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.
Published on December 4th, 2020
Christians in some countries are not free to hold public Christmas celebrations and worship services. Some must meet secretly in homes, woods, caves, or other hidden places. These Christians are called the “underground church,” which means “secret church.”
You can plan an underground Christmas season meeting. Walk quietly with your family or group to a room or other arranged meeting place. (A children’s group in Missouri met in a “secret cave.” See the photo above.) Underground Christians sometimes arrive at meeting places in pairs or alone rather than all at once, so as not to draw the attention that a large group would draw.
After everyone arrives, sing Christmas songs in whispers, share the Christmas story from the Bible from memory, and pray quietly. (Christians is some countries may not own Bibles or might not risk carrying them in public.)
Use flashlights or a few candles (with adult supervision) for lighting. See the instructions below, created by a VOM volunteer, to make a Christmas candle to light your meeting.
After your meeting ends, leave quietly, either individually or in pairs.
To Talk About After the Meeting
*What did you think about meeting “secretly”? Was it hard to remember to talk and sing quietly?
*What would be the hardest part of having to gather secretly for worship?
*If you had to meet secretly for worship, what would you want Christians in other countries to pray for you?
Bottle Cap Candles
*Plastic caps from milk bottles or other containers
*Tealight candle wicks
*Crushed or shaved crayons
Instructions (Adult Supervision Needed)
1. Melt the wax using instructions on the package.
2. Add crushed or shaved crayons to the melted wax to make the candles the color you want.
3. Put wicks in the bottle caps, and carefully pour wax into the caps. Allow to cool.
4. If desired, arrange the candles in a pattern and glue them to a discarded CD or DVD or another base.
Published on December 3rd, 2020
Every year, The Voice of the Martyrs distributes more than 1 million Bibles to Christians in countries where Bibles can be hard to find. Families, Sunday school and VBS classes, and churches contribute to VOM to support the printing and smuggling of print, audio, and children’s Bibles.
What do you think happens after the Bibles are printed (or recorded) and ready to deliver? “We want to get Bibles to places where no one else is getting them to,” said a VOM worker. How do you suppose the Bibles get to people in hard-to-reach places?
The photo above shows women in Nepal. “Nepal’s unique geography makes Bible distribution and front-line work challenging.” — The December 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine
The December magazine also includes the photo below, which shows front-line workers in Colombia who use wooden boats to deliver goods and Bibles, and to bring people to church.
See more photos of unique Bible deliveries here.
Christians in remote places are happy to make sacrifices to deliver the Bibles to other believers. They know that without their work and the help of VOM supporters, Christians in their lands might live their entire lives without ever reading or hearing the Word of God.
Published on December 2nd, 2020
(Source: The December 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length and clarity.)
[Photo: Syrian refugee women]
Iman felt that she was ugly. She had been burned in a kitchen fire, and her face was severely scarred. Her husband left her, and her children didn’t want to come near her because of the way she looked.
Iman had lived in Syria, but had become a refugee in Jordan during a war in Syria. (A refugee is someone who flees from one place to live in a safer place.) Like most Syrians, Iman was a Muslim. She had no help and support, and she felt ashamed of her scarred face.
Then a church in Jordan heard her story. A few women from the church visited her and brought her food. They embraced her and greeting her by kissing her on the cheek. “She thought nobody would ever want to look at her,” said a VOM worker. “These women just did the normal thing — and loved her. It was powerful.”
Iman was won over by the women’s show of Christian love. “Seeing what the gospel looks like, she responded to the gospel,” said the VOM worker. Iman is now an active member of that church.
To Talk About
*What does it mean that Iman “responded to the gospel”?
*Why did Iman respond to the gospel?
*Do you think Iman’s children felt differently toward her after the Christian women visited? How and why might their attitudes have changed?
Published on December 1st, 2020
Parents and Teachers
The December 2020 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine features bold Christians around the world who continued to share God’s love in 2020 even while facing increased violence, the closing of churches, and coronavirus-related restrictions. “They just crank it up and find new ways,” said a VOM worker. The Christians creatively and carefully made the best use of COVID-19 lockdowns, and churches continued to grow and flourish in hard to reach places.
You may want to preview stories in the magazine before sharing them with children. Or enter the names of the featured countries in the Search box on this site, then pray with your kids for the people in the posted stories.
* To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide includes information about Christians in the featured countries.
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight several countries here.
Published on November 30th, 2020
The Voice of the Martyrs offers meaningful Christmas gifts for friends and family on your Christmas list.
Look in the November 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine or click here to find out how to order:
*The 2021 VOM Prayer Calendar
*Jesus Freaks, revised and updated
*Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book and 16-episode DVD set
*The Courageous Series six-book boxed children’s set
*The 482-page Voice of the Martyrs graphic novel
*The Witnesses Trilogy DVD boxed set
*And additional books and study kits
Find more gifts and resources at www.vombooks.com.