Ask a VOM Worker Story
Published on July 11th, 2014
JoAnn has traveled overseas for The Voice of the Martyrs to encourage persecuted Christians. She also serves God through her work at VOM headquarters.
Read what JoAnn said about her life and work.
Question: What are some of the tasks you have done for VOM?
JoAnn: I was the assistant to the executive director, and I was the travel coordinator, making travel arrangements for our international travelers. I coordinate regional conferences and equip and train volunteers who are getting the voice of persecuted Christians to our nation.
Question: As you were growing up, how did God prepare you to serve Him as an adult?
JoAnn: I was kind of sheltered as a child. But I was raised in a Christian family and learned some basics of the faith. I was not prepared until I was an adult.
Question: What have you learned from persecuted Christians?
JoAnn: That my life is not so bad! It gives me some real perspective when I get whiny. I look at what’s going on overseas, and I think I’m a spoiled brat.
Then the question comes, “Would I be able to do that [to suffer as Christians do in some places]?” I hope so. But I don’t think that’s a question you can answer until you’re in it.
Question: What’s the best part of working at VOM?
JoAnn: Knowing and feeling that you’re part of working in God’s kingdom and that what you do every day makes a difference for people.
Published on July 10th, 2014
The following editorial by Jim, the president of VOM, is adapted for children from the July VOM newsletter.
When I travel to meet our brave brothers and sisters who work in countries where Christians are persecuted, I am amazed. These workers are humble and willing to serve, and their joy shows on their faces.
I am thinking of one of our co-workers in Colombia, Rolo. He and another worker were thrown into a septic tank for three days. (A septic tank is a large container that holds waste water from toilets.) They had just crossed the border into Venezuela with Bibles and Christian literature. Venezuela is one of the least church-going countries in the region.
Pastors helped the workers out of the tank. Rolo wants to return to the area with more Bibles.
I am also reminded of a VOM worker in Nigeria who used his car to take Christians injured in Muslim attacks to the hospital. One day as he was delivering VOM newsletters, radical Muslims shot him. The attackers stole 500 newsletters. Pastors in the area are praying that the newsletters will help the Muslims find the truth.
In Iran, our workers know that the average Bible smuggler is caught within two years and sent to prison. The workers realize that the more people they lead to Christ, the more persecution they will witness. They may also bring persecution upon themselves.
Every time I meet with persecuted workers, I ask how we can help them. They always say, “Pray for us.” I tell them that I pray for them and so do many others around the world.
- What is courage? How did the workers described in the editorial show courage?
- Why do you think the workers in risky circumstances have joy on their faces?
- If someone hurt a friend of yours, would you pray for them to find the truth?
Published on July 9th, 2014
Not many people in Bahrain are Christians; most are Muslims. But one man who loves Jesus has not kept his faith a secret from his Muslim family.
One day, his wife asked their 10-year-old daughter what she believed. “I believe what my dad believes. I believe in Jesus,” she answered.
Her answer angered her mother and uncle, and they began to hit her. She was left with bruises. But she and her father continue to follow Christ.
Ask God to grant physical and emotional healing to this young girl as she recovers from the ordeal. May her faith grow stronger each day, despite the pressure she will surely continue to face. Thank the Lord that her father is also a believer, and pray that he will be a source of comfort and strength for his daughter as she follows Jesus. Pray for the girl’s mother and uncle, that they may also come to accept Christ as their Savior and Lord.
To Talk About
“The Tree of Life is one of Bahrain’s major destinations; it is located in the middle of the desert and somehow has survived for hundreds of years with no obvious source of water” (CIA Factbook).
In what ways might a Christian in Bahrain be like Bahrain’s Tree of Life?
Photo credit: CIA Factbook
Published on July 8th, 2014
Kim Il Sung, a former leader of North Korea, died 20 years ago on July 8, 1994. After his death, his body was put on display in a glass case. Citizens visit the display to honor the dead leader.
Kim’s son, Kim Jong Il, became the country’s leader after his father died. When Kim Jong Il died, his body was also put on display. Now Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Il’s son, rules the country.
The Kims have been cruel leaders who have imprisoned many people, including Christians. The government wants the people to honor them as gods. They tell their people that other countries are terrible places to live but that North Korea is a good country. They have convinced some citizens that they have been good rulers.
But many other North Koreans escape their country to live in better places. Some become Christians after they leave North Korea. The new Christians sometimes risk their lives to return to their homeland and tell others the good news of Jesus.