Every year for five years Engage has set aside one week dedicated to reaching out to Christians all around the world. What an honor it has been for me to take part in the Orange Letter Campaign! I have heard many stories from Christians who have received letters from the campaign and how it has brought light and renewed joy in very dark circumstances, but it has struck me recently just how beneficial this campaign is for myself. Actively taking part in extending a hand of fellowship and love to Christians laboring in the mission field has shifted my perspective on how I must live out my walk with the Lord.
I can’t become comfortable
Hearing recounts from missionaries working in India or Christians suffering persecution in Nigeria has reminded me that my peaceful, quiet, routine-driven American Christianity is the exception when it comes to Christian experiences around the world. I go to church and fellowship with Christians unhindered at least once a week, without fear of being arrested or killed. I proclaim my Christianity in the public square and have the luxury of fighting for my right to do so. I am free to raise my children in the instruction and admonition of the Lord without the State looking over my shoulder or curating a government-approved “Christianity” for me to pass on.
But this is simply not the case for most Christians. This was made infamously clear in 2015 when 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were murdered on a Libyan beach on video by ISIS. But Jesus Christ is so precious, so primary in the lives of these Christians that they are ready to be persecuted, tortured, and killed for His sake. What an example they are to me!
I must walk in obedience
For the past two years, Engage has had the privilege of partnering with Global Outreach in the Orange Letter Campaign. Speaking to John Darnell, CEO of Global Outreach and a missionary himself, I have often found myself struck with admiration for those who are so ready just to drop their comfortable lives and “do extraordinary things” for Jesus in other places in the world.
But just because I don’t have that same specific calling in my life doesn’t mean I get to be my own boss, set my own agenda, and disregard the Great Commission. God’s command to “make disciples” applies to me just as much as it did to John Darnell, Jim Elliot, or Amy Carmichael. I have a wife who I am commanded to protect, physically and spiritually. I have two precious children who God has given me to raise “in the way they should go.” I have friends, family members, co-workers, and a church family, all of who I am expected by the God of heaven to minister to and help build up in godliness. I must walk in obedience because I am a missionary too.
I have an eternal family
Sometimes I think as American Christians we tend to view Christians in other countries as poor, suffering people who need our charity, rather than viewing them for what they really are - our brothers and sisters. Sadly, there are many Christians whose biological, earthly family will not come to eternal life in Christ. But every single Christian in India, Peru, Nigeria, Iran, Russia, China, and all over the globe will experience the glory of eternal life in the presence of God together. These are my family, and your family, related by a bond stronger than any human family tree - the blood of Christ Himself.
How you can get involved
I hope this article has stirred you to want to get involved in the Orange Letter Campaign! If so, we would love for you to send your letter to email@example.com. This letter will be sent to missionaries all around the world, who are experiencing isolation and unrest in these troubled times. Keep your letter short, about 150 words at the longest, but be sure to include encouragement and prayer. For more information on how to write your letter, read here.