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.
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A Christian couple in southern Mexico was harassed and threatened on their way to a wedding celebration.
‘Cesar’ and ‘Laura’ were on their way to a wedding when they were stopped by a large group of people, who began insulting them because they were Christians. Locals had already threatened to stop the Christian wedding and had blocked roads in the village.
Cesar and Laura asked police officers for help when they arrived, but the officers told them to handle the situation themselves and left. Two women then grabbed Laura by her arms, threatening that she would be the first person burned for sharing the Gospel in their area. Cesar rescued his wife, and they fled in their car.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Thank the Lord for Cesar and Laura’s escape. Pray this incident will not cause them to fear but instead may they ever rely on the Lord for His strength and protection.
- Pray the Lord will open up more opportunities for Cesar and Laura to share the Gospel; may they spur others on to do the same.
- Pray for those in the area who oppose the Lord and His Word; ask God to reveal Himself to them through His Holy Spirit.
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Boko Haram was the world’s deadliest terror group in 2014, ahead of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, according to a report released on 18 November by the Institute of Economics and Peace.
Boko Haram was responsible for 6,664 deaths in 2014, more than any other terrorist group in the world, according to the Global Terrorism Index; it said Islamic State had killed 6,073 people during the same period.
The Index, which tracks attacks globally, also said the Islamic State and Boko Haram were responsible for half of all global deaths attributed to terrorism. Both are known for singling out Christians in their attacks.
With the world’s attention on Paris and the 132 lives lost on 13 November, the radical Islamist group Boko Haram killed 49 people in two attacks in less than 48 hours in northern Nigeria. On 17 November, 34 people lost their lives in a suicide attack in a busy vegetable market in Yola, Adamawa State. Some 80 others were injured.
The following day, 15 people were killed and 53 injured in twin blasts in a popular phone market in Nigeria’s main northern city of Kano. According to local sources, two female suicide bombers detonated their bombs.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who vowed to eradicate the Islamist insurgency, condemned the attacks. He called on Nigerians not to despair, and to renew vigilance in order to reduce the frequency of such attacks.
In recent months, dozens of towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria, taken over by militants last year, have been liberated by the Nigerian military. But the situation is still volatile as the radical group has intensified suicide attacks both in Nigeria and neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
Source: World Watch Monitor
- Ask the Lord to intervene in the suffering of so many; pray He may bring spiritual revival to the nation of Nigeria and, as a result, bring great change.
- Pray for those who are suffering grief, loss and injury; may they not despair but instead fix their eyes on what is eternal.
- Ask the Lord to remove the power Boko Haram has over its victims; pray He will bring disunity and dysfunction to the group. Ask God to grant His strength, wisdom and favour to those attempting to bring down Boko Haram.
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