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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.

Spotlight Story

Empty Tables at the Wedding Reception

Khan at his wedding
Khan at his wedding

Khan and Asiya wanted to get married. They followed all the marriage customs of Tajikistan, the country where they live.

First Khan asked his parents to meet Asiya’s parents. The four parents met, and Khan proposed to Asiya officially. Their parents announced the wedding date and made all the wedding plans.

Then, a few weeks before the wedding, Khan’s Muslim parents realized that Asiya and her family were Christians. “Our son will NEVER marry a Christian!” they said. They were surprised to find out that Khan had a Bible. He, too, was a Christian! He had been baptized a few months earlier.

Khan’s parents said he could no longer be a member of their family unless he did the following.

  1. Break up with his girlfriend and cancel the wedding.
  2. Stop being a Christian.
  3. Read a Muslim prayer in front of everyone, and become a Muslim again.
  4. Marry a Muslim girl.

In their country, newlyweds live in the groom’s parents’ home until the couple gets a home. Khan said no to his family’s conditions. They kicked him out of their family. So right before he married Asiya, he had no relatives, no money, and no house to live in. At the wedding, the chairs reserved for his parents remained empty.

Asiya’s parents are asking for prayer for Khan. They would like Christians to pray:

  • Khan can find a job and a place to live with Asiya.
  • God will help him through the shock of losing his family.

To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity. Some faces are covered to protect the identity of Christians at risk.


Beliefs Story

Comparing North Korea’s Juche and Christianity

Juche (JOO-chay) is a way of life in North Korea. Juche falsely teaches that humans are the master of everything.

People in North Korea have very few rights and freedoms compared to people in most other countries. But the North Korean government tries to make their people believe they are very blessed and free.

Recently North Korea published a “human rights report” to tell the world about all the “rights” enjoyed by North Korean citizens. The report said:

“In [North Korea] everybody is fully provided with the rights to choose and follow their own religion and thought according to their own free will.”

But the report also says, “Every citizen has chosen to follow the Juche idea.”

North Korea has more than 24 million people. It is unlikely that all of them truly believe in Juche teachings. In truth, the government expects the people to follow Juche and to honor their leaders as gods. People who participate in Christian activities or associate with Christians are threatened or punished. Many Christians are in prison.

The chart below compares Juche teachings with biblical Christianity.

To find out more about North Korea and North Korean Christians:

Juche (JOO-chay)
Christianity
Founder Kim Il Sung, the past leader of North Korea Jesus Christ. Christians follow Jesus as the Son of God.
Followers It is estimated that more than 20 million people are followers of Juche. Almost all of them live in North Korea, where citizens are forced to honor Juche. About 2 billion of the world’s people are Christians.
Calendars The Juche calendar starts with 1912, the birth year of Kim Il Sung, calling it the year 1. The year 2014 is the year 103 on the Juche calendar. The Gregorian calendar, used around the world today, continues a system that marked the years before (B.C.) and after (A.D.) the earthly life of Christ.
Worship North Koreans are required to give all honor and glory to Kim Il Sung and to his son Kim Jong Il (who are now dead), and to the current leader, Kim Jong Un. Citizens bow and offer gifts to statues of the men. Christians believe, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:10). They do not serve or bow to images or idols (Exodus 20:4).
Who is the Master? Juche teaches that human beings are the masters of the world and of their own destiny. Jesus said, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well, for so I am” (John 13:13, KJV). Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).
Eternal life Most Juche teachings are only about what happens in this life. However, Juche followers believe they can have a kind of “immortal life” by being a useful part of their “immortal” country. The Bible says, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life” (John 3:36). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Spotlight Story

Pakistan: Meerab

Pakistan

The following story came to The Voice of the Martyrs from Pakistan.

I am a 9-year-old Pakistani Christian girl. My name is Meerab George. I am studying in the 5th grade. Although I go to a Christian school, there are many Muslim students studying at the school. Muslim teachers also work here.

In September 2014, my father brought home some small crosses. I like one of the crosses, and I wear it around my neck. When I wear this cross, I pray to the Lord, “Oh Lord, always save me from the devil and please help me in my school situation.” Then I am peaceful.

When I first wore the cross in school, a Muslim classmate asked me, “What is that on your neck?” I said, “This is a cross, the sign of our Christianity.”

The Muslim girl said, “You shouldn’t wear this in the school. You have to remove it from your neck.”

I said, “I will not remove it from my neck.” We were arguing on the issue.

The teacher, who was Muslim, spoke to me with hard words. She told me to remove the cross and not to wear it to school again. But I am strong in my faith. I refused to remove the cross from my neck. The teacher threatened me, “Meerab, if you will not remove this cross I will kick you out of the class.”

I said, “Miss, do whatever you want. You can even kick me out of school, but I will not remove the cross.”

Other teachers came to know what happened, and they settled the issue among them. After this incident, I am stronger in my faith in Jesus; I am still wearing the cross and going to school. I know the Lord is always with me.

Read a story and watch a video clip about another Christian student who wore a cross necklace to school in the post “It’s Okay to Suffer for Christ.”

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Spotlight Story

Video Clip from Inside North Korea

Note: Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, will celebrate his 32nd birthday on January 8, 2015. Pray that he will open his heart to the love of Jesus and will no longer persecute Christians.

It is very difficult for North Koreans to learn about Jesus. North Koreans are not allowed to own Bibles. Very few people are permitted to have the Internet, so they can’t learn about Jesus from people in other countries. TVs in North Korea show only programs approved by the government.

The Voice of the Martyrs sponsors Scripture balloon launches to send Scriptures to North Korea by balloons. Christians try to find other ways to get the truth to North Korea.

Some North Koreans have left their country to find a better life in other places. Sometimes they find out about Jesus in their new lands. Brave North Korean Christians return to North Korea at great risk to tell their family and friends what they have learned.

The video clip below shows two men watching a Christian message that was smuggled into the country on a thumb drive. One of the men holds a New Testament from a VOM-sponsored ministry pack.

Note the pictures of two men on the wall. North Koreans are required to display pictures of their leaders in their homes. They are expected to look to their leaders for all their needs. The courageous Christian who took the video wanted to show that God’s Word also truly exists inside North Korea.

Pray for North Koreans.


Spotlight Story

What’s Happening in Iraq?

Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs visited northern Iraq to encourage Christians there. They talked to believers who have been driven from their homes by fighters who belong to a radical Muslim group called Islamic State (IS).

Watch the video clip in this post to learn about the first day of the VOM workers’ visit. As you watch, look for answers to the following questions.

  • What kind of building are the Christians living in?
  • What do they use sheets for?
  • What do all the families have to share?
  • How long will they have to stay in the building?
  • What can we pray for the families?

To Think About
The Iraqis said they never had silence in the building. Think of a large room in your church or school. If they room were divided into 26 spaces and your family had to live in one of the spaces, what else would you lack besides silence?

(Note: Additional clips from this video diary appeared on PersecutionBlog.com. Preview before showing to children.)


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