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Bible Smuggler Gets Caught

Hand-copying Scripture

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

The following report comes from a Bible smuggler who took Bibles into a country in Asia.

“At the start of my fifth trip to cross into [a country in Asia], I felt God told me that I could be caught (busted) on this trip. All the way to the border, it kept coming to me that I would be busted. Well, as I crossed into [the country], guess what, I was busted.

“As I sat in customs, I handed out tracts [in the local language]. One young man sat behind me and…I handed him a tract. He read the cover, and then he started crying, sobbing in fact.

“After a while, he stopped and went up to talk with the customs guard….He walked back to me, smiled, shook my hand, and walked out of customs.

“God not only gave me a head’s up about being caught, but He allowed me to see why I was caught. I was told if you get caught, it’s because God wants you caught. This was good for me to see, because I was later busted in another country.”

Bible smuggler at work in Asia

(Source: Vision Beyond Borders)

To Talk About
The smuggler said God allowed him to see why he was caught. What did he mean by that? What happened when he was caught that might not have happened if he had not been caught? Why do you suppose the man might have cried when he read the Christian tract?

Hebrews 11 tells about heroes of our faith. Hebrews 11:39 shows that they might not have understood what was happening to them at the time it happened. Do you think there are times when bad things happen and we do not understand the reason for it?

Read “Comparing Ideas About Bible Smuggling”.


Exile Night

“We did the [Exile Night] with our youth group last fall. We camped out on our farm between the woods and the corn field in a small hay field. We set up a couple of tents, but most of the kids slept outside! It was a moving experience and gave the kids a greater appreciation of what exiled Christians might have to endure. Thanks for the amazing resource.” — Youth leader

Student groups all across the United States have experienced a small part of what displaced believers face every day through “I Am N” Exile Night events. The students eat what the refugees eat, sleep how they sleep, and are inspired by their courageous faith.

Exile Night is an overnight event that can be done indoors or outdoors. Whether inside or outside, the goal of Exile Night is for students to gain an understanding of what Christian refugees experience, and to be encouraged by their faith in Christ.

Click here for more information about how to hold an Exile Night with Christian students in your area. Most of the materials are available for free download. Additional materials are available for purchase, or you may substitute stories, videos, and activities from this site and VOM’s Prisoner Alert site.


Torchlighters: Perseverance Cryptogram

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Perseverance is diligence and determination in completing something despite difficulties or delays.

The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available for $4 at VOMBooks.com, includes 144 pages of stories, devotionals, challenging coloring pages, extreme dot-to-dots, crafts, and activities related to the 16 heroes on the Torchlighters DVDs.

The cryptogram below is taken from the activity book. Print (or copy) and solve it to find a Bible verse from Romans 5:3-4 (NIV). Hints to help you solve it:
1. The letter “T” stands for “E.”
2. The word “perseverance” appears twice. (And it is the only word with 12 letters.)

Check your answer in a Bible.


United States: Radically Changed

A previous post this week told about an eighth grade class at a Christian school in Virginia. Their teacher, Heidi S., used The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide in their geography class this year. The students learned about the countries listed in the guide and prayed for persecuted Christians there.

“As a class, they have created what they call ‘The Martyr’s Prayer Wall,’” Heidi said. “I printed out blank maps of each country. Each child wrote a prayer for that country on the map. They used the guides to determine the greatest needs of the persecuted people in each country and based their prayers on that. The maps are hung around the top of the classroom.

“In the front of the room, hanging with the maps, is a sign that says, ‘I will be the voice for those who have none.’ Each child has signed their name on it as a commitment to pray. The lives of these 18 children have been radically changed. Their prayer today was simply that the persecuted church would somehow know that they are not forgotten and that they are loved.”

Update
“Many [students] have asked what they can do since they’re all only 13-14 years old,” Heidi said. “Yet, just today I had several who came in saying everyone in their family is now using the [VOM] prayer app, another one said they’re going to sponsor a front-line worker, many families have decided to send Bibles, and many are using their prayer guides as part of a family prayer time, praying for one country every night. I pointed out that none of that would be happening if they hadn’t shared what they were learning with their families, so keep sharing.”

To Think About
Who can you tell about the needs of persecuted Christians around the world?

What country can you pray for today?


“Love My Enemies? No thanks!”

The previous post told about Dan Baumann, a Christian worker who was imprisoned in Iran for nine weeks. He experienced the love and presence of Jesus helping him endure the harsh treatment.

But Jesus taught Dan another important lesson. “One day, I felt God spoke to my heart,” Dan said. “[God said] ‘Dan, I want to teach you to love your enemies.’ I remember thinking, ‘No, not now, thank you.’”

Every day, one of Dan’s captors hit him, Dan was not interested in loving the man. But he felt God saying to him, “Dan, ask me what I think of him.” Dan realized that God loved his attacker. So every day, he prayed, “God, change my heart.” Little by little, Dan’s heart began to change, and he began to care for his captor.

One day, Dan said to the man, “Sir, why don’t we become friends?” The man answered, “You are crazy! We will never be friends.” Dan asked his twice more, and said, “Let’s start by exchanging names.” And he reached out his hand to shake the man’s hand.

“It was then that he froze,” Dan said. “Then he starts looking around, and then he took his hand out of his pocket and shook my hand. He said, ‘I would love to be your friend.'” The two men told each other their names.

Then the man asked, “Is there anything you want in the prison?” Dan had been living in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell. He asked his new friend if he could have a bigger cell.

“I never saw that man again in my life,” Dan said. “But later the night guards came to my cell and said, ‘We have orders to move you to a bigger cell.’ I knew that God had changed the man’s heart.”

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

To Think About
At first, Dan was not willing for God to teach him to love his enemies, but he became willing to be made willing. He asked God to change his heart, and in turn, his obedience helped change his captor’s heart.

Is there anything that you know God wants you to do that you have been unwilling to do? Will you ask God to help you become willing?