Aaron Miller leads VOM’s international work in Latin America, and he just returned from visiting Christians living and ministering in the “red zones” of Colombia—places where paramilitary groups and Marxist guerillas battle for control and brutally persecute Christians.
One of those Aaron met with was Alex, the subject of a VOM video for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Alex was pulled off a bus by FARC guerillas and almost killed. Yet he has forgiven the attackers—and even helped disciple the imprisoned FARC commander who led the bus attack.
Hear why gospel workers in Colombia would rather not be called pastor, even if they function in that role in their community. Hear the story of a man whom God called to full-time ministry while he was being held captive for doing ministry work. And hear the story of how an Action Bible inspired a young woman to resist the call to take up arms.
Miller has previously been a guest on VOM Radio, when he told his own story of encountering persecution in India.
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This week marked the three-year anniversary of the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh in Malaysia, a military-style operation that took less than 40 seconds and was captured on a nearby security camera.
Three years later, there is still no word on what happened to Pastor Raymond; his car has never been found. The kidnapping wasn’t his first taste of persecution; Pastor Raymond had been mailed a box of bullets as a warning to stop his ministry.
VOM launched an international petition drive calling Malaysia’s government to account for this crime. Add your signature online at www.ReleaseRaymond.com.
This week we will hear again from Raymond’s wife, Susanna, about how Pastor Raymond continued ministry in spite of threats and danger. She’ll describe the spiritual deepening she saw in her husband in the months before his abduction, and how she knows God was preparing him for the challenging time to come.
Susanna says God has carried her and her family since Raymond’s forced disappearance. He’s even enabled them to forgive those who took her husband away. She’ll share specific scriptural promises and Christian songs that have helped her through dark hours of grief and anxiety.
Susanna and her family have been greatly encouraged by notes, cards and letters from members of their spiritual family around the world. You can join in encouraging her by sending a card or a note of encouragement to:
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“Uncle Monnie” has ministered in more than 150 countries, including many hostile and restricted nations where Christians are persecuted. He serves not as a “father” to persecuted-church pastors, but as an “uncle,” one who comes alongside and encourages, but isn’t the decision-making authority figure.
Uncle Monnie says he quickly realized, in his first overseas ministry experience, that he needed to go as a fellow learner alongside God’s people he was there to serve. He equips pastors to study the Bible for themselves, to not be reliant on a Westerner or an outside organization for their spiritual food. He also prepares them to face persecution—including looking together at real-life case studies from persecuted Christians in other nations.
Listen as Monnie talks about how he does ministry with Fulani former-Muslims in Africa, Christian leaders and pastors in China, Sudan, Nigeria, Nepal, Lebanon and other nations.
Monnie has also served as a missions pastor in large American churches, and he’ll share challenges and struggles of that job, as well as encouragement for those currently serving God in that role. He’ll also challenge American Christians to be more grounded in our faith.
“Brother Amin” is a church leader from Algeria—a place where in recent months the government has forcibly closed numerous church buildings.
Amin says when persecution happens, that’s the time new Christians see the reality of the Body of Christ—the reality that they have a new family, joined together through the blood of Christ. But how do they prepare for persecution? And how do they overcome fear and keep spreading the gospel in spite of hardships?
Amin will share his own story, from being a radical Muslim trying to disprove the Bible to becoming convinced that the Bible was actually the truth. His decision wasn’t without cost: he’ll tell of the persecution that he faced after leaving Islam to follow Jesus. He’ll also equip listeners to pray for the nation of Algeria and our spiritual family there, and to reach out to Muslims that we know right here in the US.
In Part 2 of our conversation, Paul Childers, leader of YWAM’s University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii is back along with another Paul, the leader of YWAM’s work in Nigeria.
Paul is reaching Muslims—even terrorists—in Nigeria for Christ. He says it is his passion to see people come to know Jesus that overcomes any fear he might have ministering in dangerous places. He will also share about a special ministry to widows whose husbands were killed in persecution.
Childers says that the way to prepare for Christian persecution is to fall in love with Jesus and really understand his Lordship over our lives.
Paul and Paul will help us to pray for Christians in Nigeria and other nations, and also talk about the need for Bibles: there are 227 languages spoken in Nigeria that don’t yet have the whole Bible translated into their language.
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