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VOM Worker’s Kid of Courage

VOM

Wesley P’s dad travels around the world for The Voice of the Martyrs. Wesley, age 15, recently shared thoughts about his dad and about life. Read what he said below.

Question: How long has your dad worked for VOM?
Wesley: Three and a half years.

Q: About how often does he take trips overseas?
A: He travels as much as 100 days per year, so possibly a quarter of the year.

Q: What are some of the places he has visited?
A: He has visited Iraq, India, China, Mexico, and Cuba among others. I was able to travel with him to Cuba to do some work. That was awesome! I saw an underground printing press in action, met persecuted Christians, and ate some interesting food.

Q: Has he ever brought you back some interesting artifacts, souvenirs, or
photos from another country?
A: Yes, Dad has brought back money, Bibles in foreign languages, knives, and many other awesome things.

Q: Recently your mom and dad traveled together to minister to persecuted
Christians in another country. What adjustments did your family have to make
for them to be gone? Did you take on additional responsibilities to help
make the trip work?
A: While my parents were gone, we were watched by an awesome temporary Mom. I got to help her learn about our house routines among other things.

Q: What is one of the most memorable stories your dad or mom have brought
back from overseas?
A: In Nepal, bodies are cremated or set on fire instead of being buried after they die. They are usually taken to special places for this. Once, when Dad was collecting his luggage, he saw a foot sticking out of a blanket, right next to his suitcase—that was crazy.

Q: Does your dad ever go anywhere “dangerous?” Are you ever fearful for him?
If so, how do you deal with your fear?
A: Everyone has fear and I am definitely not excluded. I handle fear by singing praise songs. I try to read my Bible and journal every day. We also “Skype” Dad when he is gone.

Q: What have you learned about persecution or persecuted Christians since
your dad began working at VOM?
A: These Christians aren’t superheroes, they rely on God to get them through.

Q: What do you hope to do when you’re an adult? In what ways are you
preparing to fulfill that hope?
A: I want to join the US Air Force, specifically through the Air Force Academy and hopefully ending up working with Air Force Special Operators as a Special Tactics Officer. To prepare for this I focus on school, run two to five miles every day, play Airsoft, and stay in general fitness.

Q: Do you have any advice for kids whose parents are missionaries,
policemen, firemen, soldiers, or who do other work that can be dangerous at
times?
A: Remember your parents are the true heroes, not cool football players or the Spurs who won the NBA finals. (I am still disappointed about that as a Heat fan!) When you are scared, go run or walk, listen to worship music, or play an instrument.

Wesley: Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts.


Spotlight Story

God’s Prisoner

“Jail is no hindrance to a useful Christian life” — Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

Pastor Wurmbrand was arrested in the mid-20th century in Romania for his Christian witness and activities. He spent a total of 14 years in Romanian prisons. Later he and his family left Romania and started the ministry which became The Voice of the Martyrs. The story below tells about something that happened when he was in prison.

“Even though Richard was all alone, God had not forgotten him. One day the silence was broken with the sound of tapping.

“He leaned over and placed his ear against the wall.

“‘It’s a code!” rejoiced Richard. Someone was trying to talk to him through the sounds of tapping on the wall. He tapped, ‘I am a pastor.’

Richard listened carefully to the rhythmic raps. The man was confessing the wrongs he had done to people. ‘Can God forgive me?’ he asked Richard.

“‘He can forgive you,” tapped Richard. Despite the long days locked in a wet cell with no good food or clean water, Richard could still share Christ with others.”

The excerpt above is from God’s Prisoner: The Story of Richard Wurmbrand available at VOM Books.

Read another story from the book here. Find a Morse code activity here.


Spotlight Story

Kazakhstan News and Facts

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. (A country is landlocked if it is not next to a sea or ocean. The Caspian and Aral Seas in the region are actually big lakes.)

Athletes from Kazakhstan excel in many sports, including water polo and women’s rugby.

In one traditional sport, a man and woman race each other on horseback. If he wins, he kisses the girl. If she wins, she whips him with a whip.

The leaders of Kazakhstan often talk about making stronger laws about religion. Some leaders want people to go to prison if they have a religious meeting without permission of the government.

The Kazakhstan constitution provides for religious freedom. Kazakhstan Constitution Day, celebrated on August 30, is a public holiday. Soldiers march in parades and the government educates the citizens about the constitution. This week, pray that the leaders will honor the freedoms in their constitution and rule their country fairly.


Activities Story

How to Build a Wall in 52 Days

A Skit from the Book of Nehemiah

Characters

  • Narrator
  • Nehemiah
  • Two or more Builders
  • Three enemies: Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem
  • Messenger

Suggested Props

  • Short wall made of cardboard building bricks/blocks or boxes, with enough additional blocks to complete the wall to the desired height
  • Cardboard cutout swords
  • Cardboard cutout trowels and other building tools
  • Trumpet
  • A “letter”

[Variation: Make stick puppets to depict the characters, and make a wall out of plastic interlocking building blocks. For younger children, the teacher may read all the parts while the children display the appropriate puppets as they appear in the skit.]

Narrator: Nehemiah was a servant of the king of Persia. He was a Jew and a follower of God.

One day visitors from Jerusalem told Nehemiah that their city was in ruins. Jerusalem was an important city to the Jews. Nehemiah knew that enemies would not respect the Jews or their God if the city was in terrible shape.

The king allowed Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem, and he gave Nehemiah supplies for the trip. The people in Jerusalem were happy to see Nehemiah. They agreed to help him build a wall around the city. Walls were important in those days because they kept out enemies and thieves.

Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem were three of the Jews’ enemies.

(Nehemiah and the Builders are standing by a short wall that is in disarray. The three enemies are off to the side, watching.)

Nehemiah: Let’s build our wall!

Builders: Yes, we want to help!

(Nehemiah and the Builders begin to straighten and add to the wall.)

Sanballat: You Jews are weak builders. If even a fox stood on your wall, it would fall down!

(Nehemiah and the Builders stop building briefly to pray.)

Nehemiah: (prays) Hear our prayer, O God. Our enemies hate us.

(Nehemiah and the Builders resume building the wall. Some pick up building tools.)

Tobiah: (to the other enemies) Let’s attack them!

Sanballat and Geshem: Good idea!

(The enemies pick up and prepare weapons.)

(As the narrator describes their silent actions, Nehemiah and the Builders pray, then pick up weapons in one hand while holding tools and working on the wall with their other hand. One Builder stands by Nehemiah with a trumpet. The enemies watch, then put down their weapons one by one as they see the Builders pick up theirs. Sanballat begins writing a letter.)

Narrator: Nehemiah and the Builders prayed, then they picked up weapons to hold while they worked. A trumpet player stood next to Nehemiah to call the workers together if they needed to fight the enemies.

(Messenger enters and approaches the enemies.)

Sanballat: (to Messenger) Take this letter to Nehemiah.

(Messenger takes the letter to Nehemiah.)

Messenger: (reads letter aloud to Nehemiah) Sanballat says, “Come to a meeting. We want to talk to you about your wall.”

Nehemiah: Please tell him that I am doing a great work and cannot come.

(Nehemiah returns to building and Messenger returns to the enemies and whispers to Sanballat.)

Sanballat: (to the enemies) Let’s think of some ways to frighten them! They will be too weak to work if they are scared!

(Nehemiah and the Builders stop to pray.)

Nehemiah: God, help us be strong.

Narrator: The people did not let fear, mocking, bullying, threats, or distractions stop them from doing the right thing. They worked so hard that they finished the wall in 52 days — a very short time to build a city wall.  Everyone knew that the wall could not have been built unless God was helping the builders. The wall was a testimony to God’s faithfulness to His people.

For Discussion

  • What were some of the ways Nehemiah’s enemies tried to stop him from building the wall around Jerusalem?
  • Hebrews 10:36 (NIV) says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” What does it mean to “persevere?” How did Nehemiah and the Builders persevere?
  • What are some of the ways people try to stop Christians today from doing what is right?
  • How did people try to stop Jesus from doing the will of God?

Spotlight Story

Gabriel

Nigeria
Gabriel

Earlier this year, radical Muslims attacked Christians in a village in Nigeria. The Muslim group “Boko Haram” has attacked many people and places in the area. They are fighting to rule Nigeria by Muslim law.

Gabriel, a boy in the village, lived with his father, also named Gabriel, and his mother. The father Gabriel was sick in bed with a serious illness. Gabriel’s mother wondered how she could flee with her son and her sick husband. She left her son Gabriel standing with a neighbor while she went to help her husband. As the boy waited, one attacker’s bullet hit the neighbor and another hit Gabriel. Both fell down. The neighbor died, and Gabriel suffered from a wound in the leg. The wound later became infected.

Please pray for Gabriel and for healing and comfort for all those who have been attacked in Nigeria.


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