Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of people in a country where civil war has driven more than 750,000 Christians from the country. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.
Published on June 4th, 2020
Students will learn the meaning of perseverance. They will learn that God can help Christians overcome obstacles which threaten to get in the way of following His will.
Explain: In some countries, Christians are forced away from their homes and villages because they follow Jesus. The Christians become refugees. Refugees are people who flee from an unsafe place to a safer place. But sometimes the refugee camps where they go are not very nice or comfortable.
Published on June 3rd, 2020
Mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of white corn meal. (Precooked corn meal is best.)
Add 1 tbsp. of butter and 1 tsp. of salt.
With your hands, form thin, flat tortillas about 3 inches wide.
Cook on a lightly buttered grill or in a frying pan over medium high heat until golden brown. Serve hot, topped with shredded cheese, butter, jam, meat, or other toppings.
Enter “Colombia” in the Search box to find more stories about bold Christians in Colombia.
Published on June 2nd, 2020
Fourteen-year-old Sara Gomez did not have a happy home life. Before his death, her father had abused her. Sara was searching for meaning in her life.
She decided to join a guerrilla group to help them bring about a revolution in her country, Colombia. The group is called FARC. (“FARC” rhymes with “dark.” Guerrillas are people who carry out acts of war, even though they are not part of a regular army.) You can learn about FARC’s beliefs here.
Sara learned that the FARC persecuted Christians. She was not a Christian, but she felt compassion for the people that the FARC persecuted.
After a time, Sara left the FARC and married a man named Antonio. Sara and Antonio had four children — one son and three daughters. Christian family members had been praying that she would come to know Jesus. And she did!
“Remembering what I lived through and how God came and got me when I repented,” she said, “I wanted to do so many things for Him after I came to know Him.”
Helping a Friend
Sara’s oldest daughter, who is now 17, had a friend who was at risk of joining the FARC. Sara remembered her own problems as a teenager. She and her family shared the gospel with the girl, who gave her life to Christ. The girl’s parents did not approve of her studying the Bible. But after they saw how her behavior had changed for the better, they wanted to learn more about her faith.
Continuing to Share the Good News
One day, some guerrillas told Antonio that they would kidnap his oldest daughter if Sara did not stop her ministry. So VOM helped the Gomezes move to a new village where they are safer. The family had to leave behind the land that they were farming.
VOM then bought a machine to help Sara make arepas to sell as a street vendor. (Find a recipe for arepas in the next post.) Sara is grateful for the machine. “It’s a big blessing for me,” she said. “Making arepas allows me to evangelize.” (To “evangelize” is to spread the good news of Jesus.)
(Photo: Sara provides Action Bibles to children in Colombia.)
Ask a VOM Worker Story
Published on June 1st, 2020
[Photo: African girl reading a children’s Bible]
Brother Jeremy is The Voice of the Martyrs’ deputy regional director for Africa. VOM’s Todd Nettleton recently interviewed Jeremy on VOM Radio. Jeremy talked about Christian work in Africa during coronavirus concerns. Read part of their interview below.
Todd: Right now, the overwhelming concern seems like in the whole world is coronavirus….How is that affecting the ability to really get out and see the people we work for around the world?
Jeremy: Well, for Africa right now most of the borders are closed, so it is difficult at this time. One of the things which is really core to who VOM is as a ministry, which is an encouragement to me, is they will say don’t take any unnecessary risks, but take every necessary risk. Meaning that despite the inconveniences, despite even potential sacrifices of getting to these places, if our brothers and sisters in Christ are being persecuted, to serve the local church we will take those risks to be there with them. We will get back as soon as we possibly can.
Todd: I got a picture this week of one of our local staff in Nigeria with a mask on to protect against the virus, but still out delivering aid to Christians who had just been the victims of an attack and encouraging them, praying with them, delivering help to them with a mask on in the midst of the virus. So as you say, our work certainly goes on.
Jeremy: There has been a countrywide lockdown which has resulted in roads between states being closed. People are being required to stay in their homes most days of the week. But yet, that hasn’t stopped the militants from continuing to attack villages, predominately Christian villages throughout the North. You could say the virus has made the people more vulnerable in the sense they have had to stay indoors. In many ways they are sitting ducks. The militants come in, often times late at night….attacking homes, burning down homes, and targeting churches…
Todd: How can our listeners pray?
Jeremy: One thing we can be in prayer for are our teams in Nigeria. With COVID, of course, there are unique challenges in how to respond to the situations that are taking place. But their commitment is incredible. It is incredible for the communities they are serving in. They are still distributing relief. They are taking every opportunity they possibly can to serve the church, to minister to those in need….
But our teams are not only providing for their physical well-being but their spiritual care, their emotional care. So our teams continue to see them and to encourage them. Pray that our teammates would have wisdom in how to speak into their lives and to encourage them in the Word and support them.
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)
Published on June 1st, 2020
Parents and Teachers
Parents and grandparents, let us carefully consider the spiritual leadership we are providing our children and grandchildren (Deuteronomy 4:9–10, 11:19) to make sure we are leading our families to be on mission — on God’s mission. We should first ask ourselves, “How will I advance God’s eternal purposes in the fallen world?” and then turn to our own household and ask, “How will we do so as a family?” – Cole Richards, VOM president
The June 2020 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine features stories of families on God’s mission in Colombia.
*David, Gloria, and their three children share God’s love in areas controlled by armed groups of fighters. On weekends they transport 200 children, 50 at a time, by boat to their home for a Bible lesson.
*Manuel and Sandra have to be careful about what they say in church, because armed groups send spies to listen to the sermons.
*Sara joined a guerrilla group at age 14. “God came and got me when I repented,” she said.
You can share stories of Christians in Colombia from the magazine and 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.
*Download Bold Believers in Colombia from the Downloads section.