Â â€œCONTINUE TO REMEMBER THOSE IN PRISON AS IF YOU WERE TOGETHER WITH THEM IN PRISON, AND THOSE WHO ARE MISTREATED AS IF YOU YOURSELVES WERE SUFFERING.â€Hebrews 13:3
Valentineâ€™s Day is upon us again. Itâ€™s a time of heart-shaped candy boxes from the drugstore, and cheap small cards people exchange with requests such asÂ “be mine” or declarations of “I love you’s. Â St. Valentineâ€™s Day is the worldâ€™s â€œholiday of love,â€ however, it is a substitute for the one true love we should have, and that is with God himself.Â ‘Jesus said: â€œâ€˜Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: â€˜Love your neighbor as yourself.â€™
The students of Kimber Academy are learning about true worship, and true celebrations that are not rooted in pagan history, but centered in Christ as theirÂ rock. Today, instead of celebrating as the world is, Â we took the opportunity to truly love as God asked us and serve others withÂ our Christian beliefs. We learned about the many thousands of Christians in other countries who are killed, tortured, imprisoned or harassed for their beliefs. Instead of exchanging valentines with each other as we usually do on the 14th of February, the students of Kimber Academy wrote letters to theseÂ Christians and wrote words of encouragement. Â We learned our words are never wasted when it comes to writing a letter to serve someone else. Our mail can have a profound impact on those who are suffering and even on those who are inflicting suffering upon others.
- Indicate to authorities that we are aware of a Christianâ€™s situation, and we care!
2. Testify of the love and unity found among followers of Jesus Christ worldwide. This is especially true when letters are opened and censored. God can use your letter to work in the lives of those in authority.
3. Prove our persecuted family is not forgotten. Through isolation and loneliness, the devil can prey on imprisoned Christiansâ€™ faith. When a prisoner receives a letter, whether they can read it or not, they know someone cares.
4. Lead to better treatment of Christian prisoners.
5. Provide tremendous encouragement.
Students at Kimber this year learned that love for God and for othersÂ should be our “walk and our talk.” Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden.
“Let us be known as a people who love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and who love our neighbor as ourselves. When we understand and practice these two great commandments in our families, in our wards and branches, in our nations, and in our daily lives, we will begin to understand what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus the Christ.”
In more than 40 nations around the world today Christians are being persecuted for their faith. In some of these nations it is illegal to own a Bible, to share your faith Christ, change your faith or teach your children about Jesus. Those who boldly follow Christâ€”in spite of government edict or radical oppositionâ€”can face harassment, arrest, torture and even death. Yet Christians continue to meet for worship and to witness for Christ, and the church in restricted nations is growing.
If you would like to learn more about serving others who are being persecuted for their faith and how you can learn to serve them visitÂ http://www.persecution.com/.
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Chiapas, Mexico
- Gaza and the West Bank
- Mindanao, Philippines
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- Tibet (China)
- United Arab Emirates