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Preparing for the New Year

One Hundred Ways Poster

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2015? Have you included remembering persecuted Christians in your New Year’s plans?

Go to the Downloads section of this site and download the “One Hundred Ways [Kids Can Help the Persecuted Church]” poster in the “Other” category. Share ideas from the poster with others in your family, church, or class. Make plans to carry out the tasks, and ask others to help you with your plans.


Iraq: A Reminder

Iraq

Wesley P. is a volunteer reporter for The Voice of the Martyrs. His father works for The Voice of the Martyrs and travels to other countries. “Dad has brought back money, Bibles in foreign languages, knives, and many other awesome things,” Wesley said. (Read an interview with Wesley here.)

Recently Wesley looked through the items his father has brought him from countries where Christians are persecuted. “Most of these were presented to my dad as a gift from persecuted brothers and sisters,” said Wesley. “But some were unique items like a Cuban 3-peso bill.” (The main unit of money in Cuba is the peso.)

Wesley also has an old piece of paper money from Iraq worth 250 “dinars.” (See the photo.) Read below what Wesley wrote about the money.

Read the rest of this entry »


Noi and the Police

Laos

Noi is the leader of a group of house churches in Laos. The churches are in areas where groups of tribal people live. The authorities do not want tribal people to follow Jesus.

The chief in Noi’s village has tried many times to stop the Christians in the village from meeting together. He questioned Noi about the church five times last year. Every time, Noi explained that the believers learn how to stop sinning at their meetings. When people stop sinning it is good for the village!

“If we teach people about Jesus, they become good people,” Noi told the chief. “We have to meet every week to learn what God is saying.”

The police continued to check on the Christians and their church services. Last Easter, two policemen came to watch the church. If non-Christian spies came to spy on your church, what would you say to them? At Noi’s church, the church members invited the policemen to sit in seats at the front of the church because those are the seats of honor!

The policemen heard the Christians talk about how sin keeps us from God, and how Jesus saves people from sin. They began to feel guilty about their own sins.

“Wow, this Jesus is really tough on sin,” one of them said after the service. The Christians invited the policemen to stay for a meal after the service. But the police, still concerned about their sins, turned down the invitation.

Noi knows he will probably be questioned and watched many more times by the authorities. But he continues to lead the churches in his area.

(Source: December 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

To Talk About

  • John 16:8–9 says, “[Jesus said], ‘And when [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me….’” What do the verses mean? How might the verses apply to the policemen who visited the church service?
  • If the village chief and the police were not always watching the Christians, they might never hear the truth about Jesus. Can you think of other situations where Christians might be made to feel uncomfortable , but the result might be that more people come to Christ?

Ahmed: “A Hard Time Sitting Still”

India
A child in India

Do you know someone who has a hard time sitting still and being quiet? Ahmed, a Christian in India, has a hard time sitting still and keeping quiet. And God is using his abilities to reach Muslims for Christ.

India has more than 100 Muslims, and Ahmed used to be one of them. He was a zealous Muslim teacher. A person who is “zealous” is eager, dedicated, enthusiastic, and committed. Ahmed was committed to Islam, the religion of Muslims. He was probably not still and quiet in those days either.

But God had better plans for Ahmed.

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A Christmas Reminder

Christmas CakeMuslim converts to Christ in Iran celebrate Jesus’ birthday

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, wrote the following for the December 1994 VOM newsletter. (Edited and paraphrased for reading level.)

Christmas is coming. Many Christians will spend Christmas in communist, Muslim, or Buddhist jails.

But you might say, “Christmas is a time when we sing carols and hallelujahs. People give gifts to one another. Why can’t we just celebrate the season with others? Why bother us with sad words about suffering?

My answer is that at Christmas, we are supposed to remember not only that a Savior was born. We also remember that Mary had to give birth in a stable and to put her child in a manger for cattle.

What comforts did Mary have in the stable? Warm water? A midwife? Clean sheets? She did not.

Was it really true that there was no room in the inn? Maybe the innkeeper or some guest with no wife and child could have slept somewhere else. They could have given their beds at the inn to Mary and the Christ child.

When we think about Jesus’ family at Christmas, let us remember that after Jesus’ birth, they became refugees. They had to flee to Egypt.

There were no planes to take them. At best they might have traveled on camels through the desert. They must have suffered from lack of water in the heat of the day.

What kind of life did they have as refugees in Egypt? Today refugees in many countries live in much worse circumstances. Some don’t even have a tent. They are happy to receive blankets from us.

The greeting “Merry Christmas” is not only a seasonal greeting. It’s a reminder that at Christmas we may also give the poor, the refugees, and the persecuted at least some ray of happiness.