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What Happens Next?

Every year, The Voice of the Martyrs distributes more than 1 million Bibles to Christians in countries where Bibles can be hard to find. Families, Sunday school and VBS classes, and churches contribute to VOM to support the printing and smuggling of print, audio, and children’s Bibles.

What do you think happens after the Bibles are printed (or recorded) and ready to deliver? “We want to get Bibles to places where no one else is getting them to,” said a VOM worker. How do you suppose the Bibles get to people in hard-to-reach places?

The photo above shows a woman carrying a box of Bibles up a mountain in Burma (Myanmar). It took her about two hours to complete her walk.

The men in the photo below brought boxes of Bibles on their motorcycles to the edge of the floodwaters. Then they unloaded the Bibles and carried the motorcycles across the water. Finally, they left the motorcycles while they returned to haul the boxes on their shoulders by foot across the floodwaters to believers on the other side.

The Christians in remote places of Myanmar and Vietnam are happy to make sacrifices to deliver the Bibles to other believers. They know that without their work and the help of VOM supporters, Christian in their lands might live their entire lives without ever reading or hearing the Word of God.

Vietnam: Finding Happiness in Prison

Prison cell in Asia

The following story is from the Kids of Courage archives.

Silas was in prison. His cell was about 66 feet long and about 16 feet wide. Fifty-six other men lived in the cell with Silas.

“We slept on cement platforms,” said Silas. “In the morning we ate nothing. At midday and in the evening we ate rice. This rice was cooked from moldy, rotten rice. The bowls were never full, and after a few mouthfuls it was gone.”

Silas was arrested because he took part in a protest to bring attention to the problems of some ethnic groups in Vietnam. In free countries, it is legal to protest in public. But Vietnam is a communist country. Government officials can have people arrested for protesting in public.

The ethnic groups want the freedom to worship the God of the Bible. Vietnamese leaders do not want Christianity to grow among the groups. They also do not want the people in the groups to be able to read the Bible in their own language.

Read the rest of this entry »

Beans and Stones

(The story and activity below come from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. The fictional story is told from the point of view of a boy in the Netherlands, where SDOK is located.)

Yuk, beans again! I have a huge appetite for food, but not beans. I grumble throughout the entire meal. “Beans make me sick,” I say. “So how can they be healthy?” And I grumble that we also ate healthy food yesterday (spinach) and the day before (cauliflower). My mother doesn’t respond at all, so I just keep on grumbling. Later, after reading the Bible, my mother suddenly says, “Because I thought it was such a delicious meal, Stef can choose his favorite dish tomorrow.”

Okay, that’s not a difficult question. My favorite meal is rice with peanut sauce. It is only mid-afternoon the next day when my mother calls down the stairs to sit at the table. Hey, we never eat that early. There’s something wrong. And yes. The table is normally set, but my plate is full of gray and white things. “What is that?” I ask hesitantly. I suspect some weird punishment.

“I’ll explain,” my mother says. “I was so annoyed by your grumbling at dinner yesterday. While I was cooking, I had read a story about a boy who lives in Vietnam. His father was in a prison camp for 17 years because he loves the Lord Jesus. He had to work hard and only got a bowl of rice to eat once a day. To persecute him even more, prison guards sometimes mixed his rice with small stones. If that happened to you, then you would have a reason to grumble.

“So I am giving you this challenge,” my mother continued. “There are small stones and rice in your bowl. Try to eat the rice without eating any stones. Then I will fix your favorite food.”

Believe it or not, but I still grumbled a bit while separating the rice and stones. But after half an hour I got it right: a plate full of rice without stones. I will never admit it, of course, but I thought this punishment was actually pretty good. And about the story in Vietnam? I’m not going to forget it.

To Do
Before you start eating, do you check carefully whether there are any stones in the food? Fortunately, we don’t worry about stuff in our food. Do you know who is concerned when they get their meal? Christians in Vietnam who are in prison. The guards sometimes put stones in their rice, just to bully them.

*Stir a handful of raisins into a bowl of rice or cereal. Pretend the raisins are stones. Then try to eat the food without getting raisins on your spoon or fork.

*To make peanut sauce, stir together ¼ cup of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. (Optional: ½ teaspoon of garlic and ½ teaspoon of lemon juice.) Heat and stir to blend, then serve over rice.

Vietnam: Twan

Twan’s parents working

(The story below comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry in the Netherlands that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions.)

Hi, I am Twan and I am about 10 years old. I say “about,” because in my country, your birthday is not very important. So I don’t know exactly how old I am. I was born in Vietnam. Not in a big city, but in the mountains. It is very beautiful and green.

Our Government
Our country is Communist. That means that the country is ruled by one party, and that is of course, the Communist Party. The government is very strict. People are closely monitored throughout the country. The government is not happy with people who are Christians. They think that we love the government less if we are Christians. I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that I love the Lord Jesus. God is the best for me.

And everyone at my home believes that. In the past, this was not the case. It has changed because of me.

Very Sick
One day I became very sick. Whatever my parents tried, nothing helped. In another village, there lived someone who believes in God and prays when someone is sick. My parents were so worried about me that they asked him for advice. He taught them who God is and how to pray. He also gave them a Bible.

God Heals!
My parents immediately started praying for me, and I was healed. My father was super enthusiastic and told anyone who wanted to hear that I was healed and who had healed me. Soon the whole village knew, so my father went to another village to talk about God. He went from village to village with this great news.

Much Taken Away
Sadly, my father’s family did not find it good news at all. When my father came home one day, relatives were waiting for him, and he got a beating. They also chased us out of the house and we fled to my grandmother’s house in another village. My father waited a while, thinking that his family’s anger would die down. He wanted to collect his cows that were left behind, because you cannot bring in a harvest without cows. He was really sad when he saw that our house was gone, our cows were gone, and our land was sold. His family had done that. How mean is that!

Happy with God
Yet my parents have no regrets that they believe in the Lord Jesus. We have lost a lot, but we have recovered much more: God’s love in our hearts and our safety in Him.

Bye, Twan.

Color a Drawing from Vietnam

Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs-USA and VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands (SDOK) visited persecuted Christians in Vietnam. One of the children they visited drew a coloring page for them.

Watch the girl draw the page in the video clip, then print the page to color.

The captions and title on the video are in Dutch, the language of the Netherlands. The title says, “Dep from Vietnam makes a drawing.”

For more Kids of Courage coloring pages, check the activity books in the Downloads section of this site.