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“Demonstrate Bold Faith”

Keri Aeschliman
Keri Aeschliman

“I’m a child of the living God, saved through the Blood and Righteousness of Jesus Christ. The Lord has given me, as He has given every believer, a story to tell to the world; and that story is called the Gospel. It’s the reason why I sing, why I write, and why I live.” — Keri Aeschliman

Keri Aeschliman was about 13 years old when she learned that Christians in many countries are persecuted for their faith. “It humbles me,” said Keri. “It gives me a bigger version of what the church is. It changes the way I think about church. I realize my experience of church is not what everyone else’s is. It comes at such a high cost for some to worship.”

Keri is now 19. She lives with her family on a farm in Ohio where she helps with harvesting, planting, and keeping the books. Keri enjoys singing; playing the piano, harp, and mountain dulcimer; and attending a Bible study. Recently Keri and her two younger brothers spent several days doing volunteer work at VOM headquarters in Oklahoma.

When Keri was 15, she started a fiction story for a school assignment. The story’s main characters were four friends from a church in America. “I started to get more ideas, and the story just got longer and longer,” Keri said.

The story turned into a book called “In Paths of Righteousness” which will be published this fall. “It is set in the late 1880s and follows the life of a teenage boy and his search for God,” said Keri.

Some of the book’s characters experience persecution when they stand firm in their biblical faith. “I personally think the church is always persecuted to a degree,” said Keri. “Satan is always active….There is always going to be opposition to the truth, and when this opposition rises, do we stand back, pretend we’re not looking, and let it happen? Or do we hold firmly to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and speak out? We have the opportunity to demonstrate bold faith. Let’s pray for the strength and courage to do just that.”

During her visit to VOM, Keri offered the following advice for Christian youth. “Keep your focus on Christ. Be willing to lay aside your desire for His will….It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions this world has to offer. Get rid of idle time and spend more time with the Lord in prayer and reading Scripture.”

Sources: Personal interview and Keri Aeschliman’s blog


VOM Worker’s Kid of Courage

VOM

Wesley P’s dad travels around the world for The Voice of the Martyrs. Wesley, age 15, recently shared thoughts about his dad and about life. Read what he said below.

Question: How long has your dad worked for VOM?
Wesley: Three and a half years.

Q: About how often does he take trips overseas?
A: He travels as much as 100 days per year, so possibly a quarter of the year.

Q: What are some of the places he has visited?
A: He has visited Iraq, India, China, Mexico, and Cuba among others. I was able to travel with him to Cuba to do some work. That was awesome! I saw an underground printing press in action, met persecuted Christians, and ate some interesting food.

Q: Has he ever brought you back some interesting artifacts, souvenirs, or
photos from another country?
A: Yes, Dad has brought back money, Bibles in foreign languages, knives, and many other awesome things.

Q: Recently your mom and dad traveled together to minister to persecuted
Christians in another country. What adjustments did your family have to make
for them to be gone? Did you take on additional responsibilities to help
make the trip work?
A: While my parents were gone, we were watched by an awesome temporary Mom. I got to help her learn about our house routines among other things.

Q: What is one of the most memorable stories your dad or mom have brought
back from overseas?
A: In Nepal, bodies are cremated or set on fire instead of being buried after they die. They are usually taken to special places for this. Once, when Dad was collecting his luggage, he saw a foot sticking out of a blanket, right next to his suitcase—that was crazy.

Q: Does your dad ever go anywhere “dangerous?” Are you ever fearful for him?
If so, how do you deal with your fear?
A: Everyone has fear and I am definitely not excluded. I handle fear by singing praise songs. I try to read my Bible and journal every day. We also “Skype” Dad when he is gone.

Q: What have you learned about persecution or persecuted Christians since
your dad began working at VOM?
A: These Christians aren’t superheroes, they rely on God to get them through.

Q: What do you hope to do when you’re an adult? In what ways are you
preparing to fulfill that hope?
A: I want to join the US Air Force, specifically through the Air Force Academy and hopefully ending up working with Air Force Special Operators as a Special Tactics Officer. To prepare for this I focus on school, run two to five miles every day, play Airsoft, and stay in general fitness.

Q: Do you have any advice for kids whose parents are missionaries,
policemen, firemen, soldiers, or who do other work that can be dangerous at
times?
A: Remember your parents are the true heroes, not cool football players or the Spurs who won the NBA finals. (I am still disappointed about that as a Heat fan!) When you are scared, go run or walk, listen to worship music, or play an instrument.

Wesley: Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts.


Persecution Past and Present

Poster
7th graders’ hall poster

A teacher at a school in Georgia emailed the following note to The Voice of the Martyrs.

“As we study ancient Rome and the early persecuted church, my seventh grade class at Perimeter Christian School uses information from The Voice of the Martyrs regarding the modern persecuted church. This year the students created a large hallway poster to raise awareness of the persecuted church within our school.

“Students researched individuals from your website, printed out their reports and attached them to the poster along with a word of prayer. Thank you for your valuable resource.”


“Pray for Us”

VOM

The Voice of the Martyrs received the following letter from a 13-year-old girl from North Carolina.

“Dear The Voice of the Martyrs,

“I am sorry that I have no money to give. But what I can give is my prayer that money will come your way, and I still do continue to pray for the persecuted. I think that it is wonderful that you try to reach out to people and help them to be aware of things around them.
Bethany D.”

When VOM workers ask persecuted believers how Christians in other countries can help them, the number one answer is, “Pray for us.” Thank you, Bethany, for your prayers.

Do you have a message for VOM? Use our Contact form to let us know your thoughts.


Painted Prayer Map

USAThe VOM prayer map painted on cloth for the VBS

The VOM Prayer Map is part of The Voice of the Martyrs Special Issue newsletter. The map labels “restricted,” “hostile,” and “monitored” nations in different colors to indicate the level of the persecution of Christians in the countries.

A previous post told about a VBS held in Pennsylvania. A volunteer, Marianne, painted a very large VOM Prayer Map on cloth to help the children understand more about countries where Christians are persecuted.

Marianne described how she and her 14-year-old daughter made the map for others who may also want to make one. Read her description below.

“It was one of those projects that God had His hand in because I am not that crafty!

“I traced the map provided by VOM onto transparency plastic.

“Using an overhead projector, I projected it onto the large paint canvas. This was done in two halves because the canvas was large. It was difficult to line up the two halves so my daughter prayed at that point!

“Now having a bunch of lines on the canvas and being not so geographically gifted, my daughter prayed again!

“Using markers, I started outlining and labeling.

“I started with markers and crayon. Then using a map key for color coding as in [the VOM] map (for restricted areas, etc.), I added color with acrylic paint.

“For the surrounding bodies of water, I used a sponge and watercolor paint dabbing it onto the canvas.

“My daughter and I looked at each other knowing that God is good and we can do all things if it’s for His glory!”

For information about VOM’s Kids of Courage VBS curriculum, visit www.kidsofcouragevbs.com.


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