10:26pm - We have unlimited access to the presence of God...This is the promise. For us we long for a new heaven and a new earth and we will weap no more. David is flying through Jeremiah and Lamentations. A beautiful record of God's promises and faithfulness.

We just returned from a break where before it we were introduced to the Horn of Africa and interviews from persecuted brothers and sisters. For security reasons we cannot post it on the blog, but believe me it was powerful. After the video Jonathan B., our global pastor introduced our guest speaker Nik Ripken. Nik has served in the Horn of Africa with his family for decades. He has interviewed over 600 believers who have experienced suffering at the hands of their families and communities because people were coming to Christ.

His question, "How do we identify with the persecuted"? Through stories of men and women he has met, Nik was able to help put flesh on these stories and make them real and living to us at Secret Church. Sometimes it is hard to know what to do with the stories of the persecuted that we hear. But we are grateful to people like Nik to help us have a better and more biblical understanding of the persecuted church.

Nik is no stranger to suffering. In fact this week marks the anniversary of his son's death. Nik and Ruth said goodbye to their 16-year-old son in Africa 15 years ago on Easter Sunday. After working and giving their lives for the sake of the gospel, they literally gave up their son's life in the place they had long served. Nik has written a beautiful account of this time in his life. To know more about the man who helped us look at suffering and the persecuted, read his article here... 'My son died today'