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A Bible Smuggler in Iran

Airport security

Patrick K. is a Bible smuggler. The Voice of the Martyrs provides Patrick’s ministry with Bibles to take into countries where it can be hard to get Bibles. Patrick recently talked with VOM’s Todd Nettleton at VOMRadio.net. Read the story below that Patrick told Todd about his smuggling team taking Bibles into Iran, a country where most of the people are Muslims.

The first time I went into Iran, I had about 80 Bibles in my bag….and I had never been into Iran. I didn’t know what to expect. I prayed, “Lord, I need help.” I called people back in the United States and asked them to pray.

We arrived in Tehran [the capital of Iran] at 2:30 in the morning. We could feel the oppression in the air and the fear. A man said to us, “Come over here. We have to check your passports.” We went with him, and he said, “We have to fingerprint you because you’re Americans. Come with me; I love America.”

You know, all those things you hear about Iran and about how the people hate us. Well, not true.

The man fingerprinted us, and we laughed and joked with him. I looked, and there was nobody by the X-ray machine. By the time I got there and got our bags, a man stepped out of nowhere. He said, “Put your suitcases on the X-ray machine.”

My heart was pounding fast. I thought, “What’s going to happen to me? Are they going to shoot me?” As we loaded the suitcases on the machine, the man asked, “Are you tourists?” We said, “Yes.” He asked, “From where?” We said, “We are from America.” He said, “You’re from America? I love America. Take your suitcases off the X-ray machine. You can go right through; you are Americans.”

What I do now is pray before I go through the border that God will wake up people in America and around the world — that Christians will be praying.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for clarity and length.)

To Think About
What are some of the things you can pray on behalf of Bible smugglers?


Kids at Risk in Iran

Most of the people in Iran are Muslims. But some Muslims are growing tired of Islam. (Islam is the religion of Muslims. Learn more about Islam here.) And many are turning to Jesus.

The government does not want people to leave Islam, so Christians in Iran often worship God in secret house churches. Since so many people want to hear about Jesus and His love, Christian workers are very busy. Some workers leave their homes at 8 in the morning and don’t return until late at night.

A VOM worker recently visited Iranian Christian leaders. The worker heard about two Iranian teenagers who help their parents by taking on more responsibilities at home. Their parents serve the Lord many hours a day. The teens, who are 17 and 13, fix their own food and go to school on their own. “The Holy Spirit angels are watching over them,” said an Iranian Christian leader. “They have no one supervising them. We don’t have phones here, so if something happened, we wouldn’t know.”

Other Christian leaders have even younger children. It’s often not safe to leave the children with friends or relatives, because the children will be mistreated. Friends and relatives often don’t approve of their parents’ Christian work.

Please ask God to protect Iranian Christian kids.

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited from the original for length and clarity.)

Watch the following video to learn about Amin, a boy in Iran.


A Father’s Prayer

Map of Iran

Hassan and his family had enemies. Because they were Christians in Iran, radical Muslims wanted to punish them. So Muslim attackers shot and killed Hassan’s son.

Hassan wrote a prayer for his son’s funeral. Here is what part of his prayer said.

“Oh God, we remember not only my son, but also his persecutors, because through their crime we now follow Your footsteps more closely in the way of sacrifice. The terrible fire of this event burns up all selfishness in us. It makes us see our need to trust Your love — love that makes us free of hate toward our persecutors. Oh God, when my son’s persecutors stand before You on Judgment Day, remember the fruit of the Spirit by which they have enriched our lives, and forgive. Amen.”

To Think About
The Bible tells us that Jesus (Luke 23:34) and Stephen (Acts 7:60) prayed for their persecutors. God can change the hearts of persecutors today, just as he changed the persecutor Saul (Paul) into a servant of Christ. Pray for persecutors.


Ramadan and Muslims Coming to Christ

30 Days

From June 18 through July 17 this year, Muslims around the world will not eat or drink from sunrise until sunset. During this month, called “Ramadan” on the Muslim calendar, they will turn their thoughts to the teachings of Islam, their religion.

The following information comes from “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World,” a guide to help Christians pray for Muslims during Ramadan.

Since Muhammad founded Islam in 622, millions of Christians have been swept into Islam. But what about the opposite? Have very large groups of Muslims come to Christ?

Not until recently.

In the last two decades of the 20th century, the tide began to turn. Movements of at least 1,000 people away from Islam broke out in Algeria, Soviet Central Asia, Bangladesh, and Iran.

In the first 14 years of the 21st century, new Muslim movements to Christ have erupted across the Muslim world. In our day, we are seeing the greatest and most wide-reaching turning of Muslims to Christ in history.

The current wave of Muslim movements to Christ has happened at the same time as an increase in prayer for the Muslim world.

Source: “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World.”

You can order the prayer guide at www.vombooks.com/May2015 or by calling 800-747-0085.
To find a children’s version of the booklet, visit www.30daysprayer.com.
To find more information about Islam for kids, download Learning About Islam from the free Downloads section of this site.

Will you join Christians around the world in praying for Muslims during Ramadan?


“When I Am Weak, I Am Strong”

Gilbert Hovsepian
Gilbert Hovsepian

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:10.)

Gilbert Hovsepian grew up in a Christian family in Iran, where most people are Muslims. His father, a pastor, lost his life because of his Christian work.

The following story is from an interview with Gilbert on VOMRadio.net.

(Gilbert is continuing to heal from a serious motorcycle accident in December 2014. He appreciates everyone’s prayers.)

Gilbert: One time I had this incident where these three men came to me with knives and they said, “We want to take your life unless you deny Jesus.” Well, I don’t know. I always thought if that moment comes I will deny Jesus, then later I’ll say, “God, I’m sorry.” But I don’t know; something happened at that moment and my answers were not what I thought I would give.

For example, [one of them] said, “Deny Jesus, or I’ll kill you.” And I said, “You know what? My dad was killed and God was glorified, and the church grew. Isn’t that my purpose?”

And then I caught myself [and thought], “Gilbert, what are you saying? Just deny and let these crazy people go.”

It took almost 45 minutes. They were threatening me, they were pushing me, and it was dark at night. No one was there to protect me. I don’t know, but when God calls He also provides for the calling. And of course in the last minute when he was very ready to [use the knife], I was afraid. But I wouldn’t deny; I don’t know why. Again, even after that, I’m like, “Gilbert, why didn’t you deny? You should have just denied.” But God provided.

Interviewer: I think that’s an encouragement for our listeners. Sometimes we feel we are weak in our faith and that people who are persecuted must be really strong. They’re “super-Christians,” and we’re just normal.

But what you’re saying is even in that moment you were weak. But God gave strength, and God provided the power and the encouragement to do that.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited from the original for clarity and length.)

Read more about God’s provision during persecution in the post Corrie ten Boom.