Welcoming Take Heart as WEA Affiliate Member: Serving Persecuted Christians

Member April 24, 2020

The World Evangelical Alliance is pleased to welcome Take Heart to its global family of members. Here is a brief introduction to what Take Heart is all about and how you can pray for them and their ministry.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Motivated by the love of Christ, Take Heart exists to spiritually encourage, technically equip, and financially support local leaders serving persecuted Christians around the globe. Our comprehensive vision is to see the body of Christ at peace, standing firm and with great hope.

Take Heart currently serves persecuted Christians in four countries: Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Nigeria.

Prayer is the top request from many persecuted Christians. May we never forget our responsibility to love and support our siblings in Christ through prayer.

In Syria, children are failing to receive an education as a result of the war and Christian children are particularly vulnerable, as many Christian schools have been closed or damaged. Pray for educational opportunities for these children. Pray for peace for Syria.

In Iraq, there are now around 202,000 Christians, down from 1.5 million before 2003, an 87 percent reduction in one generation. Some Christians have returned to rebuild their homes, but their return is complicated by security, education, health and employment difficulties.

Pray for the rebuilding of the destroyed churches, homes and businesses and reestablishing a way of life. Pray that ISIS would not return to devastate communities. Ask for protection of the leaders, priests, pastors, and bishops.

In Egypt, persecution is chronic and widespread. There is institutionalized racism against Christians. Christian women face an epidemic of kidnapping, rape, beatings and torture. Businesses of Christians are burned down. There is also a reality of extreme violence for converts to Christianity.

Pray for the Christians in Egypt to have equal rights and for the government to offer greater protection. Despite the immense persecution, pray for the conversions to Christianity to continue to increase. In the impoverished communities we serve, pray for economic opportunities to arise for Christians.

Nigeria’s situation among Christians is dire. According to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Conflict Tracker, an estimated 37,500 people have died as a result of Boko Haram violence and 3 million people have been displaced since 2011. The actual name, Boko Haram, means “Western education is forbidden.” The Islamic extremist group rose up to fight the influence of the West—which includes the teachings of Christianity.

Please pray for the protection and perseverance of your persecuted family in Nigeria. Pray for Christian women, your sisters, to be given the freedom to raise their children without the fear of attacks, abduction and rape. Pray for the young children who are often Boko Haram targets for kidnapping, forced labor and even suicide missions. Pray that God gives them the freedom to follow Jesus, receive an education and to experience the safety and security that so many of us have daily.

Take Heart strives to model a holistic approach of serving our persecuted siblings in Christ through three interrelated objectives:

1.       We spiritually encourage every Christian to fulfill his/her role in the body of Christ.

2.       We technically equip leaders to implement a sustainable development model to overcome their communities’ weaknesses and threats.

3.       We financially support organizations (communities) with grants in persecuted and impoverished areas to achieve their mission.

One way we spiritually encourage persecuted Christians is by regularly visiting families in the communities we serve, reading Scripture and praying together. We also host spiritual retreats and enriching activities for children and youth.

Spiritual encouragement without practical help is not effective. As we know, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26.) Thus, in tandem, we technically equip leaders towards implementing sustainable strategies to ease the effects of persecution. In Syria and Iraq last year,  we equipped over 45 leaders through our program, Ignite Academy. This curriculum is designed for young people to equip them with the tools necessary to stay committed to Christ and His Church and to be able to lead others effectively in Kingdom work. So far we have reached 48 young adults, nine church leaders, and six church communities.

In addition to spiritually encouraging and technically equipping, we realize that financial support is necessary in order to implement certain strategies. One example comes from Ezbet El Nassara, Egypt. Here, a candle factory was established with the financial assistance of Take Heart in 2018. Because of our donors’ generosity and thoughtfulness towards their persecuted siblings in Christ, Take Heart has been able to support 14 ladies so they can now provide for themselves and their families. Their job opportunities have helped them see the light in the midst of their darkness.

Take Heart does not stay in the communities we serve indefinitely. Instead, we are strategic about implementing sustainable projects for local leadership to continue and build on for years after we leave.

By the end of 2019, The Lord blessed us with following results;

During and after a global pandemic, it can be especially difficult to think of anything but keeping our families safe. Though there is much to weep over and pray for in our nation during these unstable times, our persecuted siblings in Christ still need our support. In March, Take Heart distributed hygiene supplies to the communities we serve in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Nigeria. We continue to serve in all four countries and need assistance to continue this work.

We are so grateful for our prayer partners, volunteers, and financial supporters. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

1.       Give at missiontakeheart.org/give

2.       Join our prayer team at missiontakeheart.org/prayer

3.       Become a Take Heart volunteer at missiontakeheart.org/volunteer