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If God is Calling You, Go!

Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently interviewed Will Hart of Iris Global, a missionary organization. Read part of their interview below to learn about Will’s advice for future missionaries.

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited and condensed for length and clarity.)

Todd: Welcome to The Voice of the Martyrs Radio. We are in the studio today with Will Hart. Will, thanks for being with us.

We have listeners who are sensing a call to go to some other nation and serve the Lord. How would you advise them? I am especially thinking of young people. [Will you] advise them or give them some next steps?

Will: One of the things that we do is we train up missionaries in our organization. We partner very closely with a lot of organizations. We are friends with YWAM. If anybody is looking to go, I would encourage them to get training. Get equipped to the best of your ability.

But at the end of the day, who is Jesus inside of you? Do you really love Him? The things that keep me going, the things that keep me continuing to give my life away are purely out of love.

We are compelled by love of Jesus to give our lives away for the sake of the gospel. Yes, get training. Go and get the best training from the best, whoever that is. But nothing will replace the positioning of yourself amongst the poor, the sick, the needy, and the broken.

This is not a light thing, knowing that the missionaries have been hurt. But if you are one of those that has the calling of the Lord, [you go]. At 17 years old, I had been saved for only six months. God spoke to me so clearly, that there wasn’t anything that could stop me. And I moved to Paraguay. I only had $200 a month that was coming in, and I had failed Spanish three times in high school. But I would walk the street and I would watch God move.

Go to the “Ask a VOM Worker” section in the archives of this site to read more advice for Christian youth.

Ask a VOM Worker: Prepare to Serve


A VOM worker who has five children ages 3 to 14 was asked the following question.

Q: How can kids prepare to serve God in the future?

A: Children should begin to pray now that God will guide them to a place where he can use them to make a lasting impact for the kingdom, wherever that is. It may be somewhere outside of the United States, or it might be in their hometown. But wherever it is, I think each one of us has a circle of influence that we can use for his glory. Praying for that is really a good place to start.

Comment: Do you have a question for a VOM worker? If so, leave a comment in the Comments section of this post.

Encouraging Words

Read 2 Timothy 1:6-7

[Photo: Children in Burma praying]

A VOM worker shared the following encouraging words at VOM chapel recently. After you read them, share them with someone who might need encouragement.

At the beginning of 2020 none of us could have predicted or even imagined what the spring would bring to pass not only in our country but around the world. We may be tempted to think that these are indeed dark and difficult days. Much of our certainty has been stripped away by an unseen virus, economic uncertainty and even social instability.

Each one of us, as followers of Jesus, have been given gifts to be used in order to bring glory to God in our daily lives. These gifts are not only for the good times in our lives, but should also especially be used in the difficult times to glorify our Father and to see His Kingdom advanced in the darkest corners of our world.

Fear is not the spirit we have been given by our Father. In one way, we at The Voice of the Martyrs have a unique opportunity to see this lived out in the daily lives of our brothers and sisters on some of the most difficult mission fields in our world. I am reminded that they are not “super-Christians” but simply faithful brothers and sisters who have taken God’s Word to heart. May we be encouraged and may we be challenged by their life and witness.

When I first began working in Burma, about 20 years ago, my life was changed by the life of John, my first friend in Burma. John wanted to show me some of the villages where our team would be working, doing evangelistic work. That morning before we left for the villages, John asked if we could pray together. He prayed a simple prayer, “Dear Lord, we place our lives in Your hands to do with as You will. We pray only that You might be glorified.” When we got up off our knees I knew that something had changed in me. God had filled my heart with trust and with confidence. I still pray that prayer daily.

These days have given us a fresh connection to the brothers and sisters we serve, who must depend on God daily for the provision of their needs and the confidence to carry out the work He has for them.

As we walk through these uncertain days, may God truly give us a spirit of love, power, and self-control, and may His spirit give us the courage and the confidence to walk through any trial or uncertainty with boldness, believing that He has us in the palm of His hand.

Coronavirus Concerns in Africa

[Photo: African girl reading a children’s Bible]

Brother Jeremy is The Voice of the Martyrs’ deputy regional director for Africa. VOM’s Todd Nettleton recently interviewed Jeremy on VOM Radio. Jeremy talked about Christian work in Africa during coronavirus concerns. Read part of their interview below.

Todd: Right now, the overwhelming concern seems like in the whole world is coronavirus….How is that affecting the ability to really get out and see the people we work for around the world?

Jeremy: Well, for Africa right now most of the borders are closed, so it is difficult at this time. One of the things which is really core to who VOM is as a ministry, which is an encouragement to me, is they will say don’t take any unnecessary risks, but take every necessary risk. Meaning that despite the inconveniences, despite even potential sacrifices of getting to these places, if our brothers and sisters in Christ are being persecuted, to serve the local church we will take those risks to be there with them. We will get back as soon as we possibly can.

Todd: I got a picture this week of one of our local staff in Nigeria with a mask on to protect against the virus, but still out delivering aid to Christians who had just been the victims of an attack and encouraging them, praying with them, delivering help to them with a mask on in the midst of the virus. So as you say, our work certainly goes on.

Jeremy: There has been a countrywide lockdown which has resulted in roads between states being closed. People are being required to stay in their homes most days of the week. But yet, that hasn’t stopped the militants from continuing to attack villages, predominately Christian villages throughout the North. You could say the virus has made the people more vulnerable in the sense they have had to stay indoors. In many ways they are sitting ducks. The militants come in, often times late at night….attacking homes, burning down homes, and targeting churches…

Todd: How can our listeners pray?

Jeremy: One thing we can be in prayer for are our teams in Nigeria. With COVID, of course, there are unique challenges in how to respond to the situations that are taking place. But their commitment is incredible. It is incredible for the communities they are serving in. They are still distributing relief. They are taking every opportunity they possibly can to serve the church, to minister to those in need….

But our teams are not only providing for their physical well-being but their spiritual care, their emotional care. So our teams continue to see them and to encourage them. Pray that our teammates would have wisdom in how to speak into their lives and to encourage them in the Word and support them.

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

Who Works at VOM?

Martyrs’ wall at VOM headquarters

The Voice of the Martyrs’ workers visit Christians in other countries to empower, equip, and encourage them, bringing Christ’s hope through Bibles, medicine, shelter, training, and aid.

The following is part of an interview by Todd Nettleton of  with Jonathan Ekman, The Voice of the Martyrs’ Vice-President of International Ministries. (Edited for length and clarity.)

Todd: One of the questions I get asked sometimes is, “How can I come and work for The Voice of the Martyrs?” How would you advise someone who wants to work for VOM?

Jonathan: Our staff is about 65 people — 25 nationalities based in 24 countries. I often say we are never your first job in missions; we are usually your last. Our workers have 10 to 20 years’ experience in the field.

I would say if you’re a young person and you think God is calling you to this, go to YWAM or Operation Mobilization, or your denomination’s mission sending agency. Pour out your life on the field for the sake of the kingdom to see people come to Christ from every nation, tribe, and tongue.

Todd: I think we hired somebody this year who speaks five languages. Am I right about that?

Jonathan: Four. We told him to work on the fifth. A lot of our workers are responsible for multiple countries. They may not speak the language of every country, but they are certainly cross-cultural communicators. They are definitely people who are prepared for that.

It’s a very challenging job, but for the right people, it’s a dream job to be able to go and sit at a table with a “rock star” of the kingdom and to be able to impact their work.

Todd: They make some pretty significant sacrifices to do that work.

Jonathan: Sure, it’s a sacrifice. Our workers will spend 80 to 100 days a year in the field, and these are not easy places to travel. But at the same time, it’s also a tremendous joy. So we don’t talk much about sacrifice, especially because of the people we work with. Compared to the people we meet, we are not sacrificing anything.

To read more thoughts from VOM workers, go to the “Ask a VOM Worker” section of the archives.