It happened again. Hundreds lost their lives over the weekend from horrific terrorist violence. Paris mourns in the aftermath of the cruelty, so many robbed of loved ones. Beirut, Lebanon, was targeted just a day after the Paris attack, leaving more casualties.
Our hearts have been heavy for those left sifting through the ashes. Prayers for peace and healing rang out all across the world.
Now, if we are honest, the mourning has turned to anger. And for good reason. We demand justice for those responsible. We demand a death sentence for all the death caused. I confess that there was a part of me that cheered at the photos of the French air force departing to strike back at ISIS strongholds.
But is this the most effective method of ending the enemy's reign of terror? Should our hearts posture include a different response?
The book of Acts reveals an interesting war tactic employed by Jesus after his resurrection. Saul was one of the greatest persecutors of early believers in Christ. But during one of his campaigns to destroy the church, Saul had a life changing encounter with Jesus on a road leading to Damascus (Syria). Saul's name was changed to Paul who then became one of the greatest missionaries of all time (Acts 9).
Jesus could have killed Saul on that road, ending a wave of terror for the church. Instead, Jesus changed the root, and the fruit of Paul's life grew the church in ways we still experience today.
Can this happen again? What if there was a way to change the roots of ISIS?
My friend Thomas has an interesting answer. Thomas operates a very special safe house in Africa that is turning modern day Sauls into Pauls. Guests at the safe house are former Muslim radicals, Middle Easterners who have had incredible conversions in Jesus. Like Saul, many of those at Thomas's safe house were forced to flee the very persecution they authored when their communities turned on them.
At the safe house, these former persecutors first receive the counseling and restoration they so desperately need to cleanse their past. The greatest part comes next as most of the guests then begin to receive training so they might return to the very areas where their former evil lives were manifested. But they don't go to kill. Instead, they seek to infiltrate the dark strongholds and offer the same transformation through Jesus that was offered to them.
Join the Movement:
Most of you know that Alpha Relief has been on the front-lines meeting the attack of ISIS head on with rescue and relief initiatives. Its also time you were aware of this much more covert assault on the enemy, one that disarms his forces and transforms the very people he controls into the greatest heroes for the Kingdom of Light.
Thomas, his safe house team, and many other undercover missionaries still need your support. There are many more persecutor Sauls on their own roads to Damascus. It's time we changed their story.