Every year, Engage launches a campaign with the hope of connecting Christians here in America with persecuted Christians and missionaries all around the world. This is the Orange Letter Campaign – "orange" in honor of the 21 Coptic Christians in orange jumpsuits who were beheaded by ISIS on video on February 15, 2015. Engage has been blessed to be able to send letters of love and prayer to the widows of those martyrs as well as persecuted Christians in countries such as Nigeria, North Korea, and Syria.
From October 25 to November 5, 2021, Engage and Global Outreach International are partnering together to present the Orange Letter Campaign. This is your opportunity to reach out to Christians all around the world in a tangible way.
Writing to Persecuted Christians
In Romans 12 Paul writes a list of characteristics Christians should see present in their lives:
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion (Romans 12:14-16).
Since 2015, Engage has attempted to provide our audience with an opportunity to fulfill verse 15 (“weep with those who weep”). We sent letters by the hundreds from American Christians to Christians in Egypt, Syria, North Korea, and this year to Nigeria.
While writing the letters takes little effort, we are not just asking for you to write simple letters and prayers. We are inviting you to bring the suffering of persecuted Christians into your lives.
“That is part of the reason Engage does the Orange Letter Campaign every year" said Teddy James, former editor of Engage. "Engage wants to remind you not just that there is a problem, but that you can help. The persecution of Christians is not a defeat of Christ. We may not understand it now, but we can trust that we serve a God who is powerful enough to bring about His glory no matter the circumstance. So let this Orange Letter Campaign be a time for you to encourage believers you will not meet this side of eternity. But let it also be a time for you to draw encouragement from the same God who strengthens them. And let it all be done for the glory of God."
Writing to Missionaries
Christianity is filled with innumerable mind-boggling truths. Among them is the fact that God – all-powerful and self-sufficient – chooses to allow us to work alongside Him in rescuing lost souls. He doesn’t need us. He could send angels to preach the gospel, or visions and dreams, but He chooses to work through us. What a privilege!
Throughout history, God has raised men and women to be the vessels of His mercy to millions all over the world. When one hears the word “missionaries”, images of Paul and the Apostles on the dusty roads of the Middle East, Asia, and Europe immediately spring to mind.
Brought across the seas by Roman ships, the gospel spread like wildfire in northern Europe. It found a home in Ethiopia, where the Coptic Church continues today. Men and women like Hudson Taylor in China, Amy Carmichael in India, and Jim Elliot in Ecuador are just a few who stand out as examples of bravery and obedience. They seem to us to be super-Christians… yet they were men and women just like us.
During Engage’s Orange Letter Campaign, you have a new opportunity to join in this Great Commission and carry on the legacy of the missionaries that have gone before us.
Many of these Christians are missionaries in cultures that persecute them for their faith, and they are facing trials that Christians in the United States have never experienced.
Missionaries are far from the comforts of home during a time when isolation can be a great burden, and many Christians are facing persecution for their faith. We are asking for letters filled with Scripture, prayer, and encouragement. If you would like to write a letter but do not know what to say, pray and spend time in your Bible.
“Start with the Spirit's guiding and leading. Think about the last time someone encouraged you – what that was like, what it felt like – and then let that flow into how you write your letter," said John Darnell, CEO of Global Outreach International.
Prayer must saturate every piece of this effort. That includes the letters themselves. Pray for peace, pray for comfort, pray for wisdom, and pray for strength. Ask God what He would have you pray for them and write it down.
Much of the New Testament was written for Christians enduring harsh persecution. Since many of those reading our letters have never had the blessed opportunity to read through the Bible in its entirety, this can be one of the most beneficial things you can include. Especially consider the book of 1 Peter, as there is much said specifically to persecuted Christians.
Who God Is
Jesus is the great treasure of the Christian life. It is easy for us in America to lose sight of that fact in the midst of buying all the things we want. Imagine how easy it would be to lose sight of that while trying to survive. Remind our brothers and sisters of God’s character, how He loves, how He never changes, how He has promised to always be with us. Remind them of who God reveals Himself to be in passages such as Romans 8. And if these things are true of God, then “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
To submit your letters, go to engagemagazine.net.