Late last year VOM shipped a 40-foot container with 10 tonnes of corn to North Korea with the help of another organisation. Many Christian groups have joined in this effort of sending needed food items to this spiritually and physically hungry nation.
Pray that these shipments will overwhelm the North Korean communist government with the Iove of Christ and soften their hearts towards Christians.
Although there are a few church buildings open there, mainly to impress tourists, The Voice of the Martyrs continues to smuggle Bibles and aid to house churches in North Korea.
"At first they thought it was the sunlight or shadows, but it wasn't," stated one observer. "It was a very real vision of the cross. They were convicted of sin and became Christians."
-- Pulse, March 1997
A Han Christian was working one day in his fields when a Muslim woman came to ask for help hecause her husband was sick. Her husband recovered from a long sickness after the Christians prayed. He became a Christian and shared with his friends who also converted to Christianity. Now they have joined the church and worship with the Han Chinese every week.
-- Pray for China, January/February 1997
Thirteen known house church leaders are in jail, serving a minimum of 20 months each. In addition, authorities have begun raiding churches, arresting entire congregations for short periods. Also, fines are being increased.
"We must force all illegal churches to register under the Tinh Lanh churches," said an official of the Ministry of Socialism and Culture, "if not, we will destroy all of them. We should use every means to intimidate them until they join."
-- Pulse, March 1997
Two of the evangelists in Sister C's house church group are presently in jail for preaching the Gospel. Once the police broke up a meeting where 146 attended. They beat them with rods and wires and forced several of them to stand bent over for more than 3-4 hours at a time. If they moved, they would be beaten. Some of the leaders were given three year prison terms.
In the midst of the harassment, persecution and many kinds of difficulties the Kingdom of God is continuing to spread in China at an unbelievable rate. This worries the communist authorities and they are trying to further control and restrict religious activities.
In response to the headline on an Asian journal, "God is back", one party official in Beijing explained. ..If God had the face of a seventy-year-old man, we wouldn't care if he was back; but he has the face of millions of twenty-year-olds, so we are very worried."
New Life League, Japan. February 1997.
Pastor Ravanbakhsh also helped raise the two sons of Rev. Mehdi Dihaj who was killed after nine years in Iran's prisons.
Ravanbakhsh means "soul giver". He gave his body and soul for Christ. May this courageous soul-giver inspire each one of us to offer our all to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs
Serving the persecuted Church, the mission works in over 50 countries. To help support the ministry, you may contact the Australian mission by email on:
or write to them:
The Voice of the Martyrs
PO Box 598
Penrith NSW 2751
For more information on Bible studies available, visit the Churchlink site on the World Wide Web at http://www.churchlink.com.au/churchlink. Enquiries to: [email protected]