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Project: Bibles Plus

Project: Bibles Plus

Bibles Plus distribution continues in the Philippines, with packs being distributed in four villages.

Our distribution partner reports that the road into the area was mountainous, rough, narrow and muddy. They persevered despite damage to their truck, above the front wheel.

The area has been infiltrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The group has been officially declared a terrorist organisation by the government. One of the villages had been recently attacked by the group, with four villagers being killed.

Please pray for a pastor in this area who is under threat by this terrorist group. He is being asked to pay a revolutionary tax (a major form of funding for violent non-state actors such as guerrilla and terrorist organisations).

The four-day distribution was, according to our partner, victorious and successful despite the risk. He says Bibles Plus is a great blessing to persecuted Christians. He thanks us for our prayers, saying the Lord was with the distribution team.

 

PROJECT UPDATE: Bibles Plus

PROJECT UPDATE: Bibles Plus

The Bible Plus distribution has begun in the north-eastern region of Mindanao in the Philippines.

Below is a summary sent from our Voice of the Martyrs contact, who co-ordinates distribution in the Philippines.

We distributed 250 packs to different churches in the area, some came from great distances. It was a joy and a blessing to see these people receiving the Bibles and other provisions. The people were so very happy and felt the blessing of God.

We praise the Lord for Bible Plus which touches many needy, persecuted Christians even in the remote areas of Mindanao.

Thank you so much for your prayers, the Lord is with us and we arrived home safely.

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The Risk of Embracing God’s Word

The Risk of Embracing God’s Word

It is unimaginable for us to think we could be arrested, tortured and abused for carrying a bible.

Sadly for millions of Christians living in countries that are hostile to Christianity, this is their daily reality. And yet, it is in these very countries where we find persecuted believers crying the same cry, “Please send us Bibles.”

It may be difficult to imagine that in this day and age, the Bible continues to remain unknown to millions of people. There are many countries, (and this list is growing in number), where it is extremely difficult, dangerous or outright illegal to obtain or own a Bible. Therefore, it seems even more extraordinary but comforting that in these restricted countries, persecuted believers consider their Bible as their most treasured possession. They want one, despite the risk to their lives.

Our founder, Richard Wurmbrand, once shared what some persecuted believers said to him “Give us the tools we need! We will pay the price for using them!” Like life-giving spring water, persecuted Christians are strengthened and nourished through the Word of God. I can recall the story of a pastor who buried his Bible in a clay pot in the jungle as it was illegal to have one hence too dangerous for him to keep it at home. Such is the value believers place on a Bible!

We are extremely proud and humbled by the achievements of the Bibles Plus program over the past six years, putting Bibles into the hands of many persecuted believers. Bible distribution has always been a critical component to Voice of the Martyrs Australia’s ministry and I praise God for its successes.

The 2018 Bibles Plus annual appeal is upon us and we have an ambitious plan ahead of us. As the need and call for more Bibles is becoming louder, we are answering the call by expanding to new countries in 2018. This work is critical, the number of persecuted believers’ lives this program has changed and impacted clearly demonstrates the value placed on owning a Bible.

Your continued fervent prayers and support have always been the vital part of the Bibles Plus program. We thank you and appreciate your kindness, generosity and faithfulness in supporting Voice of the Martyrs Australia’s ministry to the persecuted Christians.

God bless
Tony Benjamin
CEO

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Sowing the Word of God Despite the Risk

Sowing the Word of God Despite the Risk

The same cry, loud and clear, remains consistent: “We need more Bibles!”

In recent years, India has experienced ever-increasing attacks on it’s Christian minority particularly from Hindu extremists.

To make the situation worse, these acts of violence seem to be actively encouraged by India’s local and national governments. Representing only a little over 2% of India’s population, the odds against Christians seem daunting and overwhelming.

And yet, the desire for the Word of God pushes forward. Despite the dangers, God’s people hunger to have a Bible. They seek the peace and reassurance of His Word, a constant reminder that He will never forsake them! Some believers have never owned a Bible and can’t afford to purchase one.

In one remote village, a church of 12 families were sharing the pastor’s Bible, passing it along to a new family every two days.

As part of Voice of the Martyrs critical mission, we actively seek to fulfil this demand for Bibles. In Southern India, there is a strong network of active and passionate evangelists who have a strong network of pastors available to distribute Bibles to people living in districts where Bibles aren’t available.

There is also a great need to replace Bibles for those pastors and Christians whose own Bibles have been taken or destroyed by radical Hindu activists. Such was their joy when they received their new Bible as some had been fasting and praying for a Bible for two or three years.

The dangers and risks for these pastors is very real. They are truly walking the path of faith. Despite this, they rejoice in successfully fulfilling God’s work in bringing His Word into the hearts of persecuted Christians. They also pray for God to use His Word to bring light into the hearts of those who persecute Christians.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4

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India: Risking it all for a Bible

India: Risking it all for a Bible

The persecution of Christians in India has risen over the past year, pushing it up in the list of countries where the practice of the Christian faith is a high-risk activity. Hindu fanatics attempt to forcibly convert people to the dominant faith of their nation, often turning to violence when community discrimination and non-violent oppression fail to impose their religious beliefs on the minority Christians.

The fear is real, the dangers and threat to life ever present. These are the realities facing Voice of the Martyrs Australia’s field workers daily.

Vijay is one of the courageous Voice of the Martyrs field workers. Earlier this year, he was tasked with the distribution of Bibles Plus packs in the Kandhamal district of Odisha, India. In recent years, Kandhamal has been a serious hotspot, where violence against Christians is occurring with frightening regularity.

Because of this volatile situation, Vijay made the decision to change the usual distribution plan. This was not only for his own and his team’s safety, but also because the believers coming to receive their Bibles Plus packs would be taking enormous risks of being attacked.

To avoid staying in one location for too long and attracting the Hindu fanatics, Vijay and his team of organisers, church leaders and evangelists decided to split the Bibles Plus pack distribution for the persecuted Christians into six different but smaller locations. This would enable them to move quickly and hopefully minimise the attention around his activity.

“At each distribution point, we had to work quickly as we anticipated Hindu fanatic groups following us to create chaos and unrest. Once we were set up, we offered a quick prayer, thanking God for His blessings and protection, then very quickly distributed the Bibles Plus packs to the eagerly awaiting believers” said Vijay.

After a relatively trouble-free distribution with the first five locations, the sixth location was different. Despite all efforts to move as quickly as possible, our activity attracted the attention of some very aggressive Hindu fanatics. “I could see their anger rising as the noise grew, I knew an attack from them would be imminent” Vijay recalls. “Before it escalated any further, I managed to call the police, and praise God, they came very quickly and protected us.”

Even so, the police advised Vijay to work quickly as the angry crowd grew larger. Despite this knife-edge tension, he managed to distribute the Bibles Plus packs to the grateful believers.

At all the locations, the persecuted believers were very happy and grateful to receive their Bibles Plus packs. Many were ready and willing to share their joy, even wanting Vijay to take photographs of them holding their new Bible with pride. Most wanted to linger in each location for the opportunity to fellowship with other believers. However with an ever present danger and the apprehension of being attacked by the Hindu fanatics, they had to disperse quickly.

Though fully aware of the life-threatening risks, Vijay is ever-ready and willing to do God’s work and is humbled for the opportunity. “Once again, I do want to thank the Voice of the Martyrs Australia for this awesome help. The relief materials were great, but it is the Bibles which most of the believers first grabbed in their hands while picking up their Bibles Plus pack” Vijay said.

“If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:20-21

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