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10 Quotes from 2017

The following quotes were shared with workers from The Voice of the Martyrs during 2017. Most of the quotes were shared by Christians from countries where believers are persecuted.

1. The prayer of a Christian in Burma (Myanmar): “Give me the gift of martyrdom if I am counted worthy.”

2. A Christian in the Middle East was arrested and taken to the police, who beat him. He said to them, “I’m sorry you had to leave your wife and children to come on a weekend to beat me. God loves you.”

3. A former Muslim proclaimed his new faith in Christ on Facebook and received threats. He said, “It’s worth it.”

4. A Middle Eastern Christian said, “Jesus suffered not only on the cross but He suffers daily when His people suffer.”

5. A VOM worker said, “Faithfulness and obedience in ordinary things can allow ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”

6. Helen Berhane, a persecuted Christian from Eritrea said, “The cure for the world is the gospel.”

7. Dr. Andrew, a Christian from the Middle East, said, “I am going to give a news flash to you: Muslims will not bite you when you talk with them. They are just normal people like us. The only difference is that we had the blessing of becoming Christians and to know Christ, and maybe they are on the way to get there. Don’t be afraid of them because, after all, they are just human like us.”

8. A Christian was asked why he has a program to feed starving people in a non-Christian country. He said, “If people are dead, you can’t evangelize them.”

9. A man who has talked to people in prison for spreading the gospel in Asia said, “I haven’t met one person in prison who has said, ‘I want to stop preaching Christ now.’”

10. A former Muslim from Iran said, “If we ask God what His plans are for the Middle East, He will not say, ‘I don’t know.’ We have to have His heart, know His plans, and we have to join Him. The people in Iran are rejecting Islam. They are open to anything else. Whoever gets there first will win their hearts.” [Islam is the religion of Muslims.]

(Source: VOM workers and contacts. Edited for length, clarity, reading level, and security.)

To Do
Choose five of the quotes above and say them in your own words. How many of the quotes do you agree with?


10 Quotes from Christian Heroes

*Don’t bother to give God instructions; just report for duty. — Corrie ten Boom

*God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. — Augustine

*Do with me as Thou wilt. Do anything that will fit me to serve Thee and help my beloveds. — Amy Carmichael

*He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. — Jim Elliot

*I have a powerful Savior. He will do what is best for me.” — Richard Wurmbrand

*My prison has become a palace! — Perpetua

*Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, with all the zeal you can. — John Wesley

*The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music. — Martin Luther

*Believe with all your might all He has said in His holy Word. —William Booth

*In the dust of defeat as well as the laurels of victory, there is a glory to be found if one has done his best. — Eric Liddell

(Source: The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book and DVD set, available at VOMBooks.com.)

To Do
Choose five of the quotes above and say them in your own words. Describe situations in your own life in which each quote could be an encouragement to you.


More Witnessing in Dangerous Places

A pastor and his wife were the leaders of a church in a Muslim country. Many Christians in their country have to worship quietly in homes or other secret locations.

The pastor’s wife made a special commitment to God. She vowed to speak to someone about Jesus every day. Sometimes she forgot her commitment until just before midnight and had to get out of bed and go find someone to talk to!

One day, she and her husband were driving through an area where radical Muslims lived. The Muslims were known to become violent at times. The couple stopped to buy something to drink, and they saw a man watching them. The man had a beard like those worn by radical Muslims.

“I’ll give him a Bible!” the pastor’s wife said to her husband. “No,” her husband answered. “Can’t you see he’s a fanatic Muslim?”

They returned to their car and started to drive away. “On Judgment Day, I will say you wouldn’t let me give the man a Bible,” the pastor’s wife said. So the pastor turned the car around. “Okay, we’ll give him a Bible if he’s still there,” the pastor said, hoping the man had left.

But the man was still standing there, and still watching them. Fearfully, the pastor handed the man a Bible and began telling him about Jesus. And the man began to cry.

“Did I say something wrong?” the pastor asked.

“No,” the man answered. “Six months ago I heard about Jesus on TV. I’ve been looking for a Bible ever since. I believe God was telling me that today I would be given His Book by a man. When you stopped here the first time, I believe God was saying, ‘This is the man who will give you My Book.’ But you left, and I was so sad — I thought it might have been my imagination that God was speaking to me.”

To Talk About
Do you think the pastor and his wife should have given the man a Bible even though it might have been a risky think to do?


Witnessing in Difficult Places

A Farsi Bible

Do you ever wonder how you can tell others about Jesus and His love for them? VOM workers learned about a woman who did not know how she could possibly serve the Lord and spread the gospel.

The woman was very old.
She could not read or write.
She could not drive herself to places to meet new people.
And she live in Iran, where most of the people are Muslims.

But God helped her find a way to share her faith.

She asked a friend to highlight parts of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) in the Bible. Then she took the Bible with her on a public bus. She knew that younger people in Iran respect older people. She said to a young woman on the bus, “My friend has given me this book. Will you please read it for me? As the younger woman began to read aloud, the older woman said, “I’m hard of hearing; can you please read louder?” The younger woman read louder, and everyone on the bus heard the Word of God.

When people on the bus showed interest in the verses from Matthew, the older woman gave them her phone number so she could talk to them more about Jesus later on the phone.

As the new year approaches, will you ask God to help you find ways to share His Word with others during the next year?


Celebrating Christmas

Iraqi child celebrating Christmas

The following post was adapted from the writings of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. Pastor Wurmbrand died in 2001.

Historians are not sure of the exact date of Jesus’ birth, or of the reason December 25th was chosen to celebrate it. Pastor Wurmbrand suggests a reason persecuted Christians might have chosen December 25th.

(The post has been edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

Pastor Wurmbrand said:

Jesus surely was not born on December 25th. The Bible does not tell us the date.

In the Roman Empire, the 25th of December was a holiday celebrated in honor of the sun. Perhaps the Christians chose that day to celebrate Jesus’ birth. With others also celebrating on that day, the Christians’ celebration would be less noticeable to authorities who persecuted them for following Jesus.

But the Christians did not just celebrate Jesus’ physical birth. They celebrated the daily miracle of Jesus’ birth in the souls of those who had accepted Him as Savior.

Jesus was born in a stable and put in a manger. Jesus does not belong in a manger. The place he longs for is in our hearts. That is where He wants to live.

When He is born in my heart, that is the real Christmas.

Celebrate Christmas in this sense.

(Source: Reaching Toward the Heights by Richard Wurmbrand)