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Hidden Countries

The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christians and monitors persecution in more than 50 countries. Find 10 of the countries hidden in the sentences below. Search for these countries: Libya, Oman, Iran, India, Mali, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Cuba, and Brunei.

Find out about more countries where VOM works here.

  1. Amy found a mouse in the bedroom and the kitchen.
  2. Kings and queens often live in fine palaces.
  3. A camel is a useful animal in the desert.
  4. The mother bear and her cub are hibernating.
  5. Members of the runners’ club run eight miles every day.
  6. People sometimes write prayers in diaries and journals.
  7. The family rode to the beach in a taxi.
  8. The taxi ran out of gas on the way to the beach.
  9. The campers ate chili by a campfire.
  10. The workers went to the drab hut and helped the owners paint it.

Country Search Answers

  1. Oman: Amy found a mouse in the bedroom and the kitchen.
  2. Nepal: Kings and queens often live in fine palaces.
  3. Mali: A camel is a useful animal in the desert.
  4. Cuba: The mother bear and her cub are hibernating.
  5. Brenei: Members of the runners’ club run eight miles every day.
  6. India: People sometimes write prayers in diaries and journals.
  7. China: The family rode to the beach in a taxi.
  8. Iran: The taxi ran out of gas on the way to the beach.
  9. Libya: The campers ate chili by a campfire.
  10. Bhutan: The workers went to the drab hut and helped the owners paint it.

Torchlighters DVD Guides and Student Handouts

Torchlighters

Torchlighters DVDs tell the stories of real-life Christian heroes who faced obstacles and stood up to persecution. (Read more about the DVDs in the Resource section of this site.)

Leaders guides and student handouts for each DVD are now available free from the Downloads section. The materials cover: Richard Wurmbrand, John Bunyan, Jim Elliot, William Tyndale, Gladys Aylward, Eric Liddell, Perpetua, William Booth, Amy Carmichael, Augustine, and Samuel Morris.

The leaders guides include a synopsis of the life of the hero, lesson plans for teaching children about the featured Christian, descriptions of key people who influenced the hero, historical background about the period of history when the hero lived, and a timeline.

Student handouts include coloring pages from scenes in the DVD, numerous games and activities, craft ideas, interview suggestions, story questions, and discussion starters.

View clips from the DVDs in the Videos section.
For further information, check Torchlighters.org.


Holi and Hindus

Girl

“Holi” is a Hindu celebration in India and Nepal. In 2013, Holi will be observed near the end of March.

Amy, an American Christian, traveled to Nepal when she was 9 years old. She went with her parents and her two brothers. Her father got a job in the capital, Kathmandu.

Read below what Amy remembers about Holi and Hinduism.

“The first year we were there, we participated in Holi,” Amy said. “For Holi, the people have paint fights and water fights. Red, green, and yellow are everywhere.

“The second year we realized that Holi was part of a Hindu festival. We didn’t feel it was right for us to participate anymore, since we are Christians.”

During part of another Hindu festival, sisters honor their brothers. “Basically, sisters worship their brothers,” Amy said. “They go to the Hindu temple and perform a ritual for and to their brothers. Christians should not be doing that. Some Christians have their own take on it and don’t do the Hindu part of it.”

Nepalese calendars are filled with Hindu festivals to honor various gods. The people both “love and dread the festivals,” said one visitor to Nepal. It is a lot of work to honor so many gods.

“They have rituals for all the gods so none of the gods will be jealous,” said Amy. “Sometimes Hindus will say they have become Christians. They think, ‘Okay, I’ll just add one more god.’ When you tell them they must stop worshiping other gods, they freak out. They’re afraid the other gods will be angry.”

But some Hindus do become Christians and worship only the one true God. “It’s hard for them,” Amy said. “They have a lot of family pressure. One of our friends became a Christian and wouldn’t go to the Hindu temples with her family. They kicked her out of the family. That kind of thing happens all the time.” Some of the new Christians find comfort among Christians in Nepalese churches.

Ask God to help Hindus not fear other gods.


Kids of Courage VBS Curriculum Available

VBS

After some minor editing changes, the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum is again available. To order, visit VOM Books.

The 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.

Children will discover that persecuted Christians may experience joy and victory in times of struggle, and they learn about obedience to God and perseverance in tough situations. They also learn about forgiving and praying for enemies.

The VBS is being used in small and large churches, and is quite affordable for all groups. Some children’s workers are finding that the curriculum includes so much information, they can also use it in Sunday school and other settings after their VBS is over. Several groups have said they plan to use it for two years.

The curriculum includes opportunities to share and explain the gospel to children who have not yet trusted in Christ as their Savior. Directors who have used the curriculum report that children have come to Christ during the VBS.

Each kit includes:

  • Five teachers’ guides, one for each country
  • Director’s guide
  • Skits and plays book
  • Games, snacks, and activities book
  • Craft and classroom activities book
  • Photo CD; Music CD
  • Resource and project guide
  • VOM prayer map

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


Safely Home

An evangelist in India once told the following story.

One day a scientist found some bird eggs that had not hatched. He took the eggs to a country where the climate was cold.

The scientist hoped the baby birds that hatched from the eggs would think the new country was their home. He hoped they would be happy to stay in their new home.

The birds hatched, and they stayed in their new home during the summer. But when the summer was over, they flew back to the country where the scientist had found their eggs. They never came back.

Christians are like the birds, the Indian evangelist said. We were born in this world, but it is not our home. When the time comes for us to leave the earth, we will go to a true eternal home in heaven.

To Think About
Persecuted Christians understand that the Christians’ eternal home is in heaven. Hebrews 11:13-16 talks about heroes of our faith with such an “eternal perspective.” How can the knowledge that our true home is in heaven give us the courage to face the struggles we have on earth?

Hebrews 11:13–16: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.