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Indonesia: Alvaro

Indonesian boy

Last November, a group of radical Muslims exploded some bombs at a church in Samarinda, Indonesia. Two of the attackers were 16 and 17 years old. The Muslims do not want Christians to spread God’s Word in their land.

Several children were injured by the bombs. One of the children was 4-year-old Alvaro. Since the attack, Alvaro has had 17 operations to help him heal.

But Alvaro feels ashamed of his injuries. He avoids new people that he doesn’t know. “I always try to encourage him by saying it is important to regain his health, and by praying with him before the operation,” said his mother, Novita.

Please join his mother in praying for Alvaro. A suggested prayer is below.

Dear God, Thank You for the help Alvaro is receiving from doctors, and thank You that he is getting better. We pray that he and the other people who were injured will be completely healed. Please comfort Alvaro, and give him peace so that he will not feel ashamed. Help the boys and men who carried out the attack on the church to open their hearts and minds to salvation through Your Son, Jesus. In His name, Amen.

Sudan: Hiding in Foxholes

The government of Sudan often drops bombs on the Nuba Mountain region of their country. “When we were there, 40 artillery shells landed close enough for us to hear them,” said a VOM worker who visited Christians in the area.

Sometimes the bombs hit churches. In one church that was destroyed, the explosion damaged the pulpit. The congregation fled to the mountains. They took the pulpit with them to remind them that Christ’s church can never be destroyed. Learn more about the “shrapnel pulpit” here.

Hospitals and schools are also attacked. In this video, a hospital worker describes patients scrambling for their safety into foxholes surrounding the hospital. You can see children running for foxholes and hear the sound of a bomber overhead.

Bombing continues in the Nuba Mountains. VOM helps and encourages the Christians who live there. Please ask God to protect those hiding from the bombs.

The Kind Pastor

Refugee children today

Richard Wurmbrand was a pastor who spent 14 years in prison for sharing the gospel in communist Romania.

Pastor Wurmbrand did not become a Christian until he was an adult. “In my childhood, I never heard either a bad or a good word about Jesus,” he said. “He was simply unknown to me.”

One day, Richard was walking home from a school with a friend. The friend stopped in front of a church and said to Richard, “Wait for me a minute. My father asked me to give the pastor a message.”

“No, I’ll go in with you,” Richard said. He had never been inside a church before. The pastor and Richard’s friend talked for a few minutes while Richard waited nearby. Then the pastor came over to Richard and patted him on the head. “Little fellow, what can I do for you?” he asked Richard.

Richard was embarrassed. He wondered if he was allowed to be inside the church since he was not a Christian. “Nothing,” he answered the pastor.

“That can’t be true,” the pastor said. “I belong to Jesus. He taught us to do good to others. It is summertime, and it is hot outside. I will bring you a cup of cold water.”

“Jesus is a strange being,” Richard thought. He had never heard about any of Jesus’ teachings. Later Richard learned more about Jesus and decided to follow Him. “God surely has a reward for the one who offered love and a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name,” Richard said.

To Think About
•    The Bible says Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). How can Christians today “go about doing good?”
•    Do you think the pastor’s kindness helped Richard understand Jesus better?

Laos: Sai

Laos children praying

A VOM worker recently shared the following story about a boy in Laos, where many people are Buddhists and very few are Christians. Read the story, then please pray for Sai.

 “A boy named Sai is the son of a military officer,” the VOM worker said. “Sai became a Christian last year. Now his parents do not like this, and they curse and threaten him. Sai walks about 3 kilometers (about 1.9 miles) from his village to attend a house church. But now his parents are forcing him to stop attending the church.

“Sai is still able to live with his parents and to eat with them,” the worker continued. “But they will not give him money for school fees so he can finish his high school education this year. We will give him the money to pay his remaining school fees.

“Please pray for him to be able to stand firm in his faith, and to love his parents and not begin to be bitter toward them. Sai has said that he wants to study God’s word, and serve God after he finishes high school. Pray for his parents as well.”

An Afghan Way to Keep Warm

Keeping warm on a cold night

Many Afghans have no electricity in their homes. To keep warm during the cold winters, some Afghans place a pan of hot coals under a table. Family members lie on floor pads around the table. They wrap themselves in a thick blanket that covers them and the table.

To learn about courageous Christians in Afghanistan, download Bold Believers in Afghanistan from the Downloads section, or enter “Afghanistan” in the “Search KOC” box.