VOM Mexico sends to printers abridged Spanish study version of In the Shadow of the Cross: Theology of Persecution and Discipleship

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The three part study version of In the Shadow of the Cross by VOMC’s Glenn Penner, planned since before his death in 2010, is finally being printed, thanks to a funding project by the VOMC Mission office. The abridged version is accomodated to be more accesible to the persecuted Body of Christ in Mexico and in general.

The first study is actually taken from the last chapter in Glenn’s original text book, to present Glenn to the Mexican reader, and to exhort the church to do it’s homework… fulfill the Great Commission instead of standing by and waiting for the return of Christ to take the church out of this world, through understanding God’s reasons for waiting, or for delaying the return of Christ.

It lays the basis for the second and main part of the manual, understanding and delving into Glenn’s development of the Theology of Persecution and Discipleship, that Pastor Daniel Celis, presents from Genesis through Apocalypsis with relevant comments and a point of view that reflects his own experience and studies with the persecution of the Body of Christ in Mexico.

The third study is a presentaion of the ministerial protocols developed in a collaboration between Luis Antonio Herrera, native of Chiapas, with more than 20 years of experience in the persecution field, and Linda Picard, an American bi-vocational missionary, responsible for initially establishing the VOM Mission in Mexico.

The mediation, pastoral, and social networking skills of Luis and his organization, Coordination of Christian Organizations (Coordinacion Organizaciones Cristianas), along with Linda’s personal and social skills, combined with the love for Voice of the Martyrs as a ministry, facilitated the devolpment and refining of a first class integral program of Immediate and Secondary attention to and for the Persecuted Church in Mexico.

Added to the third study are case examples, programs, and projects to illustrate how VDLM – VOM Mexico has developed the best all round plan of attention with a small staff and little funds, and the coordination of efforts by others including pastors, churches, ministries and NGO’s.

Throughout the three studies are Interactive Dynamics taken from the VOM USA 100 Suggestions to become involved… to make this small work not just an academic study but a common sense and practical exercise in responding to: persecution, those who are persecuted, and those who are persecuting our brethren or us.

Ten thousand manuals should be available by the end of July, and will be presented at the VOM Mexico August General Assembly in Chiapas for team training in presenting the principles and ideas around Mexico. Workshops will then be sheduled in different regions with the hope of impacting the Body of Christ in Mexico, and affirming those who are actually facing persecution in the flesh.

If you are interested in supporting this project, please contact this office or VOMC for more information. Your prayers are appreciated always as we set out on this new stage of ministry.

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Voice of the Martyrs in Mexico opens new Training & Distribution Center

1VDLM / VOM in Mexico has moved it’s Sinaloa support office to a new building in the same neighborhood, but with better accomodations, security, and more economical. We are looking forward to the development of our northern Mexico team, serving the northern and central states of Mexico as a bridge between those who are actually experiencing religious persecution in the flesh in Mexico and the Body of Christ who should be sensitive and respond to their needs both in prayer and physically, … opening up opportunities to serve the persecuted body of Christ on both a national and international level.

Our team consists of Janeth, Adrianna, and Jorge being trained and mentored by Founder and General Ministry Director Linda Picard, and subject to the Administration and Board members in the Chiapas ASAP Base, which supplies both immediate and secondary attention to the persecuted Body of Christ in Mexico.

DSCF5354The office is equipped to receive volunteer groups and small groups for training sessions, distribute literature and materials for VOM sponsored and related activities, and to present VOM activities for Children, Youth, Women, Leadership, and general conferences relating to Biblical & persecution themes. Tuesday we will receive formally our first volunteer group in the new office, Women in the Breach / Hearts of Fire from the ICCVU (Villa Union Congregational Women’s group) with a brief introduction to our program and goals, and then proceed to the work at hand in fabricating crafts and materials for conferences and activities around the republic.

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Work is also progressing in the preparation of several VOM themes as monthly magazines, Jorge’s work to reach out to pastors and leaders, keeping them informed,  and involving their churches, alliances or ministry groups in the work.

VOM Mexico has in the past 2 years becomes the principal source of information about religious persecution in Mexico, specifically based on its field work and the relationships of trust formed through it’s immediate attention to threated groups and families, it’s programs of support and follow up, and the coordination of aid through the work of Luis Herrera.

Please feel free to contact us directly to learn more about religious persecution in Mexico itself or to learn more about supporting this ministry and it’s outreach and projects. Persecution in Mexico is rarely reported and is often least understood for its complexity… sadly because most presume that Mexico being “Christian” precludes the presence of such barbarities as massive expulsions of Evangelical Indigenas and non Indigenas, preaching the Gospel, group prayer, building churches, children denied their rights to an an education, government aid being denied, or fees and participation required of Protestant Christians for Roman Catholic and Tribal Traditionalist fiestas and celebrations.

We, working here in Mexico have a better understanding of the complications and problems faced, and the fact that the government and human rights organizations are not interested in responding.

Prayer Points:

  • Accomodation of Sinaloa C / D Center & the training of its staff
  • Preparation and Printing of VOM Monthly Magazines
  • Development of VOM ministerial and leadership relationships in the northern and central parts of Mexico
  • Development of sensitivity and interest in those who are actually persecuted for their faith in the regions attended by our new VOM Center.
  • Development of a deeper consciousness of the actual situation in Mexico, and an attitude of mutual respect between Catholics and Evangelicals.
  • DSCF5351Jorge, Director; Janeth, Office Manager; Salome, Maintenance; Adrianna, Crafts

 

 

 

VOM USA: Irak … Winter Is Coming: Will You Help?

Winter Is Coming. Will You Help?
St. Elijah Chaldean Relief Center

It gets very cold in northern Iraq, and winter is coming. Christian refugees from Mosul need our help now.

When IS (Islamic State) advanced into Iraq this summer, 100,000 Christians were displaced. Many fled to the Kurdish region and camped in unfinished or abandoned buildings, schools and empty fields. Now that winter is coming, these Christian refugees need our help to stay warm for the next few months.

The Voice of the Martyrs is already at work providing warm clothing, heaters and better shelters for our brothers and sisters in need. Since this past summer, VOM has been supporting Christians in Iraq with food, generators for churches, shelter, Bibles, emergency medical care and water purifiers. Now we’re helping them prepare for winter by providing warm clothing, including coats and long underwear, and gas heaters. You can help support our ongoing efforts with a gift to “Help Iraqi Christians.”

Support Iraqi Christians
“We thought we had been forgotten by the whole world!”
—Iraqi Christian who received an Action Pack

People handing out Action Packs VOM partners have been distributing aid items to Christian refugees since summer, and now is your chance to personally fill an Action Pack that will be distributed to Iraqi Christians. Action Packs are special bags that you fill with approved items and send back to VOM for distribution. You will fill these Action Packs with warm clothing and other items that will be given directly to the displaced Iraqi Christians as an encouragement. Get your family or small group involved in filling several Action Packs, and include a photo and a note telling them they are not forgotten.

Send an Action Pack and Fellowship with Your Persecuted Iraqi Family

The support for our brothers and sisters in Iraq has been substantial, but there is still more to do! We invite you to help provide aid for Iraqi Christians now that winter is coming.

Make Your Donation

 

Jesus Freaks / Locos por Jesus: Improvising Dramas and Internalizing Persecution

DSC_0204Would you renounce Christ? Would you spit on the Bible, God’s sacred word to save you life?

DSC_0211We have your nephew! Would you renounce your calling to preach the Gospel to the lost and perishing, to save the life of a loved one?

DSC_0228We will die grateful! While 2 young Chinese girls thank their pastor for preaching the Word to them, and for discipling them, he rejects his faith to save his life. Read the book to find out what price he pays for his decision.

DSC_0217I promise I won’t cry anymore! The little girl reminds her mother that it is better to suffer in prison than renounce Jesus and their faith in Him.

DSC_0234The Letter between friends… The story of 2 young Russsian women and their decisions.

DSC_0262We will die together! The testimony of Haim and his family of 7 children, and how their dying together saved others.

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Greetings from the Voice of the Martyrs Mexico Locos Team: Luis, Isaac, Lolita, Benji, Linda, Irma, and Lucy! at the end of a rewarding and challenging evening.

 

Knowing persecution in the flesh, they strive to share their faith with others…

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Young women from hostile communities determined to share their faith as Sunday School teachers  in Voice of the Martyrs Mexico SS Training Course. The younger women in front are from a group expelled from their community three years ago, and the woman in the rear lives in a community known for it’s persecution for decades.

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Her pastor left his community 20 years ago when he saw the violence growing against the Evangelical believers in his community. He left before it reached out and damaged his family.

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Brother Pedro came to the class to take his daughters place as she had to attend another meeting in her community. Pedro was freed from prison last August 5th, after being accused with his oldest son of shooting at a crowd who were attacking another Christian family. The charges were false, but it didn’t matter to his neighbors who preferred to see any two Evangelicals in prison than lose the guilty persons who had escaped. Pedro served 3 and a half years. His son was abused, bullied, and made fun of by the other prisoners, much as Jesus was while on the cross. Pedro and his son matured in his faith while in prisoner, and it touches us to have him feel secure and welcome in the ASAP Base of VOM in Mexico.

Ending the year: Prayer Themes / Focus & Activities for 2014

VOM CALENDARIO_2014_25x43 (marron)Just to remind you that we do have a prayer calender, following the same basic yearly plan, so that our people are pretty much accustomed to pray along with the VOM Mexican Mission. Each month mentions at least one country, a theme, a scripture, and shares a relevant photo.

UPDATE 2014: Please join us in prayer for:

  • the activities scheduled for the last months of 2014
  • Sunday School Teachers Training in October and November, and their Closing Certificate Program in December (18 community groups representing between 500 – 700 elementary school children)
  • Jesus Freaks Youth Program being launched Saturday October 18th in San Cristobal and the plans for a Jesus Freaks Congress in October of 2015
  • Return visit to Group in Pushila, who were uniquely allowed to return in mass to their community after 2 years of expulsion, last December 26th 2013. We are going in to the EZLN autonomous area to bring gifts to the young people of the community, and share words of encouragment with them.
  • pushila
  • Youth and Persecuted Church March the 31st of October, with local churches marching in support of Persecuted Body of Christ
  • IDOP in Mexico and Latin America the month of November
  • Participation of Luis Herrera VOM Mexico in the CSW Forum on Religious Persecution in Mexico City this November
  • Visits to northern states befre the year ends
  • December visits from northern Mexico group from Ensenada, and others
  • Blessings Festival participation of VOM Mexico office for Colombia (January 2015)

For those who are interested in accompanying us in prayer, we will have available the new prayer calender for 2015 the end of October.

Blast from the Past 2013 and Update 2014: New Evangelical Alliance in Huixtan Holds 1st ever March in Huixtan, Chiapas

New Evangelical alliance in Huixtan Hold 1st ever March in Huixtan, Chiapas

2013. A new alliance of some 12 protestant church groups held their first ever Evangelical march and crusade in Huixtan Chiapas last weekend. Pastor Severino here, was expelled over 20 years ago from his community, and his church destroyed. The man responsible asked for his forgiveness several months ago, and opened the door for the work to begin again. Please keep these brothers and their congregations in prayer… for wisdom and discernment in sharing the Good News in such a way that gains souls and mutual respect, and not more violence against them.

UPDATE 2013-2014:  both directors of VOM Mexico began attending the Huixtan Alliance monthly meetings, and in this manner both forged relationships with many of the municipal pastors and their congregations, and for 2013 developed community projects using our Family Workshop Leader Veronica, and complemented with the Kids of Courage Leader Lolita, making our monthly community visits a team VOM project. Communities visited on a regular basis were Lopez Mateo, Chempil, San Antonio, San Gregorio, and Zitim.

The Alliance progressed with a few bumps in the road during the year… habits of intolerance and impunity are hard to let go of. This past year the Alliance asked for permission for their second march and Evangelistic campaign in the center of town, which was granted begrudgingly. All appeared to go well, although there was an atmospshere of tenseness. We learned that the second day, the parish priest went to see the Religious Affairs Director in the city, armed with petitions from the Catholic Church, and some of their prominent citizens to insist that the permission be cancelled since the Catholic authorities deemed the Evangelistic Campaign an afront, and claimed it wouldn’t be responsible for the violence it was sure to cause. Thankfully, the government official in the office at the time, denied the exisitence of any legitimate authority aside from those elected and lectured the priest and his people about the constitutional rights of religious freedom. It was a first, and a very welcome step. The government official deserves recognition for doing the job designated, inspite of pressure from superiors in Religious Affairs, but given the situation and the risk it would represent, we would ask you to keep this person in prayer for continued courage and blessing.

The cases in the municipality still have not been resolved and the fact that the EZLN is again moving its autonomous communities to protest various government programs means that the situation remains delicate, until the problem is treated at it’s roots. The autonomous communities use their afiliation with the EZLN (Zapatista Movement) for their convenience in excluding Evangelicals from their communities.

The unresolved cases are Chilil with 30+ persons, expelled since November of 2009, and covered in Greg Mussulman’s book: “Closer to the Fire”, and the communities of San Gregorio and Zitim which we work with through a Reconciliation Project for women with the donation of sewing machines from the VOMC office.