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What Happens During Ramadan?

A Ramadan feast

New clothes, gifts, late-night family feasts, sports and games, times of prayer, and special TV shows — Muslim children look forward to all these things during Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month on the Muslim calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims believe that older children and adults should fast from food and drink during daylight hours.

The Muslim calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar. (The Gregorian calendar is used for most purposes in the U.S. and around the world.) According to the Gregorian calendar, Ramadan starts about 11 days earlier each year. This year it starts in late May.

It can be difficult to avoid eating and drinking when Ramadan falls during the hot summer months. Muslims eagerly wait for sunset when their daily fast ends.

In some countries, Muslims are less friendly toward Christians during Ramadan. Pray for Christians in Muslim countries during the days of Ramadan this year.

Enter “Ramadan” in the search box to find more facts and stories about Ramadan.

Learn more about Islam from Learning About Islam, available for free download on this site.


Remember Imprisoned Fathers on Father’s Day: Part 2

Pray for prisoners

The previous post told about a family of eight children whose father was in prison for his Christian faith. Read the rest of the story below, then pray for persecuted Christian families whose fathers will be in prison on Father’s Day.

That evening, Mikhail and Olga oldest brother, Sergei, told them everything that had happened in the courtroom. “We can try again tomorrow,” Sergei told his brother and sister. “Maybe they’ll let you in then.”

The next morning, the family and their friends gathered at the courthouse. They waited and waited. No one came to open the door to the courtroom. Finally a man came and told them, “The trial is over! He was sentenced and taken to prison.”

Mikhail and Olga were disappointed again.

Mother led the children to the judge’s office and asked for a special meeting with her husband. The judge signed an order allowing the whole family 15 minutes with Father. Mikhail and Olga were delighted!

The family hurried to the prison where they gave the judge’s order to a guard. “Only the mother and one older child can go in,” said the guard, ignoring the judge’s order.

Fifteen minutes passed, Mother and Sergei came out of the visitors’ room, and the family returned home in silence. After supper, Mother said, “Children, I know you were very disappointed today. Remember, if we wish to be faithful to Jesus, we will have difficulty in our lives. But we have one sure comfort — an hour will come when the Savior brings us to Himself. Then no one will be able to separate us. In six months, we may be able to visit your Dad. Let’s ask Jesus for that.”

They knelt down and thanked God for His love and asked Him to give them strength. Mikhail and Olga prayed, too, hoping they would see their father soon.

(Source: When Will We See Our Father Again?: A True Story from the U.S.S. R.)


Remember Imprisoned Fathers on Father’s Day

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand started The Voice of the Martyrs in 1967. VOM has helped and encouraged persecuted Christians for 50 years. VOM shared the following story with readers in the mid-20th century.

Many Christian families around the world today have similar struggles. You can read about some of them at www.prisoneralert.com. This Father’s Day, pray for Christian fathers who are in prison for their faith.

The children and their mother were sitting at the lunch table eating soup when a visitor knocked at the door. “The trial is happening right now,” the visitor told the family before hurrying away.

Mikhail and Olga, the youngest of the family’s eight children, were excited. “Can we go into the courtroom?” Olga asked her mother. “Will we really see Dad?” asked Mikhail. It had been five months since their father had been arrested because of his Christian activities. To the children, it seemed like forever.

The family and their church friends reached the courthouse at about the same time. “Nobody may enter!” an official who was guarding the door yelled at them.

“Please let us go in. My husband is on trial,” Mother pleaded. The official thought for a minute. “Okay,” he said. “You and the older children can enter, but not the two little ones. Court is no place for little kids.”

Mikhail and Olga began to cry. They were so disappointed that they could not see their father! Christian friends took care of them while the rest of the family was in the courtroom.

Read the rest of the story in the next post.


“Don’t Get Bored Being Faithful”

Washing dishes in Pakistan

A recent speaker at The Voice of the Martyrs’ chapel talked about what he has learned from persecuted Christians. The speaker, a VOM International Ministries worker, visits Christians in countries where believers are mistreated.

“They are just faithful,” the worker said. “They are faithful and obedient — normal people that God is using in incredible ways. “Faithfulness and obedience in ordinary things can allow ordinary [people] to do extraordinary things….Youth I have worked with want to be RADICAL, but not faithful or obedient.”

The speaker related a humorous saying, ““Everybody wants to save the world but nobody wants to help mom with the dishes.”

The worker continued, “Don’t get bored being faithful! Some of the [persecuted Christians] we see don’t get bored being faithful — they just keep doing it.”

To Talk About
*Luke 16:10 says, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

Matthew 25:23 says, “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

Galatians 6:9 (NIV) says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

What do these verses say about being faithful?

*In what ways can you be faithful in “ordinary things” today?


Jumma

Jumma, a girl in Nigeria, told the following story to a VOM worker.

I am an orphan. I dropped out of school because of the attack by members of Boko Haram. [Boko Haram is a group of violent, radical Muslims in Nigeria.] They attacked our school, and some of our students were taken captive. So the government closed all the public secondary schools in my state. My parents could not send me to school again.

[One day], more than 1,000 members of Boko Haram came with various kinds of weapons. Some were on motorcycles, some on foot, and some in various kinds of vehicles. They attacked Christians, police stations, government buildings, and Christian schools. My mother was shot, and my father died of high blood pressure as a result of my mother’s death.

My parents died, leaving me with my younger ones (two boys and three girls) as the first daughter of the family. I am but a very small girl with the responsibilities of caring for my younger ones. I cannot care for them alone.

(The account has been edited and paraphrased for clarity and age-appropriateness.)

Note: The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christian survivors of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.
Photo above: Jumma was hospitalized after she fainted while telling the story of what happened to her parents.


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