Bold Believers in North Korea includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of people in a country where citizens are forbidden to practice Christianity. The 54-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.
Published on January 19th, 2018
VOM workers Todd Nettleton and Jonathan Ekman recently visited Christians in Cuba. They discovered that Jesus is the center of the believers’ lives, even though government officials often give them a hard time because of their loyalty to Christ.
Read part of Todd and Jonathan’s conversation below.
Todd: I’m a dad, and one of the things that we noticed was that the Christian children in Cuba pay a big price for what their parents are doing for God’s kingdom.
Jonathan: It’s a hard thing for us dads to think about. Because of their parents’ faith, children have lost opportunities in education, sports, and other things. Because their dads are pastors, they don’t have access to those things.
Todd: One Christian young man was very talented in an activity. But he was told, “Your talents are outstanding…but, sorry, you can’t be involved.” We heard stories of Christian students who went to school and got straight A’s right up until the day of graduation. Then they were told, “You won’t be able to get your diploma. Sorry.”
Jonathan: I asked a pastor’s son, “How do you feel about this?” He said, “It’s okay. We all pay a price.” A young man said that he has the world in front of him, but he is never going to get to experience it because of his faith.
The children have to go to a state school where they are taught communism all day long. [Learn more about communism here.] So VOM tries to help parents and families minister to their children.
(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for clarity, length, and age appropriateness.)
To Talk About
*What did the pastor’s son mean when he said, “We all pay a price?” (Read 2 Timothy 3:12.)
* What is your favorite activity? What would you do if you were told you could no longer participate in the activity because of your faith in God?
What You Can Do Story
Published on January 18th, 2018
The Voice of the Martyrs’ Prisoneralert.com website lists Christians around the world who are in prison for their faith. The site provides a way for readers to write letters to the prisoners and to officials of their countries.
The story of each prisoner’s arrest and imprisonment are also available on the site. Can you visit the site and choose one or more prisoners to pray for? Some of the Christians have been in prison for more than 10 years, so praying for them may be a very long-term commitment.
However, several prisoners were released during the past year.
“One of [the] things I enjoy doing is crossing out names I have been praying [for on] my prisoner list,” wrote Marilene, a commenter on The Voice of the Martyrs’ Facebook page. “God is gracious.”
But sometimes ex-prisoners are not safe from further problems with the authorities. The Prisoneralert.com site lists the names and stories of released prisoners,too. You can pray for their protection and for their ministries to bring many to Christ.
Published on January 17th, 2018
The kids’ page of VOM’s sister mission in the United Kingdom, Release International, includes prayers, flags, and printable activities. This month, the kids’ page features a language matching activity; information about Christians in Egypt, Laos, and Mexico; and a Bible verse code.
Find the page here.
Published on January 16th, 2018
Eric Liddell was born on January 16th, 1902. Learn more about Eric and 15 other Christian heroes in The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book and DVD set, available at VOMBooks.com. The book includes 144 pages of stories, devotionals, coloring pages (see the image to the right), extreme dot-to-dots, crafts, and activities related to the 16 heroes on the accompanying Torchlighters DVDs.
Eric Liddell didn’t look like a champion when he ran, and people mocked his strange running style. But Eric was super fast. In fact, he was the fastest runner in all of Scotland. He had become a national hero, and his country was proud of him. They waited eagerly to see him compete against the world’s greatest athletes at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, where Eric was expected to win the gold medal for Great Britain in his event. Then the whole world would know that Scotland had the best 100-meter sprinter anywhere.
Eric did his best to win races, but he had a bigger goal for his life. Following his parents’ example and God’s call, he planned to be a missionary in China. Eric’s faith was even more important to him than the Olympics.
Then as the time for the Olympics approached, Eric decided not to run the 100-meter sprint — his best event! He had learned that the trials for the race were scheduled for a Sunday. Eric had always set aside the Lord’s Day for rest and worship, as the Bible teaches (Exodus 20:8-11). He refused to change his habits for the Olympics.
The people of Scotland were furious! Eric had crushed their hopes for a win for their country. It’s hard to imagine today how much importance they placed on Eric’s winning a gold medal. It seemed to Scotland that Eric was sacrificing loyalty to his country, fame, victory, and glory for a reason they didn’t understand. He was called a disgrace, a traitor, and a “letdown to his own people.”
Eric ran in the 200-meter and 400-meter races in the Olympics instead of his usual race. They had never been his best events. But he surprised the world with a gold medal and a new world record in the 400-meter event, and a bronze medal in the 200. Again he was a national hero.
Because of his fame, people listened to Eric. He used speaking opportunities to witness about his faith, and his fame continued to spread. He sacrificed his comfortable life in Scotland to serve with his wife as a missionary in China for 20 years. Then, as World War II reached them, Eric sacrificed the opportunity to leave China, staying instead to help the wounded and to share his faith. He died in China in 1945.
Published on January 15th, 2018
The previous post told about a worker from Youth With a Mission who recently spoke with Todd Nettleton of VOMRadio.net. She told Todd about unusual dreams experienced by Middle Eastern Muslims. Read more of their conversation below. (Edited and paraphrased from the original interview for clarity, length, and age appropriateness.)
YWAM worker: One of our workers in the Middle East was contacted by a friend earlier this year. They met up, and he was introduced to an ISIS [radical Muslim] fighter who had attacked many Christians already.
Well, the fighter admitted that he had attacked Christians and that he had actually enjoyed doing so. He told this YWAM leader that he had begun having dreams of a man in white who came to him and said, “You are hurting my people.”
He started to feel really sick and uneasy about what he was doing. The fighter said that just before he attacked one Christian, the Christian said, “I know that you will hurt me, but I give to you my Bible.” The Christian was killed. The ISIS fighter actually took the Bible and began to read it. In another dream Jesus asked him to follow Him. He was now asking to become a follower of Christ and to be taught more about Jesus.
So who knows, perhaps this man will be like Saul in the Bible who persecuted Christians, then turned from persecuting the early church to become the Apostle Paul.
God can turn things around.
Todd Nettleton: Wow, what an amazing story! God can turn things around. One of the things that I hope our listeners take out of this story is when you see a report on the news about ISIS, don’t write them off as being out of reach of God’s grace and out of reach of His Spirit. Pray that God will move in more dreams and more visions and more ISIS fighters setting up meetings with YWAM workers to hear about Jesus.
YWAM Worker: We see how God uses ordinary people in extraordinary ways, but He also can use the most despicable sinner as well.