Prison pastor Imprisoned as a threat to the state, Pastor Kashkumbaev had every reason to feel discouraged. But a pointed question from a Christian brother changed his perspective, leading to a powerful work of God in a Kazakhstani prison. “You will serve 10 years of hard time,” the investigator said solemnly. The elderly pastor would be almost 80 by the time he completed his sentence, and part of it, he learned, would be spent in a psychiatric ward. Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbaev knew that prisoners in the psychiatric ward were routinely drugged, causing them to lose the abilities to even think or move. They would drug him to a point of losing his mind. His heart sank. While he was not afraid to die, he didn’t want his seven grandchildren to see him in that condition. Death didn’t scare him, but losing his mind did. The “Crime” In May 2013, Pastor Kashkumbaev was arrested after being accused of harming the health of a church member at Grace Church, a legally registered church in Kazakhstan. Authorities filed five charges against the pastor, including a charge of inciting religious hatred. Although the church member defended the pastor, saying the charges were unfounded, these

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Categories: Global Prayer Guide

Infidel, Smuggler, Pastor How an encounter with the Bible transformed a militant Iraqi Kurd into a passionate evangelist. Seventeen-year-old Nemrut devoured books. He was always looking for something new to read, but few books in the Kurdish language were available in his dusty Iraqi town. One day he spotted something new in a local bookstore — a Kurdish translation of the Gospel of Luke. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he was intrigued. When he asked about the book, he was disappointed to learn that the bookstore owner wouldn’t part with it because it was his only copy. Determined to read the book, Nemrut made a deal with the owner to pay a lending fee so he could borrow the book and return it when he was done. He read until 4 a.m. the next morning. “This was the beginning of loving Jesus,” he said. Luke’s Gospel had planted a seed, but Nemrut still had much to learn. While he wasn’t particularly committed to Islam, Nemrut had been born into a Muslim family. Like many Kurds, he held that faith lightly, feeling more loyalty to family and tribe than to religion. Zealous for an independent Kurdish homeland, Nemrut joined

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Categories: Global Prayer Guide

Joe Handley leads Asian Access, a ministry to train and equip church leaders—including many working in countries where Christians face persecution for their faith. Listen as Joe shares the story of an imprisoned Christian in Myanmar who found a way to be a blessing, even from inside prison. Joe will also talk about training up leaders in hostile and restricted nations—and especially helping them learn to abide in and rely on Christ. Hear how Christians in Sri Lanka reached out to those opposing them, and the way it opened a door for the gospel in a formerly-closed village. And learn how the gospel is advancing in India, in spite of persecution. Don’t forget: the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, coming up November 7. Get free resources from VOM to help you and your church pray. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

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Categories: VOM Radio