Vietnam: Jailed five times, but unshaken

God arranged a surprise meeting for a fanatical Muslim

God arranged a surprise meeting for a fanatical Muslim

Edition # 1270, September 04, 2022
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“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘Hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5: 43-45

Egypt: How God arranged a surprise meeting for a fanatical Muslim

Yassir and four fanatical Muslim cohorts hid behind a tree on a dark night in the jungle. When a Christian they hated named Zachariah walked by, they jumped out and began to beat him – nearly to death.

After “pleasing” Allah with this attack, Yassir returned home, washed himself, and prayed. “We broke his arm. We broke his leg. He started to bleed,” Yassir says matter-of-factly on a One for Israel testimonial video. “Because he started to scream begging for help, I put my hand over his mouth, so that no noise would come out of his mouth.”

Yassir grew up in a strict Muslim Sudanese family and prepared to join jihad, the fight against “infidel” peoples. His hatred for Jews and Christians began in school. There was only one Christian classmate who was intelligent and talented: Zachariah. “Because I thought as a Muslim I must be better than him, we started to beat him every single day,” Yassir remembers.

Their malevolent hatred festered and grew until Yassir with four other young men agreed to kill him. They knew the path Zachariah took through the jungle on certain nights. They laid in wait for him. “It was like slaughtering a sheep. He was shivering. He was crying. We left him for dead,” Yassir admits. “I felt very proud. You’re actually doing something for Allah. You want to please him.” Zachariah was never seen again.

‘At every mistake I made, the sheik whipped me’

In the meantime, Yassir’s father dropped him in a Koran school, where he was whipped by the sheik. “Every mistake you make, the whip will crack in the middle of your head,” he remembers. “You’re not allowed to cry because in our culture they tell us that men never cry.” But when he was alone in the dark in his bed, it was a different matter. Tears flowed there, unseen by anyone.

He was proud of his ummah, his Islamic people group, and decided to fight for it. “I started to hate everyone who’s not Muslim,” he admits. He began training to join jihad, but deep within his heart, there was fear. Would everything he was doing for Allah be enough to guarantee his entry into Paradise? The Koran establishes that no one can ever know for certain if he will be accepted by Allah into eternity.

‘Suddenly two Coptic Christians showed up’

One day, his dear cousin became gravely ill. Doctors could do nothing. Death was inevitable, they said. Suddenly two Coptic Christians showed up and asked to pray for him. Yassir saw the cross one wore and declined to shake his hand. Still, he let them pray. “The minute they said, ‘Amen,’ the child opened his eyes for the first time in four weeks,” Yassir recalls. “He started to move his hands. He started to speak. He sat up in his bed. He started to walk.”

One of the men talked to Yassir. “The real miracle is that God wants to change your heart,” he said. “Do you believe that Jesus is alive?” he asked. Muslims believe that Jesus was only a prophet but was taken from the cross and spared death, so he lives in Heaven and is going to return one day. What the Christian said to Yassir was in line with Muslim teaching. What he said next was a bit off for Muslims. “Because He’s alive, you can talk to Him.”

‘My family staged a full funeral for me’

Yassir prayed. He began reading the Bible. The power of the Word and the Spirit led him to salvation. His family was upset. To leave Islam is a grave sin. They didn’t just disown Yassir as a son; they staged a full funeral with a casket and a burial site. Islamic tradition dictates that families of “apostates” treat them as dead. Yassir loved his family and was deeply hurt by being disowned at the highest levels, so he cried out to God. The still small voice of the Lord impressed this on Yassir’s heart: You know the grave where your name is written is empty. Guess what? My grave is empty too.

‘Do you remember me? the pastor asked’

Years later, Yassir attended a pastor’s conference in Egypt. There an elderly Sudanese pastor approached him. “Do you remember me?” he asked, after questioning and ascertaining details of Yassir’s background. “My name is Zachariah.”

Yassir stood there dumbstruck, as if he was seeing a ghost that materialized from the distant past. “Suddenly I remembered him from that dark night. I remembered the way he was screaming,” Yassir recounts. Twenty-five years had passed since that terrible incident. “Suddenly I started to see his broken arms and broken legs. I started to see the scars I caused him. I started to be full of shame.” The day of reckoning had arrived. “I was a bad person. I was terrible,” he admits.

Zachariah looked straight into Yassir’s eyes. “Yassir, because you hated me so much, I was always praying for you.” He opened his Bible, and on the first blank page was Yassir’s name. It was his prayer list. “On that day, God confronted me,” Yassir remembers. “I hated him; he prayed for me. To love those who hate you, you need someone named Jesus.”

Source: One For Israel Ministry

Click to watch Yassir’s testimony

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George Chen – In the Garden: 18 years in prison

George Chen – In the garden: 18 years in prison

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Persecution in 2022

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The World Watch List 2022

Around the world, more than 360 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution, just for following Jesus. That’s 1 in 7 believers.

During the 18 years Chen had spent in prison, when he had often worried that all Christians had been killed or fallen away from the faith, God had caused the three churches he had led to increase from a total of 300 to 5,000 believers!

See Pastor George Chen’s moving labour camp story – In the Garden – YouTube 5 minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6dIi6k76MQincluding Chen singing ‘In the Garden’


George Chen 1932-2021

A Tribute by Paul Hattaway

George Chen was the very first Chinese Christian I ever met in my life. In the 1980s I was a new believer in Christ, saved just a few months, when the direction of my life was radically changed after hearing Chen speak at a church in my home country. I knew next to nothing about China at the time and my life was directionless. I had never had a single thought of going to China.

I was speechless after hearing the testimony of this man who spent 18 years in prison for Jesus. He had endured horrific conditions, and had not only survived the ordeal, but had emerged with an unconquerable faith! George Chen’s eyes shone as I spoke with him after the meeting. He encouraged me to unreservedly make myself available to God, and to consider being a “donkey for Jesus” by carrying Bibles across the border from Hong Kong to the spiritually starving Christians in China, who had been without Bibles for three decades.

As recorded in my biography, the Lord miraculously propelled me to China through a series of astonishing events, despite being a teenager with no money to my name. I found myself in China just weeks after that pivotal meeting, and I had also been exposed to a type of Christianity that was completely foreign to most Westerners. I recalled my meeting with George Chen in “An Asian Harvest”:

“His testimony impacted me deeply. in the formative time of my Christian walk. He had spent longer behind bars because of his love for Jesus than I had been alive at that time.

This precious man had learned to appreciate the small blessings of life…. George taught me that the kingdom of God cannot be defeated by evil men or governments. Whatever terrible things Satan and the world can throw at Jesus’ disciples, His purposes will not be thwarted.”  …

The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).

Churches throughout China suffered continual hammer blows throughout the 1950s and 1960s, as Satan’s fury was unleashed on them. One Christian who suffered greatly was George Chen (Chinese name: Chen Minying), who endured inhumane treatment at the hands of his persecutors, only to be preserved by the hand of God. He was even given an international ministry after his release from prison.

Chen was born in 1932 to a humble family in Zhejiang Province. The chaos engulfing China at the time caused them to move to Shanghai, where George grew up. After hearing the Gospel he surrendered his life to God, and the Holy Spirit gave him a gift of evangelism.

Chen founded three rural churches with a total of 300 members, most of whom he had personally led to Christ. The believers had a hunger for the Word of God and desired to spread the Gospel, which soon caught the attention of the Communist authorities. Chen was first arrested in 1960 and imprisoned as a counterrevolutionary.

For the first three-and-a-half years, George was one of five inmates crammed into a cell that was so small the men had to lie on their sides, head-to-toe, like sardines in a can. A wooden bucket in the corner of the tiny space served as the toilet for all the men. George was often so hungry that he ate toothpaste to satisfy his cravings. Chen’s wife and son were not allowed to contact him during his incarceration, and for years he was oblivious to the fact that she had died, and his son had been killed by the Communist authorities.

In 1964, Chen was moved inland to a prison labor camp in Anhui Province, where he served a further 14 years.


Inmates at a prison labor camp in China in the 1970s.

After months of backbreaking work, seven days a week, the prison leaders were infuriated that they had been unable to make the evangelist deny his faith in Jesus.

They ordered Chen to perform the worst job in the prison, daily shoveling human excrement to be used as fertilizer. The massive amount of waste produced by 60,000 prisoners flowed into a large cesspool a short distance from the cells. He later recalled the struggle of those long and difficult years, and how he was often troubled by thoughts that God had abandoned him:

“I spent my days deep in human waste, turning it with a shovel to make compost. They thought I would be miserable, but actually I was happy. It smelled so bad that no one came near me, so I could pray and sing aloud all day.

If I was not a Christian I would have died, because the smell was maddening, and the stench terrible. But I enjoyed being alone in the cesspool, so I could pray to our Lord, recite the Scriptures, and sing hymns loudly.”

To counteract the thoughts that he had been forsaken, as he stood deep in human waste every day, George often sung the beautiful words of his favorite hymn, In the Garden:

“I come to the garden alone While the dew is still on the roses And the voice I hear falling on my ear The Son of God discloses.

“And He walks with me And He talks with me And He tells me I am His own And the joy we share as we tarry there None other has ever known.”

Finally, in 1978, the political situation relaxed a little in China, and Chen was released from prison and placed under house arrest. Eighteen long years had passed.

When he entered prison, the Cultural Revolution had yet to begin, and Mao held complete power. Now, the Cultural Revolution was over, and Mao was in the grave.

George was afraid that nobody would remember who he was. Most of all, he wondered if any of the Christians he had once known were still alive, or if there were any believers left in China at all. With trepidation, he slowly made his way home, not knowing what he would find.

For almost two decades, George Chen had been both burdened and blessed by the memory of his church members. Countless times, as he stood in the excrement pit, he prayed aloud for them, asking the Holy Spirit to sustain their faith and help them to overcome. As he got off the bus in his home area, he failed to recognize many of the buildings or faces of the people he passed.

Then, from behind, came a cry of shock from an elderly woman. “Pastor… is it you?” One of his former church members was still alive! In a typically constrained Chinese manner, the two did not hug, but shook hands as tears rolled down their faces. George was relieved. Now he knew that he was not the only Christian left in China. There were at least two!


Millions of books (including Bibles) were burned during the Cultural Revolution, creating a famine of the Word of God in China.

 God is Good

News of the pastor’s return spread throughout the neighborhood like wildfire, and soon the shining faces of many other believers pressed against the windows of a house he was invited to stay in. Many people were beside themselves with both shock and joy. They presumed the pastor had died decades earlier, and not a word had been heard to suggest that he was still alive.

The biggest shock was to come. When George asked one of his old friends if any fellowship of believers had survived, he was told, “Yes! God is good! He has sent His Spirit to breathe on us, and now we have many members. We are so glad that you have returned, because we do not have any Bibles and few of us remember many of the words of Jesus. Please teach us, pastor. Please!”

The Lord Jesus Christ, who promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church, had done a great miracle. During the 18 years Chen had spent in prison, when he had often worried that all Christians had been killed or fallen away from the faith, God had caused the three churches to increase from a total of 300 to 5,000 believers!

George was amazed, and he hardly slept that night as he tried to take in everything he had heard. His rejoicing was soon tempered, however, when he was told that his wife had died years earlier, and his young son had been killed. The prison officials had cruelly withheld this information from him.

Chen remained under house arrest until 1981, when he was “rehabilitated” by the government and his criminal records were erased.

Remarkably, for a man whom other Christians had forgotten about and assumed to be dead, God opened the door for George Chen to obtain a passport, and he shared his testimony in church meetings around the world during the late 1980s and 1990s. At each meeting, he invariably took time to thank the Body of Christ for sending missionaries to China in the past.

Chen remarried and spent much of his latter life traveling between his home and southwest China, where he ministered among ethnic minority groups, especially the Lisu people in the high mountains straddling the border with Myanmar. He was much loved, and he often drove a van hundreds of miles to deliver loads of precious Bibles to spiritually hungry Christians.

Although he officially retired in 2012 at the age of 80, George Chen continued to travel to China, where he advised house church leaders in Henan and Yunnan provinces. After many years spent ‘in the garden’ with Jesus Christ, his life shone into many dark places, and had become a sweet fragrance that attracted many souls to the kingdom of God.

Just a few months ago we received this photo of George. He looked fit and healthy, and we remarked that he would probably live to one hundred.

It wasn’t to be, however, and the Lord Jesus Christ finally called His servant home on October 27, 2021, when George Chen died peacefully in his sleep while in Hong Kong.

He was 89 years old.


George Chen in 2021, aged 89

Article edited from: In Memory of George Chen – Forever ‘In the Garden’

 

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George Chen – In the Garden: 18 years in prison
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Persecution in 2022

Persecution in 2022

Persecution in 2022

Global: The 50 countries where it’s most dangerous to follow Jesus in 2022

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The World Watch List 2022

Around the world, more than 360 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution, just for following Jesus. That’s 1 in 7 believers.

“The numbers are astonishing. But behind each number and statistic, there is a human story,” says Christian human rights organisation Open Doors on its website. The annual World Watch List provides an unparalleled glimpse into the 50 places around the world where it costs the most to be a Christian.

For the first time, Afghanistan is number one on the Open Doors World Watch List. It had previously been number two, and rose because of an increase in violence after the Taliban took over the country in 2021. North Korea, the steady number one since 2002, has dropped a place, even though persecution actually increased.

Persecution has also increased considerably in Indonesia, which is one of the biggest risers – jumping 19 places on the list. The main cause is an increase in violence, including several bomb attacks. Turkey fell 17 places as violence decreased significantly, with no Christians killed and fewer churches attacked.

Around the world, 5,898 Christians were killed for their faith last year. Of these, 4,650 were in Nigeria – yet again, more believers are murdered for following Jesus in Nigeria than the rest of the world combined. In the past year, more than 5,000 churches and church buildings were bombed, attacked, destroyed, looted, burned down or forcibly closed – to try to stop people worshipping Jesus.

Open Doors highlights the main trends:

1) Extremism and violence continue to rise
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has been in headlines around the world and their success has bolstered Islamic militants in other countries.

2) Violence in sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa remains a hotspot for violence from Islamic militants. This is particularly severe in Nigeria, but also in Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Mali, Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

3) The global church is increasingly a refugee church
More than 84 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced and many of these are Christians fleeing persecution, which increased their vulnerability to discrimination, extortion, human trafficking and sexual violence.

4) Control tightens in China and elsewhere
The Chinese Communist Party demands conformity – an ordered, controlled society where freedom of speech and belief is carefully restricted. The authorities in China use increasingly sophisticated techniques to keep watch on citizens. In some regions, surveillance cameras are now in all state-approved religious venues. Other states have enthusiastically adopted this approach, most notably Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Malaysia. Where China leads, others follow.

Photos: The caves of Göreme in Cappadocia, Turkey, became a refuge for early Christians who were fleeing persecution.

The stories from the World Watch List can feel overwhelming – and it may seem like the situation is getting harder for Christians everywhere. But there’s also some good news. In 2021, persecution became less severe in Turkey (which fell 17 places on the list) and Nepal (which fell 14 places). Iran is taking steps towards religious freedom. Recently, Iran’s Supreme Court has decreed that belonging to a house church does not make Christians ‘enemies of the state’. In December 2020, Iraq’s parliament passed a bill making Christmas Day an annual national holiday in the majority-Muslim country.

Above all, the World Watch List shows that the church is active and alive. Persecution is rising – but that only happens where the church is actively sharing the gospel and living it out.

As you ponder this article, consider the words of 1 Corinthians 12:26: “If one part [of the Body of Christ] suffers, every part suffers with it.” Pray through this year’s report and let it move your heart. Learn how the Body of Christ is hurting, and how Christians are finding joy in Jesus even in the midst of pain. And remember we really are one Church, one Family.

The World Watch List 2022

Source: Open Doors

Joel News # 1243, January 19, 2022

 

*

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Persecution in 2022

God’s Grace Can Reach Any Heart

God’s Grace Can Reach Any Heart

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God’s Grace can reach any heart
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.comThe story of Pastor Bessarab, a former criminal who became an evangelist, pastor, and martyr. 

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

In eternity, I believe we may see how God wrote chapters into the lives of people we knew on earth and also into the lives of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.

In 2004, I traveled to Tajikistan [northern neighbour to Afghanistan] a few months after a pastor named Sergei Bessarab was shot to death in a small city called Isfara, where Bessarab had planted a church. In my book When Faith Is Forbidden, I share Bessarab’s story and introduce readers to his widow, Tamara. In addition to meeting Tamara, I also met the man — also named Sergei — who had prayed for Bessarab’s salvation. The two men had met in prison while Bessarab was serving time for his criminal activities.

In prison, Sergei prayed every day that Bessarab would come to Christ. But Bessarab was less than grateful for his friend’s concern. “Don’t waste time praying for me,” Bessarab told him.

Sergei remained steadfast in prayer, however, and Bessarab did eventually bend his knee to Christ. The former criminal became a bold witness for his Savior both inside the prison walls and, after his release, as a pastor on the outside. In addition, he made frequent return visits to the prison to share the gospel with inmates.

Soon after Bessarab and Tamara moved to Isfara and planted a church, which began to grow as Muslims turned to Christ, a headline in the local paper asked the pointed question, “What’s Going to Be Done About Sergei Bessarab?”

On Jan. 20, 2004, the son of a local mosque leader answered the question, shooting and killing Bessarab as he strummed his guitar during his nightly time of worship, Scripture reading, and prayer.

In my book, I close Bessarab’s story with words spoken to me by his friend Sergei just months after the shooting: “One day we will meet this person who killed [Pastor Bessarab] because we have a prison ministry all over Tajikistan. And we will be ready to tell him about Jesus.”

A front-line worker in Central Asia recently met with Bessarab’s widow, Tamara, who told him how God has extended her husband’s legacy.

When the young man who killed Bessarab was convicted and sent to prison, Christians were waiting there to meet him, just as Sergei had promised. In God’s amazing providence, the killer was eventually assigned to a cell with a Christian prisoner who had been led to Christ and discipled by Bessarab!

And over time, the mosque leader’s son became Bessarab’s spiritual grandson, placing his trust in Christ.

Bessarab was once a convicted criminal. Many would have written him off spiritually. His killer was also far from God, and some may have written him off as well. But God’s grace can reach any heart. If you need a reminder of that today, picture the final chapter of this story: Pastor Sergei Bessarab stands worshiping before God’s throne for all eternity — side by side with the man who ended his earthly life!

In Christ,

Todd Nettleton's signature
Todd Nettleton
Host of VOM Radio [Voice of the Martyrs]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJcGaHil8Ao&t=3s

This is an update from a story in When Faith Is Forbidden: 40 Days on the Frontlines with Persecuted Christians. Receive a complimentary copy for a donation of any amount at vom.org/forbidden.

When Faith is Forbidden book

 

See also

Iran – fastest growing evangelical population

Many Muslims are Turning to Christ

Jesus appears as a bus driver to a Muslim pilgrim

Miraculous Movements – among Muslims

Hope in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison

Iraq: Muslim from Ninevah discovered the Bible’s magnetism

Jesus and Muslims: Life in the Desert

Christians reach out to Muslims in UK

Muslim Woman returns from the dead to tell about Jesus

I saw Jesus Christ

 

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Seeds of Revival in Afghanistan

The real enemy of Afghanistan

The real enemy of Afghanistan

By Steve Cleary, August 22, 2021

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The real enemy of Afghanistan

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We’ve watched in horror this past week as the Taliban regained control (seemingly overnight) in Afghanistan. My email box was filled with messages of concern, questions and obvious shock as events unfolded. All of these reactions are understandable when we look at the Taliban and their history of oppression and violence.

But who is the real enemy terrorizing Afghanistan?

Before going further, I want to tell you about my friend Hannelie Groenewald. A few years ago I flew to South Africa to meet her and hear her story. Along with her husband and two children, Hannelie served in Afghanistan as a missionary. They knew the risks and chose to obey God rather than surrender to fear.

While I talked with Hannelie I was amazed by her faith and conviction. Even after all she has experienced, she has no regret and trusts in God. When I speak publicly, I often state that faithfulness is the willingness to obey God even if we fail. And in the world’s eyes Hannelie failed terribly.

Hannelie served for over a decade in Afghanistan as a medical doctor and her husband, Werner, served as a pastor and teacher. One day Hanelie was working at the clinic when the Taliban entered their home and attacked her family. Werner was in the lower floor when he heard them. He ran to the stairs to make sure his children were safe. Before he could reach them, he met one of the armed Taliban face to face.


Image from “Christian Children Martyred in Afghanistan” video.

Two other attackers made their way upstairs to the bedrooms of Hannelie’s teenage children, Rode (15) and Jean-Pierre (17). They found them both huddled together in Jean-Pierre’s room.

Hannelie’s husband and two children were martyred that horrible day in November of 2014.

After killing the family, the Taliban set the house on fire. All Hannelie could do was to pray and read the scriptures on her cell phone. She had tried to call her husband and children and heard the endless echo of the rings more times than she could count.


Real image of the Groenwald family’s house set on fire by the Taliban.

When I sat down to interview Hannelie, I already knew the basic facts of her story. It had been published in articles around the world. But as she shared with me the chilling details, I fought to hold back my own tears. Even though I was the interviewer, I gained strength from her courage as she described how she had to receive her family’s bodies in the clinic the next day. No worker at the clinic was willing to get involved.

But Hannelie knew that even in the midst of this tragedy, her family was with Jesus. They were not suffering. The terror was gone. They had served faithfully and she knew that God had chosen a martyrs crown for her husband and two children. While her sorrow is ever-present, her focus remains on serving God’s kingdom and fighting the spiritual battle for Afghanistan.

While her sorrow is ever-present, her focus remains on serving God’s kingdom and fighting the spiritual battle for Afghanistan.

After talking with her I had the honor of making a short film for The Voice of the Martyrs retelling her story. You can watch the video below.

In the world’s eyes, Hannelie’s story is nothing short of horrific. And it would be understandable to hate those, the Taliban, who killed her husband and two young children. However, Hannelie would encourage you to look at the conflict through spiritual eyes.

There is a spiritual battle for Afghanistan. Beyond the “boots on the ground” conflict that we see with our eyes, there are forces of darkness battling for the souls of this nation. There are many Christians and mission workers who are now at greater risks. Some have fled, yet many have stayed. We may never even hear their names on this side of heaven.

Let us not lose sight of the real battle. Our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan need our prayers. They need our support. The Taliban have been terrorizing Christians for decades and it will now only increase.

Let us not lose sight of the real battle. Our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan need our prayers. They need our support.

We see God’s Spirit moving in many Islamic strongholds. Today the fastest growing church (albeit underground) around the globe is in Iran. God can even turn the hearts of the Taliban terrorists towards Him. In the physical world, the Taliban are viewed as the enemy. In the eternal, they are our mission field.

The real enemy is Satan and his spiritual forces of darkness. This week he made progress in oppressing the people of Afghanistan. But the battle is the Lord’s. And we are His workmen.

Given the events of this week, we are immediately looking into translating The Pilgrim’s Progress and iBIBLE into Dari and Pashto, the two primary languages of Afghanistan. These will be placed on MicroSD media cards, that can be inserted into cell phones, and secretly distributed throughout the nation. (They are less than the size of a dime!)

The literacy rate in Afghanistan is less than 40% (less than 30% among women), yet over 60% have a cell phone. There are almost as many cell phones as there are people.

Visual and digital media is key to ministering in Afghanistan. At RevelationMedia we are realizing the tremendous value of the distribution of MicroSD media cards filled with hours of Christian content. The media cards are inexpensive to buy, easy to hide, and can contain several hours of visual Christian and Biblical content. They can be replicated in country, shared among family members, and even distributed through the underground church.

The Taliban’s control of Afghanistan will not be easily undone. But we can stand with God’s remnant and fight the spiritual battle with them. For us this means diligently continuing our production of iBIBLE and the translation of our content in the languages of Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s control of Afghanistan will not be easily undone. But we can stand with God’s remnant and fight the spiritual battle with them.

If you would like to help with the translation of The Pilgrim’s Progress and/or the first six chapters of iBIBLE into Dari and Pashto, please let me know. God willing, we will expand our MicroSD card ministry into Afghanistan soon.

When reading about Afghanistan, the Taliban, and current policies, please remember Hannelie and those like her family that are now serving in Afghanistan. They are fighting the real enemy head-on. As God leads, let us do likewise.

Have a blessed Sunday.

Steve Cleary
CEO/Founder
RevelationMedia

P.S. Please write to us if God is leading you, your family or church, to help us distribute The Pilgrim’s Progress and iBIBLE, through MicroSD cards, into Afghanistan.

“We die only once. You might as well die for Christ.”
– Werner Groenewald

SUPPORT REVELATIONMEDIA’S MICROSD CARD MINISTRY

See also

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)


Afghanistan: Children ask “Where does Jesus live?”

Seeds of Revival in Afghanistan.

Iran
Hope in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison

Iran
Iran – fastest-growing evangelical population


Evangelization in North Korea



North Korea: Cherishing the book he once feared

Korea
North Korean believers meet underground

North Korea
North Korea: The blessing of forced solitude with God


Standing on our knees in Kharkov, Ukraine

vomjail
Christian missionary tortured in prison led 40 to Christ

 

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BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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The Insanity of God- free online movie

The Insanity of God

With dramatic changes in Afghanistan, thousands of Christians in prison in China and North Korea, murders across North Africa, is God worth it? This free movie explores those stories dramatically.

Free online movie: The Insanity of God
A true story of faith and persecution

Inspiring articles, discounted books, free PDFs
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Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com

The Insanity of God – book link

The Insanity of God is the personal and lifelong journey of an ordinary couple from rural Kentucky who thought they were going on just your ordinary missionary pilgrimage, but discovered it would be anything but. After spending over six hard years doing relief work in Somalia, and experiencing life where it looked like God had turned away completely and He was clueless about the tragedies of life, the couple had a crisis of faith and left Africa asking God, “Does the gospel work anywhere when it is really a hard place?

Nik recalls that, “God had always been so real to me, to Ruth, and to our boys. But was He enough, for the utter weariness of soul I experienced at that time, in that place, under those circumstances?” It is a question that many have asked and one that, if answered, can lead us to a whole new world of faith.

How does faith survive, let alone flourish in a place like the Middle East? How can Good truly overcome such evil? How do you maintain hope when all is darkness around you? How can we say “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world” when it may not be visibly true in that place at that time? How does anyone live an abundant, victorious Christian life in our world’s toughest places? Can Christianity even work outside of Western, dressed-up, ordered nations? If so, how?

The Insanity of God tells a story—a remarkable and unique story to be sure, yet at heart a very human story—of the Ripkens’ own spiritual and emotional odyssey. The gripping, narrative account of a personal pilgrimage into some of the toughest places on earth, combined with sobering and insightful stories of the remarkable people of faith Nik and Ruth encountered on their journeys, will serve as a powerful course of revelation, growth, and challenge for anyone who wants to know whether God truly is enough.

See also:

4
Modern Day Daniel


Christian missionary tortured in prison led 40 to Christ


Evangelization in North Korea


North Korea: Cherishing the book he once feared

Korea
North Korean believers meet underground

North Korea
North Korea: The blessing of forced solitude with God

 

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BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Jesus appeared – men in white appeared – foiled terror

Men in white unleash snakes, foil Islamist terror

By Michael Ireland —

Nigerian Christians study the Word (BarnabasAid)

Northern Nigeria is a dangerous place for Christians – especially for those who have left Islam to follow Christ.

But God intervened in power to save 72 converts and their children from Boko Haram militants, according to a report by BarnabasAid.

Their remarkable story begins with a group of 500 Nigerian Christian converts from Islam and their children. Boko Haram attacked the group and captured 76, taking them back to their camp.

At the Boko Haram camp, the Christians were tortured, and their four male leaders were told they must deny Christ and return to Islam or they would be shot.

The four refused and were shot dead in full view of the rest of the group.

A week later the four widows of the dead men were told they must renounce their Christian faith or their children would be shot. They were given time to think over this dreadful choice.

As they agonized together that evening, their excited children came running in, telling their mothers that Jesus had appeared to them and told them all would be well.

Jesus then appeared to the whole group of 72, and told them not to fear for He would protect them. He said they should not renounce Him but should stay strong, and that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Deliverance from evil

The next day, the four mothers gave their decision to the militants – they would not deny Christ.

The terrorists prepared to shoot the children, who were lined up against a wall. The youngest was a little girl of four. Suddenly the militants began screaming and clawing at their own heads. Shouting “Snakes!” they fled the scene, and some of them dropped dead.

One of the Christian men reached for the gun of a dead militant but the four-year-old put her hand on his arm to stop him. “You don’t need to do that,” she said, “Can’t you see the men in white fighting for us?

Since this remarkable incident, meeting Christ face-to-face, hearing Him speak, and experiencing His miraculous deliverance, these believers continue to excel in faith.


Displaced Nigerian Christians

Also at  Jesus appeared to group of 72

To learn more about the work of BarnabasAid, go here

To know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

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BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Remember those in prison

Remember those in prison

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Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering (Hebrews 13:3).

It was just before dawn on a cold winter morning on the farm. I had just shifted a line of irrigation pipes in a crop of potatoes. My bare feet were encased in congealed, cold, numbing mud. My last task before breakfast was to start the irrigation pump. When I tried to kick start the motorbike my foot slipped off the kick starter and my big toe struck the metal foot peg. I felt nothing at the time but when I arrived at the pump I looked down and noticed lots of blood oozing through the mud on my feet! On closer inspection, I discovered that I had a very deep gash under my big toe. It was a really nasty injury which was surprising! I had not even felt it because my foot was so numb from the cold.

It seems to me that just as I was oblivious to the serious damage done to my body, we can be unaware of the damage that is done daily to the body of Christ.

Every day followers of Jesus around the world are subjected to ridicule, persecution, abuse, torture, abduction and even death. In a recent statement, the International Society for Human Rights said that 80% of all religious freedom violations in the world are directed against Christians. Shockingly, it is estimated that every five minutes a follower of Jesus is put to death somewhere in the world simply because they have faith in Jesus. Some have gone as far as to say that the current levels of persecution against Christians are worse today than at any time in history!

As followers of Jesus, we are spiritually connected to all of the other followers of Jesus around the globe. The Bible describes this union as just like being part of a body (1Co 12:12).

Just as pain from an injury in one part of our physical bodies affects the rest of our body, so to the pain and suffering of one part of our spiritual body should affect the whole in some way. So why don’t we always feel their pain? Perhaps we do not feel the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters around the world because we are numbed by complacency, indifference, apathy or just plain ignorance.

I did not know that there was a problem with my toe until I went looking and noticed some disturbing signs. There are a number of organizations that help us be aware of what is happening for many of our brothers and sisters around the world; organizations such as the Barnabas Fund, the Voice of the Martyrs, or The Open Doors.

When I found out that my foot was injured, I immediately took action to give aid to my injured member. The bible says that we should empathize with our suffering family to the point of actually considering ourselves to be in their shoes.

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3).

The following websites can provide specific information about the scope and pain that the body that you and your church are a part of is experiencing worldwide and may assist in providing information as to how we can aid those parts of the body that are hurting.

Argentina: The amazing transformation at Los Olmos prison

Prison Revival in Argentina

Argentina: Faith flourishes behind bars

Christian missionary tortured in prison led 40 to Christ

Iran: How two women brought hope in Tehran’s brutal Evin Prison

Barnabas Fund www.barnabasfund.org
Voice of the Martyrs www.persecution.com.au
The Open Doors www.opendoors.org.au

If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to please make your churches aware of the plight of our brothers and sisters around the world and commit to praying regularly for them.

God do you good!

Rev Stewart Piper, Queensland Baptists

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BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

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