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Church in a Car

A church van

Brother Jay, a VOM International Ministries worker, took a trip for The Voice of the Martyrs to Central Asia. Todd Nettleton of VOMRadio.net interviewed Brother Jay after his trip. Read part of their interview below.

Jay: Thankfully there are Muslims coming to Christ every day. Most of them gather in small groups in houses.

Todd: When you talk about “small groups,” we are talking about two or three people. In some cases, that is all there are.  And in some cases, that is all that it’s safe to gather.

Jay: Exactly. You might find a couple of men sitting in a park and have no idea what they are doing. But they are there fellowshiping in the name of the Lord.

They might be in a car. You could be in Kabul [the capital of Afghanistan], for example, where there are thousands of vehicles. And you don’t know it, but two or three men in one car — they actually love Jesus. And they are fellowshipping with one another in His name.

They may have a little device in their radio so they can listen to Scripture, sing some songs about the Lord, and encourage one another. It is like a little mobile church.

(Source: VOMRadio.net)


Family Members Around the World

Afghan girl with a Bible

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10, NIV).

“Imagine if your parents sat you down and told you that you had another brother or sister that you didn’t know about,” said Jim Dau, the president of The Voice of the Martyrs. “The news could change your life. You might be happy to learn you had a brother or sister. Or you might be sad that you had missed knowing him or her.

“Many of us would like to meet our brother or sister. And we would pray for him or her as part of our family,” said Mr. Dau.

The Bible tells us that all those who believe in Jesus belong to one family. As Christians, we have family members around the world. When we learn about them, we can pray for them. We can also learn by their example to be bold in sharing our faith with others.

To Think About
Millions of people around the world are Christians. Some of them are mocked, insulted, injured, or put in prison by people who don’t like Christians.

It would be overwhelming to try to pray for all of them one at a time. But we can pray for those God brings to our attention. Can you pick one Christian from this website or in the news and pray for him or her today?


Trusting God at the Police Station

Afghanistan police
A policeman in Afghanistan

An officer of the secret police in a Muslim country sent for Pastor Zareef, a Christian preacher. Secret police usually work in countries where citizens don’t have a lot of freedoms. They secretly spy on citizens to see if anyone is doing things the government doesn’t like. Pastor Zareef knew he could end up in jail if he gave answers the officer didn’t like.

The pastor believed the Bible verse, “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist” (Luke 21:14–15). Trusting in God’s word, he went to the meeting at the policeman’s office.

At the meeting, the officer shook a pamphlet in Pastor Zareef’s face and asked, “Who wrote this?” A friend of Pastor Zareef’s had written the pamphlet to explain the truth about Jesus to Muslims. The pastor knew that his friend might get in big trouble if the police found out who wrote it.

Suddenly, Pastor Zareef began laughing! He surprised even himself!

“Why are you laughing?” the officer growled.

“Because I thought YOU were the secret police, not ME!” answered the pastor. “You are the ones who know secrets, but you are asking me who wrote it?”

“Okay,” said the officer. “I’ll let you go this time.”

After he left the office, Pastor Zareef was amazed at what happened. He had not planned beforehand what he would say, yet God helped him speak.

Praise God for His faithfulness!

Read another story about God helping a Christian speak.


Seeking Jesus

Afghanistan
Muslim mother and child in Afghanistan

A Christian in Afghanistan kept getting phone calls, day and night, from the same person. The caller asked to meet the Christian in person, and he asked for copies of the New Testament.

The Christian was cautious. Most of the people in Afghanistan are Muslims. Sometimes Christians are attacked and persecuted. The Christian knew that the calls could be a trap.

The Christian prayed about the situation and decided to meet the caller. He said goodbye to his family and took a friend with him in the car. When he reached the meeting place, he told his friend, “If you don’t hear from me in 10 minutes, drive the car and all of you get out of the city immediately.”

But the caller was so happy to see the Christian and to get the New Testaments! He had spent a lot of time and energy trying to find out more about Jesus and to locate Christians he could talk to!

During Ramadan (June 18 through July 17)
Pray for Muslims who are seeking to understand more about Jesus. Pray that doors will open for them to find the truth about Christ.

(Source: 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World)

Read more about Ramadan here.


Afghanistan: John and Mary

Afghanistan
John, Mary, and their baby Isa

Parents and Teachers: The January 2015 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes a story about John, the son of a Taliban leader in Afghanistan. To subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, visit our subscription signup page. As you read the newsletters, you may want to share stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children. Then pray together for the people in the stories.

The Taliban
The Taliban is a group of radical Muslims in Afghanistan. Taliban means “students” in Arabic. Members of the group think that women should not go to school, and men should grow beards. They do not like TV, music, games, or some sports. Taliban radicals believe in harsh punishment for Muslims who become Christians.

John
John is the son of a Taliban leader in Afghanistan. When he was a youth, his father sent him to Egypt to study at a secret school for Muslim radicals.

John married a woman named Mary, had a son, and began teaching Muslim beliefs to others in Afghanistan. Then John’s father decided to send John to the Muslim hajj in Saudi Arabia. (Read more about the hajj here.) Taliban bodyguards traveled with John to protect him.

Dreams
While John was in Saudi Arabia, Jesus came to him in a vision and a dream. “I am your God,” Jesus said to John in the vision. “I am Jesus Christ.”

When John woke up, he felt like a different person. “I was completely cleansed from the inside,” he said. “I felt like I was a newborn baby.”

Mary’s Dream
John flew home to Afghanistan and told his father about his experiences with Jesus. “I found my God,” John said.

In anger, John’s father threw John in a basement bunker and kept him there for 18 months. He told John’s wife, Mary, that he had sent John to Egypt again.

When John was freed from the bunker, he went home to Mary. He planned to tell her about Jesus.

“I have something to tell you first,” said Mary. She told John that she had dreams of Jesus while he was gone! She believed in Jesus but had not told the family. John and Mary cried with happiness because of their new life in Christ.

Houses in Heaven
John’s father and other Taliban radicals continued to severely persecute John and his family. John and Mary had to move to another country to be safe. Through all the persecution, John and Mary could only weep and pray, saying, “God, You know.”

John still shares about Jesus with others, even though he knows that his witness for Christ will make some people angry.

“I want to show people in Afghanistan how to believe in Jesus,” he said. “God made many houses in heaven; He needs people in them.”

Read John 14:2. Who is speaking the words of the verse? What does the verse mean? How might the verse comfort John and Mary? What part of the verse did John talk about in the story?
To learn more about Christians in Afghanistan, download Bold Believers in Afghanistan from the Downloads section.

(Source: The January 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.)