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Spotlight Story

Kids of Courage VBS: “An Amazing Experience”

VBS

The following messages are from teachers who have used VOM’s Kids of Courage VBS curriculum in their churches.

“Our VBS was an amazing experience! Our church had never done a VBS before. We had 54 kids, we had four kids accept Christ, and so many kids who said [afterward] they want to be missionaries when they get older.” — Florida

“I absolutely loved the curriculum. I have directed VBS before, and this was by far the most meaningful.” — Georgia

“I sent home a newsletter every night with information about the countries and questions about the lesson. Parents said it was totally different than anything they’d done before, and they liked it.” — Georgia

“We all loved the program. It was easy to teach, and it was very moving and educational for the children.” — Idaho

“This [curriculum] caught my attention, but I was worried about the heavy content. It turned out to be an excellent VBS! What I loved about it was its real life applications and the fact that kids could learn, not just Bible truths, but learn about other countries and cultures.” — Pennsylvania

Can you share information about the curriculum with churches in your community? Go to www.kidsofcouragevbs.com for more information and samples from the curriculum.


Videos Story

Susan

Susan
Susan

Susan (learn more about her in a previous post) is a Christian in Uganda. Susan’s father kept her locked in a room in their house with very little food for several months. He was upset because Susan had become a Christian.

After her harsh treatment, Susan was sick and weak, and she needed two operations on her legs.

She is with other Christians now, and she is safe.


Spotlight Story

More About Pastor Shestakov

A previous post told about Pastor Dmitri Shestakov’s time in prison for his Christian activities.

Pastor Shestakov recently told a VOM worker about letters he received in prison from Christians around the world.

“The letters that you wrote…that was fantastic, because the prison was getting sacks full of letters. And when another sack was carried in, everybody knew that the letters were for [me]….

“I remember very well what happened when the first sack of letters came. The head of the security department called me in. He was in shock. I saw the letters scattered around the entire office. I myself was shocked. He was looking at the addresses of the senders: America, Australia…. He yelled at me, ‘Who are these people?’

“I said, ‘These are my brothers and sisters.’

“’Why are they writing to you?’

“I said, ‘I don’t know. They are praying for me.’

“’Tell them to stop writing.’

“I said, ‘How can I stop them?’

“They did not give me any letters to read…. When another sack of letters would come, they would call me in and yell at me. But after that, they did not beat me as much as they used to before the letters began arriving. They began speaking with me more politely.”

(Source: The February 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

Through VOM’s Prisoner Alert website, readers sent Pastor Shestakov 6,274 letters.

To Discuss and Do

  • Go to www.PrisonerAlert.com, Remember the name of one prisoner who is still in prison for his faith, and pray for him or her today. Ask someone to help you use the information on the site to write to a prisoner.
  • Watch a video of Pastor Shestakov.

Spotlight Story

Movies, Bunk Beds, and Pizza

North Korea
North Korean school boys

Every day, there are people in North Korea making plans to escape from their country. The government controls the lives of the citizens, and often there is not enough to eat. Many North Koreans believe they will have better lives if they escape.

Learning to Share the Gospel
After they escape to other countries, some of the North Koreans hear the truth about Jesus and begin to follow him. Christian teachers help them learn more about Jesus and the Bible. Then some of the North Koreans make a bold, surprising decision. They decide to go back to North Korea and share the gospel with their friends and relatives! It’s a risky decision because Christians in North Korea are often arrested and treated harshly in prison.

Korean Orphans
Some North Korean women marry men in their new countries after their escape. Their children are often not treated well because they are part North Korean.

The Voice of the Martyrs has received a report about five of these children. The mothers of the children had been caught and sent back to North Korea, or they had left the family. Their fathers and grandparents are too poor to care for them, so a Christian missionary let them live in his house.

At first the children were disobedient, did not do their schoolwork, and stole each other’s possessions. However, the missionary is teaching them well, and the stealing has stopped. The children are copying Psalms and Proverbs by hand.

New Experiences
Recently, some of the North Korean adult escapees who have decided to follow Christ secretly met with the children from the missionary’s home. The escapees showed the children the Jesus: He Lived Among Us DVD. It was the first time the children had ever seen an animated Christian movie.

Then the adults took the children to an amusement park and a zoo, and ate pizza with them. The children had never eaten pizza. According to the adults, one of the boys laughed that day for the first time.

The escapees also bought the children bunk beds. The orphans were grateful and realized that the gifts were provided by God. They even said they wanted to be more like Jesus. The adult visitors prayed for the children and encouraged them to grow closer to God. Maybe someday they, too, will share the gospel with their North Korean relatives.

To learn more about North Korean Christians, download Bold Believers in North Korea from the Downloads section.


Spotlight Story

The Source of Strength and Power

Khmu children
Khmu children

The Khmu are a tribal group in Southeast Asia. Most Khmu live in Laos. Many Khmu worship and fear spirits that they believe are in rocks, trees, water, and other places. The Good News of Jesus Christ is very good news to the Khmu! They are happy to learn that God loves them and that they no longer have to fear spirits.

But local leaders in some part of Laos try to stamp out Christianity. Officials sometimes arrest Christians and take away their land. But Khmu people continue to come to Christ.

A Christian leader who teaches Khmu people about Jesus shared the following information with The Voice of the Martyrs.

“My daily spiritual food is to wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. every day to read the Bible (eight chapters) and pray for at least one hour. I name both Khmu and non-Khmu people in my prayer, about 500 to 600 names that I remember. I don’t forget to pray for the nations of Israel, Jerusalem, Canada, the United States, England, etc.

“I asked my team to try to do what I’m doing. I believe strongly that prayer and Bible reading are the source of strength and power of Christian living.”

(Edited from the original source for clarity.)

To Think About

  • Why do you think Khmu people continue to come to Christ even though Khmu Christians are persecuted?
  • What does the Christian leader say are the strength and power of Christian living?
  • You may not be able to visit any countries where Christians are persecuted this year. But are there any countries that you can’t pray for? Do you have faith that God can use your prayers to help persecuted Christians around the world?

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