Omid Sabouki serves as the President and CEO of Jubal Band Ministries, helping reach Iranian Muslims with the message that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He loves us. Omid will tell us this week about the persecution of Christians by Iran’s government, including arrest, imprisonment and even assault at the hands of interrogators. He’ll talk about the importance of getting more Bibles to the church in Iran—a challenge VOM is helping to meet through various Bible delivery methods. He’ll explain how he and other Christian leaders are training church leaders—both inside and outside Iran—to serve the rapidly-growing number of Iranian Christians. Omid will share the pain he feels when one of his workers inside Iran is arrested, and how he prepares workers to face persecution without losing their zeal for Christ—including sharing stories from VOM about persecuted Christians in other nations, like North Korea. Finally, Brother Omid will equip listeners to pray for Iran and the ongoing gospel work inside the Islamic Republic. Brother Omid shared his testimony of coming to Christ, including a dream, a taxi driver and a Bible, in the first part of our conversation.
Omid Sabouki grew up in a Muslim household in Iran. Today he is a follower of Christ, and helping reach more Iranian Muslims with the message that Jesus is the Son of God and that He loves us. Listen to Omid’s story of finding Jesus, including a dream during which a man in white told Omid, “stay on my way.” The next morning, the driver of his taxi gave Omid a package. Inside the package was a complete Bible. That Bible led Omid and his wife to faith in Christ—a decision that would cost him his relationship with his family.
Andrew Scott is back to talk about missions right now—including the effects of coronavirus on international gospel workers. He says every follower of Christ is called to be part of spreading Jesus’ glory around the world. Andrew is the President and CEO of Operation Mobilization – USA, and the author of a book, SCATTER: Go Therefore and Take Your Job With You.
Aaron Miller leads VOM’s work in South and Central Asia, including India, where five Christians have been killed in the past two months. Listen as he shares how coronavirus is affecting VOM’s work, including stories of blessings that have grown out of the COVID-19 pandemic. One pastor said his interrogation was postponed because authorities in his area are focused on the virus, not on the church.
“Brother Joel” continues the conversation we left off last week about God’s work in China, work which continues in spite of an ongoing wave of Christian persecution and the coronavirus pandemic. Brother Joel helps VOM distribute Bibles in every part of China. He’ll give us an update on current challenges for Bible efforts in China—including Chinese Christians currently in prison simply for providing people—including children—access to God’s Word.
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, the government’s focus on persecuting Christians and closing churches hasn’t faded. In fact, there’s been an increase in persecution in recent months as Chinese Communist Party leaders continue their efforts to control the hearts and minds of the people.
Americans will celebrate Independence Day on July 4th. And while Americans celebrate freedom and liberty, 600 persecuted Christians in the African nation of Eritrea will spend another weekend in prison—some of them have been in prison more than 15 years!
Ed Cannon is the President and CEO of FEBC. For 75 years, FEBC has been using radio to communicate the gospel to the least-reached people on earth. Their radio signals—and internet connections, smartphone apps and social media feeds—reach people speaking 129 languages in 50 countries. Included in those countries are hostile and restricted nations where Christians are persecuted for their faith in Christ.
Brother Jeremy, VOM’s deputy regional director for Africa, met Mary Sankagui just days after her husband—a pastor in Central African Republic—was killed for his faith in Christ and his ministry in a Muslim neighborhood. In spite of her loss, the woman Jeremy encountered had a deep sense of joy. Listen to hear Jeremy share the story of Pastor Jean-Paul Sankagui, and give us an update on current persecution in CAR and how the church there is responding and training the next generation of church leaders.
Covid-19 has hit hard in Syria, yet many are unwilling to acknowledge the illness in their honor-shame culture where getting sick can bring shame on a family. Brother John will update listeners on how the virus is affecting Syria—and how God’s Kingdom is advancing even amidst the pandemic.
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.
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.
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!
C. Anderson is a leader in Frontier Missions for YWAM – Youth With a Mission. She’s developed a course based on the principles of II Timothy 2:2 with the aim of developing DMM—Disciple Making Movements. Anderson was born an MK in Africa, but after traumatic experiences in her youth she decided she would never live anywhere she felt unsafe. Yet God called her to lay down that need for safety to answer His call to missions, and gave her the grace to answer His call. Listen to learn how DMMs are developing and growing, and how the Biblical principles cross national and ethnic boundaries to grow and build the church in many nations, including India, Iraq, Afghanistan and southeast Asia. The course Anderson developed, “Getting Started in Disciple Making Movements,” is available online. Anderson will tell us how she felt God leading her to develop the course for use online before the coronavirus pandemic hit—and has seen the fruit of the course explode during the past 12 months. She’ll also speak specifically about next steps for those feeling called to missions, and equip us to pray for church leaders and church planters all over the world.
“Uncle Monnie” has worked alongside Chinese Christians for decades. He says the pressure and persecution Christians face there today is even worse than during the Cultural Revolution. Listen as Monnie shares about the changes he’s seen in China and the response of believers he’s trained to face persecution and continue to advance the gospel. Some of those Monnie helped train now serve Jesus in restricted Muslim nations in the Middle East and around the world. Learn how you can pray for Chinese Christians, and how persecution is teaching Christians from different backgrounds to work and minister side-by-side. Finally, Monnie will provide an update on current events in Myanmar.