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Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs

Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs includes stories, history, culture facts, and activities that help children understand the daily lives of the Uygur people, who live mainly in northwest China. The 52-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Spotlight Story

Gospels in Bottles

Some countries do not allow Bibles to be brought into their country or printed inside the country. In obedience to God’s command to, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation,” The Voice of the Martyrs has been using unique ways to smuggle Bibles for more than 50 years. (See Mark 16:15.) Creative Christians continue to invent new ways.

During of much of the 20th century, the Communist government of Russia restricted Christian activities in their country and the countries they controlled. So Christians outside of Russia put Scriptures inside bottles and dropped them into the sea, hoping they would reach Russia.

A Detour
One time, an unexpected storm drove many of the bottles to the shores of Finland. Newspapers in Finland reported the event.

Russians read the news reports. They realized that the bottles were just like the ones that had floated to Russia many times before. So the Russian government sent 10 spies to Finland to try to find out where the bottles came from. The spies pretended to be Christians and attended Christian prayer meetings to gather information. They hoped their spy work would lead to many arrests of Christians.

New Life for a Spy
But one of the spies listened closely to what was said at a prayer meeting, and he decided to follow Christ! He warned the Christians not to discuss who had sent the Scriptures in the bottles. The secret smuggling work could continue.

Source: Jesus to the Communist World newsletter, October 1970. (The newsletter later became The Voice of the Martyrs magazine.)

Readers Talk to Us Story

Letter from a Teacher


I am a high school teacher and I have kept a recent copy of the VOM magazine on my desk. Usually the talk about these Christians has led to talk about Christ and salvation. Never has anyone in the public school complained or told me to stop.

I have seen the realization that people are suffering and dying for the sake of Christ take hold of many so-so Christian teens and turn them into fireballs for the Lord. The boldness of the believers in the persecuted church lights a fire under them. I have seen many Bibles brought to school and read between classes and at lunch. Some students have started Bible classes in the library before and after school.

I wish these precious believers in the persecuted church could know the far-reaching effect of their testimonies. I am always amazed at the surprise people have when learning about our brothers and sisters in other countries. I am also amazed at how God can use that knowledge to turn the focus around to what is really important. Thank you, VOM. — Marsha C.

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

What can YOU do to start a conversation about Jesus?

Videos Story

The Names of God

Iranian Christians, dancing together while chanting the many names of God. The faces have been pixelated to conceal the identity of the Christians involved, as Christians in Iran are in continual risk of persecution by government authorities.

Activities Story

Kids of Courage Paper Quilt

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. — Hebrews 13:3

You can make a paper quilt to help you remember Christian kids of courage who have been mistreated.

*12-inch by 12-inch piece of cardstock
*Two different coordinating patterns of craft (scrapbook) paper
*Double-sided tape
*Five 2- to 2 ½- inch photos of children cut from VOM publications or calendars, or printed and cut out from VOM/Kids of Courage websites

1. Cut nine 3 ½- inch squares from craft paper, five from one pattern and four from the other.
2. Center your photos on the five craft paper squares and attach them with double-sided tape.
3. Leaving a ½- inch border, arrange the nine 3 ½ – squares on the cardstock and tape them in place. (See the photo above.)

*Add more pictures to make a bigger quilt.
*Add strips of craft paper to decorate the border.

Activities Story

A Prison Code

Pastor Wurmbrand’s prison

“Jail is no hindrance to a useful Christian life” — Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was arrested in the mid-20th century in Romania for his Christian witness and activities. The story below tells about something that happened when he was in prison. Read the story, then tell how your name would be tapped in the improved code used by the prisoners. (For example, if your name is John, the first letter of your name would be signaled by 2 taps, then 5 taps.)

The Code
Tap. Tap. Tap. One day Pastor Wurmbrand heard a faint tapping on the damp concrete wall of his solitary cell. “What could it mean?” he wondered.

Tap. Tap. Tap. The noise continued. Pastor Wurmbrand tapped back. Suddenly a burst of taps erupted by his bed. He realized that the prisoner in the next cell was trying to teach him a code.

A = 1 tap
B = 2 taps
C = 3 taps
And so on.

“Who are you?” was the first message Pastor Wurmbrand’s neighbor sent him. “A pastor,” Pastor Wurmbrand replied.

It took a long time to send a message. The prisoners improved the code so it wouldn’t take so long. In the new code, one tap stood for the first five letters of the alphabet, two taps for the second group of five, and so on. Another tap told whether the letter was the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth letter in its group. So “B” was a single tap, followed by a pause, then two more taps.

The Improved Code
A = 1 tap, pause, 1 tap
B = 1 tap, pause, 2 taps
C = 1 tap, pause, 3 taps
D = 1 tap, pause, 4 taps
E = 1 tap, pause, 5 taps
F = 2 taps, pause, 1 tap
G = 2 taps, pause, 2 taps
And so on.

Morse Code
Then his neighbor, who had been a radio engineer, used this code to teach Pastor Wurmbrand Morse code. After that, they used Morse code to tell jokes, spread news, and even share chess moves. (Pastor Wurmbrand sometimes played chess with himself using tiny bits of bread as chess pieces.) Pastor Wurmbrand also taught prisoners Bible verses and shared the gospel with unbelievers using the code.