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Spotlight Story

Mindanao: Justin the Chicken Farmer

Hen and Chick

The following story comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands. (Translated and edited from the original.) The story is told by Justin, a teenager from Mindanao, an island in the Philippines.

Justin’s Story
Do you like chickens? I do. I have a lot of them. Well, I take care of a lot of them — and also turkeys — in the orphanage where I live.

Why do I live in an orphanage? I’ll tell you why. But first let me properly introduce myself.

I am Justin, and I live on Mindanao, a large island in the Philippines. I like chickens, but I also like listening to music. And besides being a chicken farmer, I am also the handyman in the church. So I am very busy.

Of course I go to school every day, too. I go on a “tricycle.” It’s a motorcycle with a little shelter built on top where they can fit a lot of people. Here on Mindanao almost everyone uses a tricycle to get anywhere.

Why I Came Here
I came from a different place on the island of Mindanao. The area where I used to live is quite dangerous. Christians’ villages and homes there are attacked by armed “rebels.” They attack Christians because they think they whole island should belong to Muslims. So they want to take houses and land from the Christians.

Our village was attacked several times. We had to run for our lives.

When I was 7, something very bad happened. My dad died. He worked in the fields as a farmer. He was also a helper for the village leader (like a mayor). The rebels were fighting against the leader.

One day the leader drove through the rebel area. Rebels exploded a bomb under his car. The leader, my dad, and another person died.

Angry
At first, when my dad died, I was very angry toward the Muslims who did it. I couldn’t think of anything else every day. “When I’m bigger, I’ll get revenge,” I thought. I wanted to become a soldier and fight them. But things turned out differently.

Life was very hard for my mom. We had hardly any money for food or other things.

Justin’s story will be continued in the next post.

Photo credit: Bin Gregory / Flickr (bingregory) / Wikipedia / CC BY 2.0


Spotlight Story

Stef’s Riddle

Give Thanks

The story below comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands. The story is told from the point of view of a boy in the Netherlands.

Boredom
I’m bored and not just a little bit. My sister is doing something only girls like, my dad is at work, and my mom has been cleaning the attic for hours. When I see the mess in the attic, I don’t think she will have time for me the rest of the week. But I’m going to try.

“Mom! I’m bored!” I yell. “Good!” Mom answers from behind a stack of rubbish. “You have time to think about God!”

Booklet
I must look puzzled. Mom is laughing and flipping through a booklet. Ah, that’s why cleaning takes so long.

It is a booklet about kids who say special things about God. She hands me the booklet and points to a story that tells what a dad said to a kid who was bored.

Riddle
The dad told the kid a riddle. I have heard the riddle somewhere before, but I am curious about the answer, so I read the story.

The riddle goes like this: A man on a river bank has a wolf, a lamb, and a cabbage. He wants to get them safely on the other bank. He is only allowed to take one at a time in his boat.

If he takes the wolf first, the lamb will eat the cabbage. If he takes the cabbage first, the wolf will eat the lamb. He could take the lamb first, but on the next crossing, he will have to take either the wolf or the cabbage. In both cases, one of the objects would be eaten on the other shore unless the man stayed with them to prevent it.

A girl in the book offered this solution to the riddle: “We should pray for Jesus to return, because when He does, the wolf and the lamb will be friends (Isaiah 11:6). The cabbage will be safe, too, because the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink (Romans 14:17).

I think the girl had a good answer. I read it out loud to mom.

“Indeed,” Mom says. “Hopefully it will happen soon, and then there will be no more sad things like the kidnapping of girls in Nigeria and people put in prison in North Korea.”

Being Bored Is Good
Mom and I are quiet together. Then Mom says, “I’m glad you are bored. Now we have time to think about God together.”

(Sources: SDOK, From the Lips of Children by Richard Wurmbrand, available from The Voice of the Martyrs. Preview is recommended before sharing the book with children.)

Note: The answer to the riddle is as follows. On his first trip across the river, the man takes the lamb. The wolf and the cabbage stay behind. The man returns alone and takes the cabbage on his second trip across. He leaves the cabbage and puts the lamb back in his boat. He takes the lamb back, leaves it, and picks up the wolf. He leaves the wolf across the river with the cabbage, and returns and gets the lamb. Soon all three are safely with the man on the opposite shore.


Feature Story

Arkansas Youth Volunteer at VOM

Volunteers at VOM
Volunteers at VOM

Wesley P., a 15-year-old VOM volunteer reporter, interviewed a Vilonia, Arkansas youth group that recently volunteered at VOM headquarters. His report about the group is below.

Wesley’s Report
The group has an age range of 13 to 18 years old. For some it was their first time volunteering at VOM. Others have been several times. Those who had volunteered before spoke of how they realized at VOM how much persecution there is in the world.

During their time at VOM, the group had packed VOM newsletters, some of which would go to their own homes. Their hearts were touched by the stories of bold believers.

Read the rest of this entry »


Spotlight Story

Birthday Calendar

The previous post mentioned the birthday of Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan. Several other world leaders have birthdays this month. (See below.) Put their birthdays on a calendar and pray for them and their countries on their birthday. Search this site or go to the prayer map at Persecution.com for more information about their countries and Christians in their countries.

  • Maninda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, born November 18, 1945
  • Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman, born November 18, 1940
  • Abdul Halim, king of Malaysia, born November 28, 1927
  • Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia, born November 29, 1955

Spotlight Story

Hassan and Christmas Care

Hassan
Hassan

Three-year-old Hassan was walking home on a Sunday after church in Nigeria. Radical “Boko Haram” Muslims spotted Hassan, grabbed him, and made him sit down. They saw a children’s Bible in his hand and demanded that he give the book to them.

Hassan refused to let go of the Bible.

One of the men took it from him by force and threw it into a fire burning nearby. Hassan ran to the fire and tried to get his Bible out of the flames with a stick.

But a Boko Haram attacker knocked Hassan to the ground. Hassan was injured, and he was taken to the hospital after the radicals left. He is still healing from his wounds.

(Source: The November 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

Note: The Voice of the Martyrs will be distributing Christmas Care packs to children like Hassan throughout the countries where VOM works. To find out more about how you can sponsor a pack, visit www.persecution.com/christmascare.

Note: The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, is a Christian. His birthday is on November 20.


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