Middle East - Forgiveness Is A Decision

It’s a Bible verse all of us have quoted, one we’ve likely shared with a Christian friend in the midst of a difficult season: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 After her husband Rami, a leader of the Bible Society in Gaza, was murdered, Paul…read more

Middle East - Prayer Softens The Ground

People all over the world are searching for the truth. Longing for desires and needs to be fulfilled–not by food or entertainment but in a deeper, more lasting way. Brother Dan and Brother Hayel share God’s Word with Druze people, posting short videos on social media. They don’t know who is going to receive the gospel—or who is going to oppose their work—but they know that some will. Last week Dan and Hayel shared about the hostility of the Druze community to Christians and the persecution Hayel has faced personally as a Druze-background believer in Christ. The high cost of following and proclaiming Christ is known to all who grow up in a Druze community. Many Druze are watching videos shared through Dan and Hayel’s social media ministry, but they fear what may happen if community leaders or even their families were to find out. Brother Dan shares one story about how he found out how closely people are watching their posts—both those interested and those opposed to their work—within five minutes of one post going live! The spiritual battle in the Middle East continues. Druze voiceover actors involved in the gospel videos are threatened by community leaders. Despite push back and threats, God provides, and the video production is ongoing. And many Druze are watching, often in secret, seeking answers. They ask questions, opening the door for Hayel to further witness, disciple and encourage seekers across Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. As Druze people find Christ, it is often almost impossible for them to meet with other believers for worship and teaching. Pray with Dan and Hayel that Jesus will build His church among the Druze. Pray for walls to fall as the gospel saturates the hearts of many Druze, and that they will know Christ and make Him known. For specific prayer updates, please register at Pray4Druze.com and join with others committed to pray regularly for Christ’s work among the Druze. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

Middle East- Going The Right Direction

“If you read the Bible, He can change you and God will be with you.” Brother Hayel learned that truth first-hand when he started reading the Bible. In its pages he knew he’d found the One True God. He couldn’t stop reading God’s Word, and hungrily opened it each day. Having found truth, Hayel couldn’t keep himself from sharing the good news with his fellow Druze—even knowing he would be persecuted for doing so. Hayel desires to see his people, the Druze, changed by the gospel. This people group includes about 1.5 million individuals across Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria; they are distinct ethnically and religiously from the Muslims and others around them. Druze who choose to become Christians face intense persecution. Hayel was forbidden to share his Christian faith, but he refused to stop. He was kicked out from his home and ostracized, but he regards that sacrifice as nothing compared to knowing Jesus. Today, Hayel is working with Brother Dan to share the gospel with Druze. Dan never planned on living in the Middle East. He was a businessman serving on his local church missions committee when God put Syria on his mind, even though he admits that deep down in his heart he had hatred for Arabs and Muslims. Yet he chose obedience and ended up on a missions trip to Syria before the war there. Through that experience and the people he met, God scrubbed Dan’s heart clean of hatred and gave him a passion to see people in the region reached for Christ—a passion so strong he and his wife moved to the region. Today, Hayel and Dan serve Druze people through social media ministry. They speak to the Druze in their homes and their heart language with the gospel—through their phones. Listen as they share more about how God brought them together, how their hearts were transformed, and what their ministry to the Druze looks like. Join in prayer for God to open the hearts of the Druze people to receive the message of the gospel! Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

Missions; In Difficult Times, God Is Merciful

Cade Jefferson was called to missions as a young adult. Soon after college, he went to one of the most restricted countries in the world: Afghanistan. Despite difficult images he still carries from that war-torn nation, etched in Cade’s heart are memories of fellowship with believers who welcomed Cade and his wife with warm hospitality. After leaving Afghanistan, Cade went to North Africa to serve the Lord, service that turned out to be more difficult than he expected. Cade says he was at a very difficult point, mentally and emotionally, when God was merciful to open doors for him to serve with The Voice of the Martyrs. Sean Paton, who was part of opening those doors, had been a pastor at the church that first sent Cade to the mission field many years before. Today, Cade has stepped into a leadership role overseeing VOM’s work serving persecuted Christians in North and East Africa. Listen to hear the story of a young teenager in North Africa, Nathan, who exemplifies what often happens when a person there chooses to follow Christ. In North African culture, everything is tied to family. Family connections provide home, education opportunities, career openings and even daily needs like food. When a Moroccan, Libyan, Tunisian, or Algerian person accepts Christ, that new Christian is cut off from those privileges. Yet brothers and sisters like Nathan persevere, in spite of persecution, because Jesus is everything to them. Cade will also equip listeners to pray. Pray for gospel workers who live in North and East Africa to trust in the Lord to provide for the overwhelming needs of our brothers and sisters. Ask God to encourage and uplift their spiritual health, so they may flourish. Pray they will continue to reach out with the love of Christ to Muslims in their communities, in spite of difficulties. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

Middle East; Training Believers To Reach Their Own People

Muslims in the Middle East are hungry for the gospel! Jerry and Stacy, founders of Love for the Least, say they sometimes repeat the gospel message even after the person they’re witnessing to says they’re ready to accept Christ—just to be sure they understand the decision and the risk of persecution they face. Last week, in the first part of our conversation with Jerry and Stacy, they shared how God drew them out of the American suburbs to minister in Africa, then called them to Iraq just as the ISIS caliphate was born. This week we’ll hear stories of how God is changing lives in Iraq, Iran, Syria and among Kurds throughout the region. Jerry and Stacy are working to see healthy house churches multiplying along what they call “The Highway of Holiness,” where 35 million Muslims are still unreached by the gospel. Training local believers is 90% of their effort, using simple tools and practical, easy-to-learn ways to study the Bible and share God’s love. What powers disciple-making movements, they say, is prayer and fasting. Listen as Jerry and Stacy share amazing ways God’s truth has spread from one individual to larger groups of believers and how He is using miracles to show His power and grow His church. You’ll also hear about a sister in Christ who has become known as “The Magic Prayer” in the prison where she is incarcerated for her ministry work—because other prisoners have seen that her prayers actually get answered. Jerry and Stacy will also equip you to pray for persecuted Christians, gospel workers and believers throughout the Middle East. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

Iraq; The Love of Christ Was All I Had

“Jesus is here already; He’s just waiting for us.” In 2014, just as ISIS was declaring an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria, God called Jerry and Stacy to go to Iraq. “It was a clear word from the Lord,” Stacy says. Others—including their mission board—told them NOT to go, that it wasn’t safe or smart. But they obeyed God, landing in northern Iraq days later. Years before, they’d answered God’s call to Tanzania—leaving behind an “American Dream” life to serve in east Africa, where they saw the overwhelming need of the people and learned how to focus on serving the person in front of them. The hospitality of the African people, despite their overwhelming needs, and the sweet sound of Swahili hymns struck a chord in the hearts of Jerry and Stacy. Jerry and Stacy will challenge listeners to serve the Lord, not with busy work but with lives committed to prayer and fasting, seeking the Lord and His plan and will for each situation. Stacy, who had never read her Bible or finished a Bible study before moving to East Africa, reminds us that God qualifies those He calls. The couple saw God open doors for impactful ministry in Africa, and so they went to Iraq with complete trust in what He was going to do. Founders of Love for the Least, Jerry and Stacy help refugees in Iraq and serve them through providing education and job training. They provide trauma care for girls sold into ISIS slavery, young widows and children who have witnessed the dark side of Islam. To see a documentary about their work in Iraq, watch “Don’t Forget Them” on Amazon. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

India; Completely Sold Out For Jesus Christ

When God called Dr. Leanna Cinquanta to serve as a missionary, she was a young woman fresh out of college. Then God specifically called her to a part of South Asia known as “the graveyard of missionaries.” He led her down a different path from most foreign gospel workers at the time; Leanna lived in a village drinking dirty water, sleeping on a grass mat, subsisting on lentils and rice and contracting the same diseases the local people endure. As she lived through the hardships of village life, she was able to introduce people to a God greater and more powerful than the millions of gods in their Hindu faith: Jesus Christ. Leanna prayed for the sick and the demon possessed in His name, and she saw people healed and giving glory to the one true God. Listen as Leanna shares about how Jesus is reaching people in South Asia with displays of His power, and how Christians persevere in spite of persecution and hardship. She’ll also advise American believers how to reach out to those we know with the gospel, including Hindus and Muslims, and equip you and your church to pray for more than a billion people who live in South Asia. Learn more about WIN (formerly Tell Asia), Leanna’s ministry, at win.global, and order a copy of her book, Treasures in Dark Places: One Woman, a Supernatural God and a Mission to the Toughest Part of India. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Also subscribe to The Voice of the Martyrs’ free monthly magazine.

Israel; My Faith in Christ Fulfills my Jewish Identity

William Cameron Townsend said, "The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner." But what if the “mother tongue” is no longer easily understood? That can often be the case with the Bible in Israel. Listen as Brother Victor, the director of Israel Bible Society shares what God has done through their organization’s effort to spread God’s Word. It can still be difficult to find complete Hebrew Bibles in Israel. And the majority of the population in Israel cannot easily understand the original Hebrew text, which is now 2700 years old. That’s why the Israel Bible Society has created resources to help Hebrew speakers understand the original text with explanations in today’s Hebrew language. Sharing about Jesus or the Christian faith is often received negatively by Jews in Israel. Many think becoming a Christian means losing or even betraying their Jewish identity. But as more people in Israel choose to follow Christ, more Jews are acquainted with their own people who have believed in Christ as Messiah while keeping their Jewish roots. Bible work in Israel is not without opposition, and Victor will share stories of challenges he and the Bible Society have faced. He will also encourage us to pray for God’s Word to go forth in Israel and for God to open hearts to the gospel and increase a hunger for His Word across the Holy Land. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

Africa; The Church is The Pillar of Truth

Sean Paton enrolled in university to study pastoral ministry. But on the first day of his first class, the professor challenged students to think more broadly, to consider if God was calling them to take His love to people who hadn’t yet heard the name of Christ. Sean left class that day and changed his major to missions—and ever since he’s seen and lived a direct link between pastoral and missionary work. In recent years Sean has led VOM’s work serving Christians on the continent of Africa. Now he’s transitioning back into a pastoral role with an American congregation. Listen as he shares some of the stories he’ll take with him—like the story of meeting the wife and children of a long-imprisoned Eritrean pastor and being inspired by their faithfulness. Sean will tell how persecuted Christians like these impacted his own faith and understanding of the gospel. He will also encourage listeners to pray—with specific ideas on how to pray for VOM’s international staff that travel extensively and deal often with suffering and pain. Sean encourages pastors to incorporate our persecuted brothers and sister’s stories within their church services, such as during communion or prayer time, as weekly reminders that we are one body in Christ. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

Israel; I was Drawn to Jesus

Born and raised in Israel, Dr. Erez Soref knew well many of the places mentioned in the Bible and prominent in the story of the life of Christ. But he didn’t know about Jesus! Traveling outside his country, he met a group of Christians. Through their witness and by reading the New Testament for the first time, Soref was convinced in his heart that Jesus Christ was the Messiah for all–Jews and Gentiles. Returning to Israel, he was anxious to tell his family and others about his newfound faith. But when he did, he found that they weren’t nearly as excited about it as he was. Listen as he explains the situation today for Christians in Israel—a democracy where religious freedom is protected by law, but also a place where many don’t want to see the gospel spread. What does it mean to follow Christ? What sacrifices must new believers make? What does persecution look like? Why is it easier to find a Quran printed in Hebrew than a New Testament? And how can Christians in other nations pray for and support Israeli believers? Today, Dr. Soref is the president of One For Israel Bible College, which provides quality Biblical training to pastors and Christians leaders, as well as other Christians who want to deepen their Biblical understanding. He will share specific ways to pray for our brothers and sisters in Israel, including that they will continue to have open doors, legally, to share their faith. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

Missions; There's Plenty to do Everywhere

For almost 20 years, Brother David was a gospel worker in Turkey—until he was deported from the country and told he’d been permanently banned from reentry. His legal appeals to stay—to Turkey’s Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights—have, so far, failed. In a holding cell, awaiting his final flight out of the country, David’s biggest disappointment was that he didn’t have cell mates with whom he could share Jesus! David and his family are currently doing gospel work in Muslim neighborhoods and on busy street corners in Germany. God continues to show why He brought David and his family to Europe through each ministry opportunity He sets before them. Living and working in a free country, David is shocked at busy street corners where no believers are taking advantage of their freedoms to witness to the lost. He challenges listeners to be more engaged in reaching the lost—wherever they are. David will give an update on the situation for persecuted Christians in Turkey and help us pray for the many gospel workers who’ve been forced to leave the country, and for Turkish Christians still serving Christ there. David previously shared about his gospel work in Turkey and the court case he’d filed to remain there. Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of David’s previous conversations with VOM Radio. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast

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