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 November 17th, 2020
[Photo: Turkish boy]
(The story below comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry in the Netherlands that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. The story, told by a boy in Turkey named Yeshua, has been translated from Dutch, the language of the Netherlands.)
Has your teacher ever scolded you?
Yeshua’s teacher called Christians “dirty people.” By that he also meant Yeshua. His friends at school had known since kindergarten that Yeshua was a Christian. But some of Yeshua’s classmates teased him.
Read his story below.
I live in Turkey where most people are Muslims. But my family is Christian. My friends in school knew that I was from a Christian family, and that was never a problem. We played together, and we went to school together. Until I was in sixth grade.
We had two religion class a week. The lessons were, of course, Islamic lessons because most of Turkey is Islamic. [Islam is the religion of Muslims.] Because I’m a Christian, I didn’t have to join the class. But the school I’m going to is small. There was nowhere else for me to sit, so I sat quietly in the religion class so I would not to be a burden to others. But during those lessons, trouble started. And the worst thing was that the teacher also joined in!
The teacher said that Christians worship the wrong gods, and that I would go to hell. I wanted to explain something about my faith, but the teacher became angry and called Christians “dirty people.” The children from my class laughed at me and teased me on the playground. They tried to hit me, too. I often cried at home, and I told my mom what happened at school. My mother also became sad and cried along with me.
My mother decided to go to the school and talk to the teacher. A few days later, when the religion class had just started, I saw my mother come into the classroom. She asked if she could briefly address the class.
My teacher looked surprised, and it seemed to me that he felt a little ashamed. I sat nervously in my chair. What would my mother say? And what would the other children do? My mother stood in front of the class and asked, “Can you name something about you that you didn’t choose?”
Everyone called out different answers: “The color of my eyes, my parents, the place where I was born,” some of the kids answered.
Then my mother asked: “There are also things you can choose. What are they?” The kids answered: “The shoes I wear, my favorite football team, my job.”
After they answered, my mother continued. “Did you know that we also choose our faith? My husband and I chose to be Christian. We told Yeshua about our faith since the day he was born. But we have not forced him to believe. He has chosen it for himself.”
Then she looked at the teacher and said, “You know that the Turkish constitution gives us freedom to select our own faith. It is not necessary to tease others because they have chosen a different faith.” I looked at the teacher. He was standing to the side, and he looked at the ground.
From that day, he no longer teased or made fun of me. Also the children in my class stopped doing that. And if they asked why I chose to be a Christian, then I happily told them about it!
*Thank God that Yeshua likes to talk about his faith and that he is no longer bullied.
*Pray for Christian children in Turkey. They often feel lonely at school, because they are usually the only Christian in the class and don’t have friends. Often they are bullied. Pray that they will know that God is close to them.
*Even in some churches there are few children. Pray that the kids will grow in faith and not give up.
Published on November 16th, 2020
Sumeria, called Shinar in the Old Testament, was the lower part of Mesopotamia, the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The southern part of Mesopotamia was later called Babylonia. Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon, the capital of Babylonia. (See Daniel 3.) Babylonia was in the region that is now called Iraq.
Published on November 13th, 2020
Photo: Penny. Her eyes are covered to protect her identity.
Penny, Elijah, and Charity’s parents are Muslims, and they don’t have a lot of money. When it came time for Penny, the oldest, to start school in their town in Uganda, her parents could not afford to send her.
A teacher in her grandmother’s town agreed to teach all three children. So they moved into their grandmother’s home.
After the children began their schooling, their grandmother noticed the children talking about Jesus and sneaking away on Sunday mornings to attend Sunday school. She didn’t approve of her grandchildren becoming Christians, so she kicked them out of her house and left them on their own! Penny cared for her little brother and sister as well as she could with the help of their teacher.
The children are now 12, 10, and 6 years old. Earlier this year, their teacher asked for help from a VOM front-line worker. The worker agreed to care for the children. Pray that they will remain strong in their faith and that their family members will also open their hearts to Jesus love for them.
Published on November 12th, 2020
Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, told a story about a missionary to India.
A Hindu told the missionary, “It would be good if you would preach that Christ is one of many ways to the truth, along with Hindu gods. If you would say that, all of India would listen to you.”
Of course the missionary could not do what the Hindu man said. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Pastor Wurmbrand said, “What led to the persecution of the first Christians was their belief that Christ is the only way, and that all others are false.
“Personally I would like it very much if there could be many ways. However, in no way is the universe made according to my wishes. Someone wiser than I, who knows better, has created it.
“I cannot decide how people should be saved. The master of the universe has appointed only one way of salvation.”
Christians around the world are still persecuted for saying that Jesus is the only way to God.
(Source: Reaching Toward the Heights by Richard Wurmbrand. Paraphrased and edited for clarity and reading level.)
Published on November 11th, 2020
(Source: My Father’s Business by Brother Bennie.)
Bennie’s first memory of his father was seeing him get beat up by an enemy. His father was a Christian pastor in India, and the enemies were anti-Christian.
The Real World
Bennie knew that his father’s God was real and powerful. But he believed that his father didn’t understand the “real world.” Bennie’s “real world” was his school, where he was teased and bullied by non-Christian classmates.
The students at the school were required to wear uniforms. Most of them had two uniforms. But Bennie and his siblings could afford only two sets of clothes to wear outside the house — one school uniform and one set of church clothes.
Bennie’s class used fountain pens with ink in them. When he stood up, other students squirted ink on his bench. When he sat back down, the ink stained his only school pants.
Bennie took his pants home and scrubbed them. He put coconut shells in the fire, then placed them on a steel plate when they got hot. He picked up the plate with thick napkins, and used his homemade “iron” to try to dry the pants. But sometimes, especially in the winter, the pants would still be damp.
The next day, the other students would laugh at Bennie and say, “He’s wearing wet pants!” Bennie’s parents encouraged him to pray and trust God to help him with all his problems.
Trusting in God
Bennie promised himself that he would make lots of money and enjoy worldly success when he grew up.
But as his parents continued to patiently teach him God’s truth over the years, and as he witnessed God’s faithfulness in his own life, his faith grew. He then understood that it was a privilege to share the gospel around the world, even if doing so required him to sacrifice his own desires.
Read what Bennie says about some of the ways Christians are helping others in Asia during the coronavirus here.