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A New Family

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-31).

Syamusudini began sharing the Good News of Jesus with his friends at school in Uganda. It might seem strange that he would encourage others to follow Jesus, because Syamusudini’s life had become difficult when he first became a Christian. His Muslim family kicked him out and no longer accepted him as a member of their family. Syamusudini moved in with his pastor and became part of a new family.

Muhindo was a Muslim friend of Syamusudini’s. He listened carefully when Syamusudini shared his faith.

Muslims believe that Arabic is the language of Allah. The majority of Muslims in the world do not speak Arabic as their first language. But it is customary for all Muslims to say their daily prayers in Arabic, even if they do not understand the language well.

Since he didn’t speak Arabic, Muhindo had never understood the Muslim prayer services, but he understood the words of Jesus. He decided that he, too, would follow Christ.

Like his friend Syamusudini, Muhindo was rejected by his family. When his father learned of his Christian faith, he came after Muhindo with a machete. Muhindo fled to his friend, where he, also, was welcomed as part of the pastor’s family. “I am a new creation, and I understand the one I pray to,” he said. Pray for Muhindo and Syamusudini as they mature in faith, and pray that their families will also come to know Christ.

(Source: icommittopray.com. Photo: Muhindo and Syamusudini. Their eyes are covered to protect their identity.)


An Update on Susan in Uganda

Previous posts told the story of Susan, a girl in Uganda whose father locked her in a room after she became a Christian. Neighbors told the police what was happening, and Susan was rescued from the house after several months. But she was sick and weak from the harsh treatment, and she could not even walk and talk. She needed two operations and had to stay in the hospital for a long time.

Thankfully, The Voice of the Martyrs was able to help Susan move to a safer place where Christians care for her and she is able to attend school again. Susan does well in school, but her progress has been interrupted several times for more surgeries. She recently developed an infection and had to return to the hospital. She will have to miss more school during her long recovery.

After a previous surgery, Susan said, “I thank God for everything He’s doing in my life….He is protecting me….I thank God that I’m still alive….I pray that I’m doing school again, and I can use my studies. God knows the right thing for me…“I thank God also for the people who are praying for me …. I think God should bless them SO MUCH!”

Please pray for Susan’s healing and encouragement, for the doctors treating her, and for those providing her care.

[Photo: Susan during recovery from surgery.]


Back to School

 

(Photo: Two children at a school in Africa. Their faces are covered to protect their identity from people who may want to harm them or their families.)

This is the time of year when most American kids return to school for the fall semester. But Christian kids in some countries don’t always have the freedom to get a good education in peace.

*Cuba
Christian children are sometimes mocked, bullied, and not promoted to the next grade.

*China
Officials in China closed a Christian school last year, claiming that the children were “brainwashed.”

*Indonesia
Muslim parents warn their children not to play with Christian children or make friends with them.

*Uganda
In parts of Uganda, Christian children are not welcome to attend school in Muslim areas.

*Mexico
In Chiapas, Mexico, authorities sometimes refuse to let children stay in school if their parents become Christians.

*Egypt
Christian children in Egypt have been forced to sit in the back of the class, and some students are given bad grades just because they are Christians.

*Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan are often hired to do only low-paying jobs. They sometimes can’t afford to send their children to school.

To Talk About
*Will you thank God today for your school assignments and for the opportunity to get an education?
*Ask God to protect and provide for children in each of the countries mentioned above.


Uganda: Dragule, Juliet, and Their Children

Children are very important to Dragule and Juliet. The couple has 11 of them, ages 18, 17, 15, 14, 9, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Their youngest is named Gift. The child’s name shows how Dragule and Juliet feel about children. (See the photo above of Dragule, Juliet, and Gift.)

Dragule as a Muslim
Dragule and his family used to be Muslims. He taught Muslim children the Arabic alphabet at their mosque in Uganda. (A mosque is a building where Muslims worship. Uganda’s main languages are English, Uganda, and Swahili. But Muslims believe that their holy book, the Quran, is best understood in Arabic.)

Dragule began to feel that something was missing in his life. “I started searching for some truths in the Quran,” he said. “I realized that children are not considered. I also found out that women were undermined….Then I wanted to know how [Christian] children are cared for.

“One day, I observed the way Christian women would take care of their children – walking into church. I saw something strange. They would show love to them as they walked and would speak to them with respect. It was evident that they were treated fairly.

“When I realized that the Christians were different, I desired to join…I finally surrendered fully to Christ and never looked back.”

Dragule as a Christian
Dragule knew that Christians in the area are persecuted. He talked to a pastor and said, “I know I am going to die after this decision, but who will take care of my children?” The pastor told Dragule that if he died, God would take care of his children.

“In the meantime,” said Dragule, “persecution arose.”

Muslims beat up Dragule, threatened his wife and children, threw stones at their house, and convinced witch doctors to put curses on him. “But the spells didn’t work,” said Dragule. (See 1 John 4:4.)

Dragule and Juliet want their children to get a good Christian education. But sadly, the oldest daughter was lured away from their family and married to a Muslim. The second oldest also now lives with Muslims.

There is no Christian school in their village, because only two Christian families live there. So Dragule rented a small hut in a town with a Christian school for four of his school-age children. His 14-year-old daughter, Shamila, does not go to school. Instead, she takes care of the hut, cooks, and does laundry for her four siblings, and ensures that the home is safe. (See Shamila’s photo below.)

The family requests prayer for safety, strong faith, a good education, daily needs, and growth of Christianity in their village.

(VOM Sources. Edited for length and clarity.)

To Think About
*Read 1 John 4:4. How might the verse encourage Dragule’s family?
*What do you think about Shamila sacrificing to take care of the children’s hut while they attend school?
*Dragule goes house to house sharing the gospel with others in his village. What obstacles do you think he might face? What do you think of his choice to live in a place where he is persecuted?
*Can you see what Bible reference is written on the house? Find the verse in a Bible and read it.


This Month

Parents and Teachers

The June 2019 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine features stories about bold believers risking their freedom and lives to reach North Koreans with the good news of Jesus. Also included are updates from Sri Lanka, Colombia, Kenya, and Uganda, and information about the upcoming Day of the Christian Martyr (June 29). You can share stories of Christians in those areas from this site with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

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

Additional Related Resources
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight North Korea, Colombia, and Sri Lanka from the Downloads section.

*Find a Torchlighters DVD and related resources about Robert Jermain Thomas (North Korea) at Torchlighters.org and in the Downloads section.

*Click here to find a lesson plan for Colombia.