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Too Scary for Kids?

The Voice of the Martyrs received the following letter about Kids of Courage materials.

“Dear VOM, Please do not send us your materials. We understand the need for prayer for the persecuted church. But we believe that the information is far too frightening for children.”

Do you agree?


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8 Responses to Too Scary for Kids?

  1. Have you or someone you know ever been frightened by what we’ve posted here or printed in our newsletter?

    • I purchased the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum this year on behalf of our church. I have always felt it is important for kids to learn about their persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. When I homeschooled my three kids, we spent time with materials from The Voice of the Martyrs and they always responded with compassion. However, the response at VBS was varied. Many children were surprised at what they were learning and very empathetic when hearing the individual stories – you could hear a pin drop at times when stories were being told. But some of the 5 and 6 year olds were frightened and upset by the stories and the Torchlighter videos we showed (the Pastor Wurmbrand story and Jim Elliot story). Some, I think, were just sensitive children, but one of the girls had experienced some trauma in her life with parents being jailed and she had been taken from home more than once by social services. I think the stories triggered scary memories. I don’t think it was wrong to use the materials, but in the future, I would have the set up a little different – small groups each with one teacher teaching throughout the day, so kids can feel comfortable discussing their feelings about the material. I would also refrain from using video with the younger ones – they tend to “live in the video” more than older ones – it’s too real. Just an observation. Overall, it was a good week.

  2. My children are ages 7, 8, and 11. Quite the contrary to being frightened; they began telling others about what they saw and asked them to pray for these people. It became very real the idea people don’t have the freedom to read their Bibles and will endure harm or loss of life for Christ. I believe seeing it has made a lasting impact on each of them. My children amaze me at their ideas to get involved in missions. My 8 y.o. wants to replace all the burned Bibles and my 11 y.o. doesn’t feel we can get the word out to enough people about Jesus Christ. My 7 y.o. loves sending toys to children in other countries so they won’t be sad. She includes a message of hope in Jesus Christ in each box just in case they haven’t heard the name of Jesus yet. We will continue raising up missionaries with your help.

  3. Kids can defintely handle this stuff if you teach them about heaven and God’s sovereign control over everything. They soak it up so much more eaily than adults at times.

    I taught a group of homeschooled chidren a Bible study on Revelation once a week and used your materials, even the picture of the girl whose face was burned on the cover of one of your magazines (with their parents permission). They were 2nd and 3rd graders. I often used your devotional with stories of children as we thought about the end times and learned about martyrs. They were never frightened. They had a sober reverence for their faith and looked up the kids who stood up for their faith. I would ask them about the children who died in your stories or got in “trouble” with teaches, police or even parents for their faith. They always knew that if the worst thing happened to the child in the story (death) that God had taken them to heaven. They even said at the end of the year that they wanted Jesus to come back, even if it meant the tribulation would happen and Christians being persecuted because they so badly wanted to see HIM!!!

    Kids have greater faith than we do, if we don’t hold them back with our worldly fears. That is why Jesus uses them as an example for us. Praise Jesus for the faith he puts in His little ones!!!

  4. We teach about persecuted Christians to our own children, ages 4-20, as well as to other children in our bible study group (youngest is age 3). My kids ask me to read a story from the Jesus Freaks book after our evening bible study as well, and we send cards and notes to prisoners through the PrisonerAlert service.

    The kids have all learned more about real Christianity and what it means to stand for Christ through VOM materials than through any other curriculum they’ve encountered in typical Sunday School classes and VBS. They’ve watched every one of the Torchlighters videos several times as well. It is beautiful to hear the children, far from being scared, pray for Christians in restricted countries, including some by name heard about through PrisonerAlert.

    Our bible study and prayer group has recently decided to meet on Sundays for worship/fellowship. We have decided to use the Kids of Courage country booklets as our children’s curriculum – we thank you for providing these as free downloads on your site.

  5. clubconquistadores | August 28, 2011 at 12:52 AM | Reply

    I regard it as being important to teach children what is happening in many countries for them to be thankfull (we live in Mexico City) we may praise the Lord, go to church services and even share the Word of God without being persecuted.

    Once my pastor told me that our Children usually see death for death but this time they see death for life.

  6. MaryLee Kersten-Day | September 20, 2011 at 7:16 PM | Reply

    In our home we have prayed for persecuted Christians far back as my children can remember. I have always felt that it was important for them to know their duty in praying for fellow Christians who don’t have the same freedoms that we have. Likewise I have taught them that Jesus tells us that “… in the world you will have trouble.”

  7. Katelyn Chernauskas | November 12, 2011 at 10:22 AM | Reply

    Okay. I understand what they are trying to say, but we need to know these things so that we know who and what to pray for. Keep sending me those materials!!!

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