Published on June 29th, 2017
Three-year-old Christina lived with her Christian family in Iraq. One day, radical ISIS Muslim terrorists in the area took Christina from her mother and kidnapped her. (The photo shows Christina before she was kidnapped.)
For three years, her family — and Christians around the world — prayed for Christina and her family. On June 9th of this year, Christina was reunited with her family!
After her kidnapping and return, Christina is confused about who her family is. Pray that Christina’s heavenly Father will comfort her and her family while she is getting used to living with her family again.
Published on June 28th, 2017
Summer vacation is a great time to watch Torchlighters episodes! The Torchlighters is an ongoing series of animated programs produced by Christian History Institute and The Voice of the Martyrs. The programs feature true stories about heroes from Christian history.
Torchlighters episodes are now available online. To rent or buy the episodes, visit Torchlighters.org.
The DVDs include a 30-minute animated feature, a full-length documentary, English and Spanish tracks, and student and leader guides.
Published on June 27th, 2017
Miriam, a Christian refugee from Iraq, told Christian visitors what happened to her and her family after they were driven from their homes by ISIS. You can read her story and watch a video about her here.
Miriam’s father is a veterinarian. She has a 10-year-old sister, Zomorad. After the girls and their parents fled Qaraqoush, their hometown, they lived in a mall with other refugees. Then the family moved into a small mobile home. The home had two bedrooms, a tiny kitchen, and a bathroom. One bedroom was also used as a living room.
A Christian Broadcasting Network reporter interviewed Miriam and provided The Voice of the Martyrs with his questions and Miriam’s answers. You can read them below. (Edited from the original for length and clarity.)
Question: Why do you forgive ISIS?
Miriam’s answer: In the Bible Jesus said to us, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am with you.’ And also, he said forgive others no matter who they are. You have to forgive them.
Q: I can tell you love Jesus very much. Why do you love Jesus so much?
A: Jesus is my Father, and He is my creator. I have no one else better than Him. When ISIS drove us out of our home, His hand was on us and He saved us.
Q: And what is your hope for the future?
A: I want to go back home, rejoin my school and friends.
Q: And when you pray, what do you pray for?
A: When I pray, I pray that God might help us to go back home. And also that the peace of God might come all over Iraq and also, may God forgive ISIS.
Q: When you read the Bible, do you have a favorite Bible story or scripture verse you’d like to tell us about?
A: The story of the resurrection of Christ Jesus the Lord because through that story, we can have hope.
Q: And there are many boys and girls in America who maybe their faith in Jesus isn’t as strong. What would you like to say to them?
A: I’d like to encourage the children in the United States to love God and share their faith with their friends everywhere. They don’t need to be frightened. When things happen in their lives, they should learn from us and our lives. This is not … to get glory for ourselves…. It is for the sake of God because God lives and we want to do everything for the glory of God and also for exalting God in our lives.
Published on June 26th, 2017
Setting: Indoors on a smooth non-carpeted floor
Needed: Two small boxes of equal size, two small strips of paper containing a Bible verse, tape, two chairs or crepe paper strips
Background: In a country where Christians have been imprisoned for telling people about Jesus, Christian activities are not allowed in the prison. So some Christians invented creative ways to encourage one another. One group of Christians wrote Bible verses on very small pieces of paper. They cut a portion out of a bar of soap, put the paper between the two pieces of soap, and put the soap back together. Then they slid the soap under the bars of their cell into other cells opposite theirs. Other Christian prisoners were happy to see the verses.
Instructions: Cut a slit in the top of two small boxes of equal size. Insert a Bible verse on a small piece of paper through the slit into the boxes. Tape the boxes shut to represent the bars of soap. (Variation: Use the instructions in a soap-making kit to make small bars of soap. Add Bible verses on small pieces of paper before the soap hardens.)
Divide into two teams with an equal number of players. Mark starting and finish lines several yards apart. Mark another line halfway between the starting and finish lines. To represent the jail cell doors, place two chairs just beyond the finish lines, one for each team (or make a cell door from PVC pipe.) Or, to represent cell bars, hang several strands of crepe paper from the ceiling to about six inches above the floor, for each team.
Using relay rules, let the first player on each team run to the halfway line, place the soap on the floor, and slide it along the floor with their hand air-hockey style to get it between the legs of their team’s chair (or underneath the crepe paper). If they miss, they can retrieve the soap and return to the center line to try again. They continue attempts until they succeed. The second player then runs into the cell, gets the soap, and takes it back to the third player, who slides it as the first player did. The team whose members all finish their task first wins. If desired, play a second round, switching the players who retrieved the soap with the players who slid it.
(Variation: Have someone act as a prison guard who paces back and forth past the playing site. When the guard comes near, no one can slide the soap.)
(Source: Kids of Courage VBS curriculum)