Middle East (MNN) — “He said, ‘It is worth it.’ And he said, ‘I will gladly go to prison or even give my life for the Gospel to be proclaimed.’” Pastor Breck Ladd describes an e3 Partners mission trip he recently joined in the Middle East.
“Gladly? We [in the West] don’t understand that, I’m sorry. I don’t understand that.”
He met with several pastors and even had to be protected by a large security force during the event. Christians in this country risk severe persecution for their faith. Ladd says, “One guy began sharing with me what was going on in his life. I asked him if he faced any persecution. He said, “No, no, I live in an easy village, an easy community. I face hardly any persecution. I’ve only been arrested twice this year.”
Ladd watched these believers sing with utter joy in their hearts, despite their circumstances. Shortly before the group departed for the States, Ladd was invited to visit an underground church. He says, “We drove down an alleyway. We had to open the door, get out, and get inside as fast as possible.”
Inside, the Christians began to sing. Ladd says, “I’m a Mississippi State football fan. I’ve sat in a stadium full of cowbells. They pale in comparison to the volume that was in that room.”
Benefits of e3 Partner’s mission trips
He says going on trips like this challenges Western Christians to focus on Jesus. “We sometimes get confused. We think the answer is found on Capitol Hill. It’s not. The answer to everything we face is found on Calvary’s hill. Period. We need to make sure as the American Church we’re not teaching Gospel plus something. It’s not Gospel plus the government or Gospel plus politics. It’s just the Gospel.”
Ladd says joining a trip like this also allows Christians to encourage their persecuted brothers and sisters. Many live very isolated lives, cut off from any community.
Learn about future trips from e3 Partners here.
Header photo courtesy of derMolf on Pixabay.