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 April 21st, 2020
Muslims are people who believe the teachings of Islam. They do not believe that Jesus is the son of God, or that God sent him to save those who trust in him.
Muslims worship Allah, and their holy book is the Quran. They believe that an angel dictated the words of the Quran to Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Muslims are required to perform five duties called “the Five Pillars:”
- Recite, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”
- Pray memorized prayers five times a day at set times while facing the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
- Fast from sunrise to sunset during the Muslim month of Ramadan.
- Give money to help the poor.
- Take a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once if possible. A pilgrimage is a trip to a holy place.
Muslims around the world will be observing Ramadan from April 23 to May 23 in 2020. (Dates may vary slightly from location to location.)
To Do: Check “Their Beliefs” on this website for comparisons of Islam with biblical Christianity.
Published on April 20th, 2020
Jasmine lives in Sri Lanka. She likes to write and draw, and math is her favorite subject. She is a Christian, but she did not go to Sunday school for more than six months last year because she was scared.
On Easter in 2019, Jasmine’s Sunday school teacher asked the children, “If you died, what would happen?” The children confessed their sins and dedicated themselves to God. Later, during church, radical Muslims bombed Jasmine’s church and two other churches. Jasmine and other church members were injured, and sadly, some died of their injuries.
“Jasmine let me listen to her heart, and I could hear the shrapnel pinging around in her chest,” said a woman who works for The Voice of the Martyrs after she visited Jasmine in Sri Lanka recently. The shrapnel (pieces of the bomb) came from the bomb blast. Now Jasmine is scared of loud noises.
Thank God that Jasmine has healed enough to attend Sunday school, and pray that Jasmine will experience God’s peace and continue to grow in her walk with Him.
Learn more about Christians in Sri Lanka in Bold Believers in Sri Lanka, available in the Downloads section.
[Photo: Jasmine and her grandmother]
Published on April 17th, 2020
Recently, Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio interviewed “Uncle Monnie,” a missions pastor who encourages pastors all over the world, including countries where Christians are persecuted.
Uncle Monnie told a story about 700 Christian youth who met together for a retreat in the Soviet Union. At that time, in the 1950s, Christians were often put in prison.
The retreat leaders told the youth, “You are not in prison yet. We want you to get in small groups and write out all four of the Gospels.” [The four Gospels are the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.] The leaders wanted the students to be prepared in case they found themselves in a situation where they wouldn’t have a Bible.
“They all got together and they worked on it, and they had so much fun they decided to do the Book of Acts as well,” Uncle Monnie said. There were only seven places where they were a little fuzzy; where they didn’t exactly get every verse. But otherwise, they had all first five books of the New Testament from memory.”
In December of 1991, the Soviet Union fell apart as a nation and broke up into smaller countries. The citizens in most of the countries had more freedom after the break-up.
Uncle Monnie continued the story: “They did that same event about five years after the Soviet Union broke up. They did the same thing again, and none of the kids could even write even one verse from any of the books. Because once they got freedom, they forgot everything. They didn’t need to memorize it.
“So that is going to be one of the great problems for a pastor in working with young people and those that want to go into missions. Most of them don’t know the Bible, and they are not prepared for where they need to go….The hardest part about being a missions pastor in an American church is not getting discouraged because everywhere you see there are church members who are biblically illiterate.”
To Talk About
*Someone who is “biblically illiterate” lacks knowledge of the basic facts and teachings of the Bible. Why is it important for missionaries to know the Bible?
*By yourself or with a group, choose a chapter of the Bible that you don’t know very well. Read the chapter, then share three things you learned about the chapter that you didn’t know before. Memorize one verse from the chapter.
Published on April 16th, 2020
[Photo: Authorities have removed crosses from some churches in China.]
Chinese officials have even closed some churches. So, the congregations of many of the churches moved their services online.
Now China’s government has ruled that all livestreamed preaching must stop. After the coronavirus began making people sick, more churches wanted to hold services online. But the new rule forbids them from doing so.
Below are some ways you can pray about the situation.
*Ask God to give church leaders wisdom as they try to continue serving their congregations.
*Ask God to help Chinese children and adults who want to learn more about Jesus but don’t know how to find people to help them.
*Pray that God will encourage Christians in their faith when they can’t gather with other believers.
Published on April 16th, 2020
Do you ever worry about persecution coming to you or your family? A girl named Corrie ten Boom worried about that. She feared that she would never be strong enough to suffer for her faith.
Corrie’s father was a wise man. He told her to think about all the times they had taken a train trip. Then he asked Corrie, “When do I give you the ticket for the trip?” Three weeks before we go?”
“No,” answered Corrie. “You give me the ticket right before we get on the train.” Corrie’s father told her that our wise heavenly Father knows just when we are going to need things, too. “Today you don’t need the strength to suffer for your faith. But as soon as you are called upon for the honor of suffering for Jesus, he will give you the strength you need, just in time.”
Corrie’s father was right. When she grew up, she was sent to prison for following God’s call to help rescue Jews who were chased by Nazis. After she got out of prison, Corrie traveled around the world. She told people how God taught her to forgive those who treated her badly in prison. She had learned how to trust God to help her through hard times.
Learn more about Corrie ten Boom here.