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Spotlight Story

Miriam and Basit

Central Asia
Miriam, Basit, and their daughter

Miriam
Miriam’s family wanted her to get married. They suggested several men who could be her husband. But she refused them all, because they were all Muslims.

Miriam had become a follower of Jesus, which was unusual in her Central Asian country. “I prayed for a Christian husband which seemed impossible because there are almost no Christians here,” she said.

As a Christian Miriam knew it would be wrong for her to marry someone who did not also follow Christ. She continued to serve God and witness to Muslims even after her brother beat her and her mother kicked her out of the house.

Basit
As Miriam obediently followed Christ, she met Basit, the Christian man who would become her husband. He also came from a Muslim family.

Mirian’s family offered to help her start a business, rent her an apartment, and get her a car if she would give up her faith in Christ and not marry Basit. She told them she wouldn’t leave Jesus for a million dollars.

Miriam and Basit got married, and they now hold illegal house church meetings in their home. The work is dangerous, because radical Muslims in the region are a danger to Christians. “We pray at night that Jesus will give us another day tomorrow, because we do not know what will happen tomorrow,” said Basit.

Now Miriam and Basit aren’t the only bold believers in their home. They have two children who are not treated nicely by Muslim children in the area. It’s not easy for Miriam and Basit to watch their children being mistreated, but they place their hope and trust for the future in Christ.

To Discuss
Why did Miriam refuse to marry a Muslim? What problems might a married couple face if both of them were not Christians?

To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some faces are covered to protect the identity of Christians at risk.


Feature Story

Suffering Is “Worth It”

Central Asia
Jamil and his family

Jamil grew up in a Muslim family in Central Asia. But after Christians shared their faith with him, he gave his life to Jesus! He was happy that he had found the truth, and he began telling Muslims the good news about Jesus’ gift of salvation.

Many Muslims came to Christ. Others were angry that their fellow Muslims were leaving their religion to follow Jesus.

Angry Muslims began coming to the house where Jamil lived with his wife and 6-year-old son. Every time they came, they beat Jamil up. Jamil shared Bible verses with them, and he didn’t fight back.

Read the rest of this entry »


Activities Story

Prayer Notebook

Prayer Notebook

A volunteer at The Voice of the Martyrs headquarters recently made a prayer notebook using photos from VOM publications and resources.

To make your own prayer notebook, attach photocopies of pictures from this website or from the VOM newsletter to decorate the front and back of a spiral notebook. Add pictures and information inside the notebook to guide your prayers for persecuted Christians around the world.


Spotlight Story

Go Dig Your Own Well!

Nepali

“Holy Bible” written in Nepali, the official language of Nepal. Unlike English, Nepali words are written below the line instead of sitting on top of a line.

Read the previous post about Isaac and the problems he had with his neighbors about water wells.

Brooke Parks, VOM’s youth and young adult coordinator, wrote the following report about a Christian she met on a recent trip to Nepal and how he handled his problem with a water well.

On a recent trip to Nepal, I met Pastor “Gyan”, who VOM supports. Pastor Gyan was honored by all of the pastors in the area as a grandfather and hero in the faith. Nepal is made up almost entirely of first generation Christians, so a man of his age is seen as one of the first builders of the church in Nepal. We asked them how he built up the church. They told us that Pastor Gyan built his own well.

Gyan had grown up in a remote Hindu village. After he was saved and converted to Christianity, the radical Hindus in his village were furious. All of the villagers shared one well where they got their water, so these Hindus stirred the people up to keep Gyan away from the well. They told him that as a Christian he would have to go and dig his own well. They hoped he would die of thirst. Eventually they drove him from the village, threatening his life if he returned. So Gyan did exactly as they said: he dug his own well, deep in the ground outside the village. He found clean water.

Some months later a severe drought came across the area and the well in the village dried up; the people thought their gods were angry with them and feared they would die of thirst. Gyan’s well did not dry up. When he saw the drought, he went back to the village he had been forced out of and invited villagers to come and drink from his well. Gyan was welcomed with open arms this time.

That same day, Gyan shared the gospel and many people in the village converted to Christianity. The first church in that area was born. Today Pastor Gyan has a thriving church, his son pastors another church and Gyan encourages the pastors in difficult areas facing persecution to stand strong.

When I heard this story I couldn’t help but think of the number of times we depend on the wrong ‘wells’ as our source. In the United States, where we are so blessed, it’s easy for us to depend on our finances, our jobs, even our relationships as our source. None of these things are bad, but ultimately we must know that Jesus alone offers us the living water that never dries up. And as Christians we are called, like Pastor Gyan, to share with people the source of this water.

Please pray believers in Nepal, like Pastor Gyan, would always know God’s faithfulness and provision, even during very difficult seasons.

Source: Persecution Blog


Spotlight Story

Isaac’s Wells

Isaac

The Book of Genesis tells us the story of Isaac, the son of Abraham. The Lord blessed Isaac with good crops and many flocks and herds of animals. Isaac became very wealthy.

The Philistines were not believers in the one true God. They were jealous of Isaac’s many blessings. So they filled his water wells with dirt. Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

Isaac and his family, servants, herds, and flocks needed water. They moved to a valley and dug a new well. But the shepherds in the valley claimed the well for their own.

Isaac’s servants dug still another well. Again other people argued with them over the well. Isaac moved and again dug a new well. This time no one fought him over the well.

Later Abimelech, the Philistine king, came to visit Isaac. “Why have you come to me?” Isaac asked him. “You hate me and have sent me away from you.”

Abimelech and his men said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you.” And they made a peace agreement with Isaac.

(Source: Genesis 26)

To Discuss

  • Why do you think Abimelech feared Isaac’s wealth?
  • If Isaac was mightier than his enemies, why did he not fight them over the wells?
  • Is Isaac and his people had fought over the wells, how might the story have ended differently?
  • Read Matthew 5:39–42. Was Isaac’s behavior in agreement with Jesus’ teachings?

The next post will tell the story of a bold Christian in Nepal today who also had a problem with a water well.


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