Mrs Han, a North Korean defector, is determined to share her faith with her countrymen.
After defecting a few years ago, Mrs Han came to know Christ in South Korea. She then joined a VOM training program for defectors that teaches the basic tenants of the Christian faith. Those who complete the first course are invited to advance to the missionary training course, in which they are taught to share the Gospel with other North Koreans.
After completing both courses, Mrs Han made this statement at her graduation: “If the 30,000 North Korean defectors are to share the Gospel with the 23 million North Koreans, each of us must share the Gospel with 770 people. But I do not believe this is an impossible or difficult task.” Mrs Han is determined to play her part in this immense, but not impossible, task.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Pray for Mrs Han and other defectors who are reaching out to North Koreans with the Gospel.
- Ask God to give opportunity, strategy and wisdom to share the light of Christ in this dangerous and difficult place.
- Praise God for the way He is making himself known to North Koreans both inside and outside the country.
If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate
Tears misted Basma’s eyes as she touched my arms and looked at me. “Beautiful. You are beautiful.” It was the look a proud mother would give her daughter.
Basma had been a mother to me in many ways. She had taken me in as a newcomer to the neighbourhood, taught me how to cook soft, fluffy couscous, and introduced me to her friends.
Now Basma had dressed me in one of her black abayas and given me a matching headscarf to wear. We were going furniture shopping, and she explained I should dress in the long cloak and scarf to avoid wayward looks from the men who congregate in that part of town. Donning the abaya and scarf didn’t bother me; I wanted to dress appropriately. “It’s better to wear this. Safer,” Basma reminded me with a beaming smile. I smiled back, knowing much of Basma’s happiness came from the fact that I looked more Muslim now than before.
Basma wasn’t the first Muslim woman who tried to convert me, but she was definitely one of the most gracious and sensitive. Some women are pushy and rude; on a bad day, I chafe at their questions.
One Muslim woman grilled me, “Muslim? Are you Muslim?” As I stumbled around in my second language, sharing that I am a follower of Jesus the Messiah, she cut me off. “Islam is good. The final religion. You must enter Islam.” End of conversation. But Basma was much more respectful in “inviting” me to Islam. Asking me what I believed, she thoughtfully processed the information. Then she excitedly explained about her prophet, vouching for the miraculous experiences he had. She scribbled down Islamic Web sites for me to read. On one of my visits, Basma switched the television to a station broadcasting recitation of the Koran. She left the channel playing loudly for the entire visit!
Basma firmly believes Islam is the final revelation from God, and it is for everyone. So can I fault her for trying to win a convert for her religion?
But I felt like a project. If Muslims wrote missionary prayer letters, I might have made the front page. I can see it now: Anna is so close to becoming a Muslim. Yesterday, she even wore an abaya! Although Basma assures me that her friendship is not contingent upon me becoming Muslim, I still notice her discreet disappointment as I hold firmly to Jesus.
When approached by Muslims as a would-be convert, what should our response be?
William McElwee Miller’s answer is one of the best I have found. A Muslim traveler challenged Miller, “Why don’t you accept our prophet?” Miller responded, “… I have in Jesus Christ everything that I need for the journey of life: a road, light, bread and water. What else do I need?”1
Instead of becoming irritated by zealous Muslims, I am slowly learning to expect their challenges (and yes, even their pushy questions) and use them as an opportunity to express my complete satisfaction in Christ. I have Jesus. What else do I need?
Your turn: What is your response to someone trying to convert you? Offense? Indignation? Compassion?
1. Source: “Tales of Persia” p. 38 by William McElwee Miller
Knowing that his church could be attacked at any time. Knowing the cost, Prasad Bandi continues to serve as its pastor.
Then, during evening services on 22 February 2015, someone on a motorcycle threw a Molotov cocktail at the church. Within minutes, flames had consumed the walls and roof, which were constructed of palm leaves and sheets of plastic. About 60 believers, many of whom had formerly worshipped Hindu deities, were suddenly without a church home. Chairs, Bibles, musical instruments and even Prasad’s motorcycle — essential to his work in and around six area villages — were destroyed.
Prasad, who shares the Gospel in a country where there is a growing movement to make all Indians Hindu, knows the cost of doing God’s work. He also knows that God will make all things new.
Prasad faithfully continues the challenging work of sharing the Gospel on the front line.
India, a mostly Hindu nation, is witnessing the growth of the Christian church in large numbers even though persecution is increasing for religious minorities at the same time.
The increase in persecution is claimed by many to be the result of the rise of a Hindu political party now controlling India’s Central Government. Despite this, there are an estimated 25-60 million Christians in India (and an estimated 1 billion Hindus).
Some congregations have thousands of Christians in attendance, such as Calvary Temple located in Hyderabad that holds up to 35,000 people. It offers five services on Sundays, with worshippers filling up each one.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Praise God for the growth of His church in India; pray the Gospel will continue to be preached clearly and faithfully.
- Pray for God’s protection over His church; ask the Lord to encourage those who face opposition to stand firm.
- Pray for the conversion of many more Indians to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“When you face persecution day in and day out, you get discouraged and you can withdraw. There is nowhere where it is easy to preach the Gospel.”
–‘Rajul,’ a VOM-supported front line worker
Front line workers accept persecution as part of sharing about Jesus and planting churches. Many have been beaten and arrested for showing the Jesus film or distributing Christian literature.
You can encourage them in God’s work through prayer. Your daily prayers will encourage and empower their local ministry.
Rajul oversees a network of more than 5,700 pastors who have shared the Gospel in more than 20,000 villages across India. With your support, VOM provides training, evangelistic materials and transportation to better equip many dedicated to advancing God’s kingdom.
“To know so many people are praying for us, and that Voice of the Martyrs gives us Bibles and support to help us advance the Gospel, we are enormously encouraged.”
Image from: http://www.persecutionblog.com/2016/08/front-line-workers-need-your-prayer.html