Or very own Naomi spent the beginning of Lent choosing to lose her bed for a few nights to raise money, awareness and prayer for young Christians around the world who are losing out because of their choice to follow Jesus. Because of their Christian faith, many believers can be shunned by family, excluded by community, losing home, security, safety and more. In other places, being known as a Christian can be extremely dangerous, leading to prison or violence. Through Naomi’s challenge, she has raised nearly £1,000 for the work of Open Doors partners helping Christians facing persecution – amazing!
If you’re you thinking of taking on the challenge yourself and giving up something you love to raise money for your persecuted family, here’s a list Naomi has complied of 10 things she thinks you should know! And if you’re not yet taking on the challenge, but feel inspired too – get your free fundraising pack here…
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If you’re giving something up and you know you won’t feel the pain, then you probably aren’t giving up the right thing. If you know you spend hours gaming, then give up your console;
or ages on YouTube or social media, maybe that should be your thing. Maybe you’re too comfortable and so going without your bed, or shoes or a meal would be costly. You choose – but choose something that you know will feel like you’re losing out.
Ordering your Choose To Lose pack, setting up a justgiving page, letting people know what you’re doing – it will all help to make sure you are able to make the most of your Choose To Lose Challenge. So don’t leave it until the last minute. Order your pack today.
This challenge is all about raising money and prayer for Christians who lose out because they have decided to follow Jesus. That’s why we
get involved. As we live in freedom, we want to do all we can to support our brothers and sisters who experience pain for choosing to become Christians. This is one way we can use our time, comfort and influence to make a real difference.
We aren’t talking about distant, faceless people. In your Choose To Lose stories booklet you will read stories of real people, like you and me who have chosen to follow Jesus and because of that decision have lost out on family, home, security and freedom. Our hope is that sharing their stories makes these issues and people real for you and impacts why your actions are necessary.
When young people are doing something for a good cause, the community often wants to support this. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to show that young people can be known for making a positive impact on a real issue. Make sure you ask for and take opportunities to share what you are doing and why.
Asking people to sponsor you can feel uncomfortable. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure that what you’re losing is difficult enough that people think it’s worth sponsoring. But do ask people to sponsor you if they can. You don’t have to hard sell, but explain what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what your sponsorship money will do to help Christians who lose out.
We always encourage people to read Open Doors founder, Brother Andrew’s, book – Gods Smuggler. It is the story of how one man started saying yes to God and the different ways in which God gave him opportunities to encourage Christians all over the world. You might not like reading but we promise this is a page turner – also you can get an audio version on audible.
God listens and responds to your prayers. Sometimes we see answers to prayer, other times we don’t; but God hears our prayers and chooses to work through the things that we pray. So spend some time praying for the people who’s stories you’ve read. Pray for Christians who lose out because they keep bravely choosing to follow Jesus. And trust that your prayers are doing things that you might never see.
When we voluntarily choose to lose, it can be tempting when we start to feel the cost to want to give up. Whatever you have chosen to lose, if it’s something you love, it will be a struggle to complete this challenge. But you aren’t just doing this challenge for you. You are doing this to raise money and prayer for your Christian brothers and sisters. You’re in this together. They know the pain too – so when you’re tempted to give up, remind yourself of one of the stories you’ve read. Many Christians have to give up far more than we do – if they can do that, we can take part in this challenge. You might want to get some friends to take part too – that way you’ve got support right there with you.
Reading the stories, reflecting on your own freedom, learning about Brother Andrew, feeling the cost…it will all have an impact. Our hope is that this challenge does change you. We hope it changes how you feel about your Christian family around the world, that you’d feel more connected. We hope it changes the way you appreciate the freedom you have, the way your prayers have an impact, the reality that you have influence and power to act and speak up for those who don’t have a voice. This challenge has the potential to impact your faith and how seriously you take it. We hope it changes you to be more like Jesus.