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 April 5th, 2019
“I chose Kids of Courage this year for our VBS. I tend to stay away from the commercial VBS curriculums and try to find more relevant and meaningful ones. This one caught my attention but I was worried about the heavy content.
“It turned out to be an excellent VBS! What I loved about it was its real life applications and the fact that the kids could learn, not just Bible truths, but learn about other countries and cultures.
“I also liked that it wasn’t coated in sugar…. It’s ok for children to know that there is evil in the world, that they are blessed, and that Christ calls us to make a difference.”
Click here to read more feedback from VOM’s Kids of Courage VBS curriculum.
The complete Kids of Courage VBS curriculum includes a director’s guide, crafts, activities, five teachers’ guides, skits, plays, photo and music CDs, games, snack recipes, The Voice of the Martyrs prayer map, and more.
Read “Ten Facts About VOM’s Kids of Courage VBS Curriculum” here.
Can you share information about the curriculum with churches in your community? Go to www.kidsofcouragevbs.com for more information and samples from the curriculum.
What You Can Do Story
Published on April 4th, 2019
Two years ago, in April 2017, Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov was arrested after officials raided his church in Tajikistan. The officers beat members of the congregation and took away Christian books and the pastor’s computer.
When the officials examined Pastor Bhakrom’s computer, they found a collection of Christian songs. They claimed that the songs and the pastor’s books were “extremist.” [People who are extremist have ideas that are considered to be far different from the average views of those around them. Extremists sometimes act on their ideas with violence or drastic actions.] The government said that “experts” decided that the songs were calling people to overthrow the government.
Pastor Bakhrom has been in prison on the false charges for two years. His wife, Gulnora, has had problems with high blood pressure since his arrest. They have three children.
Gulnora says that she has received letters of encouragement from Christians around the world. Pastor Bakhrom, however, has not been given letters that were sent to the prison for him. Sometimes authorities refuse to give a prisoner their mail in order to make them feel isolated. But Christians keep writing, knowing that their letters can influence guards and make a difference anyway.
You can use the following addresses to send letters of encouragement to the pastor and his family.
Yavan, Khatlon region
Mikrorajon 32, house nr. 50
Published on April 3rd, 2019
Do you know what an evangelist is? Evangelists go from place to place telling people about their faith and encouraging others to believe their preaching.
We usually think of evangelists as people who spread the Good News of Jesus. But non-Christians can also be evangelists.
One day last year, Muslim evangelists arrived at a village in Kenya. The Muslims brought candy and gave it to more than 20 children in the village. In return, the children agreed to follow Islam, the religion of Muslims. The children did not fully understand the Christian faith they were leaving behind or the Muslim faith they accepted in return for candy.
Strength from the Bible
Christian workers wanted to make sure Kenyan children understand God’s free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. The workers led five donkeys loaded with children’s Bibles through forests and across rivers to the area that the Muslims had visited.
The children loved the Bibles. Their parents said the kids had never received anything so valuable from someone they didn’t know. The stories strengthened children whose faith was secure, and they helped other children understand the truths of Christianity. Most of the children who had been bribed with candy renewed their commitment to Christ.
The Voice of the Martyrs believes it is important to provide children with their own Bible — especially children who live in areas where Christians are persecuted. VOM distributes children’s Bibles in nations where children are prime targets for those trying to prevent the spread of Christianity. God’s Word will prepare and strengthen them to stand firm in their faith throughout their lives.
(Source: The April 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length, reading level, and age-appropriateness.)
To Talk About
What can you pray for the children who have not yet returned to Christianity after accepting the Muslims’ candy?
Published on April 2nd, 2019
(Source: Cole Richards in the April 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length, reading level, and age-appropriateness.)
Several years ago, I made trips to some of the most unreached nations in the world. [“Unreached” people and places have few people who have heard the Good News of Jesus.] I saw TVs in the cafes, hotels, and barber shops of even some of the poorest regions.
I could predict what would be on the TV screen — American “music television.” We missionaries arrived in unreached areas only to find that American media companies had beaten us there. It’s sobering to think that other countries’ ideas about America have been shaped mainly by images of greed, immorality, violence, and substance abuse.
The distribution of Bibles and Christian media has increased. But we still lag far behind in distributing God’s Word around the world. Millions of persecuted Christians still do not have their own Bible and cannot get one without help from others within the Body of Christ.
I pray that God redeems our nation’s global influence. I pray that American Christians will help the global Body of Christ bring His Word to every person on the planet in our lifetime.
Learn more about The Voice of the Martyrs’ projects to distribute Bibles to every believer at vombibles.com.
Published on April 1st, 2019
Parents and Teachers
“Every single time the Lord allows us to hand a persecuted Christian his or her first Bible — or to replace one destroyed by persecutors (see p. 6) — it is a glorious victory of eternal significance.” — Cole Richards, VOM president
The April 2019 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features stories about Christians receiving Bibles in areas hostile to Christianity. The issue includes stories about a North Korean Bible smuggler, an Iranian who shared scripture with fellow prisoners, children bribed with candy by Muslims in Kenya, and the use of easy-to-hide digital Bibles in areas where owning a Bible can mean risking your life. Also included are updates from Laos, Colombia, Lebanon/Syria, and China. You can share stories of Christians in those areas from this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.
Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, visit the subscription signup page.
Additional Related Resources
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight Syria, North Korea, Laos, China, Iran, and Colombia from the Downloads section.
*Find Restricted Nations books about Colombia, China, Iran, and North Korea at vombooks.com.
*Find Torchlighters DVDs about Robert Jermain Thomas (North Korea) and Eric Liddell (China) here.