I just finished reading the book Safely Home by Randy Alcorn and was deeply encouraged and challenged by what I read.
Here is Amazon's description of the book, although I think it hardly does it justice:
Executive Ben Fielding hits upon a perfect plan: he will make his company millions of dollars by using Chinese labor to manufacture its electronic components. To kickstart his plan, he visits China, where he stays with college roommate Li Quan, whom he hasn't seen in over 20 years. From Li, Ben learns that his initial impressions of China from his research and from visits over the years are false, but Ben doesn't believe Li's stories of the persecution of Christians until Li is taken to jail. As Ben rediscovers Jesus through Li's faith, he discovers the truth that God does not promise an easy life on Earth, only eternal happiness after death. Part of this novel appeared as a short story in The Storytellers' Collection (LJ 9/1/00); here, its strength is magnified tenfold. Alcorn (Lord Foulgrin's Letters) lifts readers high with joy and casts them down in immeasurable sorrow as Ben and Li's story unfolds with intense emotional impact that recalls Sylvia Bambola's Refiner's Fire.
Sadly, it is not often that I think about or pray for the persecuted church at large but it opened my eyes to a whole new world of the reality of believers around the globe who are following and seeking and giving their lives in real and tangible ways. It pushed me to think about the ways I can expose myself on a regular basis to the bigger picture taking place outside of our continent.
A few resources I am aware of and have been encouraged by:
International Justice Mission
Word Made Flesh
*Emily spent a season serving with them in Brazil after we graduated from Taylor & I asked her if she would be willing to be a resource for this topic as well as she works with refugee families and is passionate about this as well. I would encourage you to reach out to her if you need a resource.
W.A.R. (Women at Risk) International
I would love to hear about how anyone else keeps themselves aware of the happenings of Christians around the world and how we can better pray for them.