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 August 13th, 2018
Elise Wixtrom has grown up learning about persecuted Christians and reading VOM resources. Currently she writes reviews of VOM resources for readers of kidsofcourage.com. Enter “Elise” in the search box to read about Elise and to find more of her reviews.
1901. India. Amy Carmichael, an Irishwoman by birth, sailed across the ocean to a land she had never been to before. When Amy Carmichael was younger, she had dreamed of having beautiful blue eyes instead of boring brown ones. Every night when she went to bed, she prayed she’d wake up and her eyes would change. Every morning, she looked in the mirror and was disappointed. But little Amy Carmichael would later find that her “boring” brown eyes were going to help her in the future.
Amy Carmichael rode around the Indian countryside, bringing the gospel to small villages with her band of friends. They called themselves “The Starry Cluster,” a name taken from the Bible verse, “Those who bring righteousness to many shall shine like the stars” (Daniel 12:3). The group of friends, mostly women, taught in marketplaces and sometimes in the streets. They held Bible studies that young children attended to hear the gospel of Christ. Soon, though, a young girl came to Carmichael and begged for her help to escape temple servitude. The missionary woman took the girl, named Preena, into her home and gave her shelter from the temple.
The VOM Torchlighters episode, The Amy Carmichael Story, focuses on the story of Preena and how her path crossed Amy’s in her search for freedom. Over the years that Amy Carmichael stayed in India, she adopted many other children. Some of the children had also run away from the temple, others left their families because they were being abused for being Christians. In order to sneak into the temple to rescue children, Carmichael had to dye her skin with coffee. If her eyes were blue, she wouldn’t have been able to do that.
In fact, Amy Carmichael made the best of all situations, overcoming all odds with her optimism and unrelenting faith in the Word of God. She believed that God could set all slaves free, whether they were old or young. Her belief in a loving and caring Father brought many children to safety. It gave hope to the hopeless and a home to the abandoned. It gave a family to the orphans and the outcasts, and her legacy in India changed an entire culture of slavery for the better.
Watch a trailer for The Amy Carmichael Story here.
Published on August 10th, 2018
A recent post told about Dalo, an 8-year-old boy who was injured when Christian villages in Nigeria were attacked. Many more Nigerians have been injured in attacks, and more than 10,000 have been forced to leave their homes.
Would you like to write a note of encouragement to Nigerian Christians? You can find instructions to write a note here. You may want to ask others in your family or class to also write a note.
Let Nigerian Christians know that Christians around the world have not forgotten them!
Published on August 9th, 2018
Tigrinya and Arabic are two of the languages spoken in Eritrea. “Jesus loves me” in Tigrinya is pronounced like this:
Yehf kee rehn nee yoo.
The words actually say, “He loves me,” but they are the words Eritrean children use when they sing the song.
Try singing the song “Jesus Loves Me” using the Tigrinya words in place of “Jesus loves me” in the song.
Note: Some sounds used in Tigrinya are not used in speaking English. For example, one sound in Tigrinya is somewhat like a cross between and English “k” and an English “h.” Can you make a sound that sounds like both a “k” and an “h?”
Published on August 8th, 2018
The previous post told about Helen Berhane, a Christian singer who was imprisoned in Eritrea. God helped Helen survive her time in prison. But He also prepared her to serve Him while she was growing up.
Helen dedicated her life to the work of the Lord when she was 14. She and a friend, also named Helen, began to pray together almost every day. The girls also fasted on some days.
They had many situations to pray about. Some people in Eritrea followed the teachings and customs of witch doctors. The two Helens prayed that the people would follow Jesus instead. They prayed for guidance and changes for their country, which was fighting a war with Ethiopia at the time.
Helen and Helen believed Jesus’ promise that says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). They knew that things can change if people pray.
During that time, Helen also visited sick people, told others about the gospel, shared Christian songs with others, and read books about Christians who had been persecuted. God was helping her mature in her faith and service.
To Think About
*What activities did Helen do that helped her prepare to serve God as an adult?
*What else can Christian students do that will help them mature in their faith and their service to God?
*What is one thing you can do to grow as a Christian?
Published on August 7th, 2018
One Saturday morning, police officers in Eritrea raided a children’s Bible study. The kids, ages 2 to 18, were taken to the police station with their teachers.
At the station the children began to sing a song. The song said, “I am not afraid of persecution, hardships, and even death. Nobody can separate me from the love of Jesus Christ.”
According to some reports, the police told the children to “shut up.” The youngest children were released that day, but the oldest had to stay longer.
The Bible study children were not the only singers the government wanted to “shut up.” Helen Berhane is an Eritrean gospel singer. Her music was popular with young people in Eritrea.
The police wanted Helen to sign a paper denying her faith in Christ. They wanted her to promise not to sing Christian music anymore. She refused.
The police took Helen to an army camp and kept her there for more than two years. She was treated harshly and was even forced to stay inside a hot metal shipping container much of the time. After Helen was released, she had to use a wheelchair because her legs and feet were injured in prison.
Christians are still arrested and put in prison in Eritrea.
(Source: Kids of Courage archives)
Prayer Requests from the August 2018 VOM newsletter
*Pray that Eritrean Christians will have the strength and grace to endure persecution and faithfully witness for Christ.
*Pray for the president of Eritrea’s salvation.
*Lift up the many parents who must raise their children alone while their spouse is in prison.
*Praise God for churches outside the country that are caring for children whose parents or other family members are still in Eritrea.
*Pray that Christian prisoners will be released and that Eritrea will restore freedom of worship.
*Pray that new doors will be opened to the gospel in Eritrea.