Persecution & Prayer Alert

"There is always the danger that we may
just do the work for the sake of the work. This is
where the respect and the love and the devotion
come in -- that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's
why we try to do it as beautifully as possible."

~ Mother Teresa


Yemen: Abducted Missionary's Urgent Appeal

Source(s): International Christian Concern, Times of India

Tom Uzhunnalil
Tom Uzhunnalil

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a mission aid worker abducted by terrorists in strife-torn Yemen, has made a recent video appeal for urgent help after getting "poor response" from governing authorities in India. The video-taped message addresses his deteriorating health and the fact that he urgently requires hospitalization.

Originally from Kerala, India, the 58-year-old ministry worker had been captured from the southern Yemeni city of Aden after the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group attacked a seniors' home run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. During the attack, gunmen stormed the 'refuge for the elderly' on March 4th, 2016, killing a Yemeni guard before tying up and shooting at least 16 other employees. Foreign missionaries serving as nurses were among those killed.

In the video, the frail-looking mission worker gave the following appeal:

"I am Father Tom Uzhunnalil. My date of birth is August 18th, 1958. I received the message of concern that you sent me, my dear family people. I am thankful to you. Thank you very much.

"They (abductors) are treating me well to the extent that they are able. My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalization as early as possible. They contacted our Indian government authorities several times and I have seen the message of their response. It was very, very poor."

For previously posted reports on the abduction of this missionary worker, please click here.

May the presence and protection of our Lord continue to sustain our Christian brother as he awaits deliverance from captivity which we hope will be soon. In the meantime, pray for the healing virtue of Jesus to be upon him physically, emotionally and spiritually -- ministering renewed strength, health and hope. Please also be mindful to intercede for the members of ISIS involved in the abduction, realizing that they also need deliverance from the evil one who is using them to do his bidding -- to "kill, steal and destroy." May they, too, be set free from bondage and experience the abundant life that Jesus offers in John 10:10.

Nigeria: Release of More Chibok Schoolgirls

Source(s): World Watch Monitor, Al Jazeera, CNN

Since the release of the 21 Chibok students last October (pictured above), 82 more girls have recently been freed. (World Watch Monitor)
Since the release of the 21 Chibok
students last October (pictured above),
82 more girls have recently been freed.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Boko Haram released a video on May 12th claiming to show a few Chibok schoolgirls refusing to be part of the recent "swap deal" in which 82 of the girls had been rescued by the Nigerian government in exchange for five terrorist commanders.

In the three-minute video, a girl dressed in a veil and holding a gun introduces herself as Maida Yakubu, one of 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group in April 2014. During the taping, three other girls in veils sat behind her. When asked by a man in the background why she doesn't want to go back home to her parents, she replies: "The reason is that they live in the town of unbelief. We want them to accept Islam."

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu disclosed after the 82 were released that one girl had indeed refused to leave. He added that the abducted teen declined to be part of the release deal because she had married a Boko Haram fighter. On the same day, Boko Haram released a second video claiming to show five commanders whom were freed by the Nigerian government in exchange for the 82 girls.

The girls were reunited with their families on May 20th in a special ceremony. They will require extensive medical testing followed by remedial training before returning to school. An estimated 113 Chibok schoolgirls are still unaccounted for which means further attempts will need to be made to rescue as many as possible. Previous reports on this situation are available here. To view a short news clip of the recent reunion gathering, go to CNN News.

Please commit these rescued Chibok schoolgirls to the Lord as they now recover from their traumatic ordeal and eventually transition to life at home with their elated families. Continue interceding for the girls still in captivity, and for the thousands of other Nigerians who have suffered from violent attacks and tragic loss at the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists. Additionally, please uphold those in governing authority, asking the Lord to grant them needed wisdom and strength. May He use the political and spiritual leaders of Nigeria to accomplish His good purposes and bring greatly needed healing to the victimized people of this troubled nation.

North Korea: Shortwave Broadcasts Reaching Multitudes

Source(s): The Voice of the Martyrs

North Korean defectors share the gospel in the North Korean dialect via radio waves.
North Korean defectors share
the Gospel in the North Korean
dialect via radio waves.

A shortwave radio program created by North Korean defectors in partnership with VOM is reaching an estimated two million North Koreans nightly. Each 90-minute program includes a Scripture reading, encouraging messages from Christians around the world, and readings from Pastor Richard Wurmbrand's testimonial book, Tortured for Christ. Although largely isolated from their worldwide Christian family, North Korean believers now have access to God's Word and an indirect connection to other followers of Christ.

Despite the possible penalties, North Koreans continue to listen to the broadcasts. Pray that the broadcasts will continue to reach new believers -- as well as unbelievers -- and that those who hear the daily messages will grow in their Christian faith and find ways to share the Gospel.

If you would like to post a prayer of praise or petition on behalf of our persecuted family around the globe, visit VOMC's prayer wall.