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Kids of Courage VBS Curriculum

VBS

The Kids of Courage VBS curriculum introduces students to real Kids of Courage at risk for their faith today in five countries: China, Egypt, Nigeria, North Korea, and India. Students learn how bold believers around the world live, worship, and play.

The lessons teach children how to pray for those who risk everything for their faith, and how to become Kids of Courage themselves. They learn that Kids of Courage: Trust God, Get Prepared, Remember Persecuted Christians, Forgive Others, and Witness Boldly.

Visit www.kidsofcouragevbs.com to see samples of the materials and to read feedback from churches that have used the curriculum for Vacation Bible School, Sunday school, and mission weeks.

Spotlight Story

Islam in the News: Not Discouraged

Iraq
A girl in Iraq reading a children’s Bible

News reports tell about attacks by radical Muslims around the world. What should Christians do? Should we pretend there is not a problem? Should we be afraid?

Cole Richards, the leader of The Voice of the Martyrs International Ministries department talked about these issues recently on an interview at VOMRadio.net. Read what he said below and in the next two upcoming posts.

Eternal Perspective
People watch the nightly news, and they see all the terrible things that are happening. And that’s true. But it’s only part of the truth. The other part of the truth is what God is doing in the midst of this — things that have eternal value and lasting value compared to the nightly news situations which are really about this temporal world. [“Temporal” means worldly, earthly, and not spiritual.]

What’s exciting is that when we go to these most difficult places where our brothers and sisters are truly suffering, we see what God’s doing through them and in their hearts. When we see this, it keeps us from being discouraged. Our brothers and sisters are not — even in the midst of their deepest suffering — they are not overly discouraged because they have the eternal perspective.

[“Perspective” is a way of thinking about something. Someone who has an eternal perspective thinks of their future in heaven with God forever, not just their earthly life. See 2 Corinthians 4:17–18.]

Northern Iraq
I just got back from northern Iraq. I spent my whole time there working together with believers who have literally lost everything. I’ve been in several situations like that in which people have been driven out of their homes, their homes have been stolen or burned, their church lost, all their possessions lost.

So the big question is: What next? The strong believers in these settings pray. They get with the Lord, and the Lord shows them what really counts. They are automatically focused on what counts for eternity because they have already lost everything that has tied them to this world… This has led them to be more focused in the work of the ministry… And they are joyfully serving Him even though they just lost everything.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)

To Think About

  • Why are some of the believers in difficult situations not discouraged?
  • What is an eternal perspective?
  • Why is it easier for some people who have no earthly possessions to have an eternal perspective?

Spotlight Story

Ask a VOM Worker: Learning Another Language

VOM

A worker from The Voice of the Martyrs’-USA International Ministries Department shared his thoughts about learning other languages. The worker grew up speaking Dutch in Holland. He visits Arabic-speaking countries in his work for VOM. Read below what he said.

I think anyone should learn a second language, but especially if you feel like God is leading you to a certain group who speak a different language.

Children have a great advantage of still being teachable far better than people who are older. It’s just so much easier to start when you’re young. My kids speak English but know some Spanish and Dutch as well.

Some learn [another language] best with a book; others through classes or audio CDs. But I think what is best is to move to where they speak the language and stop speaking in your own language. This is why I speak English.

I’m slowly learning Arabic. It just helps to learn the language of the people you serve. If a missionary from Holland came to the U.S. and always worked through a translator without learning to speak English, I think you would agree with me, that would not be a good idea.

(Edited from the original)

Learn Some Arabic Words

English How to Say It in Arabic
(Pronunciations are approximate.)
Praise the Lord. MAHG-duh lah rahp.
Jesus saves. Yah-SOO-uh yoo KHAH-liss
Yes Nahm
No Lo
Jesus loves you. Yah-SOO-uh yoh HEH-back
Do you know Jesus? Hahl-tah-reef Yah-SOO-uh
My name is _____. IS-mih _____.
Thank you. SHOO-krahn

Try This
Try to have a conversation with someone using the Arabic words above.

Read more Ask a VOM Worker posts in the Archives section.


Readers Talk to Us Story

Summer Activity 3: Martyr Testimonies

Children in North Korea
North Korean children

The previous two posts told about activities led by youth pastor Rusty R. from Illinois. Read about another of the group’s activities below.

Youth leaders rewrote 12 stories from The Voice of the Martyrs resources putting them in the first person.

[For example, one Kids of Courage blog post began, “One day Sung Mi, a 12-year-old girl in North Korea, discovered something scary.” In the first person it would begin, “My name is Sung Mi. I am from North Korea. I was 12 years old when this happened. This is my story.]

Leaders at the camp memorized the stories and recited them aloud to the campers as if they were the person in the story. At the end of each story, the reader would say, “My name is ______. I am honored to be a servant of Jesus.”

The leaders allowed three minutes after each story for the campers to reflect on the story. They read four stories every night for three nights. “It was even more powerful for the adult leaders who portrayed the Christians than for the students,” Rusty reported.

(Edited and adapted from the original for space and age-appropriateness.)


Readers Talk to Us Story

Summer Activity 2: Romans and Christians at Camp

Painting

The previous post told about Christian campers who learned about persecution at an adventure camp led by youth minister Rusty R. Read below about another one of their activities.

Romans and Christians Game
The campers played a game at night to illustrate persecution endured by the early church. The leaders set a time limit at the start of the game. The object of the game was for there to be more Christians hiding with the light (a symbol of Christ) than in jail when the time expired.

The game required:

  • Several adult jail guards
  • Several roaming “Roman” adult guards carrying pool noodles as “swords”
  • An adult Christian with a flashlight decorated to look like a candle
  • Student players
  • A safe outdoor space with places to hide
  • An area designated as the “jail”

The adult with the light hid outside. The campers tried to find the adult with the light and to join them in their hiding place as they “found the light.” If the students were caught by the guards, they had to go to the area designated as the jail. If they were caught with the adult with the light, the adult ran off to find another hiding place.

The only way to get out of the jail was to witness to the guards by quoting Scriptures and singing worship songs. If they found favor with the guards (showing that the guards were “converted”), the guards released them, and they tried to find the Christian with the light. The guards remained at the jail to take care of newly-arriving prisoners.


Readers Talk to Us Story

Summer Activity: Underground Meeting

North Korea
A secret meeting in North Korea

Are you looking for a summer activity for your class or group? This post and the following two posts might give you some ideas. Rusty R., a camp leader from Illinois, led the activities and described them to The Voice of the Martyrs.

Rusty said, “One night I sent the students to bed early, right at dark. I gave them instructions to stay in their beds until they received a special knock at their door. I told them at that point they would no longer be at camp, but in a restricted nation.

“Later I went around knocking on doors. Each sleeping quarters received a page of instructions and dozens of pages photocopied from a Bible.

“The students were instructed to hide the Bible pages on them. They were to leave their sleeping quarters, a minute apart, in groups of no more than three people. They were told to walk about a half mile to a basement room. On the way, they would be confronted by guards. The guards were five guys dressed in camouflage with bandanas on their faces. We even blocked off a road with a military truck. They were told that if they were caught by the guards, there were to say they were going to a birthday party.

“When they arrived at the basement room, they were instructed to put all their Scripture pages under a rug in the middle of the room. We chose a small room to make it more cramped. We had a small light source.

“Our ‘underground service’ was totally unstructured. Students were told to lead out in song, Scripture reading, or stories of encouragement. They did an amazing job of it for more than an hour and a half.

“Four adult leaders recited stories of present-day persecuted Christians in the first person. [See the previous post.] We had one of the faculty kidnapped by the guards. During the service, she was released and re-joined the group to tell her story.

“We placed a birthday cake in the middle of the room. Students were instructed to sing “Happy Birthday” if the guards raided the service. It was our alibi to hide what we were doing. Within 30 minutes of the start of the meeting, guards burst in and everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” The guards ended up taking our cake with them when they left and letting us continue our “party.” Later we dismissed the students in groups of three, with one minute between each group.

(Edited and adapted from the original for clarity, space, and age-appropriateness.)


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