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Over the Wall

In some countries, homes are surrounded by high walls. Sometimes only one family lives inside the walls. In other places, relatives live in separate houses behind one wall. Women in strict Muslim families might not come outside the walls very often, and only if they have a male family member accompanying them.

Christians in one Muslim country wanted to share the love of God with people inside the walls. They walked around their city carrying small pamphlets that described how Jesus came to save sinners. When they came to a walled house, they threw a pamphlet over the wall! Their project was risky, and they never knew whether the people inside the wall read the pamphlet or not. But they trusted God, and they know that His Word is powerful.

Isaiah 55:10-11 (International Children’s Bible, NCV) says:
Rain and snow fall from the sky.
They don’t return without watering the ground.
They cause the plants to sprout and grow.
And the plants make seeds for the farmer.
And from these seeds people have bread to eat.
The words I say do the same thing.
They will not return to me empty.
They make things happen that I want to happen.
They succeed in doing what I send them to do.

To Think About
How can those verses encourage someone who is spreading the truth of the Bible in places where many people are not Christians?

Learning a New Prayer

The Voice of the Martyrs’ International Ministries workers visit countries where Christians are persecuted. They bring aid and encouragement to suffering Christians in those countries. But many times, the workers learn important lessons from the people they help and encourage.

One VOM worker met a Christian who spreads the gospel in a country where it can be dangerous to be a Christian. The Christian taught the worker the following prayer:

“We place our lives in your hands to do with as you will.
We pray only that you be glorified, either in our life or in our death.”

Now the VOM worker prays the prayer whenever he gets on a plane to go to a country where Christians are persecuted.

To Talk About
*The worker prays that God will be glorified. What does that mean?
*How can a Christian’s life glorify God?

Scary Visitor; Good Visitor

Refugee boys

Eight-year-old Yana lived in a very crowded apartment. Five adults, including Yana’s parents, and 14 other children lived in the tiny one-bedroom home in Jordan.

Yana and her family used to live in Syria, but soldiers burned down their home and forced them to flee the country. Many people, both Muslims and Christians, are homeless because of a war in Syria. Yana and her family were Muslims.

Visitors sometimes came to see Yana and the other refugees. (A refugee is someone who flees from one place to live in a safer place.) One day a strange visitor arrived. The man was a Muslim leader from Saudi Arabia. He acted like he wanted to help Yana’s family, and he gave them some dates to eat. But then he offered to buy Yana! Of course, Yana’s mom and dad refused to sell their child!

Thankfully they had another visitor. A VOM contact began to visit them regularly and to tell them about Jesus. Yana’s family had already been thinking about Islam and wondering if it was the truth. After they learned more about Jesus, they decided to trust in Him as their Savior.

“I found the way,” Yana’s mother said. “I had a big burden on me, but now I am free. When I first arrived in Jordan, I hated almost everyone, but now I am starting to love the people around me. Now I can forgive people, and I feel that my sins have been forgiven.”

(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.)

Peace in My Heart

The Horn of Africa

Basmah, a Christian woman in Somalia, was going to have a baby. But her Muslim husband left her because she had become a Christian. She moved in with her family until she had her baby. Then when Basmah’s mother and father found out about her new faith, they would not let her live with them anymore.

Basmah and her baby lived on the street, homeless. “I was praying that God would give me a house where I could sleep,” said Basmah. “He answered my prayer.” A worker from The Voice of the Martyrs met her and offered a place to stay in a “safe house” located in one of the countries in the Horn of Africa.

Basmah is thankful for the care she is receiving at the safe house. But she knows she has received a better gift. “The best gift God gave me was Jesus,” she said. “I now have peace in my heart. Nothing else can compare to Jesus. Even when I am hungry, I have peace.”

Note: The Horn of Africa is a peninsula on the east side of Africa shaped somewhat like an animal’s horn. Countries considered part of the horn are Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. (To help you remember the countries, the first letters of their names spell “SEED.”) Some maps of the Horn of Africa also include Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and other neighbor countries.

Stories from the Past: Joy in Jail

Chinese girl

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand started The Voice of the Martyrs in 1967. VOM has helped and encouraged persecuted Christians for 50 years. Pastor Wurmbrand told the story below more than 25 years ago.

Where: China
When: 1990

One afternoon, I heard a young girl in a prison cell near mine crying. “I don’t like it here!” she said as she cried.

The girl, Joy, was about 5 years old. She and her mother, Mrs. Lee, had just arrived at the jail. Mrs. Lee had spoken out against the government for arresting her pastor. She was rewarded for her loyalty with a prison sentence.

“Don’t cry, Dear,” I heard Mrs. Lee tell the girl. “Jesus will take care of us.” But Joy continued to weep.

“What’s going on?” I heard another prisoner say. “What is such a young kid doing here? What have you done?” she demanded of Mrs. Lee.

Mrs. Lee quietly explained her situation. Other prisoners in nearby cells scolded her. “I think you’re a bad mother!” one said. Even the prison director came to the cell and tried to get Mrs. Lee to deny her faith and speak out against her pastor. “Give up!” he told her. “Then you and your child can go free!”

Mrs. Lee sounded miserable. But finally she agreed to stand in front of a crowd gathered outside the police station and say, “I am no longer a Christian.”

Later other prisoners told me what happened after Mrs. Lee and Joy went home. “Jesus is not happy with you,” Joy had said to her mother when they were safe in their house.

“Joy, you cried in jail. I had to say I was no longer a Christian because I love you,” her mother had answered.

“But I don’t want Jesus to be sad,” Joy said to her mother. “If we go back to jail, I will not cry.”

Mrs. Lee hurried to the prison director. She told him, “You talked me into saying wrong things so my daughter could be free. But she is braver than I am! She is a Christian, and so am I. Do what you want to with us. We are ready.”

Mrs. Lee and Joy came back to the prison. But Joy no longer cried.

(Based on a story told by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs.)

How VOM Helped in the Past: Help for Families of Prisoners
The Voice of the Martyrs helped provide for Chinese Christians whose family members were in jail, and still provides for prisoners’ families today.

*Pray for Chinese Christians whose pastors are in jail.
*Some Chinese people seek riches. Pray that they will put God first.
*Many Chinese people follow no religion. Pray that they will know Christ.
*Some Chinese Christian children are insulted at school. Pray for them.
*Pray that Chinese Christians will not be afraid to share the gospel.