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Message from Maryland

Bibles to Captive Nations

The following message to The Voice of the Martyrs came from a teacher in Maryland.

“Greetings! I would like to say how much I appreciate this website as a resource in helping my students understand the plight of the persecuted church. I am a fifth-grade teacher at a Christian school in Maryland. In Bible class our focus is on Luke and Acts, with an additional study of missions and persecution throughout history.

“We pray for a different persecuted country every day, and the students vie for a chance to “pick the country” and learn about their Christian brothers and sisters. They were also inspired to raise money for The Voice of the Martyrs by making holiday crafts and selling them at a Christian vendor sale. All of the money is going to buy Bibles [link to] for Christians in restricted or hostile countries.

“Praise God for how He works in the hearts of children!” — Janeen I.

(Edited from the original.)

Arkansas Youth Volunteer at VOM

Volunteers at VOM
Volunteers at VOM

Wesley P., a 15-year-old VOM volunteer reporter, interviewed a Vilonia, Arkansas youth group that recently volunteered at VOM headquarters. His report about the group is below.

Wesley’s Report
The group has an age range of 13 to 18 years old. For some it was their first time volunteering at VOM. Others have been several times. Those who had volunteered before spoke of how they realized at VOM how much persecution there is in the world.

During their time at VOM, the group had packed VOM newsletters, some of which would go to their own homes. Their hearts were touched by the stories of bold believers.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Demonstrate Bold Faith”

Keri Aeschliman
Keri Aeschliman

“I’m a child of the living God, saved through the Blood and Righteousness of Jesus Christ. The Lord has given me, as He has given every believer, a story to tell to the world; and that story is called the Gospel. It’s the reason why I sing, why I write, and why I live.” — Keri Aeschliman

Keri Aeschliman was about 13 years old when she learned that Christians in many countries are persecuted for their faith. “It humbles me,” said Keri. “It gives me a bigger version of what the church is. It changes the way I think about church. I realize my experience of church is not what everyone else’s is. It comes at such a high cost for some to worship.”

Keri is now 19. She lives with her family on a farm in Ohio where she helps with harvesting, planting, and keeping the books. Keri enjoys singing; playing the piano, harp, and mountain dulcimer; and attending a Bible study. Recently Keri and her two younger brothers spent several days doing volunteer work at VOM headquarters in Oklahoma.

When Keri was 15, she started a fiction story for a school assignment. The story’s main characters were four friends from a church in America. “I started to get more ideas, and the story just got longer and longer,” Keri said.

The story turned into a book called “In Paths of Righteousness” which will be published this fall. “It is set in the late 1880s and follows the life of a teenage boy and his search for God,” said Keri.

Some of the book’s characters experience persecution when they stand firm in their biblical faith. “I personally think the church is always persecuted to a degree,” said Keri. “Satan is always active….There is always going to be opposition to the truth, and when this opposition rises, do we stand back, pretend we’re not looking, and let it happen? Or do we hold firmly to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and speak out? We have the opportunity to demonstrate bold faith. Let’s pray for the strength and courage to do just that.”

During her visit to VOM, Keri offered the following advice for Christian youth. “Keep your focus on Christ. Be willing to lay aside your desire for His will….It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions this world has to offer. Get rid of idle time and spend more time with the Lord in prayer and reading Scripture.”

Sources: Personal interview and Keri Aeschliman’s blog

VOM Worker’s Kid of Courage


Wesley P’s dad travels around the world for The Voice of the Martyrs. Wesley, age 15, recently shared thoughts about his dad and about life. Read what he said below.

Question: How long has your dad worked for VOM?
Wesley: Three and a half years.

Q: About how often does he take trips overseas?
A: He travels as much as 100 days per year, so possibly a quarter of the year.

Q: What are some of the places he has visited?
A: He has visited Iraq, India, China, Mexico, and Cuba among others. I was able to travel with him to Cuba to do some work. That was awesome! I saw an underground printing press in action, met persecuted Christians, and ate some interesting food.

Q: Has he ever brought you back some interesting artifacts, souvenirs, or
photos from another country?
A: Yes, Dad has brought back money, Bibles in foreign languages, knives, and many other awesome things.

Q: Recently your mom and dad traveled together to minister to persecuted
Christians in another country. What adjustments did your family have to make
for them to be gone? Did you take on additional responsibilities to help
make the trip work?
A: While my parents were gone, we were watched by an awesome temporary Mom. I got to help her learn about our house routines among other things.

Q: What is one of the most memorable stories your dad or mom have brought
back from overseas?
A: In Nepal, bodies are cremated or set on fire instead of being buried after they die. They are usually taken to special places for this. Once, when Dad was collecting his luggage, he saw a foot sticking out of a blanket, right next to his suitcase—that was crazy.

Q: Does your dad ever go anywhere “dangerous?” Are you ever fearful for him?
If so, how do you deal with your fear?
A: Everyone has fear and I am definitely not excluded. I handle fear by singing praise songs. I try to read my Bible and journal every day. We also “Skype” Dad when he is gone.

Q: What have you learned about persecution or persecuted Christians since
your dad began working at VOM?
A: These Christians aren’t superheroes, they rely on God to get them through.

Q: What do you hope to do when you’re an adult? In what ways are you
preparing to fulfill that hope?
A: I want to join the US Air Force, specifically through the Air Force Academy and hopefully ending up working with Air Force Special Operators as a Special Tactics Officer. To prepare for this I focus on school, run two to five miles every day, play Airsoft, and stay in general fitness.

Q: Do you have any advice for kids whose parents are missionaries,
policemen, firemen, soldiers, or who do other work that can be dangerous at
A: Remember your parents are the true heroes, not cool football players or the Spurs who won the NBA finals. (I am still disappointed about that as a Heat fan!) When you are scared, go run or walk, listen to worship music, or play an instrument.

Wesley: Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

Persecution Past and Present

7th graders’ hall poster

A teacher at a school in Georgia emailed the following note to The Voice of the Martyrs.

“As we study ancient Rome and the early persecuted church, my seventh grade class at Perimeter Christian School uses information from The Voice of the Martyrs regarding the modern persecuted church. This year the students created a large hallway poster to raise awareness of the persecuted church within our school.

“Students researched individuals from your website, printed out their reports and attached them to the poster along with a word of prayer. Thank you for your valuable resource.”

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