God is good. All the time.
With those six words, a 27 year-old Sudanese mother opened her address to the audience of the 2014 Values Voter Summit Saturday night. It was only four short months ago that a shackled Mariam Ibraheem gave birth to a baby girl in a disease-ridden Khartoum prison as she faced a death sentence -- all because she refused to renounce her faith in Christ.
Family Research Council had the distinct privilege of honoring Mariam with the first-ever Cost of Discipleship Award at the Summit's gala dinner on Saturday. Many of those who played a part in securing Mariam's release gave testimony to the fact that we can make a difference in cases like Mariam's. As Congressmen Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and Mark Meadows (R-N.J.) spoke to the crowd about how Congress worked with NGOs to fight for Mariam's life, we were all reminded that the silence of the President's administration didn't mean that America lacked a voice. Hardwired Global's Tina Ramirez talked about the legal maneuvering that went on in Sudan behind the scenes. It was all a vibrant picture of what we can do if we stand together -- even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
But Mariam's freedom is only a partial victory. We heard from Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American Pastor Saeed Abedini who has been imprisoned in Iran for two years for sharing his faith, who gave us a poignant reminder of the real impact of religious oppression. So far, President Obama and Secretary Kerry have refused to even meet with her about the situation. Where the President's administration continues to fail, the opportunities for American Christians to take up the struggle for our oppressed brothers and sisters abound. It was encouraging to see Mariam tell her "sister" Naghmeh, "Do not fear, be strong. Take care of your kids, and the Lord will be with you. God is good."
Many of you who diligently followed news on Mariam and fervently prayed for her release also played a key role in Mariam's freedom. Your prayers, petitions, and interest in this story showed the Sudanese government that America was behind Mariam and her family. I encourage you to watch the video of this powerful evening to see for yourself what God can do with His people when they stand together for those who have no voice.
God is indeed good, all the time.