Monthly Archives: April 2013

Modern Witnesses: Ganda Christians


*If you’d like to read the first post in the Modern Witnesses series, click here.

Today at Sunday School, we heard about what life can be like for the Ganda people of India when they choose to believe in Jesus. There are over one million Ganda who live in India, but most of them do not understand about Jesus’ love. On average, only about 2 people out of every 100 Ganda you meet are Christians.

Most of the Ganda are very poor. They belong to the Dalit caste. In India, people are often put into groups called castes based on all sorts of things. Some groups are treated as very important; they are given good jobs and everyone looks up to them. Some people are treated in ways that are inhuman; they are treated like less than real people. Many animals in India are better taken care of than they are. The Dalit caste is one of the groups that are treated as completely worthless. The only jobs they are allowed to do are the dirty, hard jobs that no one else wants.

That’s why many Ganda are farmers. They don’t own any land, but they are paid a tiny bit of money to work all day in the hot sun on other people’s farms. And if anyone learns that they have decided to follow Jesus, they may lose their job and not be able to get another one. They could starve; they might not be able to provide food to take care of their families.

Sometimes, things are even worse than going hungry. Finding out a Ganda has become a Christian can make other people very angry. The Christian might get attacked or beaten up as a punishment. Sometimes his family might make him leave home. A Ganda who loves Jesus might lose everything and everyone on this earth that matters to him.

If you had to choose between Jesus and everyone else that you care about, what would you choose?

“Dear God, please help the Ganda Christians in India to love You more than anything or anyone else. Please comfort those who miss their families, and please help the ones who have been beaten up because they love You. Help the Ganda who don’t understand how much You love them to hear about You and trust You. Thank You, too, for the Ganda Christians who have not been thrown out of their homes or lost their jobs. Please continue to help them and keep them all safe. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

For more information on the Ganda of India, please visit the Joshua Project.

If you’d like a printable version of today’s story, click here.

a teaching heart Blogging Through the Alphabet

Modern Witnesses: Farshid Fathi

Iran map

*If you’d like to read the first post in the Modern Witnesses series, click here.

This week, our Sunday School teacher taught us about another brave Christian who is serving God even though it is very hard and painful. His name is Farshid Fathi, and he lives in Iran.

Farshid was arrested on the day after Christmas in 2010, and he has been in jail ever since. He is a Christian and was sentenced to jail because of his faith in Jesus. He has been treated very badly, and he misses his family very much. But he hasn’t given up. He keeps on loving God and telling others about Him whenever he can. Sometimes, the jail puts him in a cell all by himself where he can’t talk to anyone. Even then, Farshid knows that he can still talk to God and that God will never ever leave him alone.

Farshid has a wife and two children who miss him very much. They know they might not see Farshid for many years.

Did you know that there are ways we can help Farshid? We can pray for him and his family, that God will continue to take care of each of them. Pray that they keep trusting God and doing what He says, and pray that many people will see God’s love in them and want to know more about God.

We can also send Farshid letters to let him know that Christians are praying for him and that we haven’t forgotten about him. Check out How to Be a Superhero in Twelve Easy Steps for why sending letters is important and how you can help.

I’m going to pray for Farshid, his family, and all the Christians in Iran right now. Will you pray with me?

“Dear God, please help the Christians in Iran to not be afraid. Help them remember that You never forget them. And, please help us not to forget about them, either. Help them be strong and continue to tell others about Your love. And, please help Farshid and his family. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

For more information on where you can find Farshid’s story online, please see my Parents and Educators page.

If you’d like a printable version of today’s story, click here.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Modern Witnesses: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia

*If you’d like to read the first post in the Modern Witnesses series, click here.

Today in Sunday School, we learned about three countries in eastern Africa, Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. All three of them are dangerous places for Christians to live. A ministry called Open Doors put together a World Watch List of the 50 countries where Christians are persecuted and suffer the most. Egypt is #25, Eritrea is #10, and Ethiopia is #15.

But what does that mean? It means that Christians in those countries aren’t free to practice their faith and share their faith with others. Each country is different, and sometimes Christians in one part of a country are more free to share their faith than they are in other parts of the same country. In all three countries, Christians face strong persecution for loving Jesus.

Sometimes the persecution is violent. Christians might be attacked or thrown into jail. Other times, the persecution is quiet, but just as painful. Your entire family might stop speaking to you. They might throw you out of the house and not allow you to come back.

When you look at a map, Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia might seem very far away, but if you are a Christian, then the Christians who are suffering there are just like the Christians in your own family or your own church.

“Dear God, please help the Christians in Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. Please help us to remember to pray for them every day. Please take care of them and comfort them when they are hurting, scared, or lonely. Please help them know that You are with them, even if their family turns away from them. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

If you’d like a printable version of today’s story, click here.

Modern Witnesses: Determined to Pray

Modern Witnesses-Determined image

*If you’d like to read the first post in the Modern Witnesses series, click here.

Over the last few weeks, our Sunday School teacher has told us the stories of people who have suffered because they believe in Jesus. We met the Adivasi Christians who live in India, who were attacked at church. Some of the villagers wouldn’t let them get water or firewood. Even after a peace was made between the other villagers and the Christians, it didn’t stop the persecution. A little girl and her family were attacked because the girl played a Christian song on her phone.

We met Christians who live in an area of Bangladesh called the hill tracts. A group tried to keep them from celebrating Christmas a few years ago. They said they weren’t allowed to play music at their church, and said they weren’t even allowed to worship God silently! They stopped the Christians from having a special dinner they had planned to feed about 100 people.

Last week, we met Christians who live in the Central African Republic (CAR). Their country is in terrible trouble right now. A group called Séléka has taken over the country. There isn’t any light or running water. All the prisoners at a jail were set free. Many Christians have had their homes and churches destroyed. No one except God knows what will happen next in the CAR.

There are so many ways we can pray for the Christians we’ve been learning about. One special thing I am going to ask God for today is that He will help all of them stay determined. Even though they know that God loves them and will work everything out for good someday, it can be hard to keep living for Jesus. Some of them are hungry; some of them have lost everything they owned. Some of them are away from their families and don’t know when they will see them again. None of them know what will happen to their villages or their countries.

We colored a picture that we can use to help us remember to pray for them. If you’d like to color one yourself, you can find it here.

“Dear God, please help the Christians who are being mistreated because they love you to stay determined. Help them make up their minds not to give up or turn away from You, no matter what happens. We know that You are the only One who is strong enough to help them do that. Please help the people of India, Bangladesh, and the Central African Republic to know You and understand how much You love them. And please help me and all of us to be determined to follow You, no matter what. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”