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Bold Believers in Syria

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.

Uncategorized Story

Bangladesh: “Alone in this Community”

Children in Bangladesh

“Please pray for my children and for my son’s education,” a Christian mother in Bangladesh recently told VOM workers.

“My son is 5 ½ years old,” said the boy’s father. “He goes to school. The teacher gave him one religion book — an Islamic book. [Islam is the religion of Muslims.]

“We said, ‘No, he doesn’t need an Islamic book [for religion class]. He needs a Christian book.’ But the teacher said, ‘No. This is not a Christian school. If he doesn’t read his book, his exam marks will be low and failing.’”

“The other students criticize him,” the boy’s mother continued. “They speak hateful words to him. I told him, ‘Please don’t say any angry words to them. We know God, and we love them.’ I don’t want to give my son any hatred. We must love [Muslims] and make friends with them.

“For many community functions, ceremonies, weddings — no one calls and invites us. We are like alone in this community.”

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited for length and clarity.)

To Think About
*Do you think the mother gave the boy good advice when she told him not be angry with the children who treat him badly?
*What do you think the boy should do when he is given an Islamic book to study at school?
*Are there any people who might feel alone in your community?
*Learn more about Christians in Bangladesh from the book Bold Believers in Bangladesh available in the Downloads section.

Uncategorized Story

Matthew 9:37-38

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

I think it is hard for American Christians to understand that there are places in the world where you can live your entire life, you can live to be 80 years old, and never even one time hear the name of Jesus, never even one time meet a Christian person. We can’t even imagine that, yet only 2 percent of missionaries are going to those places where they are needed the most — A VOM worker

Parents and teachers: To learn what VOM is doing to help Christians spread the gospel in difficult areas, subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, at the subscription signup page.

Feature Story

Egypt: Christine, a Christian

Girl in Egypt

The Voice of the Martyrs USA is part of a worldwide family of missions that were started through the influence of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. SDOK is VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands. Stef is SDOK’s children’s magazine and website.

The following story about a girl in Egypt comes from Stef magazine.

I Wish I Could Fly
Hi, I’m Christine. I live in Egypt. In my family we have three boys and three girls. My brothers are called George, Mohammed, Mina, Anwar, Kirelos and Ahmed. My sisters are called Maryam, Souad, Marina and Yasmine. And then me. My name is Christine and Fatima.

It’s true that we have six children, but it looks like 12! Everybody has two names: an Islamic name and a Christian name.

When I was born, my parents were Muslim. We lived in a small village and were very poor. My father is a baker. The money he earned was never enough for us. My father decided to follow Jesus, and then our lives became very different.

After my father became a Christian, he became a better father. My mother and all of us became Christians, too, and then we were all baptized. If you are baptized, you leave your old life behind you and you get a new life with Jesus.

And with a new life, we take a new name. But we don’t use our new name. In Egypt, it is not allowed to change your faith. On my identity card, I am called Fatima, and it says I am a Muslim. Muslims are expected to go to the mosque, to learn verses from the Quran at school, and to wear a headscarf if you are a girl. [A mosque is a building where Muslims worship, and the Quran is the Muslim holy book.]

No matter how careful we were, our neighbors noticed we were different “You have changed,” they said. “Are you Christians or something?”

That might seem like a compliment, but in our village, it is an insult. We never responded to their comments. Thankfully, other Christians invited my father to live in a big city. Nobody would know us there.

Or would they?

It was wonderful to be in the big city and to go to church. I felt so close to God! I want to learn more about Him and to be more like Jesus.

But we lived there only a short time, then things went wrong. My brother was recognized by someone in the city from our village. The man was hostile. He said, “Now I am sure you are a Christian.” My brother ran anxiously through the city with the man chasing him. When he was sure he was no longer being chased, he came home.

Now we are moving to another part of the city. My brothers almost never go outside anymore.

Sometimes friends ask them to join them in going to the mosque. But they do not want to go, of course, and they say they are sick. I think that is true, because they do not really look good.

To Hide or Fly
I sometimes don’t know how we can go on. We cannot keep playing hide and seek. I just want to say what I am, and that is Christine. A Christian.

I wish I had wings and could fly away.

There are also people in the Bible who wanted to fly away. David wrote in a song that he wished he had wings like a dove, then he could flee to a safe place. And I want that too!

Bye, Christine

To Do
*Read Psalm 55:6-8. Pray for Christine and her family

Spotlight Story

Kids of Courage Remember Persecuted Christians

KOC VBS verses

In VOM’s Kids of Courage VBS curriculum kids learn that Kids of Courage: Trust God, Get Prepared, Forgive Others, Witness Boldly, and Remember Persecuted Christians. They learn that they, too, can be Kids of Courage.

Read below what the curriculum says about Remembering Persecuted Christians.

Remember Persecuted Christians
Kids of Courage remember persecuted Christians. Persecution can mean someone is teased, picked on, or made fun of. Or it can mean something more serious. Persecution can mean someone is arrested, put in jail, or attacked.

The Bible tells us to remember Christians who are suffering. Hebrews 13:3 says to remember prisoners and those who are mistreated. The verse reminds us that all Christians are part of the body of Christ. When one part of the body suffers, every other part suffers with it. (See 1 Corinthians 12:12, 26–27.)

Play the song above that highlights the two Bible verses.

What does it mean to remember those who are persecuted? It means, “Don’t forget!” When we remember persecuted Christians, we will want to tell others about them and ask others to pray for them.

(The Kids of Courage VBS website has more information, samples of the curriculum, and feedback from VBS directors.)

Spotlight Story

Kids of Courage Forgive Others

Egypt display at a KOC VBS

In VOM’s Kids of Courage VBS curriculum kids learn that Kids of Courage: Trust God, Get Prepared, Forgive Others, Witness Boldly, and Remember Persecuted Christians. They learn that they, too, can be Kids of Courage.

Read below what the curriculum says about Forgiving Others.

Forgive Others
Kids of Courage forgive others who have caused them trouble. What does it mean to forgive someone? When you forgive someone, you pardon or excuse them for doing wrong. You don’t hold their sin against them.

In one country where the government did not like Christians, a policeman put many Christians in jail. One day, a 12-year-old boy came to the policeman’s office holding a flower. “Sir,” said the boy, “you put my mother and father in prison. Today is my mother’s birthday. I always give her a flower on her birthday. But because of you I can’t be with my mother today.

“My mother is a good Christian,” the boy continued. “She taught me to love and forgive my enemies. She taught me to repay evil with good. So I thought I would bring a flower to your wife, the mother of your children. Please take it to her. Tell her about my love and the love of Christ.”

The policeman hugged the boy. Because of the boy’s love, the policeman didn’t want to put any more Christians in jail. He quit his job. Then other policemen put him in jail. He thought it was an honor to be in jail with followers of Christ.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, NIV). As VOM founder Pastor Richard Wurmbrand noted, “Jesus fears and hates no one.” He said that when persecutors cause problems for Christians, “they will not succeed in making us hate them.” Pastor Wurmbrand taught that persecutors will just make us more determined to bring them the Christian message. If they understand what Jesus taught, they will no longer want to persecute others. Kids of Courage practice love and forgiveness even when they encounter persecution.

(The Kids of Courage VBS website has more information, samples of the curriculum, and feedback from VBS directors.)