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“I’d Rather Be in Prison”

Rebecca and her family

The Voice of the Martyrs USA is part of a worldwide family of missions that were started through the influence of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. SDOK is VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands. Stef is SDOK’s children’s publication and website.

The following story comes from Stef magazine.

Hi. I’m Rebecca. In our country [Iran] are great food and beautiful old buildings. At the same time, there are horrible places. In one horrible place is my dad. His name is Behnam. He is in prison.

I was 9 years old when everything changed. A lot of [Christians] were in our living room. We were singing when the police arrived. They beat [my father] and took him away in their car.

[In prison] they simply mistreated my dad — sometimes so bad he had to go to the hospital. That’s not normal, right? One time we went to visit. My little brother Adriel didn’t even recognize him and called him “Sir.” That made my mother cry a lot.

Recently … the government said he could come home. But then he would no longer be allowed to do Christian things. Do you know what my dad said? He said, “I’d rather be in prison with Jesus in my heart than at home cozy on the couch without Him.”

I so badly want him to come home. I pray a lot for that, and I know a lot of other Christians pray that also. Would you pray along with me that my dad would be released soon?

(Source: SDOK. Translated and edited.)

Update: Praise God! In October 2016, Benham Irani was released from prison! Please continue to pray for his family.

A Joyful Face


“The world doesn’t need to see another happy face when life is going well. The world needs to see a joyful face when life is falling apart.”

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

To Talk About
*What does the statement above mean?
*Can you find stories on this website about people who are joyful even though their lives seem difficult?
*What are some of the hardships you have faced in your life? (It can help to share difficulties with a mature Christian.)
*Why can Christians be joyful in hard times?

Danjuma is the boy in the photo above. Read his story here.


God is My Hero


The story below is from Stef the children’s website of SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands.

In a beautiful country far away, there lives an 8-year-old boy we are calling Adan. We’ll call his younger brothers Sang and Puran. We have made up names for them to keep them safe. Read how Adan tells his story below.

Talking About God
My mom and dad love God. My dad tells people about Him. Other people like what he tells them, and they decide to follow Jesus. Then they want to learn more about Jesus. So my father goes to them and teaches them things from the Bible.

There are very few Christians in our country, so perhaps people think we are a bit strange — or dangerous. I know that people don’t want us to talk about God to people on the street or at school.

One evening my father packed his bag and got ready to take a trip. I heard him tell my mother that he was concerned. “Something doesn’t feel right,” he said. “But whatever happens, God is there. I’m not afraid because He is with me.”

Every day after school, I asked my mother, “Is Dad home yet?” When he didn’t come back after a few weeks, I understood what had really happened. The police had arrested him and put him in prison!

The kids at school knew he was in prison. They teased me terribly, and it was super bad. I sent my father a letter begging him to come home.

Finally we were able to visit my dad in prison. He did not look well. I went back home sad.

“Dad finds it difficult to be in prison,” my mother said to me. “But he tells God about his sadness. And he tells the guards that he is a Christian, and that he loves his country, but that most of all he loves his King, Jesus. That’s why he tells people about Jesus. God has promised him in a dream that he will take care of you, Sang, and Puran.

“When children bully you at school, know that the Lord Jesus is near,” my mother continued. “It’s not easy, but Jesus has overcome all evil.”

My father stayed in prison for four years. One night, he had a wonderful dream. He saw a great light, and an angel opened the door to his cell.

On the day of his dream, he was allowed to go home! We are blessed that he is back with us.
I think my father is my hero, but he says he was often sad and scared in jail. “God is the hero of my story!” says my father.

If he is saying this, it must be true. Do you agree?

David Livingstone

Map of Africa

Parts of Africa had never been explored when David Livingstone was born in Scotland on March 19, 1813. Livingstone and explorers who followed him helped people better understand Africa and the needs of African people.

David started working at a cloth factory at age 10. His work day began at 6 a.m. and ended at 8 p.m. But after 14 hours of work, he didn’t go to bed. Instead he went to night school after work! Seventeen years later he finished all his schooling, including medical school. In 1840, he sailed to Africa to become a medical missionary.

He sometimes carried a “magic lantern” with him in Africa. Magic lanterns projected pictures on a screen, wall, or other surface. Dr. Livingstone showed pictures of Bible stories. He hoped many Africans he met would come to Christ.

But that never happened. God used Dr. Livingstone in other ways. He traveled to places in Africa that no map maker had yet visited. He loved exploring. He said that one of his trips in Africa reminded him of an endless picnic.

Future missionaries brought the good news of Jesus to Africa after Dr. Livingstone’s explorations prepared the way. His wrote reports, speeches, and books about his work that led many young people to answer God’s call to the continent called “the white man’s graveyard.”

To Think About
Would you be discouraged if you told a number of people about Jesus and no one seemed interested in what you had to say?

Some people have to hear the gospel many times before they understand how to trust in Jesus. They might have heard the gospel many times before you talk to them, and they might be ready to become a follower of Jesus. Or you could be the first person who has ever talked to them about their need of a Savior. God can use your obedience to Him, even when you don’t know how He is using you.

A Fighter Sees a Vision

Christians all over the world are praying for radical Muslims to learn and understand the truth about Jesus. A previous post told about an ISIS fighter who searched for a Bible after he grew tired of violence. Read about another ISIS fighter below.

Suddenly and without warning, one day an ISIS fighter in Syria had a vision of a cross. He was not pleased. Muslims believe that Jesus was just a prophet and not the Son of God. They don’t believe that Jesus died on a cross. They know that the cross is an important symbol to Christians.

“What’s wrong with me?” the ISIS fighter wondered after his vision. He began searching the Internet for a Muslim site to help him strengthen his faith in Muslim teachings.

But instead, he stumbled onto a Christian site! As he read the site, he grew more and more interested. He began to doubt his own faith.

The fighter left Syria and went to Turkey where he met a Christian who explained Christianity to him. The ISIS fighter became a Christian.

(Source: Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

To Talk About
What might have happened if the Christian in Turkey were not able to explain Christianity to the ISIS fighter? What would you say if a Muslim asked you to explain your Christian faith?

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