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Readers Talk to Us Story

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. Rusty shared with The Voice of the Martyrs some of the activities the camper experienced.

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.

Martyr Testimonies
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.)

Next post: Read about another activity at the camp.


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.


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