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Who Is Your Hero?

VOM Books

Surveys show that many kids’ heroes are movie stars, popular musicians, or famous athletes. But the fame most stars and athletes does not last very long. Real heroes work for more lasting rewards. Some true heroes may have fame or money, but getting those things is not their main goal.

Christian heroes are often people who:

  • Share Jesus with others
  • Forgive those who persecute them
  • Stand firm in the faith even when other make it hard for them to do so

A Bible Hero
In Bible times, there were no cars or airplanes, of course. People had to walk or use boats or animals to take them places. Roads were rough and sometimes mountainous. Bandits hid along the paths, waiting to attack travelers.

How far do you think someone could travel in one day in Bible times? Probably not very many miles. But some Bible scholars believe that the apostle Paul traveled more than 10,000 miles to tell people about Jesus!

Paul did not spend all his time traveling. Sometimes he stayed with friends for a while. And he was not always free to travel. He spent time in prison, was whipped and beaten by enemies of the gospel, and was shipwrecked three times. Often Paul felt hungry, thirsty, tired, and cold. (See 2 Corinthians 11:1.)

However, Paul continued to preach about Jesus for more than 10,000 miles!

To Think About

  • Ask some friends about their heroes. What qualities do their heroes have that cause your friends to look up to them?
  • Who are your heroes? Why do you look up to them?
  • What can you do to be more like your Christian heroes?

The Sad Old Man

Azerbaijan

Day after day, a sad old man wandered up and down the streets of his town in Azerbaijan. At night he slept in a shelter for homeless refugees.

The old man used to live in the part of Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh. When fighting began in Nagorno-Karabakh, he was driven from his home. His wife died in the struggle. His children and grandchildren were scattered all over the country. So the man wandered the streets, sad and lonely.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Do Christians Suffer? More Answers

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Read how some kids answered the question, “Why do Christians suffer?”

Lauren, age 8

The Cake of Life
God’s recipe for a better believing Christian life is:
3 cups believing him
2 cups reading your Bible
Add 1 cup prayer
Stir in 4 tsp. telling others about Jesus
Mix with 2 scoops of love
Cook at 350 degrees of suffering for one hour or until done.

Tyler, age 8

When we try to do what is right, people laugh at us. That’s okay. They laughed at Jesus, too. Jesus suffered because he loves us. We suffer for him because we love him.

Catherine, age 12

God knows our faith will be greatly strengthened, and if we stand up for what we believe, we will believe it even more strongly. Likewise, if we don’t really believe, we stop fooling ourselves into thinking we do.

Judith, age 12

Our sufferings as Christians are not for our glory, but it is to give wholly and entirely glory, honor, and praise to our Father in heaven. Christians suffer so that the strength and power of God might be manifested.

Rose, age 8

Christians suffer so that they learn more about God than they already knew. Christians honor God if they endure and have patience. Their character is purified. They encourage and comfort others and set a good example.

Clay

Christians might tell you that is how they can prove God is real. The Christian looking for a quick answer might say he is testing us, which might be part of the reason, but somewhere in me I know there has to be more to it.

Corrie, age 12

In Hebrews 5:8, it says, “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things which he suffered.” If we are children of God walking in his steps, we will learn obedience just like Jesus did through suffering.

Aaron, age 9

Christians suffer when they know that their persecutors will probably never see Christ. From VOM I learned about people who persecuted Christians but then turned to Christ because the people they were persecuting prayed for them.


American Teen Visits Injured Nigerians

Nigeria
Nigerians with prosthetic legs

Christians in Nigeria suffer from attacks by radical Muslims. Some Christians have lost their legs in explosions or fires during the attacks.

Katherine, an 18-year-old American, recently visited Nigeria, where The Voice of the Martyrs is helping injured Christians walk again with prosthetic limbs. Prosthetics are artificial, manmade body parts.

“The benefit of these limbs for the injured Christians is profound,” Katherine said. “Most of the patients are from very humble backgrounds, living and working in environments that demand daily physical labor…”

“Among the recipients are John, who lost his job as a driver because his…car demands the use of both legs; Rachel, who has five children to feed and could no longer stand to cultivate her garden; Patience, a beautiful young woman with injuries in her feet who comes from a tribe famous for its celebration of dancing, but who struggled even to walk.

“And then there is Weng. Weng is four years old, has brown eyes that [seem] almost bigger than his head, and two very crippled legs…. For the first time, they are able to offer him not just adequate health, but a chance at walking and playing like other young boys.

“While the bodies of our brothers and sisters in Nigeria may have been broken, the condition of their faith is tremendously strong. It hasn’t occurred to their persecutors that the more they attack these Christians physically, the stronger they grow spiritually… It has always been the Nigerian believers’ abundance of grace and forgiveness amidst persecution that truly allows them to heal.”

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed.)

To Think About
Katherine said that when the Nigerians are attacked, they grow stronger spiritually. What does it mean to “grow spiritually?”


Why Do Christians Suffer?

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Why do you think Christians suffer? Read how some kids answered that question.

Lucas, age 11

I turned to the Bible for reasons and found several answers. The faith of a true Christian is increased through persecution. (1 Peter 1:6–7; Romans 5:3–5) Another reason is that God loves his children and wants to give gifts to each. Matthew 5:10 promises the kingdom of heaven to those who are persecuted. A third reason is that we should follow Christ’s example of suffering.

Brian, age 12

I believe that even when Christians suffer, God has not left them. God has a purpose. When unbelievers see the love, protection, and strength God has given his children, they also see the great God we as Christians serve.

Caleb, age 11

When we have everything, we do not depend on God as much, but when we do not have much we depend on God a lot more.

Kristin, age 11

Trials test the bonds of our affection toward God and toward things. Trials help us discern that which is durable and that which is perishable. Trials produce transparency in our lives. They bring out the real you.

Jacob, age 11

It is better to suffer on this earth even as Jesus suffered than to suffer in hell, a constant torment for the rest of eternity. Romans 8:18 says, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Warren, age 10

Through suffering we become more patient, humble, and long-suffering. Things we thought were important become no longer important. All the people and things we lean on are removed and we come to lean on Jesus Christ alone.