Rocks in Church and a New Roof

Pebbles

A team of Christians recently traveled to a country where Christians are not always treated well by the government or by non-Christians. A report from the team said:

“At one church we visited, they did not have a roof. The neighbors would go up on their taller building and throw rocks into the church. The rocks hit the Christians during their worship services. The team of visitors bought metal for a roof, and the church had a new roof the next day!”

“It is incredible to see how much they appreciate such small things we take for granted!” the report said.

(Sources—Story: Vision Beyond Borders / Photo: Steve Shattuck, Flickr.com)

To Think About: Would you keep coming to church if rocks were falling on you during the service?


Countries in the News

China

Xinjiang, China: Did you know that millions of Muslims live in China? Xinjiang [SHIN-jyang] is in western China. About 8 to 10 milliong Uygurs [WEE-gurs] live there, and most of them are Muslims. A few days ago, police raided a house church in Xinjiang and took away more than 70 Christians.

Learn more about Christians in Xinjiang in the book Bold Believers Among the Uygurs, free in the Downloads section of this site.

Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia. (Do some research to find out what “doubly landlocked” means.) Police are raiding house churches in Uzbekistan, too. Open Doors has named Uzbekistan one of the top ten countries on its World Watch List of persecuting countries.

Learn more about Christians in Uzbekistan in the book Bold Believers in Uzbekistan, free in the Downloads section of this site.

Turkey: A U.S. commission is recommending that Turkey be named a “country of particular concern.” Turkey does not have religious freedom for non-Muslims, the commission says.

Learn more about Christians in Turkey in the book Bold Believers in Turkey, free in the Downloads section of this site.

Pray for Xinjiang, Uzbekistan, and Turkey.


Anong

LaosMother and child in Laos

The Voice of the Martyrs recently learned about a Christian school teacher in a communist country who is standing for the truth in a difficult situation. The teacher, Anong, takes care of her elderly parents with the money she earns at her job. She also pays for her younger brother to attend college. At her church, she teaches children and youth.

Anong was pleased when the principal at her school told her that he wanted to give her a raise. He said that the government would also pay for her to get more education.

But then she learned that the government expected something from her in return. Officials said she must stop being a Christian! If she did, she would receive their rewards. If she did not give up her faith, she would lose her job and get nothing. “I will not deny Jesus,” said Anong. “I believe God will help me, and he prepares good things for me.”

The Voice of the Martyrs will help Anong. Thank God for Anong’s faithfulness, and pray for her and her family.


Ying’s Story

BurmaA young girl from Burma

Ying lives in Burma where most of the people are Buddhist. One day, a traveling Christian preacher came to her town and began sharing the gospel with Ying’s neighbor. Ying overheard the preacher talking. She drew closer to hear more, and she began asking him questions. Ying thought about his answers and later gave her life to Christ.

Ying lived with her Buddhist aunt because her mother died when she was very young, and her father left her. After Ying became a Christian, she began attending a Bible school to learn how to be a missionary. But one day, her aunt and cousins locked her in the house and refused to let her go to school. They told her if she does not quit being Christian, they will not feed her anymore, and they will beat her and send her to a faraway village where there are no Christians.

Ying ran away from home to follow Christ and left her relatives behind. The Voice of the Martyrs is helping her start a new life. But she needs prayer to stay strong.

Read Matthew 19:29. Why might this verse be a comfort to Ying?


Update on Laos Orphans

Laos

The Voice of the Martyrs received a report posted in November about an orphan in Laos who became a Christian. Ten more children at his orphanage then trusted in Christ. The orphans were warned by the director of the orphanage to stop attending church.

Seven of the orphans agreed to quit going to church, but did not deny Jesus. The remaining four orphans continued to go to church, risking being kicked out of the orphanage with nowhere to go.

VOM received an update on the orphans this week. The report said:

“The boys are still attending church each week even though they have to slip away one by one on Sunday mornings from the orphanage/school. They are stopped from leaving the school if they try to leave as a group.

“While some of the boys initially stopped attending church out of fear, they later decided to ignore the threats to be kicked out of school and came back to church. There have been no recent threats by the school officials against the boys so we hope that the officials have given up and will just ‘look the other way.’

“Prayers are still appreciated as this could change at any time, but for now things are quiet. All but one of the boys are orphans so they need prayer as they face an uncertain future once they graduate and have to leave the school.”