Today Hanna Massad, former pastor of Gaza Baptist Church, assists persecuted Christians and refugees across the Middle East. He knows what they are facing. He’s had his own first-hand experiences of Christian persecution, living and pastoring a church in a Muslim context. His wife led the Gaza Bible Society during a time when it was bombed twice. Their coworker and friend, Rami Ayyad, was kidnapped and murdered. In these difficult moments, Hanna and his family had to completely rely on God’s Word. When Gaza police told him they couldn’t protect his family, Hanna thought of Psalm 46:1, “The Lord is my refuge.” He and his family knew God could protect them, even if local authorities could not or would not. In the face of threats of further attacks, they decided to leave Gaza, at least temporarily. They planned to be away for a few weeks, long enough that the situation could settle down again. Instead, their departure became long-term. While the doors have never re-opened for the Massad family to return permanently to Gaza, that doesn’t mean their ministry in Gaza ceased. Massad, author of the book Pastor From Gaza (affiliate link), continues ministering to Christians in Gaza through the church, online connections, the Bible Society library and regular visits back to his homeland. Listen as he shares an update on the current ministry of Pauline Ayyad, Rami’s widow and a recent guest on VOM Radio. He’ll also share what it means to be a true disciple and he’ll challenge every listener to keep our eyes on Jesus. Hanna is the founder and president of Christian Ministry to Gaza, blessing and serving widows, orphans, and refugees in multiple nations of the Middle East, helping provide for spiritual and physical needs. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

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Anu Dani earned money by predicting people’s future as a seer. When her young daughter grew very ill and no other efforts healed her, she took the girl to a Christian church. The pastor prayed, her daughter was healed and Anu immediately put her faith in Christ, turning away from her occult practices.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Lebanese church leaders request prayers as they minister to refugees. More than 1 million Syrian refugees have entered the country since 2012, increasing Lebanon’s population by nearly one-fourth. Despite hardship, many evangelical churches in Lebanon not only welcomed but also cared for Christian and Muslim refugees with limited resources and few rights in the country.

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Pastor Hanna Massad served the Lord in the face of intense Christian persecution. He’s been threatened. The Bible Society where his wife worked was bombed. He buried a martyred coworker. Yet he calls it an honor and a privilege to serve the Lord in such circumstances. Hanna Massad is the former pastor of Gaza Baptist Church. His wife, Suhad, led the Bible Society in Gaza. He still gets emotional thinking back to the day when Rami Ayyad, who worked for the Bible Society, was kidnapped and later killed. Speaking of his martyred friend, Hanna says, “Rami had a wonderful heart, he loved the Lord, and his dedication to the Lord, his family, and the community are wonderful memories, despite the pain and suffering.” Listen as Hanna shares his own story of coming to faith in Christ, and how he faced pressure—even as a boy—for being identified as a Christian in Gaza. He says Christians in Gaza live “between two fires,” and explains some of the challenges of church ministry in such a setting. “Our faith will not be tested when everything is going fine.” Hanna explained. God allows us to go through the fire to reflect His love to those who don’t know Him. Last year we met Rami Ayyad’s widow, Pauline. Listen to Pauline Ayyad’s interview on VOM Radio to hear her journey from deep grief and anger to forgiving Rami’s persecutors. Today Pastor Hanna Massad serves as the leader for Christian Mission to Gaza. He is also author of the book Pastor From Gaza (affiliate link). Hanna reminds us what the most important thing in life is as we, children of God by His grace, carry the Holy Spirit’s presence wherever we go. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

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The radical Islamic group al-Shabab has increased its attacks in Somalia. Early in 2023, more than thirty people were killed, and several homes were burned after a car bombing in a small village north of Mogadishu. On October 30, 2022, two massive car bombs exploded in downtown Mogadishu, killing around a hundred people and injuring more than 300.

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On Sept. 21, Pastor Tony Benjamin of Anuradhapura province in Sri Lanka investigated a noise outside his gate and was assaulted by two men with a shovel, demanding that he stop his religious activities. He was able to crawl back into the house before the men began breaking windows and causing other damage.

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Brother Harold served 15 years as a gospel worker among Muslims in Central Asia—where persecution of new Christian believers is common. For the past five years he has worked in the US to recruit, train and mobilize more workers into the world’s spiritual harvest fields. Harold reminds us that four out of every ten people around the world have never heard the name of Jesus. What are we, as Christians, doing to shrink that number? Harold reminds us that God’s Word clearly states that followers of Jesus are to be involved in the spreading of the gospel. He challenges every listener: Are you sending laborers into the harvest? Praying for the gospel to go out? Are you going? Harold will share a recent story where God allowed him to see the fruit of his family’s labor in Central Asia—but also reminds us that we won’t always see the fruit of our work, especially in the early years of gospel planting. He’ll also encourage listeners that they can reach unreached nations right here in the US through immigrant communities. He’ll share how he and his family have been able to bless Central Asian immigrants in their city—and how that has led to gospel opportunities. He says when Muslims come to faith in the US, it is almost always the result of encountering Christ’s love in His people. Listen as Harold suggests ways we can pray for more opportunities for the gospel, for our persecuted church family, and for current and future missionaries. In this conversation we refer to a previous episode on VOM Radio with Bob and Kasey, who were enjoying their retirement when God gave them a “holy discontent,” and called them to minister to the people of a very closed Muslim nation. Learn how you can specifically pray for persecuted Christians in 2023 by requesting a complimentary copy of VOM’s 2023 Global Prayer Guide. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

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