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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”.


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?


Jesus in Prison

A teacher at a Christian school in Virginia recently wrote The Voice of the Martyrs and told what happened when she shared stories of persecuted Christians with her eighth grade class. “They were stunned, shocked, horrified, and moved,” the teacher said. Many openly cried as we read. One child said, ‘I don’t think I have that kind of faith.’

Do you ever think you might not have enough faith to withstand persecution?

Dan Baumann, a gospel worker with Youth with a Mission, recently talked with VOM staff about his time in prison in Iran. He was taken to prison after he talked about Jesus with Muslims. Every day, the prison guards treated him harshly, often beating him. Dan thought he could not put up with the bad treatment anymore. He wanted to give up.

He told what happened as he lay on the floor with no more strength to endure.

“In my broken state, I felt something and the room starts to shake. As it starts to shake I lifted my head from the floor. I had the normal lighting from the light bulb, but there was something very different. The room was a glorious white light, is how I can describe it.

“Then I had a vision, I have had a few visions in my life and this one was really clear. It was Jesus standing in front of me, like we might have seen in movies or in books. It was the same picture of Jesus standing in front of me, but what I saw was His face, which was filled with love, kindness, and caring. And then I felt His hands come underneath me, and I felt like God spoke right to my heart with loving words, ‘Dan, I love you and I promise I will carry you through this time.’

“In the midst of my brokenness, in the midst of me having nothing, God was still good and He met me and He gave me hope. I fixed my heart and mind on that, and with that came a growing reality that God was not only good, He was really, really, really good — like He was actually better than I thought.”

Dan was released after nine weeks in prison. He had lost 55 pounds during his imprisonment. Today he continues to serve God and to teach others about Jesus.

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


Helping Christians and Seekers in Uganda

Most of the people in Uganda are Christians. But in some Muslim areas of the country, Christians are persecuted. In those areas, “When a Muslim child or family converts to Christianity, they are no longer welcome at the school,” said a VOM worker. Sometimes people who become Muslims get special treatment from the local leaders.

The Voice of the Martyrs distributes Bibles in Uganda to strengthen Christians and to help those who are seeking the truth to find Jesus — the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Watch the video clip from the Kids of Courage archives to see someone in Uganda who was very happy to receive a Bible from VOM.