Donate | VOMBooks

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.


Preparing for the New Year

One Hundred Ways Poster

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2015? Have you included remembering persecuted Christians in your New Year’s plans?

Go to the Downloads section of this site and download the “One Hundred Ways [Kids Can Help the Persecuted Church]” poster in the “Other” category. Share ideas from the poster with others in your family, church, or class. Make plans to carry out the tasks, and ask others to help you with your plans.


Iran: Christians in Prison at Christmas

Farshid Fathi

In recent years Christians in Iran have had more threats and problems at Christmastime. Last year, police raided an Iranian church on Christmas Eve. They took the Christians’ books, CDs, laptops, and a TV. Then they arrested the Christians.

Fashid Fathi is a Christian who has been in prison for his Christian activities since 2010. He has a wife and two children, Rosana and Bardia.

He wrote the following letter to other Christians in 2013.

Dear brothers and sisters,

We are celebrating Christmas in prison with honor and unexplainable joy in Christ. 2013 is going to end and we are very thankful to the Lord for everything we were given this year. I had called 2013 ‘the year of revelation.’

Now I am very excited because I am calling 2014 ‘the year of God’s presence.’ God calls us to walk before Him and be blameless, as He said to Abraham. So far, walking before Him is very sweet and so exciting. It is filled with great endurance, afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, sleepless nights, hunger, purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech and the power of God.

Thank you so much for remembering me in your prayers.

With blessings in Christ, your brother, Farshid.

Fathi has now spent another year in prison. You can send him an encouraging note through Prisoner Alert.

(Source: www.Persecution.net)


Page 1 of 271231020Last »