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India: Searching for God

Hindu ritual items

Kimaya, Ranbir, and Mayra did not have an easy, peaceful life. Their father, Ritesh, often made their home an unpleasant place to live. He quarreled, argued, and sometimes he even hit the children.

Like the majority of the people in India, Ritesh and his family were Hindus. For 35 years, Ritesh worshiped idols. But he had no peace. When peace did not come to him, he worked harder to search for it. “I used to worship idols for nearly an hour and a half, morning and evening,” he said. He visited the Hindu temple, burned incense, and brought offerings to false Hindu gods.

His rituals included washing, and after he washed, his wife was not allowed to touch him. If she needed to hand him something, she held it high and dropped it into his hands. And the rituals did not help Ritesh treat his children better.

Still searching for peace, Ritesh listened to Hindu songs. But the music was not clear or loud enough to suit him. So Ritesh went to an electronics shop to buy speakers.

Read more about Ritesh’s search for peace and truth in the next post.

To Talk About
*How did Ritesh try to find peace?
*What are rituals?

(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.)


10 Quotes from 2018

Strengthening the next generation

The following quotes were shared with or by workers from The Voice of the Martyrs during 2018. Most of the quotes were shared by Christians from countries where believers are persecuted.

1. “Never once in my heart did I feel the Holy Spirit leading me to keep silent about Jesus.” — former Muslim woman who now follows Jesus.

2. “Persecutors know if they get the next generation, they win.” — VOM worker

3. “There is peace and contentment in being where God wants you, even in the shadow of death.” — VOM worker, inspired by the faith of a Christian in the Central Africa Republic

4. “Persecution has never stopped, and neither will I.” — African Christian who was hospitalized after enemies attacked him

5. “Prayer has to be a custom for you before a crisis comes.” — Iranian Christian

6. “The kingdom advances when God’s people take small steps of obedience.” — VOM worker

7. “I know I’m going to die for Christ, but before that, I’m going to share the gospel with as many people as I can.” — persecuted Christian in a Muslim country

8. “Everyone coming to Jesus is the only ‘peace process’.” — persecuted Christian in a war-torn country

9. “Every 40 hours, another Christian is attacked [in India].” — Christian worker in India

10. “We serve the persecuted to reach the persecutors.” — VOM worker

(Source: VOM workers and contacts. Edited for length, clarity, reading level, and security.)

To Do
Choose five of the quotes above and say them in your own words. How many of the quotes do you agree with?


India: “We Are Not Going to Lose Our Faith”

Pastor Kabir’s family

Pastor Kabir, the leader of a Christian congregation in India, was kidnapped and attacked by a youth group — a violent Hindu youth group. The attackers dragged the pastor off a bus, kidnapped him, and took him to an empty building. They planned to force him to deny Jesus while they took a video to post online.

But no matter what the Hindu gang did to Pastor Kabir, he refused to deny his Lord. “I am not going to worship idols,” he insisted. “I am going to serve Jesus.”

After hitting Pastor Kabir on the head and kicking him, the attackers took him a mile away and left him. “God has spared my life, so I will forgive them,” Pastor Kabir thought. “I will not go to [the police] station. [But] I am going to do double the work for the Lord.” He called a friend to drive him home.

Still Faithful
Pastor Kabir’s wife and daughters were alarmed when they saw his injuries. The next day he went to the hospital. The attack had damaged his ears, and he now needs a hearing aid.

The Hindu group posted the video of Pastor Kabir on Facebook, but they edited it to make it look like he had denied Jesus and accepted Hinduism. (Learn more about Hindu beliefs here.)

But Pastor Kabir and his family remain strong in their faith. “Whatever happens, God is there. He will protect us,” said the pastor’s 15-year-old daughter, Vanya. His daughter Myra, 13, said, “I am happy with my father’s faith. I want my father to do more [Christian] work. We are not going to lose our faith. We are going to serve the Lord in the future.” (The photo shows Pastor Kabir and his family. Vanya and Myra’s faces are covered to protect their identity from people who may want to harm them.)

Pastor Kabir has kept his promise and has doubled his outreach work. The Voice of the Martyrs provided him with a bicycle to help him keep up with his growing ministry. He requests prayer for:

*His family
*Continued healing
*His attackers
*The people in the area where he ministers

(Source: The December 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length and clarity.)


This Month

December VOM newsletter

Parents and Teachers
The December 2018 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter features stories of courageous evangelists who spread the good news of Jesus in places where they risk their lives to evangelize. Abdul in Pakistan, Kebir in India, and Baris in Turkey witness boldly even though they are in danger daily.

The issue includes updates on 11 Christians featured in past newsletters, and a story about VOM founder Richard Wurmbrand’s thoughts on spending Christmas in prison. You can share stories from this site about some of the featured Christians with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, visit the subscription signup page.

Additional resources about the featured countries
*Restricted Nations: India, available at vombooks.com.
*Restricted Nations: Pakistan, available at vombooks.com.
*Bold Believers in India activity book, available in the free Downloads section.
* Bold Believers in Pakistan activity book, available in the free Downloads section.
*Bold Believers in Turkey activity book, available in the free Downloads section.
*India lesson plan.
*Turkey lesson plan.


Amy Carmichael: Fascinating Facts

The previous post told about missionary Amy Carmichael and her work in India. Read more facts about Amy below.

(Source: The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available at VOMBooks.com. The book includes 144 pages of stories, devotionals, coloring pages, dot-to-dots, crafts, and activities related to the heroes featured on Torchlighters DVDs.)

“If Only You Knew”
Amy Carmichael grew up in a well-to-do Irish family with six younger siblings. She often got in trouble for her behavior. Once when someone told her she was naughty, she thought to herself, “If only you knew how much naughtier I could be, you wouldn’t think I was naughty at all!”

Serving God at Home
As a teenager, Amy totally gave her life and future to God. Her father died when she was 18, and Amy spent the next 10 years helping care for her younger siblings.

Learning Kindness
One day after church, Amy and her brother saw an old beggar woman with torn clothes and only rags to cover her feet. They helped the woman, but Amy was embarrassed to be seen with the pitiful beggar. Then the Lord reminded her of the things that would be important in eternity. (Read 1 Corinthians 3:12-14.) She was no longer embarrassed, and she
promised God to do things that pleased Him.

No Furloughs
Most missionaries take furloughs — breaks to rest and return to their home country and families — but Amy served in India for 55 years without a furlough.

Castes
Traditional Hinduism teaches that people are born into castes. A caste is a social class. Priests belong to the highest caste, soldiers to the next, businessmen and farmers to the
next, and servants and workers to the next. Lowest of all are the “untouchables,” now called Dalits. As a foreigner, Amy would have been seen as an “untouchable.” Today the
government of India has laws against the caste system. But Dalits are still scorned in parts of India.

Amy’s Prayer
The morning before an accident that broke her leg and made her an invalid, Amy prayed, “Do with me as Thou wilt. Do anything that will fit me to serve Thee and help my
beloveds.” During this time, Amy wrote many books and thousands of letters encouraging believers to take up their cross and follow Jesus.