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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North Korean Christians: Will Jesus say, “When I was Hungry, You Fed Me?”

I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that we still live in a country where we have access to good food, and won’t be killed for not worshiping a mere man instead of the Savior. I thank Him that I’ve never been this hungry.  I thank Him that here in America, we can help the least of these, our brethren, who are suffering lack, and living in an unbelievable nightmare. We can help! http://www.heavensfamily.org/ Heavens Family Ministries- Love Link to the Least of These- doesn’t have a large expensive headquarters so they can save money to place donations right at the points of need.
Dictator Kim Jong Il is portrayed as a god to the people of North Korea, even though millions starve due to his policies. Heaven’s Family provides food for North Korean followers of Christ…all of whom are enemies of the state.

North Korean Christians

Living in the most hostile nation on the earth can be a death sentence. Because of the North Korean government’s poor agricultural management policies and their reluctance to accept international aid, almost 4 million people (18%) of the population perished during the early 1990s due primarily to a lack of food. Severe shortages still exist inside North Korea, and many are driven to desperation.

Reliable reports have surfaced of children being abducted and killed for food. Others have testified of the sale of human flesh on the black market. Christians, considered enemies of the state, suffer more harshly than average citizens.

We received the following letter from inside North Korea.

Our life on this side is like going deeper and deeper into a mountain range: we live expecting it will be better every year, but faced with ever harsher reality, it cannot be explained with anything. Such a boundless misery, the whole population is suffering from starvation. That is, there is no compensation for struggle no matter how great; there is no profit in doing business. Consequently, beggars continue to increase in number on the street.

Occasionally, homes [become] empty overnight, and rumor goes around saying the occupants ran away somewhere. It is now common everywhere to disregard a person lying dead on the street and for no one to care. It is because such things happen too often. So, in the midst of this, it became possible not only for us to overcome this hardship, but also to share with those who are suffering around us.

Indeed, if God hadn’t helped us, we’d have become beggars now. We do not know how to repay your favors. We can only tell and pray to Him. We have experienced God’s marvelous works here. Truly we thank you.

Heaven’s Family is partnering with other ministries to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ in North Korea. We have purchased tons of food and other aid that will be delivered to underground believers whose names and face we may never know due to security reasons. We also help rescue some believers who have been put in dangerous situations. Through underground channels we help them escape to safety in South Korea.

Some might say a drop in the bucket is worth nothing, but that drop is literally saving hundreds of lives—and many drops together can make an ocean. This overwhelming need presents us with an opportunity to show our love for Jesus, who will one day say to the sheep on His right hand, “I was hungry, and you fed Me.”

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Heavens Family-Ministry to Persecuted Christians

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Persecuted Christians Ministry

http://www.heavensfamily.org/

Pastor Prabhudass was walking home after performing a wedding ceremony when he found himself surrounded by an anti-Christian Hindu mob who told him, “We don’t want your Jesus in our village.” They attacked and brutally beat him, leaving him for dead in a ditch along the road.

Thankfully, some people walking along the road heard the sound of his groaning and called the police. He was rushed to the hospital and his life was saved. But he suffered serious head concussions and both of his hands were broken. At the time of this writing he is waiting for further tests regarding internal injuries.

This was the second time pastor Prabhudass had been attacked by a mob. Many Hindu people hate him because he is a powerful preacher who has planted thirty house churches in twenty villages of his region of Andhra Pradesh. He has personally baptized over one-thousand new believers, most of whom were former Hindus.

Like most pastors in India, Prabhudass has no medical insurance, and his current bill had run up to about $2,000, a huge sum to him. Heaven’s Family (that’s you!) was honored to follow the example of the Good Samaritan and pay his bill.

It has been estimated that 200 million Christians in the world live with the reality of severe persecution, such as threat of imprisonment or violence for following Jesus, while another 400 million believers face non-trivial deprivations of liberty. Your gifts will help us assist members of our spiritual family who are suffering because of persecution for their faith, like pastor Prabhudass.

Note from Scarlett: There are other ministries such as this one, Heaven’s Family, that are totally devoted to  serving the Lord Jesus Christ that are truly evangelical, who have no eccumenical agenda written into their newsletters and service.

Please check out this worthy cause and pray about your stewardship. And may the Lord Jesus Christ increase you and prosper you as your soul prospers.  I LOVE that name, “Heaven’s Family”, don’t you? Cos, that’s what The LORD wants us to be. Amen!

https://www.heavensfamily.org/special_reports/2016-04

 

 

persecution

 

Tom White: Voice of the Martyrs New Headquarters-Your Donation $$$ at Work

The Question arises, who actually benefited the most from the construction of this massive, and lavish “headquarters”; the suffering persecuted church, widows and orphans, or Bartlesville, Oklahoma? Bartlesville, is a city of about 35,000 population and the headquarters of the Conoco Phillips Petroleum giant, which previously has been the major employer in the area. Now, with the building of the new VOM Headquarters, VOM has become the 2nd largest employer in Bartlesville, so obviously, Bartlesville is the entity benefited most by the VOM presence in the area. Not just the VOM building and Bartlesville employees, but the traffic coming into the area by volunteers and visitors. Many Bartlesvillans, also sit on the board of directors, even prior to Tom White’s suicide. 

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Above is an image of the large new VOM headquarters, and pictured below is the view of the back side of the new Voice of the Martyrs facility, and man-made lake.

New Voice of the Martyr building, Bartlesville, OK in the US

New Voice of the Martyr building, Bartlesville, OK in the US

This link,  of McAnaw Construction contains the approx cost of construction of the various new VOM facilities, main building,  bath house, RV parking for volunteers. I’m not sure about the total finished cost of it all, but do know it is into the multimillion dollar category. Of course, this is helping to put Bartlesville, OK, (already the home of Conoco Phillips Petroleum), on the map, but also bringing in income to the city, so of course, the city is in favor of “financial progress”. 

http://mcanawconstruction.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87&Itemid=105

In contrast, when VOM first moved to Bartlesville, OK and set up US headquarters here, (about 1992), while Richard Wurmbrand was still alive, Voice of the Martyrs was blessed by God when they were able to purchase the 5 story brick building on the corner of Frank Phillips Blvd, in downtown Bartlesville for a mere $27,000! A perfectly sound and solid building for a mere pittance considering it’s actual worth and market value. Amazing!

One has to wonder what Richard Wurmbrand would think of this new expensive layout….Richard who spent a total of 14 yrs in a cramped gray prison cell, dining on swill not fit for human consumption, rather than at Sterling’s Grill in Bartlesville, or some high end sushi place while traveling.

 I believe he and his wife Sabina had a nice, but fairly modest seniors apt in Bartlesville. They were so deserving of that and a whole lot more besides. 

I went to a couple of meetings where Richard was preaching. By this time in his life, he was frail, and had to sit while speaking. I noticed his wife being very attentive to his physical needs during these meetings. Although nothing was said about it, I believe he was in quite a bit of discomfort. He easily could have skipped out on invitations to preach at various churches and functions, but his passion and drive was fueled by his love for the persecuted brothers and sisters going through the flames of affliction. He apparently continued in this manner until the end of his life.

Some years ago, I read an account of Richard having a heart attack after hearing of a Chinese Christian who’s heart was cut out by his persecutors. That wouldn’t surprise me from what I knew about the man.

Then there was precious, devoted Sabina, wearing modest clothes and a head covering, while Richard, as frail as he was, would patiently and lovingly allow the mothers of small children to take pictures of their kids sitting on his lap. Richard was so humble and meek. Suffering for the sake of Jesus and the gospel in the crucible of torture and persecution will tend to bring about humility and meekness in those who survive it, as Richard had. He had a quiet dignity and elegance about him that I will never forget. 

But…that was then, and this is now, and since Richard Wurmbrand passed away, many changes have occurred under the leadership of Tom White. Those changes include the undertaking of this elaborate building project, but also, more disturbing and important,  is the ecumenical direction which Tom White has been taking Voice of the Martyrs.

Indeed,  one has to wonder what he would think of the changes made since he departed this life. Some of the locals —-Bartians,—- (which is what the residents of Bartlesville),  are called, are saying that too much money has been going into the administration end of VOM, including the costs of the new facilities, which should be going to help the persecuted brethren, many of whom live in abject poverty. Indeed, that may be a legitimate concern, but what should be even a larger concern is VOM’s ecumenical leanings and support of  Catholic churches in various countries where VOM operates. Churches and countries that VOM has designated as Christian when they are not. 

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So, what we apparently have here, are the large, lavish new facilities of an ecumenical organization operating on the good will donations of Christians.

 

Note from Scarlett: I’ve contacted Heavens Family and asked for a picture of their headquarters. This is the response I received, ” We don’t actually have a headquarters building in the United States! Our ministry saves the money it would spend on rent, utilities, etc. by having it’s staff and volunteers work remotely. It’s been a more efficient and cost-efficient way to operate!”
Remember, Heavens Family has developed into an efficient world wide ministry even without a large expensive headquarters. http://www.heavensfamily.org/