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Amy Carmichael’s “Scraps”

Amy Carmichael freed many children from captivity in Hindu temples during her time as a missionary in India. You can read more about her life in India here.

Before she moved from her home in Ireland to a continent across the world, Amy helped care for her six younger siblings. One of her projects was a family magazine called Scraps. Amy and the other kids wrote and illustrated the magazine.

(Source: On Asking God Why by Elisabeth Elliot)

VOM volunteer Ashley L. created a “Scraps” booklet with the theme of prayer. You can use or adapt the following instructions to make your own magazine or book.

Needed
*Sturdy paper, and thinner paper for tracing
*Scrapbook paper or other decorative paper
*Photos from The Voice of the Martyrs publications or other sources, or drawings you create
*Scissors
*Tape and a glue stick
*Markers or crayons, or watercolor paint
*Stapler
*Stickers, buttons, ribbon, missionary prayer cards, stamps, or other items for decoration

Instructions and Suggestions
1. Cut out four or more pages, measuring about 5 inches by 7 inches, from sturdy paper.
2. Glue words and photos from VOM publications to one or more pages.


3. Ask an adult to search online for a map of a country where Christians are persecuted. Place thin paper on the phone screen or computer. Gently and lightly trace the outline of the country on the paper with a pencil. Color in the outline with markers, crayons, or watercolor paint.


4. Write prayer points for the country on one page of the booklet. (Enter the country’s name in the search box of this site to find ideas for prayers.)
5. Write a prayer for persecuted Christians on separate paper and tape it to another page.
6. Add additional pages if desired. Choose a theme and title for your book, and write it on the cover with markers or crayons. Staple the pages together along the left side of the booklet.
7. Share the booklet with family and friends.


India: A Movie Changes Hearts

Christian kids in India

Tessie DeVore leads the Lumo Project. The project distributes gospel movies in different languages to people all over the world. DeVore shared the following story with Todd Nettleton at vomradio.net.

A man and woman in Kolkata, India, were not Christians, but Christians had been praying for them. Someone brought a movie about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to their village and said to them, “I have a film. Can we show it at your house?” The visitor wanted to share the gospel with people in the village.

The man and woman said, “Great! It’s a film! Let’s do it.” They invited neighbors and others to watch the movie with them.

Other neighbors became extremely upset. The barged into the house and started beating the couple. They also called the police and reported the man and woman for showing a Christian film. The couple thought the police would surely arrest them and put them in jail. [Police in parts of India often do not take the side of Christians, even when Christians are victims of attacks.]

But when the police showed up, it was amazing! They asked the neighbors that beat the couple, “Why are you doing this? Let them be free to show whatever they want in their house!”

Not only that, but the police told the neighbors who complained, “If you do this again, we will arrest you for barging in and beating them up.”

The man and woman believed that it was a miracle that the police had not blamed them for the trouble. They looked at each other and said, “The God of this movie is the one who changed the hearts of the police.” They gave their lives to Jesus right then and there.

Since then, they have started a group at their house. About 20 people come every week to watch the film and to talk about the gospel!

To Think About
*If you share Christian books or videos with someone, will you have to fear that you might get arrested?
*Can you think of anyone with whom you could share a Bible or other Christian resource?


India: Living as Christians

Ritesh and his family

The three previous posts told about Ritesh, a father in India who came to Christ after months of seeking truth and peace. But in India, it’s not always easy to be a Christian. His family’s story continues below.

Kimaya, Ritesh’s oldest daughter, is known in her family as “the prayerful person.” But the whole family has a time of prayer together from 5 to 8 every morning. They pray, worship, and read their precious Bible before school.

At school, the children’s favorite subjects are languages and math. Ranbir likes to play volleyball, and the girls play a team tag game called kho kho, and another game like hopscotch.

But the children have to deal with more than games and classes at school. Students are expected to take part in Hindu rituals, and Ritesh’s children have refused to participate. Others at their school do not approve of their decision.

Their grandmother, who is not a Christian, tried to bribe them with money to stop going to church. “There is no Jesus,” she told them.

The family was kicked out of their house, and on two occasions, gangs of men dragged them to a Hindu temple and tried to convince them to deny Jesus. Gang members took Ritesh’s cell phone and called all his contacts, hoping they would tell the gang about any criminal activities Ritesh had committed. But everyone said, “He is doing good things.”

When villagers began to persecute the family for their new faith, Ritesh and his wife added another prayer time to their day at 11 p.m. after the children were in bed. Then they woke up at 5 to pray with the children. The family takes comfort in reading Psalm 91. (Read Psalm 91. Why do you think it comforts them?)

Once during a time of intense persecution, Ritesh prayed, “I am surrendering my life to You, Lord. If I die, I will die for You. If I live, I will live. It’s up to You.”

Ritesh told a VOM worker that he and his family have the following prayer requests.

“Our prayer is that we will grow more in the Lord and share Christ with other people so they will also come to know Christ. We want my whole family — brothers and sisters, siblings, and in-laws — to come to know Christ. We want all our family members to accept Christ and all the people of the village to know Christ.”

To Think About
*If someone persecuted you, what would you pray for them? What would you pray for yourself?
*For months, Ritesh searched for peace and truth. Read Matthew 7:7-9. What is God’s promise for those who search for Him?

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity, length, and age appropriateness.)


India: Finding the Truth

The two previous posts told the story of Ritesh, a man in India who could not find peace in Hindu rituals. His search for truth eventually led him to buy a Bible. His story continues below.

“Before I got a Bible,” said Ritesh, “I used to eat and sleep after work. Then for four or five months, I sat in the house and read the Bible instead. But I continued worshiping the idols and there was no change, no peace.

“Pascal invited me to church. I heard that God came into the world and gave His life. That was interesting. So I starting going to church regularly.”

The church was a two-hour walk from Ritesh’s house. Ritesh didn’t want his neighbors to know that he was going to church because he knew his family would be persecuted if they found out. So he took his wife and Kimaya, Ranbir, and Mayra with him, but only one at a time. Each Sunday he took a different family member. He hoped the neighbors would think he was going to the market. “We don’t take the whole family to market,” he said.

The other fishermen noticed that Ritesh no longer fished on Sundays. Little by little, word spread that Ritesh might be leaving Hinduism to become a Christian. Even kids at school found out that Ritesh’s children were attending a Christian church.

“The first time when I went to church, I liked to sing,” said Kimaya. “I had peace in my heart. I used to get angry very much. I had a short temper, and it all went away.”

“I had red marks surrounding my right eye,” said Ranbir. “I asked God, and it was healed.”

During this time, the family was encouraged by Psalm 115. (Read Psalm 115. Why do you think it was helpful to them?)

After a while, Ritesh got rid of his idols, and his family began to worship only Jesus. “Now we are good,” said Ritesh. “I stopped beating my children. I have changed.”

Read the next post to find out how others in their village reacted to Ritesh’s family’s new faith.

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity, length, and age appropriateness.)


India: Still Searching for God

The previous post told about Ritesh, a father in India who worshiped idols and could not find peace through Hindu rituals. He kept his family life in an uproar and upset his kids, Kimaya, Ranbir, and Mayra. One day in 2016, he went to an electronics shop to buy speakers so he could hear his Hindu music more clearly. His story continues below.

Word Search
The shopkeeper at the electronics shop, Pascal, happened to be a Christian. Ritesh told Pascal about his desire to know more about God. The shopkeeper advised Ritesh to find out the meaning of “Genesis.” Ritesh wrote “Genesis” on a piece of paper and began a long search.

Ritesh and his family speak an Indian language, but his 13-year-old daughter, Kimaya, had studied a little bit of English at school. So first, Ritesh asked her to help. A friend suggested that Kimaya look in a dictionary. “We didn’t know the word ‘dictionary,’” Ritesh said. “We asked a college boy in the neighborhood, but he didn’t have a dictionary.”

The friend suggested that they look on the Internet. “We didn’t know the Internet,” Ritesh said.

Finally Ritesh found a dictionary at a shop and bought it. But it was difficult for him and Kimaya to find a word in an English dictionary. (Imagine looking for a word in a Chinese dictionary if you don’t know Chinese characters well.) “The whole night we were searching for the word ‘Genesis,’” Ritesh said.

For 15 days, Kimaya searched for the word while Ritesh was at his job as a fisherman. After work, he went to bookstores and libraries to try to find the meaning of Genesis. Finally he again searched the dictionary himself and found that Genesis means “the origin of creation.”

More Searching
Ritesh returned to the shopkeeper and told him he found the meaning of Genesis. “Now find the book called Genesis, and read it,” Pascal told him.

Ritesh asked many people where he could find the Book of Genesis — people at bookstores, the driver of the public bus, and others he encountered. Someone told him he could find the book in Bangalore, a city eight or nine hours away by car or bus. Ritesh traveled all night long to get to Bangalore. But he didn’t find Genesis, even though he asked people at several locations to help.

Ritesh returned to Pascal and admitted his search had failed. Pascal sold Ritesh a Bible in his own language for 100 rupees. (One U.S. dollar equals about 70 Indian rupees.) “If he gave it to me free, I would not think it had much value,” Ritesh said. “He wanted me to know the value of the Bible.”

Read more about Ritesh and his search in the next post.

To Talk About
*Ritesh wanted to find out more about God. What obstacles did he face in his search?
*Why was it so hard for Ritesh to find a Bible? Why do you think Pascal made the task more difficult?

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity, length, and age appropriateness.)