International (MNN) — International Media Ministries’ projects remind us history isn’t simply the sum of events that transpired in the past. Instead, it stands as a way for people to learn and be inspired by errors and triumphs of the generations that came before them.
The Power of Remembering
Sadly, many young people today are only marginally aware, or not aware at all, of large historical events from less than a century ago. The nationwide U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey revealed an alarming lack of knowledge about horrifying crimes that took place during World War II. 12% of the people surveyed believe Jews caused the Holocaust.
Denise Godwin says these types of shocking studies are why the Church must remember its own history.
“I once heard a representation of the word remembered as being re-membered, re-put together. I love the idea that when we remember something, we’re piecing it back together. Christian history is so rich, [and] that help us connect our faith to our [lives],” she says.
“I think sometimes we can see the Bible through really big lenses, but as you begin to learn and remember the stories of Christian history, you learn that regular people are also standing for the faith. It’s so important to remember that the seasons of our lives and of the people in the past haven’t been smooth and easy. Yet, God’s faithfulness has been shown in various ways [through] generations.”
These lessons are especially important to remember when considering the persecution and hardship Christians around the world continue to face today.
“There are so many people who are experiencing persecution now. We want to think that those kinds of things don’t happen in our time, but it’s not the first time in history that people have been singled out because of their faith in Jesus Christ,” Godwin says.
The Heritage Project
IMM’s Heritage Project was designed to help Christians learn about the rich history of the Church. Cyrpain had a particularly inspirational story.
“Cyprian was a rhetorical and law professional in his time. He was able to communicate with society and help them know what the Christians believed and help the Church define [itself] to the public. Cyprian did this in a time of persecution,” Godwin explains.
“It’s so important to remember these people, to make sure that our faith is encouraged and that the sacrifices they made are affirmed by us, carrying faith forward to another generation.”
How to Pray
Godwin encourages prayer for those suffering from persecution around the world.
“Let’s gather together, pray, and remember those people in persecuted parts of the world. We need to remember them in prayer and remember what blessings we do have, even when we have our own challenges.”
Pray also for those who are interacting with IMM’s ministry, as well as the workers who are sharing the Gospel.
“Right now, more people than ever are responding to media online and asking questions about Jesus. The follow-up workers are working as hard and as fast as they can, communicating with people in their own heart languages. Pray for those follow-up workers, [for] anointing and strength.”
“People want to know where God is in hard times, and the stories of Christian history tell us that he is right there in the midst of all these things that are so hard, walking with people, calling to them, and comforting them.”
Header image courtesy of Joanna Nix-Walkup via Unsplash