Here is why Michel Varton wrote the book "Like the father Sent Me"
Work for an organization serving the persecuted Church? I never intended to. At least, that’s not the reason I left my native country for France at the age of 28. How did I find myself in the Open House team a few years later? By a combination of circumstances.
Like many young converts at the time, I began by reading Le Contrebandier, by Frère André. What a fascinating tale! This young Dutchman had dared to live incredible adventures with his God. This same God that I had just discovered in my own life. A very real and living God. A God I was getting to know. The author himself was invited to speak at a conference ... at the very university where I was studying. I was able to be part of the order service, and take care of the preparation of the room and the reception of the guests. The room was packed. One of Brother André's sentences stuck in my mind: "God has commanded us to go (preach the gospel), he has not told us to come back". Around the same time, I also attended a conference given by a Romanian pastor, who had founded Aid to Martyred Churches, a similar organization. It was Richard Wurmbrand.
I later discovered the persecuted Church through many travels. First in Eastern Europe, then all over the world. It is to present this Church to you that I wanted to write this book. Not to communicate to you facts or statistics, which are better and better known in our world today (you will find them on the Open Doors site and in its publications). Above all, I wanted to share the lessons I learned with you. Lessons which, it seems to me, speak of our reason for being, of our mission as Christians on earth.
In recent years, I have spoken in front of cameras, or interceded for the persecuted Church in front of politicians - in the European Parliament, during a hearing in the Senate, or in the National Assembly. Or during a side meeting at the Council of Europe. Sometimes I have to answer the question, "Why the persecution? Why are Christians being targeted all over the world? ". I often find myself torn between two answers.
1. One will be to present the analysis they expect: the phenomenon is due to the return of religious nationalism, to the consequences of atheistic Marxism, to the assimilation of the Church with colonization, to prejudices against Christians who date back to ancient times and which resurface in times of uncertainty.
2. Another reason exists, however. If I try to bring it up, the cameras go off very quickly. It is linked to our immense privilege of walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. To be completely identified with him and his destiny. To reflect Christ in the world today.
In 2018, I thought maybe I didn't know this Jesus well enough. Like many Christians, I spent a lot of time reading the New Testament Epistles, or exploring this immense account of the people of Israel and their relationship with God, that is, the Old Testament. I decided to spend a year reading only the Gospels.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why each trip I recount, each experience of the persecuted Church in this account, points to an episode in the life of Jesus and the small group of Galileans who surrounded him. at that time and discovered that being around this man who was God was anything but trivial.
Yes, to be called to follow Jesus Christ is to share the same journey. It is to be sent, as the Father sent his Son.