunday school children, some as young as 14, were among the thousands killed previously in Tigray by soldiers from Ethiopia and Eritrea, according to eyewitnesses and family members who spoke with CNN.
In one instance of violence, hundreds of people were hiding in Maryam Tsiyon Church in Axum city, which is said to contain the Ark of the Covenant described in the book of Exodus, on Nov. 28.
In another attack, witnesses say Eritrean soldiers opened fire on the Maryam Dengelat Church, where hundreds of believers celebrated mass. Although many tried to flee on foot to neighboring villages, troops were said to have chased after them.
The massacre was said to have continued for three days as soldiers went house to house, dragging people from their homes and slaughtering residents.