The previous post told about Nigerian children who were injured in attacks by Fulani attackers. Other kids in Nigeria have been persecuted by Boko Haram terrorists in the country.
Some kids had lived in the same houses since they were born. Then they watched as terrorists burned down their homes. Others saw family members attacked.
Do you think that some of the kids were angry and sad? They were. The Voice of the Martyrs sponsored camps for teens who needed help getting through their anger and sadness.
The teens made friends with other kids at the camp who were also sad and angry. Together they worked to understand the Bible’s lessons about forgiving enemies. The camp leaders hoped the teens would also learn that they did not have to see revenge against those who persecuted them.
VOM workers said, “Pray that they will continue to find peace in Christ and share their eternal hope with others in their community.”
A previous post told about Dalo, an 8-year-old Nigerian boy who is praying for his persecutors after he was injured in an attack. Dalo wasn’t the only child who was hurt in the June attacks on Christian villages by Muslim Fulani attackers. VOM workers have visited others in Nigerian hospitals.
*When the workers visited the hospital, 2-year-old Melody was improving and starting to drink liquids.
*Two-year-old Sylvia received injuries on the neck, hand, and stomach. But she was smiling and playing when Christian workers visited her.
*Gift, age 10, still has pain from a gunshot wound. “But she is a strong and brave girl,” a VOM worker reported.
It is good news that the children are healing. And there is more good news. Over the past 15 years, thousands of Fulani have decided to begin new lives as Christians. The Voice of the Martyrs is helping many Fulani Christians who are now persecuted for their faith. “There are Fulani persecutors, but there are also faithful Fulani followers of Christ who are themselves being persecuted,” said a VOM worker. “Pray that they will find encouragement in the Lord.”
One day, a traveling team of Christians visited a carnival in Pakistan. The Christians hoped to share the good news of Jesus with the citizens of the town. Most of the people in Pakistan are Muslims.
As the team drove toward the carnival, they noticed a boy crying. Then they saw why he was so sad. His cow was stuck deep in mud. At first the cow struggled to get loose, but soon it grew tired and gave up.
The people in the area make their living by raising cattle and growing crops. The loss of a cow can be a serious problem for a family. But it looked like the boy would not be able to free his family’s cow.
So the Christians used their vehicle to pull the cow out of the mire. The boy was very happy and so grateful to the Christians!
“Why Did You Help?”
A Muslim leader had watched everything that happened with the boy and his cow. The Muslim said to the Christians, “There are other people here with vehicles, but no one tried to help the poor boy and his cow. But you seemed to care. Why did you help him?”
The Christians told the Muslim about the love of Jesus Christ. They explained that God cares about our burdens when we come to Him (1 Peter 5:7).
“It was the first time he had heard the truth about Jesus,” one of the Christians said later.
To Think About
The Christians didn’t plan to help a boy save a cow that day. They hoped just to share the gospel with people at the carnival. But God provided a way for them to explain the love of Jesus to Muslims in a practical way. Can you think of any practical ways you can serve others and talk to them about God’s love for the world (John 3:16)?
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church will be observed on November 4th this year.
Parents and Teachers
You can help your children “remember them that are in bonds” (Hebrews 13:3) on IDOP Sunday and throughout the year. Order a free DVD about Pakistani Christians here to preview and show, if appropriate, to your children.
Christians in Pakistan are routinely threatened and persecuted. They are often relegated to the lowest paying jobs and even to a form of slavery working for Muslim brick-kiln owners. However, they continue to serve and faithfully witness for Christ. The DVD will challenge viewers to pray for our Pakistani family and other persecuted believers.
Additional IDOP resources are also available here, and past IDOP lesson plans for kids are available for free download in the Downloads section of this site.
Elise Wixtrom writes reviews of VOM resources for readers of kidsofcourage.com. Enter “Elise” in the search box to read about Elise and to find more of her reviews. Read below her review of the Torchlighters DVD, The Augustine Story, and watch a clip from the DVD.
The story of Augustine begins in Rome – 300 years after Christ’s life and death. Augustine was an educated man, well-studied in debate. He taught students in Rome the art of rhetoric (how to speak well). In fact, he was so good at public speaking that government officials offered him a job as “the voice of the emperor.” The voice of the emperor was a man who would speak for the emperor in public places. The court needed someone to do this because the emperor was very young and could not yet speak for himself in public.
Augustine accepted the job. “Tell me what to debate,” he told the officials, “and I will win on your behalf.”
Now the Roman leaders were angry because so many people were becoming Christians, and the Christians didn’t want or need the old Roman gods anymore. So one man, the prefect, wanted to get back at the growing Christian population by taking away their most amazing church, the Basilica. (A prefect was a high official in the Roman Empire.)
The Basilica was a place where the church would hold services, but it also housed and cared for the families of people who were treated unfairly by the Roman Empire. The prefect wanted to take the Basilica and make it a temple for his gods. So he told Augustine to find out all he could about the bishop who ran the church, and to find problems with what the bishop taught. They needed the information to take the Basilica without making all of Rome angry.
So Augustine went to services. He studied what the bishop taught. But he could not find anything at fault. He couldn’t figure it out. Augustine could not argue against an opposing view for the first time in his life. Augustine’s heart was softened when he heard about how the people of the church treated the poor, hungry, and downtrodden. He could not tell the people that the bishop was lying to them about Jesus, because it wasn’t true.
Eventually, the people sided with Augustine, and the officials let the Christians stay in the Basilica. Later in his life, Augustine himself began to follow Christ and live according to his word. Augustine is now regarded as one of the most important church fathers, and one of the most brilliant thinkers in Christian history. His story shows us that when someone is unjust and oppressive, you must stand up for the truth. You must stand up for what is right, even if it hurts or people don’t like you anymore. All Augustine did was to unashamedly tell the truth in front of everyone, and he is remembered even to this day.
The previous post told about Nigerian children who were injured in attacks by Fulani attackers. Other kids in Nigeria have been persecuted by Boko Haram terrorists in the country. Some kids had lived in the same houses since they were born. Then they watched as terrorists burned down their homes. Others saw family members attacked. […]
A previous post told about Dalo, an 8-year-old Nigerian boy who is praying for his persecutors after he was injured in an attack. Dalo wasn’t the only child who was hurt in the June attacks on Christian villages by Muslim Fulani attackers. VOM workers have visited others in Nigerian hospitals. *When the workers visited the […]
One day, a traveling team of Christians visited a carnival in Pakistan. The Christians hoped to share the good news of Jesus with the citizens of the town. Most of the people in Pakistan are Muslims. As the team drove toward the carnival, they noticed a boy crying. Then they saw why he was […]