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Heirloom Love: Authentic Christianity for this Age of Persecution – Study of the 1st century Persecuted Church

dominic-heirloom-love

As society becomes increasingly divisive in a world full of hatred and violence, has the modern-day, Western Church lost it’s flavor? Is something missing?

In the new book, Heirloom Love: Authentic Christianity for this Age of Persecution, Dominic Sputo compels us to take a deeper look into the legendary first-century Christian love that changed the world. Heirloom Love challenges Western Christians to truly examine our own hearts and the status of today’s church compared to that of our early church brethren.

HEIRLOOM LOVE is — the legendary first-century Christian love that changed the world — the early church’s response to Jesus’ new command to love one another — the love that Jesus said would convince the world that He is the Son of God and we are His true disciples.

The “pillars” of the church—John, James, Peter and Paul— all taught the New Command to include giving our utmost to care for suffering and persecuted fellow believers. Yet fast forward two thousand years, and Western Christianity has virtually forgotten our persecuted brothers and sisters who are suffering around the world.

We’ve lost the truth and love that shines in the darkness, and so we’ve lost our way. By accurately interpreting familiar but commonly misunderstood Scriptures,

HEIRLOOM LOVE RESURRECTS THE TRUTH THAT WESTERN CHRISTIANITY HAS FORGOTTEN.

For example:

  • New Testament hospitality originally meant providing food and shelter to homeless Christians who were seeking refuge from persecution. Yet today it is commonly trivialized to mean having friends over for lunch after church.
  • Paul initiated Sunday collections to provide aid to suffering and persecuted Christians in a foreign land. Tragically, today less than one-half of 1 percent of our Sunday collections is used to help persecuted Christians.

More than the latest persecution news, Heirloom Love opens the eyes and stirs the hearts of Western Christians to reclaim the love that will change the world.

HEIRLOOM LOVE IS AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY

This book will challenge your assumptions about love and bring a fresh perspective to many familiar New Testament teachings on the love that shines light into darkness.

Do you want to make a difference? Heirloom Love is about restoring the love that will change the world today.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”  Hebrews 10:24

This Christmas, we in the West will openly observe and celebrate the birth of Christ and our faith without fear. But many brothers and sisters in the world lack the human rights that we in the West so often take for granted. They face constant threats of abuse and are persecuted simply because they are Christians. Knowing they could be killed for their faith, celebrations will be held in secret. No bells will be ringing as their songs of adoration and praise will only be heard in a whisper. In the midst of their persecutors, some will celebrate the birth of our Savior silently rejoicing within. Others will worship in tents, meager structures or outdoors in IDP/refugee camps thanking God that He has kept them alive. All are asking for our prayers and hoping the Body of Christ will not forget and desert them. What stirs in your heart at the knowledge of their circumstances? Sadly, still too many Christians in the West know nothing about them. They are unaware that Christian persecution has reached historic levels with approximately 100 million Christians around the world facing possible dire consequences for their faith.

At this special time of year, may we remember the persecuted and the sacrifices they make to follow Jesus. Pray that God will strengthen their faith and give them supernatural joy and peace. By the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, may our Lord bless them with endurance to overcome all things. Pray also for our hearts to be changed to have the agape love of 1st century Christians. Pray for the ability and means to aid our suffering brethren in need. May we too be a witness of faith, through the love we demonstrate, as we come to pray,  serve and care for the persecuted.

When we care for persecuted Christians, we are really caring for the Lord Jesus Christ. — Dominic Sputo

Voice of the Persecuted is joining with Dominic Sputo in getting this timely new book into every Christian home and church across America.

In appreciation of your support, Voice of the Persecuted will send a Hardcover copy of Heirloom Love with any donation of $50 or more. To receive your free copy, be sure to include your email and shipping address when donating.  Share your blessings and help shine the love of Christ on the persecuted, this Christmas. Your gifts are appreciated more than you could ever know.

For all our readers, we will be offering the hardcopy edition of Heirloom Love for only $9.99 (regularly 15.99). Please include $3.75 for shipping and handling. The author has agreed to donate all proceeds for Voice of the Persecuted’s relief mission project caring for the persecuted in North Nigeria. Secure your copy of this critical message for the Body of Christ, today!

If you are a church or study group leader please contact us to help you with the resources needed to use the message of Heirloom Love for your next bible study. Though the book has an excellent format for this purpose, an additional study workbook is going to print. You can reach us at info@voiceofthepersecuted.org Please include ‘Heirloom Love Study’ in the subject line of your e-mail. We look forward to hearing from you and honored to help!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

dominic-sputoDominic Sputo is a passionate voice for the poor and persecuted. He’s actively engaged in teaching biblical stewardship and stimulating his fellow American Christians to remember those in genuine need, especially the persecuted.

He has authored two books which are scheduled to be released. In Prodigal’s Progress: From Love of Money to Love of God … A Radical Confession, he shares his personal story in overcoming the love of money for the sake of helping the weak. And in Heirloom Love: Authentic Christianity for this Age of Persecution he presents a solid biblical case for helping the persecuted as a New Testament mandate for Western Christians.

Dominic is the founder of Mute No More, a nonprofit that educates, encourages and equips American Christians and churches to respond to Jesus’ new command (John 13:34-35) by praying, advocating and providing relief for persecuted Christians in foreign countries. He also serves on the National Christian Foundation–Tampa Bay board of directors and is a pastor at Lakeshore Bible Church in Tampa, FL.

Take part and come along on the mission! You go with us to the nations through your gifts.

Food, clean water, shelter, clothing, medical assistance and basic needs. Bibles, emergency supplies, hygiene, education/training and Spiritual/emotional encouragement. These are main concerns when meeting the urgent and long term needs of those rejected and agonizing for Christ.

orphan-306x4601While all are affected, children, widows and the elderly are at the most risk. They make up a large number of those we wish to serve. Without our support and your gifts, many of these persecuted brothers and sisters have nothing. Please keep them in your prayers.

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on them. They have been so encouraged and grateful for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

Donations always desperately needed

Held Captive For 2 Years By Boko Haram: Rebecca’s Story

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Reunited with her husband after 2 years of enslavement by the Boko Haram.

(Voice of the Persecuted) Baga is a town at the extreme north of Nigeria’s Borno State. The town has had more than its share of atrocities at the hands of the notorious Boko Haram. In January 2015, the fishing town became internationally known when it was targeted in the deadliest massacre in the history of the extremist Islamic group. The attack lasted 5 days (Jan.3-7). Security forces had quickly responded against the militants, but fatalities were reported as ‘heavy’ with possibly 2,000 people killed or unaccounted for. The Ministry of Defence claimed no more than 150 killed, some said the massacre never took place or that the terrorists had been repelled. But this claim was refuted by local officials, survivors, and the international media.

Baga and at least 16 other towns were thought to have been destroyed with 35,000 people displaced. Many were feared to have drowned while fleeing across Lake Chad, others were trapped by the Boko Haram on islands. At that time, the attacks resulted in Boko Haram extending its control to over 70% of Borno State. Its leader, Abubakar Shekau, claimed responsibility for the massacre, considered the killings as “not much” and threatened the insurgency “would not stop”. Their goal: Total Islamic Sharia Rule. The group had links to al-Qaeda, but later announced their allegiance to ISIS in March 2015.

If you don’t recall the attack, it may be due to the coverage of attacks in Paris beginning at the the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The terrorists killed a total of 17 in four shooting attacks between Jan.7-9. For weeks, the attacks in France dominated headlines and televised news reports. On January 11, 2015 about two million people, including more than 40 world leaders, met in Paris for a show of unity. 3.7 million people joined in demonstrations across France. The phrase Je suis Charlie had become a worldwide slogan of support. But compared to the coverage and solidarity with Paris, reports of the Baga massacre were barely a whisper. While the world has had their attention on ISIS, thousands have silently been slaughtered for the past 7 years by the Boko Haram, also known as ‘the deadliest terror group in the world‘. Outside Nigeria, most attacks go virtually unnoticed. The Baga attack was picked up after it claimed so many lives. See our report, World Ignores Victims of Boko Haram Terror Group (VOP January 14, 2015)

Heartbreaking Case of Abduction, Rape and Slavery 

Some weeks ago, Voice of the Persecuted received a report from our project leader in Nigeria that literally brought us to tears. In full detail, the report described the ordeal of a Christian woman who had escaped the clutches of Boko Haram militants after being held by the terrorists for 2 years. The family of Mr. Bitrus and his wife Rebecca have an extremely sorrowful story to share. They were residents of Baga when it came under a ferocious attack by the Boko Haram on the August 21, 2014—an attack that came before the brutal massacre and complete terrorists occupation of Baga in 2015. It was extremely hard for the couple to discuss all that had happened. But bravely, Rebecca narrated her story to one of our Nigerian correspondents, Fr. Gideon Obasogie, Directorate of Social Communications in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

With a sober look and a deep feeling of depression, Rebecca explained that in great confusion she fled her lovely home with her husband and their two sons, Zachariah who was 3 years and Jonathan 1. At the time, she was also expecting a third child but lost her pregnancy due to the subhuman conditions she was subjected to.

While fleeing the attack on that fateful day, Rebecca knew her husband would be the terrorists primary target. With the radical militants in hot pursuit, she feared Bitrus could not run fast enough while carrying their one year old son. Rebecca had developed severe pains from running and found it hard to go on. She pleaded with her husband to run and save his life and fervently urged him to leave them behind. In the panic, Bitrus finally heeded her advice and quickly ran to hide in the bush.

While Bitrus shared his story, he looked at his wife with a feeling of deep shame for not being her hero at that desperate moment of their lives. Guilt for not protecting his family when they needed him the most. But Rebecca had been correct, the militants did go after Bitrus. They continually sprayed bullets in his direction but were unsuccessful to find him. Praise be to God, no bullet ever touched him. After some time, Bitrus emerged from his hiding place but had become separated from his wife and children. When the Boko Haram fighters quit hunting him, they had turned back towards the location of his family. He was left imagining what would become of his wife and children and wondered what to do next. Promising himself to reconnect with his family, he trusted God would keep them alive. Bitrus moved with renewed hope to the nearby town of Mongonu. He waited in Mongonu for 15 days, as he scanned the crowds in anticipation of the arrival of his wife. Day after day, Bitrus searched for his family. He met and spoke with a lot of people coming out of Baga..

“I kept on asking them of the whereabouts of my wife….no one could tell me any good news. I became depressed with severe migraines and my blood pressure hit the roof. Some soldiers assisted me with a shelter to lay my head. They gave me some money, which I used to transport myself to Maiduguri. My uncle pleaded with me to not to be discouraged. He even took me to the hospital for medication. He tried to renew my hope, but he couldn’t stop the nightmares or my heartache. Leaving my family and everything I ever had behind was not an easy experience to come by.”

Rebecca’s Story

“When Bitrus fled to hide, Boko Haram came to me. They kept saying, “…da mun kashe Mujin ki..da mun Sami lada….ama ton da Allah bai bari ba…ke da yaran ki sai ku je ku yi aikin Allah,” meaning if only we had killed your husband we would have received Allah’s reward…but since Allah did not permit that…. you and your children will go and work for Allah. Thereafter, they hit me with the butt of a big gun and knocked out some of my teeth.”

When asked what happened next, Rebecca broke down in tears. With great compassion, Gideon encouraged her and she quietly told him, “That was when my nightmare began”. After killing all the men they had caught, Boko Haram militants moved Rebecca and her sons into the Lake Chad. They were fed nothing but chin-chin (a crunchy, baked or fried dough) as they were forced to wade through the water for nearly a week. Rebecca said, “crossing the lake was like an evil journey” with the water often coming up to her neck.  On the seventh day, they arrived at a place called Kwalleram and stayed there for about 53 days. Rebecca was forced to clean, wash and cook for the for militants and their wives. Sometimes she was assigned the task of clearing pathways for the militants motorcycles.

For fear she might try to escape, the militants moved her and her sons to Gurva, a town in Chad. There she found 2000 other Nigerians who had been captured by Boko Haram and forced to farm and cut wood for fuel.

About two months later, she was moved again. This time they were taken to a town called Tilma.

“It was in Tilma that they branded the number 69 on my back. I don’t really know its meaning, and I never cared to ask. They sold me to a man called Bage Guduma and I was with him for 55 days. I was given palm fruits to eat, but thank God I didn’t eat any of it. It would have drugged me and resulted in the loss of my senses. Most nights, Bage Guduma wanted to touch me, but I did not give in to him. I couldn’t bear the thought, so I took the feces of my children and rubbed it on my body…this kept him away. But for this, his sons would beat me ruthlessly. They made me dig a hole for three weeks until I hit the water level. They often flogged me 98 lashes and I became ill for two weeks. Then, they took my one year old son, Jonathan and threw him into Lake Chad. My son drowned and died. With deep sorrow as tears rolled down her cheeks, she said, “All these terrible things happened because I refused to give my body”.

Rebecca was then given to another Boko Haram militant called Malla.

“They tried to force me to sleep with him but when I resisted they threw me into their prison, a dark pit. I was in the pit for two whole days without food or water. When I came out, Malla brutally forced himself on me and I became pregnant. I tried to kill myself, but the wife of a Pastor, herself abducted from Gwoza, pleaded with me not to take my life. She already had two children fathered by the militants. When the time came for me to give birth, I delivered alone. No one came to my aid. I cut the placenta myself and was in great pain. I received no medical attention.  They named my son, Ibrahim. They liked him because he is a boy. The fighters want women who give birth to male children. Malla had traveled out and returned six weeks after I had given birth. I had nothing to do with him.”

Her Escape

Little Ibrahim with swollen navel/tummy

Little Ibrahim with swollen navel/tummy Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

Malla began to grow tired of Rebecca and promised to sell her to another man. It was then she decided to try and escape. At a time when most of the Boko Haram fighters had left the enclave, Rebecca sought permission from a female Boko Haram militant, probably the commander’s wife, to see a friend in another area controlled by the Boko Haram. When permission was granted, Rebecca headed instead to a small community called Maitele. From there, Rebecca took her sons and joined others as they walked for 6 days towards what they thought was the Nigerian border. Her son became ill for lack of water and food. Praise God, there came a heavy down pour which renewed and revived their strength for the journey, which for many would be towards an unknown destination. However, not for Rebecca, though she was unsure of her location, she pressed on with much hope and faith in the Lord to have a safe landing.

She eventually ended up in Diffa, a town in Niger. With the help of others, she met military personnel operating in the area. The military in Niger gave them much needed medical care and something to eat. Soon after, they were taken to a town called Damaturu, in Nigeria and left in the care of some Nigerian soldiers. The military eventually helped her to reunited with her husband, Bitrus. Rebecca has nothing but praise for the military personnel she met in Niger and Nigeria, including some of whom she thinks may have been US military personnel.

Reuniting with her husband

Bitrus claimed, “seeing my wife with the son of a Boko Haram father frightens me a lot. I was very happy to see my wife but the boy makes my heart break.” May God make me love him…yes, the son of a snake,” he said with some bitterness.

Rebecca is unsure what will happen between her and Bitrus. If Bitrus does not come to terms with the presence of the child, she is contemplating relocating to join her parents who are currently in Cameroon. She has pleaded with her husband to receive her as she is…and if he is hesitant she said in a hopeless tone, “I will give him his son and go to my parents”.

Sometimes, she too has mixed feelings about her son, Ibrahim. This is compounded by the stigma that traumatized women and girls rescued along with children fathered by Boko Haram fighters encounter from their own communities. Rebecca has even tried to give the child “to the government” but the military personnel encouraged her to keep the child. Ibrahim is only eight months old.

Caring For This Family

For now, Bitrus, Rebecca and the boys are in the custody of a local church.  This case seems to place everyone in a moral fix. But time heals and Rebecca is really a strong woman of faith! Voice of the Persecuted is helping to care for this family. All she needs is thorough medical attention, food to eat, cloths to wear, a good shelter, bedding for her troubled head and love from the Body of Christ, us! With the generosity of all of you who are helping to support this mission, Voice of the Persecuted has been able to provide Rebecca and her family with their immediate needs. Thank you so much! It’s because of people like you that we are able to step in and care for this family. To give them hope and know God is with them providing their needs. Rebecca will also need systematic trauma counseling. Her older child, now six years old, would need to go to school. Her husband, Bitrus also needs time to heal and guidance from the Lord. We can do our part by loving and having compassion on this family. Let us step in to continue covering this family, monthly, until they are able to stand on their own. Please could you show them some LOVE?

Brothers, Zachariah (6 yr) and Ibrahim (8 months) born on Dec. 25th

Brothers, Zachariah (6 yr) and Ibrahim (8 months) born on Dec. 25th. Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

PRAY

What horrors Rebecca has faced. Pray for her healing. Pray for her 6 yr. old son, Zachariah, that his little mind will heal from the things he has witnessed. For her husband, Bitrus to have a change of heart towards Ibrahim. Certainly these children born in captivity are not at fault in their fathers brutal sins.

Think of Joseph and the struggles he must have had learning Mary was pregnant. Our Heavenly Father must have loved Joseph very much to call on him to help care for the most important child ever born, His begotten Son, Jesus. Nothing is by chance. This child, Ibrahim may grow up to be a great hero of faith, entrusted by God to Rebecca and Bitrus to keep him safe and raised in faith.

Pray our brother, Bitrus will quickly come to see Rebecca’s son as a gift, not a reminder of his shame. To lift the child to the Lord and raise him to know the sacrifice Christ freely gave so that he may have life. Pray he can sacrifice his bitterness to the Lord and show Ibrahim, he is greatly loved. That he will treat the boy as his own son, equal with Zachariah. To teach him GOD’s word, how to worship HIM with his life and explain he too has a purpose in the Kingdom of our Lord.

Pray he will welcome Rebecca back into his heart, even stronger than the first, accepting her as she is with the boy. Pray for understand of the relief he will give her when he does. Father, have mercy on this family. Comfort and bless them with peace and joy. Surround them with compassionate brothers and sisters in Christ. Bring those with the means to help get them back on their feet. In Jesus Holy name, we pray. AMEN

By L. Kanalos, VOP Founder/Advocate

Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) is on the ground helping to care for the persecuted in Nigeria through our aid program, ‘Project 13:3’. They have suffered much, so many lives have been lost or forever changed by the insurgency. Many suffer from unbearable heartbreak. Living conditions for the displaced brings extreme hardship and too often disease and illness. Their physical, emotional and spiritual needs are immense.

We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on orphan-306x4601them. They’re so encouraged and thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission in Nigeria. Donations always desperately needed

 

Chibok School Girls Weep and Plead For Help on Newly Released Boko Haram Video

Chibok schoolgirls

Chibok schoolgirls

(Voice of the Persecuted) With no news for months, their parents and many others have worried about the condition of the 218 Chibok schoolgirls, a majority Christians, still missing. In a disturbing video shared below, Boko Haram recently released new footage showing around 50 of the abducted girls dressed from head to toe in hijab’s—Islamic attire. It’s heartbreaking to note that the face of every girl held an expression of hopelessness, with some even weeping. Others held babies, obviously raped after forcibly converted to Islam then married off to their kidnappers. It’s sickening to imagine the mental and physical abuse they have endured. God have mercy upon them.

The girls were kidnapped in mid April 2014 when Boko Haram militants attacked the Government Girls Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. Due to security risks, the school had already been closed for a month. Students had been called in only to take final exams.

Disguised as guards, they entered the school and told the girls to come with them. Many of the female students were taken away in trucks to the fortified camps of the Islamic group in the Sambisa Forest. The militants also set homes on fire  during the attack.

A militant dressed in camouflage and holding a rifle spoke in the Hausa language and claimed the girls have resigned themselves to their fate. He warned if the Nigerian government does not give up the battle against the radical Islamic group and release all Boko Haram members, the girls would not be seen again. He also threatened the girls will be killed if the military tries to rescue them. In Vanguard’s report, per the news agency’s sources, the militant in the video is believed to be Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s notorious leader. Though unseen for some time and thought to be killed during an airstrike, it’s recently been confirmed he is alive.

His message translated by Vanguard (references to Allah have been changed to God by the news agency):

We thank God for giving us the opportunity to send this message to the parents of these girls [pointing at the girls sitting behind him.]

It pleased God to let us have these girls in our captivity for over two years now. Our first message is to the parents of the girls to let them know that their daughters are still with us, some of them.

I also want to tell them to ask the Nigerian government to release our brethren, especially those in Maiduguri, Lagos, Abuja and other places across Nigeria. They should be released immediately.

You all knew that we had the girls, but God never allowed you to know their location and you will never know by God’s grace. You keep lying in your media that you will rescue them, they have been with us for over two years, yet you can’t even know where they are. You have just been lying about these girls, people should know that.

Also, for the over two years that we have been with these girls, about 40 of them are married, some are dead as a result of airstrike by infidels. We will show you a video of how your own aircraft dropped a bomb that killed some of these girls. Some of the girls have suffered fractures and other forms of injuries as a result of the air strikes.

As you can see, these are the girls, all we want is for you to release our brethren otherwise you will never get these girls God willing. This in short is our message to the Federal Government and the parents of the Chibok Girls.

As long as the government does not release our people, we will also never release these girls, that is our message. I specially informed our people in captivity in Lagos that they should be patient and continue with their prayers, God will take us to where no one expects and we will rescue them. All those in Lagos, Maiduguri and other southern parts of the country. Keep praying, very soon, we will rescue you.

Let me conclude this message by saying that many people have been coming to us lying that they were sent by the Nigerian government to get the girls released. Let the government and the whole world know that we have not sent anyone to negotiate with the government on our behalf over these girls.  We have dealt with you in the past and you know our recommended negotiators. If you need to, you should talk to them. We don’t use our own people to negotiate with you, we use your own people such as journalists to talk with you. We have not sent any other persons. You know that we prefer to use journalists known to you.

Let me say again, release our people and we release your girls, otherwise, they will never be released. If you think you have the power to come and rescue them, go ahead and try.

President Buhari, your Army has been lying to you that they have finished us, let them try and see if they can rescue these girls alive.

Obviously pressured and directed, one of the girls was chosen to make an appeal on the video. She claimed her name was Maida Yakubu and shared that some of the girls had been killed in aerial raids targeting Boko Haram strongholds. She also said 40 have been “married” to fighters. She pleaded,

“Oh you, my people and our parents, you just have to please come to our rescue: We are suffering here, the aircraft have come to bombard us and killed many of us. Some are wounded. Every day we are in pains and suffering, so are our babies … No one cares for us.
“Please go and beg the government of Nigeria to release the members of our abductors so that they too can free us to let us come home.”

The girl was later indentified by her parents.

There’s also footage of bodies alleged to be that of girls killed during airstrikes. Many believe they were not killed by the Air Force, but ordered to be executed by Shekau for the purpose of the video message. It is also being questioned if any of the dead girls were even from Chibok, as the schoolgirls are known to be Boko Haram’s greatest bargaining chip.

In part of a statement by Bring Back Our Girls leaders, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, said:

“853 days since the abduction of our Chibok Girls, we woke up to a video on the state of our girls. We are left with mixed feelings of grief and strengthened hope as the chilling words continue to sink in.

“Today, 28 months since the abduction, we call on the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, China, Australia, Israel, agencies like the United Nations and African Union, and all who previously expressed intentions to support the rescue efforts, to reengage and adopt a strategic rescue position. As global citizens, this is the least our #ChibokGirls deserve.”

Please keep the Chibok girls and their families in your prayers. Pray the militants (persecutors) taking part in the insanity will have the scales removed and see the true evil behind it. To repent and turn to Christ. Please remember all our Nigerian brothers and sisters in your daily prayers.

Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our Christian brothers and sisters who have suffered brutal persecution.

We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on orphan-306x4601them. They’re so encouraged and thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission in Nigeria. Donations always desperately needed

 

Persecuted Christians Join Prayer Conference Call Event to Speak with Believers in the West

Persecution-#WhatIfWePrayed

The World Is In God’s Hands #WhatIfWePrayed

(Voice of the Persecuted) Here’s a recap of last weekend’s amazing 24-hour prayer call event. Many of you joined with us to pray for those suffering for their faith in Christ. We invited persecuted Christians from restricted nations to come on the call as guests to share and allow us wash their feet in prayer. We also gave those phoning in the opportunity to speak with and directly ask them questions. To hear the truth of what’s happening in areas of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. There’s a connection that takes place in hearing them speak, as opposed to reading stories in print. It was an enlightening call for all of us. We pray all were blessed.

The Editor of Mohabat News Agency, who suffered severe persecution in Iran, addressed the issues and reasons Christians face persecution at the hands of the Islamic Iranian government. He also shared his imprisonment, what he went through and how he endured solely with God’s help. He encouraged us by confirming the rapid rise of Christianity in Iran, second only to China, particularly through the the Iranian youth. He answered questions and elaborated on the seriousness of persecution cases and the great need for prayer. Stay updated on our Iranian brothers and sisters at Mohabat News…English site: http://mohabatnews.com/en/ Farsi site: http://mohabatnews.com/fa/

A devout Pakistani brother in Christ fled persecution with his family to seek asylum. But another danger awaited them at their new destination, Thailand. His family’s case for asylum was immediately filed with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He explained the horrid conditions Christian asylum seekers are facing in Thailand, the high risk of arrest, the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) and the extremely long wait time for the UNHCR to process their cases. It can take up to 8 years to be transferred to a welcoming nation.  Click here to learn more about Pakistani Christians in Thailand. Many of you were amazed by this brother’s faith, knowledge of God’s Word and how he applies it to his own life and situation. All were encouraged by his testimony. A Canadian church has agreed to sponsor his family whose asylum interview was recently postponed. It is extremely expensive to sponsor asylum seekers. The total for this family is $50,400 CAD. Seems high? The fees are higher in the USA! VOP is very familiar with this brother and his family. While they have waited during the asylum process, they’ve worked very hard to help care for their brothers and sisters suffering alongside them, even risking their own safety to do so. They are committed to this work and with the help of caring Christians and the Canadian church, they will continue even after they’re resettled. Unfortunately, the Canadian church was only able to raise a portion of the funds. Others have generously donated to help this family, but the amount still falls short 9,100 CAD ($7000 USD) required by the Canadian government to proceed. We are in direct contact with the church hoping to sponsor them. If you would like to help this faithful brother and his family gain freedom and continue to the work to save other Pakistani families please contact us (info@voiceofthepersecuted.org), they’re so close!  Come on Church, let’s make this happen. Shine the love of Christ. We can make a difference, one family at a time!

It’s always pure joy to hear from our brothers and sisters in North Nigeria. We at Voice of the Persecuted are honored to serve them through our mission on the ground, Project 13:3. On the last call event, many of you may remember when the Boko Haram attacked the city and Brother Gideon informed us explosions were taking place. It was a tense moment and we responded with intense prayer! In the days that followed, many of you contacted us to check on their well-being. Thankfully, Gideon and the saints in the camp remained safe. They believe our prayers helped to protect them. On this call, we were relieved to hear they’ve had some rest from the onslaught of the Boko Haram campaign. The military and vigilante groups (encouraged by the State) are working together to push them back. They pray it stays that way. Brother Gideon told us that it’s still unsafe for the IDP’s (Internally Displaced People) to return home. Only days before our call, a family at the camp tried to make the journey back to their village. While traveling, they were stopped on the road by Boko Haram militants who took all their belongings. By the grace of God they were not harmed and immediately returned back to the camp. Please continue to pray. The Boko Haram has a new leader and is trying to regroup. We were so blessed to hear from those staying in ‘our’ camp, even speaking in their native tongue, Hausa. Hearing the children playing in the background touched each one of us! We at Voice of the Persecuted pray you will continue to help us send them comfort and relief. They’re so grateful to God and expressed their love and appreciation for the continued prayers and to all who support the VOP mission. They too are praying for us.

We thank and praise God for making the call event possible and for drawing people to pray for those suffering in the name of Christ. Oh Lord, help us to love and pray your heart for your persecuted Church.

Brothers and sisters, I want to thank all of you who participated this past weekend on our 24-hour prayer call for the persecuted.  Through our prayers, I believe we bestowed favor on the persecuted church.  Many are thanking God for the precious saints who prayed for them. Only eternity will really bear witness to the answers of our prayers.
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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; 10 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, 11 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 many. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

We would also like to thank our brothers and sisters from Iran, Pakistan and Nigeria. It was a blessing to hear your voices and testimonies. Your presence on the call literally brought you into the prayer room with us! Thank you for sharing and explaining the situation in a way that only those who experience it can. Thank you for your patience in answering all our questions to help better direct our prayers. Thank you for your prayers, not only for your nation, but for the U.S. too. Thank you for the reminder that what happens here also affects you. Dear brethren, you are in our hearts and will never be forgotten! May the Lord give you peace, joy and strength to endure in Christ.
Thank you to Linda Bemis and International Orality Network for graciously partnering with us and helping to make the prayer call a success. ION has a good understanding of persecution as they often work in areas hostile towards Christians.
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For leading us in beautiful worship at the beginning of the event—thank you to Marlaine, one of the prayer call leaders at Persecution Watch.
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Again, thank you intercessors. I pray God’s richest blessings be upon each and every one of you. Truly, as describe in the Word of God and by the brethren on the call, our prayers do make a difference in the lives of our persecuted brothers and sisters.
Your brothers and sisters in Christ,
Blaine Scogin, Serving Jesus as Prayer Directer for Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch
Lois Kanalos, Founder and the VOP team

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Next 24-Hour Prayer Conference Call Event is on Friday, September 30, 2016 continuing through Saturday, October 1, 2016

The World Is In God’s Hands #WhatIfWePrayed

The VOP team would also like to thank Blaine, our Prayer Director for his commitment to pray for the persecuted Church. Blaine’s ministry, Persecution Watch hosts 3 prayer conference calls (approx. 1 hour) a week dedicated to our suffering brothers and sisters and the global harvest. We encourage you to join Blaine and the prayer warriors every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Phone in from any location.

TIME:

9 p.m. Eastern time

8 p.m.  Central time

7 p.m.  Mountain time

6 p.m. Pacific time

Call number: 712.775.7035

Access code: 281207#

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission. Donations always desperately needed

Nigeria: Christian Carpenter Stabbed For Not Fasting During Ramadan

Nigeria ramadan attack

(Voice of the Persecuted) NIGERIA – Francis Emmanuel, a Christian and a carpenter, was attacked  by a gang of young men, believed to be Muslims,with machetes and daggers at a restaurant in Kakuri, Kaduna. They accused him for not fasting.

While eating his lunch, Emmanuel claimed the young men approached him because he was not fasting. He nearly lost his right arm trying to protect himself and sustained deep wounds from a machete on various parts of his body. He also nearly lost his eye. Relaying the ordeal to journalists from his hospital bed, Emmanuel said,

“I went to buy wood to do some work. When I came back, I bought food to eat. As I was eating, about six Hausa boys came and asked me whether I was a Muslim or a Christian. I did not answer them. They asked me why I was not fasting. I told them that I am not a Muslim. Before I knew it, one of them slapped me. As I stood up, the rest came and surrounded me and started attacking me with knives. I didn’t know them. Nobody could come to my aid because of the type of dangerous knives they were carrying. They used cutlasses, scissors, and knives. I became unconscious; I don’t even know who brought me to the hospital.”

Sunny Oibe, Director of national issues of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) described the perpetrators as enemies of the people. He said,

“The attack on the carpenter for allegedly eating when Muslims were fasting goes to show the level of intolerance of some people, particularly some of our Muslims. “Even if somebody refuses to fast, nobody has the right to embark on such animalistic behavior of attempting murder.”

“We, in CAN, will ask the security agencies to ensure that this matter is not swept under the carpet. The perpetrators should be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others because the laws of this country forbid taking the lives of another. “The government should therefore live up to its bidding and bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to book.”

Mr. Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer said the government should have acted quickly to arrest the perpetrators to serve as a deterrent to others.

“It is already too late now. The perpetrators should have been immediately arrested and arraigned to serve as a deterrent to others.” source

Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian human rights lawyer now living in the U.S. shared on social media,

“A couple of years ago, a retired Christian general from the north said something that has haunted me. Speaking to an Igbo guy, he said, “if my people see you and I eating corn in my village during the Ramadan fast, they would kill me and leave you alone because we are not permitted to be Christians. When I read the story [of the recent attack], I realized things have gotten far worse in the last two years. Even non northerners are now being attacked for eating during the fasting even when they are not Muslim!”

Pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our Christian brothers and sisters experiencing brutal persecution.

We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on orphan-306x4601them. They have been so encouraged and thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission in Nigeria. It will be a long term project. Donations always desperately needed

 

Child of Persecuted Family is Very Sick—Can You Give Him Hope?

Christian child in desperate need of medical care.

Christian child in desperate need of medical attention.

(Voice of the Persecuted) 10 yr. old John and his Christian family fled severe persecution for their faith in Pakistan to seek refuge and asylum in Thailand. But sadly, they’ve lived in misery, fear and sickness for over two years in a system that’s failing them. They still have another year before their UNHCR case interview, but there is no guarantee this scheduled appointment will take place. It’s common for case reviews to be postponed for another year and often postponed again. John’s father is a diabetic who also suffers hypertension (high blood pressure). He grieves for his children as he legally has no way to provide shelter, nutrition and the medical care they so desperately need. The family holds the UNHCR asylum certificate, but the children cannot even attend school because they are considered illegal immigrants by the Thai government. Thailand has been unwilling to work through the asylum process with the UNHCR. It’s a dreadful situation for the victims, particularly Pakistani Christians.

Child suffering from lack of medical treatment, hospitaiized. Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

Voice of the Persecuted

Most asylum seekers cannot afford to purchase the necessary hygiene products and nutritious food needed in their diet to stay well. The children lack the necessary nutrients to grow and remain healthy. Whole families hide out in their cramped, one room apartments with no sunlight to stay out of sight of the authorities. Anytime they leave, they’re at risk of arrest and the Immigration Detention Center, a vile, despicable place! It is no wonder they are prone to sickness in these conditions.

John and his siblings are extremely thin. Their case is on our critical list. The boy has suffered illness after illness since arriving in Thailand. Last year, he spent 10 days in the hospital being treated for a severe infection due to a parasite. Voice of the Persecuted covered the cost of his treatment and hospital stay. You may recognize him from our prior report. As the photo shows, he is plagued yet again by another infection on the back of his head. We are also extremely concerned by the news that he has developed a large lump on his neck. This child must be seen by a doctor right away, but we need your help! This family is also in dire need of a monthly sponsor, but no one has stepped forward as yet.

Contact us for more information about sponsorship at: info@voiceofthepersecuted.org

In nearly every disaster or crisis, we have seen Christian missions as the backbone of relief efforts. Often, the only relief victims ever see comes from Christians shining the light in darkest hours (remember Haiti). In a world afraid of looking intolerant, suffering Christians who are likely the most vulnerable,  have been pushed to the back burner. That’s why Voice of the Persecuted is serving the persecuted and children like John. We are united with them in Christ our Lord, but we too are failing them. Sadly, the Church as a whole is lacking. What would Jesus want us to do for our brothers and sisters suffering for his sake? The answer is easy, “Love and care for your brothers and sisters.”

This child is counting on us. If he has help when he’s hungry or ill, his chances of being scarred by long suffering in Thailand drops significantly. It is a great time of crisis for this family. The world is not offering this young boy any hope.  But in Christ, as his hands and feet, we can! Help us to give John the medical attention he needs and a new day with a healthy start. The opportunity to experience the love of the Body, to be encouraged and see God answer his prayers. When generous people like you offer aid through your financial gifts, you go with us into the trenches and lives are saved. And even in the greatest of trials, their future looks brighter and the Lord is praised. Oh, how is He praised!

If you or your church can help with his medical care or would like to sponsor this family, please don’t delay. We are a small mission and unable to provide the ongoing monthly needs of the many families asking for help. This family has acutely suffered while waiting for a sponsor for over a year.

Please pray

  • For persecuted Christian families suffering in Thailand.
  • For this child to quickly heal and stay free of disease. That he will never again have go to bed hungry.
  • Pray he and his family will be blessed with a sponsor who can help them survive.
  • Pray for all Christian asylum seekers in Thailand. That the government will have a change of heart.
  • That the UNHCR will expedite their interviews so they may go to a welcoming nation with the opportunity to provide for themselves and worship our our freely and in peace.
  • Pray for the Lord to bless them with joy, to strengthen their faith and to feel His loving presence surround them.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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.

Donations are always desperately needed.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

Suffering in Persecution: Can You Sponsor This Baby and His Family?

Infant of Pakistani Christian family suffering in the asylum process. He needs our help

Infant of Pakistani Christian family suffering in the asylum process. He needs our help Photo: Voice of the Persecuted ©

This child belongs to one of the families Voice of the Persecuted’s Project 13:3 helps to survive in Thailand. He was born into extremely difficult conditions. Johan’s parents fled persecution in Pakistan to seek safety and asylum in Thailand. But the unfortunate circumstances waiting for them is more than most could possibly bare. Since 2014, they’ve been forced to hide from Thai authorities while they wait for the UNHCR to process their case. The office as scheduled their initial case interview for 2018. This little one’s father is unable to legally work to care for his new son. He also suffers from a skin infection he contracted during his stay at the Central Jail, then the Immigration Detention Center (IDC) after being arrested. It’s proven to be very difficult to cure. This father also suffered very harsh treatment during his stay at the jail, which housed hardened criminals.

When Johan was born, Voice of the Persecuted was able to provide everything needed to care for him, including rent, food for his parents and a month’s supply of formula and diapers. They are again unable to cover May’s room rent. Voice of the Persecuted has a waiting list of families designated with the most extreme needs. It is impossible to give each family monthly support without the help of those willing to sponsor them each month. Is God placing this family on your heart? Would you consider comforting Johan and his parents with monthly basic needs? Even a one-time gift will help to secure their housing for another month. They are in critical need for us, the Body of Christ to come to their aid. Please donate today, or contact us at info@voiceofthepersecuted.org for more information. Your love is appreciated more than you could ever know.

Please pray for persecuted Christian families suffering in Thailand. Pray the Thai government will soften their hearts towards them. And pray the UNHCR will find a way to speed up the unbearably long process of their asylum cases.

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

 

Nigerian Christians Praying for the American Church and Need Our Help

Nigerian Christians Photo property of Voice of the Persecuted Project 133 Nigeria

“We are praying for you in America!” A group of Nigerian Christians gathered to worship the Lord despite the hardships and atrocities they face.

(Voice of the Persecuted) This past weekend, Nigerian Christians listened to a sermon about letting go of bitterness and thoughts of revenge. To forgive and to have the heart of Jesus. They also prayed for us, the American Church!!! They are praying for our elections as what happens here also greatly affects them. They always remember us in their prayers, let us keep them daily in our prayers too. Pray also for Gideon, a courageous man of God and our refugee camp project leader. Much love for Brother Gideon and all our Nigerian brothers and sisters. Their faith is unshakable in a world that is shaken—a great witness for us in the West. They are so loving and giving, even sending Christmas cards and a video singing a carol for us. Our hearts and prayers are with them. To not only know them but to serve them is such a blessing.

These dear ones are suffering horrific atrocities by the Boko Haram and now endangered by the Fulani who have become emboldened by their collaboration with Boko Haram terrorists. Most have lost family members in the jihadists terror campaign. Please pray for peace in Nigeria and that these dear saints will soon be able to SAFELY go back home and start rebuilding their lives. Many have been living in refugee camps for years. Imagine what it must be like living in those conditions for so long.

At this time, it is still UNSAFE for those we aid to return to their villages. The Nigerian government is sharing they have beaten the terrorists. But they have NOT stopped the Boko Haram and now must seriously deal with the rising attacks by the Fulani. We have CONFIRMED attacks are still taking place EVERY OTHER DAY near the Sambisa, a Boko Haram stronghold. Where’s the media coverage???

If your able to help support the mission that is caring for these dear ones, please do! Their needs are immense. We’ve been asked to care for more, a new total of 10,000 displaced people. We really need your help.

No Gift Is Too Small to Make a Difference!

We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home. we will be there to help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on them. They have been so encouraged and thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission in Nigeria. It will be a long term project. Donations always desperately needed.

 Article may be shared and reprinted with credit to Voice of the Persecuted.  

 

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