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MALAYSIA: Pastor Raymond Koh Still Missing

MALAYSIA: Pastor Raymond Koh Still Missing

It’s been three years since the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh in Malaysia.

On Monday morning, 13 February 2017, Pastor Raymond was driving his car to visit a friend’s house. He never arrived. He was stopped in Petaling Jaya, Selangor State by unknown assailants and abducted in broad daylight. He has not been seen or heard from since and his car has never been found.

The 2017 abduction wasn’t the first time the pastor had faced persecution because of his faith; he had previously received a box of bullets in the post, warning him to stop his ministry work. But the threats didn’t stop him, and in the months prior to his abduction, his wife noticed a spiritual deepening in her husband. She believes God was preparing him for the challenging time to come.

Early in 2019, Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission issued a report blaming the abductions of Pastor Raymond and others on the Special Branch of Malaysia’s police. But to date, no one has been held accountable, and Pastor Raymond’s whereabouts and condition remain unknown.

Unfortunately, this is not the only case of Christians being kidnapped in Malaysia. Pastor Joshua Hilmy, a Malay Muslim who converted to Christianity, and his Christian wife Ruth were last seen on 30 November 2016. The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia has said that a public enquiry into their disappearance has begun.

Source: Release International

  • Intercede on behalf of Raymond and his loved ones. Remember too Joshua, Ruth and their family.
  • Pray that the investigations will be taken seriously and that news of these victims will be brought to light and justice will be sought.
  • Ask God to strengthen and uphold the church in Malaysia.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

MALAYSIA: Establishment of Special Task Force

MALAYSIA: Establishment of Special Task Force

The Malaysian government has expressed that it will set up a special task force to investigate the cases of missing Pastor Raymond Koh and Perlis activist Amri Che Mat, a move that is welcomed by the Koh family.

On 23 May, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that a special task force would be formed to investigate the findings by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) which concluded that the special police were behind the disappearance of activist Amri and Pastor Raymond.

The family hopes that with the task force, truth and justice will prevail, and that the perpetrators can be brought to justice. They also hope the team tasked with investigating the cases would be independent, impartial, professional and credible.

“We want to see the victims released and be reunited with their families,” they said in a statement.

Amri, the co-founder of NGO Perlis Hope, went missing on 24 November 2016, after leaving his home in Kangar; Pastor Koh, was abducted in broad daylight allegedly by members of a trained paramilitary force on 13 February 2017, while on his way to a friend’s house.

Based on Suhakam’s investigation, direct and circumstantial evidence in both cases suggest that the two men were abducted by state agents, namely the Special Branch of Bukit Aman.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray that the investigation will be conducted in a fair, honest and just way, to bring unity to family members.
  • Pray that God will raise up bold servants in Malaysia to declare “You are the way, truth and the life” John 14:6.
  • Pray that the victims are strengthened and encouraged by the prayers being said for them and will hold onto God’s Word in their hearts – “He will never leave them or forsake them.”

Post your prayer for the investigation in the comments below.

From our CEO: May 2019

From our CEO: May 2019

Malaysia and Brunei are very interesting, yet complex countries. They both have Muslim-majority populations and both apply their own manner of control over their inhabitants, based on their brand of Islamic law.

I hope this month’s newsletter provides some insight into the challenging environment in which Muslim background believers embrace their new-found faith in Jesus Christ and stand firm in the face of immeasurable resistance for their bold step.

New believers are forced to walk away from friends and family who won’t tolerate apostates, and start life over. Islamic radicalism is constantly present and is pressuring the authorities to implement more of their brand of Sharia law.

While visiting these two nations recently, I met many Christians who are steadfast in their pursuit of God’s love and His presence. Praise and worship in the flourishing house church movements are electrifying with the power of the Holy Spirit – the presence of the Lord is tangible.

Be greatly encouraged, as I was, with how Christians are coping with the ever-changing pressure to renounce their faith and are overcoming these challenges by immersing themselves in God’s Word and spending quality time with Him.

Discipleship and leadership training are needed to enable them to go forth and share the Gospel with others. The house church movement is growing rapidly, and the church needs quality leaders to undergird this growth as they build a solid foundation that will withstand the constant barrage of Islamic radicalism.

The team present were immensely blessed and honoured to share in meetings with local believers, have meals together and enjoy Christ-centred conversations. We sang praises, worshipped with one heart, prayed together, and the tears flowed freely. We give praise for such an anointed time together.

The Body of Christ is healthy in these countries.

God bless.

Tony Benjamin
CEO

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Finding Christ  in Malaysia

Finding Christ in Malaysia

For Nisa, a mother of seven, life after becoming a Christian meant persecution for her faith and extreme poverty.

Nisa, a tenacious woman, didn’t want anything to do with Christianity until someone prayed for her and she was completely transformed.

Born into a Muslim family, Nisa moved from the Philippines to Malaysia to live and work. While she was there, she met and married a Christian man. She was reluctant to do so because of their religious differences but eventually agreed to his proposal.

Once they were married, she met his extended Christian family including his brother, a dedicated pastor who would share the Gospel with her.

She wasn’t interested at first but slowly opened up and said to him, “I will observe what you do, how you worship and pray and I will make up my own mind.” The pastor agreed but then decided to pray for her on the spot.

“Once he laid hands on me and prayed, I felt cold as ice and like something changed my heart and I just broke down and wept and wept,” she recalls.

He then led her in the sinner’s prayer and gave her the advice to follow God and pray whenever she could.

“I decided from that day forward to commit my life to God,” she says.

Soon after, she began to have many dreams where Jesus would appear to her and say, “I am the way.”

“My salvation really came through those dreams as I could not read or write,” she says.

In due time, she shared the Gospel with her family and both her father and eventually her mother accepted Christ.

Unfortunately, after the news spread of her conversion, many of her family members became hostile towards her, including her brother who would threaten her constantly until the day he died.

Her aunties told her she would never be able to come home or see her family if she continued to follow Christ but she stood firm saying, “Jesus is the way, no matter what happens, I’ll stick with Him.”

She has not seen or heard from her family and since this time has had to keep her faith quite hidden.

Sadly, she also separated from her husband and was forced to raise her children alone and without much work.

Their situation was so severe that sometimes she would salvage rotten food from the rubbish dump to cook for her children.

While four of her children are still dependent on her, three of them now have work and can help provide for the family’s needs.

One of her daughters, Ana, attends a Muslim-majority school and is not allowed to talk about her faith. A Bible study group was started but the government soon banned this initiative.

Ana and her mother pray that their family will be able to worship Christ freely one day.

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Jeremy’s Story

Jeremy’s Story

Jeremy was just 11 years old when he sneaked out of home every Sunday to go to church, hiding his new-found Christian faith from his Muslim family.

Growing up in Malaysia, Jeremy faced many challenges and often felt empty and rejected. Born out of wedlock to a man his mother didn’t end up marrying meant he was an outcast and brought shame on his family – especially his stepfather.

His birth father didn’t even want to register his birth so he grew up stateless with no birth documents or identification, but church gave him hope.

“I longed to go to church every Sunday, I just loved it. It was the only thing that brought joy,” he recalls.

He escaped through his bedroom window every week to go to a church near his house until his family caught him and sealed up his window.

The home he grew up in was extremely dysfunctional; even though his family was Muslim, many of them were alcoholics and would often come home drunk.

“My home was always messy and my family was always fighting and arguing,” Jeremy says. This meant he couldn’t even concentrate on his studies and wasn’t able to finish school.

At the time he considered running away but instead he decided to stay and would pray for his family constantly.

Jeremy eventually went to live with his grandparents who knew he was a Christian, and before his grandfather died he led him to the Lord.

“I want my whole family to come to know the Lord, that’s my longing.”

After many years of prayer and fasting with his church and being considered stateless, Jeremy received an identification certificate for the first time last year. This was considered a miracle.

He still faces some challenges as his ID identifies him as Muslim but he is hopeful for the future.

“I pray for people to freely come to the Lord, especially Muslims who are bound by the law. I also want to be a vessel to win them to the Lord.”

Subscribe to our monthly print or e-newsletter at vom.com.au/subscribe

If you would like to financially support our Front Line Ministry fund please go to vom.com.au/donate