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The John Bunyan Story

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Nine-year-old John Bunyan lived in England in the 1600s. He was a troublemaker. He lied, stole, cursed, and got into fights. Secretly John worried that he was not living a life pleasing to God. But he could not seem to stop his bad behavior. As he grew older, his behavior did not get any better, and he had no peace.

John decided to try to be good, hoping his good works would make him feel better. He married, went to church, and got a job as a tinker. (A tinker repaired pots, pans, and kettles.) Then he met some women who seemed to have joy and peace in the Lord. The women and their pastor encouraged him to trust in Jesus, who save those who cannot save themselves. John listened to them and gave his life to the Lord!

John began preaching to others about the truths in the Bible. But preaching outside of the official government church was against the law. John was arrested, and he went to jail.


Tipcat

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As a boy, John Bunyan enjoyed playing tipcat and other popular games of the time. During one tipcat game, God led him to understand that life was not all play, and he began to seek God’s will for his life.

Tipcat has been played in various forms around the world for hundreds of years. Today, players can buy tipcat equipment on the Internet. Equipment includes one large stick and a smaller stick about 3 to 6 inches long and sometimes pointed on both ends.

The smaller stick is placed on the ground. Using the larger stick, a player hits one end of the smaller stick, flipping it up in the air. As the smaller stick rises, the player hits it with the long stick. Points are awarded based on how far the stick goes after it is hit. Some versions of the game include fielders chasing the stick.

To play your own version of tipcat, put an inflated balloon on the floor and use a long-handled cooking spoon to tap in gently so it rises, then hit the balloon with the spoon while it is in the air. It may take some practice to tap the balloon so that it rises before you hit it.


Children’s Programs Raided

Children

Last month, police raided a summer church camp for elementary-age children in China. The police were joined by several other government officials and even public school principals.

The officials recorded the names of everyone present, and they took a computer and a projector. Three teachers were taken away for questioning. The officials said that children must not become religious believers.

Earlier this month, police in another place in China raided a house church Sunday school. They rounded up 70 children and their teachers for questioning. Seven teachers were locked up in a detention center.

In some areas of China, police ignore Sunday school classes and other Christian programs for children. In other areas, officials try to keep children from learning about God and Jesus.

When you attend church or Sunday school this week, remember to pray for children in China. If you have the opportunity, tell someone about the children’s programs that were raided and ask others to pray also.


Heartwarming Phone Calls

Texting

In a strict Muslim country where The Voice of the Martyrs works, believers often gather together secretly for worship because it is not safe to gather openly. It’s also difficult to get Bibles. So VOM contacts are texting Bible verses to people, and calling Christians on cell phones to encourage them.

Recently, Christians also called Muslims during a national celebration to wish them a happy holiday. Some of the people had said that they never wanted to talk to Christians. “However, when they were given the traditional greeting, their hearts were warmed,” said one VOM contact.

One of the women the Christians called with a greeting said, “I want to become a Christian!”

She had been having dreams about Jesus and was eager to give her heart to the Lord!” said the worker who called her.

Praise God for providing ways to reach people in “unreachable” places!

Photo credit: “Alton”, Wikipedia


Understanding Persecution

Algerian Child
Algerian Child

Visit this link to download a coloring page of the girl in the photo.

Azad is a Christian in Algeria. As an evangelist, he shared the gospel with others in his Muslim nation. His father chased him out of the family home because of his Christian activities. Then his wife’s family threatened to take his wife away from him if he continued to preach the gospel. Finally, his boss fired him.

“I was so discouraged and I hated my life,” said Azad. He stopped reading his Bible, praying, and spreading the gospel.

Then another Christian gave him Tortured for Christ, a book by Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. The book tells about Pastor Wurmbrand’s experiences as a prisoner for Christ, and it changed Azad’s thinking. He understood that persecution is part of the Christian life, and he returned to church.

Pray that God will also change the thinking of Azad’s family, relatives, and former boss.