Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs includes stories, history, culture facts, and activities that help children understand the daily lives of the Uygur people, who live mainly in northwest China. The 52-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.
Published on November 4th, 2020
(Source: The November 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Photo: Zion Church continued to gather for worship after the attack.)
Verlini, a Sunday school teacher in Sri Lanka, got up at 3:30 every morning for Bible study and prayer. She had read the entire Bible 14 times, and her favorite verse was, “Commit your way to the Lord” (Psalm 37:5). She and her husband, Sebamalai, often reminded their family to stay close to God. Verlini wrote notes of encouragement and inspiration to each of her children in their Bibles.
She also encouraged her Sunday school students to follow Jesus. On Easter morning in 2019, children in the class confessed their sins and dedicated themselves to God. Later, during church, a Muslim attacker exploded a bomb at the church. Many church members were injured, and sadly, some died of their injuries.
Verlini and Sebamalai were among those who died. Debbi, their daughter, was wounded, and now she is blind.
But Debbi has hope for the future. “Why cry?” she said to her relatives. “My parents are with Jesus. One day, we will also go to be with Jesus.”
And Debbi has hope for herself and for the eye surgery she will have in Canada in the future. She tells people that Jesus has prepared new eyes for her.
Debbi now lives with her aunt and uncle. When talking about the time since the bombing, Debbi’s uncle said, “We learned so many things about faith and how to walk with God more.”
Debbi’s aunt hopes the surgery will allow Debbi to read the note Verlini left in her Bible that begins, “Debbi Darling.”
Read a story about Jasmine, another girl who was injured in the bombing here.
Published on November 3rd, 2020
On Election Day in the United States, citizens vote for candidates running for president and other public offices.
In recent years, a church in Uzbekistan held an unusual election. Two choices appeared on the ballot:
- Will we follow the instructions of the police?
- Will we follow the Bible?
The police said that the Christians were not allowed to meet together to worship God because their church was not registered with the government. However, the government would not register the church.
The congregation decided to follow the Bible. No one voted for the other choice, even though they knew they would be persecuted for their decision. After the vote, the police constantly gave the congregation a hard time. Once they arrested everyone at a youth group meeting and burned their Bibles. Later, officials kicked the pastor and his family out of the country.
Christians in many countries continue to trust God even when it is risky to follow Him.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” (See Joshua 24:15.)
Christians around the world serve God in a variety of circumstances. God encouraged the Christians in Uzbekistan as they continued to meet as an unregistered church. Click here to read a story about how God is helping Christians in the Middle East find new opportunities to share His Word even when they can’t gather in person due to the coronavirus. Enter “virus” in the Search box to learn how Christians in other areas trust and serve God in today’s challenging conditions.
Published on November 2nd, 2020
Parents and Teachers
Verlini sensed that her time on earth was short. She wrote notes of encouragement to each of her children in their Bibles. On Easter Sunday in 2019 at her church in Sri Lanka, she explained the gospel to her children’s Sunday school class and led those who wanted to place their faith in Jesus in a prayer of salvation. When a radical Muslim suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the church, Verlini and some of the children died. Survivors’ lives were forever changed.
The November 2020 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine tells stories of Verlini and other Christians in Sri Lanka who have been persecuted by militant Muslims and Buddhists, including those who were affected by the Easter bombing. Their lives are difficult, but their faith remains strong. As The Voice of the Martyrs’ president Cole Richards said, “In Christ, we have been given countless everlasting brothers and sisters from every tribe and nation (Revelation 7:9). We will be with them in heaven, but we can be inspired by their stories and testimonies right now.”
The issue also includes stories from North Korea, Uganda, and Afghanistan, as well as information about how to provide Christmas gifts for Christian children in areas where believers are persecuted. You can find adapted versions of the stories in upcoming posts on this site, then pray with your children for the Christians in the stories.
* 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 the featured countries.
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight several countries.
*Watch video clips about Christians from several of the countries in the Video section of this site.
Published on October 30th, 2020
Martin Luther wrote many hymns. One of his most well-known hymns is “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”
The story below is from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available at VOMBooks.com.
Martin Luther believed that only God’s Word deserved more praise than beautiful music. “The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music,” Martin said.
As a boy, Martin loved music and learned to play the lute. When he was a teenager, he made money going from house to house and serenading people.
Before his time, there was no congregational singing in church. Martin changed that. He also encouraged the people to sing in their own language rather than in Latin, as was the custom. His changes were considered to be very bold actions.
What Do You Think?
What do you think? Do you like singing along with a group in church, or would you rather that a few people did all the singing?
Martin made big changes in the way music was used in church services. If you could change something about the music in your church services, what would it be?
Martin believed that music is a gift from God and a way to teach His truth. What are your three favorite Christian hymns or songs? What is at least one truth each song teaches?
What do you think is the purpose of songs that are not Christian songs? Do you think it’s beneficial for Christians to play, sing, or listen to songs that don’t teach Christian truths? Why or why not?
Published on October 29th, 2020
How much do you know about Martin Luther?
Find a Martin Luther quiz, coloring pages, and a puzzle here.