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Spotlight Story

Standing with the Christians in Iraq

I-Am-N

Do you remember the story of Jonah and the big fish? Jonah was running from God, who wanted him to warn the evil people of Ninevah that they would be destroyed. After Jonah’s adventure in the sea, he obeyed God and warned the people. They repented of their sins and were not destroyed at that time.

The biblical city of Ninevah is in ruins today. But nearby is the city of Mosul, Iraq. Earlier this year radical Muslims warned all the Christians in Mosul to either leave the city or to become Muslims. “I am confused and sad,” said an Iraqi Christian. Thousands of Christians fled their homes in Mosul.

The radical Muslims marked the homes of Christians with a “nun” symbol. Nun, pronounced “noon,” is a letter in the Arabic alphabet. The Muslims use the symbol to stand for “Nazarenes,” an Arabic term used to insult Christians.

Christians around the world began using the symbol not as an insult, but to show that they supported the Mosul Christians in their struggle.

Hebrew 13:3 says, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” How will you remember persecuted Christians this week?

(Find information about The Voice of the Martyrs’ “I-Am-N” T-shirt at www.i-am-n.com)


Videos Story

Syrian Refugee Camp

A war in Syria has left many people, both Christians and Muslims, without homes. Some have fled the country; others have stayed. The Voice of the Martyrs has sent help to Christians who have left and those who have stayed.

Watch the video clip to learn a little about life in one refugee camp in Jordan.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for peace in Syria.
  • Ask God to bring people closer to Him as a result of the crisis.
  • Ask God to provide for the daily needs of refugees.

Video Source: UNHCR


Spotlight Story

We Are Pen and Ink

Ink
Out of ink by Jonathunder (CC-BY-SA)

A student in China sent the following testimony to The Voice of the Martyrs. The student received a Bible from VOM’s Bibles Unbound program.

No Direction
I was born into a Christian family. Both my parents served the Lord heartily. We had church meetings in our home. When I was very young, my parents made an agreement with God to dedicate me to Him.

After middle school, I had no direction and purpose. I did not know what to do. But a story changed my life. [Chinese students may choose to go to high school and prepare for college exams, or go to a school to prepare for work.]

Pen and Ink
One day I was reading a book at home, and a fable in the book touched my heart. The story said that a music composer had a quill pen and some ink. When the composer was not at home, the pen and ink started to boast.

The pen said, “Without me, how could the composer write any melodies?”

The ink said, “I am better than you. With just a little ink, the composer can write many melodies.”

I was thinking, “The pen and ink are silly. If the composer did not use them, they would be worthless.

Suddenly I realized that we are all silly if we think we have accomplished things. We are like the pen and ink, and God is like the composer.

That night, I cried bitterly before God. I prayed that I would serve Him. I asked Him to use me.

Miraculously, the next day the church leader called me and asked if I wanted to go study the Bible. I said yes without any hesitation. But the night before I left to go to Bible school, my brother broke his arm. We had to use our money to help him, so I was not able to go to school. I had to go to work.

I did not complain, and God helped me grow closer to Him at work and to depend on Him firmly. The next August He opened a way for me to go to Bible school.

I am convinced that God has a wonderful will and good plan for me. The Lord died for us. His heart is to save lost people. I am willing to witness His glories.

Some of the quotes and stories on this website have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.


Spotlight Story

Emmanuel

Nigeria
Emmanuel

“Five-year-old Emmanuel went to sleep on April 26, 2014, with expectations of joining his friends to play football the following morning when he found himself in a terrible situation,” said a VOM-Nigeria worker. [Soccer is called football in Nigeria.]

Emmanuel did not know it, but radical Muslims had come to attack his village. Emmanuel’s mother knew. She woke Emmanuel up to prepare him in case the family had to flee.

Emmanuel thought his mother woke him so he could go to the bathroom outside the room where he slept. On his way back from the bathroom, one of the attackers found him and cut his shoulder with a big knife.

In the fleeing and confusion that followed, no one could find Emmanuel. He lay alone until the next morning. He has received treatment for his wounds and is healing.

Please ask God to grant peace and healing to survivors of the attacks in Nigeria.


Spotlight Story

India Current Events

India
Sanskrit

  • August 15th is a national holiday in India. Their Independence Day honors India’s independence from Britain in 1947. Citizens hold parades and celebrations throughout the country.
  • Recently voters in India elected Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of the country. Modi has had connections to groups that strongly oppose Hindus who leave their religion to become Christians. Some Indian Christians are concerned that persecution might increase while Modi is in charge.
  • Some Hindus hope that Modi will be in favor of promoting the use of Sanskrit, an ancient language used in some Hindu religious ceremonies.
  • It is not always safe to speak out about leaders in India. Four college students were arrested after they put a picture of Modi in a photo collection they called “Negative Faces” in their student newspaper.
  • Indian Christians are trusting God to help them through the coming days. “God is in control,” one Christian told a VOM worker. He knows that persecution might come, but he also said, “Persecution will bring unity to our churches.”

Source: August 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter

Photo credit: Shivz Photography / Wikipedia / Flickr


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