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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, crafts, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of their Christian brothers and sisters who face Islamic extremism. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Bold Believers in Syria provides age-appropriate companion material for VOM’s I Am N information and resources. (See i-am-n.com.)

Ask a VOM Worker Story

Ask a VOM Worker: Advice for Future Missionaries

Bethany H., a VOM volunteer, would like to be a missionary someday. For a school project, she interviewed VOM’s Jason Peters. Dr. Peters often travels to meet with persecuted believers around the world. You can read Bethany’s questions and Dr. Peters’ answers below.

Bethany: Did you go on a mission trip as a youth? If so, what impact did it have on you?

Dr. Peters: No, I was not able to go on a mission trip as a youth.  I would have welcomed the opportunity, but was not aware of all of the options that I am aware of today.

Bethany: What do you enjoy about mission trips?

Dr. Peters: I have now ministered in 40 countries, and I really enjoy meeting our brothers and sisters face-to-face.  It has changed my faith to see the faith of others, especially those who are in very difficult life circumstances.

Bethany: What are some helpful things to know before going on a mission trip?

Dr. Peters: Go as a humble learner.  We sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that we are the experts who are coming to help these poor Christians, but in reality, they are often more mature than we are spiritually.  They may not have much materially, but many of them have deep faith.

Bethany: What advice would you give a new missionary?

Dr. Peters: Take the time to learn the culture.  There is a gradual, long process of maturing as a cross-cultural worker.  Trust God to place you where He needs you and to equip you for what He has called you do to!

Bethany: What are some things you have learned from your mission trips?

Dr. Peters: That God is touching lives in every corner of the world.  Our God is SO big that it is impossible for us to even begin to see all the wonderful ways that He is at work!

Bethany: What are the differences (to the missionary) between short-term and long-term mission
trips?

Dr. Peters: They are totally different.  To be honest, I believe that the greatest benefit to short-term missions is what happens in the life of the participant.  It really takes long-term missions, and ideally indigenous leaders, to really begin to make a lasting impact on a community.

Bethany: What do you know now that you wish you would have known before your first mission trip?

Dr. Peters: So much that I can’t even begin to capture it!  By God’s grace He teaches us each step of the way.

Bethany: How has your relationship with God changed since going on mission trips?

Dr. Peters: I have grown in dependence upon Him.  I am confident serving anywhere in the world as I walk with Him.

Bethany: What countries have you gone on a mission trip to?

Dr. Peters: Mexico, United States, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru, Bangladesh, China, Diego Garcia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iraq,  Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Austria, The Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Wales, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Egypt,  Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan.

Bethany: Is there anything else you think would be helpful for me to know for my research?

Dr. Peters: It will be exciting to see how God uses you in the years ahead.  He has a great plan for your life.  I encourage you to develop character and competencies that are based on solid scriptural principles. God bless you, Bethany!


Spotlight Story

Maggie: Assyrian Refugee

Syrian refugee girls

Many people in Syria have left their homes to live in safer places. VOM workers visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon and met Maggie, a 12-year-old girl.

Maggie was helping her mother make coffee one day, and she accidentally burned her leg. Her parents had no money to take her to the hospital. They were embarrassed because they could not get her the help she needed.

One of the VOM workers who discovered Maggie’s situation said, “We went to the emergency room and found a doctor who had a merciful heart.” The doctor agreed to let the workers pay less than the usual fee for Maggie’s care. “We shared with him then about Christ, and he was open to a short conversation,” said the worker.

“We went back home, and Maggie was relieved from her pain,” the worker continued. “We followed up with the family for a week to make sure Maggie was recovering. During that week we shared with the family about Christ. The mother was really touched that they saw the love of Christ through our actions.”

To Talk About
•    Maggie came from an Assyrian family. Assyrians have experienced persecution for many years because enemies have associated Assyrians with Christianity. But some Assyrians are no longer serious about their Christian faith.  How did the VOM workers help Maggie’s family think more about Jesus and His love for them?
•    What are some other ways Christians can encourage each other in their faith?


Spotlight Story

Working in Vietnam

Children at a VBS in Vietnam

Are you too young to be a mission worker in another country? Maybe not! Read the quote below from a VOM worker.

“You can be an international missions worker without ever leaving your knees. I remember speaking with a strong leader from Vietnam. He said, “’When you pray in America, you are working in Vietnam.’”

Join missionaries and VOM workers in their work. Pray for persecuted Christians in other countries.


Spotlight Story

Syria: The Attack That Didn’t Happen

Syrian city after an attack

In Syria, Muslim terrorists have attacked and bombed homes, churches, and entire cities. Read the story below, told last year by a Syrian pastor. The story is about an attack that didn’t happen.

God is working in a mighty way in Syria. We have a special protection from the Lord.

One day, terrorists announced on Facebook that they wanted to attack Damascus [the capital of Syria].  They said about 30,000 of them were ready to attack as soon as they finished Friday prayers at 1 p.m.

It was a very terrible day in Damascus. We woke up very early and prayed and fasted until noon. It was a sunny, June day.

At 1 p.m., thousands of Muslims entered they mosque and started to pray. [A mosque is a building where Muslims worship.] Suddenly the weather changed from sunny to cloudy, in one minute. They finished praying at 1:15. They went out into the street shouting and started walking toward Damascus.

Then it started raining — not just raining, but hailing huge hailstones. It was the first time that had happened in Syria in many, many years.

After 15 minutes, no one was left in the streets. All of them ran away. Even the TV station took a picture of the hail and showed it on the evening news, saying, “God fought with us.”

Many Christians in Syria right now are choosing to stay, and it’s difficult. You can stand beside us through prayer.


Spotlight Story

Kids and Grandpas Smuggling Bibles

Photo: Christians in Iran are so hungry for God’s Word that some are willing to copy the Scriptures by hand if they can’t get a Bible. Copy Hebrews 13:3 from a Bible by hand. How hard would it be to copy the whole book of Hebrews, or the whole Bible?

The previous post told a story about Patrick K., who is a Bible smuggler. The Voice of the Martyrs provides Patrick’s ministry with Bibles to take into countries where it can be hard to get Bibles. Patrick recently talked with VOM’s Todd Nettleton at VOMRadio.net. Read more of Patrick’s interview with Todd below.

Todd: What is the age range you have taken people overseas [to smuggle Bibles]?

Patrick: Actually I have taken them down to about 8 years old. But they have to have a parent with them. At 18, it is legal for them to go with us into a closed country [without a parent].

Todd: What is the oldest they can be?

Patrick: We actually had a man who was 73. He was 67 the first time he went. He was going to go home and start lifting weights so he could pick up the 70-pound bags [of Bibles] easier. He brought some of his grandsons on two trips.

Todd: That’s a wonderful idea.

Patrick: He had a wonderful time with his grandsons. One of his grandsons was reading the New Testament. He said, “I have never read the whole New Testament from cover to cover. I told God I would do this on this trip.”

Every night he was lying on his top bunk reading the New Testament. He got a lot of time with his grandpa, and his grandpa imparted wisdom to him. I believe God really used that.

I have heard stories of other grandpas who have spent time with their grandsons, and it changed the whole course of their life.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited from the original for length and clarity.)


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