“Discipleship of one’s household isn’t only for Christians in persecuted and restricted nations. It isn’t only for pastors, youth pastors, and elders…it’s for the whole body of Christ.” — Pastor Eric Foley, VOM’s project partner for North Korea
“Let us then as Christians prepare ourselves now and be sure that our children have a clear example before them if their turn comes.” — Foreword to Pastor Richard Wurmbrand’s Preparing for the Underground Church
Christians have the responsibility of passing biblical truths to the next generation. Stories of persecuted Christians teach children that believers are not disappointed when they decide to test those truths to the fullest. Children can learn from an early age about the joys of standing firm for Christ in times of difficulty, and about being part of the global body of Christ.
The following are ways parents and non-parents can present information about Christian persecution to children:
1. Be a volunteer reader at a Christian school. Would the children like to hear about St. Nicholas, St. Valentine, and St. Patrick? Their stories provide examples of Christians whose faith remained strong when they faced obstacles.
2. Talk to children on their level. Adults can convey the struggles endured by persecuted Christians without including graphic descriptions or age-inappropriate concepts. For example, a VOM worker shared with her 3-year-old son that everything had been taken from some Christians in Iraq, even their toys. Her explanation brought the situation to her son’s level. (Find another example discussed here.
3. Lead or sponsor a persecution-related VBS. Add stories of persecuted Christians to the lessons, or donate a VOM Kids of Courage VBS curriculum to a church.
4. Write a song. Few Christian children’s songs address the joys of being “more than conquerors.” Share your song with a children’s group.
6. Invite a missionary or a Christian from a restricted country to visit your family or church and share stories of their lives. Read missionary stories or share missionary biographies with children. Pray with children for missionaries. Suggest missionary stories for book report assignments.
7. Help a teacher. Offer to substitute for a Sunday school teacher or other children’s group leader. Find free downloadable lesson plans at KidsofCourage.com.
8. Donate age-appropriate children’s persecution-related material to a dentist, doctor, mechanic, or hair salon for their waiting room. Public libraries and church libraries may also accept donated materials.
9. Help a class put on a program. Offer to direct a skit and/or program about persecuted Christians with a class, homeschool group, Christian scouting group, or other afterschool group. Invite others in the community.
10. Visit www.KidsofCourage.com. Find further information and activities to share with children. Encourage children to get involved in serving, raising awareness about, and praying for persecuted Christians.
VOM’s Kids of Courage resources help parents and educators teach children ages 5 to 13 about persecuted Christians around the world, and provide opportunities for children to serve and pray for them.