MIDDLE EAST: “Forgiveness is a Decision”
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THIS WEEK’S EPISODE

MIDDLE EAST: “Forgiveness is a Decision”
24 MIN

It’s a Bible verse all of us have quoted, one we’ve likely shared with a Christian friend in the midst of a difficult season: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

After her husband Rami, a leader of the Bible Society in Gaza, was murdered, Pauline Ayyad wrestled deeply with this verse. What good would come of her husband being killed? What good could come from raising her two children—and the one about to be born—without their father? Pauline asked God why He even allowed her to marry Rami if he was chosen to die a martyr’s death?

When Rami decided to leave a good, safe job at a bank, Pauline questioned the decision. The couple went into ministry serving kids through Awana, and Rami at the Bible Society, in 2005. Rami had peace about the transition, and eventually Pauline also felt at peace. They settled into what became normal life. Rami faced repeated threats, but refused to be afraid.

“What can they do?” he asked. “The only thing they can do is kill me, and then it would be for Christ.”

Then one day Rami didn’t arrive home from work. The next morning, Pauline learned that her husband’s body had been found. Pauline struggled and questioned God. She did not want to forgive Rami’s killer. She wanted the murderer to pay for his crime.

Listen as Pauline shares how the Holy Spirit was at work, and the five-year journey that brought her to forgive her husband’s killer. She didn’t only quietly forgive in her heart, but posted a message of forgiveness on Facebook. That post has blessed many Christians and challenged many Muslims as it’s been read thousands of times—an incredible witness for the gospel and the power of God’s grace in the face of Christian persecution.

Pauline will also share specific prayer requests for her family and for the church in Israel, including Gaza and the West Bank.

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  • September 27, 2022
  • September 26, 2022
  • September 23, 2022

Previous Episodes

  • MIDDLE EAST: Prayer Softens the Ground

    People all over the world are searching for the truth. Longing for desires and needs to be fulfilled–not by food or entertainment but in a deeper, more lasting way. Brother Dan and Brother Hayel share God’s Word with Druze people, posting short videos on social media. They don’t know who is going to receive the gospel—or who is going to oppose their work—but they know that some will.

    Last week Dan and Hayel shared about the hostility of the Druze community to Christians and the persecution Hayel has faced personally as a Druze-background believer in Christ. The high cost of following and proclaiming Christ is known to all who grow up in a Druze community. Many Druze are watching videos shared through Dan and Hayel’s social media ministry, but they fear what may happen if community leaders or even their families were to find out. Brother Dan shares one story about how he found out how closely people are watching their posts—both those interested and those opposed to their work—within five minutes of one post going live!

    The spiritual battle in the Middle East continues. Druze voiceover actors involved in the gospel videos are threatened by community leaders. Despite push back and threats, God provides, and the video production is ongoing. And many Druze are watching, often in secret, seeking answers. They ask questions, opening the door for Hayel to further witness, disciple and encourage seekers across Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan.

    As Druze people find Christ, it is often almost impossible for them to meet with other believers for worship and teaching. Pray with Dan and Hayel that Jesus will build His church among the Druze. Pray for walls to fall as the gospel saturates the hearts of many Druze, and that they will know Christ and make Him known. For specific prayer updates, please register at Pray4Druze.com and join with others committed to pray regularly for Christ’s work among the Druze.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    24 MIN
  • MIDDLE EAST: Going The Right Direction

    “If you read the Bible, He can change you and God will be with you.”

    Brother Hayel learned that truth first-hand when he started reading the Bible. In its pages he knew he’d found the One True God. He couldn’t stop reading God’s Word, and hungrily opened it each day. Having found truth, Hayel couldn’t keep himself from sharing the good news with his fellow Druze—even knowing he would be persecuted for doing so.

    Hayel desires to see his people, the Druze, changed by the gospel. This people group includes about 1.5 million individuals across Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria; they are distinct ethnically and religiously from the Muslims and others around them. Druze who choose to become Christians face intense persecution. Hayel was forbidden to share his Christian faith, but he refused to stop. He was kicked out from his home and ostracized, but he regards that sacrifice as nothing compared to knowing Jesus.

    Today, Hayel is working with Brother Dan to share the gospel with Druze. Dan never planned on living in the Middle East. He was a businessman serving on his local church missions committee when God put Syria on his mind, even though he admits that deep down in his heart he had hatred for Arabs and Muslims. Yet he chose obedience and ended up on a missions trip to Syria before the war there. Through that experience and the people he met, God scrubbed Dan’s heart clean of hatred and gave him a passion to see people in the region reached for Christ—a passion so strong he and his wife moved to the region.

    Today, Hayel and Dan serve Druze people through social media ministry. They speak to the Druze in their homes and their heart language with the gospel—through their phones. Listen as they share more about how God brought them together, how their hearts were transformed, and what their ministry to the Druze looks like. Join in prayer for God to open the hearts of the Druze people to receive the message of the gospel!

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

    25 MIN
  • MISSIONS: In Difficult Times, God Is Merciful

    Cade Jefferson was called to missions as a young adult. Soon after college, he went to one of the most restricted countries in the world: Afghanistan. Despite difficult images he still carries from that war-torn nation, etched in Cade’s heart are memories of fellowship with believers who welcomed Cade and his wife with warm hospitality.

    After leaving Afghanistan, Cade went to North Africa to serve the Lord, service that turned out to be more difficult than he expected. Cade says he was at a very difficult point, mentally and emotionally, when God was merciful to open doors for him to serve with The Voice of the Martyrs. Sean Paton, who was part of opening those doors, had been a pastor at the church that first sent Cade to the mission field many years before. Today, Cade has stepped into a leadership role overseeing VOM’s work serving persecuted Christians in North and East Africa.

    Listen to hear the story of a young teenager in North Africa, Nathan, who exemplifies what often happens when a person there chooses to follow Christ. In North African culture, everything is tied to family. Family connections provide home, education opportunities, career openings and even daily needs like food. When a Moroccan, Libyan, Tunisian, or Algerian person accepts Christ, that new Christian is cut off from those privileges. Yet brothers and sisters like Nathan persevere, in spite of persecution, because Jesus is everything to them.

    Cade will also equip listeners to pray. Pray for gospel workers who live in North and East Africa to trust in the Lord to provide for the overwhelming needs of our brothers and sisters. Ask God to encourage and uplift their spiritual health, so they may flourish. Pray they will continue to reach out with the love of Christ to Muslims in their communities, in spite of difficulties.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

    25 MIN
  • MIDDLE EAST: Training Believers to Reach Their Own People

    Muslims in the Middle East are hungry for the gospel! Jerry and Stacy, founders of Love for the Least, say they sometimes repeat the gospel message even after the person they’re witnessing to says they’re ready to accept Christ—just to be sure they understand the decision and the risk of persecution they face.

    Last week, in the first part of our conversation with Jerry and Stacy, they shared how God drew them out of the American suburbs to minister in Africa, then called them to Iraq just as the ISIS caliphate was born. This week we’ll hear stories of how God is changing lives in Iraq, Iran, Syria and among Kurds throughout the region.

    Jerry and Stacy are working to see healthy house churches multiplying along what they call “The Highway of Holiness,” where 35 million Muslims are still unreached by the gospel. Training local believers is 90% of their effort, using simple tools and practical, easy-to-learn ways to study the Bible and share God’s love.

    What powers disciple-making movements, they say, is prayer and fasting. Listen as Jerry and Stacy share amazing ways God’s truth has spread from one individual to larger groups of believers and how He is using miracles to show His power and grow His church. You’ll also hear about a sister in Christ who has become known as “The Magic Prayer” in the prison where she is incarcerated for her ministry work—because other prisoners have seen that her prayers actually get answered.

    Jerry and Stacy will also equip you to pray for persecuted Christians, gospel workers and believers throughout the Middle East.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    24 MIN

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