Last weekend, my husband took me to San Francisco for a lovely weekend away from the kids. (What a guy! :) We stayed at the Hyatt Grand Hotel (he used up lots of bonus points for a free night) and got the first class treatment! We went out to dinner, to a concert downtown (saw the band "Blind Melon", which was a surprisingly good show), came "home" to our beautiful hotel room with a panoramic view of the San Francisco Marina and Coit Tower. Very cool.
The next morning after breakfast, we took a walk through the city in the spring sunshine. Across the street, in Union Square, some kind of demonstration was going on. Drums were rhythmically booming in unison and crowds were gathering to see what was going on. Throngs of volunteers passed out informational newspapers to every passer-by, and banners with gory pictures of torture victims and their story, were on display throughout the square. Hundreds of people carried signs reading "FREE TIBET", and even more wore t-shirts printed with "OLYMPICS AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY CANNOT CO-EXIST IN CHINA."
At first, I was repelled by the disturbing photos and victim bios posted all around me. I was thinking, "Here I am on a romantic weekend with my husband, I don't want to think about this right now...I just had breakfast!" But then I started reading a poster about children being taken prisoner for any reason by the crooked government. When a "paying customer" has a need for a human organ, the imprisoned people are "harvested" for their organs! OMG!
The next posters showed victim after victim who had been burned, butchered and battered. Why? For refusing to denounce their religious beliefs. For thinking thoughts or speaking words that are not allowed. Evil. Unthinkable. Horrifying. But what can I do about it?
(More info available at www.humanrightstorch.org )
After we left the demonstration, I continued to think about what I had learned that day. I was totally unaware up to this point that all this was even happening in the world. Now that I know, and I feel upset and concerned, don't I have a responsibility to DO SOMETHING? I started to pray and ask God why He had us go to that demonstration. What am I supposed to do? What can little me do to help these people thousands of miles away? I turned to my Bible, and there "just so happened" to be a bookmark sticking out of the pages, so I opened it at that place. My eyes immediately went to a paragraph that was underlined in the text. It read:
"I think you ought to know, brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of ASIA," [China is in Asia, right?] "We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead! And He DID DELIVER US from mortal danger. And we are confident that He will CONTINUE TO DELIVER US. He will rescue us because YOU ARE HELPING BY PRAYING FOR US. AS A RESULT, MANY WILL GIVE THANKS TO GOD BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE'S PRAYERS FOR OUR SAFETY HAVE BEEN ANSWERED." 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (New Living translation)
So that's the answer! Straight from God! Pray for the prisoners in China. Pray for the victimizers in China. There are people there who desperately need us to pray for their safety! Wouldn't that be cool to meet people one day in Heaven who were saved because of our prayers for them on earth?
God is so cool. I just had to share. :)