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 September 21st, 2018
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) will be observed on November 4th this year. You can make plans now to join other Christians across the country in praying for persecuted Christians.
How can you prepare?
*Let your parents, teacher, or children’s/youth pastor know about IDOP, and ask if you can help them prepare to observe it with your class or family.
*Make a list of five to 10 countries where Christians are persecuted. Enter the name of each country in the Search box on this site to find information about some of the struggles faced by Christians in those countries. Or, make a list of persecuted Christians from stories on this site or on prisoneralert.com. List two or three prayer points for each country or Christian.
*Plan to start praying about the prayer points on November 4th and to continue praying after IDOP. Read below about a way that one family prays for persecuted Christians.
Tamara S. commented on VOM’s Facebook page about how her family prays for persecuted Christians at mealtime: “We have Popsicle sticks in a vase with the names of hostile and restricted nations on them, and some of them have names of imprisoned [Christians] on them,” she said. “We try to draw one every meal at which we sit down together.”
Published on September 20th, 2018
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was imprisoned for a total of 14 years in Romania. After he was released, he and his wife, Sabina, started The Voice of the Martyrs.
Pastor Wurmbrand wrote many books. In the books, he told readers what he learned from God during his time as a Christian in a non-Christian country.
Read below what he said about talking too much.
Pastor Wurmbrand said:
In the underground church, we had to learn to be silent. [The underground church refers to Christians who meet secretly in places where their worship services are illegal.] You have to learn to be silent from the moment you become a Christian. A Christian thinks before he speaks about whether his words can cause harm.
Useless talking in some countries means prison for another Christian. Every unnecessary word you speak can put someone in prison. A visitor [at a church service] could be a spy for the secret police.
A friend of mine, who wrote great Christian songs sung by the underground church, went to prison because Christians had a habit of saying, “How beautiful is this song composed by Brother [the composer’s name].” They praised him, the authorities found out about his work, and for this the composer got 15 years of prison.
(Source: Preparing for the Underground Church, by Richard Wurmbrand. Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)
To Talk About
*Why did Richard’s friend go to prison?
*Can you think ways that unnecessary talking can cause problems for someone?
*What are some examples of “useless talking?”
Published on September 19th, 2018
(Sources: China Aid and VOMRadio.net. Quotes edited for clarity and length.)
Churches in part of China were recently warned by authorities who want greater control over religion in their country.
The churches were told:
*You must remove the crosses at your building and replace them with a picture of the president of China or a Chinese flag.
*You must keep all children away from your church.
New government rules also say that churches must be willing to install surveillance cameras in their meeting places.
“Many pastors have gone into hiding because they know they are on the list to be the first to be arrested,” said a Christian worker in China. “Pastors are being arrested, some have been imprisoned, and churches have been closed…. In January [a church] was dynamited — the government blew it up.
“It is illegal to teach children Christianity. In one case, there was a grandmother who had been taking her grandson to church with her. The government told this family that the grandmother, who was on kidney dialysis, would no longer be allowed to continue the dialysis treatments if she continued to bring her grandson to church. So, what a choice!” (Dialysis is a procedure that keeps people alive whose kidneys have failed.)
“Christians are worried,” said a VOM worker. “We have no good answer except prayer.”
What Can You Pray?
*What can you pray for churches and pastors?
*What can you pray for Chinese government officials?
*What can you pray for the grandmother?
*What can you pray for her grandson and other children in China?
Published on September 18th, 2018
The previous post told the story of Samuel Morris, an African prince who trusted Christ as his Savior and developed a passion for sharing Christ with others. Read more about Samuel in the story below from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available at VOMBooks.com.
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Samuel Morris was left waiting in an office while the man he came to see, Stephen Merritt, went to a meeting. Mr. Merritt was a pastor Samuel had heard about in Africa. Samuel went to the office at Mr. Merritt’s mission in New York City when he first arrived in America. “I have come from Africa to learn from you about the Holy Spirit,” Samuel told Mr. Merritt.
What do you do when you have to wait in a doctor’s office or somewhere else? Do you read?
Fidget? Pray? Play a game?
Samuel had to wait a long time because Mr. Merritt forgot about him after his meeting! Later that night, Mr. Merritt returned to his office. What do you suppose he found Samuel doing? Samuel was faithfully giving his testimony to the men at the mission. While Mr. Merritt was gone, Samuel had led 17 of the men to Christ!
Samuel stayed with Mr. Merritt for about a month. One Sunday, Mr. Merritt took Samuel to a
youth Sunday school class. Samuel was different from the other students in many ways, and they laughed at him. But by the time Mr. Merritt came to get Samuel after the class, Samuel had shared his testimony with the group and they were weeping, sobbing, and repenting of their sins.
Can you think of some places where you could tell someone about Jesus?
Published on September 17th, 2018
Elise Wixtrom writes reviews of VOM resources for readers of kidsofcourage.com. Enter “Elise” in the search box to read about Elise and to find more of her reviews.
In 1891, Taylor University, a small Christian college on the outskirts of Fort Wayne, Indiana, faced financial hardship. They were losing students. They were about to close. But before we begin that story, let’s go back. Two years earlier…
A young Liberian prince named Kaboo was taken captive by an enemy of his father’s, who demanded tribute every full moon in order to get the young prince home. But Kaboo’s tribe couldn’t satisfy his captors. So his enemies decided to kill the boy, at that time 14 years old, by throwing a spear at his heart.
However, just as they were about to kill him, a bright light appeared in the sky. The ropes binding Kaboo loosened, and he was able to escape. As he bolted, he heard a voice from the sky cry, “Run, Kaboo, run.”
And though he was confused, the young teen ran away as fast as he could through the jungle. He ran all night and all day, hunted by the many dangers of the rainforest, until he ran straight into a young man singing a spiritual – “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” The young man brought him to a local coffee plantation, gave him shelter and work, and prayed with him.
Soon after arriving at the plantation, Kaboo attended church and heard a missionary woman speak about the apostle Paul. He heard her talk about the light that Paul saw and the voice he heard. She said he heard the voice of Jesus. At that moment, Kaboo understood. The voice he heard was the voice of Jesus, too. After discovering that his life had been saved by God, Kaboo accepted Christ as his Savior, and adopted an English name – Samuel Morris.
The newly christened Samuel, in order to learn more about God so that he could return to his tribe with the good news of Jesus, traveled across the wide oceans to New York City. He faced many dangers along the way, but he reached America safely and was enrolled at the closing Taylor University. The school administrators were hesitant to let him stay. However, after hearing the young man’s remarkable story, they caved. Soon, Samuel “Kaboo” Morris’ story began to spread, so he dictated a book. The book sold so many copies, Taylor University was saved by the money he made.
After Samuel tragically died of illness, Taylor took it upon itself to reach Samuel’s tribe in honor of his remarkable life. And though Samuel Morris had thought he was coming to America to learn to be a missionary, we now realize that he went to Taylor to inspire the small university to reach all unreached peoples. The story of Samuel Morris can be an inspiration to us all, to go forth with bravery and to not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6). Samuel Morris’ legacy was immortalized because of his simple love of others and faith in God. Our lives should be remembered for the same reasons.