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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).

 


Camps for Persecuted Kids

Nigerian teen

Christians in Nigerian are experiencing numerous attacks by Fulani Muslims attackers and Boko Haram terrorists. At times, Christian children are injured in the attacks.

Some of the kids had lived in the same houses since they were born. They watched as terrorists burned down their homes. Others saw family members attacked.

Do you think that some of the kids were angry and sad? They were. The Voice of the Martyrs sponsored camps for teens who needed help getting through their anger and sadness.

The teens made friends with other kids at the camp who were also sad and angry. Together they worked to understand the Bible’s lessons about forgiving enemies. The camp leaders hoped the teens would also learn that they did not have to see revenge against those who persecuted them.

VOM workers said, “Pray that they will continue to find peace in Christ and share their eternal hope with others in their community.”

(Source: icommittopray.com)


Nigeria: Melody and Marvelous

James and Marvelous

Will you pray for Melody and Marvelous?

Melody is 3 and Marvelous is 7. The Voice of the Martyrs is helping their family with rent, school fees, clothing, and medical care. But they still need prayer.

Last year, Melody had to spend two months in the hospital. She needed surgeries to help her heal after a bullet struck her during an attack on their village in Nigeria. (She is mentioned in the story here.) The militant Muslim attackers also hit Marvelous on the head and knocked her unconscious.

Melody

The girls’ father, James, stayed by their side through their recovery. But their mother, Mary, died in the attack. James and the girls were very sad. They lost Mary, and they lost their home. The attackers moved into the Christians’ homes and took the villagers’ land. James and the girls lived in a camp for displaced people for eight months.

A VOM worker is counseling James and other Christians who suffered in the attacks. “I feel like I have people who care for me,” he said. But forgiveness for the attackers will take more time.

James asked for prayer for himself, Melody, and Marvelous. “Pray that God will strengthen us and make us strong in our faith and provide for our desires,” he said.

(Source: The October 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

Find out how to write a note of encouragement to Nigerian Christians at persecution.com/NotestoNigeria.