KIDNAPPED GOSPEL WORKER: Forgiveness is the Best Weapon We Have
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Episodes

  • KIDNAPPED GOSPEL WORKER: Forgiveness is the Best Weapon We Have

    “It’s better to be dead than taken hostage.”

    When Jeff Woodke said those words, he didn’t know that he would be taken hostage from his home in Niger in 2016. But Woodke, a long-term relief and gospel worker in West Africa, did know there were risks.

    Risk wasn’t such a big issue in the early years of the ministry of Jeff and his wife, Els, in Niger with Youth With a Mission (YWAM). They worked in church planting, discipleship, and evangelism among the Wodaabe people. Niger was an open country, with churches throughout. What Christian persecution there was came from family members or neighbors who opposed following Jesus. However, over time the rise of Salafist Islam changed Niger—and increased their risk.

    Listen as Jeff recalls the night he was kidnapped and how the image of orange flashes from the guns which killed his guards are seared into his memory.

    Naked and bloody, Jeff was forced into the back seat of a truck and driven away, not knowing who his captors were or how long his captivity might last. Over the years, Jeff was transferred into the custody of multiple terror groups, beaten and mistreated. As a Christian who refused to embrace Islam, Jeff was seen as an animal. Some of his guards were only 12 years old.

    Yet Jeff says renouncing his faith in Christ and becoming a Muslim to get better treatment was never an option. Jeff shares what helped him during those difficult days and how he knew the Lord was with him. Listen as he tells why forgiveness was key and how he took opportunity daily to express it to his captors.

    Please pray for Jeff and Els as they continue to recover from the more than six years of Jeff’s captivity and come back next week as Jeff continues to share more of his experience being a hostage and his eventual release and freedom.

    Register now to join VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, at the I-Am-N Virtual Event on March 8. You may also want to talk to your pastor or church leaders about hosting this inspiring event at your church. More details and free registration at www.IamNevent.com

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

    24 MIN
  • SOUTH ASIA: “It’s Not an Easy Calling”

    David Paul fell in love with Muslims as a college student visiting Turkey (now Türkiye) to share the gospel. After getting married, he and his wife thought they’d go where Muslims are — the Middle East. God changed their plans, reminding them that millions of Muslims live in South Asia, yet very few mission workers go there. They knew God was calling them, and without ever visiting, they moved to South Asia more than a decade ago. Their focus is on reaching Urdu speaking Muslims with the gospel message.

    Listen as David shares difficulties from those early years of ministry and how we can encourage and pray for missionaries to push forward through their early challenges to reach maximum fruitfulness. Today David’s challenges are different; one is the great need to develop more Muslim background believers (MBBs) to be leaders in the Urdu church.

    Listen to David tell stories of Urdu speaking Muslims who have come to faith in Christ and how different understandings of Islam can affect how much Christian persecution believers face for leaving Islam. David is also training Hindu background believers to reach their Muslim neighbors.

    “Every time I encourage a believer to go into the face of persecution, I lose a lot of sleep.” David says, “It’s not an easy calling to ask people to do that.” Yet, Davd knows it’s what Jesus would do.

    Pray for Urdu speaking believers—especially those facing persecution right now—and for God to raise up Christian leaders and mentors among them.

    Register now to join VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, and be a part of the I-Am-N Virtual Event, coming up March 8. You may also want to talk to your pastor or other church leaders about hosting this powerful event at your church. More details and free registration at www.IamNevent.com

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

    31 MIN
  • TRAUMA CARE: There’s a Place for Mourning

    Last week, Brother Philip, a field minister for The Voice of the Martyrs in West Africa, shared how witnessing stories of trauma from persecuted Christians and addressing their spiritual needs is a gift. He shared the characteristics of resilient individuals who coped well after persecution and how scripture can bring healing to their hearts and minds. This week, you’ll hear how Christians may exhibit more resilience than non-believers, stories of persecuted Christians and how The Voice of the Martyrs empowers pastors in Africa to help persecuted Christians find healing after trauma.

    Listen as Philip explains the need for believers—in Africa and elsewhere—to have a good theology of suffering to thrive in a broken world where persecution is promised. You’ll also hear how the fruit of the Spirit is central in providing trauma care for persecuted Christians, and the vital role forgiveness plays. “Forgiveness is absolutely indispensable for healing,” Philip says.

    You’ll hear the story of a pastor in Africa who suffered incredible loss when Islamists attacked his village. The pastor ran from the invading rebels to hide in the church. However, they followed him. When the attack was over, the pastor’s wife, his brother and his two children had all been killed. Yet after attending a trauma care workshop sponsored by VOM, the pastor said: “I have begun to forgive those perpetrators totally.”

    Philip and his team train pastors and other Christian leaders to care for persecuted Christians dealing with trauma in their communities. Partnering with pastors in Africa and other parts of the world—people who already understand the culture and know the language—creates greater impact as they share the training further and reach out to more persecuted Christians.

    Pray for Philip and his team as they train pastors to care for persecuted Christians. Pray for persecuted church members in restricted nations and hostile areas to hold fast to their faith—even in suffering. And please consider giving online to support VOM’s ministry serving persecuted Christians around the world.

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

    24 MIN
  • PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS: Witnessing Their Pain, Caring for Their Trauma

    This episode will be a little different than most as we have two conversations instead of one. First, we’ll hear from Steve Lisby about a group of pastors and church leaders imprisoned in Nicaragua after being part of a large-scale evangelism effort. Next we’ll hear from Brother Philip, who helps The Voice of the Martyrs provide trauma care for persecuted Christians in Africa.

    Steve Lisby is the risk management director with Mountain Gateway, a ministry helping train and send gospel workers. Last year, with the approval of the Nicaraguan government, Mountain Gateway held evangelistic events in multiple locations around the country. More than one million people attended these events, including 300,000 at the final event in the capitol city. After the success of these events, it was a shock when one of the Mountain Gateway national directors was imprisoned in December. Days later, his wife and nine more pastors were taken to prison. Since their arrest they have not been allowed to see their families or have contact with the outside world.

    Pray for these eleven Nicaraguan Christians, for the ongoing court process and for leaders in the ministry and in the Nicaraguan government. For updates on the situation visit mountaingateway.org.

    For persecuted Christians and others who have gone through trauma, that trauma can affect all aspects of their life. Brother Philip is a field minister in Africa for The Voice of the Martyrs, specifically focused on training Christian leaders to provide trauma care for Christians who have endured persecution.

    Listen as Philip shares how trauma rewires the brains of victims. For persecuted Christians, that affects how they relate to God and experience faith. As a trained trauma-care provider and brother in Christ, Philip believes it’s a gift to listen to the stories of our persecuted brothers and sisters and bear witness to the pain they’ve experienced. It is important to address physical, emotional and mental needs. But the great blessing of VOM’s work is to be able to address spiritual needs for trauma survivors as well. Hear how Philip and his coworkers structure trauma care efforts for persecuted Christians and the benefit of designing this care around the truth of God’s Word.

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

    24 MIN
  • NIGERIA: Bearing the Scar of Persecution

    Paul Dangtoumda, a part of the global eldership counsel for Youth With a Mission (YWAM) and the leader for YWAM’s work in Nigeria, comes from a family with a history of Christian persecution. In fact, he bears the scar of persecution his parents faced even before he was born. Listen as he shares the amazing testimony of God’s protection over him and his parents—and how their example inspires his ministry even today.

    Hear how Paul began working in Nigeria and how today he and YWAM are helping widows—Women of Honor—to persevere in life and faith despite the loss of their husbands. “We had to teach the [women] how to go to the cross,” he says. “Because when they realize that it is God who can save them, then this is the beginning of true counseling.”

    Paul will also share about a Bible translation effort called Oral Mother Tongue, an effort that YWAM founder Loren Cunningham focused on in the final days of his earthly life. Listen as Paul describes the process from start to finish—and the reaction of people hearing the Bible in their own language for the first time.

    Paul will suggest ways listeners can pray for this translation effort. Also visit Pray OMT to learn more about the process of making the Bible available to every tribe, tongue, and nation.

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

    24 MIN
  • ASIA PACIFIC: The Value of Knowing Christ

    Choosing the cross comes with risk.

    Carter Gates, The Voice of the Martyrs’ Asia Pacific Regional Leader, says he is always humbled as he observes and fellowships with persecuted Christians who regularly take up their cross joyfully despite that risk. They know walking with Christ is worth the risk.

    Listen this week as Carter shares what the church is experiencing in Brunei, China, Laos, and Myanmar, including looking ahead to serving our Christian brothers and sisters in these restricted and hostile nations in 2024.

    Brunei is now requiring one hour of Islamic instruction per day for children in public and private schools. In China, the Communist Party has intensified efforts to restrict children from attending church. Biblical children’s resources—including Bibles—are needed, and Carter’s team have a passion to inspire the next generation toward gospel boldness.

    Carter asked one Chinese brother how he was preparing to faithfully stand strong under Christian persecution. The answer he received was challenging: “When I was little, my mother taught me three preparations,” our Chinese brother responded. “Always be ready to preach. Always be ready to pray. Always be ready for martyrdom.”

    One young teenager, who came to faith in Laos through the ministry of a missionary couple, literally had to hide her Bible by burying it in the ground. She would dig it up late at night to read it without her family’s knowledge. Today she has grown in her faith and is involved in church planting.

    Pray for our brothers and sisters in Asia Pacific as they experience different forms of persecution for their faith. Pray for Carter and his team as they use creative means to serve our persecuted family in China, Myanmar, Laos, Brunei and other nations in the region.

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

    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: On Earth as it is In Heaven

    “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”

    Loren Cunningham, with his wife Darlene, founded Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in 1960 with a vision to equip and send young people out all over the world to fulfill this God-given command to go and proclaim. Loren passionately continued God’s work even into his final days on earth, preaching and discipling even with lung cancer. When he died last October, he left an amazing, inspired legacy for YWAM.

    Paul Childers, a long time YWAM worker and member of the ministry’s global eldership team, returns to VOM Radio this week to share how Loren’s legacy is propelling YWAM forward, especially with an emphasis on providing God’s Word to as many as possible through a Bible translation effort called Oral Mother Tongue. He will share the process to rapidly translate the Bible, through spoken word, into many more languages using the local people to help with the process.

    Paul, founder of Word by Heart, shares the amazing work of Oral Mother Tongue and how they translated the entire New Testament for 30 languages in six months! Even local non-Christians are included in this work, excited by the stories they are helping to translate and the effort to maintain their heart languages.

    Even a Hindu priest suggested, “The government needs to pay for this translation work! It’s so important to encapsulate our language going forward.” The process also adds credibility to the work in each community as people want to listen to a project to which their family members and friends contributed.

    Learn more about the work, and how you can support it in prayer, by visiting www.prayomt.org. Please also pray for YWAM in this season of transition as they continue Loren’s legacy impacting the world for Christ and his kingdom.

    You can listen to previous conversation on VOM Radio with Loren Cunningham and Paul and Susi Childers. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Or you can listen each week—and get daily reminders of how to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

    41 MIN
  • Looking Ahead To 2024: Ministry in the Midst of Trouble

    “I’ve been with you, and I have to leave now, but as I go I am still with you.”

    Aaron Miller, Vice President of International Ministry at The Voice of the Martyrs, learned this concept from brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They have a word for the concept in their language: tukopamuja. As Aaron and his team sit with persecuted Christians across the world, the stories they hear and prayers they pray together stay with them forever.

    As 2024 begins, we pray that the stories of Christian persecution—and the faithfulness of Christ’s followers who endure it—will stay with you as you pray for the persecuted church. Changes in the status of Christians and the level of persecution in various nations are reflected in VOM’s 2024 Prayer Guide, and Aaron will bring those to light as he shares stories from his own travel and how his staff continue to serve persecuted Christians despite increased challenges.

    Malawi and Mauritania, two countries in Africa have been added as daily persecution is a reality. One for Mauritania includes several men imprisoned for a baptism video released on social media. In India, prime minister Modi has diminished government protection for Christianity and increasing violent acts against Christians have made this region now restricted.

    Learn from Aaron how you can pray for VOM’s International Ministry team and for Christians in restricted and hostile nations this year.

    UPDATE: After the recording of this interview we learned the Christians arrested in Mauritania had been released. We thank God for this answer to prayer! Please continue to pray for their protection and their peace.

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

    32 MIN
  • MOVING MOMENTS of 2023 - Part 2

    Join this week as we continue to look back on some of the most moving moments of 2023 on The Voice of the Martyrs Radio:

    • Brother Maksud became a Christian as a young man but was afraid to tell his parents. He expected his father might disown him but was shocked at his father’s response.
    • Pastor Hanna remembers when he learned that a member of his church, Rami Ayyad, had been martyred. He says our faith won’t be tested when everything is going fine, but in difficult times.
    • After Sister Jane’s husband was martyred in the Middle East, she prayed God would raise him from the dead. God didn’t answer that prayer—but used the sacrifice to build his Kingdom.
    • Susanne Geske suddenly received public attention after her husband was murdered in Turkey. She used the opportunity to echo Christ’s words from the cross: “Father, forgive them.”
    • Soon after Ronnie Smith was killed in Libya, his widow, Anita, had an opportunity to express God’s forgiveness to his killers–in English and Arabic. (This interview with Anita was recorded as part of the Hearts of Fire Virtual Event. You can view the event—featuring four women who have suffered for their faith—online now for free.)
    • When their parents were martyred serving the Lord in Uganda, Saul and Ezra Pett were angry with God. But in the years since God has brought healing and now the brothers are ministering in the very place where their parents were killed.
    • As a young man, Brother Mansour made plans to burn down a church. Instead, he became a Christian trying to share God’s Word with Iranians all over the world.
    • Dr. Hormoz Shariat shares the story of a taxi driver in Iran who Jesus healed from cancer; today he shares his testimony with every passenger that gets into his taxi.
    • John Samara shared a prayer request for his co-worker who’d been kidnapped by terrorists in the Middle East. God answered those prayers before his episode was aired on VOM Radio.
    • Susi Childers told us the story of meeting Nigerian widows learning to forgive and pray for their persecutors. Listen to how Susi shared God’s love for these women through jewelry.
    • Brother Enfu told us how church leaders are still being trained in China, in spite of Communist Party restrictions, and gives us a specific way to pray.
    • When VOM met Pastor Pan and members of the Mayflower Church, they had fled China and were seeking asylum in Thailand. Following the broadcast of that episode, church members were granted entry to the US.

    After hearing brief excerpts of these powerful interviews, you’ll want to go back and listen to the entire conversations! Click the links below to listen online or find VOM Radio on your favorite podcast app.

    We are thankful to God for allowing VOM Radio to share these inspiring stories in 2023. We also THANK YOU for listening and praying for our persecuted family. Please share this episode with a Christian friend, and leave a rating or review on your favorite podcast app to help other Christians find VOM Radio.

    During the month of December, when you make a donation to support persecuted Christians in China, Iran, Nigeria and other nations, you will receive a FREE 2024 VOM Prayer Calendar.

    37 MIN
  • MOVING MOMENTS of 2023 – Part 1

    Join this week in looking back on some of the most moving moments on The Voice of the Martyrs Radio in 2023:

    • Brother James, interrogated in the Middle East, shares how he overcomes fear and gives an example of God’s deliverance.
    • Richard and Jeannette remember the day 25 Chinese police raided their apartment, and how the Lord was with them through their suffering.
    • Carter Gates tells the story of a pastor who was martyred in Laos.
    • A pastor in the Arabian Peninsula tells his congregation to “be at peace,” even as terrorists with guns raid their service. Jonathan Ekman shares the supernatural result.
    • Aaron Miller tells of visiting persecuted Christians in North Africa and intentionally being present with brothers and sisters who have gone through traumatic persecution experiences.
    • Dr. Eric Foley says the church in North Korea is continuing to grow—in spite of being in one of the most restricted nations on earth.
    • Fouad Masri shares how Muslims are more open to the gospel than ever before and a how the Lord had gone before him to prepare for an encounter with a Muslim on an airplane.
    • Brother Shakir, a gospel worker in North Africa, tells the power of suffering for Christ.
    • Also recorded on the road in North Africa, Pastor Joe shared a story of a couple who each accepted Christ without the other knowing—until they were invited to the same Christian meeting!
    • Ben and Kimberly, serving Christ in South Asia, have seen what the Lord has done to bring His Kingdom on earth in the very place where they prayed for God’s church to be built.

    After hearing these brief excerpts, you’ll want to go back and listen to the entire conversations. Click on the links below to listen in your favorite podcast app or visit VOMRadio.net.

    We thank the Lord for allowing VOM Radio to share these amazing stories of the power of the gospel and God’s peace in the midst of persecution throughout 2023. We also THANK YOU for listening and praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in hostile nations and restricted areas.

    During the month of December, when you make a donation to support persecuted Christians in China, Iran, Nigeria and other nations, you will receive a FREE 2024 VOM Prayer Calendar. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the podcast and share VOM Radio with Christian friends who would also be encouraged by these testimonies!

    24 MIN
  • CHRISTIANS IN CHINA: Ready to be Imprisoned for Christ

    “We are ready and prepared to be imprisoned. We are not afraid of being imprisoned. But we are afraid of losing the fear of the Lord.” —House Church leaders in China

    Bob Fu, founder, and president of ChinaAid, is regularly in contact with Christians all over China. He says that, in an era of harsh government restrictions and a complete lack of religious freedom, churches are still being planted and leaders continue to baptize new believers in China.

    Author of God’s Double Agent, Bob sheds light China’s new “patriotic education” law instigated earlier this year by Xi Jinping and the Communist Party – including its mandate for Chinese living overseas. He will also discuss protests that broke out across Chinese universities early in 2023 as young people displayed their discontent with the government.

    Communist Party leaders continue to sweep their Christian persecution under the rug, categorizing the arrest of pastors and Christians as “illegal business activity” or financial fraud rather than violating religious regulations. As the government continues its tight reign over technology, they have removed Bible apps to eliminate access to God’s Word. In spite of these efforts, ministries including The Voice of the Martyrs continue to deliver Bibles into the hands of Chinese believers.

    Listen as Bob shares updates on Pastor Wang Yi, serving a 9-year prison sentence, and Pastor Pan, who recently moved to America with his Mayflower Church congregation. Bob will also share a letter from Pastor John Cao, serving a 7-year sentence in prison, in which he writes, “Please rejoice for me. Jesus has died on the cross for me. It is my utter joy to be imprisoned for my Lord.”

    As you pray for Chinese Christians like Pastor Wang Yi, John Cao, and others who are imprisoned, ask the Lord to sustain them through the Holy Spirit. Pray for their persecutors to find hope in Jesus. As they go through intense persecution, pray they would continue to fear the Lord above everything.

    Listen to Bob Fu’s previous conversations on VOM Radio. During the month of December, when you make a donation to support persecuted Christians in China and other nations, you will receive a FREE 2024 VOM Prayer Calendar.

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

    24 MIN
  • CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION: Government Pressure Birthing New Ways for Church

    As Christian persecution increases across China, Myanmar and other hostile and restricted nations around the world, Christian brothers and sisters are finding new ways to gather for worship, fellowship and Bible study under the radar of police or hostile government authorities.

    Dr. Joe Handley, president and CEO of A3, shares just how unique some of these new church meetings are, from pop-up coffee carts to whole congregations working out together in a public park. A3, formerly Asian Access, was established 56 years ago in Japan; today the ministry is training Christian leaders all over the world, including hostile and restricted nations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

    One of A3’s current efforts is a training program preparing Christian leaders for persecution. Included are materials from The Voice of the Martyrs and other persecuted church ministries.

    Listen as Joe shares more about the church in China, Japan, and Myanmar. He’ll share the story of a young Christian in Myanmar who was imprisoned, tortured and accused of insurrection. Today, this man and his family desire to go back to their people and continue sharing the gospel.

    Joe will also equip listeners to pray for the next generation of Christian leaders to be prepared to stand firm in Christ, and to pray for A3 as the ministry grows to meet the current abundance of opportunities to serve. previous conversation on VOM Radio, and also visit www.a3.business to learn more about A3’s work in marketplace missions.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcastOr you can listen each week—and get daily reminders to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet. When you make a donation to support persecuted Christians before December 31, you will receive a FREE 2024 VOM Prayer Calendar to help you pray for persecuted Christians every day in 2024.

    34 MIN
  • NORTH AFRICA: Suffering for Truth is Beautiful

    For ten years, Shakir heard his Christian friend and his Muslim friend discuss, debate and argue about their different faiths. Shakir tried to ignore their discussion; he didn’t want to get involved. After all those years, Shakir was shocked when his Muslim friend told him that he had become a Christian. Shakir urged him to reconsider and return to Islam—but as his friend shared about the things that led him to follow Christ, Shakir himself began to consider that Jesus might indeed be the Way, the Truth and the Light.

    Brother Shakir struggled to grasp the idea that God would come in flesh, show himself and save from sin. Comparing the principles of Islam against the Bible revealed the character of God to Shakir and the truth of God’s Word. Seeing in the Bible Christ’s personal display of God’s love ultimately led Shakir to follow Christ.

    “That day I was saved,” Shakir said, “I was free, and I was really happy and filled with the Holy Spirit.”

    Just like Shakir tried to sway his Muslim friend back to Islam, friends and family tried to convince him to renounce his faith. The most difficult pressure came from Shakir’s own mother. Shakir remembers her demanding, “Me or Christ. You have to choose.” Shakir did not deny Jesus.

    Today, Shakir knows those he witnesses to and leads to Christ will face trials. New believers are encouraged by hearing the experiences of persecuted Christians like Shakir; their stories prepare young-in-faith Christians to stand up under pressure and persecution.

    Shakir also shares how we can pray for the church in North Africa, and for his family and ministry.

    During the month of December, when you make a donation to support persecuted Christians like Shakir, you will receive a FREE 2024 VOM Prayer Calendar.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcastOr you can listen each week—and get daily reminders to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet.

    24 MIN
  • MALAYSIA: God Was Preparing Pastor Before His Abduction

    Pastor Raymond Koh was forcibly abducted on February 13th, 2017 in a military-style operation that took less than 40 seconds. Almost seven years later, he’s still missing. His car has never been located.

    Raymond’s wife, Susanna, has filed a lawsuit to force the Malaysian government and leaders of the police to release all information about what happened, and hopefully hold the kidnappers accountable for their actions.

    Listen this week to an interview with Susanna recorded two years after Raymond’s abduction. Hear how she found out her husband was missing, and how the police turned her missing person report into an opportunity to interrogate her about the Christian work and gospel outreach she and Raymond were involved in.

    Raymond had been threatened before for his faith and gospel work, yet he continued to follow God’s plan for him. Susanna says in the months before the abduction she saw a deepening of Pastor Raymond’s spiritual walk. He memorized large sections of God’s Word, went on long prayer walks and preached the gospel with renewed passion and intensity.

    Susanna is very honest as she shares raw emotion, grief and pain. But she also says God’s promises have uplifted her—as have Christian songs. She and her family have even been able to forgive those who kidnapped her husband.

    Pray for Susanna and the Koh family as they await the next hearing date in her lawsuit. Pray for wisdom for the judge, and that the truth of who was behind Raymond’s abduction is revealed.

    Susanna was one of four courageous women of the persecuted church who shared their stories as part of the Hearts of Fire Virtual Event from The Voice of the Martyrs. You can register and watch the event online.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcastOr you can listen each week—and get daily reminders to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet. You can give online to support VOM’s ministry to persecuted Christians here.

    32 MIN
  • NIGERIA: Martyrs’ Widows are “Women of Honor”

    Susi Childers has served with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) for more than two decades, using her photography skills to open doors to communicate the love of Christ to people all over the world.

    Listen this week as Susi describes the impact of Loren Cunningham, YWAM’s founder who recently graduated to heaven, on her life and on encouraging her to use her gifts more fully to further the gospel. She’ll also share some of the personal qualities that made Loren such an impactful and visionary leader.

    Susi will also share highlights from a recent trip to Nigeria, where she ministered to widows of Christians killed in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram or by Islamist militants from within the Fulani tribe. With more than 223 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent. It is also a young country: 70% of the people are under 30. Susi believes that reaching the people of Nigeria with the gospel can be a key to reaching millions more all across the African continent.

    A YWAM training school in southern Nigeria is a refuge for widows and orphans, providing them with a place to heal, as well as six months of training and discipleship. Many of the widows desire to go back to northern Nigeria, in spite of the loss they suffered there, to advance the gospel and live out their faith in Christ.

    With her camera in hand, Susi went to visit and meet the widows and their children. Night after night, she awakened to hear singing and found, in the wee hours of the morning, these women gathered to read the Bible and pray for their persecutors.

    “It was a holy place,” Susi said. “God hears the suffering of each individual day and night. He’s challenging us to carry a little piece of His heart.”

    Listen as Susi shares how God led her to take donated jewelry with her on this visit to Nigeria, and how God used that jewelry to remind these widows of His abiding love for them. Susi and her husband, Paul, have both previously been guests on VOM Radio.

    Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the podcastOr you can listen each week—and get daily reminders to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet. You can give online to support VOM’s ministry to the persecuted church here.

    37 MIN
  • NORTH AFRICA PASTOR: Persecution Is Part of Christian Journey

    Listen as Pastor Joe shares the struggles many new Christians in North Africa face when they believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Yet, people in the region are coming to Christ like never before!

    Christians in North Africa often pay a huge price for following Christ. They are rejected by family, lose jobs and face other forms of persecution when they tell others of their faith in Jesus. Many of these persecuted Christians don’t know how each day will end. They rely on the Lord for strength and hope, despite their fear.

    Listen as Pastor Joe shares the story of a young woman in his congregation who was overjoyed to share her new faith with her family. But when she did, she was beaten and thrown into the streets. Her own mother told her, “I would rather know that my daughter became a prostitute than a Christian.”

    Pastor Joe encourages listeners to not flee from danger and potentially miss blessings and service that God has planned for us. He reminds us that Jesus came to earth knowing He would suffer. He says that, as a Christian, we should also know that persecution will come.

    Hear the story of one young man who encouraged other believers until the final moments of his life. In addition, Joe shares of a married couple who kept their faith a secret from each other—until they ran into each other at a Christian meeting!

    Pray God would call believers in North Africa to stay in their communities and serve. Pray Pastor Joe and his family will remain faithful to the Lord and His calling on their lives and for continued protection over their ministry.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcastOr you can listen each week—and get daily reminders to pray for persecuted Christians—in the VOM App for your smartphone or tablet. You can give online to support VOM’s ministry to the persecuted church here.

    24 MIN
  • MARTYR’S WIDOW: God Can Use ANYTHING For His Glory

    “I could’ve lived and worked in that country my whole life and not seen the fruit that we are seeing now.” That fruit was planted in sacrifice.

    From the time she was a little girl, Jane wanted to live overseas to spread the gospel. When she met her husband, he had the same missions mindset and a heart for Muslims after he was impacted by 9/11. Jane says her husband enjoyed living in the Middle East, immersing himself in the culture and, most importantly, living his dream of witnessing to people who’d never heard about Jesus.

    Listen as Jane remembers the day her husband was killed, and how she prayed immediately afterwards. “God used His grace to sustain me through that time,” she says. “He really brought me through those initial days.”

    Jane will share how they worked to disciple Muslims even before they became believers in Jesus—demonstrating with their lives what it looks like to follow Him. Jane sees how God used their family’s sacrifice to advance His kingdom.

    “God used my husband’s death to catapult His plans and purposes for that nation and the people there.”

    As ordinary people who loved the Lord and lived out God’s calling for their life, Jane says being obedient and knowing you’re in God’s will is the greatest joy you can experience. She’s had times of wrestling with her loss and asking God why but says one way she works through those times is to focus, with her children, on things they can be thankful for.

    This weekend features a special opportunity to pray for our persecuted family as we commemorate the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. Churches around the world will mark a special emphasis on praying for persecuted Christians. Take time to pray with your church, family, or Christian friends. Pray our persecuted brothers and sisters remain firm during trials, have opportunities to own their own Bible, and continue to share the gospel no matter the cost. You can download free IDOP resources at www.VOMRadio.net/IDOP to be inspired and find specific ways you can pray.

    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
  • NORTH AFRICA: Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

    Brother Bob has been connected to gospel work in North Africa for more than 20 years. He says government persecution of Christians in the region tends to come in cycles, but pressure and persecution of Christians by their own family members is common.

    But even in the midst of family persecution, Christians have a chance to demonstrate the reality of the gospel. “If believers persevere and continue to be a light,” Bob says, “most of the time their family eventually accepts them. And in many cases, others in the family come to know Christ.”

    Listen for the story of how a Muslim wife showed great displeasure after her husband accepted Christ—but was eventually won over by the consistent, Christ-like love he showed her.

    Local people in North Africa have many fears: bad omens, the fear of spirits, or fear of the future. The absence of fear is one of the marks of Christians in the region and often draws others to learn more about Christ.

    After working among Muslims for more than two decades, Bob says Christians who love and listen are more effective in sharing the gospel than those who criticize Islam or start a religious debate. He points to the model of Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well.

    Bob will share how he prepares new believers to spread the truth of Christ, to walk alongside others in their difficulties and to withstand persecution when it comes. Listen as Bob gives practical ways we can be like Christ and tells how our persecuted brothers and sisters are living that out. Bob will also equip us to pray for Christians in 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.

    24 MIN
  • PAKISTAN: Strong Faith Amidst the Ashes

    When a radical-Muslim mob of 6000 attacked the Christian colony of Jaranwala in August, Christians could only flee. Some hid in sugarcane fields; others fled the area. The attack lasted the whole day; churches were destroyed and persecuted Christians’ homes were looted and burned.

    Brother Johanna joins us this week on VOM Radio to share what led to the uproar in Jaranwala, and the response from other Christians in Pakistan to brothers and sisters affected by the violence. We will also look more broadly at the persecution of Pakistani Christians.

    Listen as Johanna explains what the blasphemy laws in Pakistan are and how they are used against Christians—and against Muslims and members of other faiths, too. He will also unpack how the challenges are different for Christians in Pakistan depending whether they were born into a Muslim family or born into a traditional Christian family.

    Brother Johanna will also give us an update on Asia Bibi, who still faces pressure and death threats even years after being found innocent of blasphemy by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and released from prison. Hear how you can pray today for her and for your Christian brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

    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
  • SOUTH ASIA: Lord, Build Your Church Here

    Ben and Kimberly, gospel workers in South Asia, join VOM Radio again this week to share more about how the Lord is working in remote villages of South Asia. Struck by the boldness of local believers, Ben and Kimberly see the fearlessness persecuted Christians there have in preaching the gospel. The threat of jail doesn’t stop them from preaching; they will preach in jail if necessary.

    With the rise of anti-conversion laws in South Asia, in many places it is illegal for people to change their religion or to lead others to change their faith. Yet Christians there continue to evangelize and reach people for Christ.

    Ben and Kimberly will share how persecution is part of the DNA of believers there, and how they are equipping locals with training and discipleship tools. They will also share a story of how God opened one of the darkest villages in this region—a place that had been completely closed to the gospel. Listen to how God planted a church in that village—on the very spot where Christians had prayed God would build His church.

    Ben and Kimberly love sharing what the Lord did in that village. Kim says, “it’s incredibly exciting to see fruit like that.” But they also remind us that even though we may not see immediate fruit we must keep being faithful; God is working whether we see it or not.

    Pray for Christians in South Asian nations like India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh to stand firm and find their identity in Christ, Pray for Ben and Kimberly to receive wisdom from the Lord as they continue in ministry. Listen to part one of Ben and Kim’s story to learn more about how they started in overseas missions!

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

    24 MIN