PERSECU ION International Christian Concern | January 2014
THE LIFE-GIVING POWER OF THE SCRIPTURE UNLEASHED IN THE MUSLIM WORLD
ICC IS BUILDING AN UNDERGROUND BIBLE PRINTING PRESS
Help us Bring Life into the Darkness Right now, ICC is in the final stages of launching an underground Bible printing press in a closed Muslim country that will open the Word of God to a million or more people. We initiated this project and are working with several ministries to pull it off but need your help in the final push to get Bibles coming off the press.
AN UNDERGROUND PRINTING PRESS WILL: •
Provide 600,000 or more Bibles and the Gospel of John portions
Meet the huge demand for Bibles in this country
Safeguard those smuggling Bibles from being arrested
Bring life to millions!
$100,000 See the enclosed card for details on giving.
DONATE TODAY! B Y M A I L complete the enclosed card B Y P H O N E call 800-422-5441 8:30-5:00 p.m. EST O N L I N E visit www.persecution.org and designate your gift to “Bibles to the Persecuted.” Photos of various projects from our “Bibles” fund.
SO CE UN TT H RE A LS TA S A ISAI A
Perseverance, Faith & Courage THE ROLE OF BELIEVERS IN CENTRAL ASIA Christians in Central Asia truly suffer under the heavy hand of persecution. Their struggles are rarely written or talked about in the media. As persecution in this region strengthens and grows, it is those living in remote villages, often the only Christians in their village, who suffer the most. On my recent trip to Central Asia, I was able to meet with four women who received help from ICC donors in the wake of persecution. Here are some of their stories. PHOTO: Regional Manager Corey Bailey (second from right) shares a meal with recipients of ICC’s “Save Our Sisters” fund.
You can help today! www.persecution.org
VA L E R I E : A S Y M B O L O F G O D ’ S P R O V I S I O N Valerie smiled shyly as she poured me the first of what would become countless cups of tea. Her mother cut slices of bread, while her son played quietly in the other room of their humble two room home. As we sat, Valerie asked to tell me her story in person. Through an interpreter she relayed her heart-wrenching experiences; the result of converting to Christianity. When Valerie was only 15 years old she and her mother became Christians. Their new-found joy in Christ was hard to hide and they often spoke freely to their friends and neighbors. As punishment for betraying (Islam) for converting to Christianity, a group of boys cornered her after school one day, raped her and beat her, while calling her names and commanding she give up Christianity and turn back to Islam. “I thought I might die,” Valerie said. “Suddenly, the boys stopped. T h e y became afraid and without a word they turned and ran away. I did not know why,” she continued. Not long after this, Valerie discovered that she was pregnant and soon gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Already rejected from the community for their faith, things became worse as she shouldered what was seen as the “shame” of being a single mother. Valerie and her family never turned away from Christ. Over the last eight years, they have become leaders amongst the few Christians in their community, often meeting illegally to pray and worship together. However, viewed as traitors, and with no male in the house to support them, they have struggled to put food on the table. Years later, Valerie was confronted on a bus by one of the men who atPHOTOS: Valerie, her son and her mother (pictured) are the only Christians in their village. However, because of Valerie’s skills in hairdressing, the village leaders allow villagers to visit her. ICC has helped her open a shop.
You can help today! 800-ICC-5441
tacked her. He recognized her, and to her surprise, he walked right up to her and apologized for what he had done all those years ago. She forgave him. However, she was curious and asked him why they became afraid and ran away so abruptly. He told her, “Suddenly your clothes and skin became white and began to glow. Then little tongues of fire appeared circling your entire body. We were afraid, so we ran.” Valerie smiled as she told me she is sure that God had saved her from death. As Valerie has testified time-and-time-again, the Lord is good, and He is her provider. As a grown woman, her village continues the tradition of shunning those who turn to Christianity. Fortunately, Valerie is a trained beautician and is able to cut hair, a highly valued priority for village. Her village has no trained barber, and the nearest shop is nearly 20 minutes by taxi. The village leaders have agreed that it is necessity to have a hair stylist and have agreed to allow villagers to go to her for haircuts, despite being a Christian. ICC has been able to support Valerie by helping her open her own hair cutting shop. She grinned from ear to ear as she unlocked the door and showed me the room she and her mother had painstakingly scrubbed and painted. Now, Valerie has a livelihood. The once stolen dignity has been returned as now she will be able to take care of her family, put food on the table, and keep a roof over their heads. FREEDOM: STRONG AND COUR AGEOUS IN THE MIDST OF PERSECUTION
Freedom’s daughters with Special Blessing gifts from ICC donors.
Freedom and her three daughters have suffered persecution for their faith. They live in a remote village in Central Asia, and have even had their electricity cut off by villagers who don’t want them to have light because “they are Christians.” Despite the fact that her electricity had been turned off, she smiled at me and said, “Jesus is our light. We are OK.”
You can help today! www.persecution.org
“When we first visited Freedom, there was no food in the house,” a CA partner told me. “She has been persecuted first by her husband, and then when he died, by his family. She has three daughters and three sons, but her husband’s family came and took away her sons because they didn’t want her to raise them as Christians. Being both a woman and a Christian, she cannot get any work in her village.”
Freedom’s cow, given by ICC donors.
After hearing Freedom’s story, ICC stepped in and provided a milk cow and chickens. Now, the family lives off of the proceeds of selling eggs and milk. I wanted to meet Freedom myself, hear her story in person and ensure that the cow and chickens were working out well for her. I traveled by taxi and by foot, even wading barefoot through a creek, to reach their home. As we sat down to a modest spread of food on the table for tea time, I turned to her youngest daughter and asked, “What is your favorite thing to do?” I suppose I expected something along the lines of “play outside,” however her answer was not what I expected. My heart warmed and tears came to my eyes when the little one exclaimed: “To worship Jesus!” At that moment Freedom and her daughters began to sing, “This is the day that the Lord has made,” while the little one danced. As our car bounced slowly along the pothole infested dirt roads towards the hotel I spent time thinking about the courage and faith of the Christians I had been honored to spend time with. As the body of Christ, we had blessed them with a livelihood. A tangible reminder that Jesus hasn’t forgotten them. However, they have also been used by the Lord to bless us. They are living examples of those who have considered their suffering for Christ to be “pure joy.” They have been harshly persecuted, but have chosen to pray for those who persecute them and stand strong in the Lord, trusting Him no matter what they face. I left a piece of my heart in those small villages, and our brothers and sisters know they are not alone; they are members of a body of believers that spans the globe. You can help today! 800-ICC-5441
YOU CAN HELP TODAY! SEND DONATIONS TO: ICC PO BOX 8056 SILVER SPRING, MD 20907 OR ONLINE AT WWW.PERSECUTION.ORG
GIVING TO ICC VIA YOUR WILL Provide now for a future gift to ICC by including a bequest provision in your will or revocable trust. If you would like more information on giving to ICC in this way, please give us a call at 1-800-ICC-5441.
ICC makes every effort to honor donor wishes in regards to their gifts. Occasionally, a situation will arise where a project is no longer viable. In that case, ICC will redirect those donated project funds to one of our other funds that is most similar to the donor’s original wishes.
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