Category Archives: HEROES OF THE FAITH

Just that: Heroes of the faith. Includes biographies, videos, etc.

“Tortured for Christ:” Watch the Movie Online for Free

What a great opportunity this is!

The Voice of the Martyrs is partnering with Faithlife TV to offer an exclusive online viewing of the Tortured for Christ movie. Just use the link we have below to register with your email address, and you will receive a link to watch the Tortured for Christ movie on Oct. 22-23 for FREE.

This is the same movie that gained national attention last March, showing in over 550 theaters, many sold out.

This is the dramatic presentation of the bestselling book by the same name, featuring the testimony of The Voice of the Martyrs’ founder, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who spent 14 years in Communist prisons because of his work in the underground church. The book and movie tell the story of his stand for Christ and subsequent persecution in communist Romania.

Filmed in Romania, including in the very prison where Pastor Wurmbrand endured torture and solitary confinement, this powerful film uniquely presents the story in a live action format. The dialogue is presented in English, Romanian, and Russian (with English subtitles) to hold to the authenticity of this true story.

Just click on the link below, to register now for this special online event, and view the Tortured for Christ movie for free.

After you register, you will have the opportunity to receive a FREE digital copy of the Tortured for Christ book.

Here’s the link to register:
“Tortured for Christ” Movie

Now, we share the movie trailers.
Here’s the one we originally share with you, prior to the movie theater opening:

Here’s another trailer to share:

Again, here’s the link to watch the movie for free, online:
“Tortured for Christ” Movie for Free Online

 

 

 

 

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Gilbert Hovsepian: “I Forgive You”

“My son,
Trust in the Lord at all times, and always be ready to forgive as you have been forgiven.”

Life is full of hard, difficult choices.
One of the most life-changing choices we can make is to forgive someone who has harmed us.
To forgive is a choice.
In this circumstance, when we have been harmed, especially unjustly, it is especially hard, especially difficult, to forgive those who have harmed us.

It’s a choice Jesus made.
It’s a choice we must make, in order to be like Him.
It is something we can choose to do, but we can only make this choice with His help.

There is a tremendous power in forgiveness.
There is tremendous freedom in forgiveness.
To forgive is powerful.
To forgive sets us free.

In January, 1994, Bishop Haik Hovsepian was faithfully serving God in Iran.
He was brutally murdered “for his Christian faith and ministry.”

His son, Gilbert Hovsepian, wrote and recorded this song, “I Forgive You,” which speaks of how Gilbert forgave his father’s murderers. Gilbert now ministers in Iran … the same country, and to the same people, which his father had ministered to …

“I choose to do what Jesus did for me …
I forgive you for all you have done …
I forgive you for all the pain you caused …”

Here’s a link to the Hovsepian family website, where the family of Haik Hovsepian continues his legacy, vision, and passion for the people of Iran:

Hovsepian Ministries

As we continue toward Sunday, Nov. 4, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let’s remember our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, serving in Hostile and Restricted Countries around the world.
Every day.

Looking Back at Winter (Through the Rear-View Mirror): Blue Lights and Badge of Blessing

Hi Friends:

We’ll never forget the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We had days, in a row, where the temperature didn’t make it over zero. I mean we had day-time highs of -4. As it always does, when you’re in the middle of these, it just seems like it’s never going to end.

One of those days, when the high temperature was well below zero, and the wind was really whipping … I had a flat tire. Not in the driveway or garage. That would have been too easy. I was on the way home. It was in a 25 mile-an-hour zone, and I felt the tire go flat … that jerking motion of the steering wheel, and then I could hear it. Anyone who has driven with a flat time knows that sound … I was only a half-mile or so away from the Tire Company where I had bought the tires, so I tried to make it. I tried. It didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t going to make it without losing the tire. In no time, the rim was scraping the ice and sand covered pavement. Anyone who has heard that sound has also felt that helpless feeling that the only place you’re going to make it to, is the side of the road. Yet … and you know what I mean … it was -4, the wind was 40 miles an hour, and, well, being stranded on the side of the road just didn’t seem like an option … I had to try to make it to the Tire Company! Even if it meant pulling in on “all rim.”

Well … the tire and rim was making a terrible noise … and, that’s when I saw the Blue Lights in my rear-view mirror. It was our City Police! I wasn’t going to make it to the Tire Company! Never mind what I said!
It turned out to be a great blessing. The Policeman was one of the nicest, kindest men I’ve ever met. For safety reasons, he had pulled me over. Here’s what he did:
In the freezing, freezing cold, he asked me if I had a jack, and we’d try to change the tire. We found the jack. Those of you who have a truck know about the jack. It’s placed underneath the back seat (a club cab) in a compartment. And, you’re right: They must place the jack and accessories in that small compartment … and then build the truck around it. Tight fit! Don’t worry, I wasn’t able to put it back correctly, either! As an old-time, independent do-it-yourselfer, I was ashamed of the fact that I had to look in the Owner’s Manual to even find out where the jack was. Good ’ol AAA! I must have known at one time, when I first read the manual, but that was a while ago, and I’ve got AAA! Anyway, part of the jack handle is used to “uncrank” the spare time from its holding cell, underneath the truck bed. It’s not really a “holding cell,” just chains, to slowly let down the tire, as you twist the jack handle around and around.

At least, that’s how it goes in the manual. As we said, the spare tire isn’t really covered, under there. It’s completely exposed to the elements of rain, ice, snow, salt, and more rain, ice, snow and salt. What condition do you think the chains and pulley were in? I guess … if you kept your truck in a garage … and, only drove it in 100% dry conditions … not even allowing exposure to dew … this idea of putting the spare under there, uncovered, is a good idea. But, that would be the only way that could be a good idea. Needless to say, the spare tire wouldn’t budge. The Policeman tried multiple times (he had some really good gloves) to get it to drop, but it just wouldn’t. At first, we’d go back to the manual, making sure we were doing it correctly, but it wouldn’t budge. The Policeman said it was probably rusted, and would probably have to be “torched” out. Of course, he was right, and, when I did get the truck towed in, they had to use a torch to remove the spare tire. The chains had all rusted out, and the tire was, literally, welded to the underneath of the truck bed.

So, we couldn’t change the tire, and I would have to call AAA to get the truck towed. The Officer gave me a ride home. I got to ride in the front seat! Near the heater! I will never forget this act of kindness from our local Police Department. I thought of the tremendous responsibility Police Officers have. See, this Police Officer, in a way, was like we as Christians are. We represent our faith, and for those who “run into us” along the way, to them, we represent all Christians. This particular Police Officer was not only an example of our local Police, but an example, to me, of all Police Officers. He was so nice, so caring, and so willing to do everything he could to help me. Yes … he was doing his job (a job, by the way, a lot of us are unwilling to do) … by pulling me over, as I was definitely a safety hazard. But, once he stepped out of his Cruiser, he became much more. Much, much more. As, he did much, much more than “his call of duty.” It’s so easy to say he is a credit to his job, his profession, and our city. Well, if it’s so easy to say … why haven’t I written that letter to the Police Chief? It’s long time I did. As the writer of “Wealth Stored for the Righteous,” in which I write of so many blessings we enjoy every day, and, so often take for granted … have I just discovered another blessing we so easily take for granted? I know that, on this day, this one Police Officer, in below-zero temperatures and a howling wind, would not leave me stranded … would not leave me “out there alone.” Without hesitation, he asked me where the jack was. Without hesitation, he worked and worked, in that brutal weather, trying to get that spare tire down. Without hesitation, he gave me a ride home, and let me sit up front. Near the heater. Without hesitation, he asked if there was anything else I needed.

The only thing I needed, on that day, at that time, was to thank him.

Which I did, and, am attempting to do now. Again, to me, he exemplified not just our local Policemen, but all Police Officers.

As I think back to that cold, miserable day … Ok, I’ll say it, because it’s true … as I look back, I am reminded of something else I am grateful for … something that I don’t thank God for, enough. It’s something that I heard a Christian Brother say as part of a testimony: “I’m not the man I want to be, or am going to be, but I thank God that I’m not the man I used to be.” That’s powerful, and something else I think we take for granted so many times. I’m so glad, so thankful, that when he pulled me over, “I had nothing to hide.” That, alone, is a great feeling, And, a tremendous blessing. Again, think about that statement just a moment. How God has done a great work in us, to change us. Perhaps never is that more evident than when we are dealing with Police Officers. And … I’ll say it … When they are dealing with us. It’s just different, in such a great way. Again, allow me to let that sink in for a moment. God changes us for our benefit, so our lives will be better. And, ready for this … think about it … it makes their life better, too! Think about that.

How many times have we seen on a television show (or maybe even thought ourselves), the person who gets pulled over says something like, “Why are you bothering me, instead of trying to catch criminals?” Let’s just say that, on this day, I am so glad that this Police Officer was right behind me, stopping me, and, yes, blessing me, instead of … being anywhere else.

Often, when I write, I use the term “You just can’t make this stuff up.”

I’ve battled with whether I should mention the Officer’s name. I’m a private person, and I don’t wish to invade anyone else’s privacy. I believe it’s the right thing to do, in this case, to mention, at least the last name of this “Blessing with a Badge.” A man who reminded me that, just as he represents, to me, all Police Officers, that we as Christians also represent “all of us,” a “Royal Priesthood,” at any given time we deal with others. There is that saying that “we may be the only Jesus someone may see.” If we meet a Police Officer, that, too, in a similar way, may be the only Police Officer we may ever meet, and, we may base our whole opinion of the entire “group” just on that one Police Officer. In one case … shall we say this one “cold” case … I’m ok with that. Here goes:

The Police Officer’s last name, who reminded me of my own walk … his last name was:
Priest.

That cold, miserable day, I was so thankful to have Officer Priest in the Hood.

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Presidential Proclamation: Flags at Half-Mast Today

Today, Friday, March 2, 2018, I was sitting in front of our local Post Office, taking notes as I researched a story I am working on, about the United States mail. As I sat there scribbling on a note pad, carefully observing the building, and the signs “posted” near the entrance, I noticed the large American Flag, just to the left of the entrance. Blowing in the breeze, the United States Flag was at half-mast. I wondered why. At school, I often see our Flag at half-mast, always flown that way in honor of a New Hampshire citizen killed in the line of duty while serving in our Military. For some reason, today, I just stared at the Flag, and sat there, wondering. Why toady? I knew, deep inside, I knew why, but I just couldn’t remember. I can’t explain it, but I just felt I had to find out. So much, in fact, that I got out of the truck and walked in, waited in line, and asked the Postal employee behind the counter. Her reply:

“For Billy Graham.
Presidential proclamation.”

I thanked her, and walked out. I thought about how “out of touch” I’d been in the last few days. While I don’t watch the “national news” or “network news,” the TV in the Library always has the “Headline News” channel on, and that’s where I get blurbs of what’s going on. I’d been on vacation for several days, and haven’t even looked at the local paper. Last news I heard or saw was probably last Friday. I had written, just Monday, a post in honor of Billy Graham. I was aware his body would lie in state in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. And, I knew about the Proclamation. I’ve prayed for the Graham family. While on vacation, I still pray and have Bible Study every day. Just kinda stepped out of the world for a few days.

So, now, back in the office, I try to catch up:

On Wednesday, February 21, the President of the United States issued this statement:

“Melania and I join millions of people around the world in mourning the passing of Billy Graham. Our prayers are with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who worked closely with Reverend Graham in his lifelong ministry.

Billy’s acceptance of Jesus Christ around his seventeenth birthday not only changed his life—it changed our country and the world. He was one of the towering figures of the last 100 years—an American hero whose life and leadership truly earned him the title “God’s Ambassador.”

Billy’s unshakeable belief in the power of God’s word to transform hearts gave hope to all who listened to his simple message: “God loves you.” He carried this message around the world through his crusades, bringing entire generations to faith in Jesus Christ.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001, America turned to Billy Graham at the National Cathedral, who told us, “God can be trusted, even when life seems its darkest.”

Reverend Graham would be the first to say that he did not do it alone. Before her passing, his wife Ruth was by his side through it all—a true partner, a wonderful mother, and a fellow missionary soul. He also built an international team and institution that will continue to carry on Christ’s message.

Melania and I were privileged to get to know Reverend Graham and his extraordinary family over the last several years, and we are deeply grateful for their love and support.

Billy Graham was truly one of a kind. Christians and people of all faiths and backgrounds will miss him dearly. We are thinking of him today, finally at home in Heaven.”

From the White House, dated February 28, 2018:

Remarks by President Trump at Ceremony Preceding the Lying in Honor of the Reverend Billy Graham
Issued on: February 28, 2018
U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.
11:21 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell. And, most importantly, thank you to the entire Graham family for honoring us with your presence here today. Thank you.

In the spring of 1934, Billy Graham’s father allowed a group of Charlotte businessmen to use a portion of the family’s dairy farm to gather for a day of prayer.
On that day, the men prayed for the city. They prayed that, “Out of Charlotte, the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.”

We are here today, more than 80 years later, because that prayer was truly answered.

Billy Graham was 15 years old at the time. Just a few months later, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
That choice didn’t just change Billy’s life — it changed our lives. It changed our country, and it changed, in fact, the entire world.
The North Carolina farm boy walked out of those fields, into a great and beautiful history. Starting at a small Bible school in Florida, he soon led a nationwide revival — from a large tent in Los Angeles, to 100,000 people in a single day at Yankee Stadium, to more than 2 million people at Madison Square Garden, over 16 weeks in 1957.

And I remember that, because my father said to me, “Come on, son” — and, by the way, he said, “Come on, mom. Let’s go see Billy Graham at Yankee Stadium.” And it was something very special.
But Americans came in droves to hear that great young preacher. Fred Trump was a big fan. Fred Trump was my father.

In London, Tokyo, Seoul, Bogota, Moscow, New Delhi, Saigon, Johannesburg, and scores of other places all over the world, Reverend Graham shared the power of God’s word with more than 200 million people, in person, and countless others through television and radio where people loved to watch and listen.

In 1978, with the support of the Catholic Bishop who would soon become Pope John Paul II, Reverend Graham went to Poland and spoke of the meaning of the cross to a people suffering under the soulless oppression of communism.

Billy Graham carried his message around the world, but his heart, as Franklin will tell you, was always in America.
He took his message to the poorest places, to the downtrodden and to the brokenhearted, to inmates in prison, and to the overlooked and the neglected. He felt a great passion for those that were neglected.
Everywhere he went, Reverend Graham delivered the same beautiful message: God loves you. That was his message. God loves you.

We can only imagine the number of lives touched by the preaching and the prayers of Billy Graham –- the hearts he changed, the sorrows he eased, and the joy he brought to so many. The testimony is endless.

Today, we give thanks for this extraordinary life. And it’s very fitting that we do so right here in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol, where the memory of the American people is enshrined.
Here in this room, we are reminded that America is a nation sustained by prayer. The painting to my left is of the pilgrims as they embarked for America, holding fast to the Bible and bowing their heads in prayer.

Along these walls, we see the faces of Americans who prayed as they stood on the Lexington Green, who prayed as they headed west, prayed as they headed into battle, and prayed as they marched for justice, and always marched for victory.
Around us stand the statues of heroes who led the nation in prayer during the great and difficult times, from Washington to Lincoln to Eisenhower to King.

And, today, in the center of this great chamber lies legendary Billy Graham, an ambassador for Christ who reminded the world of the power of prayer and the gift of God’s grace.

Today we honor him as only three private citizens before him have been so honored.

And like the faithful of Charlotte once did, today we say a prayer for our country, that all across this land the Lord will raise up men and women like Billy Graham to spread a message of love and hope to every precious child of God.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you very much.
END
11:28 A.M. EST

From the White House, dated February 28, 2018: The official Presidential Proclamation regarding our Flag flying at Half-Mast today:

Presidential Proclamation on the Death of Billy Graham
Issued on: February 21, 2018

As a mark of respect for the memory of Reverend Billy Graham, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that on the day of his interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty first day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP

“I Can Only Imagine:” A Tribute to Billy Graham

We remember the words of Rev. Billy Graham, speaking from the National Cathedral in Washington, at the President’s request, as part of a special memorial service, following the events of Tuesday, November 11, 2001:
“This has been a terrible week with many tears. But, also it’s been a week of great faith … My prayer today is that we will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around us, and will know in our hearts that he will never forsake us, as we trust in Him.”

Keep in mind that on the morning of that Memorial Service, there was only one civilian aircraft-in the entire United States-allowed to fly. Remember that all civilian aircraft had been grounded … on that day, in November, 2001 … there was only one civilian airplane allowed to fly … the airplane which carried Billy Graham to Washington, DC…

We share this video from Contagious Encouragement, entitled
“I Can Only Imagine”: A Tribute to Billy Graham:”
(Here’s a direct link to Contagious Encouragement YouTube Channel”

Produced by WFSH in Atlanta for KeepTheFaith.
Bart Millard performs his award winning song “I Can Only Imagine” with the London Symphony Orchestra.

May God bless the Graham family during this time.
“I Can Only Imagine” Courtesy of Fairtrade. Written by Bart Millard and performed by MercyMe.

Tortured for Christ [The Movie] – Official Trailer

We share this from “The Voice of the Martyrs:”
Visit their website at https://www.persecution.com/

The Voice of the Martyrs presents the inspiring new movie, Tortured for Christ, a cinematic retelling of the testimony of VOM founder Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, as written in his international
bestseller “Tortured for Christ.” This movie was produced to honor the 50th anniversary of the book’s 1967 release.

Filmed entirely in Romania, including in the very prison where Pastor Wurmbrand endured torture and solitary confinement, this powerful film uniquely presents the story with live action rather than interviews. The dialogue is presented in English, Romanian and Russian (with English subtitles) to hold to the authenticity of this true story.

The movie opens in theaters on March 5, 2018.
Advance tickets can be purchased at www.TorturedforChrist.com.

Continue to “Remember Those in Bonds” Video: “Solitary Prayer”

We have been honored to share the story of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, founders of “The Voice of the Martyrs.” Here are links to stories we’ve featured on our blog:

https://pastorappreciationblog.com/2015/03/09/heroes-of-the-faith-richard-and-sabina-wurmbrand/
https://pastorappreciationblog.com/2017/03/08/the-power-of-posts-part-five/

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand left his apartment and headed to church one Sunday morning in February 1948, but he was kidnapped off the streets by Romanian secret police. He would spend 14 years in Communist prisons.

When he came down with tuberculosis and appeared close to death, guards moved Pastor Wurmbrand into the “death cell.” But he didn’t die. Instead, he survived and was eventually ransomed out of Romania. After arriving in the West, he immediately began to tell the story of his imprisonment and of the many Christians still suffering in Communist prisons behind the Iron Curtain.

In October 1967, those stories were typed up and mailed out to Christians who wanted to know more. It was the first issue of what later became the Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.

Something else happened in 1967: The book “Tortured for Christ” was released:
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand’s dramatic testimony shocked the world when it was first released in 1967, and many believers today cite it among the most influential books they have ever read. Pastor Wurmbrand endured months of solitary confinement, years of torture, constant suffering and the anguish of brainwashing simply because he refused to deny the name of Jesus Christ. The book is the story of how one man’s faithfulness and suffering led to a worldwide network of support for persecuted Christians.

Today, the ministry that Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand founded is actively helping Christians in 68 countries, providing direct aid to the persecuted, sending Bibles to those in hostile areas and restricted nations, and assisting front-line workers.
The ministry also continues to tell the stories of these believers, just as Richard did.

Each year, for The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), they create a video created specifically for this Day. For this year’s observance, the video told a story from Richard’s personal testimony of those years in Communist prisons. “Solitary Prayer” was filmed in Romania, in the very prison where Pastor Richard Wurmbrand spent three years in solitary confinement. It is a story that reminds us to pray not only for our persecuted brothers and sisters, but also for their persecutors.

“Solitary Prayer” features excerpts from the new “Tortured for Christ” movie, which is set to be released in Spring, 2018. This will be a significant event.

We purposely waited to share this video, as an admonishment to pray, every day, and to “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them” (Hebrews 13:3).
Note: This is powerful: