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Eritrea: Pray for the Children

 

Eritrean security officers have arrested all members of the Kale Hiwot church near the Ethiopian border. Among those arrested were 12 children, the youngest of whom is just 2 months old. The Christians were reportedly picked up one by one from their homes.(The parents of the girls in the photo were also arrested.)

Please pray for these Christians, especially the children. Pray that they will sense God’s presence in jail, knowing that Christians around the world are praying for them. Pray that they will be freed soon.

Source: Release International

 


Making Bricks in Pakistan

Many Christians in Pakistan are very poor. In many cases they have not been able to get the education they need, and Muslims are often given the best jobs. Christians are forced to take hard, low-paying jobs. Many work at brick factories making bricks for less than 10 dollars a day.

SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands, took the video above of a brick maker in Pakistan. Do you think you could do that job all day, six days a week like Christians in Pakistan?


Pakistan: Escape from a Snake

Rebekha

Parents and Teachers: The June 2017 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes stories about courageous Christians in Pakistan. To subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, visit our subscription signup page. As you read the newsletters, you may want to share stories from this site with your children. Then pray together for the people in the stories.

Rebekha was angry. Her teacher expected her to sit by a new girl in her ninth grade class in Pakistan. The new girl was a Christian, and Rebekha hated Christians! She chose to sit on the floor rather than sit by Mary, the new girl.

Rebekha then had to miss school because she was sick. She needed help studying for a test. None of the other Muslim girls would help her study. Mary offered to help, and Rebekha began to like Christians a little bit more.

A Bad Attitude
Some Christians started a sewing class in Rebekha’s village, and Mary invited Rebekha to attend. Rebekha went to the class, but she sat separately from the Christian girls. She still did not like Christians very well.

The Christian girls were sad about Rebekha’s attitude. They spent much time in prayer for her.

Rebekha realized that she could find nothing wrong with the Christian girls. After two months, she asked Mary for a Bible. Mary happily gave her one. Mary asked God to help Rebekha understand the Bible and follow Christ.

Honor
The girls’ prayers were answered! Rebekha not only quit hating Christians; she became one! Rebekha was happy, but her family was miserable. They tried to get her to return to Islam, the religion of Muslims.

Honor is very important in many Muslim countries. A man receives honor if others in his culture respect him. He loses honor if members of his family do not follow the customs of those around him. Some Muslims in Pakistan believe they will lose honor if someone in their family becomes a Christian.

That is what Rebekha’s uncles believed.

An Evil Plan
The uncles took Rebekha to a canal near their farmland. When they got to the canal, they saw a deadly cobra swimming in the water. “Good,” the uncles said, “the cobra will bite her.” They threw her into the canal and hurried away. Rebekha did not know how to swim. She prayed for help. The cobra disappeared. Rebekha climbed out of the canal and praised God for keeping her safe.

Rebekha returned home soaking wet. Her family was astonished. Her father said she could no longer live there since she had become a Christian. She left home, and Mary helped her find Christians who would take care of her. Rebekha was grateful to God for sparing her life.

(Source: Kids of Courage archives)

(Note: Rebekha’s face is covered in the photo above to protect her identity.)

To Think About
Mary came from a Christian family. What advice do you suppose her family gave her about attending school where most of the students were Muslims? What do you think they told her when she came home and said that Rebekha sat on the floor rather than sitting next to her?

Use this link to find drawings of a Pakistani family to photocopy and color. Cut out the pictures after you color them, and glue them to craft sticks to make stick puppets. With the puppets, act out what might have happened at Mary’s house after she began to attend school with Rebekha.


Learning a New Prayer

The Voice of the Martyrs’ International Ministries workers visit countries where Christians are persecuted. They bring aid and encouragement to suffering Christians in those countries. But many times, the workers learn important lessons from the people they help and encourage.

One VOM worker met a Christian who spreads the gospel in a country where it can be dangerous to be a Christian. The Christian taught the worker the following prayer:

“We place our lives in your hands to do with as you will.
We pray only that you be glorified, either in our life or in our death.”

Now the VOM worker prays the prayer whenever he gets on a plane to go to a country where Christians are persecuted.

To Talk About
*The worker prays that God will be glorified. What does that mean?
*How can a Christian’s life glorify God?


Peace in My Heart

The Horn of Africa

Basmah, a Christian woman in Somalia, was going to have a baby. But her Muslim husband left her because she had become a Christian. She moved in with her family until she had her baby. Then when Basmah’s mother and father found out about her new faith, they would not let her live with them anymore.

Basmah and her baby lived on the street, homeless. “I was praying that God would give me a house where I could sleep,” said Basmah. “He answered my prayer.” A worker from The Voice of the Martyrs met her and offered a place to stay in a “safe house” located in one of the countries in the Horn of Africa.

Basmah is thankful for the care she is receiving at the safe house. But she knows she has received a better gift. “The best gift God gave me was Jesus,” she said. “I now have peace in my heart. Nothing else can compare to Jesus. Even when I am hungry, I have peace.”

Note: The Horn of Africa is a peninsula on the east side of Africa shaped somewhat like an animal’s horn. Countries considered part of the horn are Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. (To help you remember the countries, the first letters of their names spell “SEED.”) Some maps of the Horn of Africa also include Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and other neighbor countries.


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