I’ve lived a very blessed life. I was born to two loving parents, baptized as an infant, and raised in the church. I’ve always had plenty of food to eat and a safe place to sleep. I’ve had access to state-of-the-art medical care and haven’t had to use it for any serious illnesses. Finally, I’ve been blessed with a church body that fully supports my spiritual needs.
This past Sunday, I was blessed to hear a Bible study and sermon by a missionary in our fellowship who has served in Indonesia. It soon became clear to me that Christians in Indonesia have not shared in the same blessings that I have. By and large, they have a much lower standard of living. They also live among neighbors that are 87% Muslim.
Not only do Indonesian Christians live as a small religious minority, they are also severely persecuted. They are killed for their belief. Their churches are firebombed and razed. They suffer discrimination in all aspects of their lives. Despite these dire earthly obstacles, the Indonesian Christians possess a strong faith and desire for God’s Word and Sacraments.
Indonesian Christians understand Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). May the Lord bless them in their struggles until they can be with Him in His kingdom.
Once again this May you’ll be receiving an envelope for your Mother’s Day offering to the ELS World Needs Fund. During this past year, the majority of support was sent to our mission congregations in India. Many of their church buildings were severely damaged by a cyclone, and the congregations were in need of support to rebuild.
Take the opportunity to set aside a little something for your fellow believers around the world who are suffering personal, natural, and man-made disasters. Consider your blessings and how they can help those with physical needs. Thank God that we are all spiritually blessed through the same Word and Sacraments.
Peace Lutheran Church
North Mankato, MN
ELS Board for Christian Service