(ANS – September 21, 2018) — As political and religious divisions widen and deepen around the world, Gospel for Asia inspires peacemakers on the International Day of Peace. We hope that a simple story of reconciliation and forgiveness will inspire more people to pray and work for peace.
The account of how broken relationships were restored in a small Asian village through sharing the love of Christ is being highlighted to celebrate the International Day of Peace (Sept. 21). We are all to be peacemakers, and this year’s theme for the United Nations observance is “The Right to Peace.” It marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which championed “the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.”
But that ideal is far from being realized. The 2018 Global Peace Index reports on “a world in which the tensions, conflicts, and crises that emerged in the past decade continue to grow.” The report marks the fourth consecutive year in which world peace—based on measures including crime, conflict and political instability—has statistically deteriorated.
In the light of this discouraging trend, GFA is showing the way peace came to one community where its supported workers have been serving, to offer hope that small change repeated enough can lead to a big change. The International Day of Peace is an example recorded by GFA-supported workers— and points to “the pathway to real peace,” says GFA founder, Dr. K.P. Yohannan.
“Peace at a national level is a wonderful and necessary thing, but even that cannot ensure peace in communities, families or the hearts of individual people,” he says. “Rather, enduring peace must come from inside the hearts of men and women and work its way out.”
Posted at the organization’s website, the inspiring story comes from a family living in Asia. The family of day laborers found themselves suddenly ostracized by their neighbors after being accused of being under the power of evil spirits. After being ignored by the rest of the community for several months, the family approached a believer in the area who was known for her prayers and faith, for help.
This believer shared about Jesus, prayed with the family and connected them with a GFA-supported pastor in the area who in turn approached the village leaders on behalf of the family. The discussions revealed that the accusation against the family had been made as a result of a misunderstanding, which, when resolved, brought them back into good standing in the community.
As a result of the help they received and hearing about how God came to restore people to him and each other, the family members embraced the love of God. Now they are sharing their new faith with others in their village who had previously shunned them.
In addition to the peace that believers are bringing to their own families and communities, GFA-supported workers are promoting the peace and welfare of communities through providing compassionate ministry—such as water wells, disaster relief, income-generating gifts and education—to all people, regardless of background; by regularly instructing believers to pray for the peace of society; and even planting trees and cleaning up their communities on World Environment Day.
“Scripture calls Christ the ‘Prince of Peace,’” said Yohannan. “Our heart as his followers is to live the way he lived, and so we want not only to pray for peace but to live a life of peace as an example for others to follow.”