Category Archives: Stories from Abroad

Modern Witnesses: Norbu’s Journey

Bhutan-flag

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

This morning in Sunday School, our teacher told us about the country of Bhutan. There are very few Christians living in Bhutan. We need to pray that God will help many people there hear about Him and learn about how much He loves them. I’m going to pray that there will be many strong modern witnesses who will take God’s love to every mountain and valley in Bhutan. Will you pray with me?

Our teacher also gave us a story to read so we could learn more about Bhutan. It’s not a true story, like the ones we’ve read about Christians who live in other countries, but it is a story about what life might be like for one boy whose father gets hurt while they are on a journey. I put a copy of it here so you could read it to! I hope you enjoy it!

Norbu’s Journey

“Dear God, please help all the people in Bhutan to hear how much You love them. Help them love You and share Your love with everyone around them. Thank You that You love every person and sent Jesus to pay for every wrong choice we make. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Modern Witnesses: Laos

clouded_leopard

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

Our teacher gave us a story to read this morning about a boy in Laos.  She said it’s not a story that actually happened, like you see on the news.  But, she said it would help us find out what life is like for Christian kids in Laos because it was written based on things that have happened.  I really liked Part One–it’s about a boy named Thao, a buried treasure (that wasn’t such a treasure), a hidden Bible, and strangers finding his village.

When Jesus Came to Laos-Part One

I wonder why Thao’s mom would hide the Bible.  And who could be coming up the mountain?  What do you think?

When Jesus Came to Laos-Week Two

I can’t imagine how I would feel if it was illegal to have a Bible!  What would I do?  Would I still read God’s Word?  Would you?

When Jesus Came to Laos-Week Three

Now Thao he has to escape from a leopard! What do you think?  Does Jesus know where Thao is?  How will Thao escape?

When Jesus Came to Laos-Week Four

When we got to read the end of Thao’s story, it made me think about when Jesus appeared to His friends after He rose from the dead.  Even though they were scared and sad, He went looking for them.  He found them and helped them understand and believe.

Thao and the Christians in his village were so happy to finally have a Bible of their very own!  Even though having a Bible is illegal in Laos, there aren’t enough Bibles for the Christians who want one.  There are approximately 198,000 Christians in Laos.  Some of the people don’t even have a Bible translated into a language they can read and really understand yet.

But, think about this: There are over 6 million people living in Laos right now.  How many of them don’t understand that Jesus loves them and paid for their mistakes so that they can know God and live forever with Him?

There are many things we can pray and ask God to do to help the people of Laos.  Will you please pray that:

1) Each and every person in Laos will hear about Jesus and His love, and ask Him to be their Savior

2) That every language in Laos will have God’s Word translated into a language they can read and understand

3) That God will bring Bibles to every Christian in Laos, and that He will keep them safe as they read it and learn more about Him

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Modern Witnesses: Iran

Musical score notes

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

Do you remember a few weeks ago when we learned about Farshid Fathi in Sunday School? He’s a husband and father in Iran who is in prison because of his faith in Jesus. Have you prayed for him and sent him a letter?

Today, our Sunday School teacher taught us more about what life is like for Christians in Iran. This time, she shared a story with us that she wrote about a girl named Yasmin. Yasmin’s family was arrested, and she had to go into hiding because they loved Jesus. Her story isn’t true, it’s not written about someone who really lives in Iran like Farshid Fathi, but it is based on things that have happened to Christians in Iran that have been reported in the news. You can read Yasmin’s Silent Song here.

Let’s keep praying for Christians in Iran, that God would help them be brave and keep them safe.

“Dear God, thank you for the freedom to sing and worship. Please be with and take care of all the Christians who live in places where that is illegal. Encourage them and help them wait patiently for the day when no one will keep them from singing to You. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Driven from Home-Part Four

We finally got to hear the end of Kham’s story today!

Driven from Home-Part Four

“You’re hurt.”

“What are you doing here?”

“Why do you live this way, starving in the jungle and drinking dirty water?  Does it really matter what spirit we worship?”

Kham reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, wooden elephant.  “Do you remember when you carved this?  You said it was more than a piece of wood.  It was a gift of joy.”

“Because it was a piece of myself I gave you forever.”

“Jesus gave me a gift of joy, too.  God is with me, and He didn’t give me just a piece of Himself, but all of Himself.  He and His joy will never leave me.  I hate starving.  I hate seeing Bua so sick.  But I realized something just now.  I’d rather be hungry and sick with Jesus than full and healthy without Him.”

Boun turned and looked toward the village.  “Aren’t you scared of the villagers?”

“Sometimes.”

His brother turned to face him.  “Do you have room in your camp for one more?”

“Always!”

Boun picked up his brother and carried him down the trail.  Just as they reached the camp, they saw their father, the pastor, and Vieng.

“What are you doing with Kham?” their father asked.

“I thought I would bring him home.”

The pastor studied Boun’s face.  “Will you be staying with us?”

Boun nodded.

Their father beamed.  The pastor looked to the sky and prayed, “God, we thank You for bringing Boun home.  Help us celebrate the joy You feel now that one more of Your children has come home.”

Home.  Kham looked around.  They would not live in exile forever.  Whether or not they were allowed to live in the village again, he knew one day they would live in a new home with Jesus, just as He had promised.  And now, his brother would be with them.

***

“Dear God, please help the people who love You, all over the world, to remember that You are with us, always and forever.  Thank You that You will always take care of us, even when we can’t understand why things have to be hard sometimes.  Please help those who are sick and hungry.  And, help the people who don’t have Your joy in their lives yet.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you would like a printable copy of today’s story, click here: Driven from Home-Part Four

Driven from Home-Part Three

I couldn’t wait to get to Sunday School this morning and find out what happened!

Driven from Home-Part Three

The chief continued, “The spirits must be made to understand your decision to follow Jesus is not our fault. Otherwise, they could punish us for your betrayal.”

Deep in the jungle, the sound of thunder shook the ground. Kham dove to one side and glimpsed Vieng dive to the other.

Three elephants charged into the clearing. Kham scrambled to his feet and watched them race straight toward the mob. They ran with their trunks tucked close to their heads, waiting to plow both head and tusks into whoever was careless enough to get in their way.

The villagers scattered into the bushes.

Kham pulled Vieng to his feet and ran for the shelters.

Gradually, the village sounds faded. Kham glanced behind him to see if anyone had chased them. He thought he had heard someone.

The next thing he knew, he was lying with his face in the dirt.

Vieng dropped to his side.

“Are you all right?”

“I think I broke my ankle. And maybe my arm.”

“Stay here. I’ll get your father.”

Kham nodded. Vieng disappeared into the jungle. Suddenly, he felt very alone. He was stranded between what used to be his home and a small, make-shift camp far from food, clean water, and almost everyone he had ever known. His sister was sick, he was hurt, and he didn’t expect things to get better any time soon.

“God,” he prayed, “why did You leave us alone out here in the jungle?”

He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. Whispers from pages of the Bible his pastor had read started to float through his mind. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Suddenly, he heard it again—that sound. Kham’s eyes flew open.

“Who’s there?”

Boun stepped from the bushes.

***

Have you ever felt alone like Kham did today?  Do you think you were really alone?

“Dear God, please help me remember that no matter how lonely I feel sometimes, that You are always with me.  You love me and never ever leave me.  You know what I am feeling and what is happening, all the time.  Please help the kids like Kham who face persecution because they love You.  Help them know that You are with them.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you’d like to download a printable copy of today’s story, click here: Driven from Home-Part Three

Driven from Home-Part Two

Are you ready to find out what Vieng discovered?  I am!

Driven from Home-Part Two

 Vieng stepped closer.  “I have to see if my uncle and cousins are all right!”

“Not now.  The villagers might spot us.”

“But I have to help them!”

“Your family is probably working in the fields.  I’ve heard that villagers in other places have torn down a house as a warning.  They probably did it after your family left.  But if they see us here now, they might think your family is still helping us.  Maybe we can get the tools from my family’s home instead.”

“Your uncle and cousins hate us—even your brother Boun.”

“My brother wouldn’t tell anyone if he believed in Jesus because he was scared.  But he doesn’t hate me.”

Vieng followed Kham deeper into the jungle.

“There, you see—everything is quiet at my old house,” Kham said.

The moment he stepped from the bushes, he realized how wrong he was.  His uncle and four cousins stood in the shadow of the house.  And Boun stood with them.

“I knew you’d come here after you saw what happened to Vieng’s home,” his uncle said.

“Bua is sick.  We have to get tools to dig a well.”

The frown on his uncle’s face deepened.

Kham turned to his brother.  “Please, Boun, we need your help.”

Boun looked away.

His uncle shouted, “We told you to leave!  If the elders think we have helped you, we will suffer the same as Vieng’s family!”

Another man’s voice called out from behind the house.

“We’ve heard your refusal to help these Christians.”

Kham swallowed hard.  The village chief.

The chief walked to the front of the house.  “We were willing to let you live in peace outside the village, but you have broken our rules and returned.”

Kham thought of his sister lying sick in the shelter.  A wave of boldness surged up in him.  “Live in peace while we starve to death and drink bad water?”

“You chose that life when you chose to follow the one you call Jesus.  He is not the spirit our grandfathers worshipped.”

Behind the chief, a great murmur began to grow.  The chief held up his hand.  A mob of villagers stepped out of hiding.

Kham prayed for help.

***

How would you feel if you and your friend were suddenly facing a whole village full of people, who are all mad at you for believing in Jesus?

“Dear God, please help Christians whose families are angry with them because they love You.  Help their families not to be angry, but to learn why their loved ones have chosen to follow You.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you’d like to print a copy of today’s story, you can find one here: Driven from Home-Part Two

Driven from Home

Are you ready to go exploring again with me?  This time, we’re off to Laos.  Our teacher gave us the first part of a story about some people who live in Laos, but were driven from their homes because they loved Jesus.  The story is based on what happened to some actual people in Laos a few years ago.  I hope you like it.  I can’t wait to read part two next week!

Driven from Home-Part One

 Kham closed his eyes as the pastor prayed.

“God, thank You for this rice and not forgetting our exile.  Be with us and bring us joy in the things that bring You joy.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

Kham looked at the smiling faces, ready to enjoy the first good meal they had eaten in over a week.  But he didn’t feel joy.  He was worried about his sister, Bua.  She had not been feeling well, and she needed good food, more than just once.  And she needed clean water.

As soon as the meal was over, he grabbed his friend Vieng’s arm.

“Vieng, we have to do something.  Bua is getting worse.”

“We can go to my uncle’s barn.  We’ll get some tools and dig a well.  The clean water should help some.”

“If we get caught—”

“My uncle and his family wouldn’t turn us in.  They left the rice for us to find.”

“We’ve been starving for weeks!  And we don’t know for sure who left the rice!”

“My family doesn’t hate us for believing in Jesus.  They’re just afraid of the other villagers.”

Kham sighed.  “I’m glad some people in our families believe in Jesus.”

“We’ll leave for the barn first thing in the morning.”

Morning could not come soon enough.

As soon as the sun began to shine above the trees, they set out on the four-mile hike to the small village nestled deep in the jungle of Laos.  Overhead, a parakeet called to her children.  The last time Kham had walked this path, the shouts of the angry mob had drowned all songs.  One morning, the villagers had forced everyone out of church and forbid them to ever return to their homes or the village.  Sometimes, Kham didn’t mind living in the shelter his family had built.  It kept out the animals and most of the rain.  But every day that passed, they had less to eat.

Then yesterday, someone had left them rice.  He thought his sister would finally have something good to eat.  But when Kham had peered into the cooking pot, the dirty water he saw made his stomach sick.  And it was not only dirty, but crowded.  Crowded with bits of plants and crawling with bugs.  How could anything cooked in that make Bua feel better?

“Vieng, wait!”

Kham stopped his friend just before he stepped out of the bushes.  A heap of boards and pieces of a grass roof lay right in front of them, right where Vieng’s home used to stand.

***

How would you feel if you had to use dirty water like Kham’s family?

“Dear God, please help all the Christians in Laos.  Help those who are sick and don’t have enough food or water.  And, please help the people who don’t know You yet, to understand how much You love them and want to be with them.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you’d like to print a copy of today’s story, you can find one here: Driven from Home-Part One