International (MNN) — Jeff Mallory worked as a chiropractor, having no desire to get involved with international missions.
But after a bombing in Kenya, he volunteered to travel there as part of a medical team through his church. “That experience, being over there and meeting believers, just meeting people of the global Church, was an amazing experience for me. Just to see their faith in the midst of what I thought were horrible circumstances.”
As time went on, Mallory met Christians from countries like Iran and Nigeria that had suffered persecution for their faith in Jesus. He says, “Some of them lost their families. There was a pastor I know that was killed. Their homes were burned down. My journey became, how do you find forgiveness in your heart for these people that persecuted you? And the answer was, they gave it all back to God.”
Jeff found this answer healing in his own life as well. “My family experienced some tragedy. My uncle was killed. And the Lord told me to forgive the perpetrators. And I told the Lord, ‘No, not these people.’ But the Lord really put it on my heart.”
Mallory began working with the persecuted church. Eventually, he joined Asian Access in its mission to help church leaders grow and be better prepared to face these trials.
He encourages listeners to interact with Christians from other parts of the world. “Go spend some time with people from outside your circle, outside your bubble. Especially people from countries like China, or from Iran. It’s humbling to hear their stories and to hear what they’ve given up for their faith. I was the only Christian in my family for a long time. But I didn’t give up anything for that. My brothers might have teased me. My mom and dad thought I was a little bit weird.”
The header photo shows the aftermath of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing in Kenya, which sparked Mallory’s initial trip. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)