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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

Spotlight Story

Leaving Everything Behind: Mary

Iraqi refugee child

“My life in Iraq was beautiful,” said 8-year-old Mary. “I went to school and had friends and could play anytime. I lived in Mosul with my mom and dad and sister.”

Mary’s family is Christian. Things changed for them when ISIS, a radical Muslim group, began attacking their city. “Mosul was full of ISIS,” Mary said. “The war started and they damaged all of Iraq.

“I felt sad and worried and afraid for my dad. I was shouting all the time for my dad not to leave the house for work. He worked doing something with electricity.

“We were there with ISIS a very long time. No more school. No more playing with friends. Sometimes I wet my bed at night because I was so afraid.”

Mary’s family escaped to Jordan where they were safer. “My life is nice now,” Mary said in Jordan. Here we are strong. We are not afraid, and I sleep well.

“I spend all my time here at school with friends. My sister also comes to the school. I like school the best. I can do all my homework at home. I like to sing and dance all the time in my home.”

The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christian families like Mary’s in Jordan. Watch a video clip about Iraqi refugees here and here .

Spotlight Story

Leaving Everything Behind: Anthony

Iraqi refugee child

Many Christians have been driven from their homes and cities in Iraq by fighters who belong to ISIS, a group of radical Muslims. Christian families have to leave behind most of their belongings and everything that is familiar to them.

Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs visit Christians who have moved to Jordan to escape the fighting. VOM helps the children go to a Christian school.

Five-year-old Anthony told a Christian adult what his life was like in Iraq and Jordan.

“In Iraq, I lived with my parents and brothers and sisters,” Anthony began. “I remember the toys, the football [soccer], and my swing. I didn’t go to school there. I was only 3.

“The enemy came to Iraq — they came to our door one time. They wanted to kill my dad because they knew he was a Christian. After that my family went to another house. We stayed inside for nine days in one room. My sister kept me covered with a blanket and gave me food. My mother told her to make sure I wasn’t scared.

“Then my dad decided we would come to Jordan. We all left together and came by plane. I brought toys.

“I feel very good here in Jordan. I like school and I never want to be absent. I like reading stories.

“I have Iraqi kids as friends — no Jordanian friends. My family doesn’t trust the Muslims in Iraq or Jordan.”

(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
In your opinion, what is the hardest thing Anthony has had to deal with? Can you pray today for children who are going through the same struggles that Anthony told about?

Activities Story

Bangladesh Pasta Dessert Recipe

Cooking in Bangladesh

2 cups of milk
Handful of angel hair pasta, broken into 3-inch pieces
½ cup of whipping cream
½ cup of raisins
½ stick of butter
2 tablespoons of sugar

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Lightly brown the pasta in the butter over low heat, stirring frequently.
2. Add milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
3. Reduce heat and add raisins and sugar. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add whipping cream and cook for 2 more minutes. Refrigerate before serving.

Islam is the official religion of Bangladesh. It is not against the law for Christians to worship, but they face serious persecution, especially if they are Christians who used to be Muslims.

Watch a video of kids in Bangladesh playing.

Spotlight Story

“God Uses Everything”

Mission Aviation Fellowship helps missionaries share the love of Jesus in hard-to-reach areas. MAF pilots transport people into and out of faraway places. They bring them groceries and supplies. Sometimes they take sick people to doctors.

Do you think the pilots ever wonder if running errands for missionaries truly helps to spread the good news of Jesus? Recently a pilot from MAF visited The Voice of the Martyrs headquarters. He told about taking soap to missionaries, and about how God used the soap to teach tribal people in Indonesia about Jesus.

The tribal people covered themselves in pig fat to stay warm on cold days and nights. They kept a fire going in their homes. Soot from the fires stuck to their bodies. Without soap, they could never get completely clean.

A missionary asked MAF to bring him soap, which he used to pay the tribal people who had helped him build an airstrip where planes could land. The people bathed in the river with the soap. “We’ve never been so clean!” they exclaimed.

The missionary answered, “Tonight we can talk about how to be clean on the inside.” And he taught them how Jesus cleanses people from sin like the soap cleaned the pig fat and soot from their skin.

The soap helped the tribal people understand God’s love, and they spread the news to other groups in the area.

“We think some things are not important,” the MAF pilot told VOM workers. “But God uses everything!”

To Try
Soak a cotton ball in cooking oil. Cover your thumb or fingers with oil from the cotton ball. Run water over your thumb or fingers. Did the oil come off? Now try using soap. Did that work better?

A Verse to Learn
1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Spotlight Story

Changing Hearts Through Humble Service

Afghan girl with a children’s Bible

John Weaver, an American Christian who has worked in Afghanistan, recently talked with Todd Nettleton at about his time serving in Afghanistan. “Afghanistan is a big country,” John said. “It is the size of Texas, and there is no Christian church there at all…zero, absolutely zero….But there are people there that are hungry [for the truth].”

Some Afghans are turning to Christ, but there is often a price to pay for becoming a Christian in Afghanistan. Sometimes new believers are imprisoned for their faith.

John told the story of two Afghan Christian brothers who were put in prison because of their faith. Members of the Taliban were in the same prison.

[The Taliban is a group of radical Muslims in Afghanistan. Taliban means “students” in Arabic. Members of the group think that women should not go to school, and men should grow beards. They do not like TV, music, games, or some sports. Taliban radicals believe in harsh punishment for Muslims who become Christians.]

The Christian brothers began sharing their faith with the people in the prison. John said, “One of the Taliban soldiers had his legs blown off from the war. [One of the Christians] would pick him up and take him every day to use the little latrine, which was not a nice place. The Christian told us, ‘God was with us every day. It began to soften the hearts of these ruthless Taliban guys. They saw we were in prison but we had done nothing wrong — we were followers of Jesus. And here we were serving the ones who would love to kill us.’”

To Talk About
The Taliban soldiers’ hearts began to change after someone humbly served them. Read Luke 22:26-27. What did Jesus say about serving others?

You may not be able to show kindness to someone in Afghanistan, but you can practice serving others humbly at home or at school. What act of service can you do today?

(Source: Edited from the original for length and clarity.)

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