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A Letter to an Enemy

Betty
Betty as a teenager

Nine-year-old Betty and her little brother lived with their parents in a small Colombian village. Their father was a pastor, and the people of the village loved him. He helped them find ways to meet their daily needs as well as their need for a Savior.

Paramilitary soldiers did not want Christian pastors to be leaders in their community. They wanted all the power, and they wanted the people to respect only them. They warned Betty’s father to stop helping the villagers.

(Paramilitaries are people fighting to keep power away from guerrillas in Colombia. Guerrillas carry out acts of war even though they are not part of the regular army. Both guerrillas and paramilitaries are outside the law. The Colombian army fights against both groups.)

Betty’s father wanted to do the will of God rather than the will of the paramilitaries. He continued to do his job.

Two weeks after the paramilitaries warned him to stop, three men dressed in black came to Betty’s door. They said they had “a few questions” to ask her father, and he left with them. He never came back. The paramilitary men shot him and he died.

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Ibrahim’s New Life

Ibrahim in a tree
Ibrahim in a tree

The following story is taken from Bold Believers in Ethiopia, available in the free Downloads section of this site.

Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20, NIV).

Ibrahim was a teenager in Ethiopia. He came from a family of 12 generations of Muslims. That means Ibrahim’s great, great, nine-times-great-grandfather, and everyone in the family who came after him, were all Muslims.

Mulu was 3 years older than Ibrahim. Mulu went from house to house telling people in Ethiopia the truth about Jesus.

One day, Mulu met Ibrahim and shared the Good News of Jesus with him. The Good News is that Jesus finished the work necessary for our salvation when he died on the cross. Christians do good works in obedience to God. But they know good works are not enough to save them. Only Jesus can save people.

Ibrahim was not happy that Mulu shared the Good News with him. Instead, he was angry! Like other Muslims, he believed that people must try to earn their way to heaven by doing good deeds. He also did not believe that a Christian should share the gospel with a Muslim. Ibrahim planned to attack and hurt Mulu.

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Ngun Si Par

A girl in Burma
A girl in Burma

On January 4th, the people of Burma celebrate their Independence Day. Burma (also called Myanmar) became independent from Britain in 1948.

Most people in Burma are Buddhists. Buddhism was started by Siddartha Gautama, a prince in India. He was called “Buddha.”

Buddhists do not have regular worship services at their temples. Instead, they may bring gifts to a temple and bow to a statue of Buddha to show respect.

VOM contacts talked to Ngun Si Par, a 13-year-old girl in Burma. She told the contacts about her life in Burma. Read what she said below.

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Letters Encourage Prisoner’s Daughter

Lily
Lily

Note: This post is a follow-up to the post Letters Encourage Chinese Prisoner. Read the previous post to learn more about Pastor Shi going to jail.

The following is an interview with Lily, Pastor Shi’s 16-year-old daughter.

VOM: What happened the day your father was arrested?

Lily: I was asleep when the police came into our bedroom. This man was standing in our doorway, and my younger sister yelled at him and told him to get out. We got dressed and went downstairs, and there were policemen everywhere. I was confused because I had always been taught in school that the police were our friends.

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Letters Encourage Chinese Prisoner

Shi Weihan
Pastor Shi and his family looking at their letters after his release

Pastor Shi Weihan lived in China with his wife and two daughters. Very early one morning, their dog’s loud barking woke them up. Pastor Shi wondered why the dog was making so much noise. Usually he barked only when a group of people came to their house.

Pastor Shi looked out the window. He saw 30 police officers and 20 vehicles.

The pastor knew why the police had come for him. He and other Chinese house-church Christians had been printing Bibles to give away free. China’s Amity Press is the only press allowed to print Bibles legally.

The police took Pastor Shi to jail. They put him in a cell that was about 60 square feet in size. (A 10-foot by 6-foot room would be 60 feet square.) More than 30 other prisoners were already stuffed into the small space.

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