Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of people in a country where civil war has driven more than 750,000 Christians from the country. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.
Published on September 10th, 2019
Recently, Todd Nettleton of vomradio.net interviewed Brad Phillips, a Christian worker in Sudan. Brad ministers among the people of the Nuba Mountains where Christians and others are often bombed and attacked by enemies. Many ministries have left the dangerous region, but The Voice of the Martyrs is still there, providing health care and encouragement to the people.
Brad told the following story about Pastor Morris, a Christian leader in the area.
Morris, as a Christian leader, has a lot of people who love him, and he has a lot of people who are jealous of him and hate him. He had a lot of problems with one of his neighbors, who is a Muslim.
Morris has seven children. One day he came home and found out that his 18-year-old daughter had been attacked by the neighbor’s son. She was bleeding and bruised.
The neighbor and his son were taken to court and found guilty of assault. Nobody has any money there, but the judge ordered the neighbor to pay a fine. The fine would be about $20 in U.S. money, but to those people, it might as well have been $20,000. If he didn’t pay, he would go to jail until somehow the fine was paid, which might be a long time.
Morris did not delight in the judgement against his neighbor. [See Proverbs 24:17.] Instead, he saw an opportunity to spread the gospel. He talked to his daughter and said, “We have this opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ. I can pay that fine if you will let me.” His daughter agreed, and they paid the fine.
(Source: vomradio.net. Edited for length and clarity.)
Published on September 9th, 2019
Morris is a pastor in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where the government of Sudan has dropped thousands of bombs since 2012.
One morning after an attack, Pastor Morris packed some soap, food, shoes, and clothes. He was going to jail. But he had not done anything wrong.
He planned to visit Muslim prisoners of war. The Muslims had been caught after they attacked Pastor Morris’s friends and neighbors. They were the enemy.
Pastor Morris’s son did not understand his father’s actions. “Are not these the people who are bombing us from airplanes and killing our people?” his son asked him as he packed. “Why are you taking them food to help them survive when they are killing us?”
Pastor Morris answered, “My son, this is because Jesus says we have to love our enemies.” The hearts of some of the Muslim prisoners are starting to change. The prisoners ask Pastor Morris, “Pastor, could you come again and share what you are sharing with us? We have never heard about these things before.” Pastor Morris is willing to help them find the truth.
Pray for Pastor Morris and the Muslims he meets. Pray that his son will also understand Jesus’ command to “love your enemies.”
Published on September 6th, 2019
Pastor Morris, a Christian leader in Sudan, told workers from The Voice of the Martyrs what happened after 20 pastors were kidnapped by soldiers in his country.
Published on September 5th, 2019
Pastor Morris and his wife, Cabina, live in a four-room home in Sudan with no indoor plumbing, no electricity and no cell phone service. The area where they live has been bombed many times by Sudanese government soldiers who want to remove all Christians and non-Arabs from the region. Morris and Cabina take care of orphans who have lost their parents in the fighting.
Morris is also the pastor of a church. And he helps VOM help distribute Bibles and Christian materials; provide medicines for sick people; and give blankets, clothing, and food to Christians who have been driven from their homes by the attacks.
So Morris and Cabina host an average of at least two dozen people in their simple home every day. Cabina not only cooks and cleans for their daily house guests, she and other women feed and make clothing for the orphans. “[There is no one to] care for them, she said.
Morris and Cabina know that life is easier and safer in other parts of the world, but they are committed to serving Christ where He placed them. During a trip to the U.S., a fellow traveler asked Morris why he planned to return to Sudan. “Why don’t you stay in America?” the man asked. “How can I stay in a comfortable place while my people are dying?” Morris replied. “I will go back to my people.”
Determined to continue their work, Morris and Cabina ask for prayer. “It is not by power and might but by the Spirit of God through your prayers” that the work is done, Morris said. And Cabina asks for prayer that God will help her love everyone who comes to her home, as some visitors can be difficult.
Living in a place where many have been killed in bombings is a special calling, and Morris and Cabina embrace it together. “To be a Christian doesn’t mean just to have a good and easy life,” Morris said. “It means maybe you live in the hard times. There is a lot still to be done.”
Published on September 4th, 2019
Pastor Raymond Koh of Malaysia began taking his daily devotional time very seriously. “He was going for prayer walks early in the morning for like three hours,” said his wife, Susanna. “Also he was memorizing large chunks of the Bible, and he would tell me, ‘Oh, I just finished memorizing 1 Corinthians 15.’ I was thinking he was really a great example to follow.”
Perhaps Pastor Koh sensed that a time was coming when he would need great spiritual strength and a close walk with the Lord. That time came in February 2017 when three SUVs forced his car to the side of the road, removed him from the car, and kidnapped him. His family has not seen him or his car since that day.
The pastor’s family is having a difficult time dealing with not knowing where he is. “It’s been a terrifying journey,” said his daughter, Elisabeth. Her younger sister Esther and their brother Jonathan also miss their father. They believe he was kidnapped because he told others about his faith in Christ.
Security cameras filmed the kidnapping, which was carried out expertly in less than one minute. The Kohs later found out that the police had taken part in the kidnapping.
You Can Help
The Kohs would like Christians around the world to help them find out where Pastor Koh is. “Pray, pray, and pray for Raymond’s release as soon as possible,” Susanna said. “Secondly… be a voice [for Raymond] and speak out.” Click here to see how you can send a letter of encouragement to the Kohs, and a letter or email to the Malaysian embassy. Please read the suggestions about writing to government officials here.
(Sources include vomradio.net)
Photo: The Koh family before Pastor Koh disappeared. Photo credit:FB/Everybody Loves Raymond Koh