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This week in Nairobi, over 1300 Anglican ministers from around the world joined together at GAFCON, the ‘Global Anglican Futures Conference’ to encourage each other to persevere with the historical faith that is grounded on the real Jesus, whom we know in his word, the Bible.
One of our Sydney Anglican ministers at GAFCON, Nigel Fortescue, wrote about the persecution experienced by our brothers and sisters around the world:
“There are forces within the Anglican Church that are making it hard for some of our brothers and sisters to remain Anglican. There are forces outside the Anglican Church that are making it hard for some of our brothers and sisters to remain Christian…
“It is too much to go into all the stories here. It was almost too much to hear it all except for the fact that those persecuted had a vigorous and real hope in The Lord Jesus that encouraged me no end. Nothing else keeps them going…
“When we in Sydney talk of persecution we often mention graffiti on the church or the fact someone kicked down our sign. Perhaps we might mean a family member mocked us for trusting Jesus. Perhaps we may have even been the butt of jokes at work.
“But at the end of the day, we have no idea, much to learn and many prayers to pray.”
Let’s keep praying for our brothers and sisters at GAFCON and beyond.
It is hard to imagine just what it is like to lose everything in a natural disaster.
Yet, sadly this is the experience that many people share after this week’s extreme fires that have caused such loss to so many people.
We pray for those who have been affected by injuries and deaths, and we pray that God would comfort people as they come to terms with the pain of loss and the upcoming struggle to rebuild their homes and their lives.
Disasters like these remind us that all of us should hunger for the life that is to come, when those who trust in Jesus will see no more tears and mourning.
May these tragic events lead us in our church to show genuine comfort and love for those affected, and may it remind all of us for the need to find refuge in Jesus.
UPDATE: To give to the Archbishop of Sydney’s appeal for the victims of the bushfires, click here.