Take a moment to imagine yourself adrift at sea. You left your family hoping that this journey would bring new hope for you and them, but now here you are, weeks at sea, out of fuel, food, and water. Others on the journey with you are losing hope, some have already died. Here you are, alone, scared, the sun beating down on you, no protection. Where is your hope?
What do you feel?
Now, on the horizon you see another ship. As it moves closer, your heart begins to pound faster and faster. They connect with you and bring you food and water, a great relief you feel and it seems that all will be okay…Then the unthinkable happens. You don’t understand why, but they leave your boat, they point to the far horizon as they leave in the other direction. Others around you are crying, frantic not wanting to be left again. You begin to cry, remember your family as you see the women and children in tears around you. Lost, no hope.
Think. Feel. How is your heart in that moment?
It’s hard to imagine.
This is far more than an example to get you thinking. It is currently the physical reality for around 6,000 Rohingya people stranded at sea, and it is the spiritual reality for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya around the world.
Every year thousands of Rohingya flee their land by boat in hope of a new life, these trafficking networks lead to camps where there is torture, extortion, execution, and slavery. Recently many of these camps have been found and shut down and mass graves have been uncovered. However, at that time still thousands of people were in route to these camps by boat, with no place to go the traffickers. A few of these ships have run aground, still others have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. However, at that time, those places have not allowed them to come to shore, giving them food and water and sending them away. It is estimated that as many as 6,000 people are still on a boat in the sea somewhere.
Imagine your Husband or wife, your brother or sister, your child, or your parents on those boats, and please pray for these people like you would pray for your own family.
As we have been reflecting on these unfolding events, it is a vivid picture of the spiritual realities of the Rohingya, adrift at sea with no hope. Unless someone goes and shares Christ, they will never be rescued. Other “boats” have come and will come i.e. their religion, aid workers, governments, but these are all temporary and do nothing to bring them safe to shore. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ will bring the spiritually lost Rohingya safe to shore, and only our God has the power and love to do so. As much as it breaks our heart to know of thousands stranded at sea, it must break our hearts even more to think of the millions stranded without the saviour.
Please pray earnestly for God to break through, for salvation to come, and for HIM to do the impossible.
Featured Image by Christophe Archambault via Getty Images