Saturday, June 29, 2019 has been designated as “Day of the Christian Martyr,” to honor the legacy of those who have sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the Gospel. June 29th is believed by church historians to be the day that the Apostle Paul was executed, on the Appian Way, in Rome. This year, Christians around the world will take time on Saturday and throughout the weekend to honor believers, like Paul, who sacrificed their lives for the gospel message and the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
This year, Werner, Rodé and Jean-Pierre Groenewald’s names will be inscribed onto the Martyrs Memorial in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, at the worldwide headquarters of “Voice of the Martyrs.”
In 2014, Werner, Jean-Pierre and Rodé Groenewald were killed when Taliban fighters attacked their home.
In 2003, Werner and his wife, Hannelie Groenewald, left their comfortable life in South Africa, when God called them to Afghanistan. Along with their two children, Rodé and Jean-Pierre, they served the Afghan people; Hannelie as a doctor, and Werner in discipleship and leadership development.
It wasn’t a popular decision. Some in their own families argued that God would never call them to take their children to such a war-torn and dangerous place. But, they accepted God’s calling. In addition to being a wife and mother, Hannelie became known as a teacher, doctor, and cook in a country not known for welcoming foreigners-especially women.
It was November 29, 2014: At about 3:30 in the afternoon, three Islamists broke into their apartment and shot to death Werner, Jean-Pierre and Rodé. After a two-hour standoff with police, one of the attackers detonated a bomb inside the building, killing himself and others, while the other two attackers were killed in an ensuing skirmish.
Hannelie’s life was spared because she wasn’t there: She had been called to the site of a U.N. meeting to provide medical care in case of an attack … which was anticipated … but, no one knew where the attack would take place …
We’d like to share these links with you, in addition to Hannelie’s own testimony via this video from Voice of the Martyrs:
First, here’s a link where you can read the full story of the Groenewalds.
In addition, you can view this video, and, also, there will be a link to enable you to hear the MARTYRS MEMORIAL INDUCTION CEREMONY, beginning at 9 a.m. CDT on Saturday, via Facebook Live, or you will be able to hear the recording of the ceremony beginning at 10 a.m.
Here’s the link:
MARTYRS MEMORIAL INDUCTION CEREMONY
Another link I’d like to share:
This is a direct link to VOM Radio (Voice of the Martyrs weekly radio program), where you can hear Hannelie Groenewald sharing the heartbreak of losing her family, and her testimony of the goodness of God to sustain her through her grief:
Now, we share the video. We are honored to support the efforts of Voice of the Martyrs: