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Hidden Missionaries

Nigeria
Mary Slessor and her adopted children

Missionaries are Christians sent on missions, often to other countries, to spread the good news of Jesus among people who don’t yet know Him. Sometimes their work is risky. Jesus told His followers that they would be persecuted as He was. (See John 15:18–22.)

Find the names of six missionaries in the sentences below. Do some research to find out more about any whose stories you don’t know.

Search for the following names. (If they have a first and last name, search only for the last.)

  • Peter (Jesus’ disciple)
  • Andrew (Jesus’ disciple)
  • Cecil Dye
  • John and Betty Stam
  • Mary Slessor
  • Bruce Olson
  1. James 3:7 tells about creatures tamed by man.
  2. Psalm 126:5 helps us understand that those who follow the Lord will reap eternal blessings. (“Reap” means to receive something because of what you have done.)
  3. Proverbs 18:2 tells us that fools only want to talk, not listen.
  4. In 1 Kings 22 the king of Israel entered a battle in disguise, but a Syrian man drew a bow at random and shot him.
  5. Luke 9:57–62 tells about those who wanted to follow Jesus but were not ready, either because of family reasons or because they were not ready to tell their old life “goodbye.”
  6. In Numbers 22, Balaam said that he never says less or more than God tells him to say.

 

Name Search Answers

1. Stam
James 3:7 tells about creatures tamed by man.
2. Peter
Psalm 126:5 helps us understand that those who follow the Lord will reap eternal blessings. (“Reap” means to receive something because of what you have done.)
3. Olson
Proverbs 18:2 tells us that fools only want to talk, not listen.
4. Andrew
In 1 Kings 22 the king of Israel entered a battle in disguise, but a Syrian man drew a bow at random and shot him.
5. Dye
Luke 9:57–62 tells about those who wanted to follow Jesus but were not ready, either because of family reasons or because they were not ready to tell their old life “goodbye.”
6. Slessor
In Numbers 22, Balaam said that he never says less or more than God tells him to say.

Rev. Dzari

Nigeria
Rev. Dzari

Christians in Nigeria have been persecuted by a radical terrorist group called Boko Haram. The group wants to make Nigeria an entirely Muslim nation.

Rev. Yakubu Dzari is one of many Christians who has been attacked by Boko Haram. The attackers dragged him outside and asked him if he was the pastor of a church.

“No,” Rev. Dzari answered, because he was afraid of what the terrorists would do to a Christian pastor. But then he felt guilty about his fear.

Then Rev. Dzari felt new courage from the Lord. “Yes!” he told the attackers. “Yes, I am a pastor!”

In fact, Rev. Dzari did not just say he was a pastor once, he boldly repeated it over and over to the terrorists. One of the attackers was annoyed with Rev. Dzari for continuing to say he was a pastor, and he pulled out a knife.

“Deny Jesus and become a Muslim!” the attacker demanded.

“No!” said Rev. Dzari. “How can I deny Christ when I was the one teaching Christians in the church not to deny Christ?”

Just as the attacker moved closer to the pastor to hurt him, the men heard a gunshot nearby.

“Leave him!” said one attacker. The men left, and the pastor was not harmed.

“I was praying and remembering Jesus,” Rev. Dzari later told workers from The Voice of the Martyrs. “One thing that keeps on strengthening me not to give up is the voice of the Lord that speaks to my inner mind. That’s why I stand firm, not minding how my life will end.”

Source: October 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for clarity and age appropriateness.


Emmanuel

Nigeria
Emmanuel

“Five-year-old Emmanuel went to sleep on April 26, 2014, with expectations of joining his friends to play football the following morning when he found himself in a terrible situation,” said a VOM-Nigeria worker. [Soccer is called football in Nigeria.]

Emmanuel did not know it, but radical Muslims had come to attack his village. Emmanuel’s mother knew. She woke Emmanuel up to prepare him in case the family had to flee.

Emmanuel thought his mother woke him so he could go to the bathroom outside the room where he slept. On his way back from the bathroom, one of the attackers found him and cut his shoulder with a big knife.

In the fleeing and confusion that followed, no one could find Emmanuel. He lay alone until the next morning. He has received treatment for his wounds and is healing.

Please ask God to grant peace and healing to survivors of the attacks in Nigeria.


A Martyr’s Son

X

The Fulani are an African people group whose members are usually Muslim. Some of their members are known to persecute Christians. A recent post showed that some Fulani members are deciding to convert to Christianity through inventive evangelism efforts.

A Fulani man who became a Christian was attacked by other Fulani people because of his faith and because he spread the gospel among other Fulanis. Sadly, the man died from his injuries.

VOM contacts recently gave the man’s son a Jesus: He Lived Among Us story book. Thankfully, he will grow up knowing the truth that his father died for.


Nigerian Mother Forgives Attackers

Nigeria

Earlier this year, workers from The Voice of the Martyrs met with Nigerian mothers who lost their husbands in Muslim attacks on their villages. (The women said they would like to be called “mothers” instead of “widows.”) The workers counseled with the mothers and encouraged them. The mothers have returned to their villages and will encourage others who have also suffered.

Agnes, one of the mothers encouraged by VOM workers last year, was changed by the experience. Read below what Agnes said about what happened when she went back home.

“Last year I came here … and I learned much in my life. Before I came here, after the death of my husband, if I met some people on the road, I didn’t greet them because they are Muslims.

“Especially there was one man — they tell me he was the one who showed [the attackers] our house and said that we are Christians. That is why if I met him, even if he greeted me, I would not answer.

“After I left here, I greeted them. When I came here, I learned how to forgive. If I did not forgive, the Lord will not forgive me, and anything I do will be in vain because I did not forgive somebody.”

To Do

  • Read Matthew 6:14–15. What did Agnes say that agrees with those verses?
  • Remember the Nigerian mothers during the week of Mother’s Day.

Edited and paraphrased from the original for clarity.