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 March 23rd, 2018
Needed: Paper; a 2-inch jar lid or other circular object; scissors; pencils; a small, sturdy craft bag with handles
- Fold a 4-inch by 4-inch piece of paper in half lengthwise and crease it. Open it and fold it in half widthwise. Open it again.
- Center a 2-inch jar lid or other circular object on the square. Draw a circle around the lid with a pencil.
- Fold the paper corner to corner. Join the corners on the long edge together and fold it in half again.
- Draw two lines from the circle to the long edge of the paper. Make sure the lines are the same distance from the fold line in the center — about 1/8 inch.
- Draw small triangles and rectangles around the edge and outside the two lines you drew in the previous step. Make your decorations symmetrical — if you draw a triangle or rectangle on one side, draw one just like it on the opposite side.
- Cut out the shapes and open the paper to form a Coptic cross like those seen in Egypt . Cut out a 3 1/2-inch square from the front of the craft bag. Cover the opening with the cross, gluing the four points to the bag. Put an electric tea light in the bag.
Note: Some Coptic Christians in Egypt tattoo a cross on the inside of their wrist as a reminder of their Christian faith. Gangs that kidnap Christians remove the cross tattoos of their victims. But they can’t remove Jesus from the Christians’ hearts.
Published on March 22nd, 2018
Asim and Zarah, who live in Egypt, fell in love and decided to get married. Like most of the people in Egypt, they grew up in Muslim families. But before they even met each other, they had both realized that they no longer wanted to be Muslims.
Asim had visited a Christian church where he heard a song that said, “You died for me, and You took my burden for me.” He began studying the Bible to try to discover the meaning of the mysterious words. He prayed for guidance, his faith grew, and he gave his life to Christ.
When his family found out about his new faith, they locked Asim in his room and often abused him. After days of abuse, he agreed not to talk about Christianity anymore. His family believed he was no longer a Christian. But outside of the house, he was telling friends about Jesus. He and the friends who came to Jesus started a Christian fellowship group.
Zarah was a missionary — a Muslim missionary. She learned everything she could learn about Islam, the Muslim religion, to find new ways to prove that Christianity was wrong. But the more she studied Islam, the more she doubted that it was true.
Finally, Zarah left Islam. Someone invited her to a Christian fellowship group, where she met Asim. The group taught her the truth about Jesus, and Zarah gave her life to Him.
A New Life Together
Zarah’s family thought Asim was a Muslim. Asim’s family believed Zarah was a Muslim. So their families were happy that Asim and Zarah wanted to get married.
They were married in a Muslim ceremony with their families’ blessings. But before the ceremony, they were secretly married by a Christian pastor.
Asim and Zarah attend church together without letting family members know where they are going. But relatives and neighbors are suspicious of them. They know they will be in danger if others find out that they are not Muslims.
Asim and Zarah trust in Jesus and put their future in His hands every day.
To Talk About
*Asim was puzzled about the words to the Christian song that said, “You died for me, and You took my burden for me.” If someone who was not a Christian asked you what those words about Jesus mean, how would you answer?
*If relatives and neighbors find out that Asim and Zarah are Christians, they may be kicked out of their apartment, and family members might attack them. Do you think they should tell everyone that they are Christians anyway?
Published on March 21st, 2018
1. Find out about Action Packs here . Tell your friends about the project, and make a plan to help them order and pack Action Packs to send to a country where Christians are persecuted.
2. Pray for persecuted Christians while waiting in line or riding to school or church.
3. Take The Voice of the Martyrs newsletters to your next doctor or dentist visit. Ask if you can leave them in the waiting room.
4. Let a children’s pastor know about the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum. Visit here to get facts to share with them.
5. Visit VOM’s icommittopray.com site and make a list of three people you can pray for this week during mealtime prayers.
6. Read about Family Med Packs here. Ask your parents or teacher if you can participate in providing a Med Pack for victims of attacks by radical Muslims.
7. Visit prisoneralert.com and learn about writing letters to persecuted Christian prisoners.
8. A family in Utah put spare coins in a jar for a year, then sent the money to VOM to help persecuted Christians. They called the jar “the jar for the unknown soldier” in honor of Christians around the world who need encouragement. Decorate a jar to set in your house or classroom. Invite your family or classmates to help you collect spare change for a project to help struggling Christians.
9. Tell three friends about a story you read on this website and encourage them to visit the site to learn more about persecuted Christians.
10. Download the “One Hundred Ways Poster” from the Downloads section of this site to share with other Christians.
Published on March 20th, 2018
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. — Song of Solomon 2:11-12.
Today is the first day of spring. Spring is often seen as a symbol of new beginnings, joy, and hope. Read the story below, and talk about what the man meant when he said, “Spring is coming into my life.” Share a time when you experienced a new beginning in your life.
Hasan is a Christian in Pakistan. One day when he got up in the morning, he prayed, “Oh Lord, today I will not do anything until You lead me to someone or bring someone to me who has lost hope and wants to know You. I want to be used by You directly.”
For several hours, nothing happened. “Nothing is going to happen,” Hasan thought. Just then, a man knocked on his door. Hasan invited him into his house.
The man was a Muslim who had walked three miles from his village to visit Hasan. “Someone told me about you, and I have come to you for prayer,” the man told Hasan. The man said he had been looking for a job for five years, but could not find one. “I am tired of my life,” he said.
Hasan was grateful to Jesus for answering his prayer for guidance. He told the Muslim, “You did not come here by chance. God brought you here. He wants to give you peace.” Hasan shared the truth about Jesus with the visitor and prayed for him. “I want to come back tomorrow,” the man said.
The next day, he returned. Hasan told him more about the God who save people from sin. The man was very excited! He wanted to know more about the one who gives people peace.
Now the man is going to church regularly. “Spring is coming into my life,” he said.
Thank God for leading the man to Hasan’s house. Pray that more people in Pakistan will learn about new life in Christ. Ask God if there is any way He wants to use you to reach someone else.
Published on March 19th, 2018
“Most Christians [in Kyrgyzstan] are unable to lead ordinary lives. They can be arrested for reading the Bible in a public place like a bus or train, or for telling other people about Jesus. Often the homes of local believers can be searched and their belongings confiscated by the police. Everyday Christian activities, such as praying together or doing a Bible study, can be deemed ‘illegal.’” — Release International
Earlier this year, radical Muslims firebombed a church in Kyrgyzstan. The fire damaged much of the church. It destroyed the pews and burned the altar and the cloth on top of the altar.
But the fire stopped when it reached the open Bible on top of the altar.
The Christians were encouraged when their Bible was amazingly spared from the flames. They continue to stand firm in their faith, and they plan to keep meeting at the same location after their church is repaired.
(Source: Release International)
Find Kyrgyzstan on a map or globe. Pray for protection for the Christians there.