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Lily and Sara represent women in ministry, women who suffer from the devastating effects of repressive governments and false religions.
Donna represents the elite circle of women who have paid the ultimate price as wives, mothers, daughters and sisters of martyrs—and in some cases as martyrs themselves.
And the woman from Chiapas, Mexico, who wove my delicate blue bookmark, represents the millions and millions of Christian women all over the world whom we will never know by name, but who are our sisters in Christ—women from Bangladesh and Belarus, Sierra Leone and Sudan, Mauritania and Myanmar, women who daily count the cost and pay the price to follow the same Savior we follow in freedom.
Each of these women is real. It's hard for us to imagine the constant terror some of them live with, never knowing if the police, their parents, or their own husbands or children will turn them in or even kill them, simply for practicing their faith.
Someday we'll meet these women in heaven. I don't know about you, but I want to be able to run up to them confident that I did everything on Earth I could to strengthen them. I want to be able to say, "I prayed for you," or "I wrote you while you were in prison," or "I gave you a cup of cold water in His name," or "I read about you and didn't turn the page."
In our comfortable society, it's so easy to turn the page or flip the channel. It's much more comfortable to watch reality TV than it is to read the Voice of the Martyrs newsletter or Jesus Freaks, the compelling book about persecuted Christians.
But what would Jesus do? Is that a nice little saying on a refrigerator magnet, or does it represent our lives? These women have counted the cost and paid the price to follow Him. We must all ask what we can do to support them—no matter what it costs us.
* Not their real names
Elisabeth Farrell writes frequently about persecuted Christians.
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