Holding Fast to Christ

Dear Friends,

I was recently challenged by the Apostle Paul's instructions to Timothy, his protégé in the faith.

"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12 ESV

I immediately thought of those that we, here at VOMC, have been called to serve; our persecuted brothers and sisters. They are engaged in the good fight of faith by pursuing the Lord and His righteousness despite great opposition. These believers don't strive for or hold onto this life -- with all its distractions and pleasures. Rather, they hold fast to Christ and His eternal promises that are of more worth than earthly pleasures. In doing so, they leave a legacy of God's faithfulness for all who bear witness to their pursuit of godliness.

In the past year, VOMC has been able to provide financial support to the families of Eritrean Christians imprisoned for their faith. While paying a tremendous price for their convictions, they steadfastly cling to the Lord, holding onto an eternal perspective. Despite their imprisonment, they continue to serve Him, for they know that the call of God does not end behind prison doors. For many, that is where true ministry begins.

VOMC received a letter from an imprisoned Eritrean Christian, surviving in what would be described as deplorable, inhumane conditions. The letter was not a cry for help, nor a call for advocacy, but rather a letter of thanks and praise. Here is an excerpt:

"May the peace of God be with you, our blessed brothers and sisters. How are you? We, your brothers and sisters, are always longing to see you. And we hope our God will bring all our situations to a conclusion soon. Paul had this in mind when he wrote to the Philippians: 'It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the Gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.' (1:7-8).

"When we received the money you sent to us, it reminded us of the New Testament church. The church was supporting Paul and other saints when they were persecuted. Everything you have done for us is counted as if you are doing it to the Lord. Again and again, we wish you God's blessing. May God bless you with all spiritual blessings in heaven."

I think it is time that we, as Canadian Christians, allow the Holy Spirit to adjust our thinking on persecution and help us realize that we are not here to fight for our rights and freedoms, holding onto them as though they can save us. We are called to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, regardless of those who oppose us in the search. In other words, Paul's charge to Timothy is our charge today.

Rights and freedoms are great and should be protected, but they should never take precedence over our following Christ and bearing our cross.

Our Eritrean brothers and sisters point us to a higher standard in our faith journey. Not that they have yet attained the goal and are perfect, but as an example of what it means to press on because the One they follow, Jesus Christ, has made them His own. That truth penetrates the deepest dungeon and darkest pit, lifting the soul to sing, "It is well with my soul."

So, all of us here at The Voice of the Martyrs Canada echo the sincere thanks brought to you from an Eritrean prison. May the Lord bless and keep you as you live for His glory, fighting the good fight of faith.

Grace and peace,


Floyd A. Brobbel
Vice President of International Ministry and Operations
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada

Eritreans standing in worship