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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

“Real People, Real Situations”

“Jail” constructed by church members for display at the VBS

Vera D. led a VBS at her small church in Missouri last summer using the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum. “It was a huge success, and the children and adults loved it,” Vera said.

“I asked the kids at our final assembly if they had learned a lot of new things about kids of courage and they all yelled yes,” Vera continued. “When I asked all the workers if they had learned a lot this week while teaching the kids, I received a unanimous yes as well. The volunteers were pleased to do a VBS with real people and real situations instead of just cartoon characters. One of the children’s mothers stood up in church on Sunday and praised all of us for sharing about kids of courage with her son.”

Learn more about the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum here.

Spotlight Story

Iran: The Scribe in the Mud Hut

Most of the people in Iran are Muslims, but many are coming to Christ after having dreams and visions that lead them to the Savior. Ali, a Christian from Iran, told Todd Nettleton of the following story about a man he met in his country.

Ali’s Story
I have seen amazing things.

One day I was in a village and a man said to me, “We need to go outside the village.” About 20 miles outside the village on a dirt road, there was no electricity, no power, no running water — nothing but a mud hut.

We walked into the hut and the man who lived there said, “I have a story. Maybe you can you help me understand what is happening to me.”

I said, “Sure, let me hear your story.”

He told me, “A man with long hair wearing all white would come to my house every night and ask me to write these things down. I couldn’t look at His face because it was so bright.

I asked the man, “When you write it down, what happens?”

He answered, “As I am writing, I get tired because He tells me so much I fall asleep. He disappears. Then the next night He comes again.”

I said, “How long has this man been coming to your house?”

He said, “About 30 days, about a month.”

I said, “Can I see your notebook? Can I see what you have been writing down?”

He said, “Yes.”

On the first page of his notebook, it said, “In the beginning was the Word….” He had the whole book of John word for word in his notebook. I have a picture of it. Jesus came and saw this man every day and he was writing down the Book of John. The powerful thing for me was that the man didn’t know who Jesus was. That showed me, my brothers and sisters, that Jesus will do His part, but we still need to do ours [to help people understand who He is]. We need to move the gospel forward in these dark, dark places of the world.

(Source: Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)

Spotlight Story

Jordan: Yara

Yara, whose family is Muslim, decided to give her life to Christ. She tried to keep her faith a secret, but the change in her behavior was too drastic. Her newfound hope even made her face look different. Her mother began to suspect that Yara was a Christian. “She was asking a lot of questions,” Yara said. When her mother began to tell her stories of people who were killed by their families after leaving Islam, Yara decided it was time to leave home.

In January 2016, Yara left her job and family in Jordan to start a new life in a nearby country. Since leaving her old life behind, Yara has endured many challenges. She has been fired from several jobs because of her faith, forcing her to move eight times. Yara has also experienced health complications from diabetes, and her new medications are expensive. She has tried to reach out to her mother, but her mother is still angry about her conversion. Despite everything, Yara trusts in God and sees him working in her life. She has found a church and is searching for a better job. She asks us to pray that her parents, two brothers, and sister will come to know the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father,
We lift up Yara and new Christians like her who have rejected the false religion of their family and culture. We pray that the seed of Your Word will take deep root in their hearts so that they will be able to withstand the persecution and pressure they face for following You (Matt. 13:23). We pray that other Christians will encourage them and help them mature in their faith. We pray that they will look to You as provider for their many needs, as many, like Yara, have lost jobs and homes and have health concerns. Thank You for drawing them to You and for their willingness to sacrifice all for Your sake. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Source: The January 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

Spotlight Story

A Church on Four Wheels

A van church

“Rob” waits at a prearranged location, watching for a familiar vehicle among the heavy traffic passing by on the street in front of him. When he sees his friend’s car maneuver to the curb, he hops in and they drive around for a few hours. In this Central Asian country, where meeting in public could draw the attention of Islamic extremists, using cars is one of the safest ways for Christians to fellowship and worship. Secret believers throughout the region use a number of discrete meeting places in order to practice their faith undetected. VOM workers have heard of church meetings in the forest, in a rented vacation home in the country, and even in a chicken coop.

Rob and his friend cruise the neighborhood and talk freely about their faith, sticking to side streets to avoid police checkpoints and meeting only during the day for safety. Rob pulls out his mobile phone and the two men begin to sing along exuberantly with recorded worship music. Those idly watching them drive by might assume they’re singing the latest pop song, but the two men are in fact joining in heartfelt songs of praise to God in their local language. After worshiping in song, Rob and his friend listen to Scripture from an audio Bible and then discuss what they’ve heard. They then pull into a restaurant parking lot for a few minutes to pray and
read more from God’s Word. Finally, after about an hour, Rob’s friend drops him off again at a street corner.

Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for the faithfulness of Christians like Rob and those he disciples who take great risks to fellowship and grow in You. We pray that You will help them continue to meet in ways that do not raise suspicion from those who would try to stop them. Just as You provided a means of escape for the Apostle Paul when his life was threatened, we pray that You will provide a means of escape for these Christians if their meetings ever become known to those who would harm them (Acts 9:23–25). Thank You for the church you are raising up in this highly restricted nation. We pray that many more will come to know You as the one true, living God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Source: The January 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)

Uncategorized Story

This Month

Parents and Teachers
The January 2018 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter includes stories about bold believers in Central Asia, Indonesia, and Colombia. Topics covered include the difficulty of forgiving persecutors, working through fear, and “losing everything” to gain Jesus.

Also included are suggested prayers for persecuted Christians facing these issues. Prayer can encourage an imprisoned Christian to share the gospel with cellmates, give perseverance to an evangelist who is beaten by those hostile to the gospel, and help a new believer grow in faith after being rejected by family members.

You can share the adapted stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, visit the subscription signup page.
Find downloadable resources featuring the highlighted countries in the Downloads section.