Monthly Archives: October 2012

How to be a Superhero in Twelve Easy Steps

Superhero2 

Have you ever wished you were a superhero, that you could help someone in trouble? This morning at church, we had a guest speaker come and talk to us about the persecuted Church. Did you know there is a special day set aside to remember to pray for Christians who live in other places where they aren’t free to believe in God? The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) happens every November.

The guest speaker’s name was Darcie Gill, a remarkable person who works with an organization called The Voice of the Martyrs.  The Voice of the Martyrs is a Christian organization that helps Christians in other countries who are being persecuted and mistreated because of their faith in Jesus.  They help by providing food, medicine, clothing, Bibles, and other things to help Christians live each day and share Jesus with others.  Darcie filled us in on a way every one of us can be a superhero.  And we can do it in just twelve easy steps.

I tried to write down what she told us, so I could tell you about it when I got home.

Step One: Meet Jesus.

Every superhero has a moment when they go from being ordinary to extraordinary.  Every person who has asked Jesus to be in charge of their life has already undergone the greatest change anyone ever could.

The Voice of the Martyrs tells the story of Daniel, a 13-year-old boy in Iran who didn’t used to believe in Jesus.  He used to get into fights and do all sorts of things he shouldn’t.  But now that Jesus is in his life, God is helping him to make good decisions, even when people hurt him.

Step Two: Learn about someone in trouble.

With your parents’ permission, check out Kids of Courage (KOC) at  www.kidsofcourage.com.  KOC is the part of The Voice of the Martyrs that tells the stories of children all over the world who are suffering because they believe in Jesus and tell others about Him.  One of the stories talks about eleven kids who live in an orphanage in Laos.  They learned about Jesus and started going to church together.  But, when the person in charge of the orphanage found out, he warned them that if they kept going to church, he wouldn’t let them live in the orphanage any more.

Step Three: Pray.

The first thing we should do when someone needs help is pray.  God knows everything there is to know, so He can tell you the best way to help.

KOC told kids in the United States about Som, a 12-year-old boy in Laos.  One day, Som left school because he was sick.  But some boys were waiting for him, and they beat him up because he’s a Christian.  KOC asked everyone to pray for Som.  Som needed God’s help to keep following Him and to heal.  Later, KOC found out that Som is well and is still following Jesus.  And, no one has beaten him up since.

Step Four: Learn how to help.

On the KOC website, there are lots of things you can do to learn about Christians who need help.  One way is by checking out Prisoner Alert, a way The Voice of the Martyrs has created for people to write letters to Christians who are in jail all over the world.

Step Five: Learn a foreign language.

Just kidding!  The website lets you write the letter in English from a list of phrases and Bible verses.  The phrases and verses print in English and the language of the person you are writing to!

Step Six: Write a letter.

As long as your parents say it’s all right, write a letter from the Prisoner Alert website to one or more of the Christians you learn about.

Step Seven: Pray that God uses the letters to help.

Darcie said that persecuted Christians are very excited to learn that someone knows about them and their hard times.  They don’t want to be forgotten, and they very much want us to pray for them.  Only God can help them be strong when they are hurting and separated from their families.

And you can pray any time—while you are waiting in line at the bus stop or the cafeteria, while you are waiting for your little brother or sister to finally be ready to go somewhere.  You can even write a prisoner’s name on a bookmark and put it in the magazine you are reading, to remind you to pray.

Step Eight: Pray that God’s love will reach everyone at the prison.

The people in charge of the prisons don’t always give the letters to the Christians.  But, sometimes, God uses the letters to cause the jailers to help the Christians. And sometimes God uses the letters to help the prison guards find out about Jesus and His love for them.  And, the more people who learn about God’s love, the more people who will have a chance to believe in Him.

Step Nine: Learn more about the countries you send letters to.

There are many ways you can learn about how hard it is to follow Jesus in many countries around the world.  KOC has articles, books, newsletters, and stories about Christians all over the world.

Step Ten: Keep praying and sending letters.

Darcie said persecution is always taking place someplace.  There is always someone who needs our help.

Step Eleven: Recruit some allies.

Every superhero needs strong allies.  Allies help the hero fight the battles.  And, they help the hero when he’s in trouble.  Ask your friends, family, Sunday School teacher, or other Christians you know well to pray for the prisoners and the guards.  And, ask them to pray for you, too, that you won’t get tired writing letters and quit.  Even if you love to write, there will be times you sit down to write and you just won’t feel like it.  Ask your allies to pray for God to help you do whatever He wants you to do.

Step Twelve: Tell other people what you’re learning and how they can help.

Get your friends and family involved.  Tell them what you are reading, and let them know how to help.  Your friends and family can’t help if they don’t know what needs done.  Tell everyone you can how simple it is to be a superhero, in just twelve easy steps.

“Dear God, thank You for the brave Christians who love You and tell others about how much You love them, no matter what. Help them be strong, and help us to remember to always pray for them. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Stories from The Voice of the Martyrs are

Used by Permission of The Voice of the Martyrs

PO Box 443 Bartlesville, OK 74005-0443

1-918-337-8015

www.persecution.com

If you would like a printable version of today’s post, click here.

FrugalHomeschool Family Friday Link

Frankincense and New Life in Oman

Our teacher showed us a map of the country of Oman today. It’s a small country that is surrounded by Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Arabian Sea, and the Gulf of Oman. It makes up the front of the boot-shaped Arabian Peninsula.

In biblical times, the country was known for its frankincense. The trees that frankincense comes from only grow in a few places—and Oman was one of them! And, lots of people wanted frankincense for different reasons. It was an ingredient in incense. And, many people used it like a medicine.  Frankincense was supposed to make you healthy and fight different diseases.

But, after a while, people stopped using frankincense so much. They found other things to make medicine out of, and they bought less and less from Oman. Oman became a very poor country. In the 1960’s, oil was discovered, but the sultan (who was in charge of Oman), didn’t use all the money he got from the oil to make his country better. Finally, in the 1970’s, his son, Sultan Qaboos, took over. He used the money from the oil to build all sorts of things the people needed—like hospitals, schools, a university, good roads, harbors, and airports.

Sultan Qaboos still rules the country of Oman, and he knows his people need to learn as much as they can about how to run their oil industry. So, he allows experts from other countries to come train his people. And, it takes a lot of men to get all that oil ready to ship out, so he allows guest workers—hundreds of thousands of them—to come to his country to work in the oil fields.

There are very few Omani people who know Jesus is the only Savior. Most of the Christians in Oman are experts and workers who have come there from other countries. Our teacher said that the Omani people need to understand that when we sin and do wrong, it makes our spirits sick. We need the only medicine that will help our spirits. And, it’s not frankincense. It’s Jesus.

“Dear God, please help every person in Oman to realize that they need Jesus to make their hearts and spirits healthy. Please help the people who know You to tell the Omani people about You. And, please watch over them in every way. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

If you would like a printable version of today’s lesson, click here.

She Never Learned to Read

My friend Noelle told me about a video she saw last week. It was about a woman in Asia who quit school when she was a little girl and grew up without ever learning to read. Noelle said that when she is a reporter someday, she wants to interview more women like the one in the video and share their stories so everyone can find out how they can pray for them.

Can you imagine never learning to read? The woman was embarrassed at church, because she couldn’t read her Bible along with the pastor. And, she was sad, too, because she knew that reading the Bible and learning God’s Word was the best way to learn more about God.

But, when she was a little girl, her family was very poor. They didn’t have electricity or television—they didn’t even have good water to drink. She had to walk several miles to go to school, and she didn’t have nice clothes to wear. The other kids made fun of her. One day, she wasn’t able to turn in her homework because she didn’t have any paper. The teacher was so upset that he punished her in front of the whole class. She was so embarrassed she refused to go to school any more.

So, she grew up and got married, but she never learned to read or write, until a ministry came to help the people learn about God. They also taught the women how to read and write. The woman is so happy now, because she can learn more about God and memorize His Word. And, knowing God’s Word helps her not to be scared when she has to walk home in the dark after her literacy class.

I think it’s wonderful that this woman learned how to read the Bible! Noelle told me the video said that over two hundred and fifty million women in South Asia can’t read! I can’t imagine how many people that is! Can you? Will you pray with me, that every one of those women will learn how to read and understand how very much Jesus loves them?

“Dear God, please help the women in South Asia who cannot read the Bible and see for themselves all the wonderful ways You have shown us that You love us. Please help them to learn to read and not be embarrassed any more. And, please help the people who can read to help the people who can’t and not make fun of them. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Parents and educators: If you’d like to see the video Nicole shared with Jake, please see my Parents and Educators page.

For a printable copy of today’s story, click here.

Sugarcane and Cuba

Imagine, growing sugar for a living!  Before today, I thought that would be one of the best things you could grow.  I thought it would be like having candy bars in your backyard.  But today, we learned about the country of Cuba.  Christopher Columbus discovered it in 1492, the same year he found us!  And, Cuba has grown a lot of sugar for a very long time.  But, life on the sugar plantations was very hard.  And even today, many people live in Cuba without enough to eat.  I never thought a country that sent food out to other places wouldn’t have enough food for its citizens.  I wonder if the people have enough clothes to stay warm or enough homes to live in.  I wonder how many of them don’t have a Bible of their own to read.

“Dear God, please help the people of Cuba.  Please take care of every single one of them.  Please help them have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, and homes to live in.  And, most of all, please send a Bible to everyone there.  Help the people read and understand your Word, and help them believe in you and follow you forever.  Thank you.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”