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Father’s Day Reminder

Two years ago, in April 2017, Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov was arrested after officials raided his church in Tajikistan. The officers beat members of the congregation and took away Christian books and the pastor’s computer. You can read his story in a recent kidsofcourage.com post here.

The pastor and his wife, Gulnora, have three children. Gulnora has had health problems since her husband’s arrest, and their daughter has cared for her. Their two sons live in Russia. Please remember and pray for the family on Father’s Day. You can find instructions for sending them an encouraging letter here and on prisoneralert.com.

Read the following reminder from Prisoner Alert below. (You can also find the following on prisoneralert.com: Updates on prisoners, addresses of prisoners, addresses of officials, facts about letters that have been sent, and FAQs.)

Reminder

The Prisoner Alert for Bakhrom Kholmatov has been viewed more than 17,000 times, and more than 2,500 letters of encouragement have been sent. What a blessing this must have been to Bakhrom Kholmatov — and what a message it will have sent to the officials that this person is cared for internationally.

Now imagine what could happen if we could double, triple, or increase by ten or one hundred-fold the number of people around the world who are praying and writing on behalf of those imprisoned and persecuted for their faith.

You can help. Please tell those you know who have a heart for God’s people, and encourage them to pray, too. It’s the work of friends telling friends that will bring the greatest response to those who need it most.


Pray with Kids in the United Kingdom

Release International, located in the United Kingdom, is a member of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. (Read more about VOM’s family of missions around the world here.) Release International encourages kids to pray for Christians in countries where followers of Christ are persecuted. Read some of their recent suggested prayers below, and choose one to pray today.

Pakistani girls

Pakistan
Ask Jesus to be very close to Christian girls in Pakistan who are kidnapped and taken away from their families. They are often forced to marry Muslim men and even become Muslims themselves. Ask God to rescue them and get them back to their families. Pray that the girls will know Jesus’ love with them night and day and to know He is looking after them. Ask God to make their families brave and strong. Pray that teenagers Rimsha and Riffat, who were kidnapped, will know God’s love and peace and return home safely.

 

Afghan girl with a Bible

Afghanistan
Pray for a girl who has been persecuted at a school in Afghanistan. Her family moved to a different city to find a new school for her. However, her old school will not send her reports, so the new school will not allow her to start. Pray that God will give great love and peace to her family. Ask Him to give them hope and strength not to give up. Pray that God will provide a new school where the girl can learn, make new friends, and be happy.

 

 

Leah

Nigeria
Keek praying for Leah Sharibu, the 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped in Nigeria. Boko Haram, the radical Muslim group that took her away, said they will keep her as a slave because she will not stop loving Jesus. Pray for God to show His love in powerful ways to the kidnappers so they will let her go. Pray that another captive, Alice Ngaddah, and all other women and girls held as prisoners, will also be set free. Ask God to show them and their families His great love and to give them courage and hope.

 

 

Egyptian boy

Egypt
The following is a prayer for a boy in Egypt.
Dear God, thank you for protecting an 11-year-old boy who was nearly kidnapped by two men in Egypt. They wanted to take him away from his Christian parents just because they follow Jesus. Thank you for the person who rescued the boy. Please give the boy, his mom, and his family strength, peace, and healing. Help them trust You to keep them safe. Please look after the children of people who are helping Christians. Thank You. Amen.


Fifteen Years in Prison

Fifteen years ago today, at 5:00 in the morning on May 23, 2004, police in Eritrea arrested Dr. Kiflu Gebremeskel and Mr. Haile Nayzgi. The men, who were leaders in their Christian churches, did not belong to any of the Eritrean government’s approved religion groups. Eritrea imprisons hundreds of people because of their religious beliefs.

Dr. Gebremeskel and Mr. Nayzgi have been in prison for 5,480 days. In the past, Dr. Gebremeskel earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He has a wife and four children.

Dr. Gebremeskel

Mr. Nayzgi used to be an accountant. After his wife was warned that she might also be arrested, she and their four children escaped to a safer country. In a message smuggled out of Eritrea, Mr. Nayzgi thanked The Voice of the Martyrs for helping his family. He is happy that they are safe.

Mr. Nayzgi

Visit prisoneralert.com to learn more about these courageous Christians and to find out how to send messages of encouragement to Dr. Gebremeskel and Mr. Nayzgi.

To learn more about Christians in Eritrea, download Bold Believers in Eritrea from the Downloads section.


Mother’s Day Prayers

Santa and Sien

Soman and his wife, Santa, trusted in Christ as their Savior about seven years ago. They started a house church in their home in Bangladesh and invited their friends and neighbors. Many more people came to the Lord and were baptized.

But not everyone in their village welcomed the good news. A gang attacked the little village store that Soman and Santa owned, and they beat up Soman. They warned him to stop following Jesus.

(It’s not illegal to be a Christian in their country. In fact, more than 7 million people in Bangladesh have watched Christian videos on YouTube, and some have come to Christ. But Muslims do not approve of other Muslims leaving their religion, Islam, and becoming Christians.)

Soman’s leg was injured in the attack. He developed complications and, sadly, he died a few years later. After he died, family members took away Santa’s land. They said she couldn’t keep it because she was not a Muslim. They tried to force her to follow Islam.

Now Santa and her 4-year-old son, Sien, live in a “safe house” operated by The Voice of the Martyrs. (See the photo.) They will be safe there, and will be able to gain strength from other Christians in the house.

On Mother’s Day, pray for Santa and other mothers who are taking care of children alone.

Also remember:
*Mothers who are in jail for their faith.
*Mothers whose children were taken from them when they became Christians.
*Mothers who are raising their children as Christians in non-Christian places.


Malaysia: Pastor’s Whereabouts Still Unknown

Pastor Raymond Koh of Malaysia began taking his daily devotional time very seriously. “He was going for prayer walks early in the morning for like three hours,” said his wife, Susanna. “Also he was memorizing large chunks of the Bible, and he would tell me, ‘Oh, I just finished memorizing 1 Corinthians 15.’ I was thinking he was really a great example to follow.”

Perhaps Pastor Koh sensed that a time was coming when he would need great spiritual strength and a close walk with the Lord. That time came in February 2017 when three SUVs forced his car to the side of the road, removed him from the car, and kidnapped him. His family has not seen him or his car since that day.

The pastor’s family is having a difficult time dealing with not knowing where he is. “It’s been a terrifying journey,” said his daughter, Elisabeth. Her younger sister Esther and their brother Jonathan also miss their father. They believe he was kidnapped because he told others about his faith in Christ.

Security cameras filmed the kidnapping, which was carried out expertly in less than one minute. The Kohs later found out that the police had taken part in the kidnapping.

You Can Help
The Kohs would like Christians around the world to help them find out where Pastor Koh is. “Pray, pray, and pray for Raymond’s release as soon as possible,” Susanna said. “Secondly… be a voice [for Raymond] and speak out.” Click here to see how you can send a letter of encouragement to the Kohs, and a letter or email to the Malaysian embassy. Please read the suggestions about writing to government officials here.

(Sources include vomradio.net)

Photo: The Koh family before Pastor Koh disappeared. Photo credit:FB/Everybody Loves Raymond Koh