Middle East (MNN) — With groups like ISIS actively hunting Christians, it would be easy to live in fear. Images of 21 men in orange jumpsuits lined up on Libya’s shores, kneeling before jihadists with hate-filled eyes, are enough to make any believer think twice before setting foot in ISIS territory.
And yet, E3 Partners’ Alexa McDowell and her teammates travel throughout the Middle East to meet with persecuted Christians and share their stories with the world. Their actions demonstrate how defeating ISIS requires a response of faith, not fear.
“There was that song [Oceans] that was really popular for a while here in the U.S. by Hillsong…[it illustrates how] we see Him work in a supernatural way, in a powerful way, when we step out of our comfort zone [and] we step out in faith,” explains McDowell.
However, stepping out in faith is going to look different depending on what’s confronting believers.
For example, in the West it might be fear or comfort holding believers back. But really, it’s whatever the enemy can use to trip up a Christian.
As for fear, here’s McDowell’s advice: “Whenever [fear shows up], I remember that fear is not from God. He tells us that so many times. I think in the Bible there are like 356 references to fear…but [know that’s] a tool of the enemy.”
Part of the journey is knowing the need to step out in faith. To do this, try staying up to date with current events, what’s happening on the mission field, and keeping in-tune with the Holy Spirit for where God is calling you.
McDowell explains, “There are a lot of good organizations, missions-minded organizations that are just trying to get out a different perspective as opposed to the news. So Mission Network News is a great resource; we’ve got the Christian Broadcasting News Network, we’ve got Christian Aid Mission. E3 Partners does a great job, too, just from around the different regions around the world, getting out the stories of what God is doing.”
You can learn more about what’s happening with persecution and the ways God is moving, even in times of war. McDowell recommends the books, Dreams and Visions, Desperation, and Killing Christians. Finds these books and others by visiting E3’s resource page.
Another way to stay informed is by liking E3’s 8thirty8 Facebook page to hear more stories from the field and to learn how to pray for these partners’ needs.
Finally, you can step up in faith by supporting others who are stepping out in faith through prayer.
“If you follow…The Voice of the Martyrs or Open Doors USA…if you follow any of these sorts of ministries that are working with the persecuted, they will all say, ‘We want your prayers. We want your prayer everyday. We want specific prayer. We want to know that you are rejoicing with us and that you are also suffering with us’…because [prayer] just works in supernatural ways,” concludes McDowell.