VOM’s Courageous Series books highlight the lives of faithful Christians throughout history, including the stories of biblical heroes Stephen, Thomas and Paul as well as three additional stories of well-known Christians Nicholas, Patrick and Valentine, whose faith informed their actions. Learn more here.
Ask a VOM Worker Story
Published on April 14th, 2021
A VOM worker who travels overseas recently talked about what he has learned in his travels.
Question: What would you like kids to know about the countries you visit?
Answer: I’d like them to know that the countries are not always like you see on the news. On the news, it looks like there must be fires and angry crowds everywhere.
Nothing is as simple as it seems. Even in Muslim dominated areas, Muslims who are not extremists are warm and hospitable and struggling like everyone else. They are desperately lost. I want to combat a spirit of fear in [Christian] kids. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).
Families that are lost really need Christ. God is moving powerfully. He is going to use young people in a powerful way to reach them.
Also, many parts of the world will be reached by Christians who used to be Muslims — Persian Christians and Arab Christians — perhaps reaching Westerners….In East Germany, there are many Persian believers in churches.
Question: What have you learned from persecuted Christians?
Answer: Their witness shakes me to the core. [The difference between the lives of persecuted Christians and many other Christians] is like the difference between reading a driver’s education manual and going on your first drive. They don’t just have head knowledge.
We have such a blessing — those of us who travel overseas. I hope we can convey that to our readers.
Now if something bad happened to me, it would shake me, but not as much as it used to.
Why is it important to reach Muslims for Christ?
Published on April 13th, 2021
Muslim children around the world are encouraged to memorize the Quran, the Muslim holy book. Many Muslims believe they will go to heaven when they die if they memorize the entire book. The Quran contains about 6,200 verses.
Quran reciting contests are held in many countries. In most years Muslims from more than 80 countries meet in the United Arab Emirates for a big competition. Onstage contestants are shown on large screens so the audience can see them better. Some spectators take cell phone videos of the reciters. (Last year, the contest was held virtually.) Top reciters are highlighted on YouTube.
Judges recite a verse from anywhere in the Quran. Contestants then recite the following verse and several after it from memory. Reciters are judged not only for how well they have memorized the verses, but if they recite it in the right tone of voice and with proper pronunciation. All the verses are recited in Arabic, even by contestants who come from countries where Arabic is not the main language.
The winner of the contest wins more than $60,000 in U.S. money.
In the following (fictional) skit, a Christian boy is challenged to learn more about his own faith and God’s Word after meeting some Muslim children.
Read a chart comparing the Quran and the Bible.
Published on April 12th, 2021
[Photo: Muslims praying at a mosque]
Throughout the month of Ramadan on the Muslim calendar, Muslim youth and adults all over the world fast between sunrise and sunset. This year, Ramadan will begin on April 12th and will end on May 12th. (Dates may vary.)
*Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan? Celebrating Ramadan is one of the “Five Pillars” Muslims believe they must do to be good Muslims. They believe they will go to paradise when they die if they do more good deeds than bad. Christians know that no humans are righteous enough to save themselves through good works.
To do. Read Romans 3:22-25 and Ephesians 2:8-9. Find out more about Muslim beliefs on the chart “Comparing Basic Beliefs in Christianity and Islam” in the Beliefs section of this site.
*Keeping Ramadan traditions can be difficult. Older kids, especially those who play sports, may have difficulty not eating or drinking during daylight hours. They may not be able to concentrate in school. Besides fasting, some Muslims try to read then entire Quran (the Muslim holy book) and give to charity. But other Muslims mainly enjoy having special meals, exchanging gifts, watching TV programs and ads created just for Ramadan, and spending more time on social media.
Normally Muslims gather with friends and relatives before sunrise and after sunset, and they may attend prayers at their mosque more often. This year, coronavirus restrictions may make keeping Ramadan traditions even more difficult, preventing them from celebrating in groups. Some will watch mosque activities online.
Pray that Muslims will encounter Christian truths on social media and TV.
Published on April 9th, 2021
William Booth, born April 10, 1829, faced rowdy crowds, physical attacks, and cranky drunks when he took the gospel to the poor people on the streets of London.
William had learned something about poverty while he was growing up. He had to quit school and go to work at age 13 to help support his family. His wife, Catherine, did not have an easy childhood, either. A spinal condition kept her in bed for months at a time. But she was able to read the entire Bible eight times before she was 12!
Together they reached many poor and struggling people for Christ. Through their work and their willingness to endure obstacles, God changed lives forever.
Their story is told in the Torchlighters DVD, The William Booth Story, produced by Christian History Institute and The Voice of the Martyrs. (See the trailer above.) Find out more about Torchlighters DVDs here. Free student and leader guides for the story are available in the Downloads section of this site.
Published on April 8th, 2021
A Bible Smuggling Story
(Source: The April 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine.)
An aging man boarded a bus in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with a long journey ahead of him — possibly a 12-hour ride. In his hands, he clutched a box of about 30 Bibles that he was taking to tribal Christians in the highlands. As he looked for a seat on the crowded bus, he pondered how he would get through the many checkpoints along the way without his precious goods being discovered.
After finding an empty seat along the aisle, he sat down and placed the box of Bibles on the floor against his leg. A police captain who had followed him onto the bus then took the seat across the aisle from him, casually removed his hat and placed it on the man’s box.
As the bus coughed and sputtered its way down the road, the man occasionally glanced down at his precious cargo, wondering if he would succeed in delivering it to his destination. All too soon, they reached a checkpoint. Police officers boarded the bus to check a few ID cards, but they were especially focused on any boxes the passengers had with them.
The man’s heart skipped a beat as the officers advanced down the aisle. Soon, they were standing by his box of Bibles, and he expected the worst. But when they looked at the box and saw the police captain’s cap resting on it, they continued down the aisle to the next passenger. Eventually, the man reached his destination and safely delivered God’s Word to awaiting believers in the highlands.
Miracles occur in different and sometimes simple ways. God’s hand was at work protecting His precious Word. When we think about it, miracles happen often. In the rush and bustle of life, let us not fail to recognize God’s hand, lest we miss the blessing.