Don’t bother trying to contact me this weekend cos I won’t be available – I’m going BLACKOUT! You may recall that I did the same thing last year.
So what the dickens is BLACKOUT?
Glad you asked!
BLACKOUT is the brainchild of Open Doors Youth to help raise awareness, enhance empathy and express solidarity with the persecuted church. It’s so easy for us in our busy, relatively comfortable western world to forget about the plight of our brothers and sisters around the world who are being slaughtered, tortured, imprisoned, intimidated and marginalised on a daily basis, purely because of their faith in Jesus. Hebrews 13v3 says:
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”
This scripture convicts me so deeply that I have genuinely been contemplating getting the word “REMEMBER” tattooed on my hand to remind me to pray for the persecuted church each day. BLACKOUT is a less permanent, yet equally effective way of remembering my suffering church family. By blacking out I will be going without my technology for the whole weekend – from 9pm tonight to 9pm Sunday. In a tiny way this is what life is like for the Secret Church who have to meet discretely and worship in fear of their lives. More than that though, each time I’m tempted to hit refresh on my Twitter feed or bust a quick game of Angry Birds I will be reminded to pray. It’ll probably annoy some people that they can’t contact me and likewise it’ll probably be frustrating for me too – but these are minor inconveniences and pale into virtual insignificance next to the all-too-real discomfort of following Jesus in North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and numerous other nations across the world. The video below is just one shocking story among hundreds of thousands that will give you something more of an insight into the plight of the persecuted church and illustrate just how much they need our prayer, encouragement and financial support:
I’ll be back online by Sunday evening – the Secret Church will still very much in the dark. Why not join me in blacking out this weekend – it’s 48 hours that might just impact your heart and life forever! It’d also definitely be worth your while to check out Open Doors and get behind the awesome work that they do to give grace to those who desperately need it. If nothing else, please pray for the persecuted church – our prayers are powerful and effective and above all – they work!
See you next week.