Global Catalytic Ministries is an organization with a purpose of transforming Muslims across the world through the power of Jesus Christ. A March 2023 Global Catalytic Ministries blog article explores the story of Purim and how it points toward a movement of Persian Christians at the vanguard of peace.
Celebrated each March just before Ramadan appears in the Muslim calendar, Purim celebrates the anniversary of a heroic act by Esther. Secretly Jewish, she was chosen by King Ahasuerus to be his new queen. The primary advisor of Ahasuerus, Hamaan was in support of a decree that would have resulted in the death of Jewish people across the kingdom. But Esther risked her life by revealing her Jewish faith and became the advocate of the Jewish people. King Ahasuerus ultimately relented and spared her people. This story of her brave act of free will, amidst persecution, is one that still resonates today.
As explained in the article, the story is particularly relevant to today’s situation in contemporary Iran, where Jews and Christians are targeted for persecution. Just as in Biblical times, people are dying for propounding the Christian faith. Much of this violent behavior is learned and socially defined, as even Iranian schoolchildren are programmed to seek the destruction of Israel.
Through a burgeoning underground church movement, those who follow Christ are finding that such teachings are misguided and incorrect. Just as God disguised Esther’s identity so that she could perform a heroic act from a position of power, God works to protect church leaders’ identities in Iran so that the underground church can grow and flourish.
Global Catalytic Ministries is a nondenominational organization that seeks to transform Muslims through real encounters with Jesus. Focused on an urgent cause, Global Catalytic Ministries is active in countries such as Afghanistan, which is now ranked first in the world in terms of danger for practicing Christians, surpassing North Korea.
This intimate focus on troubled nations reflects the organization’s status as an underground church. This is distinct from those ministries that send people of faith to provide aid and practical relief and bring back stories to the Western world of an underground church. They provide a welcome and needed service, but they have a different mission.
The underground church’s disciple makers are actually from persecuted regions and minister to others from persecuted regions. Their emphasis is on sharing Jesus’ love in even the most trying of circumstances, where professing belief can get one killed. This constant living in fear of persecution can also be a strength.
When disciples are made in the “hardest nations,” they go on to organically grow the faith and transform others. Instead of simply visiting on mission trips and taking photos, believers stay in the nations they serve, building lives and raising families there. At the same time, the underground church becomes their home as they stand strong through a shared devotion to the truth of Jesus.
When we contemplate mothers, our usual notion revolves around those who fulfill the role in a tangible manner. We envision women who give birth, wholeheartedly devoting themselves to their children, making sacrifices, and nurturing them through the years until they reach adulthood. Undoubtedly, this perception holds true. Without those who wholeheartedly embrace the physical responsibilities of motherhood, where would we find ourselves? In the realm of faith, we encounter examples like Eve, Mary, and Elizabeth, who selflessly devoted themselves to the wondrous act of bringing life into the world—life that possesses the potential to reshape the course of human history. Imagine if Mary had declined the sacrifice of motherhood or if our own mothers had chosen otherwise. The consequences would be profound.
Nevertheless, motherhood extends beyond a specific group of women; it lies at the core of femininity itself and represents an essential need in the world. While women certainly bring forth children through childbirth, they also give birth in countless other ways as they embrace their distinctive role as nurturers. They give birth to ideas, enterprises, connections, homes, ministries, and communities, to name but a few.
Being a woman means infusing life into every room, every occupation, and every relationship she encounters. Consider the story of Queen Esther from the Bible. Although she may not have borne physical children as far as we know, she breathed life into the entire kingdom of Israel through her bravery and selflessness. In doing so, did she not exemplify the heart of a mother, willingly sacrificing herself for the sake of those who relied on her?
Mothers exhibit a remarkable quality of unwavering protectiveness, often likened to that of a mother bear. When women embrace their unique calling as mothers, the world is profoundly enriched. They fearlessly place themselves in harm's way for the sake of the weak, the vulnerable, and anyone who requires their feminine strength. The book of Judges provides a striking example of this maternal devotion through the story of Deborah. She emerges not as a judge, soldier, ruler, or mere leader, but as a mother to Israel.
She consciously chooses to define herself through the lens of motherhood, fueled by an intense love that resides within a mother's heart. This extraordinary love enables her to discern the desperate needs surrounding her and wholeheartedly embrace them, refusing to remain silent. Imagine a world without such mothers—the Mother Teresas of our time—who wholeheartedly perceive a need and consistently respond with love. The impact they have, repeatedly extending compassion, is immeasurable.
As we celebrate Mother's Day, we extend our heartfelt recognition to mothers everywhere—those who nurture life in both physical and spiritual realms. The global church earnestly calls upon women to rise as mothers, to perceive the desperate needs of a wounded world and embrace that pain as their own. In every nation, we yearn for mothers to emerge in their maternal roles, breathing life into desolate places, fostering the growth of both physical and spiritual well-being in their own children and the children of a world lost and fractured. To all mothers, we honor you, we rely on you, and we hold deep affection for you. Happy Mother's Day from Global Catalytic Ministries and the church worldwide.