Select Page
Knowing The Cost

Knowing The Cost

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: Christianity Growing Despite Increased Persecution

INDIA: Christianity Growing Despite Increased Persecution

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

Prayer Points

  • 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.
Interview with Matthew, VOM contact in the Philippines

Interview with Matthew, VOM contact in the Philippines

Matthew works closely with VOM to oversee projects and a Bible college in the Philippines. In this interview you’ll discover his response to persecution and just how we can support the ministry in prayer.

How did your involvement with Voice of the Martyrs start?

In 2006 I was asked to be a VOM contact. I asked, “Why me?” I didn’t have training; I didn’t have much experience. But they said to me, “You are acquainted with persecution.” Muslims had burned our house, and then they burned our church three times. Once I also had to evacuate at 1 o’clock in the morning because Muslims were coming against us. So I said, “If the Lord told you, who am I to refuse? I want to obey the Lord.”

Are you ever afraid or worried because you are an active Christian living in a restricted country?

I grew up in a Muslim community; I played with Muslims, I learned how to speak with Muslims. I learned how to live with Muslims. So I think I’m less worried about that. But then when we are hearing bombing and then shooting, it bothers me.

But we just trust the Lord about it. One time when my youngest daughter was about seven or eight years old, we heard shooting, shooting and bombing early in the morning. Sometimes it shook the roofing of our house. My small daughter said, “Papa, what’s happening, is that shooting?” I said, “Oh, yes, maybe they’re just testing their guns.” But then it continued for more than an hour, and I think maybe they’re fighting. But I don’t worry; the Lord is with us. That’s the assurance. He gives assurance and protection even when that is happening close to us.

We have experienced the protection of the Lord. My wife and daughter were in the market buying some vegetables, and right afterwards, only one or two minutes away from where they had been, a bomb exploded. If they had stayed longer, probably they were part of that. But the Lord’s protection was on us. So we acknowledge the goodness of the Lord.

How have you grown as a Christian as a result of your ministry?

I learn to live by faith. In the Bible college, we live totally by faith. We can start without any support, just live by faith. I always teach people we live by faith and we live by feet. I have experienced travelling without money and the Lord just provided the money on the way. Stepping by faith, we trust the Lord. It is good that we can be part of this, ministering to these people who are under persecution. So praise the Lord for that.

What encouragement do you give to a Christian who is being persecuted?

How I encourage them is that we focus on God. Our life is limited on this earth. What is important is that we have to be committed. Death is not the end of our hope; after death, we still have hope. We do not know how much longer our life will be on this earth. So that’s why I encourage them, if our hope in Jesus is only on this earth, we are the most miserable people, but God has something for us. So I always encourage them that persecution and hard things in this world are only temporary. The glory is ahead.

I also encourage people that they are not the only one who is suffering. We lost three of our children because they were born prematurely but we could not afford hospital care. In the Philippines, if you do not have cash, they will not admit the patient. Sometimes you do not understand at first. We prayed for their healing, but they were not healed. One of the hardest things is when God is silent. And in that situation, I just go to the verse, “All things work together for good.” God has a plan. Later on, we understood that the plan is to become a part of this kind of ministry. And when others are suffering, we know how to give some advice because we have been in that situation, and I can use verses like Joshua 1:8 and Romans 8:28 to encourage people.

How can we pray for persecuted Christians?

Pray for the protection of the Lord. We travel a lot, sometimes even at night, and we need His protection. Also for people who are suffering and are in need. When we distributed Bibles Plus packs to some of them, they did not have food for that day, then we gave them the rice and they were so encouraged. Later on, that church was filled with people coming every Sunday because of that.

We need to pray for how we can be effective in the ministry.

Another thing is to pray that the Bangsamoro law will not be passed. If it is passed, there will be a big problem, because many of the members of our churches, their property will be taken by the Muslims. Every time at harvest, they will take the crop. So pray that they’ll be protected and that they’ll be provided for. Their land is being taken by the Muslims, their crops are being taken, and they are being pressured. Almost every week there are some killings of the Christians. So those are needs that we have to pray for.

How does knowing that Christians in other countries care, support and pray for them make a difference for persecuted Christians?

There is a great impact, especially in the continuance of the Gospel through the Bible college. We are being empowered and prepared because of help from VOM. We are so thankful for the partnership. They know that someone is behind them, praying and giving. We see that it is God’s blessing and looking after us through this.

Another of the great encouragements is to have the Bibles through Bibles Plus. It shows that there is somebody who cares – the body of Christ – so that is a great encouragement.

Show your support:  sponsor a Bible college student,  donate to Bibles and Literature, download our App  for daily prayer points.

On the Front Line

On the Front Line

AnzacBlogBanner

Just recently, on 25 April, Australia commemorated ANZAC day. ANZAC day is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during the First World War.

As I was watching historical footage and documentaries on a soldier’s life in trenches and the courage and sacrifice made during that war, my thoughts flashed back to the ultimate sacrifice our Lord Jesus made for us, as well as the millions of Christians who are paying the ultimate price for following Christ. They work in church planting ministries, sowing the seeds of the Gospel in the hearts of unbelievers, as well as training the next generation of Bible college students to further advance Christ’s kingdom. They are bringing the message of hope and peace to a world that has been at war and chaos since the fall of man.

Reading back over VOM Australia’s April 2016 newsletter made me understand how important it is as a Christian to support our brothers and sisters standing on the front lines of persecution. VOM’s Front Line Ministry helps deliver resources and training to assist pastors with sharing the Gospel in hostile areas. Our prayer and support is needed.
These courageous individuals are bringing hope and change by sharing Christ’s love in these dark areas of the world. They are soldiers of Christ. Their weapons? Just their faith and their Bible.

Whenever I read about Christians like Hadi in our newsletter, who was beaten for sharing the Gospel in India, I compare them to the ANZAC soldiers who died for our freedom. These believers are the unsung heroes of Christianity. They are bringing the power of the Gospel and the freedom that comes from it to every corner of the earth. May we continue to remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers. May our faith continue to be strengthened by their testimonies and their stories.

Support the Frontline Ministry of VOM Australia
Subscribe to Newsletter
Subscribe to E-news

New Life, New Identity

New Life, New Identity

 

17-B-BannerNewLifeThirteen Three sponsors Bible college students who live in restricted countries. Our desire is to see the Gospel spread in these areas. Therefore, it is vital to invest in the next generation of leaders whom God is equipping to be His instruments for this purpose.

Agus is one such student. He has decided to go to Bible college to become better equipped to evangelise with the Gospel. Agus’ background is not typical of most Bible college students: he grew up in a broken, abusive, Muslim home and, as a teenager, got involved in the drug scene as a way to escape. Agus’ conversion, just like all conversions, is a miracle and is featured in our next newsletter. Subscribe {link https://vom.com.au/subscribe} to find out how God transformed Agus’ life.

Now that Agus is a Christian, he desperately wants to see other Muslims convert to Christianity. He frequently evangelises them. Because of this, Agus is verbally abused and at times even beaten.

Agus wants to grow in his knowledge of Christianity and better equip himself to be an effective evangelist.

Join us in praying for Agus. Ask the Lord to grant him many opportunities to speak the Gospel and pray he will continue to grow in faith and love for the Lord.

Read the full story in the next VOM Newsletter Support students like Agus