Sharing the Greatest Story of All

It is my pleasure and privilege to thank you for enabling us to stand alongside our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world by raising awareness on their behalf and providing needed assistance. Without your help, we couldn't do what we do.

Working with persecuted Christians overseas often means that VOMC is ministering in less literate communities. This challenge reminds me of my ministry as a mother when my children were young. The summer break in our household usually involved some extra time for sharing stories -- both from books and without them. I enjoy stories just as much as any of my children; and I love to hear, read and share them.

I believe that we are hardwired to delight in stories by our great "Author" God who makes and tells the ‘best of the best' of them! He conveys the huge metanarrative over all history and creation, and He knows the perfect parable and metaphor for every occasion. I used to wish that I could have been amongst those disciples in Galilee who were able to sit in His presence and personally hear the stories from His own lips.... Then I realized that I can! I have access through His constant presence with me to all the stories I wish to hear. And during my prayer times, when I remember to listen with my heart and imagination in place, I'm given the opportunity to still hear those timeless stories from Jesus!

I am challenged as I hear and read about Christian persecution around the world, and wonder how many Bible stories and worship songs I would be able to share if I were separated from my treasured library. If I were placed in a prison cell tomorrow, what would I have stored in my heart?

Many of our persecuted family are not allowed to openly possess a Bible or any form of Christian literature or recordings. Many places of persecution have high illiteracy rates due to poor access to education. Would I be able to share my faith in Jesus with a person from such a place? Are my story-telling skills honed and ready for use?

The church in the West is heavily reliant upon literate methods to share the Gospel. An exception happens to be when discipling young children which calls for creative and none-literate methods. During the times I was raising young children, running an outreach "Mums & Tots" group, and teaching children's groups at church, I was forced to tell Bible stories rather than read them and to sing Bible verses and songs -- all of which are shared orally. I found that in order to be able to share a story well with young children (and answer their surprisingly challenging questions afterwards), I needed to really know them in my heart. This was a real blessing to me (a secret sometimes unknown to those who have never served the youngest members of their congregation).

A recent evangelism training session at my church was also a reminder for me to be ready "to give the reason for the hope that [I] have" (1 Peter 3:15 ESV).

"Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).
"...lay up these words of Mine in your heart and in your soul" (Deuteronomy 11:18).
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God"
(Colossians 3:16).

Do we still remember how to tell Bible stories? How about stories from our lives that may be relevant to another believer, or stories for a spiritual searcher on their way to belief in Jesus? Can we sing worship songs or hymns without a projector?

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada is involved in numerous projects that are bringing the Gospel and encouragement to many around the world who either cannot read and write, or have no (safe) access to Christian literature. We share audio Bibles and discipleship tools in South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam; we transmit radio programmes in China, North Korea, Egypt, Eritrea, Somalia, Iraq and Saudi Arabia (though the broadcast range is actually wider and reaches about 45 countries!); and we make it possible for satellite TV programmes to be broadcasted into Iran and Pakistan.

I pray that Christians in Canada and other countries around the whole world -- where the church is persecuted from the least to the worst -- will know the story of our wonderful God. May we all come to know that story deeply and richly, so we can effectively share it with each other and those who don't know Jesus.

Jo's signature

Jo Phillips
Executive Assistant
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada

Library with an open door to a new path