Sep 14, 2014

VOMC / VOM Mexico: Shining God's Light in the Darkness

These are certainly difficult times to think of shining God's light as we look at the the events taking place around the world, and actually in Mexico, where this VOM office is working from. Wars, rumors of wars, ethnic or sectarian group against rival sectarian ethnic group, the ever growing threat of disease as seen in the Ebola epidemic striking at least 5 African nations, the march of terrorism and radical Islam seen in ISIS (Irak and Siria) and Boko Haram in Nigeria, the kidnapping, and rape of young and even married women, our youth responding to the foreign call to Jihad, and in Mexico the actual complete disregard in more than half a dozen states of religious freedom, and the threats of violence in a number of Mexican states beseiged by drug cartels.

It may cost us to think of witnessing to others in such circumstances, or lifting in prayer those who so cold heartedly inflict the barbarities on others that we are seeing or reading about. But for such times are we called especially to be a light shining in the darkness... for what we are witnessing is a spiritual darkness and social regression that  has the power to amaze us at the wickedness present in our world. Every day that wickedness seems to come closer as through tv news or social networks we see more and more the depravity of man towards man, in a way that we hadn't thought possible in our own small civilized worlds.

It is urgent that we lift our brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer, wherever they may be suffering persecution or affliction around the world, that we be one with them. It is also urgent that we as the Body of Christ speak out for those who are minority or marginalized groups being victimized at the same time as our own... and lastly, we must, we are required to lift in  prayer those who are the perpetrators of atrocities against the first two groups I mentioned. Christ specifically commands us to love our enemy... and to forgive. It is not a request, not an invitation. We are to love and forgive those who trespass against us, and ours.

We are to lift them in prayer...we are to carry them to Christ if it were possible.
Who else is there who will? if not the Christ followers?

Remember to lift and keep in prayer those whom the Lord has called to shine His light in the darkness,  through their living testimonies of love and forgiveness in the midst of their own suffering and loss... those who are persecuted for the sake of Christ.

Jul 13, 2014

VOMC / VDLM-VOM Compassionate Response: Goats or Sheep?

People always ask what they can do to help their persecuted brethren... and how to do that from a distance. So many post on our published testimonies on Facebook or prayer alerts, "the only thing we can do is pray". Prayer is the starting point, but not where our responsibilities end. It's understood that we should lift others in prayer... our families, our churches, our governments, etc. over and over again. But the Bible tells us very specifically that Jesus requieres much more than that. Has the church forgotten Matthew 25: 31 to 46? Jesus tells us that the judgment of the nations / peoples  will be based on:
  • having fed the hungry and starving
  • having given drink to the thirsty
  • having given shelter to the foreigner or stranger
  • having clothed the naked
  • having visited and attended to the sick
  • and having visited and remembered the imprisoned
If the Body of Christ after praying can not reach out and physically do the above to show compassion to those most in need... the persecuted brethren being amongst them, then they can and should respond through the programs of ministries or organizations that they can trust to do it in their place. 

VOM Mexico has projects that respond to the above needs of the persecuted believer in Mexico, and is developing international outreaches also to persecuted believers and their families in Colombia, Pakistan, and India. In Chiapas we have been responding through the following:
  • Legal Attenion and Counseling
  • Humanitarian Aid to Persecuted Groups
  • Immediate Attention and Follow-up: through the VOM TEAM stationed at the ASAP Base in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas located in the middle of the conflict zone itself.
  • Counseling and Workshops for Women and their Families
  • and more. 
Why not reach out and touch the life of a persecuted family or group in Mexico? These people don't want to escape suffering, and are not looking to immigrate to another country to imrove their lot... they just want to go back to their communities, practice and share their faith, and work things out with their families and neighbors. We are not only their Voices, but your hands and feet to bless them in the name of the extended Body of Christ. Hebrews 13: 3

Jul 12, 2014

How to become involved / Supporting the Persecuted Church in Mexico

(Brother Pedro, released after being imprisoned for 3 1/2 years on false charges is now back with his family. But they paid a high price for his absence and are working to pay off the money borrowed to send him and his son food while imprisoned, and to care for his family while alone. ) 

You can support the persecuted church in our area by:
  • being informed
  • praying specifically, but allowing / asking that the Lord's will to be worked in the lives of both persecuted and persecutors. 
  • sending a word of encouragement as is possible, with cards, letters, or even drawings, best using simple scriptures and  brief to the point messages, and without criticizing o denegating the regime, government or religious authorities.
  • send personally if possible or through Voice of the Matyrs projects basic items needed for humanitarian purposes
  • for Mexico there is always a need for: humanitarian aid in basic food allotments, Bibles, clothes for children, jackets for the cold months, t-shirts, cuddle blankets / soft huggable stuffed animals for pre schoolers / toddlers, basic school material, book bags, simple Sunday School materials, more pictures the better, Bible Society sticker or coloring books, 
  • on our end we are responsable for cooking utensils, blankets, sleeping mats, jackets, etc.
  • Offerings for Legal Aid, Humanitarian Aid, Newletter / Bulletin in Spanish, Women in the Breach, and Family Workshops, Jesus Freaks / Youth and Young Adults, Kids of Courage, and Blessings programs and of course general operational costs on which the ministry depends to be able to reach out and touch the persecuted brethren.
  • Short Term Missionary Trips: we do receive groups at our Base to allow you to meet the persecuted brethren in person, under strict supervision.
  • Being a Voice for the persecuted in general, and Mexico in particular. 
  • Participating in the yearly IDOP in your own region, in your own language, and remembering the persecuted brethren in Mexico... they are not interested in escaping to the USA or Canada, but in returning to their communities and being able to practice their faith. 
For more information: send comment to this blog. 

Photo: basic elements of food baskets given on regular basis in Chiapas

Ministerios VDLM-VOM Mexico, AC / Now registered in Mexico

Nos da mucho gusto avisarles que el ministerio Voz de los Martires en Mexico ya se ha registrado como Ministerios VDLM-VOM Mexico, AC. Son varios años desde 2009 que fuimos certificados como mision afiliada a Voice of the Martyrs ICA, como una oficina independiente. A travez de los años hemos dado la bienvenido a muchos conocidos por su trabajo en el ambiente de la persecucion religiosa en Mexico. Damos gracias a Dios por la entrada y el esfuerzo de cada uno, y al salirse para otros caminos, les hemos deseado bendiciones sobre sus vidas.

We are very pleased to advise you that Voice of the Martyrs in Mexico has finally been registered as Ministerios VDLM-VOM Mexico, AC. Its been since 2009 that we were certified as a VOM Mision afiliate. Through the years we have welcomed and benefitted from the participation of a number of relatively known (and others unknown) in the ministry, giving thanks to the Lord for their time of service, and wishing them blessings when they leftfor whatever reason.

El Equipo de Voz de los Martires ahora esta compuesto por aquellos sirviendo desde la Base ASAP en San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas:  
The VOM Team working out of the ASAP Base in Chiapas Mexico are: 
  • Linda Joy Picard, Fundadora y Asesora VOM ICA, Capacitaciones, Programacion de Atencion Secundaria, ICA Rep
  • Luis Antonio Lopez Herrera, Director de Atencion Inmediata, Gestion, Apoyo Humanitario, Comunicaciones y Vocero, y de Enlaces Pastores y Lideres
  • Veronica Garcia Ballinas, encargada de la Base ASAP, Coordinadora de Talleres Familiares de Mujeres en la Brecha, y de Manualidades / Recuerdos / Regalos 
  • Maria Dolores Hernandez Bonifaz, Coordinadora de Niños Valientes
  • Tomas Sansores Sastre, Enlaces Tabasco desde Chiapas
  • Yolanda Dominguez Avalos, Enlaces Tabasco, y Mujeres en la Brecha / Aconsejaria
Bajo la supervision de personal de la Base ASAP; desde el norte son sirvidos en el VDLM Centro en Sinaloa por medio de:  
Under the supervision of the ASAP Base, from the northern part of Mexico in the VOM Center Sinaloa, we present:
  • Janeth Rios Moreno, Encargada de oficina y supervision de trabajos relacionados con el impreso y distribucion de materiales. 
  • Jorge Luis Gomez Delgado en Jalisco, Enlaces Pastores y Lideres. 
La Directiva incluye pastores y lideres de Chiapas, varios de ellos de trasfondo Indigena (Tzotzil Huixteco, y Tojolabal de Las Margaritas); entre ellos uno desplazado desde decadas atras, y otro actualmente desplazado de su comunidad junto con otros 30 + mas.

The Board of Directors includes pastors and leaders from the state of Chiapas, several of whom are of Indigenous background themselves, one who was displaced from his community decades ago, and the other actually part of a group presently expelled from their community in Las Margaritas.

Les invitamos a renovar sus relaciones con nosotros o conocernos por medio de los programas establecidos para ministrar a y atender a los hermanos perseguidos por su fe en Mexico y alrededor del mundo.  

We invite you to renew your relationship with VOM Mexico, o get to know us though the programs we have established over the past few years to minister to and attend to the brethren who have been persecuted for their faith in Mexico and around the world.

Ministerios VDLM-VOM Mexico, AC / Cuenta Bancaria para sus Donativos / Voice of the Martyrs Mexico now has it AC...

Above is the information needed to deposit in the new VDLM-VOM bank account.  You may support the Mexican persecuted beievers though your local offices in Canada, the USA, etc, or directly to our account if you prefer the personal relationship with the Mexican office.