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Joel

Joel
Joel

(From the Kids of Courage archives.)

Three-year-old Joel was walking home on a Sunday after church in Nigeria. Radical “Boko Haram” Muslims spotted Joel, grabbed him, and made him sit down. They saw a children’s Bible in his hand and demanded that he give the book to them.

Joel refused to let go of the Bible.

One of the men took it from him by force and threw it into a fire burning nearby. Joel ran to the fire and tried to get his Bible out of the flames with a stick.

But a Boko Haram attacker knocked Joel to the ground. Joel was injured, and after the radicals left, he was taken to the hospital where he began healing from his wounds.

“Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright” (Proverbs 20:11).

 


Camps for Persecuted Kids

Nigerian teen

Christians in Nigerian are experiencing numerous attacks by Fulani Muslims attackers and Boko Haram terrorists. At times, Christian children are injured in the attacks.

Some of the kids had lived in the same houses since they were born. They watched as terrorists burned down their homes. Others saw family members attacked.

Do you think that some of the kids were angry and sad? They were. The Voice of the Martyrs sponsored camps for teens who needed help getting through their anger and sadness.

The teens made friends with other kids at the camp who were also sad and angry. Together they worked to understand the Bible’s lessons about forgiving enemies. The camp leaders hoped the teens would also learn that they did not have to see revenge against those who persecuted them.

VOM workers said, “Pray that they will continue to find peace in Christ and share their eternal hope with others in their community.”

(Source: icommittopray.com)


Nigeria: Melody and Marvelous

James and Marvelous

Will you pray for Melody and Marvelous?

Melody is 3 and Marvelous is 7. The Voice of the Martyrs is helping their family with rent, school fees, clothing, and medical care. But they still need prayer.

Last year, Melody had to spend two months in the hospital. She needed surgeries to help her heal after a bullet struck her during an attack on their village in Nigeria. (She is mentioned in the story here.) The militant Muslim attackers also hit Marvelous on the head and knocked her unconscious.

Melody

The girls’ father, James, stayed by their side through their recovery. But their mother, Mary, died in the attack. James and the girls were very sad. They lost Mary, and they lost their home. The attackers moved into the Christians’ homes and took the villagers’ land. James and the girls lived in a camp for displaced people for eight months.

A VOM worker is counseling James and other Christians who suffered in the attacks. “I feel like I have people who care for me,” he said. But forgiveness for the attackers will take more time.

James asked for prayer for himself, Melody, and Marvelous. “Pray that God will strengthen us and make us strong in our faith and provide for our desires,” he said.

(Source: The October 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

Find out how to write a note of encouragement to Nigerian Christians at persecution.com/NotestoNigeria.


Starting Over Again

Alice and three of her children at a temporary home

On June 22, 2018, violent Muslims attacked several villages in Nigeria. The attackers burned Christians’ houses and left 7,500 homeless. The displaced Christians included Alice Bulus and her five children.

A Muslim mosque leader let 200 of the people find shelter in his mosque, saving their lives. The Voice of the Martyrs helped Alice and her kids move to another place where they started their lives over again.

It wasn’t the first time they had to start over.

Starting Over the First Time
Nine years ago, violent fighters attacked their home around midnight. Sadly, Alice’s husband, the children’s father, died in the attack. Alice recognized one of the attackers — he was her family’s neighbor.

After her husband died, Alice tried to support her children by continuing to farm their small plot of land.

Starting Over Again
Then the enemies attacked twice more. The family’s home was gone. For a while, they lived in the hallway of an elderly woman’s home. Later, a Christian family offered them a small apartment. Alice began farming again and doing odd jobs to take care of her family.

In 2015, the militants returned and destroyed all her crops.

Starting Over the Third Time
Alice replanted her crops, and VOM helped her family rent a small house where they started their lives over yet again, interrupted by the 2018 attack. With VOM’s help, Alice has saved a little money, and her family is slowly building a home of their own.

“No More Afraid”
Since the attacks, Alice has seen the neighbor who killed her husband. He is not in jail. She gathered the courage to approach him and greet him kindly. “I have never felt anger toward them,” Alice said. “The Bible already said this [persecution] would happen and said we should watch and pray….The Word encourages me all the time because it says the Lord gives and the Lord takes. We are just here for a time. Right now, I am no more afraid.”

(Source: The October 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length and clarity.)

To Think About
*What does Alice mean when she says, “We are just here for a time?”
*Can you think of five things to pray for Alice and her family?
*Try fitting several people in a small hallway. Discuss how you would live in the hallway if you had to stay there for a long time. How would you divide the space? Where would you sleep?


Pray with Kids in the United Kingdom

Release International, located in the United Kingdom, is a member of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. (Read more about VOM’s family of missions around the world here.) Release International encourages kids to pray for Christians in countries where followers of Christ are persecuted. Read some of their recent suggested prayers below, and choose one to pray today.

Pakistani girls

Pakistan
Ask Jesus to be very close to Christian girls in Pakistan who are kidnapped and taken away from their families. They are often forced to marry Muslim men and even become Muslims themselves. Ask God to rescue them and get them back to their families. Pray that the girls will know Jesus’ love with them night and day and to know He is looking after them. Ask God to make their families brave and strong. Pray that teenagers Rimsha and Riffat, who were kidnapped, will know God’s love and peace and return home safely.

 

Afghan girl with a Bible

Afghanistan
Pray for a girl who has been persecuted at a school in Afghanistan. Her family moved to a different city to find a new school for her. However, her old school will not send her reports, so the new school will not allow her to start. Pray that God will give great love and peace to her family. Ask Him to give them hope and strength not to give up. Pray that God will provide a new school where the girl can learn, make new friends, and be happy.

 

 

Leah

Nigeria
Keek praying for Leah Sharibu, the 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped in Nigeria. Boko Haram, the radical Muslim group that took her away, said they will keep her as a slave because she will not stop loving Jesus. Pray for God to show His love in powerful ways to the kidnappers so they will let her go. Pray that another captive, Alice Ngaddah, and all other women and girls held as prisoners, will also be set free. Ask God to show them and their families His great love and to give them courage and hope.

 

 

Egyptian boy

Egypt
The following is a prayer for a boy in Egypt.
Dear God, thank you for protecting an 11-year-old boy who was nearly kidnapped by two men in Egypt. They wanted to take him away from his Christian parents just because they follow Jesus. Thank you for the person who rescued the boy. Please give the boy, his mom, and his family strength, peace, and healing. Help them trust You to keep them safe. Please look after the children of people who are helping Christians. Thank You. Amen.