VOM’s Courageous Series books highlight the lives of faithful Christians throughout history, including the stories of biblical heroes Stephen, Thomas and Paul as well as three additional stories of well-known Christians Nicholas, Patrick and Valentine, whose faith informed their actions. Learn more here.
Published on January 22nd, 2021
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who started The Voice of the Martyrs, was in prison in Romania for his Christian activities. He spent part of his time in prison in “solitary confinement,” meaning he was by himself in a silent cell.
After he left prison, Pastor Wurmbrand wrote the following.
“Two thousand years ago a Greek man name Phocion waited his turn to get his beard trimmed by a barber. The barber talked on and on about current events to the customer he was shaving. Phocion waited wearily while the barber talked.
“Finally the barber turned to Phocion and asked, ‘How would you like to have your beard trimmed?’
“Phocion replied, ‘In silence.’”
Pastor Wurmbrand continued, “We are victims of a plot against silence. Every day we hear the noise of cars, trains, planes, radios, TVs, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, fans, chatter, clatter, and speech.
“I have known Christians who have spent years in solitary confinement in complete silence. When they once again heard humans speak, they wondered why so much of their speech was unimportant.
“If you wish to talk to God, create some silence around you. Turn off the noises that intrude on silence. You will learn more from God if you listen, as did Jesus when he spent whole nights in prayer on silent mountains.”
(Source: Reaching Toward the Heights by Richard Wurmbrand. Edited, paraphrased, and adapted.)
To Think About
- Sit still and note all the noises you hear. Which noises would not have existed in Bible times?
- Do you have a daily “quiet time” when you can read the Bible and pray without distractions?
Published on January 21st, 2021
(Source: VOM Australia)
Gabrael was born into a Muslim family in Malaysia. Sadly, his mother left the family when Gabrael was a baby. His father has three wives. (Islam, the religion of Muslims, teaches that men can be married to several women at the same time. Learn more here.)
After hearing the gospel, Gabrael trusted in Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He agreed to be baptized. Then he called his father and told him he was no longer going to follow Islam. His father was angry and began yelling at Gabrael on the phone. Gabrael was startled and hurt. But he still wanted to be baptized.
On the day of his baptism, Gabrael was excited. A VOM worker said, “There was so much joy in his face and his eyes sparkled. He gave the biggest ‘yes’ when he publicly confirmed that he wanted to be baptized.”
Gabrael decided to attend a Bible study with other former Muslims. He hopes to become a pastor someday and to reconnect with his father.
Published on January 20th, 2021
Peng and Sa are friends. They live in Laos, where many people are spirit worshipers. But Peng is a Christian. She explained her faith in Christ to Sa, and after several conversations, Sa accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
When Sa’s parents learned that she was following Christ and attending church, they yelled at her. Sa remained firm in her faith, so then her parents took all her clothes and threw them outside! “Go live with the Christians,” they told her.
Now Sa is staying with Peng and her mother, who is a widow. Pray that Sa will continue to grow in her faith, and pray that God will bless Peng and her mother for their faithfulness and hospitality. Pray also that Sa’s parents would hear the gospel and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior just as their daughter did.
[Source: icommittopray.com; Photo: Sa]
Ask a VOM Worker Story
Published on January 19th, 2021
2 Timothy 3:26–17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
A VOM volunteer asked a VOM worker the following question. The worker has traveled to 27 countries in service to the Lord.
Question: Were there things that you learned as a child that helped prepare you for your work now?
Answer: No. I can’t see that there was anything that prepared me for this. I had a very humble upbringing. I wasn’t a believer as a kid. I didn’t come to Christ until I was 18.
I know people might want me to say God did this which prepared me for that. For me it’s more encouragement to see that God did nothing early on to prepare me. But when He called and I followed, He equipped me as I went. If God calls you and you act in obedience, He equips you with whatever you need to do whatever He’s called you to do.
Sometimes it’s great when you can see signposts in the past. But it’s even more encouraging for me to talk to those people who say they have no qualifications for missions work. To them I say, “Well, good. Go for it. You’re the perfect candidate for missions work.”
Published on January 18th, 2021
Rolo is a Christian in Colombia. He used to belong to a guerrilla group that committed violent acts against the government and others. (Guerrillas are people who carry out acts of war, even though they are not part of a regular army.)
Happily, Rolo became a Christian and left the guerrillas. He wanted to share the Good News of Jesus with people who were still trapped in unbiblical beliefs. So he returned many times to take Bibles to people in war zones of Colombia.
The work was dangerous, and Rolo had other problems getting Bibles up rivers to reach jungle areas. “The Bibles got wet,” he said. “They are also damaged by rough conditions and mud in the jungle.”
A Christian from Brazil showed Rolo a special Bible printed on a type of plastic that feels almost like paper. “When we put the Bible in the sink and turned the water on, Rolo’s face fell. He thought we had ruined it,” said a VOM worker. “Then we held it up dripping wet, with water beading off the plastic paper. Rolo was delighted.”
Rolo has distributed jungle Bibles in Spanish where they are needed.