News Articles

MISSIONS DIGEST: Chau honored on Day of the Martyr; Ukrainian man hears the gospel in Romanian church

John Chau honored on the Day of the Martry 2022

By Voice of the Martyrs

Bartlesville, Okla. (BP) — “Deluded idiot.” “Adventure bro.” “Dumb American.”

These were just a few of the pejoratives used to describe 26-year-old American missionary John Chau after he was killed in late 2018 attempting to reach the “most isolated tribe on the planet” with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Indian authorities even called Chau’s evangelistic efforts to the unreached Sentinelese tribe on North Sentinel Island, a “misplaced adventure in a highly restricted area.”

But a closer look at Chau’s life and death reveal his Christ-like compassion, extensive training and preparation, and clear-headed conviction of his calling to the Sentinelese people.

“Every decision John Chau made–for nine years–was made with an eye toward landing on that beach,” said VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton. “He counted the cost to answer Christ’s call to go into all the world. He was mocked and ridiculed, not only by the press and the secular world, but also by fellow followers of Christ.”

This year on the Day of the Christian Martyr, June 29, VOM will honor Chau’s obedient and brave example by adding his name to the 60-foot-long granite Martyr’s Memorial located at the ministry headquarters in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

According to church tradition, June 29 marks the anniversary of the Apostle Paul’s beheading in Rome. On this important date in church history, Christians around the world commemorate the lives of countless believers like Chau who gave their lives for Christ.

“What is it worth to us, each of us as followers of Christ, to see people come to know Jesus? What price is too high? That’s the question that John Chau’s life, and Day of the Christian Martyr, inspire us to ask,” said Nettleton.

“There are many ways we can die,” Chau said in 2018. “I’m going to the island this November and I don’t know what is going to happen, but I’m ready. I’m ready to lay my life [down] for the gospel.”

“I am personally thrilled that more people are going to know John’s story–the true story–because of this year’s DOCM resources,” said Nettleton. “My prayer is that God uses John’s example of sacrificial obedience to inspire many more Christians to obey Christ’s call to spread His love to every tribe, tongue and nation–and to the people we live next door to or work with each day.”

Behind the Lens: Ukrainian Muslim man hears gospel in Romanian Baptist church

By Luke In, IMB

Emanuel Baptist Church in Calafindesti, Romania, is a small church, but its members have a big heart for Ukrainian refugees. The pastor, Cornelus Miron, was one of the first responders at the border with Ukraine as the war broke out and people started to flee into Romania. His pioneering work led to Romanian Baptists and Southern Baptist Disaster Response teams working together at the border, greeting the refugees with water, snacks and a mobile phone charging station as they cross the border into Romania.  

A volunteer who speaks Russian lead an adult Bible study twice a week. (IMB Photo)

The church filled its basement with mattresses to accommodate as many refugees as possible. When this photo was taken, they were housing 25 people. 

Amongst the refugees, one couple stood out: Vitali, with his long beard, and Luda, with her gray hijab. The Muslim couple fled with their 16-year-old son and a pregnant cat, from Bucha, Ukraine. The family unexpectedly found themselves in the church. 

Vitali used to own a fast-food café in Bucha. Once it was destroyed in the war, he and his family fled. They hope to move to Switzerland to start a new restaurant. Though he was born and baptized into an Orthodox family, he decided to become a Muslim 18 years ago.

Bryant Wright (blue jacket), Send Relief President, witnesses to Vitali, Ukrainian refugee staying at the Baptist Church of Calafindesti, Romania. (IMB Photo)

Bryant Wright, the president of Send Relief, shared with Vitali the true meaning of the cross and Jesus dying for our sins. He explained Jesus’ death and resurrection with the help of translation from Mick Stockwell, an IMB missionary.

Vitali, well-versed in the Quran and the Bible, insisted that, “Jesus never said He was God, or God’s Son.” Wright shared Bible verses that pointed to Jesus being the Son of God, including the passage from John 8:58. “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  Without getting into any debate, Bryant and Mick were able to pray for Vitali and left hoping the truth will set Vitali free.

Click here to read the full story.

    About the Author

  • BP Staff