The sun rises, and a new day begins with many surprises for believers in persecuting nations. Each day is new, not the same as the previous one. Not even in prison.

A believer in prison wakes up and ponders if today will bring death or just a routine beating. Will I be feed today by the prison guard, or will I go another day without eating?

The persecuted church knows well Jesus never franchised the faith. Christianity cannot be lowered to the level of formula, recipe, method, or technique. Jesus never taught seven keys to a great marriage, seven secrets to a robust prayer life, seven Biblical steps to escaping Iranian prisons!

The deception of total freedom and lack of persecution in North America allows reality to be shifted to the point of franchising the faith.

What Jesus did teach everyone he ever talked with, was this simple life-changing concept: follow me! The answer to leaving behind your broken life is a relationship.

The answer to leaving behind addiction and sin is a relationship. The answer to healing of all the hurts and wounds of life is a relationship. A living active relationship with Jesus is New Testament Christianity!

The way to endure another day in an Iranian prison is a relationship with Jesus. The relationship is everything to the persecuted believer. The relationship is the lifeline, the future.

We are saved by who we know, not what we know! Franchising the faith simply doesn’t work in North Korea or Nigeria.

Come to think of it, franchising doesn’t work in America either unless your selling hamburgers! Let us follow our persecuted brethren as they follow Christ. Let’s trust the relationship!

Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about praying for the persecuted church. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at or 918-919-1490. He pastors Faith Church of Grove on East Highway 10.