"Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body." Hebrews 13:3 (NASB)
I've noticed a huge uptick in views from international readers, especially in Russia, over the last few weeks. I hope my readers overseas know that this blog is intended for you as well as for teachers in American public schools. My heart breaks for Christians in Russia right now. I am praying for you.
Here in America, if a student asks me about my faith, I can answer him. If a student asks me to pray for her, I can do so outside of class time. I can take hand-me-down clothes my kids have outgrown to a neighbor's house and speak to my neighbor openly about my faith in God. I can stand in the public square and give my testimony.
The rights of Russian citizens to share their beliefs with those around them have been greatly diminished by new anti-terrorism legislation recently signed into law by Vladimir Putin. Evangelists need permits. House churches are banned. Christians will suffer discrimination reminiscent of the Cold War years. What's a Christian to do?
I know that in times of tribulation, the Church has historically been strengthened and purified by its trials. God does not lose control when earthly governments turn up the heat on His followers. He is still our shepherd, and we are still His sheep, and He knows us by name.
I wish I knew the names of the Christian teachers and evangelists in Russia for whom I am praying. Readers, I hope you'll join me in praying for our friends in other countries hostile to the Gospel. They need encouragement right now. May God send it to them through our prayers.