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Torchlighters DVD Guides and Student Handouts

Torchlighters

Torchlighters DVDs tell the stories of real-life Christian heroes who faced obstacles and stood up to persecution. (Read more about the DVDs in the Resource section of this site.) Leaders guides and student handouts for each DVD are available free from the Downloads section.

The leaders guides include a synopsis of the life of the hero, lesson plans for teaching children about the featured Christian, descriptions of key people who influenced the hero, historical background about the period of history when the hero lived, and a timeline.

Student handouts include coloring pages from scenes in the DVD, numerous games and activities, craft ideas, interview suggestions, story questions, and discussion starters.

For further information, check Torchlighters.org.


Pray for a Change of Heart

Cross

The Quran is the Muslim holy book. Chapter 4, Verse 157 of the Quran says, “[They claimed]…’We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of God,’ but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them…” (Sura 4:157, Yusuf Ali translation).

So Muslims do not believe that Jesus was crucified. During the Easter season, pray that Muslims will understand that Jesus died, rose again, and conquered death. Pray especially for radical Muslims who persecute Christians.

We know that persecutors can repent and become followers of Jesus. Read the following story about a Muslim in Nigeria who had a change of heart.

Read the rest of this entry »


Holi and Hindus

Girl

“Holi” is a Hindu celebration in India and Nepal. In 2013, Holi will be observed near the end of March.

Amy, an American Christian, traveled to Nepal when she was 9 years old. She went with her parents and her two brothers. Her father got a job in the capital, Kathmandu.

Read below what Amy remembers about Holi and Hinduism.

“The first year we were there, we participated in Holi,” Amy said. “For Holi, the people have paint fights and water fights. Red, green, and yellow are everywhere.

“The second year we realized that Holi was part of a Hindu festival. We didn’t feel it was right for us to participate anymore, since we are Christians.”

During part of another Hindu festival, sisters honor their brothers. “Basically, sisters worship their brothers,” Amy said. “They go to the Hindu temple and perform a ritual for and to their brothers. Christians should not be doing that. Some Christians have their own take on it and don’t do the Hindu part of it.”

Nepalese calendars are filled with Hindu festivals to honor various gods. The people both “love and dread the festivals,” said one visitor to Nepal. It is a lot of work to honor so many gods.

“They have rituals for all the gods so none of the gods will be jealous,” said Amy. “Sometimes Hindus will say they have become Christians. They think, ‘Okay, I’ll just add one more god.’ When you tell them they must stop worshiping other gods, they freak out. They’re afraid the other gods will be angry.”

But some Hindus do become Christians and worship only the one true God. “It’s hard for them,” Amy said. “They have a lot of family pressure. One of our friends became a Christian and wouldn’t go to the Hindu temples with her family. They kicked her out of the family. That kind of thing happens all the time.” Some of the new Christians find comfort among Christians in Nepalese churches.

Ask God to help Hindus not fear other gods.


“God Has a Purpose”

Tunisia

The people of Tunisia celebrate their Independence Day on March 20. Tunisia used to be ruled by France, but became an independent country in 1957.

Most of the people in Tunisia are Muslims. Some are leaving Islam and finding freedom from sin in Christ. The following is a story about one of those believers.

Rami
Rami tried to be a good Muslim. He observed Muslim fasts, studied the Quran, and followed Muslim rules. But the more he tried to follow Islam, the less happy he grew.

Rami gave up trying to be good and even quit praying Muslim prayers. Then one day, he met an American Christian at a rock concert. Rami and the Christian invited Rami to church. He began comparing the teachings in the Bible with those in the Quran. After a year of study, he decided to follow Jesus!

Life as a New Christian
Rami’s friends were no longer friendly to him, and his family was ashamed of his faith.

“People would come to me on the road and say, “Is it true you became a Christian? Be careful; that is not good!” Rami said.

Rami explained that he had become a Christian because he realized he needed a Savior. But many Muslims did not listen to him. When Rami offered one Muslim a Bible, the man said to Rami, “You are stupid! You are a donkey!”

Police officers and other government officials asked him lots of questions. An official warned Rami, “There are not many Christians in Tunisia. You will not be able to find a girl to be your wife.”

Rami thinks the government of Tunisia might be afraid of Christians. They may think Christians and Muslims will start fighting each other. He told the officials that they should not fear Christians.

“I told them as Christians, we have to love each other,” said Rami. “We have to love everyone; we have to love our enemies. We have to forgive everyone who makes evil against us, and we don’t do evil.”

No matter what happens, Rami said he will continue to share his faith in Christ. “God has a purpose for his church in Tunisia,” Rami said. “We just need to leave it in God’s hands.”

(Source: Bold Believers in Algeria and Tunisia)

Visit this link to download a Tunisian coloring page.


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 (especially on Tuesday), 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. 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. There are in the minority. But they are not alone! They trust God to be with them when they boldly serve him.