Donate | VOM Resources

Suffering Means Blessing

“The suffering of Christians means blessing will result,” a recent visitor to The Voice of the Martyrs told VOM workers. The visitor is from a country where Christians are persecuted. In his struggles, he gets strength from recalling the life of Adoniram Judson, a missionary to Burma in the 1800s.

Judson faced tough challenges and grief in his missionary work. For six long years after he arrived in Burma, no Burmese people came to Christ. But he continued sharing the good news of Jesus with the Burmese people. And he saw the church in Burma grow from zero members to 7,000 members by the time he died.

Edward Judson, Adoniram’s son, later said, “Suffering and success go together. If you are succeeding without suffering, it is because others before you have suffered; if you are suffering without succeeding, it is that others after you may succeed.”

To Talk About
*Can you think of examples of Christians who accomplished great things for God? Did anyone before them suffer so that they could succeed?
*Who suffered so that you could be saved?
*Did anyone suffer so you could read a Bible in English today? Check here to find out.

Read more about Adoniram Judson in the book Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma, available at VOMBooks.com.


Adoniram Judson in Burma

A boy in Burma

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

More than 100 years before Burma’s independence, American missionary Adoniram Judson went to Burma to share the gospel. He translated the Bible into the Burmese language.

The work was difficult. At that time, Burmese had no capital letters or punctuation, and no spaces between words, sentences, and paragraphs.

Read the English sentences below to see if you can read Bible verses with no spaces or punctuation. You may want to photocopy the sentences and draw lines between the words. (The verses are from the New King James Version of the Bible.)

1. thelordismyshepherdishallnotwant Psalm 23:1
2. sowemayboldlysaythelordismyhelperiwillnotfearwhatcanmandotome. Hebrews 13:6
3. thewickedfleewhennoonepursuesbuttherighteousareboldasalion Proverbs 28:1
4. nowlordlookontheirthreatsandgranttoyourservantsthatwithallboldnesstheymayspeakyourword. Acts 4:29

Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma by Janet and Geoff Benge, a missionary biography for children, is available at www.VOMBooks.com.


Sunday School Around the World: Burma (Myanmar)

 

A Christian family in Burma (Myanmar) has taken in several children whose parents have abandoned them. Like many people in Myanmar, some of the children had never heard about Jesus. The video shows them singing a Sunday school song they learned in their new home.

The words to the song say:
“We are like the stars created by God which should shine for others. Let’s dedicate and sacrifice our ability in order to give the light of the Lord to others…..let’s shine….”

Thanaka
Thanaka is a paste made from tree bark. It is also sold in powder form. Many women and children in Burma wear thanaka on their faces. Thanaka prevents sunburn and keeps the skin cool. It is also used as makeup. Some people apply it on their faces in pretty patterns. Which child is wearing thanaka in the video?

Learn more about Christians and life in Burma in Bold Believers in Burma, available in the Download section.


A Difficult Place for Missionaries

Myanmar

Adoniram Judson was a missionary to Burma (Myanmar) in the 1800s. Most of the people were Buddhists, and they were suspicious of the few Christians in their country.

So Judson decided to visit the king of Burma. Perhaps the king would help the Christians and make it easier for Judson and other missionaries to share the gospel.

He hoped to please the king with a special gift. He took six Bibles covered with gold leaf. During Judson’s visit, a servant handed the king the Bibles.

“Take them away!” ordered the king. “I have no use for (such) books in my realm.”

So Judson understood that Burma would still be a difficult place for him and for other Christian missionaries to work. But he continued to serve God in harsh circumstances.

(Source: Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma, available from VOM Books

Gold leaf is a thin sheet of gold, just as aluminum foil is thin aluminum. Buddhists press small pieces of gold leaf onto statues of Buddha. Some statues are covered with several layers of gold leaf. Buddhists believe that decorating Buddha statues with gold leaf will bring them merit. Merit is somewhat like points saved up toward earning spiritual rewards. Buddhists hope to earn a better “next life.” They believe after they die, they will come back to life in a different body.

Christians know that we have one life on earth. Also, apart from God and Jesus, no one is righteous and deserving of rewards, no matter how many good works they do.

(Source: Bold Believers in Burma, available in the Downloads section)

Find a chart about Buddhism here.

Read another post about Adoniram Judson here.


Hope in Burma

“The hope of heaven always keeps us moving ahead whether we are persecuted, whether we are beaten or not. The hope that someday we will be in heaven keeps us going ahead.”

— Christian in Burma

At times, Christians in Burma have a hard time getting government permission to build new churches or repair old ones. Sometimes officials destroy places of worship and treat Christians harshly.

In this video clip, Christians in Burma share what gives them hope when they are persecuted.