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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

Louder than Words

“The purpose of our mission trips is to get away from the normal distractions of life,” said Sue Brown. She and her husband, Dave, lead Louder than Words, a discipleship ministry for teens. On their trips, the group serves others, hosts workshops and Bible studies, and presents the gospel through mime and drama. They leave behind their computers, cell phones, and TVs for the four-week trip. Their only luggage is a backpack and one small duffel bag.

The Louder than Words team recently spent a week at The Voice of the Martyrs headquarters, volunteering in the Operations Center, attending chapel, and presenting meaningful messages through mime. Other parts of their trip have included presentations in front of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C., and service projects at churches, a Christian camp, and a food bank.

At VOM

The Louder than Words kids have no plans to stop serving others when they leave the group. Some would like to work in the medical field as a paramedic or EMT; others are considering a career as a teacher, musician/songwriter, child care worker, or restaurant owner. And some hope to continue participating in mime and drama.

In the meantime, they are learning to be uncomfortable. “Choosing to use their time to study the Bible, to serve willingly and even happily, and to step into the public or their peers to present the gospel is very counter-cultural,” their leaders wrote. “Jesus and His disciples were just like that! They chose to be uncomfortable in this world as they encouraged others to be heavenly and eternally minded.”


Spotlight Story

Syria: Finding What Can’t Be Lost

Abdu

In many countries around the world, dedicated followers of Jesus risk their freedom and lives to practice their faith. Through persecution and struggles, they remain close to their Savior, forgive their enemies, and spread God’s Word.

However, there are other groups of people who are persecuted for being “Christians.” These victims of persecution may have never entered a church. They probably have never owned or read a Bible, or shared the gospel with anyone. And they have not trusted in Christ as their Savior.

But their persecutors don’t care if they are true believers in Christ or not.

Abdu
Abdu was one of those “Christians.” He and his father owned an auto repair shop in Syria. Because of the war that was destroying their homeland, his mother and siblings moved to a safer city. Abdu and his dad stayed behind to protect the shop and the land that had been in their family for almost 100 years.

But then radical Muslims kidnapped Abdu. They considered him to be a Christian because he had a Christian name and Christian ancestors.

Even though Abdu had never been to church, he began to pray when his captors kidnapped him. After 10 days of abuse by the kidnappers, to his surprise, Abdu was suddenly released. He rejoined the rest of his family and escaped from Syria.

Thankfully, in their new home, Abdu began attending church and placed his faith in Christ! Muslims have built a mosque on the family’s property in Syria, and they have lost all their possessions. “Yes, you can lose everything,” said Abdu. “But life in the Lord cannot be lost whatever happens.”

(Source: The August 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness)

To Talk About
Genesis 50:20 says, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good….” How could that verse apply to Abdu’s situation?


Spotlight Story

Yousef’s Journey

Yemeni Muslims

Trouble at School
Yousef, his parents, and his younger brother lived in Djibouti, an African Muslim country where Christians are sometimes persecuted. Yousef was the only Christian in his school. Ibrahim, his father, told Yousef’s teacher that he did not want Yousef to pray the daily Muslim prayers. But the teacher said Yousef would have to join the class in reciting the prayers, because the school was a Muslim school.

Scary Phone Calls
Then, on the morning of his 17th birthday, Yousef got a phone call. “Today is your birthday,” the mysterious caller said. “And we don’t want you celebrating with unbelievers.” (When the caller said “unbelievers,” he meant non-Muslims.) Yousef thought it was just a prank call, and he left for school.

At about noon, Yousef’s mother, Fatima, answered a call from Yousef’s phone. A strange voice said, “Your son is dead.” Fatima and Ibrahim were devastated. But then at about 6 that night, Yousef called them! He was alive!

More Moves
Violent Muslims had kidnapped Yousef and flown him to Yemen, where Yousef’s family used to live. The family had converted from Islam to Christianity, but had left Yemen to avoid persecution. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) The kidnappers tried to convince Yousef to return to Islam, but he would not.

After the kidnappers released him, he and his family moved again — this time to Ethiopia. Ibrahim now shares the good news of Jesus with Yemeni refugees in several countries. Yousef earned a degree in biblical studies, and he is studying social media so he can share the gospel online. He helps his dad work with Yemeni immigrants in Egypt.

Yousef’s family has been on a long journey since deciding to follow Jesus, but they believe it’s worth it. “The purpose of all of this is for Jesus to be glorified,” said Ibrahim. Please pray for the family to reach more Yemenis for Christ.

(Source: The August 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness)


Spotlight Story

This Month: Overcoming Fear

Parents and Teachers

The August 2019 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine tells stories of Christians who have overcome their fear of persecutors and enemies with God’s help and by His grace.

The issue features stories about Christians facing Islamic extremism in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. You can share stories of Christians in these countries from the magazine and this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Related Resources
* To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*The Voice of the Martyrs Global Prayer Guide includes information about Christians in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt.
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight Egypt, Syria, and Iraq here.
*Find a lesson plan for Egypt here.
*Watch video clips about refugees from Syria and Iraq here and here.


Uncategorized Story

Cao Stays in Prison

A previous post told about Pastor John Cao who was arrested in March 2017. Cao is a Chinese pastor known for his work helping poor people in Myanmar (Burma). Pastor Cao is married to an American citizen, and they have two sons, Benjamin and Amos. He lives with his family in North Carolina when he is not on mission trips or in prison. You can read more about Pastor Cao here.

Update: ChinaAid reports that a Chinese court failed to grant Cao an appeal, and his seven-year sentence will continue. Only Cao’s 83-year-old mother, his sister, and his lawyer were allowed in the court.

The story of his arrest and imprisonment is told on prisoneralert.com. The site also provides instructions for writing to Cao and other prisoners.

Please continue to pray for Pastor Cao and his family.