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Prisoner Surprises Letter Writers

To Dinh Trung
To Dinh Trung

To Dinh Trung, a Vietnamese Christian, was in prison in Vietnam several years ago for sharing the gospel. The Voice of the Martyrs told readers about him in the VOM magazine. Many Christians prayed for Trung and wrote letters to Vietnamese officials on his behalf.

Trung had been to prison more than 20 times. Government officials did not want him to minister among tribal groups. On one of his trips to share the gospel with members of the K’ho tribe, police officers pulled him off his bicycle and arrested him.

The prisons where Trung was locked up were miserable places. “I was in an isolation cell about two meters square,” Trung said about one of his prisons. (Two meters is about 6.5 feet.) “It was very dark and dirty with no windows. They did not allow me to bring anything inside. The mosquitoes could freely bite me. The smell was terrible. I could not bathe. I got a high fever.”

While Trung was in prison, his wife and three children were left to care for themselves. Clearly Trung had many reasons to be eager about leaving prison.

Then an unusual thing happened. Because of the concern of Christians around the world, Vietnamese officials agreed to let Trung out of prison early.

But he wasn’t ready to leave! He had taught many prisoners about God, and he felt he needed to stay and teach them more about following Christ. Perhaps the letters and prayers of other Christians strengthened him enough to remain in prison and teach the prisoners.

Trung finished his prison sentence, was released from prison, and continued to serve the Lord.

To Dinh Trung’s story is told in the book Jesus Freaks, revised and updated edition. Parents and teachers: The new Jesus Freaks is available here. Please preview the stories before sharing them with younger children.


A Jesus Freak in Colombia

When Luis was 10 years old, he and his brother hid under a bed while a violent rebel group called FARC (rhymes with “dark”) attacked their village in Colombia. The attackers took Luis’s father as a hostage before they left town. Thankfully, Luis’s dad was freed after a few hours, and the family escaped the area together.

Luis gave his life to Christ when he was 13. He felt God’s call to help villages that had suffered violent attacks. So he bought books, games, and other items, and he took them to his old village, which was still a dangerous place. In addition to gifts for children, Luis also brought New Testaments and gave them to police officers, soldiers, and rebel fighters. “I told them, ‘Jesus still loves you despite all the pain you have caused,’” Luis said. “I thought, ‘If I die, I die with Christ'”

Now Luis is a pastor. “I’m not scared,” he said. “I have a call from God.”

Source: Jesus Freaks, revised and updated edition. Parents and teachers: The new Jesus Freaks is available here.  Please preview the stories before sharing them with younger children.


Praying for Muhammad and Covered Ladies

Ibrahim, a pastor in Iraq, says that many Muslims are seeking the truth. “A lot of people are turning away from Islam,” Pastor Ibrahim said. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Ibrahim encourages Christians to pray for more Muslims to come to Christ. He told VOM workers about one way his Christian friend prays for Muslims.

Ibrahim said, “My friend told me, “When I wake up, I don’t just pray for Muslims. Instead I say, “Lord, everyone whose name is Muhammad, please come to him.”’ So he is going to be praying for 20 percent of Muslims.” [Muhammad is the man who started Islam. Many Muslims name their sons after him.]

“We can also pray for every covered lady, ‘Please Lord, show yourself to her.’ So we are praying for 40 percent of Muslims.” [Strict Muslims believe that women should cover themselves in robes and scarves in public.]

To Think About
Pastor Ibrahim’s friend thought of a way to pray for Muslims. He prays for everyone named Muhammad, and for “covered ladies.” What are some other ways you can pray for Muslims?


Gabrael Finds New Hope

(Source: VOM Australia)

Gabrael was born into a Muslim family in Malaysia. Sadly, his mother left the family when Gabrael was a baby. His father has three wives. (Islam, the religion of Muslims, teaches that men can be married to several women at the same time. Learn more here.)

After hearing the gospel, Gabrael trusted in Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He agreed to be baptized. Then he called his father and told him he was no longer going to follow Islam. His father was angry and began yelling at Gabrael on the phone. Gabrael was startled and hurt. But he still wanted to be baptized.

On the day of his baptism, Gabrael was excited. A VOM worker said, “There was so much joy in his face and his eyes sparkled. He gave the biggest ‘yes’ when he publicly confirmed that he wanted to be baptized.”

Gabrael decided to attend a Bible study with other former Muslims. He hopes to become a pastor someday and to reconnect with his father.


Kicked Out of the House

Peng and Sa are friends. They live in Laos, where many people are spirit worshipers. But Peng is a Christian. She explained her faith in Christ to Sa, and after several conversations, Sa accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

When Sa’s parents learned that she was following Christ and attending church, they yelled at her. Sa remained firm in her faith, so then her parents took all her clothes and threw them outside! “Go live with the Christians,” they told her.

Now Sa is staying with Peng and her mother, who is a widow. Pray that Sa will continue to grow in her faith, and pray that God will bless Peng and her mother for their faithfulness and hospitality. Pray also that Sa’s parents would hear the gospel and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior just as their daughter did.

[Source: icommittopray.com; Photo: Sa]