Thesis: Richard Wurmbrand should win “The Intercessor Award” because of the awareness he has brought to oppressed peoples throughout the world, particularly of the Christian Faith, and his impactful ministry in advocating and helping its victims.
Introduction: What would you do if you knew there were people living in terrifyingly hostile circumstances, enduring horrific tortures and imprisonments, and children being brutalized – all because somebody refused to recant their Faith? What would you do if that was you living in those circumstances? An intercessor is one who intercedes – literally, to intercede for somebody; to stand in the gap for someone else and defend those who cannot defend themselves. I know a great intercessor that has stood in the gap for people victimized for their faith – he was even a victim himself. His name is Richard Wurmbrand, and I humbly ask that you consider him this year’s winner of the annual “Intercessor Award”.
- Who is Richard Wurmbrand?
- Born in 1909, died in 2001
- Romanian Christian Pastor
- Imprisoned during the Stalinist regime for refusal to compromise his faith
- Endured many tortures and brainwashings through two prison terms in 14 years
- His family suffered as well
- Eventually escaped with his wife Sabina to America after 1964 amnesty and bail.
- Ministry was founded by Wurmbrand in 1967
- From website: “[VOM] is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide.”
- The Wurmbrands traveled the world to share their story and raise awareness of the Christians that suffer for their faith.
- Wurmbrand himself testified to Congress to tell them of his – and others’ – treatment in the Communist prisons
- VOM provides medical help, food, clothing, and other necessities to victims and their families
- VOM helps protect and defend those in danger of imprisonment or death for sharing the Gospel of Christ
- VOM supplies bibles and other evangelistic material and outreaches to regions all over the world
- Runs a huge prison ministry which allows believers throughout the world to write letters of encouragement (in their native tongues) to those in prison suffering for their bold stand in the Faith.
- Richard Wurmbrand, through Voice of the Martyrs, has universally raised the awareness of the suffering and trials people face every day throughout the world for their Faith.
- To fellow Christians, this is a plea to intercede, like Pastor Wurmbrand, for our brethren overseas in any way possible
- Hebrews 13:3 – “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
- Please pray for those who suffer – not just for their safety, but that their oppressors will have a change of heart and accept Christ as their personal savior.
- Please pray for the families of the victims.
- Consider getting involved with the prison ministry, donating to Voice of the Martyrs, or getting active in the missionary field overseas for yourself.
- Violence and hatred of this kind should not be tolerated or accepted by any of us, and it is important to be aware of how prevalent it still is today.
- Voice of the Martyrs
- Why It Matters
Conclusion: Despite all that he went through, Richard Wurmbrand still loved those who persecuted him. In his book, Tortured for Christ, Pastor Wurmbrand describes in gruesome detail some of the horrific events him and fellow prisoners endured at the hands of the Communists; but he also records how he did not see an evil man, but a man doing evil things. He longed to see them won for Christ – and his love had a significant impact on many of his tormentors. Many who tortured Wurmbrand and other Christians even became Christians themselves, and ended up joining them in the same cells they were once torturing from. Wurmbrand is not alone. Countless testimonies of those who have been imprisoned but now released, recount their love for their captors and oppressors, despite the terrible things they were doing to them. They do not despise their experiences in prison – instead, rejoicing for the opportunity it gave them to try their faith and learn to love more like Christ Jesus even there. Powerful is the love of this Christ – truly these men and women have found something much greater than anything their tormenters or circumstances could thwart.
Considering the great awareness that Pastor Wurmbrand has brought to us, of those who suffer and are killed for their unwavering Faith in Jesus Christ, and the ministry that he has started which provides invaluable aid and resources to victims and their families, I believe Richard Wurmbrand is the most deserving candidate to win “The Intercessor Award” of 2012.