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This week’s promise: God cares for the persecuted

Turning evil to good

Don’t be intimidated by you enemies.…you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.
Philippians 1:28-29 NLT

Finding God in Russia

In the 1930’s, Stalin ordered a purge of all Bibles and all believers. In Stravropol, Russia, this order was carried out with a vengeance. Thousands of Bibles were confiscated, and multitudes of believers were sent to the gulags where most died for being “enemies of the state.”

Years later, CoMission sent a team to Stavropol. When the team was having difficulty getting Bibles shipped from Moscow, someone mentioned the existence of a warehouse outside of town where these confiscated Bibles had been stored since Stalin’s day.

After much prayer by the team, one member finally got up the courage to go to the warehouse and ask the officials if the Bibles were still there.…The answer was, “Yes!”

The next day The CoMission team returned with a truck and several Russian people to help load the Bibles. One helper was a young man—a skeptical, hostile, agnostic collegian who had come only for the day’s wages. As they were loading Bibles, one team member noticed that the young man had disappeared. He had slipped away, hoping to quietly take a Bible for himself. What he found shook him to the core.

The inside page of the Bible he picked up had the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. It had been her personal Bible. Out of the thousands of Bibles still left in the warehouse, he stole the one belonging to this grandmother—a woman persecuted for her faith all her life. He was found weeping—God was real.

R. Kent Hughes in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes

Adapted from The Prayer Bible Jean E. Syswerda, general editor, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), p 1285.

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