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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.

Activities Story

A Secret Bible, Part 2

Peter and Ruth
The previous post told about Peter and Ruth, Christian workers who spread God’s Word in areas where it can be hard to get a Bible. Do you know how they get the stories of Jesus to hard-to-reach places?

Peter revealed the answer. “It’s inside us!” he said.

Peter and Ruth are part of a “Word by Heart” program, which helps people learn and share Scripture. “In some countries we can’t take the Bible, but if we know [a Bible story] word for word in our heart, in any country we go into, they can’t take it away,” Peter said. “No country can outlaw storytelling,” added Ruth.

Word by Heart workers tell Bible stories while translators share the story with their audience in the local languages. Not everybody they talk to can read or write. “Anybody can listen,” said Peter. And the message spreads quickly. “We can tell the story to 10 or 15 people, and those people can go and share it with more family and friends.”

“If the police come, they won’t find anything,” said Ruth.
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length.)

Gladys Aylward
Gladys Aylward was a missionary to China in the 1900s. She helped an older missionary operate an inn where they shared Bible stories with Chinese merchants and drivers who passed through the area.

The men had never heard the stories of a man named Jesus who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). Yang, the cook at the inn, helped Gladys learn Chinese words to tell the stories.

Enter “Aylward” in the Search box to find more stories about Gladys.

To Do
The activity below is from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book. Learn more about the book here.

Choose a Bible story to learn well enough to present it to others. Read the story in a Bible or Bible storybook several times until you can tell it without looking at the book. Ask your parent or teacher if you can tell your family or class the story during a meal or other break. Share the story. If there is time, ask your listeners questions about it to learn what they remember and understand.

Here are some story suggestions:
*A story from Mark 4–5 or a parable of Jesus
*Daniel and the lion’s den (Daniel 6)
*David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
*Jonah (the Book of Jonah)
*Jeremiah’s rescue (Jeremiah 38:1–13)
*Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:1–20)
*Jesus’ resurrection (Luke 24)
*Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3:1 – 4:17)
*Noah (Genesis 6:9 – 9:17)
*The Story of Creation (Genesis 1:1 – 2:4)
*****


Spotlight Story

A Secret Bible

Jesus commanded His followers: “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” He knew that it wouldn’t always be easy to spread the teachings to every country, and He knew it would be illegal to get Bibles into hostile areas. (Read “Comparing Ideas About Bible Smuggling” here.)

Peter and Ruth share God’s Word with people in nations where their message is often not appreciated. “When I was in my teens,” Ruth shared on VOM Radio, “my family started getting The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. I remember …seeing the stories of different Christians all over the world. It started getting me to think outside just my own world.”

Today, she and her husband, Peter, know that sometimes Christians in other countries are imprisoned and attacked for distributing Bibles. They have heard about how VOM spreads the Good News of Jesus through radio broadcasts, Bibles inside balloons, and smuggled Bibles.

But Peter and Ruth share the Bible in hostile countries in a different way.

*They don’t smuggle Bibles inside heavy boxes or suitcases.
*They provide Bible stories to those who can read and those who can’t.
*They can share Bible stories in any language, even languages that don’t have Bible translations on paper.
*No one can steal or burn their Bibles.
*Their Bibles don’t show up on an airport X-ray machine.
*Police who don’t like Christians can’t find Peter and Ruth’s Bibles.
*Young children and elderly people can help them multiply the number of people who learn about Jesus.
*They don’t need an electronic device on which to play and hear their Bibles.

Can you guess how Peter and Ruth get the stories of Jesus into hard-to-reach places? The next post will answer that question and tell you how you can share Bible stories in the same way as Peter and Ruth.
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length.)


Spotlight Story

A Trilogy of Bible Stories

The Witnesses Trilogy tells the story of Jesus and the beginning of the Christian church in three animated DVDs. English and Spanish language tracks are included.

God With Us: The Coming of the Savior
Jesus was born in humble obscurity, yet His family had to flee to save Him from a jealous ruler. He forgave sins, healed the sick, and gave hope to the downhearted and oppressed, but He was despised and rejected by many. He spoke the truth even when it was dangerous to do so. He willingly laid down His life and then rose again, conquering the power of death.

The Messengers: The Birth of the Church
Having risen from the dead, Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples. While waiting in prayer as Jesus commanded them, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. The small band of early Christian believers boldly proclaimed Christ and His message in the face of great opposition.

To Every Nation: Faith that Changed the World
Learn about the church’s miraculous growth and how the first believers took the gospel to every nation.

Find out more about the Trilogy here.


Spotlight Story

Ali: In Love with the Gospel

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length and clarity.)

“My family was very religious in Islam,” said Ali, who grew up in Iran. “However, my father was an alcoholic. When I got to be 11 or 12, I started drinking alcohol also. Then I started using drugs. That changed me into a very angry person. I didn’t have many friends.”

Note: Ali and his family were Shiite [SHEE-ite] Muslims. Imams are very important leaders among Shiites. Many Shiites believe that the 12th imam, who disappeared in the 800s A.D., did not die. They believe he will return as “the Mahdi” at the end of the world. Learn more about Shiites here.

Ali did not have peace. He searched for truth and peace through Muslim rituals. “Every day I read from the prayer book,” he said. “I was really interested in the Mahdi, the 12th imam.” Every Tuesday for five years, Ali visited a well where Iranians believe the 12th imam will appear at the end of time.

But nothing happened and Ali still had no peace.

Finding the Light
After a Christian relative witnessed about their faith to Ali’s parents, his parents became Christians, and Ali’s father quit drinking! “I wrestled with it for six months,” said Ali. “From the bottom of my heart, I prayed that the Mahdi would show himself to me.”

But still nothing happened. Finally, Ali prayed, “Jesus, Messiah, I don’t know You. But if You really died for me, show me something that shows You are real.”

That night, Ali dreamed of a bright light streaming into his room. Later he heard a voice saying, “Go to Tehran.” When he obeyed the voice and went to the capital of Iran, he visited a church in the city. “I fell in love with the gospel and became a believer there. Then I got on my knees, and I repented,” said Ali.

Persecution and Spreading the Word
Muslim relatives did not approve of Ali and his parents’ new faith. The relatives took all of their photos out of family photo albums. “My grandfather kicked us all out,” said Ali. “He got all our money, and he kept it.”

Even though they are persecuted, Ali’s family tells others about Jesus when they get the opportunity. “My goal, my desire, is to really share the gospel with Muslims who are under the control of Islam,” Ali said.

Learn more about Christians in Iran in Bold Believers in Iran, available in the Downloads section.


Activities Story

Iranian Date Snack

Cut open lengthwise about ½ pound of dates. Break walnut halves in half lengthwise and insert one walnut piece in each date and close the date. Arrange the dates on a shallow serving dish. Melt a stick of margarine and stir in a half cup of flour over low heat until smooth. Pour the mixture over the dates and let it set before serving.

Learn more about Christians in Iran in Bold Believers in Iran, available in the Downloads section.