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Feature Story

Laos: Miss Mai

A girl in Laos
(image edited for clarity)

Miss Mai was sad. Her parents wanted her to leave their home in Laos and move to Thailand. They were very poor, and they hoped she would earn lots of money and sent it to them so they could build a better house and buy nicer things.

Miss Mai was 16 years old and not ready to leave home. She had two years left in school, and she enjoyed going to church and teaching the little children at Sunday school.

The six people in Miss Mai’s family had all heard about Jesus. But only Miss Mai had trusted in Him as her Savior.

Her parents tried to get her to quit going to church. They stopped giving her money for food. And they would not buy her shoes, books, or pens for school.

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Spotlight Story

Current Events: Kazakhstan

Arabian PeninsulaPeople in Kazakhstan playing a traditional game. Learn more about the game here.

Kazakhstan became an independent country in 1991, and they celebrate their Independence Day on December 16th. Before 1991, Kazakhstan was part of the U.S.S. R., often called “the Soviet Union.”

The “stan” at the end of Kazakhstan’s name means “land of.” Many countries in the region end in “stan.” Kazakhstan means “land of the Kazakh people,” Tajikistan means “land of the Tajik people,” Afghanistan is “the land of the Afghan people,” etc.

But earlier this year, the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, said that he might want to change the name of his country. He feels that Kazakhstan does not get enough attention from the rest of the world because its name ends in “stan.”

As an example, President Nazarbayev notes that people in other countries pay attention to Mongolia, but Mongolia does not end in “stan.” Perhaps people might pay more attention to Kazakhstan if it had a different name, the president said. He suggested that maybe it should be called “Kazakh Eli,” which means “Kazakh Nation.”

New Rules for Christians
President Nazarbayev has been the leader of his country for more than 20 years. In recent years his government has put rules in place that have made it harder for churches to remain open and Christians to share their faith.

To Discuss

  • Several central Asian countries end in “stan,” meaning “land of.” Besides England, how many countries can you name that end in “land?”
  • Do you think changing Kazakhstan’s name will help the country?
  • If it were illegal for you to talk to people about Jesus and to encourage them to follow Him, would you still do it?

Photo credit: Jeremy T. Lock / Wikipedia

Readers Talk to Us Story

Message from Maryland

Bibles to Captive Nations

The following message to The Voice of the Martyrs came from a teacher in Maryland.

“Greetings! I would like to say how much I appreciate this website as a resource in helping my students understand the plight of the persecuted church. I am a fifth-grade teacher at a Christian school in Maryland. In Bible class our focus is on Luke and Acts, with an additional study of missions and persecution throughout history.

“We pray for a different persecuted country every day, and the students vie for a chance to “pick the country” and learn about their Christian brothers and sisters. They were also inspired to raise money for The Voice of the Martyrs by making holiday crafts and selling them at a Christian vendor sale. All of the money is going to buy Bibles [link to] for Christians in restricted or hostile countries.

“Praise God for how He works in the hearts of children!” — Janeen I.

(Edited from the original.)

Feature Story

A Story of St. Nicholas

Story of St. Nicholas

The character of Santa Claus was based on a real man name Nicholas. But Nicholas did not wear a red suit and fly with reindeer. Read one of the stories told about Nicholas below.

Ever since Nicholas was a boy, he had a love for God’s Word. So one day, he decided to make a trip to the Holy Land and visit the places he had read about. He visited Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, and even prayed in the empty tomb where He rose from the dead. “Jesus was truly Emmanuel, God with us. My life will never be the same!” Nicholas declared.

Soon it was time for Nicholas to leave and return to his homeland. He boarded the ship, and he and the crew began the long voyage [home]. One night the winds began to blow and the waves began to rage, rousing Nicholas from his deep sleep. “I don’t think we’re going to make it to shore safely!” warned the captain.

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Spotlight Story

VOM Prayer Calendar

VOM Prayer Calendar

Are you looking for a gift for someone who has a heart for persecuted Christians?

The Voice of the Martyrs’ 2015 calendar provides daily reminders to pray for persecuted Christians and for the lost.

Find more information on VOM Books.

If you’d rather make your own prayer calendar, you can find instructions here.

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