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Malaysia: Independence Day

Muslims in Malaysia

On August 31st, Malaysians celebrate the day in 1957 when their country became independent from Britain. Independence means freedom. But not all Malaysians have freedom of religion. Read the paragraph below about life for Christians in Malaysia, then name three things Christians aren’t free to do in Malaysia.

Islam, the religion of Muslims, is the official religion. All people who are part of the Malay ethnic group are considered Muslim. It is a crime for them to become Christians. The government makes rules about what Christian books and materials can say. It is illegal for Christians to try to lead Muslims to Christ, or to say anything that insults Islam.

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide)

Christians who minister to Malaysians are asking for prayer for the following.
*The nation of Malaysia.
*The people of Malaysia to be saved.
*Freedom for Christian prisoners.

Learn more about Malaysia in Bold Believers in Malaysia, available in the free Downloads section.


Becoming a Missionary: Next Steps

Recently Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio interviewed Scott Brawner, a Christian who has prepared students to be mature followers of Christ. Read below some of Scott’s thoughts about American Christian youth today, and his advice for those called to become missionaries.

“It was breaking my heart,” Scott said, “to see how many kids come forward at an event, come to camp or retreat, raise their hands and accept Jesus — then the next Sunday, even the FBI couldn’t find those kids. They need to consider what it means to be obedient as a follower of Christ as an adult.”

Todd asked Scott to offer some advice about the next steps a young person should take if God has called them to mission work overseas.

“I would start by saying, ‘You will never go anywhere if you don’t have a passport,’” said Scott. “I want you to go online or to the post office, get an application for a passport, fill it out, sent it in, and start the process.

“Once you receive that passport, I challenge every young person to take that passport, and go to the altar and pray over that passport. Say, ‘Lord Jesus, here am I. Send me.’ Say, ‘Lord Jesus, this is not my piece of paper, this is yours.’

“Then find an accountability net. Talk to a missions pastor, or a youth pastor, or a senior pastor. Let them know of your desire to go. Ask them what is available through your church or denomination, or other relationship that your church already has.

“From there, I would recommend as you prepare to go, find a ministry that is either doing mentoring or equipping students to go to the field.

If you want to hear Scott and Todd’s entire interview, enter “Brawner” in the search box at VOMRadio.net.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for length and clarity.)

For more advice about preparing to serve God, read the “Ask a VOM Worker” posts in the archives of this site.


“Jesus Is the Link”

Kids of Courage VBS

Shelley S., the Sunday school director at a church in North Carolina, wrote VOM a letter about her church’s Kids of Courage Vacation Bible School this summer. The VBS curriculum teaches kids about Christians in five countries.

“I painted a map of each country for the children to get a perspective of its location,” Shelley wrote. (See the photo.) “My husband made a ‘jail cell’ using PVC pipes. At the jail cell, we took pictures of each child in remembrance of this particular VBS and its meaning. [The Kids of Courage VBS curriculum provides instructions for constructing a “jail cell” and suggestions for using it to help students “remember them that are in bonds” (Hebrews 13:3).]

“The country speakers, crafts, and snacks, along with the songs, blended well together. [At] our Sunday morning presentation … we made a ‘chain’ of all the countries and gave a brief explanation of each one. I love that we are all part of this chain, which cannot be broken as Jesus is the link that holds it (us) together, to pray for and encourage one another.

“May God richly bless you and all of The Voice of the Martyrs, in all places.”


Faithful Orphans

Lilly

Eleven-year-old Lilly lives in an orphanage in the former Soviet Union. (The Soviet Union, also called the U.S.S.R., was the world’s most powerful communist country. The Soviet Union broke up into smaller countries in the late 20th century.)

The orphanage is closed during the summer, and the orphans are sent to live at another facility. In the summer of 2017, a VOM contact held a Christian camp for Lilly and other 10 to15-year-old orphans. She gave them children’s Bibles, and the children read the entire Bible in four days! Then they began to study a Bible that was not written just for children.

They wanted to memorize John 3:16, but they were not familiar with how to find the exact verse in a Bible. The VOM contact said, “So they, in order not to be mistaken, learned the whole third chapter….I do not know many adults who study the Bible so thoroughly.”

Lilly and the other orphans even started their own little church that summer. But soon they had to return to the orphanage, far away from where the VOM contact lived. Christians near the orphanage tried to visit and teach the children, but the director of the orphanage hates Christians and would not let them in.

A New Teacher
So Lilly became their teacher! She led other orphans to Christ, and she started a Bible study.

But not all the orphans listened to Lilly. “They all know who the Christian children are,” said the VOM contact. “The believing children do not watch TV shows about witches, and they don’t fight or swear. The other children constantly laugh at them and bully them. It is difficult for them to follow Christ in those circumstances, but they remain faithful.”

The VOM contact visited the orphans several months later. She was thankful that Lilly had helped the children grow in their faith. “I am delighted by God who worked through a little girl!” she said.

(Source: VOM sources. Edited and paraphrased from the original for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

To Talk About
*What can you pray for Lilly and the orphans?
*What can you pray for the director of the orphanage?
*All the orphans know which children are followers of Jesus. Would someone know that you are a Christian if you didn’t tell them?


Nigeria: Terrorists Seek Forgiveness

Boko Haram fighters

Boko Haram is a group of violent Muslim fighters who attack Christians, churches, villages, and houses. They have kidnapped children and driven families from their homes.

But a surprising event happened in May. Seventeen Boko Haram fighters said they realized that Boko Haram is “serving the course of the devil.” They turned themselves in to the Nigerian military and asked for forgiveness for the pain they had caused others.

The fighters said they had been forced to join Boko Haram after their town was raided four years ago. Now they want out.

The former fighters are not yet Christians. Pray they will also surrender to Jesus and follow Him. Pray that more fighters will give up their violent ways. Pray for true peace for Nigerians.

(Source: icommittopray.com)

To Talk About
*If you were a Nigerian Christian, would you want to forgive the fighters who left their violent lifestyles?
*Is there anyone that you think does not deserve forgiveness?
*Do you know any Bible verses about forgiveness?