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Helen and Joyce: Kids in Kenya


Kenyan children with gifts from VOM

J.G. Spires, who wrote this story, is a VOM summer intern from South Carolina. She will be a senior at North Greenville University studying English and broadcast media.

Getting to school is hard for children like 10-year-old Helen and 14-year-old Joyce in Kenya. It has become even harder since Christians have been targeted for their faith. In June 2014, Helen and Joyce, along with their parents, had to hide when their village was attacked.

Villages like Helen and Joyce’s are spread far apart, separated by dangerous forests where wild animals live. The villages are so far from each other that children must walk a long way in the heat to get to school. Sending school and medical supplies to the villages is difficult because of the dangerous terrain.

Many people, including adults, don’t know how to read. Children often have to drop out of school to help their parents take care of their farms. Some protect the crops from wild animals. Other children help in their homes by taking care of their younger siblings and collecting water for their families. Their hard work doesn’t leave them much time to study for school.

Even when they get to school, Christian children have to watch out for attacks. Their teacher has a special way of warning them. If attackers are coming, the teacher blows a whistle so the children can escape in time.

The girls enjoy Bible stories, and one of Helen’s favorites is the Creation story. Joyce has memorized John 1:1, which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Helen wants to be a medical doctor when she grows up, and Joyce would like to be a pilot.

Last year, after their village was attacked, Helen and Joyce received a package from The Voice of the Martyrs that contained a Bible and school supplies, including solar lamps. The lamps help the sisters study for school and read the Bible after dark.

Through organizations like The Voice of the Martyrs, the family is reminded that they are not alone. They are part of God’s huge family. Kids in the U.S. can pray for them by asking God to bring peace to Christians in Kenya.

Enter “Kenya” in the search box to find more stories about Christians in Kenya.


Richard Wurmbrand Born 107 Years Ago

Wurmbrand
Pastor Wurmbrand in prison

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was born on March 24, 1909. He served 14 years in prison for sharing the gospel in communist Romania. After he was freed, he and his wife, Sabina, started The Voice of the Martyrs to help Christians who are persecuted. Pastor Wurmbrand died in 2001.

Pastor Wurmbrand told many stories to illustrate Bible truths. One of the stories he told is below.

“A child was urged to eat carrots and peas because they contained vitamins. He said, ‘Why didn’t God put the vitamins in candy and ice cream?’ My answer would have been, ‘Because it’s important for children not only to have vitamins, but also to learn to swallow what may be unpleasant to the taste.’ We all need to learn from the good and the unpleasant. A Christian must welcome unpleasant things sometimes, because they are part of the ‘all things’ that God is working together for our good.”

To Think About: Read Romans 8:28. What kinds of “unpleasant things” do persecuted Christians face?


September 11 and Terrorists

On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked two locations in the United States. The 19 terrorists hijacked four planes full of passengers and crashed two of them into New York’s World Trade Center on purpose. They crashed a third plane into the Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the U.S. military in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to stop the hijackers. Many died when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed.

The terrorists believed they were following the teachings of strict Islam.

The chart below compares terrorists’ beliefs with Christian responses.

Terrorist Beliefs and Christian Responses

Terrorist Beliefs Christian Responses
Fear
Terrorists use threats and violence to try to force others to do what they want. Terrorism is often carried out against innocent people who are no threat to the terrorists. Terrorists try to control people by scaring them. “Many look at terrorists with fear, others with hate. Jesus fears and hates no one. Like God who gives sunshine and rain to all, so He loves and desires to forgive and save all” (Richard Wurmbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs)
Power Terrorists believe in using anger, hate, greed, and violence to get power. Richard Wurmbrand shared that the secret of real power is love, mercy, goodness, good character, and being a servant, as Jesus taught. (See Matthew 3:1–14 and Romans 12:21.)
Who is in control? Terrorists believe that there are powerful people or groups who cause all their problems. They think getting rid of those people will fix everything. God has placed Jesus “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21, NIV) We can trust in Him. (See Proverbs 3:5.)
Success Terrorists think that conquering people in power will mean success. Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?
Changing the world Terrorists believe the way to get desirable things is to change the world by acts of terrorism. Christians know that only Jesus has the key to eternal peace. His truth is for all places and all times. Fighting for wrong causes can fail. When someone trusts in God, they cannot fail forever.

Find another chart about terrorist beliefs here.

Additional charts comparing Christian truths with other worldviews are in the Beliefs section of this site.


Sergio Cariello: Action Bible Cartoonist

Bible

Sergio Cariello is a Christian comic book artist who has drawn Batman, Spiderman, the Lone Ranger, and other characters. He attended a school to help him improve his drawing skills, and he has also attended schools where he studied the Bible. Recently The Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton interviewed him on VOMRadio.net.

Read parts of the interview below. (Edited and paraphrased from the original interview for clarity, length, and age appropriateness.)

Todd: You knew that you wanted to draw comic books when you were 5 years old.

Sergio: I grew up in Brazil, and we had comics like kids in America did. As soon as we could hold a pencil in our hands, my brother and I were drawing every day. I remember telling my parents, “When I grow up, I want to be a cartoonist. I want to draw comic books.”

Todd: Sergio Cariello is the artist behind the The Action Bible. VOM is working on The Action Bible project with the publisher. The publisher and VOM are working together to translate and distribute The Action Bible into hostile and restricted nations all over the world.

Sergio: I have dealt with Jesus from a very young age, not only drawing Him, but talking to Him and reading about Him. At times I have to stop drawing and talk to God, and even while I’m drawing. I stop and say, “Lord, fill me now. Lord, thank You. Touch my heart; I need that.”

Todd: You have said, “My Jesus is not a wimp.” Tell us about that.

Sergio: Jesus was a carpenter. Have you ever seen a carpenter’s hands? They are not weak. Have you seen the legs of people who walk miles and miles on foot? They have strong legs. Jesus didn’t have a subway system or a horse to travel.

Todd: What are some stories you have heard about how people around the world are reacting to The Action Bible?

Sergio: I hear stories such as the Indian kid who hid the book under his bed. When he finally decided to show it to his Muslim father, the father got saved by reading the book. When he looked at the picture of Jesus, he asked his son, “Where did you get this? I have been dreaming of this man. I have seen Him in my dreams.” The father witnessed to his neighbor, and the neighbors got saved. They started a church among Muslims in India.

It is my privilege to be alive and to see this happening as I live. And I praise God for everything He is doing for me and through me.


Ask a VOM Worker: Learning Another Language

VOM

A worker from The Voice of the Martyrs’-USA International Ministries Department shared his thoughts about learning other languages. The worker grew up speaking Dutch in Holland. He visits Arabic-speaking countries in his work for VOM. Read below what he said.

I think anyone should learn a second language, but especially if you feel like God is leading you to a certain group who speak a different language.

Children have a great advantage of still being teachable far better than people who are older. It’s just so much easier to start when you’re young. My kids speak English but know some Spanish and Dutch as well.

Some learn [another language] best with a book; others through classes or audio CDs. But I think what is best is to move to where they speak the language and stop speaking in your own language. This is why I speak English.

I’m slowly learning Arabic. It just helps to learn the language of the people you serve. If a missionary from Holland came to the U.S. and always worked through a translator without learning to speak English, I think you would agree with me, that would not be a good idea.

(Edited from the original)

Learn Some Arabic Words

English How to Say It in Arabic
(Pronunciations are approximate.)
Praise the Lord. MAHG-duh lah rahp.
Jesus saves. Yah-SOO-uh yoo KHAH-liss
Yes Nahm
No Lo
Jesus loves you. Yah-SOO-uh yoh HEH-back
Do you know Jesus? Hahl-tah-reef Yah-SOO-uh
My name is _____. IS-mih _____.
Thank you. SHOO-krahn

Try This
Try to have a conversation with someone using the Arabic words above.

Read more Ask a VOM Worker posts in the Archives section.