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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs’ Regional Conferences ‘Change Lives’

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BARTLESVILLE, OK (ANS) -- For over 40 years, The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) has existed to serve the persecuted church with practical and spiritual assistance while leading Christians in the free world into fellowship with them. Their free monthly newsletter has been a constant source of information and inspiration.

A VOM Conference in progress.
(Photo courtesy VOM).

In recent years, VOM has been bringing these challenging and encouraging testimonies and information to believers in the US through their regional conferences. In 2010, nearly 10,000 people attended 14 conferences around the US. Plans are in place for at least 14 conferences in 2011. At these conferences, attendees hear stories of the persecuted church and have the opportunity to meet Christians who have suffered for their faith.

The purpose of the VOM conference is: “to inform, inspire, and engage believers (through speakers, media, and the Word) with an understanding of courageous faith in the midst of persecution and suffering taking place in the world today; what God’s Word teaches about it; and how we are to be involved in their lives (Hebrews 13:3).”

David Brackemyre, Director of VOM Voice Ministries, explained: “At our regional conferences, visitors will hear from believers who have suffered persecution and from those working in restricted nations today. You will be inspired by their courage and touched by their heart for God as they share what it means to be a Christian in hostile places.”

The one-day events feature 4 or 5 speakers who have either been imprisoned for their faith (like Bob Fu from China, Russell Stendal from Colombia, Getaneh Getaneh from Ethiopia); work with the persecuted church (VOM Staff or Ministry representatives); or have a testimony of the cost of being faithful (like Gracia Burnham, former missionary to the Philippines). There is no charge for people to attend a VOM conference, but an offering is received.

Regional conferences are planned for the following dates and locations in 2011: June 4, August 6, and October 8 in Bartlesville, OK; March 26, Los Alamitos, CA; April 2, Madison, AL; July 30, MI; September 17, CO; October 1, Hollidaysburg, PA; October 29, St. Charles, IL; November 5, San Antonio, TX; November 12, Knoxville, TN; others to be announced later.

Those who have attended recent conferences comment on the eternal impact made by the event on their lives.

“It’s one thing to get the newsletter every month and read about the people that are enduring persecution. It is heart-wrenching. But to actually get to meet the people who endured it — there was such a presence of God surrounding them. You could tell that the Spirit of God resided within all of their hearts, and the hearts of the representatives.”

A teenage attendee from Dallas said, “I was strengthened in my faith and was encouraged to stand up for my faith! I have been growing in my prayer life, too! Now I don’t just say, ‘please encourage the Christians overseas,’ but I know how to pray for them! My younger brothers and I spent time praying together for the needs on the calendar. They didn’t get to come to the conference, but I told them about it while I cleaned the kitchen today. To my amazement, they sat in a chair (an unusual thing for my brothers who are 6 and 8) and listened. They even asked questions! Thanks so much for teaching me and encouraging me! I just didn’t know that the things that happened in Acts still happen today!”

One couple in their fifties, both of whom have been involved in ministry for almost 40 years, said: “From the time of my birth, I’ve been to countless revivals, conferences, seminars, and a host of other church-related activities. I have to tell you that the conference on Saturday was the most inspiring, convicting, heart-rending event that either of us have ever attended. Thanks for the conference.”

VOM would like to invite all to join with your brothers and sisters at an upcoming VOM Regional Conference to learn about (and from) your suffering, yet faithful, family in restricted nations. To see more details of when and where these conferences will be, who will be speaking, and to register, visit www.vommeetings.com  .

For additional information about The Voice of the Martyrs and to sign up for their free monthly newsletter, you may contact them through their website, www.persecution.com  or call (877) 337-0302.


** Michael Ireland is Chief Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can donate online to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Chief Reporter

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