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VOM’s Courageous Series books

VOM’s Courageous Series books highlight the lives of faithful Christians throughout history, including the stories of biblical heroes Stephen, Thomas and Paul as well as three additional stories of well-known Christians Nicholas, Patrick and Valentine, whose faith informed their actions. Learn more here.

Activities Story

Valentine Necklace

A VOM volunteer made a necklace as a reminder to pray for persecuted Christians. (See the photo.)

If you want to make a necklace like it, string red pony beads and pieces cut from colorful straws on red string, twine, or thick thread. Print a photo from this website or from prisoneralert.com, or cut one from a VOM magazine.

Glue or tape the photo to a decorative label, thick paper, or cardstock. Glue two labels together if you want to make the backing thicker. [Optional: Cut the label in the shape of a heart before gluing on the photo.] Punch a hole near the top of the label, and tie it to the necklace.


Activities Story

Valentine: A Light in Dark Places

Christian history describes several men named Valentine (or Valentinus), and a woman named Valentina. Legends tell about the courage of a Valentine who died for his faith on February 14th. The legends encourage Christians to stand up boldly for Jesus in the face of struggles.

To learn about children’s resources, including a book about Valentine, visit the resource page.

“Deep in the woods, under the cover of midnight darkness, couples would meet Valentinus to be joined in marriage.” — from Valentine by The Voice of the Martyrs

The previous post told about a Roman emperor’s law that prevented young men and women from marrying. But Valentinus joined couples in marriage, bringing light to a dark situation.

Later, Valentinus was imprisoned for breaking Roman laws. One day, a guard named Marcus heard Valentinus praying, “Lord Jesus, You are light. Fill this prison with Your light in such a way that those who are here will know You are God.”

When Marcus heard his prayer, he turned toward Valentinus and said, “You say God is light. My daughter has been blind since birth. If your God can make her see, then I will believe in your God.”

So Valentinus prayed God would cause his daughter’s blind eyes to see. The next morning, as soon as he sat up on his straw mat, he saw Marcus grabbing the bars of his cell and shaking them. “She can see!” Marcus exclaimed. “My daughter can see!” And he and his family decided to believe in Jesus.

(Source: Valentine by The Voice of the Martyrs)

Valentine Tea Light
Follow the instructions below to make a Valentine tea light. Give the light to someone, and tell them how Valentinus shared the Light of the World with those who didn’t know Him.

Needed
*5-inch plastic, footed dessert cups
*18-inch length of twine
*Double sided tape
*Wooden craft hearts (or make your own with thick paper or cardstock)
*LED flickering tea light

Instructions
*Attach a 1-inch strip of double sided tape to the back of the heart.
*Remove the backing on the tape and attach the heart to the cup.
*Press tightly to seal.
*Turn on the tea light and place it in the cup.
*Tie the twine in a bow around the stem of the cup.


Spotlight Story

Valentine

By Elise Wixtrom

An emperor in ancient Rome liked conquering very much, and he was fond of meddling in foreign wars. But he didn’t have enough soldiers to fight all these wars. The shortage of soldiers irritated him. So the emperor of that time outlawed marriage for people of a certain age range. He hoped to encourage young men to enter the military to pass the time before they could marry their sweethearts.

The emperor’s law caused a huge problem for Christian men and women of the time. The Christian men did not want to enter the Roman military. They wanted to be able to get married and have children, families, and lives. But no one would officiate at their weddings, because they didn’t want to break the harsh laws that governed Rome at the time.

Then Valentine, a young pastor, came into the scene. In violation of the law, Valentine began to join young Christian couples in marriage. Valentine eventually was martyred for breaking the laws of Rome, but he displayed great courage with his defiance.

Sources include Valentine: God’s Courageous Evangelist, one of the books in the Courageous Series, available at vombooks.com.
Enter “Valentine” in the Search box to learn more about why we celebrate Valentine’s Day.


Spotlight Story

No Longer Robots

North Korea

(Source: Kids of Courage archives)

Background: In North Korea, the government tries to control every activity. Sometimes the people seem like robots. Children in North Korea wake up to speeches played over loudspeakers. The speeches praise North Korea’s leaders. Children march to school where they memorize more about their leaders in their school subjects. Before meals, the children salute a picture of the leader and thank him for their food.

Many leave North Korea to look for food and freedom. Christians in China secretly care for North Koreans and protect them from people who want to send them back to North Korea.

Mr. Choi is a Chinese Christian who helps care for the children when he visits them. He told the following story.

Mr. Choi’s Story
When I arrived, the children sang “Jesus Loves Me,” which they had recently learned from the Christians who take care of them. They said grace before our meal. At bedtime, they read a Bible story.

But something was not right. They were singing, praying, and reading like robots. They could not stop acting like they had been taught to act in North Korea.

At the safe house, some of the children were orphans, and others had come to China alone without their families. But they did not cry. I held their hands and sang to them. Then I began to pray for them aloud. I prayed from my heart, not like a robot.

“Is it really okay to pray like that?” one boy asked.

“Yes, of course,” I answered. “God is my Father! I can tell Him anything.”

Slowly they began to understand. Then they started to cry. “What would you like to tell God?” I asked.

“God, it hurts,” prayed one girl who missed her family. “I want to see my family again,” another prayed.

The children in the safe house continued learning how to pray to God as their Father. Now they understand that He can comfort them when they are sad. They know that they do not have to act like robots for their heavenly Father to love them. Please pray for them and for those still in North Korea who do not yet know the truth.

Discussion Suggestions for Classes

  • Who told the North Korean children about Jesus?
  • What might it look like if you sang a song like a robot? (Teachers and Parents: Encourage the children to sing a simple secular song, rather than a Christian song, so they will not appear to be mocking Christian principles in any way.)
  • Do you pray before you eat? Are your mealtime and bedtime prayers from your heart, or do you ever pray like a robot?

Uncategorized Story

Imprisoned for Christ Virtual Event

Parents and Teachers
The Voice of the Martyrs, with help from LifeWay, is hosting a FREE virtual event on Friday, March 5, 2021, that will feature three inspiring speakers: Petr Jasek, Andrew Brunson and Dan Baumann. In addition to individual testimonies from the former prisoners for Christ, the event will include a panel discussion and worship music from Dove Award-winning artist Natalie Grant.

If your kids are youth or especially mature older children, you may want to consider watching the event with them. To register or for more information, visit persecution.com/event.

Note: If you want to receive a free Church Host Kit to help host the event at your church, please register by Friday, February 12.