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Flames of Love

Richard Wurmbrand
Richard Wurmbrand

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, was imprisoned for a total of 14 years in communist Romania for spreading the gospel. He talked about winning persecutors to Christ.

Pastor Wurmbrand once said,

“Once when a house was on fire, a man threw a cup of water on it, only to see it burn to the ground. The man then said, ‘Water does not extinguish fire.’”

Pastor Wurmbrand continued, “That’s ridiculous! A cup of water does not quench it, but fire engines with water hoses do.

“The little love we have shown until now has not succeeded in bringing tormentors to Christ. Flames of love might very well succeed.

“The fact is, I was once a crucifier, till an encounter with God’s all-forgiving love changed me. If I can be transformed, others can too.

“I will dedicate my life to this.”

To Think About: How might someone show only “a little love” to unbelievers? Whose love changed Pastor Wurmbrand? What did Pastor Wurmbrand mean when he said, “Flames of love might very well succeed”?


Palindrome Week

Today’s date — 9-19-19 — is a palindrome. The dates of every day this week have also been palindromes.

Palindromes read the same forward and backward. Some sentences that are palindromes are:
Step on no pets.
Madam, in Eden I’m Adam
Live not on evil.

Click here to read about places in Nigeria with names that are palindromes, and about life for Christians in Nigeria.


Shot by Terrorists

Niger

This month, The Voice of the Martyrs is celebrating five years of God’s goodness in allowing VOM Radio to present stories of persecuted Christians. The story below is from one of the most powerful on the program.

Brent and Shelley Teague, missionaries in West Africa, shared the story  of when Brent was shot by radical Muslim al-Qaida terrorists in Niger. The story below is from the interview with Brent. (Edited from the original for length and clarity.)

Brent: I really shouldn’t be alive. I was going up to a village 90 miles north of the capital city of Niamey in Niger. And I had a couple of Bible students with me and their families, and we had three children in the car.

And these al-Qaida operatives were in another vehicle that came alongside our vehicle in broad daylight and opened fire with a machine gun through the driver’s door. So the first bullet went through my knee, and the second bullet went through the shin of my leg. It just missed the main artery by about a millimeter, but I was in pretty bad shape.

Then they [took control of] our vehicle and followed it in theirs. They took us off road and robbed us. I ended up in the middle of the desert, and I honestly had no hope for survival. They discussed finishing us off, but the commander decided not to waste the ammunition; they thought I was going to die anyway.

I was praying. At first I was really questioning God, why He permitted me to be in the situation I was in, and then I realized I’m going to be seeing Jesus soon. I need to have a better attitude. So then I just started worshipping the Lord and thanking Him for saving me and for all he’s done in my life. And thanking Him for the privilege of serving Him, and then is when I started praying for Shelley and my two daughters.

But God did a miracle. I should be dead. I was laying in the desert praying, getting ready to go to heaven when the Lord spoke to me and told me that my mission wasn’t over on earth. And the miracle is that there was an anonymous phone call to the federal troopers’ office ….in the capital city telling them that I’d been shot, that I was critically wounded, giving them the location where I’d been dumped in the desert. The miracle is that phone call came 30 minutes before I was even attacked. Otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten to me on time. I don’t know how God did that, but it happened.

There were 12 other attacks that same year in that same area. I’m the only driver that survived the attacks.


Is Suffering Good or Bad?

The following Chinese legend illustrates how events that seem “bad” or “good” might not turn out that way.

One day, a poor farmer’s horse got loose and ran into the hills near the farm. The farmer depended on the horse to do work. His family and neighbors said, “Oh, that’s so sad. What a terrible thing to happen!” The next week the horse came home, leading a herd of wild horses to the farm. Instead of one horse, the farmer now had many!

The farmer’s son began to train the wild horses to do farm work. But while he was taming them, he broke his leg. He could no longer help his father with the work. “What a terrible thing to happen!” everyone said.

A few days later, the army came and took away every healthy male youth to fight with them. The farmer’s son was not allowed to go because of his broken leg. He was able to help his father on the farm when he healed.

Read the story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis. Can you think of a time when something that seemed bad or good turned out to be the opposite?


Cuba: House Church Stands Firm

 

Have you ever attended a lock-in with a church group? If so, did you play games, watch movies, and have devotions. Would you like your church to have a lock-in every night?

A church in Cuba had something like a lock-in for several days in a row. The church met in a garage that was donated to church members. They had been meeting in the building for eight years, but the government began pressuring them to close the church.

When the Christians continued meeting, government workers came to destroy the small building. But they stopped when they saw that church members were inside. Since the authorities wouldn’t tear down the building when people were there, church members decided to stay in the church day and night to prevent the destruction of their meeting place.

To Think About
What would you do if you and your friends at church had to stay in a small building for more than a week? How would you stay strong and not get discouraged?

Note: The church’s situation was resolved and the members continue to meet together. Praise God for the faithful Christians.