An expression of grief and anguish and an appeal for the wider body of Christ to share in the pain of the family, especially the wife/mother and the parents/grandparents. See report here
One of our contacts in South Africa and dear brother in Christ has notified VOP that a beloved co-worker, also a South African, Werner Groenewald has been killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. He had been running an education charity. His two teenage children were also killed. His wife escaped death, as she was not home at the time of the attack.
Reports claim a Taliban spokesman said in a statement that it was targeting “a secret Christian missionary and foreign invaders’ intelligence center.”
The small California-based NGO that he had been working with shared this statement on their website:
“It is with great sadness that we report the death and injuries of several of our staff yesterday during an attack on the offices of Partnership in Academics and Development in Kabul, Afghanistan. The attack which occurred on November 29, 2014 by multiple gunmen included one who detonated a personal explosive device killing three and injuring other staff members.
We are caring for all staff and their families as they grieve the loss of their friends and co-workers and nurse the wounded. We honor their commitment to the people of Afghanistan. We grieve for their loss and hold them close to our heart. Our thoughts are with the survivors and their families as they grieve the loss of life. Their selfless sacrifice for the people of Afghanistan is an inspiration to all.
In the midst of this unprovoked attack, Partnership in Academics and Development remains committed to providing educational resources for Afghan citizens as they become part of the international community.”
An expression of grief and anguish and an appeal for the wider body of Christ to share in the pain of this family.
Please pray the Lord will comfort his wife, Hannelie Groenewald who has also lost her children. And for all those who love them.
Thank you for always committing to pray for those enduring great suffering. To them, your prayers are priceless!
Meg, United Kingdom
Dear Pastor Abidini;
The trial of your faith greatly encourages us in ways you can never imagine. Great is your faithfulness – great will be your reward.
There will be many souls gathered into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ because of your witness. He never fails to reward faithfulness.
I pray that you rest in Him, knowing you are so very pleasing to Him and that His face is smiling on you and your loved ones. He takes delight in you! Not for the briefest moment can He forget one of you.
Many thousands of Christians all over the world know you, pray for you and believe your work is outstanding. You are greatly admired and loved. Because you are precious in His sight you are very precious to us too. Be strong! Be encouraged! Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
Abundant blessings. Meg
Amen and Amen. Thank you sister for sharing such encouraging words for the Abedini’s. May God bless you!
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
Rome (Agenzia Fides) – To propose a motion on religious freedom in Pakistan to Italian politicians, to be approved in Parliament; to invite the international community and the Italian government – especially during the six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union – to ask Pakistan to defend and protect religious minorities: are the goals of the Association of Pakistani Christians in Italy who on December 2 at 11,30 am will hold a conference in Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament. The conference takes its cue from the severe episode regarding Shama and Shahzad Masih, a Christian married couple burned alive in a brick-kiln on November 4, and intends to discuss the anti-blasphemy law but also of the slavery of Christians in the brick-kilns, a widespread phenomenon in Pakistan. The conference involves several Italian MPs and prof. Shahid Mobeen, founder of the Association of Pakistani Christians in Italy.
“The tragic murder of the couple is yet another case of extrajudicial killings linked to accusations of blasphemy”, says the note sent to Fides, “and is used in particular to target religious minorities”. “The episdode – concludes the text – also highlights the tragic fate of brick kiln workers in Pakistan. Entire families are enslaved to repay debts to factory owners and forced to work in inhuman conditions. It is estimated that between three and eight million Pakistanis are victims of this present-day form of slavery”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 29/11/2014)
Living daily at risk of unspeakable torture, becoming enslaved, or killed at the hands of brutality.
(VOP) Imagine, for a minute that you live in a land where slavery is rampant. Imagine for a minute that a walk in the park, or simply going to the store could find you in the hands of barbarous rebels who wanted nothing more than to rape, torture or kill you. Imagine for a minute while riding a bus to visit family, to get to work or go home at the end of the day suddenly overtaken by evil men demanding that you recite a prayer to their deity which is foreign to you. Imagine how you would feel knowing you couldn’t and the result would most likely end in your death.
This is reality for many in Africa from Somalia to Nigeria, even as far north as Libya. A recent slaughter took place in Kenya as a band of Muslim rebels attacked a bus load of people, and when the men couldn’t recite the Muslim ‘shahada’ they forced them to lay on the ground and shot them. One man who survived said they must have thought that another already shot him. He laid very still until they left.
There are reports that 33,000 Nigerians are still in the caves and starving. They were forced to flee the Boko Haram to escape death. The same report says that Boko Haram has stolen tear gas canisters that they are now throwing into the caves. (More) Why is this barely reported by the West? Why is it not repeatedly denounced by the UN? Nigeria has been embroiled in a political struggle amid reports of human rights abuses by the military, which prominent leaders deny. Yet, no one is helping the many in the most dire situations, nor interested in the truth.
FACT: The people are suffering, many to the extreme. Based on the magnitude of need, they have received little aid relief, safety, nor much sympathy. It appears Western leaders along with the UN are not interested in the ethnic cleansing and what is called by some, a genocide taking place. History repeating itself?
One of our Nigerian contacts witnesses these horrific scenes and great suffering on a daily basis. He described to us a recent trip to deliver relief. While traveling, he felt the sudden urge to leave the car, he said God was guiding him to get out the car and run into the bush. He demanded the driver to stop the car and urged him to leave too, but the driver refused and continued down the road. He didn’t get very far. The car was attacked, robbed and the driver beheaded. These are occurrences faced by those brave enough to offer love, sympathy and aid to those suffering immensely.
It has become common place for people of Western nations to accept the fact that their governments are supplying aid to rebel groups in Syria and other places, including weapons. It has been presented to them as necessary to help rebel groups who are fighting evil, so it’s honorable to arm them. But what is the truth?
It’s reported these weapons are being shared and trafficked in a ways unimaginable to most. Many in these groups, no matter what they portray to the West, are uniting with one another for one goal, to set up one government, one law, (Sharia) that will as they believe, rule the world. Rebels trained to kill as many ‘non-believers’ as possible. To rape women, force conversion, marriage, and torture those they kidnap.
In another recent attack at least 40 were killed by two female suicide bombers in Maiduguri. One entered a roadside trading area and detonated herself. While people were trying to get to the wounded, the second woman blew herself up causing more damage and death, preventing help from getting to the victims. (More) A calling card of Boko Haram. Again it begs the question, could these females be captives that were kidnapped?
Cameroon, that borders Nigeria is closing 130 of it’s secondary schools as they have become targets of Boko Haram (Western education is sinful). It is understandable why they would want to do this for the protection of children. However, many feel this will only embolden the terror group as, ‘mission accomplished’. Again, why does the West remain silent? These terror groups have catapulted the Middle East, Africa and Asia from a modern-day world that has prided itself on movements toward equivalence and peace, into the dark ages wiping out thousands of years of history, all vestiges of civility and growth toward peace and equality for all.
World leaders have instituted failed foreign policies that have set 1/4 of the world on fire, with cataclysmic results. They have fueled and aided a war of attrition.
“Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and material. The war will usually be won by the side with greater such resources. The word attrition comes from the Latin root atterere to rub against, similar to the “grinding down” of the opponent’s forces in attrition warfare.”
Is the West ‘complicit’ in these killings, tortures and genocide of minorities? While this snake continues to grow governments continue to slice up the spoils. And the people, innocent victims are starving, or suffering immense & indescribable torture. Do they view them as simple casualties of war? While thousands are forced to flee from this evil, fear and hatred grows in strength.
Amid the cries from the West to stop all travel to Africa due to Ebola, many now question if they should mission to this Continent. Who is going to help these people? Who will provide comfort, food, clothing, spiritual support and encouragement for these children and their families? Many are hiding and unable to even find a crumb of food or water. While African leaders have met with the West, no sustainable solutions are forthcoming. No condemnation, only defensive statements when challenged such as, “We have given military support.”
You can be their voice, you can be their spiritual family. Your prayers and voices do matter. Over and over we hear the same thing, “no one cares.” No one is helping, are we forgotten? Sadly, for most of the world this is true. Too few care, “Africa’s always in crisis, what’s new?”
These are our brethren! Innocent people who are being ripped apart by this erosion of civilization in modern times. Spreading an evil ideology that’s beginning to make the dark ages look pale in comparison. Today, atrocities are being carried out with blindness in part for a civilized world. Why not start, or help to start a conversation in your church, your parish, your neighborhood and help with a mission there. Ask your community leaders, your Representatives, your Senators for their help. You would be surprised at the lack of interest for missions boards in this region. Didn’t Christ tell us not to fear? So why are not more of these agencies helping. We have heard that they do not wish to plan their activities in these areas facing untold evil. Why not ask your pastor about your mission board and how they can do more? Watch, a minister who is speaking out and aiding.
Again, send your prayers to the throne of God, but start a conversation this Thanksgiving. Lets start a revival with the Holy Spirit guiding us with Spiritual fire instead of manmade flames.
We, at VOP have answered God’s call “Whom shall we send.” Won’t you help? Help us to go, or bring a voice from the front lines to tell us first hand, their heart wrenching testimony? Won’t you wrap your arms around our family who needs us so desparately? Will you answer God’s call, can you hear His voice? We can’t do it without you.
As we are thanking God for our blessings this season, let’s remember and act for those less fortunate and suffering. Let’s do as Jesus said: “Truly I tell you what you did for the least of these, you did for me.”
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support.
VOP Advocate Team
“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
Church on the Hill and The Christian Defense Coalition are once again asking us to remember that while we celebrate the blessings of God and family this Thanksgiving, millions of our brothers and sisters around the world are being persecuted, brutalized and separated from their families because of their Christian faith.
Pastor Saeed will be spending Thanksgiving in a brutal and violent prison cell apart from his precious wife and two beautiful children! His crime? His love of Jesus and trying to build orphanages in his native country of Iran.
It is critical that we remember the persecuted church and stand in solidarity with them. Therefore, will you “Leave a Thanksgiving Place Setting for Pastor Saeed.”
The empty place setting at your Thanksgiving dinner will serve as a “prophetic” reminder to pray for Saeed all those being persecuted for their faith around the world.
A place setting for Pastor Saeed will be set up in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Thanksgiving morning.
They’re also asking if you could share a picture of the place setting at your Thanksgiving dinner table on this Facebook page, so we could created an album and give it Pastor Saeed when he is released.
As we sit down to dinner let us remember to include our persecuted Church family in our prayers. And let us give thanks that we live in a nation with protected religious freedom.
Happy Thanksgiving! God bless you.