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Prisoner Released!

(Sources: icommittopray.com and prisoneralert.com)

The family of imprisoned pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov were looking forward to his scheduled April 2020 release. In a wonderful Christmas gift for his family, Pastor Bakhrom was freed from prison in December, a little more than three months earlier than his original release date. Praise God, and pray for the family as they reunite.

Two years ago, in April 2017, the pastor was arrested after officials raided his church in Tajikistan. The officers beat members of the congregation and took away Christian books and the pastor’s computer.

[Photo: Bakhrom and his wife before his arrest.]

When the officials examined the computer, they found a collection of Christian songs. They claimed that the songs and the pastor’s books were “extremist.” The government said “experts” decided that the songs were calling people to overthrow the government. Pastor Bakhrom was in prison on the false charges for almost three years.

The pastor and his wife, Gulnora, have three children. Gulnora had health problems after her husband was arrested, and their daughter cared for her. Their two sons live in Russia.

Gulnora received letters of encouragement from Christians around the world while Pastor Bakhrom was in prison. You can read more about them here.

Thank you to all who prayed for the family and sent them letters of encouragement. If you would like to encourage another Christian in prison for their faith, visit prisoneralert.com to find out how.

 


Chapatis

Chapatis

Chapatis are a kind of flatbread cooked in Pakistan. They are round and about the size of a dinner plate. Pieces of chapatis can be used instead of a fork to pick up other food.

To make chapatis, mix 1¼ cups of flour with ½ cup of water until you can form the mixture into a ball. (Add more flour or water if necessary.) Make golf ball-size balls out of the dough. Roll each ball in flour, then pat or roll it into a 5-inch to 6-inch circle. Put each circle in a hot frying pan for a few minutes until it is lightly browned. (Use no oil.) Turn it over and lightly brown the other side.

Can you share chapatis or another Pakistani food with someone while also sharing facts about Christians in Pakistan with them? Enter “Pakistan” in the search box to find more stories. Find additional Pakistani recipes here or in Bold Believers in Pakistan, an activity book in the Downloads section.


Thank You Note Day

December 26 is National Thank You Note Day. On that day, many people write thank you notes to friends and relatives who gave them Christmas presents.

Read below some suggestions for writing additional thank you notes.

  1. Go to www.PrisonerAlert.com and find out how to write a note to a Christian in prison for their faith. Thank them for encouraging other Christians to serve God no matter what the cost.
  2. Is there someone in your community who faces obstacles as they tirelessly serve God and others? Send them a note thanking them for their service.
  3. Thank someone who has helped you grow in your faith and in your desire to be a strong witness for Jesus.

Christmas Ornament Craft

You can make a Christmas ornament to help you remember bold Christians around the world at Christmas.

Needed
*Glitter card stock or glitter poster board
*A piece of thick paper, card stock, or cardboard
*Photos of children from VOM publications or websites, or outdated VOM calendars. (Find small photos under “Key Chain Pictures” in the Downloads section.)
*Ribbon
*Hole punch
*Glue

Instructions
1. Make an ornament pattern out of thick paper, card stock, or cardboard. The ornament can be a star or other shape that you like.
2. Draw around the pattern on glitter card stock or glitter poster board.
3. Cut out the ornament. Glue a small photo of a child to the ornament.
4. Punch a hole in the top of the ornament and add ribbon so you can hang it up.


Christmas Season Prayer Reminder

Needed
Two empty, clean, plastic, frozen juice cans
Scissors
Paper punch
Two bandanas, one red and one green
Two rubber bands
Double-sided tape
3 yards of 2-ply jute twine
Red and green colored craft sticks
Black fine-point felt-tip pen

Instructions
*Cut off about 1 inch from the top of the juice cans.

*Punch three holes near the top of each can at approximately equal intervals.

*Cut a 6.5- by 11-inch piece of cloth from each bandana. Cut another 1-inch by 14-inch piece from each one.

*Fold under the larger pieces to fit the cans, and crease or iron the seams. Wrap the pieces around the cans, attach them with double-sided tape, and hold each in place with a rubber band.

*Cover the rubber bands with the smaller strips of cloth, and tie the strips in place. Tie the green strip on the red-covered can and the red strip on the green-covered one.

*Cut the twine into six 18-inch strands. Thread the pieces through the punched holes in the cans, and knot them inside the cans to hold them in place. Knot the three strands on each can at the top of the strands.

*Choose several craft sticks for one can, and write the name of a country where Christians are persecuted on each one with a felt-tip pen. Select additional craft sticks for the remaining can. Label them with specific prayer points for Christians in those countries. Examples: Bibles, children, families, Christians in prison, peace, strength, daily needs, encouragement, government leaders.

Hang up the cans and every day during the Christmas season at mealtime or another time, draw a stick out of each can. Then pray with your family or class for the country and topic you picked. For example, if the country was China and the topic was Bibles, you can pray that Bibles will be available to everyone in China.

“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.” — Hebrews 13:3