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Healed and Rejoicing

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

In 2020, COVID-19 hit Iran hard. Then millions of locusts invaded the land, and an earthquake hit Tehran, the capital city.

Recently, Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio interviewed Brother Ali, a Christian who shares the Good News of Jesus in Iran, even in hard times. “What is the attitude of the Iranians?” Todd asked Ali. “Do they feel like it’s one thing after another, after another, after another?”

Ali replied, “The average person on the street feels like they are cursed.” Most Iranians are Muslim, and the government tries to keep Christians from sharing their faith with non-Christians. But more and more Iranians are finding hope in following Christ, and no longer feel “cursed.”

“We Are Out of Here”
Ali told Todd the story of two Iranians who did not know Jesus. Both had a serious case of COVID-19, but they were in different hospitals.

“They were feeling really bad,” Ali said. “The crazy part of this story is, both of them received the same dream. Both of them saw Jesus, and Jesus came and gave them living water. He said to them, ‘Get up, you are healed.’

“They both came to my house, just hours apart. They were completely healed of COVID, like, no signs of COVID. They went and got a test the next day, and they were negative.

“Their families had already come to Christ, so everyone was happy and singing and dancing. Iran has a lot of people dying because we have no medicine for COVID, and we can’t even get vitamins. So they were very happy [that the men were alive].

“The men left the next day and started going to smaller towns and villages and serving [the Lord]. They were like, ‘We are fine, we got healed, we are out of here.

“Pray that in the chaos [in Iran], the Lord will move.”

Inspired Answers

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.

Shahrokh said:
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?

This Month

Parents and Teachers
“The power we need to overcome the world’s greatest hardships is from God, not from us.” — Cole Richards, The Voice of the Martyrs’ president

The January 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine includes stories of Christians that God has empowered to be His ambassadors while facing courts, judges, and leaders of false religions.

Readers will learn about:
*Teens in India who boldly shared the gospel in a Muslim community, angering radical Muslims. The students were forced to stay in a Muslim boarding school, some for more than a month.

*A drug addict in Iran who placed his trust in Christ while fighting his addiction. He led others who were recovering to Christ, angering security officials.

*Mina, a Christian who first started sharing the gospel with people in the streets of a city in Indonesia when she was a teen.

You can share photos and stories from the issue and from this site about some of the featured Christians with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Related Resources
* To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide includes information about Christians in the featured countries.
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight several countries.
*Watch video clips about Christians from several of the countries in the Video section of this site.

Pray for a Sad Mother

(Source: icommittopray; Photo: Christian activity is highly dangerous in Iran.)

A family in Iran is worried about their mother, Mary. Earlier this year, Mary was arrested for her Christian activities. Now she is in prison.

Even people who trust in God can get sad sometimes. Mary’s daughter visited her in prison, and she noticed that her mother was very and not her usual self. She is asking for prayer for her mother.

To Think About
Why were the following faithful people in the Bible sad?
Hannah — 1 Samuel 1:1-8
Nehemiah — Nehemiah 2:1-3
Job — 9:25-27

Prisoner’s Son Kicked Out of School

A Christian in prison in Iran is asking for prayer for his son. The father, Ali, was arrested for his participation in a house church. He is being kept in a prison separate from other Christians who were also arrested. He says other prisoners often insult him because of his faith in Christ.

Being in prison is difficult, but Ali has another problem: his son was expelled from school because Ali was arrested. Worrying about his family has overwhelmed Ali at times. But he says he is learning to turn to God in these moments. He trusts that both his life and his family’s lives are in God’s hands.

He told a VOM partner that he is thankful for all the Christians around the world who are standing alongside him as he endures this situation. Pray for Ali in prison, and pray for his family outside the prison as they deal with challenges without their husband and father.

(Source: icommittopray)