Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of people in a country where civil war has driven more than 750,000 Christians from the country. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.
Published on May 12th, 2020
[Photo: Some of Aye’s family.]
(The story below comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. It has been translated, edited, and condensed for clarity.)
God Takes Care of Us
Have you ever seen a family with thirty children? That is a whole bus full! Aye from Myanmar (Burma) comes from such a special family. Her mother and father are the birth parents of five of the thirty children. The others were added later. Aye’s parents take care of them so they cannot be kidnapped. That happens with many children in Myanmar. Some kidnapped children are forced to become child soldiers. Girls can be sold to men as wives. It’s very special to learn that Aye’s father and mother want to take care of them.
Read Aye’s story below.
Hi! My name is Aye, 10 years old, and I live in Myanmar, a neighbor of China. I am a Christian and have lovely parents. And I come from a family of thirty children!
Do you want to know why we live in a house with so many? That’s a difficult question. I live in a quiet place now, but other parts of the country are almost a war zone. If you are a Christian there, you will have a hard time. Especially for children it is dangerous.
An Important Question
One day my father’s good friend, Huan, came to eat with us. He said to my father, “I want to ask you something important. Would you and your wife like to take care of two boys? Their parents have only recently become Christians. They want very much to tell people about God, but they are afraid that their children will be kidnapped to become child soldiers.”
It became very quiet at the table. My father and mother did not answer. That was good, because I thought it was a stupid question. Two more children? We already live with five children in this small house, and there is not even enough to eat. After a minute or so, my father only said, “We will pray for wisdom.” To me, that sounded like “no.” I was reassured because God knows that our pantry is empty.
Two New Brothers
Three days later we were sitting at the table when the door suddenly opened. Do you know who came in the house? Huan, with those two boys! Huan said to my father, “Here are the boys.” You should have seen my father’s face! “Are their parents okay?” my father asked in surprise. Huan pointed to the taller boy and replied, “His parents are well.”
Then he pointed to the younger boy and said, “He only has one parent; his father has died.” I saw the tears in my father’s eyes. “I know what it’s like not to have a father,” he said in a trembling voice. “I really want to take care of them and be like a father to them.”
My father got up and said to the boys, “Welcome to our family. From now on, this is your house and our food is your food. The food does not come from me, but from God. He will make sure that there is enough. I hope our house is a place where you learn a lot about God.”
After a while I also got new sisters.
It’s really special to grow up in such a large family. We do a lot together. We make music, study the Bible, play soccer, and share everything together. My “brothers and sisters” are also happy that they live with us. My 12-year-old brother, Peter, recently said: “If I had grown up where I lived before, I might have been a child soldier. And now I am in school, I lead a group in Sunday school, and I can even play the guitar.”
My parents have never regretted taking care of more children. My father often says, “My heavenly Father takes very good care of me. Therefore, as long as I live, I will be a good father to all my children.”
I have a great dad, right?
Read another story about Aye’s family here:
To learn more about Christians in Myanmar (Burma), download Bold Believers in Burma here.
Published on May 11th, 2020
(The story and activity below come from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. The fictional story is told from the point of view of a boy named Stef in the Netherlands, where SDOK is located. It has been translated, edited, and condensed for clarity.)
On a rainy Sunday morning, I walked home from the church with my parents and sister. “What person let his cell phone alarm go off this morning during the prayer?” I asked my father. My father laughed. “I think I know. My friend Henk’s alarm goes off every day at 10:02 a.m. He prays at two minutes past 10 for helpers in the Kingdom of God. It says in the Bible in Luke 10:2 that we must pray for this. So Henk does that. Every day.”
Hmm, I think it’s beautiful. But I think he should turn it off when we are praying in church. “Oh well … we all forget things sometimes,” my father said. In the meantime we were standing at the front door and my father was looking nervously in his pockets – and he has quite a few pockets. “You forgot your key again!” my sister and I called at the same time. We stood there in the pouring rain in front of a closed door. My mother also had no key with her, and the neighbors were not at home. Eventually we got a ladder, and I squeezed myself in through the bathroom window.
Then I got an idea. “May I look up a Bible text on your phone?” I asked my dad. My father was not hard to convince. Maybe he felt a bit guilty for the forgotten key. I searched the Bible and then set my father’s alarm. The next morning my father was fixing my breakfast.
“Did you set my alarm clock at 3:25 am, Stef?” he asked. “What a ridiculous time! How does that make sense?”
I answered, “Because in Judges 3:25, the word key is written. I thought it was a handy tip from Henk.” My mother laughed, and my father walked out the front door frowning. Then he came in the back door. He had forgotten his key!
Luke 10:2: And he [Jesus] said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
You can participate in the Luke 10:2 challenge! People all over the world stop doing what they are doing at two minutes past 10 in the morning. At school children stop calculating, people stop typing at the office, others put away the newspaper, and the crane is stopped for a moment on the construction site. Not everyone of course, just Christians. They long for more workers in God’s Kingdom.
There are so many people who have not yet heard about God. We need people to tell them that salvation is possible through the Lord Jesus! Wouldn’t it be cool if more people heard about God’s love? Maybe you want to pray, too!
(Source: Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK)
Published on May 8th, 2020
[Photo source: Torchlighters.org]
“You might be suddenly educating your children at home or you might be trying to adjust to life without your supportive co-op. Maybe you’re working full time during this, or maybe you’ve lost your job. Your loved ones or you might be sick, or maybe you’re currently grieving a loss, with the added burden of being isolated.
“This isn’t an easy time for parents, and it isn’t easy for our kids, either. One of the most life-giving things I’ve heard recently is that what we’re all doing now isn’t homeschooling, it’s crisis schooling. All of us have had our lives upended. The future is uncertain. We are grieving over lives, opportunities, jobs, and momentous occasions lost. Now more than ever, I’ve had to learn to show my children extraordinary patience and grace”…. Kaylena Radcliff
Kaylena Radcliff is a “Torchligher mom” and author. You can read her blog post, “How this Torchlighter Mom is Surviving Quarantine,” at Torchlighters.org.
“In the writing world,” said Kaylena, “I am what would be called a “pantser”: that is, someone who flies by the seat of her pants. I don’t usually plot or map out stories before I write them, which allows for a lot of wondrous, creative flexibility. It can also make for some meandering story lines that need a good revision or two to make sense later.
“When it comes to daily schedules, it turns out that I’m also a bit of a pantser. I could get away with it when it was only a day or two out of the week. But do you know who doesn’t appreciate pantsers for seven days straight? My children. Can you guess the result? Chaos. So much chaos. In these wild, stuck-at-home times, I’m learning to mitigate some of that chaos by having an actual plan….”
Read the rest of Kaylena’s post here.
Published on May 8th, 2020
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand started The Voice of the Martyrs after he was released from prison in Romania. He had been imprisoned for spreading Christianity. After he left Romania, he told many stories of Christians who were faithful to God in difficult situations. The story below is about a boy who honored his mother by following what she taught him.
In one country where the government did not like Christians, a policeman put many Christians in jail. One day, a 12-year-old boy came to the policeman’s office holding a flower. “Sir,” said the boy, “you put my mother and father in prison. Today is my mother’s birthday. I always give her a flower on her birthday. But because of you I can’t be with my mother today.
“My mother is a good Christian,” the boy continued. “She taught me to love and forgive my enemies. She taught me to repay evil with good. So I thought I would bring a flower to your wife, the mother of your children. Please take it to her. Tell her about my love and the love of Christ.”
The policeman hugged the boy. Because of the boy’s love, the policeman didn’t want to put any more Christians in jail. He quit his job. Then other policemen put him in jail. He thought it was an honor to be in jail with followers of Christ.
On Mother’s Day, remember children who are separated from their parents because of Christian persecution. Ask God to help the children remain faithful to Him like the boy in Pastor Wurmbrand’s story.
Published on May 7th, 2020
On Mother’s Day this year, remember mothers you know, or mothers around the world, who have sacrificed to bring up their children in the Christian faith. Some mothers who live in countries where Christians are persecuted have lost homes, families, and friends after deciding to follow Christ. Others have lost their lives, leaving children who honor their memory.
You can make a reminder to pray for mothers and children.
White, all-purpose glue
Scrapbook paper or other decorative paper
Buttons, ribbon, and other items for decorating
Photo of mothers and children from The Voice of the Martyrs’ publications or websites, or other sources
1. Trace around the outside of the inner hoop on decorative paper.
2. Cut out the traced circle and glue it onto the top ring of the inner hoop. Let it dry.
3. Glue on a photo, ribbon, buttons or other items to decorate the reminder.
4. Display the hoop on a wall or bulletin board.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife, or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:29).