When this year began, there was talk of war between North Korea and the United States. By June, we watched video of President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiling and shaking hands. Big changes!
What does it mean? How are those changes affecting our Christian brothers and sisters in the DPRK? Dr. Eric Foley, the President of VOM-Korea, joins us to offer answers to those questions, and helps us look at news coverage of North Korea not as Americans or Koreans, but as members of the Body of Christ.
Dr. Foley will talk about changes on the Korean peninsula, and how those changes are affecting Christian work there—both north and south of the DMZ. He’ll share why this has been the most difficult year ever for VOM balloon launches into North Korea, and explain why North Korean defectors are such a significant part of reaching North Korea with the gospel message.
Finally, Dr. Foley will give very specific advice on how we can be in prayer for North Korean Christians.
Will you commit to pray for North Korea this week? Join us on VOM Radio and equip yourself to pray more knowledgeably for the “hermit kingdom.”
George Verwer is the founder of Operation Mobilization; OM has mobilized more than 200,000 people to spread the gospel to the furthest parts of the world. Listen as George shares how he thinks about risk, and his challenge to Christian believers to refocus from comfort and convenience to serving the Lord.
George will share about OM workers he has known who’ve sacrificed everything for Christ, and also how he makes tough leadership decisions—including sending mission workers into dangerous places.
Verwer challenges each of us to be involved in sharing the gospel message and to focus more on the things of Christ than on the daily news or our social media feed.
He’ll also share about his early encounters with VOM’s founder, Richard Wurmbrand, and how George declined to use OM vehicles to smuggle Richard out of Romania.
Purchase George's book, Messiology (affiliate link).
What do our brothers and sisters in Central Asia face in walking out their faith in Christ? A hard path filled with loss and persecution—but also a path filled with joy! Aaron Miller oversees VOM’s work there, and he’s just back from meeting with and hearing the testimonies of our persecuted family there about how God’s Kingdom is advancing even in small steps, one conversation or one taxi ride at a time.
Listen to hear specific types of persecution that Christians in Central Asia face, and ways VOM is standing with them—and in some cases has stood with them for years.
You’ll meet Rebekah, whose husband was martyred for his faith years ago, and who now says that the hard path of losing her husband has opened the door for even greater ministry in her nation—especially to women who’ve experienced loss and hardship.
One of those Rebekah is ministering to is Rachel. Listen to hear why getting a driver’s license was a major accomplishment for Rachel—and how it is already improving her, and Rebekah’s, ability to minister for Christ.
Lydia is the widow of a pastor. Her family is trying to get her to marry a Muslim man. it's an offer she has repeatedly refused, even though in her culture it is very difficult for a single mother. Listen to hear specific ways you can pray for Lydia and her children—and what the support of Christians around the world has meant to her.
Hear the story of a second-grade boy boldly sharing about Jesus with classmates and friends—even though he lives in a restricted nation where such talk can lead to trouble.
You’ll hear about Caleb, who was so convicted after he came to faith in Christ that it changed the way he did his work—which ultimately cost him his job as a policeman. Listen to hear how God continues to meet his family’s needs, and how God let VOM play a role in their story—at exactly the right time.
Your faith will be encouraged and you’ll be equipped to pray for our brothers and sisters in Central Asia this week on VOM Radio.
Brad Phillips shares an update on the current situation for Christians in Sudan, including persecution of Nuba Christians along the border with South Sudan. You’ll be inspired by the story of Morris, who paid the fine demanded from the Muslim who attacked his daughter. Morris saw an opportunity for the gospel instead of taking an opportunity for revenge or anger.
You’ll be challenged as you hear how the gospel is advancing in Sudan in spite of persecution and threats, and equipped to pray for our Sudanese family members as they boldly share the gospel.
You can hear Phillips’ previous visit on VOM Radio here.
Hear VOM staff member Petr Jasek share about his 14 months in prison in Sudan here.
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.