The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, LORD.
Psalm 9:9-10 HSCB
Orange. Bright. Easy to spot in a crowd. When the masses that surround you have black hair and darker skin, and your bunch is fair skinned you really don’t need an orange shirt to stand out…
When we were getting our shirts and deciding on a color, orange seemed to yell, “pick me!” “Make a decision to stand out and be counted for Christ~put ME on and lay your all on the altar!” Wearing Orange… It might cost you some time, vacation money, and possibly other extravagances….
Or, it might cost you your life.
Just like the persecuted Church. They are easy to see from a distance.
It has been difficult to process some things we’ve encountered. One particular day. Wednesday–when our friends in our home towns were getting ready for Wednesday night Bible Study, we were riding back to the hotel, sweaty, exhausted and spent. That’s what we came for.
When we begin this and all mission trips, we pray for God to direct our steps and our path–and we leave it entirely up to Him on the “how and when”. This trip had a fully loaded fact. Heart wrenching, emotional fact.
We encountered a young girl who had suffered abuse at the hands of a step-brother. Had, in fact, been suffering in silence for 2 years. It began when she was younger than 10 years old–in her prepubescent years the assaults began. And she could tell no one. Likely he threatened her life, and possibly the life of her mother.
Our paths crossed for a purpose and each of our lives will never be the same. The team did not get to meet her or pray with her, but our Focus Forward Ministries team did–and hug her and give her a Bible and hope. Hope that is only found in Christ Jesus.
It was no accident that this young girl, barely thirteen, now a child-mom of a 3-month old, encountered a team of orange wearing soldiers of the cross who would not back down from the pain that her wounds inflicted on each of our hearts. We could do something. Jeff and I will be sharing her story, along with our mission and purpose as we are able to meet with pastors and be in churches in the coming months. It is a story and a purpose that has become embedded in each of our hearts.
Wearing orange gave us a particular boldness as we all remembered what our brothers and sisters in Christ were experiencing in their stand and statements. Their stand, to remain associated with Jesus–their statement to not back down.
When our Presbyters wore orange ties at the recent District Council, they wore them in recognition for the persecuted church. When I looked at the sea of orange as we filed off the bus, I remembered another single file line when I looked at the first group of Christians about to be beheaded. I can’t even think of it now without crying.
Of the thousands of photographs I took, there are those that have a special place in my heart. You may get tired of reading–and tired of looking at so much orange….but friend, this was one trip I am so glad I didn’t miss.
I may bleed red–but my heart boldly wears orange.
Whether they prayed sincerely, or simply bowed their heads because they were asked to is not ours to know–it’s between them and God….but the fact remains: They were given an opportunity by a bunch of orange-t-shirt-wearing-believers who gave up a normal vacation for a trip to their country to give them a chance to know HIM.
To be continued….
© 2015 Angie Knight- The Knightly News Blog. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Angie Knight Photography. All rights reserved.
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