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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.


This Month

The September 2019 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine features stories about godly marriages and families that glorify God and advance His eternal kingdom. “We find these inspiring families when we look for those who sacrificially serve, and even suffer, quietly and faithfully together,” said VOM president, Cole Richards.

Readers are introduced to:
*Pastor Morris and Cabina, who serve the Lord in Sudan’s Nuba Mountain war zone.
*Susanna and her children, who have not seen their husband and father since the Malaysian authorities kidnapped him in 2017.
*Aurelio and Ruth, who serve persecuted Christians and strengthen believers in Latin America.
*Arjun and Radha, who share the gospel and plant churches in India.
*Other faithful believers in hostile areas.

You can share stories of the Christians from the magazine and this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Related Resources
*To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*Watch a video of Pastor Morris telling about a miraculous escape here.
*Bold Believers activity books about several of the featured countries are available in the Downloads section.
*Click here to learn how to send an Action Pack to persecuted Christians in need.
*The Torchlighters DVD, The Amy Carmichael Story, tells about Amy’s work in India. Learn more about Torchlighters DVDs here.


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.)