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Saving a Generation

(Source: persecution.com/bibles)

When 9-year-old Jovia Mulungi opened her Bible for the first time, she knew it would change her life. Even at her age, she understood that God’s Word and the life lessons it contains would set her on the right path.

“I want to learn about making choices because it’s good,” she said. “I do not want to lie. I do not want to fight with my friends. I want to be obedient to my mother and father. Thank you for giving me this book to read about the choices people made. I want to become like Jesus. Pray for me.”

VOM distributes children’s Bibles in rural parts of Uganda, where Islam is spreading rapidly and Bibles are rare even among adults. Parents there are thrilled when their children receive their own Bibles.

“I have read this book as if reading a novel, cover to cover, to find out if there is any fault in it before I can allow my children to use it,” said Bridget Muwanga, the parent of another child who received a Bible. “I realized that I need it first before I can pass it on. It challenges me on the choices I have made. We are now going through it as a family, challenging one another. My husband just loves it.”

As the Bibles were distributed to a group of Christian children, some nearby Muslim children asked if they could have a copy, too. Members of the distribution team happily gave them each a copy of their own.

“We thank God for this ministry and pray that we can touch so many children and families with the love of God through this material,” a member of the distribution team said. “Making the right choices is always a challenge, but when we nurture children through this material we are surely saving a whole generation.”

 


Releasing God’s Word

Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently interviewed Reed Olson. Reed helps The Voice of the Martyrs get Bibles and other Christian materials into places where Bibles can be hard to find. Read below about Reed’s work and a VOM website that has Christian books and videos in 80 languages.

(Source: VOM Radio, condensed and edited)

Reed: They are saying that by 2025 — so four years from now — 75 percent of all the people in the world that access the Internet will access it by their mobile phones. What does that mean? So now instead of smuggling things and all the dangers that presents, you can beam in videos, books, Bibles at the touch of a finger.

Todd: We have told stories about Somalia — if you are carrying a paper Bible down the street in Somalia, you are likely to be killed. But everybody has a phone.

Reed: Exactly.

Todd: How is The Voice of the Martyrs taking advantage of that?

Reed: Three years ago, we did something kind of revolutionary. We created the website vm1.global. We decided we were going to put resources on the site in print and especially film. We have resources in over 80 languages on the site that can be freely viewed, streamed, downloaded, and shared with other people. People are loving it. People are getting saved, people are starting churches, people are getting ministered to in ways they never had.

“Thank God,” they write me. “Thank God that we are able to use the vm1.global for people who don’t have a way to go to church.” I am so excited about this!

Todd (to listeners): We have been talking about a website vm1.global. These resources are free. You can download them, you can use them, you can share them as a way of sharing the gospel.

Parents and teachers: Please preview VOM resources before sharing them with children.

 


Stef’s Riddle

Give Thanks

The story below comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands. The story is told from the point of view of a boy in the Netherlands.

Boredom
I’m bored and not just a little bit. My sister is doing something only girls like, my dad is at work, and my mom has been cleaning the attic for hours. When I see the mess in the attic, I don’t think she will have time for me the rest of the week. But I’m going to try.

“Mom! I’m bored!” I yell. “Good!” Mom answers from behind a stack of rubbish. “You have time to think about God!”

Booklet
I must look puzzled. Mom is laughing and flipping through a booklet. Ah, that’s why cleaning takes so long.

It is a booklet about kids who say special things about God. She hands me the booklet and points to a story that tells what a dad said to a kid who was bored.

Riddle
The dad told the kid a riddle. I have heard the riddle somewhere before, but I am curious about the answer, so I read the story.

The riddle goes like this: A man on a river bank has a wolf, a lamb, and a cabbage. He wants to get them safely on the other bank. He is only allowed to take one at a time in his boat.

If he takes the wolf first, the lamb will eat the cabbage. If he takes the cabbage first, the wolf will eat the lamb. He could take the lamb first, but on the next crossing, he will have to take either the wolf or the cabbage. In both cases, one of the objects would be eaten on the other shore unless the man stayed with them to prevent it.

A girl in the book offered this solution to the riddle: “We should pray for Jesus to return, because when He does, the wolf and the lamb will be friends (Isaiah 11:6). The cabbage will be safe, too, because the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink (Romans 14:17).

I think the girl had a good answer. I read it out loud to mom.

“Indeed,” Mom says. “Hopefully it will happen soon, and then there will be no more sad things like the kidnapping of Christians in Nigeria and people put in prison in North Korea.”

Being Bored Is Good
Mom and I are quiet together. Then Mom says, “I’m glad you are bored. Now we have time to think about God together.”

Note: The answer to the riddle is as follows. On his first trip across the river, the man takes the lamb. The wolf and the cabbage stay behind. The man returns alone and takes the cabbage on his second trip across. He leaves the cabbage and puts the lamb back in his boat. He takes the lamb back, leaves it, and picks up the wolf. He leaves the wolf across the river with the cabbage, and returns and gets the lamb. Soon all three are safely with the man on the opposite shore.


Ahmed’s Secret

Morocco
Satellite dishes bring Christian programs to Moroccan homes

Ahmed liked to sit in front of his family’s TV and flip through channels. When he was home alone, he watched a Christian satellite program. Ahmed learned the truth about Jesus from the program, and he believed what he heard. But he kept his new faith secret.

Like most Moroccan children, Ahmed was born into a Muslim family. Family honor is treasured in Morocco. Many Muslims believe their family’s honor will be ruined if a family member becomes a Christian.

A Surprise
One day, Ahmed went to the souk (market) with his mother Zebidah, and his two younger sisters. But Ahmed forgot to take his money. He returned home to get his money, planning to join his mother and sisters later. When he got home, he discovered his father, Gareeb, watching a Christian program on TV!

“What are you doing?” asked Ahmed. “That’s a Christian program you are watching!”

“Son, I’ve been watching this show for a long time,” his father answered.

“Really?” said Ahmed. “Then I can tell you that I watch it, too!”

Ahmed and his father joyfully shared what they had learned about Jesus. Then they agreed to tell the rest of the family that they were followers of Christ.

More Surprises
After Zebidah and the girls came home, Gareeb and Ahmed discovered an amazing fact. They had also been watching the Christian program and had given their lives to Jesus!

The TV program became the family’s church. They sang, prayed, and read the Bible along with the people on the show. They listened to sermons that encouraged them.

Pray that more Moroccan families will come to know Christ.

(Source: Bold Believers in Morocco)

“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served….Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14–15).


Novruz and Azerbaijan

Novruz plate

Novruz, the “Persian New Year,” is celebrated in late March in Azerbaijan, Iran, and other locations. In Azerbaijan it is “the most important holiday,” said a Christian in Azerbaijan.

Katrina, a 10-year-old girl in Azerbaijan, described Novruz in the following way.

“During the last week before Novruz, kids go door to door, putting their hats on the ground before each door, knocking, and then running to hide. The people who live inside the house open the door, take the hat, and put candy and small treats inside. They close the door, and the kids come rushing back to see what was inside the hat!

“During Novruz, people like to decorate boiled eggs to set on the table. A game that everyone likes to play during Novruz is ‘Yumurta Doyusmek’ or ‘Egg Fighting.’ During this game, two people each take a boiled egg and knock the ends together. Whichever egg did not crack wins the fight.

“Another thing people do for Novruz is grow a plateful of green grass (wheat grass) which they set in the center of a tray surrounded by candies and Novruz treats. My favorite Novruz treat is qogal [go-GHAL], a salty round bread that is very crumbly, and is sort of made in layers.” [See the photo. Click to enlarge. The round, yellow pastries are qogal.]

Azerbaijan
Most of the people in Azerbaijan are Muslims. But the government does not want radical Muslims to cause trouble. So, officials try to strictly control religious activity. In recent years, laws have made Christian activities and spreading the gospel more difficult.

In many places in the world, there are fewer people who follow Jesus than there are people who do not follow Jesus. A Christian in those places may be the only Christian in their family or town. They are in the minority. But they are not alone! They trust God to be with them when they boldly serve him.