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March VOM Newsletter

Colombia

Parents and Teachers: The March 2015 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes stories of bold Christians in Colombia. 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.

This website and other Kids of Courage materials convey the struggles endured by persecuted Christians without including graphic descriptions or photos, or age-inappropriate concepts. Nevertheless, parents and teachers are encouraged to preview the materials before sharing them with their own children, as they know their children best.

Feedback received from parents, teachers, and children since VOM began publishing resources for children in 1996 has indicated that Kids of Courage materials are educating and encouraging children in appropriate ways. Additional feedback about any of the materials is welcome. Use the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of this page to send suggestions.

From the Kids of Courage comment section:

I work with children and they have a far greater depth of knowledge than we sometimes give them credit for. They may not always be able to vocalize their thoughts clearly, but they try. If there is a major event on the news or in the local area, they initiate the conversation wanting to discuss what it all means, to them and others.

Children are affected by life’s struggles and joys just like adults. When they’re babies we feed them milk, then wean them and take them on to harder foods. As they grow they choose what to eat as independent individuals. Give them credit for being able and often willing to discuss and learn about tough life issues and experiences that others, or sometimes even people they know, suffer/go through. — Alison L.


Pray for Syria Today

Syria
A child in Syria

Dozens of Christians were kidnapped by radical Muslims in Syria this week. The Voice of the Martyrs received an email from a Syrian Christian leader giving specific ways to pray. Will you join our Syrian brothers and sisters in lifting up the requests he shared?

  1. Pray the Lord will encourage Christians in Syria so they can be a living testimony, in the midst of war, to others around them.
  2. Pray for God’s protection of the Christian community in Syria.
  3. Pray young Christian men will turn to God and put their hope in Jesus.
  4. Pray for children and women who are being taking hostage by IS.
  5. Finally, pray for peace in Syria.

Source: VOM Facebook

Note:
“Levant” comes from a French word that means “to rise.” Countries on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, including Syria, are sometimes called “the Levant.” From the viewpoint of the countries west of them, they are in the East where the sun rises.

A radical Muslim group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has become well-known for their part in violence in Syria and Iraq. They changed their name first to “ISIS,” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Then to emphasize their goal of creating a large Muslim nation, they changed their name to “IS,” the Islamic State.


A Story of Thomas

Thomas

Recent posts on this site tell about bold believers in India today. But one of the first people to take the good news of Jesus to India arrived there almost 2,000 years ago.

Christians in India have passed down many stories and legends about Thomas, a disciple of Jesus and a missionary to India. The stories encourage Christians to stand up boldly for Jesus in the face of struggles. Read one of the traditional stories below, and read another story about Thomas here. Both are taken from the children’s book God’s Missionary: The Faith of Thomas available at VOMBooks.com.

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How a New Church Started in India

India
A village pastor in India

Parents and Teachers: The February 2015 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes stories about bold Christian believers in India. 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.

Find a lesson plan that teaches children about Christians in India here.

Download the book Bold Believers in India from the Downloads section of this site.

Suta is a village pastor in India. Like the majority of people in India, he grew up in a Hindu family. (See what Hindus believe here.) But now Suta follows Jesus. He wants others to learn the truth about Jesus, too.

One day, Suta believed that God was telling him to share the gospel with people in a nearby village. The people in the village were very dedicated Hindus. As he began sharing his testimony from place to place in the village, some Hindu men threatened him and told him to leave the village.

Suta was puzzled. He asked God, “Why are they telling me not to come into the village when You told me to go?”

Suta decided he had given up to easily.

Read the rest of this entry »


Afghanistan: John and Mary

Afghanistan
John, Mary, and their baby Isa

Parents and Teachers: The January 2015 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes a story about John, the son of a Taliban leader in Afghanistan. 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.

The Taliban
The Taliban is a group of radical Muslims in Afghanistan. Taliban means “students” in Arabic. Members of the group think that women should not go to school, and men should grow beards. They do not like TV, music, games, or some sports. Taliban radicals believe in harsh punishment for Muslims who become Christians.

John
John is the son of a Taliban leader in Afghanistan. When he was a youth, his father sent him to Egypt to study at a secret school for Muslim radicals.

John married a woman named Mary, had a son, and began teaching Muslim beliefs to others in Afghanistan. Then John’s father decided to send John to the Muslim hajj in Saudi Arabia. (Read more about the hajj here.) Taliban bodyguards traveled with John to protect him.

Dreams
While John was in Saudi Arabia, Jesus came to him in a vision and a dream. “I am your God,” Jesus said to John in the vision. “I am Jesus Christ.”

When John woke up, he felt like a different person. “I was completely cleansed from the inside,” he said. “I felt like I was a newborn baby.”

Mary’s Dream
John flew home to Afghanistan and told his father about his experiences with Jesus. “I found my God,” John said.

In anger, John’s father threw John in a basement bunker and kept him there for 18 months. He told John’s wife, Mary, that he had sent John to Egypt again.

When John was freed from the bunker, he went home to Mary. He planned to tell her about Jesus.

“I have something to tell you first,” said Mary. She told John that she had dreams of Jesus while he was gone! She believed in Jesus but had not told the family. John and Mary cried with happiness because of their new life in Christ.

Houses in Heaven
John’s father and other Taliban radicals continued to severely persecute John and his family. John and Mary had to move to another country to be safe. Through all the persecution, John and Mary could only weep and pray, saying, “God, You know.”

John still shares about Jesus with others, even though he knows that his witness for Christ will make some people angry.

“I want to show people in Afghanistan how to believe in Jesus,” he said. “God made many houses in heaven; He needs people in them.”

Read John 14:2. Who is speaking the words of the verse? What does the verse mean? How might the verse comfort John and Mary? What part of the verse did John talk about in the story?
To learn more about Christians in Afghanistan, download Bold Believers in Afghanistan from the Downloads section.

(Source: The January 2015 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)


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