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Bold Believers in Syria

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.

Spotlight Story

Light from Heaven

In the previous post, missionary Dick Brogden talked about bearing fruit by abiding in Jesus. During Dr. Brogdens’ visit to VOM Radio, he also told the story of a man at a mosque who was used by God to bear fruit for His kingdom. (A mosque is a building where Muslims worship.)

Read Dr. Brodgen’s story below.
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length and clarity.)

Dr. Brodgen: The destruction in Yemen is greater than in Syria. But it doesn’t get as much media attention. It is a country that is completely devastated. A young man and his wife fled the devastation and went to Sweden.

In Sweden, the couple came to know Jesus. They joined a radio ministry that broadcast gospel messages back into Yemen. Then they went to a conference in Turkey for a few days. After the conference, the man stayed behind in Turkey, hoping to meet other people from Yemen.

He walked through the streets of the city for three days, looking for someone from Yemen to share the gospel with. On the last day of his visit, he was discouraged. “I’ll just go into the mosque,” he thought. It wasn’t the usual time of Muslim prayer, but he took his Bible, walked into the mosque, and sat in the middle of the carpet. [People traditionally sit on the floor at mosques.]

He opened his Bible and began to read it. Nothing happened. So he closed his Bible, stood up, and prepared to leave. But something forced him back to the ground, and he got worried. He couldn’t move. Suddenly a Muslim man ran up to him.

Read the next post to find out what happened after that.

Spotlight Story

Abiding in Jesus

Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently talked with Dick Brogden, the leader of a Christian organization called Live Dead. Dr. Brogden talked about how missionaries start their work by abiding in Jesus.

Dick Brogden: Jesus said very simply, “If you will abide in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” [See John 15:1-8.] We rest on His promise that if we do that, He will bring in disciples. He will bring in that “fruit.”

Todd Nettleton: How would you advise an American Christian who says, “I want to do more about abiding”?

Dick Brogden:
[Spiritual Muscles]
Spiritual muscles are very similar to physical muscles. You don’t start bench pressing 400 pounds the first day. I think you set modest goals. You can do that for a while, and then you start to increase.

[Prayer and Bible Reading]
The heart of it needs to be reading the Bible and prayer time. Some people journal, some use coloring books, and some people like listening to music [during their devotion time]. But the heart of it would be read your Bible, pray, and expand that time.

[Starting Out]
So I would say, if you are starting out, read a chapter a day, and pray for five minutes a day. Then increase to two chapters a day and 10 minutes, then three chapters a day and 15 minutes, but avoid legalism. [“Legalism” means placing more importance on your own rules than trusting in God’s gift of salvation through faith in His Son Jesus.]

Most American Christians would not have a problem with the concept of tithing their money. Well our time is a much more important resource than our money, and it is not renewable. Every moment belongs to Jesus, so as a goal, let’s tithe our time.

[Saying Yes and No]
If that’s going to work, something has to go. You can’t watch a lot of TV, or spend a lot of time with social media, or be lazy if you want to tithe your time to Jesus. Some of it is as much about what you say “no” to  as it is what you say “yes” to — what time you go to bed, what time you get up, and what you cut out of your life so you can give that to the Lord.

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

To Think About
What are some steps you can take to abide in Christ?

Feature Story

Uganda: Dragule, Juliet, and Their Children

Children are very important to Dragule and Juliet. The couple has 11 of them, ages 18, 17, 15, 14, 9, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Their youngest is named Gift. The child’s name shows how Dragule and Juliet feel about children. (See the photo above of Dragule, Juliet, and Gift.)

Dragule as a Muslim
Dragule and his family used to be Muslims. He taught Muslim children the Arabic alphabet at their mosque in Uganda. (A mosque is a building where Muslims worship. Uganda’s main languages are English, Uganda, and Swahili. But Muslims believe that their holy book, the Quran, is best understood in Arabic.)

Dragule began to feel that something was missing in his life. “I started searching for some truths in the Quran,” he said. “I realized that children are not considered. I also found out that women were undermined….Then I wanted to know how [Christian] children are cared for.

“One day, I observed the way Christian women would take care of their children – walking into church. I saw something strange. They would show love to them as they walked and would speak to them with respect. It was evident that they were treated fairly.

“When I realized that the Christians were different, I desired to join…I finally surrendered fully to Christ and never looked back.”

Dragule as a Christian
Dragule knew that Christians in the area are persecuted. He talked to a pastor and said, “I know I am going to die after this decision, but who will take care of my children?” The pastor told Dragule that if he died, God would take care of his children.

“In the meantime,” said Dragule, “persecution arose.”

Muslims beat up Dragule, threatened his wife and children, threw stones at their house, and convinced witch doctors to put curses on him. “But the spells didn’t work,” said Dragule. (See 1 John 4:4.)

Dragule and Juliet want their children to get a good Christian education. But sadly, the oldest daughter was lured away from their family and married to a Muslim. The second oldest also now lives with Muslims.

There is no Christian school in their village, because only two Christian families live there. So Dragule rented a small hut in a town with a Christian school for four of his school-age children. His 14-year-old daughter, Shamila, does not go to school. Instead, she takes care of the hut, cooks, and does laundry for her four siblings, and ensures that the home is safe. (See Shamila’s photo below.)

The family requests prayer for safety, strong faith, a good education, daily needs, and growth of Christianity in their village.

(VOM Sources. Edited for length and clarity.)

To Think About
*Read 1 John 4:4. How might the verse encourage Dragule’s family?
*What do you think about Shamila sacrificing to take care of the children’s hut while they attend school?
*Dragule goes house to house sharing the gospel with others in his village. What obstacles do you think he might face? What do you think of his choice to live in a place where he is persecuted?
*Can you see what Bible reference is written on the house? Find the verse in a Bible and read it.

Spotlight Story

How to Use Torchlighters in Your Church

Have you watched the animated Torchlighters DVDs about real-life Christian heroes who withstood persecution? Enter “Torchlighters” in the search box of this site to find reviews, trailers, and stories from the DVDs.

Torchlighters also has a blog that you can read here. A recent post told ten ways you can use Torchlighters in your church.

Read the list below, and visit the to find out details of the ways you can use the DVDs.

1. Missions Sunday
2. Sunday School series
3. Bible Memory reward
4. Sing the Torchlighters theme song
5. Hold a Torchlighters relay
6. Share with neighbors in a different language
7. Vacation Bible School
8. Olympic Fair outreach
9. Stock the library
10. Grow Torchlighters

Uncategorized Story

Egypt: Happy Anyway

(The story below comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. SDOK is in the Netherlands. The story has been translated, then edited for length and clarity.)

I am Christine, and I am 11 years old. I would love to go to school, but unfortunately, it is not possible. My parents say it is not safe for me and my sister.

We are Christian, but there are no Christian schools where we live. My sister accidentally told a friend that we were baptized. The friend told the teacher about it. It became a hassle.

Our relatives are also angry that we have become Christians. So our parents find it safer that we keep moving. That way nobody can find out where we live.

I really don’t like it at all. And yet I am happy. Strange, huh? It’s because I feel that Jesus is very close. He gives peace to my heart. I hope and pray that something special happens so that I can go to school safely. Will you pray with me?