GAZA PASTOR: Connected Together Through Pain
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Hear the voice of your persecuted Christian family

THIS WEEK’S EPISODE

GAZA PASTOR: Connected Together Through Pain
29 MIN

Today Hanna Massad, former pastor of Gaza Baptist Church, assists persecuted Christians and refugees across the Middle East.

He knows what they are facing. He’s had his own first-hand experiences of Christian persecution, living and pastoring a church in a Muslim context. His wife led the Gaza Bible Society during a time when it was bombed twice. Their coworker and friend, Rami Ayyad, was kidnapped and murdered.

In these difficult moments, Hanna and his family had to completely rely on God’s Word. When Gaza police told him they couldn’t protect his family, Hanna thought of Psalm 46:1, “The Lord is my refuge.” He and his family knew God could protect them, even if local authorities could not or would not.

In the face of threats of further attacks, they decided to leave Gaza, at least temporarily. They planned to be away for a few weeks, long enough that the situation could settle down again. Instead, their departure became long-term.

While the doors have never re-opened for the Massad family to return permanently to Gaza, that doesn’t mean their ministry in Gaza ceased. Massad, author of the book Pastor From Gaza (affiliate link), continues ministering to Christians in Gaza through the church, online connections, the Bible Society library and regular visits back to his homeland.

Listen as he shares an update on the current ministry of Pauline Ayyad, Rami’s widow and a recent guest on VOM Radio. He’ll also share what it means to be a true disciple and he’ll challenge every listener to keep our eyes on Jesus.

Hanna is the founder and president of Christian Ministry to Gaza, blessing and serving widows, orphans, and refugees in multiple nations of the Middle East, helping provide for spiritual and physical needs.

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Today’s VOM
Radio Minute

Now heard on more than 1,000 Christian radio stations.

  • February 6, 2023
  • February 3, 2023
  • February 2, 2023

Previous Episodes

  • GAZA PASTOR: “Our Faith Will Not Be Tested When Everything Is Going Fine”

    Pastor Hanna Massad served the Lord in the face of intense Christian persecution. He’s been threatened. The Bible Society where his wife worked was bombed. He buried a martyred coworker. Yet he calls it an honor and a privilege to serve the Lord in such circumstances.

    Hanna Massad is the former pastor of Gaza Baptist Church. His wife, Suhad, led the Bible Society in Gaza. He still gets emotional thinking back to the day when Rami Ayyad, who worked for the Bible Society, was kidnapped and later killed. Speaking of his martyred friend, Hanna says, “Rami had a wonderful heart, he loved the Lord, and his dedication to the Lord, his family, and the community are wonderful memories, despite the pain and suffering.”

    Listen as Hanna shares his own story of coming to faith in Christ, and how he faced pressure—even as a boy—for being identified as a Christian in Gaza. He says Christians in Gaza live “between two fires,” and explains some of the challenges of church ministry in such a setting.

    “Our faith will not be tested when everything is going fine.” Hanna explained. God allows us to go through the fire to reflect His love to those who don’t know Him.

    Last year we met Rami Ayyad’s widow, Pauline. Listen to Pauline Ayyad’s interview on VOM Radio to hear her journey from deep grief and anger to forgiving Rami’s persecutors.

    Today Pastor Hanna Massad serves as the leader for Christian Mission to Gaza. He is also author of the book Pastor From Gaza (affiliate link). Hanna reminds us what the most important thing in life is as we, children of God by His grace, carry the Holy Spirit’s presence wherever we go.

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

    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: Taking the Gospel to the 4-in-10

    Brother Harold served 15 years as a gospel worker among Muslims in Central Asia—where persecution of new Christian believers is common. For the past five years he has worked in the US to recruit, train and mobilize more workers into the world’s spiritual harvest fields. Harold reminds us that four out of every ten people around the world have never heard the name of Jesus. What are we, as Christians, doing to shrink that number? Harold reminds us that God’s Word clearly states that followers of Jesus are to be involved in the spreading of the gospel. He challenges every listener: Are you sending laborers into the harvest? Praying for the gospel to go out? Are you going?

    Harold will share a recent story where God allowed him to see the fruit of his family’s labor in Central Asia—but also reminds us that we won’t always see the fruit of our work, especially in the early years of gospel planting.

    He’ll also encourage listeners that they can reach unreached nations right here in the US through immigrant communities. He’ll share how he and his family have been able to bless Central Asian immigrants in their city—and how that has led to gospel opportunities. He says when Muslims come to faith in the US, it is almost always the result of encountering Christ’s love in His people.

    Listen as Harold suggests ways we can pray for more opportunities for the gospel, for our persecuted church family, and for current and future missionaries.

    In this conversation we refer to a previous episode on VOM Radio with Bob and Kasey, who were enjoying their retirement when God gave them a “holy discontent,” and called them to minister to the people of a very closed Muslim nation.

    Learn how you can specifically pray for persecuted Christians in 2023 by requesting a complimentary copy of VOM’s 2023 Global Prayer Guide.

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

    24 MIN
  • TURKEY: Ready To Die for Christ

    “Tell me the truth! Dead or alive?”

    When Susanne Geske heard the answer to that question—that her husband, Tilmann, had been murdered along with two Turkish Christians, Necati Aydin and Ugur Yüksel—she was overwhelmed with shock. The Geskes had been in Turkey (now called Türkiye) for 10 years. It’s a Muslim country, and they knew there was some risk for Christians. But she never thought their family would be affected.

    The five murderers—ages 19 and 20—were arrested at the scene of the crime. Turkish media members rushed to Malatya to report on the “missionary massacre,” and they wanted to interview Susanne. She didn’t know what to say when they came to her door the day after her husband had been martyred.

    Praying, she asked, “Lord what should I say?”

    The Holy Spirit answered with the words of Christ on the cross: “Forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Though Turkish media often paint Christians as an enemy, with the Lord’s help Susanne used this opportunity to share the gospel of forgiveness and the love of Jesus, the reason she could forgive men who killed her husband. Her living example of forgiveness was broadcast all over Turkey.

    Listen as Susanne shares how God has become a father to her children and looked after her needs in the 15 years since Tilmann was killed. She’ll also give an update on the killers’ trial, the search for justice and how her church family and neighbors enveloped her with prayers and love in the days after the murder.

    She says that in Turkey, and other Muslim nations, people are rejecting Islam and seeking hope and truth. Many Muslims are searching privately online to learn more about Jesus and Christianity. Pray for Christians in Turkey, for those who are seeking truth, and for Susanne and her family.

    VOM Radio has also shared a conversation with Semse Aydin, widow of Necati. Listen to that conversation here. VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, wrote about meeting Susanne and Semse in Turkey just seven weeks after the murder of their husbands in his book, When Faith is Forbidden.

    Learn more about praying for persecuted Christians in Turkey and other restricted nations and hostile areas when you request your free copy of the VOM 2023 Global Prayer Guide.

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

    24 MIN
  • Persecution and Ministry in 2023: Be At Peace

    When terrorists invaded the church service and pointed guns at his head, the pastor could have said many things to his congregation. Led by the Holy Spirit, he told them simply, “Be at peace. Soon we will be with Jesus.” Instead of committing murder, the attackers put their guns down and left the church, leaving the pastor and his flock alive and well.

    This true story, from persecuted Christians on the Arabian Peninsula, is just one of those you’ll hear this week from Jonathan Ekman, VOM’s Vice President of International Ministry. Join the conversation as Jonathan looks back on VOM’s work in 2022 and looks ahead to challenges and opportunities for persecuted church ministry in 2023.

    Listen as Jonathan discusses regions where persecution is changing, and what the next year may look like for Christians in restricted and hostile nations. He’ll also suggest some less-well-known countries, such as Northern Mozambique, Malaysia and Brunei, where persecuted Christians need your prayer.

    Are there nations where VOM’s work is likely to change in 2023? Jonathan will talk about the spread of radical Islam across Africa, and what it means for churches and Christian leaders in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic and other African nations. He’ll also look at some of the many unknowns faced this year, including intensified Christian persecution in China and upcoming elections in Nigeria and India. Your prayer list will grow as you consider the persecution being faced by Christians around the globe.

    One way you can pray more knowledgeably for persecuted Christians in the new year is to request a complimentary copy of VOM’s 2023 Global Prayer Guide. For an in-depth discussion of Christian persecution and current events in China, listen to this recent VOM Radio conversation with Dr. Bob Fu.

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

    27 MIN

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