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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.

Readers Talk to Us Story

Summer Activity: Underground Meeting

North Korea
A secret meeting in North Korea

Are you looking for a summer activity for your class or group? This post and the following two posts might give you some ideas. Rusty R., a camp leader from Illinois, led the activities and described them to The Voice of the Martyrs.

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

“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

Skiing to a Prayer Meeting

Russia

A Story from the 20th Century

The Soviet Union was a communist country that broke up into smaller countries in the late 20th century. Before the break-up, it was the world’s most powerful communist country.

During that time, Christians from all over the Soviet Union were sent to Siberia for punishment. Although there are also warm places in Siberia, it is known for being very cold. In some places in Siberia, when someone exhales, the moisture in their breath freezes solid and drops to the ground. (Source: Atlantic Monthly)

One winter, three Siberian students met secretly every morning at 6 o’clock for prayer. They rose early before school started and skied over snowy paths to a forest. They met in all kinds of weather, even when temperatures were below zero. They prayed for their country.

God gave their region of Siberia a spiritual awakening, and many more youth came to Christ. So many young people became Christians that they wouldn’t fit in anyone’s house for meetings. Soon many new believers were also skiing into the forest at 6 a.m. to pray.

(Source: Faith Despite the KGB, by Hermann Hartfield)

To Think About

  • What is a “spiritual awakening?”
  • The students gathered to pray for a mighty move of God in their country. Can you name some of the obstacles they faced in getting together for prayer?
  • Have you ever prayed for more people to come to Christ in your country or in a country where Christians are persecuted?
  • What obstacles do Christian young people in the 21st century have that might make it hard for them to get together for prayer? In what ways is it easier today than it was for the Siberian youth?

Spotlight Story

A Father’s Prayer

Map of Iran

Hassan and his family had enemies. Because they were Christians in Iran, radical Muslims wanted to punish them. So Muslim attackers shot and killed Hassan’s son.

Hassan wrote a prayer for his son’s funeral. Here is what part of his prayer said.

“Oh God, we remember not only my son, but also his persecutors, because through their crime we now follow Your footsteps more closely in the way of sacrifice. The terrible fire of this event burns up all selfishness in us. It makes us see our need to trust Your love — love that makes us free of hate toward our persecutors. Oh God, when my son’s persecutors stand before You on Judgment Day, remember the fruit of the Spirit by which they have enriched our lives, and forgive. Amen.”

To Think About
The Bible tells us that Jesus (Luke 23:34) and Stephen (Acts 7:60) prayed for their persecutors. God can change the hearts of persecutors today, just as he changed the persecutor Saul (Paul) into a servant of Christ. Pray for persecutors.


Spotlight Story

Of Course a Christian Will Come

Reading a Bible Storybook
A Buddhist boy monk reading a Bible storybook

Gladys Aylward was a missionary to China in the early part of the 20th century. Read more about her in the post China: Willing to Serve.

Once Gladys and a friend trekked to a remote area of China to see if anyone there knew about Jesus. They discovered 500 Tibetan Buddhist lamas (priests) living in a monastery.

The lamas eagerly welcomed Gladys and her friend, saying, “We have waited so long for you. Please come tell us about the God who loves!”

Eight years earlier, on a trip to the city, some of the lamas had found a Christian pamphlet. John 3:16 was written on the pamphlet.

Patiently they waited for a Christian to come tell them about Jesus. How did they know someone would come? Because they read that Jesus told His followers to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15). So of course a Christian would come to them!

To Think About

  • Is someone in your town waiting for you to tell them about God’s love?
  • Are there people in other lands waiting for you to obey Jesus/ command to pray that God will “send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38)?
  • Pray that God will lead you, in your life and your prayers, to those who are waiting.
  • Read about the differences between Buddhism and biblical Christianity.

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