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 June 12th, 2019
In Pakistan, Christians are often treated as if they are not as good as other citizens. They may not have a chance to get a good education. And they are often given jobs no one else wants — like making bricks and cleaning sewers.
Several months ago, Vishal, a teenage boy in Pakistan, was reportedly involved in an arm wrestling match with a Muslim boy. Vishal won. The Muslim boy could not accept that a Christian was better than he was at something. “How could a [person] of a dirty community defeat me?” he asked.
They wrestled a few more times, but Vishal won every time. “I will teach him a lesson,” the Muslim boy said.
After the wrestling match, a gang of Muslims caught Vishal and beat him up. After a time, gangs beat him up twice more. But his family was advised to not report the beatings to the police, or they could be in more danger from Muslims who want revenge.
Christians have asked for prayer for Vishal, his family, and churches in Pakistan.
(Sources: VOM Australia and International Christian Concern
Published on June 11th, 2019
Standing with today’s persecuted Christians is central to our mission. But it is also important for us to draw inspiration from those who have gone before us…We have established this date, coinciding with the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul, as an annual day of remembrance called Day of the Christian Martyr. — Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs
Your group or class may want to practice and perform the skit below as part of the observance of Day of the Christian Martyr.
In the following skit from the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum, a Christian prisoner recognizes that he is a link in the chain of faithful Christians from the past who have sacrificed for Christ.
Links in the Chain
Several Links in the Chain
Small table and chair
Paper and pen
Several signs with the name of a Christian martyr on one side and the student’s name on the other (see below)
Optional: strips of construction paper, partially completed paper chain, tape
Old torn clothes for Prisoner
Uniform for Prison Official
(The Prison Official is seated at a table. A pen and paper are on the table. The Prisoner is standing by the table.)
Narrator: Several years ago, police locked a Christian in prison in a country where Christians were persecuted. The prison officials asked the prisoner to sign a statement. The statement accused other Christians of breaking the law. If the prisoner signed the statement, the other Christians would be arrested.
Prison Official: Sign this statement! Things will go easier for you if you just do what I say.
Prisoner: The chain keeps me from signing this.
Prison Official: But you are not in chains!
Prisoner: I am. I am bound by the chain of witnesses who gave their lives for Jesus throughout the centuries. I am a link in this chain. I will not break it.
(Prisoner and Prison Official exit.)
(Optional: Provide background music that includes a song about faithfulness to God.)
(Students, Links in the Chain, enter single file and stand in a line across the stage. As students take their places one by one, they recite the name of someone who sacrificed for Christ, and if desired, a phrase about that person’s sacrifice. Each student may hold up a sign with the name of a Christian on it. Examples include: “Stephen, the first martyr for Christ” and “Paul, who said ‘the word of God is not chained.’” Others can include heroes from Christian history and modern persecuted Christians.)
Narrator: The apostle Paul asked his friends to “remember his chains.” We may not be called to die for our faith. But we can be links in the chain by remembering those who are persecuted and by praying for them. We, too, are bound by the chain of witnesses who gave their lives for Jesus throughout the centuries.
Links in the Chain: (speaking one by one) I am a link in the chain. (As they speak, they may turn their signs over, revealing their own names on the back.)
(Optional: The audience can be allowed to respond by coming forward at the end of the skit, lining up, and saying one at a time when recognized, “I am a link in the chain.” If desired, have available a short paper chain made of construction paper and give students strips of paper for each to add to the chain as they say it. A teacher may help by taping the links as they are added.)
Published on June 10th, 2019
Ten-year-old Hyun Joo was different. Very few North Korean children know about Jesus and God. But Hyun Joo believed in God and trusted Him.
Hyun Joo’s parents were Christians. Many North Korean Christians do not talk about God with their children. If the children mention God outside the home, government officials might punish the whole family. The government wants the citizens to honor the country’s leaders, not God.
But Hyun Joo’s parents wanted her to know Jesus. They prayed that God would use her to change North Korea.
Published on June 7th, 2019
The story and recipe below are from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available at VOMBooks.com.
National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday in June every year. Some donut shops offer free donuts in honor of the day. But donut companies didn’t start the event. The Salvation Army created the celebration in 1938.
The first Donut Day raised funds for poor people. Since then, the Salvation Army has observed the day in honor of Salvation Army women who made donuts for American soldiers in France during World War I. Salvation Army workers again served donuts to soldiers during World War II and the Vietnam War. Following the example of the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, the organization serves millions of free meals — including donuts — every year to people in need.
Try the recipe below if you want to share homemade donuts with someone who needs encouragement.
1. Package of large canned biscuits
2. Peanut or vegetable oil
3. Icing or cinnamon sugar (optional)
• Use a 1-inch round cookie cutter or bottle lid to cut a hole in the center of each biscuit.
Keep the dough you removed from the biscuit.
• In a large pot or deep fryer, heat about 2 inches of oil over medium to medium-high heat,
about 350 degrees. (Make sure an adult helps.)
• Fry the donuts and holes until they are golden brown on one side, then turn them over
and cook the other side.
• Drain on paper towels. If desired, spread icing on them, or coat them in cinnamon sugar.
• Deliver to someone with a note or word of encouragement!
Click here to learn more about William Booth and the Salvation Army, and to watch a video clip from the Torchlighters DVD, The William Booth Story.
Published on June 7th, 2019
What were the first words you learned as a baby? “Mama” or “Dada” are the first words of many babies.
“But that’s not really good in North Korea,” said Dr. Eric Foley, the president of VOM-Korea.
The government of North Korea expects people to follow the teachings of Juche (JOO-chay). Juche teaches that human beings are the masters of everything. (Learn more about Juche here.)
Citizens of North Korea must honor:
*Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s first leader, who died in 1994
*Kim Jong Il, Kim Il Sung’s son, who died in 2011
*And Kim Jong Un, Kim Il Sung’s grandson, who now leads the country.
According to Dr. Foley, 43,000 centers across North Korea teach Juche beliefs. And 100 percent of the people must be involved in honoring the leaders. Following Christ is not allowed.
So, if a North Korean baby’s first words are something like mama or dada, the baby’s parents might keep it secret. They don’t want government officials to think their family members are more important to them than the Kim family. If friends ask about the baby’s first words, the parents will often not tell the truth. They will say, instead, that the baby’s words were words from Juche teachings.
Pray that North Korean babies will learn that Jesus loves them.