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God Changed Everything

South Asian boys reading a children’s Bible

Brother Matthew is a Christian worker in South Asia. He recently shared with VOM Radio the story of how God changed his life when he was a teenager.

Brother Matthew’s Story
I came to Christ when I was 14 years old. When I was 16, I started leading a choir. I was also in a youth Bible study and prayer group.

One day, there was no leader at the Bible study. One of the boys was making fun of others in the group. I was a stutterer, but I stood up and said, “Guys, don’t make fun of each other. We are here to pray and study the Bible.”

The boy said, “The teacher isn’t here. So why shouldn’t we make fun of each other? Let’s have fun. Why don’t you preach today if you’re so concerned about Bible study and prayer.” He knew preaching would be hard for me because I stuttered.

But I said, “Okay, I’ll do it.” I took my Bible and started reading it. Before that time I couldn’t read the Bible aloud — not even one single sentence. It was very difficult for me to read.

As I stood up and read the Bible, I felt that something happened. I started reading fluently, then I began explaining the verses to the group. God had miraculously healed my tongue. I spoke for 10 to 15 minutes, and everybody in the room was shocked. That is how God changed everything.

Brother Matthew Today
Most of the people in Brother Matthew’s country are Muslims. He and his family have been threatened and persecuted because of their Christian faith and witness. Please pray for their safety and ministry, and for their persecutors to come to Christ.

To Think About
If someone with you started bullying or making fun of others, would you have the courage to ask them to stop?

(Source: VOMRadio.net. 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.)


Photo Album Matching Activity

A VOM volunteer made a photo album matching activity to teach younger children about courageous Christians around the world.

Needed
*A 5- by 7-inch notebook, album, or journal
*Construction paper cut into 5- by 7-inch pieces
*Photos cut or photocopied from The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, then trimmed to 5 by 7 inches. Or photos printed from VOM websites, enlarged or reduced to 5 by 7 inches.
*Scissors
*Tape or glue

Instructions
1. Glue or tape a 5- by 7-inch piece of construction paper to the back of each page of the notebook you plan to use.
2. Measure and cut the pages of the notebook in half horizontally, leaving a 3½-inch top section and a 3½-inch bottom section of each page.
3. Cut the 5- by 7-inch photos in half horizontally. Glue or tape the top halves to the tops of the notebook pages.
4. Mix up the bottom halves of the photos and glue them to the bottoms of the pages in a different order than you glued the tops of the photos.
5. Remove unused pages of the notebook.

Show the notebook to a younger child and help them turn the pages to form complete pictures. Tell the child something about the photo and the country where it was taken.


Chin Chin: A Nigerian Snack

Combine 2 cups flour, 1-1/3 sticks softened butter, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup milk, and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix until smooth. Knead the dough about 20 times on a floured surface, then roll out to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut dough into 1/2- to 1-inch squares. Fry the cubes in a deep fryer until golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Find this recipe in the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum, which includes lesson plans, games, additional snack recipes, skits, and other materials for a complete week-long VBS program. Visit here for more information.


Top Spinning Day

International Top Spinning Day is celebrated on the second Wednesday of October. This year it will be on October 11th.

Top spinning is popular in Malaysia, a country where The Voice of the Martyrs works. The video above is from Stef, the children’s website of SDOK, VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands.

Can you follow the directions for making a paper top, even if you don’t understand Dutch?

To find more activities from Malaysia, and to read about courageous Christians there, read Bold Believers in Malaysia, available in the free Downloads section.


Hearing God’s Voice

The Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton recently interviewed Patrick Klein on VOMRadio.net. Patrick is the president of Vision Beyond Borders, and he is a Bible smuggler. (Read here about Bible smuggling.)

Part of their interview is below.

Todd: You have shared stories of landing in a foreign airport with suitcases of Bibles and stepping off the plane into the customs building and saying, “Okay Lord, which line should I get in?” How did you develop that skill of learning to hear the voice of God, and how would you advise people to develop in their own life the ability to hear God’s voice?

Patrick: When I got saved I decided I would get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and spend at least an hour with the Lord every day in the Word and prayer. As I have developed that relationship I have learned that sometimes the Holy Spirit will prompt me to do things. And because I know the Lord, I know His voice. I have spent time with Him; I spend time in His Word. I know it is the Holy Spirit speaking to me. So as I am flying into a country I don’t want to be distracted by all the things, the movies and TV, and all that stuff. I want to be praying and saying, “Lord, please help me get through customs.”

One thing I do now is I pray, “Lord, wake up people at home to be praying me through the border as well,” so we can work together. So I am praying and saying, “Okay Lord, show me the strategy how to get through.” A lot of times He will prompt me to go to a certain line. It is training my ear to hear, and then the Holy Spirit will prompt me to do a certain thing. [I have felt] the Lord saying, “This is the way I am making for you.” It is really cool when you get through and you can say, “Okay Lord, that really was You speaking to me.” It is just fun.

(Read another story about Patrick here)

Todd: The verse that comes to mind is, “My sheep will know My voice,” You have invested the time to learn to hear that voice. So, that is one of the things I want to challenge our listeners to do. Just practice hearing God’s voice. I believe wholeheartedly that when we ask God to speak to us, He will do that. We as Christians in the United States need to learn to hear the voice of God the same way our brothers and sisters who are living day-to-day in danger and persecution hear it.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for length and clarity.)