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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.)

Readers Talk to Us Story

Unexpected Visitor

Nigeria

Sixteen-year-old Lailah S. wrote a story about an unexpected event that happened during her homeschool social studies lesson.

Read her story below.

Christian: The Man from Nigeria
By Lailah S.

In a kitchen in north central Georgia, three homeschooling women used Kids of Courage [materials] as their social studies curriculum for their seven children. That particular day while they were studying Nigeria, a man showed up to repair the refrigerator.

The women and their children were preparing to make the West African dish “chin chin.” As the women discussed the dish, the repairman overheard and, with an astonished and disbelieving air, asked them how they knew about chin chin. The women responded that [this was part of] their social studies lesson.

Every second more surprised, the man said his name was Christian, and that he had come to America as a child, and had grown up eating that dish. Christian asked how the women had found it. The women explained to him what Kids of Courage was. Christian was open to questions, and answered many as to the weather, the language, the food, the religion, and the culture in Nigeria. He also taught the children a few words in his native tongue. He commended the women for learning about Christians in other cultures.

As he left, he implored the woman who owned the house to request him as a repairman if her refrigerator ever needed maintenance again, emphasizing to her that he would love to come back.

Read the next post to find the chin chin recipe the families used.
Click here to read more about Christians in Nigeria.


Feature Story

445 Days in Prison

Petr (left) with another prisoner

One night, Petr Jasek had a troubling dream. In the dream, he was locked in a prison. He saw the prison door shut, and he heard the lock click into place.

Petr was still thinking about the dream the next morning at church. A friend even noticed that he looked upset and asked him what was wrong.

The Dream Comes True
Shortly before Christmas about two years later, Petr was at an airport preparing to leave Sudan. As part of his job with The Voice of the Martyrs, he had been meeting with Sudanese Christians to discover how VOM could help them.

Suddenly an airport security officer tapped him on the shoulder. Authorities took away his camera and laptop, and questioned him for almost 24 hours. They knew about his Christian work in Sudan. But they falsely accused him of spying and other crimes, then they put him in prison at 1:30 in the morning.

At the Sudanese prison, Petr was amazed to see the same prison door and to hear the same lock clicking that he had seen and heard in his dream! The memory assured him that God had known what would happen to Petr in advance, and that He was in control.

Unfriendly Cellmates
Petr’s cellmates were sleeping on the floor when he arrived. They squeezed closer together to give Petr a small space to sleep. The next morning, they asked him for news from the outside world. He told them about an attack on innocent people in Paris by radical ISIS Muslims. When they heard the news, the prisoners jumped up and shouted for joy. Petr realized that his new roommates were also radical Muslims.

Day by day, the Muslims grew harsher toward Petr. They called him “filthy pig” or “filthy rat,” and they hit him when he didn’t answer to the insulting names. Petr prayed to be released.

A New Purpose
One night, 14 new prisoners from Eritrea were stuffed into Petr’s cell. Petr shared his testimony with them and told them the good news of Jesus. Two of them decided to follow Christ!

“From that day forward, I dedicated my prison time to the Lord,” Petr said. “I prayed, ‘If You will allow me opportunities to share the gospel, I will stay here as long as You want!’ I even stopped praying that I would be released from prison.”

Note: Petr was released after 14 months in prison, and he returned home to his family in the Czech Republic.

To Talk About
*If you were in prison for your Christian activities, what would you want Christians on the outside to pray for you?
*Why did Petr stop praying to be released from prison?
*Think of a task or chore that you don’t like to do. How could God use you in that situation to help you know Him better or to be a blessing to others?
*Petr met 14 new people in prison. They stayed in his cell for less than a day. Ask two or three people to act as newcomers and to role play the situation with you. What would you tell people about Jesus if you had only a short time with them?


Spotlight Story

Walking with God Among Muslims

North African man reading a Bible

Aaron is an American Christian worker who talks about the love of Jesus with Muslims in North Africa. Recently he told VOM workers about giving his life to Christ as a child, and about living among Muslims. Read what he said below.

It started when I was a little kid, and my brother was being disciplined by our parents. They were in his room for a long time. I wondered, “What’s going on in there?” My parents were sharing the gospel with him, and I peeked through the door. They said, “Come on in.”

I didn’t understand much at that time, but I understood that God gave His life for me. That impacted me profoundly. I thought, “If God loves me that much, then I want to give all my life for Him.”

From a very young age, I made it a habit in my life whenever God invited me into something to just open the doors of my heart and say, “God, You have all of me, no matter what, and I trust You.” I am super-grateful for The Voice of the Martyrs and the church I grew up in. It was a very persecution-aware church, demonstrating that there is nothing in this life more important than walking with and agreeing with Jesus.

North Africa and Muslims
I would say that probably the majority of Muslims have never had a real friendship with a genuine Christian. The wonderful thing about my friends in North Africa is that they like to talk about spiritual things. You can get in a taxi and very easily have spiritual conversations with them, for example.

But I have definitely been in situations where [Muslims] are trying to make me change my mind [about being a Christian]. Often people will pull out a cigarette lighter and say, “Stick your finger in the fire. The fires of hell are bitter; they are not where you want to go.” I try to communicate with them that I am so grateful that [as a Christian] I don’t have to operate from fear, but from great joy that God has made a way for me to bring joy to His heart and to agree with His dreams for the world.

If I am connected to the vine [see John 15:5], then the life of God can flow through me even if I am with people who are very aggressive and in my face.

(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.)

To Talk About
*Why did Aaron want to give his life to God?
*What did Aaron mean when he said, “I don’t have to operate from fear”?
*Read John 15:5. Can you explain in your own words what the verse means?


Uncategorized Story

Top Spinning Day

International Top Spinning Day is celebrated on the second Wednesday of October. This year it will be on October 11th.

Top spinning is popular in Malaysia, a country where The Voice of the Martyrs works. The video above is from Stef, the children’s website of SDOK, VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands.

Can you follow the directions for making a paper top, even if you don’t understand Dutch?

To find more activities from Malaysia, and to read about courageous Christians there, read Bold Believers in Malaysia, available in the free Downloads section.


Spotlight Story

Suffering Means Blessing

“The suffering of Christians means blessing will result,” a recent visitor to The Voice of the Martyrs told VOM workers. The visitor is from a country where Christians are persecuted. In his struggles, he gets strength from recalling the life of Adoniram Judson, a missionary to Burma in the 1800s.

Judson faced tough challenges and grief in his missionary work. For six long years after he arrived in Burma, no Burmese people came to Christ. But he continued sharing the good news of Jesus with the Burmese people. And he saw the church in Burma grow from zero members to 7,000 members by the time he died.

Edward Judson, Adoniram’s son, later said, “Suffering and success go together. If you are succeeding without suffering, it is because others before you have suffered; if you are suffering without succeeding, it is that others after you may succeed.”

To Talk About
*Can you think of examples of Christians who accomplished great things for God? Did anyone before them suffer so that they could succeed?
*Who suffered so that you could be saved?
*Did anyone suffer so you could read a Bible in English today? Check here to find out.

Read more about Adoniram Judson in the book Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma, available at VOMBooks.com.


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