The Voice of the Martyrs
She keeps her Bible, which she has dismantled into sections, tucked under the floorboards under her bed.
Her heart beating wildly, she looks around once, twice, three times to make sure no one else is there before she sneaks out the only comfort she’s found in the midst of her poverty, her isolation, her fears. A friend from one village over had given her the Bible two weeks before, saying only, “Read this book. There is nothing like it anywhere. You are loved. But keep this to yourself.”
The One she met in that book is not like the gods her family has worshiped and sacrificed to for the last two hundred years, not like the only gods her government allows the people to talk about; He is loving, merciful, kind. This book, this Bible, tells of His great love for her and for all her people. It also tells that some will be persecuted for loving Him back. What does this mean? Is that why that happened to her friend?
She rearranges the dust back on top of her secret hideaway after she stashes the book there again so that no one will notice anything out of the ordinary. Keeping her secret is vital not only to her own safety but also to protecting the lives of her husband and her children. Perhaps one day they will know what she now knows; but for now she must keep even her closest family in the dark about her newfound discovery.
It’s the only way to protect them. Her friend who gave her the book had been killed by the local government ten days ago in front of the entire village as a warning to others who might mention this Christ figure and all that He represents. And yet her friend had had a peaceful expression on her face before her execution. Their eyes had met, just for an instant, and her friend seemed to tell her silently, “Yes, this is worth it. Read the book. He is real. I know where I am going.”
After the uproar of it all had quieted a bit, outsiders had surreptitiously come to the village to bring food, blankets, clothing, and more information about this Jesus character to the family of her friend who had died. She learned that they were with a group called The Voice of the Martyrs. Her whole world, as she watched them in action, was about to change.
Although that story is one that I made up, it is in keeping with the hundreds of true stories that have woven the tapestry of persecuted Christians and The Voice of the Martyrs for the past 47 years.
The Voice of the Martyrs is a Christian non-profit whose entire purpose is to support the the persecuted church worldwide. After having been imprisoned in his native Romania for fourteen years for his faith in Christ, often in solitary confinement for months at a time, Richard Wurmbrand came to American and founded The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). His beloved wife, Sabina, who had also been imprisoned for three years for her faith, was right by his side until the end of their lives, never quitting in their quest to help, encourage, and sustain the persecuted church.
From its home office in the U.S., VOM operates a network of offices across the globe to help those who have been burned, tortured, imprisoned, kidnaped, and mutilated because of their faith in Christ. VOM also assists the families of those who have been tormented in these ways or even murdered because of their Christian faith.
VOM’s ministry is based on Hebrews 13:3: “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
VOM workers and volunteers put themselves in harm’s way every day as they labor in countries and situations where it is often illegal – even to the point of punishment by death – not only to worship God but also even to mention Christ’s name.
If you are looking for a worthy cause to pray for, to volunteer with, or to give to, please consider The Voice of the Martyrs. Their stories will inspire and astound you. The persecution is real, and so is the invaluability of VOM.
We are proud to support VOM and to shine a light on them as this week’s SPLASHERS: making a sea of change in the name of Jesus Christ.