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Learning to Play

Pakistani girl playing cricket

The previous post told about Aaron, a Pakistani Christian who stayed in Pakistan to help kids learn about Jesus.

Many Christian families in Pakistan have to work at brick kilns because better jobs often go to Muslim workers. Aaron visited a brick kiln to minister to the people. He saw children as young as 4 years old making bricks to earn money for their poor families.

Aaron planned to play games with the children, then teach them more about Jesus. “Come and play!” he said to some children. Like other children around the world, most kids in Pakistan like to play games. (See the photo above of a girl playing cricket, a popular sport in Pakistan.) But the brick kiln kids looked at Aaron blankly. They didn’t know how to play. They made bricks all day long and did not go to school.

Aaron tried to make some bricks. “I could only make two or three,” he said. “But little kids do it all day long.”

With the help and support of The Voice of the Martyrs, Aaron has been able to provide picture Bibles to brick kiln children, to bring them hope, and to play games with them!

You can watch a video of a girl making bricks at a brick kiln here.

To make a brick mix 2 cups of straw (or dried grass), 4 quarts of dirt, and 6 cups of water. Line a shoebox with a trash bag. Tape the bag to the outside of the box to secure it. Pour some of the dirt mixture into the box. Let it dry in the sun for about two days. Take it out of the box and turn it over so the bottom can dry.


Needed at Home

Girls in Pakistan reading about Jesus

Aaron gave his life to Christ at a Bible camp in Pakistan when he was 13 years old. He studied the Bible and shared his faith with others. But as time went on, Aaron was not content with his life. He wished he could leave his home in Pakistan and move to another country. Like many other youth in his country, he imagined that life would be better and more exciting somewhere else.

One day Aaron attended a Christian event, and he noticed younger children who had come with their parents. He began to talk to the children and ask them questions.

“Why do we celebrate Christmas?” Aaron asked the children.

“Because that’s when Jesus rose from the dead!” a child answered.

“Why do we celebrate Easter?” asked Aaron.

“That’s when Jesus was born!” replied a child.

Aaron realized that the children were like “sheep without a shepherd.” (See Matthew 9:36.) Christian adults in the area were not trained to present Bible truths to children. Aaron realized he needed to stay in Pakistan to help the children. Since then, he has introduced many kids to Bible stories, Christian truths, and the Good News of Jesus. He is thankful that God called him to minister to children, and thankful that he answered God’s call.

To Think About
What would you like to do when you become an adult? Are you willing to change your plans if God calls you to do something else?

Learn more about Pakistani Christians in Bold Believers in Pakistan, available in the Downloads section of this site.


A Stuck Cow

 

Cattle in Pakistan

One day, a traveling team of Christians visited a carnival in Pakistan. The Christians hoped to share the good news of Jesus with the citizens of the town. Most of the people in Pakistan are Muslims.

As the team drove toward the carnival, they noticed a boy crying. Then they saw why he was so sad. His cow was stuck deep in mud. At first the cow struggled to get loose, but soon it grew tired and gave up.

The people in the area make their living by raising cattle and growing crops. The loss of a cow can be a serious problem for a family. But it looked like the boy would not be able to free his family’s cow.

So the Christians used their vehicle to pull the cow out of the mire. The boy was very happy and so grateful to the Christians!

“Why Did You Help?”
A Muslim leader had watched everything that happened with the boy and his cow. The Muslim said to the Christians, “There are other people here with vehicles, but no one tried to help the poor boy and his cow. But you seemed to care. Why did you help him?”

The Christians told the Muslim about the love of Jesus Christ. They explained that God cares about our burdens when we come to Him (1 Peter 5:7).

“It was the first time he had heard the truth about Jesus,” one of the Christians said later.

To Think About
The Christians didn’t plan to help a boy save a cow that day. They hoped just to share the gospel with people at the carnival. But God provided a way for them to explain the love of Jesus to Muslims in a practical way. Can you think of any practical ways you can serve others and talk to them about God’s love for the world (John 3:16)?


IDOP Reminder: Join the Global Prayer Meeting

IDOP DVD

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church will be observed on November 4th this year.

Parents and Teachers
You can help your children “remember them that are in bonds” (Hebrews 13:3) on IDOP Sunday and throughout the year. Order a free DVD about Pakistani Christians here to preview and show, if appropriate, to your children.

Christians in Pakistan are routinely threatened and persecuted. They are often relegated to the lowest paying jobs and even to a form of slavery working for Muslim brick-kiln owners. However, they continue to serve and faithfully witness for Christ. The DVD will challenge viewers to pray for our Pakistani family and other persecuted believers.

Additional IDOP resources are also available here, and past IDOP lesson plans for kids are available for free download in the Downloads section of this site.


Stephen: The First Martyr

Parents and Teachers
The following excerpt is from Stephen: God’s Courageous Witness, a picture book for children about Christianity’s first martyr. The book, and other children’s books about Christian heroes, are available at VOMBooks.com. Preview is recommended before sharing the books with younger children.

Stephen
When Jesus returned to heaven, He left behind His followers. But they were not alone or without help. As promised, Jesus sent His Holy Spirit. He knew the Holy Spirit would give His followers the strength and courage they needed to do His work. One of those followers was Stephen.

With the Holy Spirit’s help, Stephen courageously told others about Jesus and performed miracles. He was so good at convincing others to follow Jesus that in the end the Jewish leaders tried to stop Him….

[A group of angry Jewish leaders had Stephen arrested, taken to court, and executed.]

“Silenced for good!” one sneered. Soon, the Jewish leaders would learn that they were wrong. They may have silenced Stephen, but his death pushed the gospel outside the walls of Jerusalem.

Saul, one of the many who had witnessed his death, decided to go after the church….Many fled the city…As Christians fled and took the gospel throughout the region, an amazing thing happened. Saul was traveling to another town to arrest more Christians when Jesus appeared to him in a blinding light. He later became known as Paul, one of Christ’s most passionate messengers..

Today, Christians are arrested and sometimes killed in countries around the world for telling others about Jesus. In Pakistan, where most follow a religion called Islam, one young boy was courageous when he defended the Bible at school.

His teacher told him that the Bible had been changed. Standing among his classmates, he declared, “The Bible has not changed, but whoever reads it is changed.” Radical students yelled at him. But like Stephen, he stood firm.

[Read more about the boy in Pakistan here.]

Telling others about Jesus is not always easy. We may not be arrested or hurt, but others may not like what we say and may want to find ways to keep us quiet. Just remember, we may be their only chance to hear about Jesus. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can be courageous like Stephen and pray that Jesus will change their hearts.