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Iran: Pray for Lydia

(Source: icommittopray.com)

Sam and Maryam love their daughter, Lydia, very much. (See their photo above.) Lydia has a heart defect and other health problems, but thankfully Maryam is a nurse and can take excellent care of her.

But officials in Iran, where the family lives, want to take Lydia away from her parents. They plan to return her to the orphanage where Maryam and Sam adopted her when she was 3 months old.

Sam and Maryam are Christians, and the government considers Lydia to be a Muslim. When Lydia was almost 2 years old, a court said she was not eligible to be adopted by Christians. The court also said, “there is zero possibility of giving her away to another family” because of Lydia’s health conditions. But they said she should be taken away anyway.

The parents appealed to another court, but the new court agreed with the earlier court’s decision. Now they are waiting to hear if the court will order them to return Lydia to the orphanage.

Please pray for Sam, Maryam, and Lydia.


This Month

Parents and Teachers
The October 2020 photo issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine highlights stories of courageous Christians in Nepal.

The issue includes stories of a teenager enrolled in a Christian kindergarten after nine years of learning only Buddhist teachings at a monastery, and a Christian widow whose Hindu son hangs pictures of Hindu snake idols in her home.

Central Asia, Colombia, Laos, and Kenya are featured in updates of stories from past issues. In addition, you can learn how to prepare to observe this year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church in November.

Related Resources
* To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide includes information about Christians in the featured countries.
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight several countries here.
*Watch a video clip from Center Asia here.


“Be Who You Are”

Recently Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio interviewed Ed Cannon, the president of the Far East Broadcasting Company. The FEBC uses radio and other technology to reach people all over the world with the gospel.

Todd asked Mr. Cannon, “What advice would you give young people who are starting out in gospel work?”

Read Mr. Cannon’s answer below. [Edited for length and clarity.]

There are a couple things I would like to say. First of all, be who you are. When I grew up, people were always telling us be a leader like so and so. We would read books about other people’s leadership. [People would tell us] you need to be like Churchill, or you need to be like Patton.

But my advice for young people today is be who God made you; don’t be like somebody else. If you are a quiet person, lead quietly. If you are a team-builder, build teams quietly. Lead the way God has wired you, which is the way you are the best. No one is as good at being like Winston Churchill as Winston Churchill was. So why should we try and be like him?

Secondly, never underestimate your own ability to make an impact in the world. We had one young man from China who very quiet, very timid. He didn’t know exactly how he wanted to lead, but he had an idea to use social media.

He said, “I don’t have a big following. I don’t have a big voice or a big idea, but God does. So I am going to post on my social media platform. I am going to post four Bible verses a day.” He wrote one short verse, and then he wrote one simple sentence about what that verse meant to him.

He started doing that, and he did it for several years without much success. Then he started to see a few people following him. After five years, the man had a million followers in China that were getting their spiritual food every day from his simple idea and his obedience to God’s command.

So there is great potential. Never underestimate yourself. Don’t think you need to be like someone else. Lead the way God wired you and He will respond by putting fruit into your life.


What Would You Do?

(Source: VOM Australia)

A teenage girl in Algeria became a Christian after watching Christian TV broadcasts. She openly declared her faith to her science teacher. The Muslim teacher told her that Jesus is not the Son of God and He didn’t die on the cross. (Read about Muslim beliefs here.) The school notified the girl’s family, and the family began receiving threats from community members. The girl’s Muslim family ordered her to stop attending church and reading the Bible.

Questions to Discuss
What would you do if your teachers or friends spoke falsely against God?

In what ways could Christians stand firm yet still be gracious toward unbelievers?

What is it that makes Jesus worth following even when it causes Christians to go through difficulties?

How has God used difficulties in your life to grow your faith and trust in Him?

How do you respond when people reject the Gospel you are sharing? Would you go back and try again?

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Learn more about courageous Christians in Algeria in Bold Believers in Algeria and Tunisia available in the Downloads section.