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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.)

Activities Story

Jubniyah and Masoub

Jubniyah

A revised version of Bold Believers in Saudi Arabia is now available in the free Downloads section. The book tells stories of Christians in the region where Islam started. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) Bold Believers in Saudi Arabia also features facts about Saudi Arabian culture, history, and geography, as well as activities and recipes.

Two of the recipes are below.

Jubniyah
With a fork, stir together 2 cups of all-purpose flour and one 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature.  Dissolve one 2.5-ounce packet of yeast in ¾ cup of water. Add the dissolved yeast to the flour mixture and mix well. If the dough is too stiff, gradually add more water and mix with a fork until the dough is the consistency of pizza crust dough.

Let the mixture rise for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Roll out the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick. Cut into 1-inch squares.

Fry the squares in about ½ inch of oil until they are light brown, turning over only once. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Cool and dip in cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, honey, syrup, or another favorite topping.

Masoub
Peel 3 or 4 ripe bananas, and mash them with a fork. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, and, if desired, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Crumble 3 or 4 slices of dry bread into tiny pieces. (You can also use pita bread or flatbread.) You should have about the same amount of bread crumbs as you do bananas. Stir the mixture well by hand.

Serve in individual portions. Top with raisins, nuts, honey, fruit, or other favorite toppings.


Spotlight Story

Pakistan: Learning to Forgive

Pakistani boy

Blasphemy Laws
“Blasphemy laws” in Pakistan say that no one may say anything against Islam or damage the Quran. (Islam is the religion of Muslims, and the Quran is the Muslim holy book.) It’s against the law to even damage any pages from the Quran.

Solomon, a 6-year-old boy in Pakistan is now an orphan because of the blasphemy laws. His Christian parents were accused of handling a Quran in a disrespectful way.

“My Faith Keeps Me Going”
It’s hard to tell exactly what happened on the day Solomon parents were accused. Different people have told different stories. According to Solomon’s uncle, Solomon’s parents were cleaning a house for a relative when Solomon’s mother threw away some papers. Like more than 60 percent of the women in Pakistan, Solomon’s mother could not read. So, she didn’t know that the papers contained Muslim writings.

A garbage collector told others what he found in the trash. Radical Muslims heard what happened, and they beat up Solomon’s parents. Sadly, they died from their injuries. Solomon and his two siblings now live with their grandfather. Sometimes, Solomon says to his grandfather, “When I’m older, I will kill the Muslims who did it.”

His grandfather answers, “You mustn’t say that. We need to trust God. He will fight for us.”

Solomon’s grandfather also said, “I am not angry with God. I know it was not His own design. It is not God who did this horrible act but people. My faith keeps me going. I have confidence that He will deliver justice in the end.”

(Source: SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)


Activities Story

Cristo Me Ama

Kids in Colombia

The previous post told about Christians in Colombia and how to make maracas. Use maracas or other instruments while singing “Jesus Loves Me” in Spanish as shown below.

Cristo Me Ama/Jesus Loves Me

The first line in each group below shows the words in Spanish. The second line tells how to pronounce them. The third tells exactly what the words mean in English.

Cristo me ama, bien lo sé
KREES-toh may AH-mah, bee-EHN loh say
Jesus loves me, I know it well.

Su palabra me hace ver
Soo puh-LAH-bruh may AH-say vayr
His word makes me see

Que los niños son de Aquél
Kay lohs NEE-nyohs sohn day ah-KEHL
That children are of him,

Quien es nuestro amigo fiel
Kee-EHN ehs noo-AYS-troh ah-MEE-goh fee-EHL.
Who is our faithful friend.

Si, Cristo me ama
See KREES-toh may AH-mah
Yes, Jesus loves me,

Si, Cristo me ama
See KREES-toh may AH-mah
Yes, Jesus loves me,

Si, Cristo me ama
See KREES-toh may AH-mah
Yes, Jesus loves me,

La Biblia dice así
Lah BEE-blee-uh DEE-say ah-SEE
The Bible says it is so.


Activities Story

Christians in Colombia

In recent years, violent groups have been fighting against the government of Colombia. The groups persecute Christians. They know that Christians do not approve of their violence, drug selling, and kidnapping. Sometimes groups attack and threaten Christians and drive them from their homes. Some bold Christians share the gospel of Jesus with people in the groups.

Still, Christians worship God together joyfully. Maracas, tambourines, and other instruments are often used to accompany the singing in Colombian churches.

Use the instructions below to make maracas of your own.

Needed
•    Choose one of the following for the body of the maracas: a baking powder can, a vitamin or pill bottle, two egg carton divisions with the large open ends taped together, a small cereal box, or another small container.
•    Choose one of these for the handle: a colorful pencil; a popsicle stick or craft stick; a dowel; a toilet tissue roll cut lengthwise, rolled tightly, and taped together; or another long, thin object.
•    Choose from the following materials to fill the maracas: uncooked rice, beans, or popcorn; bells, beads, or pebbles.
•    Choose one of the following materials to decorate the maracas: paper mache and paint, fabric, gift wrap, colored vinyl tape, or other colorful material.
•    Modeling clay or putty.
Instructions
Before sealing the container or putting the top on, fill it one-third full with the materials chosen. To attach the handle, put a small amount of modeling clay or putty on one end of the handle and stick the handle to the inside bottom of the container. Cut a slit in the top of the container and put the other end of the handle through the slit. Replace the top and tape it shut before decorating the maracas.
Variations
Tape the handle to the body if the container’s top is difficult to slit or the handle is too big.
Fill a plastic Easter egg one-third full with materials chosen, tape it shut, then tightly tape one end of it to the top end of a toilet tissue roll.


Spotlight Story

Colombia: “The Miracle of the Hospital”

Children in Colombia

J.D. is a 10-year-old Christian boy in Colombia. He lives with his family in a small, square house made of palm branches. During the school year, J.D. attends school from 7 a.m. until noon. His favorite subject is math and he likes to play soccer.

J.D.’s parents share the gospel of Jesus with people in villages near their home. But Christians in some parts of Colombia have enemies. Violent groups try to stop Christians from bringing others to Christ. Jesus told his disciples, “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” Followers of Jesus are still persecuted today.

Hard Times and Blessings
But J.D.’s family trusts in God to care for them. They have already seen God bless their lives in wonderful ways. J.D.’s parents wanted a child for 10 years before J.D. was born. God blessed them with a son.

When J.D. was 6, his mother was teaching some villagers about Jesus, and J.D. was playing nearby. Suddenly a motorcycle appeared and crashed into J.D., and he was thrown 30 feet in the air. J.D. spent 18 days in the hospital with a serious head injury. And he lost his sight. The doctor said he would not ever see or walk again, and would probably be like a “vegetable” — if he survived.

Today, the left side of J.D.’s head is still soft because the bone was destroyed, his mother told VOM workers. But he did survive, and he can walk, see, play soccer, and go to school. “We have a powerful God,” said his mother. When J.D. goes to the hospital for check-ups, the nurses call him “The Miracle of the Hospital.”

“After seeing him heal, a lot of people have become Christians,” said J.D.’s mother. “He loves his life and the Lord.”

To Talk About
•    Why do you think Christians in Colombia teach people about Jesus in places where enemies try to stop them?
•    How has God blessed J.D.’s family?
•    How has God used J.D.’s life to bring others to Christ?


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