Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Update for week of Dec. 23, 2011

VOM-USA Prayer Update for December 23, 2011
The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. Luke 2:15–20

South Sudan—Attacks Continue in Border Region
Source: VOM Field Reports

Psalm 20:1
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;

Sudan and South Sudan appear to be on the brink of war as security in the border region continues to deteriorate. Sudan continues to attack and bomb areas along the border, including areas inside the new sovereign nation of South Sudan. The border region is home to vast natural resources as well as majority-Christian ethnic groups. “We are following this situation very closely as we plan projects and outreaches to respond to the crisis and encourage the persecuted church in the Nuba Mountain region,” wrote a VOM field worker. In early December, Christian aid organizations serving refugee communities along the border were forced to evacuate their field workers because of intense aerial bombing and shelling by Sudan. Members of AIM Air, who transport aid to the refugee communities, said the biggest obstacles affecting relief efforts are the bombing, shelling and fighting in Jau and Yidra, communities inside South Sudan. These regions are home to the largest Christian community in South Sudan and Sudan. More than 300,000 people have been displaced by the conflict, which began on June 6, 2011. Please pray that God will continue to sustain his people there.

Yemen—Kidnapped Aid Workers Still Missing
Source: Praying Through the Arabian Peninsula

Psalm 38:15
For in You, O LORD, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.

Four of nine foreigners kidnapped in Saada, northwest Yemen, are still missing two and a half years after their abduction. Among the nine were a German doctor, his wife and their three children; a British man and his South Korean wife; and two German women. The six adults had been working as aid workers in a hospital in Saada. Three of the women were found dead shortly after their abduction, and two of the children were freed on May 17, 2010. The welfare and whereabouts of the German couple, Johannes and Sabine, their 3-year-old son, Simon, and the British man, Tony, are unknown. Those close to the situation are hopeful that the transfer of power from President Saleh to the vice president and the formation of a unity government will lead to a release of information about the missing foreigners. However, the political situation in Yemen has not improved, and protests and violent clashes continue. Pray that the missing four are still alive and that information on their welfare might be released. Pray for their families, especially for Johannes and Sabine’s 5-year-old and 7-year-old daughters, who are with relatives in Germany.

Syria—Christians Prepare for Christmas amid Lockdown
Source: VOM Contacts

Luke 2:10
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, Christians in the Syrian city of Homs are afraid to leave their homes. “Troops are surrounding the city, and people don’t go out of their houses, as they will get shot,” said a VOM-supported evangelist. Another VOM contact who lives in the city said, “Everyone is afraid of huge massacres and ethnic violence. There has been no electricity for a week and no fuel for heating. No one goes out because he will die. Really, it’s a terrible situation. Anyway, we trust that Emmanuel is still with us. Please pray for the peace of Christ to enter the hearts of the people in Homs.”

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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