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 September 18th, 2020
[Photo: Mrs. An. Her eyes are covered to protect her identity.]
Mrs. An was not a Christian. She grew up in North Korea, where the government does not want people to know God or to follow Jesus. Most North Koreans know nothing about Christianity.
But the North Korean government made a video to tell people that Christianity is bad and wrong. The video showed Christians praying to God. Mrs. An remembered what she saw on the video.
Due to harsh conditions in North Korea, Mrs. An escaped to China. But China does not always welcome North Koreans to their country. The Chinese police put Mrs. An in jail.
A Christian must have been in her jail cell before she got there, because Mrs. An saw the name “Jesus” scratched on the cell wall. She remembered the Christians she had seen praying on the video.
In South Korea
Mrs. An decided to pray to the Christians’ God, asking Him to help her get out of jail and go to South Korea, a freer country. God answered her prayer! In South Korea, she sought Christians who could teach her to grow in faith. She is learning how to witness to her family and others around her.
The North Korean video was created to turn people against Christianity. Instead, it helped someone trust in Jesus!
To Think About
Genesis 5:20 says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” How does the verse remind you of Mrs. An’s situation?
Published on September 17th, 2020
The review below was written by Nathan Hillanbrand, a college intern at Christian History Magazine. To read his entire blog post about the Torchlighters DVD, The Richard Wurmbrand Story, go to the Torchlighters blog here.
The Richard Wurmbrand Story DVD is available for purchase here or to watch free of charge on RedeemTV.
A set of 16 Torchlighters DVDs, plus the Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, is available here.
Student and leader guides for the DVDs are available for free download here and at Torchlighters.org.
The Richard Wurmbrand Story: Not Just for Kids!
By Nathan Hillanbrand
Compelling. Captivating. As a ten-year-old Torchlighter fan, I was riveted watching Olympian Eric Liddell race along a dirt path towards the missionary compound with yet another critically injured Chinese civilian on a makeshift cart, while blasts from the Japanese dive-bombers strike all around him.
Fast-forward to 2020: I am now a college intern reviewing the Torchlighters website. As I scroll through the list of familiar heroes, I come upon a name I don’t recognize at all: Richard Wurmbrand. Although I feel slightly sheepish at my sudden urge to watch a half-hour animated video for kids, I just have to know who this person is. I click on the link.
I am immediately drawn in, once again compelled and captivated. By about halfway through, I’m oblivious to the medium and moved to tears. Somehow, this carefully edited “children’s cartoon” is able to convey great depth of emotion and the gravity of religious persecution.
Then, while viewing their continuing story at the end of the Torchlighters video, I am surprised to discover that the Wurmbrands, after more underground work and re-imprisonment in Romania, escaped to the U.S. and began an international ministry to assist other persecuted Christians. It suddenly strikes me that my earliest learnings about the plight of the persecuted church, including personal stories and prayer maps, were produced by their ministry!
Fascinated, I start looking through the related TL materials. The Wurmbrand student guide has a series of thought-provoking discussion questions and activities connected to the film, like a Morse Code Challenge (used to communicate the gospel in solitary confinement).
Read more of Nathan’s review here.
Published on September 16th, 2020
Recently Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio interviewed Ed Cannon, the president of the Far East Broadcasting Company. The FEBC uses radio and other technology to reach people all over the world with the gospel.
Todd asked Mr. Cannon, “What advice would you give young people who are starting out in gospel work?”
Read Mr. Cannon’s answer below. [Edited for length and clarity.]
There are a couple things I would like to say. First of all, be who you are. When I grew up, people were always telling us be a leader like so and so. We would read books about other people’s leadership. [People would tell us] you need to be like Churchill, or you need to be like Patton.
But my advice for young people today is be who God made you; don’t be like somebody else. If you are a quiet person, lead quietly. If you are a team-builder, build teams quietly. Lead the way God has wired you, which is the way you are the best. No one is as good at being like Winston Churchill as Winston Churchill was. So why should we try and be like him?
Secondly, never underestimate your own ability to make an impact in the world. We had one young man from China who very quiet, very timid. He didn’t know exactly how he wanted to lead, but he had an idea to use social media.
He said, “I don’t have a big following. I don’t have a big voice or a big idea, but God does. So I am going to post on my social media platform. I am going to post four Bible verses a day.” He wrote one short verse, and then he wrote one simple sentence about what that verse meant to him.
He started doing that, and he did it for several years without much success. Then he started to see a few people following him. After five years, the man had a million followers in China that were getting their spiritual food every day from his simple idea and his obedience to God’s command.
So there is great potential. Never underestimate yourself. Don’t think you need to be like someone else. Lead the way God wired you and He will respond by putting fruit into your life.
Published on September 15th, 2020
Jeruk bali is a fruit from Indonesia with a thick skin. (The fruit is also known as a pomelo.) In times past, Indonesian children made cars out of the skin of the fruit. They cut wheels and car shapes out of the skin and attached the wheels with small strong sticks about the thickness of toothpicks. A long stick attached to the back or a string tied to the front allowed the child to push or pull the car.
Try making a toy car like the ones in the photo out of the skin of an orange or honeydew melon and toothpicks. (A lime was used for the “driver.”)
Pray that all Indonesian children will learn that Jesus loves them.
Published on September 14th, 2020
National Coloring Day is September 14!
You can find coloring pages that depict the lives of Christian heroes featured in Torchlighters DVDs here . Additional activities are available on Torchlighters.org, in the Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, and in the Downloads section of this site.