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Bold Believers in Syria

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.

Spotlight Story

Preparing to “Shine Like the Stars” (Daniel 12:3, NIV)

Missionary Amy Carmichael and her friends prayed about how to witness to people in India who were not followers of Jesus. They were prepared to explain the gospel and teachings from the Bible.

How can you prepare to be a shining light to someone who is not a Christian?

Pray
Pray for non-Christians you know to open their hearts and minds to Jesus. Ask God to guide you in reaching out to people who need to learn about Him.

Learn
Learn all you can about your Christian beliefs and how to explain them. Ask a Christian adult if you need guidance.
Know what the Bible teaches about:
Sin — Romans 3:22-25
God — 1 John 4:16; Acts 17:27; 1 Peter 5:7
Jesus — John 3:16; Mark 1:11
Heaven — Revelation 7:15-17; Revelation 21:4

What can you do if you meet someone at school or at an activity who is not a Christian?

Don’t Hide Your Faith
A missionary to a non-Christian country said, “If a non-Christian knows you for several months and doesn’t know you’re a Christian, that’s one extreme. The other extreme is to pull out your Bible the first time you meet and start insulting their religion. Neither extreme is good. Be friendly, but let them know from the start that you’re a Christian. Don’t hide or deny who you are.

Tell an Adult
Let a Christian adult know if you might be discussing your faith with someone who is not a Christian. Ask them to pray with you about it and to guide you in preparing for discussions.

“I Don’t Know”
If you do not understand a question someone of a different religion asks you, it’s fine to say, “I don’t know, but I will ask someone and give you an answer the next time I talk to you.”

Different Food?
If you invite someone of another faith to your home for a meal, ask beforehand if they have any restrictions in what they can eat. Many Hindus don’t eat beef, and some Muslims and Jews don’t eat pork (which includes ham and bacon).

Keep Praying
Pray for the person and their family, and ask God to help you be a good example and a good witness.

Learn more about Amy Carmichael and 15 other Christian heroes in The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book and DVD set, available at VOMBooks.com. The book includes 144 pages of stories, devotionals, challenging coloring pages, extreme dot-to-dots, crafts, and activities related to the heroes on the accompanying Torchlighters DVDs.

 

 

 

 


Spotlight Story

Missionary Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael was born in Ireland on December 16, 1867.

Amy Carmichael was 17 years old when her father died. For several years, she helped her mother take care of her six brothers and sisters, and she shared Jesus’ love with others around her. But she believed God was calling her to be a witness for Him in other lands.

Amy boarded a ship for India in 1895. For more than 50 years, she served God as a missionary among the people of her new homeland. She worked tirelessly, and she freed many children from Hindu temples where they spent their time serving false gods. (Read a story and watch a video clip about her work with the temple children here.)

One day, after she had been in India for many years, Amy asked God to use her in any way He saw fit to make her better able to do His will and to help others. That afternoon, she was seriously injured in a fall. She had to stay in bed for the next 20 years. Amy believed that God was now calling her to write about her missionary experiences. At first, she didn’t want to write about herself, but she obeyed. Amy wrote many books, letters, and songs from her bed.

Amy had five rules that she used in deciding what to write. The rules were:
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it helpful?
Is it necessary?
Does it have the “seed of eternity” in it?

Amy Carmichael died in 1951 at the age of 83. She inspired other Christians to become missionaries, and she rescued many in India from hopeless empty lives.

(Sources include: From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya by Ruth A. Tucker and 50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha.)

To Talk About
• What do you think Amy meant by asking, “Does it have the “seed of eternity” in it?
• At first, Amy did not want to write about her experiences. Can you think of anyone in the Bible who did not want to follow what God was calling them to do at first?


Activities Story

Make a Parol

Enter “Philippines” in the Search box to learn about bold Christians in the Philippines and to find ways you can pray for them.

Then learn how to make a Christmas decoration from the Philippines using the instructions below.

A “parol” (pah-rohl) is a star lantern. Families in the Philippines use star lanterns as Christmas ornaments. They hang the lanterns in windows and even decorate their yards with them. Filipino children learn to make star lanterns in school. Some families make their own lanterns; others buy them.

Traditional star lanterns are made by constructing two star-shaped frames out of bamboo sticks, then fastening the frames together. The frames are covered with colorful paper and decorated with tassels hung from one or more points. Candles were placed inside the lanterns in past times, just as candles were used to light Christmas trees in the past. Today electric lights usually light the lanterns.

You can make a star ornament by cutting a 4- or 5-pointed star from colored poster board. Make the star any size you want. Use ribbon, tinsel, crepe paper, or yarn to make short tassels. Glue the tassels to the points of the star, or attach them with thread to holes punched in the points. You may want to draw pictures or glue decorations on the front and back of the star, and hang your star in a window.


Spotlight Story

Laos: Sonxi

Sonxi

One day, Sonxi was walking through the jungle near her home in Laos. She saw a small booklet lying on the ground, and she picked it up and began to read. “Jesus will come back,” the booklet said. The words filled her with hope.

Only eight Christian families lived in her village. She visited their leader, and he told her more about Jesus. Sonxi placed her faith in Christ and became a Christian.

Laos villagers and authorities are not always friendly toward Christians. So at first, Sonxi kept her faith a secret. When she finally told her family, they said, “We can’t believe in this religion, because we are afraid of the police. If there weren’t any police, we would believe in Jesus.”

They tried to stop Sonxi from going to church, but she continued to attend her village’s house church. “You are a very bad girl because you don’t listen to your parents!” her parents told her.

After her family began to abuse her, Sonxi escaped to a Christian friend. The Voice of the Martyrs helped her learn a trade to support herself and attend a Bible school. Today Sonxi is a full-time Christian worker in Laos.

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs magazine)

To Think About
Someone had provided the tract that Sonxi found on the ground, but it must have been thrown away. Whoever gave away the tract probably never knew that it helped bring someone to Christ. Can you leave some Christian tracts or Scripture portions in a place where someone will find them? Can you trust that God’s word will succeed in bringing about His will? (Read Isaiah 55:11.)


Spotlight Story

Iraq: Escape from ISIS

Market in Erbil

Hani and his wife were expecting a baby. They and their families lived in Qaraqosh, a city in Iraq.

[Watch a video about a girl from Qaraqosh here.]

ISIS Muslim fighters invaded Qaraqosh and took over Hani’s poultry farm three miles outside the city. They held Hani and six other people as captives for 26 days. One day when the fighters were eating an evening meal, the captives fled before they were discovered. They ran the three miles to Qaraqosh as fast as they could run, but the city wasn’t safe either. Hani and his wife and relatives escaped to the city of Erbil, leaving behind their homes and their farm, which was worth $1 million.

Hani felt discouraged and heartbroken. After a time, he found a church where he was led closer to the Lord. His wife was happy when Jesus helped him change from an angry person to a loving follower of Jesus, and she also became a dedicated Christian.

Hani spends his days passing out Bibles in the Erbil area. He hopes to return to Qaraqosh to start a church. He now has peace inside. “I hated Muslims before,” he said. “Now I see them as victims, because if they knew Jesus, they would not do these works.”

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs magazine)

To Talk About
*What is a victim? In Hani’s story, who are the victims? Who does Hani say are the victims? Why does he think they are victims?
*Hani and his family lost their home, their farm, and their business. Why was his wife happy, and why did Hani have peace?