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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, crafts, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of their Christian brothers and sisters who face Islamic extremism. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Bold Believers in Syria provides age-appropriate companion material for VOM’s I Am N information and resources. (See i-am-n.com.)

Spotlight Story

Hajj 2012

Al-Haram mosque

Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is a holy city to Muslims. By law, non-Muslims may not enter the city. Highway signs direct non-Muslims to exit before reaching it.

Once a year, Muslims from all over the world travel to Mecca for a pilgrimage called “the Hajj,” which happens during the Muslim calendar’s month of Zulhijjah. Muslims can go to Mecca for “the lesser pilgrimage,” known as “Umrah,” at other times during the year.

In 2012, the Hajj will occur in late October. The Hajj ritual lasts several days. As part of the ritual, visitors enter a large mosque and walk several times around the Kaaba, a cube about the size of a house. A special black stone is inside the Kaaba. The pilgrims kiss the stone or point to it.

Later the Hajj visitors gather pebbles to throw at walls. The walls are the symbol of Satan.

Muslims believe that Allah asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael. (The Bible tells us in Genesis 22 that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.) Abraham, Ishmael, and Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, are remembered in the Hajj rituals.

For many Muslims, the Hajj is the high point of their lives.

Six-year-old Hamza, an American Muslim, said, “You go to the black stone and kiss it to take away all your bad deeds, and that gives you new life.” Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, and ask a mature Christian to explain the verses to you if you don’t understand them. How does the Bible say we receive “new life?”

Photo credit: Al Jazeera English / Wikipedia (CC BY SA 2.0)


Spotlight Story

Algeria: CDs and Photocopies

Algeria
Children in Algeria

When Jesus told his followers to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel,” He knew it would not always be easy. The governments of some non-Christian countries do not want people to bring Bibles into their country.

Bold Christians have smuggled Bibles into the countries for years. It can be a risky, scary task.

To make sure people receive the Bibles, Christians somewhere have to be creative. They float Scriptures into North Korea attached to balloons, and drop Bibles into the jungles of Colombia in small parachutes.

The October 2012 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter told about Ahmed and Fatima, a Christian couple in Muslim Algeria, who used to take a long trip to pick up Christian books and smuggle them back home. They took a great risk of getting caught, as they had to pass 17 police checkpoints on the way home.

Recently VOM provided Ahmed and Fatima with a printer and a CD duplicator. They can print and copy Christian materials as they are needed, so they don’t have to fear that officials will raid their home and find boxes of many Bibles. The new equipment also saves them time since they don’t have to travel a long way to get materials to share with others.

Pray that all the people in Algeria will get the opportunity to hear about Jesus.

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed.)


Spotlight Story

The Story of Jesus in Pakistan

Pakistan

The Voice of the Martyrs recently distributed booklets that tell the story of Jesus to schoolchildren in Pakistan where most of the people are Muslim.

As you look at the photos of some of the children, pray for all who received the booklets.

Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan

Feature Story

North Korea: Then and Now

Then
A story for children published by The Voice of the Martyrs in 1998, “North Korea: Christians Not Forgotten,” told about a girl in North Korea finding a Scripture balloon. Read the story below.

Soon Hee (not her real name) looked around her as she walked home from school. Like most North Korean children today, she had a lot on her mind. Floods and droughts have ruined the crops and many people have no food. The dogs, cats, and even rats have been eaten by the hungry people.

Suddenly Soon Hee saw something strange in her path. She had never seen anything so bright! Soon Hee took the big, shiny, orange square home to her mother. “Let’s take it to Grandmother,” her mother said. “Maybe she will understand what it means.”

Grandmother’s eyes were weak, so Mother read the words on the plastic square aloud while Soon Hee listened. Soon Hee watched Grandmother’s eyes fill with tears as Mother read words like “God” and “Jesus.” Finally Grandmother said quietly but joyfully, “I thought they had forgotten us.”

Soon Hee had found a Scripture balloon. Every year The Voice of the Martyrs launches the balloons from South Korea. Each balloon has over 200 Scripture verses telling North Koreans “How to Know God.” Christianity has been against the law in North Korea since before Soon Hee’s mother was born. Anyone found owning a Bible can go to jail for 15 years.

Like Soon Hee’s grandmother, many Christians there believe that no one outside of North Korea cares for them. Pray that North Korean Christians will know that their brothers and sisters in other lands care about them, and that North Koreans hungry for food will be fed.

Now
The Voice of the Martyrs is still sending Scripture balloons into North Korea. Read a story about today’s Scripture balloons here.

Children at a 2012 summer VBS in Kentucky raised money to help sponsor some of the balloons. They sent the following letter to VOM.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our VBS theme was “Super Heroes,” and thus our family of the persecuted church seemed the best choice for our mission project. We told stories from Kids of Courage and the VOM monthly magazine. The children were enthusiastic and curious, wanting to give. Our prayer is that these funds would go for…the helium Scripture balloons project.

Several of our kids are from Korea, so they are very excited to give the gospel to the people on North Korea. In Him, Grace E.


Readers Talk to Us Story

Christians Bound Together

Cuba

Some students from Oklahoma Wesleyan University visited Cuba earlier this year. The students got to talk with a Cuban pastor, members of a church youth group, and other Cuban Christians. Read previous posts about their trip here and here.

A member of the visiting group shared what she saw and learned with The Voice of the Martyrs. Part of her story is below.

“It was especially nice for me to see a window into what children do. We were walking on the sidewalk as three children kicked around a plastic bottle lid on the concrete trying to keep it away from each other….They’ve got to have such imaginations.

“It was interesting to hear a Christian discuss how she had been taken by the police and when she returned to [the place where her group was meeting], it was packed and they held their worship service. Another Christian said if he’d been arrested, then the police would have been converted!

“The connection these people have with one another and the love that seems to bind them together is wonderful to see.”

(Edited from the original source for clarity.)