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Practice Telling a Story

Morocco

Muslim belief: Muslims worship Allah, and their holy book is the Quran. The Quran does not say that Allah seeks to redeem those lost in sin or that he loves sinners. Quran Chapter 4, Verse 107 says, “Lo! Allah loveth not one who is treacherous and sinful.”

Christian belief: God is a loving heavenly Father. We love Him because He first loved us, even while we were still sinners. He sent Jesus to save us. (See Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 6:18, and 1 John 4:19.)

Muslims around the world often do not have the opportunity to hear Bible stories that would help them learn about God and Jesus. Many come from cultures where storytelling is important.

Maybe sometime you will have the chance to share Bible stories with someone who has never heard them. You can practice telling Bible stories to younger children.

Read a story about Jesus and a sinner in Luke 19:1–9. Photocopy the pages above from Bold Believers in Morocco. (The complete book is available in the Downloads section.) The pictures are out of order. Color the pictures, then write “1” on the line near the picture that shows what happened first, and “2” near the picture that shows what happened next, and so on. Check your answers in a Bible. Practice telling the story in the right order.


A Muslim Chooses a Bible

USA
U.S. family packing Action Packs for Christians overseas

Hagar is a 25-year-old Muslim. She and her four children lived in an area where war put them in danger. They ran away from the fighting and ended up in a refugee camp. The fighting separated Hagar from her husband, and she doesn’t know where he is.

People in the camp often arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few household goods. The Voice of the Martyrs provides Action Packs to Christians and other refugees in Hagar’s camp. The packs contain items like soap, clothes, blankets, and other things the refugees need. VOM also provides Bibles for these refugees.

But one day, there were not enough Bibles and Actions Packs left. The Christian worker asked Hagar, “Would you like a Bible or an Action Pack?”

The Action Pack would have been useful to Hagar and her family. But Hagar chose a Bible. She said she had a strong urge to read the Bible and that she knows she needs to choose between the Bible and the Quran. (The Quran is the Muslim holy book.) A Christian worker helped put Hagar in touch with another Christian who can explain more about the Bible to her.

Please pray that Hagar will find the truth she seeks. Pray that they will know what has happened to Hagar’s husband, and that if he is alive, he will trust Jesus as his Savior.

Learn more about Action Packs here.


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.


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.


“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.


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