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Make a Parol

Enter “Philippines” in the Search box to learn about bold Christians in the Philippines and to find ways you can pray for them.

Then learn how to make a Christmas decoration from the Philippines using the instructions below.

A “parol” (pah-rohl) is a star lantern. Families in the Philippines use star lanterns as Christmas ornaments. They hang the lanterns in windows and even decorate their yards with them. Filipino children learn to make star lanterns in school. Some families make their own lanterns; others buy them.

Traditional star lanterns are made by constructing two star-shaped frames out of bamboo sticks, then fastening the frames together. The frames are covered with colorful paper and decorated with tassels hung from one or more points. Candles were placed inside the lanterns in past times, just as candles were used to light Christmas trees in the past. Today electric lights usually light the lanterns.

You can make a star ornament by cutting a 4- or 5-pointed star from colored poster board. Make the star any size you want. Use ribbon, tinsel, crepe paper, or yarn to make short tassels. Glue the tassels to the points of the star, or attach them with thread to holes punched in the points. You may want to draw pictures or glue decorations on the front and back of the star, and hang your star in a window.

VOM Prayer Map Ideas

The Voice of the Martyrs prayer map features countries where Christians face persecution. A VOM volunteer used a VOM prayer map to make a puzzle that can be a reminder to pray for believers around the world.

1. Trim the map to leave only the part you want to highlight for the puzzle.
2. Cover the face of the map with clear contact paper.
3. Glue the map to a large sheet of thin poster board. Trim the poster board if necessary to fit the map.
4. Draw outlines of puzzle pieces on the back of the poster board.
5. Cover the back with clear contact paper.
6. Cut out the puzzle pieces.

Use the same process to make a placemat, omitting the drawing and cutting of the puzzle pieces. The placemat can guide your mealtime prayers for persecuted Christians.

Or, use a map to make a cover for a book.

What Are You Thankful For?

Every year on Thanksgiving, we gratefully remember people, events, and things for which we are thankful. But what if we remembered to be grateful every day? The Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV).

Every day for 10 days, write down five things you are thankful for, using the suggestions below or creating your own categories. (If you have to skip any days, just start the next day where you left off.)

Day 1: Five people you are thankful for (past or present)

Day 2: Five places you are thankful for

Day 3: Five Bible truths or instructions you are thankful for

Day 4: Five enjoyable events you recall thankfully

Day 5: Five things God created that you are grateful for

Day 6: Five songs you are thankful for

Day 7: Five inventions you gratefully appreciate

Day 8: Five books you are thankful for

Day 9: Five gifts you have received that you are thankful for

Day 10: Five foods you are thankful for

Each day, think through that day’s list, remembering why you are thankful for each item. For example, if you listed a friend’s name on Day 1, think about reasons you are thankful for them. Review your lists often, and remember to thank God in prayer for your blessings!

Hello Day

World Hello Day is celebrated on November 21st. People who participate in the celebration greet 10 people during the day.

World Hello Day was not started as a Christian holiday, but Christians can participate. Can you greet 10 people you don’t usually greet on World Hello Day? Perhaps you will get the opportunity to talk with them about Jesus sometime.

Do you know anyone from another country you can greet? Some of the ways to greet people in other languages are shown below. The languages are spoken in countries where VOM works.


Vietnamese: Seen-chow
Azeri (spoken in Azerbaijan): Sah-LAHM
Spanish: OH-lah
Mandarin Chinese: Nee-how
Nepali (spoken in Nepal): Nah-MAHS-tay
Turkish: MEHR-hah-bah
Urdu (spoken in Pakistan and India): Sah-LAHM


Photo Album Matching Activity

A VOM volunteer made a photo album matching activity to teach younger children about courageous Christians around the world.

*A 5- by 7-inch notebook, album, or journal
*Construction paper cut into 5- by 7-inch pieces
*Photos cut or photocopied from The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, then trimmed to 5 by 7 inches. Or photos printed from VOM websites, enlarged or reduced to 5 by 7 inches.
*Tape or glue

1. Glue or tape a 5- by 7-inch piece of construction paper to the back of each page of the notebook you plan to use.
2. Measure and cut the pages of the notebook in half horizontally, leaving a 3½-inch top section and a 3½-inch bottom section of each page.
3. Cut the 5- by 7-inch photos in half horizontally. Glue or tape the top halves to the tops of the notebook pages.
4. Mix up the bottom halves of the photos and glue them to the bottoms of the pages in a different order than you glued the tops of the photos.
5. Remove unused pages of the notebook.

Show the notebook to a younger child and help them turn the pages to form complete pictures. Tell the child something about the photo and the country where it was taken.