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Feature Story

Suffering Is “Worth It”

Central Asia
Jamil and his family

Jamil grew up in a Muslim family in Central Asia. But after Christians shared their faith with him, he gave his life to Jesus! He was happy that he had found the truth, and he began telling Muslims the good news about Jesus’ gift of salvation.

Many Muslims came to Christ. Others were angry that their fellow Muslims were leaving their religion to follow Jesus.

Angry Muslims began coming to the house where Jamil lived with his wife and 6-year-old son. Every time they came, they beat Jamil up. Jamil shared Bible verses with them, and he didn’t fight back.

Read the rest of this entry »


Activities Story

Prayer Notebook

Prayer Notebook

A volunteer at The Voice of the Martyrs headquarters recently made a prayer notebook using photos from VOM publications and resources.

To make your own prayer notebook, attach photocopies of pictures from this website or from the VOM newsletter to decorate the front and back of a spiral notebook. Add pictures and information inside the notebook to guide your prayers for persecuted Christians around the world.


Spotlight Story

Go Dig Your Own Well!

Nepali

“Holy Bible” written in Nepali, the official language of Nepal. Unlike English, Nepali words are written below the line instead of sitting on top of a line.

Read the previous post about Isaac and the problems he had with his neighbors about water wells.

Brooke Parks, VOM’s youth and young adult coordinator, wrote the following report about a Christian she met on a recent trip to Nepal and how he handled his problem with a water well.

On a recent trip to Nepal, I met Pastor “Gyan”, who VOM supports. Pastor Gyan was honored by all of the pastors in the area as a grandfather and hero in the faith. Nepal is made up almost entirely of first generation Christians, so a man of his age is seen as one of the first builders of the church in Nepal. We asked them how he built up the church. They told us that Pastor Gyan built his own well.

Gyan had grown up in a remote Hindu village. After he was saved and converted to Christianity, the radical Hindus in his village were furious. All of the villagers shared one well where they got their water, so these Hindus stirred the people up to keep Gyan away from the well. They told him that as a Christian he would have to go and dig his own well. They hoped he would die of thirst. Eventually they drove him from the village, threatening his life if he returned. So Gyan did exactly as they said: he dug his own well, deep in the ground outside the village. He found clean water.

Some months later a severe drought came across the area and the well in the village dried up; the people thought their gods were angry with them and feared they would die of thirst. Gyan’s well did not dry up. When he saw the drought, he went back to the village he had been forced out of and invited villagers to come and drink from his well. Gyan was welcomed with open arms this time.

That same day, Gyan shared the gospel and many people in the village converted to Christianity. The first church in that area was born. Today Pastor Gyan has a thriving church, his son pastors another church and Gyan encourages the pastors in difficult areas facing persecution to stand strong.

When I heard this story I couldn’t help but think of the number of times we depend on the wrong ‘wells’ as our source. In the United States, where we are so blessed, it’s easy for us to depend on our finances, our jobs, even our relationships as our source. None of these things are bad, but ultimately we must know that Jesus alone offers us the living water that never dries up. And as Christians we are called, like Pastor Gyan, to share with people the source of this water.

Please pray believers in Nepal, like Pastor Gyan, would always know God’s faithfulness and provision, even during very difficult seasons.

Source: Persecution Blog


Spotlight Story

Isaac’s Wells

Isaac

The Book of Genesis tells us the story of Isaac, the son of Abraham. The Lord blessed Isaac with good crops and many flocks and herds of animals. Isaac became very wealthy.

The Philistines were not believers in the one true God. They were jealous of Isaac’s many blessings. So they filled his water wells with dirt. Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

Isaac and his family, servants, herds, and flocks needed water. They moved to a valley and dug a new well. But the shepherds in the valley claimed the well for their own.

Isaac’s servants dug still another well. Again other people argued with them over the well. Isaac moved and again dug a new well. This time no one fought him over the well.

Later Abimelech, the Philistine king, came to visit Isaac. “Why have you come to me?” Isaac asked him. “You hate me and have sent me away from you.”

Abimelech and his men said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you.” And they made a peace agreement with Isaac.

(Source: Genesis 26)

To Discuss

  • Why do you think Abimelech feared Isaac’s wealth?
  • If Isaac was mightier than his enemies, why did he not fight them over the wells?
  • Is Isaac and his people had fought over the wells, how might the story have ended differently?
  • Read Matthew 5:39–42. Was Isaac’s behavior in agreement with Jesus’ teachings?

The next post will tell the story of a bold Christian in Nepal today who also had a problem with a water well.


Feature Story

“I Know that I Am His Child”

Central Asia
Sumayah sewed to help her family

Parents and Teachers: The September 2014 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features information about bold Christians who serve God in Central Asia. To subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, visit our subscription signup page. As you read the newsletters, you may want to share stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children. Then pray together for the people in the stories.

Sumayah lives in a country in Central Asia where most people are Muslims. She and her husband were also Muslims, and they were not getting along well. They divorced when Sumayah was pregnant with their second child.

Sumayah moved in with her parents. Then she heard the good news of Jesus and trusted in Him as her Savior! But her Muslim parents were angry. “[Let’s] send her away and see how her God feeds her,” they said.

God did take care of her. Sumayah supported herself and her two children by sewing for people.

The Good News Spreads
Sumayah shared her new faith with her ex-husband and he also came to Christ! They got back together and remarried. Their children are now 4 and 2.

But Sumayah’s parents told her, “It’s bad enough that you have become a Christian, but now you are trying to drag others into it!” Now her parents will not even speak to her.

Sumayah is encouraged by John 15:20 in which Jesus says to His followers, “If they persecute Me, they will persecute you.” Sumayah said, “I came to have joy from this because the persecution showed me that I belong to Christ. Now I know that I am His child!”

(Source: The September 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.)

To Talk About
How can Sumayah be joyful even though she has been persecuted by her family?


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