A Nail Into His Knee

gathered-underground

(an underground church, literally)

A Nail into His Knee

A North African Slave Finds Freedom

David Servant, Micro-Loan Ministry

Ahmed’s* father, along with his father’s friends, tied his hands and feet. Then they beat him with rods and kicked him as he writhed on the floor, calling on him to repent of his apostasy from Islam. Ahmed convulsed in pain, but refused to recant. In a final fit of rage, his persecutors decided to hammer a nail into his knee. As they did, Ahmed lost consciousness.

That was ten years ago, when Ahmed was 41 years old. He had remained faithful to Christ since he was 10, even though all that time his father and other family members, with the exception of a sympathetic sister, persecuted him.

Amazingly, as I listened to Ahmed tell his story, other believers who were with us remarked that Ahmed had been shown much more mercy than others they knew whose families murdered them after they converted to Christ.

I was visiting persecuted believers in North Africa. If I told you my location, I might compromise the security of those whom I had gone to serve, or jeopardize Heaven’s Family’s work there.

Some of the believers whom I met literally gather underground in caves to escape detection. It was a joy to sit with them in their subterranean chapels and fellowship—and find relief from the blistering desert heat. [I was able to say with David, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Psalm 122:1)!]

Ahmed is one of many other believers hidden in Islamic North Africa whom we are privileged to serve through micro-credit. After Ahmed shared his testimony, he went on to tell me of how his life and that of his family have improved since he received his $500 Opportunity Loan from Heaven’s Family last year—a loan that has enabled him to break free from economic slavery. Previously, his only option was to be exploited by members of a regional ethnic group whose ancestors literally held his ancestors as slaves. He might as well have been a slave himself for what they paid him.

Ahmed’s loan provided a chance for him to partner with a few other brothers in Christ—also loan recipients—in their own business endeavor that allows them to produce a local commodity for a profit. Now, Ahmed said, his family eats every day. His children don’t have to labor by his side, grinding out an existence. Rather, they now attend school.

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One comment on “A Nail Into His Knee

  1. Scarlett says:

    This is a comment taken from the Bartlesville, Oklahoma Topix forum. Voice of the Martyrs headquarters is located there:

    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/bartlesville-ok/T0IR30E3D23F5SD36#c14
    “I had this erased as I went to sign in so I will start over.
    In the beginning I had a lot of confidence in VOM which I do not now. I used to receive their mailings, and once they sent prayer cards for two young people who had suffered violent abuse for going to church and their faith: I prayed for them, taped them to my computer etc. Then, on a whim, I looked up one, a young woman who had her breasts cut off by a machete: the story was over 15 years old: I still pray for and have sympathy for the victim even a whole lifetime, but not for VOM who used it just to make money via sympathy.
    Their stories of the suffering apparently do not tender their hearts too much: their budget is listed as close to 50 million a year, but very very little goes to any suffering Christian or their family. Barnabas aid gives a healthy percent to real care, but not VOM: they claim that is not their main purpose, but I am sure, that like myself most assume that is where their hard earned money is going.
    Also, they do not make public that they are a small ministry in a very old run down building in Bartlesville OK which would not bother me at all if they did not take in so much, or if they were doing it to give more on the field but that does not appear to be the case. When we sacrifice our money to aid our brothers and sisters in Christ we expect it to go to them, and I would look askance at any ministry where less than half goes where I think.
    Another point: many of their leaders of Bob Jones type fundamentalists: I am a Gospel believing Christian, but I do not think its right to be primarily one thing and represent your ministry as all things to all people: Lutherans,Methodists and others who may not share my views, have a right to make an informed choice. This leads to another point:
    VOM decides who is and who is not a Christian regardless of stated faith: if someone is laying down their life for their faith and suffering, I believe we can most of the time take their word for it: even if wrong, we wouldn’t be as wrong as deciding whether they meet fundamentalist Baptist standards: they would have left out Corrie Ten Boom, C.S. Lewis etc! Let them be honest about who they are.
    As a 62 year old Christian mom, a former university professor, who has stayed daily in the word, who homeschooled her children and directs a small for-free ministry, I have suffered as much as any in the US for my careful stand: we are currently even dealing with assault to do with my beliefs, but VOM doesn’t share my opinion: I don’t care, in one way, I never went to them for help, but goodness: they sit in air conditioned offices, with a 50 million dollar a year budget, and they want to fuss about lace collars and quilted bible covers proverbially: I’ve actually cussed a time or two, lost my temper and all kinds of uncomely things, with some of the stuff that has happened: I thought it was belief in Christ that mattered! All that aside, I find them to be self serving and in my personal opinion religious and corrupt with beautiful artwork and pamphlets. MAKE SURE OF WHERE YOUR CHRISTIAN DOLLARS GO!!! You can sometimes aid by contacting missionaries on the field of interest.”

    When considering where to place your own hard earned ministry donation, you might want to compare HeavensFamily with Voice of the Martyrs, to see which is being the best and most frugal with your money.

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