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Sharing God’s Love in Uncertain Times

During a time of quarantine and uncertainty, the coronavirus has opened up ways to spread the gospel. Some of the countries most affected by the virus so far are countries where Christians face persecution every day.

In one Muslim country where many people are sick, Christians are handing out masks and helping people who are quarantined. Sometimes people ask the Christians why they are helping others. Then the Christians tell them about Jesus’ love and how He helps us overcome fear.

The Chinese government has set up many cameras with face-recognition software to track the daily lives of Christians and others. They have cracked down on Christian activities. But Christians in parts of China now feel more freedom in their activities because the cameras are less likely to identify them if they are wearing masks.

As you make decisions about dealing with the coronavirus for your own family, please remember to pray for your Christian family around the world as well.

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs Facebook)


Robert Morrison and Macau

Macau
Macau today

Robert Morrison was the youngest of eight children. As a youth, he read missionary magazines and dreamed of being a missionary someday. But his mother wanted him to stay near his family in England. So he promised he would not become a missionary as long as she was alive. Sadly, she died a few short years after he made the promise. At the age of 20, Morrison began preparing to be a missionary.

He prayed that God would send him to a place where difficulties were the greatest.

God answered his prayer. Morrison arrived in China in 1807. For the next 25 years, he faced obstacles and problems while he worked to bring the good news of Jesus to people in China.

He lived part of that time in Macau, a colony in China ruled by Portugal. In Macau, he baptized a new Chinese Christian, and translated the Bible into Chinese. After his time serving the Lord on earth, he was buried in Macau.

Macau Today
Today Macau is ruled by China. Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages. In the past, most of the people were Christians. However, over time, it became “the first Christian territory in Asia to become non-Christian.” (Operation World)

Much of the money in Macau comes from people who travel to Macau to gamble. Macau has been called “the City of Sin.” During times when Macau brings in less money, some of the citizens are worried about losing their riches.

(Sources include: CIA Factbook, Operation World, and From Jesus to Irian Jaya)

To Talk About

  • What are some reasons parents might not want their children to become missionaries? What are some reasons other parents might want their children to become missionaries?
  • What do you think are some of reasons a Christian country might become a non-Christian country?

Prayer Points

  • “Gambling is a religion” in Macau (Operation World). Pray that people in Macau will seek Jesus instead of uncertain wealth.
  • Ask God to strengthen those who are spreading the gospel in Macau in spite of obstacles and problems.

Christians Blamed for Virus

(Sources: VOM Australia, VOM Canada)

Pastor Mamadou Karambiri and his wife share God’s love in the African country of Burkina Faso. Recently, radical Muslims from Mali have been attacking Christians in Burkina Faso.

In February, the pastor and his wife attended a conference in France, where they were exposed to the coronavirus. They were tested, and the tests revealed they did not have the virus, so they returned home. But then they started having symptoms of the illness, and they were quarantined.

Their sickness has resulted in an increase of persecution against Christians. Some are accusing Christians of bringing the virus to Burkina Faso.

VOM Canada offers the following prayer suggestions for Burkina Faso.

Please prayerfully uphold those in Burkina Faso and around the world who’ve been infected by the virus and are facing uncertainty over the outcome, including people who are in need of Christ and don’t know where to turn. Pray that sound judgement and reason will prevail so that Christians will not have to endure added suffering because of unwarranted blame. Ask God to ensure the full recovery of Pastor Mamadou and his wife, so that their ministry can continue in this volatile area. Also, lift up other believers throughout the country who are facing opposition [and threats] due to the hostility of militants.


Javed: A Christian in Pakistan

(Source: VOM-Australia. Photo: A family in Pakistan)

How did you celebrate Christmas last year?

Did you go to church? Decorate your house? Eat special food? Exchange gifts with family members?

That’s how Javed, a Christian in Pakistan, enjoyed the occasion. But he wasn’t always able to celebrate Christmas in special ways.

Like many Christians in Pakistan, he started working at a young age to help support his family. Christians in his country often do not have the opportunity to get a good education or job. Family members of all ages have to work sometimes. Javed was 6 years old when he went to work and live at a brick kiln. He was forced to work to pay off the debt of a relative he didn’t even know.

Click here to learn more about the tasks of a brick kiln worker.

The brick kiln bosses forced his family to work on Sundays, so they were not able to go to church. They could go to church on Christmas, but only if they left one family member behind to prevent the family from trying to escape their harsh jobs and lives.

When Javed made a mistake on the job, he was fined, and the loan debt was raised. He would never be able to finish paying off the debt, no matter how hard he worked. But thanks to God and kind Christians, Javed was freed from the brick kiln when someone paid off his family’s debt. He is now an adult, free to attend church, celebrate Christmas, and have a somewhat better job.

But his struggles are not over. His wife died of an illness because they couldn’t afford medical treatment. Javed does his best to take care of their four children, and he is thankful to be able to go to church and celebrate special occasions with them.

Pray for Christians in Pakistan who work in the brick kilns.

Learn more about Christians in Pakistan in Bold Believers in Pakistan, available in the Downloads section.

Watch a video about Pakistani Christians here. (Parents and teachers: Please preview the video before showing it to younger children, and if children view it, stop the video at the end before additional videos appear that you have not previewed.)


Uygur Calligraphy

Scripture
Click the image to open the calligraphy PDF file.

Calligraphy is a respected art among the Uygurs. Print these Uygur phrases in calligraphy and see if you can copy them. Uygur is written from right to left instead of left to right like English.

Learn more in Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs, available in the Downloads section.