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88 Eritrean Christians Abducted by ISIS

Eritrea-Libya

Under dangerous conditions, Eritreans are fleeing their country to escape extreme human rights and religious freedom violations.  

The ISIS terror group kidnapped 88 Eritrean Christians from a people-smugglers’ caravan in Libya last week, a U.S. defense official confirmed Monday.

The defense official confirmed initial reports of the mass kidnapping to Fox News after seeing a recent intelligence report. The independent Libya Herald newspaper reported that the convoy was ambushed by militants south of Tripoli before dawn this past Wednesday morning.

Meron Estafanos, the co-founder of the Stockholm-based International Commission on Eritrean Refugees, told the paper that the group of migrants included “about 12 Eritrean Muslims and some Egyptians. They put them in another truck and they put 12 Eritrean women Christians in a smaller pick-up”.

Estafanos said that the militants had initially stopped the truck and demanded that the Muslims on board make themselves known. Everyone who responded was asked about the Koran and their religious observance in an attempt to catch Christians pretending to be Muslims. Read More

Christians Suspect Islamic State Influencing Muslims in Palestinian Territories, Israel

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(Morning Star News) – After months of Islamic State (IS) committing horrific violence in the Middle East and North Africa, Palestinian Christians say a large number of Muslims in the Palestinian Territories and Israel have become “radicalized” and are much more aggressive toward them.

Anti-Christian hostility boiling under the surface for years has come into plain view in the past few months in the form of physical attacks, incendiary religious speeches and inflammatory billboards, they said.

Palestinian Christian leaders said not all Muslims in the Territories and Israel have become extremists, and elders within the Muslim community are trying to dampen the effects of extremist ideology, but enough Palestinians have become radicalized that many Christians feel unsafe or, at minimum, openly unwanted. Whereas tensions between Christians and Muslims previously were seen as issues between individuals, there is now a definite “us vs. them” mentality from Islamic extremists, Christian leaders said.

“Since I was a child this has been happening in the Christian Quarter and in the Muslim Quarter [in Jerusalem’s historic Old City area], but not in this way,” said Rami Fellemon, a Palestinian Christian and director of Jerusalem Evangelistic Outreach, headquartered in East Jerusalem. “Many people are sitting here, and in their own mind they are thinking, ‘What the heck are we doing here in this country? Let’s leave the country.’ Others have resentment toward Muslims now. They don’t understand why they are doing this in such a way.”

Ramped-up hostilities from radicalized Muslims come on top of attacks on Palestinian- and Christian-owned properties by ultra-Orthodox Jewish zealots, in addition to the day-to-day difficulties Israeli officials impose on Palestinians in the Territories.

“They feel like even more of a minority now and feel hated by both sides [Jews and Muslims],” Fellemon told Morning Star News. “It’s a terrible feeling. Feeling afraid. Feeling cornered. Feeling, ‘Maybe this is not my place. Maybe I just need to get out of here. I don’t want to deal with them. I don’t trust them anymore.’”

Opinions differ as to when attitudes started to change in the Territories, but most agree it happened some time in 2014, either during a retaliatory military campaign by Israel against Hamas for the June 12 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, or when the IS territorial expansion in the Middle East started in earnest.

In February, Christians in Israel’s heavily Muslim town of Nazareth were alarmed to find a billboard posted downtown ordering them not to spread their faith or even talk about Jesus in a way that contradicts the Islamic version of His life.

Quoting from Surah 4:171 in the Koran, the sign reads in Arabic, “O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, ‘Three’; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son.”

The billboard was placed just outside the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, which, according to tradition, was the site where the angel Gabriel told Mary that she had been chosen by God to give birth to Jesus, the promised Messiah. According to local media reports, area Christians are too afraid to ask to have the sign removed. None of the Christians interviewed by Morning Star News were willing to talk about the sign.

That month in East Jerusalem, in the Old City area, on Feb. 26 someone started a fire at a seminary building used by the Greek Orthodox Church near the Jaffa Gate. No one was injured, and although no one was ever arrested, ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups were widely thought to be responsible.

Islamist anti-Christian sentiment has not been limited to billboards. On May 1, Sheikh Issam Ameera, an imam at the Al-Aqsa mosque (built on the Temple Mount in the Old City area), posted online a video of a sermon entitled “The Islamic State is the keeper of religion and state” in which he essentially told fellow Muslims that they must be in a constant state of war and conquest against the “polytheist enemy”, i.e., Christians, as well as against Jews.

“Today, our honorable Islamic scholars talk about defensive jihad, ‘Fight for the sake of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress, for Allah does not like transgressors,’” Ameera says in the video. “In other words, you should always be polite, never go against anyone, and never point your weapon at anyone, unless someone attacks you. In all other cases, everything must be peaceful? No! When you face a polytheist enemy, you should give him three options – they must convert to Islam, or pay the jizya [tax on non-Muslims], or else you should seek the help of Allah and fight them. You should fight them even if they do not fight you.”

Ameera repeats that “polytheists” are enemies that must be fought with Allah’s help.

“Let the scholars hear this: You should seek the help of Allah and fight them – only when they fight you? No! When they refuse to convert to Islam, and refuse to pay the jizya,” he preaches. “In such a case, it is meaningless to let them keep enjoying their life in this world, eating from the sustenance bestowed by Allah, yet disbelieving in Him. No! Against their will, we shall subjugate them to the rule of Allah.”

Three days later, a disagreement between a Christian and a Muslim in the Old City escalated into a mob attack against Christians. According to several witnesses, 60 to 80 Muslims in their 20s rampaged through the Christian Quarter immediately after the argument, throwing stones at houses and businesses. The young men also attacked an area Ethiopian Orthodox Monastery, where they spray-painted anti-Christian messages on the building and destroyed a cross.

“When they came, it was a wave of anger that was … you cannot describe it, you cannot understand it,” Fellemon said. “Because when one kid is fighting with another kid, and 60 to 80 people come and start smashing doors and throwing stones on windows and doors of Christian families and smashing the cross of the convent, this is totally not about a kid hurting a kid. This is more about Islam and Christianity. It’s more about persecution.”

The attack on the Ethiopian monastery was considered particularly sinister because it took place two weeks after Islamic State released a video in which they beheaded or shot 28 Ethiopians for being Christians and threatened other attacks against Ethiopian Christians. The slogans spray-painted in the Christian Quarter caused concern among Palestinian Christians because they were the same statements made in the video, where IS called Christians “worshipers of the wooden cross.”

There is some debate as to what is causing the change in attitudes of Palestinian Muslims toward Palestinian Christians, particularly those of Muslim youth in the Territories. Christians are asking how far IS ideology has penetrated Palestinian society. Has IS arrived in the Territories, or are the anti-Christian attitudes there the natural outcome of other radical Islamic groups in the region since 1980s? There is evidence for both theories.

The IS graffiti, scrawled word for word in the Christian quarter from the video of the slain Ethiopians, is thought to show that some Muslims are embracing IS ideology or, at minimum, are being influenced by it. Hizb al-Tahrir, an Islamist party in Palestine, has placed a recruiting billboard between Jerusalem and Ramallah inviting Muslims into IS and its caliphate. Ameera of the Al-Aqsa mosque is a leading member of the same party.

On May 11 the Islamic hostility appeared to be mitigated when a traditional elders council between Muslim and Christian leaders took place in Jerusalem. According to every Christian interviewed, the Muslim leaders apologized earnestly for the actions of those who attacked the Christian quarter. One Christian leader said they appeared to be almost shamed by the actions of the mob, which may show that the majority of Muslims in the Territories are tolerant towards the Christian minority.

The group issued an “honor pact” in which further attacks were foresworn. But on May 24, Muslims attacked another group of Christians near the Damascus gate. Details about the attack are scarce, other than that one man was slightly injured and that Israeli police broke it up.

Nashat Filmon, general director of the Palestinian branch of The Bible Society, said recent hostilities in Jerusalem could be the related to IS.

“The dark ideology of ISIS is spreading all over the region like cancer,” he said. “This is also including the Holy Land. Christians, overall, live here in peace and harmony with Muslims in Jerusalem and the West Bank, but incidents do happen from time to time, and it’s true that these incidents have recently increased, especially in the Old City of Jerusalem.”

He added that some incidents could have been inspired and encouraged by Muslim extremists “and ignorant individuals or groups or others who are interested in making a problem.”

Fellemon said that although he thinks IS may have some influence in the Territories, the terrorist group is a part of the larger problem of militant Islam in the Territories and not the other way around.

“Are they [those who attacked the Christian quarter] ruled by ISIS? I don’t think so,” he said. “Are they inspired by ISIS? It is hard for me to answer yes or no because ISIS is inspired by radical Islam. So maybe I would answer and say, ‘Yes, they are inspired by radical Islam.’”

Filmon said the hostilities call for prayer in the Territories.

  • “Pray for the relationships between Muslims and Christians to be good despite all of the problems,” he said.
  • Pray that the Christians would act as they are called to be, ‘salt and light’ and a living testimony.
  • Pray against this dark, satanic, and attacking spirit of fundamentalism,
  • and for the Christians to respond in a way that reflects Christ.”

Church warns against the compounding of the trauma of women impregnated by Boko Haram

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The Catholic Church has warned against the compounding of the trauma of some of the recently rescued women from the Boko Haram enclave through the abortion of their pregnancies as a  result of rape and forced mating of the victims by some members of the terrorist group.

The position of the Church was made known at a press conference addressed in Abuja recently, by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Health Committee Chairman, Most Rev. Anselm Umoren, the Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja Archdiocese.

The Church noted that the current flurry of debates over the most appropriate line of action to manage and rehabilitate some of the rescued women who were pregnant and condemned in strong terms “some misguided actions being canvassed by a cross section of persons and groups to the effect that mass abortion should be performed for the women!”

Reiterating the position of the Church on the issue of abortion, Bishop Umoren stated that the Church cannot be persuaded by the shallow arguments being promoted by some individuals or groups in this perspective as this will amount to repaying violence with even more vicious violence.

His words: “Specifically, it is not tenable the suggestion that killing the babies conceived through rape by the terrorists is the most humane action to take in this instance. Since the babies are ignorant and innocent of the crimes (aggression, sexual assault, dehumanization) against their mothers, it is unethical to punish them for the sins and offences of their erring fathers.” The bishop continued: “How can we accept to visit with capital punishment (death sentence by abortion) on young Nigerians simply because their fathers were misguided religious and ideological bigots?”

Pointing out that the life of each baby is distinct, different and unique from that of the parents and requires the maternal love of their mothers, Bishop Umoren declared: “The trauma of sexual assault and rape is enormous, and the Catholic Church in Nigeria in cooperation with all people of goodwill is ever prepared to provide every measure of support to accelerate the healing, rehabilitation and resettlement of the victims so that they can swiftly be reintegrated into the society.”

While commending the supportive care of government agencies and other organizations like Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), for these rescued women and girls, Bishop Umoren called for a more coordinated and robust effort in this respect. He also advocated the establishment of crisis pregnancy management centers to help Nigerians who may stand in need of similar help anywhere in the country; while rescued children could be the unborn babies presented to humane families for adoption.

Bishop Umoren, on behalf of the Catholic Bishops commiserated with the affected women and urged them “to keep faith in God Almighty who has given them the uncommon strength to face the trials and travails. He added: “… we pray for them and urge them to take solace and draw encouragement from the comfort that God has a purpose in their motherhood role for the innocent babies they now carry in their wombs.”

Severely Persecuted – A Family’s Incredible Story of Survival and Faith

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Living in an area that became extremely dangerous for Christians, a persecuted family describes their harrowing journey to escape one of the most violent terror groups in the world. With no time to gather any belongings, they could bring only one thing with them, their FAITH.

(Voice of the Persecuted) Northern Nigeria is an area where we’ve been called and blessed to serve persecuted Christians. The Islamic group, Boko Haram has committed brutal atrocities against the Christians living in the north. Many church leaders believe they are attempting to eradicate Christianity from the region. Based on Boko Haram’s murderous campaign, for the past 6 years, it’s hard to disagree with them. The Christians have begged for help, but there is much silence and a lack of interest from the international community to alleviate their suffering. Due to the severity of the crisis, we could not desert them. In prayer, we intercede on their behalf and will be their VOICE.

Through intercession, we heard the cries of one brought low. One who had turned to God and cried out for a miracle. Then we heard the call from God, “MOVE!” To be the hands and feet of Christ and care for the His saints in Nigeria. With much prayer and discussion, VOP voted to begin the mission Project 13:3 Nigeria to address the issue by supplying aid and hope to Christians passed over and falling through the cracks. In particular widows and orphans. We pray for the ability to assist them to the point where they are safe and able to sustain themselves. ‘Making a difference, one family at a time.’ Operating in the Spirit, individually and together, we trusted God and prayed daily for Him to reveal this family to us. In less than a week, those prayers were answered.
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Unaware of the project, one of our contacts, a Nigerian pastor asked us to share in joy and thanksgiving for the gift of new life. Lydia, a Christian refugee, had given birth in a camp for the internally displaced (IDP’s). She had come from a community that had been under the threat of Boko Haram since 2009. But when the terrorists’ activities intensified, they sacked the whole community forcing the residents to flee to the hills, caves and other places for safety.
Note: An internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country’s borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although, they do not fall within the legal definitions of a refugee.
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Separated from her husband, who was taken by the militants during an earlier attack, the pregnant mother of 6 children experienced extreme trials. It’s nothing short of a miracle that they survived. For many months, She received no communication or word of her husband’s condition. Our contact said it was heartbreaking that no one knew his location, or whether he was alive or dead. They prayed continuously for the family to be reunited. Immediately, the VOP team knew that this was the family. God was sending us to answer Lydia’s cries!

Children forced into refugee camp through persecution. Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

Their Story

A Mother’s Nightmare

As their village came under attack, Lydia fled with the children to the mountains and stayed in a cave for some months. They drank rain and stagnant waters. “We ate with much difficulty.” Having a measure of flour, she baked with some edible grasses to sustain themselves. Later, they left the cave and found their way to a community where soldiers were present. But Boko Haram members started threatening the community, so she and the children hiked for two days to find safety in Cameroon. She told Voice of the Persecuted (VOP), “It was indeed a true test of my faith, because many people were staying back and embraced Islam.”

They finally reached the U.N. refugee camp and stayed for two months. For the well-being of her children, she chose to leave the hard conditions of the U.N. camp. They headed back towards Nigeria and trekked for nearly a week on mountainous roads. She described how their feet were swollen and “the children were at the point of death.” She said that they had God’s protection, if not, they wouldn’t have survived. The family arrived and stayed at another camp, but soon realized they were the only Christians. Uncomfortable with the threat of conversion, she moved the children from place to place until they found safety in a Christian IDP camp. She told VOP that they were welcomed by the church leaders who treat them as their own children. They finally felt safe. Soon after arriving, this brave mother prepared to give birth to her seventh child.

Can you place yourself in her position and imagine the stress, or the thoughts that ran through her mind? Would she ever see her husband again?Would he ever meet his new baby?  How will she care for her family in his absence? When will the violent persecution stop and would they ever be safe again? She prayed to the One she knew was listening. He had and would continue to answer her prayers.

Her child was born at the primitive camp with the love of Christians around them. On that special day, the entire camp rejoiced and gave thanks to God!

God’s timing

Days before the family was to receive the aid relief from Voice of the Persecuted, we were notified that a connection had been made with her husband. The father of the seven children had survived! Arrangements were made to soon reunite the family at the camp. Many prayers were answered! We rejoiced and glorified God with this family and our Nigerian brethren.

Husband witnesses months of complete and unabashed evil

Her husband, along with others had been abducted by Boko Haram militants. “They tied our hands and asked me if I was a Muslim”. When they learned he was not, he was brutally beaten as they called him an unbeliever.  He witnessed them slaughter one of the men, as they shouted “Allau akbar’—meaning god is great.  He described that many were killed in their presence and believed the militants intended to slaughter them all. But soldiers arrived to engage the terrorists in a renewed offensive. The militants ran off and the Christians made their escape into the hills. He relayed how they ran from one point to another, as the Boko Haram terrorists closed in on them. He lamented, “Before my very eyes, people were killed, churches were burnt and houses destroyed.”

Proof the hand of God is on them

“I was trapped for nearly six months on the hills. I fled and hid from the terrorists as God protected and guided me.” The scene was gory and my faith was shattered. But God helped me through it all to find my way into Cameroon in search of my wife and children.” He went from camp to camp, but finally told they had left. He eventually made his way back to Nigeria and at long last, given the location of his wife and children.

“The journey was terrible; I saw a lot of dead and wounded people on the way. Some people were killed by the terrorists and others died due to exhaustion.”

After going through such extreme psychological and physical stress, this family suffers emotional distress. But with God’s love and compassion from the Body of Christ, we are sure they will overcome. So many of the persecuted feel a loss of dignity when stripped of all they have and forced to beg for simple basics. But these are our heroes, inspiring us with true faith. From the frontlines of the ‘battle’, they choose Christ and are given divine strength to fight the good fight against evil. We are blessed to share in their testimony and honored to serve them.

They are praising God for laying it on your hearts to support this mission providing the gifts that have comforted them. In the joyous moments of reuniting with his family, the aid relief was presented to them at the camp. Food, utensils, clothing, shoes, bedding, baby needs, travel cases, soaps and hygiene products. We have also supplied ongoing medical care for the mother and her new baby. It appears the infant has a umbilical hernia, which we will stay updated on. If necessary, we will cover the costs of any surgical procedure the child may need.

Her husband was greatly moved by the timing and generosity of your gifts. As precious seeds that have been sown for God’s Kingdom, they brought encouragement, renewed hope and faith to this suffering family. In his words,

From nowhere and in our nothingness we have come to see the hand of God at work in our lives. We are gradually rebuilding our lives through the aid of our benefactors: Voice of the Persecuted. Thank you for putting smiles on our faces.” The couple decided is name their new son, Emmanuel which means “God with us“.

They have been through so much and are still face many challenges. For now, it’s unsafe to go back to their community. And when the time comes that they are able to return, all must be rebuilt. The suffering caused by persecution lingers for quite some time. Also, they are vulnerable to becoming victims of abuse and must be protected during this time of rehabilitation. We have given them a foothold, but they still need our assistance to get back on their feet. As the Body of Christ, we can help them to heal by providing for their Spiritual, emotional and physical needs. In the same way the first century Christians cared for one another in love. And they desperately need our prayers.

So many tell us that they don’t know how to help when there is so much suffering. This family along other families, including those widowed by persecution reside in this camp. Aid has been stretched so thin, many never see it. We are stepping up to help relieve the burden. Please partner with us to cover these families, they have all suffered immensely. Don’t be overwhelmed, it will crush any good that your heart intends to do! WE CAN DO THIS, TOGETHER! Please share this story. Encourage others to join in praying for and aiding these persecuted brothers and sisters. We greatly appreciate and need your help and support.

Saturday, we will be sending an encouraging letter to our brothers and sisters in the camp. All those who have donated this month and those donating to the Nigerian Project by Saturday, your names will be added to that letter. When donating, you’re also welcome to add a message which we will include in the letter. They would love to hear from you!

Lois Kanalos, Founder and the VOP Team

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

Voice of the Persecuted Project 133 Nigeria

Aiding suffering Christian suffering in persecuton

You may also send your gift to:

Voice of the Persecuted
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

Voice of the Persecuted

Names have been withheld for security purposes. Article may be reprinted and shared with credit to Voice of the Persecuted

give-love-with-open-hands

VIDEO: Opening Statement and Naghmeh Abedini’s Testimony in House Foreign Affairs Committee

Rep. Labrador Opening Statement in House Foreign Affairs Committee: June 2, 2015


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Naghmeh Abedini’s Testimony

NIGERIA: Boko Haram hits Maiduguri again – Suffering Christians in Great Need

Children forced into refugee camp through persecution. Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

Children forced into refugee camp through persecution. Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

(Voice of the Persecuted) In VOP’s latest communications with our contacts in Nigeria, we hear “life has not been easy”.  They are “under much tension and fears, as the terrorists are at it again.”  In recent weeks, Boko Haram has stepped up attacks on the suffering.

(Agenzia Fides) – Maiduguri, capital of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, is again at the center of the attacks of Boko Haram, the Islamist sect, that despite having suffered heavy losses on behalf of the army in Nigeria and those of neighboring countries (Chad, Cameroon and Niger), has proven to still be able to hit and to sow death and destruction. On June 2, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the cattle market of the city, killing at least 13 people and several were wounded. During the night, residents in Maiduguri were kept awake by the gunfire and explosions of the clashes between the army and a commando of Boko Haram that wanted to make an incursion into the city.

“Maiduguri – explain local sources to Agenzia Fides – is a highly symbolic target for Boko Haram, especially as the new President, Muhammadu Buhari, has announced plans to transfer the command center of operations against the Islamist sect, so far located in the federal capital, Abuja. The new attacks are also a ‘sort of welcome’ for the new President, who has made the fight against Boko Haram one of the priorities of his mandate”.

By attacking Maiduguri, Boko Haram intends to prove that they are still able to hit, minimizing their losses. According to some interpretations, even the change of the group’s name, “Islamic State of West Africa”, announced in a video released yesterday, would be part of a operation to emphasize the threat posed by the Islamist sect. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 03/06/2015)

Two suicide bombs have rocked the city of Yola. It is reported that the men staged a fight to draw in a large crowd before detonating themselves on Thursday evening. Authorities confirmed on Friday that two suicide bombers killed at least 31 people and injured 38 others in the crowded Jimeta Main Market. Boko Haram is suspected of carrying out the attacks.

9 Northern Nigeria states already have implemented Sharia law completely, 3 others partially use Sharia. But Boko Haram’s goal is to Islamize all of Nigeria’s 36 states and put it under strict Islamic law.

Boko Haram, with ties to jihadists such as ISIS, has changed it’s name to ‘Islamic State of West Africa’. In their most recent video, suspiciously missing their leader, they mock the coalition, including Obama in an attempt to prove they have not been weakened. But the group has lost ground in recent months as the Nigerian military and their coalition partners push them out of places once under their control. But many areas remain unsafe with a real threat of being re-attacked by the militants.

In light of all this, the persecuted are praising God for sustaining them and they covet our prayers. They’re encouraged by their family in Christ remembering them in their suffering. DO NOT let up! Press into the throne with many prayers and petitions. Connect with our Father, intercede on their behalf.

The amount of internally displaced (IDP’s) is staggering. So many are suffering with little means to restart their lives. They have faced extreme persecution and great loss, including the lives of loved ones. Many have no where to turn, but to God and the Body of Christ. They NEED our help!

VOP has been blessed to work for and help Nigerian Christians in one of the hardest hit parts of the north. Running water, electricity, even shelter is not available for many of the affected.

Voice of the Persecuted Project 133 Nigeria

Bringing Hope by aiding Christians suffering in persecution

Voice of the Persecuted’s, Project 13:3 mission offers aid such as nutrition, shelter, clothing, medicine, encouragement and Spiritual needs. We believe putting a bandaid on the wound is not enough. Following these families is an important part of this mission. And to assist in ways to help them rebuild their lives and future to the point of sustaining themselves.

Presently in one camp, we have 19 families including widows and orphans (equaling 100 people-58 of these are children) living in harsh conditions. Their needs are great and most are forced to sleep on cold concrete floors. Entire families sharing a tiny doorless cubicle with no glass in the windows. Clean water must be brought in for them, as the facility does not have the luxury of running water. They are unable to pay for the basics such as food, clothing, medical care and must rely on us, the Body of Christ.

Last week, I suffered an accident where the tip of my finger was crushed. Surprisingly, I didn’t notice any immediate pain but within seconds, it became so intense that I had waves of nausea that nearly brought me to the floor. This continued on for hours throughout the day. And though there was no visible signs of blood, it was bleeding on the inside. The next morning, my entire finger was so swollen it had more than doubled in size. If it was not raised above my heart, I experienced great pain and found it nearly impossible to focus on anything else. And for the past week, I’ve taken great care to protect it from further injury. A little part of the body that normally goes unnoticed, yet the injury affected my body as a whole and basically rendered my hand useless. Thankfully, it’s finally beginning to heal and should soon be back to normal.

Through this ordeal, I could not help but be constantly reminded of how the persecuted who so often go unnoticed, are a part of the Body of Christ that is suffering to the extreme. That when we are injured, our whole body suffers. And this is what the Church is experiencing today. The Word of God kept resounding in my mind. See below

For those partnering with us, your donations have recently covered the needs of one Nigerian family with 7 children in this camp. They now have pillows and are able to sleep on a mattress. They are clothed and no longer must go barefooted. The mother and her new baby (born in the camp-see photo above) have been seen by a doctor and will receive ongoing medical care. They have food and utensils to help sustain them, along with hygiene products to protect them from disease.

Their faith was really shaken; they went through and have faced extreme challenges. They urgently fled their home during an attack taking nothing for the journey. All they’ve ever labored for has been looted and destroyed by the radical elements. The whole community where they lived has been reduced to a heap of ruins.

“But God is still God. It is only in persecution that our faith is tested and purified.”

In their challenges, they have come to believe that God is always close to the persecuted. In Christ, your gifts have literally encouraged and strengthened their faith. To God they give all praise!

From nowhere and in our nothingness, we have come to see the hand of God at work in our lives.  We are gradually rebuilding our lives through the aid of Voice of the Persecuted.”

As they continue to cry out to God for help, we have been given the opportunity to bring hope to all 19 families in the camp.   But caring for so many has brought a great financial burden. On their behalf, we are asking and pleading for your help. As the Body of Christ, let us be used as vessels, and continue on in this mission as his hands and feet.

Next Saturday, we will be sending an encouraging letter to our brothers and sisters in this camp. All those who have donated this month and those donating to the Nigerian Project in the next week, your names will be added to that letter. When donating, you are also welcome to add a message which we will include in the letter. They would love to hear from you!

UPDATE 93/2015: Since April, this camp has doubled in size with more coming everyday.

Lois Kanalos, Founder and the VOP Team

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

You may also send your gift to:

Voice of the Persecuted
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Galatians 6:10  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

give-love-with-open-hands

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