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Nigeria: Kidnapped

Parent and Teachers
The June 2018 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes stories about bold believers in Nigeria who trust God even in times of sorrow. You can share the adapted stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.
Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, visit the subscription signup page.

Palmata and Kumai
One day, 9-year-old Palmata and 7-year-old Kumai were sitting outside the front door of their house in Nigeria eating an after-school snack. Their Aunt Deborah, who had adopted them, talked with a neighbor nearby. Inside the house, their father was preparing for a Bible study.

The family’s peaceful afternoon was disrupted when five men with machine guns drove a truck toward their house. The men were part of Boko Haram, a radical Muslim group that attacks Christian villages. They walked into the house and started shooting their guns, then they grabbed Palmata and Kumai and dragged them to the truck.

Deborah ran after the truck as fast as she could, but she fell and fainted. When she woke up in the hospital, she learned that her husband had died in the attack, and her girls had been kidnapped.

Deborah and other Christians moved to a camp for displaced people where they could be safer. For a long time, Deborah felt hopeless. But she has begun to trust that God has a plan for her.

Deborah said, “I feel…if it is [God’s] will for me not to get the girls back, then lead them to heaven. But if it is His will to let us come together again, let the men release the girls. That is my prayer. I know that no matter what we will still meet at God’s feet.”

Deborah with a photo of her girls

Deborah has forgiven the men who attacked her family, and she prays that they will repent. Can you join her in her prayers for Palmata and Kumai, and for the attackers?

(Source: The June 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

World Missions Camporee

Learning about North Korea

Earlier this year, a troop of American Heritage Girls from Frisco, Texas, participated in a camporee with other girls from northeast Texas. American Heritage Girls is a Christian scouting-type group, and the focus of the camporee was world missions.

The Frisco troop set up a North Korea booth, and members spoke about North Korea to more than 50 girls ages 9 to 12. The girls used information from The Voice of the Martyrs newsletters and Kids of Courage resources to prepare their presentations.

“I learned that Christians in North Korea need to have much strength and courage to spread the Word,” said Wren, age 15, who was one of the presenters. “Some of the girls we were teaching had no idea about the things we were teaching them, so it felt good to get them informed.”

“What a huge blessing it was to speak about North Korea to girls who had absolutely no idea what life [in North Korea] is like for Christians and non-Christians alike,” said Emily, an adult leader. “Many of their eyes were opened to the importance of praying for persecuted Christians and those who have not yet heard the gospel.”

Have you shared information about persecuted Christians with others in a unique setting? If so, use the “Contact Us” button at the bottom of this page to let VOM know about it.

Nigeria: Two Powerful Gifts

Nigerian Muslim girl selling food

“Why don’t you give the Christians guns?” asked a fifth grader who was visiting The Voice of the Martyrs headquarters. The student had just learned about Christians who are persecuted for their faith in other countries. He was looking for a solution to the Christians’ problems.

Even adults struggle with how to react to the persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. VOM’s president, Cole Richards, is a former U.S. military officer. After he visited Christians whose families had been persecuted in Nigeria, Cole said, “I tried to imagine a military strategy that would capture…every violent extremist.”

But he knew that such a strategy would not defeat evil. “I need to pray,” he said. “I can’t carry this burden. Heavenly Father,…do not let me give in to frustration, anger, or hatred.

“In working with our persecuted Nigerian brothers and sisters,” Mr. Richards continued, “we have received two powerful gifts….The first gift is an understanding that God’s joy…is stronger than their sorrow. The second gift is the knowledge that the gospel is powerful enough to transform even the most sinful among us.

“As our bold and faithful Nigerian family members reach out in love to their enemies, the gospel triumphs over the lies and darkness of radical Islam. The power of Islamic extremism to inflict suffering in this world is nothing compared with the gospel’s power to transform people for eternity.”

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs June 2018 newsletter)

To Talk About
What are the two powerful gifts we can receive from learning about Nigerian Christians?

Uzbekistan: Child Questioned by Police

Uzbek boy

 Fact: Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country. A country is landlocked if it is not next to a sea or ocean. Doubly landlocked countries are landlocked countries surrounded by other landlocked countries. (The Caspian and Aral Seas in the region are actually big lakes.)

Fact: Some Christians in Uzbekistan don’t want a Bible because it is risky to own one. Even if they are caught with a digital Bible on their smartphone, they can get in trouble with the police.

Even kids in Uzbekistan may have a hard time because of their faith. Earlier this year, the police shut a Christian mother and her children in their bathroom while they searched their house. The kids’ dad was not at home. When they left, the police took the family’s Bible and computer with them.

Two days later, officials took the family’s 8-year-old son out of school and questioned him. They let him go home, but then called him and his mother back again. They threatened the family with fines and jail time if the boy’s father continued to attend church. Officials in Uzbekistan pressure people of all faiths to keep their children away from meetings for worship.

(Source: Forum 18 News Service)

What Would You Say
What would you say if someone questioned you about your faith in Christ? Let someone act as a questioner, and role play answering the questions below.
*Are you a Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian? What rules do you have to follow?
*What does Jesus mean to you?
*What does the Bible teach?
*How does someone become a Christian? How did you become a Christian?

Myanmar: Orphans Captured

VOM gives gifts to children in Myanmar

A Christian worker’s family in Myanmar (Burma) cares for several orphans in their home. The orphans are learning how to share the love of Jesus with those around them. They visited 18 villages and a festival, passing out gospel pamphlets to the villagers.

The majority of the people in Burma are Buddhists. Some Buddhist monks were opposed to the orphans’ Christian activities at the festival. They tried to shave the orphans’ hair off so they would have shaved heads like the monks.

Young Buddhist monks

The orphans ran away from the monks and ran to the Christian family’s home. But the monks sent villagers and others after the orphans, and four of them were captured. Two of the orphans were able to escape, but two were not. They may be captives in a Buddhist monastery.

*that the orphans will be safe
*that they will grow in their faith and lead others to Christ
*for Christians in Myanmar who are caring for orphans

Watch a video clip of children in Myanmar singing a Sunday school song here.
Learn more about Christians in Myanmar in the book Bold Believers in Burma, available in the free Downloads section.