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Spotlight Story

Happy Believer in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

The Voice of the Martyrs recently heard the following story from a contact in Kyrgyzstan.

John was a 15-year-old boy in Kyrgyzstan, where most people are Muslims and it can be difficult to learn about Jesus. John was sad because he did not have any hope for his future. The only thing he was really looking forward to was getting a passport on his 16th birthday so he would be considered an adult.

Just before his birthday, John had to be admitted to a hospital. He shared a room with two people, one of them a Christian. John and the other non-Christian tried to irritate the Christian. But after 4 days, even that grew boring. The Christian had a children’s Bible with him, and John read it from cover to cover. The Christian shared his faith gently with John.

After John was discharged from the hospital, he saw an advertisement for a music concert. He had never heard live music before, and he decided to go to the concert. The concert was in a church and the music group played worship songs. John sat on the back row between two ladies, and as he listened to the beautiful music, he began to cry. “I was so ashamed,” he said. What would the women next to me think of me?

When the concert was over he got up to leave. But before he could sneak out in embarrassment, one of the women hugged him and said, “God loves you very much.” Then she left. Later John told his friends about what had happened. “You can’t go there!” they said. “Those people worship a foreign God!”

But John was drawn back to the church week after week, and he is now a happy believer.


Feature Story

Talking to Zhang Rongliang

Zhang RongliangPastor Zhang while he was still in prison.

Zhang Rongliang is a Chinese Christian who was recently released after spending more than seven years prison in China. While he was in prison, Christians around the world prayed for him and wrote letters to Chinese officials on his behalf.

But they failed to get Zhang released early. Zhang recently talked to a VOM contact, and he had some surprising thoughts about Christians’ attempts to free him.

“I am happy that you and others tried to arrange for my release, but in one way, I am happy that you failed,” Zhang said to the contact. “You almost made a big mistake. If you had been successful, there would be no church in that prison today.”

Chinese Christians are not allowed to visit prisons to do prison ministry, so many prisoners do not have the opportunity to hear about Jesus. More than 5,000 men were in Zhang’s prison, and many of them were able to hear the good news of Jesus Christ while he was there. Fewer would have heard the good news if Zhang had spent less time in prison.

“Missionaries leave their homes to go to a new environment,” said Zhang. They preach the gospel in the area where they are called to preach. I consider myself and I treat myself as one who is a missionary. The difference is that God called me to preach to the prisoners.”

The VOM contact then went on to ask Zhang how his two sons reacted to his being away from them for so long while he was imprisoned, and what advice he had for fathers who might be facing time away from their family.

“First, try your best to spend time with them, as much as you can,” said Zhang. This is important and it is your responsibility. Then during those times you must be away, you must pray for them. You must put them completely in the hands of God. Remember, he will take better care of them than you can. Finally, always remember that the Word of God promises us that the children of the righteous will become like the oak tree in the hands of the Lord.

“I have spent a lot of time in prison, but the children know why their father is being kept in prison. We have taught our children that this lifestyle is our duty. When we teach, we put more focus, more emphasis on the will of God and on the position that he has given to us. God wants us to do a bigger thing for him. All who are called to ministry are different people. We are not like other people. The world does not understand us. But our lives and our calling are a precious thing in the eyes of God.

“God is number one. God and his will must always be first in our lives. After that, he will take care of all other things.”


Spotlight Story

Happy in the Lord

Richard WurmbrandEven after years in prison, Pastor Wurmbrand had joy in Jesus.

The following is story told by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs.

In a communist country, a man named Ketchik had very little money. He decided to follow Jesus late in his life. His wife did not share his Christian faith. One day the police discovered Ketchik at a secret prayer meeting. He was ordered to pay two months’ income as a fine.He came back from the meeting happy, and he told his wife, “Now you see that I was right in telling you the great value of prayer. You did not believe me. But look at my fine! The communists know the value of prayer. Even in their eyes, a prayer has the value of two months’ income. Prayer has such a high value that from now on I will never miss a prayer meeting!”

Ketchik was fined three times during one year. He lost his income for half a year. But he remained happy in the Lord.


Spotlight Story

Kids of Courage Get Prepared

VBS

In the Bible, God says that those who follow his Son Jesus will have trouble sometimes. Kids of Courage trust God to help them in hard times. Kids of Courage get prepared so they will be ready when hard times come.

One way to get prepared is to pray every day. If you have a habit of praying about what’s going on in your life, prayer will come naturally to you in times of trouble. Another way to get prepared is to read the Bible to find out what men and women of God do when they have problems. You can also read stories about missionaries and others who follow God even when life is difficult.

Kids of Courage can get prepared by memorizing Bible verses. Many Christians are comforted by reciting verses when they are sick, lonely, can’t sleep at night, or are even when they are in prison. I Corinthians 16:13 is a verse that encourages people to stay strong in their faith.


Spotlight Story

VOM in Action: Report from Asia

Has your family ever moved to a different house? Moving is a lot of work! You have to look for another house, talk to the owner about buying or renting it, find a time to move, pack up all your stuff and find a truck to move it in, drive to the new place, and unpack everything.

A worker from The Voice of the Martyrs recently returned from a trip to Asia, and he told a story about moving. The worker and some friends from the country met with a Christian who is often persecuted for following Christ. While they visited, the Christian got a phone call. The caller threatened to harm his because of his faith.

The VOM worker and his friends helped the man move to a different house where the caller could not find him as easily. The man had already moved seven times because of threats! Possibly his eighth move will not be his last if his enemies find him again.