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Secret Christmas

What are some of your favorite things to do during the Christmas season? Do you like to:

Visit others’ houses to sing Christmas carols?
Get out of school for Christmas vacation?
Join with other Christians for a Christmas worship service?
Put lights and decorations outside your house?
Buy Christmas cards to send to friends?
Visit nativity scenes displayed in your town?

You would be breaking the law if you did those things in some Muslim countries.

Schools in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to make Christmas a school vacation day.
The Sultan of Brunei banned all public observances of Christmas.
It is illegal to sell Christmas cards in Maldives outside of areas where tourists visit.
A Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia even ruled that building a snowman is against Muslim rules. “It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun,” he said.

Some people in strict Muslim countries celebrate Christmas secretly and post photos of their secret celebrations on social media. But they are careful not to include any photos that would allow government officials to find them.

This Christmas season, thank God for your freedom to honor His Son. Pray for those who don’t enjoy the same freedom.

Remember-the-Persecuted Christmas Wreath

Print small photos of persecuted Christians from this website or from The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Glue them to thick, colored paper or cardboard, leaving a one-inch border of colored paper around the photos. Punch a hole in the top border. Use yarn or ribbon to attach the photos to a grapevine wreath or other wreath.

(Note: Some photos are available with the “Key Chain Pictures” activity in the Downloads section on this site.)

Inspiration from Amy Carmichael

“Brother Dan,” a Christian who works among Hindus in India, recently shared the following story about missionary Amy Carmichael with VOM workers. The story encourages Brother Dan as he spreads the gospel of Jesus.

Brother Dan’s Story
[Hindus in India] are desperate for answers. I can remember Amy Carmichael and one of her stories that has always stayed in my mind. It’s about a 12-year-old girl named Arulai in India. She had a problem with anger; her friends didn’t want to be around her. It doesn’t seem like a big thing to us, but it was to her. She couldn’t get free from this anger, this bad temper that she had. She went to her father, and they would pray to the gods. She would go to the Hindu priest, and there was no change. One time she went out into a field for hours just crying to the Hindu gods, and nobody helped her.

One day she was going to the village well to get water and Amy Carmichael and part of her team were there, and they were preaching the gospel. The man who was preaching said these words, “I was like a lion but God turned me into a lamb.” That stayed in Arulai’s mind. She wanted to understand, “Who is this God who is actually able to change our character?”

She began to go to Amy’s meetings, and she was beaten and cast out of her home. Even as a teenage girl she gave her life to the Lord, and she ended up living with Amy. There are so many stories like that among the people we do ministry with in India who The Voice of the Martyrs is sponsoring.

(Source: To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity, length, and age appropriateness.)

The photo above shows Amy sharing the gospel with Arulai and her cousin. The picture is from the Torchlighters DVD The Amy Carmichael Story. Find out more about Torchlighters DVDs here.

Read more about the differences between Hinduism and biblical Christianity here.

Preparing to “Shine Like the Stars” (Daniel 12:3, NIV)

Missionary Amy Carmichael and her friends prayed about how to witness to people in India who were not followers of Jesus. They were prepared to explain the gospel and teachings from the Bible.

How can you prepare to be a shining light to someone who is not a Christian?

Pray for non-Christians you know to open their hearts and minds to Jesus. Ask God to guide you in reaching out to people who need to learn about Him.

Learn all you can about your Christian beliefs and how to explain them. Ask a Christian adult if you need guidance.
Know what the Bible teaches about:
Sin — Romans 3:22-25
God — 1 John 4:16; Acts 17:27; 1 Peter 5:7
Jesus — John 3:16; Mark 1:11
Heaven — Revelation 7:15-17; Revelation 21:4

What can you do if you meet someone at school or at an activity who is not a Christian?

Don’t Hide Your Faith
A missionary to a non-Christian country said, “If a non-Christian knows you for several months and doesn’t know you’re a Christian, that’s one extreme. The other extreme is to pull out your Bible the first time you meet and start insulting their religion. Neither extreme is good. Be friendly, but let them know from the start that you’re a Christian. Don’t hide or deny who you are.

Tell an Adult
Let a Christian adult know if you might be discussing your faith with someone who is not a Christian. Ask them to pray with you about it and to guide you in preparing for discussions.

“I Don’t Know”
If you do not understand a question someone of a different religion asks you, it’s fine to say, “I don’t know, but I will ask someone and give you an answer the next time I talk to you.”

Different Food?
If you invite someone of another faith to your home for a meal, ask beforehand if they have any restrictions in what they can eat. Many Hindus don’t eat beef, and some Muslims and Jews don’t eat pork (which includes ham and bacon).

Keep Praying
Pray for the person and their family, and ask God to help you be a good example and a good witness.

Learn more about Amy Carmichael and 15 other Christian heroes in The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book and DVD set, available at The book includes 144 pages of stories, devotionals, challenging coloring pages, extreme dot-to-dots, crafts, and activities related to the heroes on the accompanying Torchlighters DVDs.





Missionary Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael was born in Ireland on December 16, 1867.

Amy Carmichael was 17 years old when her father died. For several years, she helped her mother take care of her six brothers and sisters, and she shared Jesus’ love with others around her. But she believed God was calling her to be a witness for Him in other lands.

Amy boarded a ship for India in 1895. For more than 50 years, she served God as a missionary among the people of her new homeland. She worked tirelessly, and she freed many children from Hindu temples where they spent their time serving false gods. (Read a story and watch a video clip about her work with the temple children here.)

One day, after she had been in India for many years, Amy asked God to use her in any way He saw fit to make her better able to do His will and to help others. That afternoon, she was seriously injured in a fall. She had to stay in bed for the next 20 years. Amy believed that God was now calling her to write about her missionary experiences. At first, she didn’t want to write about herself, but she obeyed. Amy wrote many books, letters, and songs from her bed.

Amy had five rules that she used in deciding what to write. The rules were:
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it helpful?
Is it necessary?
Does it have the “seed of eternity” in it?

Amy Carmichael died in 1951 at the age of 83. She inspired other Christians to become missionaries, and she rescued many in India from hopeless empty lives.

(Sources include: From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya by Ruth A. Tucker and 50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha.)

To Talk About
• What do you think Amy meant by asking, “Does it have the “seed of eternity” in it?
• At first, Amy did not want to write about her experiences. Can you think of anyone in the Bible who did not want to follow what God was calling them to do at first?