An interview with Malcolm Macleod from Steadfast Global
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself
Thanks for asking! My name is Malcolm MacLeod. I’m forty something, married, a father of two grown-up children and I walk with Jesus.
2. How did you come to know Jesus as your saviour?
Through my teens I resented the church and had no interest in Christianity. All that changed one evening when I was about 20. Life wasn’t quite what I’d hoped it would be and as I reflected on where I was I spoke with God asking for an indication that he was there and that he could change my situation. I got it, gave my heart to Jesus and walked in a new direction. There have been many ups and downs since that day but the one sure fact is that I have found God to be faithful, forgiving, challenging and satisfying!
3. When/how did you start serving the persecuted Church?
Until about 17 years ago I had absolutely no idea that Christians were being persecuted just for being Christians. A speaker came to the church we were attending from an organisation called CSW. The stories he had, had a huge impact upon me and from that moment on we did what we could to support the work of that group. Ten years later, I found myself in Canada and in full time ministry serving the Suffering Church with a mission called The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. I left that post in 2008 to return to Scotland to establish Steadfast Global.
4. What is your role in Steadfast Global?
Steadfast is still a small but thriving ministry which means I wear many hats! I lead the ministry on a day-to-day basis speaking about the work wherever and whenever we can. I also look after the newsletter making sure we get it out to our supporters every month; another key aspect of my role is to visit persecuted Christians to let them know they’re not forgotten and also to develop projects to help them get back on their feet. There are challenges in the role but without any doubt, my I love doing what I do!
5. What is the mission of Steadfast Global?
The mission of Steadfast Global is very simple: we exist to glorify God by building a bridge between the Church in Scotland and persecuted Christians across the globe.
6. How is Steadfast Global putting this mission into practice?
We do this simply by standing up and opening our mouths! The analogy of the bridge is perfect as a description of what we do. Bridges allow two-way traffic; we take the love, concern and support of the Scottish Church across to those who suffer, we share it and then we return with their message for us!
7. Which country is the worst for the persecution of Christians?
Recent activities in countries like Nigeria, Syria and Iraq make this a difficult question to answer with accuracy. If we are thinking about persecution through state-sponsored suppression of religious freedom, then I think North Korea retains its place as one of the worst places on earth to be a Christian; if on the other hand, I am basing my answer on systematic physical persecution which seeks to eradicate Christianity altogether I would have to point to Syria/Iraq where the, so called, Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) have displaced tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities in their sweep across the land. They have created a culture of absolute terror and hopelessness through their programme of killing, maiming and enslaving. The situation for Christians in this region is critical and they need our help.
8. How have you seen the work of Steadfast help the persecuted church?
I wish it were possible for all of our supporters to come along with me to meet those we have helped since the work started. Our activities to help have included providing funds to enable Christians in imminent danger of being killed flee to safety, the provision of resources to help rebuild and equip churches in the aftermath of persecution and facilitating places of safety. As well as these immediate interventions, we believe in building capacity for the future – this basically means that we aim to support projects that lead to independence. We do this by providing micro-loans to Christians who want to start small businesses to support their families and ministries.
9. What are the future plans for Steadfast Global?
Our firm belief is that Steadfast Global is God’s mission; he appointed us, he is allowing our growth and we are quite sure we’re here for the long-haul! Our vision as a Scottish voice for persecuted Christians is to see every faithful church across our land stand for and with those who suffer for their faith. Our plans therefore involve pushing onwards and outwards!
10. How can we here in Scotland help the persecuted Church?
This is a good question and I wish more Christians would ask it! You can help by making persecution a priority: in prayer and in practice. Please be informed of what’s going on so you can pray effectively – we issue a weekly e-update and a monthly newsletter, both of which we’d be happy to send to anyone who asks. In practice, we never solicit funds but the work we do involves expenditure. Why not prayerfully consider partnering with us?
Thank you Malcolm