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No Complaints

Leanna Cinquanta, a missionary to India, recently visited The Voice of the Martyrs and shared stories of Indian Christians with VOM workers.

“Every 40 hours, another Christian [in India] is attacked,” Leanna told the workers. “Persecution in India has now become a lifestyle; it’s not an incident….It’s not an event; it’s in the atmosphere.”

But Indian Christian pastors are persevering. They understand that persecution is part of being a Christian. (See 2 Timothy 3:12.) The pastors are persevering under persecution, not complaining.

Activity
Needed: Duct tape, scissors, writing instruments (optional)
Cut a piece of duct tape 1 inch longer than necessary to fit around your wrist. Cut off the top half of the strip 1 inch from the right end and the bottom half of the strip 1 inch from the left end. Fold the tape in half lengthwise, sticky sides together. Wrap the tape around your wrist, fastening it by pressing the exposed sticky parts together. (You may want to write a Bible verse on your band.)

Read aloud Philippians 2:14 and 4:4, and James 1:2. Many persecuted Christians talk about how they experienced God’s comfort during their struggles. God’s presence helps them to not complain.

Try praising God instead of complaining when things do not go your way. Keep your wristband on as long as you can. When you complain about something, remove it. You may want to ask family members or classmates to join you in the project and see who can keep their band on the longest, while remembering Christians who rejoice in spite of their trials.


Chiapas: Daniela and Her New Book

Copying Bible verses in Chiapas

Daniela had a beautiful new book. She brought the book to school, where it got a lot of attention from the other children. Many students asked if they could borrow it.

The book was a children’s Bible, and Daniela had received it from a man who distributes Bibles for The Voice of the Martyrs in Chiapas, Mexico.

(Learn more about Chiapas and the bold Christians who live there in Bold Believers in Chiapas, available for free from the Downloads section.)

Daniela became a one-person library. She made a list of everyone who wanted to borrow the new book, and she checked it out to each child for one day.

“As a mom, I’m very happy to see what my daughter is doing,” said Daniela’s mom. “Many kids in her classroom had no knowledge of the Bible. Some of them had never even see a Bible before.”

The Voice of the Martyrs’ contact in Chiapas will now provide Bibles for all Daniela’s friends who have been borrowing the Bible.

Daniela’s mom said, “Thank the brothers [Christians] who had the idea of printing the Bibles and giving them away. This year has been a blessing for my kids and I’m sure for the many other kids who have received Bibles, too.”


Stuck in a Barn

Todd Nettleton of VOMRadio.net has interviewed Dale Rhoton from the mission organization Operation Mobilization on several occasions. During one interview, Rhoton told a story about smuggling Bibles in secret compartments in his van. He and the other Christians with him were taking the Bibles into a country where distributing Bibles was against the law.

“We were always looking for secret places where we could unload our vehicles — where the police wouldn’t stumble upon us and find out what we were doing,” said Rhoton. “One of the best locations is a farm way out in the middle of nowhere.”

The smugglers found such a place on a farm owned by Christians. They drove into the barn and unloaded all the Bibles from the secret compartments in the van. Then it was time to drive back out of the barn.

“We couldn’t do it,” said Rhoton. “We had unloaded hundreds of Bibles, so the van set much higher than it did before.” It wouldn’t fit through the barn door.

“We needed to do something. How in the world were we going to get the van out without putting the Bibles back in?” said Rhoton.

[Middle-of-the-story question. What would you do?]

The smugglers went into the farmhouse and told the family, “Before we drive off, we would like for all of us to get together for a time of prayer in the van.”

“Grandmother is not that well,” said a family member. It would be difficult for her to get into the van.”

But the smugglers needed everyone in the van to replace the weight of the Bibles. A smuggler said, “We have a couple of men who can help her.”

The family saw that the smugglers really wanted the grandmother, too. So everyone joined them in the van to pray. As they prayed, the driver backed the van out of the barn.

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


A Bible-Smuggling Donkey

Some Christians in Syria had a problem. Many Muslims in their area were leaving their religion, Islam, and following Jesus. But that wasn’t the problem; that was wonderful news! The problem was that the new believers did not have Bibles to help them learn more about their new faith. Bibles were hard to get in their country.

So the Christians texted someone in a nearby country where it was easier to find Bibles. “Can you get us more Bibles?” they texted.

“How many?” the man asked. “We need 200 Bibles,” they replied.

The handler loaded his donkey with the 200 Bibles and walked to the border between his country and Syria. But armed guards refused to let them cross the border. The handler led the donkey to another place along the border where the guards could not see them. The donkey knew the path into Syria. On its last trip across the border with its handler, it had been rewarded with a candy bar for making the trip successfully.

So the handler decided to risk letting the donkey cross the border alone. Donkeys were often used as pack animals in the area, so no one would be suspicious of a lone donkey. The handler prayed that the donkey would stay on the mile-long path.

Soon he got another text message. The donkey had made it safely to the Christians! Now more than 200 additional Christians and their families can read God’s Word.

“It’s the most unique Bible smuggling story I’ve heard,” a VOM worker said.

(Source: VOM workers and contacts. Edited for length, clarity, reading level, and security.)

Note: Christians residing in restricted nations are often denied access to Bibles. VOM’s “Bibles to Captive Nations” fund helps print and smuggle Bibles to believers—in their own language—who would otherwise live their lives without ever reading the word of God.

To Talk About
*How many Bibles are in your house? Where did they come from? Was it dangerous to get them to your house?
*Do you think the new Christians in the story read their Bibles often? Do you suppose the Bibles are more special to them because they were difficult to get?


A Hero’s Birthday

William Booth, born April 10, 1829, faced rowdy crowds, physical attacks, and cranky drunks when he took the gospel to the poor people on the streets of London.

William had learned something about poverty while he was growing up. He had to quit school and go to work at age 13 to help support his family. His wife, Catherine, did not have an easy childhood, either. A spinal condition kept her in bed for months at a time. But she was able to read the entire Bible eight times before she was 12!

Together they reached many poor and struggling people for Christ. Through their work and their willingness to endure obstacles, God changed lives forever.

Their story is told in the Torchlighters DVD, The William Booth Story, produced by Christian History Institute and The Voice of the Martyrs. (See the trailer above.) Find out more about Torchlighters DVDs here. Free student and leader guides for the story are available in the Downloads section of this site.