January 23, 2013
Each day VOM receives letters from readers all over the United States. Some compliment VOM; others have questions or complaints. Many write requesting more information on how they can pray for and minister to persecuted Christians. For today's blog post we wanted to share part of a recent letter received from a reader named Millie, who wrote to share how the materials from VOM have affected her life and faith:
It's difficult to put into words how [The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter] has impacted me. First of all, it has given me profound gratitude for my freedom as a believer. I know the Lord has put me in the place I am (Acts 17:26) for this time of human history; why He allowed me to live where I may proclaim faith in Him freely and not in a place such as North Korea gives me unspeakable gratitude to Him. Before I started reading VOM's magazine I didn't realize the plight of believers in other nations. Like many Americans, I had a vague "idea," but no real knowledge. I have used your materials when I teach high school students at our church, praying that they will also have an appreciation for the blessing they have received by being Americans and to give them a heart for those who are being persecuted around the world. I have used some of the pictures and stories (if I can make them age appropriate) for my fours and fives in my Sunday School class. I believe that even at a young age they are capable of understanding there are those who love Jesus in other parts of the world who need encouragement and prayer.
Second, it has made me more vocal about my own faith. Believers around the world are risking death or unspeakable acts against them and their families for speaking of Christ, and yet I fear ridicule and rejection by certain people? I have become more bold as I am encouraged by the stories of those who have not just suffered persecution, but CONTINUE to risk persecution, all for the name of Jesus! I'm still not as bold as I would like, but pray the Lord will give me the strength to be bolder.
Third, it makes me stop and consider what I THINK is important in my life. So much of what I want is not a need or even a remote necessity. I think and pray more carefully as to how to use the resources with which God has blessed me. When I start to feel sorry for myself over something that may not be going according to MY plans, images from your publication will come into focus and of course I can hear the admonition of the Holy Spirit prompting me with, "Really, this upsets you? Are you suffering for My Name?" That usually stops my pity party in its tracks.
There is a small thing that has always impressed me and it doesn't have anything to do with the magazine. Whenever we have sent a donation, there is always a handwritten verse or verse reference on our donation [receipt] we receive back from VOM. It shows that someone personally took the time to put that particular verse on the page. It just gives me satisfaction to see this small human element inserted into a process that could be totally handled by technology.
It is a privilege to pray for VOM and those who are being persecuted. Do I pray faithfully every day? No, if I am honest, I don't, but I do pray often for you at headquarters and for different nations where persecution seems to be more severe. I especially pray that God will reward those being persecuted with new believers from the witness they bear to those around them.
In Jesus' Love,
YOUR TURN: How has reading VOM's newsletter affected your life and your walk with Christ? Share in a comment on this post, or email VOM.