Dick Brogden says when Muslims choose to leave Islam behind and follow Jesus Christ, often three things happen along their pathway to Christ: a love encounter, a truth encounter and a power encounter. Listen as Brogden—who’s ministered to Muslims for more than 25 years—shares the story of a power encounter that prepared a couple from Yemen to hear the gospel message and commit their lives to Christ.
He’ll also talk about the role of the American church in standing with Christians facing persecution, and offer advice for those feeling God’s call to missions—he says make disciples where you are now; don’t wait until you arrive on the mission field. Finally, Dick will share about his family’s burden for the nation of Saudi Arabia, and the direction that God is leading them based on that burden.
Dick Brogden has served in the Arab World for 25 years, planting gospel seeds and leading teams to plant churches among unreached people groups. His teams have to be prepared to face opposition and persecution, but also withstand spiritual attacks on their marriages, relationships, parenting or other areas of life.
Listen as Dick talks about God’s missionary call to reach every tribe and tongue and nation, and how that first requires us to abide in Christ. He’ll give advice on developing our spiritual muscles and challenge us to make even our time an offering to Jesus. He’ll also talk about challenges that come in every effort to share God’s love, and the need to not grow weary even if we have “a 90% failure rate.”
Finally, Dick will share stories of places he’s seen God do amazing work in bringing Muslims to faith in Christ, and how upheaval in parts of the Middle East has driven many Muslims to ask questions about their faith and to explore other spiritual options.
On February 13, 2017 Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted off the streets of Malaysia. Nearby security cameras captured the entire crime. In the two years since, Koh hasn’t been seen or heard from; his car has never been found. It wasn’t Raymond’s first taste of persecution; he’d previously been mailed a box of bullets as a warning to stop his ministry.
Our guest is Susanna Koh, Raymond’s wife, who will talk about how Pastor Raymond continued to minister in spite of the threats and danger. She’ll also describe a spiritual deepening she saw in her husband in the months before his abduction, and how she knows God was preparing him for the challenging time to come.
Listen as Susanna shares how God has carried her and her family through the past two years, and how He’s even enabled them to forgive those who took her husband away. She’ll share specific scriptural promises and Christian songs that have helped her through dark hours of grief and anxiety.
Susanna and her family have been greatly encouraged by notes, cards and letters from members of their spiritual family around the world. You can join in encouraging her by sending a card or a note of encouragement to:
Joel C. Rosenberg is the best-selling author of 13 novels and five nonfiction books and an expert on the politics of the Middle East. Listen as he shares how and why Middle Eastern leaders are reaching out specifically to American Evangelicals, and the opportunities that’s opened for those leaders to hear Biblical truth.
What are important things American Christians should understand about the Middle East, including persecution our brothers and sisters there face? Why is the gospel finding fertile soil, even in the face of radical Islamist groups? Which countries are seeing more people come to Christ…and why? And how can we pray for the nation of Israel, and for other nations in the region?
Dr. David Garrison is a long-time missionary who’s worked with Muslims in several countries, and has become a student of God’s work among Muslims around the globe. He is the author of a book about movements of Muslims coming to Christ, A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is Drawing Muslims Around the World to Faith in Jesus Christ.
Listen as Garrison describes what he considers a “movement” of Muslims coming to Christ, and some of the motivations that lead followers of Muhammad to become followers of Jesus—and the pressure and persecution they face after making that decision.
Today Dr. Garrison is working with Global Gates to help American Christians reach out to Muslims from around the world who currently live in the United States—and often are in regular contact with friends and family members back in their home country.
Brother Hannu leads the VOM-affiliated mission in Finland, inviting Finnish Christians into fellowship with persecuted brothers and sisters all over the world. As a young Christian he was involved in smuggling Bibles into the Soviet Union. Later he would take Bibles and Christian videos into tightly-closed Middle East nations, including Iran and Libya.
Listen to stories from some of his Bible delivery adventures, and more importantly the “holy moment” when God grabbed Hannu’s heart and filled it with love for the Muslim people of the Middle East.
Hannu will also talk about the work of VOM’s Finnish sister mission, especially his burden to reach young Christians there and invite them to fellowship with Christians willing to go to jail or even die rather than deny their faith in Christ.
You can learn more about the family of ministries begun around the world by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand here.
John Grooters directed Tortured For Christ – The Movie, a feature-film telling the amazing story of VOM’s founders, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand. The story has inspired millions of Christians over the past 50 years through Pastor Wurmbrand’s best-selling book, Tortured For Christ.
Listen as John talks about turning this iconic book into a film, including the challenge of portraying Richard’s suffering in an appropriate way. John will also share how God’s hand was on the production, including snowfall and sunshine in Romania that miraculously cooperated with the filming schedule.
Hear how God led John to just the right song for the close of the film—a song written by a Christian cellmate of Richard Wurmbrand in prison! You’ll hear how Richard’s faith impacted John as he studied the story and created the film, and how he hopes it will also impact the faith of the viewers, including ending the movie not with a scene of suffering but a scene of American Christians worshipping the Lord.
US Residents: as a THANK YOU for your generous donation in the month of March to support VOM's work assisting persecuted Christians, VOM will send you a complimentary copy of Tortured For Christ - The Movie on DVD. You can give online here.
VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, has also been a guest on John’s podcast, “No Shame,” which is available wherever you listen to podcasts. You can hear the interview with Todd by clicking here.
Tessie DeVore leads The Lumo Project, which has been called “The Gospels for a Visual Age.” Listen to hear the story of bringing the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—word-for-word, right from the text—to film in a way that brings the stories to life in a new way. She’ll also share how these films can be easily translated and produced for multiple languages—including the languages of restricted and hostile nations.
Tessie will describe the power of people seeing Jesus on the screen as they hear the words from the Scriptures, and the process of translating and releasing the films in multiple languages. You’ll also hear a story of how the film is making an impact on one family living in a hostile nation.
Are there blessings found in being in prison for Christ?
Yonas Haile was a Christian worship leader and filmmaker in the African nation of Eritrea. When his gospel film was released, the Eritrean government was furious; from that day, Yonas was targeted. He says Eritrean Christians are “ready always” to face persecution.
Listen as he tells of the joy that God blessed him with, even in the midst of horrible suffering and prison. Yonas also experienced God’s miraculous power, including walking out of an Eritrean prison just as Peter walked out of prison in the book of Acts.
He’ll also share about opportunities to be a witness for Christ and offer hope through the gospel of Christ—even in prison. Finally, Yonas will update on whether changes have happened in Eritrea since the country signed a peace agreement with Ethiopia. And he’ll give specific ways we can pray for that nation, and for our spiritual family members there—especially those in prison for Christ.
Helen Berhane, another Eritrean worship leader, helped Yonas make his gospel film. You can hear her interview with VOM Radio here.
Is anyone outside the reach of God’s grace? Listen this week to hear stories of radical militants in Nigeria meeting Jesus and committing their lives to His service—even at great cost.
Paul Childers leads The University of the Nations for Youth With a Mission (YWAM). He’s trained Christians all over the world to tell the gospel story of Jesus’ love, and reminds us that Jesus’ gospel “still works” to change peoples’ hearts. YWAM workers are seeing that in Nigeria—literally seeing thousands of former militants now following Christ.
Paul will also tell about finding the courage to go to hard places to share Jesus’ love and encourage His followers. Listen to hear how the book of Revelation came alive in a new way as he ministered alongside persecuted Christians. He’ll also offer advice to those God may be calling into missions, and give us ways to pray for the work of YWAM around the world.
You can hear more about the early days of YWAM from the ministry’s founder, Loren Cunningham, in this episode of VOM Radio.
Nik and Ruth Ripken are back for the second half of our conversation. How do we bear other Christians’ burdens (Gal. 6:2), both those living in hostile and restricted nations, and missionaries that serve in difficult places around the world? Why is it so important, before we offer help, to offer a listening ear to hear the stories on the hearts of the people that we want to minister to?
As veteran missionaries who have served for 35+ years, Nik and Ruth offer advice to American Christians on how we can minister to missionaries home from the field.
How should young people feeling a call to missions respond, prepare and pray? Nik and Ruth offer advice for those sensing God’s call to serve Him in far-off and even difficult places—and remind us that ALL followers of Christ are called to GO…the only question is WHERE each Christian is called to go to.
How have the Ripkens kept their marriage strong and fresh through 35 years of ministry in difficult places…and how has God used their marriage as a spiritual lighthouse to reach Muslims for Christ? Why is it that Muslims often ask them about their marriage, and about how they raised their children?
What are some specific, practical ways we can pray for missionaries that we support and send out? How do we pray for Christians in the midst of persecution? How can we pray for the nation of Somalia, a nation where the Ripkens served heroically in the midst of a tragic famine.
This special podcast edition of this week’s conversation includes bonus material not included in the broadcast version. If you missed the first half of our conversation with Nik and Ruth, you can listen to it here. Their first visit to VOM Radio, following the release of the film version of Nik’s book, The Insanity of God, is here.
Nik and Ruth Ripken have served 35+ years as missionaries and conducted extensive interviews with hundreds of persecuted Christians from all parts of the world. They went not as teachers but as students, simply to sit at the feet of persecuted believers and learn from them. The bold believers they met shared amazing lessons about living out faith in Jesus in the midst of hostile enemies, literally sheep among wolves.
What are the qualities that allow faith to thrive in such hard places? How are churches built in nations closed to Christian witness? Are there ways we can reach out to people from hostile nations, right here in the United States?
Nik and Ruth also offer insights for American Christians on ways we can encourage and bless missionaries that our churches are sending out and supporting—both while they serve and when they come home to refresh and recharge.
Nik is the author of The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected, which was also made into a film. You can listen to Nik and Ruth’s previous conversation on VOM Radio, conducted when the film was released, here.
Fouad Masri founded Crescent Project (www.CrescentProject.org) to train American Christians to share the gospel with Muslims. In 25 years since, the group has trained more than 21,000 Christians to reach out with love to those deceived by Islam. Listen this week as Fouad helps ignite your passion for reaching out, and equips you to enter those conversations with confidence and grace.
Listen as he shares how God implanted the passion in his heart—as a young man in Lebanon—to reach Muslims with the hope of Jesus. What questions are on the hearts of Muslims? How is Jesus the Answer to those questions? How can we pray for our Muslim friends and coworkers?
God calls us to be light in darkness for Muslims, and Fouad and Crescent Project provide tools that equip and enable our light to shine more clearly.
Other workers associated with Crescent Project have been guests on VOM Radio, including Jami Staples talking about women’s ministry (Part 1, Part 2) and Ali Sassi, who while still a Muslim was challenged by a Christian friend to demonstrate how the Bible had been changed—a challenge that ultimately led him to faith in Christ.
Rashin Soodmand was 13 years old when her father, Pastor Hossein Soodmand, was executed in Iran for the crime of apostasy. His body was quietly buried in an unmarked grave in a part of the local cemetery reserved for “the cursed.”
Yet only three days later, Rashin wrote a letter to God promising to follow Christ boldly, just as her father had—even if it meant great sacrifices. Today she is living out that promise, including ministering to the church inside Iran.
Her father wasn’t the only martyr of the Iranian church Rashin knew well. In this second part of our conversation, Rashin shares some of the things she remembers about the other martyrs she knew personally: Haik Hovsepian, who preached at her father’s funeral; Mehdi Dibaj, who encouraged her to attend Bible school; and Pastor Mohammad “Ravanbakhsh” Yusefi.
This is Part 2 of our conversation with Rashin; if you missed Part 1 of her amazing testimony, listen here.
Rashin Soodmand was 13 years old when her father, Pastor Hossein Soodmand, was executed by the Iranian government for the crime of apostasy—leaving Islam to follow another faith. Listen as she shares how her family’s life was changed, but also how proud she is of a father who chose to lay down his life rather than deny Christ.
Listen as she recalls the man her father was, loving his congregation and loving his family, and how people were drawn to his kindness and love.
Rashin will tell how church leaders encouraged Pastor Hossein to take his family, leave Iran and go somewhere safer; hear his exact words as he flatly refused, saying that to do so would discourage the hearts of his congregation.
She’ll also describe the last time she saw her dad, and the day she heard that he’d been executed.
This is Part 1 of our conversation with Rashin; tune in next week to hear the second half of her story, including how God has used the loss of her father to equip her to minister to hurting people inside and outside of Iran to this day.
Would you like to be on staff, delivering aid and encouragement to persecuted Christians in the 70+ nations where VOM works?
Jonathan Eckman leads a staff of 65 people living in 24 nations who conduct VOM’s international ministry, being the hands and feet on the ground among persecuted Christians all over the world. This week he shares about VOM’s international work, and some of the people from among our persecuted family who have inspired his personal faith walk.
Listen to understand better how VOM’s international ministry happens in the 70+ nations where VOM works, the importance of partnerships, and where Jonathan sees persecution increasing as we enter a new year; and where things are getting better for Christians—or at least not getting worse.
Jonathan will also share how you can pray for VOM workers as they travel in and out of restricted nations and provide help and encouragement to Christians who are persecuted for the name of Christ, as well as their families who remain at home. He’ll also issue a challenge to pray for church and mission leaders conducting Great Commission work in an increasingly complex and hostile world.
This week we continue our look back on some of the amazing testimonies God has allowed VOM Radio to share in 2018.
Brother Blake and Brother Joel told us about the state of the church, and the increased persecution, in China and how Chinese Christians wear out their Bibles.
Manfred Mueller challenged the way his fellow Germans—and many Americans—think about refugees, urging us to see a gospel opportunity.
“Sister Sahar” came to the US as a Muslim student from Saudi Arabia. Today she is a follower of Christ, and she shared ways we, as Christians, can reach out to Muslims we know today.
“Brother Fahdi” told us that God is at work in Yemen, drawing Muslims to faith in Christ.
Brother Aaron shared the story of how VOM’s help to a Christian family in Central Asia arrived at exactly the right time.
John Grooters, the director of Tortured For Christ—The Movie, shared an inspiring chapter from the life of Richard Wurmbrand, VOM’s founder.
George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization, encouraged American Christians not to lose gospel focus, and to be intentional about sharing our faith in Christ with people around us.
If you’ve been blessed by these snippets from conversations on VOM Radio this year, you’ll want to go back and listen to the entire conversation with each of these guests:
Manfred Mueller, the head of VOM’s sister office in Germany: here.
“Sister Sahar,” from Saudi Arabia: here.
“Brother Fahdi,” talking about Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries: here.
Aaron, on VOM’s work in Central Asia: here.
George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization: here.
Join us as we look back on some of the amazing testimonies God has allowed VOM Radio to share this year.
Helen Berhane explained the power of worshipping the Lord while locked in a shipping container in Eritrea.
Gary Witherall talked about God’s help to choose forgiveness, and even love, just minutes after Gary’s wife, Bonnie, was martyred in Lebanon.
Brad Phillips shared the story of Morris, a church leader in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, who forgave the man who attacked his daughter—and even paid the fine to get the young man out of prison.
Dan Baumann told what happened when God challenged him to love the man beating him inside a prison in Iran—and the breakthrough that happened when Dan did indeed show love.
Finally we’ll hear some of the ways these guests have encouraged us to pray for persecuted Christians this year.
If you’re blessed by these snippets from conversations on VOM Radio this year, you’ll want to go back and listen to the entire conversation with each of these guests:
Brad Phillips: here.
If you’re already in prison for your faith, and facing a possible death penalty, Petr Jasek says you can be even more bold about sharing Jesus. After all…how much worse could your situation get, from an earthly perspective?
Jasek and Pastor Hassan Abduraheem Taour were cell mates in a Sudanese prison, on trial together for alleged espionage against the nation of Sudan, and this week they are together on VOM Radio in a special episode recorded at a VOM Advance Conference.
Listen to how they found JOY even as they were physically suffering and were separated from families and loved ones. Listen as Petr shares how he could physically feel the prayers of people around the world while he was in prison. Both men will share how God had specifically prepared them to face persecution and imprisonment.
Petr will also talk about how God brought back to his mind the words of songs he had learned as a child, and about the invisible “prayer map” on the walls of his prison cell. Both Petr and Hassan will share what it meant to them for Sudanese Christians to gather outside the courtroom and boldly sing hymns of praise to God as the men were taken to and from their court hearings.
Finally, you’ll be equipped to pray specifically for Christians in prison right now for their faith in Christ, as well as for their family members waiting, hoping and praying for their incarcerated loved ones.
You can hear the VOM Radio interview with Petr Jasek, recorded just eight days after he was released from prison in Sudan, here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Our interview with Pastor Hassan is here: Part 1 and Part 2.
Today we conclude China Week on VOM Radio. All week we've looked at the increasing persecution of Christians in China in conjunction with a new VOM Special Report on China.
Today: “Sister Amber” shares her story of being arrested and persecuted at the hands of Chinese officials in Tibet. It’s one of the most impactful conversations we’ve ever shared on VOM Radio.
Sister Amber spent more than a decade in Tibet, providing vocational training to the people and sharing the gospel message of Christ’s love. She felt God's call especially to work among Tibet's nomadic tribal people, who jokingly call themselves "the roof on the roof of the world." Amber watched as God brought about a great ministry breakthrough: people who'd been totally closed to her message were now asking to learn more about Jesus.
But just days after the breakthrough Amber experienced persecution; police came pounding on her door.
Listen as she tells the story. You'll hear how God ministered to her in the hardest moments of her suffering. You'll hear how she was eventually released, and the way God showed her that her persecution was not the end of the story.
You'll also hear how God laid on the hearts of people around the world to pray for Amber, including one who drew a picture of Amber surrounded by policemen in the interrogation room. Months later, when Amber saw the picture, it matched exactly the setting of her interrogation, but also offered a ray of spiritual hope.
Your faith will be challenged as you hear Amber's thoughts on what the New Testament calls the "honor" of being persecuted, and she’ll give first-hand advice on how we can pray for Christians in prison right now.
If you did not yet receive a copy of VOM’s Special Report on the increase of persecution in China, request your copy at www.VOMRadio.net/China.