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 March 28th, 2019
(The story below comes from The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions.)
“This past year,” said a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs, “we gathered together with ministry partners from around the world. I asked John, one of the partners from Nigeria “What story does the Lord bring to your mind to keep your heart soft?”
“John told the following story.”
In Nigeria, we are generally very poor. Most of us do not have money for things like shoes. I remember as a child I would look forward to Christmas every year, because that was when I would receive a new pair of flip flops.
When I was growing up, it was common to be beaten as a child. It is so normal that no one bats an eye over it. Violence in crowds is also common. You learn very quickly to keep your head down and fight for whatever is yours. The weaker ones get pushed to the side.
One year I had received my new pair of flip flops, but in no time the strap broke. I was going to throw them away, but one of the timid girls was watching me. She was one who had often been pushed to the side. She was from an extremely poor family. She had no shoes – ever. She asked me what I was going to do with my flip flops. I said they were broken and was going to throw them away. Very shyly she asked if she could have them. I gave them to her without much thought.
She was overjoyed with her treasure! She proudly repaired the strap and wore the flip flops with such joy. Every time that girl looked at me after that, she had such appreciation in her eyes. It was in that look that I realized for the first time what Christian love looks like. As an adult, I often reflect on that story and realize that I had overlooked her, left her helpless and undefended when she was beaten by other kids, unseen for years. The Lord used those flips flops to teach me about Jesus and his love: to look past what seems normal in our culture and live the life that was normal for Christ.
To Think About
How might remembering the story help John in his work serving persecuted Christians?
Read the next post to find out how kids in Mexico used flip flops to help them remember Christians who are overlooked or mistreated.
Published on March 27th, 2019
Charity and her three children are having a hard time meeting their daily needs. Her husband used to help them, but he decided to stop going to church and become a Muslim. When he told Charity the news, she thought he was joking at first. Then he left his family and married two Muslim women, and Charity knew it was true. (Muslim teachings allow men to marry more than one woman.)
He told Charity he would only give her money to take care of their children if the children became Muslims.
Charity told him, “No thanks. My children are Christians, and I cannot give them away to anything. If we starve, it will be OK.”
Charity has to provide rent, food, and school fees for the children by herself. “I have made a promise not to turn away from Christ, even though the burden is very heavy,” she told a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs. “Please pray for me; I am exhausted.”
Pray for Charity’s strength and for the family’s daily needs.
To Talk About
Look at the photos of Charity’s three children in this post, and Doreka and two of her children in the previous post. Do they look sad? Angry? Why might they be joyful even though they are having a very difficult time?
Published on March 26th, 2019
Doreka and her husband were raising their four children as Muslims. But when Doreka left Islam to follow Christ, her husband kicked all five of them out of their house in Uganda and threatened to harm the children.
“In Islam, they teach that heaven is a garden,” Doreka told a VOM worker. But I heard that Jesus is the one who can take us to the Father, so I accepted Christ. No matter what happens, I stand firm in Jesus Christ because of His promises.”
Doreka and her kids first took refuge in a church to escape her angry husband. Then, with the help of The Voice of the Martyrs, they got a house of their own, and the children returned to school. Their church continues to support and encourage them.
Some Muslims in Uganda, like Doreka, are learning about Jesus and deciding to trust Him as their Savior. But sadly, some Christians who are not strong in their faith have turned their backs on the truths in the Bible.
(Photo: Doreka and two of her children)
Read in the next post about another family in Uganda who are suffering because of their faith in Christ.
Published on March 25th, 2019
When the school opened a few years ago, non-Christian students covered their ears when the Christians prayed. But now they gladly fold their hands to pray before meals. They ask for protection, clean hearts, and good health.
“Amazingly, these children pray in the name of Jesus,” said a VOM contact. “They actually believe He is the only one who can answer their prayer.”
The Christians are praying that the Syrian children will remain committed to Jesus and will share His love with other Syrians.
Photo above: At first these children of Syrian refugees refused to pray. The teacher’s eyes are covered to protect her identity from people who may want to harm Christians.
Learn more from Bold Believers in Syria, available in the free Downloads section.
Published on March 22nd, 2019
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was born on March 24, 1909. He served 14 years in prison for sharing the gospel in communist Romania. After he was freed, he and his wife, Sabina, started The Voice of the Martyrs to help persecuted Christians. Pastor Wurmbrand died in 2001.
Pastor Wurmbrand told many stories to illustrate Bible truths. One of the stories he told is below.
“A child was urged to eat carrots and peas because they contained vitamins. He said, ‘Why didn’t God put the vitamins in candy and ice cream?’ My answer would have been, ‘Because it’s important for children not only to have vitamins, but also to learn to swallow what may be unpleasant to the taste.’ We all need to learn from the good and the unpleasant. A Christian must welcome unpleasant things sometimes, because they are part of the ‘all things’ that God is working together for our good.”
To Think About: Read Romans 8:28. What kinds of “unpleasant things” do persecuted Christians face?