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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, crafts, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of their Christian brothers and sisters who face Islamic extremism. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Bold Believers in Syria provides age-appropriate companion material for VOM’s I Am N information and resources. (See

Spotlight Story

Bees Rescue Pastors in Sudan

Pastor Morris, a Christian leader in Sudan, told workers from The Voice of the Martyrs what happened after 20 pastors were kidnapped by soldiers in his country.

Activities Story

Make a Thumb Piano

African thumb piano

Thumb pianos are instruments used in Sudan and other African countries to accompany singing. You can make a simple thumb piano.

Needed: 3 large bobby pins; a piece of sanded wood about 6 inches wide, 3½ inches tall, and ½ inch thick; pliers, and a staple gun.

Squeeze the looped ends of 3 bobby pins with pliers. As your release your hold on the bobby pins, they will break.

With a staple gun and the help of an adult, staple the broken pieces to the wood. Fasten each piece with 2 staples. Staple the first pin near the top of the pin (the broken end). To create different sounds, fasten each remaining pin further and further away from the top of the board — but no further than halfway down the pin. Bend the bottom ends of the pins upward, away from the board.

To play the thumb piano, hold it in both hands, with one hand on each side of the thumb piano, and pluck the pins with your thumbs.

Activities Story

Make a Tukel

“Tukels” [TOO-kuhlz] are huts with cone-shaped roofs. Many Sudanese families live in tukels.
The roofs are made of neatly layered stalks of grass or grain. Sometimes, the roofs reach almost to the ground.

To make a tukel roof, trace around a saucer or small plate on thick paper or cardstock. Cut out the circle. Then cut one slit from the edge of the circle to the center. Slide one edge of the slit under the other and tape or staple the edges together to form a cone. Draw or glue grass or thin sticks on the roof.

To make walls, staple together the ends of a cardboard strip to form a circular shape smaller than the large end of the roof. Cut out a door. Put the roof on top of the walls.

Feature Story

Ten Facts About Life for Christians in Sudan

Sudanese girls

Parents and Teachers: The July 2017 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes stories about courageous Christians in Sudan. To subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, visit our subscription signup page. As you read the newsletters, you may want to share stories from this site with your children. Then pray together for the people in the stories.

1.    Since 2012, the government of Sudan has dropped 4,000 bombs on Christians and others in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan. Do the math: Is that more or less than one bomb a day? Watch a video of children in Sudan hiding from danger.

2.    Four of the most dangerous places to be in the Nuba Mountains are church buildings, schools, hospitals, and fields of crops. Bombers target the shiny roofs of buildings and crops that produce food.

3.    Christians continue to worship and encourage each other. Watch a video that tells what some Sudanese Christians did after their church was bombed.

4.    Only two doctors and three medical facilities are left to help more than one million people in the Nuba Mountain region. One of the medical facilities is a tent.

5.    The Voice of the Martyrs brings medical aid and medicines to the people.

6.    Thirteen VOM staff members have traveled to the war zones. One of them, Petr Jasek, was jailed for 445 days because of his Christian work in Sudan. Read more about Petr.

7.    VOM also brings Action Packs and other aid to the area. Watch videos about Action Packs here and here.

8.    Some Sudanese Christians feel forgotten. VOM’s visits are as important as the gifts they bring. “We don’t look at what you’re carrying,” said a Sudanese pastor, “but how often you come.”

9.    Sudanese Christians have a request. “Please tell the American church to pray for us,” said a patient at a VOM-supported clinic. “And also don’t forget us.”

10.    Sudanese Christians share aid they receive with their neighbors, even Muslim neighbors. Some Muslims are opening their minds and hearts to Jesus. “The Muslims in the region are so open to the gospel right now,” said VOM’s Africa Regional Director, Sean Paton. “All the support they receive is coming from Christians.”

Uncategorized Story

Phil Parks

Fourteen-year-old Phil Parks was an artist. “All of life was art to Phil, and he noticed beauty and color at a very young age,” said his mom, Lydia. Phil especially enjoyed drawing dogs, horses, and other animals, and he won every art contest he entered.

Phil continued drawing, started an online business to sell his art, attended school, and made plans with friends — even after he found out he had glioblastoma, a rare kind of brain cancer.

Because of his illness, Phil often felt sick. One day when he didn’t feel well, he went outside and began to read and pray on his trampoline. “I prayed that God would show that He is near through one of his creatures,” he later told his mother. “Just then, I thought of a red cardinal. When I opened my eyes, a red cardinal flew down to a close branch and watched me for about three minutes! This gives me hope. I’m not afraid to die now. God is with me.”

Phil and his mom

Phil drew the cardinal, and his friends and relatives bought notecards that displayed the drawing. (See the photo above.) A few days before he died last year, Phil asked that profits from his online art sales be donated to The Voice of the Martyrs for medical projects. He wanted to help people like Danjuma, also age 14, who needed many surgeries after an attack on his village.

Phil’s courage and his story continue to inspire others. The governor of Phil’s state of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, proclaimed May “Brain Cancer Awareness Month,” giving other families hope that a cure for brain cancers will be discovered.

Pray for those families and for the persecuted Christians who will be helped by the profits from Phil’s artwork. Pray that they, like Phil, will be able to say confidently, “God is with me.”

To Do
Read Ephesians 6:13-17. How do you think the verses might have comforted and strengthened Phil during his illness?
Phil’s drawing of the armor of God is below.


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