I have always respected the work of the Wurmbrand family. Richard Wurmbrand, a pastor in Romania who dared to stand up for Christ in a Communist society, founded Voice Of The Martyrs. The Wurmbrands have long been instrumental in exposing the persecution of Christians by regimes hostile to Christians.
I have a late friend who–before she died at age 85–diligently gave money to Voice of the Martyrs every month. She even gave presentations at churches on their behalf.
VOM has enjoyed a very strong reputation in Christian circles for decades.
Unfortunately, since the deaths of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM has drifted into disaster.
In 2012, the Executive Director of VOM, Tom White, committed suicide after learning that he was under investigation for the rape of a ten-year-old girl.
Michael Wurmbrand, in light of the revelations about White, called for an independent investigation into potential child molestations at VOM. He was subsequently dismissed from the board.
In the aftermath of this, the revelations about VOM include potential financial malfeasance in addition to the coverup of child sexual abuse.
This year, Todd Wilhelm of Thou Art The Man, a watch-blog that specializes in the expose’ of abuses in Church and parachurch circles, in concert with leaders from Reformation Baptist Church of Youngsville, NC who raised serious issues after their visit to a VOM-funded orphanage in Nigeria, provided a blistering assessment of VOM and Isaac Newton, the Director of the Stephens Center orphanage in Nigeria. A former VOM employee, “Mr. Jesperson”, provided a personal testimony of his time working for VOM.
(1) I believe Wilhelm and the Horn family of Reformation Baptist Church: Isaac Newton needs to be investigated.
(2) I believe this is a job for the International Justice Mission.
(3) I’m very skeptical of VOM.
Personally, I want the accusations about VOM to be bogus. But if you’re dealing with multiple accusations of abuse, all I can say is where there is smoke, there is usually fire. My cynical side says that what we are seeing is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
For now, it is on VOM to show that they are a transparent Christian organization that is committed to reaching out to Christians under oppression, and doing their best to keep predators out of their ranks and do justice to those harmed by malevolent parties.
Until they can demonstrate that, I recommend giving your money to other reputable organizations. I suggest the International Justice Mission.