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Iran: Thieves Steal Bibles

(Source: VOM Australia)

A group of 10 thieves in Iran earned a living by taking things that didn’t belong to them. They had worked together for three years, so they were probably pretty good at their sinful activities.

One day, the thieves saw a woman carrying a big bag. Hoping the bag was full of money, they stole it and ran away.

The woman whose bag was stolen was so disappointed. Her bag had no money in it; instead, it was full of Bibles. The Muslim government of Iran makes it very difficult for people to get Bibles and other Christian books. By law, Bibles can’t be printed in the country or imported into the country. But the woman had managed to get 10 Bibles for her Bible study group. Now they were gone.

Better Than Money
Later, someone called the woman and said they had found her bag. “Come and get it,” the mystery caller said.

She really wanted the Bibles, but she was scared. “What if they turn me in to the police?” she thought. So she asked her pastor for advice. He told her he felt peace about her going to get the Bibles.

When she met the people who had her bag, they turned out to be the thieves! After they realized the bag had no money in it, they decided to read the Bibles and wanted to learn more about Jesus.

She answered their questions, and they trusted in Jesus as their Savior. Then they started their own Bible study and promised to pay back all that they had stolen from others. Praise God for our new brothers in Christ in Iran!

To Talk About
*The woman was sad that her Bibles were stolen, but happy that the thieves came to Christ. Can you think of a situation where something “bad” turned out to be good? (See Genesis 50:20.)
*If someone asked you to tell them about Jesus, would you be prepared to give an answer? (See 1 Peter 3:15.)


Cuba: Drone Persecution

Drones hovered in the air as the Cuban congregation left their church one day. The pastor believed the drones were meant to frighten the Christians.

Some Christians think that the Cuban government uses the drones to listen to pastors’ sermons and tell the authorities what the pastor says. “Christians have been threatened, there have been more attacks, and the authorities have threatened to demolish more church buildings,” a Christian leader said. “Pray for the Cuban church, because we are under strong attack,”

(Sources: The U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report and icommittopray.com.)

Photo: A baptism in Cuba


Jim Elliot’s 102nd Birthday

Jim Elliot was born on October 8, 1917. Today would have been his 102nd birthday.

Elliot gave his life while serving the Lord in South America. Jim’s four companions, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian, were also martyred. The group understood the dangers of missionary work, and they were willing to lay down their lives in service to God.

To Discuss
Read the facts about Jim Elliot’s life below, the discuss the questions.

[This activity is from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book. The book is available here, and the companion DVDs here.]

1. Jim was on the school wrestling team, and he was a strong competitor. Should Christians ever let others win at games and sports, or should they always try their hardest? Is it possible to do your best and still be unselfish?

2. When Jim received poor grades at school one semester, he told his parents that he thought studying God’s Word was more important than his school subjects. What do you think of his reason for getting poor grades? What do you think his parents’ response to him might have been?

3. After his death, Jim’s wife, Elisabeth, and his daughter, Valerie, returned to share a message of God’s forgiveness with the Waodani tribe that had attacked the four missionaries. Do you think Jim would have wanted them to do so? Can you think of a verse from God’s Word to support what you think?

4. Jim and his friends worked in a place they knew was extremely dangerous. Should missionaries work in dangerous places? Why or why not?

5. Although Jim and the other missionaries had guns which they fired in the air as a warning, they did not use them to defend themselves against the spear-wielding Waodani attackers. Do you think the missionaries should have defended themselves? What was the missionaries’ eternal destiny? What was the attackers’ eternal destiny at that time?


Nigeria: Melody and Marvelous

James and Marvelous

Will you pray for Melody and Marvelous?

Melody is 3 and Marvelous is 7. The Voice of the Martyrs is helping their family with rent, school fees, clothing, and medical care. But they still need prayer.

Last year, Melody had to spend two months in the hospital. She needed surgeries to help her heal after a bullet struck her during an attack on their village in Nigeria. (She is mentioned in the story here.) The militant Muslim attackers also hit Marvelous on the head and knocked her unconscious.

Melody

The girls’ father, James, stayed by their side through their recovery. But their mother, Mary, died in the attack. James and the girls were very sad. They lost Mary, and they lost their home. The attackers moved into the Christians’ homes and took the villagers’ land. James and the girls lived in a camp for displaced people for eight months.

A VOM worker is counseling James and other Christians who suffered in the attacks. “I feel like I have people who care for me,” he said. But forgiveness for the attackers will take more time.

James asked for prayer for himself, Melody, and Marvelous. “Pray that God will strengthen us and make us strong in our faith and provide for our desires,” he said.

(Source: The October 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

Find out how to write a note of encouragement to Nigerian Christians at persecution.com/NotestoNigeria.


This Month

Parents and Teachers

The Voice of the Martyrs’ president, Cole Richards, said, “Let us remember that [Christ] was ‘led like a lamb to the slaughter’ (Isaiah 53:7) for our sake, for the sake of our Nigerian Christian brothers and sisters, and even for the sake of their Islamist attackers whom we call to repentance.”

The October issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine tells stories of Nigerian Christians who have suffered persecution and mistreatment. The issue provides an opportunity to write persecuted Nigerian Christians a note of encouragement. (Younger children can draw a picture for Nigerian kids.) You can also write a note online at persecution.com/NotestoNigeria.

Updates from Vietnam, Burkina Faso, Cuba, and Bangladesh are also included in the issue.

Share stories about the featured countries from this site with your children then pray together for the Christians in those countries.

Related Resources
*To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*Bold Believers activity books about Vietnam and Bangladesh are available in the Downloads section.
*The Voice of the Martyrs Global Prayer Guide includes information about Christians in most of the featured countries.
*Watch a video clip of children in Bangladesh and a clip of a church in Cuba.
*Restricted Nations: Vietnam is available at vombooks.com.