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Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs

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.

Spotlight Story

Patrick

By Elise Wixtrom

A very long time ago, when Rome ruled most of Britain, a young man named Patricius lived on the coast of the island now called England. Pirates and thieves swarmed the choppy sea of the nearby narrow strait and roamed the coast of Roman Britain. They captured slaves and captives, looted towns and estates, and brought their spoils to the island across the channel – Ireland.

It was on the shores of Roman Britain that one day teenage Patricius (known in English as Patrick), was kidnapped and enslaved by those thieves and pirates along the coast. He was taken to Ireland. There he became a shepherd, tending flocks along and over the rolling green hills. In captivity, Patrick began to think about God and the Bible verses and stories that he had been taught as a child. The story of Jesus’ sacrifice began to mean more and more as the young man grew. His heart was filled with peace, where before he had been frightened and lonely, enslaved on a foreign island.

As he matured, Patricius began to share his faith with other captives, but they scoffed at his Christian ambitions. One night, Patricius had a dream that a messenger said, “You will soon be returning home!” When Patricius awoke, he left the camp where he slept and quietly walked down to the shore, where a ship was waiting to sail away. With some reluctance, the sailors let this strange boy accompany them on their voyage.

As soon as Patricius returned home, this family welcomed him with open arms. Back in Britain, he began to study God’s word with greater vigor. Before too long, he knew that he was meant to return to the pagan land where he had been mistreated. Again in a dream, Patricius was called back to the island where he had been enslaved. He felt the most eager pull to return and to teach the people of Ireland — to love them as God would.

Patricius’ family expressed hesitation at their son’s calling, but he knew what God wanted him to do. He knew it so vividly, so strongly, that he returned even though his family was afraid for his welfare.

Patricius went on to evangelize the people of Ireland for many years. He was not always welcomed, but eventually his love for the people, and God’s will, prevailed. The message of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection resonated with the pagan people. Patricius died on March 17, 461. We now celebrate that day as St. Patrick’s day. Through this young Briton, God changed the face of Ireland for His glory. Though many resisted the message, many more lives were changed because Patricius returned to the land of his captivity.

Sources include Patrick: God’s Courageous Captive, one of the books in the Courageous Series, available at vombooks.com.


Spotlight Story

Somalia: Pray for the President

“One of every six African Christians is persecuted,” a recent visitor from Africa told VOM workers. Many people believe that the most serious persecution in Africa happens in Somalia.

Facts About Somalia
*Most Somalis are Muslim.
*Bibles are illegal.
*There are no church buildings.
*After years of drought and war, more Somalis live outside Somalia than in it.

(Source: VOM’s 2020 Global Prayer Guide)

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is the current president of Somalia. He was born on March 11, 1962. He went to college in the United States.

On his birthday, will you pray for the president?
*Pray that he will rule wisely.
*Pray that he will use his power to see that Christians are treated fairly.
*Pray that he and his family will know the truth about Jesus.

(Photo: Somali Christian secretly reads a Bible. Source: VOM Canada and CBN.)


Spotlight Story

Chul: New Christian in Hiding

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”Matthew 6:9–13

It was a special occasion. Chul, a 12-year-old boy from North Korea, had just read the Lord’s Prayer out loud from a Bible. Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs worshipped with Chul and other North Korean refugees at a secret hideout in China.

Before he escaped from North Korea, Chul had never been to school. Many families in North Korea are too poor to buy shoes, paper, or pencils so their children can attend school. Also, food has been scarce in North Korea in recent years, and many children are too hungry to learn.

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Spotlight Story

John Cao’s Poem

Pastor John Cao 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.

Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association, recently talked with host Todd Nettleton on VOM Radio. During the interview, Fu shared a poem Pastor Cao wrote in prison. The poem is below.

You and Me

You can take away my freedom (Communist Party),
But you can’t take my prayers.
My prayers have wings and leap over the iron, mesh, high wall.
Many brothers and sisters have heard them,
And they fly freely every day
And reach the heaven on the blue sky.

You can impose heavy punishment on me,
But you cannot hold my soul and spirit.
It is like a cheerful, yellow bird gently prays to the iron gate.
My Savior must have heard my voice.

You can deprive me of the sun,
I eat leftovers with coldness every day,
But you can’t extinguish the brightness
That the Lord has placed in my heart.

Greetings from all over the world make me warm, passion fluttering.
Do you think that I am lonely?
Have you seen any Christian walking alone in your 70 years of persecution?
You think that persecution can stop the church.

How really ignorant you are turning on the history of the millennium
Which page is not suffering with joy for Christians?
Which page is not sprinkled with blood on the narrow path of the thorns?

You think that the walls around me are blocking my vision
And make me answer, turn the direction.
I never look around the environment,
But just look up at the heaven with my eyes.

You are the blind riding on the horse,
So you think that everyone crosses the river by feeling the stones?
I have a rod of my Shepherd in my heart,
And my Lord, certainly, helps me to move forward.

You see me as an enemy who is absolutely irreconcilable
And put me into the meat grinder.
But I regard you as my blood brother.
This is not because I am afraid of you,
But because Jesus loves you, and so I love you.

Your ancestors have been jailed by the Nationalist Party;
How can I not endure your hard labor?
I really love you as long as you can repent, Or I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,
Those of my own race.

— Pastor John Cao, from prison


Feature Story

China: Willing to Serve

China

Gladys Aylward, a British teenager, liked to go to wild parties. She dreamed of becoming an actress. But her plans and habits changed when she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior.

As Gladys grew in her Christian walk, she was saddened by the fact that millions of people in the world had never heard of Jesus. She believed that God was calling her to share the good news of the gospel with people in China.

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