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Bible School in China – The Cost of Sharing God’s Love

Bible School in China – The Cost of Sharing God’s Love

How easy it is for us to contemplate attending a Bible school when we have so many choices. Yet, such a decision is not so easy to make in China. Students sacrifice six months of their time in often very difficult circumstances to study the Word of God and equip themselves to be good stewards of the Gospel.

The clampdown by the communist Chinese government means that attending a Bible school is illegal and being caught means interrogation to uncover the names of the other students, and often also means detention or prison. Being caught does not stop with you. It means your whole family come under suspicion and associates may be rounded up and questioned.

New draconian facial recognition software, which has been implemented in China, now means that the movement of people can be tracked and monitored so students need to be very cautious.

One such Bible school in China operates out of the top floor of an apartment building, where 20 students gather to complete a discipleship program. They are only allowed to enter and leave the apartment after dark. Even then, they can only do so in small numbers at a time. Essentials are brought in inconspicuously as students live there for the whole six months, sharing just one toilet and shower. The women sleep in the apartment at night and the men occupy the roof space, which has been fitted out as sleeping quarters.

Resources are limited, as the picture shows. The restrictions on any Christian resources being distributed in China means that training and learning is conducted from often limited information. Not everyone owns a Bible so creative ways sometimes need to be found in order to obtain and retain God’s Word including audio Bibles, mobile phone Apps and SD cards.

Upon completion of the training, students graduate and disperse into all parts of China, spreading the Word secretly in small groups.

This is faith in action in arduous conditions. This is what life is like for many Christians in modern China.

Voice of the Martyrs supplies students who attend this Bible college with supplies, books and transport costs. The students chosen come from poor areas and would not otherwise be able to attend the college. Help us to continue to provide for these students by supporting our Front Line Ministry fund.

“Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith” Acts 6:7.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.

Bravely Ministering in Russia

Bravely Ministering in Russia

Once, Russia was teeming with North Koreans. This was where the officials and the higher classes travelled, where the lucky worked, and where the lower classes dreamed to go. Now, however, the crowds have thinned. By and large, North Koreans go to Russia to work abroad in poor conditions.

Jin-ho travelled to Russia with an Underground University (UU) student. The university teaches North Korean defectors how to do North Korean ministry by training them in the field. Jin-ho was there to supervise the student as he ministered to the North Korean workers in the area.

Jin-ho and the student sat across the table from a North Korean man. This man seemed a little different from the other North Koreans to whom they had previously ministered. The man’s spirit was bold, and his actions were confident. His hands were soft – not callused or scarred – and his eyes were sharp.

The UU student leaned across the table and whispered to Jin-ho that the man was not a typical worker, but a government official.

“He has the power to have someone killed,” the student told Jin-ho.

All the same, the student held the official’s hand and told him about God. To both the student and Jin-ho’s surprise, the government official already believed in God.

“When I started to doubt whether the North Korean government was doing the right thing, I needed to cling to something bigger and better,” the man explained. “I didn’t know that this being was the God of Christianity, but I trusted and believed in him all the same.”

The UU student excitedly told the official that the unknown God he was worshipping was the one true God. After all, he had – despite the impossibility of it all – brought all three of them together.

What the government official needed, however, was an inconspicuous way to read the Scriptures. Important men such as he, are even more heavily scrutinised and a physical copy of the Bible could easily be discovered. Jin-ho had exactly what he needed: an MP3 player with the North Korean audio version of the Bible on it.

MP3 players are a staple in the work of the underground North Korean Christian because they’re difficult for outsiders to detect and, in case of a raid or search, are easy to hide. If necessary, the MP3 player can easily be reformatted.

Thanks to the gift of an MP3 player, this official can learn about the God in whom he believed but knew precious little about.

Voice of the Martyrs distributes ministry packs to North Korean workers wherever they can be found. The packs contain MP3 or MP4 players, SD cards, medicine and discipleship materials.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.

 

Bible School Egypt – Absolute Defiance!

Bible School Egypt – Absolute Defiance!

Due to the number of Muslim background believers growing in Egypt, there continues to be a need for foundational Bible teaching. The difficulty in Egypt is compounded by the fact that leaving Islam is a dangerous endeavour and apostates are not easily tolerated. Christianity is mocked and targeted.

Amongst all this stands a close-knit group of Muslim background believers who defy the status quo by meeting in secret to learn, share and spread God’s Word. They started this Bible school nine months ago and it has grown from three to more than 3,000, with expected growth to exceed 10,000 by the end of 2019. Growth has come by word of mouth and continues to astound the leaders as attendees clamour for a place to participate in the curriculum.

Many women who attend still cover their heads with a niqab as they fear being found out. Some testify that their husbands and family members do not know of their conversion to Christianity.

Their new faith has brought them freedom from an oppressed life in Islam. The ministry that runs the Bible school is also engaged in assisting with relocation of Muslim background believers to other parts of Egypt as they start their new life in Christ. This new life comes with being forced to walk away from everything they have held dear, sometimes even their children and most certainly their possessions. This relocation comes after being threatened with death and physical violence by their families.

For many of these new believers, being a blessing and sharing their faith is important and is taken seriously. Many still pray five times a day, but now to Christ. The appetite for learning and seeking His presence is strong.

Voice of the Martyrs supports this important work by providing practical assistance for the ministry team such as rent for their centre, operational costs, speakers’ fees, food and medical expenses. The ministry locations are spread out over a wide area, so transportation is vital. We intend to provide a vehicle for the team to move around as they expand their reach further.

Your prayers and support for this ministry are vital, as they operate in an extremely hostile environment in areas that can quite quickly turn violent. Please uphold them, as they share Christ and equip believers who, in turn, will reach others.

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” Matthew 10:38.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.

 

From our CEO: September 2019

From our CEO: September 2019

Dear Friends,

The equipping of the saints is of great importance in strengthening and expanding the kingdom of God, particularly in nations where the Gospel is opposed. Bible schools and discipleship centres are a crucial part.

Within restricted countries, faith-based learning is often outlawed and the authorities go to great lengths to eradicate Christian places of learning. Many of our most successful learning centres are now homes of fellow believers and as in one story, an apartment where every bit of space is utilised.

Around the world, new believers are hungry for the Word of God and go to extreme lengths to obtain it. Beyond Bibles, other forms of Christian literature are just as precious. Supplying such material to places like China, North Korea and many other countries is crucial, and creative methods are often needed. I mention China and North Korea because the regimes which exist there are using very sophisticated means of tracking people’s movements and activities which has resulted in thousands of believers being imprisoned or held in labour camps.

Your support of our Front Line Ministry projects enables us to equip those who are reaching the lost, including their persecutors.

The impact that Bible schools have in educating and equipping those who face persecution is immeasurable. Many testify how knowledge of the Word has sustained them through trials, and helped them overcome the daily reality that they and their families may suffer for their faith.

Please continue to pray for those on the frontline as Voice of the Martyrs endeavours to increase our support of those most vulnerable to persecution in the fight to carry out the Great Commission.

“From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for
the edifying of itself in love” Ephesians 4:16.

God bless.
Tony Benjamin
CEO

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.

Bible School Shines a Light in a Dark Place

Bible School Shines a Light in a Dark Place

Recently I visited a Bible school in Makassar, Indonesia. The school is located in a dilapidated building in a very remote area surrounded by huts, farmland, dirt and animals. Inside, the ceiling is incomplete exposing its steel structure. Yet in one of the rooms, enthusiastic young students are being trained to share the life-giving news of the Gospel.

Approximately 15 young people were huddled in a small room to receive training for one year; following this, they go back to their villages to share what they have learned about Jesus. The Bible school has been operating for 12 years and the teacher at the school is a former student. Physically, there was nothing special to report about this place, but spiritually, it is filled with the light of Jesus Christ. I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV), So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

The training school not only has the practical component of equipping the students for evangelism, but just as important, it enlightens the eyes of the young students to the beauty and hope that is found in Jesus Christ. When asked by one of my colleagues, “Who is Jesus to you?”, a young girl enthusiastically replied, “My Saviour!” Another young girl commented on the advantage of living at the Bible school. She stated that as she is 13 years old, she could easily be forced into an arranged marriage.

As I shared a small Scripture, through an interpreter, to encourage the students, they faithfully opened their Bibles to follow the text. The simple gesture reminded me that the Bible, not my words, is the hope of many to receive salvation through Jesus Christ. Following this, one of the students took out his guitar and everyone began to sing. Though I didn’t know the words they sang, it was obvious that the training school had brought them joy through Jesus Christ.

The work of these Bible students plays a very important role in sharing the love of Jesus amidst growing hostility.

Please consider supporting Bible schools in restricted nations by contributing to our Front Line Ministry fund.

David Barry,
Partnership Development Manager

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.