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Joshua: A Ugandan Kid of Courage

Joshua

“I was taught from when I was young that Christians are not good people,” said Joshua, a 10-year-old boy in Uganda. “So I would approach them with caution.”

But then one day, Joshua’s older sister came home and said that she had become a Christian! Joshua’s strict Muslim father invited his relatives to come to their house. The relatives took turns punishing Joshua’s sister, but she stood firm in her faith in Christ.

Joshua became quite fearful of his father after that. But then he decided to act despite his fear. “One day I made a decision in my heart and simply started going to church,” said Joshua. “I just targeted one Sunday and ran to church. I understood everything that was said, and I learned how to make my own prayers, which was not the case before.” (Muslims pray certain memorized prayers five times a day.)

When Joshua’s father discovered that his son had become a Christian, he again invited relatives to the house to beat one of his own children — this time it was Joshua. For three months, Joshua’s father and uncles beat him when he returned home from church. “But I always went back home after church until they gave up,” said Joshua. “My family threatened not to give me school fees to attend school, but I have never stopped going to school. I still live at home with my parents.

“I love church, and Christians are good people and very friendly. I am still learning, and now with this Bible [given to him by VOM workers], I will have something more to read.

“My parents love me, but they keep threatening me about my faith in Christ. Pray that I remain strong in the Lord and help my friends to know Christ like me.”

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited for length and clarity.)


Who Works at VOM?

Martyrs’ wall at VOM headquarters

The Voice of the Martyrs’ workers visit Christians in other countries to empower, equip, and encourage them, bringing Christ’s hope through Bibles, medicine, shelter, training, and aid.

The following is part of an interview by Todd Nettleton of vomradio.net  with Jonathan Ekman, The Voice of the Martyrs’ Vice-President of International Ministries. (Edited for length and clarity.)

Todd: One of the questions I get asked sometimes is, “How can I come and work for The Voice of the Martyrs?” How would you advise someone who wants to work for VOM?

Jonathan: Our staff is about 65 people — 25 nationalities based in 24 countries. I often say we are never your first job in missions; we are usually your last. Our workers have 10 to 20 years’ experience in the field.

I would say if you’re a young person and you think God is calling you to this, go to YWAM or Operation Mobilization, or your denomination’s mission sending agency. Pour out your life on the field for the sake of the kingdom to see people come to Christ from every nation, tribe, and tongue.

Todd: I think we hired somebody this year who speaks five languages. Am I right about that?

Jonathan: Four. We told him to work on the fifth. A lot of our workers are responsible for multiple countries. They may not speak the language of every country, but they are certainly cross-cultural communicators. They are definitely people who are prepared for that.

It’s a very challenging job, but for the right people, it’s a dream job to be able to go and sit at a table with a “rock star” of the kingdom and to be able to impact their work.

Todd: They make some pretty significant sacrifices to do that work.

Jonathan: Sure, it’s a sacrifice. Our workers will spend 80 to 100 days a year in the field, and these are not easy places to travel. But at the same time, it’s also a tremendous joy. So we don’t talk much about sacrifice, especially because of the people we work with. Compared to the people we meet, we are not sacrificing anything.

To read more thoughts from VOM workers, go to the “Ask a VOM Worker” section of the archives.


Brothers Remember the Prisoners

Hebrews 13:3: “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.”

SDOK (Stichting de Ondergrondse Kerk) is a ministry in the Netherlands that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs family of missions. Stef is SDOK’s children’s publication and website.

Vinco and Bernando, brothers in the Netherlands, learn about persecuted Christians from Stef. The boys made a jail cell to remind them to pray for Christian prisoners around the world. “We often pray (almost daily) for people who are in prison,” the boys wrote to Stef.

You can see the story about Vinco and Bernando on the Stef website here. (The story is in Dutch, the language of the Netherlands.)


Remember to Pray

It’s not too late to begin the habit of praying for persecuted Christians in 2019.

Read about the coloring book prayer calendar made by Canadian kids here. Pray for persecuted Christians like you would want someone to pray for you if you were in a difficult situation.

You can download the calendar here.


The Next Generation of Believers

KOC

Message from a VOM Supporter

“When I talk with parents about persecution, a common concern they share is their hesitation to share this with their children. Many parents are afraid it might confuse or frighten their children. They worry that knowing about persecution might discourage their child’s young faith from growing.

“But what I have experienced is the complete opposite. If presented properly, it does not upset children, but builds up their faith. It triggers a loving response in them because they feel a connection with other Christians and want to reach out to them. This builds up their understanding of unity.

“The message of the persecuted church is not a message of hopelessness and fear, but of Christ empowering his followers with overcoming faith and strength.

“Read 2 Timothy 1:8. What an awesome way to impart to our children the fellowship of the body, and not just teach it to our children, but to live it with our children. What a tremendous opportunity we have to build up the next generation of believers!”