Tag Archives: voice of the martyrs

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:

 

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International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church

Sunday, Nov. 5, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).
Churches across the United States and around the world will join in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

Here is the Voice of the Martyrs’ Slideshow Presentation, which churches will use to help inspire every Christian to pray for our persecuted family members.

The Video Slide Show includes ways we can pray for our persecuted Christian family.

We went in and added music to the Slide Show, and the Voice of the Martyrs’ address is at the end of the presentation.

How often we write of the freedoms we enjoy, and the price paid for our freedom. Let us pray for those who don’t have this freedom, and for those who persecute them.

Not just on Sunday, November 5th, but, as with our freedom, let us pray, every day, for those who don’t have freedom … to continue, every day, to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in
the body” (Hebrews 13:3)

 

“i am n” Video Series: Part Two-Faithfulness

We continue this video series, produced by The Voice of the Martyrs from their “i am n” campaign. The second video features “faithfulness.”

“Faithfulness” is defined as “full of faith; steadfast in allegiance; loyal; firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty; keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do.”

Image if you lived, everyday, with the danger of losing everything you have-including your life, and the lives of your loved ones-just by making the decision to convert to Christianity … or if “word got out” that you were a follower of Jesus …

“Anyone who follows Jesus faithfully will pay a price for following Him, and holding fast to the truth of God’s Word … We need to be encouraged by the faithfulness of our Brothers and Sisters …”

 

“i am n” Video Series: Part One-Courage

We begin a short video series, produced by The Voice of the Martyrs, from their “i am n” campaign. The first video features “courage.”

“Courage” is defined as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty; the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous; strength of mind to carry on in spite of danger or difficulty.”

Image if you lived, everyday, with the danger of losing everything you have-including your life, and the lives of your loved ones-just by making the decision to convert to Christianity … or if “word got out” that you were a follower of Jesus …

“I want that type of courage.”

 

The Power of “Posts:” Part Five

Hi Friends:

Yes, I didn’t plan this to be a series; I only wanted to share with you what I had discovered on the back of a calendar, and, initially, planned that one “post” for the end of the year.

While I was researching for what became a short series, I ran into this quote, which I share with you today, during a morning Bible study. Once again, I just can’t over-emphasize the importance of beginning your day with prayer, and Bible study. First thing. Every day. If you’ll do this, faithfully, I promise you’ll “run into” all kinds of things, which just happen to fit into the “that’s just what I needed” category. See, God knows what you need. If you’ll spend time with Him … you will, then, give Him the time to show you … “just what you need.”

I was in the beginning of this series, when I discovered this quote from, and, yes, I will proudly say it … one of my heroes … It’s ok to have heroes, you know … people, from the past, and present, who inspire you … God will always put people in front of you, to inspire you. Jesus is my hero. Period. Period. I want to be like Him, I want to think like Him, I want to speak like Him, I want to “do” like Him. Period.

Jesus also places people around us, circumstances around us, which will help us fulfill that goal. He also allows us to read and learn about people, from history, who had that same goal. People we can, yes I’ll say it, people we can “look up to,” people who inspire us. How about Paul? Peter? John? Etc. Well, Jesus is still alive, His influence is still alive, and there are many “modern-day” people who can, through their example of following Christ, inspire us today.

One of these heroes, to me, is Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. And, his wife Sabrina. I notice that, today, according to my “Google Doodle,” is “International Women’s Day.” Well … to women around the globe … to men around the globe … I urge you to learn about Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand. If you want to learn about 2 heroes …

While I was doing the research for this series, I ran into a quote from Richard Wurmbrand. Mr. Wurmbrand was a Pastor in Romania. What he endured as a prisoner, inside a Communist prison, for 14 years, is incomprehensible. He was, eventually, released, and went on to found “The Voice of the Martyrs.”

I am now going to write this: When I was growing up in Georgia, the movie “Walking Tall” was released; a true story about Sheriff Buford Pusser, a former professional wrestler. A man I remember seeing. A man who suffered tremendous injury at the hands of criminals, whom he would spend the rest of his life fighting. Again … please allow me to use this as an example, in context. In the movie, Buford (played by Joe Don Baker) was on trial … in one of the most memorable scenes from his movie, and his life … from the witness stand … he ripped open his shirt … allowing the, perhaps, at first, unbelieving jury to see the wounds his enemies had inflicted him with … again, please remember the context … making a statement, to the now-horrified, stunned jury, that, if they allowed this to happen to him … “they” would allow the same thing to happen to “each of you”

Pastor Wurmbrand began his ministry of being a voice for persecuted Christians in England with Rev. Stuart Harris. Later, Richard moved on to the United States. It was the year 1966 … Years after his release from a Communist prison … Richard Wurmbrand would stand in front of perhaps, at first, unbelieving members of the United States Congress … he appeared before a U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, where he stripped to the waist and revealed 18 deep torture wounds on his body to perhaps, at first, an unbelieving group of U.S. Congressmen, to see the wounds his enemies had inflicted him with …

Yeah … I have heroes … Not many, but these are two …

Pastor Wurmbrand would write the classic “Tortured for Christ,” and “In God’s Underground.” It is a quote from the latter that I discovered as I was in the midst of this series. The day was February 29th, 1948, and Pastor Wurmbrand, in Romania, was walking to church. He was forced into a van, and taken prisoner. How scared would you be?

In his book “In God’s Underground,” here’s what Pastor Wurmbrand wrote about that day, the last day of February, 1948:
“I knew that I faced questioning, ill-treatment, possibly years of imprisonment and death, and I wondered if my faith was strong enough. I remembered then that in the Bible it is written 366 times-once for every day of the year-‘Don’t be afraid.’ 366 times, not merely 365, to account for leap year. And this was February 29-a coincidence that told me I need not fear!”

Yeah … I have heroes …

I was going to sub-title this last installment of the series, “What’s on your wall?” as I share with you a deeply personal photo, which I have, here on the wall, in our office. It is right next to a framed portrait of Abraham Lincoln.

Again, I encourage you to “post” sayings, verses of Scriptures, pictures, photos, etc., around your home, to encourage you … and … those who may just happen to visit. In my case, every time I enter the office, or as I leave the office and turn around to look, this is the photo I see … there on the wall … to encourage me, and “all those who enter.” This, by the way, and this is really personal, is the exact photo I have on the wall … I took it down, and scanned it … so this is the photo I see, both when I enter, and leave, the office.

The question is:
What’s on your wall?

I am also going to share a link to a story we did on Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand, over on our blog, which includes a video …
Featuring actual recordings of Pastor Wurmbrand, and the story of Richard and Sabrina … the only change I may make, as I really think about their story … is that I think I should put a photo of both Mr. and Mrs. Wurmbrand on the wall …

Here’s the actual photo from my office wall:

Here’s the link to the story and video:

Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand Post

Blessings to you, and your family,
Today. And, every day.
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

Good News from Sudan: VOM Staff Member Released from Sudanese Prison

Under the heading of “SET FREE,” I received this email from The Voice of the Martyrs, this past Monday, February 27. This is a story we have been keeping up with, and read the announcement with great joy:
“Czech national and long-time VOM staff member Petr Jasek has been released from prison in Sudan, following a pardon issued by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.” 
Here is a recap of the story, from 2 emails we received:

HE’S FINALLY HOME

HE’S FINALLY HOME!

“After 445 days in prison in Sudan, Czech national Petr Jasek has been set free. He flew out of Sudan Sunday afternoon along with Czech Republic Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek. Jasek, arrested in December 2015, had served as VOM’s Africa Regional Director. He was reunited with his wife and two grown children last night in Prague.
We are so thankful for all those who prayed for Petr and his family. Many also wrote letters to the Sudanese government on behalf of Petr and two Sudanese men sentenced with him. THANK YOU!
From the earliest days of his imprisonment, Petr said many times, “God holds the key to my cell.” We are thankful that God used that key to open the door, and we pray that He will also open the cell doors to allow the two Sudanese men, one of whom is a pastor, also to go free.
Petr was arrested in December 2015, after visiting Sudanese Christians and helping one of them with a small gift to cover medical expenses. Last month a Sudanese court found him guilty of “waging war against the state,” “violating restrictions in military areas,” “spreading rumors to defame the state,” “espionage” and “inciting strife between communities.” He was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Since that sentence was announced, negotiations have been ongoing between the Czech government and the government of Sudan.

Please continue to pray for Rev. Hassan Abduraheem (second from left above) and Abdulmonem Abdumawla (far right above), who can be seen with Petr in the photo above, and were sentenced to 12 years in prison for allegedly aiding Petr’s espionage activities. Pray that they will be released soon, and pray for their families.

Please continue to pray for Rev. Hassan Abduraheem (second from left above) and Abdulmonem Abdumawla (far right above), who can be seen with Petr in the photo above, and were sentenced to 12 years in prison for allegedly aiding Petr’s espionage activities. Pray that they will be released soon, and pray for their families.

Also: Pray also for Petr Jasek and his family as they reunite and as Petr begins to recover from the physical toll that 14 months in prison has wrought.

“I was in five different prisons, each worse than the last,” Petr said. “I was placed in group cells with drug traffickers, violent criminals and radical Muslims – including ISIS members. I was deprived of sleep for days in a cell with no running water, where mice ran over my body every time I lay down.”

As a career field leader with VOM, Petr has devoted his life to serving our persecuted Christian family. For more than 15 years, he has traveled continually and served in the toughest mission fields in the world.
Inspired by years of serving Christians imprisoned for their faith, he felt honored to be able to serve God while himself the prisoner of a brutal Islamic regime. He embraced his imprisonment as an opportunity to share the gospel with Sudanese, Eritreans and radical Muslims who are normally inaccessible to missionaries.

“I found that I was peaceful and joyful in prison, and that is a miracle that only God can do,” Petr said. “I can say that I was experiencing an amazing time with the Lord. My prayer was that I wanted to have the right words to speak at any time so that everything I said would be for the glory of God and touching the hearts of the other prisoners.” During his almost 15 months in prison, Petr shared the gospel with many and saw several come to saving faith in Christ.

Each of us should be inspired by Petr’s example. We should seek to boldly witness for Christ wherever we are.

Each of us should be inspired by Petr’s example. We should seek to boldly witness for Christ wherever we are.

Pray also for all of our Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan. They have become bolder – not more cautious – in their witness for Christ since Petr and the others were imprisoned, even singing hymns outside the courthouse during our brothers’ trial.

Here is a direct link to The Voice of the Martyrs website, which will include information on how you can help those persecuted for their faith, and how you can help their families:

The Voice of the Martyrs

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
Hebrews 13:3


 

Christmas 2016 and What I Can “Do More” in 2017

This past year, as never before, I have felt the calling to pray for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters around the globe. And, not just pray for them … but, to also learn more about them. To find out where they are, and what they are going through. Plus, to not only “pray for the persecuted,” but to pray for “the persecutors.” To learn about them. Time after time, as I read the stories of those suffering, read about the tremendous hardships and tragedies they must endure, every day, the same request rings true:
“Pray for the persecutors.
Pray for the persecutors.”

I think about the statement I read from Pastor Rick Warren … that prayer is like a guided missile … which can be launched from anywhere on earth … and, reach the heart of anyone on earth … regardless of where they are located, and, regardless of “who” they are.

This time of year, the emphasis is always on how thankful we should be for the blessings we have, for being thankful for “all we have.” I hope we can apply this same spirit of thanksgiving to every day of the year. We shouldn’t only take time to think about our blessings at a particular time of year, but, it should be something that is part of our daily existence, part of our daily prayers, every day of the year. The plight of those “less fortunate” is also something we seem to focus more on, during “this time,” than at other times. Same rule should apply: The plight of those “less fortunate” should also be part of our daily existence, our daily prayers, every day of the year.

What good is what we have, if we can’t share it?
There is no “greater good” than the “good news” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is no greater purpose in life than to share this Gospel, and to support those who share it.

We often share materials we have received from “The Voice of the Martyrs.” Yes, there are many organizations which support persecuted Christians, and I’m thankful for that. Here I am, sitting downstairs, in front of the pellet stove, in a warm home, at the end of a tough work week.
I don’t know what “tough” is. My home isn’t war-ravaged, my neighborhood isn’t in shambles, and I haven’t been forced to move … just because I’m a Christian.
Tough week?
I don’t know what tough is. Here I am, debating over the “agony” of having to bring out the snow-blower … I don’t know what “tough” is. The losses so many have suffered. The pain and agony my fellow believers live through, every day. I’m surrounded by clean laundry (making use of the pellet stove), and I don’t have a clue what it’s like to be displaced from my home, fleeing with only what I can carry, only to live in a distant “camp,” in a tent … I don’t know what it’s like … I don’t have a clue … seeing family murdered … children murdered … only because “word got out” they had accepted Jesus …

Children … Children … Children …

Yes, we support the work of organizations like “The Voice of the Martyrs”
I don’t mind that there are a couple of common themes throughout my writing, and that I write of them often:
Pray every day.
Study your Bible every day.
Pray for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters every day.
Be thankful for the blessings you already have, every day.
If that’s all you “get” from my writing, I’m ok with that.

It is so important to pray and read the Bible every day. To set aside a time for this, every day.
Often, I’ve written about how important it is to have Scriptural messages, verses, posted around your home (and, even on the visor of your truck) to remind you of great Scriptural truths … things you can’t help but see every day …
It is … after all … about “every day” …

I don’t have a clue about how tough it is for Christians around the world, living in hostile and “restricted” nations.
But … I want to learn more.
I want to learn more.

There are a couple of resources, offered at a minimal price, through “The Voice of the Martyrs,” which I plan to use-every day-of the next year.
I want to learn more, and I’ve already learned so much about what’s going on “over there” through materials I’ve already received from them. I’d just like to share a couple of those with you, a couple of resources I am planning to use, in the year ahead.
I will include a link at the bottom of this post.

One is a “Prayer Calendar.” I love the 2016 calendar I have (which I think was bought at Walmart, on sale), which includes verses and quotes, so often helping me in exactly what I am going through at that particular time.

But … maybe it’s time to not think about me when I look at a calendar … maybe it’s time to think about others …

I will be using their 2017 Prayer Calendar, and here’s why, as I use text from the VOM website:
I will “be guided to pray throughout the year, with a new prayer request for each day of every month. The calendar includes prayer requests for the specific needs of Christians living in hostile and restricted nations as well as prayer requests for their persecutors, that God would change their hearts. When VOM staff travel to meet Christians in hostile and restricted nations, we often ask how American Christians can help them. Their first answer is always ‘Pray for us.’
By giving your Christian friends VOM’s 2017 Prayer Calendar, you will be helping to fulfill the request of our persecuted brothers and sisters every day in 2017. Specific prayer requests are provided for each day of the calendar year, including reminders to pray for the persecutors as Scripture instructs.”

The other resource I will be using is a Daily Devotional called “Extreme Devotion.” Talk about something I can use every day:
“This engaging devotional includes 365 stories of persecuted Christians along with devotionals based on each person’s life. You will be encouraged in your daily walk with Christ through the examples of believers from around the world who have shown extreme devotion in sharing their faith with others.”

Prayer and Bible study.
Remembering our Christian Brothers and Sisters.
Every day.
Every day.

I want to pray more.
I want to study more.
I want to learn more.
I want to remember them more.
I want to do more.
Here’s the link to help you do that:

The Voice of the Martyrs