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Counting the Cost in the CAR

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24–25

As Christians, we count the cost every minute of our lives. We ask ourselves, “What will following Christ cost me today? To follow him well, what will I have to give up?” Whatever the answer, those who truly belong to Christ offer it willingly by the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Why? Because the Christian counts all things as a loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. On account of Jesus, we can suffer the loss of all things and consider it rubbish in order to gain Him… even if it costs us our lives.

And for some, that is precisely the price that is paid.

Recently, in the Central African Republic, our friend Pastor Seth was traveling the dusty roads of Zemio in the far east region when he was met by Seleka rebels. For several years, this country has experienced political unrest and war with rebel militia groups ravaging the people. The Seleka are Muslims notorious for plundering villages and killing Christians.

On that day, on his way to meet and pray with fellow pastors, our dear brother Seth was martyred by the hands of the rebel group.

Pastor Seth was a young man who had received a diploma back in 2012 from one of our Bible Institutes in Mbaiki, CAR. Since then, he had been faithfully pastoring a small Charis Church in Zemio. Sadly, he is survived by his wife and seven children who are still in mourning. This is a heart-breaking loss for Seth’s family, church, and community, but it is not entirely unexpected.

In the CAR, this is often the cost of being a Christian and some of our brothers and sisters pay it well. Being a Christian leader, Pastor Seth knew that he could be targeted, but that did not stop him from preaching the word of God and bearing witness to the joys of Christ.

God help us follow Pastor Seth’s example in bearing our crosses for Christ.

Consider This

Would you join us in praying for the protection of God’s servants and for their courage and perseverance as they study and serve the Church in CAR? Would you specifically pray for Pastor Seth’s wife, children, and church?

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little  until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” Rev 6:9–11