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Syria: A School Story

At a Christian school in Syria, the students memorized Psalm 91. The children used the psalm to guide prayers for their families during times of fighting and war. They fasted and prayed for peace in their country. Thankfully, they saw answers to their prayers. One night a driver made a serious mistake in the city where the children go to school. He got into his car after he had been drinking alcohol and tried to drive. But he could not drive straight. His car ended up sideways, blocking the road. The driver got out of the car and walked away.

The next morning, no vehicles could drive on the street because the car blocked the way. The school children were stuck on the road in their buses as people looked for the car’s driver. While the children waited for the road to clear, a bomb exploded farther down the street. At that time of the morning, the school buses were usually near the place where the bomb exploded. The car blocking the road might have prevented them from being injured.

Read Psalm 91. Why do you think the Syrian children use it to guide their prayers?

(Source: Bold Believers in Syria, available in the Downloads section. Photo: A Syrian boy.)


An Offering

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, told the following story.

A church congregation was not happy with their pastor. They believed he had allowed something foolish to happen during a worship service.

As the offering plate was passed around one Sunday, a 9-year-old boy asked the usher to put the plate on the floor. Wondering what would happen, the usher set the plate down, and the boy stood on it. The congregation did not understand that he had given himself as an offering.

The boy later became a well-known missionary to Africa.

To discuss: What does it mean to “give your life” to Jesus?


Algeria: Amin Finds the Truth

Pressure cookers

Amin is a Christian from Algeria. Recently he shared his story with Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio. You can read what Amin said below. (Edited for length and clarity.)

Amin’s Story
I grew up in a Muslim family. I was among those kids that some people took to the local mosque. They took us through the ABCs of Islam. [Islam is the religion of Muslims.] They saw us as future leaders.

When I was about 12, we heard news coming from Afghanistan about Algerians who died in the battlefields. We were really proud of them.

We didn’t have satellite [TV] channels; we only had radios. I was listening to [Christian radio], and I had heard good stories. As a good Muslim, I wrote down the address and sent them letters trying to convince them that they were wrong. They sent me back a letter and a copy of the Gospel of Luke. I started reading, and I said, “OK, I will show these Christians that their Bible is falsified.”

But at the end of my homework, I found that the Bible is the truth. I was listening to a program whose name in English is “Through the Bible.” The presenter invited the listeners to give their lives to Jesus. I was a teenager, and this is how I came to know the Lord.

Explosion
Sometime after that, I was at a local house church, and I was cooking. A pressure cooker exploded in my face. I went home and my father said, “This is a warning from heaven.”

At that time, my faith fell apart. I went on the top of my house, and I was asking Jesus, “Where are you? I am in trouble, help me.” Then I felt kind of like someone was there and was hugging me, and I said, “Jesus, You are here.” It was a special moment as if Jesus wanted to tell me that I should be in joy when persecution comes. I experienced joy that comes from heaven. It cannot be human; it cannot come from other sources except from heaven. [Whatever persecution comes], I am ready to pay the price.

To Talk About
*What did Amin’s father mean when he told Amin that the explosion was a “warning from heaven”? What do you think he wanted Amin to do?
*Why did Amin’s faith “fall apart”?
*Can you find any Bible verses that might help persecuted Christians strengthen their faith in time of trouble?

Learn more about Muslims in Algeria in Bold Believers in Algeria and Tunisia, available in the Downloads section.


Sixteen Years in Prison

Sixteen years ago, at 5:00 in the morning on May 23, 2004, police in Eritrea arrested Dr. Kiflu Gebremeskel and Mr. Haile Nayzgi. The men, who were leaders in their Christian churches, did not belong to any of the Eritrean government’s approved religion groups. Eritrea imprisons hundreds of people because of their religious beliefs.

Dr. Gebremeskel and Mr. Nayzgi have been in prison for more than 5,000 days. In the past, Dr. Gebremeskel earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He has a wife and four children.

Dr. Gebremeskel

Mr. Nayzgi used to be an accountant. After his wife was warned that she might also be arrested, she and their four children escaped to a safer country. In a message smuggled out of Eritrea, Mr. Nayzgi thanked The Voice of the Martyrs for helping his family. He is happy that they are safe.

Mr. Nayzgi

Visit prisoneralert.com to learn more about these courageous Christians and to find out how to send messages of encouragement to Dr. Gebremeskel and Mr. Nayzgi.

To learn more about Christians in Eritrea, download Bold Believers in Eritrea from the Downloads section.


Eid al-Fitr

Muslims celebrate a three-day festival at the end of Ramadan called Eid-al-Fitr. In 2020, Ramadan ends near the end of May. Families buy new clothes, decorate their homes, visit friends and relatives, and exchange gifts. Schools and businesses in Muslim countries close for the holidays.

Muslims in many countries greet each other during the festival by saying, “Eid Mubarak,” which means “blessed festival.” They may send greeting cards to other Muslims.

Egg fighting is a traditional game in Afghanistan played during the celebration. Two people each hold a hardboiled egg. They bump the ends of their eggs together until one egg cracks. The holder of the egg that is not cracked wins.

Note: Citizens of Afghanistan who declare faith in Christ experience serious persecution. Learn about Christians in Afghanistan in Bold Believers in Afghanistan, available in the free Downloads section.