Karyn Marianne directs the Communications team for The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, a ministry that represents fellow believers around the world by serving as a “voice” on their behalf across our nation. The vision for the organization was first realized through its international founders, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who served as pastors in Romania during the Communist regime.
Richard Wurmbrand had been initially arrested after taking a public stand for his convictions. Not long after being released, he was arrested again for resuming his pastoral ministry. Altogether he was imprisoned for about 14 years, part of which was spent in solitary confinement. After Pastor Wurmbrand had finally been released from prison, his vision was to raise a voice for other believers who were experiencing severe hardships due to persecution.
At the time, people in North America had no idea that Christians were undergoing such horrible abuses for their faith. After the initial founding of the ministry in the States during the mid-1960s, concerned believers in the West were encouraged to pray, write to prisoners, send clothing packages, and whatever else they felt led to do in order to help their persecuted Christian brothers and sisters. Today, there are 16 VOM offices around the world.
How did you first become involved with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada?
I had been involved in full-time ministry for a number of years before joining The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC). At the time, I hadn’t been seeking a job particularly with VOMC but God clearly led me in this direction through a former colleague. He mentioned to me that an editorial position would soon be available, as an expectant staff member was preparing to go on maternity leave. In 2012, I originally came on board for a one-year contract, which ended up being extended because the staff member decided to work as a freelancer for the ministry after her maternity leave had concluded.
By nature, I’m a very sensitive person. The hurts, injustices and struggles experienced by others can affect me very deeply. Before working with VOMC, I would only listen to global news reports periodically because I thought it was important for Christians to at least be aware of what’s going on in the world. However, since working with a ministry that serves as “a voice” on behalf of Christians suffering tremendous challenges for their faith, incidences of persecution now have even greater relevance.
The members of our team often get bombarded with news releases from all over the world where persecution is taking place. Yet God has given us grace — the supernatural ability and strength — to serve in this ministry. I truly believe that each of VOMC’s team members have been appointed by the Lord. And we know that God equips those whom He calls.
Tell us about the work that you do as a communicator for VOMC.
One of the main purposes of VOMC is to raise a voice for the persecuted church; in other words, to serve as ‘a voice for the voiceless.’ We do this through our various means of communication. In addition to the ministry’s monthly publication, there are the weekly ‘Persecution and Prayer Alerts,’ as well as informative national conferences every year. Plus, there are special events, such as the upcoming tour of the “Solitary Refinement” theatrical production, which will be commencing across the country as of September 2017. (For more information, check www.vomcanada/touring).
By working closely with ministry contacts in various parts of the world, we’re able to carefully monitor and assess what’s taking place in persecuted nations. These ministry partners have integrity and are very reputable. Additionally, members of the VOMC team personally travel overseas to ensure the projects are being properly facilitated and that they are effective in meeting the specific needs of victimized believers.
One specific project VOMC has going is