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Brothers Remember the Prisoners

Hebrews 13:3: “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.”

SDOK (Stichting de Ondergrondse Kerk) is a ministry in the Netherlands that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs family of missions. Stef is SDOK’s children’s publication and website.

Vinco and Bernando, brothers in the Netherlands, learn about persecuted Christians from Stef. The boys made a jail cell to remind them to pray for Christian prisoners around the world. “We often pray (almost daily) for people who are in prison,” the boys wrote to Stef.

You can see the story about Vinco and Bernando on the Stef website here. (The story is in Dutch, the language of the Netherlands.)


Indiana Volunteers

Seventeen-year-old Cassie G. and her parents, John and Jennifer, are VOM Voice Volunteers. (Learn more about VOM Voice Volunteers here.

Last summer, Cassie helped her mom hold a Kids of Courage VBS at their church in Indiana. Pre-K kids through 8th graders attended the event. Jennifer used the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum for the younger children and VOM’s I-Am-N curriculum for the junior high students. Cassie acted in the VBS skits and served as an assistant teacher.

Here’s what Jennifer told VOM about the VBS:
“We loved the themes for each day and the way the curriculum focused on how the children could be bold believers. We also loved the exposure the children were able to have to other cultures and countries. The Bold Believers booklets on your website were tremendously helpful as we prepared and taught.

“The World Lab was begun by getting your passport stamped before you could enter the room, and then finding the country of the day on a huge world map. We had a different rubber stamp for each country — a dragon for China, pyramids for Egypt, a lion for Nigeria, an Asian coin for North Korea, and an Indian elephant for India. We found these rubber stamps online.

“We would then talk about the time difference and demonstrate it on two large clocks, show them pictures of the country’s animals and plants, talk about the government restrictions … the dominant religion and compare it to Christianity, and [teach] them a word or phrase in the country’s language. We also made available a taste of something from that country, and tried to do a meaningful activity that would help them remember the country. Each child was given a booklet each day for the country we were covering, which was downloaded from your materials — we just created card stock covers. … Praying we will train a new generation of bold believers, and that we will be examples of boldness and courage for God.”

Action Packs
Later in the year, Cassie organized a garage sale where she shared information about persecuted Christians with customers and raised enough money for more than 15 Action Packs! (Learn more about Action Packs here.)

The Voice of the Martyrs is grateful for Cassie and her family and other volunteers who join us in our mission of serving persecuted Christians through spiritual and practical assistance and leading other members of the Body of Christ into fellowship with them.


Erika and Gracia

Erika and Gracia

The Voice of the Martyrs Advance conferences share personal testimonies of God’s faithfulness in the midst of persecution. Gracia Burnham is a speaker at some of the conferences. Gracia and her husband, Martin, were missionaries in the Philippines. They were kidnapped by a gang of radical Muslims who took them into the jungle. The Burnhams lived with the kidnappers in harsh conditions for about a year.

Erika, a girl who attended a VOM conference and met Gracia, has been telling others what she learned. Read what Erika said below.

My name is Erika and I am 8 years old. I am also in the 2nd grade. On Saturday we went to Georgia and went to the VOM conference. There was a lot of people there. They sang a lot of songs and had a lot of speakers. The last speaker was Ms. Gracia. She was a very good speaker.

She went in the jungle and they laid on rice sacks, and one morning when she woke up there was a snake crawling out of her rice sack. She also found some old boots for her hurt feet, and she found anything she could find to put on her feet because the boots was not comfortable. She got shot in the leg when fighting was going on, and her husband got shot in the chest and died. She and her husband were both missionaries. I learned it is important to pray for those who are missionaries and all people all over the world. I also learned to pray for the persecuted.

(Edited for length and clarity.)

Learn more about VOM Advance conferences here.
Read a story about Gracia here, or in Bold Believers in the Philippines, available in the Download section.


Christmas Gifts for Persecuted Christians

Christmas Care Packs
Every year, The Voice of the Martyrs and Kids of Courage readers sponsor Christmas Care Packs for children in countries where Christians are persecuted. This year VOM will again be distributing Christmas Care Packs to children throughout some of the more than 60 nations where VOM works. The packs will be customized for each region. But all will include a backpack, school items, hygiene items like toothbrushes, and Christian books.

To find out how you can sponsor a pack, see The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter or visit this site.

Village Outreach Kits

Village Outreach Kits provide Bibles, other Christian materials, and DVD players for pastors and evangelists in countries where Christians are persecuted. Jan S., a Sunday school director, wrote a letter to The Voice of the Martyrs about a project at her church.

“We are a small church in Idaho that just began a new Sunday school program last fall,” Jan wrote. “The children have been saving their Sunday school offering to purchase a Village Outreach Kit. They were excited when we finally reached the [full amount] mark on our chart!

“We hope that this Outreach Kit will bring the comfort of Christ to those who are suffering and lost…. I am crying as I write this letter, and I think of those who risk their lives to take the good news of God’s love to those who may later die for Christ’s sake.

“We have been in ministry nearly 40 years but have never shared in the sufferings of Christ in that way. May God’s comfort and love and protection go with you!”


“Jesus Is the Link”

Kids of Courage VBS

Shelley S., the Sunday school director at a church in North Carolina, wrote VOM a letter about her church’s Kids of Courage Vacation Bible School this summer. The VBS curriculum teaches kids about Christians in five countries.

“I painted a map of each country for the children to get a perspective of its location,” Shelley wrote. (See the photo.) “My husband made a ‘jail cell’ using PVC pipes. At the jail cell, we took pictures of each child in remembrance of this particular VBS and its meaning. [The Kids of Courage VBS curriculum provides instructions for constructing a “jail cell” and suggestions for using it to help students “remember them that are in bonds” (Hebrews 13:3).]

“The country speakers, crafts, and snacks, along with the songs, blended well together. [At] our Sunday morning presentation … we made a ‘chain’ of all the countries and gave a brief explanation of each one. I love that we are all part of this chain, which cannot be broken as Jesus is the link that holds it (us) together, to pray for and encourage one another.

“May God richly bless you and all of The Voice of the Martyrs, in all places.”