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Morocco: A Royal Birthday

King Mohammed VI

Mohammed VI (the sixth) is the king of Morocco. He was born on August 21, 1963. (Can you figure out how old he is now?)

The king is considered to be a very modern king. He has more than 3 million Facebook followers, and he likes to take selfies. He has Twitter and Instagram accounts.

King Mohammed, like 99 percent of his citizens, is Muslim. He is called “the protector of Islam.” (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Facts About Morocco
The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Report shares the following facts about the king’s country.

Life for Christians: Though all citizens are considered Muslim, Christian leaders estimate that there are 4,000 citizens, perhaps more, who regularly attend secret house churches. Conversion is not illegal, but converts can be prosecuted for “shaking the beliefs” of a Muslim and sentenced to prison for up to three years. Those found guilty of … converting others also face criminal punishment or expulsion from the country.

It is also against the law in Morocco:
*To criticize Islam in public.
*For a Muslim woman to marry a Christian. (But Muslim men can marry Christians.)
*For private schools to teach about any religion other than Islam.
(Source: The U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report)

The Voice of the Martyrs is helping three bold Christian leaders set up a café to provide income. VOM also distributes New Testaments and SD cards with the JESUS Film, The God Story, and praise and worship songs.

On King Mohammed’s birthday, pray that he will rule fairly, love wisdom, and come to know the God of the Bible.

Learn more about Moroccan Christians in Bold Believers in Morocco, available in the free Downloads section.


Indonesia: Encouraging Friends to Turn to God

Indonesian children

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

One thousand students attended a school in Indonesia, but only three of them were Christians. The rest were Muslims. Merpati was one of the Christians.

“After I became a Christian, I dared to bring my Bible to school,” said Merpati. “My Muslim friends were curious about the book, so I let them read it.

“Some of the Muslims avoided me. They mocked me when I walked by them, saying, ‘Hallelujah,’ or ‘Watch out. Jesus is passing by.’ Sometimes they read verses from the Quran when I passed by.” (The Quran is the Muslim holy book.)

“My teacher and counselor called me to the office and questioned me. ‘Did other Christians persuade you to become one of them by giving you money?’ they asked. I said to them: ‘I believe Jesus because He saved me and loves me. I became a Christian because of my heart instead of for money.’

“Many of my Muslim friends came to me to ask advice about their problems. I told them to pray and ask the living God for help. Some were interested to know about Jesus, and there were a few who listened to my testimony. I realized the consequences of sharing my testimony, but I was not afraid to get expelled from school. I would not stop testifying about God because I wanted all my friends saved.

“I would like to tell students in America: ‘Do not believe in other gods, but believe in Jesus, because Jesus is the only way. He’s the only one who can save us.’”

(Source: VOM contacts. Translated, paraphrased, and edited from original testimonies.)

(Read more about Merpati and other Indonesian Christians in Bold Believers in Indonesia, available in the free Downloads section.)

To Talk About
Which of the following is something you have done or something that has happened to you?

*You took your Bible to school or to another public place.
*You loaned your Bible to someone who had questions about it.
*People mocked or avoided you because you are a Christian.
*Someone has asked you for advice or told you about a problem they had.
*When someone confided in you, you encouraged them to pray to God for help.
*Someone in authority has questioned you about your faith.

Where do you think it would be easier to be a Christian, in America, or at Merpati’s school?
The story tells several ways Merpati shared her faith. What were the ways?
In which of those ways could you share your faith?


Syria: Ziyad and the Druze

Ziyad grew up in Syria. His family followed the Druze religion. But Ziyad left the Druze faith to become a Christian.

Read below about the Druze to better understand why Ziyad suffered persecution after he decided to follow Christ.

The Druze
The Druze broke away from Islam, the religion of Muslims, many centuries ago. Druze people gather for religious meetings on Thursdays instead of on Fridays, like Muslims, or on Sundays, like most Christians. They have many secrets, and only a few Druze know all the secrets.

No one is allowed to become a Druze if they were not born into a Druze family. And followers of Druze teachings are not allowed to leave the faith. Strong families and a strong Druze community encourage members not to explore other religions.

The Druze do not permit marriages to non-Druze people. To obey the rules, sometimes they marry people they do not love.

The Druze believe in reincarnation — the belief that people who die may return to life in other bodies.

(Source: Bold Believers in Syria, available in the free Downloads section.)

Ziyad
Five years ago, Ziyad placed his faith in Christ. His family immediately kicked him out of their house. He has been beaten, imprisoned, and even kidnapped for sharing his faith with others. People have insulted him on social media. Please ask God to protect him and provide for his daily needs.

(Source: icommittopray.com)


Amy Carmichael: Fascinating Facts

The previous post told about missionary Amy Carmichael and her work in India. Read more facts about Amy below.

(Source: The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available at VOMBooks.com. The book includes 144 pages of stories, devotionals, coloring pages, dot-to-dots, crafts, and activities related to the heroes featured on Torchlighters DVDs.)

“If Only You Knew”
Amy Carmichael grew up in a well-to-do Irish family with six younger siblings. She often got in trouble for her behavior. Once when someone told her she was naughty, she thought to herself, “If only you knew how much naughtier I could be, you wouldn’t think I was naughty at all!”

Serving God at Home
As a teenager, Amy totally gave her life and future to God. Her father died when she was 18, and Amy spent the next 10 years helping care for her younger siblings.

Learning Kindness
One day after church, Amy and her brother saw an old beggar woman with torn clothes and only rags to cover her feet. They helped the woman, but Amy was embarrassed to be seen with the pitiful beggar. Then the Lord reminded her of the things that would be important in eternity. (Read 1 Corinthians 3:12-14.) She was no longer embarrassed, and she
promised God to do things that pleased Him.

No Furloughs
Most missionaries take furloughs — breaks to rest and return to their home country and families — but Amy served in India for 55 years without a furlough.

Castes
Traditional Hinduism teaches that people are born into castes. A caste is a social class. Priests belong to the highest caste, soldiers to the next, businessmen and farmers to the
next, and servants and workers to the next. Lowest of all are the “untouchables,” now called Dalits. As a foreigner, Amy would have been seen as an “untouchable.” Today the
government of India has laws against the caste system. But Dalits are still scorned in parts of India.

Amy’s Prayer
The morning before an accident that broke her leg and made her an invalid, Amy prayed, “Do with me as Thou wilt. Do anything that will fit me to serve Thee and help my
beloveds.” During this time, Amy wrote many books and thousands of letters encouraging believers to take up their cross and follow Jesus.


The Amy Carmichael Story

Elise Wixtrom has grown up learning about persecuted Christians and reading VOM resources. Currently she 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.

Amy Carmichael
1901. India. Amy Carmichael, an Irishwoman by birth, sailed across the ocean to a land she had never been to before. When Amy Carmichael was younger, she had dreamed of having beautiful blue eyes instead of boring brown ones. Every night when she went to bed, she prayed she’d wake up and her eyes would change. Every morning, she looked in the mirror and was disappointed. But little Amy Carmichael would later find that her “boring” brown eyes were going to help her in the future.

Amy Carmichael rode around the Indian countryside, bringing the gospel to small villages with her band of friends. They called themselves “The Starry Cluster,” a name taken from the Bible verse, “Those who bring righteousness to many shall shine like the stars” (Daniel 12:3). The group of friends, mostly women, taught in marketplaces and sometimes in the streets. They held Bible studies that young children attended to hear the gospel of Christ. Soon, though, a young girl came to Carmichael and begged for her help to escape temple servitude. The missionary woman took the girl, named Preena, into her home and gave her shelter from the temple.

The VOM Torchlighters episode, The Amy Carmichael Story, focuses on the story of Preena and how her path crossed Amy’s in her search for freedom. Over the years that Amy Carmichael stayed in India, she adopted many other children. Some of the children had also run away from the temple, others left their families because they were being abused for being Christians. In order to sneak into the temple to rescue children, Carmichael had to dye her skin with coffee. If her eyes were blue, she wouldn’t have been able to do that.

In fact, Amy Carmichael made the best of all situations, overcoming all odds with her optimism and unrelenting faith in the Word of God. She believed that God could set all slaves free, whether they were old or young. Her belief in a loving and caring Father brought many children to safety. It gave hope to the hopeless and a home to the abandoned. It gave a family to the orphans and the outcasts, and her legacy in India changed an entire culture of slavery for the better.

Watch a trailer for The Amy Carmichael Story here.