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Spotlight Story

This Week in North Korea

Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il

The former leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, died in December. But the country is celebrating his 70th birthday this week anyway.

News reports say that North Koreans have finished an 18-foot tall statue of Kim Jong Il on horseback, and that new postage stamps and coins will honor him. The government news agency describes poems, programs, and performances dedicated to the leader.

Citizens are joining in the activities. They have no choice. North Koreans have few rights and privileges. Many Christians have gone to prison for their faith. The government wants the people to honor their leaders, not God.

Kim Jong Il’s son, Kim Jong Un, is said to lead the country now. Pray that the leaders and citizens will honor the one true God. Visit Bibles Unbound to find out about VOM’s project to get Bibles to North Koreans.

Kim Jong-il image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Kremlin.ru


Spotlight Story

Torchlighters for Arabic-Speaking Children

Torchlighters, an animated series, highlights important figures in Christian history. This episode focuses on Gladys Aylward, a missionary to China who took care of orphan children. You can watch a trailer for the DVD below.

The DVD and other Torchlighters DVDs about heroes of the Christian faith used to be available only in English and Spanish. But now friends of VOM have translated the DVDs into Arabic so children in the Middle East and North Africa can enjoy them, too.


Ask a VOM Worker Story

Ask a VOM Worker: Preparing Kids to Serve

VOM

An intern at The Voice of the Martyrs interviewed a VOM worker who travels overseas to encourage and distribute aid to persecuted believers. The worker is the mother of a young son, Jordan. The intern asked her: What kinds of things do you want your son to learn about persecuted Christians and to prepare himself to serve God as an adult?

Answer: One thing I’ve thought about is teaching Jordan stories of missionaries, martyrs, and persecuted people, and having that be the fabric of his childhood. My mom had books like that, and I want to do that for him.

Also we want to spend a lot of time praying for him because there is only so much we can do. The rest is going to be up to the Lord to work in his heart.

One thing I’ve learned is that as Americans, we think that our life’s goal is to get a good job to make enough money to buy things to make our lives comfortable. But that’s not always the Lord’s goal for us. His goal is often for us to be uncomfortable, to be in need, and for that small bit of suffering to help turn us to him.

That’s what I want to teach Jordan. It’s not all about making your life more comfortable. It’s about being uncomfortable in order to grow spiritually. Sometimes you have to make choices that are uncomfortable in the short term, but hopefully better for your character in the long term.


Spotlight Story

Eager to Learn About Jesus

LaosA Christian Student in Laos

Many villagers in Laos are eager to learn more about God and Jesus. The Voice of the Martyrs recently received a report from Christians who went to a village to teach Bible lessons to men, women, and children at a house church in Laos.

The people were very poor. “At the room where the team taught the children, there were more than 100 children an only three or four pairs of sandals were left outside the room,” said one of the teachers. (Villagers in Laos leave their shoes at the door when they enter a house.) The rest of the children had no shoes.

“Each of the children really paid attention to the things the team taught them,” said a teacher. “They were hungry for God’s Word, and asked the teachers not to stop teaching them. The teachers continued until 1 a.m. and did not even have time to take a shower! Then the teachers had to get some rest. The children came again at 5 a.m. with their books and pens waiting for the teachers to get up and teach them again.”

“Thank God that he loves the children and gives them strength to live even though they have few clothes to wear and no sandals for their feet!” said a teacher.

To Discuss: Village Christians in Laos are often persecuted for their faith in Christ. Do you think the persecution might make their faith more precious to them and make them eager to learn more about it?


Ask a VOM Worker Story

Ask a VOM Worker: Guilt

VOM

Question for a VOM worker who travels overseas to encourage persecuted Christians: Should we feel guilty when we hear stories about persecuted Christians?

Answer: I think God has a purpose for people being born in the free world, so you should not feel guilty about that. You can still do things to help persecuted believers.

There are two kinds of guilt: the guilt that paralyzes and the guilt that drives people to do something. The paralyzing guilt is either human guilt or guilt from the enemy. The guilt that drives you to do something is from the Holy Spirit. It’s conviction.

If your guilt makes you feel bad so you don’t do anything, you need to go to God in prayer and ask him to take it away. If it’s a motivating force for you to speak up on behalf of the persecuted or go do evangelism yourself, then it’s not bad to feel a little guilty.