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.
Readers Talk to Us Story
Published on September 24th, 2019
Question: Some people wonder if young children should learn about persecuted Christians. How would you answer them?
Laura S., a third-grade teacher at a Christian school in Tennessee, replies:
“Jesus was persecuted, as were the apostles. This is our heritage as believers. We cannot ignore it. It is a great calling, and each child born into the household of faith has this calling.
“Should we shield our children from that reality? No. Persecuted Christians are their brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God. I want us to train our children to pray for those in need, and to care for the widows and orphans, especially those in the household of faith.”
What Do You Think?
What You Can Do Story
Published on September 23rd, 2019
Brother Jeff, a recent guest on VOM Radio, is a Christian worker in Muslim countries. He offered suggestions about sharing the gospel with people in other places — or even in your own hometown! Read some of his suggestions below.
1. Be bold [and wise] in sharing the gospel, even in hard places.
2. If you go with just blind boldness, you are not going to reach your neighbor, you are just going to offend them.
3. To find a balance between wise and bold, we really need to listen to the Holy Spirit in our lives.
4. Pray for boldness and wisdom.
5. Build friendships, but be bold in your friendships, saying, “This is who Jesus is in my life. I’d like to introduce you if you are interested.”
6. When you see a Muslim, don’t be afraid to go up and say hi. [Always ask a mature Christian adult to go with you when you talk to someone you don’t know.]
7. Muslims usually don’t mind you praying for them. When I go into a Middle Eastern restaurant where most likely the staff are Muslims, I will say, “Hey, we are about to pray for our meal. How can I pray for you?” Often they will tell you something that you can pray for. I pray with them about whatever need they are sharing.
8. Ask people, “What is your story?” [Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, said, “More souls are won by listening to people than by speaking to them.”]
9. Keep growing in your own faith.
10. Pray that we won’t be distracted by all the many other things that are great opportunities, but are not what God has for us if we are going to be effective in reaching people.
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness)
Published on September 20th, 2019
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, was imprisoned for a total of 14 years in communist Romania for spreading the gospel. He talked about winning persecutors to Christ.
Pastor Wurmbrand once said,
“Once when a house was on fire, a man threw a cup of water on it, only to see it burn to the ground. The man then said, ‘Water does not extinguish fire.’”
Pastor Wurmbrand continued, “That’s ridiculous! A cup of water does not quench it, but fire engines with water hoses do.
“The little love we have shown until now has not succeeded in bringing tormentors to Christ. Flames of love might very well succeed.
“The fact is, I was once a crucifier, till an encounter with God’s all-forgiving love changed me. If I can be transformed, others can too.
“I will dedicate my life to this.”
To Think About: How might someone show only “a little love” to unbelievers? Whose love changed Pastor Wurmbrand? What did Pastor Wurmbrand mean when he said, “Flames of love might very well succeed”?
Published on September 19th, 2019
Today’s date — 9-19-19 — is a palindrome. The dates of every day this week have also been palindromes.
Palindromes read the same forward and backward. Some sentences that are palindromes are:
Step on no pets.
Madam, in Eden I’m Adam
Live not on evil.
Click here to read about places in Nigeria with names that are palindromes, and about life for Christians in Nigeria.
Published on September 19th, 2019
This month, The Voice of the Martyrs is celebrating five years of God’s goodness in allowing VOM Radio to present stories of persecuted Christians. The story below is from one of the most powerful on the program.
Brent and Shelley Teague, missionaries in West Africa, shared the story of when Brent was shot by radical Muslim al-Qaida terrorists in Niger. The story below is from the interview with Brent. (Edited from the original for length and clarity.)
Brent: I really shouldn’t be alive. I was going up to a village 90 miles north of the capital city of Niamey in Niger. And I had a couple of Bible students with me and their families, and we had three children in the car.
And these al-Qaida operatives were in another vehicle that came alongside our vehicle in broad daylight and opened fire with a machine gun through the driver’s door. So the first bullet went through my knee, and the second bullet went through the shin of my leg. It just missed the main artery by about a millimeter, but I was in pretty bad shape.
Then they [took control of] our vehicle and followed it in theirs. They took us off road and robbed us. I ended up in the middle of the desert, and I honestly had no hope for survival. They discussed finishing us off, but the commander decided not to waste the ammunition; they thought I was going to die anyway.
I was praying. At first I was really questioning God, why He permitted me to be in the situation I was in, and then I realized I’m going to be seeing Jesus soon. I need to have a better attitude. So then I just started worshipping the Lord and thanking Him for saving me and for all he’s done in my life. And thanking Him for the privilege of serving Him, and then is when I started praying for Shelley and my two daughters.
But God did a miracle. I should be dead. I was laying in the desert praying, getting ready to go to heaven when the Lord spoke to me and told me that my mission wasn’t over on earth. And the miracle is that there was an anonymous phone call to the federal troopers’ office ….in the capital city telling them that I’d been shot, that I was critically wounded, giving them the location where I’d been dumped in the desert. The miracle is that phone call came 30 minutes before I was even attacked. Otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten to me on time. I don’t know how God did that, but it happened.
There were 12 other attacks that same year in that same area. I’m the only driver that survived the attacks.