MISSIONS:  “Past the Grave into Eternity”
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Episodes

  • MISSIONS:  “Past the Grave into Eternity”

    As a missionary kid, Brother John was raised by parents focused on bringing glory to God’s Kingdom. His father taught theology in the Bahamas and eventually moved the family to an unreached area –British Guiana – so people there could know that true freedom is only in Jesus. As a grown man, John took his own family to serve among Muslims.

    Brother John is now the Vice President of Global Engagement for the International Mission Board, helping send missionaries and plant churches all over the world, with a special focus on unreached peoples and areas.

    Listen as Brother John shares the story of Dr. Martha Myers and other Christians who served in Yemen before being martyred for their faith in Christ. Yet even in that loss and heartache, the Lord moved to further His Word. With an emphasis on the authority of scripture in missions work, Brother John loves distributing audio Bibles since many unreached people are illiterate or prefer listening to the scriptures rather than reading. He’ll also tell of hearts transformed in the deaf community as they reach out with God’s Word.

    More than 90% of the IMB efforts are focused on reaching the unreached for Christ. Pray unreached peoples will encounter the gospel and that the Lord would open doors in restricted nations for Bibles to be distributed.

    Listen to Brother John’s previous interview on VOM Radio here where he shared how teaching your children foreign languages is a strategic plan to serve the Lord.

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    24 MIN
  • PAKISTAN: Sharing Christ from Streets to Seminary

    With a heart to share the gospel, Kenneth Charles has experienced the different forms of persecution Christians in Pakistan face. Kenneth experienced the reality of being persecuted for Christ even as a young boy. He first learned of The Voice of the Martyrs through Tortured for Christ; the book was translated into Urdu by Kenneth’s brother.

    Growing up in a Christian family living in an Islamic context, Kenneth knew persecution would come. When he was a young boy, a peer attacked him with a knife. He still bears the scar.

    Kenneth came to know Christ through a miraculous healing; a pastor then helped deepen his understanding of Biblical truth. The very next day, Kenneth was accompanying that pastor in ministry – sharing the gospel in villages around the country.

    Now, through God’s Vision Ministries, which he founded, Kenneth is distributing audio Bibles in the Urdu language, conducting street ministry, and giving seminary training to church leaders throughout Pakistan—and even in other nations. Listen as Kenneth discusses the great need for leadership training in Pakistan and equipping believers there to answer questions from their Muslim neighbors—many of whom are curious about Christianity.

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    24 MIN
  • MIDDLE EAST: God’s Kingdom is Coming
    Throughout the Middle East, Muslims are surrendering their lives to Christ—in spite of family pressure and overt persecution. VOM’s Middle East regional leader, Aaron Miller, shares stories from the region, and how we can pray for Christian brothers and sisters there.

    Join as Aaron discusses the situation for church planting in Turkey and the persecution in a place where being Muslim is seen as part of one’s national identity. You’ll also hear about a young husband who was training to be an Imam, qualified to teach the Quran, but has become a devoted follower of Christ. Facing persecution from their family, he and his wife have found a new family through fellow believers.

    Aaron will also share the intensity of persecution in Iraq, where lawlessness runs rampant. He will equip us to pray for the believers there. There are many individual cases of persecution—often coming from one’s own family. Aaron shares the heartbreaking story of a young daughter persecuted by her own father—all to punish her mother for leaving Islam to follow Jesus.

    Aaron reminds us that as God’s Kingdom advances, the enemy will fight back. Yet we see God’s kingdom prevailing and spreading throughout the Middle East.

    Pray for these dear families and churches living for Christ in spite of the cost. Pray for gospel workers in the region, and for VOM international ministry staff, that they would be renewed in their faith as they see and hear stories of persecution and seek to encourage believers living through it.

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    24 MIN
  • MIDDLE EAST: “Recovery is a Man Named Jesus”

    Joe and Dawn are back on VOM Radio share what the Lord has been doing through their discipleship training and Bible smuggling ministry in the Middle East. They will also share how God opened a new door to ministry among women trapped in prostitution.

    Joe and Dawn are involved in Bible delivery to persecuted Christians in Iran. Believers targeted by the Iranian regime face the challenging choice to flee the country or stay, knowing they could be imprisoned for their faith. A Christian sister has recently begun a two-year prison sentence, yet she reported to prison excited about the ministry opportunities God had prepared for her in prison.

    In spite of so much Christian persecution, thousands of Iranians are choosing to follow Christ. Joe says that for many of them, “Islam is getting old.” It is exciting for Joe and Dawn to be involved in the great harvest of church growth happening among people of the Middle East.

    There are also burdens Joe and Dawn carry as they labor in this ministry work. Listen to hear how they choose to give their anxieties to the Lord each day, and how they think about raising their children in a “dangerous” part of the world. They will share some of the key lessons they want their children to notice in their lives and in God’s work around them.

    Last time they visited VOM Radio, Joe shared his testimony of how he met Jesus as a prisoner through God’s Word, and how his life was completely changed. Listen here as he tells how God transformed him from a prisoner and criminal into a committed follower of Christ.

    Joe and Dawn will also encourage you to pray for open doors to deliver Bibles across all parts of Iran, and for their family during a season of rest and Sabbath with the Lord.

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    34 MIN
  • Ramadan: Pray Constantly for Muslims

    Muslims around the world are commemorating the holiest month on the Islamic calendar: Ramadan. Muslims fast from sunup to sundown as a way to dedicate themselves to Allah and earn his approval. It is a strategic time for Christians to pray fervently for the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus and the truth of the gospel during Muslims’ heightened spiritual interest.

    Listen as guests explain the significance of Ramadan, then lead in praying for Muslims to encounter Christ during this month. They will also help listeners pray for persecuted Christians serving amongst Muslims. Our guests, who work in Muslim nations and among Muslims, will provide specific ways we can pray during this Ramadan month and especially the “Night of Power.”

    Set a reminder to pray each day during this pivotal time for the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to Muslims during Ramadan--through dreams and visions, a Christian friend, a Bible, gospel broadcast, social media post or in some other way.

    Guests leading us in prayer include:

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    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: “I Want to Be Faithful in My Generation”
    After serving as a gospel worker in western China for ten years, Dr. Pam Arlund now serves on the International Leadership Team for All Nations International, training and sending the next generation of missionaries. God called her to the unreached in China through examples of great missionaries like Hudson Taylor and Robert Morrison.

    Pam had never left the U.S. before she moved to China. She trusted the Lord would protect her and guide her in building relationships with local people. Like many missionaries, she went through different emotions and difficulties. Yet, her obedience in difficult seasons allowed her to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus.

    Listen as Pam shares some of her experience on the field, and how that influenced the way she trains gospel workers today. She will also introduce her new book, Stick Figures Save the World, which explains how simple drawings can help anyone be a witness for Christ.

    Pam will also talk about the responsibility of sending missionaries to hard and dangerous places—places where Christian persecution is intense. Finally, Pam shares how we can pray for missionaries we know and encourage them as they persevere in the Lord’s call on their life.

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    31 MIN
  • Afghanistan Under Taliban Control: How Is It Now?

    Last year the world witnessed thousands of Afghans fleeing their country as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. This week John Weaver, who lived for years in Afghanistan and speaks daily with people still inside the country, shares what is happening now under the Taliban government—especially with regard to our Christian brothers and sisters.

    Although many Afghans fled, many have stayed—including Afghan believers in Jesus. Everyone in Afghanistan is dealing with a disrupted economy, with some losing jobs, and others losing family and friends and all dealing with lack of available resources. Amidst Islamist oppression, there are opportunities for Christians to serve and be a witness. The church is underground, a persecuted minority, meeting in small groups yet still quietly finding ways to share the gospel.

    Afghans are also being reached in the countries to which they have fled—including via social media. Refugees have gone through trauma and stress. Yet, they have been welcomed into other countries—often more welcomed by Christians than fellow Muslims, which gives new opportunities to share the gospel.

    John will share stories of prayers that have been answered since the Taliban takeover—and give listeners current needs to lift in prayer on behalf of Afghan Christians—our brothers and sisters in faith.

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    34 MIN
  • Muslims in Turkey: Curious about Christ
    Soner Tufan says many Muslims in Turkey no longer believe Islam can answer the needs of their heart—or their country. Soner leads Radio Shema, broadcasting the gospel message, encouraging persecuted Christians and reaching curious Muslims all over Turkey.

    And God is multiplying the reach of His message. During Covid quarantine, Radio Shema used digital platforms like Instagram to reach millions of people, seeing ten times more feedback from listeners and twenty times more responses from people coming to faith!

    Soner also shares memories of his three friends, martyred 15 years ago this month in the offices of a Christian publishing house in the city of Malatya. Soon after the killings, four teenagers came to the radio station where one threatened Soner: “If you say anything, I will kill you.”

    Soner will also help us pray for Christians in Turkey, and for the ministry of Radio Shema. Pray for protection and courage for Christians in Turkey as they face strong opposition. Pray for effective discipleship to raise up more pastors and leaders for the persecuted church, and pray many more Muslims in Turkey will hear the gospel.

    Soner is also praying for more radio stations—he estimates that 95% of the people in Turkey have not yet heard the gospel message. Last week, Soner shared how he came to faith in Christ after growing up Muslim, the opposition from his family and friends, and how the ministry of Radio Shema came to be. Listen to last week’s episode here. 

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    24 MIN
  • Christian Radio in Turkey: “How Can We Be Quiet?”

    “I’m proud of being Turkish and, at the same time, I am a follower of Jesus Christ.”

    Soner Tufan’s words may not seem remarkable to people in Western nations. But in Turkey, where people consider being Muslim an inherent part of their identity and culture, his words immediately capture attention. Radio Shema, the ministry Soner leads, is broadcasting the gospel message all over Turkey, along with the testimony that a person can be a patriotic Turk and also a follower of Jesus.

    His message is being received—by Turks curious about Jesus and by those opposed to the gospel. Soner received a 14-page threat letter from ISIS. He’s lived under 24-hour police protection. He says more threats come every week. But he’s seen the Turkish church grow from a handful of believers to thousands, and he refuses to turn away from the work God has called him to.

    Soner became a Christian in 1985 through the witness of his Taekwondo instructor. At that time, there were perhaps fifty Christians in Turkey. Today, there are 7,000, and one of the key ways God is reaching Turks is through radio and TV broadcasting. Listen as Soner shares how God opened the door for Christian radio broadcasts in an Islamic nation—even while constructing a church building was impossible!

    Soner will share more details of his life as a Christian, the amazing transformation of his brother—who persecuted Soner when he became a Christian—turning to Jesus, and how God has made the impossible happen with Radio Shema in Turkey.

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    24 MIN
  • SERVING PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS: “We Need To Be Intense”

    Tony Benjamin travelled to meet persecuted Christians long before he was the president of a ministry serving such believers. In fact, he wasn’t even an employee when he joined a missions trip to Vietnam. But meeting and ministering alongside persecuted Christians there left a permanent mark on Tony’s life and faith—and today he leads The Voice of the Martyrs Australia.

    Tony says more and more Christians in Australia desire to be part of “the fellowship of Christ’s suffering,” and the ministry is growing dramatically each year. He and the staff are finding ways to speak directly to Australia’s Christians—including airing VOM Radio broadcasts. They also are reaching outside Australia’s borders and inviting Christians across the South Pacific into fellowship with persecuted believers.

    Listen as Tony shares about witnessing the start of a flourishing ministry in Egypt that today reaches Muslims all over the Middle East and North Africa. As the difficulties Christians face intensify, Tony encourages each of us to enhance our relationship with God, the ultimate source of our strength. Tony will also equip listeners to pray for VOM Australia and its ongoing work to serve and bless persecuted Christians.

    Merv Knight, the co-founder of VOM Australia, has previously been a guest on VOM Radio, including remarks he shared on his retirement from the board of VOM-USA and memories of serving with Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, the founders of The Voice of the Martyrs.

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    24 MIN
  • Advancing the Gospel: Every Necessary Risk
    Carter Gates leads VOM’s work in the Asia Pacific Region. This week he shares how he came to be involved in ministry, some travel and ministry experiences, and updates on the persecution of Christians in China, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Carter’s first spark of interest in missions came after reading a VOM book, Jesus Freaks, where he first read about Christians being persecuted for their faith. The stories, including one from North Korea, stirred in him a passion to know more about what his brothers and sisters in Christ are facing.

    Carter joined YWAM as a sophomore in college, and what he thought would be a few months of service turned into seven years ministering throughout East Asia!

    China continues to enforce drastic religious restrictions, including expelling many Christian foreigners, some of whom have lived and worked in China for decades. Local believers say they are ready to take the lead and continue God’s work—even as they face suffering and persecution. Carter will also discuss restrictions and persecution in Myanmar and Vietnam, including how Covid has affected ministry and travel in the past two years.

    Carter will also share an opportunity VOM workers had to help Christians obtain ground to bury their dead—something that’s been a blessing to Christians and a powerful testimony to Buddhists living in the surrounding area.

    Carter will help us know specific ways to pray for access to God’s Word, strength for the church and for the Lord to continue to lead His people in the Asia Pacific region.

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    33 MIN
  • TURKMENISTAN: “I Will Open Doors You Can’t Even Imagine”

    Listen this week as we share Part 2 (listen to Part 1) of Silas’s story. He will tell of the darkest moments in his life, suffering intense persecution for his Christian faith. Silas and his family continued in obedience to Christ despite threats from the KGB. Silas’s refusal to bow to their agenda angered them.

    Silas was arrested and tortured in ways that, as a lawyer, he found unbelievable. He says his doubts, shame, and moments of weakness reminded him to lean into God’s power. By remembering the suffering of Christ, Silas was overwhelmed with comfort.

    As Silas trusted the Lord in his suffering, he saw God working on the hearts of others—including his torturers! The head KGB officer who tortured Silas and his Christian friend later asked Silas’s forgiveness and prayer for his family. He was even welcomed into the home of one of the Christians he’d tortured.

    Today Silas is involved in ministry through radio/TV broadcasting and various internet platforms to share the gospel in the Turkmen language, knowing how it impacted him to see on film Jesus speaking his own language. Pray for the good news to continue to spread throughout Turkmenistan and to Turkmen people all over the world!

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    33 MIN
  • TURKMENISTAN: “Hearing Jesus Speak My Language, The Gospel Became Real”
    Brother Silas, raised in the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, says that as a young man he was an atheist in his head but a Muslim in his heart. When a family member shared his faith in Jesus Christ, Silas angrily rejected such talk. In his mind, Christianity was foreign to the Turkmen people, the faith of the invading Russians.

    Yet, as Silas heard the stories and teachings of Jesus, he found himself attracted by who Jesus is. Through a VHS copy of the Jesus Film in the Turkmen language and the divine opportunity to watch it, Silas committed his life to following Christ. Listen as Silas shares how hearing Jesus speak in Turkmen, his own heart’s tongue, made the gospel real and personal to him.

    Immediately, Silas experienced overwhelming joy and peace. All his questions had been answered. He began to share Christ with others in his village. But as his obedient actions for Christ became known, Silas got his first taste of Christian persecution.

    Government agents, focused on keeping control of Turkmenistan’s people, raided church meetings and even Silas’s home. Be sure to listen next week to hear part two of Silas’s testimony and the intense persecution he faced.

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    35 MIN
  • Muslims Asking Questions, Finding Jesus

    Across the Middle East, Muslims have questions about their faith. But Islamic teaching doesn’t encourage or allow such questions. As a young man in Morocco, Brother Rachid had questions also; he found answers through a Christian radio broadcast and chose to follow Christ.

    Today he hosts an Arabic-language TV program airing all over the Middle East. On the first broadcast, he asked Muslims to call in with questions about Islam and Christianity. In the first half hour of the program more than 800 people called with questions!

    Listen to hear how Rachid learned to see outside his own worldview and break down Islamic ideologies he was taught. Over time, his actions and ideas changed; others noticed that his entire life had been transformed.

    Persecution came swiftly. When his family found out he was a Christian, they kicked him out of the house. Rachid connected with other Christians, which gave him joy and excitement knowing he had a new family, but also fear he could be imprisoned or persecuted for his faith.

    Rachid will advise how we can help Muslim friends find answers to their questions in Christ. Pray for breakthroughs in the hearts of Muslims as the gospel is shared through TV and radio broadcasts all over the Middle East.

    You can also watch a video version of Brother Rachid’s testimony.

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    30 MIN
  • Following Jesus “Angers the Spirits”

    Among tribal groups in East Asia, new believers in Christ can be forcibly removed from their homes and villages. Animistic tribesmen desire to please and appease the spirits they worship; those who come to faith in Jesus are seen as angering the spirits. However, those who follow Jesus are part of a new community as brothers and sisters come alongside to encourage one another amidst persecution.

    Matt and Linda are working with people from one of these tribes. They’ll explain how the gospel is spreading and what Christian persecution looks like in that setting.

    Linda helps run a Sunday school program which is serving children from believing and unbelieving homes alike. Even parents who don’t know Christ are encouraging their kids to go! Listen as Matt and Linda share the importance of teaching Bible stories in these tribal communities, and how younger generations point their parents toward the Lord. As villagers see the power of God and His love for them, hearts are touched and transformed.

    Pray for gospel workers in tribal communities in Asia, and for the safe distribution of God’s Word into hostile areas and restricted nations in the region.

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    24 MIN
  • Olympics Begin; Chinese Christians Still Suffer
    Ten or 20 years ago, persecution of Christians in China varied greatly across China’s 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions. Bob Fu—a former teacher at the Communist Party School in Beijing and prisoner for Christ in China—says things are much different today. Chinese Christian persecution is driven by the national government in Beijing; every province is expected to control religious expression.

    Fu is the Founder and President of China Aid Association and author of God’s Double Agent. Listen as he shares how the communist government has cracked down on Christians in recent years and how Christians have suffered ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

    Bob says persecution of Christians in China today is the worst it’s been since the 1960s and 70s Cultural Revolution. Xi Jinping and other officials are increasing efforts to imprison and detain unregistered church leaders and members—but leaders in state-sanctioned TSPM churches are also persecuted.

    Communist ideology is also enforced through digital surveillance. Every Chinese person is required to install a “health app” on their phone, and surveillance cameras throughout the country monitor movement.  Online meetings with any religious purpose are now required to register and be approved by provincial authorities, and Bible apps have been forbidden.

    As the eyes of the world turn toward China during the Games, join Christians around the world to pray for Chinese Christians—and for their persecutors. Go to www.PrayForChina2022.com to learn more about what is happening in China and how you can pray for Christian brothers and sisters there.

    24 MIN
  • Serving in the Himalayas: Jesus is Worthy

    As a young adult, John sensed the call to surrender his life to bring glory to God and reach Tibetan Buddhists in the Himalayan region for Christ. Listen as John shares how he started in full-time ministry among Tibetan people, their culture, and encouraging stories of persecuted Christians in the region.

    Tibetan Buddhists’ beliefs often mix traditional Buddhism with existing shamanistic beliefs of the region. In tightly-knit communities, those who come to faith in Jesus face persecution from families and the broader community.

    John connects established Tibetan Christians with new believers to share their experiences of persecution and faith, preparing the new believers for what may come. Listen as John shares encouraging stories of young people finding hope in Jesus.

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    24 MIN
  • Visiting Middle East Christians

    Come with us to the Middle East as VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, and his wife, Char, share stories from a recent visit to persecuted Christians in the region. Listen as they share updates on Iraqi refugees who fled from ISIS more than five years ago and what the Lord is currently doing in the lives of persecuted Christians – even one who has only been a believer one week!

    You’ll hear about an Iranian woman who, in just two years as a believer, has planted almost 40 churches! She uses every opportunity to pray for others in Jesus’ name. When those prayers are answered, they instantly want to know more about the Lord she serves.

    Learn about Christians in the Middle East sacrificially staying with Muslim family members—in spite of persecution—in the hope of seeing their relatives know Christ. Listen also to hear about a service where former Muslims were baptized into new life in Christ—and the joy radiating from the new believers’ faces.

    As ISIS drove across the Nineveh plains, many Iraqi Christians fled to surrounding countries as refugees. More than five years later, many are still waiting for a new beginning in another country. They are unable to work and their children can’t attend school. But the church is welcoming them—both Muslim and Christian refugees. VOM continues to partner with churches to help meet Christian refugees’ needs and encourage them in this discouraging season. Learn how you can pray for them and for the church in the Middle East. 

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    37 MIN
  • The Power of Prayer in Africa

    Across Africa, the church is undergoing attacks on its members and their meeting places. Yet despite the destruction, our Christian brothers and sisters exhibit an overwhelming joy in Christ.

    Sean Paton and Jeremy Malkin continue the conversation from last week on VOM’s efforts to help our persecuted brothers in Burkina Faso, Benin, Sudan, and Mozambique. Listen as Jeremy and Sean share how Christians are responding to the persecution in these regions—and also share encouraging stories of God’s work in Africa during the past year.

    Animistic ideology and belief in the spirits of their ancestors is prevalent in Benin. Christianity is often seen as destroying that culture. New believers are rejecting the rituals and practices of animism and holding fast to their faith in Christ, and therefore being targeted.

    In Burkina Faso, thirteen churches were destroyed within a week last year by mobs who wanted to rid the area of Christianity. Yet our brothers and sisters gathered to worship the Lord amidst the destruction because of their hope in Him. Listen as Jeremy shares their stories and how we can pray for them.

    In Mozambique, there has been horrific persecution of Christians by Islamic extremist groups who have pledged allegiance to ISIS. This has forced many Christians to flee, and VOM is helping to meet physical needs and spiritual hunger for God’s Word. In Sudan, political tension continues to grow, which has given a window to provide spiritual encouragement and support to Christians through Bibles and other evangelistic resources.

    Pray for our brothers and sisters to be bold and courageous for Christ in Africa as they face animistic and Islamist persecution, and to be reminded that what men intend for evil, God can use for good.

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    34 MIN
  • AFRICA: Increasing Christian Persecution

    Across Africa, instability and the growing influence of radical Islamist ideology mean more persecution for our Christian brothers and sisters.

    Sean Paton and Jeremy Malkin oversee VOM’s efforts to serve persecuted Christians across Africa. Listen as they share updates on how Christians are responding—especially in the Central African Republic and Ethiopia.

    Thousands of Christians have been displaced in CAR by a civil war in which Christians have at times found themselves specifically targeted and at other times been caught in the crossfire between different factions. Listen as Jeremy gives an update on their situation, tells of meeting them first hand and describes specific ways we can pray for them.

    Ethiopia has also experienced upheaval in the past year, which provided cover for targeting Christians by those opposed to the gospel in the region. Sean will tell us what Christians there are facing, and give ways to pray.

    You can be inspired to pray for Christians in these and other nations throughout 2022 when you request your free copy of the 2022 VOM Global Prayer Guide.

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    24 MIN