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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 Restricted Nations books about North Korea and Colombia at vombooks.com.

*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.


Uganda: Charity’s Promise

Charity and her three children are having a hard time meeting their daily needs. Her husband used to help them, but he decided to stop going to church and become a Muslim. When he told Charity the news, she thought he was joking at first. Then he left his family and married two Muslim women, and Charity knew it was true. (Muslim teachings allow men to marry more than one woman.)

He told Charity he would only give her money to take care of their children if the children became Muslims.

Charity told him, “No thanks. My children are Christians, and I cannot give them away to anything. If we starve, it will be OK.”

Charity has to provide rent, food, and school fees for the children by herself. “I have made a promise not to turn away from Christ, even though the burden is very heavy,” she told a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs. “Please pray for me; I am exhausted.”

Pray for Charity’s strength and for the family’s daily needs.

To Talk About
Look at the photos of Charity’s three children in this post, and Doreka and two of her children in the previous post. Do they look sad? Angry? Why might they be joyful even though they are having a very difficult time?


Uganda: Four Kids and Mom Choose Christ

Doreka and her husband were raising their four children as Muslims. But when Doreka left Islam to follow Christ, her husband kicked all five of them out of their house in Uganda and threatened to harm the children.

“In Islam, they teach that heaven is a garden,” Doreka told a VOM worker. But I heard that Jesus is the one who can take us to the Father, so I accepted Christ. No matter what happens, I stand firm in Jesus Christ because of His promises.”

Doreka and her kids first took refuge in a church to escape her angry husband. Then, with the help of The Voice of the Martyrs, they got a house of their own, and the children returned to school. Their church continues to support and encourage them.

Some Muslims in Uganda, like Doreka, are learning about Jesus and deciding to trust Him as their Savior. But sadly, some Christians who are not strong in their faith have turned their backs on the truths in the Bible.

(Photo: Doreka and two of her children)

Read in the next post about another family in Uganda who are suffering because of their faith in Christ.