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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 Unique Marriage Proposal

Ruchika
When Ruchika was in the 12th grade, her parents began to search for someone to marry her. Like many parents in India, they planned to choose their daughter’s husband. They were looking for a man who worked hard, had a good job, and made lots of money. However, Ruchika told them, “I will not get married unless I marry a pastor.” She wanted to help a pastor in his work for the Lord.

Ruchika’s parents were Christians, but they did not agree with her plan. After many arguments and counseling from Christian aunts and uncles, her parents gave in to her wishes.

Aditya
When Aditya was a boy in India, he grew very ill. “He will not live,” the doctors told Aditya’s parents. An evangelist visited Aditya’s house, talked to his family about Christ, and prayed for Aditya. “If he lives, let him live for Christ,” said Aditya’s mother.

Aditya recovered from his illness! He gave his life to Christ and became a pastor. In the area where he lived, pastors were often threatened and attacked, so he knew the risks of sharing the good news of Jesus. Soon he, too, was attacked and warned not to continue his preaching.

Proposal
Aditya knew about Ruchika’s desire to help share the love of Jesus with those who don’t know Him. So he asked her to marry him.

[Talk to three couples who have been married a long time. Ask them what they talked about during their marriage proposal. Was their conversation anything like Aditya’s proposal below?]

“This is my life,” Aditya began his proposal to Ruchika. “I am a minister and have been attacked so many times. In the future, you may be attacked. I might go to jail. Sometimes we will have food, sometimes we will not. This will be the life. If you would like to marry me, you can. Otherwise, say no.”

Ruchika answered, “Live or die, I will live for Christ.”

Serving the Lord Together
Aditya was not exaggerating in his proposal. The couple has endured hardship, attacks, arrests, and threats. They now have a baby who may also endure hardship someday.

“The problems, trials, tribulations, and whatever comes is nothing with God,” Aditya told a VOM worker. “God has made a new heaven house for us, so we have to wait and strive for that. That is what we are waiting for.”

(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. In the photo above, Aditya and Ruchika’s faces are covered to protect their identity from those who might want to harm them.)


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.)