Present Brian Stover called our first meeting of June order by bringing everyone up-to-date with our calendar of upcoming events. The floor was then given to Chris Batchelor, Paulding club Rotarian. Mr. Batchelor started by addressing everyone and introducing the topic for this meeting. Throughout the world there are many countries that persecute Christians to this day. Some of this persecution is carried out openly as their laws mandate prison or execution for those who profess the Christian faith. The Voice of the Martyrs is a ministry program that Mr. Batchelor is involved with that reaches out around the world educate people about the atrocities that are ongoing and encourages folks to pray for those who are being persecuted. Additionally the program does provide assistance directly to missionaries as well as those facing persecution in these countries.
Mr. Batchelor started a video after the introduction to this ministry program. The video was a small church congregation in Nigeria who was brutally assaulted by armed mercenaries. This is a very familiar scene as it has been depicted in many action movies. However, this was very real and the casualties permanent. Mr. Batchelor explained that in February 2015 he was confronted by the persecution of Christians as he saw on the news in Egypt a group of Christians were marched to the shore and then beheaded by terrorists. This became a turning point that brought his awareness to this need. He Has recently become involved with The Voice of the Martyrs to help others become more aware of this need. As we here, in the United States, go to church and express our faith freely we sometimes tend to forget that this is not the case throughout the rest of the world.
The second video that Mr. Batchelor showed was a man in Vietnam who had been in prison over 15 years just for being in possession of the Bible and sharing his faith. Ultimately, he was released after many years of imprisonment and torture. As people are murdered and imprisoned around the world, it highlights the blessings that we have here in this country. Through this ministry program care packages are available in the form of "action packs" which are sent to those Christians in need around the world. These packages consist of the very basics:
- Blanket Jacket / windbreaker (adult or child)
- Light sweater (adult or child)
- Socks (Adult or Child)
- Solid-color T-Shirt (any child size)
- Bed sheet
- Bar of Soap
- Sponge or foam ball
These items are very simple and seemingly inconsequential to us, but to people on the run and persecuted by their home countries these items can save lives. For more information about how you can help please contact Chris Batchelor, email: phone: 404-379-7256 or the Voice of the Martyrs at their website: www.persecution.com