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Pray for Missionaries in Hospitals

From VOM Facebook

Middle East Report

Please keep missionary medical staff in your prayer as the coronavirus continues to spread. Pray for their protection. With staff under precautionary quarantine and other staff now home with their children because of school shutdowns, staffing the hospital could easily become an issue. “Pray that we are able to do a thorough screening of people to lessen the transmission.”

Sri Lanka: Jasmine

Jasmine lives in Sri Lanka. She likes to write and draw, and math is her favorite subject. She is a Christian, but she did not go to Sunday school for more than six months last year because she was scared.

On Easter in 2019, Jasmine’s Sunday school teacher asked the children, “If you died, what would happen?” The children confessed their sins and dedicated themselves to God. Later, during church, radical Muslims bombed Jasmine’s church and two other churches. Jasmine and other church members were injured, and sadly, some died of their injuries.

“Jasmine let me listen to her heart, and I could hear the shrapnel pinging around in her chest,” said a woman who works for The Voice of the Martyrs after she visited Jasmine in Sri Lanka recently. The shrapnel (pieces of the bomb) came from the bomb blast. Now Jasmine is scared of loud noises.

Thank God that Jasmine has healed enough to attend Sunday school, and pray that Jasmine will experience God’s peace and continue to grow in her walk with Him.

Learn more about Christians in Sri Lanka in Bold Believers in Sri Lanka, available in the Downloads section.

[Photo: Jasmine and her grandmother]

Needed: “Creative New Strategies”

“In the past, we believed shortwave radio would reach the world,” said a recent visitor to The Voice of the Martyrs. The visitor has worked in countries where many have never heard the gospel. He talked about ways Christians have reached people over the years with the good news of Jesus.

“Now we believe satellite TV and social media will reach the world,” he continued. “But I believe there will still be a new gadget invented that will spread the gospel. We need creative new strategies.”

The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christians in hostile nations share the gospel by smuggling, launching Scripture balloons, distributing audio Bibles, and other creative strategies.

To Talk About
*What is a shortwave radio? What is a strategy?
*Can you think of a new way Christians could share the gospel in countries where people have never heard it? Will you be the one to discover a creative new strategy?

Turkey: Beren at School

(Source: VOM Australia. Photo: Turkish children playing)

Children at public schools in Turkey must attend Islamic education classes. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) But Beren, a Christian girl, got permission to skip the classes, because she and her family are not Muslims. During the classes, Beren was allowed to sit in another room and do other schoolwork. She would also not need to take religious exams.

This seemed like a good solution. Then her Muslim school friends came to realize why she was not attending the classes. She was a Christian! At first, some of her friends snubbed her; they didn’t want to be associated with a Christian. Some kids decided that the situation needed to change. One day they grabbed her around the throat and shouted, “You need to be a Muslim!”

Beren was terrified. She became ill and did not want to go to school anymore. Her family tried to resolve the situation by meeting with the teachers and students. They were able to persuade the students to apologize to Beren, so she became more comfortable with attending school again.

However, this event has taken its toll. Beren is now afraid of telling friends that she is a Christian. She is still a faithful believer, but she has decided to attend the Islamic education classes to avoid being such an easy target in the future.

There are so few Christians in Turkey that many young people find they are the only believers at their school. Pray that God will comfort and encourage young people in Turkey who face bullying, and that He would provide Christian friends.

10 Quotes from 2019

The following quotes were shared with or by workers from The Voice of the Martyrs during 2019. Most of the quotes came from Christians in countries where believers are persecuted.

1. “This is the greatest gift I’ve received on earth. I’m thankful to get this before I leave this world.” — woman in Asia who received a Bible from VOM. She was a Christian for 20 years before she owned a Bible.

2. “I wish I could have been in there longer so more of the prisoners could hear the gospel.” — Christian in prison for his faith who was released after six months.

3. “If I would disobey God, I would not have persecution.” — persecuted Christian in India

4. “I don’t think courage is not to be afraid. It is to choose to do the right thing even if you are afraid.” — Christian in the Middle East

5. “God is not tame and safe. But He is kind and gentle.” — VOM worker

6. “They spread the virus; we have the antivirus.” — VOM worker who helps Christians spreading the gospel in a country where non-Christians are also spreading their false teachings.

7. “There are amazing blessings to be found that seem only to be found in times of suffering.” — VOM worker

8. “Just pray that we will not stop sharing [the gospel] until our last breath.” — persecuted pastor in India

9. “The nail that sticks out is the one they hammer down.” — persecuted pastor

10. “Following Christ means following risk, not just blessing.” — persecuted African believer

(Source: VOM workers and contacts. Edited for length, clarity, reading level, and security.)

To Do
Choose five of the quotes above and say them in your own words. How many of the quotes do you agree with?

To read additional quotes, click here and here.