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Kids of Courage Paper Quilt

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. — Hebrews 13:3

You can make a paper quilt to help you remember Christian kids of courage who have been mistreated.

Needed
*12-inch by 12-inch piece of cardstock
*Two different coordinating patterns of craft (scrapbook) paper
*Ruler
*Double-sided tape
*Five 2- to 2 ½- inch photos of children cut from VOM publications or calendars, or printed and cut out from VOM/Kids of Courage websites

Instructions
1. Cut nine 3 ½- inch squares from craft paper, five from one pattern and four from the other.
2. Center your photos on the five craft paper squares and attach them with double-sided tape.
3. Leaving a ½- inch border, arrange the nine 3 ½ – squares on the cardstock and tape them in place. (See the photo above.)

Optional
*Add more pictures to make a bigger quilt.
*Add strips of craft paper to decorate the border.


A Prison Code

Pastor Wurmbrand’s prison

“Jail is no hindrance to a useful Christian life” — Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was arrested in the mid-20th century in Romania for his Christian witness and activities. The story below tells about something that happened when he was in prison. Read the story, then tell how your name would be tapped in the improved code used by the prisoners. (For example, if your name is John, the first letter of your name would be signaled by 2 taps, then 5 taps.)

The Code
Tap. Tap. Tap. One day Pastor Wurmbrand heard a faint tapping on the damp concrete wall of his solitary cell. “What could it mean?” he wondered.

Tap. Tap. Tap. The noise continued. Pastor Wurmbrand tapped back. Suddenly a burst of taps erupted by his bed. He realized that the prisoner in the next cell was trying to teach him a code.

A = 1 tap
B = 2 taps
C = 3 taps
And so on.

“Who are you?” was the first message Pastor Wurmbrand’s neighbor sent him. “A pastor,” Pastor Wurmbrand replied.

It took a long time to send a message. The prisoners improved the code so it wouldn’t take so long. In the new code, one tap stood for the first five letters of the alphabet, two taps for the second group of five, and so on. Another tap told whether the letter was the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth letter in its group. So “B” was a single tap, followed by a pause, then two more taps.

The Improved Code
A = 1 tap, pause, 1 tap
B = 1 tap, pause, 2 taps
C = 1 tap, pause, 3 taps
D = 1 tap, pause, 4 taps
E = 1 tap, pause, 5 taps
F = 2 taps, pause, 1 tap
G = 2 taps, pause, 2 taps
And so on.

Morse Code
Then his neighbor, who had been a radio engineer, used this code to teach Pastor Wurmbrand Morse code. After that, they used Morse code to tell jokes, spread news, and even share chess moves. (Pastor Wurmbrand sometimes played chess with himself using tiny bits of bread as chess pieces.) Pastor Wurmbrand also taught prisoners Bible verses and shared the gospel with unbelievers using the code.


Home VBS

“For the safety of all concerned, we have decided to cancel VBS this year.”— church website

Churches in some parts of the U.S. have cancelled their VBS programs for 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some churches are planning online virtual VBS sessions that children can “attend” at home.

You can have one-week “home VBS” by using one or more of the suggestions below.

*Choose five Torchlighters DVDs to watch during the week. The DVDs are also currently available for streaming free at Redeemtv.com. Download free student and teacher guides for the DVDs you chose here or at Torchlighters.org. (Torchlighters has additional DVD-related materials on their site.) Or, purchase the Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book here. Select activities from the resources to complete your home VBS curriculum.

*Order VOM’s Kids of Courage curriculum kit here. Explore samples and information from the kit at kidsofcouragevbs.com. After you receive the kit, choose instructions, stories, and activities from the kit to make your own VBS plans.

*Choose five Bold Believers country/activity books from the list of downloadable books here. Download the five books. Choose stories and activities from one book per day to read and complete.

Click on “Contact Us” at the bottom of this webpage to send a message to Kids of Courage describing how your home VBS turned out.


Following in His Footsteps

Parents and Teachers
The Witnesses Trilogy includes three animated, feature-length films that cover the time from the birth of Jesus through the birth of the early church. Following in Christ’s footsteps, early Christians spread God’s message to the ends of the earth while facing pressures and persecution from every side.

Learn more and watch a trailer here. Help your kids remember the message of the films by completing the activity below.

Following His Footsteps Craft

Needed
Foam shoe cushions
Map-themed scrapbook/craft paper
White glue
Lacing or twine, or peel-and-stick magnetic tape
Bible verses or references written or printed on craft paper

Instructions
*Cut the cardboard guide in the shoe cushion package to the size you desire. (Alternative: Use your foot as a guide to make a footprint out of cardboard.)

*Use the cardboard pattern to cut the foam cushions to size.

*Trace around the pattern on the craft paper and cut out the footprint shape. Glue the shape to the foam cushion.

*Glue a Bible verse, or part of a verse to the footprint. (See the suggested verses in the photo.) Ask an adult to punch holes near the top of the footprints. Use lacing or twine threaded through the holes to hang up the footprints. Or attach a piece of peel-and-stick magnetic tape to the back and display the footprints on a refrigerator or other magnetic surface.

*Talk about what it means to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.


Iranian Prisoners: What You Can Do

[Photo: Iranian prisoner Hossein Kadivar]

The Voice of the Martyrs has recently added several Iranian prisoners to the prisoneralert.com website. Officials arrested nine of the prisoners last year. They were accused of “acting against national security.”

 

In fact, the men were helping lead their church after their pastor was put in prison. The government of Iran does not want Christianity to spread in their country.

What You Can Do
Read the suggestions below. Ask God to help you choose which ones to follow.

*Go to prisoneralert.com and click on “prisoners,” then on “Iran.” Choose one of the prisoners to pray for and to be a voice for.

*Click on the name of the prisoner, then click on “Write a Letter.” Follow the instructions to send a letter of encouragement to the prisoner. Find more instructions here.

*Click on “Petition Official” on the prisoner’s Prisoner Profile page. Send a letter to an official listed. Find more instructions here.

*Go back to the prisoner’s Prisoner Profile page and click on “Print Fact Sheet.” Print one or more copies to share with your family or class, or other Christian friends.

*Learn more about Christian in Iran here and here. Share what you learned with someone.

*Watch a short video about a Christian boy in Iran here.

*Many readers have been blessed when the prisoners they prayed for were released. Pray daily for the prisoner you chose, but be prepared to continue praying for an extended time. You may not find out how your prayers were answered for a long time. Be assured that God does hear and answer prayers. Check VOM publications and websites for updates on the prisoners.