VOM’s Courageous Series books highlight the lives of faithful Christians throughout history, including the stories of biblical heroes Stephen, Thomas and Paul as well as three additional stories of well-known Christians Nicholas, Patrick and Valentine, whose faith informed their actions. Learn more here.
Published on April 9th, 2021
William Booth, born April 10, 1829, faced rowdy crowds, physical attacks, and cranky drunks when he took the gospel to the poor people on the streets of London.
William had learned something about poverty while he was growing up. He had to quit school and go to work at age 13 to help support his family. His wife, Catherine, did not have an easy childhood, either. A spinal condition kept her in bed for months at a time. But she was able to read the entire Bible eight times before she was 12!
Together they reached many poor and struggling people for Christ. Through their work and their willingness to endure obstacles, God changed lives forever.
Their story is told in the Torchlighters DVD, The William Booth Story, produced by Christian History Institute and The Voice of the Martyrs. (See the trailer above.) Find out more about Torchlighters DVDs here. Free student and leader guides for the story are available in the Downloads section of this site.
Published on April 8th, 2021
A Bible Smuggling Story
(Source: The April 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine.)
An aging man boarded a bus in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with a long journey ahead of him — possibly a 12-hour ride. In his hands, he clutched a box of about 30 Bibles that he was taking to tribal Christians in the highlands. As he looked for a seat on the crowded bus, he pondered how he would get through the many checkpoints along the way without his precious goods being discovered.
After finding an empty seat along the aisle, he sat down and placed the box of Bibles on the floor against his leg. A police captain who had followed him onto the bus then took the seat across the aisle from him, casually removed his hat and placed it on the man’s box.
As the bus coughed and sputtered its way down the road, the man occasionally glanced down at his precious cargo, wondering if he would succeed in delivering it to his destination. All too soon, they reached a checkpoint. Police officers boarded the bus to check a few ID cards, but they were especially focused on any boxes the passengers had with them.
The man’s heart skipped a beat as the officers advanced down the aisle. Soon, they were standing by his box of Bibles, and he expected the worst. But when they looked at the box and saw the police captain’s cap resting on it, they continued down the aisle to the next passenger. Eventually, the man reached his destination and safely delivered God’s Word to awaiting believers in the highlands.
Miracles occur in different and sometimes simple ways. God’s hand was at work protecting His precious Word. When we think about it, miracles happen often. In the rush and bustle of life, let us not fail to recognize God’s hand, lest we miss the blessing.
Published on April 7th, 2021
A school teacher in Iran was a strong Muslim. One of the teacher’s 15-year-old Christian students was praying for her salvation.
The teacher found herself thinking about God. She prayed, “God, I want to be closer to you. What do I need to do?” Then she had a dream. She dreamed she saw a big rock. A voice in her dream said, “Go there to pray.”
The teacher’s Christian student had an idea. He wrapped up a Bible and a Christian DVD, and gave it to the teacher as a gift. She read the Bible, and decided to follow Christ!
When Muslims in Iran become Christians, their families sometimes treat them harshly. What would she tell her husband?
To her surprise, when her husband found out she was a Christian, he said, “I have always loved Christ. But since you were so religious, I did not dare talk about my feelings.”
“Now she teaches Christian values in her classes,” said the Christian student. “She teaches how we need to do good to those who do us harm, and how to love those who hate us. She shares Christ with students who are ready to hear.”
In what ways did the student help the teacher come to the truth about Christ? In what ways can you help people come to Christ? Christian workers in Muslim lands say that many Muslims are coming to Christ after having dreams. What do you think the rock in the teacher’s dreams meant to her? (Read Psalm 18:2.)
Published on April 6th, 2021
(Source: Kids of Courage archives)
In Tehran, Iran, a 6-year-old boy watched a Christian television program about Jesus. The Muslim government does not allow Christian TV programs to be produced in Iran. But they cannot control what is broadcast into Iran from other countries by satellite.
As the boy listened to the followers of Jesus on his TV, he sang along with them and prayed when they prayed. One morning before school, he said to his mother, “I want to tell my teacher about Jesus. What can I do?”
Published on April 5th, 2021
Parents and Teachers
As we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, we remember his last words to the disciples before his ascension into heaven. “You will be my witness … to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus also promised in John 15:20 that his true followers will be persecuted. The growth of the church and the spread of God’s Word have been accompanied by struggle and opposition.
The stories in the April 2021 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine can help you introduce children to the difficulties Christians encounter when sharing God’s Word in places where it is not welcome. You can share stories from the magazine and this site about Bible distribution and Bible smuggling 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.
*Read “Comparing Ideas About Bible Smuggling” in the Beliefs section
* Watch the Torchlighters DVD “The William Tyndale Story,” and find related coloring pages and activities at Torchlighters.org or in The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book.
*Find ways to pray for Bibles in the “Access to Bibles” sections of VOM’s Global Prayer Guide as a guide.