MISSIONS in SOUTH ASIA: What if God asked me to go?
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THIS WEEK’S EPISODE

MISSIONS in SOUTH ASIA: What if God asked me to go?
25 MIN

Ben Barrett and his wife were open to go wherever God wanted them to go. Ultimately, God called them to go on mission to one of the world’s most concentrated areas of lost people – North India and Nepal. It wasn’t always an easy transition, but God instilled a deep love for the people in their heart and a desire to reach them with the gospel.

Ben is VOM’s new Regional Leader for work with persecuted Christians in South Asia. Listen as he shares how the rise of Hindu nationalism and Hindutva ideology have affected the church in India. President Narendra Modi’s recent reelection has emboldened radical groups across that country to continue and even expand their Christian persecution efforts.  

Ben will share specifics of how our brothers and sisters have been persecuted for their faith by Hindu radicals. Ben recently met with a front-line worker who has served 800 pastors in recent years who’ve been arrested or detained for their Christian faith.

Listen as Ben shares how the hope of the gospel drove him and his wife forward in their own mission service and Ben’s advice to those considering cross-cultural gospel work. Pray for God to raise up new leaders in the church and bold courage for persecuted Christians in India, Nepal, and throughout South Asia.

Also listen to Part 1 of this conversation with Ben Barrett where he discussed persecution in Israel and how Christians have been affected by the conflict in Israel, including Gaza and the West Bank, since October 7.

Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or listen each week—and receive daily reminders and specific ways to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

Today’s VOM
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  • July 23, 2024
  • July 22, 2024
  • July 19, 2024

Previous Episodes

  • Not a Problem to Solve, But People to Serve: Helping Persecuted Christians in Israel and Gaza

    October 7th, 2023 is one of those dates that will always be remembered.

    On that terrible morning, Ben Barrett was working for VOM with persecuted Christians in the Middle East and leading the ministry’s work in Israel, including Gaza and the West Bank. His phone began to light up with messages from both Messianic Jewish believers and Arab Christians—even before the terrible attacks were announced in international news. The messages had a consistent request: “Please pray for us!”

    Families and individuals like Pauline Ayyad, a previous guest on VOM Radio, asked for prayer as contact with relatives in Gaza was cut off. A messianic Rabbi asked prayers for his daughter who was ordered back to her military base, not knowing when she might return home. Video footage from a pastor in Sderot, the closest settlement to the Gaza Strip, showed him barricaded and lying flat on the floor as trucks full of terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar!” passed by his home.

    Listen as Ben shares about his last trip to the Middle East, where he met with pastors from both Jewish and Muslim backgrounds who are taking the gospel to radical areas despite the risk. He’ll also tell the stories of Jewish-background believers in Orthodox or Ethiopian communities who face Christian persecution through shame, excommunication, and job loss.

    Pray for unity amongst believers in the Middle East. Pray for boldness in the spread of the gospel in spite of the risks.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or listen each week—and receive daily reminders and specific ways to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

    24 MIN
  • From Full of Fear to Finding Strength in Christ: “I Would Dance Before God Every Day.”

    Pastor Andrew Brunson, author of the book God’s Hostage, was imprisoned two years for his Christian work in Turkey (now called Türkiye). He says every single day was a battle to overcome fear, grief and anxiety. One who inspired him in these battles was Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. Brunson explains how Wurmbrand inspired him to dance inside his prison cell before the Lord. He says he didn’t feel joy or happiness, but he set his will to act joyfully, in spite of his feelings.

    Brunson was also inspired by another former prisoner for Christ (and VOM Radio guest), Dan Baumann, to lock away doubts and questions and choose to leave those in God’s hand. Brunson says he told God from his prison cell, “I don’t need answers to have a relationship with You.”

    Listen as Andrew shares how he came to “embrace my assignment” of being in prison for Christ. “I came out of prison with a deeper intimacy,” says Brunson, “I had the privilege to suffer for Christ.”

    God birthed a song in Andrew’s soul while locked in prison. He’ll share how his heart changed over the long months of his incarceration to a posture of faithfulness and trust; a change that happened despite not seeing his outward circumstances change at all. That heart change, he says, was his victory over the terrible circumstances and the injustice of Christian persecution he faced in prison.

    Finally, Brunson will tell the story of a letter he wrote to Norine that clearly demonstrated his changed heart. In the letter he expressed his commitment to drink every drop from “the cup of suffering” that the Lord had ordained for him.

    Andrew tells the entire story in his book, God’s Hostage, which you can order here (affiliate link). Brunson has also released a teaching series helping Christians Prepare to Stand in the midst of difficulties and suffering. In the eight-session video series, Brunson shares practical insights from his own time in prison. You can also listen to Part 1 of our conversation with Andrew Brunson, and listen to his wife, Norine, on VOM Radio as she shares her side to this story.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or listen each week—and receive daily reminders of specific ways to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

    30 MIN
  • Imprisoned with Muslims in Türkiye, “I Was Desperately Embracing Christ.”

    After serving many years as a gospel worker in Turkey (now called Türkiye), Pastor Andrew Brunson spent two years in Turkish prison. He was accused, among other “crimes,” of helping plot a coup against President Erdogan’s government and being a leader in the CIA. The reality is that Andrew was in Turkey as a missionary and pastor, working to spread the gospel.

    Brunson recounts how God was teaching him to stand during dark days of isolation in prison and wondering why God seemed silent in his time of suffering. Listen as he shares how he poured out his frustrations to God, but ultimately chose to lean into God—even though he didn’t feel God’s presence.

    Through those dark days, Andrew's wife, Norine served as his pastor and encourager, the only Christian he was allowed contact with. She pointed Andrew to truth and sought to give Godly perspective as he was surrounded by constant pressure from Muslim cellmates. Brunson shares how she was “heroic” in standing with him in spite of risks to her own freedom. You can listen to Norine on VOM Radio as she shares her side to this story.

    Pastor Brunson also drew strength from the stories of other Christians who suffered persecution. One of those was Richard Wurmbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs and the author of Tortured for Christ and other books. Andrew says he “spent a lot of time with Richard Wurmbrand in prison,” through Richard’s writings.

    Andrew tells the entire story in his book, God’s Hostage, which you can order here (affiliate link). Brunson has also released a teaching series helping Christians Prepare to Stand in the midst of difficulties and Christian persecution. In the eight-session video series, Brunson shares practical insights from his own time in prison.

    Listen as Andrew expresses his thanks to those who prayed for him while he was in prison – some even waking up in the middle of the night to pray. “It was hard for me to grasp,” Brunson said. “It was a supernatural move of God.” Pray this week for Christians in prison in restricted areas and hostile nations around the world.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or listen each week—and receive daily reminders of specific ways to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

    30 MIN
  • “My Ancestors Cannot Change My Life.” Vietnamese Pastor Always Talks About Christ

    Pastor Matthew is a long-time pastor in the communist nation of Vietnam. Since coming to faith in Christ he’s been persecuted by family, neighbors and by police. Matthew came to Christ through the witness of an American missionary mentor. He heard the gospel message, but he also saw the life she lived and the love she showed to the people around her. He couldn’t know, at the time, the high cost he would pay to follow Christ in Vietnam.

    “I didn’t know how hard it was to be a Christian in the beginning,” Matthew said, “I chose to become a Christian because God is good.”

    Pastor Matthew started a church in his home, but police locked the door, cut the power, and told everyone to leave. They accused Matthew of being a spy for the Americans, and said Christianity was a religion only for Westerners.

    “They are afraid of Christians,” says Matthew. “The power of the authorities is taken away by Jesus.”

    Ancestor worship is common in Vietnam, and Vietnamese parents and grandparents worry their children who become Christians wont revere them properly after they have died.

    “The family wants ancestor worship,” Matthew explains, “but we teach young people Who is worthy to be worshiped – Jesus.” Pastor Matthew still encourages young people to respect and love their families. They pray that, as they live out their faith, family members will see a difference in them and be drawn to the truth of Christ.

    Listen as Pastor Matthew shares about persecution of Hmong Christians and the Vietnamese government’s crackdown on pastors. He’ll share the most effective ways persecuted Christians are encouraged as they continue to train and equip leaders to stand firm in their faith.  He’ll also share how you can pray specifically for the church in Vietnam and those who don’t yet know Christ.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or listen each week—and receive daily reminders of specific ways to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

    25 MIN

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