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Preschool Teacher Finds Jesus in Kenya

Kenya

Missionaries at School
Abdi was a preschool teacher at a school in Kenya. He was a Muslim, and he taught the children about Islam, the religion of Muslims.

A few years ago, some Christian missionaries came to the school and began teaching the children about Jesus. The children told their parents, and the parents told the community leaders.

The leaders sent Abdi and other young men to confront the missionaries. Abdi and his friends were confused when the Christians answered them humbly and politely. They did not get angry or fight.

Attacked and Reunited
The men decided to attack the missionaries anyway. They knew that other Christians would soon visit the missionaries. During the visit, the Muslims would attack all the Christians at once.

In the meantime, they followed the Christians and watched them. Abdi attended some of their worship services. Then a surprising thing happened. Abdi liked what he heard, and he became a Christian! The other Muslims started spying on him, too.

Abdi learned from a friend that the Muslims planned to burn down his house. He moved his wife and children to his wife’s father’s house, and he went into hiding at a different village. After two months he came to get his family.

But his wife’s family did not want to let them go with Abdi. They believed that Abdi had forced his wife to become a Christian. But Abdi‘s wife had decided to follow Jesus on her own. So her family allowed her and the children to leave with Abdi.

Pray for Abdi, his wife, and their five children as they continue to deal with persecution in their country.


Lost Cell Phone Brings Trouble in Pakistan

Pakistan

Shafgat and Shaguftah have five children, ages 5 to 13. But they were separated from their children last summer after Shafgat and Shaguftah were arrested.

A Muslim, Muhammad Hussain, reported the couple to the police after he received offensive text messages on his cell phone. Hussain said the messages were “blasphemous,” and that they came from Shaguftah’s cell phone number.

“Blasphemy” refers to words or deeds that dishonor something holy. Pakistan has laws against blaspheming anything or anyone that Muslims think is holy, such as Muhammad, the founder of Islam, or the Quran, the Muslim holy book. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Shaguftah told the police that she had lost her cell phone a month before Muhammad got the text message. But the police put Shafgat and Shaguftah in jail anyway. The officers pressured the parents to name someone else who could have sent the message. But Shafgat and Shaguftah were convicted in court of the charges against them.

Pray for families around the world who are separated because of their faithfulness to Christ.


Sharing the Good News in Karnataka

Karnataka
Delivering Bibles in Karnataka

The Ice Cream Man
Daniel, age 13, lived with his brother, sister, mom, and dad in Karnataka, a state in India. His dad, Pushparaj, was an ice cream man. He sold ice cream from a small ice cream cart.

When Pushparaj sold ice cream to his customers, he also gave them a Christian pamphlet. The pamphlet explained how Jesus saves people from sin.

Because of his Christian witness, radical Hindus beat him up several times. “Jesus was beaten, too,” said Pushparaj. “My beatings were just little ones.”

Daniel and his family were kicked out of their home and rejected by neighbors. But they gained new friends among those who decided to become Christians

Source: Kids of Courage archives

Pastor Gowda
Pastor Gowda, a VOM worker, distributes Bibles in Karnataka, where Daniel and his family live. Last year he supervised the delivery of 10,000 Bibles in a region of Karnataka where Christians are persecuted by radical Hindus.

Who received the Bibles? Here is a list of some of the kinds of people who received them.

  • Some Christians had never owned a Bible and were too poor to buy one.
  • Twelve families were sharing one Bible. Each family got a new Bible.
  • Radical Hindus destroyed many Bibles. The Bibles were replaced.
  • Some who received Bibles had been fasting and praying for a Bible for two or three years.

Before the Bibles were delivered, workers prayed for each Bible and for the pastors who would help distribute them. They asked God to use His word to bring light to the hearts of those who persecute Christians.

Source: July 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine


Bean Art Prayer Reminder

Prayer Reminder

A recent volunteer at The Voice of the Martyrs headquarters shared a prayer reminder she made. To make the prayer reminder, follow her instructions below.

Needed
Plastic water bottle; photos from The Voice of the Martyrs magazine or this website; a variety of small beans, peas, rice, seeds, or other grains; funnel (can be made from rolling up a piece of paper; see photo); craft glue.

Instructions

  1. Wash the plastic water bottle and cap and allow it to dry completely.
  2. Glue photos or Bible verses to the bottle. Seal and finish with decoupage medium if desired.
  3. Pour in the seeds and beans, one color at a time. Repeat until the bottle is filled.
  4. Decorate the bottle with additional materials if desired.

Variations
Use colored sand instead of beans and seeds.
Fill the container with dry ingredients for cookies, dried bean soup, or another recipe. Tie the recipe on with colored ribbon.


Risky Witnessing in Pakistan

Pakistan

In Pakistan, Muslims hold festivals to celebrate Muslim culture and traditions. Sometimes radical Muslims leaders preach at the festivals.

Many Muslims in Pakistan get along with Christians. But Christians are harshly persecuted by other Muslims who are radical about their faith. The radicals who speak at the festivals convince some youth to join their group.

Attacked
Bold Christians enter the festivals quietly. They pass out Christian books, and they talk with anyone who seems interested. But not everyone is interested in what they have to say. Often Muslims threaten to beat them up.

During one festival, a mob of angry Muslim attacked a Christian group. They beat up the Christians and injured one Christian’s jaw. When the police got there, they arrested the Christians for starting a public disturbance!

The Truth in Jail
The Christians were still bleeding from the attack when they were put in jail. But they began singing praises to God, just like the Apostle Paul and his friend Silas (Acts 16:25).

One inmate told them, “If the Jesus you follow is really so great, He should be strong enough to have me released this very day.” A few hours later, the prisoner was released! Before he left, he told everyone in jail, “Listen to these men! What they are sharing is the truth!”

To Discuss

  • Why do you think radical Muslims wanted to beat up the Christians? (Read John 15:20–21.)
  • If you were at a Christian festival and a Muslim came to the festival, what would you do? (Read 1 Peter 3:15.)
  • For what reasons might the Christians not feel like singing in the jail in Pakistan? Why do you think they were praising God?

Source: July 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine