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Summer Activity: Underground Meeting

North Korea
A secret meeting in North Korea

Are you looking for a summer activity for your class or group? This post and the following two posts might give you some ideas. Rusty R., a camp leader from Illinois, led the activities and described them to The Voice of the Martyrs.

Rusty said, “One night I sent the students to bed early, right at dark. I gave them instructions to stay in their beds until they received a special knock at their door. I told them at that point they would no longer be at camp, but in a restricted nation.

“Later I went around knocking on doors. Each sleeping quarters received a page of instructions and dozens of pages photocopied from a Bible.

“The students were instructed to hide the Bible pages on them. They were to leave their sleeping quarters, a minute apart, in groups of no more than three people. They were told to walk about a half mile to a basement room. On the way, they would be confronted by guards. The guards were five guys dressed in camouflage with bandanas on their faces. We even blocked off a road with a military truck. They were told that if they were caught by the guards, there were to say they were going to a birthday party.

“When they arrived at the basement room, they were instructed to put all their Scripture pages under a rug in the middle of the room. We chose a small room to make it more cramped. We had a small light source.

“Our ‘underground service’ was totally unstructured. Students were told to lead out in song, Scripture reading, or stories of encouragement. They did an amazing job of it for more than an hour and a half.

“Four adult leaders recited stories of present-day persecuted Christians in the first person. [See the previous post.] We had one of the faculty kidnapped by the guards. During the service, she was released and re-joined the group to tell her story.

“We placed a birthday cake in the middle of the room. Students were instructed to sing “Happy Birthday” if the guards raided the service. It was our alibi to hide what we were doing. Within 30 minutes of the start of the meeting, guards burst in and everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” The guards ended up taking our cake with them when they left and letting us continue our “party.” Later we dismissed the students in groups of three, with one minute between each group.

(Edited and adapted from the original for clarity, space, and age-appropriateness.)


“Students Are Looking for Something Real”

Bangladesh
Bangladeshi Christian children drink clean water supplied by Christians

Last summer, Rusty R., a youth leader in Illinois, directed an adventure camp for 7th through 9th graders. The camp raised awareness of persecuted Christians and encouraged campers to remember their suffering brothers and sisters around the world.

“I have been a youth minister for more than 13 years,” Rusty shared with The Voice of the Martyrs. “During those years I have supported [organizations that fight injustices] such as: starving children, [lack of] clean water, homelessness, abuse and neglect, and human trafficking.

“Persecution is on an entirely different level than all of those injustices for at least three reasons.

“First, persecution involves all of the other injustices. Every day, Christians around the world are being deprived of food, shelter, and clean water; they are abused and even forced into human trafficking.

“Secondly, those being persecuted are our brothers and sisters!

“Thirdly, it seems like no one is teaching about persecution these days. Every year students say, ‘I have already heard all of this before.’ But when I taught about persecution, not one of them had heard it before. That tells me that many are growing up without a [knowledge of] suffering and without praying for their suffering family around the globe. They are unaware of the cost to follow Jesus and ignorant of the persecution that will someday come their way.

“I have found that students are looking for something real to make a difference with. The topic of persecution is as real as it gets. And I have found that there are a ton of ways to get involved and make a difference.”

(Edited from the original for space.)

The campers wrote letters to imprisoned Christians, filled Action Packs, memorized Scripture verses about persecution, and learned about Christians in peril through other activities and projects.

Next post: Learn about some of the activities Rusty’s campers experienced.


Practice Telling a Story

Morocco

Muslim belief: Muslims worship Allah, and their holy book is the Quran. The Quran does not say that Allah seeks to redeem those lost in sin or that he loves sinners. Quran Chapter 4, Verse 107 says, “Lo! Allah loveth not one who is treacherous and sinful.”

Christian belief: God is a loving heavenly Father. We love Him because He first loved us, even while we were still sinners. He sent Jesus to save us. (See Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 6:18, and 1 John 4:19.)

Muslims around the world often do not have the opportunity to hear Bible stories that would help them learn about God and Jesus. Many come from cultures where storytelling is important.

Maybe sometime you will have the chance to share Bible stories with someone who has never heard them. You can practice telling Bible stories to younger children.

Read a story about Jesus and a sinner in Luke 19:1–9. Photocopy the pages above from Bold Believers in Morocco. (The complete book is available in the Downloads section.) The pictures are out of order. Color the pictures, then write “1” on the line near the picture that shows what happened first, and “2” near the picture that shows what happened next, and so on. Check your answers in a Bible. Practice telling the story in the right order.


A Muslim Chooses a Bible

USA
U.S. family packing Action Packs for Christians overseas

Hagar is a 25-year-old Muslim. She and her four children lived in an area where war put them in danger. They ran away from the fighting and ended up in a refugee camp. The fighting separated Hagar from her husband, and she doesn’t know where he is.

People in the camp often arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few household goods. The Voice of the Martyrs provides Action Packs to Christians and other refugees in Hagar’s camp. The packs contain items like soap, clothes, blankets, and other things the refugees need. VOM also provides Bibles for these refugees.

But one day, there were not enough Bibles and Actions Packs left. The Christian worker asked Hagar, “Would you like a Bible or an Action Pack?”

The Action Pack would have been useful to Hagar and her family. But Hagar chose a Bible. She said she had a strong urge to read the Bible and that she knows she needs to choose between the Bible and the Quran. (The Quran is the Muslim holy book.) A Christian worker helped put Hagar in touch with another Christian who can explain more about the Bible to her.

Please pray that Hagar will find the truth she seeks. Pray that they will know what has happened to Hagar’s husband, and that if he is alive, he will trust Jesus as his Savior.

Learn more about Action Packs here.


Pray for Syria Today

Syria
A child in Syria

Dozens of Christians have been kidnapped by radical Muslims in Syria. The Voice of the Martyrs received an email from a Syrian Christian leader giving specific ways to pray. Will you join our Syrian brothers and sisters in lifting up the requests he shared?

  1. Pray the Lord will encourage Christians in Syria so they can be a living testimony, in the midst of war, to others around them.
  2. Pray for God’s protection of the Christian community in Syria.
  3. Pray young Christian men will turn to God and put their hope in Jesus.
  4. Pray for children and women who have been taken hostage by ISIS.
  5. Finally, pray for peace in Syria.

Source: VOM Facebook

Note:
“Levant” comes from a French word that means “to rise.” Countries on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, including Syria, are sometimes called “the Levant.” From the viewpoint of the countries west of them, they are in the East where the sun rises.

A radical Muslim group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has become well-known for their part in violence in Syria and Iraq. They changed their name first to “ISIS,” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Then to emphasize their goal of creating a large Muslim nation, they changed their name to “IS,” the Islamic State.