THE NEXT AMERICAN MARTYR
During the American Revolution, pastors rallied their congregations to resist tyranny and fight for the religous freedom that was their heritage. These men were labled the "Black Robe Regiment" by the British army and were targeted for capture and execution. In many cases, their families were also murdered and their churches burned.
In 1956 Jim Elliott, along with four missionary friends and their wives, set out on a mission to reach the Auca indians with the Gospel. When these men were brutally murdered on a riverbank in Ecuador, they were in possession of a rifle, but had voted they would not use it to defend themselves if attacked. They said, "We know where we will spend eternity, the Aucas don't."
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3)
Christianity in America has arrived at a defining moment. We have the opportunity to join the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us and define our faith by the willing sacrifice of our lives and fortunes for the cause of Christ, or we can continue to medicate our religous conscious with church attendance, self-help conferences and building campaigns.
When the Apostle Paul declared to the Galatians, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me," he was not just stating his theological position. He was defining his life in terms of the ultimate sacrifice; death on the cross of the world's rejection, ridicule and persecution. He was unashamedly setting himself up as an example for generations of believers to follow.
Jesus said, "Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you ... Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for behold your reward is great in heaven." (Luke 6:22-23)
It is estimated that over 100,000 believers in Christ are martyred each year worldwide. In many of these nations there are also reports of a great spiritual awakening, ie. China, Cuba and Iran. Pray for the church in America to have the courage to pay a martyr's price to restore the foundations of righteousness in our nation, and remember you are the church!
JOIN US ON THE FRONT LINES IN CUBA
Firstchurch has begun to assemble ministry teams to assist in our outreach to Cuba. Our focus is to support the vision of Cuban pastors in the areas of evangelism, church planting and leadership training.
Teams are scheduled to travel to Cuba in May and August of this year. We will be participating in a time of prophetic ministry to pastors in Eastern Cuba, speaking at a marriage seminar in Las Tunas and conducting a three day marketplace ministry event for emerging business leaders in Havana.
If you would like to partner with Firstchurch in our Cuba for Christ campaign by joining one of our future ministry teams, please contact us through our web site at http://www.firstchurch33.com for more information and a personal interview.
PRAY FOR US
This closing section is typically where I would make an appeal for financial support for Firstchurch. However, our greatest need at this time is for focused and intense prayer for our ministry.
Open doors of opportunity in Cuba have become flood gates of great need, and we are asking God for the wisdom to be good stewards and to show us where we are to invest our time and resources. We feel the weight of God's burden for this nation and we are asking you to help empower our work through your prayers.