MIDDLE EAST: Take Courage; Wait For the Lord
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MIDDLE EAST: Take Courage; Wait For the Lord
24 MIN

Gospel workers in restricted and hostile nations risk their lives to spread the gospel. One worker in the Middle East, Jacob, was kidnapped last month and held by a terrorist group. He was kept blindfolded, not knowing if it was day or night. The group threatened to hang him. Even in captivity, this young newlywed pastor’s heart was to share the good news and help build God’s church by spreading his Word.

Thankfully, Jacob has been rescued from captivity and reunited with his wife and baby. Listen as John Samara, founder and executive director of Ananias House, shares how Jacob had memorized Scripture before being taken captive, and how he held onto several passages during his time in darkness.

With the scripture indelibly written on his heart and mind, Jacob was encouraged by the promises of God despite persecution for his faith. One verse that encouraged Jacob was Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage. Wait on the Lord.”

John also shares about a new book, Through the Eyes of a Child: Encounters with God in the Middle East. Ananias House is working in schools, sharing the gospel as they provide an education to children who might otherwise not receive one.

John will share stories from the book of a teen imprisoned and violated for her faith, yet praising and glorifying the Lord in the midst of it; and of a young child who prayed with his classmates over their small amount of food and saw God perform a miracle.

You’ll also hear how John and his team are training up women, who often face disrespect in that culture. Now many are reaching other women with the gospel and even leading their husbands to Christ!

John will equip listeners to pray for Ananias House and for the Body of Christ in the Middle East and North Africa.

Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or listen each week—and get daily prayer reminders—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

Today’s VOM
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  • September 21, 2023
  • September 20, 2023
  • September 19, 2023

Previous Episodes

  • AFGHANISTAN: Martyr’s Widow Says, “I’ll See Them Again”

    There had been reports of a pending terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, when Hannelie Groenewald went in work as a medical doctor on November 29, 2014. Hannelie didn’t know that the Taliban attack would target her own home and family.

    When she arrived home that evening, a sea of police and military personnel were all around the smoking ruins of her house. Reporters were already there, asking her for comment. She still didn’t know what had happened; that her husband, Werner, and two teen aged children, Jean-Pierre and Rode, had been killed in a Taliban attack on their home. She was taken to a neighbor’s house, where she read, over and over, Psalm 91, praying through its promises of help and divine covering. God’s overwhelming peace washed over her.

    As a mother, she wished to have been with her children, to comfort them during the attack. But Hannelie is reminded that God is sovereign. Listen as she shares how God carried her through the days following the attack, and how Afghan people were impacted by her peace and spirit of forgiveness. Hannelie also tells of God’s blessings to her even as flames engulfed her home.

    Pray for new believers in Afghanistan, that God would use the martyrs blood that has flowed there to bring forth a spiritual harvest, and that God’s church will be built up, even after the Taliban takeover of that nation in 2021.

    Listen and watch Hannelie’s story on the new VOM App, and find her new book, Tragedy in Kabul: Fulfilling a Life Purpose for God’s Glory (affiliate link) to learn more about how God remained faithful and encouraged her as she continued to serve Him.

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

    27 MIN
  • AFGHANISTAN: “God Takes You Through”

    It’s been two years since the Taliban retook control in Afghanistan. Pressure and persecution against Christians in the country continues to rise. Hannelie Groenewald, a former gospel medical worker there, paid a high price for her faith when her husband and children were martyred in their home in Kabul in 2014.

    When the 9/11 attacks happened in New York, Hannelie Groenewald was living a comfortable life in South Africa with her family. Werner, her husband, took a short-term mission trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan and came home with a burden for Afghans to have a relationship with Christ. Werner shared his heart with Hannelie. After agreeing to go on a short-term outreach herself, she experienced the Holy Spirit in a new way and felt a shared desire to serve the Afghan people.

    There was still a wrestling within her as she thought about her children and their safety in a war-torn land. Listen as Hannelie shares the small ways she knew the Lord was encouraging their family to go and serve in Afghanistan.

    Hannelie describes Werner as “fearless,” and tells of his continuous preaching on having faith rather than fear. One month before Werner was martyred, he said in a sermon, “We only die once. It might as well be for Jesus.”

    Watch as Hannelie shares her story and how God remained faithful and encouraged her. You can watch the short video of her story online or order the Heroic Faith DVD. The DVD also includes videos about other persecuted Christians on some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous places to follow Christ. The Hannelie video is also included in the VOM App

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

    27 MIN
  • PERSECUTION IN MEXICO: “God Called Us Here”

    Isaac Santiago, VOM’s Regional Leader for Latin America, and his team are standing with Christians suffering for their faith in Mexico, Colombia and other nations. They are also reaching out to Christians in Latin America who aren’t currently facing persecution, telling them the stories of heroic faith and inviting them into fellowship with persecuted Christians.

    Listen as Isaac shares his excitement for VOM’s Spanish resources. These include tools for pastors to share stories with their congregation and next year will also include The Voice of the Martyrs Radio in Espanol. Last month, people all across Latin America also joined in the Hearts of Fire Virtual Event.

    In addition to telling the stories of persecuted Christians in Spanish, Isaac is also walking alongside brothers and sisters directly facing persecution.

    Listen to hear the story of Mateo and Elena, husband and wife church planters in the “Circle of Silence,” an area of Central Mexico where less than 1% of the people are Biblical disciples. Mateo and Elena boldly moved to the area to answer Christ’s call; they faced pushback and persecution almost from the first day they arrived. Read more about how God continues to work in Mateo and Elena’s lives and pray for their continued ministry.

    You can visit VOM’s Spanish website at www.vom.org/es. Please pray for wisdom and protection as Isaac and the Latin American team at The Voice of the Martyrs navigate their dual-focused Spanish ministry.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or listen each week—and get daily prayer reminders—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

    24 MIN
  • INDIGENOUS MISSIONS: What Took You So Long to Get Here?

    Ten years ago, there were 3,000 unengaged, unreached people groups around the world--peoples who had never had a witness to share the gospel with them. Today, that number is less than 500 unreached, unengaged people groups. God is moving and His church is growing!

    David Bogosian shares this week how Christian Aid Mission, where he is CEO, is training and equipping indigenous gospel workers to go and serve among those remaining unreached peoples. David formerly served as a missionary in the Philippines. He is amazed at the difference of each testimony, how God is uniquely revealing Himself to people all around the world.

    David will share stories of places where missions leaders have seen the last remaining unreached people groups in a region reached for the gospel – even amidst difficult times for the church. He says 90% of the recently unreached are being served by local or near-culture Christians.

    Listen as David shares about a persecuted Christian who was beaten and threatened by Muslims in his community—but forgave them and later invited them to partner in his thriving business. Today he is praying and reading the Bible with them, and now being he is defended in the community by his former persecutors!

    “That’s the amazing thing about persecution,” David says. “It allows us to demonstrate the gospel in a way that nothing else could.”

    In the next ten years, David says we could see the final groups on earth reached with the gospel, a prelude to the fulfillment of Revelations 7:9, which promises that in eternity there will be people “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” Yet many Christians are unaware of these exciting times we are living in.

    Listen for David to share the one question people ask when they hear the gospel for the first time.

    Pray for boldness and courage for front line workers reaching those around them. Pray for spiritual protection as the enemy tries to thwart the efforts of their gospel work.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or listen each week—and get daily prayer reminders—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

    30 MIN


Please send me an email when each week’s episode is available.

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