'There Are Things Worse Than Dying'--2016/2017 Annual Missions Appeal Letter
8 December 2016
It was just after midnight when the door was kicked in and heavily armed ISIS terrorists flooded their home. These parents and their six young children who were all asleep, were beaten and forced into one room where they were ordered to their knees with rifles and swords at their heads. "We know you are Christians: You can either reject Christianity and convert to Islam, pay a fine, leave your home and everything you own except what you can carry on your back, or you will all die by the sword! You have 30 minutes to make up your mind." (The required Jihad fine was more money than the family owned.)
When I entered the modest dwelling of this family in their new country of refuge, the father was crying when I walked in and still crying when I left as he shared his family's story with me. You will notice in the picture that only five children are present, but there were six!
Just as the family gathered up all the belongings they could carry on their backs, their captives told them as they were leaving: "By the way, your daughters are staying with us!" All of the family again fell to their knees crying and begging for the girls to be released. They offered everything they owned, including their wedding bands to buy back their daughters. The father begged for their captives to take him instead and do whatever they wanted to do with him, but to please let his daughters go free.
After a while, the terrorists told them they would indeed take all of their belongings, but in exchange for only one of the daughters. With both young girls on their knees crying uncontrollably as they looked their daddy in the eye, he had to make the decision. He had to call out the name of the one daughter he would save while looking the other terrified daughter in the eye that he would leave behind, knowing that she would soon be gang raped then sold into sex slavery, never to be seen again.
There are some things worse than dying! Imagine having to live the rest of your life as a refugee, with this picture of your daughter's face forever etched in your mind. Every moment of every day, you hear her screams as you looked back at her one last time as you walked away having called out her sister's name. As you walk away you see the attackers are already putting their hands on her as she looks and screams for you to help!
I wish I could tell you that this is an isolated evil incident, but it is one that is being repeated hundreds and thousands of times every day, from the Middle East to West Africa, and in many other countries around the world. But, YOU CAN help make a difference in their lives and give them hope not only for this life, but for eternity.
I am so grateful for Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who comes to us in our despair to bring hope to the hopeless, bread to the hungry, compassion to those who have no place to call home, and the Body of Christ to help those who are helpless. In this refugee crisis that is impacting millions of families worldwide, there has never been a better opportunity or greater technology to share the Good News, the hope, the love and the compassion of Jesus Christ with the world--and this is our mission at Cattle for Christ! This refugee crisis is CRITICAL and it requires our immediate and sacrificial response!
Working together through Cattle for Christ, Cattlemen, Farmers, Ranchers, Ag Industries and all Christians can provide hope for the hopeless by giving them the eternal hope found only in Jesus Christ as we give them audio Bibles on our solar powered CFC TRAILBLAZER players and connect them with local believers. We can provide food for the hungry by providing them with weekly deliveries of fresh vegetables from our partnership farm in the Middle East which distributed enough fresh vegetables last season to provide over 937,000 meals. We can help the homeless and helpless through our schools and home visits helping them to get an education so they are empowered to break the cycles of poverty. We can help meet their medical and other needs--all while sharing with them the Gospel and the love of Jesus. Not only can we help these hurting people, but we can do it much more strategically, effectively and efficiently than the U.N., other government agencies or humanitarian organizations that only offer temporary help, but not the eternal help, love and hope of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus saw the suffering and affliction of the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (MT 9:35-37). This is exactly the kind of hopelessness that we have seen in so many places around the world, but none greater than what we are seeing among the refugees. Cattle for Christ is working where the harvest is indeed plentiful and where the laborers are few! You may not be able to go, you may not be willing to go, but you can still be a part of reaping the harvest by helping us as we go! Will you help us go by sending your best 2016 end of the year gift now and by continuing to help us in 2017? You have the power to give hope to the hopeless, food for the hungry, homes to the homeless and to help the helpless right where they are--all while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and releasing the power of His Holy Spirit. As refugees come to faith in Jesus Christ, they can reach more of their own people with the Gospel message of love and peace, changing their own culture while learning to provide for their own needs.
Your income tax deductible gifts of cash, cattle, equipment, vehicles, land, stocks, products, services, and your influence are just a few of the ways you can help. Please visit our NEW website at: www.cattleforchrist.com to learn more. While you are there, please sign up for our online newsletter.
Please call me at 334-333-4400 to discuss in more detail our work with refugees and our other ministries both here at home and around the world. We need your help and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Blessings in Christ Jesus,
Founder & President