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Complaining

Pastor Wurmbrand
Pastor Wurmbrand in prison for his faith

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, told the following story:

“Two men were walking home together in bad weather. They had a long way to go. The blizzard was fierce, blowing snow and sleet in their faces and chilling them to the bone.

“One man muttered the whole way, “It is terrible! I can’t stand it anymore! Nobody could imagine anything worse than this!”

“The other man replied, “I can. Just imagine walking in such weather with someone who is complaining the entire time.”

Pastor Wurmbrand then compared the complaining man in the story with persecuted Christians who talk about how Christ suffered to save us instead of talking about their own struggles. “Their speech is not about the wounds they have, but about Christ,” Pastor Wurmbrand said.

To remind yourself to not complain, try making a wristband.


North Korea: Crossing the Border Game

Background
Some North Koreans try to escape their country by crossing a frozen river in the winter. Guards watch the river to try to stop anyone from escaping.

Guards in some countries also try to keep people from sneaking into their country, especially if they are carrying Bibles. The governments of some countries do not want their citizens to learn about Jesus. Christians in one place found a way to take Bibles into those countries in the winter. Guards near the border looked for footprints in the snow. They sent attack dogs in the direction of the footprints. So the Christians walked backwards in the snow at night to take Bibles into the countries that did not allow Bibles. When border guards looked down at the footprints from their towers in the morning, they sent their search dogs in the wrong direction!

How to Play
Divide into two teams with an equal number of players. Give each team a bag of three or four books. Make a starting line and a finish line several yards apart. Line up the teams behind the starting line. When a leader says, “Go,” the first player on each team walks/runs backwards to the finish line, carrying the bag of books. The player drops the books behind him beyond the finish line. The second player walks/runs backwards to the books, picks them up without turning around, then runs back to the starting line. Play continues until all the players on one team have finished the task. That team wins.


Day of the Christian Martyr — June 29, 2019

Standing with today’s persecuted Christians is central to our mission. But it is also important for us to draw inspiration from those who have gone before us…We have established this date, coinciding with the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul, as an annual day of remembrance called Day of the Christian Martyr. — Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs

Your group or class may want to practice and perform the skit below as part of the observance of Day of the Christian Martyr.

In the following skit from the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum, a Christian prisoner recognizes that he is a link in the chain of faithful Christians from the past who have sacrificed for Christ.

Links in the Chain

Characters
Narrator
Prison Official
Prisoner
Several Links in the Chain

Props
Small table and chair
Paper and pen
Several signs with the name of a Christian martyr on one side and the student’s name on the other (see below)
Optional: strips of construction paper, partially completed paper chain, tape

Suggested Costumes
Old torn clothes for Prisoner
Uniform for Prison Official

(The Prison Official is seated at a table. A pen and paper are on the table. The Prisoner is standing by the table.)

Narrator: Several years ago, police locked a Christian in prison in a country where Christians were persecuted. The prison officials asked the prisoner to sign a statement. The statement accused other Christians of breaking the law. If the prisoner signed the statement, the other Christians would be arrested.

Prison Official: Sign this statement! Things will go easier for you if you just do what I say.

Prisoner: The chain keeps me from signing this.

Prison Official: But you are not in chains!

Prisoner: I am. I am bound by the chain of witnesses who gave their lives for Jesus throughout the centuries. I am a link in this chain. I will not break it.

(Prisoner and Prison Official exit.)

(Optional: Provide background music that includes a song about faithfulness to God.)

(Students, Links in the Chain, enter single file and stand in a line across the stage. As students take their places one by one, they recite the name of someone who sacrificed for Christ, and if desired, a phrase about that person’s sacrifice. Each student may hold up a sign with the name of a Christian on it. Examples include: “Stephen, the first martyr for Christ” and “Paul, who said ‘the word of God is not chained.’” Others can include heroes from Christian history and modern persecuted Christians.)

Narrator: The apostle Paul asked his friends to “remember his chains.” We may not be called to die for our faith. But we can be links in the chain by remembering those who are persecuted and by praying for them. We, too, are bound by the chain of witnesses who gave their lives for Jesus throughout the centuries.

Links in the Chain: (speaking one by one) I am a link in the chain. (As they speak, they may turn their signs over, revealing their own names on the back.)

(Optional: The audience can be allowed to respond by coming forward at the end of the skit, lining up, and saying one at a time when recognized, “I am a link in the chain.” If desired, have available a short paper chain made of construction paper and give students strips of paper for each to add to the chain as they say it. A teacher may help by taping the links as they are added.)


National Donut Day

The story and recipe below are from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available at VOMBooks.com.

National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday in June every year. Some donut shops offer free donuts in honor of the day. But donut companies didn’t start the event. The Salvation Army created the celebration in 1938.

The first Donut Day raised funds for poor people. Since then, the Salvation Army has observed the day in honor of Salvation Army women who made donuts for American soldiers in France during World War I. Salvation Army workers again served donuts to soldiers during World War II and the Vietnam War. Following the example of the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, the organization serves millions of free meals — including donuts — every year to people in need.

Try the recipe below if you want to share homemade donuts with someone who needs encouragement.

Donut Recipe
Ingredients:
1. Package of large canned biscuits
2. Peanut or vegetable oil
3. Icing or cinnamon sugar (optional)

Instructions
• Use a 1-inch round cookie cutter or bottle lid to cut a hole in the center of each biscuit.
Keep the dough you removed from the biscuit.
• In a large pot or deep fryer, heat about 2 inches of oil over medium to medium-high heat,
about 350 degrees. (Make sure an adult helps.)
• Fry the donuts and holes until they are golden brown on one side, then turn them over
and cook the other side.
• Drain on paper towels. If desired, spread icing on them, or coat them in cinnamon sugar.
• Deliver to someone with a note or word of encouragement!

Click here to learn more about William Booth and the Salvation Army, and to watch a video clip from the Torchlighters DVD, The William Booth Story.


Amy Carmichael’s “Scraps”

Amy Carmichael freed many children from captivity in Hindu temples during her time as a missionary in India. You can read more about her life in India here.

Before she moved from her home in Ireland to a continent across the world, Amy helped care for her six younger siblings. One of her projects was a family magazine called Scraps. Amy and the other kids wrote and illustrated the magazine.

(Source: On Asking God Why by Elisabeth Elliot)

VOM volunteer Ashley L. created a “Scraps” booklet with the theme of prayer. You can use or adapt the following instructions to make your own magazine or book.

Needed
*Sturdy paper, and thinner paper for tracing
*Scrapbook paper or other decorative paper
*Photos from The Voice of the Martyrs publications or other sources, or drawings you create
*Scissors
*Tape and a glue stick
*Markers or crayons, or watercolor paint
*Stapler
*Stickers, buttons, ribbon, missionary prayer cards, stamps, or other items for decoration

Instructions and Suggestions
1. Cut out four or more pages, measuring about 5 inches by 7 inches, from sturdy paper.
2. Glue words and photos from VOM publications to one or more pages.


3. Ask an adult to search online for a map of a country where Christians are persecuted. Place thin paper on the phone screen or computer. Gently and lightly trace the outline of the country on the paper with a pencil. Color in the outline with markers, crayons, or watercolor paint.


4. Write prayer points for the country on one page of the booklet. (Enter the country’s name in the search box of this site to find ideas for prayers.)
5. Write a prayer for persecuted Christians on separate paper and tape it to another page.
6. Add additional pages if desired. Choose a theme and title for your book, and write it on the cover with markers or crayons. Staple the pages together along the left side of the booklet.
7. Share the booklet with family and friends.