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China’s Lantern Festival

China’s Lantern Festival falls on February 26 this year. The festival is observed at the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. People hang lanterns of different sizes and shapes in front of their homes and stores. Red is a common color for the lanterns. Families watch colorful parades and performances during the festival.

China is a big country. The population is about 1.4 billion. Some people believe that as many as 100 million people in China are followers of Christ.

That’s a lot of people! But it means that more than 1 billion people in China do not yet know Jesus.

Make a Chinese Lantern
Fold a piece of construction paper in half lengthwise. Cut slits 1 inch apart from the fold to 1 inch from the edge of the paper. Open the paper and staple the short ends together at the top and bottom of the lantern. Staple a strip of construction paper to the top to make a handle.

Write Bible verses about light on the top and bottom borders if desired, or make a design on the borders. Some possible verses include: “The Lord is my light” (Psalm 27:1); “Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:16); “Your Word is…a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105); “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14); and “The Lord God gives them light” (Revelation 22:5).

Pray that all people in China will hear about Jesus, the light of the world.


Valentine Necklace

A VOM volunteer made a necklace as a reminder to pray for persecuted Christians. (See the photo.)

If you want to make a necklace like it, string red pony beads and pieces cut from colorful straws on red string, twine, or thick thread. Print a photo from this website or from prisoneralert.com, or cut one from a VOM magazine.

Glue or tape the photo to a decorative label, thick paper, or cardstock. Glue two labels together if you want to make the backing thicker. [Optional: Cut the label in the shape of a heart before gluing on the photo.] Punch a hole near the top of the label, and tie it to the necklace.


Valentine: A Light in Dark Places

Christian history describes several men named Valentine (or Valentinus), and a woman named Valentina. Legends tell about the courage of a Valentine who died for his faith on February 14th. The legends encourage Christians to stand up boldly for Jesus in the face of struggles.

To learn about children’s resources, including a book about Valentine, visit the resource page.

“Deep in the woods, under the cover of midnight darkness, couples would meet Valentinus to be joined in marriage.” — from Valentine by The Voice of the Martyrs

The previous post told about a Roman emperor’s law that prevented young men and women from marrying. But Valentinus joined couples in marriage, bringing light to a dark situation.

Later, Valentinus was imprisoned for breaking Roman laws. One day, a guard named Marcus heard Valentinus praying, “Lord Jesus, You are light. Fill this prison with Your light in such a way that those who are here will know You are God.”

When Marcus heard his prayer, he turned toward Valentinus and said, “You say God is light. My daughter has been blind since birth. If your God can make her see, then I will believe in your God.”

So Valentinus prayed God would cause his daughter’s blind eyes to see. The next morning, as soon as he sat up on his straw mat, he saw Marcus grabbing the bars of his cell and shaking them. “She can see!” Marcus exclaimed. “My daughter can see!” And he and his family decided to believe in Jesus.

(Source: Valentine by The Voice of the Martyrs)

Valentine Tea Light
Follow the instructions below to make a Valentine tea light. Give the light to someone, and tell them how Valentinus shared the Light of the World with those who didn’t know Him.

Needed
*5-inch plastic, footed dessert cups
*18-inch length of twine
*Double sided tape
*Wooden craft hearts (or make your own with thick paper or cardstock)
*LED flickering tea light

Instructions
*Attach a 1-inch strip of double sided tape to the back of the heart.
*Remove the backing on the tape and attach the heart to the cup.
*Press tightly to seal.
*Turn on the tea light and place it in the cup.
*Tie the twine in a bow around the stem of the cup.


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.


10 Ways to Help Persecuted Christians in Less than 10 Minutes

1. Find out about Action Packs here. Tell your friends about the project, and make a plan to help them order and pack Action Packs to send to a country where Christians are persecuted.

2. Pray for persecuted Christians while waiting in line or riding to school or church.

3. Take The Voice of the Martyrs magazines to your next doctor or dentist visit. Ask if you can leave them in the waiting room.


4. Let a children’s pastor know about the Witnesses Trilogy, Torchlighters resources, and Courageous book series described here.

5. Visit VOM’s icommittopray.com site and make a list of three people you can pray for this week during mealtime prayers.

6. Read about Family Med Packs here. Ask your parents or teacher if you can participate in providing a Med Pack for victims of attacks by radical Muslims.

7. Visit prisoneralert.com and learn about writing letters to persecuted Christian prisoners.

8. A family in Utah put spare coins in a jar for a year, then sent the money to VOM to help persecuted Christians. They called the jar “the jar for the unknown soldier” in honor of Christians around the world who need encouragement. Decorate a jar to set in your house or classroom. Invite your family or classmates to help you collect spare change for a project to help struggling Christians.

9. Tell three friends about a story you read on this website and encourage them to visit the site to learn more about persecuted Christians.

10. Download the “One Hundred Ways Poster” from the Downloads section of this site to share with other Christians.