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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

A Bible Smuggler in Iran

Airport security

Patrick K. is a Bible smuggler. The Voice of the Martyrs provides Patrick’s ministry with Bibles to take into countries where it can be hard to get Bibles. Patrick recently talked with VOM’s Todd Nettleton at VOMRadio.net. Read the story below that Patrick told Todd about his smuggling team taking Bibles into Iran, a country where most of the people are Muslims.

The first time I went into Iran, I had about 80 Bibles in my bag….and I had never been into Iran. I didn’t know what to expect. I prayed, “Lord, I need help.” I called people back in the United States and asked them to pray.

We arrived in Tehran [the capital of Iran] at 2:30 in the morning. We could feel the oppression in the air and the fear. A man said to us, “Come over here. We have to check your passports.” We went with him, and he said, “We have to fingerprint you because you’re Americans. Come with me; I love America.”

You know, all those things you hear about Iran and about how the people hate us. Well, not true.

The man fingerprinted us, and we laughed and joked with him. I looked, and there was nobody by the X-ray machine. By the time I got there and got our bags, a man stepped out of nowhere. He said, “Put your suitcases on the X-ray machine.”

My heart was pounding fast. I thought, “What’s going to happen to me? Are they going to shoot me?” As we loaded the suitcases on the machine, the man asked, “Are you tourists?” We said, “Yes.” He asked, “From where?” We said, “We are from America.” He said, “You’re from America? I love America. Take your suitcases off the X-ray machine. You can go right through; you are Americans.”

What I do now is pray before I go through the border that God will wake up people in America and around the world — that Christians will be praying.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for clarity and length.)

To Think About
What are some of the things you can pray on behalf of Bible smugglers?


Activities Story

Bangladeshi Cocoa Dessert

Kids in Bangladesh

Ingredients
1 (14-ounce) can of condensed milk
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup of cocoa powder
½ cup of chopped nuts
½ stick of butter

Combine all ingredients. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into an 8-inch round or square buttered pan. Let it cool, then cut it into squares and serve.

Widespread poverty in Bangladesh has increased Muslim extremism. Christians, especially evangelists, are often persecuted. Find Bangladesh on a prayer map and learn more here:


Feature Story

A Story of Valentine

Christian history describes several men named Valentine (or Valentinus), and a woman named Valentina. Legends tell about the courage of a Valentine who died for his faith on February 14th. The legends encourage Christians to boldly stand up for Jesus in the face of struggles.

The following legend is from The Story of St. Valentine: More Than Cards and Candied Hearts by The Voice of the Martyrs with Cheryl Odden. To learn more about this and other children’s resources, visit the resource page.

The story begins as Valentinus was dragged before the emperor of his land. Valentinus’ ankles and wrists were put in chains as he stood before Emperor Claudius and members of the court.

Then the emperor looked fiercely at this man who disobeyed his law and said, “What is this I have heard of you, Valentinus? Why will you not live in peace by obeying my laws, worshipping the Roman gods and turning your back on your God?”

Valentinus looked up at the emperor and said for all to hear, “If you knew about the grace of God, you wouldn’t have asked me to deny Him and worship your idols!”

Claudius was stunned and shouted, “How dare you challenge me!” As he sat on his throne, the emperor glared at the defiant priest standing before him and asked him another question, “Is Jesus God’s Son?”

Valentinus smiled, and with his face glowing with joy he said, “Yes, Jesus is God’s Son. And if you believe in Him, your soul will be saved.”

Claudius sat on his throne and thought hard about what Valentinus had just said. Suddenly, Claudius stood up and exclaimed, “This man’s words made sense! What is wrong with asking Jesus to save our souls?”

The chief prison guard named Marcus stood up and said, “Emperor, you are being misled by the words of this criminal. Why should we turn our backs on worshipping the Roman gods when this is what we’ve been taught since we were children?”

Fearing he might also be arrested, Claudius changed his mind and cried, “Take this criminal away! He is to be put to death for breaking my laws!” Marcus grabbed Valentinus by the arm and led him to his prison cell.

Marcus took the rusty iron key from his belt and turned the lock on the cell door, throwing Valentinus onto the cold, hard dirt floor.

But Valentinus knew he was not defeated. He had just told the emperor, Claudius the Cruel, about Jesus Christ. Even the court officials heard. “He rejected Jesus’ free gift of salvation,” Valentinus sadly thought, “but maybe someday he will accept it….”

There are countries in the world today that say it is wrong for Christians to gather together and worship. If they are caught having a Bible study, prayer meeting or baptism outside the buildings where the government allows them to meet, they are often arrested. Like Valentinus, these Christians use this opportunity to share the gospel with the police who have arrested them.

(Source: The Story of St. Valentine: More Than Cards and Candied Hearts)

To Do and Learn
•    As you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, remember Christians around the world who share the gospel with their enemies.
•    Note: In some strict Muslim countries today, citizens are forbidden to observe Valentine’s Day because it is seen as a Christian celebration.


Spotlight Story

2017 Global Report

The Voice of the Martyrs’ 2017 Global Report includes facts about more than 50 countries. The report tells the following about each country.

  • The main religion and percentage of Christians
  • The leader’s name
  • Description
  • Life for Christians
  • How VOM helps people in the country

The report is a good resource for school reports, prayer guidance, missions conferences, and classroom reference material.

Download the report free here.


Spotlight Story

Pakistan: Christians Forced to Live in Slums

Pakistan is a country where Islam is the official religion. People can go to jail for life if they treat the Quran with disrespect. Pakistan’s “blasphemy laws” say that no one may speak out against Islam or damage the Quran. (Islam is the religion of Muslims, and the Quran is the Muslims’ holy book.)

Sometimes Muslims try to get revenge on Christians by accusing them of blasphemy. And sometimes if a court finds a Christian “not guilty” of blasphemy, radical Muslims attack the Christian anyway.

In 2012, Rimsha, a 14-year-old girl, was accused of burning a page of the Quran. She was arrested, and people all over the world protested. It turned out to be a false charge, and Rimsha was released. She and her parents fled to Canada.

Around 800 other Christians who lived in the same neighborhood as Rimsha were threatened by militant Muslims and had to flee for their lives as well. Where did these people go, and how did they survive after they left? The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister missions, VOM Canada and SDOK Netherlands, went to Pakistan to find out. Watch the video to learn about what they saw.
(Source: SDOK Netherlands and VOM Canada)

 


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