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Danger Overhead

Sudan

When you hear an airplane flying overhead, you probably don’t fear danger. Christians in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan pay close attention when they hear planes.

A few months ago, Christians at a worship service heard planes pass over their village church several times. Soldiers from Sudan often attack villages in the Nuba Mountain region. So the Christians decided to leave the building in the middle of the service. After they left, the church was destroyed by bombs dropped from the plane.

Thankfully, no one was injured.

The Voice of the Martyrs works closely with the congregation. The church had passed out Bibles and aid to the Nuba Mountain people through the church. VOM also supports several front-line workers from the congregation. (Learn more about front-line workers here.)

Other churches in the area have also been destroyed by bombing. The photo above shows a pastor sitting among the ruins of his bombed church.

The next time you see or hear airplanes overhead, will you remember to pray for Christians in places where planes are often a signal of danger?


Safe House Sisters

Jordan

Nazli and her sister were Muslims in Jordan, where fewer than five percent of the people are Christians. But Nazli felt that Muslim teachings are unfair to women.

A Christian relative helped Nazli understand God’s love for her. Nazli became a Christian, and she later led her sister to the Lord also! But their brother was not happy with Nazli’s choice. He hit her and threatened to harm her again.

Nazli and her sister ran away from their village. Now they live in a VOM-sponsored safe house, and they are learning more about their new Christian faith. The photo above shows Nazli and her sister with a Christian friend. (The friend is in the center.) Their faces are covered to protect their identity from those who might want to harm them.

(Chapter 4 of Learning About Islam tells about “Women, Honor, and Family Life” in Islam. You can download the book from the Downloads section.)


A Moth and a Garden Gate

Moth

Mr. Merv Knight, who is involved with The Voice of the Martyrs-Australia, recently visited VOM-USA. He asked VOM workers the following riddle.

“Why is a moth flying toward a lighted candle like a garden gate?”

Answer:
If it keeps on, it singes its wings.
(If it keeps on its hinges, it swings.)

Mr. Knight used the riddle to encourage Christian workers to keep on doing the right thing so that they may be effective in their work for the Lord.

Photo credit: Vipin Baliga / Flickr


North Korean Hymn

Christians in North Korea meet together in secret, even though it is very risky. They know they can go to prison just for owning a Bible. Thousands of Christians are in prison. But there are followers of Jesus in North Korea. Press the Play button below to hear a North Korean hymn.

The words to the hymns in English are as follows.

A Spring Flowing In The Desert

  1. A spring will flow in the desert, flowers will bloom in the desert;
    The desert will turn into a flower garden when the kingdom of God comes;
    The kingdom of God where lions play with children, the world of true love and happiness, will come soon.
  2. The desert will be wooded, pretty birds will sing;
    The desert will become paradise when the kingdom of God comes;
    The kingdom of God where children can put their hands into snake dens but snakes do not bite;
    The world of true love and happiness, will come soon.

Read Isaiah 35:6–7 and Isaiah 11:6–9. Which parts of the North Korean hymn remind you of those verses?


Naldo: A Tragedy in Colombia

Colombia
Children in Colombia

The previous post told about Naldo, an 18-year-old house church leader in Colombia. Read more about him and his family below.

Naldo’s father, Pastor Adriano, has been a pastor since Naldo was baby. Guerrillas and violent groups have made it difficult for him to do the usual work of a pastor.

  • For safety reasons, Pastor Adriano doesn’t travel down the same road twice.
  • The guerrillas do not let Christians take up an offering.
  • Pastors are not allowed to say anything bad about guerrillas.
  • The guerrillas tell pastors not to have meetings for worship.

So pastors travel to other places to visit and meet with church members. Sometimes they walk five or six hours to reach the homes of church members.

But even then, Pastor Adriano is not safe from guerrillas. So he sends Naldo to visit Christians in the area. Because Naldo is a youth, the guerrillas don’t suspect him of being a preacher.

A Tragedy
Naldo started a Christian children’s group in a nearby village. Juliana was a 12-year-old girl in his group.

The guerrillas try to get youth to join their ranks, become guerrillas, and fight with them. Juliana was from a very poor family.

The guerrillas promised Juliana money if she became a guerrilla. They brought her gifts and food. They told her she could keep going to church if she joined them. But they were lying.

On a summer day in 2014, Juliana left her home and disappeared into the jungle with a guerrilla. She probably soon realized that life as a guerrilla was very hard work. The girls have to fix meals for the men, gather firewood, and do whatever the leaders tell them. Juliana would not have been allowed to visit her family or go to church.

Juliana tried to escape, but the guerrillas stopped her and treated her very harshly. Sadly, she died from her injuries.

Juliana’s family was very sad. Pastor Adriano and Naldo were very sad, but they continue to trust God. They help the people in the red zone trust Him, too. They have even led some guerrillas to Christ.

“Why do you stay?” someone asked Pastor Adriano.

“Because God has put me there,” the pastor answered. “I am sure that God has put me there.”

(Sources include: VOM sources and the March 2015 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.)

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)


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