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Giving Thanks in All Circumstances

Richard Wurmbrand was in prison in Romania for his Christian activities. One day, the guards brought Richard and the other prisoners something they called soup. But it was more like pieces of rotten cabbage floating in scum. Richard drank it all. “How can you eat that horrible stuff?” another prisoner asked.

“It’s a Christian secret,” Richard replied to the man, who was not a Christian. “I think of the Apostle Paul’s words, ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice.’ There are people in America eating fried chicken tonight. I thank God with them as I take the first drink of soup. Then I rejoice with friends in England who are eating beef. I take another drink. I rejoice with those who rejoice. And I stay alive.”

Richard felt blessed to be able to share the words of the Bible with someone who was not a Christian.

To Talk About
Can you thank God for blessings He has given to others?

 

 


Pakistan: Smog Problems

A brick kiln

Thick smog covered parts of Pakistan this month, causing car accidents, airplane delays, and illnesses. The smog also hindered The Voice of the Martyrs’ work in Pakistan, where workers deliver Action Packs and other aid and encouragement to persecuted Christians.

Some of the smoke that causes the smog comes from brick kilns. Many Christians in Pakistan work at the kilns because better jobs go to Muslim workers. Watch a video of a Christian girl working at a brick kiln.

Christians have been praying for Pakistanis who suffer from the effects of the smog. This week, rain improved the situation somewhat, but Pakistanis know the smog will return.

You can visit VOM’s I Commit to Pray website and add your prayer to the prayers of other Christians who are praying for Pakistan.


Middle East: God Will Carry You Through

Andrew is a Christian in a Middle Eastern country, where most people are Muslims and Christians are not free to share their faith in public. He has been arrested and questioned several times for sharing the gospel. Read his comments below about his visits to the police station.

Andrew’s Comments
Often people think that persecuted Christians are heroes, that they do everything without being afraid. No. I was terrified. Every single time, I was terrified. It is super scary to go through.

When I travel into nations where Christians are persecuted, I am freaked out at the airport. But being afraid is not the problem. The problem is letting the fear control you. You have to not only know about God, but know who He is, because He is the only one who will be able to carry you through it.

Many times the police asked me, “What are you telling people? What are you telling Muslims?”

That is a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with the police. They got to hear the gospel over and over and over. One day they will stand before the throne and they will have no excuse before the Lord. They have heard the gospel.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)


Fitting In

As a girl in England, Gladys Aylward sometimes felt like she didn’t fit in. Many of the other girls had long blonde curls, and Gladys had black hair. Gladys was less than five feet tall; other girls were much taller. But in China where Gladys later served the Lord as a missionary, the people were shorter and had black hair!

When Gladys arrived in China she gave up English customs to fit in better with the people of China. Mrs. Smith, a missionary in China, gave Gladys quilted slacks and jackets like those worn by Chinese women. In later years, Gladys said, “I lived exactly like a Chinese woman. I wore Chinese clothes, ate their food, spoke their language.”

But in other ways, Gladys did not try to fit in. One day she saw a woman on the street trying to sell a little girl. It was a shocking sight! She reported the situation to the Mandarin — a government official. He told her to ignore the child sellers. Gladys said, “I have to inform you, Mandarin, that I did not come to China only to observe your laws, I came for the love of Jesus Christ, and I shall act upon the principles of His teaching, no matter what you say.”

To Think About
Is it ever a good thing to not fit in? If so, can you give some examples? Should Gladys have obeyed the Mandarin to fit in? What are some ways you would not change to fit in with others?

The story above is taken from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book and DVD set, available at VOMBooks.com. The book includes 144 pages of stories, devotionals, challenging coloring pages, extreme dot-to-dots, crafts, and activities related to the 16 heroes on the accompanying Torchlighters DVDs. Learn more here.


Gladys Aylward

British missionary Gladys Aylward traveled to China by train and boat across Europe and Asia. God protected her through many hardships and adventures during her trip. After she arrived in China, Gladys helped an older missionary manage an inn where they shared Bible stories with visitors who passed through the area.

Then a local leader appointed Gladys as a foot inspector to help end the custom of foot binding. The Chinese considered small feet to be beautiful, so preschool girls had their toes bent down under the soles of their feet and bandaged tightly to create smaller feet. The procedure was painful and made it hard to walk normally. As a foot inspector, Gladys unbound the girls’ feet and shared the story of Jesus with many Chinese people. (The photos illustrate the size of shoes worn by adult women whose feet had been bound since the women were children.)

Gladys also helped stop a prison riot and taught the prisoners about Jesus. She was able to serve God in many other ways in China, because she was willing to be used by Him wherever He needed her.

Gladys said, “I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done in China. I don’t know who was. It must have been a man, a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing. And God looked down and saw Gladys Aylward. And God said, ‘Well, she’s willing.’”

Note: “The Torchlighters: The Gladys Aylward Story” is a children’s DVD that tells how Gladys led more than 100 children on a hike through mountains in China to escape enemy soldiers. The DVD is available at vombooks.com. View an English trailer for the DVD in the video section and an Arabic version here.

To Think About
Why might someone not be willing to follow the Bible’s teachings and God’s will? Do you think they might not trust God to provide for all their needs if they follow Him? Read Proverbs 3:5-6.


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