In The Presence of My Enemies
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In The Presence of My Enemies
January 16, 2021
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Episodes

  • In The Presence of My Enemies

    Martin and Gracia Burnham were serving as missionaries in the Philippines, where Martin was a pilot with New Tribes Mission (now called Ethnos 360). The Burnhams went away for a few days to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Those few days turned into more than a year in the jungle when they were kidnapped and held hostage by radical Muslim terrorists.

    Listen this week as Gracia tells how she wrestled with God and even with her own faith during those dark days of captivity. She’ll also share how she experienced the prayers of God’s people, even as Martin was killed during a rescue attempt.

    Gracia says at times in the jungle she couldn’t allow herself to even think about her three children because it was just to difficult. Yet now she knows the full story of God’s faithfulness to them. She will also give an update on how God continues to work in the hearts of the terrorists that held them hostage.

    Gracia’s story will inspire you to find ways to glorify God, regardless of what challenges you may be facing. You can read the whole story in her book, In the Presence of My Enemies (affiliate link).

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    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: Partner With God

    C. Anderson is a leader in Frontier Missions for YWAM – Youth With a Mission. She’s developed a course based on the principles of II Timothy 2:2 with the aim of developing DMM—Disciple Making Movements.

    Anderson was born an MK in Africa, but after traumatic experiences in her youth she decided she would never live anywhere she felt unsafe. Yet God called her to lay down that need for safety to answer His call to missions, and gave her the grace to answer His call.

    Listen to learn how DMMs are developing and growing, and how the Biblical principles cross national and ethnic boundaries to grow and build the church in many nations, including India, Iraq, Afghanistan and southeast Asia.

    The course Anderson developed, “Getting Started in Disciple Making Movements,” is available online. Anderson will tell us how she felt God leading her to develop the course for use online before the coronavirus pandemic hit—and has seen the fruit of the course explode during the past 12 months. She’ll also speak specifically about next steps for those feeling called to missions, and equip us to pray for church leaders and church planters all over the world.

    27 MIN
  • Serving Persecuted Christians in 2021

    This week we look ahead to VOM’s work serving persecuted Christians in 2021 with VOM’s President, Cole Richards, and Vice President for International Ministry, Jonathan Ekman.

    Jonathan will give an update on the two countries added to VOM’s 2021 Global Prayer Map—Burkina Faso and Cameroon—and how persecution of Christians in those nations is increasing, and how VOM is responding to help the church. He’ll also talk about what those changes mean for VOM’s work and workers, and how efforts are already underway to effectively serve Christians in those nations.

    You’ll be inspired by the story of an African pastor who chooses to stay and serve in a place where he knows his life is at risk, and the reason he stays.

    Cole and Jonathan will help listeners understand the rise of radical Islam in Africa, and how the growth of such ideology affects our Christian brothers and sisters. Jonathan will also explain the growing need for help in the Central African Republic and in Ethiopia, two countries where persecution is growing and the needs of persecuted Christians are, at times, overwhelming.

    Cole will discuss how VOM helps listeners and magazine readers understand the upheaval around the world and how the Body of Christ is affected by each situation. He will also talk about how American Christians are inspired to learn what Biblical discipleship looks like—and are growing to understand that even in the United States Christians may be called on to pay a price for their faith.

    Cole will also preview some of the ways VOM will continue to tell the stories of persecuted Christians in 2021, including a coming feature film focusing especially on the life and faith of Sabina Wurmbrand and a new book written by VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton.

    How do we allow these stories to inspire us—and inspire our children and grandchildren—that boldly following Christ, and being willing to sacrifice for following Him, is what normal Christianity looks like?

    Begin 2021 with an in-depth discussion of what it means to follow Christ and truly live for Him. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast. Please also share VOM Radio with a Christian friend.

    40 MIN
  • Moving Moments of 2020 – Part 2

    Join this week as we continue our look back on some of the amazing testimonies God allowed VOM Radio to share this year:

    • Pam tells us about Muslim women coming to faith in Christ, including one who saw that her Christian friends were different, and wondered why.
    • Amin tells how he began reading the Bible as a committed Muslim teenager, studying the book to try to prove why the Bible was wrong. But in the end, reading God’s Word led him to Jesus Christ.
    • Brother Bayram came to faith after someone gave him a New Testament. When he told his family in Turkey of his new faith, persecution began immediately.
    • Living in Iran, Omid had a dream in which he saw a man in white give him a wrapped gift. The next day, his taxi driver gave him a gift that looked very much like the gift he’d been given in his dream. Inside was a Bible, a book that would change Omid’s life.
    • Brother John tells about a young family in Syria finding Christ in the midst of their child’s medical crisis, and how Jesus gave them hope and joy.
    • Ali tells us how God healed two Christians in Iran from COVID-19. They were in separate hospitals, but each had the same dream on the same night, and walked out of the hospital completely healed!
    • Brother Jeremy recalls meeting the family of Pastor Jean Paul Sankagui, who had been martyred just days earlier in The Central African Republic.

    After hearing these brief excerpts, you’ll want to go back and listen to the entire conversations. You can search for VOM Radio on your favorite podcast app, or listen online at the links below.

    You’ll also want to listen to the first part of our look back on 2020 in last week’s episode.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Also: share a link to VOM Radio with a Christian friend who will also be blessed by these testimonies.

    24 MIN
  • Moving Moments of 2020 – Part 1

    Join in as we begin a look back on some of the amazing testimonies God allowed VOM Radio to share this year:

    • Brother Paul from Nigeria tells how he heard the Lord’s voice telling him to get off the bus he was on. Moments after he obeyed, that bus was attacked by terrorists and he realized God had spared his life.
    • Sean Paton tells the story of a pastor and his family executed by Islamists in Burkina Faso after refusing to deny Christ.
    • Aaron Miller explains why some Christian leaders in Colombia would rather not be called pastor, and how church leaders in India are preparing for the increased persecution they’re sure is coming.
    • Ebrahim Firouzi shared from inside Iran, where he’s still being held in internal exile. He told how prosecutors encouraged him to renounce his faith in Christ and go free—an offer Ebrahim refused.
    • Joy Subasiguller shared about choosing to be grateful to God, even as she faced expulsion from Turkey, the nation where she’d lived for 10 years and where her children were born. VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, will also give an update on what has happened with Joy’s case since our original broadcast.
    • Finally, Will Hart, CEO of Iris Global, will share about learning to lay down his life—and even his wife’s safety—in answer to God’s call.

    After hearing these brief excerpts, you’ll want to go back and listen to the entire conversations. You can search for VOM Radio on your favorite podcast app, or listen online at the links below.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Also: share a link to VOM Radio with a Christian friend who will also be blessed by these testimonies.

    24 MIN
  • IRAN: “This Is My Plan”

    Sitting in a solitary confinement cell in Iran, Robert Aserian felt God comforting him with these words: “If you are here, it is My plan.” God had prepared him for prison in a unique way: as a pastor he’d counseled many Iranian Christians after they’d suffered imprisonment, so he knew some of the challenge he would face.

    Listen as Robert shares the challenges of interrogation, prison and solitary confinement. One way Robert passed the time in solitary confinement was composing and preaching sermons—even though his congregation wasn’t there to hear them. He also tells how every prisoner goes through difficult times in prison, and how he responded during those difficult days.

    Robert will also discusses how former prisoners face intense pressure and isolation after they’re released, and tell us that praying for prisoners after their release may be more important even than during their time in prison. Finally he’ll equip us to pray for the nation of Iran and for the church there.

    Rev. Robert Aserian serves today as Director for Training at Pars Theological Centre, training and equipping leaders for the Iranian Church. You can hear conversations with other leaders of Pars here and here.

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

    24 MIN
  • IRAN: From Atheist to Persecuted Pastor

    When Robert Aserian first prayed to Jesus, it was an atheist’s prayer: I don’t know if you are real, Jesus, but if You are please show Yourself to me. Jesus answered that prayer, and Robert has been following Him passionately—and encouraging others, including Iranian Muslims, also to follow—ever since. He even taught a class on Christian theology to Islamic clergy members.

    Listen to Robert’s story of coming to faith, then experiencing God’s call to ministry. Robert will share about different martyrs of the church in Iran he knew and learned from, and describe how their legacy emboldened him to serve Christ inside the Islamic Republic, no matter what persecution he might face—including the day authorities came to his house early in the morning to take him to prison.

    Today, Rev. Robert Aserian is the Director for Training at Pars Theological Centre, training and equipping leaders for the Iranian Church. You can hear conversations with other leaders of Pars here and here. You can also hear directly from children of some of the martyrs Rev. Aserian was inspired by, including the son of Pastor Haik Hovsepian and the daughter of Pastor Hossein Soodmand.

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

    24 MIN
  • UZBEKISTAN: Scripture Came To Life

    In the midst of his persecution, Pastor 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 to God—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 how God used letters written by VOM readers via 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 know how to pray for Christians currently in prison, and for their family members.

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

    24 MIN
  • IRAN: COVID is the Catalyst

    2020 has been eventful everywhere! But it has been especially eventful for the people of The Islamic Republic of Iran. But in the midst of great challenges—health, economic, political—God is moving! “Ali” is sharing the gospel inside Iran. Listen as he shares how God is even using the COVID-19 pandemic as a catalyst to spread the gospel and grow the church.

    Ali will share how God answered prayers for new strategies for gospel workers to use in the midst of the pandemic and national lockdowns. He’ll also share how Jesus miraculously healed two church leaders hospitalized with COVID-19.

    Ali will tell more stories of God’s power at work in Iran. Listen for the story of one man’s dramatic encounter with Christ that opened the way for 250 people to commit their lives to Jesus.

    This spiritual revival isn’t coming without a price; persecution is very real. Ali and his church leaders understand that “suffering is not a bad thing” when it is God’s plan. “We have to learn,” he says, “to suffer well.” Ali will equip us to pray for Iran in the midst of current challenges, and talk about how the move of God in Iran is crossing international borders to reach surrounding nations.

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

    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: The Enemy Wants Us to Be Quiet

    The phone message was clear: “We know you are there! And we’re going to kill you!”

    Todd Lafferty received that phone message as he was preparing to host a meeting of Christian leaders in his home. He had to decide how much risk he was willing to take to continue spreading the gospel.

    This week we continue our conversation with Todd about his experience as a missionary in Southeast Asia and his work now helping lead the International Mission Board.

    He’ll share a story of God’s work among an unreached people group in Southeast Asia, and how not even persecution could stop the spread of the gospel. What powered that work? Todd will share about a women’s prayer group that agreed to pray specifically every day—and how God answered their prayers.

    Listen to Todd share how every listener can reach out to Muslims—and gives advice about how to prepare for those conversations. He’ll also talk about the first steps for people sensing God’s call to missions, and equip us to pray for gospel work around the world.

    If you missed it, listen to the first part of our conversation with Todd. Please share this episode with your Christian friends; especially those considering a call to missions or Christian service.

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

    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: If I Die Here…

    Todd Lafferty came to Christ as a college football player. It wasn’t long after coming to faith that he sensed God’s call to go and tell others—even others living outside the United States. He and his wife answered that call, serving in the United Kingdom and eventually in Pakistan.

    Today Todd helps lead the International Mission Board, equipping and sending missionaries to tell the story of Jesus’ love all over the world, including places where Christians face persecution.

    Listen to hear Todd tell about arriving in Pakistan, fighting through the culture shock and temptation to pack up and return to familiar surroundings. He will also equip you to pray, especially for newer missionaries going through some of those same challenges today.

    Finally, Todd will share the story of an Islamist Pakistani assassin who became a believer in Christ and then a bold evangelist, in spite of threats and danger.

    Please share this episode with your Christian friends; especially those considering a call to missions or Christian service.

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

    24 MIN
  • IDOP: Pray for Persecuted Christians

    Christians around the globe are praying specifically for persecuted Christians as we commemorate the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians (IDOP). We will honor this special day as we talk about specific ways to pray for persecuted believers and pray together this week on VOM Radio.

    Host Todd Nettleton will share a story from Petr Jasek’s time imprisoned in Sudan that shows the real, practical difference our prayers make for those facing persecution for Christ.

    And we’ll pray together, led by Christian leaders from around the nation:

    VOM has created resources to help you, your family and your church pray for persecuted Christians—on IDOP Sunday and throughout the year. You can download resources here. If you haven’t already, sign up to receive new prayer requests by email each week at www.iCommitToPray.com.

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

    28 MIN
  • Be Inspired to Live Like a Jesus Freak

    In 1999 a new book presented the stories of persecuted Christians in a powerful, memorable way. The book—Jesus Freaks by dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs—inspired an entire generation to passionately follow Christ, no matter the cost.

    This week a new, updated version of the book releases, including some classic stories from the original edition and powerful new stories written to inspire a new generation to live like a Jesus Freak.

    Michael Tait, one of the members of dc Talk (now the lead singer of the Newsboys), and Dan Pitts, co-manager of the band, will tell us how the original book came about and how they saw it impact readers. They’ll also talk about how the ministry baton was passed in their own families, and the impact they hope to see from this new edition of a Christian classic.

    Order your copy of the revised and updated edition of Jesus Freaks HERE.

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

    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: We Shouldn’t Run From Suffering

    God is at work in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh! Even amidst the Covid pandemic, the gospel message is advancing among Rohingya people. But it’s not without cost; Rohingya Christians risk intense persecution.

    Dave and Pam lead Operation Mobilization’s work in western and central Asia, overseeing gospel workers reaching Muslims in multiple countries. They will share first-hand accounts of the gospel’s advance and the persecution Christ followers endure in their region of the world.

    They will also offer advice to Western Christians who want to build a bridge to Muslims living in their countries. It starts, they say, with simple things like hospitality and friendship. Dave and Pam also give listeners encouragement for seasons of struggle and discouragement.

    Finally, they will equip us to pray for God’s work in Muslim nations—including praying for our Christian brothers and sisters and praying for government leaders in those nations.

    November is a strategic time to pray for persecuted Christians as churches around the world commemorate the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. Download resources to help you and your church pray.

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

    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: Risks We Can’t Afford NOT To Take

    Dave and Pam lead Operation Mobilization’s work in western and central Asia, overseeing gospel workers reaching Muslims in multiple countries.

    Listen as they discuss their call to missions and how God led them to work among Muslims. They will also share how finishing the task of reaching the Muslim world for Christ will require a better understanding of risk—a theology of suffering that allows Christians to victoriously endure persecution.

    Dave will challenge us to think Biblically about reaching Muslims, to intentionally see them as people God loves and that Jesus died for, rather than allowing our vision to be influenced by media portrayals or geopolitical animosities.

    Fear is real, and Dave and Pam will talk about how it affects them, and practical ways to fight through fear and reach those around us for Christ.

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

    24 MIN
  • Persecution Changing in Sudan, Ethiopia

    Sean Paton leads VOM’s work on the continent of Africa, and he’ll share this week about significant changes in two African Countries: Sudan and Ethiopia.

    In Sudan, there are reasons for optimism after the Sovereign Council leading the country revoked the apostasy law, which required the death penalty for anyone who left Islam to follow another faith. Sean will share how Christians in Sudan say, “no one is looking” at the church right now. While that window is open, bold believers are working diligently to advance Christ’s Kingdom.

    The treatment of Christians is also changing in Ethiopia, but the trend is more persecution rather than less. Sean will help us understand some of the history of the church in Ethiopia, including how persecution is really a part of its DNA. He’ll also discuss different streams within the Christian community and how persecution is affecting each.

    Sean will share the story of specific brothers and sisters who’ve faced attacks, and how they’ve responded with love and forgiveness to persecution. He’ll also talk about how VOM is helping—including letting Christian leaders know that VOM will stand with their families if God calls them to lay down their lives for His service. Finally, he’ll talk about specific ways to pray for both Ethiopia and Sudan.

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

    34 MIN
  • MIDDLE EAST: The Moment He Accepted Christ

    What does your church do to help new believers grow in their faith? Imagine how much more difficult it would be to disciple new Christians if you couldn’t meet together in person, or if they couldn’t admit openly that they were now following Christ for fear of persecution?

    “Brother Mark” works with Christians in 22 countries in North Africa and the Middle East, and he will tell us about the persecution faced by Christians in Muslim nations of that region.

    We’ll talk about the new reality in Sudan after the overthrow of Omar al Bashir and his Islamist regime. There is more freedom for Christians—but still threats against the church.

    What is the journey new Christians must make in order to be ready to face persecution and respond with forgiveness, love and hope? How is their identity, and their place in the culture, affected by their decision to follow Christ?

    Brother Mark has been with us before on VOM Radio; you can listen that episode here.

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

    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: Our Lives Do Not Belong To Us

    Al Shabaab is advancing in Northern Mozambique, attacking and killing Christians and others.

    Will Hart leads Iris Global, which works to share the gospel in 34 nations around the world. We’ll focus this week on Africa, and especially Mozambique, where radical Islamist terrorists are taking territory and targeting churches and Christians.

    Will also shares how God radically saved him and sent him to the nations. He’ll talk about overcoming fear as he and his wife went to minister in the Congo—at the time one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Listen to how God protected them, even providing elite military guards to watch over them in the country.

    He’ll also advise those sensing a call to missions and equip us to pray for the nation of Mozambique.

    Connect with Will and Iris Global through their web page, YouTube channel and Instagram.

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

    40 MIN
  • God Is Setting His Throne in Iran

    Dr. Hormoz Shariat, the founder and president of Iran Alive Ministries, and his wife Donnell are back with us this week to finish our conversation about how God called them to share the gospel with 1,000,000 Iranians—a calling that grew out of a family tragedy and great loss.

    Hormoz will tell us he’s not a “natural” evangelist—he calls himself a shy nerd—but says God has given him strength and boldness to share the gospel. Listen as he describes getting laid off from his job and voted out by his church as blessings that unlocked the doorway to greater seasons of ministry.

    Hormoz will also share current needs of the church in Iran, equipping listeners to pray specifically for that country and for our brothers and sisters there.

    Hormoz’s new book, Iran’s Great Awakening: How God is Using a Muslim Convert to Spark Revival, released last week. As a VOM Radio listener, you can receive a complimentary copy when you make a donation of any size to Iran Alive Ministries. You can donate online, or donate on your smart phone by texting the word IGABook to 74784.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

    29 MIN
  • Iran's Great Awakening

    Iran's Great Awakening

    August 29, 2020

    Dr. Hormoz Shariat was among thousands of Iranian Muslims marching in the streets of Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Today, he’s “The Billy Graham of Iran” with a vision to reach one million Iranians for Jesus Christ. He tried Islam, but says it didn’t work to meet the needs of his heart and life.

    Hormoz’s wife, Donnell, was born in America, yet she too was marching in those streets after moving to Iran—and converting to Islam—to marry Hormoz.

    Today Hormoz leads Iran Alive Ministries, one of VOM’s partners in spreading the gospel to the people of Iran. Listen as Hormoz and Donnell tell the story of how God changed their hearts—and saved their marriage—through the love of Jesus and the faithful witness of His followers.

    Hormoz’s new book, Iran’s Great Awakening: How God is Using a Muslim Convert to Spark Revival, releases this week. As a VOM Radio listener, you can receive a complimentary copy when you make a donation of any size to Iran Alive Ministries. Donate online and request your copy here.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

    24 MIN