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Ready to Listen

Iraq
Iraqi boy

The following story is adapted from an article in the April 2015 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, which features stories of God changing people through Bibles sponsored by VOM donors.

Ehsan did not want to be a Christian. As a Muslim in Iraq, he had been taught that Christianity was wrong. Also, he knew some Christians who were sinful.

Ehsan had a friend, Azhar, who tried to help him understand Jesus and His love for everyone. Azhar explained that the Bible teaches that sin in wrong, and that some people who call themselves Christians may not be true believers.

But Ehsan wasn’t ready to listen.

Then radical Muslims from the Islamic State (IS) attacked Mosul, Iraq. Thousands of Christians and Muslims fled from the fighting in fear. They found safety in an area where VOM distributes Action Packs and Bibles to refugees.

Ehsan watched Azhar and a VOM team serve the refugees for two months. Then he asked Azhar to tell him the reason why Christians would help strangers in trouble. “How can you love people you don’t even know?” he asked. “What is the reason for this love? Why do you include Bibles in these packs?”

Ehsan was ready to listen.

“God is the one who gives us this love,” Azhar told Ehsan. And he gave Ehsan a Bible.

After reading the Bible, Ehsan said to Azhar, “Now I am more thirsty and hungry to know about Jesus.”

Ehsan gave his life to Jesus, began attending a house church, and was baptized. But now he faces a big obstacle. He plans to tell his Muslim family that he is a Christian.

“Pray that he will be protected,” Azhar said. “Pray that he will grow spiritually and that he won’t have fear.”

To Think About

  • Ehsan did not want to listen to Azhar talk about Jesus partly because he knew some sinful Christians. What did Azhar tell him about sin and about some Christians?
  • Ehsan learned more about Christians from watching Azhar and other Christians serve others. If a non-Christian watched your family or class for a day, what would they learn about Christians?

Bibles in Difficult Places: A Challenge We Accept

Newsletter

Parents and Teachers: The April 2015 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features stories about bold believers who distribute Bibles in difficult places and unbelievers whose lives have been changed by the Scriptures they received.

“Bibles are illegal in many nations where Christians are persecuted for their faith, and in other nations they are often hard to find and expensive. As more people come to faith in Christ in Asia and the Middle East, it’s a challenge to keep up with the demand for Bibles, but it’s a challenge we gladly accept.”

— The Voice of the Martyrs’ President
April 2015 VOM newsletter

Last year VOM distributed more than one million Scriptures in areas where Christians are persecuted.

Upcoming Kids of Courage posts about Scripture distribution and smuggling will include stories about the following:

  • William Tyndale, Bible translator and smuggler
  • Scriptures floated by balloons into North Korea on USB devices
  • An Iraqi Muslim transformed by the Bible
  • A Bible smuggled out of Iran
  • A Christian doctor who distributes out Bibles in Syria

To subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, visit the subscription signup page. As you read the newsletters, you may want to share stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children. Then pray together for the people in the stories.


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 »