A World Away in My Backyard
Inspired by the protesting in Tunisia and Egypt the Bahrainis have taken to the streets as well, an upsurge against the government to decry its oppression of the Shia majority. There has been one death and many injuries as the protesters clash with police and military. The Shia delegation to parliament is threatening to walk out if certain demands are not met. A world away, we sit back, watch and wait.
For me, it is not just a world away but right in my backyard. My son, Joshua, and his family (Alison and Eva) lives in Bahrain. There are Christian brothers and sisters there that we have met and pray for who live, work, and minister in Bahrain.
The pastor of the church that Joshua attends wrote this:
“I managed to get myself tear-gassed at one point when I went for a ride to see what was happening…..Why would I go out there to look? Because we value incarnational ministry. Just as Jesus came to us, becoming fully human, sharing our sorrows and temptations, so we also go to others in the same way. We aim to become as much like them as possible, to rejoice in their hopes and weep in their despairs.…We can't witness to people, unless we also witness their struggles. The defining reality for Bahrainis is their feeling of injustice and oppression, of being excluded from government and denied many rights we take for granted. We may disagree with their goals, and dislike their methods, but we must understand their passion. “
It reminds me how easy we have it in the U.S., and how often we (I) squander the blessing and ignore the eternal needs of the people around us. There are spiritually oppressed people around us who don’t even know they need deliverance. However, they struggle with life issues. They fight with their children, argue with their spouse, suffer under abuse and addictions. Unless we are willing to go to where they are, to engage them in their struggle, to be the incarnate Christ in their midst then all we are doing is playing at church.
I continue to pray for my family in the Middle East, but maybe they need to pray for me more.
I'm just say……