Editorial: Encouragement and challenge

31 March 2023

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Barnabas Aid has had the immense privilege of flying a second group of Christian Afghan refugees to a safe location in Brazil.

This second group consisted of 15 families (60 individuals) who, since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, were at greatly increased risk of being killed as apostates from Islam.

We are very grateful to God for being able to assist our brothers and sisters in their time of difficulty.

Just one of the Afghan Christian families who arrived in Brazil in June 2022. The second group of arrivals brings the total settled in Brazil by Barnabas to 25 families (114 individuals)

Over the last 30 years, we have discovered that working with the suffering and persecuted Church across the world is both an encouragement and a challenge.

It is an encouragement, firstly, because we are strengthened by witnessing the faithful endurance of believers who stand firm despite suffering hunger, thirst, homelessness, violence or the threat of death.

Yet, secondly, it is also a challenge to us in our own walk with the Lord to see how our brothers and sisters have such courageous faith and deep Christian joy in spite of their circumstances.

A church leader in Brazil summed this up in describing his experience of one of the Afghan families that arrived in June last year.

“We learn a lot from them – more than we teach them, in fact,” he said. “They live the Church life with reverence and zeal. They are very grateful to God for everything.

“They live a life of devotion that is not forced or learned in seminary,” he continued. “This is what impacted my life the most.

“Questions like, ‘If there is no persecution here, why don't we worship God for four or five hours – two hours is not enough?’ – or, ‘Since it is allowed, why don't we have services every day?’

“We were very blessed with the coming of this family. I lost count of how many times I cried leaving their house. God is wonderful!”

Related Countries

Afghanistan, Brazil