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A Tale of Two Brothers

Wurmbrand
Pastor Wurmbrand in prison

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian pastor who spent 14 years in prison for his Christian activities. After he got out of prison, he and his wife, Sabina, started The Voice of the Martyrs.

In prison, Pastor Wurmbrand continued to tell people about Jesus. He told the following story to some of the inmates.

Pastor Wurmbrand’s Story
A long time ago there were two brothers. The older brother was good. The younger brother was rebellious, and he and his friends were part of a bad gang.

The older brother prayed for the younger brother, and he often begged him to change his ways. But the younger brother paid no attention.

One night the older brother sat in his room reading. The younger brother burst into his room. “Help me!” said the younger brother. “The police are after me! There has been a big fight and I have committed a crime!” There was blood and dirt all over the younger brother’s clothes.

“I will save you!” said the older brother. “Let’s change clothes.” The older brother put on the dirty, blood-stained clothes and gave his brother his own clean, white shirt and pants.

The brothers had just finished changing clothes when the police arrived. They had chased the younger brother from the fight and finally caught up with him. But as soon as they saw the older brother in dirty clothes, they arrested him, believing he was the criminal.

The police took the innocent brother in dirty clothes before a judge. He told the judge, “I take responsibility for the crime.” The judge had all the evidence he needed: the police report, the bloodstained clothes, and a confession. He sentenced the older brother to prison for life, and asked if he had anything to say.

“Yes,” said the innocent brother. “Please give my brother this letter.”

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Thanksgiving

North Korea

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, remember the Christians in the following story from a Thanksgiving in North Korea a few years ago.

Elizabeth, a North Korean Christian, joined with a few other believers for a worship service. She noticed one child in the group whose shoe was torn open. His foot was frozen. His family did not have enough money to buy new shoes.

The house had no heat. Sometimes the family skipped meals for many days in a row because they had no money for food. “The food problem is worse this year,” a North Korean Christian said. “And it was really bad last year.” Bad weather has destroyed food crops in North Korea. Also, government leaders do a poor job of getting food to those who need it. Many people are poor, hungry, and sick.

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Vietnam: Finding Happiness in Prison

Prison cell in Asia

The following story is from the Kids of Courage archives.

Silas was in prison. His cell was about 66 feet long and about 16 feet wide. Fifty-six other men lived in the cell with Silas.

“We slept on cement platforms,” said Silas. “In the morning we ate nothing. At midday and in the evening we ate rice. This rice was cooked from moldy, rotten rice. The bowls were never full, and after a few mouthfuls it was gone.”

Silas was arrested because he took part in a protest to bring attention to the problems of some ethnic groups in Vietnam. In free countries, it is legal to protest in public. But Vietnam is a communist country. Government officials can have people arrested for protesting in public.

The ethnic groups want the freedom to worship the God of the Bible. Vietnamese leaders do not want Christianity to grow among the groups. They also do not want the people in the groups to be able to read the Bible in their own language.

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Egypt: Lana Finds Peace

Egypt

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

Lana hated Christians. She and her Muslim friends in Egypt were taught to stay away from Christians.

Lana’s school friend, Sahar, had a plan. She asked Lana to join her in carrying out her plan.

Sahar planned to listen to Christian programs on the radio. The girls would then choose the Christian radio host who seemed to be the weakest in his faith. They decided to write letters to the host and ask him questions that he could not answer.

Lana liked Sahar’s idea, and she agreed to help. She wrote a letter to one of the Christians and explained that she was a Muslim girl who would “never be shaken from her faith.” Her letter then asked the host, “Is Christ God, a messenger (prophet), or the Son of God?”

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Uganda: Dragule, Juliet, and Their Children

Children are very important to Dragule and Juliet. The couple has 11 of them, ages 18, 17, 15, 14, 9, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Their youngest is named Gift. The child’s name shows how Dragule and Juliet feel about children. (See the photo above of Dragule, Juliet, and Gift.)

Dragule as a Muslim
Dragule and his family used to be Muslims. He taught Muslim children the Arabic alphabet at their mosque in Uganda. (A mosque is a building where Muslims worship. Uganda’s main languages are English, Uganda, and Swahili. But Muslims believe that their holy book, the Quran, is best understood in Arabic.)

Dragule began to feel that something was missing in his life. “I started searching for some truths in the Quran,” he said. “I realized that children are not considered. I also found out that women were undermined….Then I wanted to know how [Christian] children are cared for.

“One day, I observed the way Christian women would take care of their children – walking into church. I saw something strange. They would show love to them as they walked and would speak to them with respect. It was evident that they were treated fairly.

“When I realized that the Christians were different, I desired to join…I finally surrendered fully to Christ and never looked back.”

Dragule as a Christian
Dragule knew that Christians in the area are persecuted. He talked to a pastor and said, “I know I am going to die after this decision, but who will take care of my children?” The pastor told Dragule that if he died, God would take care of his children.

“In the meantime,” said Dragule, “persecution arose.”

Muslims beat up Dragule, threatened his wife and children, threw stones at their house, and convinced witch doctors to put curses on him. “But the spells didn’t work,” said Dragule. (See 1 John 4:4.)

Dragule and Juliet want their children to get a good Christian education. But sadly, the oldest daughter was lured away from their family and married to a Muslim. The second oldest also now lives with Muslims.

There is no Christian school in their village, because only two Christian families live there. So Dragule rented a small hut in a town with a Christian school for four of his school-age children. His 14-year-old daughter, Shamila, does not go to school. Instead, she takes care of the hut, cooks, and does laundry for her four siblings, and ensures that the home is safe. (See Shamila’s photo below.)

The family requests prayer for safety, strong faith, a good education, daily needs, and growth of Christianity in their village.

(VOM Sources. Edited for length and clarity.)

To Think About
*Read 1 John 4:4. How might the verse encourage Dragule’s family?
*What do you think about Shamila sacrificing to take care of the children’s hut while they attend school?
*Dragule goes house to house sharing the gospel with others in his village. What obstacles do you think he might face? What do you think of his choice to live in a place where he is persecuted?
*Can you see what Bible reference is written on the house? Find the verse in a Bible and read it.