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This Month

Parents and Teachers
The February 2020 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine tells stories of Christians who spread the gospel in places where it is almost certain that they will be persecuted for obeying God’s command to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).

VOM president Cole Richards says: “In this month’s magazine, you will meet several of our Christian brothers and sisters who serve sacrificially and joyfully on the front lines of mission fields in hostile and restricted nations. May we never fail to partner with them through our prayers and gifts, and may we be inspired by their examples to be bold witnesses for Christ.”

The issue includes stories and updates from Indonesia, Vietnam, Nigeria, North Africa, India, and Jordan. You can share stories of Christians in these countries from the magazine and this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Related Resources
* To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide includes information about Christians in the featured countries.
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight several of the countries here.
*Find a lesson plan for India here.
*Watch video clips about Christians from several of the countries in the Video section of this site.


Eritrea: Hard Times and a Birthday

(From VOM Sources and icommittopray.com)

“Our families are in deep suffering here,” said a Christian in Eritrea. Almost 50 children of Christians in Eritrea have been left without adult caretakers because their parents have been sent to prison. Hundreds more Christians are also in prison for their faith.”

“The country is becoming worse and worse,” said another Eritrean Christian. “[There is] no electricity, little Internet connection….All phone calls are being monitored closely.”

The leader of Eritrea is President Isaias Afwerki. He has been president since 1993, and February 2nd will be his 74th birthday. Under his rule, Christians from churches not registered with the government have often been mistreated. Christians have been arrested during prayer meetings, at weddings, off the street, and even during family devotions in their homes.

Please pray for Eritrean Christians, and pray that God will change the hearts of Eritrean leaders.

[Photo: Twen, a prisoner in Eritrea. Send her a note of encouragement by following the instructions at prisoneralert.com.]


John Chau’s Story

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

Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently interviewed Dr. Mary Ho, the leader of All Nations, a Christian ministry that sends workers on missions around the world. (See the previous post.) Dr. Ho talked with Todd about John Chau, a 26-year-old missionary who gave his life on earth in November 2018 while trying to take the gospel to an isolated tribe on an Indian island. You can read parts of their conversation below.

Todd: Some people think that John just sort of woke up one morning and decided to go to North Sentinel Island — that he was a thrill seeker and totally unprepared to go.

Dr. Ho: John was actually one of the most prepared missionaries I have ever met.

Since he was 18 years old, he knew that God had called him to share the love of Jesus with the North Sentinelese. He knew it was dangerous.

When he went to college, he majored in health, in sports medicine, because he wanted to prepare himself to go to the North Sentinelese. He got himself trained in wilderness training, emergency medical training. He went to the Summer Institute of Linguistics to get trained in linguistics.

He would read 40 to 60 books a year on anthropology to prepare himself. He worked at a national park so he could physically train. He could climb high mountains and swim in the seas. He did short term mission trips to places like Iraq and South Africa.

One of the reasons he came to All Nations to get training was, first of all, he wanted prayer. We trained him in how to make disciples, how to live among the people, and how to share Jesus in a way that does not impose our culture, but to really live out Jesus among them. We also put him in touch with others who had gone on similar missions in that part of the world.

Todd: John didn’t wait to get involved in missions until he went overseas. Even when he was training in the United States, he wanted to share Christ with people around him. Let’s talk about North Sentinel Island where John went. What is it going to take to get the gospel to the North Sentinelese people?

Dr. Ho: First of all, I think it’s going to take a lot of prayer. Since John passed away, I hear of prayer groups and churches rising up and praying for the North Sentinelese. Also I think it has stirred up many hearts to take the gospel to the North Sentinelese. I believe that John’s life has opened the door to the gospel, and I don’t think it will be very far off before we celebrate there being lovers of Jesus among the North Sentinelese.

To Talk About
*In what ways did John Chau prepare to be a missionary?
*Read posts on this site about how to prepare to serve God. Name five ways suggested in the posts in this section.


VOM Radio: Dr. Mary Ho

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

Adoniram Judson, William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Gladys Aylward, Lottie Moon, Amy Carmichael, Elisabeth Elliot. What do these names have in common? All are names of missionaries who served the Lord far from their homes. They shared the Good News of Jesus with people who may never have heard it if the missionaries had not come to their countries.

[Photo: Sharing the gospel. The Christian’s face is covered to protect his identity.]

But not everyone appreciates the work of Christian missionaries. Some governments do not allow missionaries to come to their countries. Even people in the missionaries’ own country may not approve of them. “Missionaries aren’t held in high regard by many in our culture,” said VOM Radio’s Todd Nettleton. “Some people accuse missionaries of forcing their values on other cultures or serving their own interests.”

Changed for the Better
Todd recently interviewed Dr. Mary Ho, the leader of All Nations, a ministry that has started churches in many countries. Dr. Ho was born in Taiwan, and she grew up in Africa. “In my country, missionaries were the ones that built the first schools, started the first hospitals. They brought literacy and writing,” Dr. Ho told Todd.

“Now there are thriving churches in Taiwan, but it is because of the many men and women of God who over the centuries have given up their homeland, their families, to come to Taiwan to share the gospel. I know some of them were martyred, and some of them were stoned. Some of them never went back to their homeland.

“When you read about modern medicine benefiting the people, or girls getting an opportunity to get an education, it is usually through missionaries who have counted the cost and paid a great price to come and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God and its reality to that place.

“Jesus came to change our lives and He came to give us life. My life was very, very changed for the better when I met Jesus,” Dr. Ho told Todd.

“That is how I see missions, because I received from it. My country has received from it. Many parts of the world have received from it.”

To Talk About
Can you name five things Dr. Ho said missionaries have done in her country and around the world? Thank God today for his servants who are willing to serve Him wherever He calls them.


Pray When You Are Cold

China
Children in China. The banner says, “The Savior Lord gives grace.”

[From the Kids of Courage archives]

Read 2 Corinthians 11:27 and 12:9-10.

Mr. Lu, a Christian from Asia, visited workers from The Voice of the Martyrs. Mr. Lu told the workers stories about persecuted Christians in his country.

One of the workers, Lorena, told about listening to Mr. Lu speak.

“I was cold,” Lorena said. “Normally I don’t get cold easily. But for some reason, the morning Mr. Lu was with us, I was cold. It was beginning to bother me. It’s hard to concentrate on what people are talking about when you’re shivering cold!

“Then Mr. Lu began to talk about a Christian in Asia. The Christian felt called by the Lord to collect clothes and to give them to the poor and needy. He was arrested and beaten [for doing Christian work].

“The police took the heaters from his house. The temperature was minus 14 degrees Celsius where he lived, and he had no heat!” [Minus 14 degrees Celsius is about 8 degrees Fahrenheit.]

Lorena continued, “I asked the Lord to remind me in my freezing cold state to pray for the Christian and his family and many others like him who are unnamed.”

“Pray,” said Lorena. “Pray if you’re feeling uncomfortable today, if you’re cold, hungry, or discouraged. Or if you have a headache or a stressful situation, ask the Lord to use it to remind you to pray for those who suffer for their faith in restricted nations.”

(The names of some of the people in the stories and some identifying details have been changed to protect their identities.)