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.
Published on April 13th, 2020
Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently interviewed the president of The Voice of the Martyrs, Cole Richards. Read part of their interview below. (Edited for space and clarity.)
Todd: How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting VOM and affecting the work to help persecuted Christians around the world?
Cole: It has made our work more difficult just because of international travel. But I think it is very important for people to understand that the work of advancing God’s kingdom is something that is [not stopped] by the virus. The other members of the Body of Christ are serving the Lord largely unaffected by the virus. Even when they are affected, they are finding creative ways to seek God and to find out how we are going to get the job done. So the virus has not halted the advancement of God’s kingdom, evangelism, church planting, discipleship, Scripture translation, and Scripture distribution. The things that we care most about that have eternal consequences are all still happening.
Todd: In America there is a lot of fear. How would you encourage our listeners to think about life right now in the midst of this?
Cole: I have been challenging Christians, especially in America, to not accidentally talk or think like an atheist. What I mean by that is if you talk about risks and circumstances, just make sure that you also talk about how God is in control. He loves us. He cares for us. He holds us in the palm of His hands, and He directs our steps for His purposes.
When we act that way, we are a bright light, because people around us don’t have a larger answer. All they have are risks, circumstances, and hardships. We have a better way to carry on that conversation, so it should look and feel a certain way. When we talk to people about these things there should be a peace that we have. There should be a way in which we are settled because we stand upon a solid rock. That is a powerful witness.
Published on April 10th, 2020
Richard Wurmbrand started The Voice of the Martyrs after spending 14 years in Romanian prisons for his faith. From the beginning, VOM workers helped persecuted Christians and smuggled Bibles into countries where Christian work was illegal.
Pastor Wurmbrand wrote, “Is it right for Christians to sometimes do illegal things [like smuggling Bibles]?”
Here is how he answered the question:
“One night, the Light of the world ‘smuggled’ Himself into Bethlehem as a baby. Then He was crucified and buried. A seal was put on His grave by the authorities. Everyone knew that no one was supposed to break a government seal.
“But angels are not bound by earthly laws. An angel rolled away the stone, not caring about the seal.
“Would we have advised Jesus to abide by the law and remain in the grave after the authorities had sealed the tomb? Jesus ‘smuggled’ Himself out of the grave and into life again.
“Some people think we should not break the laws of rulers [who don’t all allow Bibles to be brought into their country]. Jesus broke the law of gravity and ascended into heaven [Acts 1:9].”
(Source: Reaching Toward the Heights by Richard Wurmbrand. Edited and paraphrased for length, clarity, and age appropriateness.)
To Talk About
*Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 and Acts 1:9. Then tell what the verses say in your own words.
*Read the chart about Bible smuggling here. Do you think Christians should obey the laws of anti-Christian countries that forbid handing out Bibles?
Published on April 9th, 2020
Needed: Paper; a 2-inch jar lid or other circular object; scissors; pencils; a small, sturdy craft bag with handles
- Fold a 4-inch by 4-inch piece of paper in half lengthwise and crease it. Open it and fold it in half widthwise. Open it again.
- Center a 2-inch jar lid or other circular object on the square. Draw a circle around the lid with a pencil.
- Fold the paper corner to corner. Join the corners on the long edge together and fold it in half again.
- Draw two lines from the circle to the long edge of the paper. Make sure the lines are the same distance from the fold line in the center — about 1/8 inch.
- Draw small triangles and rectangles around the edge and outside the two lines you drew in the previous step. Make your decorations symmetrical — if you draw a triangle or rectangle on one side, draw one just like it on the opposite side.
- Cut out the shapes and open the paper to form a Coptic cross like those seen in Egypt . Cut out a 3 1/2-inch square from the front of the craft bag. Cover the opening with the cross, gluing the four points to the bag. Put an electric tea light in the bag.
Note: Some Coptic Christians in Egypt tattoo a cross on the inside of their wrist as a reminder of their Christian faith. Gangs that kidnap Christians remove the cross tattoos of their victims. But they can’t remove Jesus from the Christians’ hearts.
Published on April 8th, 2020
1. Pray for the protection of those not infected and for the healing of those who have become infected. Pray that they will trust in God and feel His presence and care each day.
2. Pray that Christians around the world and in the U.S. will seek opportunities to advance God’s kingdom amid the confusion and fear caused by the pandemic.
3. Pray for eternal fruit as Christians in China and other nations reach out to those affected by or fearful of the coronavirus.
4. Pray that followers of Christ will see God’s goodness amid hardship, sickness and loss caused by the coronavirus and that they will convey His goodness and hope to those around them.
5. Pray that this crisis will lead government officials in hostile areas and restricted nations to the truth of the gospel and the hope found only in Jesus Christ.
Readers Talk to Us Story
Published on April 7th, 2020
Christian schoolteacher Amy P. led her elementary class in praying for a different country each day. The class looked at a map of the day’s country in the “Countries” section of kidsofcourage.com. The students also scratched off countries and flags on a scratch-off world map. “It’s been fun to see how our map has become more colorful throughout the year,” said Amy.
Sometimes the class used VOM’s Pray Today app to guide their prayers. “I still have kids from last year’s class that use the app to pray with their parents,” Amy added.
The class learned stories of Christian heroes from Torchlighters DVDs, and they performed a skit about North Korea for the school’s chapel. (The skit is available in the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum).
Now the school is closed and the children are participating in distance learning at home. But they haven’t stopped remembering the persecuted. “Even on Zoom—some of the kids still take notes while I’m telling about a country,” Amy said.
“We are doing our Living Wax Museum with my fourth graders through Zoom, and one of the boys is Eric Liddell and one is Jim Elliot,” said Amy. “It will be wonderful to follow up on our Zoom time with some of the questions in the Torchlighters book.
Amy plans to read to her class from other Kids of Courage/VOM resources. “[Learning about persecuted Christians] has fostered MUCH more gratitude in my class so kids don’t take for granted that we get to have a Christian school that meets without restrictions. They often thank the Lord for this specifically without me prompting them.”
If you have suggestions for creative ways to use Kids of Courage/VOM resources in a class or through distance learning, you may share them by emailing [email protected]