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God’s Unconditional Love and Mercy

Kaylin M., a youth pastor in the U.S., recently sent a message to Kids of Courage. “I am a youth pastor, and my kids are very affected by all the shooting happening in the schools,” Kaylin wrote. “I’d like to show them how God can turn something like that into a powerful testimony.”

Kaylin asked for stories to share with her students. One of The Voice of the Martyrs’ five main purposes is: “To encourage and empower Christians to fulfill the Great Commission in areas of the world where they are persecuted for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.” So VOM workers hear many stories about how God has used persecuted Christians to demonstrate His love to persecutors.

Two of the stories are told in videos about Amin and Miriam, kids from Iran and Iraq. Kaylin plans to show the videos to her youth. “I want to show them that God loves the shooter or the attacker just as much as he loves them,” she said. “I think it will really help them see how huge and unconditional is God’s love and mercy.”

Iran: The Scribe in the Mud Hut

Most of the people in Iran are Muslims, but many are coming to Christ after having dreams and visions that lead them to the Savior. Ali, a Christian from Iran, told Todd Nettleton of the following story about a man he met in his country.

Ali’s Story
I have seen amazing things.

One day I was in a village and a man said to me, “We need to go outside the village.” About 20 miles outside the village on a dirt road, there was no electricity, no power, no running water — nothing but a mud hut.

We walked into the hut and the man who lived there said, “I have a story. Maybe you can you help me understand what is happening to me.”

I said, “Sure, let me hear your story.”

He told me, “A man with long hair wearing all white would come to my house every night and ask me to write these things down. I couldn’t look at His face because it was so bright.

I asked the man, “When you write it down, what happens?”

He answered, “As I am writing, I get tired because He tells me so much I fall asleep. He disappears. Then the next night He comes again.”

I said, “How long has this man been coming to your house?”

He said, “About 30 days, about a month.”

I said, “Can I see your notebook? Can I see what you have been writing down?”

He said, “Yes.”

On the first page of his notebook, it said, “In the beginning was the Word….” He had the whole book of John word for word in his notebook. I have a picture of it. Jesus came and saw this man every day and he was writing down the Book of John. The powerful thing for me was that the man didn’t know who Jesus was. That showed me, my brothers and sisters, that Jesus will do His part, but we still need to do ours [to help people understand who He is]. We need to move the gospel forward in these dark, dark places of the world.

(Source: Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)

Witnessing in Difficult Places

A Farsi Bible

Do you ever wonder how you can tell others about Jesus and His love for them? VOM workers learned about a woman who did not know how she could possibly serve the Lord and spread the gospel.

The woman was very old.
She could not read or write.
She could not drive herself to places to meet new people.
And she live in Iran, where most of the people are Muslims.

But God helped her find a way to share her faith.

She asked a friend to highlight parts of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) in the Bible. Then she took the Bible with her on a public bus. She knew that younger people in Iran respect older people. She said to a young woman on the bus, “My friend has given me this book. Will you please read it for me? As the younger woman began to read aloud, the older woman said, “I’m hard of hearing; can you please read louder?” The younger woman read louder, and everyone on the bus heard the Word of God.

When people on the bus showed interest in the verses from Matthew, the older woman gave them her phone number so she could talk to them more about Jesus later on the phone.

As the new year approaches, will you ask God to help you find ways to share His Word with others during the next year?

A Bible Smuggler in Iran

Airport security

Patrick K. is a Bible smuggler. The Voice of the Martyrs provides Patrick’s ministry with Bibles to take into countries where it can be hard to get Bibles. Patrick recently talked with VOM’s Todd Nettleton at Read the story below that Patrick told Todd about his smuggling team taking Bibles into Iran, a country where most of the people are Muslims.

The first time I went into Iran, I had about 80 Bibles in my bag….and I had never been into Iran. I didn’t know what to expect. I prayed, “Lord, I need help.” I called people back in the United States and asked them to pray.

We arrived in Tehran [the capital of Iran] at 2:30 in the morning. We could feel the oppression in the air and the fear. A man said to us, “Come over here. We have to check your passports.” We went with him, and he said, “We have to fingerprint you because you’re Americans. Come with me; I love America.”

You know, all those things you hear about Iran and about how the people hate us. Well, not true.

The man fingerprinted us, and we laughed and joked with him. I looked, and there was nobody by the X-ray machine. By the time I got there and got our bags, a man stepped out of nowhere. He said, “Put your suitcases on the X-ray machine.”

My heart was pounding fast. I thought, “What’s going to happen to me? Are they going to shoot me?” As we loaded the suitcases on the machine, the man asked, “Are you tourists?” We said, “Yes.” He asked, “From where?” We said, “We are from America.” He said, “You’re from America? I love America. Take your suitcases off the X-ray machine. You can go right through; you are Americans.”

What I do now is pray before I go through the border that God will wake up people in America and around the world — that Christians will be praying.

(Source: Edited for clarity and length.)

To Think About
What are some of the things you can pray on behalf of Bible smugglers?

Kids at Risk in Iran

Most of the people in Iran are Muslims. But some Muslims are growing tired of Islam. (Islam is the religion of Muslims. Learn more about Islam here.) And many are turning to Jesus.

The government does not want people to leave Islam, so Christians in Iran often worship God in secret house churches. Since so many people want to hear about Jesus and His love, Christian workers are very busy. Some workers leave their homes at 8 in the morning and don’t return until late at night.

A VOM worker recently visited Iranian Christian leaders. The worker heard about two Iranian teenagers who help their parents by taking on more responsibilities at home. Their parents serve the Lord many hours a day. The teens, who are 17 and 13, fix their own food and go to school on their own. “The Holy Spirit angels are watching over them,” said an Iranian Christian leader. “They have no one supervising them. We don’t have phones here, so if something happened, we wouldn’t know.”

Other Christian leaders have even younger children. It’s often not safe to leave the children with friends or relatives, because the children will be mistreated. Friends and relatives often don’t approve of their parents’ Christian work.

Please ask God to protect Iranian Christian kids.

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

Watch the following video to learn about Amin, a boy in Iran.