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?
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. To learn more about the current ministry activities of Rashin and her husband, Amir, visit the Torch Ministries web site.
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; click here 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. To learn more about the current ministry activities of Rashin and her husband, Amir, visit the Torch Ministries web site.