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A Bible Smuggler in Iran

Airport security

Patrick K. is a Bible smuggler. A few years ago, Patrick talked with VOM’s Todd Nettleton at Read the story below that Patrick told Todd about his smuggling team taking Bibles into Iran, a country where most of the people are Muslims.

The first time I went into Iran, I had about 80 Bibles in my bag….and I had never been into Iran. I didn’t know what to expect. I prayed, “Lord, I need help.” I called people back in the United States and asked them to pray.

We arrived in Tehran [the capital of Iran] at 2:30 in the morning. We could feel the oppression in the air and the fear. A man said to us, “Come over here. We have to check your passports.” We went with him, and he said, “We have to fingerprint you because you’re Americans. Come with me; I love America.”

You know, all those things you hear about Iran and about how the people hate us. Well, not true.

The man fingerprinted us, and we laughed and joked with him. I looked, and there was nobody by the X-ray machine. By the time I got there and got our bags, a man stepped out of nowhere. He said, “Put your suitcases on the X-ray machine.”

My heart was pounding fast. I thought, “What’s going to happen to me? Are they going to shoot me?” As we loaded the suitcases on the machine, the man asked, “Are you tourists?” We said, “Yes.” He asked, “From where?” We said, “We are from America.” He said, “You’re from America? I love America. Take your suitcases off the X-ray machine. You can go right through; you are Americans.”

What I do now is pray before I go through the border that God will wake up people in America and around the world — that Christians will be praying.

(Source: Edited for clarity and length.)

To Think About
What are some of the things you can pray on behalf of Bible smugglers?

Extreme Quarantine

Whether kidnapped, imprisoned, or enslaved, Torchlighters heroes persevered under difficult trials. Can you name faithful Christian heroes who made the best of “extreme quarantine”? For example, Corrie ten Boom was imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II. She used her time to minister to others and even led Bible studies.
(Source: Torchlighters Facebook. Edited and adapted)

Other “quarantined” Christian heroes featured in Torchlighters DVDs include the following.

*Richard Wurmbrand was imprisoned in Romania for a total of 14 years. He witnessed to both prisoners and prison guards, leading several to Christ. (After his release, he started The Voice of the Martyrs.)

*St. Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and enslaved. He used the time in captivity to grow strong in his walk with God.

*During his time in prison, John Bunyan wrote his most well-known book, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

*In her prison diary, Perpetua encouraged and challenged believers to walk more fully with the Lord.

*Born as a slave, Harriet Tubman trusted in God and prayed for His justice and freedom. She rescued her relatives and others from slavery.

(The Bible also tells stories of people who were enslaved or imprisoned but continued serving God. Can you think of some?)

If you haven’t seen the Torchlighters DVDs, they are currently available for streaming free here, or you can buy a set of the DVDs here.

Helped by the Police

The story below is from the April 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. To subscribe to the free monthly magazine, visit the subscription signup page.

When Tran ran out of storage space in his small home, he moved several boxes of illegally printed Bibles to his sister’s apartment, stowing them under her bed until he could distribute them in the Vietnamese highlands. His sister, who is not a believer, called him in a panic one evening after a friend who works for the police stopped by unexpectedly and asked her about the boxes.

Thinking fast, she told her friend the boxes contained educational materials for her brother, who was a teacher. Still, she worried that the Bibles would be discovered. “Tran, come pick up your Bibles!” she told her brother. “It is very dangerous now!”

Tran chuckles as he recalls piling the boxes on his small motorbike in the middle of the night and hoping the police would not stop him. Although he did get stopped, the police officer merely warned him that his boxes could come loose and cause an accident. He then helped Tran tighten the ropes on the boxes of Bibles before waving him on.

Pray for creative ways to distribute God’s Word in restricted countries. Pray that authorities will remain blind to these distribution efforts.

[Photo: Delivering Bibles in Vietnam]

This Month

Parents and Teachers

The April 2020 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine features examples of Christians who use creative ways to distribute God’s Word in restricted countries. Also included are reports of persecution in India, Laos, and Pakistan.

VOM president Cole Richards says in the magazine’s editorial: “The harder [the Bible’s opponents] try to stomp out the fires of the gospel’s power and message, the more those embers will spread….

“The need remains great, as there are still more than 20 nations in the world where significant numbers of Christians do not have a Bible because of persecution. However, no government or group is succeeding is defeating our Bible smuggling operations….

“It is my prayer that this magazine will lead you into a greater understanding of how close we are to seeing…the fulfillment of Habakkuk 2:14 — ‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’”

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.

Sharing God’s Love in Uncertain Times

During a time of quarantine and uncertainty, the coronavirus has opened up ways to spread the gospel. Some of the countries most affected by the virus so far are countries where Christians face persecution every day.

In one Muslim country where many people are sick, Christians are handing out masks and helping people who are quarantined. Sometimes people ask the Christians why they are helping others. Then the Christians tell them about Jesus’ love and how He helps us overcome fear.

The Chinese government has set up many cameras with face-recognition software to track the daily lives of Christians and others. They have cracked down on Christian activities. But Christians in parts of China now feel more freedom in their activities because the cameras are less likely to identify them if they are wearing masks.

As you make decisions about dealing with the coronavirus for your own family, please remember to pray for your Christian family around the world as well.

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs Facebook)