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.
Published on September 24th, 2018
Madeha was a 13-year-old girl in Algeria. Her older brother, Naser, was a bully. He often kicked Madeha, slapped her face, and spoke rudely to her for no reason. Madeha had never known anyone so mean.
One day, Naser seemed to be playing a new trick on his sister. He came to Madeha and said, “I have accepted Jesus, whom the Christians believe. He has changed my heart and my ways. I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to you. Will you forgive me?”
Madeha did not trust Naser. For one thing, she and her family were Muslims. It is rare, and often dangerous, for an Algerian Muslim to become a Christian. Also, Madeha didn’t believe that anyone as mean as her brother could really change.
After many days, Naser had still not hurt or insulted Madeha. She realized that her brother had really changed. Madeha then began to seek the God who had given her brother a new heart. Naser shared the Good News of Jesus with Madeha, and she trusted Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Madeha knew her Muslim father would never allow her to meet with other Algerian Christians. So she listened to Christian radio programs and sometimes wrote letters to the stations that broadcast the programs. She was able to get a Bible, and she read it whenever she had the opportunity. She continued to follow Jesus, trusting that He knew her circumstances and would help her through them.
Pray for Madeha and other Algerian Christians who love Jesus. Pray that their families will also seek and find the truth.
(Source: Kids of Courage archives. Learn more about Christians in northern Africa in Bold Believers in Algeria and Tunisia, available in the free Downloads section of this site.)
Published on September 21st, 2018
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) will be observed on November 4th this year. You can make plans now to join other Christians across the country in praying for persecuted Christians.
How can you prepare?
*Let your parents, teacher, or children’s/youth pastor know about IDOP, and ask if you can help them prepare to observe it with your class or family.
*Make a list of five to 10 countries where Christians are persecuted. Enter the name of each country in the Search box on this site to find information about some of the struggles faced by Christians in those countries. Or, make a list of persecuted Christians from stories on this site or on prisoneralert.com. List two or three prayer points for each country or Christian.
*Plan to start praying about the prayer points on November 4th and to continue praying after IDOP. Read below about a way that one family prays for persecuted Christians.
Tamara S. commented on VOM’s Facebook page about how her family prays for persecuted Christians at mealtime: “We have Popsicle sticks in a vase with the names of hostile and restricted nations on them, and some of them have names of imprisoned [Christians] on them,” she said. “We try to draw one every meal at which we sit down together.”
Published on September 20th, 2018
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was imprisoned for a total of 14 years in Romania. After he was released, he and his wife, Sabina, started The Voice of the Martyrs.
Pastor Wurmbrand wrote many books. In the books, he told readers what he learned from God during his time as a Christian in a non-Christian country.
Read below what he said about talking too much.
Pastor Wurmbrand said:
In the underground church, we had to learn to be silent. [The underground church refers to Christians who meet secretly in places where their worship services are illegal.] You have to learn to be silent from the moment you become a Christian. A Christian thinks before he speaks about whether his words can cause harm.
Useless talking in some countries means prison for another Christian. Every unnecessary word you speak can put someone in prison. A visitor [at a church service] could be a spy for the secret police.
A friend of mine, who wrote great Christian songs sung by the underground church, went to prison because Christians had a habit of saying, “How beautiful is this song composed by Brother [the composer’s name].” They praised him, the authorities found out about his work, and for this the composer got 15 years of prison.
(Source: Preparing for the Underground Church, by Richard Wurmbrand. Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)
To Talk About
*Why did Richard’s friend go to prison?
*Can you think ways that unnecessary talking can cause problems for someone?
*What are some examples of “useless talking?”
Published on September 19th, 2018
(Sources: China Aid and VOMRadio.net. Quotes edited for clarity and length.)
Churches in part of China were recently warned by authorities who want greater control over religion in their country.
The churches were told:
*You must remove the crosses at your building and replace them with a picture of the president of China or a Chinese flag.
*You must keep all children away from your church.
New government rules also say that churches must be willing to install surveillance cameras in their meeting places.
“Many pastors have gone into hiding because they know they are on the list to be the first to be arrested,” said a Christian worker in China. “Pastors are being arrested, some have been imprisoned, and churches have been closed…. In January [a church] was dynamited — the government blew it up.
“It is illegal to teach children Christianity. In one case, there was a grandmother who had been taking her grandson to church with her. The government told this family that the grandmother, who was on kidney dialysis, would no longer be allowed to continue the dialysis treatments if she continued to bring her grandson to church. So, what a choice!” (Dialysis is a procedure that keeps people alive whose kidneys have failed.)
“Christians are worried,” said a VOM worker. “We have no good answer except prayer.”
What Can You Pray?
*What can you pray for churches and pastors?
*What can you pray for Chinese government officials?
*What can you pray for the grandmother?
*What can you pray for her grandson and other children in China?
Published on September 18th, 2018
The previous post told the story of Samuel Morris, an African prince who trusted Christ as his Savior and developed a passion for sharing Christ with others. Read more about Samuel in the story below from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available at VOMBooks.com.
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Samuel Morris was left waiting in an office while the man he came to see, Stephen Merritt, went to a meeting. Mr. Merritt was a pastor Samuel had heard about in Africa. Samuel went to the office at Mr. Merritt’s mission in New York City when he first arrived in America. “I have come from Africa to learn from you about the Holy Spirit,” Samuel told Mr. Merritt.
What do you do when you have to wait in a doctor’s office or somewhere else? Do you read?
Fidget? Pray? Play a game?
Samuel had to wait a long time because Mr. Merritt forgot about him after his meeting! Later that night, Mr. Merritt returned to his office. What do you suppose he found Samuel doing? Samuel was faithfully giving his testimony to the men at the mission. While Mr. Merritt was gone, Samuel had led 17 of the men to Christ!
Samuel stayed with Mr. Merritt for about a month. One Sunday, Mr. Merritt took Samuel to a
youth Sunday school class. Samuel was different from the other students in many ways, and they laughed at him. But by the time Mr. Merritt came to get Samuel after the class, Samuel had shared his testimony with the group and they were weeping, sobbing, and repenting of their sins.
Can you think of some places where you could tell someone about Jesus?