Brother Hannu leads the VOM-affiliated mission in Finland, inviting Finnish Christians into fellowship with persecuted brothers and sisters all over the world. As a young Christian he was involved in smuggling Bibles into the Soviet Union. Later he would take Bibles and Christian videos into tightly-closed Middle East nations, including Iran and Libya. Listen to stories from some of his Bible delivery adventures, and more importantly the “holy moment” when God grabbed Hannu’s heart and filled it with love for the Muslim people of the Middle East. Hannu will also talk about the work of VOM’s Finnish sister mission, especially his burden to reach young Christians there and invite them to fellowship with Christians willing to go to jail or even die rather than deny their faith in Christ. You can learn more about the family of ministries begun around the world by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand here.
John Grooters directed Tortured For Christ – The Movie, a feature-film telling the amazing story of VOM’s founders, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand. The story has inspired millions of Christians over the past 50 years through Pastor Wurmbrand’s best-selling book, Tortured For Christ. Listen as John talks about turning this iconic book into a film, including the challenge of portraying Richard’s suffering in an appropriate way. John will also share how God’s hand was on the production, including snowfall and sunshine in Romania that miraculously cooperated with the filming schedule. Hear how God led John to just the right song for the close of the film—a song written by a Christian cellmate of Richard Wurmbrand in prison! You’ll hear how Richard’s faith impacted John as he studied the story and created the film, and how he hopes it will also impact the faith of the viewers, including ending the movie not with a scene of suffering but a scene of American Christians worshipping the Lord. US Residents: as a THANK YOU for your generous donation in the month of March to support VOM's work assisting persecuted Christians, VOM will send you a complimentary copy of Tortured For Christ - The Movie on DVD. You can give online here. VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, has also been a guest on John’s podcast, “No Shame,” which is available wherever you listen to podcasts. You can hear the interview with Todd by clicking here.
Tessie DeVore leads The Lumo Project, which has been called “The Gospels for a Visual Age.” Listen to hear the story of bringing the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—word-for-word, right from the text—to film in a way that brings the stories to life in a new way. She’ll also share how these films can be easily translated and produced for multiple languages—including the languages of restricted and hostile nations. Tessie will describe the power of people seeing Jesus on the screen as they hear the words from the Scriptures, and the process of translating and releasing the films in multiple languages. You’ll also hear a story of how the film is making an impact on one family living in a hostile nation. Learn more about Lumo Project on its web site, and see samples from the movies on the Lumo Project YouTube channel.
Are there blessings found in being in prison for Christ? Yonas Haile was a Christian worship leader and filmmaker in the African nation of Eritrea. When his gospel film was released, the Eritrean government was furious; from that day, Yonas was targeted. He says Eritrean Christians are “ready always” to face persecution. Listen as he tells of the joy that God blessed him with, even in the midst of horrible suffering and prison. Yonas also experienced God’s miraculous power, including walking out of an Eritrean prison just as Peter walked out of prison in the book of Acts. He’ll also share about opportunities to be a witness for Christ and offer hope through the gospel of Christ—even in prison. Finally, Yonas will update on whether changes have happened in Eritrea since the country signed a peace agreement with Ethiopia. And he’ll give specific ways we can pray for that nation, and for our spiritual family members there—especially those in prison for Christ. Helen Berhane, another Eritrean worship leader, helped Yonas make his gospel film. You can hear her interview with VOM Radio here.
Is anyone outside the reach of God’s grace? Listen this week to hear stories of radical militants in Nigeria meeting Jesus and committing their lives to His service—even at great cost. Paul Childers leads The University of the Nations for Youth With a Mission (YWAM). He’s trained Christians all over the world to tell the gospel story of Jesus’ love, and reminds us that Jesus’ gospel “still works” to change peoples’ hearts. YWAM workers are seeing that in Nigeria—literally seeing thousands of former militants now following Christ. Paul will also tell about finding the courage to go to hard places to share Jesus’ love and encourage His followers. Listen to hear how the book of Revelation came alive in a new way as he ministered alongside persecuted Christians. He’ll also offer advice to those God may be calling into missions, and give us ways to pray for the work of YWAM around the world. You can hear more about the early days of YWAM from the ministry’s founder, Loren Cunningham, in this episode of VOM Radio.
Nik and Ruth Ripken are back for the second half of our conversation. How do we bear other Christians’ burdens (Gal. 6:2), both those living in hostile and restricted nations, and missionaries that serve in difficult places around the world? Why is it so important, before we offer help, to offer a listening ear to hear the stories on the hearts of the people that we want to minister to? As veteran missionaries who have served for 35+ years, Nik and Ruth offer advice to American Christians on how we can minister to missionaries home from the field. How should young people feeling a call to missions respond, prepare and pray? Nik and Ruth offer advice for those sensing God’s call to serve Him in far-off and even difficult places—and remind us that ALL followers of Christ are called to GO…the only question is WHERE each Christian is called to go to. How have the Ripkens kept their marriage strong and fresh through 35 years of ministry in difficult places…and how has God used their marriage as a spiritual lighthouse to reach Muslims for Christ? Why is it that Muslims often ask them about their marriage, and about how they raised their children? What are some specific, practical ways we can pray for missionaries that we support and send out? How do we pray for Christians in the midst of persecution? How can we pray for the nation of Somalia, a nation where the Ripkens served heroically in the midst of a tragic famine. This special podcast edition of this week’s conversation includes bonus material not included in the broadcast version. If you missed the first half of our conversation with Nik and Ruth, you can listen to it here. Their first visit to VOM Radio, following the release of the film version of Nik’s book, The Insanity of God, is here.
Nik and Ruth Ripken have served 35+ years as missionaries and conducted extensive interviews with hundreds of persecuted Christians from all parts of the world. They went to not as teachers but as students, simply to sit at the feet of persecuted believers and learn from them. The bold believers they met shared amazing lessons about living out faith in Jesus in the midst of hostile enemies, literally sheep among wolves. What are the qualities that allow faith to thrive in such hard places? How are churches built in nations closed to Christian witness? Are there ways we can reach out to people from hostile nations, right here in the United States? Nik and Ruth also offer insights for American Christians on ways we can encourage and bless missionaries that our churches are sending out and supporting—both while they serve and when they come home to refresh and recharge. Nik is the author of The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected, which was also made into a film. You can listen to Nik and Ruth’s previous conversation on VOM Radio, conducted when the film was released, here.
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