At least two McLane small groups have used or are currently using this challenging six week video-based study from Voice of the Martyrs. It is an overview of the current persecution of Christians in the Middle East, primarily by ISIS.
I Am N reminds us that we are each "n," the Arabic letter that radical Muslims use to identify followers of Jesus the Nazarene.
Scripture calls us to count the cost of following Jesus. For our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world, that cost can be extremely high.
In this curriculum, our eyes are opened to the present day reality of their plight. The material is presented in a way that provides inspiration to how we might pray for them and otherwise support them in their time of greatest need.
Chris Norris, a leader of one of our Erie small groups, had this to say about their time with this study:
The curriculum was incredibly challenging and eye-opening. Our group was moved to prayer and awareness of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for the sake of their faith. Highly recommended but be prepared to feel convicted!
The study material is comprised of a book, a participants guide, and the videos, which are available on RightNow Media. The book is composed of short chapters relating the personal stories of persecuted Christians. They are grouped in six categories, which follow the themes of the curriculum: Sacrifice, Courage, Joy, Perseverance, Forgiveness, and Faithfulness.
Roger Scarlett, also currently leading a group with this curriculum, describes the experience as "very revealing as to the heartbreaking reality of what is happening in the world to our Christian family members." He said that his group is "having great discussions about how our faith calls us to be the light of Christ in a dark world."
The material is not all gloom and despair. Christians in the Middle East are also seeing doors opening to the Gospel message as never before from many Muslims who are ashamed of what ISIS is doing. This is very encouraging.
Both group leaders give a strong recommendation for other groups to consider using this curriculum.