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Preparing for the New Year

One Hundred Ways Poster

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2020? Have you included remembering persecuted Christians in your New Year’s plans?

Go to the Downloads section of this site and download the “One Hundred Ways Kids Can Help the Persecuted Church” poster in the “Other” category. Share ideas from the poster with others in your family, church, or class. Make plans to carry out the tasks, and ask others to help you with your plans.


What Happens Next?

Every year, The Voice of the Martyrs distributes more than 1 million Bibles to Christians in countries where Bibles can be hard to find. Families, Sunday school and VBS classes, and churches contribute to VOM to support the printing and smuggling of print, audio, and children’s Bibles.

What do you think happens after the Bibles are printed (or recorded) and ready to deliver? “We want to get Bibles to places where no one else is getting them to,” said a VOM worker. How do you suppose the Bibles get to people in hard-to-reach places?

The photo above shows a woman carrying a box of Bibles up a mountain in Burma (Myanmar). It took her about two hours to complete her walk.

The men in the photo below brought boxes of Bibles on their motorcycles to the edge of the floodwaters. Then they unloaded the Bibles and carried the motorcycles across the water. Finally, they left the motorcycles while they returned to haul the boxes on their shoulders by foot across the floodwaters to believers on the other side.

The Christians in remote places of Myanmar and Vietnam are happy to make sacrifices to deliver the Bibles to other believers. They know that without their work and the help of VOM supporters, Christians in their lands might live their entire lives without ever reading or hearing the Word of God.


10 Quotes from 2019

The following quotes were shared with or by workers from The Voice of the Martyrs during 2019. Most of the quotes came from Christians in countries where believers are persecuted.

1. “This is the greatest gift I’ve received on earth. I’m thankful to get this before I leave this world.” — woman in Asia who received a Bible from VOM. She was a Christian for 20 years before she owned a Bible.

2. “I wish I could have been in there longer so more of the prisoners could hear the gospel.” — Christian in prison for his faith who was released after six months.

3. “If I would disobey God, I would not have persecution.” — persecuted Christian in India

4. “I don’t think courage is not to be afraid. It is to choose to do the right thing even if you are afraid.” — Christian in the Middle East

5. “God is not tame and safe. But He is kind and gentle.” — VOM worker

6. “They spread the virus; we have the antivirus.” — VOM worker who helps Christians spreading the gospel in a country where non-Christians are also spreading their false teachings.

7. “There are amazing blessings to be found that seem only to be found in times of suffering.” — VOM worker

8. “Just pray that we will not stop sharing [the gospel] until our last breath.” — persecuted pastor in India

9. “The nail that sticks out is the one they hammer down.” — persecuted pastor

10. “Following Christ means following risk, not just blessing.” — persecuted African believer

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

To Do
Choose five of the quotes above and say them in your own words. How many of the quotes do you agree with?

To read additional quotes, click here and here.

 


Nigeria: Halima

(Source: VOM Australia)

When Halima was 6 years old, her life changed in dramatic ways. Like many of the people in Nigeria, she and her parents were Muslims. But her father, Adod, learned about God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, and he became a Christian. Soon Halima and her mother joined him in trusting Jesus as their Savior.

Adod’s relatives were angry because he left Islam to follow Christ. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) They forced Halima’s mother to divorce Adod, marry a Muslim man, and follow Muslim ways. Halima had to move to her stepfather’s house with her mother. In her new home, Halima was mistreated because she was a Christian.

Adod was concerned about Halima, so at great risk, he took her from her stepfather’s home and arranged for her to stay at a pastor’s house. But Muslims threatened the pastor for taking care of her.

Christians helped Halima move to a safer location where she will not be harmed. Adod is nearby, and they are able to see each other often.

(Photo: Halima with friends. She is wearing the striped jacket.)

Pray for Muslims around the world who are mistreated when they decide to follow Christ.


Azerbaijan: A Christmastime Birthday

The president of Azerbaijan is Ilham Aliyev. He will be 58 years old on December 24, 2019. Aliyev is the son of the previous president. He speaks five languages, and he has three children.

More than 90% of the people in Azerbaijan say they are Muslim. But many do not take their faith seriously. Fewer than 10% are Christian. Zoroastrianism was a main religion in Azerbaijan before the Muslims came. Today the people still honor some traditions from Zoroastrianism. (See the “Beliefs” section for more information.)

Even though many people in Azerbaijan are not serious about their Muslim faith, many do not like it when a Muslim becomes a Christian. They think Islam is part of their culture. Friends and relatives discourage Muslims from following Christ. It is often difficult for young adult Christians to find someone to marry who also follows Christ. Since marriage is an important part of their culture, they are often urged to marry a Muslim.

Officials sometimes give churches and Christians a hard time.

Listen to an MP3 of Christians in Azerbaijan singing a Christmas song in the Azeri language. Do you know the name of the song in English?

Pray for President Aliyev on his birthday and pray that he will have a positive attitude toward Christians in his country. Pray that Christians will be able to celebrate Christmas peacefully.

[Photo: Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan]