VOM’s Courageous Series books highlight the lives of faithful Christians throughout history, including the stories of biblical heroes Stephen, Thomas and Paul as well as three additional stories of well-known Christians Nicholas, Patrick and Valentine, whose faith informed their actions. Learn more here.
Published on January 11th, 2021
Mary Slessor was a missionary to Africa more than 100 years ago. The story below tells about some of her experiences serving the Lord among people who had never heard of Him.
Note: To learn about the NEW Torchlighters DVD featuring Mary Slessor, and to find related activities, click here. Parents and Teachers: Please preview before sharing with younger children.)
“Lord, give me strength,” Mary Slessor prayed silently. She smiled at the tribal hosts who had invited her to a feast in Calabar. (Calabar was a part of what is now called Nigeria.)
To please her hosts, Mary knew that she must eat whatever she was offered. She wanted to make friends with them so she could tell them about Jesus. But the soup looked like tar to her. Another dish was filled with plants and fish heads. She prayed for help.
“Excellent!” she exclaimed as she sipped the soup. “Superb!” she said as she tried the fish dish, trying not to look at the fish eyes.
Published on January 8th, 2021
When a fire broke out at a home in North Korea early last year, a mother who lived in the house raced inside to save her two children from the flames. The children were injured, but they got out safely.
Do you suppose the mother was honored as a hero? She was not. According to news reports, the government considered putting her in jail. While she was able to rescue her children, she did not have time to save the pictures of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il hanging on her wall.
Bowing to Statues and Guarding Pictures
North Korea is a communist country whose first ruler was Kim Il Sung. After he died, his son Kim Jong Il took his place. Then Kim Jong Il died, and his son Kim Jong Un is now the leader.
Christianity is against the law. But there are thousands of statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il all over North Korea. Citizens bow and offer gifts to the statues of the men. They are expected to give glory and honor to the former leaders as if they were gods. Laws require homes to display pictures of the dead men, and to guard the pictures carefully. The government does not think the mother who saved her children protected the pictures well enough.
At times is it difficult to know whether news from North Korea is true or not. But North Koreans who hear the story of the mother, whether it is true or not, will be reminded that the government wants them to honor the Kims and their photos and statues instead of worshiping the one true God.
Pray for North Korea
Kim Jong Un’s birthday is on January 8. He was born in 1984. So how old is he this year?
Pray for Kim Jong Un and his country on his birthday. Pray that he will understand the truth of the Good News of Jesus, and will not try to prevent his citizens from learning and following the truth.
Published on January 7th, 2021
(Source: The January 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Photo: Mina witnesses to Muslims)
“Muslims can buy special watches or computer software to remind them of the exact time for prayer. Or they can arrange to have reminders sent to a cell phone or email address. In countries where many Muslims live, reminders appear on TV. Men also call out the prayer times from mosques, either live or on a recording. (Mosques are buildings where Muslims worship.)” — from Learning About Islam, available in the free downloads section.
As a Christian teenager, Mina felt sad when she heard the Muslim calls to prayer in her home country of Indonesia. She wanted the Muslims around her to know about Jesus’ love for them, so she decided to share the gospel with her Muslim neighbors.
Soon after Mina started witnessing to Muslims, seven women began meeting at her home for Bible study! Mina’s pastor connected her with a missionary who guided her as she continued to reach Muslims with the gospel.
A Big Problem
One day, as Mina shared the gospel with people outside a mosque, an angry Muslim rebuked her for witnessing to Muslims. Following his lead, other Muslims nearby grew angry as well. The man hit Mina in the back so hard that she nearly fell over. “Please pray for me. I am facing a big problem here,” Mina texted her friends.
As her friends prayed, Mina calmly shared her faith with the angry man. Then she called a taxi to take her home. As soon as she got in the car, she started crying. “I was crying because the Holy Spirit really helped me,” she said. “I wasn’t alone, and I knew that.”
She said persecution has increased her faith and that the next time she experiences it, she knows for certain that the Holy Spirit will be with her. “Persecution is something that must happen,” she said, “and I am ready for it.”
Published on January 6th, 2021
The Voice of the Martyrs’ 2021 Global Prayer Guide helps Christians pray for each of the nations where VOM works. It includes information about each country, details about life for Christians there, and facts about whether or not Bibles are available in the country. It’s a great resource for school reports, too!
Check the January 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine or click here to find out how to order one free copy, and how to find other prayer resources.
Published on January 5th, 2021
Source: The January 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine
Shahrokh was a drug addict, but he didn’t want to be one. While he was fighting his drug problem, he placed his trust in Christ. After he was freed from his addition, he began sharing his faith with other people who had drug problems.
Officials in Iran, where Shahrokh lives, do not want Iranians to become Christians. But many Muslims in Iran are leaving Islam and following Christ. Islam is the religion of Muslims. (Photo above: Iranian Christians praying.)
A security official called Shahrokh to his office. He wanted to stop him from sharing his faith. The official questioned Shahrokh, sometimes getting angry with his answers.
But the Holy Spirit guided Shahrokh’s replies. Read below what he answered when the official asked him why so many Iranians are turning to Christ.
You cannot stop the work of God.
If a person has a dream of Jesus or [if] God directly reveals Himself in a vision and draws them to Himself, or if he has seen a miracle of Christ and follows after Him, then no one is at fault here.
You cannot block the divine methods God uses to meet human beings.
You can close Christian social activities and house groups or put Christian workers in prison.
But you cannot stop people seeing dreams or visions.
You cannot put Jesus Christ in prison.
You cannot stop the work of the Holy Spirit.
He is at work, and in different ways He reveals the truth to people.
Can you change the hearts and inner lives of people where the Lord dwells?
The official was amazed by Shahrokh’s testimony of God’s power, and he immediately dismissed him. Shahrokh knows they might call him in for questioning again sometime, but so far, he has heard no more from security officials.
To Talk About
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, once told an official who was questioning him. “Even if you put all the mathematicians in prison, two plus two will still equal four.” What do you think Pastor Wurmbrand meant by that statement?
In what ways is Pastor Wurmbrand’s statement like Shahrokh’s answer to the Iranian official?