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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, crafts, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of their Christian brothers and sisters who face Islamic extremism. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Bold Believers in Syria provides age-appropriate companion material for VOM’s I Am N information and resources. (See i-am-n.com.)

Spotlight Story

God is My Hero

 

The story below is from Stef the children’s website of SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands.

In a beautiful country far away, there lives an 8-year-old boy we are calling Adan. We’ll call his younger brothers Sang and Puran. We have made up names for them to keep them safe. Read how Adan tells his story below.

Talking About God
My mom and dad love God. My dad tells people about Him. Other people like what he tells them, and they decide to follow Jesus. Then they want to learn more about Jesus. So my father goes to them and teaches them things from the Bible.

There are very few Christians in our country, so perhaps people think we are a bit strange — or dangerous. I know that people don’t want us to talk about God to people on the street or at school.

Disappeared
One evening my father packed his bag and got ready to take a trip. I heard him tell my mother that he was concerned. “Something doesn’t feel right,” he said. “But whatever happens, God is there. I’m not afraid because He is with me.”

Every day after school, I asked my mother, “Is Dad home yet?” When he didn’t come back after a few weeks, I understood what had really happened. The police had arrested him and put him in prison!

The kids at school knew he was in prison. They teased me terribly, and it was super bad. I sent my father a letter begging him to come home.

Sadness
Finally we were able to visit my dad in prison. He did not look well. I went back home sad.

“Dad finds it difficult to be in prison,” my mother said to me. “But he tells God about his sadness. And he tells the guards that he is a Christian, and that he loves his country, but that most of all he loves his King, Jesus. That’s why he tells people about Jesus. God has promised him in a dream that he will take care of you, Sang, and Puran.

“When children bully you at school, know that the Lord Jesus is near,” my mother continued. “It’s not easy, but Jesus has overcome all evil.”

Miracle
My father stayed in prison for four years. One night, he had a wonderful dream. He saw a great light, and an angel opened the door to his cell.

On the day of his dream, he was allowed to go home! We are blessed that he is back with us.
I think my father is my hero, but he says he was often sad and scared in jail. “God is the hero of my story!” says my father.

If he is saying this, it must be true. Do you agree?


Spotlight Story

Ten Facts About VOM’s Kids of Courage VBS Curriculum

 

1.    The VBS curriculum teaches kids about Christians in China, Egypt, Nigeria, North Korea, and India.

2.    Kids learn that Kids of Courage trust God, get prepared, remember the persecuted, forgive others, and witness boldly.

3.    The complete $30 curriculum kit includes nine books, about 400 pages of materials, a photo CD, and a music CD.

4.    The curriculum includes opportunities to share and explain the gospel to children who have not yet trusted Christ as their Savior.

5.    The lesson plans are adaptable for small and large churches.

6.    The format allows each teacher to present one country at all sessions, reducing preparation time.

7.    Students discover that persecuted Christians may experience joy and victory in times of struggle.

8.    The curriculum is age-appropriate for kids 5 through 13 and older, and presents Christian persecution in a sensitive manner without talking down to kids or overwhelming them.

9.    VBS directors have reported positive feedback from teachers, parents, and students. (See “Feedback” at www.kidsofcouragevbs.com.)

10.    Children and youth workers have also used the curriculum in Sunday school classes, homeschool co-ops, missions conferences, and other settings.

For more information and to preview samples, visit www.kidsofcouragevbs.com.


Spotlight Story

Patrick: Slave and Evangelist

Young Patrick thought he was dreaming when he heard his father’s footsteps in the hallway outside his bedroom door.

“Wake up! Wake up! Pirates are invading our villa!” But before Patrick could leap to his feet, a pirate grabbed him by the arm. “You’re coming with me!” he gruffly scowled and hauled his prisoner away to the wicker boats on the sand of the shore below.

Patrick was a teenager when kidnappers seized him from his home. The kidnappers sold him as a slave to a master in Ireland. Patrick feared that he might never see his family again.

Patrick cried out to God for help, and he grew closer to the Lord while he was a captive. Later Patrick was able to escape and return home to his family. But he didn’t forget that people who had captured him did not follow Jesus.

Against his family’s wishes, Patrick went back to Ireland to share the gospel. He faced many challenges and obstacles, but he continued to serve God. Patrick died on a March 17th many centuries ago. We remember him every year on St. Patrick’s Day.

The story above comes from the book The Story of St. Patrick: More Than Shamrocks and Leprechauns. To learn more about this and other children’s resources, visit the resource page on this site.

The book ends with the following prayer:
Dear Jesus, I have friends who do not know You. I ask for boldness and graciousness to tell them about the promise of heaven You have offered to each of us who chooses to receive it. If they make fun of me for following a God they cannot see or for believing in a promise they do not understand, help me to stay close to You, and not be ashamed of You. Amen.


Spotlight Story

David Livingstone

Map of Africa

Parts of Africa had never been explored when David Livingstone was born in Scotland on March 19, 1813. Livingstone and explorers who followed him helped people better understand Africa and the needs of African people.

David started working at a cloth factory at age 10. His work day began at 6 a.m. and ended at 8 p.m. But after 14 hours of work, he didn’t go to bed. Instead he went to night school after work! Seventeen years later he finished all his schooling, including medical school. In 1840, he sailed to Africa to become a medical missionary.

He sometimes carried a “magic lantern” with him in Africa. Magic lanterns projected pictures on a screen, wall, or other surface. Dr. Livingstone showed pictures of Bible stories. He hoped many Africans he met would come to Christ.

But that never happened. God used Dr. Livingstone in other ways. He traveled to places in Africa that no map maker had yet visited. He loved exploring. He said that one of his trips in Africa reminded him of an endless picnic.

Future missionaries brought the good news of Jesus to Africa after Dr. Livingstone’s explorations prepared the way. His wrote reports, speeches, and books about his work that led many young people to answer God’s call to the continent called “the white man’s graveyard.”

To Think About
Would you be discouraged if you told a number of people about Jesus and no one seemed interested in what you had to say?

Some people have to hear the gospel many times before they understand how to trust in Jesus. They might have heard the gospel many times before you talk to them, and they might be ready to become a follower of Jesus. Or you could be the first person who has ever talked to them about their need of a Savior. God can use your obedience to Him, even when you don’t know how He is using you.


Spotlight Story

Nigeria: Bahdri’s Story

Nigerian boy

Bahdri learned to hate Christians from an early age. “My father was the leader of a radical Muslim group that taught young people about Islam,” Bahdri said. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

“I was told that Christians were infidels,” Bahdri continued. (“Infidel” means “unbeliever.”) “Sometimes at Christmas we were given presents of food by Christians in the neighborhood. My father said we were not allowed to eat it. He would flush the food down the toilet.

“Hatred of Christians began to grow in me. I didn’t even want to shake a Christian’s hand.

“There was one Christian boy in my class at school. He was clever and friendly. So I sometimes asked him questions. I had been taught that Christians were bad, but his actions did not prove that to be true. He began telling me about Jesus. My father thought he was a bad influence on me, so he took me out of school.”

Bahdri had a dream one night about a man in white clothing. “Leave the path you are now following,” the man told him. Bahdri’s father told him that the man was a demon. But Bahdri kept having the same dream over and over. Bahdri’s Christian friend from his old school took him to see a pastor. The pastor said Jesus was speaking to Bahdri. After a time, Bahdri placed his trust in Jesus as his Savior. The pastor gave him a New Testament.

A Difficult Future
When Bahdri’s family found out about his new faith, they treated him rudely. Then he was kidnapped by radical Muslims and taken to a training camp for terrorists. The Muslims at the camp convinced him that he had made a mistake in becoming a Christian. Bahdri began to believe their teachings and to follow their violent ways.

But nightmares often disturbed his sleep. And he did not have peace about the way he was living his life. Finally he threw away his gun and uniform, and he ran away from the terrorists.

When the Apostle Paul left his violent ways and followed Jesus, Christians feared that he was still violent. Acts 9:20 (NIV) says, “When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.”

That’s what happened to Bahdri. Christians still fear him. Bahdri said, “My prayer is, ‘Lord, forgive me, be merciful to me, and if it is possible, use me.’” But he knows his future will be difficult.

(Source: SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)


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