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Freedom

(Source: Mission News Network)

Eric Foley, the director of VOM Korea, shared the following thoughts for U.S. Christians to consider.

1. “It’s important for us to remember that Christ did not die for freedom of religion. Christ died for freedom in Christ. That’s something that no government can grant, and no government can take away.”

2. A Christian from North Korea, where Christians are severely persecuted, told Eric, “You [American and South Korean Christians] have so much money and so much freedom that you end up putting your faith in your money and your freedom. North Korean Christians have only Christ, and we’ve learned that He is sufficient.”

3. “When [freedom of religion] is present, we give thanks to the Lord, and we use it for the Lord’s purposes. But when the Lord decides to withdraw it, for whatever reason, we use even the lack of freedom for the Lord’s purpose. North Korea’s body of Christ is careful, but they’re not waiting for the current regime to blow over before resuming their lives of faith.”

Talk about Eric’s observations with your class or family. Do you agree with them? Can you find Bible verses or passages to support your opinion?

[Photo source: VOM Australia. Many children in North Korea are small and thin because they do not get enough to eat.]


Gifts To Inspire

The Voice of the Martyrs offers meaningful Christmas gifts for friends and family on your Christmas list.

Look in the November 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine or click here to find out how to order:

*The 2020 VOM Prayer Calendar

*The Global Prayer Journal

*Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book and 16-episode DVD set
*The 2019 edition of Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs
*The Courageous Series six-book children’s set
*The 520-page VOM Graphic Novel Anthology
*The Witnesses Trilogy DVD boxed set
*And additional books and study kits

 

Find more gifts and resources at www.vombooks.com.


A Safe Place for Kids

(Source: The December 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine)

Life can be dangerous for Christian kids in some parts of Myanmar (Burma). Rebel groups who are fighting against other groups take Christian boys from their families. They teach the boys how to be soldiers for their cause. Girls may be kidnapped to become child brides or to be sold in China. Some families have even been forced to give up all their children to the rebels as a penalty for being Christians.

A New Home
Kan and Maiah live in a safer place in Myanmar. They had five children, ages 1 to 13. Then one day, a friend brought two boys, ages 5 and 7, to Kan and Maiah’s home. The boys’ family lived in an area where rebel fighters were active, and the boys were not safe there. “Could you and your wife take care of them?” the friend asked Kan.

Kan and Maiah didn’t know how they would be able to feed two more children, but they trusted God to provide. Four years later, they took in four more children whose families could not protect them, and they added several others over the next few years.

“When the children first arrive,” Kan said, “I tell them, ‘Welcome to the family. This is your home. But you have to know it is not me who feeds you or gives you everything. The one who gives you everything is God, so we will pray and you will learn more about God because everything is under God.’”

Today Kan and Maiah care for seven more children, in addition to three of their own who still live at home. Ten-year-old Aye Chan Mae has lived with Kan and Maiah for two years. She is grateful for their care, for the many siblings she has under their roof, and for her spiritual growth. “We do devotions, and they are always teaching us about God and reading the Bible,” she said. If not for Kan and Maiah’s care, she likely would have been taken as a child bride. (See the photo above of the kids praying.)

Kan and Maiah are thankful that God has allowed them to serve Him by caring for the children. “We don’t feel we deserve to get this far,” said Kan. “But first of all we give thanks to the Lord for helping us take care of these kids — to help them know Him more, to be educated, and to be part of our family. We praise the Lord for His provision and His guidance. We feel that these kids are our own children; they’re part of our family.”

Find more stories, as well as activities, country and culture facts, coloring pages, and prayer points in the book Bold Believers in Burma, available in the free Downloads section.


Myriam: An Update

A previous post told the story of Myriam, a 9-year-old Iraqi girl whose family was driven from their home in Qaraqosh, Iraq, by ISIS fighters. She left behind her school, church, and friends. Myriam was uncertain of her future, but certain that God is good and would always care for her.

A video of her interview with a Christian TV network went viral, and people all over the world heard about her willingness to forgive her enemies. You can watch the video here.

The December 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine tells what is happening with Myriam now. Read an excerpt from the story below. (Edited for length and clarity.)

When Myriam was 9 years old and living in a refugee camp, she left a reporter speechless by saying she forgave the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) for displacing her family from their home in Qaraqosh, Iraq. The video of the interview went viral. Myriam, now 14, and her family returned to Qaraqosh earlier this year.

Though looted and scarred by a few bullet holes, their home was one of the few still intact. Myriam and her family were dismayed by the damage but thankful their home was still standing when so many others had been destroyed. They were also thankful to see that their family Bible had survived over the years. On Easter Sunday 2019, Iraqi Christians, including Myriam and her family, gathered in churches across Qaraqosh to worship and celebrate their hope in Christ.

Today, Myriam and her sister, Zomorod, are back in school in their hometown. When asked if she still forgives ISIS, Myriam said, “Of course I forgive them. I love Qaraqosh. It’s where I was born and studied during my childhood. But the more important thing is that I love to see people believing in God.”

(Photos courtesy of SAT-7 TV.)


This Month

Parents and Teachers
The December 2019 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine tells stories of Christians who became fugitives for the sake of Christ. As VOM president Cole Richards says:

“Part of our ministry at VOM is providing safe houses as temporary shelter for believers while they are on the run from persecutors. Another part of our work is providing sanctuary — places of relative safety within incredibly difficult and dangerous mission fields — where believers can be restored and/or equipped for future service. In all cases, the provision of a safe house or sanctuary is intended to help advance the gospel. It is neither surrender nor defeat, but rather a wise choice to temporarily withdraw from the front lines as part of a lifelong commitment of obedience to Christ.”

The issue also features stories and updates from China, Uganda, Nepal, Iraq, Pakistan, and Nigeria. You can share stories of Christians in these countries from the magazine and this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Related Resources
* To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide includes information about Christians in the featured countries.
*Restricted Nations books about China, Nigeria, and Pakistan are available at vombooks.com
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight several of the countries here.
*Find a lesson plan for China here.
*Watch video clips about Christians from several of the countries in the Video section of this site.