Worthy is the Lord of All!

"Be enthroned upon the praises
Of a thousand generations.
You are worthy, Lord of all.
Unto You the slain and risen King,
We lift our voice with heaven,
Singing, 'Worthy, Lord of all.'"
~ Jeremy Riddle

The peace Christ brings and the joy we express during Christmas celebrations need not get packed up with all the decorations of the season. In other words, we can start the new year as we've finished the old -- treasuring Christ's presence and worshipping Him as the "Lord of all." Although we live in this world filled with dangers, I pray that you will experience an abiding yearlong peace and joy.

On a recent trip to Turkey, I met a family that had fled Iran due to persecution. The husband, a Christian who converted from Islam, was very active in sharing his faith with others. His wife, who had not converted, pleaded that he be careful; she knew that Muslims who changed their religious beliefs could be killed in Iran. She still loved her husband, despite his conversion. In addition to being a kind and loving husband, he was a good father to their two children. Eventually, however, the hostility and threats against their lives became so severe, they had to flee Iran.

On their arrival in neighbouring Turkey, they were relieved to find other Iranian Christians who had also fled Iran. This community provided, as best they could, support and encouragement to this new refugee family, inviting them to join their growing house church. The husband was eventually able to find work, but the pay wasn't very good as refugees are often exploited and taken advantage of by those who oppose them. His wife struggled with the fact that all of this was happening to them because of her husband's Christianity. Had he not converted, they wouldn't have to flee and leave all they knew and owned behind. She had grown to resent this new God of her husband.

Then life took another terrible turn. Their six-year-old son began to display symptoms of an illness that would not improve. After several trips to the doctor, they received the diagnosis -- mitochondrial myopathy, a debilitating disease that causes prominent muscle weakness and a host of other neurological frailties. The parents were further devastated to learn from the doctor that their four-year-old daughter was also showing signs of the same disease. Without proper treatment, the condition would lead to other severe complications, and possibly death, for both children. What could these concerned parents do? They felt so helpless.
Mother with her two children

Mother with childrenInterestingly, instead of taking her anger out on God, this dear woman fell to her knees and placed her children in the hands of their Heavenly Father. "You must save my children," she cried. "I am unable to help them." Exhausted and emotionally drained, she went to bed. As she slept, Jesus appeared to her in a dream and announced, "Your victory is near."

The same dream came to her four nights in a row, leading to the day the results of the medical tests arrived. The doctor explained that though the children were still quite ill, the results indicated that they were not as sick as he had initially thought. This was all the desperate mother needed to surrender her life to Christ and trust Him completely.

I have a vivid picture in my mind of when I last saw this family. They were seated in the back of the church. Their young son, still unable to walk, was placed in a baby buggy; their little daughter was sitting in a chair playing with her doll. Both parents, with arms raised to the Father, worshipped Him from their place of suffering.

VOM Canada has been able to provide this dear family the $200 USD per month that's needed to cover the costs for medicine and health supplements to help these two children. When the parents came to thank me, I shared with them that the only reason I could offer this assistance was due to the generosity of their Canadian Christian family. So it is to you that this couple's "thank you" is extended.

I also want to thank you for remembering your persecuted family along with us. As we continue to do so in 2020, let us also join with them in worshipping our faithful, loving Father; and finding the peace of Christ and comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Grace and peace,

Floyd A. Brobbel
Chief Executive Officer
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada