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“This is Going to Be Normal”

(Source: January 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine.)

India is a mostly Hindu country, but many Muslims live in the country as well. In one Muslim village, older Christians taught a group of siblings and cousins about God’s love for them. The kids studied the Bible, and they understood that following Jesus in a Muslim town could be risky. Christians in their area kept their faith secret and hid their Bibles. If they were discovered to be Christians, they could be shunned or attacked.

The youth continued to follow Christ anyway, and even went away to another location for Bible training. When they returned to their village, Muslim villagers gave them a hard time and demanded that they tell where they had been and what they did when they were gone.

“Proud to Follow Jesus”
The father of one of the girls in the group feared the Muslims. To try to solve the conflict, he gave them an SD card with an audio Bible on it. “This is why they left,” he told the Muslims. He also told the villagers, “Repent! Come out of the darkness!”

The Muslims grew angry anyway. They took the youth to a Muslim boarding school to try to convince them to become Muslims. Some of the girls in the group were kept for more than a month, part of the time without clean clothes or daily necessities. (See the photo of some of the youth above. Their faces are covered to disguise their identity.)

The girls, led by the Holy Spirit, gave wise answers to the Muslims who questioned them. Their faith grew as they saw how God sustained them during the ordeal.

After they were finally released, their community still shunned them and refused to let them attend their school. But they still study God’s Word. “They are proud to follow Jesus, and they are confident,” said a Christian who knows the youth. “We want them to know what they Word says — that this is going to be normal for them.”

To Talk About
*What does “repent” mean? What did the girl’s father mean when he told the villagers, “Come out of the darkness”?
*When did the girls’ faith grow?
*Why do you think some people’s faith grows during difficult times?