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Clock Prayer Activity

Daylight Saving Time (DST) will begin this year on March 8. Not all countries observe DST. (See the map.) Read the information below about time differences between the United States and some countries where Christians are persecuted.

Nigeria: Nigeria does not observe DST. During DST at 6 a.m. U.S. Central Time, it is 12:00 noon in Abuja, Nigeria.

Iraq: Iraq does not observe DST. During DST 6 a.m. U.S. Central Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Iraq.

Syria: Syria observes DST, but it starts and ends on different days than in the U.S. During most days at 6 a.m. U.S. Central Time, it is 1:00 p.m. in Syria.

North Korea: North Korea does not observe DST. During DST at 6 a.m. U.S. Central Time, it is 8:00 p.m. in North Korea.

Maldives: Maldives does not observe DST. During DST at 6 a.m. U.S. Central Time, it is 4:00 p.m. in Maldives.

Activity

  1. Draw six clocks on paper or cardboard. What time is it where you are now? Draw hands on one clock to show the time to the nearest hour.
  2. Using the information above about time differences, figure out what time it is now in Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, and Maldives. Label the clocks to show what countries they represent, and draw hands on the clocks to show what time it is in each country.
  3. What might children in those countries be doing now? Eating a meal? Sleeping? Getting home from school?
  4. Pray for children in the five countries. If you need more information about the countries, enter their names in the search box to locate facts and stories.

Example
Dear Heavenly Father, please watch over children in North Korea who may be going to bed cold and hungry. Please meet their daily needs. Let them learn that Jesus loves them and that he can help people get through hard times. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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.)


Iraq: A Reminder

Iraq

Wesley P. is a volunteer reporter for The Voice of the Martyrs. His father works for The Voice of the Martyrs and travels to other countries. “Dad has brought back money, Bibles in foreign languages, knives, and many other awesome things,” Wesley said. (Read an interview with Wesley here.)

Recently Wesley looked through the items his father has brought him from countries where Christians are persecuted. “Most of these were presented to my dad as a gift from persecuted brothers and sisters,” said Wesley. “But some were unique items like a Cuban 3-peso bill.” (The main unit of money in Cuba is the peso.)

Wesley also has an old piece of paper money from Iraq worth 250 “dinars.” (See the photo.) Read below what Wesley wrote about the money.

Read the rest of this entry »


Standing with the Christians in Iraq

I-Am-N

Do you remember the story of Jonah and the big fish? Jonah was running from God, who wanted him to warn the evil people of Ninevah that they would be destroyed. After Jonah’s adventure in the sea, he obeyed God and warned the people. They repented of their sins and were not destroyed at that time.

The biblical city of Ninevah is in ruins today. But nearby is the city of Mosul, Iraq. Earlier this year radical Muslims warned all the Christians in Mosul to either leave the city or to become Muslims. “I am confused and sad,” said an Iraqi Christian. Thousands of Christians fled their homes in Mosul.

The radical Muslims marked the homes of Christians with a “nun” symbol. Nun, pronounced “noon,” is a letter in the Arabic alphabet. The Muslims use the symbol to stand for “Nazarenes,” an Arabic term used to insult Christians.

Christians around the world began using the symbol not as an insult, but to show that they supported the Mosul Christians in their struggle.

Hebrew 13:3 says, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” How will you remember persecuted Christians this week?

(Find information about The Voice of the Martyrs’ “I-Am-N” T-shirt at www.i-am-n.com)


Following Jesus in Iraq

Syria

Christians in Iraq
1987: 1,400,000
Today: Less than 400,000

Church bombings, attacks on Christians, and kidnappings have forced large numbers of Christians out of the country. Continue reading to learn about some of the Christians who still live in Iraq.

Lina
Lina is a 17-year-old who lives in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital. “I don’t want to leave the country because I know God has a reason for putting me here,” said Lina. “Even if I die, because I am a Christian I will be happy because I am dying for Jesus….We need to share the love of Jesus to everyone. If there is a place without the love of Jesus, it will be a very dark place and no peace or hope will exist there.”

A Pastor
The pastor of a church in Iraq has lived through two bombings of his church. Many people from his congregation have fled the country.

The pastor is looking for new ways to fill his church. He hopes more Muslims will decide to follow Christ. “I believe all the chairs of the church will be filled by believers from Muslim backgrounds,” the pastor said. “They are the new generation of the church.”

Helpful Christians
Fighting in Syria has driven many Syrians to refugee camps in Iraq. Most Syrians are Muslims.

But many Muslims in Iraq have ignored the Syrians, who often lack warm shelter and daily provisions. The Voice of the Martyrs sent heaters, blankets, and mattresses to help the refugees through the winter. Christians in the area distributed the gifts and shared the gospel with the Syrians. “By caring for their physical needs, they’re now more [open] to hearing the Good News of Jesus,” said one of the Christians.

“Even when the Muslim neighbors refused to help their own brothers, it was Christian outsiders who met the needs of the refugees,” said one former Muslim. “When I witnessed the love of Christians, I saw what was missing in Islam and I decided to follow Christ.”

To Think About
Read Luke 10:29–42, which is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. How are the Christians who help Syrian refugees like the good Samaritan?

For the month of May, visit www.VOMBooks.com/May2014 to find out how to sponsor Outreach Packs for Syria.

Source: May 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.