Gary Witherall and his wife, Bonnie, heard God’s call to tell people in the Middle East about Jesus. They answered that call by moving to Lebanon, where they served with Operation Mobilization, building relationships with Lebanese people and Palestinian refugees—until the day Bonnie was martyred in the clinic where she served refugee women.
Listen as Gary shares about how God called them to the Middle East, what their work there was like and how each day of their ministry was unique. He’ll also share how things changed on 9-11, when Gary and Bonnie saw people all around them celebrating the murder of more than 3,000 Americans.
After the attacks, they found their life and ministry more difficult, but they never considered leaving. In fact, it was after 9-11 that Gary and Bonnie determined they would stay and serve the Lord—no matter the cost. “I think we were martyred on that day,” Gary says. You’ll be challenged as Gary asks the question: what do you love so much you’d be willing to die for it?
Be sure to join us next week on VOM Radio as Gary tells about the day Bonnie gave her life for Christ. You can learn more about Gary’s story by reading his book, Total Abandon (affiliate link).
There have been significant changes in China this year, changes that greatly affect our Christian brothers and sisters and how they live out their faith. First, new “regulations on religion” took effect, attempting to give China’s communist government more control over church activities. Secondly, term limits were abolished for China’s President, allowing current leader Xi Jinping to lead the country for many more years.
Listen this week as Brother Blake and Brother Joel share what these changes mean for churches in China, and how Christians are responding to the changes to continue serving Christ in the face of communist oppression. Blake and Joel will also equip you to pray for China’s Christians during these days of increasing pressure.
Bryson Vogeltanz works with Passion Ministries to call 18-25 year olds to a deeper walk with Christ, and to be involved with the work of God around the world. Listen as he shares how young people at a Passion Conference were challenged to help VOM deliver Scripture Balloons into North Korea, and how they overwhelmingly responded.
He’ll also talk about putting on a Passion event inside a predominantly-Muslim country, and how seeing young people answer Christ’s call has inspired his own faith and his pastoral work right here in the United States.
Finally, Bryson will challenge each of us to “tell Jesus stories” to those around us in order to draw others to Christ.
You can learn more about Passion events and register for Passion 2019 here.
Ben Foley is the president of Serve Now, a ministry empowering churches and Christian leaders in many different countries to serve the Lord and to reach out with the Bible in one hand and a cup of cold water in the other.
Listen in as Ben shares about the work of Serve Now, and how God very specifically guided him into the ministry. He'll also share the first prayer request of Christians under threat of persecution in countries where Serve Now works, and it's not the one you're likely expecting.
Ben will also share how God gave him an opportunity for a very brief taste of persecution, and how he found God's grace sufficient, moment-by-moment, through that experience. The experience also showed him first-hand the difference it makes when the Body of Christ is praying for those facing persecution.
Al Fadi is a former Wahabbi Muslim from Saudi Arabia. He says when he tells Saudi friends that he’s now a Christian, they say, “That’s impossible!” They don’t believe a Saudi Muslim would ever leave their religion to follow another faith.
But Al Fadi did leave Islam behind when he encountered followers of Christ during university studies in the United States. Listen as Al Fadi shares how his heart was changed as he met and watched true followers of Christ. “If their holy book is corrupted,” he asked himself, “how is it that the followers of that book are so different?”
He’ll also share about how his family responded to the “shame” of having a family member choose to follow Christ. You’ll be encouraged by Al Fadi’s testimony, and inspired and equipped to reach out to Muslims you know with the love of Jesus.
Rebecca George is the principal writer for VOM’s new book: WURMBRAND: Tortured For Christ the Complete Story. Listen this week as she shares how she went about researching the lives of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, the founders of The Voice of the Martyrs. Rebecca will tell us what her writing process is like, and why she felt the need to start the story by telling about the Wurmbrand’s life before Christ—to show the difference that Christ made. She’ll talk about wrestling with how many details of the Wurmbrands’ terrible suffering to include, and how her own walk with Christ was impacted by the example of Richard and Sabina. Finally, Rebecca will give us a preview of the project she’s working on now: the story of another imprisoned Christian. Order your copy of WURMBRAND here.
This weekend marks Father’s Day, and our guest is Phil Nettleton, long-time missionary and father of VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton. Listen as Phil shares about how God called him into missionary service, about the challenges missionaries face on the field and specific ways that you can pray for missionaries that you know or that your church is sending. He’ll also share how God makes each place a Christian serves and each season of ministry a “favorite.” Phil will talk about learning the power of going into a different culture as a learner instead of an expert. Finally, Phil will talk about serving the Lord in the seasons of life after “retirement”—a word he reminds us is not mentioned in the Bible.
Sam Brownback serves as the United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, leading the State Department’s efforts to promote religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities around the world.
Listen this week as he shares about how religious freedom serves as a foundation for many other freedoms, and which countries he sees moving the wrong direction on the issue. He’ll also share how his own faith motivates his work, and stories of both success and failure in his decades of work on behalf of persecuted religious minorities.
Finally, Ambassador Brownback shares how we can pray for him and other of our government officials working on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world, and reminds us that our prayers and our actions really do make a difference.
Manfred Mueller leads Hilfsaktion Martyrerkirche (HMK), The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in Germany. Listen as he shares about the early days of HMK’s work in Germany, including the rejection of the message of Richard Wurmbrand when he first came out from behind the Iron Curtain.
Manfred also recalls his own childhood, when his parents and grandparents were involved in delivering Bibles into communist nations. Manfred will also share inspiring stories from persecuted Christians he has met during his years of service at HMK and how those stories are impacting the way he lives out his own faith in Christ.
Finally, Manfred will discuss how having hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants and refugees has impacted life in Europe, and how the church there is responding to “the biggest opportunity for missions our country has seen in decades.”
Dan Baumann was living in Central Asia when he and a friend decided to make a Christmas-break visit to Iran. They experienced the warm welcome of the Persian people and culture, right up to the point where they tried to cross the border and exit the country. Passports were confiscated, and Dan found himself in a jail cell, interrogated harshly and beaten regularly.
Dan experienced the depth of depression in prison, even making a plan to “escape” a long prison sentence by taking his own life. But God was still there, and Dan found Him to be faithful to show His amazing love, even in prison.
God also taught Dan a great deal about loving our enemies, a difficult challenge when your enemies are literally beating you each day. Hear about that life-changing lesson this week on VOM Radio, and be back next week to hear the conclusion of our interview with Dan Baumann.