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“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.


This Month

Parents and Teachers

The September 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine highlights the experiences of Christians who have been imprisoned because of their faith in Christ.

Readers will learn about:

*Sesuna, an Eritrean Christian who was imprisoned during her senior year of high school.

*Gulnora, who became the sole provider for their three teenage children after her pastor husband was imprisoned in Tajikistan.

*Amir, who helped Muslims find new hope in Christ on death row in Iran.

*Rabish and Summandi, who found themselves in jail on their wedding day in India.

You can share photos and stories from the issue and from this site about some of the featured Christians with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

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 video clips about Christians from several of the countries in the Video section of this site.


Distracted by the Virus

The conversation below is from a recent interview by Todd Nettleton on VOM Radio. (Edited for length and clarity.)

Todd: We are talking today on Voice of the Martyrs Radio with Brother Aaron. He is the regional director for South and Central Asia and Latin America here at The Voice of the Martyrs. Aaron, we know that there are challenges that have come up in the last four months due to the coronavirus. But have you seen some blessings grow out of those challenges?

Aaron: We have. There was a pastor in Central Asia who had been told that he was going to be questioned by the police. He needed to report to a government office for a meeting; they had some questions for him.

He knew what that meant, and he was very nervous, and he asked for prayer for the situation. Then the news of the coronavirus hit and lockdowns began. The police delayed that meeting for him, so he just kept doing his ministry! It distracted the government from him, and he could continue to do what God called him to do.

Pray that Christians will stay focused on eternal things. We could be distracted, too, and not be as focused on prayer for struggling Christians. Pray that we would be attentive in our prayer efforts for them. I think praying for governments to continue to be distracted with bigger issues is a good thing.

Todd: Help us not to be distracted, and help the police in hostile areas to be distracted.

Aaron: That is a great way to put it.


A President’s Birthday

[Photo: Christians worshiping in Uzbekistan]

*In Uzbekistan, “Bibles are difficult to obtain. Some Christians don’t even want a copy because of the risk involved in owning one. Even those discovered with a digital Bible on their smartphone are immediately arrested and interrogated.” (Source: VOM’s Global Prayer Guide)

*Muslim children of a 70-year-old Christian woman in Uzbekistan have been mistreating their mother. Last year they had her admitted to a mental hospital. She was held in the hospital for several weeks before they let her out. Her children continue to give her a hard time. (Source: icommittopray.com)

*Even kids in Uzbekistan may have a hard time because of their faith. (Read a story here about a child who was questioned by the police.)

Shavkat Mirziyoyev became the president of Uzbekistan in 2016. His birthday is July 24th. Christians in Uzbekistan say that he seems to be leading the country into greater religious freedom. But Christians still have obstacles to living out their faith.

On his birthday, pray that President Mirziyoyev will come to trust Christ as his Savior and will see that Christians in his country are treated fairly.

Learn more about Christians in Uzbekistan in Bold Believers in Uzbekistan, available in the free Downloads section.