When Children Become the Target:
In today’s persecuted church, children at times become the targets.
The tragedy of having a son killed or a daughter assaulted because of your Christian witness is difficult to comprehend. As parents, it is far more difficult to see our children suffer than to face it ourselves.
As we consider the little ones God has entrusted into our care, may we never take for granted or dismiss the high calling of parenting. Likewise, may our lives daily demonstrate to them the cost of picking up our cross and following Christ while assuring them that our trust lies fully and solely in him.
Though beyond our comprehension, we trust that God will work even these unimaginable evils for his good purposes. May part of that good be the strengthening of our own faith and Christian witness as we stand with our Christian family who suffer these evils.
History is filled with stories of families, including children, who have suffered heroically for their Christian witness. The stories continue today. What will history write of our families?
February 2013 Newsletter
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Chiapas: Expelled Christians Living in Barn
February 2013 issue, page 9
“We aren’t delinquents; we’re people who love God and respect society.”
A leader of a Christian group of 27 families in Altamirano, Chiapas, Mexico were expelled from their community “just for being evangelicals,” according to a recent report in a Chiapas newspaper. And now the families, which include about 40 children, are living in a cattle barn because they have nowhere else to go.
VOM has been providing basic needs to expelled Christians like these through a dedicated pastor who volunteers his time to help. Last year, we provided the Christians living in the cattle barn with mattresses and food. Although the 27 families are sleeping on mattresses on the ground and storing their belongings in a cattle trough, they have an eternal perspective. They chose to give up their temporal homes rather than compromise their faith in the God who will shelter them in his heavenly home for all eternity.
Project: Helping the Children of Christian Martyrs
VOM Families of Martyrs Fund
Andre huddled with his brothers and sisters inside their house. They were scared. The day before, their parents had left for a short errand and never returned. Finally, the children asked for help in finding their parents. It turned out they had been brutally murdered by a Muslim neighbor, who had stuffed their bodies in his well.
In 2004, Andre went to live at the Caleb House, a VOM-sponsored safe house in Indonesia for children whose parents were killed because of their Christian faith. Although it wasn’t easy, Andre, now 16, was able to forgive his parents’ killer. “I prayed to Lord and asking forgiveness that he would heal my heart wounds,” Andre said. “I wanted him to take my anger and revenge out from my heart. Our God has transformed my life.”
Children of persecuted and martyred believers need our help. Andre’s help came through a safe house supported by VOM’s Families of Martyrs fund. You can join us in helping children like Andre with a contribution to the work of The Voice of the Martyrs and to VOM’s Families of Martyrs fund.
Families of Martyrs Fund
Often when a pastor or evangelist is imprisoned or killed for their activities, their families are left with little means of financial support. This fund is used to help sustain these believers until they can find alternative means of support.
To help fund this project, visit its donation page on VOM Books.
Bookstore: Resources to Inspire
Some VOM titles now also available for Kindle and NOOK!
Saul to Paul: From Persecutor to Christ Follower
No conversion story in the Bible is more expansive than that of the apostle Paul. God chose Paul for a unique purpose, and he has chosen many other “Sauls” to become “Pauls” throughout the history of Christianity. The seven men in this book tried to destroy the bride of Christ but ultimately succumbed to the power of the Holy Spirit. These modern-day “Sauls to Pauls” illuminate the struggle of the persecuted church and show that our sovereign God can incline even the most hardened heart toward his own. As the Bible clearly illustrates, when a “Saul” becomes a “Paul” and engages as an active witness, the kingdom of God grows exponentially.
Your prayer life for our persecuted family will be transformed as you read the testimonies of men who choose to bless rather than curse those who wish them harm. The stories will also challenge you to consider your attitude toward your enemies, confronting you with the question, “How would God’s kingdom be affected if they became completely committed to Christ and his Great Commission?”
Illegal T-shirt (gray)
Are you willing to share the truth about persecution against Christians? We’ve taken our best-selling VOM “Illegal” T-shirt and given it a fresh design and new color. The shirt reads, “This T-shirt is illegal.” Why is the shirt illegal? Because the gospel is hated by so many in hostile and restricted nations around the world. Be a messenger for the persecuted, and stand with those who are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. (Sizes S–XXL)
Hearts of Fire
Ryan and his sister, Rachel, are teenagers who live in a mixed Muslim and Christian area of the Philippines. They both read Hearts of Fire and loved it, so they told some friends about it. Soon, their friends and even a teacher asked them for copies of the book. Rachel’s mom told her that distributing the books to her Muslim friends could be dangerous, but Rachel felt she needed to do it. Rachel distributed an entire case of the books at their school. As a result, several Muslim girls came to church with Rachel and asked for Bibles. Rachel also leads a Bible study during lunch hour, and several of her Muslim schoolmates attend. While their bold witness endangers them and their family, Ryan and Rachel are passionate about sharing the truth with others through books like Hearts of Fire.
Hearts of Fire includes the stories of eight women who stood boldly for Christ amid severe persecution. Like Ryan and Rachel, you may want to order multiple copies to share with your friends. Be a part of inspiring others to follow Christ with a “heart of fire.”
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
It was especially cold and late in the evening when the police once again rounded up the group of believers and hauled them to the district administrator’s office. Thirteen-year-old Purnima shivered as she and the others were forced to stand out in the open courtyard while the interrogation droned on. The officers bombarded them with the same questions they always asked: “Why do you want to be a Christian?” “Where does your support come from?” “This is a Buddhist country, and you have dishonored us by accepting this foreign religion. Why do you want to turn your people against you?” One by one the thirty-five believers were questioned throughout the long, cold night. There were about 20 officers, most of them big and intimidating. Purnima cringed as one of them slapped a Christian brother near her. Some in the group cried; others tried to preach. Young Purnima stood before the men who towered over her, praying for enough courage to face the impending questions.