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Readers Talk to Us Story

“Students Are Looking for Something Real”

Bangladesh
Bangladeshi Christian children drink clean water supplied by Christians

Last summer, Rusty R., a youth leader in Illinois, directed an adventure camp for 7th through 9th graders. The camp raised awareness of persecuted Christians and encouraged campers to remember their suffering brothers and sisters around the world.

“I have been a youth minister for more than 13 years,” Rusty shared with The Voice of the Martyrs. “During those years I have supported [organizations that fight injustices] such as: starving children, [lack of] clean water, homelessness, abuse and neglect, and human trafficking.

“Persecution is on an entirely different level than all of those injustices for at least three reasons.

“First, persecution involves all of the other injustices. Every day, Christians around the world are being deprived of food, shelter, and clean water; they are abused and even forced into human trafficking.

“Secondly, those being persecuted are our brothers and sisters!

“Thirdly, it seems like no one is teaching about persecution these days. Every year students say, ‘I have already heard all of this before.’ But when I taught about persecution, not one of them had heard it before. That tells me that many are growing up without a [knowledge of] suffering and without praying for their suffering family around the globe. They are unaware of the cost to follow Jesus and ignorant of the persecution that will someday come their way.

“I have found that students are looking for something real to make a difference with. The topic of persecution is as real as it gets. And I have found that there are a ton of ways to get involved and make a difference.”

(Edited from the original for space.)

The campers wrote letters to imprisoned Christians, filled Action Packs, memorized Scripture verses about persecution, and learned about Christians in peril through other activities and projects.

Next post: Learn about some of the activities Rusty’s campers experienced.


Spotlight Story

Not Alone

Gym

1 Kings 19 tells us that Elijah felt all alone. It seemed to him that few people were devoted to God. But God told Elijah that he was mistaken. Thousands of others were refusing to bow to false gods. (See 1 Kings 19:18.)

In Central Asia today, many people are Muslims. Maybe some Christians there feel alone like Elijah.

VOM recently received the following report from a Christian in a Central Asian country who was encouraged to find out about more Christians in his country.

“I was working out at a fitness center. Two young men next to me were talking to each other. They didn’t know I am a Christian.

“One young man said that he, his family, his girlfriend, and her family went to the mosque to prepare for his marriage to his girlfriend. [A mosque is a building where Muslims worship.]

“The young man told his friend that the leader of the mosque asked him and his family, ‘Are you Muslim or Christian?’ The young man was very insulted!

“‘How can you ask us that?’ he asked the mosque leader. ‘We are good Muslims!’

“‘I’m sorry,’ the mosque leader had replied. ‘But I have to ask because so many people are becoming Christians these days!’”

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited from the original for clarity. Photo source: Health Gauge / Flickr

To Discuss

  • How did the Christian find out that others are coming to Christ?
  • Note: The Christian is still not really sure if many people are coming to Christ in his country. The mosque leader could have heard a rumor from Muslims who want to stir up other Muslims by scaring them about Christians. A Christian worker said, “If it’s true, praise God! If it’s not yet true, please pray that God will use the false reports to show Central Asians that it is possible to be both a citizen of their country and a follower of Christ!”

Activities Story

Vietnam: New Roommates

China

Download a Vietnam coloring page, a flag, and a map to color.

The previous post told about some of the ways non-Christians in Vietnam try to discourage Christians from spreading the gospel. The following report from VOM Australia tells how policemen found new ways to disturb Binh and Uriah, a Vietnamese couple.

Binh and Uriah witnessed for Christ in their community and many local villagers were saved. Then a new trial was imposed on the family. Three policemen arrived at their door, saying they were going to live with them, right in their house! The police had orders not to leave until the family stopped their Christian activities.

Binh and Uriah were stunned. But the policemen told them, “We are in no hurry to go home.” The police warned everyone in the community not to talk to Binh and Uriah.

The couple’s children said to the policemen, “Why are you doing this? Our parents have done nothing wrong and we will still keep on our path.”

A policeman answered, “If you were 18 years old we would be within our rights to beat you, so be glad you are still small.”

Binh had a Bible and a hymnbook hidden, and the police have not found them. The family takes any opportunities they can to read the Bible and silently worship the Lord without the police finding out.

Other believers also have police in their homes trying to force them to deny Christ.

(Source: VOM Australia)

To Think About
If you were part of Binh and Uriah’s family, what are five things you would like Christians in other countries to pray on your behalf? Will you pray about those things this week?


Spotlight Story

Vietnam: Rotten Eggs and Dead Ducks

Egg

“A new wave of persecution is rampant through northern parts of Vietnam today.” — VOM Australia

A Bible school in Vietnam has suffered through many attacks over the last 10 years. The school trains youth to spread the gospel among their people.

But many local leaders do not want the good news of Jesus to spread in their communities. They would rather the Christians worship idols. “Renounce your faith and put your idols back up in your house,” a government official told a family who had decided to follow Jesus.

Enemies have tried different ways to discourage the students and teachers at the Bible school. The Christians stood firm in their faith even when attackers took them to the police station and hit them with sticks.

Recently a gang of youth came to the school with cameras. They pretended they were youth reporters. But the principal knew they were planning to cause trouble. “Please go away,” he told the gang.

Later that night, the gang returned. They threw rotten eggs and dead ducks all over the outside of the school building and tossed stones on the roof. The principal told them, “We have the right to defend ourselves. But let me tell you this very clearly: we are ready to be martyrs. We will not surrender.”

Ask God to keep Christians in Vietnam strong no matter how enemies try to distract them.

(Source: VOM Australia)

Read about another way Christians in Vietnam are persecuted in the next post.


Spotlight Story

2015 Global Report

2015 Global Report

The Voice of the Martyrs’ 2015 Global Report includes facts about more than 50 countries. The report tells the following about each country.

  • The main religion and percentage of Christians
  • The leader’s name
  • Persecution facts
  • Description and overview

The report is a good resource for school reports, prayer guidance, missions conferences, and classroom reference materials.

Order a free copy from VOM Books. (Additional copies are available for purchase.)


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