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 February 20th, 2019
Message from a VOM Supporter
“When I talk with parents about persecution, a common concern they share is their hesitation to share this with their children. Many parents are afraid it might confuse or frighten their children. They worry that knowing about persecution might discourage their child’s young faith from growing.
“But what I have experienced is the complete opposite. If presented properly, it does not upset children, but builds up their faith. It triggers a loving response in them because they feel a connection with other Christians and want to reach out to them. This builds up their understanding of unity.
“The message of the persecuted church is not a message of hopelessness and fear, but of Christ empowering his followers with overcoming faith and strength.
“Read 2 Timothy 1:8. What an awesome way to impart to our children the fellowship of the body, and not just teach it to our children, but to live it with our children. What a tremendous opportunity we have to build up the next generation of believers!”
Published on February 19th, 2019
Previous posts have told about China’s new stricter laws for churches. Some churches have been forced to replace their crosses with the state flag and a photo of China’s president.
Late last year, officials in one of China’s provinces dropped by a church to search and inspect it. One officer stopped at the pulpit where the Ten Commandments were displayed. He demanded that the first commandment be removed, then he crossed it out.
Officials told everyone who complained, “The president opposes this statement.”
To Talk About
*What is the first of the Ten Commandments? (See Exodus 20:3.)
*King Darius had Daniel thrown into a lions’ den because Daniel put God before the king. Read what Darius said in Daniel 6:25-26. Can you think of other situations in which someone replaced false beliefs with the truth about God?
*Do some research and find out the name of the president of China. What will you pray for him?
Published on February 18th, 2019
Violence and war in Syria have forced both Muslims and Christians to leave their homes and live as refugees in other countries. Many of the refugees now live in Lebanon. They find shelter in tents, broken down buildings, and in fields. Their lives are difficult.
Churches in Lebanon try to help the refugees. Each month, Christians in a city in Lebanon teach Bible lessons to about 70 Syrian refugee children and their parents in a Bible club.
Recently, the Christians taught the children Luke 2:40 while their parents were learning the same verse in a parents’ meeting. The children’s Muslim parents know they are studying the Bible, but they don’t mind. In fact, the parents are impressed with the things they are learning from Scripture.
The staff meet regularly for prayer and discipleship with a group of eight boys and five girls after each study. “We would like to thank the Lord for the ministry in the difficult area of our country where we are serving,” said the Bible ministry team leader.
To Talk About
*Read Luke 2:40. Who is the verse telling about?
*Read about Syria here. What does it say about Muslims leaving their religion to become Christians? Do you think it takes courage for a Syrian Muslim to go to a Christian Bible study?
*What does the team leader say about his ministry? Do you think it takes courage for the Bible club leaders to teach Muslims about the Bible? Is there anyone with whom you might be reluctant to share the gospel?
Published on February 15th, 2019
(The story below comes from The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions.)
This is the story of Pastor K and his wife, who found themselves ejected from their home in Turkmenistan. Because of their faith in Jesus and the husband’s role as a pastor, the government had taken away their house with no warning. Then they put the pastor in prison. A year later, they released him, but kicked him and his family out of the country.
The 11-member family moved into a three-room home in Ukraine. (See the photo above.) “Eleven of them sleep over every inch of the floor,” Bruno, a Christian friend, told Floyd, a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs. “Pastor K and his wife sleep at the entrance by the door. They don’t even have pillows to rest their heads on at night.”
There was a shower stall and toilet outside the house. “If anyone has to go to the bathroom at night, they have to climb over all the bodies and wake up the pastor and Mrs. K to go outside,” said Bruno. The bathroom arrangement might not have been so difficult if they had lived in a warm climate. But winters in Ukraine can be harsh.
Bruno told Floyd that the family didn’t even have a proper stove. If they had a stove, Mrs. K could make goods to sell at the local market to provide income for the family.
So Bruno and Floyd went to purchase a stove for the K family. Then Floyd said, “Let’s buy 11 pillows.” They took the stove and pillows to the family’s house in a truck. But they kept their purchases a secret at first.
The pastor’s family welcomed their guests and even managed to fix them a simple meal. The children sang, and everyone listened to stories. Despite all their troubles, they family loved each other and found ways to praise Jesus amidst their hardships.
Then Floyd asked the older boys to help him unload some things from the truck. He was eager to see Mrs. K’s face when she saw the stove.
The family was stunned and grateful, and happy to have a way to provide for themselves. But when the boys brought the pillows from the truck, Mrs. K began to weep. What no one else knew was that her mother had made 11 pillowcases for the family. As she had handed them to Mrs. K, she had said, “These are for when the Lord provides the pillows.”
“God does not leave us or abandon us,” said another VOM worker who learned about the pillow story. “He knows your heart. He rallies the Body of Christ from halfway around the world sometimes, just to let you feel His love and to experience true abiding joy, regardless of your circumstances. What a privilege to be a part of His family!”
Published on February 14th, 2019
An emperor in ancient Rome liked conquering very much, and he was fond of meddling in foreign wars. But he didn’t have enough soldiers to fight all these wars. The shortage of soldiers irritated him. So the emperor of that time outlawed marriage for people of a certain age range. He hoped to encourage young men to enter the military to pass the time before they could marry their sweethearts.
The emperor’s law caused a huge problem for Christian men and women of the time. The Christian men did not want to enter the Roman military. They wanted to be able to get married and have children, families, and lives. But no one would officiate at their weddings, because they didn’t want to break the harsh laws that governed Rome at the time.
Then Valentine, a young pastor, came into the scene. In violation of the law, Valentine began to join young Christian couples in marriage. Valentine eventually was martyred for breaking the laws of Rome, but he displayed great courage with his defiance.
Sources include Valentine: God’s Courageous Evangelist, one of the books in the Courageous Series, available at vombooks.com.
Enter “Valentine” in the Search box to learn more about why we celebrate Valentine’s Day.