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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.)


Torchlighters Shining Bright: From Texas to China

Michelle Curtis wrote the following story about a group of Texas kids who provided 300 Bibles for Christians in China. Michelle is an editorial assistant for the organization that produces the Torchlighters DVDs in cooperation with The Voice of the Martyrs. The DVDs feature stories of Christian heroes.

Today Michelle assists with various stages of bringing the stories of Christian heroes to the next generation. But years ago, Michelle was the child who first inspired the Torchlighters DVDs. You can read how that happened at Torchlighters.org. Now some children in Texas are inspiring those around them to put the lessons learned from Torchlighters into action.

The Texas Torchlighters
When the 2nd-5th graders of Life Foursquare Church (Angleton, TX) watched Torchlighter William Tyndale’s story, they were inspired to send Bibles to persecuted Christians in China. These eager youngsters wanted to follow Tyndale’s example and share God’s Word with people who otherwise could not read it. In just four weeks, together with their leaders, they collected enough money to send 300 Bibles to believers in China with the help of The Voice of the Martyrs (a co-producer of the Torchlighters).

Each child had a cardboard “gospel box” to collect money. Leaders encouraged the children to think about ways they could sacrifice in their own lives to send Bibles to Christian believers in China. Some gave their allowance. Some stopped buying things they wanted in order to give the money. One even gave the money that was supposed to go toward repainting a room and instead lived with the old paint. The kids also enthusiastically shared the need for Bibles and encouraged many others to contribute—family, neighbors, and even strangers!

In 1536, William Tyndale gave his life for “heresy,” having drawn attention to himself by illegally translating the Bible into English so that the common people could read it for themselves. Now a group of believers in Texas have made personal sacrifices to provide Bibles for Chinese Christians. Torchlighters is inspiring young torchlighters to grow even more torchlighters! We pray that the torch Tyndale lit by translating the Bible into English will continue to light many hearts of fire for God’s Word.

[Learn about VOM’s commitment to provide a Bible for every believer here.]


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.