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Kids of Courage VBS Curriculum

VBS

The Kids of Courage VBS curriculum introduces students to real Kids of Courage at risk for their faith today in five countries: China, Egypt, Nigeria, North Korea, and India. Students learn how bold believers around the world live, worship, and play.

The lessons teach children how to pray for those who risk everything for their faith, and how to become Kids of Courage themselves. They learn that Kids of Courage: Trust God, Get Prepared, Remember Persecuted Christians, Forgive Others, and Witness Boldly.

Visit www.kidsofcouragevbs.com to see samples of the materials and to read feedback from churches that have used the curriculum for Vacation Bible School, Sunday school, and mission weeks.

Spotlight Story

“Do You Want to See My New Book?”

Nepal

“Our goal is a ‘Bible for Every Believer.’ What is remarkable about this goal is that many of the believers we serve are in the most hostile and restricted places on earth. Places where it is possible to be killed just for possessing contraband — like a Bible.” — a worker in The Voice of the Martyrs’ International Ministries department

A VOM worker told the following story after a recent Bible distribution in Nepal.

“That morning, we also distributed Children’s Bible story books. I was so pleased to see the young girl in this picture sharing her story book with a neighbor. As soon as our meeting was over, she ran out the door where her Hindu neighbor boy was waiting. We smiled at him and then she asked him if he wanted to see her new book. Of course he did! He couldn’t wait to check it out! He began to excitedly flip through the pages, and I have a feeling that he’ll get a chance to read the entire book before long.”

To Think About

  • Learn more about the beliefs Hindu children are taught here. What are some of the differences between Hinduism and Christianity?
  • Have you ever shared a Bible story with someone who had never heard the story before?

Spotlight Story

Underground Meeting

North Korea
A secret meeting in North Korea

The following activity was part of a youth camp led by Rusty R., a youth minister in Illinois. Read more about the camp in the previous two posts.

Rusty said, “One night I sent the students to bed early, right at dark. I gave them instructions to stay in their beds until they received a special knock at their door. I told them at that point they would no longer be at camp, but in a restricted nation.

“Later I went around knocking on doors. Each sleeping quarters received a page of instructions and dozens of pages photocopied from a Bible.

“The students were instructed to hide the Bible pages on them. They were to leave their sleeping quarters, a minute apart, in groups of no more than three people. They were told to walk about a half mile to a basement room. On the way, they would be confronted by guards. The guards were five guys dressed in camouflage with bandanas on their faces. We even blocked off a road with a military truck. They were told that if they were caught by the guards, there were to say they were going to a birthday party.

“When they arrived at the basement room, they were instructed to put all their Scripture pages under a rug in the middle of the room. We chose a small room to make it more cramped. We had a small light source.

“Our ‘underground service’ was totally unstructured. Students were told to lead out in song, Scripture reading, or stories of encouragement. They did an amazing job of it for more than an hour and a half.

“Four adult leaders recited stories of present-day persecuted Christians in the first person. [See the previous post.] We had one of the faculty kidnapped by the guards. During the service, she was released and re-joined the group to tell her story.

“We placed a birthday cake in the middle of the room. Students were instructed to sing “Happy Birthday” if the guards raided the service. It was our alibi to hide what we were doing. Within 30 minutes of the start of the meeting, guards burst in and everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” The guards ended up taking our cake with them when they left and letting us continue our “party.” Later we dismissed the students in groups of three, with one minute between each group.

(Edited and adapted from the original for clarity, space, and age-appropriateness.)


Readers Talk to Us Story

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.


Readers Talk to Us Story

“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.


Spotlight Story

Not Alone

Gym

1 Kings 19 tells us that Elijah felt all alone. It seemed to him that few people were devoted to God. But God told Elijah that he was mistaken. Thousands of others were refusing to bow to false gods. (See 1 Kings 19:18.)

In Central Asia today, many people are Muslims. Maybe some Christians there feel alone like Elijah.

VOM recently received the following report from a Christian in a Central Asian country who was encouraged to find out about more Christians in his country.

“I was working out at a fitness center. Two young men next to me were talking to each other. They didn’t know I am a Christian.

“One young man said that he, his family, his girlfriend, and her family went to the mosque to prepare for his marriage to his girlfriend. [A mosque is a building where Muslims worship.]

“The young man told his friend that the leader of the mosque asked him and his family, ‘Are you Muslim or Christian?’ The young man was very insulted!

“‘How can you ask us that?’ he asked the mosque leader. ‘We are good Muslims!’

“‘I’m sorry,’ the mosque leader had replied. ‘But I have to ask because so many people are becoming Christians these days!’”

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited from the original for clarity. Photo source: Health Gauge / Flickr

To Discuss

  • How did the Christian find out that others are coming to Christ?
  • Note: The Christian is still not really sure if many people are coming to Christ in his country. The mosque leader could have heard a rumor from Muslims who want to stir up other Muslims by scaring them about Christians. A Christian worker said, “If it’s true, praise God! If it’s not yet true, please pray that God will use the false reports to show Central Asians that it is possible to be both a citizen of their country and a follower of Christ!”

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