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Spotlight Story

Isaac’s Wells

Isaac

The Book of Genesis tells us the story of Isaac, the son of Abraham. The Lord blessed Isaac with good crops and many flocks and herds of animals. Isaac became very wealthy.

The Philistines were not believers in the one true God. They were jealous of Isaac’s many blessings. So they filled his water wells with dirt. Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

Isaac and his family, servants, herds, and flocks needed water. They moved to a valley and dug a new well. But the shepherds in the valley claimed the well for their own.

Isaac’s servants dug still another well. Again other people argued with them over the well. Isaac moved and again dug a new well. This time no one fought him over the well.

Later Abimelech, the Philistine king, came to visit Isaac. “Why have you come to me?” Isaac asked him. “You hate me and have sent me away from you.”

Abimelech and his men said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you.” And they made a peace agreement with Isaac.

(Source: Genesis 26)

To Discuss

  • Why do you think Abimelech feared Isaac’s wealth?
  • If Isaac was mightier than his enemies, why did he not fight them over the wells?
  • Is Isaac and his people had fought over the wells, how might the story have ended differently?
  • Read Matthew 5:39–42. Was Isaac’s behavior in agreement with Jesus’ teachings?

The next post will tell the story of a bold Christian in Nepal today who also had a problem with a water well.


Feature Story

“I Know that I Am His Child”

Central Asia
Sumayah sewed to help her family

Parents and Teachers: The September 2014 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features information about bold Christians who serve God in Central Asia. To subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, visit our subscription signup page. As you read the newsletters, you may want to share stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children. Then pray together for the people in the stories.

Sumayah lives in a country in Central Asia where most people are Muslims. She and her husband were also Muslims, and they were not getting along well. They divorced when Sumayah was pregnant with their second child.

Sumayah moved in with her parents. Then she heard the good news of Jesus and trusted in Him as her Savior! But her Muslim parents were angry. “[Let’s] send her away and see how her God feeds her,” they said.

God did take care of her. Sumayah supported herself and her two children by sewing for people.

The Good News Spreads
Sumayah shared her new faith with her ex-husband and he also came to Christ! They got back together and remarried. Their children are now 4 and 2.

But Sumayah’s parents told her, “It’s bad enough that you have become a Christian, but now you are trying to drag others into it!” Now her parents will not even speak to her.

Sumayah is encouraged by John 15:20 in which Jesus says to His followers, “If they persecute Me, they will persecute you.” Sumayah said, “I came to have joy from this because the persecution showed me that I belong to Christ. Now I know that I am His child!”

(Source: The September 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.)

To Talk About
How can Sumayah be joyful even though she has been persecuted by her family?


Beliefs Story

September 11 and Terrorists

On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked two locations in the United States. The 19 terrorists hijacked four planes full of passengers and crashed two of them into New York’s World Trade Center on purpose. They crashed a third plane into the Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the U.S. military in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to stop the hijackers. Many died when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed.

The terrorists believed they were following the teachings of strict Islam.

The chart below compares terrorists’ beliefs with Christian responses.

Terrorist Beliefs and Christian Responses

Terrorist Beliefs Christian Responses
Fear
Terrorists use threats and violence to try to force others to do what they want. Terrorism is often carried out against innocent people who are no threat to the terrorists. Terrorists try to control people by scaring them. “Many look at terrorists with fear, others with hate. Jesus fears and hates no one. Like God who gives sunshine and rain to all, so He loves and desires to forgive and save all” (Richard Wurmbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs)
Power Terrorists believe in using anger, hate, greed, and violence to get power. Richard Wurmbrand shared that the secret of real power is love, mercy, goodness, good character, and being a servant, as Jesus taught. (See Matthew 3:1–14 and Romans 12:21.)
Who is in control? Terrorists believe that there are powerful people or groups who cause all their problems. They think getting rid of those people will fix everything. God has placed Jesus “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21, NIV) We can trust in Him. (See Proverbs 3:5.)
Success Terrorists think that conquering people in power will mean success. Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?
Changing the world Terrorists believe the way to get desirable things is to change the world by acts of terrorism. Christians know that only Jesus has the key to eternal peace. His truth is for all places and all times. Fighting for wrong causes can fail. When someone trusts in God, they cannot fail forever.

Find another chart about terrorist beliefs here.

Additional charts comparing Christian truths with other worldviews are in the Beliefs section of this site.


Spotlight Story

Good News for the Khmu

Khmu

The Khmu [kuh-MOO] boy in the photo is happy to have a hymnbook written in his own language. The Voice of the Martyrs prints and distributes the books among the Khmu in Southeast Asia.

No More Fear
Many Khmu are animists, or spirit worshipers. They do not love the spirits they worship; instead, they fear them. Spirit worshipers try to do things to please the spirits so they won’t have “bad luck.”

Learn more about animists from the chart Comparing Spirit Worship (Animism) and Christianity.

The good news of Jesus Christ is very good news to the Khmu who become Christians. They are happy to learn that God loves them and that they no longer have to fear spirits.

But the local governments in some Khmu regions do not want Khmu people to follow Christ. VOM helps and encourages Christian Khmu who are persecuted for their faith.

To learn more about Khmu Christians, download Bold Believers Among the Khmu of Southeast Asia from the Downloads section.


Activities Story

Hidden Bible Activity for Younger Children

Hidden Activity

Photocopy this page for children to color and to find the three hidden Bibles. Explain that Christians in some countries have to keep their Bibles hidden from people who do not want others to follow Jesus.

(Source: The 2011 Kids of Courage IDOP Lesson Plan, available in the Downloads section.)


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