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A Pencil Gets Courage

North Korea

Pencil was scared. His three friends, Eraser, Paper Clip, and Pen, had just been arrested. Pencil and his friends were Christians in North Korea. The North Korean government has harsh rules to control the activities of believers. The three Christians were arrested for sharing the gospel.

Pencil was a Christian too, but he was too shy and scared to share his faith. When he tried, his mouth became dry, his hands shook, and he couldn’t make the words come out of his mouth. He was even more fearful after his friends were arrested.

Pencil and his friends had learned about Jesus from a Chinese Christian worker. The Christian encouraged them to use nicknames to make it harder for the police to know who they really were. So the friends had chosen the names of school supplies for their nicknames.

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The Six-Year-Old Evangelist

Iran

In Tehran, Iran, a 6-year-old boy watched a Christian television program about Jesus. The Muslim government does not allow Christian TV programs to be produced in Iran. But they cannot control what is broadcast into Iran from other countries by satellite.

As the boy listened to the followers of Jesus on his TV, he sang along with them and prayed when they prayed. One morning before school, he said to his mother, “I want to tell my teacher about Jesus. What can I do?”

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Henan: Brave Daughter of a Courageous Christian

Vietnam

Henan was a 15-year-old Christian girl from the Rade tribe in Vietnam. Her father was a church leader.

Christianity is growing among many of Vietnam’s tribal people, and Vietnamese officials often target tribal Christians for persecution. To humiliate Henan’s father in front of the villagers, the authorities set his beard on fire. Then they put chains on him and dragged him away.

No one knew where they took him. Henan stopped going to school while she searched for him. After eight months, she found him with 68 other Christians in a prison three day’s journey away from her village.

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Big Faith and a Brave Heart

Vietnam

(The following true testimony tells the story of Trinh, a young Vietnamese woman now living in the U.S. Trinh tells what her life was like as a young Christian in Vietnam when she was about the age of the Vietnamese girl in the photo. The testimony is adapted and paraphrased from interviews with Trinh and her mother. Her name and some identifying details have been changed to protect her identity.)

Growing Up In Vietnam
At school in Vietnam, kids questioned me about my faith. There were Buddhists, Hindus, and others. They would say, “There is no difference between Buddhism and Christianity.” I would say, “Yes, there is a difference.” I am still praying for them and believe one day they will be Christians.

I began driving a motorbike at age 13, without a license. It’s not necessary to have a license in Vietnam. It’s different in America. People drive cars and there are rules and regulations. There are no rules in Vietnam. On the motorbike, I helped my pastor and his wife in their ministry.

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Ani: “We Are Not Shocked by Suffering”

Indonesia

Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs talked with a Christian girl named Ani in Indonesia. Two years before the interview, Ani’s village was attacked by radical “Laskar Jihad” Muslims. The attackers burned Ani’s home and church. Sadly, Ani’s grandfather died in the attack. Ani and her grandmother escaped into the forest. Here is what Ani told the VOM workers.

VOM: How old are you?
Ani: I am 16.

VOM: Tell me about going to school.
Ani: I am in the first grade of senior high school. I study at school from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I like all subjects, but I especially hope I can have success in English.

VOM: Where do you and your family live?
Ani: All of my family, including my grandmother, live in a refugee camp. I am not living with them. I’m living with a family in another district, because I have to go to school in this area.

VOM: What does your house look like?
Ani: The walls are made of bamboo, the roof of leaves, and the floor is soil.

VOM: Do you get enough food?
Ani: I get enough food with rice and vegetables, but I never get a balanced diet.

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