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Follow the Leader

More than 10 ministries around the world trace their beginnings to the mission and testimony of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand.  [Enter “Wurmbrand” in the Search box to find out more about the Wurmbrands.]

One of the ministries in The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions is VOM Australia. The activity below comes from their website.

How to play:

1. Ask each person to choose a partner. Partners stand facing each other a few feet apart. As one partner moves very slowly, the other person must try to mirror the motions. Do this for a minute or so and then switch and have the other partner lead.

2. Talk about: Would you rather be the leader or the follower? Why?

3. Discuss: Jesus asks us to follow His example in every way. This includes loving others, even our enemies.

4. Ask someone to read or quote Galatians 2:20 (NIV), “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

5. To think about: Think about people you may have a difficult time loving, such as family members, fellow students, teachers, or others. Pray for those people throughout the week, asking God to help you influence them for Christ.


Fifteen Years in Prison

Fifteen years ago today, at 5:00 in the morning on May 23, 2004, police in Eritrea arrested Dr. Kiflu Gebremeskel and Mr. Haile Nayzgi. The men, who were leaders in their Christian churches, did not belong to any of the Eritrean government’s approved religion groups. Eritrea imprisons hundreds of people because of their religious beliefs.

Dr. Gebremeskel and Mr. Nayzgi have been in prison for 5,480 days. In the past, Dr. Gebremeskel earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He has a wife and four children.

Dr. Gebremeskel

Mr. Nayzgi used to be an accountant. After his wife was warned that she might also be arrested, she and their four children escaped to a safer country. In a message smuggled out of Eritrea, Mr. Nayzgi thanked The Voice of the Martyrs for helping his family. He is happy that they are safe.

Mr. Nayzgi

Visit prisoneralert.com to learn more about these courageous Christians and to find out how to send messages of encouragement to Dr. Gebremeskel and Mr. Nayzgi.

To learn more about Christians in Eritrea, download Bold Believers in Eritrea from the Downloads section.


Six Additional Torchlighter Resources and Features

Have you enjoyed the stories about Christian heroes on the Torchlighter DVDs? Get the most out of your DVD collection with the Torchlighter supplementary resources and features below.
(Source: Torchlighters.org)

1. Documentaries
The 30-minute animated Torchlighter episodes share the main parts of each faith hero’s story, but there’s so much more to tell! Torchlighter documentaries are intended to equip adults to answer questions kids might have, but once their interest is piqued, many children also enjoy the documentaries. Livestream the documentaries here.

2. Leader’s Guides
Free Bible-based lesson plans help teachers and parents make the most of the Torchlighter videos. The lessons begin with a Scripture focus, then weave together the elements and tools to make lesson planning easy. The guides include ice-breakers, applications, and everything in between. Find them in the Downloads section or on Torchlighters Curriculum Page.

3. Student’s Guides
Torchlighter student’s guides coordinate with the leader’s guides, but can also be used independently by kids. The guides feature puzzles, crafts, thought-provoking questions, coloring-pages and more. Find them in the Downloads section or on Torchlighters Curriculum Page.

4. Spanish Language Tracks
All Torchlighter episodes come with a professional Spanish language track. Many are translated into additional languages as well, with more to come. The producer of the Torchlighters is from Costa Rica, and many of the episodes are hand drawn in a studio there.

5. Subtitles
Torchlighter DVDs include subtitles in both Spanish and English, allowing you to use them in multiple ministry settings. Native speakers are cast for in-country roles as often as possible, which means some characters have accents that may be difficult to understand on the first viewing. Subtitles make it easier.

6. Quizzes, Puzzles, and Coloring Pages
Find online quizzes and activities on the “Heroes” pages on Torchlighters.org.


Torchlighters Shining Bright: From Texas to China

Michelle Curtis wrote the following story about a group of Texas kids who provided 300 Bibles for Christians in China. Michelle is an editorial assistant for the organization that produces the Torchlighters DVDs in cooperation with The Voice of the Martyrs. The DVDs feature stories of Christian heroes.

Today Michelle assists with various stages of bringing the stories of Christian heroes to the next generation. But years ago, Michelle was the child who first inspired the Torchlighters DVDs. You can read how that happened at Torchlighters.org. Now some children in Texas are inspiring those around them to put the lessons learned from Torchlighters into action.

The Texas Torchlighters
When the 2nd-5th graders of Life Foursquare Church (Angleton, TX) watched Torchlighter William Tyndale’s story, they were inspired to send Bibles to persecuted Christians in China. These eager youngsters wanted to follow Tyndale’s example and share God’s Word with people who otherwise could not read it. In just four weeks, together with their leaders, they collected enough money to send 300 Bibles to believers in China with the help of The Voice of the Martyrs (a co-producer of the Torchlighters).

Each child had a cardboard “gospel box” to collect money. Leaders encouraged the children to think about ways they could sacrifice in their own lives to send Bibles to Christian believers in China. Some gave their allowance. Some stopped buying things they wanted in order to give the money. One even gave the money that was supposed to go toward repainting a room and instead lived with the old paint. The kids also enthusiastically shared the need for Bibles and encouraged many others to contribute—family, neighbors, and even strangers!

In 1536, William Tyndale gave his life for “heresy,” having drawn attention to himself by illegally translating the Bible into English so that the common people could read it for themselves. Now a group of believers in Texas have made personal sacrifices to provide Bibles for Chinese Christians. Torchlighters is inspiring young torchlighters to grow even more torchlighters! We pray that the torch Tyndale lit by translating the Bible into English will continue to light many hearts of fire for God’s Word.

[Learn about VOM’s commitment to provide a Bible for every believer here.]


A Lesson from The Story of St. Patrick

Katherine P., a homeschool mom, blogger, and co-op teacher in Virginia, recently sent this comment to Kids of Courage about the books in the Courageous Series.

“I teach a class of 5-7 year olds every week, and every time I’ve brought out these books, I’ve asked, ‘Are they going to be able to handle this?’ And every time, they have such a beautiful response to these stories. So… I will continue to spread the word and teach them.”

Katherine has developed lesson plans based on some of the books in the series. “Friends, I want my kiddos to learn to do hard things,” Katherine wrote in her plan. “As a Christian, I pray for a revival of the gospel in our land, I truly do. But at the moment, it looks like Christians and all that we believe are increasingly being made fun of, mocked, and rejected. This is the world our children are growing up in. They’re going to face the darkness soon enough, why not show it to them early, and let them hear of these heroes of the faith who faced the darkness head on with Christ, and triumphed victoriously. And I will tell you – they can handle it. They really can.”

To Talk About
Part of Katherine’s lesson plan about The Story of St. Patrick  included the following comments and questions to share with kids.

*Patrick grew up in a Christian family that loved Jesus. But even though Patrick’s parents loved Jesus, Patrick hadn’t discovered Jesus for himself yet. Your parents take care of you and tell you about Jesus, but one day, you are going to have to decide for yourself, “Am I going to follow Jesus even when mom and dad aren’t around?

*Well, Patrick basically ignored God and didn’t think much about Him. Until something really bad happened. His choice: Just because you have a Christian family, doesn’t make you a Christian. At some point YOU must choose on your own to become a Christian. This is what Patrick did when he was alone on the island.

Share Your Ideas
Click on “Contact Us” at the bottom of this page to send your ideas about sharing The Voice of the Martyrs/Kids of Courage resources with children.