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India: Christian Visitors and a Sick Terrorist

Each year The Voice of the Martyrs works through its global network of staff and partners to reach the children of persecuted Christians in restricted nations and hostile areas with a special Christmas Care Pack. The contents are tailored to the needs of children in each region. (See the photo above of a boy in India with his Christmas Care Pack.) Sometimes Christians share the packs with non-Christian neighbors.

One of the people in India whose village received clothes, candy, and other items from Christmas Care Packs sent VOM the following message.

At Christmastime, a group of Christians arrived in our village. They sang Christmas songs, distributed clothes, and passed out candy to everyone. It was strange thing for me because I was a non-Christian. “These are not our people, but they love us!” I thought. “What must be the reason?”

I went to a church and asked the pastor. He told me about Jesus and gave me a Bible to read.

Expelled and Threatened
We didn’t have peace in my family. We prayed to our gods to solve the problems, but our problems were increasing. “Why should I not pray to Jesus?” I asked myself. I started praying to Jesus about our problems. All our problems solved one by one.

My parents thought that all our problems got solved by themselves. So I had to tell them that I was praying to Jesus about our problems. In just a few days, they too accepted Jesus. Then the pastor baptized us in the church.

Our tribal leaders found out about our decision to follow Christ, and they became furious. They kicked us out of our tribe. We lost all our privileges. People stopped talking to us. Later terrorists came to our church and ordered us not to have a gospel meeting.

A week after that, one of the terrorists came to me and said, “On the same evening that we warned you not to have a gospel meeting, our leader got sick. We gave him medicine, we prayed to our gods, but he is not getting healed. We believe that this sickness has come because we threatened you to stop Jesus’ work. Please pray for our leader.”

What do you think the Christian did? Do you think he was afraid of what might happen if the terrorist leader was not healed? Read more below.

“Jesus, you are all powerful,” I said in my heart, and then I prayed for that leader. In a few hours he got healed completely. “Go ahead, conduct the meeting for Jesus,” the terrorists said.

All the believers in our church rejoiced in the Lord. There was no one to stop the gospel meeting, because the Lord had brought the terrorists to our side. By this miracle of Jesus, many came to know Him.”

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited for length and clarity.)

Check The Voice of the Martyrs magazine or visit christmascare.com for information about how to participate in this year’s Christmas Care project.


Diwali

An important Hindu festival is Diwali, the Festival of Lights (also spelled “Divali” or “Devali”). It will be celebrated this week.

More than 900 million people in the world are Hindus. India has the largest number of Hindus. Diwali is celebrated in many countries where Hindus live. In India and some other places, Indians of other religions also celebrate Diwali.

During the days of Diwali, people light lamps, set off fireworks, eat desserts, give gifts, and recall legends about gods and goddesses honored in Hinduism.

Hinduism
God has made us with a longing in our hearts to be close to him. (See Acts 17:26–27 and Ecclesiastes 3:11.) Many Hindus feel that longing, too. But they do not believe, or have not been told, that the way to be close to God is through his Son, Jesus. So they try to fill that longing with other gods, rituals, and works.

Some Hindus add Jesus to the list of gods they honor, but do not forsake other gods. The Bible tells us we must have no other gods.

Pray that Hindus will meet Christians who can tell them about Jesus, the light of the world, and that they will open their hearts to Him. Pray especially for radical Hindus who oppose Christianity in India and other places.


Blind to the Truth

Sundar Singh was a Christian from India who died many years ago. He once told the following story.

“Suppose you are walking down the street and you see a blind man coming toward you. It is your responsibility to move to one side so you won’t run into each other. It is not the blind man’s responsibility. He does not know you are nearby, because he can’t see you. If you and the blind man accidentally bump into each other, you would say, ‘Excuse me.’ Then you would help him on his way. It would not make sense to get angry with the blind man for the accident.

“In the same way, if a person who is blind to the truth persecutes us because we follow Jesus, we must not get angry. We should forgive him. We must love and pray for him. Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you’ (Matthew 5:44).”

[Photo: Varanasi, a Hindu stronghold in India]


India: Savithri

Savithri

Each year The Voice of the Martyrs works through its global network of staff and partners to reach the children of persecuted Christians in restricted nations and hostile areas with a special Christmas Care Pack. The contents are tailored to the needs of children in each region.

Savithri, one of the children in India who received a Christmas Care Pack, sent VOM the following message.

Savithri said:

“I was a 6 months old baby. My elder sister was 2 years old. Terrible jaundice related to cancer took away my father from this world. My mother became a widow, and I and my sister became fatherless. My mother is not educated. To survive and to take care of us, she is working as a servant in rich families. She wash vessels, clothes and clean the houses.

“We will be waiting for our mother to come from their houses, because she will bring leftover food from their houses. Sometimes she brings old clothes also. Whatever the food she brings, we eat. Whatever the clothes she brings, we wear. My sister and me like Sunday school very much, because we learn about our heavenly Father there.

“The backpack is so nice. I am so happy. Thank you for towel, bedsheet, torch [flashlight] and so many other things that you gave me. I needed a torch, because here very dark in the night. Sometimes snakes and scorpions will be going here and there. Now I am 9 years old. I am in 4th grade. Please pray for me.”

Watch The Voice of the Martyrs magazine and future posts on this site for upcoming information about how to participate in this year’s Christmas Care project.


Thomas: God’s Courageous Missionary

By Elise Wixtrom, Kids of Courage Student Reviewer

Among the twelve disciples, you may have heard of Doubting Thomas, the one who did not believe that Jesus had risen again to life on the third day. In The Voice of the Martyrs’ book, Thomas: God’s Courageous Missionary, Thomas’ story is not left at the moment where he doubts – the book instead expands upon Thomas’ storyline after Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

Thomas went across the known world, bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth. His knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection spurred him on to go ever farther, to the foreign nation of India. The Indians did not know the gospel, in fact they followed a different religion, called Hinduism, which involved the worship of many different gods

While in India, the book says, through Thomas God performed many miracles to stun and prove His sovereignty to the people who had never before known of the one true God, whose existence disproved their religion of many deities. As Thomas performed miracles, the Hindu priests became enraged with Thomas disproving their religion and conspired to kill him. They carried out their plan, and Thomas was killed with spears and became a martyr.

The Voice of the Martyrs’ book focuses more on Thomas’ faith than his doubt. The story leaves one with the message that even though you may doubt at first, perhaps even if you are skeptical, God can do great works through you and bring the good news to those who are lost. Thomas’ lack of faith at first did not hinder God’s plan for his life. In fact, it made him more fervent in the carrying out the call that God had placed on his once-doubting heart.

Learn more about Thomas in Thomas: God’s Courageous Missionary, a book in The Voice of the Martyrs’ Courageous Series for kids, available at vombooks.com.