“I really shouldn’t be alive,” says Brent Teague. He’s one of a small number of Americans who have survived an Al Qaeda attack. While serving in Niger, he was shot multiple times and left for dead. But as he prepared to say goodbye to life on earth and enter heaven, Brent sensed God telling him that his earthly ministry wasn’t finished yet.
Later, he discovered that God had worked a miracle—before he was even shot—that led police to find him before it was too late. Hear the incredible story of his rescue, and how God has used the story of the attack, and even the physical scars, to open doors for ministry for both Brent and his wife, Shelley.
Brent and Shelley will also share advice for creating opportunities to share the gospel with Muslims that you know, and talk about their ongoing work for the gospel in West Africa.
Dr. Mike Ansari leads Heart4Iran, working with different ministries to reach Muslims in Iran with the gospel message, and to strengthen Iranian believers to withstand persecution and continue boldly serving Christ.
Dr. Mike will tell us the story of an Iranian Christian woman currently in prison for distributing Bibles inside Iran—a project supported by VOM—and how she is responding to persecution with boldness and grace, even witnessing for Christ inside the prison.
You’ll also learn how VOM partners with Christians from restricted nations to support and further their vision and ministry, and about the intense persecution Christians are facing right now inside Iran—where they are seen as one of the biggest threats to the Islamic Republic.
Merv Knight has served persecuted Christians for more than 50 years, including co-founding The Voice of the Martyrs Australia and serving for decades as a member of the board of directors for VOM-USA. He worked side-by-side with Pastor Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM’s founders and former prisoners for Christ in Romania.
Recently Merv spoke to the staff at VOM headquarters on the occasion of his retirement from active service on the ministry’s board. Listen as he shares insights about the Wurmbrand family, the early days of the ministry and some of the persecuted Christians who inspired Merv over his many years of serving through VOM.
He’ll tell about:
Finally, Merv will challenge each of us to be faithful in the things that God has called us to do to serve Him and build His Kingdom, wherever we are.
Ron Morse was a teenager when his missionary family was told to leave Burma. But before the family could get out of the country, the borders were closed—for six years!
Listen as Ron describes living in the jungle, making everything the family needed—including cooking pots and blackboards for school—and how God used those difficult years to plant seeds in his life that are still bearing fruit today as he serves the Lord and the people of Southeast Asia through North Burma Christian Mission.
With the story of a snake bite, Ron will challenge all of us to be willing to do anything to share Christ. He reflects on lessons he learned from his parents and grandparents as he watched them serve in difficult circumstances, and offers advice for those exploring a call to missions today. He’ll also equip listeners to pray specifically for the church in Myanmar and for missionaries serving around the world.
Read about Ron’s family and their years in the jungle in Exodus to a Hidden Valley (affiliate link), written by Ron’s father, Eugene.
God called John Weaver to Afghanistan as a single man, and he stayed in the country even after 9/11 when the U.S. government encouraged all Americans to leave. John committed his singleness to God, making peace with the fact that he might never get married while living and working in an isolated village in Afghanistan.
It was only weeks after making that commitment that John met Jeanne—an American woman born in Kabul whom God had brought from half a world away to be John’s bride.
Listen to the story of their amazing romance, which is also told in a new book called Najiba: A Love Story from Afghanistan (affiliate link). You’ll hear how they courted and married according to Afghan traditions, honoring the culture in which they served while still shining as a lighthouse for Christ and for God’s amazing blessing that is Christian marriage.
John will also demonstrate specific ways we can pray for Afghanistan.
What questions would you expect from a Christian suffering in prison for their faith? When Dr. Hormoz Shariat from Iran Alive Ministries received a call from an imprisoned church leader in Iran, he expected hard questions about suffering and why God would allow it.
Instead, the Iranian man simply encouraged Hormoz. Imprisonment, and even torture, were an honor, this brother said, because he was suffering for Christ.
Persecution of Christians in Iran—especially converts from Islam—is different from other places. In most Islamic nations, persecution starts with the convert’s own family. But in Iran, Pastor Hormoz says, most people—including Muslims—have a favorable view of Christianity, and don’t take offense at family members following Christ.
Persecution in Iran is real, though, coming from the Islamic government that knows it has lost the hearts of the people—and is turning to violence to maintain power and control.
Listen and be encouraged by how the church in Iran is growing, with specific stories of Iranians who have left Islam behind to follow Jesus Christ. The challenge now, Hormoz tells us, is not evangelism. The challenge is to disciple the many new Christians in Iran and help them mature in their faith. He will share how Iran Alive is creating resources specifically for the Persian church. Finally, Hormoz will help us pray specifically for Christians inside Iran—and for government leaders as well.
You can connect directly with Iran Alive ministries by texting “Iran” to 74784.
In the second half of this conversation, Hannelie Groenewald recalls the day her husband and two teen-aged children were killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The names of Werner, Rodé and Jean-Pierre Groenewald will be unveiled on the Martyrs Memorial in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on Saturday, June 29 as a part of the commemoration of Day of the Christian Martyr, 2019.
In this interview, recorded in 2016, Hannelie recalls the Psalm she read over and over again as she waited to hear whether her family members were alive or dead, and the amazement of Afghans at her ability to forgive the Taliban which had murdered her entire family. She’ll also describe the blessing of knowing that Christians around the world were praying for her as she grieved—and the hope she has because of God’s promise of eternity in heaven.
Hannelie shares hard-earned truth with listeners who may be struggling to forgive someone who has wronged them, and her thoughts on working through fear with God’s help. She’ll also equip us to pray more effectively for the nation of Afghanistan and for our Christian brothers and sisters there.
You can watch the induction ceremony for Werner, Jean-Pierre and Rodé Groenewald onto the Martyrs Memorial by going to www.Persecution.com/martyr. The event will also be available through Facebook Live on the VOM Facebook page.
Listen to Part 1 of the conversation here.
After the attacks of 9/11, God called Werner and Hannelie Groenewald to go and share Jesus’ love in Afghanistan. Even some of their own family members said, ‘NO! God would never call you to take your children to Afghanistan!’
Inside the country, they served and loved the Afghan people in the name of Jesus. Hannelie, as a doctor, provided medical care. Werner worked in leadership development and humanitarian aid. Their work, and the fact that they served in the name of Jesus, did not go unnoticed by radical Muslims in Afghanistan.
In 2014, a Taliban attack on their home took the lives of Werner and the Groenewalds’ son and daughter, Jean-Pierre and Rodé. Hannelie was not home at the time of the attack, and her life was spared. Listen as she tells the story of God’s call to Afghanistan, and how God increased her faith even in the days and weeks before the attack, preparing her to endure faithfully a terrible loss.
You can watch online as the names of Hannelie’s family, Werner, Jean-Pierre and Rodé are added to The Martyrs Memorial on Day of the Christian Martyr, June 29th. You can find more information, and register to access the video of the ceremony, at www.Persecution.com/martyr.
Ali, a follower of Christ in Iran, and his family have experienced God’s rescue numerous times. First, God rescued Ali’s father from alcoholism. Then Jesus rescued Ali from drug addiction and hopelessness. They began to follow the God Who rescued them. But following Jesus in Iran is costly: persecution came quickly as Ali’s grandfather gave him one week to denounce Christ and return to Islam, or else.
Ali and his parents could never denounce the God Who’d rescued them, though, and they lost their home, their money and their support system.
God miraculously provided for their needs—including a rice bowl that never emptied. Ali and his family couldn’t help but tell everyone around them about the God who rescued people and answered prayer, and soon they’d helped 60 people meet Jesus.
Their ministry was noticed, and Ali’s father and brother were arrested; Ali had to move to a different city to avoid arrest himself. In spite of the risks, he continues to share the gospel stories of Christ, and to see Iranian hearts, sick and tired of religious duty and oppressive leaders, warmed by Jesus’ love. The biggest love, he says, is when you lay down your life for others.
Listen to Ali’s story, including how he and his wife prepare for the possibility of more persecution and specific ways you can pray for the church in Iran, this week on VOM Radio.
God called Ruth to serve Him in missions in a nation in South Asia. She answered His call, but the government of that country told her she had to leave—and never come back! Listen to how she responded to this persecution, and how God worked to return her to Christian ministry in that country within 30 days!
“Peter” and “Ruth” are spreading the gospel through training people to memorize and share the Scriptures. The process enables new believers to quickly drive deep roots into the Bible and compels them to share gospel stories with those around them. The process also quickly crosses language barriers because it works even in languages where the Bible is still being translated. And it works for believers of all ages.
Hear an example of a Word by Heart, and see how even a one-minute story can drive discussion and lead people to spiritual truth.
“Only Christianity can cut the root of our communism.”
—Kim Il Sung, founder of North Korea
Why is the government of Kim’s grandson, Kim Jong Un, so threatened by the gospel of Jesus Christ? Why do Christians in North Korea face such fierce persecution? Dr. Eric Foley, co-founder and leader of VOM-Korea, answers those questions, and helps us pray for North Korea and VOM’s work to get Bibles and gospel radio broadcasts to people there.
Dr. Foley will talk about the difference made by President Donald Trump’s meeting in Vietnam with Kim, and why the current leader of North Korea can never actually be the President there, because that title is held eternally by his grandfather.
We’ll discuss how the North Korean government preserved and publicized the story of a Christian martyr, Cha Deoksun. You can watch the video the regime created about her life, and death, here.
Dr. Foley will also provide an update on VOM-sponsored Bible balloon launches into North Korea, which delivered 30,000 Bibles last year. Surveys show this Bible work is making a difference: today eight percent of North Koreans have actually seen a Bible—a dramatic increase from even a few years ago.
To learn more about Christians in North Korea, order a copy of Dr. Foley’s book, These Are The Generations (affiliate link). You can also learn about the history of the church and persecution in North Korea by reading Restricted Nations: North Korea, written by VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton.
John Grooters spent many months deeply immersed in the story of VOM’s founders, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand. They lived exemplary Christian lives, even loving and witnessing to their torturers. Their example has deeply challenged Grooters, who directed Tortured For Christ – The Movie, as well as the video segments for the WURMBRAND small-group curriculum.
Listen as Grooters shares the philosophy that drove this project, and the challenges for Christian filmmakers competing with big-budget Hollywood studios. John will share how viewers responded to the film—including a 10-year-old boy who committed his life to Christ after seeing Richard and Sabina’s example of following Christ under persecution.
You can receive a complimentary copy of Tortured For Christ – The Movie on DVD when you make a donation to VOM’s work with persecuted Christians. You can learn more about Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand through the Wurmbrand small group study, or by reading WURMBRAND: Tortured For Christ The Complete Story.
Would you give up your job to keep following Christ? Listen this week to the story of a teacher in Laos presented with that very question, and the choice he made.
The Khmu were once kings and rulers, but today they are seen as nobodies in society and looked down on by the Lao people. But God is reaching the Khmu, and many are leaving behind the worship of spirits and the fear of the witch doctors for the peace that comes through relationship with Christ.
Our guest, Brother Joshua, is part of Khmu Christian Connection, helping reach Khmu people in Laos, Vietnam, China and Thailand with the gospel message and then discipling them and training leaders to share the gospel with friends and neighbors—in spite of persecution.
Brother Joshua is a second-generation worker with KCC. You can hear our conversation with Josh’s dad here.
“Brother Jeff,” from YWAM Frontier Missions, has a reason so many Muslims around the world are coming to know Jesus: prayer. He says Christians have been much more committed in recent years to praying for Muslims to meet Jesus, and God is answering those prayers.
Right now, Ramadan, is an especially strategic time for prayer, and Jeff will equip listeners to pray for Muslims seeking Christ, as well as those who’ve already decided to follow Him, and may be facing challenges and persecution because of their decision.
Jeff will discuss how to prepare believers to face persecution, including helping develop a well-thought-out theology of risk for workers taking the gospel to hard places. He’ll also advise listeners about reaching out to Muslims in western nations.
You can learn more about the Muslim World Prayer Guide at www.30daysprayer.com.
Mariam was abused as a young girl. As a teen, she took 12 pills a day to treat her depression. She was an atheist, believing no god would allow her to suffer so much. The betrayal by her father and abuse by another man left Mariam hating men. Without hope, she tried suicide five times.
But Jesus rescued Mariam! Listen to the amazing story of how she experienced Christ’s presence in an amazing way even as she tried to end her life, and how Jesus completely transformed her. Hear also about Mariam’s ministry today telling Muslims—especially women and girls—inside the Islamic Republic of Iran about the Jesus whose miracles saved and healed her.
Mariam will also share specific ways to pray for the people of Iran right now.
In this special episode of VOM Radio we’ll bring listeners an update on Christians in Sri Lanka and how they’re responding to Easter Sunday bombings that killed 250+ people and injured hundreds more. VOM's vice president of international ministry will talk about why the location and the bombers were surprising, and equip listeners with specific prayer requests from Sri Lankan church leaders.
We’ll also discuss the coup in Sudan and possibilities for change there in light of the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir. Sean Paton, VOM’s Africa regional director, will explain the kinds of persecution Sudanese Christians have faced in 30 years under Bashir. What is happening, and how much hope for more religious freedom is there under a new government? Sean will also give specific ways to pray for Sudanese Christians in the days to come, and then Petr Jasek—who spent 14 months in prison in Sudan—will lead us in prayer for the nation and for Christians there during this time of turmoil.
Please share this week's episode with your Christian friends and invite them to join in prayer for Christians in Sudan and Sri Lanka.
You can hear Petr tell the story of his imprisonment here.
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?