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What’s Happening in Yemen?

Window in Yemen

Yemen
Yemen is south of Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Peninsula — the largest peninsula in the world.

Religion
More than 98 percent of the people in Yemen are Muslims.

Problems
The people of Yemen are suffering because of a war in their country. Many are now homeless. Thousands have become sick because of a lack of food, water, and good health care.

Christians
People who leave their Muslim faith to follow Jesus are persecuted by their families and neighbors, and by the government. It is believed that there are a few thousand secret Christians in Yemen. Christians can be arrested if they try to lead Muslims to Christ.

To Talk About
In our country, we are free to let other people know about our faith. Do people around you know you are a Christian? If you decided to be a secret Christian for one day, what would you have to change about your life to keep your faith a secret?

Colorful Windows
Many traditional houses and buildings in Yemen have stained glass windows over doorways and in other places.

Window in Yemen

You can make a “stained glass window” using an 8 ½ by 11 piece of white paper.

*Fold the paper in half lengthwise and, crease the paper along the fold.
*Fold the paper in half lengthwise again, and crease.
*Unfold the paper and repeat, this time folding the paper widthwise.
*Unfold, and draw over each fold line with a black crayon or marker.
*Use a pencil to further divide each shape formed by the black lines. Draw over the pencil lines with the black crayon or marker.
*Color in all the spaces on the page with bright colors.
*Cut the paper so that the top of the page is rounded. If desired, tape the page to a sunny window.


Share Their Experience

“Exile Night was a phenomenal yet challenging experience for me” — Tatyana, student.

Student groups all across the United States have experienced a small part of what displaced believers face every day through “I Am N” Exile Night events. The students eat what the refugees eat, sleep how they sleep, and are inspired by their courageous faith.

Exile Night is an overnight event that can be done indoors or outdoors. The goal of Exile Night is for students to gain an understanding of what Christian refugees experience, and to be encouraged by their faith in Christ.

Click here for more information about how to hold an Exile Night with Christian students in your area. Most of the materials are available for free download. Additional materials are available for purchase, or you may substitute stories, videos, and activities from this site and VOM’s Prisoner Alert site.


Jim Elliot’s Motto

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

The previous post told about Jim Elliot, who 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.

Jim had a motto that described his beliefs about risking his life for the gospel. To find the motto, print or copy the grid below, and follow the instructions. Can you explain what the motto means?

1. Jim Elliot served the Lord in Ecuador, South America. Cross out, in columns B, C, and E, the names of South American countries. (Refer to a map of South America if you need help.)

2. Jim Elliot demonstrated unselfishness. Cross out, in columns A, C, and D, words more than five letters long related to unselfishness.

3. Cross out the two-letter words only in columns B and D.

4. Cross out, in all columns, the first or last names of the five men who gave their lives.

5. To read Jim Elliot’s quote, start at the top of the grid, and going in order from left to right, read (or write) the words that have not been crossed out.


Somalia and Samosas

Somalia

There are no public Christian churches in Somalia. Christians meet in homes. About 99 percent of Somalians are Muslims, and a Muslim terrorist group, al-Shabab, controls part of Somalia. The group persecutes Christians.

A few years ago, al-Shabab made a rule that said no one could eat samosas, a common food in Somalia. Some people said the terrorists banned samosas because they accused traders of putting cat meat in them. But others believe that the Muslims banned them because the three corners of the samosas reminded them of the Christian teachings about the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

Samosas

Follow the instructions below to make samosas.

Filling ingredients: ½ lb. ground beef, 1 tsp. crushed garlic, ¾ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. chili powder, dash of salt.

Filling instructions: Brown the beef over medium-high heat. Add the other ingredients, and stir well.

Shell instructions
Cut small, packaged, uncooked soft flour tortillas in half.
Fold each half in half again to make a three-cornered cone.
Spoon a little of the filling in the cone.
Wet the edges with water and seal the cone shut, pinching all the edges together.

Bake the samosas at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn them over and continue baking them until they are light brown.


10 Things to Do This Summer

Card made by the child of a VOM worker

1. Make some encouraging greeting cards to send to persecuted Christian prisoners. Find instructions for mailing the cards here.

2. Find a skit or play here to perform with your family or another group. After rehearsing, present the play at a summer activity, and tell the audience about the needs of persecuted Christians.

3. Talk to your grandparents or other older Christian adults. Ask them to tell you about any persecuted Christians, missionaries, or Christian leaders whose stories have encouraged them in their Christian walk.

4. Learn a game from another country and teach it to friends. Find suggestions here, here, and here. Tell your friends about the struggles of Christians in the country. (Enter the country name in the Search box on this site to find information.)

5. Read some stories on this site to find the names of three countries where Christians are persecuted. Find out the main language of one of the countries. Learn five words or phrases in that language.

6. Ask your pastor or Sunday school teacher if your church or class can set aside a time to pray for persecuted Christians. Provide prayer suggestions for them.

7. Memorize three Bible verses of encouragement to recall when you are in a difficult situation. Examples: Psalm 34:19; Isaiah 26:3; Romans 8:31; Matthew 11:28.

8. Missionaries and other Christians who visit different countries often have to eat unfamiliar foods. Try three vegetables, fruits, or other foods that you’ve never tried before.

9. Do chores or errands to collect money to provide Scriptures for people in other countries who don’t own a Bible. Learn more here.

10. Make small flags of countries where Christians are persecuted and tape them to toothpicks. Stick the other end of the toothpick to the appropriate country on a world map with a small piece of modeling clay. Pray for Christians in the country when you attach the flags to the map.


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