I remember reading about the 100th anniversary of Christian Missionaries in the Congo. One of the speakers said he was about 12 years old, almost a man, when the missionaries first came. And he said that for years and years and years, in an attempt to drive the missionaries from their country, they poisoned the missionaries and their families. The children were especially susceptible to the poison, he said, and that is what led so many people from the Congo to Jesus. "We did not accept Jesus into our lives by watching how you lived, but by watching how you suffered and died. You always had hope. You never gave up on Jesus and you never gave up on showing His love to us."
"People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly, in hard times, tough times, bad times, when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we're telling the truth, and when God's showing His power; when we're doing our best setting things right; when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honoured, true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumoured to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, yet having it all. Dear followers of Jesus, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter the wide-open spacious life. We didn't fence you in. Any smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
From Paul's letter to the believers in Corinth, 6:10-13
To those of you who are experiencing extreme and ultimate persecution, please, for the love of Jesus, at all cost avoid violence, revenge and retribution under the guise of self-protection. It's God who protects. It's God who will bring you safely home when your work on earth is done.