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Group Activity: Remembering Those in Prison

India
Christian bound in India

The Voice of the Martyrs’ ministry is based on Hebrews 13:3 (NIV):

“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Activity
In some countries where VOM works, Christians are imprisoned in cells about 8 feet wide and 10 feet long. Measure off an 8- by 10-foot space. Ask six or eight volunteers to sit in the space and act as “prisoners.”

Give each pair of prisoners a 12- to 18-inch long piece of rope or string. Let one prisoner in each pair hold one end of the rope while the other prisoner holds the other end.

Have someone read Hebrew 13:3 aloud. The part that says, “as if you were their fellow prisoners” means to remember Christians who are in prison as if you were there with them. It would be hard to forget someone who was in prison with you, especially if they were chained or tied with you!

Let the prisoners talk about where they would sit, sleep, and keep their belongings if they had to stay in the cell for a long time. The paired prisoners who are bound together will have to take each other’s needs into consideration.

Have a class lesson or worship service while the volunteer group is in the cell. Remember Christian prisoners with whom we are bound together by invisible bonds. Share some stories about specific persecuted Christians. Encourage the group to remember one of the Christians during the week to be “bound” with in prayer as the volunteers in your group are “bound” to each another.


Families Still Sad

Nigeria
Captives of Boko Haram

Last year dozens of girls and young women were kidnapped by radical Muslims in Chibok, Nigeria. News reports told about the kidnappings.

People all over the world heard the reports and protested against Boko Haram, the group that kidnapped the girls. Some of the girls were able to run away from the attackers and escape. But most are still with the kidnappers, or they have been sold as slaves.

Months after the kidnappings, a pastor in Nigeria shared his thoughts: “My 20-year-old and 19-year-old daughters were both kidnapped by the Boko Haram…Day and night I feel the pain. My wife does not know what to do sometimes. She cannot cook. Even when somebody brings a meal for us, there is no taste that we can experience…

“I cannot explain my feelings with what was happened to my daughters as I am so sad.”

Today, fewer news reports tell about the kidnapped girls. Many people may have forgotten about them. But Christians are called to remember other Christians who are suffering.

Hebrews 13:3 (NIV) says, “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

One way to remember persecuted Christians is to pray for them. Read below some ways you can pray. Can you think of others?

  • Ask God to comfort the girls and their families.
  • Ask God to protect the girls from further harm.
  • Pray that radical Muslims will give up evil activities and decide to follow Jesus instead.

Read more about remembering persecuted Christians in the next post.


Wenxi Li

China

PrisonerAlert.com is a website of The Voice of the Martyrs. The site tells about Christians who are in prison for their faith in Christ or for their Christian work. You can read stories about the prisoners and find instructions for sending them a message in their own language.

The site tells information about prisoners who have been released. Wenxi Li was a prisoner in China for 729 days until he was released. While he was in prison, PrisonerAlert.com readers sent him 2756 encouraging letters through the site. Read more about him on Prisoner Alert.

Wenxi, who has a wife and two children, was put in prison because of his work helping to set up a Christian bookstore. His wife said that Wenxi’s work is very important to him, and that he will probably want to continue it now that he is out of prison.

Please pray for Wenxi and his family.

To Think About

  • Wenxi’s wife said that he will probably want to continue the kind of work that got him arrested. Why do you think Wenxi wants to do that?
  • How would you feel during Wenxi’s time in prison if you were Wenxi’s children? How do you think they felt when he was released? How do you think they feel about his desire to continue his Christian work? Do you think they are proud of him?

Danger Overhead

Sudan

When you hear an airplane flying overhead, you probably don’t fear danger. Christians in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan pay close attention when they hear planes.

A few months ago, Christians at a worship service heard planes pass over their village church several times. Soldiers from Sudan often attack villages in the Nuba Mountain region. So the Christians decided to leave the building in the middle of the service. After they left, the church was destroyed by bombs dropped from the plane.

Thankfully, no one was injured.

The Voice of the Martyrs works closely with the congregation. The church had passed out Bibles and aid to the Nuba Mountain people through the church. VOM also supports several front-line workers from the congregation. (Learn more about front-line workers here.)

Other churches in the area have also been destroyed by bombing. The photo above shows a pastor sitting among the ruins of his bombed church.

The next time you see or hear airplanes overhead, will you remember to pray for Christians in places where planes are often a signal of danger?


Safe House Sisters

Jordan

Nazli and her sister were Muslims in Jordan, where fewer than five percent of the people are Christians. But Nazli felt that Muslim teachings are unfair to women.

A Christian relative helped Nazli understand God’s love for her. Nazli became a Christian, and she later led her sister to the Lord also! But their brother was not happy with Nazli’s choice. He hit her and threatened to harm her again.

Nazli and her sister ran away from their village. Now they live in a VOM-sponsored safe house, and they are learning more about their new Christian faith. The photo above shows Nazli and her sister with a Christian friend. (The friend is in the center.) Their faces are covered to protect their identity from those who might want to harm them.

(Chapter 4 of Learning About Islam tells about “Women, Honor, and Family Life” in Islam. You can download the book from the Downloads section.)