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A 20th Century Saul, Part 2

Saul to Paul

The previous post told about Gheorghita Stratulat, a policeman in Romania who persecuted Christians. He began to seek God after his daughter was born deaf, mute, and paralyzed. A Christian woman came to his office and told him that God can heal.

Later at home he asked his wife, Elena, “What do you know about God?” He began talking to Christians and asking if God could heal his daughter. “I don’t know if you exist, God,” he prayed. “But please, if You do, show me by healing my child.”

Finally Stratulat visited a pastor he had arrested many times. “I am looking for God,” he told the pastor. The pastor was fearful of Stratulat, but he counseled him and guided him.

Stratulat prayed for several months. And one morning, his daughter spoke, “Ta-Ta,” she said, using the Romanian word for “Daddy.” Then she began to walk.

Stratulat was overjoyed. He had become a loving husband, and soon Elena joined him in following Christ.

Arrests and Freedom
But not everyone was happy about their new beliefs. One of Stratulat’s older children complained to school officials that his parents wanted him to become a Christian. The police arrested his parents.

After several more arrests, the police sent his whole family, which now included seven children, to a secret prison camp in the mountains.

In 1989 a revolution removed the communist leaders of Romania from power. Stratulat and his family were free. He became an evangelist, sharing the love of Jesus with many former communists.

To Discuss
Read the post “Saul in Damascus

  • How was Stratulat like Paul?
  • How was the church pastor like Ananias?
  • Is there anyone with whom you would be afraid to share the gospel?

Update: Sarah in Egypt


Sarah before she was kidnapped

A previous post told about Sarah, a girl from a Christian family in Egypt. In September 2011, when she was 14, Sarah was kidnapped by radical Muslims.

Most Muslims in Egypt would never think of kidnapping anyone. But some extreme Muslims kidnap Christian girls and try to make them become Muslims.

After Sarah was kidnapped, her father filed a missing person report with the police. The next month, radical Muslims said that Sarah had become a Muslim and had willingly married a Muslim man.

But Christians know that kidnapped girls are often forced to marry Muslims. Some Egyptian girls who have escaped kidnappers have told how Muslims tried to make them convert to Islam, the religion of Muslims.

A recent report from a VOM contact in Egypt said, “Sarah is still kidnapped. Please keep praying for her.”

Others to Pray For


Update: Demyana

Egypt

Demyana is a girl in Egypt whose father had to flee to another country. His relatives were angry after he left Islam to follow Jesus. They threatened to harm him.

Demyana, her mother, and her sisters and brothers had to stay inside their small apartment in a secret location. They didn’t know if someone might want to harm them, too. Their family tried to invent ways to keep life interesting in their apartment, but it was often boring.

SDOK, VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands, reports that now the family is together again! They are living with Demyana’s dad in another country where they are happy to be able to play outside.

The previous post about the family asked, “Would you pray for Demyana and the rest of her family, that a good resolution would be found to their salvation?”

Thank you to all who prayed for the family. Praise God for His answer to prayer.


Kids of Courage Trust God

VBS

VOM’s Kids of Courage VBS curriculum includes true stories of children from 5 countries: Egypt, China, North Korea, India, and Nigeria.

Kids learn that Kids of Courage: Trust God, Get Prepared (by learning about how Christians in other countries and in the Bible faced difficulties), 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 trusting God.

If you trust someone, you know what they say is true. How can we find out what God says? We can read the Bible! In the Bible, God says that those who follow his Son Jesus will have trouble sometimes. But he promises to always be with us, in good times and bad. Kids of Courage believe what God says in the Bible and trust him to be there when they need him and when others need him.

Kids of Courage trust God even when they don’t always understand why God allows certain things to happen in their lives or in the lives of others. The Bible says, “Lean not on your own understanding,” which means we can’t always trust our own understanding of situations, though we can trust God.

To Think About: If we are sick, hurt, or having problems, does that mean we can’t trust God to help us? If everything is going right, does that mean we don’t need to trust God because we can handle things ourselves?

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


Persecuted Country Lesson Plans

Turkey

Teacher and Parents: Are you looking for VBS ideas or lesson plans for summer Sunday school classes?

Visit www.kidsofcouragevbs.com for information about VOM’s complete VBS curriculum.

Check the links below for additional printable supplementary materials/lesson plans.