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Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs

Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs includes stories, history, culture facts, and activities that help children understand the daily lives of the Uygur people, who live mainly in northwest China. The 52-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Spotlight Story

How Omid’s Heart Changed

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length and clarity)

Omid grew up in a Muslim family in Iran. His father was a movie producer, and Omid loved reading books and watching movies. He was always fascinated with stories.

His interest in books led him to read about world religions at a young age. “I often read religious books to compare religions,” Omid said. “I wanted to prove to myself that religion was invented by the human mind. I believed that all religious books were written by a genius who wanted to control people.

“Then later my wife gave me the New Testament and asked me to read it. I agreed to read it and to make notes of the mistakes that I found. But I read about loving your enemies and loving your neighbor. I thought to myself that I needed to find the Old Testament to find the mistakes, because the Old Testament is older.

“I didn’t ask anyone how to get an Old Testament, because I didn’t want someone to know that I read the New Testament. Then one night I had a dream. I was on a big ship, and many boats were around us. There was a man on the deck with some people around him. They called me to come and pray for him.

“Suddenly a man in white touched my shoulder from behind. He gave me a golden guitar and a small box wrapped in a piece of cloth. Then He said, ‘Stay on My way.’”

The Taxi Ride
The dream was fresh in Omid’s mind the next morning when his car wouldn’t start. He had to hurry to get to work on time, and he decided to take a taxi.

Omid told what happened next. “The driver didn’t pick up any other passengers,” he said. “In Iran, it is not normal to take only one passenger. They usually take four passengers. When we arrived, I got out of the taxi. I asked the driver how much I owed him, but he handed me a package.”

The package looked like the box he had seen in his dream.

“I was so confused,” Omid continued, “and when I finally recovered, the taxi driver was gone. When I unwrapped the package, I was shocked. It was the Bible, the Old Testament and New Testament together. It was unbelievable. My hand was shaking when I touched it.”

God used a dream to get Omid’s attention, but that was only the first step in his understanding the gospel. When Omid and his wife started to read the Bible, their hearts changed right away. They both trusted in Jesus to forgive their sins and make them new.

To Talk About
*Why did Omid read books about religion?
*Why did he want to read the Old Testament?
*Why do you think Omid didn’t want anyone to know he had read the New Testament? (Learn more about Christianity in Iran here.)
*Learn how you can help provide Bibles for people in countries where the government does not want Christianity to spread here.


Spotlight Story

Encouraged by Singing

Petr Jasek, the leader of The Voice of the Martyrs’ ministry in Africa, was arrested in Sudan in 2015. Sudan’s government said Petr was a spy. But he really was helping persecuted Christians in Sudan, not spying.

Petr was forced to share a cell with Muslim terrorists who did not like Christians. Conditions were harsh, and his outlook was bleak.

The story below tells about one incident that encouraged Petr during his prison time.

[Parents and Teachers: The story is from Petr’s book, Imprisoned with Isis: Faith in the Face of Evil, available from The Voice of the Martyrs. Please preview the book before sharing with younger children. The excerpt below has been edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness.]

Petr’s Story
After more than eight months in prison, the day of my trial finally arrived. Early in the morning, we rinsed ourselves with a bucket of water. My hair and beard were now long and silver.

Special guards transported us to the prison building. [The trip] took nearly two hours in the back of a cattle truck, and we sat on long metal benches on each side of the truck bed. When we arrived, the guards put the handcuffs on us and moved us to a holding cell, where we waited.

There were dozens of prisoners squeezed into the small room. The floor of the waiting room was dirty, and there was no place to sit, so we roamed an outdoor courtyard. As I paced around the small space, I heard the sound of singing rising from outside the nearby courthouse.

[We] soon realized the source of the singing, and we were overwhelmed. Hundreds of Christians had traveled by bus to show their support. With shields, batons, and tear gas, the Sudanese riot police had prevented them from entering the building. [The Christians] stood outside and sang about David and Goliath. We listened as the Body of Christ raised up a song of encouragement for us. They were risking their own lives by offering support for us. Their bravery astounded me. I wondered how many of them would be arrested.

Read more stories about Petr here, here, and here.

To Talk About
*Why do you think the Christians sang about David and Goliath?
*What can you do today to encourage someone?


Spotlight Story

Live for the Glory of God

[Photo: What are your hobbies?]

Recently Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio talked to Andrew Scott, the leader of Operation Mobilization USA, a ministry that takes the Good News of Jesus to places where people have never heard it. You can read part of the interview below.

(Source; VOM Radio, edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness.)

Todd: We are talking this week on Voice of the Martyrs Radio with Andrew Scott. He is the leader of Operation Mobilization USA. Andrew, what is your message for American Christians? What are the things American Christians need to hear and understand about missions?

Andrew: Our purpose is to live our lives for the glory of God, in everything we do. We are uniquely shaped to do that in many different ways, whether we are a doctor, engineer, a father, brother, a mother, a neighbor, hairdresser, or an electrician. There are many roles in life. Through those roles, we get to fulfill our purpose, which is to reflect the Father in everything we do.

I would say the mission of God is something you are made for. So, as the people of God today, let’s start living out all of our life for the glory of God, making Him known wherever we are. Then are there other places in the world where you can go and do what you are made for? If you are an engineer why not be an engineer in Riyadh [Saudi Arabia]? Why not be a doctor in the Near East for the glory of God? You can go do that because that is what you are made for.

I believe that you have a unique set of passions different from mine, and we all have a unique set of passions. Through Christ we are a new creation. All these things have been brought back to the place where they can be redeemed and restored and used for the glory of God. The Apostle Paul says whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. (See 1 Corinthians 10:31.)

Todd: How does this work with hobbies and things like that?

Andrew: When you are on the soccer field or when you are out sailing — whatever it is you are passionate about — can people see in your life something different? Paul and Peter both say that even though people may accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your good deeds, and they will glorify God. (See 1 Peter 2:12 and Matthew 5:16.)

To Talk About
*What are your hobbies? What are some of the ways you can glorify God while enjoying your hobbies? Ask God to help you make Him known wherever you are.
*What is one job you might want to do when you are an adult? Could you do that in more than one location? Could you do that job in other countries?


Spotlight Story

Egypt: A Note on a Bus

(Source: icommittopray.com)

One day when Ahmed was 16, he boarded a public bus in his city in Egypt. He noticed that someone had left a note on his seat on the bus. He picked up the note and read, “The Lord Jesus has chosen you for Him.”

Ahmed, a Muslim, was puzzled and curious, and he began a journey of seeking more information about Jesus. He started his journey by reading Christian books.

But when family members found the books in his room, they beat him up. They brought a Muslim religious leader to their house to try to change his mind about seeking Jesus. Then they sent him to Saudi Arabia, where his father owned a factory. He was locked in a small room for seven years until his family allowed him to return to Egypt. They also arranged for him to marry a cousin.

In Egypt, Ahmed was able to get on the Internet and read Christian websites. His faith in Jesus grew. So his family cut off all support for him. Ahmed started a restaurant to earn money. But neighbors burned down the restaurant when they found out he was a Christian.

To Do and To Talk About
*The Bible promises that God answers the prayers of His children. (See James 5:16.) Will you join with other Christians in praying that Ahmed will stay strong in his faith during his times of trouble?
*Talk about who might have left the note on the bus. Do you think they ever found out what happened to the person who found the note? Might they have gotten discouraged if they left notes all over the city, but never found out the results of their witnessing?
*If you knew that leaving a note for someone would result in their being persecuted as a Christian, would you leave it anyway, Why or why not?


Activities Story

How Do VOM Workers Travel?

A worker who has traveled to many countries for The Voice of the Martyrs answers the question, “How do VOM workers travel?”

“We definitely travel in unique ways overseas,” said the worker. “I have personally ridden a camel and two elephants in the field, although those were mostly just for fun! We start some of our trips in an airplane, and we have ridden in some very large airplanes and some very small ones. The smallest one I have flown in could seat only four people; the larger ones can seat over 200 people! Then we usually travel by a taxi. We also take boats, sometimes a large ferry, and sometimes a small canoe. I have ridden motorbikes on occasion, and, of course, sometimes we need to travel on a bus or train.

“No matter how we travel, our goal is to help our brothers and sisters who are suffering for Jesus, and we are able to help hundreds of them each year. God has blessed us with an amazing opportunity to serve Him!”

In the sentences below, find eight ways of transportation VOM contacts use when traveling to places to encourage persecuted Christians.

Search for these words: train, camel, ship, bus, donkey, barge, van, and plane. (The first one has been found for you.)

1. The sleepy boy came late to school.
2. The violinist played on key at every concert.
3. Restaurant cooks plan each meal carefully.
4. Moses saw a burning bush.
5. It was not raining when Noah started on his ark.
6. Jesus said a servant is not above his master.
7. A candy bar gets soft if you leave it in the sun.
8. The zookeeper’s hippopotamus didn’t fit in the cage.