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One Way

Pastor WurmbrandPastor Wurmbrand

Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, told a story about a missionary to India.

A Hindu told the missionary, “It would be good if you would preach that Christ is one of many ways to the truth, along with Hindu gods. If you would say that, all of India would listen to you.”

Of course the missionary could not do what the Hindu man said. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Pastor Wurmbrand said, “What led to the persecution of the first Christians was their belief that Christ is the only way, and that all others are false.

“Personally I would like it very much if there could be many ways. However, in no way is the universe made according to my wishes. Someone wiser than I, who knows better, has created it.

“I cannot decide how people should be saved. The master of the universe has appointed only one way of salvation.”

Christians around the world are still persecuted for saying that Jesus is the only way to God.

(Source: Reaching Toward the Heights by Richard Wurmbrand. Paraphrased and edited for clarity and reading level.)


Growing in Faith

Christian kids in India

(Source: My Father’s Business by Brother Bennie.)

Bennie’s first memory of his father was seeing him get beat up by an enemy. His father was a Christian pastor in India, and the enemies were anti-Christian.

The Real World
Bennie knew that his father’s God was real and powerful. But he believed that his father didn’t understand the “real world.” Bennie’s “real world” was his school, where he was teased and bullied by non-Christian classmates.

The students at the school were required to wear uniforms. Most of them had two uniforms. But Bennie and his siblings could afford only two sets of clothes to wear outside the house — one school uniform and one set of church clothes.

Bennie’s class used fountain pens with ink in them. When he stood up, other students squirted ink on his bench. When he sat back down, the ink stained his only school pants.

Bennie took his pants home and scrubbed them. He put coconut shells in the fire, then placed them on a steel plate when they got hot. He picked up the plate with thick napkins, and used his homemade “iron” to try to dry the pants. But sometimes, especially in the winter, the pants would still be damp.

The next day, the other students would laugh at Bennie and say, “He’s wearing wet pants!” Bennie’s parents encouraged him to pray and trust God to help him with all his problems.

Trusting in God
Bennie promised himself that he would make lots of money and enjoy worldly success when he grew up.

But as his parents continued to patiently teach him God’s truth over the years, and as he witnessed God’s faithfulness in his own life, his faith grew. He then understood that it was a privilege to share the gospel around the world, even if doing so required him to sacrifice his own desires.

Read what Bennie says about some of the ways Christians are helping others in Asia during the coronavirus here.


Sunday School Around the World: Sri Lanka

Sometimes enemies attack churches and pastors in Sri Lanka. The government often doesn’t protect the Christians. The majority of the people in Sri Lanka are Buddhists. While some Christians are persecuted mainly by Muslims, Sri Lankan Christians are more commonly persecuted by violent Buddhists. (Read more about Buddhism here.)

The church in the photo was attacked by radical Buddhists, but the children still came to Sunday school in their damaged church.

To Talk About

Name five differences between your Sunday school class and the one in the photo.

 

 


A Life-Saving Situation

(Source: The November 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Photo: Pastor Stanley and his family.)

The previous post told about an attack at the Zion Church in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday in 2019. As the post describes, Debbi, one of the children at the church, was injured, and some of the other children were hurt as well.

But several children escaped unharmed.

Pastor Stanley
The main pastor of the Zion Church, Pastor Roshan, was out of town. So the assistant pastor, Pastor Stanley, was going to lead the service.

But Pastor Stanley did not have the keys to the church van. The van was parked in the church courtyard, and Pastor Stanley couldn’t move it out of the way.

Protected from the Blast
After Sunday school ended, the children were dismissed to go to the courtyard. Some of them decided to sit on a stairway that led to the second-floor classrooms. The stairs were partly blocked by the church van.

As the children waited for church to start, the attacker exploded a bomb in the courtyard. The parked van helped shield the children on the stairs from the explosion. A problem for Pastor Stanely had turned into a life-saving situation for the children.

Note: Pastor Stanley has visited and prayed with the church members who were affected by the bombing. Many are still sad. But the church continues to gather at Zion Church at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings, just as they have done every Sunday since the attack. Nothing can stand against God’s faithfulness to those who honor Him.


Debbi Has Hope

(Source: The November 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Photo: Zion Church continued to gather for worship after the attack.)

Verlini, a Sunday school teacher in Sri Lanka, got up at 3:30 every morning for Bible study and prayer. She had read the entire Bible 14 times, and her favorite verse was, “Commit your way to the Lord” (Psalm 37:5). She and her husband, Sebamalai, often reminded their family to stay close to God. Verlini wrote notes of encouragement and inspiration to each of her children in their Bibles.

She also encouraged her Sunday school students to follow Jesus. On Easter morning in 2019, children in the class confessed their sins and dedicated themselves to God. Later, during church, a Muslim attacker exploded a bomb at the church. Many church members were injured, and sadly, some died of their injuries.

Verlini and Sebamalai were among those who died. Debbi, their daughter, was wounded, and now she is blind.

But Debbi has hope for the future. “Why cry?” she said to her relatives. “My parents are with Jesus. One day, we will also go to be with Jesus.”

And Debbi has hope for herself and for the eye surgery she will have in Canada in the future. She tells people that Jesus has prepared new eyes for her.

Debbi now lives with her aunt and uncle. When talking about the time since the bombing, Debbi’s uncle said, “We learned so many things about faith and how to walk with God more.”

Debbi’s aunt hopes the surgery will allow Debbi to read the note Verlini left in her Bible that begins, “Debbi Darling.”

Read a story about Jasmine, another girl who was injured in the bombing here.