TESTIMONIES INSPIRED BY FAITH OF ABEDINI FAMILY

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One small voice cries out

VICTORY! A Christian pastor released from prison, in Tibet

Nepal

ASIA/NEPA: Kathmandu (Agenzia Fides) – Protestant Pastor Chhedar Bhote Lhomi, 37, was freed from blame and released from prison, he is now free after a bad experience of detention.

As Fides learns, the Pastor lives in a remote area of Nepal, where he had started a Christian community that met regularly. He was jailed in October 2012 on charges of “beef consumption” although he carried out his service in an area of Nepal where this custom is normally permitted (in other parts of the country local Hindus do not eat beef because cattle are considered sacred).

In the fall of 2012 the Pastor had been accused by some local Hindus of having eaten “forbidden meat” and a mob had attacked him ravaging and destroying his home. The Pastor was arrested by the police, leaving his family (wife and three children) in the direst poverty.

A court recently declared that Pastor Chhedar is “not guilty” and ordered his release. The Pastor said he will continue to pray and proclaim Christ on the heights of Tibet. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/08/2014)

Take time to praise and worship the Lord. This victory is His! Keep Pastor Chhedar in your prayers as he proclaims the Gospel in Tibet.

Massacre in Predominantly Christian Gwoza, Nigeria Said to Leave 100 Dead

let-s-pray-nigeria

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – After weeks of sacking villages and destroying church buildings around Nigeria’s northeastern town of Gwoza, Islamic extremist group Boko Haram on Wednesday (Aug. 6) killed an estimated 100 people in the predominantly Christian town, sources said.

The shooting, fire-bombing and slashing of men, women and children in Gwoza, Borno state, as initially the military reportedly fled before an insurgent force backed by international terrorist groups, began at about 4 a.m., producing eyewitness assertions that Boko Haram, which seeks to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria, had taken control of the town of more than 276,000 people. Local residents reportedly said at least 100 people had been killed.

The full magnitude of the attack and the Nigerian military response was unknown as most sources have been forced to flee to Cameroon or Adamawa state, but on the initial day of the assault Pirda Tada, a Christian resident of Saha village, told Morning Star News that Boko Haram gunmen arrived in Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles and attacked houses with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and fuel-bombs.

“I thank God for sparing my life, but three of my neighbors and members of our church were killed during the attack,” Tada said. “These Christians in our village had their throats slit with knives while their hands were tied behind their backs. Some houses were bombed as the Boko Haram gunmen were chanting, ‘God is great!’ in Arabic.”

Six Christians were killed at Saha village, and the insurgents destroyed houses and shops and burned the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) building in Pegi Barawa village, Tada said. Boko Haram rebels on July 19 had attacked Saha and Pegi Barawa village, near Gwoza; six Christians were reported to have been killed in Saha village.

Francis Mbala of Gwoza confirmed that Boko Haram attacked Saha and Pegi Barawa this week.

“The COCIN church and some houses and shops were burned down,” he told Morning Star News.

Since December, Boko Haram has also attacked in the Gwoza area the villages of Mainok, Barawa, Chinne, Arbakko, Attagara, Ngoshe, Klala, Kunde, Hembe, Gathahure, Klala, Himbe, Amuda, Agapalawa, Ashigashiya, and Chikedeh, Mbala said.

John Gula, a leader in the Christian community in Gwoza, told Morning Star News by phone that 42 Christians were killed at Attagara village; 24 in Agajara; four in Angurva; 20 in Agapalwa; one in Amuda; three in Alavawa; 13 in Chinene; three in Arboko; one in Ashigashiya; and one in Ngoshe.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 Christians have been displaced from the greater area, forcing many to flee to neighboring Cameroon.

In December Christian leaders had reported plans by Boko Haram to attack Christian communities in Gwoza. COCIN leaders and the denomination’s Gwoza District Church Council (DCC), in collaboration with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Gwoza, sent a petition to the Borno state government and security agencies reporting a threatening letter that Boko Haram had sent to Christian communities in Gwoza.

“You have been fleeing your homes, but we are still pursuing you, because the soldiers with you people cannot protect you,” the letter reads. “Your lives, farmlands and other property are also not safeguarded. Allah willing, we shall not fail to attack your communities and the listed churches in this letter.”

In December 2013, 15 Christians were killed, 274 houses were burned and 12 church buildings were destroyed by Boko Haram gunmen, the Christian leaders wrote in their letter. Yakubu Toeye, a Christian from Gwoza, told Morning Star News that the 12 church buildings destroyed in December were located in the Gwoza hills settlements of Kunde, Hembe, Gathahure, Himbe and Klala.

The Rev. Joel Y. Ndirmbita, secretary of the COCIN DCC, signed the petition calling attention to the plight of Christians in Gwoza area.

“We consider it an onerous task to bring to your notice an attempt and grand design to wipe us, Christians, from the face of the earth by some who claim to be members of the Boko Haram sect,” Ndirmbita and others wrote. “Boko Haram has perfected plans to launch an attack against us as contained in their threat letter of July 8, 2013, and addressed it to various churches in the Gwoza Local Council…They have now commenced … by attacking us and uprooting crops on our farmlands and spraying them with chemicals.”

Morning Star News

Young Believer Inspired To Pray By Faith of Abedini’s

child prays

Evelyn (Columbus, MS)

Dear Saeed Abedini,

My name is Evelyn, I am 11 years old. My family and I pray for you every day. We pray for your wife and children too. Sometimes I think how it would feel for my dad to be in prison, I would feel very sad.

This time is a time for you and your family to trust in the Lord Jesus, and for me to trust that the Lord will deliver you from this time by setting you free or taking you to be with him in his perfect heaven. I will keep praying for you and your family.  I can’t wait to see you in heaven!!!!!!!!!

________________________________

Thank you, Evelyn for sharing your prayers and letting the Abedini’s know that you care for them.

Trusting in God can be very hard for us. But HE knows the end from the beginning and goes with us through the storm. Though in our human ability it may be hard to understand, God must have a very good reason for allowing Pastor Saeed to remain in prison.

God knows Saeed will be faithful to share the Gospel and the love of Christ with prisoners who don’t know Jesus. HE is making a way for them to be found in Christ; not wanting any to perish. Hallelujah! 

Together, we will keep praying for Pastor Saeed to be released and reunited with his family very soon. We must remember that our Father in Heaven loves us very much. And that HE is a sovereign God in control of all things—even in a prison cell.

To the glory of God, keep trusting in the Lord with all your heart and He will guide your path wherever He takes you.

God bless you, dear sister.

Lois Kanalos, Founder/Advocate

Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize.  Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.

Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE 

 inspired by faith

abedini-1

 

Displaced Nigerian Christians Vow Return To Worship God In Attacked Village

Pray for Nigeria (1)

By VOP Nigerian Correspondent

Gwoza Local Government Area, Nigeria(Voice of the Persecuted) Brave Christian leaders from Attagara who had been displaced by Islamic insurgents after a brutal attack, vowed to return—resolute to worship the Lord in their respective churches. Our Foreign correspondent gathered that over 340 Christians from a refugee camp in Cameroon, came back to Attagara village and resumed church services and worshiped on Sunday August 3, 2014.

One worshiper said, “How can we stop worshiping God because of persecution?”

The deadly attack which began on June 1, 2014 and lasted for 3 days, lead to the displacement of over 7,000 Christians to neighboring Cameroon. Islamic insurgents had rounded up Christians and shot them in the cold-blooded attack. See our June report NIGERIA: Women bury over 40 children after massive attack on Christians

It was stated that the Christian community received no help except for that of local Christians to ease the suffering of the residents, who were mainly women and children. This claim was also confirmed by a leader of the Attagara Development Association. He explained that the only help that reached the displaced villagers were contributions from area Christians immediately following the attack. The funds were equally disbursed to Christians who had been trapped in the hills without food and to those in makeshift camps in Cameroon. “Anything outside of this is not true,” he added.

The returning Christians were unable to go back to their farms and businesses, due to the threat of another attack by Boko Haram insurgents. But they said, “We’re looking up to God for help to survive.” Our correspondent was told none of the returning Christians were willing to go back to the Cameroon refugee camp. “We better die here,” one member said.

In a phone interview with a church leader, it was confirmed that over 200 Christians came to worship at EYN (The Church of the Brethren) LCC Attagara. EYN Angurva had over 100 brethren in the service and EYN Aganjara saw 40 worshipers in attendance.

Left homeless, Christians  sharing food at refugee camp

Left homeless, Christians sharing food at refugee camp

UPDATE: Returning Attagara Christians Suffer Another Attack By Boko Haram

The return of Christians restarting worship services to honor God, angered the insurgents who had forced them to flee the area in June. They sent in an agent to spy on the village to observe if it was being protected by the military. The Christians keeping watch, sighted and caught the operative; then handed him and his weapons over to military personnel.

On August 5, 2014, dressed in military uniforms, the Islamic militants returned riding 3 per seat on motorcycles. They captured and brutally slaughtered Peter Talaka, a dedicated Christian who had been active in church planting.

nigeriachildwarOne eye witness said, “I saw over 23 motorcycles, The militants were carrying AK 47’s, each chanting “Allahu Akbar.” They went straight to the newly rebuilt church and burnt it. After looting anything of value, they set the remaining houses on fire destroying everything. While the Christians were fleeing, a few were brave enough to report the attack to the military. They then courageously guided the soldiers in apprehending the insurgents.

The pursuit by the Christians and soldiers forced the insurgents to drop 6 of the motorcycles and weapons. One of the Christians told our correspondent, “We handed them over to the military who then burnt all the motorcycles.”

Once again, the returning Christians were displaced from their village. But the majority of the young Christian men promised to stay on until the day God called them to Glory.

©Voice of the Persecuted. (VOP)  Article may be reprinted with credit to Voice of the Persecuted

Inspired to Forgive by example of Pastor Saeed Abedini forgiving his persecutors

forgive

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Sherry Schubarth (Colorado, USA)

I have for the past 14 yrs. suffered persecution by satans minions, like I have a target on my back , in a city said to be the headquarters for demon worshipers.

I have found it very difficult to have a forgiving heart and find sympathy for these people.  Saeeds ability to forgive his captures who are brutal beasts has helped me to see it is possible to forgive.  I don’t yet have all the answers, but I am encouraged that I too can have a forgiving heart in all circumstances, even in the midst of satanic relentless attack.

Please pray for me. I am praying and have been sharing the posts about Saeed, his story and updates about him. And I will continue to for as long as it takes.

God bless this precious Abidini family and keep them forever safe and sound.

________________________________

To forgive can be one the hardest thing for us to do. We must follow Christ and remember his words, “ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Sherry, we will keep you in our prayers.

VOP Project Team

Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.

Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize.  Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.

Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE 

 inspired by faith

abedini-1

Prayers Needed Pastor Saeed Abedini Facing New Death Threats from ISIS Terrorists

pastor-saeed-danger

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is working to secure the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini from an Iranian prison, said today Pastor Saeed is now facing new death threats from ISIS terrorists who are being held in the same Iranian prison where Pastor Saeed is being held. Pastor Saeed has been able to communicate to family members and let them know that he fears for his life after he was told the ISIS prisoners plan to murder him because of his Christian faith.

“This is an extremely dangerous development that puts Pastor Saeed’s life at grave risk,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which represents Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and their two children living in the U.S. “Not only is Pastor Saeed facing threats from Iranian militants who have imprisoned him because of his Christian faith, he now faces new and perhaps even more dangerous threats from Iraqi ISIS prisoners who want to murder Pastor Saeed because of his faith. We call on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to intervene immediately to secure Pastor Saeed’s release and to ensure that he is protected during this transfer to freedom. Pastor Saeed, who is approaching his second year of imprisonment in Iran, must be returned to his family without delay.”

Pastor Saeed, who continues to suffer from injuries sustained at the hands of his captors, revealed to family members this week that Iraqi ISIS members are now being held in Rajai Shahr Prison – in fact in the same prison ward where he is being held. Other prisoners have told Pastor Saeed that – if ISIS prisoners have the opportunity – they intend to murder Pastor Saeed because of his Christian faith. Pastor Saeed has told family members that he is currently in a separate section of the ward – removed from the ISIS terrorists – but is concerned that he will be subjected to the general prison population – including the ISIS terrorists – during a brief, daily exercise period in the prison yard.  Pastor Saeed has said he will not leave his prison cell to go to the prison yard for fear of his safety. Due to the severe overcrowding and lack of supervision of the prisoners, Saeed communicated that he has had to hide inside his cell and rely on the protection of fellow prisoners when some of these extremists have ventured into his section on their return to the ward from these daily outings.

September 26th will mark two years since the 34-year-old Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – was taken into custody, tried and convicted – sentenced to eight years for his Christian faith.

Pastor Saeed’s two young children – Jacob and Rebekka – have recorded a personal plea asking President Obama to bring their father home. That video is available here.

The ACLJ continues to work in this country and abroad to secure his safety and freedom. Thousands continue to add their names of support for Pastor Saeed by signing on to this petition for his freedom.

ACLJ

Pastor Saeed urgently needs our prayers for protection and release.

For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many2 Corinthians 1:8-11

A Spiritual Battle Is Taking Place – Who Are The Warriors Of Christ?

 

roaring-lion

As chaos spreads, the world seems to be edging closer to all out war and destruction. But there is a far greater unseen battle that is raging on—a spiritual battle.

Many report we’re witnessing a war against Christianity.The persecution that Christians are facing today, surpasses any other time in history. Though others are subjected to suffering at the hands of oppressors, Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. A growing hatred and horrific brutality perpetrated against them. These attacks are being recorded daily, shocking the very core of modern civilization.  What stirs hatred so deep and hardens hearts to be ice cold? It goes beyond the comprehension of most.

Jesus told us, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. (John 15:18-20)

What is this ‘Spiritual Battle’ taking place?

In one example in Hebrews we read of the unseen spiritual realm—Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. As Christians we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. HE gives us no reason to doubt HIM and we can trust HIS words as Truth. Though unseen, the spiritual realm of God is real.

Anyone who who truly follows Christ will become a target in this unseen battle.

Many, even some in the Church mock any reference of a spiritual battle.  But the Bible says we have an enemy [the devil] prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan was the first to rebel against God. His goal, to be God…this is where the battle begins. He is not alone…others followed him. Scripture tells us we have an enemy who seeks to destroy and will do all he can to discourage, tempt, lie and accuse to corrupt us. We are his main targets. The Bible tells us that Satan knows his time is short. He is set on deceiving Christians, so we will doubt and feel defeated. But Jesus promises that His followers can both survive and thrive through the battle:  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10) In Christ, we will have strength.

How can I be a true disciple and warrior for Christ?

We need to put on the armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).

‘The Christian life requires discipleship. We follow Christ while using his life as the example for the way we should live. We read and implement his words and commands into our own lives, living out our faith. The love Christ has for us far out ways the love of man. He laid down his own life so that we would be set free from sin and death. There is no way by our own hands that we can be saved. Redemption solely comes through Christ and there is salvation in no one else. He even calls us friend when we do as he commands.

 warriors
A Christian Warrior is someone who is not afraid to pick up their cross and follow Christ. To become a warrior for Christ—ready for battle, you must take your orders from your Commander. You can trust you are on the winning side, serving the all powerful, one true God!  Below you will find 50 commands Jesus gave us.
  1. Repent—Matthew 4:17—Humility
  2. Follow Me—Matthew 4:19
  3. Rejoice—Matthew 5:12
  4. Let Your Light Shine—Matthew 5:16 —to bring God glory
  5. Honor God’s Law—Matthew 5:17–18
  6. Be Reconciled—Matthew 5:24–25
  7. Do Not Commit Adultery—Matthew 5:29–30
  8. Keep Your Word—Matthew 5:37
  9. Go the Second Mile—Matthew 5:38–42
  10. Love Your EnemiesMatthew 5:44
  11. Be Perfect—Matthew 5:48
  12. Practice Secret Disciplines—Matthew 6:1–18
  13. Lay Up Treasures—Matthew 6:19–21 —Give
  14. Seek God’s Kingdom—Matthew 6:33
  15. Judge Not—Matthew 7:1
  16. Do Not Cast Pearls—Matthew 7:6
  17. Ask, Seek, and Knock—Matthew 7:7–8
  18. Do Unto Others—Matthew 7:12
  19. Choose the Narrow Way—Matthew 7:13–14
  20. Beware of False Prophets—Matthew 7:15
  21. Pray For Laborers—Matthew 9:38
  22. Be Wise as Serpents—Matthew 10:16
  23. Fear God, Not Man—Matthew 10:26
  24. Hear God’s Voice—Matthew 11:15
  25. Take My Yoke—Matthew 11:29
  26. Honor Your Parents—Matthew 15:4
  27. Beware of Leaven—Matthew 16:6
  28. Deny Yourself—Luke 9:23
  29. Despise Not Little Ones—Matthew 18:10
  30. Go to Offenders—Matthew 18:15
  31. Beware of Covetousness—Luke 12:15
  32. Forgive Offenders—Matthew 18:21–22
  33. Honor Marriage—Matthew 19:6
  34. Be a Servant—Matthew 20:26–28
  35. Be a House of Prayer—Matthew 21:13
  36. Ask in Faith—Matthew 21:21–22
  37. Bring in the Poor—Luke 14:12–14
  38. Render to Caesar—Matthew 22:19–21
  39. Love the Lord—Matthew 22:37–38
  40. Love Your Neighbor—Matthew 22:39
  41. Await My Return—Matthew 24:42–44
  42. Remember His sacrifice—Matthew 26:26–27
  43. Be Born Again—John 3:7—Security
  44. Keep My Commandments—John 14:15
  45. Watch and Pray—Matthew 26:41
  46. Feed My Sheep—John 21:15–16
  47. Baptize My Disciples—Matthew 28:19
  48. Receive God’s Power—Luke 24:49
  49. Give–Luke 6:38
  50. Make Disciples—Matthew 28:20

Think of them as your instructions for being disciples and warriors of our Lord and Savior. And for carrying out the Great Commission spreading the Gospel—his teachings to all the world.

Be encouraged by the prayer that Jesus prayed for us.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:6-26)

satan tempts ChristConsider how Jesus handled attacks from Satan when He was tempted by him (Matthew 4:1-11). Each temptation was answered with the words, “It is written.” Jesus knew the Word of God is the most powerful weapon against the temptations of the devil. If Jesus Himself used the Word to counter the devil’s attacks, should we do it any other way?

We must study, hear and preach God’s word even if it’s not always pleasant to hear or say, but it is for the good of man. Timothy was told,  “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4 
Always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3-7
Do not ‘fall away‘ by getting snared into this trap.  See a contrast of the Upright and the Wicked—Proverbs 18:1-10
We therefore must be careful that we do not turn our ears from hearing the Truth by listening to those who only say what sounds good to us, but contradicts the very words of God. Like a child who doesn’t agree with all the rules made by their parents, we may find ourselves disagreeing with the Word of God. And when the child breaks the rules, they like even less the punishment doled out by their parents. Parents don’t make rules or punish their children to irritate them, they do it to keep them safe or to teach them an important lesson to be decent human beings. It is the same with God, who loves us more than any earthly parent ever could.(Matthew 7:9-11) But as our Heavenly Father who knows the end from the beginning, we can trust HE knows best—and each word has it’s purpose. And one day, we will all understand.
Read the commands of Christ listed above—try to memorize them. Don’t rely on others to tell you what is in the Bible, study it for yourself. It is the only way to be sure they are teaching the truth. Many say that they don’t understand the scriptures. Their not alone! Most have a hard time reading the Bible at first. But when you are continually picking it up, pray before hand and ask for understanding. God doesn’t want us to be in the dark, He wants to bring us into the light. And this is where we learn who we worship and develop a personal relationship with the One who cared enough to created us. Think of it as a letter written to you, because it is. When you are seeking God with all your heart, HE will send the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom. Knock and the door will be opened!

The-Sword-of-the-Lord-voiceofthepersecuted-orgThe Armor of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvationand the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Become a warrior, put on the armor of God. Take the Sword of the Lord and be prepared in this raging battle. On our Study the Bible page, you will find an explanation of what the Bible is and why God gave it to us. We have compiled ways  to help you get started reading the Word. Whether you are new to study or would like to get back to the Bible, we’d like to encourage you to start today.

Let us remember to pray as warriors for the persecuted. Please keep them constant in prayer.

study arrowHERE

Broken to Beauty – Inspired By Faith Of The Abedini’s

heals-wounds

Teresa Botkin (Illinois,USA)

I first heard about Saeed and began praying for them at the beginning of his imprisonment. I became friends with Naghmeh and would read her posts on Facebook, listened to her interviews on the news, radio and YouTube.

All this time I was going through a lot of personal difficulties, and hearing about this and praying for them helped give me purpose in my prayers, taking the focus off myself and finding God giving me words of encouragement to share with Naghmeh.

When the time came for the one year anniversary and the announcement about prayer vigils, I wanted to attend one, but there wasn’t one near us. I began to pray about it and knew that God wanted me to step out of my comfort zone and coordinate a vigil in my city. Naghmeh was so sweet, saying she didn’t know how and we would do it together.

I saw such strength and courage in her, knowing that she was in such deep sorrow, but still pressing on, stepping out of her comfort zone, traveling and speaking,

I committed to coordinate the vigil here, and found God giving me what I needed to do the task. The presence of God was so strong on that day, the prayers around the world unified, at the end of the prayer time we sang “Overcome” and 7 eagles came out from the clouds and circled over the prayer group! It was amazing!

Praying for them and speaking out for them has become a part of me. I have had the opportunity to share my testimony of broken to beauty and include how the Abedini family has been a part of my healing and finding the message that God has for me to share with others. I always avoided speaking to groups but now, I’m going wherever He leads and sharing the message of how forgiveness and repentance along with  gratitude will lead us to healing. How God can fill the broken places with gold and cause those places of mending to be magnificent!

I will pray and speak out for the Abedini’s until he’s safely home.  And after that, for all the brokenness to be made beautiful, healed!

___________________________________

Thank you, Teresa for sharing your testimony as it has also inspired us. It is so encouraging to see others joining in prayer and speaking out for our suffering family in Christ. The Abedini’s and the persecuted, globally need our support so desperately.

I too have had the pleasure of meeting Naghmeh and now call her my sister and friend. She demonstrates a grace that surely comes from divine assistance. Truly an inspiring woman and no doubt one being used by God. Saeed has been a great witness of what it means to follow Christ. His faithfulness in persecution is inspiring Christians, globally and causing them to look inward at their own faith. Many have drawn closer to God.

I am in contact with Christians facing extreme persecution in some of the hardest hit nations. I am continually inspired by their great faith in horrific trials. They may be seen as the weakest members of the Body, but in my eyes—they are the strongest. There is a mysterious thing that happens in times of persecution, the Church grows. We can all be encouraged by them.

As you have mentioned, it is amazing to watch God move when we step out onto the water where we are called. Often, we believe a task impossible with no chance for accomplishment. We begin to doubt and wonder if God is truly calling us. “Why me? I CAN’T do this!”  But when God leads—mountains move! And there is no denying where our help comes from. May all the glory go to HIM. Keep moving forward sister. He goes before you and clears the path. And you will be continually awed by the power of our Great God!

We will keep you in our prayers.

Lois Kanalos, VOP Founder/Advocate

Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.

Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize.  Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.

Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE 

 inspired by faith

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A Reminder: No One Is Righteous, Not Even One

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Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Isaiah 66:2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.

Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Hosea 10:12 Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love,and break up your unplowed ground; FOR IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Petition calls on UK Prime Minister to do more for Iraqi Christians facing genocide

Displaced Iraqi Christians

Displaced Iraqi Christians

Nicola Harris has started a petition calling on David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to do all he can to help displaced Iraqi Christians suffering persecution at the hands of the notorious Islamic group ISIS. This brutal group has been carrying out cold blooded attacks against Christians, other minorities and even their children. They have faced rape, being sold as slaves, torture and horrific forms of execution, including beheadings.

In the past, ISIS (ISIL) now calling themselves IS were known by another name: al Qaeda in Iraq. In Syria, the relationship became strained as ISIS defied orders of al Qaeda movement leaders. With ISIS continued defianace, the well known terrorist group, al Qaeda disavowed any ties with it’s radical franchise, ISIS.

Today, ISIS and al-Qaeda compete for influence over Islamist extremist groups around the world. Some experts believe ISIS may overtake al-Qaeda as the most influential group in this area—globally.

Nicola has asked VOP to sign the petition and we are asking you to join us. Pray for them, be their VOICE and sign the petition!

Thousands of Christians have had to flee Iraq, they have been given an ultimatum by the extremist group ISIS to convert to Islam: pay a tax or face death by the sword. I would like the displaced Christians to be given refuge here in the UK.

Christian properties and belongings have been sprayed with an Arabic letter ‘N’ for Nazarine and every thing they own has been confiscated simply because of their faith.

Christians have lived side by side with Muslims in Iraq peacefully for thousands of years but now most have sought refuge in Kurdistan.

ISIS are threatening to invade parts of Europe within the next five years and make the people who live there muslims by force.

In Britain, we live respectfully side by side with people of all faiths and of no faith. We should all have the choice to follow our hearts on matters of faith and not be forced to change our minds by knife point. 

I am a Christian… I am Nazarine…  I am ‘N’

“David Cameron: We call on the Prime Minister to accept applications that come in from Christians being displaced by ISIS in Iraq to be dealt with in a favourable manner.”

 

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HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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One Small Voice Cries Out For The Persecuted Church

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