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Speaking Up for Others

Raking leaves
Michigan fifth graders raking leaves

“Dear VOM, Thank you for standing up for persecuted Christians. Some missionaries don’t get a chance to speak up for themselves when they get caught, and I feel they should….

Proverbs 31:8–9 [says], ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ It was a pleasure to write you. Sincerely, Krystal”

VOM recently received the above letter, and several others, from fifth graders at Ann Arbor Christian School in Michigan.

Their teacher, Becky J. said,

“In the fall, we learn the story of Queen Esther and memorize Proverbs 31:8–9. In conjunction with that lesson, I’ve incorporated our leaf raking service project in order to raise money for organizations that speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves…

“I have been teaching about The Voice of the Martyrs for many years…From my experience with classes in the past, they are really challenged by the idea of physically suffering for Jesus. It’s so easy in our culture to view suffering as the ultimate enemy and the thing to be most feared. Yet in the Kids of Courage articles, the students are encountering children their own age who are suffering for the sake of Jesus.

“One of the things we talked about as we read the story of Daniel and Esther is that they had to choose to obey God, show integrity, and speak up for what is right without knowing the outcome. As Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego spoke to the king, they said that God was able to rescue them from the furnace. But even if he did not, they would not bow down to a false god. We discussed how sometimes when you take a stand for God, He protects you in amazing ways. However, sometimes God allows you to pay the ultimate price. Knowing that both results may be in God’s plan and that we have to be able to trust Him either way, is one of the challenging things we discuss.”

To Talk About

  • In the story in the Book of Daniel, what did Nebuchadnezzar want the people to do? How did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego get in trouble? How were they bold witnesses? Who changed his mind about God because of their bold witnessing?
  • Sometimes God is honored when Christians die for their faith in him. Sometimes he is honored when he sets people free from danger. Our lives are in his hands. Do the people who die for Christ have less faith than the ones who are set free? Probably not. Most of Jesus’ disciples died because they followed him, and they had great faith.

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