At 21, Mehfri enrolled in a Bible school in Indonesia with no intention of studying the Bible. Although he had grown up in a Christian family, he enrolled in the school only to hide from the police, who were after him for selling drugs. “I was not in the Bible school to get born again,” he said. “When I was in the Bible school, I was thinking how I could sell drugs to the students to get money.” After a few months at the school, and three years of selling cocaine and Ecstasy, Mehfri was arrested and put in jail. Then, one day, a pastor who visited the jail every Friday gave Mehfri a Bible. As Mehfri began to read the Scriptures, he recalled the few lectures he had paid attention to during his time at the Bible school. The lessons on God’s love spoke to him in his time of need, and his heart was softened toward the Lord. “I read Romans 10, and at that time I confessed that Jesus is my Lord,” he said. Twenty days later, his father, who had always struggled to make ends meet, came up with the money to pay his bail. Following

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Each time a new customer walked through the door of the small coffee shop in South Korea where Min-jae shared his story with VOM workers, he hesitated or stopped talking completely. The middle-aged North Korean studied each person’s face anxiously, searching for clues to his or her intent. Min-jae knew from experience that he could never be too careful, even outside North Korea. Spies often cross the border into South Korea to find defectors and report their names to the North Korean government, which then punishes their relatives still living in the country. “In North Korea, no one trusts each other,” said Min-jae, who even suspected his wife of being a spy. “We have to be very cautious about how we think and always careful with our words. I still have that kind of tendency. I get a little nervous, looking back and forth.” With the coffee grinder providing background noise, Min-jae gradually grew more comfortable sharing the story of how he became a Bible smuggler in the most restricted nation on earth. The Bible: Dangerous Cargo in North Korea Min-jae became a believer during a lengthy business trip to China in 2004. While there, he had visited a friend’s

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Though predominantly Hindu, India is also home to one of the world’s largest Muslim populations. One bold evangelist is making sure they hear the gospel, despite persecution from both Muslims and Hindus. Harikiran was born into a Hindu family, but he came to know Christ at age 15 after his sister-in-law was healed from a lengthy illness. When modern medicine and witchcraft had failed to improve her condition, she and her family accepted a pastor’s invitation to visit his church. They soon came to know Christ, and Harikiran’s sister-in-law quickly recovered. “From that day,” he said, “we decided to follow Jesus.” In his eagerness to share the peace and healing his family had experienced, Harikiran began telling others about his new Christian faith. As a result, he has faced many challenges over the past couple of decades as he has continued to tell others about Jesus. He has been arrested three times, jailed for a week, beaten, and harassed by a mob of Hindu activists. But none of these difficulties have hindered Harikiran from sharing the gospel. “If we save one woman or one man,” he said, “it will be worth it. Not a single person should be without God.”

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Categories: Stories from the Field

If not for a North Korean government training video, the testimony of Cha Deoksun’s life would never have been known. Produced to train state security agents how to identify and silence those who promote religion inside North Korea, the film denigrates anyone who practices religion. According to the film, Deoksun received Christ in China and then returned to North Korea to share her faith. Incredibly, the propaganda film gives many details about the life of this courageous Christian. It states that during North Korea’s “Great Famine” in the mid-1990s, when an estimated 2.5 million people died, Deoksun was a strong revolutionary whose faith in the government had wavered. After visiting a woman in the northwest to ask for help, she illegally crossed the border into China in search of her uncle. But instead of finding her uncle, who had died, Deoksun found the Seotap Church, where she heard the gospel for the first time. The video says she became a “fanatical believer” who was inspired to return to North Korea and form an underground network of Christians inside the country. When she returned to North Korea, Deoksun apparently turned herself in to authorities for crossing the border illegally. The video

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Weeks before his wife’s death, James had a casual discussion with her about whether either of them would remarry if the other died. James told her he wanted to die first so their two daughters would have a mother to care for them, and his wife, Mary, teased him by saying she would remarry. But then she grew more serious, telling him she had a sense that she would die first. James didn’t think much of the conversation until later, when Mary was killed in an attack on their Christian village in central Nigeria. James was in the city donating blood at a hospital on the day of the attack. When he called home around noon, Mary told him not to come home because they had heard gunshots in a nearby community and she wanted him to avoid traveling through an area of conflict. She was not yet aware that Fulani Islamic militants were attacking the entire region of Barkin Ladi, outside Jos. Beginning at 7 a.m. that Saturday, June 23, 2018, the heavily armed militants swept through the area, using plastic garden sprayers to spray gasoline on houses before setting them ablaze. Mary called James back a little later,

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Stand with Nigerian Christians

who have lost family members and homes in violent attacks by Boko Haram and Islamic Fulani militants.