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Volunteers Share What They Have Learned

Ashley helping at VOM
Ashley helping at VOM

Sisters Felicity and Lydia, and their friend Ashley, recently traveled to The Voice of the Martyrs’ headquarters to volunteer in the Operations Center. It was Felicity’s fifth trip to VOM, Lydia’s fourth, and Ashley’s first. During their visits, the girls have packed Action Packs, stuffed envelopes, sorted mail, and shrink wrapped packages. Like other VOM volunteers, they are an important part of VOM’s ministry to the persecuted church.

The girls were homeschooled, and they have been aware of VOM and persecuted Christians for most of their lives. At home, they have participated in VOM projects such as Bibles Unbound and Prisoner Alert. They regularly share the gospel and information about the persecuted church with others.

Ashley said that learning about persecuted Christians has helped her realize that church is different in other places. “We complain all the time,” she said. “We’re not as on fire for Christ. they pray for us!”

Felicity said, “If we meet [Christians who were persecuted] in heaven, are they going to say, ‘You had the opportunity and free speech to witness, but you didn’t!’ You have to deny yourself and go witness.”

Felicity, Lydia, and Ashley are open to God’s leading in their lives. They have some ideas to share with younger kids.

“We took notebooks to church and took notes,” said Lydia. “Pay attention in church, and review what the pastor said.”

“Your life is never on hold,” said Felicity. “You’re not in a waiting period. There is something God wants you to do right now.”

Ashley added, “If following God is scary, not following him is even scarier.”

Learn more about volunteering at The Voice of the Martyrs at www.vomvolunteer.com.


Facts about Somalia

Somalia

  • The capital of Somalia is Mogadishu.
  • Somalia is about the size of Texas.
  • Almost 100 percent of the people are Muslims.
  • There are no public places of worship for non-Muslims.
  • Only about 40 percent of adults can read.
  • Somalis are expected to live (“life expectancy”) until about age 50.
  • “School life expectancy” is 3 years for boys and 2 for girls. (The number of years of schooling children are expected to get is the “school life expectancy.”)
  • Wars and fighting have disturbed the country for many years.
  • A Muslim terrorist group, al-Shabab, persecutes Christians.

To Do: Turn each fact above into a prayer for Somalia. For example, the first fact is, “The capital of Somalia is Mogadishu.” You might pray, “Dear God, Please let all the people of Mogadishu learn that you love them. We pray that more and more Somalis will follow you and share your love with others in Africa. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”


Useful Invention

Pray

Cellophane tape is having a birthday this month. It was invented in the 1920s and patented on May 27, 1930. How many ways do you use tape at home and school? Here’s one way you can use it.

Hang up a world map. (You can call (800) 747-0085 to ask for a VOM prayer map that highlights countries where Christians are persecuted.) Print pictures of Christians around the world from this website, or photocopy photos from The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Tape them to the appropriate countries on the map. Or, write prayers for Christians in the countries on slips of paper and tape them to the map. Pray regularly for the Christians displayed.

Note: Find prayer suggestions for countries in Bold Believers activity books in the Downloads section.


More News from Iran

Saudi Arabia

Iran used to be called Persia. The body of water between Iran and Saudi Arabia is commonly known as the Persian Gulf. But most Arab countries call it the Arabian Gulf. In 2010, Iran threatened to ban or seize airplanes of any airline flying over Iran that called the gulf the Arabian Gulf.

Now some Iranians are upset again because the Internet site Google Maps left out the name of the gulf entirely. A government spokesman in Iran said Google is “fabricating lies.”

Lawyer Arrested

Pastor Youcef is a prisoner in Iran because he protested a government rule that said children must study the Quran in school. The Quran is the Muslim holy book. Pastor Youcef, a Christian, did not want his 8 and 9 year old sons to be forced to study the book. (You can read more about Pastor Youcef at www.prisoneralert.com.)

Recently Pastor Youcef’s lawyer was reportedly sentenced to nine years in prison for “acting against national security.” Now other lawyers may be afraid to help Pastor Youcef, fearing they might be imprisoned.


Bibles Appreciated

China
Chinese girls reading a Bible

Emily W. from Arizona recently sent the following letter to The Voice of the Martyrs. The letter said:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My name is Emily, and I live in a household of 8. Me and my brothers and sisters were able to save some money. We hope that it will be able to buy a lot of Bibles for China! We saved it by adding coins from around the house and by giving dollar bills to the fund.
Your sister in Christ,
Emily.

People in China who have a hard time getting Bibles appreciate VOM supporters like Emily and her family. Below are some of the thank you notes from Chinese people who received Bibles from VOM.

“Thank you, servants whom God elected to send Bibles to us. When we saw the Bible and studied God’s Word, we thought of you. May God bless and thank you very much.”

“The Bible is God’s Word. People who understand it will get spiritual life. Only if my spirit is rich can I evangelize others. Especially me. I am a Sunday school teacher. The teacher needs knowledge to teach children.”

“I had only heard of the Bible. I didn’t know the meaning of it. Now I know this book is number one in the world. God rules all universes, the heavens and the earth, our life, and our souls. Thank you for sending Bibles.”

“Thank you for giving me this super book. Thank you for giving me light in darkness.”

“When we got the Bibles, we were moved. Even though we are separated on two sides of the world, Jesus’ love connects us together.”

Learn more about how Christians in China and other areas receive Bibles through VOM’s Bibles Unbound program. Find out about VOM’s Bibles to Captive Nations project at VOMBooks.com.