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