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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.

Feature Story

Thanksgiving

North Korea

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, remember the Christians in the following story from a Thanksgiving in North Korea a few years ago.

Elizabeth, a North Korean Christian, joined with a few other believers for a worship service. She noticed one child in the group whose shoe was torn open. His foot was frozen. His family did not have enough money to buy new shoes.

The house had no heat. Sometimes the family skipped meals for many days in a row because they had no money for food. “The food problem is worse this year,” a North Korean Christian said. “And it was really bad last year.” Bad weather has destroyed food crops in North Korea. Also, government leaders do a poor job of getting food to those who need it. Many people are poor, hungry, and sick.

Read the rest of this entry »


Spotlight Story

Sports and Games: What Do You Think?

(Source: The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book.)

We know that when John Bunyan was a young man, he enjoyed playing a game called “tipcat” and engaging in other pastimes, but sometimes he felt guilty for doing so. Is it OK for Christians to play games? What do you think?

Most Christians today believe they can play games that encourage good behavior and build character. Some Christians use sports and games as an opportunity to witness about their faith to non-Christian players. What do you think?

How Much Is Too Much?
When is watching or playing games a distraction from more important activities? An American pastor said, “Anyone who spends more time playing video games than seeking God in prayer has no right to call Jesus Lord.” What do you think of the pastor’s statement? (Read some Bible verses about prayer in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Matthew 6:7, and Matthew 6:9–13.)

In the 1500s, King Henry VIII of England banned a number of games because he believed they would distract his soldiers from their duties. Do you think it would be wise for government leaders to tell people how much time they could spend on sports and games? Is it effective for parents and teachers to make rules about playing games at home or in class? What do you think?

What games do you like to play or watch others play? Do any of those games ever take time away from your Bible reading, prayer, homework, household chores, commitments, or opportunities to serve others?

Make a Rule
What do you think would be a good rule for time allowed to spend on games? (For example, “I can play games for 30 minutes after my homework is done, if it’s not time for bed yet.”)


Spotlight Story

John Bunyan’s Birthday

John Bunyan was born on November 28, 1628. His 391st birthday is this week. Read below what Elise Wixtrom, the Kids of Courage student reviewer, wrote about his life.

John Bunyan lived in the mid-1600s, during the time of the most violent conflict on English soil, the English Civil War. At that time, there was a group of people called the Puritans. The Puritans followed strict religious rules. They believed in the Bible wholeheartedly, though at one point they became very legalistic and forced their authority on others. Early on, though, the Puritans were bastions of Christian kindness and purity. John Bunyan was one of their most faithful members. A writer, theologian, and preacher, he stood steadfastly by his faith even though his country was in turmoil.

The story of John Bunyan’s life has many ups and downs. At one point he even got thrown into prison. For many years he stayed there among criminals and debtors, all because he defied the Anglican church by preaching outside of it. During the civil war, he and other Puritans were allowed to teach freely, but with the return of the English monarchy came the return of persecution for other theologies. Bunyan, along with his fellow church officials, was imprisoned for his beliefs. While behind bars, Bunyan had a lot of time to reflect, think, write – do what he loved best. He even taught the prisoners in Puritan theology, and eventually they thanked him for it.

Though in great emotional pain from being ripped away from the life he had built for himself, Bunyan never lost hope in Christ’s love. Instead, he wrote. At one point, Bunyan had a strange and vivid dream. In this dream, he embarked on a religious journey, called a “pilgrimage”, to find the meaning of life. Along the way, he met characters that represented different aspects of the world, God’s nature, the human heart, and sin. At the end of the journey, Bunyan arrived at the gates of heaven. Upon awakening, Bunyan was struck with the images of the dream and he decided to write it all down. He turned that dream into a novel called The Pilgrim’s Progress.

When he died in 1688, Bunyan left behind a legacy of many works of literature, including The Pilgrim’s Progress and books of written sermons. Their messages ring loud and clear – stay on the path that leads to Christ Jesus, and God will walk beside you all the way to His own doorstep, just as Bunyan found in his dream.

Bunyan found God’s voice in his prison cell. If you have been reading or watching the Torchlighters stories, you will know – that is where you hear God’s voice best. In the darkest moments of your life. In your pain. In the prison cell that you have, whether real or in your mind. In the times where you think there is no more cause for hope, that is precisely the moment where you should look upwards, and there God will be, with the solution for your healing.

Learn more about Bunyan and watch the trailer from the Torchlighters DVD The John Bunyan Story here. Find out more about Torchlighters DVDs here.


Spotlight Story

Christmas Care Reminder

Christmas Care Pack

Every year, The Voice of the Martyrs and Kids of Courage readers sponsor Christmas Care Packs for children and Village Outreach Kits for pastors in countries where Christians are persecuted. Visit this site or check the December 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine to learn how you can sponsor a Christmas Care Pack or Village Outreach Kit in honor of:

*A friend
*Your pastor
*A family member
*A Sunday school teacher
*A Christian worker in your community
*Or someone else

If you sponsor a gift before December 14th, the honored person will receive a personal Christmas card acknowledging your gift.

Parents and Teachers
To receive information about future project opportunities, subscribe to the free monthly VOM magazine here.


Activities Story

Make an Advent Prayer Train

Needed
30 mini raisin boxes, or other small boxes
Red and green acrylic paint
Glue (or tape)
Fine tip marker
Small photos of children from countries where Christians are persecuted from VOM publications or websites. (Or print and cut out the photos here.)

Instructions
*Cut off the tops and flaps of 24 of the mini boxes.
*Paint 12 of the boxes red and 12 of them green.
*Paint three of the remaining whole boxes red and three green.
*Let dry, and repeat if necessary.
*Glue sides of the boxes together to make a train, alternating red and green boxes. (See the photo above.) Number the odd numbered boxes with the marker.
*Make a train engine, arranging the remaining boxes as shown in the photo, and number one of the engine boxes with a 25.


*Glue or tape photos of children on the front of the boxes that are not numbered. Write the name of a country where Christians are persecuted inside each box with a photo on it, or make small labels and attach them to the inside of the boxes. (See the photo.)


*Add candy canes or mini candy bars to the boxes if desired.

Pray
Starting on December 1st, pray every day until Christmas for children around the world, especially children in countries featured on the train boxes. You can find prayer suggestions here or in downloadable Bold Believers books here. You can also enter the name of a country in the Search box on this site to find stories and prayer needs for that country.

Share the treat in each box with someone, and encourage them to pray also.