Christians fleeing war in Southeast Asia

As bombs rained down in the jungle on a remote village, a young family scrambled to grab what belongings they could fit on their motorbike. One word raced through their minds: escape. As members of a predominantly Christian minority group in Southeast Asia, they found themselves on the wrong side of an ethnic and religious divide. As they fled down remote jungle roads with thousands of other newly-homeless families they took comfort in the Gospel and the knowledge that they were not alone. Little did they know they were running toward a dead end.

Overshadowed by the politics of immigration in the western news media is the truth that the crisis of displaced peoples is global. In Southeast Asia, refugees are being coldly turned away at the borders of neighboring nations. The message is clear: your plight is insignificant and does not matter. You don’t matter.

We’re shouting down that message with a louder, clearer truth: Jesus also had no place to lay his head and Jesus was also rejected and pushed out. You matter to him and you matter to his body, the Church. This message is communicated through Alpha Relief’s partners who are providing food, shelter, and spiritual care in Southeast Asia and other “Red Zones.”

Join the movement and light the nations this year!

2016- A Look Back at an Incredible Year

2016 was an incredible year. We wanted to take a quick look back and show how your support went to help the persecuted church.

Christmas Inside Red Zones (Celebrating Jesus In Dangerous Places)

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Are you getting excited? There is always a special buzz this time of year as our neighborhoods and shopping malls once again boldly display their holiday decorations. For believers in Jesus’ supernatural invasion into our world, Christmas is a reason to sing our joy from the roof tops. 

But what if Christmas decorations and songs targeted us for those set on ending our lives? Hard to imagine, right? Yet there are places in the world where those threats are a reality. These are the areas where religious extremism is growing against Christianity. These are the “Red Zones.” 

For believers living in Red Zones, Christmas will look very different. Most will find it difficult to celebrate with their families and their underground churches that are in very real danger. But maybe there is a way we can help change their story. Let me explain…

PAKISTAN: Pakistan proclaims religious freedom for Christians, but the underground reality is much different. Ministries have been firebombed, pastors have been brutally beaten in the streets, and missionaries are hunted by Muslim extremists. 

Despite all they face, Pastor Ollie and Nadia are two on-site partners in Pakistan who are pushing back the onslaught against their brothers and sisters in Christ. Ollie has worked diligently to plant the first known churches for Pakistan’s most unreached people group, while Nadia has established secret safe house gatherings for underground believers along the border of Afghanistan. These are areas populated with radical jihadists, requiring special care for discipleship and evangelism outreaches.

Around the time we are meeting openly in our congregations for Christmas Eve services, the underground Pakistani church will also gather. In small groups they will huddle around an iPad screen or Skype signal via cell phone, tools you as supporters helped purchase. From a remote location, Nadia can lead them in some hymns about Jesus’ birth and then walk them through the Christmas story. It will not be an extravagant celebration, but it will bring the much needed hope that our Savior is known for.

NORTH AFRICA: Alpha Relief supports a special training and restoration center in North Africa for missionaries and church planters. Most of these brave students have suffered for their faith in Christ but are now committed to going back into Red Zones to reach their persecutors with the Gospel. Amazingly, some students are even former African-Islamic extremists who persecuted believers. After radical encounters with Jesus, they too want to bring the same freedom to their families.

Ezekiel graduated from the school and is now supported by your gifts as a church planter in a North African Red Zone where more than 70% of the population follow Islam. He leads a small gathering of former Muslim believers, all of whom he led to Jesus. Recently, the Lord moved Ezekiel to take a huge risk and speak openly about his faith with a respected Islamic teacher. After days of gently sharing the truth of the Gospel, the teacher finally admitted that he was convinced Jesus was in fact Lord. 

Ezekiel conveyed this to us: “Now, I am waiting for the day of his final decision. I believe that in his heart he is already a follower of the Messiah. He is afraid of the community to declare it. I need prayer support that God would change his life. Although he knows that our talk does not expose him as a Christian, still he is afraid that he may be stoned to death.” As Christmas day dawns in this North African Red Zone, there is a very real chance that this teacher will be joining Ezekiel’s small church in celebrating the birth of his new Savior.

Friends, these amazing Christmas stories are possible because of your prayers and support. The celebration of Jesus’ birth in Red Zones looks much different than our own and is much more dangerous than we can possibility understand. Even so, every person in Christ’s family is connected by this miraculous hope: Jesus entered the world and rescued us!

Would you prayerfully consider continuing that rescue story for many others who desperately need the freedom Jesus offers? Heroes like Ollie, Nadia, Ezekiel, and the churches they serve, need us to come alongside them. Your support this Christmas can ensure their mission continues to thrive, as well as the mission of many others in Red Zones all around the world. On behalf of our family around the world; Merry Christmas, and thank you for ensuring hope!


Under The Radar (Stories of Modern Day Bible Smugglers)

Imagine a world in which you cannot own a copy of God's Word. It’s hard to do as most of us own two or three personal copies. Yet millions of persecuted believers in the world today face the troubling reality of being denied the Bible. For some, however, that's changing. 

Alpha Relief continues to work with brave on-site partners who are breaking into closed areas hostile to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Through their brave acts, thousands of our brothers and sisters in Christ are, even today, receiving their very first Bible. This month we wanted to share some incredible new opportunities our heroes have notified us about. As you will discover, the danger of these initiatives remains high. 

Ready to learn just how exciting Bible smuggling can be?


The Hakha Chin, a people group inside Myanmar, have been brutally persecuted for the last 60 years by their government. These fellow believers in Christ face slave labor, torture, rape, forced Buddhist conversion, and other inhumane treatment. Persecution has also brought poverty for the Hakha Chin. Their scarce resources are used for food and shelter. Having money to purchase Bibles is unheard of. 

Mattaus has seen first hand the effects persecution has had on these precious people. It's his life’s mission to bring them hope. Using backdoor entry points, Mattaus crosses covertly into Myanmar with small pickup trucks loaded with Bibles translated in the Hakha Chins' native language. The sheer joy on the faces of those who receive this priceless gift lets him know the risk is worth it. But Mattaus can’t do it on his own. He needs our help to ensure another delivery is available for his next cross-border mission.

Number of Bibles needed: 2,500

Cost per Bible: $4 


Middle East

Like Mattaus, many of Alpha Relief’s Middle East partners risk the dangers of war zones and terrorist controlled areas to reach persecuted families and covert worshipers of Jesus. Some, like our friend Gabriel, focus their efforts on Christian families trapped inside Syria who were forced to flee their homes when ISIS invaded their villages. Most barely made it out alive with just the clothes on their backs and now mourn the loss of all their possessions, including their Bibles. 

Other partners like Nadia use digital technology to share discipleship material and scripture secretly with underground believers. Although terrorist groups like Al Qaida hunt for Nadia to destroy her work, this brave woman continues to use Skype, iPads, and cell phone technology to ensure a growing number of new believers are being fed spiritually. But Gabriel, Nadia, and other other Middle East friends can’t do it without your help.

Number of Bibles needed: 5,000

Cost per Bible (Paper $5 - Digital $30)



Inside China, the church is exploding with growth. But a strong-willed government still regulates the amount of Bibles allowed in the country. It is estimated that only one in four believers own their own copy of Scripture inside China. Even digital scripture is restricted as many Christian websites and apps continue to be firewalled.

Our friend Brandon is not deterred by the physical and digital boundaries around China. Disguised as a business rep, this undercover agent for the Gospel and his team smuggle hundreds of Bibles a day hidden inside suitcases and briefcases. He has many stories of Bibles being found on his person only to be kept by curious border guards for future study (an unintentional evangelism tool). But for every Bible confiscated, thousands more slip through to be distributed to the Chinese house churches all over the country. Believers will literally kiss and hold the books to their chest when they receive them, grateful for Brandon’s bravery to provide the priceless gift. Brandon desires to offer that same gift to thousands more desperate believers and needs our help to do it.

Number of Bibles needed: 5,000

Cost per Bible: $5

As you can see, the world still needs God’s word. There are heroes poised and ready to make the dangerous deliveries. All that remains is for you to embrace your role in the story. Ready to join in? Click on an Urgent Need below and get started today. 


Back into the Darkness (North Korean Torture, Escape, and Redemption)

Far off the busy South Korean streets, our small Alpha Relief team quietly sits opposite Hana, a North Korean escapee who wants to tell us her story. It is a journey filled with pain and she absent-mindedly fidgets with the scarf around her neck, a piece of clothing much too warm for the late spring temperature. The scarf is, however, very effective at covering a secret ... a secret we are about to learn. 

Growing up inside North Korea, food was scarce for Hana’s family. When her husband died from sickness due to malnutrition, she began questioning what might exist outside of the closed North Korean borders. Bribing a hungry border guard, the young woman quietly made her escape into China to look for a better life.

Just one week later she was discovered by Chinese police, bound in chains, and brought back inside North Korea as a traitor. As she waited for her punishment, authorities discovered that Hana’s grandmother had a record with the government as an identified Christian. Although Hana emphatically professed the truth that she had no knowledge of the religion, guards began mercilessly torturing her.

Hana recounts being strapped to a chair, raised off the floor by a chain pulley, then dropped violently as her bones and muscles bruised with the intense trauma. Wire was strung around her neck and then violently yanked tight, choking the air from her windpipe. Hana momentarily pauses her re-telling to again fidget with the scarf around her neck. She tells us the scarf hides the area where the wire had cut into her delicate skin. It’s then we realize some of her scars from those horrible days will always remain. 

The battered woman’s anger should have been directed toward her grandmother for the undeserved pain. Instead, Hana’s thoughts of the old woman’s gentle singing, quickly became her only comfort. Throughout her torture, she would hum those same melodies, using them as her only source for staying sane. Later, she would realize that her grandmother’s songs were old Korean Gospel Hymns, carrying words that would bring her true freedom.

Hana was eventually set free. Completely disillusioned with the lies her country had told her, she could think of nothing else but escape. 

The details of her harrowing journey to once-and-for-all leave North Korea behind are a powerful story in and of themselves. After almost a year on the run, Hana finally made it to South Korea. There she met friends of Alpha Relief who oversee a church community which embraces North Korean refugees. Although hostile to the Gospel at first, Hana found her heart softening with each act of love the church offered her. It wasn’t long before she embraced the faith of her grandmother and asked Jesus to be her Savior.

Our team frequently asks about future dreams when visiting with North Koreans who have escaped. Hana’s answer surprised us. She said she hopes to one day lead a team of missionaries back into North Korea to help build a church community for those remaining in darkness.

Light in the darkness. Hope for the very persecutors who left her with scars. It’s the kind of story only Jesus could write.

Interested in joining Hana and other brave heroes in bringing light into the darkness? You’ll find some great ways to get involved below.


Vanishing Christians (A Shocking Revelation Inside Syria)

Gabriel’s journey had taken its toll emotionally. The brave missionary had been through ten checkpoints to reach the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus. Each guard who asked to see his credentials could have been an ISIS militant in disguise, capable of stealing his precious cargo, or worse, taking his life. Although he had reached his desired destination, the bombs and gunfire in the distance reminded him that his mission was far from over.

Like many missionaries in the Middle East, Gabriel had done everything in his power to provide aid and the Gospel message to the millions of Syrian refugees fleeing civil war and ISIS terrorism. But as he participated in outreaches to refugee camps near the Syrian border, a glaring mystery began to present itself. Christians were nowhere to be found. It was as if they had simply vanished. 

Five years ago, before the war in Syria began, over 10% of the country’s population of 26 million identified themselves as Christ followers. That's over 2.6 million Christians. Gabriel had yet to meet a single one. “So where did they all go?" he began asking himself.

Using his contact network, Gabriel was allowed access inside Syria to explore the war-torn area. What he found was shocking. Many followers of Jesus had fled their homes for safer regions outside of Damascus. When asked why they had not attempted to leave the country with other refugees, they gave an interesting explanation. The refugee camps in bordering countries are controlled by Muslims. As a minority group, believers are surrounded by the Islamic faith, a religion dead set on preventing Christians from freely worshiping.  

So although ISIS presses in on every side, many Syrian Christians decided to band together and stay. On his first trip inside, Gabriel identified an area filled with over 1,000 impoverished families, most of whom had left all they owned as they fled their homes for safety. They found shelter in small rooms, cramming up to 10 people in a single tiny living space. Food and other essential resources were scarce and some of the displaced families even resorted to searching through the trash for their next meal.

During that first fateful trip, a mission of hope was born for Gabriel. Risking the continual dangers of being in a war zone, our brave partner now makes the journey inside Syria each month to offer life-sustaining food, essential living supplies, discipleship, and the message that the church around the world remembers their plight.

Recently, Gabriel sent an update from his latest mission where he met Victor and Asil. This precious elderly couple was captured by ISIS before they could escape their city. Victor was tortured three different times in an attempt to make him recant his faith in Jesus. Asil was beaten so badly that she lost most of her mobility and was forced to remain in bed. Miraculously, the two were spared from death but were thrown out of their home without any of their possessions. With the last of their strength they made the long journey to Damascus where they hoped to find safety. 

Gabriel's timely arrival provided much-needed aid in the midst of overwhelming sorrow and poverty. His visit also awakened something all but forgotten by Victor and Asil ... hope!

What Can We Do?

Resources are very limited for Gabriel and he needs our help in providing support for the families he visits each month. This is an invitation to be a part of one of the greatest rescue stories of our time. 

$25 provides a week of emergency food aid for a Christian family. 

$100 helps pay rent to shelter a family left homeless by persecution.

$1,000 purchases forty survival packs for families who’ve lost everything.

Would you prayerfully consider giving toward this incredible outreach? In a country that threatens to be overthrown by darkness, we can ensure the Syrian persecuted church remains a growing light.


Infiltrating A Modern Day Slave Camp (A Secret Mission To Set North Koreans Free)

Jonas couldn’t believe what was happening. For years he had been covertly entering hard labor work sites in remote unnamed locations where modern day slaves were “employed." The slaves had been sent by North Korea as part of a corrupt government program. His mission was to bring food, medicine, and the message of the Gospel to the men who lived with little or no hope. Jonas had been careful to steer clear of the leaders of the slave rings who viciously protected their assets from outside influence, but something had drastically changed. 

The very leaders Jonas had done his best to avoid had discovered him while he was ministered to some of the workers. He expected violence, but instead they had welcomed him into a brand new work site that was not on Jonas’ map.  The undercover evangelist suddenly found himself face to face with 30 new workers, all in need of the resources and message he carried.

The men working the sites had signed up for the North Korean government program with the promise of earning money for their hungry families. Instead of honest work with decent wages, they arrived in a foreign land where they were kept restricted to their remote locations, working painstaking hours with little to eat and inadequate shelter. Worse still, up to 80% of what they earned was kept by the North Korean government, leaving them little on which to survive. 

The leaders in charge of the hard labor work sites are North Korean, official guards sent to prevent the men from leaving as well as keep outsiders away. The horrific conditions left many of the workforce sick and hungry from the lack of food. Jonas had chosen to infiltrate a camp guarded by a sympathetic official who recognized the opportunity to provide for those he oversaw. 

Through God’s divine orchestration and your support, Jonas was allowed to openly offer survival packs he had prepared for each worker under the care of the guard. The packs contain food, medicine, basic living supplies and, best of all, disguised Korean literature that contained the message of the Gospel. 

Please continue to keep Jonas and his secret ministry in your prayers. He needs more opportunities like this one for the numerous work sites he has located. Pray that each survival pack and each conversation will plant a seed in the hearts of the workers. May the hope of Jesus Christ truly set these men free. 

Ready to involved? Check out some great opportunities below.


The Church Refuge (Hope for families fleeing ISIS)

As militants stormed their small Syrian city, Bahira and her family did the only thing they could...flee. Finding refuge outside of Damascus, the hurting family took up shelter in an unfinished building with a simple roof over their heads. There were no walls, no electricity, and no water. It was a shack by all definition, but at least for the time begin, they were safe from ISIS.

Bahira's husband, Kareef, grew sick and was unable to look for work to support his family. She did all she could, but jobs for hurting refugees were scarce with the influx of so many displaced people. Many days, her children (ages 5, 8, and 15) were forced to beg on the streets to pay for food. If poverty weren't threat enough, winter arrived strongly in the region. 

But all was not lost. Bahira learned of a church nearby that was helping refugees. Pastor Sami is a partner with Alpha Relief doing everything in his power to offer hope to hurting Christian families, as well as Muslim families in desperate need of the love of Christ.  

Because of your support, this family, and many others, now receive monthly food aid. In gratitude, Bahira comes to the church faithfully and offers to help wherever she might be needed. Risking a great deal, she recently told the pastor, "You are better than my own Muslim people, for you stood by us in our hour of need." (This is said often by war refugees in Syria because Muslims are taught from childhood that Christians are their enemies. They are amazed that their enemies are so kind to them.)

What an incredible opportunity to show the beauty and light of Jesus Christ! Although hundreds of families near Sami’s church have endured incredible pain and suffering at the hands of ISIS, they have not been forgotten. The LORD is an ever present help in their time of trouble. Bahira knows this first hand.

Thank you for joining Jesus’ rescue story in the lives of these precious people!!

Ready to get involved? You will find some great opportunities below.


Illegal Communication (Jesus’s Kingdom Spreads Inside the Hermit Kingdom)

With the advancements of communication, it’s mind boggling that a country like North Korea can control the spread of information and remain a mystery. It’s rare to get an unadulterated peak behind the curtain that surrounds North Korea, and even more rare for it’s people to hear truth from the outside world.

Communication may be extremely difficult to pass across the closed borders, but not entirely impossible. Alpha Relief has the rare privilege of supporting Mrs. Kim, a very special undercover agent for the Gospel. Mrs. Kim secretly brings life saving food and spiritual discipleship to an underground church network inside North Korea. Although food aid is vitally important for the malnourished people, it is often the news she brings from the outside world that her network is just as hungry for. 

We cherish the news from Mrs. Kim’s trip reports just as well. She is one of our only direct links to our oppressed brothers and sisters in Christ. “The situation in North Korea continues to be very difficult” she recently described. “One hundred people have been arrested for anti-government charges.” These “anti-government” charges include severe punishment for Christians who are seen as traitors to the country for worshiping anything other then the dictator. Thankfully none in Mrs. Kim’s network were among those harmed or imprisoned.  

The communication North Koreans do receive is full of governmental propaganda, always ensuring the people that they are being provided heavenly living conditions despite the horrific poverty many of its citizens experience. Though most know this propaganda is a lie, they would never say so out-loud, as the penalty would be a labor camp sentence.

In the midst of this darkness, Mrs. Kim has earned the reputation for offering hope. The precious believers in her network call her “The Kingdom of Heaven Auntie”.  Her message is spreading, and despite the risk, Mrs. Kim makes herself available to those who are seeking to know more about the Gospel. Recently a woman named Lilly met with her to ask if there really was a “Kingdom of Heaven?”  She had heard the government boast of “paradise on earth”, but with so little physical evidence, it had become just a phrase without any substance. Mrs. Kim told the story of Jesus’ kingdom, and though it didn’t always promise physical relief, it did promise peace and joy, no matter the external circumstances.  

Through your support, Mrs. Kim has the resources to reach over 200 underground church families inside North Korea as well as those like Lilly who desire the truth of Christ’s kingdom. Please continue to pray for her incredible mission and those she serves. May the true kingdom advance ever further! 

Interested in helping her next cross-border mission? You’ll find some great ways to get involved below. 

Deeper Into Burma (A Rare Opportunity to Reach the Oppressed)


Jamie is an onsite Alpha Relief partner working along the Burma border. She offers hope to thousands of impoverished orphans and families living under the oppression of the Burmese army. Her heart’s greatest desire is to pioneer new areas of the war-torn country and reach displaced villagers with the love of Christ. But the ministry is opposed by the Burmese government, requiring Jamie to operate in secret. Even with the hurdles she faces, many are finding hope in Jesus for the first time.

An opportunity recently arose to venture deeper into Burma than she had ever been before. The covert mission included a rare visit to a special site where orphaned children from the war have found refuge. Normally, the 160 children from the camp hike many hours through landmine infested jungle to reach Jamie at the Thailand border. Sometimes hiding in caves to avoid detection, Jamie disciples the children, then offers food and other living resources for their journey home and the month ahead.

The potential danger for Jamie to bring aid directly to the camp was high, requiring ten local freedom fighters to escort her and a small ministry team from the border. The area is under constant threat and the children have been attacked before by the Burmese army. Most escaped into the jungle but were traumatized as they stayed hidden for more then two days and nights without food. 

Thankfully, Jamie arrived without incident and spent two days ministering to the camp children and local village families. Special gatherings were held in the evening for worship, prayer and teaching, allowing many to come to Christ for the first time. Jamie described the danger she felt in the midst of the celebration. “Dogs would start frantically barking in the middle of the night causing me to wonder if the army was nearby. Two freedom fighters remained stationed outside our hut as our team attempted to sleep on the bamboo floor.” The Lord protected her, and Jamie now feels as though she has a deeper empathy for the daily fear the kids experience.

Ne La Uu (orphan boy): “I like living here as we have enough food. I became a Christian two years ago when I met one of your teams. I am very, very happy that you came to Burma to see us. I am still reading the Bible you gave me two years ago, and I am learning a lot about Jesus. Five years ago, the Burmese Army came and oppressed us and fought us. They were shooting guns around us. We ran very fast and we hid under tarps in the jungle. I was very scared. Last year they came again. I am so happy that you came and visited us here, and I hope you can visit us again in the future.”


Jamie will be visiting this special camp again and has asked for our help in continuing her mission to bring the light of Jesus where it’s needed most. Would you join this unique opportunity to offer the emergency resources and discipleship these precious children so desperately need? $25 can feed an orphan for a month. $100 can provide twenty Burmese children’s Bibles. $1000 can ensure proper shelter and other essential living supplies are available.

Click on one of the below urgent needs to get involved today!

Nari's List (How A Modern Day "Schindler" Is Setting North Koreans Free)

Nari is a hero whose acts of courage most will never know. She operates a rescue safe
house, which provides temporary shelter and relocation services for North Koreans who've escaped into China. But China offers it's own set of dangers. North Korean women are often captured by human traffickers and sold into sex slavery. Men are just as vulnerable to traffickers who hunt them for slave labor. Without the services and ministry Nari provides, most would have little hope of ever finding freedom.

Nari's house is a safe harbor in the midst of a violent storm. Many come having never heard the Gospel message before. Nari knows most of her guests are in an incredibility
vulnerable state on their arrival. She offers warm meals and comfortable beds. She then
works tirelessly to show the love of Jesus, carefully unraveling the Gospel message to
reveal a Heavenly Father who deeply loves each of her guests. Once safe transportation
can be arranged, the escapees leave the safe house to begin their final journey to South
Korea where they can finally live in freedom. Most who come through her home leave
having gained a new relationship with Jesus and scripture to continue their growth in Him.

The team gathered in a mountain field outside of Seoul to securely attach digital media players containing multiple scripture formats, radios, and handwritten messages of hope to three-foot helium balloons. Jet streams flowing at high altitudes are able carry the balloons deep inside North Korea where they eventually deflate and come back to earth. North Korean escapees, have reported finding the balloons and even coming to Christ as a result of the messages and scripture attached.

The team prayed over each balloon, asking the Lord to guide them to those in need. They then released the couriers into the air, watching as they cleared the trees and soared high out of sight. They will bring the hope Jesus to many others, some of whom may one day find themselves in Nari’s safe house.

You are offering freedom for many trapped in darkness. On behalf of those you’ve helped rescue this year, thank you for your incredible support!

The Bible vs. The Qur’an (A Story of God’s Word Triumphing in North Africa)

When Ezekiel accepted a New Testament, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. The young man had grown up in Northern Africa in a family who faithfully practiced Islam. At age 23, he could already recite the entire Qur’an by heart. But after spending six months comparing the Qur’an to the New Testament and fighting an internal spiritual battle, Ezekiel finally accepted Jesus as LORD and was baptized.

When his family discovered that he owned a New Testament, Ezekiel’s father and brothers forcibly tied his hands and took him to a nearby mosque. There, they beat him mercilessly. The men left him bloodied and near death as they departed to observe their ritualistic Islamic prayers. Miraculously, the rope that bound Ezekiel’s hands suddenly loosened, enabling him to escape before his father and brothers could finish praying and return. His getaway was short-lived and by morning his family had found him. Once again they angrily beat him, this time dropping him off at the local police station to be tried as a criminal.

When the law enforcement personnel discovered the New Testament Ezekiel had retrieved and placed in his handbag as he was fleeing, they proceeded to insult, beat, and finally imprison him. Four long months Ezekiel remained in a cell. When a judge finally issued his release, his parents and brothers paid a mercenary to attack him. Thankfully, he was alerted about the hit man’s imminent arrival, allowing him time to escape.

Knowing he was no longer safe in his home city, the young Christian kept on the run, Without money for food or shelter, he resorted to sleeping on the roadside and under abandoned buildings. He had read the verse before, but he now felt a deeper understanding of his Savior’s words; “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).

It was during this period of trial that God began to reveal His plan for Ezekiel's life. By incredible grace, he was connected with an Alpha Relief sponsored covert missionary school. The school was filled with many young students who had stories similar to his. For the first time, Ezekiel felt strengthened and supported in his new faith. As his graduation drew near, he knew he wanted to build a similar community for others just like himself who needed to know the truth as well as receive encouragement for the persecution they would most certainly face

Through your incredible support, Ezekiel is now an undercover church planter and evangelist in a North African community where more than 200,000 people live. Seventy percent are following Islam. With the Lord’s help, Ezekiel has already led four Muslims to Christ. He confesses that he wishes the numbers were larger.  Even so, he is deeply committed to his mission and his small church will only grow with those being led out of the darkness.

If Ezekiel’s story has impacted you, would you consider sponsoring his outreach, as well as the outreach of others just like him, invading the darkest places on earth with the light of Christ? Imagine what Ezekiel could do if he had Bibles and the financial stability to devote more time to sharing the good news and discipling believers who are young in their faith.

Join the story today through one of our unique opportunities below.

Forgetting the War Exists

Walking the streets of downtown Seoul is always a surreal experience. It seems strange to me that so many South Korean citizens carry on their daily business, appearing to be mindless of the warfare being waged so close to their homes. Seoul sits just 30 miles from the heavily guarded North Korean border. It’s a border that is still at war.

North and South Korea signed a cease-fire agreement in 1953 to end the Korean conflict. Although tensions have always been high, a whole generation of South Koreans have grown up since that time. Most now live as if the war does not exist.

It’s an interesting physical picture of what is happening in the US and around the world on a spiritual level. I believe one of the greatest schemes the devil employs against the church is to make us forget he exists. You see, if the church knew how important our role was in the great rescue story of the Gospel, if we knew how much hope we could offer Christ’s bride when she is persecuted, we would be very dangerous to the devil. We could assault his kingdom, invading the darkest places in the world with light.

And so, just like the South Korean commuters, the devil keeps most of us unaware of his presence ... unaware that a war still wages ... unaware of the hero role we are meant to embrace.

Over the next few months, I will be sharing my experiences from a recent trip to South Korea where a small Alpha Relief team met with our onsite partners. These frontline operatives are reaching into the darkness of North Korea with the hope of the Gospel. It is my prayer that these stories will help serve as a reminder that we are all still in the midst of the greatest war ever fought between the devil and the light of Jesus Christ. 

May we never forget the war or the cost Jesus paid to ransom our lives from darkness. You and I have been set free so that we might bring others into that same freedom. As a supporter of Alpha Relief you are doing just that ... setting people free. Your role in the rescue story of the Gospel matters. Thank you for not forgetting and thank you for bringing so much hope.

Want to get involved in bringing light into some of the darkest places on earth? You’ll find some great places to get started below.

The Syrian Refugee Camp Miracle (An Unlikely Underground Church Movement)

Elias had no reason to have hope. His family is among the thousands who fled from the Syrian civil war to a border country. Before escaping their home city, the family had been trapped in a war zone, cut off from supplies, forced to eat leaves, twigs, and grass to survive. Elias had to endure the pain of watching his oldest son killed in front of him by bomb shrapnel. Though they are now far from ISIS’s continued devastation inside Syria, the family still must endure life in a refugee camp where food, medicine, and other critical resources are severely limited.

With all this stacked against him, Elias does have hope. So where could it possibly come from?

Abram and Siri are friends of Alpha Relief who answered God’s call to be underground missionaries inside the refugee camp to which Elias fled.  Elias’s entire family was overwhelmed when the missionary couple came to their tent offering food and other relief aid. Although sharing Jesus is forbidden in the camp, and severely punished if discovered, Elias listened intently as Abram and Siri spoke about Christ. The missionary couple prayed for Elias’s youngest son Joram who had been diagnosed with leukemia in Syria, and committed to bring the boy to a local doctor. This unprecedented act of kindness, in an environment where professional medical care is almost non-existent, began to open the family’s hearts. What happened next would truly transform them.

On their way to an appointment with the doctor, Elias told Abram that, although it was against everything Islam had taught, he believed the missionary’s prayers to Jesus on behalf of Joram had been answered (Matthew 21:22). In the doctor’s office, the group listened overjoyed as their beliefs were confirmed. The test results were negative. The cancer was gone. Elias now knew the truth. Jesus was the Savior and He had miraculously healed his son.

Shortly after the miracle, Elias’s entire family gave their lives to the Lord. They were the first-fruits of a secret movement, even now spreading through the refugee camp. The risk of persecution still exists, but our Heavenly Father continues to open doors through relief aid and medical care, offering Abram and Siri access to a seemingly countless number of Muslim refugees who are hungry and thirsty for the Truth. Joram’s story of miraculous healing continues to draw those in need of hope who live in Elias’s community and the family is now working alongside Abram and Siri as underground small group planters in the refugee camp. There truly is reason to celebrate.

Friends, would you join us in continuing to pray and support Elias, Abram, and Siri? Pray that many Muslim refugees around these brave underground church planters see the love we as fellow Christians are offering. Pray it prepares them for their own miracles, drawing them out of darkness into the marvelous light of Jesus. 

Ready to join the story? Offer hope through one of our Urgent Needs below.

Beaten by His own Family (The Cost of Following Jesus in Indonesia)

The Cost of Following Jesus in Indonesia

Kuwat knelt in his prison room feeling his face begin to swell and his lips crack from the beating he’d just endured. This was not the first time he’d tasted his own blood for being a follower of Christ, but it was the first time he’d been beaten by someone he knew … his own family. 

Kuwat had grown up a Muslim in Indonesia. As a young man he committed himself to Islamic studies and moved away from his family to a larger city to pursue a university program. During that time he met a missionary couple, heard the Gospel, and began to follow Jesus. 

Eager to share the truth he’d discovered with other young Muslims, Kuwat began to talk about his new faith in the hostel where he was staying. That night, some of his roommates woke him with their fists, mercilessly beating him for his conversion. It was then that he began to understand the price of his transformation.

But he couldn’t fathom what would happen next. An urgent phone call revealed that his mother had suffered a heart attack. Kuwat made the long journey back as quickly as he could,  but was shocked at what he found. His mother was alive and healthy. Many of Kuwat's older relatives and some of the local mosque leaders had gathered for his arrival. It was a trap.

Kuwat's family had learned of his new faith and tricked him into returning home. When he refused to deny his belief in Jesus, he was severely beaten and locked in a room inside his parents' home, which would serve as his cell. As the days and months passed, the beatings and threats continued. His aunt attempted to poison him and his uncle suggested they cut him up and throw his body parts in the nearby river. Miraculously, his life was spared, but he felt like little more than an animal. 

Then an opportunity suddenly arose for escape. While his family was away, Kuwat managed to slip out of the house with a few possessions and buy a bus ticket. But his flight for freedom did not go unnoticed and before he could board an outbound bus, four men from his village grabbed him and attempted to drag him back home. Kuwat did the only thing he could ... he shouted at the top of his lungs, drawing the attention of nearby police. The confused abductorss released him as the officers came running, giving Kuwat just enough time to slip on the bus as it was departing. 

When Kuwat finally arrived at the home of the missionaries who led him to Christ, he was exhausted, empty-handed, and in desperate need. Your support provided this brave convert shelter, basic living resources, and most of all hope for the future. He is now working alongside the missionary family discipling other young Muslim converts in their new relationship with Jesus!

Interested in helping others like Kuwat? You will find some great ways to get involved below. Thank you for ensuring hope!

Invasion Into Enemy Territory

A couple’s journey to bring the light of Jesus into the darkness of North Korea

I am amazed at what the LORD can do with a forgiving heart and a willingness to humbly follow His lead. This month I want to introduce you to Bo and Annie, a couple who know firsthand the hardships of following Christ in a restricted nation. Though they face persecution for their beliefs, these two brave heroes are taking even greater risks by providing emergency relief and discipleship to a covert church inside North Korea. 

May their story of forgiving and loving their enemy cause us to search our own hearts for unhealed wounds of bitterness. You never know what amazing things God might have in store. 

Invasion Into Enemy Territory

Bo and Annie have not always been heroes. Before they became believers, Bo ran a cross-border business delivering and trading goods with a North Korean partner named Ju. The business relationship appeared successful until one day Bo discovered an anomaly in the financial records. Ju had been cheating him out of a great deal of money. In heated anger, Bo broke off the partnership.

A few years passed, and by God’s grace Bo and Annie came to be followers of Christ. They were fully committed to their new faith and began to attend a secret Chinese Bible school. During those intense times of studying God’s Word, they received their calling to disciple and train North Koreans to be undercover house church leaders. 

They knew the dangers they faced if their ministry was discovered, but with Bo’s North Korean business connections, they also knew they had access to people many others couldn’t reach. The couple knew God was leading them to disciple Ju, the very man who had caused so much bitterness in Bo.  

Shocked that the couple would reach out in peace to him after so many years, Ju agreed to meet with Bo and Annie. The consequences they faced if Ju decided to turn them in to the authorities were severe, but Bo and Annie began to reveal the reasons for their heart change through the Gospel message. They ended by telling Ju that they had forgiven him. The couple’s unprecedented kindness led Ju to repentance and he accepted Christ as his Savior. 

But God wasn't’ done yet. Soon Ju began taking his own risks by sharing the Gospel with his family and extended relatives. In just three years Ju led over 20 families to Jesus and the group met together regularly to worship in secret. 

During that time, Bo and Annie began to further their vision by covertly bringing members of Ju’s underground church into China for intensive three week Bible training and discipleship sessions. During the sessions, the new believers would memorize dozens of Bible verses. Many wrote the most critical elements of their lessons on small pieces of paper. On returning to North Korea, the papers were hidden in deep recesses of clothing so they would not be discovered should anyone be captured. These pieces of paper became precious spiritual food for the other church members awaiting their return. 

Through Alpha Relief’s partnership, Bo and Annie are now also able to provide physical resources to the underground church to help with the poverty and hunger many of the members face. As a result, the small church is slowly growing as the light of Jesus shines brighter in the darkness than ever before. 

What Can We Do?

Though Bo and Annie’s cross-border mission is yielding amazing fruit for the Kingdom, the endeavor is not unopposed. The devil sees this ministry as an invasion into his territory and has fought back. Bo and Annie have been arrested and questioned by North Korean authorities. Ju and his wife were also interrogated and even beaten unconscious. Spiritual attack comes as well. Bo routinely experiences kidney problems as well as roller coaster blood pressure and sugar levels from diabetes. Just last month he found himself in a hospital bed close to death. 

Even so, this brave network of believers has stayed true to their faith and it’s an honor for us to help resource their work. If their story has been an encouragement, would you consider helping further their mission as well as others serving North Korea just like them? You will find some great ways to get involved below. 

Thank you for ensuring hope!

Leaving All Behind (A Story of Escape From Pakistan)

Have you seen the latest news reports covering the terrorist bombings in Lahore, Pakistan? A splinter group of the Taliban took responsibility for killing over 70 people, claiming it was a direct attack on Christians. Most of the victims were women and children. 

It's horrifying, but persecution of believers in Pakistan is not a new occurrence. The light of the Gospel has been spreading in the region and it appears the Devil is desperately trying to fight back as he quickly loses ground. 

The good news is that there is incredible hope for those standing strong in their faith. This month we want to share the story of one Pakistani family who endured severe persecution, escaped, and through your help have finally found refuge.

Solomon clung tightly to his father as the family hurriedly gathered the few possessions they could carry before running from the home he had grown up in. The little boy watched his house grow smaller in the distance and wondered if he’d ever set foot inside again. He ached at having to leave everything behind, but also knew that something terrible would come if they stayed.

Solomon’s family had been forced to flee their community in Pakistan after leaving Islam to follow Jesus. At seven years old, he saw firsthand the repercussions of the new faith as the family was threatened with severe persecution by angry Muslims. Through the help of Alpha Relief friends, his parents, alongside his uncle and aunt, managed to escape Pakistan and seek refuge in a supported African safe house. 

As an Alpha Relief hero, you stepped in to ensure hope for these hurting believers. You helped provide Solomon’s family basic living needs and even language lessons so they might survive and thrive in their new homeland. There was even more reason to rejoice recently as we were notified of the birth of Solomon’s first cousin. 

The family is incredibly grateful for the body of Christ around the world that came to their rescue. Keep them in your prayers as they continue their journey. Already Solomon’s father, as a missionary, is reaching out to local African Muslims with the love of Christ. 

“Please Don’t Forget Us”: A Message From Inside Syria

It appears the Syrian crisis is becoming old news. Friends, there are some things we as the body of Christ can’t afford to forget.

Seven million people, displaced by war and ISIS terrorists, remain trapped inside Syria. An overwhelming number of these are followers of Jesus. Those who have fled to safer zones outside of Damascus are forced to camp in small rented rooms or makeshift shelters. Some even resort to searching through the trash for their next meal.

As nearby Alpha Relief partners began making contact with persecuted believers trapped inside Syria, a common theme emerged: “We feel as though we’ve been forgotten by the outside church.”

You see, in the height of the crisis the world set its attention on Syrians who had escaped, sending aid to refugee camps in open European countries. These initiatives are incredibly important but someone needs to ensure those trapped inside Syria aren’t overlooked.

Gabriel is an on-site Alpha Relief partner who has made it his mission to bring hope to displaced Christians remaining in Syria. He has been given special access to an area outside Damascus where a network of local pastors are desperately trying to aid over 1,000 families near their churches. Risking the continual dangers of being in a war zone, Gabriel makes the journey from a border country each month to offer food, essential living resources, and the message that the church around the world remembers their plight.

Just this morning, Gabriel sent an update from his latest mission inside Syria. He spent time with Maath, a 53 year old man who had almost completely given up hope. With tears streaming down his face, Maath told how his entire family had fled their homes when their city was attacked. They later learned that all their possessions had been stolen and their homes destroyed. To make matters worse, his two sons were taken by the Syrian army to fight in the war against ISIS. The hurting father had spiraled into depression, losing weight and finally his strength. 

Gabriel’s visit awakened something in Maath. As Gabriel sat near his bedside, holding his hand and praying over him, Maath suddenly felt a glimmer of hope. He begged his visitor to return again.

What Can We Do?

Gabriel’s next trip takes place just a few days before Easter. This time his mission will focus on a network of 23 local Syrian pastors who every day minister to families like Maath’s. These hurting heroes of the faith are giving all they can while facing the same poverty and persecution. If they lose hope, many under their care may also fall.

Gabriel needs our help in raising $23,000 ($1,000 for each pastor) to support an Easter gift of food, basic living resources, and the most urgent needs of the pastors' churches. This is an invitation to be a part of one of the greatest rescue stories of our time. Would you prayerfully consider giving toward this Easter outreach? Together we can ensure that the Syrian persecuted church knows they are not forgotten.


The bell on the front door of Olie’s bookshop chimed and a man entered out of the hot Pakistani sun. Something about the look in his eyes immediately made the store owner nervous. In a single sweeping gesture, the man threw open his jacket revealing a bomb strapped to his chest. “I’m here to take your life for your belief in Jesus and selling books that lead others to follow Him." 

Frozen at the sight of the bomb, Olie could think of only one reply. He asked the bomber to read a framed scripture passage from I Corinthians hanging on the wall.  

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth …

After reading the passage, the bomber quietly stepped back, closed his jacket, and hurried out of the shop. That would not be the last time Olie encountered the would be bomber. A few days later he returned. This time he told Olie that he had met Jesus the day he came to destroy the store and asked for a copy of the Bible. He said he wanted to become a Christian, but needed help to escape from those who had sent him to destroy the store only days before.

Recently, some of our staff had an amazing opportunity to meet in secret with pastors from Pakistan. They listened wide-eyed to Olie’s story of facing death for his faith. Pakistan may be a very dangerous place for a believer but, as our team learned from the pastors they met, God is breaking through the darkness to redeem even the most evil men to Himself.

What can we do?

Although Olie’s story has a happy ending, other pastors have experienced the horrific results of persecution. Shaid has been on the front lines of Pakistani evangelism for many years. Using the internet and a local TV station, he has been sharing the Gospel message with those around his city who find his broadcast and watch in secret. Many Muslims have forsaken their dark faith in exchange for the light of Jesus as they listened to Shaid's messages. 

Last December, Muslim extremists found Shaid’s broadcasting location and firebombed it, burning everything to the ground. He has been left with nothing, and those he discipled over the airwaves are left without anyone to teach them about their new faith.

Shaid needs our help with $50,000 to rebuild his ministry. It’s expensive, but with the rebuilding will come some amazing opportunities. A new secure broadcasting location has been found, which can better protect the underground evangelist and his team. New technology will allow him to send his programing to millions in Pakistan and three border countries hostile to the Gospel, where secret followers of Christ desperately need discipleship.

Want to get involved today? Click on the Urgent Need below. May millions more in Pakistan hear and believe!

A Midnight Raid

A horde of police officers and government officials poured into the village under cover of darkness. Their mission:  to harass and threaten a small group of Chinese Christians with severe punishment if they ever opened their homes to an undercover missionary again. 

Earlier that day, Pastor Fang (an undercover pastor partnering with Alpha Relief) and his Chinese team of missionaries stopped to visit the small rural tribe and offer discipleship to the growing number of believers in the community. That evening, the team held meetings to share the gospel and encourage other seekers in the village.  As usual, God’s presence was tangible as He drew new hearts into His Kingdom. 

The raid and persecution by the local authorities brought fear and confusion to the new followers of Jesus. As simple farmers, they didn’t understand how to stand up for themselves and fight the oppression. They felt the love of God and responded to the gospel, and many saw healing and deliverance through the power of Jesus’ name. "How could something so good be so wrong,” they wondered? 

Sadly, some succumbed to the government’s intimidation and renounced their faith, unable to withstand the persecution. 

Most of us understand that we are in a very real spiritual battle. This Chinese community, called the "A-Che,” worshiped spirits and idols for thousands of years. The enemy is not giving up easily, but through your support of Pastor Fang and his small missionary team, the light of Christ is pushing back against the darkness. Thank you for joining the story to rescue the hearts of these precious people. 

Interested in continuing the rescue? Check out our urgent needs below.