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Bangladesh: Praise and Promise

Bangladesh

Meaningful Names
In Bible times, parents gave their children names with special meanings. Sometimes the names described how God was working in their family or their nation. For example, Samuel, meaning “heard by God,” was an answer to his mother’s prayer. Moses, who was drawn out of the water, had a name that means “drawn out.”

Today some parents in Bangladesh also give their children names with special meaning for Christians. Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) once met some Bangladeshi children named Praise and Promise.

Praise is 7 years old, and Promise is just a baby. Their father’s name is Stephen, and their mother’s is Anjali. (See Pastor Stephen’s photo at right. His eyes are covered to protect his identity.) The boys’ names show that their parents love God and trust in Him.

Pastor Stephen
Praise and Promise’s father is a pastor. Five years ago, Pastor Stephen started a school in a poor village in Bangladesh. The 120 students at the school get a free meal every day and a free education. Even though most of the people in the village are not Christians, Pastor Stephen soon gained their respect.

But not everyone was happy with Pastor Stephen. Some did not like having a Christian witness in the village. One day, six men beat up Pastor Stephen while he was walking home, then they ran away.

Other villagers found Pastor Stephen and took him to a hospital. Soon doctors sent him to another country for better treatment. Pastor Stephen’s jaw was injured, and he could barely speak. He prayed, saying, “God, I must be able to speak so that I can give glory to You.” God is answering his prayer, and his speech is getting better.

VOM contacts visited Pastor Stephen and talked with him. Many pastors in Bangladesh don’t have enough money to buy Christian books. The contacts gave him books about other Christians who had been persecuted for their faith. Pastor Stephen smiled in thanks. Then they gave him a children’s Gospel storybook, He Lived Among Us, in the Bangla language. Pastor Stephen laughed with joy! Now he would have a Christian book to share with Praise, Promise, and the other children in the village!

The village? Yes, Pastor Stephen plans to return to the village where he started the school and where he was beaten. He says he has forgiven the men who attacked him, and he is praying they will meet and accept his Friend, Jesus. He continues to praise God and to believe His promise to never leave or forsake him. His sons’ names are a reminder to him every day.




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