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Christmas ADVENTure

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

The Voice of the Martyrs received the following letter from a homeschooling family of nine in Texas.

“This year our family is celebrating Advent. We performed random acts of kindness each day of Advent. They were humble acts, and all the glory goes to God.

“We decided to do things that represent the miracles Jesus performed while He was on earth. For example, His first miracle was turning water to wine. So first we handed out water bottles and grape juice together. For healing miracles, on different days we handed out small first aid kits, hand sanitizer, tissues, and soup.

“Each day we had 25 to 50 bags to hand out. Each bag had a simple card in it that said, ‘This is a free gift. It represents a miracle that Jesus performed while here on earth. To learn more about this miracle, read [an appropriate Bible verse was given].’

“We handed them out at fast food restaurants, stores, gas stations, the mall. We had a variety of responses. Some people saw us and ran in the other direction. Some offered us money, even though we said it was free. A handful said they were not worthy of a free gift. But when we told them that it was for everyone, not just Christians, they changed. A few people said they had already accepted Christ and took the gift to give to someone else.

“I think the best part of this was seeing how my children responded to people ignoring them or saying no. It demonstrated how some people reject Christ’s free gift, and that it was hard to be rejected by people we didn’t know.”

To Think About: Can you think of a unique way to demonstrate Christ’s love to others at Christmastime?


Letter from a Teacher

Hi,

I am a high school teacher and I have kept a recent copy of the VOM magazine on my desk. Usually the talk about these Christians has led to talk about Christ and salvation. Never has anyone in the public school complained or told me to stop.

I have seen the realization that people are suffering and dying for the sake of Christ take hold of many so-so Christian teens and turn them into fireballs for the Lord. The boldness of the believers in the persecuted church lights a fire under them. I have seen many Bibles brought to school and read between classes and at lunch. Some students have started Bible classes in the library before and after school.

I wish these precious believers in the persecuted church could know the far-reaching effect of their testimonies. I am always amazed at the surprise people have when learning about our brothers and sisters in other countries. I am also amazed at how God can use that knowledge to turn the focus around to what is really important. Thank you, VOM. — Marsha C.

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

What can YOU do to start a conversation about Jesus?


Classroom and Distance Learning with VOM Resources

Christian schoolteacher Amy P. led her elementary class in praying for a different country each day. The class looked at a map of the day’s country in the “Countries” section of kidsofcourage.com. The students also scratched off countries and flags on a scratch-off world map. “It’s been fun to see how our map has become more colorful throughout the year,” said Amy.

Sometimes the class used VOM’s Pray Today app to guide their prayers. “I still have kids from last year’s class that use the app to pray with their parents,” Amy added.

The class learned stories of Christian heroes from Torchlighters DVDs, and they performed a skit about North Korea for the school’s chapel.

Changes
Now the school is closed and the children are participating in distance learning at home. But they haven’t stopped remembering the persecuted. “Even on Zoom—some of the kids still take notes while I’m telling about a country,” Amy said.

“We are doing our Living Wax Museum with my fourth graders through Zoom, and one of the boys is Eric Liddell  and one is Jim Elliot,” said Amy. “It will be wonderful to follow up on our Zoom time with some of the questions in the Torchlighters book.

Amy plans to read to her class from other Kids of Courage/VOM resources. “[Learning about persecuted Christians] has fostered MUCH more gratitude in my class so kids don’t take for granted that we get to have a Christian school that meets without restrictions. They often thank the Lord for this specifically without me prompting them.”

If you have suggestions for creative ways to use Kids of Courage/VOM resources in a class or through distance learning, you may share them by emailing [email protected]


Readers Talk to Us

Question: Some people wonder if young children should learn about persecuted Christians. How would you answer them?

Laura S., a third-grade teacher at a Christian school in Tennessee, replies:

“Jesus was persecuted, as were the apostles. This is our heritage as believers. We cannot ignore it. It is a great calling, and each child born into the household of faith has this calling.

“Should we shield our children from that reality? No. Persecuted Christians are their brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God. I want us to train our children to pray for those in need, and to care for the widows and orphans, especially those in the household of faith.”

What Do You Think?


Netherlands Kids Celebrate Teacher’s Birthday

(The story below comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. SDOK is in the Netherlands.)

Some elementary school students and their teacher at a Christian school in the Netherlands celebrated the teacher’s birthday in unique way. First the teacher arranged for someone to give a presentation at the school about persecuted Christians in Pakistan. Then the children raised money to give to SDOK for projects to help Pakistani Christians.

“We received a box to put the money in,” said Anne, one of the students. “I do odd jobs and often walk my dog, Tayla. Then I put the money that I earn in the box.”

What do you think of the class’s idea to honor their teacher by remembering persecuted Christians? (See Hebrews 13:3.)