A School for Persecuted Christians Faces Test
Our school faced a big test. Ultimately, it is a test of what we teach.
Will we trust in God and step up during trials to help the persecuted?
Victory Bible Academy is a school for persecuted Christians. Our students fled Burma’s violent war on its own people. They grew up under a regime that beats, shoots, abducts, rapes, and kills ‘inferior’ people. That includes Christian ethnic minorities like Holly.
“Holly” (not her name) grew up in a poor village in Karen State. With little education, few skills, and low status as a Karen Christian, she was easy prey to be attacked and abused by Burma’s military.
“Holly’s” future was dim. But her desire to know and serve God was strong when she learned about Christian Freedom International’s school.
“Holly” escaped Burma and found her way to Victory Bible Academy.
Dodging military air strikes and bullets, Holly hiked trails, hitched rides, and slipped past soldiers to cross the river into Thailand. She showed up and was accepted to attend Victory Bible Academy.
But she arrived at a challenging time.
Shortly before “Holly” arrived, Victory Bible Academy’s co-director Marnie Scott was tragically killed in an accident.
Marnie was a teacher, counselor, and protective mother for our students. But mostly, Marnie prepared students to trust in God above all else.
This was a huge loss for us and our students, especially those who have been abused and neglected and need to know God’s enduring love.
How would our school continue despite this loss?
What would our students — who have already experienced painful losses from persecution — believe about God in the aftermath of this tragedy?
Christians in Burma
Students at our school escaped from horrific violence in Burma (also known as Myanmar). The Burmese-Buddhist military, called the Tatmadaw, is ruthlessly brutal against ethnic groups like Karen Christians.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reported, “Since the 2021 coup, Burma’s various Christian communities have suffered violence and discrimination in a magnitude” that compares to crimes against humanity and genocide.
“Houses of worship remain particularly vulnerable targets of violence within Burma as the military has bombed, mined, and burned Catholic, Baptist, and other Christian churches.” USCIRF said.
“They are attacking the churches intentionally to suppress the spirit of Christian people,” a Christian leader said.
In one deadly attack, a pastor was shot and killed when he ran to put out fires caused by air strikes. Soldiers cut off his finger to steal his wedding ring.
Joe and Marnie Scott moved to Thailand to run Victory Bible Academy in 2014. Christian Freedom International built the school to serve persecuted Christians in the Thai/Burma border area.
Each year Joe and Marnie developed classes to fit the unique needs of the students. Bible for a firm foundation. Discipleship for spiritual strength. Music to lead worship. Gardening, cooking, electronics, welding, weaving, and business to make a living and serve others.
Victory’s students learn how to live for Christ in the midst of war. They learn how to rely on God, and to forgive enemies. How to preach, teach, and lead worship. How to seek the needy, find their true needs, and introduce them to Jesus.
Joe is committed to Victory and persecuted Christians. After Marnie’s death, he said, “God has not broken any promises with me. I won’t break any with Him.”
Joe is a pastor and former military. He leads the staff, teaches classes, fixes equipment, and rescues students when they get in trouble. And he tries to fill in the gaps left by Marnie’s absence.
He is not alone. Victory’s staff has stepped up! When Marnie’s garden – that feeds the students – began wilting, our head teacher took it over. A graduate who runs a thriving business from the weaving skills she learned at Victory returned to teach classes – and took on extra duties of running the kitchen.
Victory Bible Academy will keep training persecuted Christians. But we need you.
Will you step in and pray?
You may not realize how important you are and the big part you can play. Your prayers and support are crucial for Victory Bible Academy. And for all of Christian Freedom International’s ministries for persecuted Christians.
Here is how one of Victory’s students put it:
“First, I thank God and you all for accepting me in this school. Because you make this school and I come to stay here I know more about God in my life. Thanks to you all for feeding, caring, loving me.”
“You had a problem but you don’t leave us. You continue to support us because you love.”
“We have nothing to give you back but we promise to share the word of God to the people who are lost in the darkness and we will try to become the light. I love to study because this subject tells us about how to share the word of God to nonbelievers and teach us differences between religions. Thank you for your kindness and love.”
“Holly” wrote for a class assignment to find a Scripture to encourage others:
“Deuteronomy 31:6: Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies. Because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you.”
“You are strong. You are resilient. You are loved. You are capable. You are not weak. You are not weird. You are not a lost cause.”
The mid-term test for “Holly” and Victory’s students was mission trips.
They sought and found Christians who are hiding in mountain passes. They traveled to remote villages to serve people who are outcast and mistreated.
Thanks to your generosity, a new generation of Christians is being raised up to serve God. These young people know the pain of persecution. They can reach people in ways that Westerners cannot – but they need us!
Our students have no means to pay for schooling, housing, food. Yet it only costs about $219 a month for each student at Victory. That is $2,628 a year.
Your gifts will also support persecuted Christians in other countries with:
Shelters for Christians hiding from hostile governments and mobs;
Food and aid;
Bibles and discipleship to sharpen their faith to endure persecution;
Training in Christian leadership and job skills;
Will you step in to help persecuted Christians?
Wendy Wright President
P.S. Our students are learning from Victory’s own test on how to overcome trials – by trusting God and stepping up to help others.
But they need our support. Will you stand with persecuted Christians as they live for Christ?
Christian Freedom International’s Victory Bible Academy trains persecuted Christians:
To be leaders who serve God and others
With job skills to provide for their families
Students come from jungle villages and refugee camps. They escaped from Myanmar/Burma’s brutal war against Karen Christians and other minorities.
At Victory Bible Academy, students learn the Bible and practical skills to live their faith and serve others. Their training equips them to overcome persecution and live for Christ.
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:37
“I thank God and you all for accepting me in this school. Because you make this school and I come to stay here I know more about God in my life. Thanks to you all for feeding, caring, loving me.”
“We have nothing to give you back but we promise to share the word of God to the people who are lost in the darkness and we will try to become the light.”
A new generation of Christians is being raised up to serve God.
These young people know the pain of persecution.
They can reach people in ways that Westerners cannot.
Pray for persecuted Christians to be courageous and equipped to serve God.