Carter Gates leads VOM’s work in the Asia Pacific Region. This week he shares how he came to be involved in ministry, some travel and ministry experiences, and updates on the persecution of Christians in China, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Carter’s first spark of interest in missions came after reading a VOM book, Jesus Freaks, where he first read about Christians being persecuted for their faith. The stories, including one from North Korea, stirred in him a passion to know more about what his brothers and sisters in Christ are facing. Carter joined YWAM as a sophomore in college, and what he thought would be a few months of service turned into seven years ministering throughout East Asia! China continues to enforce drastic religious restrictions, including expelling many Christian foreigners, some of whom have lived and worked in China for decades. Local believers say they are ready to take the lead and continue God’s work—even as they face suffering and persecution. Carter will also discuss restrictions and persecution in Myanmar and Vietnam, including how Covid has affected ministry and travel in the past two years. Carter will also share an opportunity VOM workers had to help Christians obtain ground to bury their dead—something that’s been a blessing to Christians and a powerful testimony to Buddhists living in the surrounding area. Carter will help us know specific ways to pray for access to God’s Word, strength for the church and for the Lord to continue to lead His people in the Asia Pacific region. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast

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Listen this week as we share Part 2 (listen to Part 1) of Silas’s story. He will tell of the darkest moments in his life, suffering intense persecution for his Christian faith. Silas and his family continued in obedience to Christ despite threats from the KGB. Silas’s refusal to bow to their agenda angered them. Silas was arrested and tortured in ways that, as a lawyer, he found unbelievable. He says his doubts, shame, and moments of weakness reminded him to lean into God’s power. By remembering the suffering of Christ, Silas was overwhelmed with comfort. As Silas trusted the Lord in his suffering, he saw God working on the hearts of others—including his torturers! The head KGB officer who tortured Silas and his Christian friend later asked Silas’s forgiveness and prayer for his family. He was even welcomed into the home of one of the Christians he’d tortured. Today Silas is involved in ministry through radio/TV broadcasting and various internet platforms to share the gospel in the Turkmen language, knowing how it impacted him to see on film Jesus speaking his own language. Pray for the good news to continue to spread throughout Turkmenistan and to Turkmen people all over the world! Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

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Brother Silas, raised in the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, says that as a young man he was an atheist in his head but a Muslim in his heart. When a family member shared his faith in Jesus Christ, Silas angrily rejected such talk. In his mind, Christianity was foreign to the Turkmen people, the faith of the invading Russians. Yet, as Silas heard the stories and teachings of Jesus, he found himself attracted by who Jesus is. Through a VHS copy of the Jesus Film in the Turkmen language and the divine opportunity to watch it, Silas committed his life to following Christ. Listen as Silas shares how hearing Jesus speak in Turkmen, his own heart’s tongue, made the gospel real and personal to him. Immediately, Silas experienced overwhelming joy and peace. All his questions had been answered. He began to share Christ with others in his village. But as his obedient actions for Christ became known, Silas got his first taste of Christian persecution. Government agents, focused on keeping control of Turkmenistan’s people, raided church meetings and even Silas’s home. Be sure to listen next week to hear part two of Silas’s testimony and the intense persecution he faced. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

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Across the Middle East, Muslims have questions about their faith. But Islamic teaching doesn’t encourage or allow such questions. As a young man in Morocco, Brother Rachid had questions also; he found answers through a Christian radio broadcast and chose to follow Christ. Today he hosts an Arabic-language TV program airing all over the Middle East. On the first broadcast, he asked Muslims to call in with questions about Islam and Christianity. In the first half hour of the program more than 800 people called with questions! Listen to hear how Rachid learned to see outside his own worldview and break down Islamic ideologies he was taught. Over time, his actions and ideas changed; others noticed that his entire life had been transformed. Persecution came swiftly. When his family found out he was a Christian, they kicked him out of the house. Rachid connected with other Christians, which gave him joy and excitement knowing he had a new family, but also fear he could be imprisoned or persecuted for his faith. Rachid will advise how we can help Muslim friends find answers to their questions in Christ. Pray for breakthroughs in the hearts of Muslims as the gospel is shared through TV and radio broadcasts all over the Middle East. You can also watch a video version of Brother Rachid’s testimony. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

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Among tribal groups in East Asia, new believers in Christ can be forcibly removed from their homes and villages. Animistic tribesmen desire to please and appease the spirits they worship; those who come to faith in Jesus are seen as angering the spirits. However, those who follow Jesus are part of a new community as brothers and sisters come alongside to encourage one another amidst persecution. Matt and Linda are working with people from one of these tribes. They’ll explain how the gospel is spreading and what Christian persecution looks like in that setting. Linda helps run a Sunday school program which is serving children from believing and unbelieving homes alike. Even parents who don’t know Christ are encouraging their kids to go! Listen as Matt and Linda share the importance of teaching Bible stories in these tribal communities, and how younger generations point their parents toward the Lord. As villagers see the power of God and His love for them, hearts are touched and transformed. Pray for gospel workers in tribal communities in Asia, and for the safe distribution of God’s Word into hostile areas and restricted nations in the region. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio. Subscribe to the podcast.

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Ten or 20 years ago, persecution of Christians in China varied greatly across China’s 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions. Bob Fu—a former teacher at the Communist Party School in Beijing and prisoner for Christ in China—says things are much different today. Chinese Christian persecution is driven by the national government in Beijing; every province is expected to control religious expression. Fu is the Founder and President of China Aid Association and author of God’s Double Agent. Listen as he shares how the communist government has cracked down on Christians in recent years and how Christians have suffered ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Bob says persecution of Christians in China today is the worst it’s been since the 1960s and 70s Cultural Revolution. Xi Jinping and other officials are increasing efforts to imprison and detain unregistered church leaders and members—but leaders in state-sanctioned TSPM churches are also persecuted. Communist ideology is also enforced through digital surveillance. Every Chinese person is required to install a “health app” on their phone, and surveillance cameras throughout the country monitor movement.  Online meetings with any religious purpose are now required to register and be approved by provincial authorities, and Bible apps have been forbidden. As the eyes of the world turn toward China during the Games, join Christians around the world to pray for Chinese Christians—and for their persecutors. Go to www.PrayForChina2022.com to learn more about what is happening in China and how you can pray for Christian brothers and sisters there.

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As a young adult, John sensed the call to surrender his life to bring glory to God and reach Tibetan Buddhists in the Himalayan region for Christ. Listen as John shares how he started in full-time ministry among Tibetan people, their culture, and encouraging stories of persecuted Christians in the region. Tibetan Buddhists’ beliefs often mix traditional Buddhism with existing shamanistic beliefs of the region. In tightly-knit communities, those who come to faith in Jesus face persecution from families and the broader community. John connects established Tibetan Christians with new believers to share their experiences of persecution and faith, preparing the new believers for what may come. Listen as John shares encouraging stories of young people finding hope in Jesus. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

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Come with us to the Middle East as VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, and his wife, Char, share stories from a recent visit to persecuted Christians in the region. Listen as they share updates on Iraqi refugees who fled from ISIS more than five years ago and what the Lord is currently doing in the lives of persecuted Christians – even one who has only been a believer one week! You’ll hear about an Iranian woman who, in just two years as a believer, has planted almost 40 churches! She uses every opportunity to pray for others in Jesus’ name. When those prayers are answered, they instantly want to know more about the Lord she serves. Learn about Christians in the Middle East sacrificially staying with Muslim family members—in spite of persecution—in the hope of seeing their relatives know Christ. Listen also to hear about a service where former Muslims were baptized into new life in Christ—and the joy radiating from the new believers’ faces. As ISIS drove across the Nineveh plains, many Iraqi Christians fled to surrounding countries as refugees. More than five years later, many are still waiting for a new beginning in another country. They are unable to work and their children can’t attend school. But the church is welcoming them—both Muslim and Christian refugees. VOM continues to partner with churches to help meet Christian refugees’ needs and encourage them in this discouraging season. Learn how you can pray for them and for the church in the Middle East.  Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast!

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Across Africa, the church is undergoing attacks on its members and their meeting places. Yet despite the destruction, our Christian brothers and sisters exhibit an overwhelming joy in Christ. Sean Paton and Jeremy Malkin continue the conversation from last week on VOM’s efforts to help our persecuted brothers in Burkina Faso, Benin, Sudan, and Mozambique. Listen as Jeremy and Sean share how Christians are responding to the persecution in these regions—and also share encouraging stories of God’s work in Africa during the past year. Animistic ideology and belief in the spirits of their ancestors is prevalent in Benin. Christianity is often seen as destroying that culture. New believers are rejecting the rituals and practices of animism and holding fast to their faith in Christ, and therefore being targeted. In Burkina Faso, thirteen churches were destroyed within a week last year by mobs who wanted to rid the area of Christianity. Yet our brothers and sisters gathered to worship the Lord amidst the destruction because of their hope in Him. Listen as Jeremy shares their stories and how we can pray for them. In Mozambique, there has been horrific persecution of Christians by Islamic extremist groups who have pledged allegiance to ISIS. This has forced many Christians to flee, and VOM is helping to meet physical needs and spiritual hunger for God’s Word. In Sudan, political tension continues to grow, which has given a window to provide spiritual encouragement and support to Christians through Bibles and other evangelistic resources. Pray for our brothers and sisters to be bold and courageous for Christ in Africa as they face animistic and Islamist persecution, and to be reminded that what men intend for evil, God can use for good. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

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Across Africa, instability and the growing influence of radical Islamist ideology mean more persecution for our Christian brothers and sisters. Sean Paton and Jeremy Malkin oversee VOM’s efforts to serve persecuted Christians across Africa. Listen as they share updates on how Christians are responding—especially in the Central African Republic and Ethiopia. Thousands of Christians have been displaced in CAR by a civil war in which Christians have at times found themselves specifically targeted and at other times been caught in the crossfire between different factions. Listen as Jeremy gives an update on their situation, tells of meeting them first hand and describes specific ways we can pray for them. Ethiopia has also experienced upheaval in the past year, which provided cover for targeting Christians by those opposed to the gospel in the region. Sean will tell us what Christians there are facing, and give ways to pray. You can be inspired to pray for Christians in these and other nations throughout 2022 when you request your free copy of the 2022 VOM Global Prayer Guide. Subscribe to the VOM Radio podcast so you never miss an episode!

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