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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’ 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?

Petr’s Encouragement

Petr with another Christian prisoner

Petr Jasek was the leader of The Voice of the Martyrs’ work in Africa. While he was helping persecuted Christians, he was arrested by the police in Sudan. For 445 days, he remained in prison, forced to share a cell with Muslim terrorists part of the time.

After his release, Petr began serving as VOM’s Global Ambassador. He travels around the world, encouraging Christians to help and pray for persecuted believers. His new book, Imprisoned with ISIS, tells about his experiences in Sudan.

Recently, Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio talked with Petr about his imprisonment. Petr compared his time locked up in prison with the situation of people sheltering at home during the coronavirus.

Read some of his comments below. (Edited for length and clarity.)

Petr said:

Now in many countries we are locked down with this quarantine. We have more time to spend with our families, and that is beautiful that we have that time as Christians. But I would like to encourage people to spend even more time with their Lord and His Word.

In one sense it reminds me of the situation that I was in when I was in solitary confinement. I could not do activity that I would normally be doing. But now in the similar situation there are many activities that I would like to do and I can’t do them.

But I have a choice how I want to use my time. Of course I can use it to read the Word of God, pray, or listen to the audio Bible. Or I can get distracted easily by paying attention to the more or less same news about the disease that is spreading around. The difference is that I have the choice now what I want to do in my time.

I would like to encourage [Christians] to really spend more time with our Lord and His Word, so that we could be prepared to better serve our persecuted brothers and sisters, to be better tools for His kingdom. You know, if we will abide in Christ we can certainly bring better fruit. What is the best fruit that we as Christians can bring in this world? This is obvious that we as Christians should multiply ourselves by making disciples.

If we will abide in Christ, abide in His Word, abide in His church and His Body, and abide in the intimate relationship with our Lord, then we don’t need to be worried about future. We don’t need to worry about the bad news around us. And we don’t need to be afraid even about persecution that is increasing. We know that we are in our Lord and He will never allow us to go through anything that He would not prepare us for.

I would say my main intention in writing my book was to show that we serve the great sovereign Lord. If we commit our lives into His hands, we do not need to worry about anything and we can trust the Lord, and He will support us.

(Petr’s book, Imprisoned with ISIS, is available here. Please preview before sharing with younger children.)

Cuba: Coronavirus Difficulties

[Photo: A boy in Cuba]

(From The Voice of the Martyrs’

While many churches around the world have moved their services online because of the coronavirus pandemic, Christians in Cuba do not have that option. Since very few people have access to the Internet, Christians have been completely without worship and fellowship.

“People are in fear of being visited by others,” a VOM worker said. “Many also live in homes where not everyone is a believer.” In addition, Christians are concerned about future restrictions the government may impose and how they will have to adapt their teaching and worship services.

In general, Cuba is experiencing increasing violence and anxiety. Cubans must wait in long lines for food, many are without work, there is no public transportation and there is a lot of theft. According to contacts around the island, food is the hardest thing to find. Pray for Christians in Cuba.
Click here to find out about Christian persecution in Cuba and learn how to pray.