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Helen and Joyce: Kids in Kenya


Kenyan children with gifts from VOM

J.G. Spires, who wrote this story, is a VOM summer intern from South Carolina. She will be a senior at North Greenville University studying English and broadcast media.

Getting to school is hard for children like 10-year-old Helen and 14-year-old Joyce in Kenya. It has become even harder since Christians have been targeted for their faith. In June 2014, Helen and Joyce, along with their parents, had to hide when their village was attacked.

Villages like Helen and Joyce’s are spread far apart, separated by dangerous forests where wild animals live. The villages are so far from each other that children must walk a long way in the heat to get to school. Sending school and medical supplies to the villages is difficult because of the dangerous terrain.

Many people, including adults, don’t know how to read. Children often have to drop out of school to help their parents take care of their farms. Some protect the crops from wild animals. Other children help in their homes by taking care of their younger siblings and collecting water for their families. Their hard work doesn’t leave them much time to study for school.

Even when they get to school, Christian children have to watch out for attacks. Their teacher has a special way of warning them. If attackers are coming, the teacher blows a whistle so the children can escape in time.

The girls enjoy Bible stories, and one of Helen’s favorites is the Creation story. Joyce has memorized John 1:1, which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Helen wants to be a medical doctor when she grows up, and Joyce would like to be a pilot.

Last year, after their village was attacked, Helen and Joyce received a package from The Voice of the Martyrs that contained a Bible and school supplies, including solar lamps. The lamps help the sisters study for school and read the Bible after dark.

Through organizations like The Voice of the Martyrs, the family is reminded that they are not alone. They are part of God’s huge family. Kids in the U.S. can pray for them by asking God to bring peace to Christians in Kenya.

Enter “Kenya” in the search box to find more stories about Christians in Kenya.


Explaining Ramadan

Heather Mercer was a prisoner in Afghanistan because of her Christian activities. During a visit to The Voice of the Martyrs, she talked about the meaning of Ramadan to Muslims, and about how Christians can pray for the Muslim world during Ramadan. Ramadan is a month on the Muslim calendar. Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset during the month.

This year, Ramadan will occur from early June through early July.

To read more about Heather and her time in prison, see Bold Believers in Afghanistan in the Downloads section.