A Choice in Ethiopia : Jesus Or My Gun

Brother Alayu was a very young man when he became a follower of Christ. Soon after, he was persecuted for that choice, even facing a communist official who told Alayu to “choose Jesus or my gun.” Alayu chose Jesus—and he continues to do so. Today, he is a leader with Global Call, a church-planting work in Ethiopia and surrounding nations, where he has seen great hunger for the gospel and a great move of God—in spite of the persecution Christians often face. Listen as he shares about ministry today in areas dominated by Ethiopian Orthodox teaching—a mixture of ancient Jewish teachings, some Christian ideas and even traditional African religious and witch doctor practices. Alayu and his workers have seen many people—even Orthodox priests—come to life-changing faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Alayu will also describe the importance of delivering Bibles and equip us to pray for Ethiopia and for the church there.

When Her Husband Was Detained in North Korea, She “Simply Trusted the Lord”

Karen Short’s husband, John, was detained inside North Korea, held incommunicado. Yet Karen never felt panicked about what would happen to him. “I simply trusted the Lord,” she says. John Short, an Australian Christian, was detained in North Korea in 2014 after leaving gospel tracts outside a Buddhist temple while part of a tour. Karen was home in Hong Kong, dealing with media attention, praying for her husband and receiving words of encouragement from all around the world. Listen in as Karen shares: How God ministered to her during John’s detention How she and John stayed connected through Scripture—even though they couldn’t communicate during his detention How journalists and others responded when they observed Karen’s calm assurance and faith in God How she learned that her husband would be released and allowed to return home The one thing she wishes she’d done differently—it will surprise you! The story of Karen’s faithfulness will inspire you to trust more deeply in God and dive deeper into His Word, even if you’re not planning a trip to North Korea.

Richard Wurmbrand's Editor: He Focused on Jesus

Through books and other writing, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand became a voice for persecuted Christians all over the world. This week we’ll meet the woman who shaped and polished so many of Richard’s printed words. Ellen Oblander served many years as the editor for Richard Wurmbrand, co-founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. She worked on many of his books, as well as on VOM’s free monthly magazine. Over the years Ellen became much more than an editor; she grew into being almost a member of the family. Listen as she shares the story of being given a copy of Tortured For Christ, then soon afterwards hearing Richard Wurmbrand speak for the first time and meeting his wife, Sabina. She saw, first-hand, Sabina’s incredible behind-the-scenes ministry supporting her husband and advancing the work of VOM. Ellen will also talk about Richard’s constant writing, his editing process and the times she’d pick up the phone to hear Richard unpack some Scripture passage he’d just read or a spiritual truth he was pondering. She’ll also tell about her time with Richard and Sabina in the latter years of their lives, and how Richard always looked to be a witness for Christ.

Surrounded By Isis: Imprisoned for Christ in Sudan

Petr Jasek was imprisoned 445 days in Sudan. He traveled to the country on behalf of The Voice of the Martyrs to meet with and encourage Sudanese Christians. His first cellmates were arrested ISIS fighters—men who hated Christians and quickly began to persecute Petr. In his lowest moments, God brought to mind names and faces of other persecuted Christians—men and women Petr had met personally during his years serving with VOM. He began to pray for other persecuted believers, and his spirit lifted as his focus changed from his own difficulties to his prayers for other Christians. Listen as Petr shares how God prepared him to face persecution, how he had prepared his own family for his arrest, and how he prays for Christians after his experience of long months in prison and facing a death sentence for his gospel work.

Imprisoned for Christ: Former Prisoners Brunson, Baumann speak

Dan Baumann and Pastor Andrew Brunson were arrested in Muslim nations because of their Christian faith. They both experienced depression and even thoughts of suicide in prison, yet testify that God was faithful even in those desperate moments. Listen as they share the challenges of prison and their thoughts on loving our enemies and how much they don’t miss being in prison. One of the things that helped Brunson during his time in prison was something Baumann had written in one of his books. He’ll share that story—and then hear how Dan responds to the idea that God used something he’d written to sustain and bless a fellow Christian during a season of suffering.

Cuba Pastor's Wife: "God Removed My Fear"

As a teenager in Cuba, “Maria” encountered the book Tortured For Christ, written by VOM’s founder, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand—when she was told to burn the books before Cuban authorities could find them and arrest her father! Today, Maria and her husband, “Pedro,” help VOM serve persecuted Christians in Cuba and other Latin American nations. Listen as they share a recent experience when Cuban authorities issued an arrest warrant for Pedro, and how Pedro and Maria experienced the prayers of Christians around the world in that time of pressure and trial. Listen also to learn how Cuban pastors are pressured by communist authorities, and whether or not anything changed for Cuban Christians after the death of Fidel Castro.

New Book: When Faith is Forbidden

We’re trading chairs this week on VOM Radio! Todd Nettleton has a new book releasing March 2 from Moody Publishers: When Faith is Forbidden: 40 Days on the Frontlines With Persecuted Christians. So he’s in the guest chair this week, and Janet Parshall—nationally syndicated host of In The Market With Janet Parshall—has graciously agreed to fill in as our VOM Radio host for the week. Todd’s new book contains 40 of the most powerful and inspiring stories he’s heard in interviews with persecuted Christians over the past 20+ years. He’ll also share a little of how God brought him to work at VOM, including time as a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea. You can learn more about When Faith is Forbidden, including links to order your copy, at www.WhenFaithIsForbidden.com. In celebration of the book’s launch, we’ll offer the first two readings from the audio book version in the podcast stream next week. So be sure to subscribe to the VOM Radio podcast!

Bible Smuggling: "We Didn't Come Here to be Safe"

“Joe” was in prison in the United States—justly, he says. As a young man his life was filled with drugs and crime. A fellow prisoner gave Joe a Bible, and Joe’s life was transformed as he found forgiveness and surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. Having seen the power of God’s Word first-hand, Joe committed his life to getting Bibles to as many people as possible. He and his wife, “Dawn,” are now part of a team delivering Bibles into the Islamic Republic of Iran. It’s dangerous work, but Joe and Dawn have counted the cost and answered God’s call. Joe will tell his story of salvation, and share about the work he’s doing today—including how God allowed Bibles to be delivered throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Dawn will explain how she thinks about the danger her family is in—including making peace with the fact that her children are at risk. They’ll also help equip listeners to pray for Bible delivery work into Iran and also around the world.

Imprisoned in China: God is With Me Anytime, Anywhere

Cheng Jie, whose English name is “Esther,” was the wife of a pastor in China. She and her husband had discussed the idea that he could be arrested and go to prison for his Christian work. They hadn’t believed that she would be targeted by the communist government. But in 2014 she was called to the police station for a “meeting” about the school Esther was running. The meeting with police turned into Esther’s arrest and two years in a Chinese prison. At the time of her arrest, Esther’s sons were aged 3 and 1. Listen to her share how they were affected by her arrest and imprisonment—and even the challenges after she was released and returned home. She’ll also talk about how God enabled her to have a ministry in the prison—and even the prison guards saw the difference her ministry made. While she was in prison, Cheng Jie was among the prisoners featured on VOM’s web site that enables Christians to write letters to prisoners. Listen to hear her speak directly to those that prayed for her and wrote letters to her while she was in prison, and advise how we can pray for Christians in prison today.

Missions: An Absolute Guarantee Jesus Will Be With Us

As a college student in San Francisco, Brother Kevin explored many avenues of spirituality, including pursuing Zen Buddhism and Transcendental Meditation. But an experience of darkness caused him to call out for Jesus, and Christ revealed himself to Kevin as both real and powerful. Since that day, Kevin has wanted to tell people about Jesus, including Muslims, Hindus and people of other faiths. Today he helps lead YWAM Frontier Missions, sending workers to share the gospel in places where Jesus’ name is completely unknown. It’s not an easy work. Kevin will share stories of gospel workers he’s sent out who have been arrested, beaten, kidnapped and even killed. Kevin says he’s seen blessing come out of even very difficult circumstances—and he’s thankful for the unique role that VOM plays in helping Christians enduring persecution. He will also share how he prays on certain days each week for Muslims and Hindus to come to Christ. If you’d like guides to help you pray with Kevin visit www.pray30days.org (Muslims) and www.pray15days.org (Hindus and Buddhists).

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