AN OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF FRISCO –
Dear Friends in Christ:
My heart has broken as I see the suffering of the members of Primera Iglesia Bautista De Frisco. I have been moved to share some of their words and thoughts with you. The following statements are from three Hispanic Christians who shared their testimony. One is a grandfather who has been part of PIB for 25 years. He worked with the men of FBC as they labored together to build the sanctuary and remodel and landscape the Church. The second is a young mother who found a church home at PIB where she could raise her children in the love of Christ. The last is a child who has never known any other church.
“Sometimes I am so angry I cannot pray. I know Christ says I must forgive, but it is so hard. I see the members of FBC on the street and in the stores, and I wonder to myself, “Does HE know what HE is doing to us? Does SHE care that we are driven from our Church Home? I see the men who worked side-by-side with us to build our sanctuary. I see women who used to work with us on missions. I want to ask them, ‘What happened? What did we do to deserve this? What CRIME have we committed against you that you should treat us this way? What SIN have we committed against God that we should be punished so.? Are we less than dogs to you that we are treated in this way? You have locked us out of our Church; you have taken all the things we bought and made for teaching, for worship, for preparing and serving meals, even our mowers and tools for caring for the grounds. Not only have you taken all we loved, you have done all this with contempt and without remorse. You have taken our Church – the Church we built together – and given it to strangers. Their songs and praises fill the sacred space we built with our sweat and gifts. I know we must forgive you, but it is so very hard, when you do not even seem to know or care.”
“When I was younger we had only the drafty old farm house. We all had to give our tithes to raise the $500 a month to pay the mortgage. Some months we were short, and we would have a fund-raiser to make extra. There were fewer than 10 families, and most of us made only about $1,000 a month; and we all tithed to keep our church going. I remember the day we dedicated the sanctuary, and the day we opened the parking lot. Now most of the shrubs we planted to landscape our grounds are dead – no one from FBC has watered or cared for them. I drive by and see the sign in the strange Korean characters, and my heart breaks. I bruised my thumb stacking the bricks for that sign. I know and love every wall and floor – I built them. I cry inside every time I drive down that street. I long to go into my Church and praise God; I long to kneel at our altar and take communion, but I cannot. I realize that I will never do these simple things again, and part of me dies inside. I wonder if the Christians who worship there now know how I feel? I wonder if the people of FBC know how we suffer?”
“I used to go to the church playground almost everyday. Now, even in the summer, I cannot play there. My Mother says that the First Baptist Church has taken our Church from us. One Sunday we went to the Church and found it locked. We could not go inside so we worshiped in the parking lot. Now, on Sundays we go to people’s homes and pray and sing. At first that was fun, but we miss our Sunday School classrooms and having dinners at the church. Mostly, I missed Vacation Bible School. We always had lots of children – not just our members – but others, and we all had fun. This Christmas was worst of all. We always have a pageant with the Christ Child and the animals in the stable; and we sing Christmas songs and open gifts. We couldn’t have Christmas in our Church this year, and I cried. Now, on Sunday, I see strangers coming and going at our Church, and other children playing on the playground. We used to read about Christians in Muslim countries who are persecuted for their faith. I didn’t understand the word ‘persecuted.’ Now I do! My Mother cannot tell me why they have taken our Church. Can you?”
“If I could speak to the people of First Baptist Church, I would say – ‘Who are you that you have the power to take everything from us? Who are we that we are powerless to protect what is rightfully ours? What kind of justice; what kind of country allows one people to treat another with contempt and without pity? We wait and pray that God will defend us; that God will answer our prayers.’ I would say to the Christians at First Baptist Church, ‘Ask God if what you have done is right? Ask God if it is HIS will that you should drive us from our Church and take all that we gave to Him?’”