Today's featured organization, The Voice of the Martyrs, has been around since 1967, when it was founded by Dr. Richard Wurmbrand, after being imprisoned in Communist Romania for 14 years, his wife being imprisoned for 3 years. I can remember when I was younger....some of my teachers would read to us out of the Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which for me was hard to listen to, yet I wanted to hear about these great men and women who had died for their faith. I wanted to hear their stories and the things they had to go through, dying to self, living to Christ. I couldn't imagine, in my childish brain then, that things like that were going on still....yet today, all over the world, Christians are being persecuted for their faith.
The Voice of the Martyrs, or VOM, seeks to be a voice for these persecuted Christians. They seek to help people in parts of the world where persecution is rampant by providing the necessary resources for these Christians to spread the Gospel, such as Bibles, literature, radio broadcasts, medical assistance, etc. They help families whose loved ones have been martyred. They help Christians in these countries to learn how to witness to the enemy, the one who is seeking to imprison them or persecute them. They work in countries that have been Communist in the past. They spread the word about these persecutions and the Christians who have been martyred, telling the story of that person's great faith in the midst of fiery trials. They are there to encourage. VOM's Mission Statement is simply this: Serving the persecuted church through practical and spiritual assistance while leading Christians in the free world into fellowship with them.
There are many restricted nations, and you can actually see a map of these nations here. When you go to the map, there are dots on every restricted nation, and you can actually click on that dot, and it will show you a detailed description of that nation, with links. Some of the nations include Bangladesh, Iran, Nigeria, Burma, Iraq, Malaysia, Algeria, etc. You can view stories from these nations in the VOM Newsroom. Just to make it more personal and real, I'll tell you a little bit about what has been going on in Nigeria, since January 17. There have been over 100 Christians killed because of riots between Christian and Muslim parties. Hundreds of Christians have been injured, as well. There have been shootings, fires, etc. These riots were started when Muslims attacked a Catholic church, and they have since attacked other churches. Right now VOM has people working to provide necessary assistance and help to the victims and their families, including medical attention.
VOM has offices all over the world, including the United States, offices in Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, etc. VOM has many areas in which you can serve, volunteer, inform others, etc. Here are some of those ways:
- You can share stories and news of persecuted Christians with your children or children in your church by way of VOM's Kids of Courage. This site has activites, videos, and even a newsletter that you can sign your child up for.
- Bibles Unbound is another ministry of VOM. You can send New Testaments to nations where Christians cannot obtain a Bible. It's easy for us to take this simple freedom for granted, but in nations where they can't even go find a Bible in their local store, it's a freedom they crave and desire.
- You can be involved in sending Action Packs to needy families served by VOM.
- If you're a prayer warrior, you can sign up with VOM to receive specific prayer requests in your email.
- Be-A-Voice Network will help to prepare you to share the info you learn through VOM with your fellow Christians here at home and in your community.
- If you're interested in short-term or other volunteer opportunities with VOM, then you can check those out here.
- PrisonerAlert.com will enable you to write letters to prisoners spotlighted by VOM. You might even write to government officials. A new prisoner is posted each month. There are certain encouraging phrases you can put in that are translated into the language of that prisoner. I am really excited to find out more about this....this is something that would help uplift these prisoners as they are facing some of their darkest days. Right now Asia Bibi from Pakistan is a featured prisoner to whom you can lend encouragement and support to just by writing to her.
- You can also give a donation or check out the resources that VOM has on their site. They have books, clothing, etc. for you to browse through, including resources for teens and children.
(Picture and links used by Permission of The Voice of the Martyrs, www.persecution.com.)