Going to church doesn't seem like a dangerous thing to do. At least not most of the time, but let's take an imaginary trip.
You get to church and the worship has already started. Your family slips into the pew that they normally do and you go and sit with your friends. The Spirit is really there and everyone is focused on worshiping their Creator.
Then, you sit and listen attentively as your pastor opens the Word. His teaching is really good and you're spell-bound as he talks about dying for Christ. Suddenly, a loud explosion happens very close to you. You feel searing pain course through your body and you notice that several of your friends are lying on the floor, blood starting to pool around them.
People are screaming and running around. Smoke fills the air and it smells as if something is burning. Slowly, it starts to dawn on you that a bomb was planted in the sanctuary and that many people were probably hurt. Then you look down at your arms and see blood running down them. Until now, what was only a distant pain, becomes increasingly noticeable. You run for help, but can't get out because there are too many people trying to get out the doors.
Finally you get out and receive medical attention. Then reports of deaths and severe injuries start reaching you. Some of your best friends were killed by the shrapnel and nails that came from the bomb. Some of your brothers and sisters in Christ were badly burnt and many more are suffering trauma from what they saw.
This may seem far-fetched to some people, but for many believers in other countries, this is something that is far too normal. They might go to church wondering if they'll come out alive or if the police will break up the meeting and take some of them to jail.
On May 23, 2009, a newlywed couple, Vikash and Deepa Patrick, experienced this. They were honeymooning in Nepal and before they went back to India, they stopped by a church. A bomb exploded and the wife, Deepa, was killed. Please pray for Vikash and all those who lost loved ones in the bombing.
To learn of more stories like this, please visit VOM's website here.
This post inspired by VOM's September 2009 newsletter.