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Spotlight Story

Lost Cell Phone Brings Trouble in Pakistan

Pakistan

Shafgat and Shaguftah have five children, ages 5 to 13. But they were separated from their children last summer after Shafgat and Shaguftah were arrested.

A Muslim, Muhammad Hussain, reported the couple to the police after he received offensive text messages on his cell phone. Hussain said the messages were “blasphemous,” and that they came from Shaguftah’s cell phone number.

“Blasphemy” refers to words or deeds that dishonor something holy. Pakistan has laws against blaspheming anything or anyone that Muslims think is holy, such as Muhammad, the founder of Islam, or the Quran, the Muslim holy book. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Shaguftah told the police that she had lost her cell phone a month before Muhammad got the text message. But the police put Shafgat and Shaguftah in jail anyway. The officers pressured the parents to name someone else who could have sent the message. But Shafgat and Shaguftah were convicted in court of the charges against them.

Pray for families around the world who are separated because of their faithfulness to Christ.


Spotlight Story

Sharing the Good News in Karnataka

Karnataka
Delivering Bibles in Karnataka

The Ice Cream Man
Daniel, age 13, lived with his brother, sister, mom, and dad in Karnataka, a state in India. His dad, Pushparaj, was an ice cream man. He sold ice cream from a small ice cream cart.

When Pushparaj sold ice cream to his customers, he also gave them a Christian pamphlet. The pamphlet explained how Jesus saves people from sin.

Because of his Christian witness, radical Hindus beat him up several times. “Jesus was beaten, too,” said Pushparaj. “My beatings were just little ones.”

Daniel and his family were kicked out of their home and rejected by neighbors. But they gained new friends among those who decided to become Christians

Source: Kids of Courage archives

Pastor Gowda
Pastor Gowda, a VOM worker, distributes Bibles in Karnataka, where Daniel and his family live. Last year he supervised the delivery of 10,000 Bibles in a region of Karnataka where Christians are persecuted by radical Hindus.

Who received the Bibles? Here is a list of some of the kinds of people who received them.

  • Some Christians had never owned a Bible and were too poor to buy one.
  • Twelve families were sharing one Bible. Each family got a new Bible.
  • Radical Hindus destroyed many Bibles. The Bibles were replaced.
  • Some who received Bibles had been fasting and praying for a Bible for two or three years.

Before the Bibles were delivered, workers prayed for each Bible and for the pastors who would help distribute them. They asked God to use His word to bring light to the hearts of those who persecute Christians.

Source: July 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter


Activities Story

Transportation Puzzle

Slideshow
Travel Slideshow

The “travel sideshow” in this post shows unique ways of transportation encountered by VOM workers in their travels.

In the sentences below, find eight ways of transportation VOM contacts use to transport Bibles to places where Bibles are hard to get.

Search for these words: train, camel, ship, bus, donkey, barge, van, and plane.

  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.

Country Search Answers

  1. Camel
  2. Donkey
  3. Plane
  4. Bus
  5. Train
  6. Van
  7. Barge
  8. Ship

Spotlight Story

A Different Kind of Test

Hmong Christians in Vietnam
Hmong Christians in Vietnam

Christian leaders in Vietnam travel to a secret location to attend classes. The classes help them learn more about the Bible and about leading others to Jesus.

The leaders come from tribal areas. Some of Vietnam’s tribal groups are: Hmong, Ede, K’ho, Hre, Jorai, Rade, Khmu, and Stieng. In some of the groups, few people have heard about Jesus. In other groups, many are coming to Christ. The classes are secret because local government leaders in some tribal areas don’t want Christians to spread the gospel.

Halfway through their training, the students take a break for two or three months. If they want to come back to class, they have to share the gospel with at least 30 people during their break.

This “test” can be hard to pass. Students are sometimes beaten up for encouraging people to follow Jesus. At times they are kicked out of villages. Their families may try to stop them from spreading the gospel.

But they continue to share the good news of Christ. The plan is for each student to create a new group of Christians to worship and serve God together.

To Think About

  • Why are the classes secret?
  • Why is the test hard to pass?
  • How does your church or faith group help you grow in Christ? Pray for the new groups in Vietnam, and thank God for the group you attend.

Source: July 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter


Spotlight Story

Praying for Those Who Trouble Us

Book

Christian History Institute, producers of Torchlighters children’s DVDs about Christian heroes, has published a 94-page book for children about Corrie ten Boom.

The following is an excerpt from the book.

BOOM! Corrie sat up suddenly in bed, startled. What was that? She thought. A bright flash followed by a loud boom erupted in the quiet night. As her bed shook, Corrie crawled quickly toward her window and peered outside. The sky glowed scarlet as bombs exploded on the ground just outside of her city of Haarlem.

Throwing on her bathrobe, Corrie hurried down the stairs to her sister’s room. [Corrie’s sister] Betsie was awake, sitting up in her own bed. The old house shook as more bombs fell.

“War!” they cried as they held each other in the dark.

The whole city quaked and skies flashed. Was this really happening? Corrie thought, frightened. What will become of our country if the Germans bring their hatred here? What will happen to Holland?

As these questions rolled around in her head, Corrie wondered if she was strong enough to trust in her God, even now.

“Corrie!” Betsie said, shaking Corrie from her thoughts. “Let’s go downstairs to pray.”

“Oh, yes,” Corrie agreed, and she followed Betsie to the kitchen.

Betsie grabbed Corrie’s hand as they knelt down to pray. Corrie prayed for all those she could think of, including their Queen Wilhelmina, and the Prime Minister, too. When Corrie finished, Betsie kept praying in a gentle, calm voice.

“God,” she said, “we pray for those German pilots in the planes right now. They’re also stuck in this great evil of hatred and violence. Please open their eyes to it and bless them.”

Corrie’s eyes snapped open. She stared at Betsie, shocked. How could she pray for those evil people? But Betsie prayed on. Corrie could tell that Betsie believed God’s grace was for everyone—even those who carried out Hitler’s awful plans.

“Oh Lord,” Corrie said as she closed her eyes once more. “Listen to Betsie, not me. I can’t pray for those men in the planes at all.”

To Think About
Read Matthew 5:43–48. How did Betsie show that she was committed to obeying God’s word in those verses?

The Torchlighters Biography Series: Corrie ten Boom is available at www.vombooks.com.


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