Helen Berhane, worship leader and former prisoner in Eritrea, joined us last week to share the first part of her story: how she was persecuted for her faith and yet encouraged all believers to count the cost of following Christ. Helen is back this week for the second half of that conversation. Thankfully, she had access to the Bible while imprisoned, and the Lord revealed new wisdom and understanding of Him to her as she read from Genesis to Revelations 15 times! Her knowledge of Jesus increased, and the Holy Spirit gave her overwhelming love and forgiveness towards the ones persecuting her. Supernaturally, she knew when people were praying for her while she was in prison. Many letters were sent, from around the world, to encourage her in prison, and even though she was never able to read the letters, she knows they made a difference. Copies of Helen’s book, Song of the Nightingale, have been smuggled into Eritrea, and her story has encouraged many people toward faith in Christ. Continue to pray for believers currently in prison in Eritrea—an estimated 250 to 300 Christians as of June 2022, including five currently listed on PrisonerAlert.com. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.

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Categories: VOM Radio

Helen Berhane was tortured then imprisoned in a metal shipping container in the African nation of Eritrea. But in spite of terrible persecution she kept singing praises to God! In 2002, the Eritrean government banned evangelical churches from holding public worship services – forcing Christians to meet illegally, in secret. Helen and other believers did not stop meeting, and it wasn’t long until she and many other persecuted Christians were imprisoned. Helen had intentionally prepared herself; she was ready to stand firm in her faith for Christ even in the face of the persecution she knew was coming. Everything, she says, has a price, including following Jesus. Listen as Helen shares how she prepared for her trials and the Bible verses that encouraged her even as she was held in the harshest of prison conditions. God’s presence continued to strengthen her to deny herself, stay disciplined and even gain a better understanding of Jesus’ suffering. Helen would cry – not because of the situation, but because of her experience of the unconditional love of God. And through it all, Helen chose joy and kept on singing. Instead of worshipping in the front of the church or in the spotlight, she worshipped simply in the presence of God. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

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A group of 15 believers was arrested once again in recent weeks despite being released from prison in the last few months. These Christians were not engaged in any illegal activity as they were arrested in their homes. “The police actually went to each of their individual houses; they weren’t caught in a homestead church or gathering,” a front-line worker said.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Dr. Berhane spent 11 months in prison in Eritrea because of his Christian witness. The following is edited and excerpted from an interview with Dr. Berhane by VOM Radio host Todd Nettleton. I was working in hospital when one day the secret police came and arrested me and sent me to prison, and I stayed there for 11 months. So, at that time [I was arrested] I was a new believer, but still I believed that my future is in God’s hand. I wanted to use the opportunity to share God’s love to the prison guards, the fellow prisoners, the inmates, and God opened this opportunity. Every day I was clapping my hands and prisoners would come forward and I shared the gospel. When you are in prison, what you see is harassment; everybody screams at you, the prisoners fight each other, and the prison guards are not nice to you. But, you can keep this inner peace; it is because of Jesus. You wanted to share that peace to the guards and to the prisoners. Sometimes you see people being touched by that and they want to hear more about it. So this encourages me to do more and

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Categories: Stories from the Field