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Wise as Serpents

The September 2016 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features stories about bold Christians in Nigeria. Please preview the stories before sharing them with your children or class. Or, share stories from this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories. Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, visit the subscription signup page.

Nigeria
Lion in Nigeria

A pastor from Nigeria recently visited The Voice of the Martyrs to talk about persecution in his country.

“Northeastern Nigeria is not a safe place for Christians,” he said. It is like living in the midst of lions. Yes, the best way to explain the situation is like that of a goat living in the midst of lions. Every Christian in the northeast fits into this description. It’s only the grace of God that is sustaining me and other Christians there.”

The pastor has been the target of persecutors. His house was burned down, and some of his teeth were broken in an attack by radical Muslims.

The pastor knows he could be attacked again at any time. He follows Jesus’ instructions to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). When he suspects that enemies are searching for him, he parks his car near his house as if he were at home. Then he quietly and secretly slips away from his house on foot. Christians in other locations let him stay at their home for a while.

Pray for the pastor’s protection.


Help for Those in Dangerous Places

The August 2016 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features stories about “front-line” workers who serve the Lord in dangerous places. Please preview the stories before sharing them with your children or class. Or, share stories from this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories. Families and groups may also “adopt” front-line workers to support. Read how below.

Prisoner Alert

Adopt a Front-line Worker
Groups, individuals, and families can sign up for The Voice of the Martyrs’ Adopt a Front-Line Worker program at www.vombooks.com/adopt.

Those who sign up receive a prayer card with the name and picture of a worker who serves the Lord in a country where Christians are persecuted. They pledge to pray for the worker for a year. If they choose, they can also send offerings to VOM to help support front-line workers.

Read the letter below from Martha W., a staff member at Hope Lutheran Church in Virginia where kids participated in the Adopt a Front-Line Worker program.

Sunday School Children Adopt a Worker
This past year, our church staff, congregation and our Sunday school children adopted [front-line worker’s name], a missionary in Vietnam. During congregational prayer and staff prayer every week, he and his family were remembered in prayer; prayers for their protection, prayers of encouragement, and prayers for opportunity to share the Good News.

Our Sunday school children (ages 4 years through 5th grade) remembered him each week during their Opening. This is a time when they sing songs, read Bible verses, and this year, the children were encouraged to bring an offering to support [front-line workers]. They had a display at the front of their room that included his family picture and a pretty gold box for offerings.

The children were taught about what a martyr is and how important it is to pray for their safety. If you had been there to hear some of our brave children come forward and make up a prayer, using the microphone and praying in front of all the children and adults, you would have needed a tissue! Their beautiful prayers were heard by our heavenly Father….

Bless your continued ministry throughout the world.

Update: Martha added, “For our Sunday school children, it will be a year they will always remember.”


Boy Reads the Bible for Six Hours

Parents and Teachers: Last year, The Voice of the Martyrs distributed 1 million Bibles in hostile areas and nations that restrict Christianity. More than a quarter of a million of those Bibles were children’s Bibles. The July 2016 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features stories about VOM’s Bible distribution work. Please preview the stories before sharing them with your children or class. Or, share stories from this site, like the one below, with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, visit the subscription signup page.

Uganda
The boy (in the red shirt) who read the Bible for six hours

VOM contacts recently went door-to-door in Uganda to tell people about Jesus. (Enter “Uganda” in the Search box to read about the lives of Christians in Uganda.) At one house, a teenage boy answered the door.

“He had heard about God, but he did not care about God at all,” the workers said later. “He did whatever he wanted to do with no guidance from anyone.

“He admitted he had not been living a good life….He could read, so we gave him a Bible. At first he read from Psalm 1. By the time he got to Verse 3, he realized that his hands were dirty.

“‘I cannot read with dirty hands,’ he said. ‘Let me wash and return.’ He washed his hands then read the whole Psalm.

“We went on to another house, and when we passed by his house two hours later, he was still reading his Bible. After six hours, we stopped by his house on our way out of the village, and he was still reading. ‘I can’t stop reading,’ he said. ‘Every word I read invites me to read more….I pray I come to know more about this God.’ We told him about a Bible teacher and a fellowship that could help him.”

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited and paraphrased from the original for clarity and length.)

To Think About

  • Read Psalm 1. Why is it a good Bible passage to show someone who has not been living a godly life?
  • Why do you think Christians in Uganda go door-to-door telling people about Jesus when Christians in some parts of the Uganda are persecuted?
  • Do you know someone who is not a Christian? What do you think their reaction might be if you offered them a Bible? (Discuss any plans to witness to a non-Christian with a mature Christian adult, and ask for their advice and prayers.)
  • Why do you think the boy felt he needed to wash his hands while reading the Bible?

Helen and Joyce: Kids in Kenya


Kenyan children with gifts from VOM

J.G. Spires, who wrote this story, is a VOM summer intern from South Carolina. She will be a senior at North Greenville University studying English and broadcast media.

Getting to school is hard for children like 10-year-old Helen and 14-year-old Joyce in Kenya. It has become even harder since Christians have been targeted for their faith. In June 2014, Helen and Joyce, along with their parents, had to hide when their village was attacked.

Villages like Helen and Joyce’s are spread far apart, separated by dangerous forests where wild animals live. The villages are so far from each other that children must walk a long way in the heat to get to school. Sending school and medical supplies to the villages is difficult because of the dangerous terrain.

Many people, including adults, don’t know how to read. Children often have to drop out of school to help their parents take care of their farms. Some protect the crops from wild animals. Other children help in their homes by taking care of their younger siblings and collecting water for their families. Their hard work doesn’t leave them much time to study for school.

Even when they get to school, Christian children have to watch out for attacks. Their teacher has a special way of warning them. If attackers are coming, the teacher blows a whistle so the children can escape in time.

The girls enjoy Bible stories, and one of Helen’s favorites is the Creation story. Joyce has memorized John 1:1, which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Helen wants to be a medical doctor when she grows up, and Joyce would like to be a pilot.

Last year, after their village was attacked, Helen and Joyce received a package from The Voice of the Martyrs that contained a Bible and school supplies, including solar lamps. The lamps help the sisters study for school and read the Bible after dark.

Through organizations like The Voice of the Martyrs, the family is reminded that they are not alone. They are part of God’s huge family. Kids in the U.S. can pray for them by asking God to bring peace to Christians in Kenya.

Enter “Kenya” in the search box to find more stories about Christians in Kenya.


Richard Wurmbrand Born 107 Years Ago

Wurmbrand
Pastor Wurmbrand in prison

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was born on March 24, 1909. He served 14 years in prison for sharing the gospel in communist Romania. After he was freed, he and his wife, Sabina, started The Voice of the Martyrs to help Christians who are persecuted. Pastor Wurmbrand died in 2001.

Pastor Wurmbrand told many stories to illustrate Bible truths. One of the stories he told is below.

“A child was urged to eat carrots and peas because they contained vitamins. He said, ‘Why didn’t God put the vitamins in candy and ice cream?’ My answer would have been, ‘Because it’s important for children not only to have vitamins, but also to learn to swallow what may be unpleasant to the taste.’ We all need to learn from the good and the unpleasant. A Christian must welcome unpleasant things sometimes, because they are part of the ‘all things’ that God is working together for our good.”

To Think About: Read Romans 8:28. What kinds of “unpleasant things” do persecuted Christians face?


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