In the midst of his persecution, Dmitry “David” Shestakov remembered Christ on the cross, and determined in his heart that if Christ suffered willingly, David also would persevere through his time of suffering.
As a young man, David was a criminal and a drug user. His mother’s desperate prayer—even though she was an atheist—led to Shestakov surrendering his life to Christ. Once surrendered, he immediately began to tell others about Jesus. He knew, early on, that such witness would be costly.
Listen to hear how God used letters written by VOM readers on www.PrisonerAlert.com to bless and protect David while he was in prison in Uzbekistan—even saving him from being beaten by guards. You’ll also hear how the Uzbek government tried to add years to his sentence, but God miraculously moved and David was released, as he says, “like a Scripture came to life.”
David will also help us pray for Christians currently in prison, and for their family members.
Joe Handley leads Asian Access, a ministry to train and equip church leaders—including many working in countries where Christians face persecution for their faith.
Listen as Joe shares the process used to train leaders, and the special challenges of raising up leaders prepared to endure and thrive in spite of persecution and hostility. Joe will also talk about how the principles taught translate across cultural boundaries from country to country, equipping leaders to boldly follow Christ and serve His people. Finally, Joe will equip us to pray for these leaders, as well as the ministry of Asian Access.
Don’t forget: the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is coming up November 4. Get free resources from VOM to help your church pray.
Brother “Ali” says that the current situation in Iran is “chaos.” But he says God is using that chaos as “a perfect storm” to bring more Iranians to faith in Christ.
You’ll be encouraged by stories of how God is reaching Iranian people with His love—a love that can overcome depression, sickness and need, replacing chaos with the peace of God.
Listen as Ali shares the story in the Bible that inspires him to challenge Muslims to go to the mosque more often, and how he sees lives changed dramatically—often in a very short time—after an Iranian meets Jesus.
Ali will also talk about the blessings of persecution, how the fear and danger he faces each day shapes his spiritual walk, and how the church in Iran talks about suffering.
“Brother Joel” is back to discuss current persecution in China and how the church there is responding. Joel speaks especially to the current status of Bible distribution in China, and why Chinese Christians need a new Bible every 3-5 years.
Joel will also tell how he and his wife personally think through and plan for the possibility they will receive “the gift of persecution,” and who inspired him to be involved in this sacrificial, dangerous ministry effort. Finally Joel will help us pray for the church in China, and for VOM’s work in that nation.
In Part 2 of our interview with Pastor Hassan Abduraheem Taour he shares how his heart remained upbeat, even as the judge pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to 12 years in prison. He’ll talk about how reading the Bible is different inside prison than when you’re free. Hassan says he experienced persecution as a blessing from God—a blessing that brought him to weep tears of joy. “It is really a privilege to be persecuted,” he says.
Your faith will be encouraged, and you’ll be challenged to pray for Sudan as you hear Pastor Hassan’s amazing testimony this week on VOM Radio.
Hear Part 1 of our conversation here.
Pastor Hassan was imprisoned with VOM’s Africa regional director, Petr Jasek. You can hear Petr’s side of the story here.
Pastor Hassan Abduraheem Taour helped train Sudanese pastors to be ready for persecution. He didn’t know that he was also preparing himself for the day he’d be arrested in Sudan, charged with aiding espionage alongside VOM’s Africa regional director, Petr Jasek, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
There were difficult days in prison, yet Pastor Hassan experienced the joy of the Lord—joy so powerful it brought tears to his eyes. It is because of that joy, and because of the ministry God gave him in prison, that Pastor Hassan looks back on those long months as “one of the best times of my life.”
Pastor Kumar is a part of the All India Christian Council, helping Christians all over India who face persecution and pressure for living out their faith in Christ. Listen as Kumar talks about how persecution in India is increasing, to the point that every day a Christians is facing persecution somewhere in India. What challenges will a Hindu who chooses to follow Jesus likely face?
Kumar will also share about so-called “anti-conversion” laws in India, and how they affect evangelism. He will share his own experience facing persecution and even death threats as he shared the gospel—and how he felt God’s hand in those moments. Finally, Kumar will equip all of us to pray for our brothers and sisters in India.
Pastor John Cao has trained literally thousands of Chinese church leaders, including many who have taken the gospel to other parts of China and even across the border into other nations. In recent years Cao’s ministry has expanded to Myanmar, where he set up schools to minister to poor children from minority tribal groups. But his bold ministry in and out of China has not gone unnoticed by Chinese authorities. Today Pastor John sits in a Chinese prison, sentenced to serve seven years on the charge of “illegal border crossing.” Yet even in prison, he has found reasons to rejoice!
Dr. Bob Fu, the founder and president of China Aid Association, will share the story of his friend, Pastor John Cao, as well as update us on the state of the church in China and specific ways that we can pray this week for that nation and our brothers and sisters there.
Sign the petition on The White House web site, asking President Trump to intervene on behalf of Pastor John Cao.
This weekend marks the launch of a new video-based curriculum to allow your family, Bible study group or Sunday School class to take an up-close look at the lives and faith of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand. Our guests are Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs and one of the on-screen speakers in the video series, and John Grooters, the director of the video segments as well as of Tortured For Christ – The Movie. Listen as they describe the lessons from Richard and Sabina’s lives that most impacted them, and what they hope American Christians will draw out of this six-week study. We’ll also share how you can get a free DVD and digital download of Tortured For Christ – The Movie when you buy the curriculum video DVD and included group leader’s guide.
Listen to John Grooters share about the making of Tortured For Christ – The Movie in a previous episode of VOM Radio.
Over the weekend of June 23-24, hundreds of Christians were killed and thousands displaced in attacks by jihadis from among the Fulani people in the Middle Belt of Nigeria. Listen as Brother Sean, VOM’s Africa regional director, shares an update from Christians recovering from those attacks and reports how VOM is directly helping more than 5,000 affected Christians. Sean will provide some context for the ongoing violence in Nigeria, where more than 6,000 people—mostly Christians—have been killed in violent attacks this year. Sean will also report good news: God is at work among the Fulani people! Just in Nigeria, more than 35,000 Fulanis have left Islam behind to follow Jesus Christ. You’ll gain perspective and understanding to help you pray effectively for our Christian family in Nigeria this week on VOM Radio.
The first time “Kyung-ja” heard about God, it wasn’t from a missionary or on a gospel radio broadcast. She first heard about God from a female North Korean guard who was beating her!
Listen this week as our sister from North Korea shares about the suffering she faced in her homeland, suffering that led her to flee her country, but also eventually led her into relationship with Jesus Christ.
You’ll gain new understanding of the incredible oppression faced by North Korea’s people under the brutal regime of Kim Jong-un as you hear Kyung-ja’s story. You’ll also be inspired to pray many more North Koreans will find peace in Jesus Christ—peace that can’t be confiscated by their government.
Last week we heard Gary Witherall talk about how God called him and his wife, Bonnie, to serve evangelizing Muslims in the Middle East. In this second part of our conversation, Gary describes the day his wife, Bonnie, was martyred in the clinic where she served Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Gary talks about hearing God’s voice in that time of grief, and making a conscious choice to forgive his wife’s killers, something he says today is “the greatest gift I’ve ever given anybody.” You’ll also hear about how God has brought fruit from Gary and Bonnie’s sacrifice, and how God is still using Gary today to share His love around the world as he continues to serve with Operation Mobilization. You can learn more about Gary’s story by reading his book, Total Abandon (affiliate link).
Gary Witherall and his wife, Bonnie, heard God’s call to tell people in the Middle East about Jesus. They answered that call by moving to Lebanon, where they served with Operation Mobilization, building relationships with Lebanese people and Palestinian refugees—until the day Bonnie was martyred in the clinic where she served refugee women.
Listen as Gary shares about how God called them to the Middle East, what their work there was like and how each day of their ministry was unique. He’ll also share how things changed on 9-11, when Gary and Bonnie saw people all around them celebrating the murder of more than 3,000 Americans.
After the attacks, they found their life and ministry more difficult, but they never considered leaving. In fact, it was after 9-11 that Gary and Bonnie determined they would stay and serve the Lord—no matter the cost. “I think we were martyred on that day,” Gary says. You’ll be challenged as Gary asks the question: what do you love so much you’d be willing to die for it?
Be sure to join us next week on VOM Radio as Gary tells about the day Bonnie gave her life for Christ. You can learn more about Gary’s story by reading his book, Total Abandon (affiliate link).
There have been significant changes in China this year, changes that greatly affect our Christian brothers and sisters and how they live out their faith. First, new “regulations on religion” took effect, attempting to give China’s communist government more control over church activities. Secondly, term limits were abolished for China’s President, allowing current leader Xi Jinping to lead the country for many more years.
Listen this week as Brother Blake and Brother Joel share what these changes mean for churches in China, and how Christians are responding to the changes to continue serving Christ in the face of communist oppression. Blake and Joel will also equip you to pray for China’s Christians during these days of increasing pressure.
Bryson Vogeltanz works with Passion Ministries to call 18-25 year olds to a deeper walk with Christ, and to be involved with the work of God around the world. Listen as he shares how young people at a Passion Conference were challenged to help VOM deliver Scripture Balloons into North Korea, and how they overwhelmingly responded.
He’ll also talk about putting on a Passion event inside a predominantly-Muslim country, and how seeing young people answer Christ’s call has inspired his own faith and his pastoral work right here in the United States.
Finally, Bryson will challenge each of us to “tell Jesus stories” to those around us in order to draw others to Christ.
You can learn more about Passion events and register for Passion 2019 here.
Ben Foley is the president of Serve Now, a ministry empowering churches and Christian leaders in many different countries to serve the Lord and to reach out with the Bible in one hand and a cup of cold water in the other.
Listen in as Ben shares about the work of Serve Now, and how God very specifically guided him into the ministry. He'll also share the first prayer request of Christians under threat of persecution in countries where Serve Now works, and it's not the one you're likely expecting.
Ben will also share how God gave him an opportunity for a very brief taste of persecution, and how he found God's grace sufficient, moment-by-moment, through that experience. The experience also showed him first-hand the difference it makes when the Body of Christ is praying for those facing persecution.
Al Fadi is a former Wahabbi Muslim from Saudi Arabia. He says when he tells Saudi friends that he’s now a Christian, they say, “That’s impossible!” They don’t believe a Saudi Muslim would ever leave their religion to follow another faith.
But Al Fadi did leave Islam behind when he encountered followers of Christ during university studies in the United States. Listen as Al Fadi shares how his heart was changed as he met and watched true followers of Christ. “If their holy book is corrupted,” he asked himself, “how is it that the followers of that book are so different?”
He’ll also share about how his family responded to the “shame” of having a family member choose to follow Christ. You’ll be encouraged by Al Fadi’s testimony, and inspired and equipped to reach out to Muslims you know with the love of Jesus.
Rebecca George is the principal writer for VOM’s new book: WURMBRAND: Tortured For Christ the Complete Story. Listen this week as she shares how she went about researching the lives of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, the founders of The Voice of the Martyrs. Rebecca will tell us what her writing process is like, and why she felt the need to start the story by telling about the Wurmbrand’s life before Christ—to show the difference that Christ made. She’ll talk about wrestling with how many details of the Wurmbrands’ terrible suffering to include, and how her own walk with Christ was impacted by the example of Richard and Sabina. Finally, Rebecca will give us a preview of the project she’s working on now: the story of another imprisoned Christian. Order your copy of WURMBRAND here.
This weekend marks Father’s Day, and our guest is Phil Nettleton, long-time missionary and father of VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton. Listen as Phil shares about how God called him into missionary service, about the challenges missionaries face on the field and specific ways that you can pray for missionaries that you know or that your church is sending. He’ll also share how God makes each place a Christian serves and each season of ministry a “favorite.” Phil will talk about learning the power of going into a different culture as a learner instead of an expert. Finally, Phil will talk about serving the Lord in the seasons of life after “retirement”—a word he reminds us is not mentioned in the Bible.