Married to the Empire

Monday, May 16, 2011

Visiting/Volunteering at The Voice of the Martyrs

Steven and I are supporters of The Voice of the Martyrs, which is a ministry that helps persecuted Christians around the world.  It's easy to be a Christian in the United States, as we have the freedom to worship as we want, but that's not the case for many around the world where they are beaten, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed for their faith in Jesus.  VOM steps in to help those who are persecuted for their faith.  In fact, Steven and I help support a pastor in Vietnam, which helps ensure that he and his family can have food to eat and a place to stay, even should he be imprisoned or lose his job because he is a Christian.  (It's a program kind of like sponsoring a Compassion child, except it helps an adult and his/her family.)

VOM is in Bartlesville, OK, and it has volunteering opportunities for those who want to help.  (You do have to apply and be approved first.)  Steven and I took a trip to Oklahoma last week to stay at VOM and help in whatever way they needed us. 

VOM has housing on campus for their volunteers.  We're used to youth-camp housing, which is never terribly nice, so my expectations were low.  We were blown away by what we were given: a 2-bedroom apartment with a nice living area and kitchen.  (I believe they had some very generous donors give the funds specifically for volunteer housing.)  We did get a good laugh, though, over our I Love Lucy sleeping arrangements. 

We worked all day Friday, mostly in the Operations Center. We packaged a ton of newsletters and other materials for mailing out to supporters and those wanting more information. 

I called this the Melty Machine, as it melts plastic packaging shut.  Steven was amused by my utter joy at using this machine, and he let me do it every time.  Hey, it was sort of like crafting!  Sort of...

The staff offered us a tour of the main building, which naturally, we willingly jumped on.  Admittedly, it's not much to see right now, but eventually, there will be a museum there.  But we did get to see Richard Wurmbrand's desk.  Wurmbrand founded VOM after being ransomed out of communist Romania, where he was imprisoned 14 years for his Christian faith. 

Outside the entrance to the main building is a beautiful memorial wall listing Christian martyrs through the centuries.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Hebrews 12:1

We met so many nice people while we were at VOM.  Not just the staff, but the other volunteers as well.  One family with 7 kids had been living out of their RV for 6 months while volunteering at VOM.  That is serious dedication to a cause!  Overall, it was a very spiritually-edifying weekend and a great weekend of getting to help the persecuted church in some small, tangible way.  We can't wait to do it again!

1 comment:

Kayla said...

What a great weekend! Thanks for sharing with us.