Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mt. Everest, Life, and Other Tough Climbs

Today in Sunday School, we learned about another group of people who live in the Himalayan mountains called the Sherpa. The Sherpa people are known for being kind, friendly, and welcoming of strangers. They are also known for helping people climb Mt. Everest. They cook for many of the mountain climbers, help guide them up the dangerous mountain, and carry much of the mountain climbers’ supplies.

Let’s imagine we are taking a trip up to the top of Mt. Everest. What sorts of dangers do we run into? Make a list of what you can think of.

Here’s what I wrote down: 1) it can get awfully dark up on the mountain at night 2) we can slip and fall 3) we can get very tired 4) we need someplace safe to make camp 5) we can get into dangerous places where we have to help each other 6) we have to trust each other because sometimes things don’t make sense and it feels like we are going the wrong way.

And you know what I realized? God helps us in all those ways. It’s true! Take a look at these verses and you’ll see what I mean. If you don’t have a Bible handy, check out www.biblegateway.com. God helps us …

1) When things look dark and hopeless

Psalm 119:105

2) When we feel like we’re slipping and falling

Psalm 94:18

3) When we’re tired and discouraged

Psalm 73:26

4) When we need someplace safe to rest

Psalm 31:3, 20

5) When we admit we need God’s help

Psalm 25:9

6) When life doesn’t make sense or seems unfair and we have questions for God

Psalm 73

I think if God helps us in all those ways, He wants us to help others in the same way. We can all be like the Sherpa guides and help people overcome whatever challenges they face. And, we start by asking God for His help and accepting His help. Then, we can ask Him how to help other people who need help. I’m going to go back through that list I made and write down ways I can help other people the way God has helped me. Give it a try and let me know what ideas you come up with!

“Dear God, please help the Sherpa people of Nepal. Just like they help so many people, please help them understand how much You want to help them and guide them. Help them understand that Jesus died to save them, so they can overcome every obstacle that comes their way, even death, just like Jesus did when He came back to life. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

If you’d like a copy of this post you can print, click here: Mt. Everest, Life, and Other Tough Climbs.

A Little R & R

China and the Ladakhi

I found out there is a place there where it hardly ever snows even though it is in the mountains! At Sunday School, our teacher told us about a place high in the Himalayan mountains where there is actually a desert. There’s a place, between India and China, where it doesn’t rain much at all, and they only get three inches of snow a year or less! There’s a group of people who live there called the Ladakhi. And when they need water to water their crops, they actually hope for the sun to shine and melt some of the glaciers all around them. I can’t imagine being surrounded by ice and snow but living in a desert. I always thought deserts were hot and dry. But this desert is cold and dry!

A long time ago, a major trading route called the Silk Road went through the area the Ladakhi live in. Missionaries came, and the people had lots of opportunities to learn about Jesus. But, today, there aren’t many Ladakhi who believe in Jesus. Our teacher reminded us of the place in John where Jesus said He is the Living Water. I think that’s something people living in a desert would want to know more about.

“Dear God, please help the Ladakhi people believe in You. Show them how, just like they need the water to feed their crops so they can live, they need You and Your life in their hearts so they can really live, now and forever. Please help them understand. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

PS-Do you like this picture? I do. This picture is from a range of mountains that neighbor the Himalayans, called the Karakoram Range. Like the land of the Ladakhi, it has high peaks, steep sides, and huge glaciers.

A Little R & R

Beja of Africa

I’ve been hearing a lot about the Red Sea lately. Today, in Sunday School, we read about Moses dividing the Red Sea. Last Thursday, I heard about it in history class. There’s a group of people called the Beja that live along the coast of the Red Sea in Africa. Most of them live in the areas of Sudan and South Sudan. Some of them used to be Christians a very long time ago, but now there are only a few who believe in Jesus.

Their language is very hard to learn. And there aren’t any Bibles written in it yet. Because the people don’t know Jesus, they are very afraid of evil spirits. A few Beja can speak other languages and have read Bibles written in those languages. They have learned about Jesus and tried to tell the other Beja about Him. But, can you imagine knowing there is a Book out there that teaches you everything you need to know about God—and not being able to read it?

“Dear God, please help the Beja people. Just like You made a way for Your people to get across the Red Sea, please make a way for the Beja people to learn about You. Help them know how much You love them, and help them not to be afraid. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Modern Witnesses: Zafar and Zhang

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

This morning, our Sunday School teacher told us about four men who are in prison because of their faith in Jesus. Their names are Zafar Bhatti, Zhang Huamei, Naser Zamen-Dezfuli, and Gao Zhisheng.

Zafar Bhatti is from Pakistan. He was arrested in July 2012 because someone accused him of sending text messages that insulted the religion of most of the people in Pakistan. He has been in prison more than 400 days.

Zhang Huamei is from China. He and four other ministers were arrested in 2009. A mob of people—including police—had attacked members of a Christian church. When Zhang Huamei and the four other ministers tried to go to Beijing to protest the attack on the other Christians, they were arrested. Zhang is still in jail today. He has been in jail more than 1,300 days.

Naser Zamen-Dezfuli is from Iran. He was a pastor at a church in Ahvaz and was arrested when his congregation met for a church service in December, 2011. In February, 2012, he was allowed out on temporary bail, but in October, he was arrested again. He was sentenced to a year in jail and has been there more than 100 days.

Gao Zhisheng is also from China. He has been arrested and put in jail so many times no one knows exactly how many days he has been in prison. He is a Christian, and he has fought for the rights of Christians in China. He has been treated terribly in prison, and his family doesn’t even know where he is all of the time.

These four men, and so many men and women like them, are suffering because they love Jesus and they want the whole world to know that Jesus died on the cross to pay for the mistakes each of us makes. They want them to know that He came back to life again three days later. So many people saw Him—even people who didn’t believe in Him!

We talked again this morning about Hebrews 12:1. It says that we are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses.” (KJV) It is talking about people who are brave and do the right thing for God, even when it is terribly hard. They keep trusting Him to take care of them. They make mistakes, and they get sad and scared and want to give up. But they hang in there and they live their lives for God. And in the end, they know they will live with Him forever in Heaven.

“Dear God, please help me to be brave and live for You, no matter what happens. Help me trust You to make things work out right in the end, even if things right now seem awful. Help everyone who is suffering because of their belief in You, and please help their families who miss them. Please help Zafar Bhatti, Zhang Huamei, Naser Zamen-Dezfuli, and Gao Zhisheng to stay strong. Please keep them safe and bring them home to their families soon. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

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

If you’d like to send a letter to Zafar Bhatti, Zhang Huamei, Naser Zamen-Dezfuli, and Gao Zhisheng to let them know you are praying for them, ask a parent if they can help you do that on http://www.prisoneralert.com/.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Modern Witnesses: Yemen

Yemen flag

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

We learned in Sunday School today about the Queen of Sheba. She came from the ancient land of Sheba, in the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula. Today the area of Sheba is part of the country of Yemen. She came to Solomon, asking him hard questions. When she heard his wise answers, she knew he believed in God, and that God was the One Who had made him so wise.

Today, it is very dangerous for many people in Yemen to ask hard questions about God. Many of them are Muslims, and they can be killed if they choose to believe in Jesus. Christians from other countries are allowed to live in Yemen and worship God as long as they don’t tell the Yemeni people about Him. If they do, they can be killed, too.

Many of the women in Yemen must wear veils that cover everything except their eyes. They are hidden away, not allowed to talk to many people. But they are not hidden from God! God knows each and every person who lives in Yemen, and He wants them to know Him, too.

God’s Word is reaching people in Yemen. Yemeni Christians meet secretly and have to be very careful who they tell about their faith in Jesus, but the people in Yemen who know Jesus are growing. I want to pray that they continue to grow.

“Dear God, please help the people of Yemen to ask questions about You. Help them find You and believe in You, even though it is dangerous. Please protect them and keep them safe. And, please help them—and us—to be ready to answer others when they ask us hard questions about You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

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

Blogging Through the Alphabet