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Christian Prisoner Released!

Join us in praising the Lord: VOM Regional Director for Africa, Petr Jasek, has been released after 445 days in prison in Sudan.  Thank you to all who prayed for Mr. Jasek and his family during his long imprisonment.

Mr. Jasek, who has much experience and training in hospital administration, has assisted VOM in delivering aid to displaced and suffering Christians in Sudan and Nigeria. While his work has always been humanitarian in nature, the Sudanese government has sought to characterize him as a “filmmaker” who was conspiring against the Sudanese state.

Mr. Jasek was arrested in December 2015 and held for eight months before charges were filed in August 2016. After a lengthy trial, Mr. Jasek was given a long prison sentence. Two men charged with him, Hassan Abduraheem and Abdulmonem Abdumawla, both Sudanese, were sentenced to 12 years each. The main charge against them was “aiding and abetting” Petr’s alleged “spying.” Please continue to pray for the two Sudanese men, one of whom is a pastor, who are still being held.

John and Betty Stam

“Dory” is a VOM worker who visits China to encourage Christians. Dory is related to John and Betty Stam. The story below and the video tell about the Stams and what Dory found out about them. Please preview the video before showing it to children.

John and Betty Stam knew that China could be a dangerous place for missionaries in the 1930s. Chinese communist soldiers were attacking Christians. But John believed that God was calling the couple to share the gospel in the land where “a million [people] a month pass into Christless graves.”

In 1934, a month after John and Betty arrived at a new mission station in China with their baby, Helen Priscilla, communists came to kidnap them. Betty served tea to her kidnappers before she and her family were taken away.

The kidnappers told John to mail a ransom letter from a post office. The postmaster asked John, “Where are you going?”

“We don’t know where they’re going,” John said of the kidnappers. “But we are going to heaven.” He was right, for soon the kidnappers killed him and Betty. Their baby was rescued and brought up by relatives in the United States. Many young people who heard the Stams’ story gave their lives to God’s service as missionaries.

(Sources include By Their Blood, by James and Marti Hefley)

Maggie: Assyrian Refugee

Syrian refugee girls

Many people in Syria have left their homes to live in safer places. VOM workers visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon and met Maggie, a 12-year-old girl.

Maggie was helping her mother make coffee one day, and she accidentally burned her leg. Her parents had no money to take her to the hospital. They were embarrassed because they could not get her the help she needed.

One of the VOM workers who discovered Maggie’s situation said, “We went to the emergency room and found a doctor who had a merciful heart.” The doctor agreed to let the workers pay less than the usual fee for Maggie’s care. “We shared with him then about Christ, and he was open to a short conversation,” said the worker.

“We went back home, and Maggie was relieved from her pain,” the worker continued. “We followed up with the family for a week to make sure Maggie was recovering. During that week we shared with the family about Christ. The mother was really touched that they saw the love of Christ through our actions.”

To Talk About
•    Maggie came from an Assyrian family. Assyrians have experienced persecution for many years because enemies have associated Assyrians with Christianity. But some Assyrians are no longer serious about their Christian faith.  How did the VOM workers help Maggie’s family think more about Jesus and His love for them?
•    What are some other ways Christians can encourage each other in their faith?

Working in Vietnam

Children at a VBS in Vietnam

Are you too young to be a mission worker in another country? Maybe not! Read the quote below from a VOM worker.

“You can be an international missions worker without ever leaving your knees. I remember speaking with a strong leader from Vietnam. He said, “’When you pray in America, you are working in Vietnam.’”

Join missionaries and VOM workers in their work. Pray for persecuted Christians in other countries.

Syria: The Attack That Didn’t Happen

Syrian city after an attack

In Syria, Muslim terrorists have attacked and bombed homes, churches, and entire cities. Read the story below, told last year by a Syrian pastor. The story is about an attack that didn’t happen.

God is working in a mighty way in Syria. We have a special protection from the Lord.

One day, terrorists announced on Facebook that they wanted to attack Damascus [the capital of Syria].  They said about 30,000 of them were ready to attack as soon as they finished Friday prayers at 1 p.m.

It was a very terrible day in Damascus. We woke up very early and prayed and fasted until noon. It was a sunny, June day.

At 1 p.m., thousands of Muslims entered they mosque and started to pray. [A mosque is a building where Muslims worship.] Suddenly the weather changed from sunny to cloudy, in one minute. They finished praying at 1:15. They went out into the street shouting and started walking toward Damascus.

Then it started raining — not just raining, but hailing huge hailstones. It was the first time that had happened in Syria in many, many years.

After 15 minutes, no one was left in the streets. All of them ran away. Even the TV station took a picture of the hail and showed it on the evening news, saying, “God fought with us.”

Many Christians in Syria right now are choosing to stay, and it’s difficult. You can stand beside us through prayer.