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Sara: Still Thankful

A previous post told the story of Sara Gomez, a 14-year-old in Colombia. Searching for meaning in her life, Sara joined a violent group called FARC. [Photo: A FARC fighter]

After a time, Sara left the group. She got married, had four children, and finally found meaning in following Christ. Today she shares the gospel with youth and others who need to hear the Good News of Jesus.

Lockdown Problems
Recently, FARC members took advantage of the lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis. They decided to find and attack former members of FARC who had left the group and had become Christians. They knew that fewer soldiers were on duty during the lockdown, so probably no one would stop their search. FARC members began going from house to house to look for Christians.

Sara and her family quickly fled the area. They are sleeping in a church until it is safe to go home. Sara told a VOM worker that she is thankful because “she has not been hungry or without shelter.”

To Think About
Can you find things to be thankful for in hard times?


Eritrea Mural Bookmarks

Church murals in Eritrea

If you have a map in your house that was made before the 1990s, Eritrea will not be on it. Eritrea became a separate country in the early 1990s. But independence does not mean religious freedom for many Eritrean Christians.

“As far as encouraging people to pray, I think Eritrea is [a country that needs prayer],” said a VOM worker.

Men, women, youth, and even young children have been arrested at Christian gatherings.

Pray for Eritrean Christians.

Mural Bookmarks
Some churches in Eritrea are known for their murals depicting people from the Bible. Find patterns for mural bookmarks to use as prayer reminders here.

 

 


Gospel Train Ride

Islam, the religion of Muslims, is very strong in North Africa. Sometimes Christians are scared to talk to Muslims about Jesus, because it could be dangerous. So, one Christian teacher has an interesting way to teach his Christian students how to witness for Jesus.

The teacher takes the students to a city seven hours away by train. The students sit in the back of the train car to watch and learn. Then the teacher plays his guitar and sings Christian music. When Muslim passengers start to complain, he tells them why he is singing and what God has done for him in his life. The passengers become interested and ask him questions. By the time the train ride ends, the teacher has witnessed to many Muslims and the student has a desire to share the gospel, too!


Preaching Ban and a Birthday

Officials in one province in China have banned pastors from putting their sermons online. Many churches had switched to livestreaming their sermons because the government is closing churches.

The leader of China, President Xi Jinping is trying to increase his control over all religions. On June 15, President Xi will turn 67. Will you pray for him and his country on his birthday?

*Pray that President Xi will think about his relationship to God and be drawn to salvation through His Son Jesus.
*Pray that members of closed churches will stay strong in their faith.
*Pray that all people in China will have the opportunity to learn the truth about Jesus and His love for them.

Read more about the restrictions on Christians in China here, here, and here.

Find more prayer suggestions in the book Bold Believers in China, available in the free Downloads section.

Click here to find out about Christian persecution in China and how to pray.


Sewing Masks, “Saving Lives”

A post on The Voice of the Martyrs’ icommittopray.com website last year told about a group of women in Sierra Leone. (Sierra Leone is a country on the west side of Africa.) After the women gave their lives to Christ, their families kicked them out of their homes. The women had nowhere to live and were not able to provide for their children.

VOM is helping the women through a program that teaches them to sew. After graduating from the program, the women start businesses as tailors.

Serving the Community
Communities are thankful for their new tailors. Read below what a Christian friend of VOM said about one of the women. (From VOM sources, edited for length and clarity.)

“I visited one of the women who graduated from the sewing center to see how she was doing. She shared her testimony with me that she is able to take care of her two children despite the outbreak of the coronavirus. She is the only one sewing face masks for the five villages around her.

“The chief in the village told me that she is not only making clothes for them, but contributing in saving their lives through the provision of face masks. They didn’t have access to masks as there are no health centers around them.”

To Talk About
The women are earning the respect of their neighbors through their sewing skills. In what ways might this help in the spreading of the gospel?