First Christian Church | Pittsfield


Shine His Light In Times Of Darkness

08.24.21 | Michael's Corner | by Michael Ten Eyck

    Dear Church Family, 

    If you are like me, you have been deeply troubled at the events unfolding in the nation of Afghanistan and the implications that these events have on our fellow Christians living there. We will be devoting some time this Sunday to join together in prayer for the people of Afghanistan. 

    Many of us know very little about Afghanistan.  98.8% of the nation are Muslims. (90% Sunni, 10% Shiite.)  Christians in Afghanistan face antagonism from the government and the Muslim community.  With the furious destabilization that has transpired over the last few weeks, they now face persecution from extremist groups that are quickly reconstituting within the nation. 

    Over the last week, there have been many reports of Christians being sought out and targeted for persecution. There have been reports of squads of radicals going door to door, searching phones for Bible Apps or other evidence of their Christian faith.  

    There is also a deep concern for the impact of the governmental collapse in regards to those who worked with our nation and its allies, humanitarian organizations operating within Afghanistan, and the treatment and exploitation of women. 

    As the news continues to paint a grim picture of the situation it is easy to feel that there is nothing that we can do about it, but this is far from the truth.  One thing that we can do, and are called to do, is to pray. 

    Some topics to pray about...
    Pray for God’s wisdom to be given to our leaders and their willingness to accept it.

    Pray for those struggling to get out of Afghanistan safely.

    Pray for our military as they facilitate the evacuation process.

    Pray for the protection of believers in Afghanistan and that God would sustain them. 

    Pray for our Christian brothers and sisters to persevere during this crisis. 

    Pray for the spread of the Gospel even in the midst of chaos. 

    Pray for those who face persecution as a result of the sudden collapse of the government, especially women and young girls.

    Pray for peace and for God’s will to be done in Afghanistan. 

    Pray for the Taliban. 

    This last one may seem odd to you but we have a calling to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. 
    Matt 5:38-48  "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'  39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  42  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 43  "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  46  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  48  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  ESV

    Praise the Lord that we worship a God who is bigger than earthquakes, pestilence, war, and political unrest.  May we continue to shine His light in times of darkness. 

    Loving you all,