“We are praying for you.”
This was said to me by a Russian pastor to whom I had just secretly delivered Bibles in a city called Leningrad in what was the Soviet Union, locked behind an “Iron Curtain.” We had spent the morning drinking coffee in the basement of his church, discussing the oppressive political realities of seeking to faithfully serve Jesus Christ in his country at that time. When I sought to encourage him by reporting that Christians in the West are praying for him, he earnestly responded with this statement. I was compelled to ask him what he meant–how could it be that a church living under the daily hardships of persecution is so concerned about us who enjoy life in relative freedom? His answer became the occasion for much personal reflection over the years: “We clearly see the ways our common Enemy persecutes us through the atheistic communist propaganda and practices of our government; our Enemy persecutes you just as ruthlessly, except you don’t see it.”
From Modern Reformation 17.5 (Sept/Oct 2008), p. 37.