But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, – Galatians 5:22
Day 9: Self Control
Sudan – Idris Nalos, an African animist, had converted to the Christian faith. Soon after his conversion, he became an evangelist and began preaching in remote places of Sudan. In just a few years, he had planted three churches while also falling under the watchful eye of authorities. Considered dangerous because of his activities, he was arrested by the Islamic government and put in prison where he was tortured to get him to deny his faith.
Beaten for hours every day, he was also deprived of sleep. Unwilling to give into the prison guards’ demands, he begged for God to strengthen him. He did not want to show the guards that he was about to collapse. God answered Idris’ prayer by giving him a vision where he saw those to whom he had preached the
Gospel and, in turn, proclaimed the Good News to others. “I saw many who were saved,” he said.
In this vision, he realized that even if his life was taken, others had already picked up the baton and were willing to carry on. From this moment, Idris was no longer afraid for his life. After three weeks of ceaseless torment, his torturers released him without explanation.
Over the month of August, Open Doors ministry has a special mission they are encouraging all to partake in. “During the month of Ramadan, from August 1-30, 2011, Open Doors is calling on Christians in the West to pray for Christians living in Islamic dominated countries… praying specifically for God to fill and strengthen them with the ‘Fruit of the Spirit.’ This ‘fruit’ embodied in each believer; molds, shapes and transforms us – expressing the image of His Son. And through this image, shining through a believer, God draws people to salvation.”
I signed up for their daily prayer emails for this mission. Each day, they send an account of a Christian who is living in Islamic-dominated countries. I pray this will help us to remember to pray for those who are ministering to hearts in foreign countries with the gospel.
“Open Doors works in the world’s most oppressive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these dark places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles, training Christian leaders, developing Christian communities and ensuring prayer, presence and advocacy for these suffering believers.” (www.OpenDoorsUSA.org)