What do Muslims believe?
Are the God of the Bible and Allah of the Quran the same?
What is Shariah law?
How should we react to terrorism?
How can we witness to Muslims?
How do Christian beliefs about women differ from Muslim beliefs?
How are Christians treated in Muslim countries?
Published on June 19th, 2015
On Father’s Day this year, pray for fathers around the world who are preparing their children to serve God in difficult circumstances.
“I want to talk to you about an unusual gift,” the father said to his daughter. She smiled; she loved it when her father shared special lessons about God. He loved Christ, and everyone who knew him was touched with his kindness and compassion.
He opened his Bible and began, “This gift is found in the book of Philippians 1:29. It says, ‘For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him.’ Something that is given to us is a ‘gift,’ the value of which will be fully realized only in heaven.”
The daughter smiled. “Thank you, Papa,” she said as she reached up to hug him. “I understand.”
The girl grew up to be the wife of Pastor Li Dexian, who has been arrested and beaten by the police many times. She carries on the work with him, persevering because she learned at a young age that godly suffering is a gift. Pastor Li and his wife have won countless souls to Christ in China under a constant threat of arrest.
(Source: Extreme Devotion)
Read about another wise father in the post Corrie ten Boom.
Published on June 18th, 2015
Valerii, a Christian boy in Albania during the time when Christianity was against the law, tattooed a cross on his hand. He wanted everyone to know about his faith in God.
Because of his faith, he was arrested and put in jail. Valerii’s mother went to his trial. The judge said to her, “Tell your son to change his ways so he can go free.”
Valerii’s mother thought for a while. Then she responded through tears, “Valerii, my advice to you is to stand firm and not deny Christ.”
Valerii had to stay in prison.
Later his mother wrote to Christian friends, “I attended the trial, which was so hard on me. I wished I could have taken his place. The hardest thing was when they asked me in court to advise Valerii to change his ways, but I could not do it.
“The world accuses us, his parents, for his being sentenced, saying it is the result of our influence. Even some Christians cannot understand why I did what I did. But then I remember that Jesus was misunderstood. …God gives me the power to bear everything. Please pray for me.”
(Source: Extreme Devotion. Edited for length and reading level.)
Published on June 17th, 2015
Heather Mercer was a prisoner in Afghanistan because of her Christian activities. During a visit to The Voice of the Martyrs, she talked about the meaning of Ramadan to Muslims, and about how Christians can pray for the Muslim world during Ramadan. Ramadan is a month on the Muslim calendar. Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset during the month.
This year, Ramadan will occur from June 18 through July 17, with some differences depending on the location in the world.
Published on June 16th, 2015
Albania is near Greece and Turkey. It used to be an atheist country, and no religions were allowed. (An atheist is someone who does not believe God exists.) Since 1990, religions have no longer been against the law.
Muslim countries have spent millions of dollars in Albania trying to convert the people to Islam, the religion of Muslims. Today the majority of the people are Muslims, but many are not serious about their faith.
The thank-you notes below are from two Albanian children who received Bibles.
My name is Matthew, and I am 10 years old. My family is made of my mom and dad and my baby sister. I was very glad when a friend of my mother gave me the Bible for children. I have read in this book many beautiful stories I never heard before. My mom is sick and for 6 months she has been away from home. She is being cured in Italy. The book has taught me how to pray to God in hard times. I thank those who gave me this book, and please pray for my mother’s healing.
Greetings from Maria. I am 11 years old. From the time I was born, I have had problems with my [vocal] cords, and I didn’t have a voice. Often people would ask me questions about this. When I was little, my mom would always tell me that I was created in a unique way, and that God wants to use me for a special purpose. Now that I read the Bible every day, I understand how much God loves me and how many wonderful things He has planned for me. My voice is now getting clearer and I’m encouraged by every word I read in the Bible. Thank you for this Bible.
(Testimonies have been edited for length and clarity.)
Published on June 15th, 2015
Missionaries to other countries may have trouble learning all the customs and unwritten rules of the people around them. For example, in some countries, it is not polite to eat with the left hand, and in some places, it is insulting to show others the bottom of one’s shoe.
Divide into two teams. Have teams meet separately where they can’t hear each other while discussing their strategy. Ask each team to make up a very simple imaginary secret rule about eating a snack. Examples: Use only your right hand to eat. Or everyone must sit with their right foot crossed over their left. Or every spoken sentence must end with “please” or “thank you.” Or girls must look down at their food and never raise their eyes.
Then let the teams interact while a simple snack is served. Try to discover the other team’s secret rule within a certain time limit. (If you do not want to serve a snack, teams can think of a rule to follow while listening to a story.)
To Think About
- What are some “unwritten” rules or customs of your country that others might have trouble understanding?
- With an adult, attend a church that follows customs with which you are not familiar. Talk about how it felt to be in a place with different “rules.”
- How can you welcome and help new people who come to your church and might not understand how things are done at your church?