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Bold Believers in Syria

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.

Spotlight Story

Internet Troll Finds Jesus

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

Amir was not a Christian, and he had a rude hobby. At his computer in Iran, he would get on the Internet and make comments that started arguments. “I was very pleased and happy with myself when I caused trouble and problems,” said Amir.

One day, he found a Christian website where visitors could post comments. “As usual, I started to mess up the discussion by typing silly things and insulting all the other commenters,” he said.

The administrator of the site answered Amir’s insults and replied, “No matter what you say, God still loves you, and there is a reason you are here tonight.”

“I began to listen,” said Amir. “Their love and respect touched my heart. Now I am taking online Christian classes. My life has changed. I practice kindness and gentleness every day.”

Source: Iran Alive Ministries, edited for space and clarity

Spotlight Story

The Missionaries and the Snake Bite

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited and paraphrased from the interview)

Ron Morse’s parents, grandparents, and other relatives were missionaries, and Ron grew up on the mission field. He faced situations that challenge us to be willing to do difficult things to share Christ.

One day, Ron, three of his cousins, and his uncle decided to go to a village in Thailand to tell the people about Jesus. The villagers were part of the Lisu tribe. Ron grew up among Lisu people and knew their language. But the missionaries had not visited this particular village.

“We were wondering if we were going to be allowed to enter the village,” said Ron. “We knew the culture, we could communicate, but we didn’t know these people.

“I Am Going to Die”
“We were praying,” Ron continued. “Within five minutes, a woman walked past, carrying a baby in a small basket, and weeping.

“‘Why are you crying?’ we asked her. ‘I am going to die,’ she answered. ‘A snake bit me. I need to take my baby home, and then I probably am going to die.’

“‘We have a snake bite kit,’ we told her. ‘Would you like us to help you?’

“She was a little hesitant, but we went to her house. She washed her foot where the bite was. Then her husband showed up and said, ‘What are you doing in my house?’

“‘We can help your family,’ we said. We got out the snake bite kit, but realized that the bite was on her middle toe. If you look at your toes, you will see that the middle toe is bony and has very little flesh around it. A snake bite kit operates on a vacuum, a suction. The toe had nothing for it to suck against.

“‘This isn’t going to work,’ we thought. ‘She’s going to die, and it will be blamed on us.’

“‘Lord, what shall we do?’ we prayed. My uncle said, ‘We will have to take turns and suck the venom from her toe. Wash your mouth out when you are done.’

Preaching the Gospel
“So we took turns. We were using mouth-to-toe resuscitation.

“Well, she lived. And that evening, the whole house was filled, and we were able to preach the gospel. ‘Why are you here?’ they asked. ‘What is your message?’ The Lord had opened a door.

“So don’t ever minimize the opportunities that God brings your way. All I can say is to be prepared for the unexpected and the unusual, because God has a great sense of humor.”

Spotlight Story

What Happens Next?

Each year, The Voice of the Martyrs distributes more than 1 million Bibles in countries where Bibles are illegal or very hard to find. But what happens after the Bibles are in the hands of persecuted Christians?

Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio talked with Dr. Mike Ansari, who partners with VOM in sharing God’s Word with people in Iran. Read part of their conversation below. (Edited for length and clarity.)

Todd: Mike, I want to ask a question. There is a person in prison in Iran right now for distributing Bibles that Voice of the Martyrs bought. You helped us connect with this person. We provided the Bibles, you provided the connection; they provided the manpower to get the Bibles into the hands of Christians who needed them.

You and I are sitting comfortably right here [at VOM headquarters]; they are sitting in a jail cell. How do you personally process the fact that the work you are doing is going to put people in danger? It is going to put people in prison. How do you think about that? How do you pray about that?

Dr. Ansari: Todd, it is a bittersweet experience. You definitely do not want to put anybody in danger. But you have to realize that the individuals who have just become Christians, they are on fire for Jesus. Half the time they are just out there proclaiming the gospel to everybody.

This particular individual happened to be one of them who was and still is on fire for Jesus, even while she is incarcerated. She helped with distribution of Bibles that were funded by The Voice of the Martyrs to be sent into the country. Many people came to know about Jesus through her, and now she is serving her sentence.

There is a joy in her heart, even now that she is serving. She still sends messages indirectly to us that say, “I don’t regret anything. There is a joy in my heart and if I could do it again, I would do it.” In fact, in prison she is evangelizing others, as well.

Learn about VOM’s “A Bible for Every Believer” goal here.

Will you pray for those who risk their freedom when they distribute or smuggle Bibles?

Activities Story

Head Carry Relay

Needed: Two books

Instructions: Women in Nigeria and some other African countries carry items on their heads. Divide students into two teams with an equal number of players. Have the first player on each team carefully balance a book on their head.

After a signal to start, the players walk as far as they can without touching the book with their hands. At the point where the book falls off or the player touches it with their hand, the second player from that team takes over and continues from that point. When both teams have used all their players, the team that went the farthest distance wins.

Enter “Nigeria” in the Search box to find stories of bold Nigerian Christians.

Uncategorized Story

Jim Elliot’s 102nd Birthday

Jim Elliot was born on October 8, 1917. Today would have been his 102nd birthday.

Elliot gave his life while serving the Lord in South America. Jim’s four companions, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian, were also martyred. The group understood the dangers of missionary work, and they were willing to lay down their lives in service to God.

To Discuss
Read the facts about Jim Elliot’s life below, the discuss the questions.

[This activity is from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book. The book is available here, and the companion DVDs here.]

1. Jim was on the school wrestling team, and he was a strong competitor. Should Christians ever let others win at games and sports, or should they always try their hardest? Is it possible to do your best and still be unselfish?

2. When Jim received poor grades at school one semester, he told his parents that he thought studying God’s Word was more important than his school subjects. What do you think of his reason for getting poor grades? What do you think his parents’ response to him might have been?

3. After his death, Jim’s wife, Elisabeth, and his daughter, Valerie, returned to share a message of God’s forgiveness with the Waodani tribe that had attacked the four missionaries. Do you think Jim would have wanted them to do so? Can you think of a verse from God’s Word to support what you think?

4. Jim and his friends worked in a place they knew was extremely dangerous. Should missionaries work in dangerous places? Why or why not?

5. Although Jim and the other missionaries had guns which they fired in the air as a warning, they did not use them to defend themselves against the spear-wielding Waodani attackers. Do you think the missionaries should have defended themselves? What was the missionaries’ eternal destiny? What was the attackers’ eternal destiny at that time?