A Christian tribal chief has been kidnapped while returning from a visit with his state governor in Kaduna, Nigeria. Agom Adara, the chief, was returning to his village when gunmen attacked his vehicles and killed his security team and driver. He had been visiting with Governor El-Rufai to speak about the continual problem of Fulani militants in his chiefdom.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for the safe return of Agom Adara. Pray for his abductors to repent of their actions and turn to Christ. Pray for greater protection for the Christian community in Nigeria.
Only a day after Pastor Andrew Brunson was released from his two-year detainment in Turkey, Turkish authorities arrested another U.S. missionary. David Byle was arrested in Ankara on Saturday, October 13, by the Anti-Terror Police Department. Byle was interrogated and then ordered to leave the country right after his release on Sunday afternoon.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for the freedom to openly preach the Gospel in Turkey. Pray for Turkish authorities to respect the work of foreign missionaries. Pray for David Byle’s ministry to thrive following this incident.
Algerian police closed a church on October 16. Government officials ordered the closure in February after inspecting the site and demanding that the church be renovated to comply with safety codes. Even after the church closed for three weeks for renovations, police notified the building owner that they were going to close the building on orders from provincial officials.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for authorities to reverse their decision and reopen the church. Pray for this congregation to stay firm in their faith despite these new obstacles. Pray for greater religious freedom throughout Algeria.
On September 4, Pastor Mathai Varghese, a 57-year-old pastor, was abducted and beaten by a mob of Hindu radicals in India’s Rajasthan state. When police finally intervened, the pastor was arrested along with the assailants and was falsely accused of taking part in a communal clash and attempting to forcefully convert an old woman.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for the physical and emotional healing of Pastor Varghese. Pray for authorities in India to treat minority Christians as equal citizens under the law. Pray for these Hindu radicals to hear and accept the Gospel.
Helping Them Stay Faithful
When Christian villages in Nigeria are decimated in attacks, VOM workers respond by providing immediate aid, such as food, Action Packs and medical help. Later, we are able to replace essential ministry tools, such as Bibles, commentaries and motorcycles for traveling evangelists.
The support provided to ministers working on the front lines enables them to encourage the wider Christian community affected by these attacks. “These workers provide spiritual support to believers who choose to remain in these areas and continue their Christian witness,” said VOM’s regional director for Africa.
Because men are most often targeted in Boko Haram attacks, VOM has developed a long-term plan to support Christian widows in northern Nigeria. The support includes relocation as needed, financial assistance to ensure that their children receive an education and vocational training that helps them provide for their families and become self-sustaining.
In addition, each widow is assigned a coordinator who helps ensure that she receives needed financial, medical and emotional support. The coordinators also personally follow up with the widows, providing spiritual support and helping them connect with healthy local churches.
Finally, VOM supports safe locations where believers from a Muslim background can take refuge when they are rejected by Muslim family members or are otherwise in danger. Christians at these locations study the Bible, helping them become firmly grounded in God’s Word and better able to endure future persecution.
The first request we hear from persecuted Christians around the world is “Pray for us!” This month we invite you to answer that call for our Christian family in northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram militants and Muslim Fulani herdsmen regularly attack Christians, along with their homes and churches.
Here are five ways you can pray in the coming weeks for Christians in Nigeria:
Pray for Christians in northern Nigeria who boldly stand for Christ even as Boko Haram seeks to destroy the church and create a caliphate.
Pray that the families of those killed for their faith will experience God’s healing presence as they continue to be Christ’s ambassadors in this hostile region.
North Korea is a land of spiritual darkness. For 70 years, it has been ruled by the oppressive Kim regime, a lineage of tyranny that has starved its people physically and spiritually while rattling sabers at the rest of the world.
North Koreans will not ultimately be changed by domestic politics, international negotiations or bombs. They will be changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. We invite you to help us shine the light of truth into North Korea by supporting VOM’s ministry work there. Your gift will help advance the gospel in four ways:
GOSPEL BALLOONS VOM workers distribute New Testaments in North Korea by attaching them to helium-filled balloons launched from just outside its borders. GPS technology enables us to track the balloons and determine exactly where the Bibles land. We also distribute tracts that share the gospel in a simple, understandable format.
BIBLES VOM distributes Bibles in a variety of other ways inside North Korea, and we also distribute Bibles to North Koreans living outside the country.
FRONT-LINE WORKERS We cannot share details about the efforts of courageous front-line workers, but VOM provides tools and training to help increase the reach of their work inside North Korea.
COVERT OPS North Korea is the most restricted country in the world, and for security reasons we cannot share details of much of our work. As one of our staff recently shared on VOM Radio (www.VOMRadio.net), we may be able to talk about these projects in three to five years, but that will probably mean some of our bold brothers and sisters have been arrested and the projects shut down.
Thank you for your heart to reach North Koreans with the light of the gospel!
Share this special opportunity with your friends and family.
For more ways to pray for our persecuted family and to receive a new prayer request each day, install VOM’s PRAY TODAY app on your smartphone or tablet.
Connect with VOM
Pray for Compassion Services
During His life on earth, Jesus had concern for those who were hurting. He showed His compassion in practical ways, such as healing the lame, the leprosy patients and welcoming children. In the same way, Gospel for Asia-supported Compassion Services, which includes slum ministry, leprosy ministry, medical ministry and disaster relief, shows love to the poor in practical ways.
Through these ministries, many are coming to know the love of Christ for the first time in their lives. This month we have the chance to join together in prayer for Compassion Services.
Please pray for GFA-supported missionaries and Sisters of Compassion who work in the slums. Pray they will have grace to continue sharing Christ's love with the people there, and they will have strength to minister in the most difficult areas of the world.
Please pray for more people to have access to quality health check-ups and for growing exposure to good hygiene practices. Please pray for the doctors and medical workers to share Christ's love as they provide medical aid to patients.
Pray for more leprosy patients to feel and understand God's love through Compassions Services teams.
Pray for Disaster Relief
Compassion Services teams work in areas affected by natural disasters to rebuild housing and provide relief supplies. In August2017, monsoon floods hit Northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal. More than 1,200 people were killed from the floods. Compassion Services teams work to provide relief supplies, such as rice and dal, to needy families.
In Sri Lanka, Dr. K.P. Yohannan provided food for those affected by floods in the nation. In addition to feeding people, Compassion Services teams can counsel and comfort those who have lost loved ones or possessions.
Pray for many in disaster-affected areas to come to know Jesus' hope and comfort. Pray for the disaster relief teams to get to areas that are difficult to access.
Riding Toward the Future
Paramita first received her bicycle on November 2015.
Paramita’s friends whizzed past her on their bicycles as she trekked the long four-mile journey to school. She longed to have a bike of her own so she could arrive to school on time, but every weekday morning, Paramita had to walk.
She was often exposed to the harsher elements of weather. When it rained, her school books would get drenched. When the sun’s heat was intense, she would arrive to school and return home exhausted. Many of these issues rendered her unable to focus completely on schoolwork. Knowing her family’s financial state, Paramita thought it best not to ask her parents for a bicycle.
Determined to Succeed
In 2015, Paramita began the school year in the eighth grade, but due to travel difficulties and inconsistent attendance, she was demoted to seventh grade. In spite of the odds that were stacked against her, Paramita continued her pursuit of education.
Although she has parents who supported her educational endeavors, the financial state of Paramita’s family prevented her from being able to afford the things she needed to succeed. If she had a bicycle, like her friends, then she wouldn’t need to worry about the amount of time it took to get to and from school, and she could beat the heat.
New Hope for a Brighter Future
In November 2015, a GFA-supported Christmas gift distribution took place, and many school-going children were given bicycles. GFA-supported pastor Balaraj took notice of Paramita’s situation and gave her a bike.
Paramita said: “All my friends go to school by bicycle, and I wanted to have a bicycle like my friends. But I knew the difficulties that my parents have financially, and so I dared not ask them. But sometimes when I am alone, I used to feel discouraged and cry for my life. Now, my life is changed after getting the bicycle, because every day I go to school regularly, and I am not late, neither do I get tired. I am very happy.”
Receiving a bicycle made a huge impact on Paramita’s life. She could catch up and improve on her studies, which led to being promoted a grade level. She also started to travel to Pastor Balaraj’s church on Sunday mornings. Through the blessing of a bicycle, Paramita experienced the love and provision of her Heavenly Father and now delights to walk with Him.
Please Continue to Pray for Persecuted Believers All Over the World!!!!