(Voice of the Persecuted) As we walk through the pages of 2015, trying to make sense of all the persecution suffering, death, and destruction—our thoughts turned towards the joy, and faith witnessed throughout the year. There were many days consumed with prayer, tears, and at times feelings of helplessness. Helplessness as we looked at the larger picture and magnitude of suffering, we feared for the situation. Fear that we couldn’t help so many. But at these times, we go before the Throne of God.
Recalling 2015, one VOP Advocate shared,
“Many times I’ve asked to be relieved of my position as a voice, and advocate. Why, because I couldn’t witness the suffering without means to help every single victim. Many times I was told, “No, My Grace will see you through”. Prayers were answered, others joined us in the mission of helping the persecuted. Tears were turned into joy and in some instances shame, as I learned that those suffering had the faith of Job. Faith that I lacked. I felt ashamed of myself, and my Faith was increased. I learned so much from those I was trying to help, so much about love, about faith, and God. I learned they were praying for me and my heart broke.”
A dear persecuted Brother doesn’t celebrate his birth on earth. He celebrates his birthday as the day He was born again! This brought so much joy to my heart. Another dear Brother had prayers answered and found a mate who shares his Faith and love for God in the middle of war and persecution. They are now excitedly expecting a child. Such joy! In the refugee camp where Voice of the Persecuted brings relief, we’re invited to share in the excitement when a baby is born. They ask us to PRAISE GOD and REJOICE with them for the gift of new life. The entire camp celebrates this wonderful miracle. In the middle of slaughter and suffering comes rejoicing and new life!
Project 13:3 Nigeria sees refugees (IDP’s) in the camp sick with Cholera, an outbreak caused by an overused water source. Soon we hope the temporary well project will be completed and bring fresh drinking water. The need for food and medicine is always extremely great. Some must sleep on the ground, not even a mat to lay on. Though we have purchased mats and mattresses, we hope to get everyone off the ground, this year! It has been confirmed by our Nigerian sources that Boko Haram has not been subdued and the crisis in Nigeria is far from over. The risk is too great for IDP’s to return to villages still vulnerable to the radical militants. From one day to the next, these brothers and sisters don’t know if or when another attack will happen. Yet, there is joy in their hearts and their faith increases. They still want to encourage us in the West.
As we watch the starving and homeless in war torn regions, we see their enduring faith, they too encourage us. We see the celebrations of just being able to worship, be it in a jungle, a burned out building, or even a makeshift tent—they are always joyous and grateful. They have hope beyond measure. Hope in God’s Word and what He has promised. A Blessed Hope in God who loves and will provide our needs.
Another dear Brother, persecuted himself, but is trying to help those in prison, those without food or shelter, those needing Spiritual encouragement. His unrelenting work and enduring faith in God brings great Joy to our hearts. Faith and Hope is growing in the face of persecution. Persecution is growing the Body of Christ. While the sleeping western church relishes in monetary gains instead of harvesting and aiding the suffering Body, God is growing the church in persecution, in the midst of extreme suffering and trials.
Our Project 13:3 Thailand sees precious souls fleeing persecution in Pakistan, then hiding from authorities in Thailand. They live in constant fear of being arrested. The Thai government constantly raids their slum-like apartments and arrest all who are found, including children. One poor woman describes covering her babies mouth so the child’s cries wouldn’t alert the police to their hiding place. She prayed the baby wouldn’t choke or suffocate. Praise God that the baby remained quiet and for now, they are safe.
Overstay fines keep them out of the criminal element at the Central jail, but still places them in the horrific Immigration Detention Center (IDC). The Center’s disease ridden, putrid, overcrowded cells with a single toilet, houses as many as 70 people together. Their fed cucumber and rice in hot water, nothing else. We send food into the IDC to supplement their diet to bring them hope and comfort. Overstay fines and exorbitant fees to bail them out of the IDC, takes food, medicine and shelter away from the large numbers hiding outside. Food away from those who remain inside. Often we must choose from the many cases and decide who will receive assistance. Those in jail, those in the IDC, those in hiding, those without milk or food for their babies. It can be a heartbreaking process. But when we are torn in half trying to decide who we can help this month, we take it to the Throne of God and ask Lord to guide us. He always answers!
We encourage everyone to be a voice, join a prayer team, pray in your quiet place, share news, and speak out. Be a Voice! Our prayer this year is Hope for all. Hope that governments will soften their hearts. Hope that aid will increase, so we will help many more. Hope that the killing will end. Hope that Peace will prevail. Our Hope is in the Lord, and we will not stop or stand down until the last brother and sister is safe and cared for! Our family in the Body of Christ.
Won’t you join us? In 2016 we are believing to see the Lord’s hand in miraculous ways. We believe the Body of Christ will answer the call to move. We believe 2016 will be a Year of HOPE..HOPE in action. The Lord’s hand and the Glory of God revealed!
Together with your generous help, 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.
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:
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183