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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of people in a country where civil war has driven more than 750,000 Christians from the country. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Spotlight Story

Seven Facts About North Korea

A balloon launch

Recently, Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio interviewed Dr. Eric Foley from VOM Korea.  Dr. Foley talked about launching Bibles inside balloons into North Korea, where Christianity is illegal. Read below some interesting facts about North Korea from the interview.

*To the North Korean government, it’s worse to be a Christian than to be a thief or a murderer.

*2018 was the most difficult year for balloon launches. In the fall of the year, VOM Radio listeners were asked to pray for the launches. By the end of the year, 30,000 new Bibles had been placed in North Korea by balloons. (See a video about balloon launches from a previous year here.)

*“North Korea, the most closed country in the world, is the only country in the world where Bibles fall from the sky,” said Dr. Foley.

*To the North Korean government, sending Bibles into their country is worse than sending missiles.

*When we started balloon launching, zero percent of people inside North Korea had ever seen a Bible with their own eyes,” said Dr. Foley. “Now more than eight percent of North Korean people have seen a Bible.”

*Some ways that Christians share the gospel with North Korea are secret. It’s better to “pray about it a lot and talk about it a little.”

*North Koreans are expected to worship their former leader, Kim Il Sung, who is now dead. “[North Korea] is the only neocracy in the world — the only country ruled by a dead man,” said Dr. Foley. (Kim Jong Un, the grandson of Kim Il Sung, is the current living leader of North Korea.)

Statues of Kim Il Sung and his son

Can you use the seven facts above to guide you in prayer for North Korea?

To learn about North Korean Christians, download Bold Believers in North Korea from the Downloads section.

Spotlight Story

Egypt: Meriam

Girl in Egypt

When Meriam was 3 years old, her father left Islam (the religion of Muslims) and began to follow Jesus. In Egypt, where her family lives, most people are Muslims. People who become Christians are often given a hard time by Muslim friends, relatives, and bosses.

When Meriam’s mother found out that her husband was now a Christian, she told her family. They insisted that she get a divorce. Meriam’s father was able to take Meriam with him, and the two of them moved in with Meriam’s grandmother. Eventually, because he shared his faith with them often, Meriam and her grandmother became Christians, too.

When Meriam’s aunts, uncles, and cousins found out that she, too, was a Christian, they came to the home and demanded that she deny Jesus. Meriam refused and told them that she loves Jesus and would remain a Christian. Then her angry uncles hit and kicked her!

Meriam and her dad escaped their hometown and are now in hiding in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Even though she is afraid sometimes, Meriam refuses to deny Jesus and is continuing to follow God. Now Meriam and her father are rebuilding their lives together.

(Source: VOM Australia)

Read more about courageous Christians in Egypt in Bold Believers in Egypt available in the Downloads section.

Spotlight Story

Martyrs Memorial Induction Ceremony

Standing with today’s persecuted Christians is central to our mission. But it is also important for us to draw inspiration from those who have gone before us…We have established this date, coinciding with the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul, as an annual day of remembrance called Day of the Christian Martyr. — Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs

On June 29, 2019, Christians around the world took time to honor the legacy of those who have sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the gospel. The Day of the Christian Martyr reminded us of what God has done in the past through His faithful servants.

The Voice of the Martyrs added the names of Rodé and Jean-Pierre Groenewald and their father Werner to the Martyrs Memorial at VOM headquarters. In 2014, the Groenewalds gave their lives while serving the Lord in Afghanistan. One month before their deaths, Werner said, “We only die once, it might as well be for Christ.”

You can watch the induction ceremony here.
Parents and Teachers
Please preview “The Story of the Groenewalds” on the page with the video before allowing children to read it. You may also want to preview the induction ceremony video and choose the parts to share with kids.

Spotlight Story

Smoking Through the Bible

From the Kids of Courage archives

Ber grew up in Laos, a country in Southeast Asia. After Communists took control of their country several years ago, many in Laos fled to Thailand. Christians fled because they knew that the government would persecute them for their faith.

Ber was not a Christian; in fact, he hated Christians. But he fled to escape the poor conditions in Laos.

Escaping was risky. Some people died trying to cross the Mekong River between Laos and Thailand. But Ber made it safely to a refugee camp in Thailand. (“Refugees” are people who flee to a place of safety.) The camp in Thailand was not a clean, healthy place to live, and it was often boring for young men like Ber. He hoped to find a way to go to America.

Ber’s New Bible
Like Ber, most of the people in Laos did not follow Jesus. Many are Buddhists; some are spirit worshipers. One day, some Christians came to the camp and gave the refugees New Testaments printed in the Lao language. Many of the refugees had never seen a Bible. Ber had no desire to read a Bible, but he took one anyway. He liked to get things that didn’t cost him anything.

Ber found a way to use the pages of his new Book to help him with an unhealthy habit. He tore a page out, put some tobacco in it, rolled it up, and smoked it! He smoked his way through the Gospels, Paul’s letters, and the rest of the New Testament, one page at a time.

After he finished smoking Revelation, he was out of pages. He asked other refugees for a new Bible, but no one had a spare copy to give him. “There is a Bible study here,” a friend told him. “Why don’t you go and see if they can give you a new Bible?”

So Ber went to the Bible study, where he received a new Bible. But after listening to the Christians talk about Jesus, he repented of his sins and received a new life in Christ! Then he wanted to begin reading the Bible instead of smoking it.

Sneaking Back In
Ber was happy to be a Christian, but he was sad that his family in Laos did not know the truth about Jesus. So while others were risking their lives to sneak out of Laos, Ber risked his life to sneak back in!

Ber is glad that his family believed the message that he risked his life to bring them. They also became new believers in Christ. The police began to watch Ber, but he pressed on to share the gospel carefully. He also got married, had two sons, and quit smoking!

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)

Spotlight Story

Keeping the Faith in Inner Mongolia

Isaac decided to quit school. He was only 15, so his education was not yet complete. “I just wanted to share the burden on my mother,” he said.

Isaac and his mother are Christians, and they live in Inner Mongolia.  Sadly, when Isaac was 10, his father died. Then two years later, his grandparents died. Isaac’s mother worked on a farm all day, but still didn’t make enough money to support herself and Isaac.

The local government gives widows a pension to help them provide for their families. But they refused to pay Isaac’s mother because she and Isaac attend a small church of about 60 believers. The government threatens people who won’t join their government-controlled church. They even warned other villagers not to help Isaac’s family.

“The thought in my heart was to work in a restaurant or shop,” said Isaac. “[My mother] works so hard,…and also serves our brothers and sisters in the community who are in need. If I did nothing, my heart would blame me. So I decided to quit school.”

Thankfully other Christians prayed for and helped the family, and Isaac was able to continue his education. He even won a math competition for his school. Isaac plans to attend Bible college after he graduates from high school. He and his mother appreciate continued prayer for their family.

(Source: VOM Australia)