Tuesday, 29 June 2004 @ 11:47 PM SGT

Contributed by: Redeemed

It is ironic that the Third World Christians should be praying for us in the First World instead. We always think we are blessed and so we are now reaching out to the poor unsaved in the Third World. Why ?

Let us hear some comments from pastors and believers in the Third World.

One Iranian Christian leader who lives in the US said, "It is more difficult to be a Christian in the USA than in Iran. There, you are either a Christian or not !"

One pastor in Southern China said, "We have physical persecution but you have materialism. Your lot is harder because we know what we are spiritually fighting. Many times you don't."

Another church leader in China said, "Once you are chasing after money there is no time and energy for church affairs...And the government knows that materialism will destroy the church faster than persecution can...I tell my co-workers in China that the biggest enemy we're facing is no longer communism, it's materialism."

A Chinese believer who experienced much sufferring for her faith expressed it this way "We are constantly reminded that we are in a spiritual warfare. We know whom we are fighting for. We know who the enemy is...Perhaps we should pray for you Christians outside China. In your leisure, in your affluence, in your freedom, sometimes you no longer realise that you are in a spiritual warfare."

Personally, I don't like to join prayer meetings here because I find no meaning similar to the following comment from an Ugandan pastor, " In Uganda, we read for hope and life...there is no time for arguments on theology...In Uganda, we pray with a deep sense of urgency...I refused to leave my knees until I was certain I had been in the presence of Christ...Now after a year in Philadelphia, the urgency is gone. When I prayed publicly, I was more concerned to be theologically correct than to be in God's presence...my prayers were no longer athe helpless cries of a child. More and more I found myself coming to God with vague requests for gifts I did not expect."