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God’s Prisoner: The Story of Richard Wurmbrand

God's Prisoner

Richard and Sabina sat in a concert hall filled with pastors, priests, and bishops. One by one, they stood up and praised not God, but a government leader who hated the church.

Sabina leaned over and whispered, “Richard, so many pastors are afraid to stand up for God.”
“If I take a stand, I may be arrested,” said Richard. “This is not the time to be afraid,” replied Sabina.

Richard stood up and walked to the stage. “How can we obey a government that closes our churches and won’t let us own a Bible? We must defend our God!”

The crowd stood up. Some shook their fists and yelled at Richard. Others cheered his courage to stand up for Christ. Richard knew that the police could arrest him any day.

The excerpt above is from God’s Prisoner: The Story of Richard Wurmbrand available at VOM Books.

Note: Pastor Wurmbrand was arrested, and he spent a total of 14 years in Romanian prisons before leaving the country and starting the ministry which later became The Voice of the Martyrs.

No Tests for Christians

Christian youth in Laos

Many students do not like to take tests. But what if your school refused to let you take a test? And what if you needed a good grade on the test to pass to the next grade?

Earlier this year, the leaders of a village in Laos refused to let three girls take their final exams at school. Two of the girls are 15 and one is 14, and they are Christians. The village chief said they had no right to continue their education because they believe in Jesus.

A Christian adult in the village began discussions with the chief and school officials to try to help solve the girls’ problem.

Pray for Christian students in Laos.

Source: iCommittoPray

Starting Over in Chiapas

Some Christians in Chiapas, Mexico, are forced to leave their homes and villages by people who do not agree with their biblical beliefs and practices.

Watch the video below that shows Christians working to rebuild in a new location after they were expelled from their village.

See a previous story from Chiapas.

“Demonstrate Bold Faith”

Keri Aeschliman
Keri Aeschliman

“I’m a child of the living God, saved through the Blood and Righteousness of Jesus Christ. The Lord has given me, as He has given every believer, a story to tell to the world; and that story is called the Gospel. It’s the reason why I sing, why I write, and why I live.” — Keri Aeschliman

Keri Aeschliman was about 13 years old when she learned that Christians in many countries are persecuted for their faith. “It humbles me,” said Keri. “It gives me a bigger version of what the church is. It changes the way I think about church. I realize my experience of church is not what everyone else’s is. It comes at such a high cost for some to worship.”

Keri is now 19. She lives with her family on a farm in Ohio where she helps with harvesting, planting, and keeping the books. Keri enjoys singing; playing the piano, harp, and mountain dulcimer; and attending a Bible study. Recently Keri and her two younger brothers spent several days doing volunteer work at VOM headquarters in Oklahoma.

When Keri was 15, she started a fiction story for a school assignment. The story’s main characters were four friends from a church in America. “I started to get more ideas, and the story just got longer and longer,” Keri said.

The story turned into a book called “In Paths of Righteousness” which will be published this fall. “It is set in the late 1880s and follows the life of a teenage boy and his search for God,” said Keri.

Some of the book’s characters experience persecution when they stand firm in their biblical faith. “I personally think the church is always persecuted to a degree,” said Keri. “Satan is always active….There is always going to be opposition to the truth, and when this opposition rises, do we stand back, pretend we’re not looking, and let it happen? Or do we hold firmly to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and speak out? We have the opportunity to demonstrate bold faith. Let’s pray for the strength and courage to do just that.”

During her visit to VOM, Keri offered the following advice for Christian youth. “Keep your focus on Christ. Be willing to lay aside your desire for His will….It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions this world has to offer. Get rid of idle time and spend more time with the Lord in prayer and reading Scripture.”

Sources: Personal interview and Keri Aeschliman’s blog

Shamil: Beaten with His School Book

Central Asia
VOM workers pray with the family

Shamil was in trouble at school. The teacher of his class in Central Asia wanted him to memorize verses from the Quran, which is the Muslim holy book.

But Shamil and his family are Christians, even though most of the people in their country are Muslims. They became Christians after his mother, Laila, found a crumpled piece of paper under a bench. She unfolded it and saw that it was a newsletter that told stories of Christians.

In her search for more stories like the ones in the newsletter, she first discovered a relative who was secretly interested in Christianity. Then she visited a church where she heard and accepted the good news of Jesus. Soon the rest of Shamil’s family also trusted in Christ.

At School
Shamil’s school used a textbook called Introduction to Islam. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) When Shamil did not recite Quran verses well, his teacher hit him on the head with the book!

Shamil did not tell his family about the incident for a while, but the beatings at school grew more serious. In addition, other children in the village pointed at Shamil and his brothers and yelled, “Christian! Christian!” as an insult. The youngest brother had scars on his head after Muslim children threw rocks at him.

Laila talked to the parents of the children who threw the rocks. But the parents said it was fine for their children to bully Laila’s kids, because Laila’s family worshiped “another God.”

“Christ is worth it!” Laila said of her family’s hardships. “Blessings follow suffering. After we suffer, we receive new blessings from Christ. We follow Christ’s example. He suffered, and so we will also suffer.”

To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity. Some faces are covered to protect the identity of Christians at risk.