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Where is Raymond Koh?

In February 2017, three SUVs forced Pastor Raymond Koh’s car to the side of the road in Malaysia, removed him from the car, and kidnapped him. His family has not seen him or his car since that day. You can read more about them in this post.

The 2017 abduction wasn’t the first time the pastor had faced persecution because of his faith and service; he had previously received a box of bullets in the mail, warning him to stop his ministry work.

Early in 2019, Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission issued a report blaming the kidnapping of Pastor Raymond and others on the “Special Branch” of Malaysia’s police. But to date, no one has been held accountable, and Pastor Raymond’s whereabouts and condition remain unknown.

You and your family can visit ReleaseRaymond.com and sign a petition calling for Pastor Raymond’s release and for the disclosure of all information the government has about his abduction. The petition will be delivered by VOM to Malaysia’s embassy in Washington, D.C.

“I pray that a growing chorus of voices from around the world will lead to Pastor Raymond’s freedom and to a full explanation for his abduction,” said VOM Radio’s Todd Nettleton. “The criminals should be brought to justice, even if they wear police uniforms. And I hope that Susanna and her family will be encouraged by knowing that members of Christ’s body around the world are standing with them.”

Note: For security reasons, the Malaysian government will only receive your first name, last initial and country of residence.

(Photo: The Koh family before Pastor Koh disappeared.)


Internet Troll Finds Jesus

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

Amir was not a Christian, and he had a rude hobby. At his computer in Iran, he would get on the Internet and make comments that started arguments. “I was very pleased and happy with myself when I caused trouble and problems,” said Amir.

One day, he found a Christian website where visitors could post comments. “As usual, I started to mess up the discussion by typing silly things and insulting all the other commenters,” he said.

The administrator of the site answered Amir’s insults and replied, “No matter what you say, God still loves you, and there is a reason you are here tonight.”

“I began to listen,” said Amir. “Their love and respect touched my heart. Now I am taking online Christian classes. My life has changed. I practice kindness and gentleness every day.”

Source: Iran Alive Ministries, edited for space and clarity


The Missionaries and the Snake Bite

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited and paraphrased from the interview)

Ron Morse’s parents, grandparents, and other relatives were missionaries, and Ron grew up on the mission field. He faced situations that challenge us to be willing to do difficult things to share Christ.

One day, Ron, three of his cousins, and his uncle decided to go to a village in Thailand to tell the people about Jesus. The villagers were part of the Lisu tribe. Ron grew up among Lisu people and knew their language. But the missionaries had not visited this particular village.

“We were wondering if we were going to be allowed to enter the village,” said Ron. “We knew the culture, we could communicate, but we didn’t know these people.

“I Am Going to Die”
“We were praying,” Ron continued. “Within five minutes, a woman walked past, carrying a baby in a small basket, and weeping.

“‘Why are you crying?’ we asked her. ‘I am going to die,’ she answered. ‘A snake bit me. I need to take my baby home, and then I probably am going to die.’

“‘We have a snake bite kit,’ we told her. ‘Would you like us to help you?’

“She was a little hesitant, but we went to her house. She washed her foot where the bite was. Then her husband showed up and said, ‘What are you doing in my house?’

“‘We can help your family,’ we said. We got out the snake bite kit, but realized that the bite was on her middle toe. If you look at your toes, you will see that the middle toe is bony and has very little flesh around it. A snake bite kit operates on a vacuum, a suction. The toe had nothing for it to suck against.

“‘This isn’t going to work,’ we thought. ‘She’s going to die, and it will be blamed on us.’

“‘Lord, what shall we do?’ we prayed. My uncle said, ‘We will have to take turns and suck the venom from her toe. Wash your mouth out when you are done.’

Preaching the Gospel
“So we took turns. We were using mouth-to-toe resuscitation.

“Well, she lived. And that evening, the whole house was filled, and we were able to preach the gospel. ‘Why are you here?’ they asked. ‘What is your message?’ The Lord had opened a door.

“So don’t ever minimize the opportunities that God brings your way. All I can say is to be prepared for the unexpected and the unusual, because God has a great sense of humor.”


What Happens Next?

Each year, The Voice of the Martyrs distributes more than 1 million Bibles in countries where Bibles are illegal or very hard to find. But what happens after the Bibles are in the hands of persecuted Christians?

Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio talked with Dr. Mike Ansari, who partners with VOM in sharing God’s Word with people in Iran. Read part of their conversation below. (Edited for length and clarity.)

Todd: Mike, I want to ask a question. There is a person in prison in Iran right now for distributing Bibles that Voice of the Martyrs bought. You helped us connect with this person. We provided the Bibles, you provided the connection; they provided the manpower to get the Bibles into the hands of Christians who needed them.

You and I are sitting comfortably right here [at VOM headquarters]; they are sitting in a jail cell. How do you personally process the fact that the work you are doing is going to put people in danger? It is going to put people in prison. How do you think about that? How do you pray about that?

Dr. Ansari: Todd, it is a bittersweet experience. You definitely do not want to put anybody in danger. But you have to realize that the individuals who have just become Christians, they are on fire for Jesus. Half the time they are just out there proclaiming the gospel to everybody.

This particular individual happened to be one of them who was and still is on fire for Jesus, even while she is incarcerated. She helped with distribution of Bibles that were funded by The Voice of the Martyrs to be sent into the country. Many people came to know about Jesus through her, and now she is serving her sentence.

There is a joy in her heart, even now that she is serving. She still sends messages indirectly to us that say, “I don’t regret anything. There is a joy in my heart and if I could do it again, I would do it.” In fact, in prison she is evangelizing others, as well.

Learn about VOM’s “A Bible for Every Believer” goal here.

Will you pray for those who risk their freedom when they distribute or smuggle Bibles?


Joel

Joel
Joel

(From the Kids of Courage archives.)

Three-year-old Joel was walking home on a Sunday after church in Nigeria. Radical “Boko Haram” Muslims spotted Joel, grabbed him, and made him sit down. They saw a children’s Bible in his hand and demanded that he give the book to them.

Joel refused to let go of the Bible.

One of the men took it from him by force and threw it into a fire burning nearby. Joel ran to the fire and tried to get his Bible out of the flames with a stick.

But a Boko Haram attacker knocked Joel to the ground. Joel was injured, and after the radicals left, he was taken to the hospital where he began healing from his wounds.

“Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright” (Proverbs 20:11).