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Thank You Note Day

December 26 is National Thank You Note Day. On that day, many people write thank you notes to friends and relatives who gave them Christmas presents.

Read below some suggestions for writing additional thank you notes.

  1. Go to www.PrisonerAlert.com and find out how to write a note to a Christian in prison for their faith. Thank them for encouraging other Christians to serve God no matter what the cost.
  2. Is there someone in your community who faces obstacles as they tirelessly serve God and others? Send them a note thanking them for their service.
  3. Thank someone who has helped you grow in your faith and in your desire to be a strong witness for Jesus.

Be Bold and Wise

Brother Jeff, a recent guest on VOM Radio, is a Christian worker in Muslim countries. He offered suggestions about sharing the gospel with people in other places — or even in your own hometown! Read some of his suggestions below.

1. Be bold [and wise] in sharing the gospel, even in hard places.

2. If you go with just blind boldness, you are not going to reach your neighbor, you are just going to offend them.

3. To find a balance between wise and bold, we really need to listen to the Holy Spirit in our lives.

4. Pray for boldness and wisdom.

5. Build friendships, but be bold in your friendships, saying, “This is who Jesus is in my life. I’d like to introduce you if you are interested.”

6. When you see a Muslim, don’t be afraid to go up and say hi. [Always ask a mature Christian adult to go with you when you talk to someone you don’t know.]

7. Muslims usually don’t mind you praying for them. When I go into a Middle Eastern restaurant where most likely the staff are Muslims, I will say, “Hey, we are about to pray for our meal. How can I pray for you?” Often they will tell you something that you can pray for. I pray with them about whatever need they are sharing.

8. Ask people, “What is your story?” [Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, said, “More souls are won by listening to people than by speaking to them.”]

9. Keep growing in your own faith.

10. Pray that we won’t be distracted by all the many other things that are great opportunities, but are not what God has for us if we are going to be effective in reaching people.

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness)


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


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 prayer suggestions below, and choose one to pray for today.

Algerian children

Prayer request: Some children in Algeria can no longer see their dad. After he became a Christian, their mom’s family made her leave him and take the children with her.
Prayer: Dear Father God, please be very close to the children in Algeria who cannot see their dad anymore. Please bless their hearts as they miss their dad very much and he misses them. Help their dad trust You. Give him Your hope, strength and great love. Please help the children and their mom believe in Jesus and see their Dad again. Help their mom’s family believe in Jesus too. Thank you. Amen.

Iranian parents and child

Prayer request: A child’s parents were taken from their home by the police because the parents love and follow Jesus. The dad’s name is Amir Taleipour and the mom is Mahnaz Harati.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help this child not be scared but to trust You and know Your love more than ever before. Set the mom and dad free from prison so they can all be together again. Help the mom and dad trust You to look after their child, as they must be so worried. Keep them all safe. Fill their hearts with Your love. Help the police believe in You too. Amen.

Girl in Uzbekistan

Prayer request: Pray for youth in Uzbekistan who are forced by police to sign papers that tell lies about their pastor. The police also tried to force a woman named Lolakhon Umarova to say bad things about her pastor. She said “No,” so the police made her family throw her and her son out of their home.
Prayer: Dear God, please help the boy and his mother to find somewhere safe and nice to live. Please fill the Christian youth in Uzbekistan with Your power, love and truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Find more about Christians in Iran, Uzbekistan, and Algeria in Bold Believers books, available in the Downloads section.

 


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.