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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.

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?


Spotlight Story

Joel

Joel
Joel

(From the Kids of Courage archives.)

Three-year-old Joel was walking home on a Sunday after church in Nigeria. Radical “Boko Haram” Muslims spotted Joel, grabbed him, and made him sit down. They saw a children’s Bible in his hand and demanded that he give the book to them.

Joel refused to let go of the Bible.

One of the men took it from him by force and threw it into a fire burning nearby. Joel ran to the fire and tried to get his Bible out of the flames with a stick.

But a Boko Haram attacker knocked Joel to the ground. Joel was injured, and after the radicals left, he was taken to the hospital where he began healing from his wounds.

“Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright” (Proverbs 20:11).

 


Spotlight Story

Camps for Persecuted Kids

Nigerian teen

Christians in Nigerian are experiencing numerous attacks by Fulani Muslims attackers and Boko Haram terrorists. At times, Christian children are injured in the attacks.

Some of the kids had lived in the same houses since they were born. They watched as terrorists burned down their homes. Others saw family members attacked.

Do you think that some of the kids were angry and sad? They were. The Voice of the Martyrs sponsored camps for teens who needed help getting through their anger and sadness.

The teens made friends with other kids at the camp who were also sad and angry. Together they worked to understand the Bible’s lessons about forgiving enemies. The camp leaders hoped the teens would also learn that they did not have to see revenge against those who persecuted them.

VOM workers said, “Pray that they will continue to find peace in Christ and share their eternal hope with others in their community.”

(Source: icommittopray.com)


Spotlight Story

Nigeria: Melody and Marvelous

James and Marvelous

Will you pray for Melody and Marvelous?

Melody is 3 and Marvelous is 7. The Voice of the Martyrs is helping their family with rent, school fees, clothing, and medical care. But they still need prayer.

Last year, Melody had to spend two months in the hospital. She needed surgeries to help her heal after a bullet struck her during an attack on their village in Nigeria. (She is mentioned in the story here.) The militant Muslim attackers also hit Marvelous on the head and knocked her unconscious.

Melody

The girls’ father, James, stayed by their side through their recovery. But their mother, Mary, died in the attack. James and the girls were very sad. They lost Mary, and they lost their home. The attackers moved into the Christians’ homes and took the villagers’ land. James and the girls lived in a camp for displaced people for eight months.

A VOM worker is counseling James and other Christians who suffered in the attacks. “I feel like I have people who care for me,” he said. But forgiveness for the attackers will take more time.

James asked for prayer for himself, Melody, and Marvelous. “Pray that God will strengthen us and make us strong in our faith and provide for our desires,” he said.

(Source: The October 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

Find out how to write a note of encouragement to Nigerian Christians at persecution.com/NotestoNigeria.


Spotlight Story

Starting Over Again

Alice and three of her children at a temporary home

On June 22, 2018, violent Muslims attacked several villages in Nigeria. The attackers burned Christians’ houses and left 7,500 homeless. The displaced Christians included Alice Bulus and her five children.

A Muslim mosque leader let 200 of the people find shelter in his mosque, saving their lives. The Voice of the Martyrs helped Alice and her kids move to another place where they started their lives over again.

It wasn’t the first time they had to start over.

Starting Over the First Time
Nine years ago, violent fighters attacked their home around midnight. Sadly, Alice’s husband, the children’s father, died in the attack. Alice recognized one of the attackers — he was her family’s neighbor.

After her husband died, Alice tried to support her children by continuing to farm their small plot of land.

Starting Over Again
Then the enemies attacked twice more. The family’s home was gone. For a while, they lived in the hallway of an elderly woman’s home. Later, a Christian family offered them a small apartment. Alice began farming again and doing odd jobs to take care of her family.

In 2015, the militants returned and destroyed all her crops.

Starting Over the Third Time
Alice replanted her crops, and VOM helped her family rent a small house where they started their lives over yet again, interrupted by the 2018 attack. With VOM’s help, Alice has saved a little money, and her family is slowly building a home of their own.

“No More Afraid”
Since the attacks, Alice has seen the neighbor who killed her husband. He is not in jail. She gathered the courage to approach him and greet him kindly. “I have never felt anger toward them,” Alice said. “The Bible already said this [persecution] would happen and said we should watch and pray….The Word encourages me all the time because it says the Lord gives and the Lord takes. We are just here for a time. Right now, I am no more afraid.”

(Source: The October 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length and clarity.)

To Think About
*What does Alice mean when she says, “We are just here for a time?”
*Can you think of five things to pray for Alice and her family?
*Try fitting several people in a small hallway. Discuss how you would live in the hallway if you had to stay there for a long time. How would you divide the space? Where would you sleep?