Why Stand One With Them - An Interview With Mike Gore
Where Did The Idea For One With Them Come From?
I remember travelling through Vietnam with some of the team from Open Doors. I asked them about this somewhat crazy idea I had, about people donating a day’s wage for the persecuted church as a way of standing in solidarity with those who suffer for following Jesus.
The idea of giving one day’s salary is not new but I do believe it’s powerful. To truly stand with the persecuted church I needed to figure out what we could do that would really make us think of the cost of following Christ. Money isn’t always easy to give away.
Isn’t This Just Another Fundraising Campaign From A Charity?
I wholeheartedly believe One With Them transcends fundraising. It calls people to take faith from their private lives into their public lives. I know for me personally, my faith can take a back seat in my social media life especially– I tend to hope people see Jesus in me, simply by being a nice person. But it just doesn’t work like that.
Yes, our hope is we will raise money from this campaign that can be used effectively in the lives of those who desperately need it. But beyond that, our hope is that we will see people choose to publicly declare their love for Jesus.
Over the last three years, we’ve seen attacks on Christians at Easter increase rapidly.
- In 2015, 148 students were killed at a Christian university in Garissa, Kenya.
- In 2016, 75 people were killed in Lahore, Pakistan as they celebrated Easter in a park.
- In 2017, 45 people were killed in Egypt on Palm Sunday as they worshipped.
The reason Easter matters is that for so many of us it’s a time of great celebration. But for others, it can be full of suffering. I can’t think of a better time to stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in Christ than Easter.
Are You Asking People To Draw A Cross On The Inside Of Their Wrist?
I have a 4-year-old daughter and every day she goes to pre-school I place a small stamp of a bee on the inside of her wrist that says, ‘be brave.’ It serves as a reminder to her throughout the day that I care for her and I want her to be brave without me there.
The concept of drawing a cross on the inside of your wrist is exactly that, I want it to remind people throughout the day that we’re doing this for Jesus and His Global Church.
I must also add, we see believers in many countries choose to get tattoos of the cross on the inside of their wrists. Like one believer told me in Iraq, ‘even if you kill me my body will still tell you I am a Christian.’
In addition to serving as a reminder, drawing the cross on our wrists serves as a visual display of solidarity with those whose faith could cost them their life.
Who Should Do One With Them?
I firmly believe that everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus should do something, at least once a year, for the survival of the persecuted church.
And more than that, anyone who has a passion for social justice and community development (whether they’re Christian or not) should also do it. Open Doors chooses to work through the local church, and history itself declares that the institution of the local church has proven itself as a shining light in their equitable, fair and impartial support of those who have desperate needs in communities all over the world.