www.omafrica.org Kids’ Prayer Adventure Published 2014 by OM Africa www.omafrica.org/kmac/ ISBN: 978-0-620-65333-6
Kids’ Prayer Adventure by OM Africa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Foreword When I was still a child, my family bought a book called “You Can Change the World”. It was a book filled with stories and adventures from countries that had I never even heard of as a 10 year old. Sometimes we would read it together as a family; but mostly I read it at night after reading my Bible. The prayer requests it contained helped me to pray for each of the countries. I read and prayed through this book many times. The very first country in the book was Albania and I still remember the pictures vividly. As a young adult, I became a missionary and joined a ship that sailed around the world to tell people about Jesus. One of the first countries we visited was Albania! It was so amazing to see this country and how God had worked there during the 10 years that I had prayed for it (you also can learn about Albania, on page 42). The world has changed a lot since “You Can Change the World” was published, but I want my own children to have the same experience of reading and praying for incredible places across the globe. That is why we made this book: the “Kids Prayer Adventure”. I hope you and your family have a great adventure, reading, discovering and talking to God about His world. I also pray that you will have the opportunity to go visit some of these countries and help to be a representative of Jesus there! I want to thank my team at OM Africa who helped to produce this book. Thank you Meredith Overbeek for your all research and writing that made the stories so real. Thank you Ginny Drake and many others that helped with editing the book so that everyone can understand it well. Thank you to my wife, Belinda Lamprecht, for helping me to put the book together and assisting with the text. Thank you Anita Evans for designing and illustrating the book so beautifully and thank you Todd Overbeek for the great website you are building so that people can explore even more... and the greatest thanks of all to Jesus, for letting us join Him on this adventure!
Herman Lamprecht Editor-in-chief
How to use this book The book was made to be used regularly. There are 52 topics so that you can read one every week of the year or read one every day. We suggest that you and your family read and pray through this book together. Maybe after dinner, or before bedtime, you can all sit together and read it. We kept the prayer request short and easy so that anyone can pray without having to be afraid. Do your best to try out the “You can do it” for each country - it will make what you have read even more “real”, and help you to remember the information. Whilst the children’s stories you will find in each section are fictionalised, they are all based on true events and situations. All of the stories have been checked by real missionaries in the field, so you can be sure that they are an accurate representation of the lives of kids from around the world. There is no set order in which you must read this book. It is made to be an adventure, so the countries are not in any order. You can work through it from front to back (or back to front) or pick and choose a page as you are interested. Please feel free to share this book with others. It is published under a creative commons license, so you are welcome to make copies and share with others. It is free to use! Make sure you visit our website, www.omafrica.org/kmac, where we will always be adding new and interesting things for you to discover. You will also find other resources such as colouring books and recipes to help you discover and pray for the world.
Population: 7.1 billion people Languages: There are more than 6,500 languages in the world Largest Beliefs: Christian(32%), Muslim(23%), Hindu(15%)
You can do it ! Find out how to say “Hello” in five other languages
Did you know? There are about 6,500 languages in the world.
Where you find what Countries 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66
Somalia Japan Bosnia & Hercegovina Colombia South Africa Israel Madagascar Peru Iran Ivory Coast Turkmenistan North Korea Mauritania Haiti Germany Liberia Indonesia Albania Cuba Egypt Mexico Greece Tanzania Yemen France Costa Rica USA Thailand Afghanistan Moldova
India Chad Papua New Guinea Nepal Botswana Algeria United Kingdom Saudi Arabia Russia Mali Bolivia China Turkey Ecuador Kazakhstan Maldives Democratic Republic of Congo 102 Djibouti 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100
Major World Religions 104 105 106 107 108 109
Judaism Buddhism Islam Animism Hinduism Atheism
Prior to its civil war in 1991, Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu was known as the “White pearl of the Indian Ocean”; some would argue that it is today barely a shell compared to its illustrious past. Whilst some try to rebuild what was destroyed, there is still much conflict between different tribal groups in Somalia. Constant fighting and an ever-growing desert make Somalia one of the most difficult places on Earth to live.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Search your house and count how many Bibles or Bible story books, your family owns. Imagine what it would be like to not have a single Bible!
Facts: Population: 10 million people Language: Somali, Arabic Capital: Mogadishu Belief: Muslim
Today my brother Geedi came to Somalia... ... for a visit. He lives in Kenya where he attends university. I was helping him unpack his things and found a book buried under his clothes. “What is that?” I asked my brother, “and why did you have it hidden in the bottom of your bag?” “This is a Bible, Filsan; it is the Word of God! It’s hard to find a Bible in Somalia. While I was at school in Kenya, one of my classmates there told me all about the one true God, and gave me this Bible so I could read it and learn more about Him.” “But Geedi, the God of the Bible is for Christians, and our family is Muslim. If people find out you have a Bible, very bad things could happen to us all!” It is very dangerous to be a Christian here in Somalia. Just last
Did you know? Somalia has more than 7 million camels, the most of any country in the world.
week our neighbour was killed for believing in the Christians’ God, and his family was taken away. His daughter was my friend and we were allowed to play together until her father’s beliefs were found out. I’m afraid that if Geedi decides that he wants to be a Christian too, he will be killed by the leaders of Somalia. “I know it seems scary to you, Filsan, but I am not afraid to follow the one true God. Did you know that there are a few Christians in Somalia who meet together secretly? It’s called the ‘Underground Church’ and it is where believers gather to pray for each other and for our country.” “Are you going to start meeting with the secret church too?” I asked
Geedi. “What about our parents? What will they say if they find out?” “Don’t be afraid, Filsan. I have been praying for our parents, and for you, that God will show you that He is real and mighty. He has the power to change the hearts of our leaders, to make them see that his Son, Jesus, is the only one who can truly take away our sins and give us peace with God.” Geedi says he will read me his Bible secretly to teach me more about God. I’m still very afraid, but I wonder if Geedi is right. Can God really change the hearts of Somalia’s leaders? Can He make them stop hurting people who aren’t Muslim, who believe in Jesus? Can He really bring peace here? I hope He can.
To help you pray ►►Pray for more Bibles to become available in Somalia so people like Filsan can learn about the one true God. Ask God to provide money to print a children’s Bible there. ►►Pray for more people like Geedi who will share their faith with other Somalians, even though it is dangerous. ►►Pray for the leaders of Somalia to stop persecuting the Christians and instead allow them to worship God.
Land of the Rising sun, samurais, anime and megarobots, Japan is an island nation bursting at the seams, with 30 million residents in the capital city of Tokyo alone. Many in Japan still cling to Shinto-Buddhism, the traditional, but oftentimes nominal faith of the region, but after horrific natural disasters in recent years many have become more open to Christianity.
You can do it !
nen i t n o C sia A 10
Learn how to write the numbers one to ten in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kanjiâ&#x20AC;? and teach your friends.
Facts: Population: 126.7 million people Language: Japanese Capital: Tokyo Belief: Buddhist
“Sato, wake up! ” My eyes flew open and I saw my father, dimly, sitting on my bed. He had shaken me awake. I could feel my heart racing and then I remembered why. “The same dream again?” my father asked. I slowly nodded. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the picture out of my head. When we knew the tsunami would hit our home, we tried to run up the hills surrounding our neighbourhood – my father, my mother and I. Mother had been pregnant, and even though my father had tried to pull her along with us, shouting all the time that we must hurry or risk drowning, mother had slipped and fallen. The water from the huge wave had started dragging people under and towing them away. Before my mother had slipped on the rubble, father had told me to run on without them – they would meet me at the top of the hill.
Did you know? It is considered very rude in Japan to blow your nose in public.
I made it to the top and from there saw the whole thing: father being pulled under the water for a moment, then rising up again, calling my mother’s name. But mother was already too far away. He managed to climb to higher ground, still shouting for her. I knew that we would never see her again. “I miss her so much,” I whispered to my father. “The tsunami hit so quickly, she didn’t even have a chance to get to the top of the hill. I should have stayed with you and tried to help her!” “No, Sato, don’t think like that. Nothing that happened is your fault. Do you remember the Christians who came to help us after the tsunami? Do you remember what they told us? - That
God is still in control, even when we feel helpless. If we trust Him, we can be strong. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him, and we can have peace in our hearts because of that.” After the tsunami, father and I both became Christians. Even though I still miss my mother very much, I know that God is my comforter. He is still helping us, especially in our sadness.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Sato, whose lives changed drastically when the tsunami hit in 2011. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to them as the only One who can give strength, encouragement and hope for a bright future. ►►Ask God to continue to bless and encourage Christians in Japan. ►►Pray for those who lost friends, pets, toys or even their whole house, and especially for those who had family that died. Pray they will find the true riches of having a meaningful relationship with the One, True, Living, Creator God.
Bosnia and Hercegovina
Bosnia and Hercegovina was devastated by the war in 1990 and has struggled to recover ever since. Even today, religious and ethnic groups are deeply divided and the youth are very pessimistic about the future. Bosnians are people deeply in need of a genuine encounter with Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love.
You can do it !
nt e n i t n Co rope Eu
Demonstrate Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love to your own community by making a dirty or broken place beautiful again - it might be as simple as picking up litter or planting some flowers.
Facts: Population: 3.8 million people Language: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian Capital: Sarajevo Belief: Muslim, Christian
in my throat when I saw what she was looking at. “What are they doing?”, I asked, My sister Miriam called from outside my voice as soft as Miriam’s. the front door. “Come quickly! You Standing on raised platforms across the street were about twelve must see what they are doing!” people, all with paintbrushes. They “What who is doing?” I asked, were making the most beautiful without getting up from the table designs of flowers and trees and where I was doing my homework. hills and birds on the side of one Miriam was easily excited; if I of the war-torn buildings in our got up every time she thought neighbourhood. Our city of Bihac something big was happening, I’d suffered a lot of destruction in a never get anything done! “It’s so beautiful; I’ve never seen war that happened before I was anything so lovely in my whole life.” born. Even now, the city bears the Miriam was speaking more quietly scars of bombs and shootings. But these people with paintbrushes... now. I pushed my chair back from the table and went to the doorway they were making the old building where she stood. My breath caught beautiful again! Several children stood near the wall, watching the painters work, and Miriam and I joined them. One of them started talking to us as he painted a beautiful picture of
a river with flowers on the bank. He told us that Jesus can make even the dirtiest, most crumbling life beautiful, just like the painters were making the ugly old building beautiful. He told us Jesus can look inside our hearts and see the things that have hurt us, and that He can bring us healing. The painters are making the city beautiful again, one old crumbling building at a time. Maybe the things they say about Jesus making us beautiful are true too. .
Did you know?
In the town of Mostart, a group of locals collect money from tourists in return for hurling themselves off the town’s 20-metre high bridge, the Stari Most, into the river.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Hannah and Miriam who are growing up in the war-torn country of Bosnia. Ask the Lord to show the hurting people there that He is the One who can bring healing to them, and to their country. ►►Pray for the many non-Christians in Bosnia. Ask the Lord to open their eyes to the false teachings of their religions. ►►Pray for missionaries and strong Bosnian Christians to be bold in proclaiming the truth about Jesus that is found in the Bible.
Colombia has a history of crime, lawlessness and terror but in recent years much progress has been made towards peace. Despite these troubles, the church has grown rapidly; many people who previously were Christian in name only have changed to become true followers of Jesus.
Co nt S Am ou ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! What do you believe? Who do you believe in? Ask an adult to help you write your own “statement of faith”.
Facts: Population: 47 million people Language: Spanish Capital: Bogotá, D.C. Belief: Christian
“ So why are your parents making you ... change schools?” I asked my friend Daniela. “It won’t be the same walking home without you.” “It’s because of the new way my family lives and believes. You know how much we’ve changed, Claudia.” Daniela and I are in the fourth grade at the Catholic school in our home town. Lately, Daniela’s family has been going through some changes. They stopped attending the Catholic church they had belonged to for many years, and started meeting with a group of other people, called ´Christians´ or ´Evangelicals´, from Protestant denominations. “Now that we are Christians, my parents want to live new lives, lives that are very different from the
Did you know? Colombia is habitat to more than 1754 species of bird, the largest in the world.
Catholic lives we used to have.” My family is Catholic, but we only go to Mass a couple of times every year. I usually think it is boring and struggle to stay awake. I have never bothered to listen to the priest, or try to understand the prayers we say. Daniela’s family had been more dedicated, going to church each week and saying many prayers at home. “So, what do you believe now?” I asked her. “I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to believe as a Catholic.” “It’s not so much what I believe now, Claudia, it’s who I believe in. When we were Catholics, we thought we had to go to church all the time and be sure to say our prayers and help poor people and
do lots of things so that God would let us into heaven. But now we know that the only way to heaven is through God’s Son, Jesus. And do you know what? He has done all the work for us! When God causes us to have faith in Him, there’s nothing else to add. He did everything for us! He makes us good enough!” I had never heard anything like this before. Most of the people in Colombia are Catholic, though a lot of them are like my family and don’t go to the church regularly. I wonder if what Daniela says is true. Her family certainly is much different than they were before. Maybe I can go to her new church and learn more about how Jesus makes us good enough.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Daniela whose families are beginning to question Catholic teachings. Thank the Lord for working in their lives! ►►Pray for children like Claudia who say they are Catholic, but whose families are not dedicated. Ask the Lord to open their eyes to the truth that is only found in true Christianity, in Jesus. ►►Pray for revival in Colombia and that God would send more missionaries to minister there, as well as encouraging local Christians to talk to their Catholic neighbours and friends.
South Africa is a country with a long and complicated history. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rainbow Nationâ&#x20AC;? is working hard to fix the problems of the past, but at the same time struggling to overcome new challenges. Perhaps the biggest issue South Africans face today is HIV and AIDS, which infects up to a quarter of all South Africans, and has left up to 2 million South African children orphaned.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Talk to your family about something you could do to support orphans in your own country, or another part of the world.
Facts: Population: 50 million people Language: 11 official, (English, Zulu, Afrikaans) Capital: Pretoria Belief: Christian
Busisiwe says: “My best friend Thandi didn’t come to school today, or any day this week. I am worried about her, especially because I think I know why she’s been missing. Her Mom has been really sick, for a very long time. She often needs to skip school to look after her Mom at home, or comes to school hungry when she hasn’t had any breakfast because there is no food in the house. It would be nice if there was something our teachers could do to help, but the thing is, there are so many of us kids with parents sick, or parents missing, that Thandi is just one of many kids here who is struggling. I share a little bit of my bread or porridge with her when I can.
Did you know? South Africa is home to the highest commercial bungee jump in the world at 710 feet.
My own parents died when I was still small, so now I live with my six cousins at my Gogo’s (Grandmother’s) house. She is pretty old, and doesn’t have a lot of money, but she loves us and does her best to care for us. Thandi doesn’t have a Gogo like me, though. It is just her and her Mom. Last week, at lunch time, Thandi started crying and told me her Mom has just been getting sicker and sicker. She said she wished she could take her to the hospital, but her Mom could hardly get out of bed and ambulances don’t come to her part of the squatter camp. Thandi and I are best friends, but I orphans. I am afraid I’m not going think we might now have one more to be seeing Thandi at school for a thing in common - we are both very, very long time.“
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Thandi, who care for sick parents or are left orphaned and alone when their parents die. ►►Pray for those, like Busisiwe’s Gogo, who care for children who have been orphaned. Ask God to bless them and provide for all their needs. ►►Pray for ordinary South Africans, that they would be challenged to step in and help children like Busisiwe and Thandi.
Israel Israel, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Holy Landâ&#x20AC;? and birthplace of Jesus Christ, has been conquered by every known empire in the Western and Near Eastern world. It is a hotly contested region of great importance to three of the main religions in the world: Islam, Judaism and Christianity, although its official religion is Judaism. Whilst many Jewish people have turned away from faith in God, some still continue to wait expectantly for their promised Saviour, not believing that He already came some 2000 years ago!
You can do it !
nen i t n o C sia A 18
Find out if anyone you know has ever been to Israel. Ask them to tell you about it.
Facts: Population: 8 million people Language: Hebrew, Arabic Capital: Jerusalem Belief: Jewish
“ Holy God, please forgive me ... ... for the sins I am guilty of, and permit my name to be found in the Book of Life for another year.” I repeated the prayer my parents and I prayed each year during Yom Kippur, one of the Jewish festivals. I had prayed it for as long as I could remember, but this year I started to wonder what it meant. “Father,” I said as we left the synagogue, “Why do we pray every year for God to forgive us and let us be in His Book of Life? Why do we keep asking?” “Because, Anna, every year we disobey and displease God by things we do, and fail to do. For this reason, the Jewish people take time during Yom Kippur to ask God to forgive them. And with His forgiveness, we also ask that we might continue to
Did you know? Israel’s bank notes have Braille markings on them so that the blind can identify them easily.
be found in His Book.” I had been thinking a lot lately about the things we believe as Jews. Since I was already asking my father some of my questions, I decided to ask this one as well. “Father, when Miriam left Israel to marry—” “Don’t say his name, Anna,” my father said quietly. His face had turned hard as it always did when someone mentioned my sister and her husband. Miriam had fallen in love with a Christian man, named Michael, and in order for her, a Jew, to marry someone who is not a Jew, they had to leave the country. My father had been very angry about her decision to follow Jesus, but her new beliefs had caught my attention, especially when she
had told me that there is more to the Bible than what we have been taught. She showed me in her Bible where Jesus has already come, and already paid for sins. She said payment is complete for those who believe in Him. I guess I will wait to ask my father the questions I have. I have been brought up to believe as Orthodox Jews should, but now I’m not so sure it is the truth.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Anna who are told only part of the truth. Jews do not believe that the Messiah, Jesus, has come, and this is something they desperately need to know! ►►Pray for the Christian believers in Israel to be strengthened, taught and encouraged by all of scripture. ►►Pray for believers to have opportunities to share the true Gospel with the Jews, and ask the Lord to give the Jews minds and hearts that are ready to hear and believe.
It might have been made famous for its portrayal in film, but Madagascar’s beautiful natural diversity is quickly disappearing as a result of deforestation. The 4th largest island in the world is still home to many unreached tribes, such as the Antandroy, some of whom have still never even heard of Jesus Christ.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Talk with your parents or a friend “what do YOU think it is that makes a boy a man, and a girl a woman”?
Facts: Population: 22 million people Language: Malagasy, French Capital: Antananarivo Belief: Christian, Ethnoreligionist
“ I don’t believe you really did it, ... Velomasy!” Sambieto and the other boys all began to laugh. “You’re barely bigger than one of the calves! There’s no way you managed to steal a cow, all by yourself!” “I did steal one!” I exclaimed. “And I can show you! I tied it to a tree, hidden behind bushes where no one will find it. And I will get to be a man!” In the Antandroy culture, a boy becomes a man when he is able to steal a cow. I am only eight years old, and very small for an Antandroy person, as most of our people are tall. The older boys didn’t think I would be able to steal a cow for years, but I showed them!
Did you know? Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and home to hundreds of species of animals that cannot be found anywhere else.
Sambieto said, “We’ll see, we’ll see,” as he was still laughing. He will be thirteen years old soon and he still hasn’t tried to steal a cow. He says he will soon, though. “How about you, Hialy? Have you stolen a cow yet?” I asked another boy, “or is your family too busy learning about God to do important things?” Hialy didn’t answer. He used to play with us all the time, just like the other boys in the village, until his parents started going to meetings at the house of the missionaries. After a few weeks of listening to them, he started to tell us strange things, things like our ancestors are not blessing us or cursing us, and we shouldn’t worship them. It doesn’t make
much sense to the rest of us. “Come on, Hialy!” Sambieto said, rubbing the top of his head playfully. “You know you want to be a man! Are you going to be outdone by little Velomasy?” “My father told me not to steal anything,” Hialy said quietly. “He says a true man is one who obeys God’s word in the Bible. That means we don’t steal, and we don’t worship anyone or anything but Him.” With that, Hialy got up and walked home. The boys started laughing again, and Sambieto suggested they all go and see if I had really stolen a cow. I watched Hialy walk away and wondered what could make him say the things he did. Could you really be a man without stealing?
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Velomasy who are taught that stealing is good, and can make you into a man. Ask the Lord to open the eyes and hearts of the people to His words in the Bible. ►►Pray for children like Hialy whose family members have become Christians. Pray that they will be bold and wise as they share their faith with their neighbours and extended family. ►►Pray for more churches and Christian books, like Bibles, to be available in the language of the Antandroy people.
Peru is home of the ancient Incan civilization and its worldfamous but long-abandoned city of Machu Picchu. It has suffered under dictatorships and violent guerrilla attacks for more than 15 years. The traditional Amerindian minority groups face constant discrimination.
Co nt S Am ou ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! Find out about organisations that work with street children in your own community. Ask about ways to support them in their work.
Facts: Population: 30.5 million people Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara Capital: Lima Belief: Christian
“ You’ve got to stop coughing, Luis,” I said to my friend, starting to get anxious. “People will be walking home from work soon, and we’ll have to do our show if we want any money for dinner.” Luis and I are street children in the city of Lima. We have both lived on the street for the last two years, ever since my step-father told me to get out, that it was my fault my family was suffering. I was glad to leave; my step-father beat me when he was drunk and I’d rather live on the streets with other boys my age than be beaten by him. “I can’t, Diego,” Luis said between deep coughs that shook his body. “My chest has been hurting for weeks, and it’s hard to breathe. I won’t be able to sing for
Did you know? The potato originally came from Peru. Today there are over 1,000 different varieties.
the people who walk by us. You do it, though. You’re better than I am anyway.” I’ve known for weeks that Luis is getting too sick to continue working. Many of the street children in our neighbourhood get the same horrible cough, and some have even died. If Luis and I can just earn a little more money, just sing a few more songs and do a few more dances, maybe we will have enough to buy some food and a blanket. I think that if Luis had better clothes and could keep warm in the night, he would get better. It’s very cold sleeping in the alleys or on the benches in the city. I sat down beside Luis and tried
to think of a plan. He looked so sick and tired. His face was dirty and his clothes were nothing but rags. Looking at him, though, was almost as good as looking in a mirror. I knew I was dirty, and what would keep me from getting just as sick one day soon? “Diego,” Luis asked, leaning against the building on the corner where we performed, “is this it? Is this the only life we can ever have? We’re only 12 years old, and all I can remember is a hard life, first with my family and then on my own on the street. Do you think there is anything else?” “I don’t know, Luis. I hope there is, but I don’t know.”
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Diego whose families blame them for the problems they are facing. Ask the Lord to give them strong families who know and love Him. ►►Pray for the sick street children, like Luis. They need to know that Jesus is the only one who can heal their physical sickness in this life, and the sickness of sin. ►►Ask the Lord to send missionaries to the many street children in Peru and around the world. Pray for those who are building homes to help bring some of these children off the streets and into a safe place.
Iran Iran is the home to the great Persian civilisations of old and became an Islamic nation in the 7th century. Whilst many young Iranian people cry out for a more open and liberal society, the Iranian government is still well known for being religiously conservative and oftentimes brutal in its treatment towards those of different faiths.
You can do it !
nen i t n o C sia A 24
Ask your teacher if your school does anything to support other, less well-resourced schools in your city or around the world.
Facts: Population: 77.2 million people Language: Persian Capital: Tehran Belief: Muslim
“ Well, Vahid,” my father said as he, my mother and I ate our rice for dinner, “tomorrow, you will be eight years old! It’s time for you to begin earning your own way. Are you ready for some new responsibilities?” My family is very poor and both my mother and father must work in exchange for our food. My father is a shepherd for a wealthy man and my mother is a weaver, like many other Qashqa’i women. I had known for weeks that my eighth birthday was close, and was nervous about what it meant. In poor families like ours, children often begin to work for a living at age eight. “I don’t know, Father.” I said, setting my bowl of rice down. “What if I can’t find work, or what if the man I work for forgets to pay
Did you know? Iran is the largest producer of Pistachio nuts in the world. There they are known as ‘smiling nuts’ due to the semi-opening of the nut.
me my food?” My father laughed. “Don’t worry, Vahid. I have spoken to the man I work for. He says he needs another shepherd and because he knows that I am a hard worker, he is happy to have my son work for him too. He is an honest man, and will never forget to give you food in exchange for your work.” I am thankful to be able to work with my father and earn my
food so I won’t be a burden to my parents, but I wish I could go to school instead. There are not many teachers where I live, so I have never been able to go. Now that I’m old enough to have a job, I will probably never get another chance. “Finish your rice and then go straight to bed, Vahid,” my father said. “Tomorrow will be an early morning and a very long day.”
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Vahid who must start working at such a young age. Pray that the Lord will take care of His children and keep them safe. ►►Very few of the Qashqa’i people are believers. Most have not even heard of Jesus! Ask God to open their eyes to the truth. ►►Pray for the believers in Iran. Pray that the Lord will give them strength and boldness to live out their faith, even in the face of persecution.
The world’s producer of cocoa, Ivory Coast was colonized by the French but became independent in 1960. There is great concern worldwide about the numbers of children in Ivory Coast who are caught up in “chocolate slavery”; but not enough concern, apparently, to stop Cocoa still being Ivory Coast’s largest international export.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Next time you buy chocolate, check to see if it has the words “fair trade” on it. This is the only way to know for certain that the people who harvest the cocoa beans have been paid a fair wage.
Facts: Population: 20.1 million people Language: French Capital: Yamoussoukro Belief: Muslim, Christian
“ Are we there yet?” I asked my father as we drove through the trees toward my uncle’s cocoa plantation. “We’ve been driving forever!” My father laughed and said, “You better just enjoy the rest while you can. Your uncle will put you to work once we arrive.” This year, I am old enough to start working for my uncle during the school holiday. School is expensive, but my uncle has said that he will pay me to come and work for him on his plantation. This will really help my family pay to keep me in school. My parents will stay here on the plantation and work during the holiday too, as they have for as long as I can remember. They say it is important that we stay in touch with our far away family
Did you know? Cocoa is the main ingredient to make chocolate and about 35% of the world’s cocoa comes from Côte d’Ivoire.
(like my uncle) and that I learn paid workers?” what it means to work hard and “Yes!” I said eagerly. “Show me earn wages. how to do the work!” “Just think of how much help you will be giving the family!” my mother had said as we packed for the long trip. “Your school registration, books, and uniform will all be paid for by your hard work!” I could see my uncle’s house in the distance, and I started to get excited. Some children might not like the thought of spending their holidays working hard on a farm, but I know how hard my parents have worked to give me a proper education. Now I want to help them by working hard too. “Welcome, Kouakou,” my uncle greets me as I jump out of the car. “Are you ready to be one of my
To help you pray ►►Pray that every child in Cote d’Ivoire is able to go to school and get education, like Kouakou. ►►Pray that families are able to find the work to finance the schooling of their children, as there are many expenses to be covered. ►►Pray for strong Christians in Cote d’Ivoire to stand against evil by proclaiming the truth of the gospel boldly.
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan is only now slowly emerging from years of isolation after the death of its last president, the self-named, and seemingly eccentric, Turkmenbashi (father of the Turkmen). Unlike many of its neighbours, Turkmenistan tends not to be plagued by ethnic hostilities, although those of the Christian faith face persecution.
You can do it !
nen i t n o C sia A 28
Look closely at a picture of the Turkmenistani flag. Use the five motives there to design your own carpet on paper.
Facts: Population: 5.1 million people Language: Turkmena Capital: Ashgabat Belief: Muslim
“Have you heard the news, Sabina?” I heard my father ask my mother as he came through the door from work. “It seems that old Nazar has finally worn out his welcome! And it was about time!” “I hadn’t heard anything, Yusup,” my mother replied, “but I’m certainly not surprised. He’s been treading on thin ice for too long.” I heard my father laugh as he sat down with the tea my mother poured him. “I’m just glad the company is rid of that Christian scum. He was actually reading a Bible at his desk while he ate lunch. A Bible! It’s not enough that he dares to speak about Jesus to us, but to bring a thing like that into the office is crazy, even for him!”
Did you know? Turkmen rugs are world-famous for their quality and intricate designs. The vertical strip on the left side of the national flag displays the five main motifs in traditional Turkmen carpets, one from each of the five original tribes: Tekke, Yomut, Salori, Sariki, and Ersari.
“Surely he has heard of the other Christians who have been thrown in prison, beaten and turned out of the country. What punishment did your company give him?” My father laughed again. “He has been fined four month’s wages! I wager he and his wife will know what it is to be hungry after that!” Both my parents were laughing as I stepped into the room. I had always liked old Nazar, even if he was a Christian. “Ah, Murik, my son. Have you heard what we have been saying about old Nazar?” “Yes, father. I heard you. I feel bad for him. How will he ever pay a fine as big as that?”
“Don’t worry yourself, Murik,” my father said with a wave of his hand. “The Christians just never learn. Perhaps this will teach Nazar a lesson to keep his religion to himself!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for Children like Murik who are raised in Muslim homes, and brought up to think badly of Christians. ►►Pray for the Christians that are being persecuted. Ask the Lord to give them strength to persevere and boldness to hold on to and share the truth they know about God. ►►Pray for strong churches in Turkmenistan. Ask the Lord to raise up leaders who will go to their countrymen and teach them the gospel.
North Korea is, without a doubt, the most closed country in the world. Despite its population being constantly on the brink of outright starvation, “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-un (the son of the previous president and grandson of the “Eternal President”) maintains a lavish lifestyle and imprisons or executes his opponents with brutal swiftness. North Koreans are forced to worship their leader, and he alone. A large portion of the estimated 400,000 people imprisoned in work camps are Christian; despite the persecution, the church is reportedly still growing.
You can do it !
nen i t n o C sia A 30
Talk to your parents or think for yourself, why you choose to trust in Jesus Christ. Be ready to share your answer with anyone who might ask you.
Facts: Population: 24.5 million people Language: Korean Capital: Pyongyang Belief: Non-religious
“ Before you eat your lunch, ... ... don’t forget to thank our Dear Leader for providing for you, Yun,” my grandmother reminded me. I was so hungry, I’d nearly forgotten to give thanks to Kim Jong-il, the dead leader of North Korea. I’d been praying to him, and to his father, Kim Il-sung for as long as I could remember. I quickly thanked the Dear Leaders and then started eating my lunch of rice and vegetables. As I ate, I thought about the way we North Koreans are told we must worship our leaders who are dead. I am 12 years old this year, but no one has ever explained to me why we worship them. “Grandmother, why do we bow to the pictures on our wall of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il? And why
Did you know? The North Korean government has a list of 28 approved hairstyles that the citizens can choose form. 18 different ones for the ladies and only 10 for the men.
are there statues of them all over North Korea, and why do we wear pins with their faces on our clothes? They are dead. Why do we bow and worship dead people?” “They are like gods, Yun!” My grandmother said, her eyes wide at my disrespect of our Dear Leaders. “They are immortal, still living even after death. They deserve all of our worship and are not asking too much for us to bow down and worship them!” “But how can they still live after dying? We go to Kim Il-sung’s mausoleum every year and see that he is dead. He doesn’t do anything anymore, and I’m sure he can’t hear us thank him.” “Shh! Yun!” My grandmother said angrily. “I will not sit here and
listen to you speak disrespectfully of our Great Leader! It is enough that we were told to worship him. Let that be enough for you and stop your foolish questions!” I finished eating lunch in silence, just thinking about what my grandmother said. Perhaps the people in North Korea have been deceived. Maybe these dead men aren’t really gods; maybe they really are just dead men.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Yun in North Korea who are raised to worship men as gods, which is idolatry. Ask the Lord to open the eyes of the North Korean people to see the truth. ►►Pray for the current leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un, who is Kim Jong-il’s son. Ask the Lord to change his heart and bring big change to the country. ►►North Korea is the worst country in the world for persecuting Christians. Pray for those who are living their Christianity secretly that the Lord will give them strength and wisdom.
An Islamic republic governed by Shari’a law, Mauritania battles persistent racial tensions between the three main ethnic groups. Almost completely unreached by the Gospel, slavery is officially illegal, but still very much an entrenched practice, with an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the population living as slaves.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Offer to be the “slave” of a friend or sibling for the day. Do whatever chores they ask you to do. Do you enjoy it?
Facts: Population: 3.3 million people Language: Arabic Capital: Nouakchott Belief: Muslim
It’s so hot out here in the desert ... ... of Mauritania, but every day my master sends me out here to watch his herd of goats. I might only be a 10 year old girl, but I have been working since before the sun comes up until after it goes down for three years. That is when my mother was sold to my master’s friend, and I had to start taking over her work in the desert. Slavery is not supposed to be allowed in Mauritania, but still there are so many of us who are forced to work all day long without pay. At night, I walk back to our tiny tent with my brother and we both fall right to sleep. Standing in the sun and chasing stray goats is exhausting. “Lorita,” my little brother called my name. “Why don’t we try to
Did you know? Mauritania has some of the largest trains in the world, measuring up to 2.5 km long.
escape tomorrow? I think we can run faster this time. I’m seven now!” I sighed as I looked at Samba’s hopeful face. We tried to run away from our master last year, but the desert is big and hot. By the time the sun was at the top of the sky, we had to come back to our master’s land, too thirsty and tired to run away. We were both beaten, and Samba almost died. Our master told us if we ever tired to run away again, we had better stay in the desert and die there or he would kill us himself when we returned. “We can’t Samba. I don’t even know where we’d go if we did run away. At least here we get some food and water. In the desert, there’s nothing for us.” “What if we could make it to a
town, Lorita? We could find a job in a shop, maybe, and get paid for working. Maybe we could even go to school and learn to read and write! Oh say we can try, Lorita! Please say we can try to escape!” But I know we can’t. There is no hope for slave children like Samba and me. Our mother was a slave, her parents were slaves, and their parents were slaves. I don’t think there will ever be a way for me and Samba to be anything else, unless we’re given a miracle.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Lorita and Samba who are forced to work unjustly. Some of these children are treated very badly by their masters. ►►Pray that the Lord will change the hearts of those who keep slaves. Pray that God will show them their sin and lead them to Him. ►►Pray for people everywhere who are slaves to sin and don’t know the Lord. Ask God to open their eyes to the truth and turn people to Him.
Haiti became the first â&#x20AC;&#x153;former slaveâ&#x20AC;? republic after revolts against the French colonisers in 1804. A recent earthquake and epidemic of Cholera wiped out thousands of people. Some parents are faced with the terrible choice to abandon their children as a result of poverty. Even though 95% of Haitians claim to be Christian, 75% of them are involved in voodoo (witchcraft).
Co nt N Am or ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! Thank God for your family and, today also make a point of telling each member of your family that you appreciate their role in your life.
Facts: Population: 9.7 million people Language: French, Haitian Creole Capital: Port-au-Prince Belief: Christian
“Tell them the story about... how you were found, Jonas!” Kenny said as we sat eating at our lunch table. Two new boys had been brought to ‘Hope for Children’ orphanage here in Port-au-Prince, the orphanage where Kenny and I had lived for as long as we could remember. The story of how I came to live at the orphanage is a favourite. “Well, one day Mr. Etienne, the director of the orphanage, looked out of his window and saw a bunch of dogs and pigs rummaging through the garbage. A couple of them were tearing at a bundle and Mr. Etienne felt that something was wrong. So he went down to the garbage pile to investigate. When he got there, he found that the bundle was really a baby wrapped
Did you know? Gourds were so important to the Haitian people that in 1807, President Henri Christophe made them the base of national currency and declared all gourds the property of the state. Today, the Haitian currency is called “gourde”.
up tightly, and if he hadn’t of come to see what was going on, the animals would have killed me!” The new boys stopped eating and stared. Kenny saw their shocked expressions and said, “It’s a miracle that Jonas is even alive!” “Mr. Etienne named me Jonas, and I’ve lived here ever since,” I finished. Every time I tell the story to new children who come to the orphanage, I pray and thank God for causing Mr. Etienne to find me. I was abandoned in the trash heap by my parents, but I know now that God hadn’t abandoned me there. He brought Mr. Etienne along to find me just in time! Here at ‘Hope for Children’ orphanage, Mr. Etienne treats each of the many children as his
own. We feel like we have a father, and we get to learn about Jesus. I feel sorry for all the children in Haiti who are abandoned by their parents, but I’m glad that God cares deeply about each of them!
To help you pray ►►Pray that children like Jonas would not be abandoned. Pray their parents would be able to find help to look after them and live as a family. ►►Pray for the hopelessness that some of the Haitian people are facing. With almost 80% unemployment, ask the Lord to show them that He is the Comforter, and the only one who can save them and give them joy, despite their circumstances. ►►Pray for strong believers in Haiti who will be faithful to share the gospel with those they meet.
Germany Divided into East and West Germany after World War II, and reunified in 1989, Germany now has the strongest economy in Europe. Geniuses like J.S. Bach, Beethoven and Albert Einstein were born there, as was Martin Luther, whose influence triggered the start of the reformation. Whilst Christianity was once strong in Germany, it has since faded away; Islam is on the rise, brought by the many Turkish immigrants now living there.
You can do it !
nt e n i t n Co rope Eu
Find a simple German recipe for bread, or a sausage dish, and cook it for your family.
Facts: Population: 80.5 million people Language: German Capital: Berlin Belief: Christian, Non-religious
“Come on, Maria,” I said to my three-year-old sister. “It’s time to go play with Cansu and Gizem.” Our neighbours are immigrants from Turkey, and today they invited us over to play. “Play with Cansu?” Maria said, hurriedly stuffing her arms in her coat. “I like Cansu. She plays dolls. Hurry Kathrin!” I held Maria’s hand as we crossed the street to Gizem’s house. The girls were waiting for us on the front porch, and waved when they saw us approaching. “Cansu!” Maria yelled, shaking free from my hand. “Let’s play dolls!” Cansu and Maria took off running through the house, and Gizem and I sat on the steps of her porch and talked. She was new to our class at
Did you know? Germans eat a lot of bread and sausage. There are about 600 types of bread made in Germany and more than 1500 types of sausages.
school and wanted to know all about the other kids and teachers. We had been talking and laughing for only a few minutes when Cansu and Maria came back outside, holding little dishes in their hands. They gave one to each of us. “Oh, what is this?” Gizem asked, looking closely at the empty bowls. “Is it ice-cream?” “No!” Cansu said, “It’s soup. Eat it for lunch!” She gave both Gizem and me a little spoon and we were just about to put the first pretend bite in our mouths when Maria suddenly said, “Wait! We have to pray first!” I felt my heart start to beat faster. I looked cautiously at Gizem to see what she would say. If other students at my school knew that I was a Christian, they would make fun of me. I never talked about God
or faith, and I never prayed in front of others. But Gizem just set her bowl down, closed her eyes, and bowed her head. “Alright, Maria. I’m ready. You can pray for our soup.” Maria prayed like we do at home before meals. I was relieved that Gizem and Cansu didn’t laugh at us or mock our faith. Maria has taught me that I should never be ashamed of believing in God and should always be ready to pray, no matter who is around.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Kathrin. Ask the Lord to give them boldness in their schools, even though they may be mocked for their faith. ►►Pray for the German people to return to a belief in Christ. Ask the Lord to send revival to this country. ►►Pray that German Christians would extend friendship to their new, Muslim neighbours, and win some to Christ.
Liberia, on the West Coast of Africa, has a fascinating history. It was actually founded by the United States of America in 1847, as a home for former African-American slaves. The early promises of freedom have been overshadowed by years of civil war, corruption and abject poverty for most Liberians, who live on less than 1 USD a day.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Count how many times today you turn on a tap or drink clean water. What must it be like to go without?
Facts: Population: 4.1 million people Language: English Capital: Monrovia Belief: Ethnoreligionist, Christian
“ Can we stop at the stand... ... before we get to school, Sando?” my brother Boakai asked me. I looked at his lips, already dry and cracked by the heat. I reached in my pocket and counted the few coins, just enough to buy a mineral water from the man with the water stand. We called the man Pa Musa, and we loved him. “Yes, just enough for one. You have to promise to share some with me, Boakai. You can take a small drink now, one at lunch, and one before we leave to walk home this afternoon. I’ll keep it with me during school.” Boakai readily agreed to this
Did you know? Liberia was founded as a Commonwealth by freed slaves from the U.S.A in 1822 and declared an Independent republic in 1847. Ten of its presidents were born in the U.S.A
arrangement. The last time I’d let him keep the mineral water with him at school, three boys in his class had beat him up to take it from him; that’s how precious clean water is at our school. I handed Pa Musa the money and he carefully took out one of his treasured sachets. “Take care of it, Sando,” he said to me, “and be careful who you show it to. I wish your school had clean water, but as it is, clean water is worth as much as gold to your friends. And you know what some people will do for gold.” He smiled at us, but he looked a little sad. He hated to see the kids in our Gbanyan town go thirsty. I gave Boakai a drink and then tucked the sachet in my book bag. Many Liberian schools in the
interior of the country don’t have clean water to drink, and, as hot as it can get here, being thirsty makes it hard to concentrate sometimes. Yesterday a girl in my class started vomiting from dehydration. Boakai and I are lucky; our family makes a little more money than some of our neighbours, and we can afford to buy clean water. I worry about our friends, though. I know they don’t have anything to drink at school, but do they have clean water at home? Do they drink from the dirty rivers, when the rivers are not dry that is? Do they drink from the same river they wash clothes in, bathe in and use as latrines? I hope not. Dirty water can make you sick, and sometimes, it can kill you.
To help you pray ►►Pray for the water and sanitation problems in Liberia, and ask the Lord to supply all that is needed to create a safer, cleaner environment for the Liberian people. ►►Pray for those who are sick from drinking impure water. Ask the Lord to show himself to the Liberians as the only one who can give them Living Water, a life with Him. ►►Pray for the Christians in Liberia, that they will be growing in wisdom and have opportunities to share the gospel with their friends and family.
Indonesia is a vast archipelago nation of 17,500 islands (although only 6000 of them are inhabited). Whilst the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, Bali (one of the smallest Islands) is mostly Hindu. Bali is famous as a beautiful holiday destination, and has been heavily influenced by the many Western tourists visiting there; but, many still cling to indigenous traditions such as mepandes (tooth filing) which occurs at a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s initiation to adulthood.
You can do it !
nen i t n o C sia A 40
What special celebrations does your family have to commemorate a child becoming an adult? Plan what you would like this occasion to be like.
Facts: Population: 237.4 million people Language: Indonesian Capital: Jakarta Belief: Muslim
“ Where were you this morning, ... ... Karina?” my friend Novi asked. “You didn’t come and play with us like you usually do.” “Sorry, I really wanted to, but today was my brother’s tooth-filing ceremony and we all had to be there. My parents told us that it is a big day in his life and we should all be there to witness it.” “What happened? I’ve never seen a tooth-filing ceremony, but my mother says I will have to have one someday,” Novi said. “We all went to the ceremony where the Sangging performs the ritual. He filed down several of my brother’s teeth, taking away the parts of him that were like an animal. See?” I showed Novi my teeth that are pointed. “These are the ones that the Sangging filed
Did you know? The largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia, can only be found on two of the islands in Indonesia. The flower grows up to 1m and can weigh 11kg but it has a very strong and horrible odour.
down on my brother. They are long and pointed, like dogs’ teeth.” “Oh. Does it hurt?” Novi asked. “No, my brother said it didn’t feel like much, but then he’d probably never tell me if it really did hurt. You know how boys like to pretend they’re brave!” I laughed. “Now that his teeth aren’t like an animal’s teeth, he will be able to control evil animal attitudes, like being jealous or angry.” “I’d like to be able to control that too,” Novi said, looking at the ground. “Sometimes I get so angry with my parents and brothers. It will be nice when I don’t have any animal attitudes anymore.” “Well, as soon as we are no longer children, we’re allowed to have our tooth-filing ceremony. We
only have to wait a few more years, and then we’ll be adults!” I said, hoping to comfort Novi. I know how she feels. It is good to know that one day we’ll be free from evil desires.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Karina and Novi who are raised to believe in Balinese superstitions. Ask the Lord to show them that they are believing lies. ►►Pray for the many Balinese Hindus to recognize their need for Jesus. He is the only one who can cleanse our hearts and remove our evil desires. ►►Ask the Lord to raise up strong Christians in Bali to witness to the people there.
For more than 30 years no religion was allowed in Albania; after much prayer by people around the world this ban was finally lifted in 1990. The Albanian church has grown a lot since then and now even some Albanians go as missionaries to other countries. Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe and more than half of the population lives outside the country seeking better job opportunities.
You can do it !
nt e n i t n Co rope Eu
Play the “Albanian yes and no” game over supper or lunch time: everyone must nod for “no” and shake their head for “yes”.
Facts: Population: 2.8 million people Language: Albanian Capital: Tirana Belief: Muslim
“Your father has been gone ... ... a long time, Katerina,” my friend Rebeka said. “How is your family surviving?” I didn’t know how to answer that. Sometimes we had something to eat, other times we didn’t. It was a miracle that all six of us, and our mother, were still alive. It’s hard for households led by women to do well in rural Albania. They don’t have the same kind of opportunities that the men do. How could my father abandon us? “We just keep waiting for things to get better,” I told Rebeka. I wanted to tell her more. Sometimes my mother would take us to the orphanage and ask them to feed us. A couple of times it had worked, but usually the head mistress would tell her that since technically my parents were still
Did you know? Albanians nod their head up and down to mean ‘no’, and shake it from side to side for ‘yes’.
married, we were not eligible to receive help from the orphanage. Last week my mother told me of her plan to commit suicide. That would allow my five younger siblings and me to receive food from the orphanage, and it was the only solution my mother could see. Rebeka told me, “A couple weeks ago, a missionary brought a sack of flour to our neighbours. They were about to starve, but the flour saved their lives! They were able to make some bread. Maybe you should go talk to the missionaries and ask them to give your mother some flour too,” she suggested. It was a good idea. But could it work? Maybe the missionaries were like the head mistress at the orphanage; maybe they would refuse to help us once they learned
that both of my parents were alive. I don’t know what to do! I don’t want to give my mother any more reason to kill herself, thinking it’s the only way to save us, but maybe the missionaries would help. Maybe they would help us get some food to eat, even though both of my parents are alive.
To help you pray ►►Pray for those in Albania, like Katerina and her family, who experience severe poverty in rural parts of the country ►►Pray for the growth of, and strength for, the small Christian population in Albania. ►►Pray for more missionaries to share about Jesus in Albania.
Cuba Cuba is one of the last countries in the world that still supports a communist government. Fidel Castro took over in 1959 and pressed the pause button on economic development, which is reflected today in the failing infrastructure on the island. Although Cubans are still economically and politically oppressed many are also optimistic about the future.
Co nt N Am or ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! Play a game of “sardines” with your friends: One person hides, and the others “seek”. When each person finds the “sardine”, they must squeeze into the hiding space with them! The last person to find the “sardine” becomes the next “sardine”.
Facts: Population: 11.2 million people Language: Spanish Capital: Havana Belief: Christian
“ It’s so hot! ”
“I’m sorry you have to live with your cousins,” I offered, trying to sound sympathetic. I was sorry for I said, fanning myself with my book Yoania, but even sorrier for myself. from school. Havana is a hot place “I’m sorry for you too, Elisa,” in the summer, and it feels even Yoania said, as if she could read hotter in my school uniform. my mind. “I can’t imagine my “I know,” my friend Yoania parents getting a divorce at all, but agreed. “But as hot as it feels out then to have to keep living together here, it’s ten times worse in our and fighting after they’re divorced apartment.” would be awful!” Yoania looked up at the big, My family and I lived in a nicer decaying building in front of apartment than Yoania’s family us where she lived in a small with plenty of room for the three of apartment with her family—and us. But with the housing shortage, two other families! In Havana, my father hasn’t been able to find living space is limited. Some another place to live. It has been families have to live together, like two years and my parents still live Yoania’s. Others have apartments together, always fighting. I had to themselves, but in buildings that hoped that living together would are crumbling around them. Some help them change their minds about have been damaged by hurricanes the divorce, but so far it hasn’t. and others are affected by the salty ocean breezes.
Did you know? Cuba has the highest doctor to patient ratio in the world. There are so many doctors in Cuba, that doctors are often sent abroad to countries with a great need of medical professionals.
“Well, I can’t avoid it forever,” Yoania sighed, picking up her book bag and heading toward the apartment door. “My father says it will be better one day. One day there will be new buildings that aren’t crumbling, where families can live by themselves!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for families like Yoania’s and Elisa’s. It is difficult to live in cramped, deteriorating conditions. Ask the Lord to give His children strength in these difficult situations. ►►Pray that the Lord will use the poor conditions of some of Havana’s buildings to show people how they are just as hopeless and certain to crumble without Him. ►►Pray for missionaries to take the truth of Jesus to Cuba, through literature, radio, television programmes, and personal conversations, and also that Cuban Christians would continue to share their faith with their family, friends and neighbours.
Egypt The famous land of the Pharaohs has been a Muslim state since the 7th century. It also has the largest number of Christians in the Middle East, most belonging to the Coptic Church, which was planted by the apostle Mark when he went to Alexandria one year after Jesus´ resurrection. Due to centuries of persecution, many Christians have only survived as garbage collectors or Zabbaleens in “Garbage Cities” like the one near Cairo.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Think about the people who sort out YOUR rubbish. Rinse dirty containers before throwing them away. Even better – sort your own rubbish before recycling!
Facts: Population: 84.5 million people Language: Arabic Capital: Cairo Belief: Muslim
“ Gyasi,” my father calls weakly from his mat, “the sun is up.” I roll sleepily off my mat beside my father. I open my eyes just a crack and see that he’s right; it’s time for me to get up and start work. My father and I live in Mokattam village, or “Garbage City” in Egypt. There are thousands of Zabbaleens or garbage men in our community. We go into Cairo every day to collect the trash and bring it back to our homes. I stretch and yawn as I make my way to the pen where we keep our donkey. “Time for work,” I tell the donkey as I hitch him to our cart. I spend the morning collecting the trash, then sorting it when I get home. Some of the scraps I throw to our
Did you know? Cleopatra is one of the most famous rulers of Egypt yet she was not Egyptian. She was, in fact, Greek.
pigs, some of it I recycle, and some I sell. The trash is how my father and I earn money to live. Before I leave for the morning, I heat some porridge for my father. He has been sick for as long as I can remember, probably from living around garbage for most of his life. Many Zabbaleens get sick from the germs and disease found in garbage, but my father says it’s worth it. “You know why we live here, Gyasi?” he will often ask me. “Why, father?” I respond, even though I know the answer. “Because here, in Garbage City,
we live among thousands of people who claim to be Christians. Egypt is mostly Muslim, and spiritually very dark. Many Christians in parts of Egypt are persecuted or killed for their faith. Here we can live together and encourage one another to be strong, to hold on to the Lord, even when persecution comes. It is worth the smell of garbage.” Even though the garbage has made my father very sick, he still thanks God for the community here. I am a worshipper of God too, and I agree with my father. Being able to live among other Christians is a big blessing. It is worth it.
To help you pray ►►Pray for the true Christian families, like Gyasi’s, who live in Garbage City. Ask the Lord to teach and encourage them from the Bible. ►►Pray for the sickness and disease that is common in this area, asking that God might bring comfort to His children. ►►Pray for the other Christians in Egypt who face persecution and even death for the sake of the gospel. Ask the Lord to keep them strong.
There is more to Mexico than just tacos, burritos and enchiladas, although their delicious cuisine is perhaps what they are most famous for. Mexico has been a Catholic country for most of its modern history, since the defeat of the Aztec empire by Spanish colonisers in the 16th century. Today, 60% of the population live in poverty, with corruption, violent crime and an active drug trade plaguing its society.
Co nt N Am or ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! Find a recipe and cook a Mexican meal for your family (ask for help if you need it).
Facts: Population: 118.4 million people Language: Spanish Capital: Mexico City Belief: Christian
“ You have to stop this, Paulo,” I told my cousin this morning. “If you keep taking these drugs across the border to America, you could end up in a juvenile prison, or worse, killed!” Paulo didn’t look up from the tiny packages he was sewing into folds in his backpack. Every few weeks, the drug lord Paulo works for tells him to take illegal drugs out of Mexico and into America. Paulo has been doing this for nearly three years now, and for the last two years he has done more than just carry the drugs; he’s been using them. “I don’t have a choice, José,” he said, still sewing. “You know
Did you know? Mexico City was originally founded in the 1300s on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco. Because it is built on a lake, Mexico City is now sinking because the people are using the water underneath it faster than the rainfall can replenish it.
that. I’ve been doing this since I was your age and I can’t get out of it now. I make good money and always have enough to eat.” “But we can look for other jobs, jobs that won’t get you killed! Grandfather told me you could help in the shop with me. I started helping him there this year when I turned 12, and I could show you how to—” “No, José,” Paulo sighed. “I’m not quitting.” “It’s not just the money, is it?” I asked. I know that Paulo uses the drugs every day, and that he couldn’t go without them for very long without getting sick. Paulo is addicted. “It’s none of your business!” He snapped at me. “It’s not like there
aren’t other kids doing the same thing I’m doing, some of them do even more for their drug lords, like killing people and fighting the police. Why can’t you just be glad that I bring in good money?” I’m so scared that Paulo will end up like so many other drug runners: dead from taking too many drugs, or a victim of violence. But what can I do?
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like José, that the Lord will protect them from the appeal of taking drugs and earning money from selling them. ►►Pray for children like Paulo who are at the mercy of the people they work for, and the drugs they take. Ask the Lord to open their eyes to the danger they are in. ►►Pray for the people of Mexico, that the Lord will reveal the freedom found in his Son, Jesus. Ask that He will work in a powerful way among the government and police to stop the drugs and violence.
The place of origin of ideas like democracy, philosophy, science and the Olympic Games and home of historic writers like Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Aristotle, Greece became a new nation, independent from Turkey, in 1827. In recent years, Greece has struggled to overcome huge governmental debt which has triggered an economic crisis and high levels of unemployment.
You can do it !
nt e n i t n Co rope Eu
Find out the steps to a Greek traditional dance and teach yourself how to perform it.
Facts: Population: 10.8 million people Language: Greek Capital: Athens Belief: Christian
“Eva,” I heard my mother call ... ... hoarsely from the couch where she was lying, “will you boil the noodles for dinner?” I wrapped my jacket more tightly around myself and went to the cupboard. The box of noodles was not hard to find; it was the only thing there. I shook the box as I took it down and heard a few noodles rattling. It wouldn’t be nearly enough for mother, Dimitri, and myself, but I had eaten a potato at school today so I could do without. I put the noodles in the pan with water and counted them as they fell in: 39. Just 39 little noodles. We still had some condiments in the refrigerator, so at least mother and Dimitri wouldn’t have to eat them plain. While the noodles cooked, I sat
Did you know? The word “barbarian” comes from Greek barbaroi, which means “whoever is not Greek is a barbarian.”
by the window and looked at the grey winter sky. I couldn’t believe how much had changed in only one year. This time last year our house had been warm because we could afford to pay for heat. We weren’t eating pasta then, because we could afford better, tastier food. And Dimitri had been running around the apartment, playing and laughing. That was the biggest difference. Now Dimitri spent most of the afternoons after school sleeping. He was usually very weak from hunger, and sleeping was all he wanted to do. My mother had lost her job a few months ago, like most people in our neighbourhood. There were still some children at school whose father or mother had work, but
hardly anybody had two parents working anymore. Jobs were scarce. My friend Sophie’s father had a job, and it was Sophie who had brought an extra potato to give me at school. A whole potato. It was wonderful! I checked the noodles and found that they were ready. I was glad that cooked noodles looked a little bigger than raw ones, but still knew it would barely hit the spot in Dimitri’s hollow belly. I carried the food to Mother and Dimitri and was glad that Mother didn’t ask why I wasn’t eating. Instead, I went to the window and prayed. I prayed for us, I prayed for my neighbours, and I prayed for Greece. Things are so hard, I know only God can fix them.
To help you pray ►►Pray for the poverty that is affecting many families in Greece. Ask the Lord to use this hardship to bring people to Him. ►►Pray for the many immigrants who have fled to Greece. They are far away from their homes and the poverty is affecting many of them too. ►►Pray for true Greek Christians to be bold in sharing their faith and their reason for hope during this difficult time.
Even though many people in Tanzania have heard the truth about Jesus, and a large number confess belief in Him, there are still groups of people in this East African country who have never learned about Jesus. One of these unreached groups is the deaf community of Tanzania.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Ask your parents for permission to wear ear-plugs for a whole afternoon after school. How easy is it to communicate with others in your family, or to understand what is going on?
Facts: Population: 45 million people Language: Swahili & English Capital: Dodoma Belief: Christian & Muslim
I dreaded the walk to school. It would take me and my cousin Edina only about 10 minutes to get there, but the laughing and bullying of the other children on our way would be more than either of us could bare. Edina is deaf. She was born this way and none of us can communicate to her very well. We didn’t speak any sign language before she was born, and our family has only managed to learn a little bit in the 11 years since. “You must watch out for her, Janeth,” my mother said. “Edina will not have very many opportunities in life, so we need to do what we can for her.” But that is much easier said than done. I try to translate what
Did you know? The Coconut Crab, which inhabits the waters off Zanzibar’s Chumbe Island, is the largest crab in the world. It can measure 1m across (including its legs) and weigh up to 4kg.
our teacher says in class for her, using broken sign language and other symbols that Edina and I have been working on all our lives. I took Edina’s hand as we started out the door towards school. Edina waved towards one of our friends, James, who usually walked with us. His father was deaf, or had been, before he died. James knew a lot of sign language and was teaching Edina and me. We are very eager to learn. “I have some good news,” James said and signed to us. His smile was huge, so I knew it had to be exciting! “I’ve just heard of a school that is opening in a town a few hours away that is just for deaf children, like you!” He pointed to Edina, who
had understood his signs. Her eyes lit up. “Don’t, James. Don’t get her hopes up. Deaf schools are expensive; I don’t think we could ever afford to send her there.” Edina tried to turn my shoulders to face her. She could make out a little of what I said, as long as I was facing her. I hadn’t wanted her to see what I told James, though. “It could be her only hope, Janeth,” James said. “The teacher at our school has no training for deaf students, he doesn’t know how to teach her. We must find a way to send her to a place where she can learn. There aren’t many deaf schools in Tanzania, and this one will fill up quickly. We’ll have to think of something fast!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Edina who are born deaf. Ask the Lord to give them families that are willing to learn how to communicate with them. ►►Pray for many more resources for deaf children and adults. Pray that the Lord will raise people up to build more deaf schools and facilities with teachers equipped to handle the challenges. ►►Pray for Bibles and other Christian literature to be developed and distributed among the deaf community.
Yemen Yemen has the dubious honour of being the poorest nation in the Middle East. Whilst it was once famous for exports like frankincense, myrrh and coffee, it is now a major international supplier of the drug qat. This mild narcotic is chewed by 80% of the Yemeni population and one of the causes of the many social problems faced by Yemen.
You can do it !
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Try and count how many Christians you know personally. Include family, friends, people from your church and school. Imagine what it would be like to not have other Christians to fellowship with.
Facts: Population: 23.8 million people Language: Arabic Capital: Sanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;a Belief: Muslim
“ Yusra, can you keep a secret? ” my friend Nadeen asked me. We are both the oldest girls in our families and we were watching over our younger brothers and sisters as they played. Our families are neighbours and we often play together. “I am very good at keeping secrets!” I answered with a smile. I was very curious about Nadeen. Lately, she had seemed very secretive and I didn’t know why. I was eager to know why my friend
Did you know? By tradition, Yemeni men wear a long robe or a striped skirt (futa) with a curved dagger (jambiyya) at the front, attached to a decorative belt. Jambiyyas are unsheathed and brandished above the head when dancing.
had changed so much. Nadeen looked over her shoulder and then through the window of her house. I wondered why she was so concerned. “What are you doing?” I asked her. “Making sure no one can hear us,” she whispered back. “Yusra, if I tell you this secret, it is very important that you never, ever tell anyone else, alright?” I started to wonder what kind of secret Nadeen could have. She looked very scared and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to know anymore. What if it was something that would also scare me? “Alright,” I answered. What else could I do? I must hear her secret, and try to help her not be so afraid. “You remember when I was sick
a few months ago and had to stay at the hospital? Well, my nurse was an Ethiopian woman who told me about Jesus—from the Bible!” I gasped, shocked that my friend knew anything at all about the Christians’ holy book. My family has always looked down on Christians, and warned us not to befriend them. Nadeen continued explaining, “The nurse read to me from the Bible secretly, when there was no one else around, and she helped me understand that I need a saviour and Jesus is the only One. I’m a Christian now.” I didn’t know what to say. Of course, I told her I would never tell her secret to anyone, but I don’t know if I can still be her friend, now that she’s a Christian and not a Muslim.
To help you pray ►►Pray for the few believers in Yemen, people like Yusra, that they will grow stronger in their faith. ►►Most of the people in Yemen are Muslim. Ask the Lord to bring revival to the nation – to show Muslims the truth so they can be set free from their sins. ►►Pray for those who are persecuted for their faith. Ask God to give them strength, boldness and love.
France In the land of Freedom, Equality and Fraternity, of the Eiffel Tower and baguettes live some 12,000 Romani or nomadic gypsy people in illegal camps outsides the cities. They have been evicted many times, but keep returning to look for better living conditions and opportunities in Western Europe.
You can do it !
nt e n i t n Co rope Eu
Has anyone you know ever visited France? Ask to see photographs or their time there.
Facts: Population: 66 million people Language: French Capital: Paris Belief: Christian, Non-religious
“But I don’t know anything ... ... about Bulgaria!” I cried as my mother told me to pack my things in a satchel. “I’ve only lived in France, and I want to keep living in France!” Mother sighed as she quickly put our few things into an old, rugged suitcase. Our camp outside of Paris was being evacuated. The Roma people who had lived here for many years were being sent back to their home countries. I was confused when my mother told me this; France was my home country! I was born here seven years ago and couldn’t imagine leaving my friends here in the camp. “Please don’t cry, Milena,” mother said. “I know you’re sad to
Did you know? France receives more tourists per year than any other country. In fact they receive more tourist than there are people in the country.
leave the camp, but we don’t have any choice. The government says we must go.” “But what will we do in Bulgaria?” I asked. “Will we live in a camp like this one? Will we have our friends living right next door?” Mother looked worried and thought for a moment before she answered me. “I don’t know, Milena. I don’t know what we’re going to do. I left Bulgaria 10 years ago because I thought I could find a better life here in France, but it was hard here too. I’ve never been able to get a steady job so we’ve had to live on whatever odd jobs I could find.” I knew this was true. We were
very poor and didn’t always know how we would eat the next day. But the camp was like our family; we all helped each other. “When you were born, I hoped you would have a chance to live a normal life here, but they wouldn’t even let you go to school with the French children. You and the other Romani children in the camp had to go to a separate school.” “But I like it! Do we really have to leave?” “Yes, Milena, we really have to leave. Try not to be so sad; I do know some people in Bulgaria, and who knows, our life there might even be better than it has been here!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for the many Roma families in France who are being sent back to their home countries. Ask the Lord to use these difficult times to show them their need for His comfort and unchanging, steadfast love. ►►Pray for missionaries to share the gospel with Roma families in camps and shanty towns in France. Ask the Lord to give the Roma people hearts that are open to the gospel. ►►Pray for Roma people of Europe to be able to find work that will provide for their families.
The overwhelmingly beautiful country of Costa Rica is one of the more politically stable countries in Central America. It has struggled previously with poverty but has improved a lot through tourism. The Costa Rican Christians are also becoming more and more involved in helping their own people through taking care of the sick, the poor and children at risk.
Co nt N Am or ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! Write a note, send an email or make a phone call to someone you know who might feel “forgotten”.
Facts: Population: 4.6 million people Language: Spanish Capital: San José Belief: Christian
“Abuela,” I called from outside... ... the little house my grandmother, father and I shared, “I can see the missionary’s truck! He’ll be here soon!” “Come in and wash your feet, Jorge,” she called back to me. “We can’t go into the city looking dirty.” “How do you know my feet are dirty, Abuela?” I asked, coming back inside. “You can’t see them.” Abuela smiled as she pulled on her ragged sweater. “I just know these things. I may be old, but don’t think you can trick me, Jorge.” I wiped my feet and looked around for my shoes. Today is a very exciting day for us! The missionary is taking Abuela and me to the city, San José, so my grandmother can have an
Did you know? Ten percent of known butterfly species worldwide live in Costa Rica.
eye operation. Abuela has been mostly blind for years, and her doctor at the little clinic here in the mountains can’t help her. She needs a special surgery with equipment that is in the city. “The city is a long way from here, isn’t it Abuela?” I asked, watching the truck wind its way up the mountain road. “It’s very nice of the missionary to drive us all the way there. I’m glad he came to our village. It makes me feel like we haven’t been forgotten up here.” “Yes, he is a very kind man. His coming reminded me also that God has not forgotten us.” “And now, God might change your eyes in the surgery! I’m glad you’ll be able to see again,” I said. “You’re right about that, Jorge. If
the doctors are able to fix my eyes through the surgery, I know it’s really God working through them. He sends us people to help us and He heals us sometimes, reminding us that He never forgets those who trust in Him.”
To help you pray ►►Pray for families in the rural mountain areas of Costa Rica. Ask the Lord to send missionaries to them, so they will know they have not been forgotten, and can hear about Jesus. ►►Pray for the children in rural areas, where there are hardly any schools. Pray that the Lord will send teachers and resources to these places. ►►Pray for the Costa Rican Christians to be bold in sharing their faith and speaking the truth.
The USA, or the “Land of the Free”, is the only remaining economic, political and military “superpower” in the world. For centuries, United States’ culture and practices have influenced the whole world and still today people from one end of the globe to the other are impacted in some way by this “giant”. A rich Christian history has shaped this country, yet it battles consumerism, materialism and racism.
Co nt N Am or ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! The USA is a big country! Find it on a map and estimate how many of your home country could “fit” inside the USA’s borders.
Facts: Population: 313.9 million people Language: American English Capital: Washington, D.C Belief: Christian
“Why don’t you want ... ... to come to church with me, Megan?” I asked my neighbour as we sat on the swings. “It’s fun, and you can learn about Jesus.” “I already go to a church on Sundays sometimes. I don’t feel like going on Wednesday too. Besides, it can’t really be that fun. Church never is.” I was surprised to hear that Megan’s family went to church! I guess most people in East Tennessee do, but Megan’s family doesn’t act like they care about God or Christianity at all. That’s why I invited her to go with me, so she can hear about Jesus and maybe see that she needs him to save her. “Why does your family go to church?” I asked her. “If you don’t
Did you know? The tallest roller coaster in the world is in America and goes as high as 139m and as fast as 206km/h.
like it, why do you go?” “You have to go to church! It’s how you get to heaven when you die. God looks at your good works and decides if you’re good enough to get into heaven. My family joined the church a long time ago, so God will let us get into heaven, I’m sure of it.” “That’s not it at all, Megan!” I said. “Going to church isn’t what gets you into heaven! Haven’t you read the Bible?” “Oh come on, Courtney,” Megan said, rolling her eyes. “Who actually reads the Bible? It’s more boring than listening to sermons at church.” “But the Bible is where we learn what does get us to heaven, and it’s not going to church! It’s
all about Jesus. He’s the only one who can save us. He tells us in the Bible that we’re all sinners, that we all need a saviour, and can’t do anything to fix our sins ourselves. Haven’t you heard this at church?” Megan shrugged. “I don’t know; I don’t pay attention. Look, can’t we just talk about something else? I don’t kill people, I don’t steal stuff, and I do go to church. I live a good enough life on my own. Why should I care about what’s in the Bible?”
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Megan whose family is only “Christian” in name. Nominalism is a big problem in the United States, where churches are abundant and people have freedom of religion. ►►Pray for children like Courtney who truly believe in Jesus. Ask the Lord to make them bold witnesses to their friends who don’t know they are trusting in the wrong things to save them. ►►Pray for revival in the USA. This country was built on Christianity but has fallen very far from God’s laws.
They proudly call themselves “land of the free”, as the only Southeast-Asian nation not conquered by any Western power, but Thailand is anything but free for many of the people living there. Most Thai people are in bondage to Buddhism, and live in fear of displeasing the ruling “guarding spirits” for whom they build shrines. An estimated one million children in Thailand work as forced labourers, sold into slavery by their own families.
You can do it !
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Donate some of your free time to work at a local organisation that ministers to children; for example a hospital, school or orphanage.
Facts: Population: 66.7 million Language: Thai Capital: Bangkok Belief: Buddhist
It’s so hot tonight, ... ... that all I can think about is how good a drink of water would taste. My tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth and my face and arms are sticky with sweat. The bunch of flowers I keep pushing towards people on this busy street in Bangkok are starting to wilt from the heat. I doubt anyone will want to buy them now, and that makes me nervous. “Sunisa,” my friend Yok called as she turned the corner. “Do you need some water?” She held out a plastic bottle, still cool, and I dropped the flowers to reach for it. “Where did you find this?” I asked between gulps. “It tastes wonderful! You didn’t steal it, did you?” “No, a lady who stopped at my
Did you know? The official full name of Bangkok is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.
It means “City of Angels, Great City of Immortals, Magnificent City of the Nine Gems, Seat of the King, City of Royal Palaces, Home of Gods Incarnate, Erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s Behest.
corner to buy some flowers gave it to me. I think she was a tourist. Have you sold many flowers tonight?” I pointed towards my cart, still mostly full with dry, drooping flowers. “Barely any,” I said. “The man who bought me won’t be happy.” I rub my arm, still sore from where he had beaten me yesterday for not selling enough bouquets. Yok and I sat down on the sidewalk and took turns to drink from the bottle. People rushed by and no one seemed to want to buy our flowers. “It’s awful working here all day, but at least we know our families have some money,” Yok said. We had both been rented and taken from our poor villages in the
north of Thailand to work in the capital city. The men who owned us now had promised to pay our families each month - money they desperately need. “Yes, that helps make it all worth it,” I agreed. “I’m glad my brothers have enough to eat, even if I don’t.”
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Sunisa and Yok who have been rented from their families. Some are treated very badly by the people who “own” them. ►►Ask the Lord to give strength and peace to His children in these terrible situations, and ask Him to open the eyes of the owners, showing them their need for Him. ►►Pray for a strong church in Thailand where the Christians are not afraid to reach out to trafficked children and adults.
Afghanistan Afghanistan faced decades of war and oppressive leaders. Many have suffered and Afghani young people have never known peace. Afghanis are mostly Muslim and very traditional. Few have become Christian, although there are now a few hundred believers following Jesus.
You can do it !
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Find out about ministries who work with woman and girls in Afghanistan or other middle-eastern countries. Is there any way you can support them in their work?
Facts: Population: 30.5 million people Language: Pashto & Dari Capital: Kabul Belief: Muslim
“ Remember, those who follow Jesus ... ... are never alone. He has promised never to leave them or forsake them.” I could feel the tears pouring out of my eyes and running down my cheeks as I listened to this Christian radio programme. I had the sound turned down very low in my bedroom so my family would not be able to hear. They didn’t know that I listened to these Christian programmes, and would make me stop if they found out. It is illegal for an Afghan to convert to Christianity. Last night my parents told me that they had agreed to sell me to a man my father knows. I am to
Did you know? Afghanistan’s national sport is called “Buzkashi,” which means goat-grabbing.
become his wife, even though I’m only 10 years old! “Badria,” my father said, “This man’s father is demanding that I pay him some money that I owe him, but I don’t have any to give him. He said he would forget about the money if I gave you to his son, to be his wife. “But I don’t want to marry anyone now, father!” I responded. “And I don’t even know this man! What if he beats me, or starves me, or—” “Badria,” my father replied, “he comes from a nice family; he will treat you well.” “A nice family?” I cried back. “What kind of nice family would make me get married to a man I have never seen and don’t want to marry? I’m only 10 years old!” But the decision had already
been made. I had no choice at all. I would have to marry this man. My father called him Atash. “He is not so old, Badria,” my father explained, “Atash is only 30, and he will give you everything you need, like food and clothes. It really is a blessing for you,” he explained. I have only two more months here, living with my family and going to school. My mother says that once I become Atash’s wife, I will have to take care of him and the house we will live in. I know I will be sad and will feel so alone. But the man on the radio says that Jesus’ followers are never alone. I am a Christian, so the only thing left for me to do is pray to God - to thank Him that He is always with me, and to ask Him to remind me of this when I feel alone.”
To help you pray ►►Look up Joshua 1:9. Thank God for this truth, and pray this for child brides like Badria. It is against the law for the Afghan people to force girls under 16 years old to marry. Ask the Lord to help people obey this law. ►►Pray for the Christians in Afghanistan, that their faith will continue to grow even in secret, and that they will speak out against the child brides. ►►Pray for Christian radio and television programmes. Ask the Lord to use them to reach the Afghan people with His truth.
Moldova is a landlocked nation, squeezed between two other former-soviet nations of Ukraine and Romania. Its people are also hard-pressed, with unemployment rates as high as 80% in the villages, meaning that many women become caught up in human trafficking.
You can do it !
nt e n i t n Co rope Eu
Make a poster of the Moldovan flag, and hang it somewhere to remind you to pray for this nation.
Facts: Population: 3.6 million people Language: Moldovan Capital: Chișinău Belief: Christian, Non-religious
“Have you heard from your sister lately?” I asked my friend Emma. She was sitting on the end of her bed in the orphanage where we had both lived for years. She shook her head. “I’m afraid, Yuli,” she said. “Anna said she would come every week to see me. She said that in a few years, when I turn 16 and have to leave the orphanage too, that we would live together. She said she would find a job and save money so we would have an apartment. But I haven’t seen her in a month.” I sat down beside Emma on the bed. We both knew what had
probably happened to Anna, but neither of us wanted to say. In Moldova, there are hardly any jobs available, and it’s common for young girls to be told of “good opportunities” in other countries like Turkey and Ukraine; but they aren’t always what they are promised to be. Some girls go willingly, trying to earn some money, but others are taken by force. When they arrive many are ‘trafficked’ - made to be slaves, or prostitutes. Anna knew the dangers of being on the streets of Moldova as a young woman, so I didn’t think she would believe a stranger who tried to talk her into leaving the country. Maybe she was just so
desperate for money to buy food. Emma had tears trickling down her face. It would be four years before we would be 16, the age the orphanage would release us onto the streets too. If Anna hadn’t come to visit by that time, it would be hopeless to try to search for her. Some of the ‘trafficked’ girls are eventually able to escape and return home, but others remain trapped, or even die. “Let’s try not to worry about her, Emma,” I said, putting my hand on hers. “Maybe she’s just been busy working so she can save up enough for that apartment!” I tried to sound hopeful, but I knew that Emma was not convinced.
To help you pray Did you know? Mamaliga, a hard corn porridge, is regarded as the national dish. It is poured onto a flat surface in the shape of a big cake and is served mainly with cheese, sour cream, or milk.
►►Pray for children like Emma and Yuli who spend their young lives in an orphanage. Ask the Lord to bring godly families to the many Moldovan children like them. ►►Pray for young women like Anna who are taken from the streets of Moldova, tricked into leaving the country for work, or taken by force. Ask the Lord to protect his children and to comfort those who are in terrible situations. ►►Pray for the true Christians and churches in Moldova to be used by God to bring an end to the trafficking that is so common in this poor country.
India If you want to eat the hottest curries in the world, India is the place to be! India is the most diverse nation on the planet, with 2,500 different people groups. Whilst discrimination based on caste (a kind of social structure by which people are divided and treated differently according to the class they are born into) is officially now illegal, many people, such as the Dalits, still lack access to education and employment.
You can do it !
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Try and make a new habit â&#x20AC;&#x201C; every time you shampoo your hair, think of India and pray for its people!
Facts: Population: 1.2 billion people Language: Hindi, English Capital: New Delhi Belief: Hindu
“ Run, Arun, run! ” I yelled at my little brother who had started to lag behind me. “We’ll be late for work if you don’t hurry up!” School had finished a few minutes later than usual, and Arun and I would be punished if we were late for work. I could hear his bare feet hitting the ground hard behind me as he tried to catch up. “It’s no good, Tanvi,” he gasped, “I don’t think we can make it in time.” I thought quickly, and then made a sudden turn onto a street we had never taken before. As soon as I turned, Arun stopped running. “What are you waiting for?” I yelled. I saw his eyes were wide, staring at me in disbelief. “We can’t go this way,” he said
Did you know? The word shampoo is derived from a Hindi word and means ‘head massage’.
slowly, shaking his head. “This isn’t a Dalit neighbourhood.” “We don’t have another choice, Arun.” Taking his hand and pulling him along. I knew it was a risk for Dalits, the lowest caste in India, to use this road, but it was a shortcut to work. “Look,” Arun whispered. He had stopped again and was pointing ahead. A group of boys about my age had been playing in the street but had suddenly stopped to stare at us. My heart started pounding faster as I saw a couple of the boys stoop to pick up rocks. “Hey, Dalit-scum!” one of the boys shouted at us. “Don’t you know this street is off limits to the untouchables? Get out before we make you sorry you ever came
this way!” The boys with rocks started running towards us. Arun and I took off up the road as fast as we could, not daring to look back. I could hear them shouting and a few of the rocks flew past us. Thankfully, we made it out of the street without being hurt. This isn’t the first time someone of a higher class has treated us badly. It could have ended much more tragically.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children and families of the Dalit class. They are no longer supposed to be treated with discrimination in India, but sometimes they still face inequality. ►►Pray for the relatively few Christians in India. Pray for growth in the church, and boldness in sharing the truth with other Indians. ►►Pray for the Indian people who are mostly Hindu. Ask the Lord to open their eyes and turn their hearts to him.
Chad is a complex country with more than 150 different people groups. The people in the northern parts are Muslim and the ones in the southern parts are Christian. Most Christians in Chad do not know how to share about Jesus to their Muslim neighbours and are very hesitant to do so. Missionaries are still needed to help train the Christians and to reach out to the Muslims.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
If your parents give you permission, skip eating a meal today. How does it feel? Can you imagine what it would be like to go hungry all the time?
Facts: Population: 10.3 million people Language: French, Arabic Capital: Nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Djamena Belief: Muslim, Christian
“ Sadia, did you find any food today?” My younger sister Fatime is laying on her mat, holding her tummy. I know how she feels. It’s been two days since we’ve had any food to eat, and Fatime has been sick. My stomach hurts too, but at least I’m not sick. I went out this morning to try and find some food for us to eat. “Here, Fatime,” I said, handing her some nuts I’d found on the road. I know it’s not enough, but I hope it will help a little. I heard our parents talking last night and if Fatime isn’t better soon, they are going to take her to the village’s traditional healer. I know the healer will try to make her better by pulling out some of her teeth, but that will only make her hurt even more. I have to do something to help her, to help us both. We can’t go another two days
Did you know? There are more than 130 languages spoken in Chad but only ten of them have a full Bible translation.
without having anything to eat. “Fatime, I think we should go visit the missionary man. Do you remember when he told us about his God being the true Healer? Maybe he can help us.” “I can’t walk that far, Sadia,” she whimpered. “I feel so sick. Do you really think the missionary’s God can help?” “I have heard the missionary talk about all the wonderful things his God can do,” I told her, “and I’ve heard him pray for other people in the village who are sick. Perhaps his God can heal you, but I know the village healer can’t. The other children that were taken to him just got worse and worse. I’ll carry you, Fatime,” I said. “I want to find out more about the missionary’s God. If there really is a God who
can heal people, and help them find food to eat, then He must be very big and very powerful.” It’s a long walk to the missionary’s house, but I feel strong enough to carry Fatime on my back. Maybe we will find food and answers about God at the missionary’s house.
To help you pray ►►There are many starving children in Chad, like Sadia and Fatime. Pray that the Lord will show them that He is the one who can meet their needs. ►►Pray for those people in Chad who trust in traditional healers and practices to make them better. They need to know that God is the true Healer. ►►Pray for the missionaries serving in Chad. Ask the Lord to give them wisdom to teach people to turn away from sinful traditions.
Papua New Guinea
Deep, dark rainforests, crystal clear mountain streams and exotic wildlife you have to see to believe â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Papua New Guinea is a nation that defies belief. Home to some of the last tribes largely untouched by Western civilisation, Papua New Guinea is one of the most linguistically diverse places on Earth, with 830 different languages. Many people in the larger towns and cities call themselves Christians, but have beliefs influenced by traditional animistic practices; still more people live in regions so isolated that they have never before heard about Jesus.
nt e n i t n Co ralasia Aust
You can do it ! Many Missionary families live and work in the jungles of PNG doing Bible translation. Find out the names and address of a family serving God in this way and send them a small parcel of things they may miss from home.
Facts: Population: 7.1 million people Language: Hiri Motu, Tok Pisin, English Capital: Port Morseby Belief: Christian
“ Thomas, what do you think ... we should do now that we follow God’s way?” I asked my friend as we walked through the dense jungle of the island. The two of us had recently come to know and believe in Jesus, and I wasn’t sure what that meant for my life. “What do you mean, Aaron?” He asked, looking confused. “Are we supposed to do anything? We were baptized by the missionaries after God showed us His way; what else is there?” “You think we should go on living as we always have? That doesn’t seem like what God would want us to do,” I said uncertainly. “The stories we have heard from the Bible are full of his commands and rules for living lives that please him, and that’s what I want to
Did you know? There are more than 800 different languages spoken in Papua New Guinea. Most of these languages are spoken by only a few hundred to a few thousand people.
do now.” “What things do you think we should stop doing?” Thomas asked curiously. “Well, I don’t know for sure, but I think we should stop fearing and honouring spirits.” I watched Thomas’ eyes grow wide. I knew this would be a very hard step for us to take. Most people in our village fear and worship spirits, and we had been doing those same things all our lives. “It just doesn’t seem right that we should go on treating the spirits like they are gods, when now we know that there is only one God. I think we should just follow him.” Thomas sighed and said, “Well, if that’s what God would want us to
do, then we must try to do it. But I don’t know what our families and friends will think.” “I think it will be hard for them to understand, at least at first,” I said. “But it will be a good opportunity for us to teach them about Jesus, and how to follow His way. Who knows? Maybe our families will want to stop fearing spirits and come to follow God’s way too!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for people like Aaron and Thomas who come to believe in Jesus in Papua New Guinea. Ask the Lord to show them that being new creations means living a new life. ►►Pray for the many people who cling to spirit worship. They need the freedom that only comes through Christ. ►►Pray for true Christians on this island to spread the gospel within Papua New Guinea, and also to take it to other parts of the world!
Nepal is the birth place of the religion of Buddhism, and home to the summit point of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. Tensions between Nepal and its neighbour China are constantly an issue, as is the persecution of Christians.
You can do it !
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Contact “Voice of the Martyrs” and find out the name and address of a Christian in prison for their faith. Write them a letter and pray for them.
Facts: Population: 26.5 million Language: Nepali Capital: Kathmandu Belief: Hindi
“ Tell us again about the time ... ... you were in prison, Grandfather!” my younger brother Yash begged. “It’s my very favourite story and I haven’t heard it in a long time.” “I just told you that story last week, Yash,” Grandfather laughed. “But it’s one of my favourites too, so I’ll tell you and Prem again.” Grandfather winked at me as I sat down with Yash. It was a very good story, so I didn’t mind hearing it again. “Many years ago, when I was a young man, I read a pamphlet about the one true God. I had never heard anything like it before, and the Lord used the words I read to show me that I was a sinner and could not save myself. God showed me that I must trust in Him to
Did you know? The eight highest mountain peaks in the world can be found in Nepal.
forgive me, and I did.” “And then what happened?” Yash prodded. He can be a very impatient boy! “Well, I began to tell others what God had showed me, but before too long the police heard about it. Back in those days it was against the law to become a Christian in Nepal, so when they learned that I had converted they threw me in prison.” “And it was terrible, wasn’t it?” Yash said sadly. “Oh, it was a horrible place,” Grandfather replied, “But I didn’t let it bother me. I just kept praying. When my cell mates asked me why I was praying and who I was praying to, I got to share the gospel with them! Eventually many of the
other prisoners were turning to the Lord! It was a miracle.” “And then they threw you out!” Yash said triumphantly. “Yes,” Grandfather laughed, “When the jailers saw that my testimony was causing other people to convert to Christianity, they threw me out of prison. They thought I was doing more damage within the walls of the prison than I would be able to do outside. So, they let me go.” “But you didn’t stop praying, did you?” I asked Grandfather. “No, I have never stopped praying, not since the time the Lord worked His miracle in my heart. It doesn’t matter what people try to do to us; the Lord always takes good care of His children!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for the Nepalese Christians to be faithful, and to pray diligently for their families and nation. ►►Nepal is a very poor country. Ask the Lord to continue to provide for His people, and to use His provision to bring other people to know Him. ►►Pray for the Nepalese churches and pastors. Ask the Lord to send people to train them up in truth so they can be effective tools for the gospel.
About 85% of Botswana is covered by the sand and scrub of the Kalahari Desert. The ancient San people were particularly well-adapted to live in this terrain but their way of life has been destroyed and they have been displaced as a result of ranching, mining and tourism.
You can do it ! Built a canoe, like a traditional Botswana â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mokoroâ&#x20AC;? (see picture above) out of paper or sticks, and try to float it in your bathtub!
Facts: Population: 2 million people Language: English, Tswana Capital: Gaborone Belief: Christian and Animism
hoping to get a glimpse of my life before we moved here. But no matter how hard or how often I tried, I couldn’t remember my friend Romuald said. We were anything. sitting outside my house in the resettlement camp, the place where I shook my head. “I was too young when the government evicted the government had relocated our us, Romuald. I can’t remember families several years ago. anything. How do you know you “I know, so am I,” I agreed, really remember anything yourself? drawing in the dirt with a stick. “But there’s never much to do here. Maybe you’ve just heard enough stories to think you remember.” We should be used to it by now. Romuald shot me a look The grown-ups sit around drinking of defiance. “I do remember! and sleeping; they’re bored too.” I remember how my father “It’s because of this filthy, would go out hunting and bring depressing camp!” Romuald said, anger rising in his voice. “Don’t you back huge eland for us to eat! I remember digging up roots and remember what it was like when we all lived in the Kalahari desert? scraping them for water when we You remember it, don’t you Kitso?” were in a drought! I remember when my parents told us that the I squinted my eyes tightly, government was making us leave our home because they’d found diamond mines on the land! I
“ I’m bored,”
remember it all!” I let Romuald say all the angry things he was feeling, but I didn’t speak up. I’m used to hearing the people here complain about our home being taken from us. The government has told us we can go back, but some who do are treated badly because they hunt. Nobody likes it here, yet many of the people I know are too afraid to go back. It doesn’t feel like we belong anywhere.
Did you know?
Botswana has more than 100,000 elephants, making it the country with the most elephants in the world.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Kitso and Romuald whose families have been relocated from their original land. Pray that the Lord will give them understanding that in Him, they can have a new home and citizenship in Heaven one day. ►►Diseases and alcoholism are common in resettlement camps. Ask the Lord to show the San people how to stay healthy and live in ways that please Him. ►►Pray for missionaries to take the gospel to the San people, who traditionally hold to forms of spirit worship.
Algeria The original people of Algeria, the Berbers, once were Christian but converted to Islam when Arabs invaded in the 7th century. Today, many Berbers are returning to faith in Jesus through dreams or hearing about Him on television. Christian believers in Algeria face threats from friends, family and even the government for their faith but they are still known for being bold witnesses for Christ.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Share about the hope you have in Jesus with a friend who does not know Him.
Facts: Population: 36 million people Language: Arabic, Berber. French, English widely used. Capital: Algiers Belief: Muslim
Every morning I used to wake up... ... when the sun started to shine, and go with my mother to fetch water for the day. It was hard work to carry the jars up the side of the mountain to our home, even though the view of the mountains in Algeria is beautiful. Thankfully, now we have pipes that bring the water to us, but there are still a few areas that do not have this luxury. My family are Berbers - a people group sharing a common language, history and culture in North Africa. Many thousands are Christians, especially in my area called Kabyle, but the majority of people in Algeria are still Muslim. We heard about Jesus on the television a few years ago; a pastor preached about the way of forgiveness that God made through Jesus, his Son.
Did you know? The highest weather temperature that was ever recorded in Algeria was 50.6°C.
After we watched the programme, I asked my father if it was true because I had never heard about this way of forgiveness before. “I don’t know, Imane,” my father said, “but I also want to find out.” My father was able to find a Bible in the city and he brought it back to our small village to read to us. We kept watching the pastor on TV, and slowly God showed us that what we were hearing was the truth. Now we pray every day for the Muslims in our country, and sometimes we even talk to them about Jesus. Most of them do not want to hear the truth yet, but some will listen. Islam has been a part of Berber culture for a long time though, so for many Muslims it is scary to think about becoming
a follower of Jesus. One day, when I am older, I want to be a missionary to Morocco, another North African country where Berber people live. I want them all to know Jesus, and His way of forgiveness.
To help you pray ►►Pray for the Berber Christian families in Algeria, families like Imane’s, who want to share the truth of the gospel with Muslims. ►►Pray for Berber believers to remain faithful to what God has shown them, and to not be discouraged because there are only a few believers. ►►Pray that God would continue to use television and radio ministries to reach the Berber people in Algeria, and other parts of the world.
The United Kingdom, once ruler of an empire which comprised a quarter of the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population, has a somewhat coloured past when it comes to faith. Christianity has waned in and out of fashion; teachers and preachers were one minute being burned at the stake, the next being revered almost as gods. Today, young people in particular feel very disillusioned with the church.
You can do it !
nt e n i t n Co rope Eu
What is an atheist? How is what they believe different to Christianity? Do your own research (use the section at the back of this book to get you started).
Facts: Population: 63.2 million people Language: English Capital: London Belief: Christian, Non-religious
“Good game,” Alec said as he, Craig and I walked home. We had been playing rugby in the park with some of our other friends, but as the sun set we all hurried back to our houses. “Yeah, let’s play again tomorrow!” Craig said, tossing the rugby ball into the air. “I love rugby!” “I can’t tomorrow, I have church. Don’t you?” I asked, surprised that Craig was trying to plan another game on a Sunday. Alec stared at me with a raised eyebrow, and Craig just shook his head. “You mean, your family still goes to church, Oliver?” Alec asked. He seemed surprised. “Well, yeah, doesn’t yours?” I asked him. I just assumed Alec’s family was Christian, like mine.
Did you know? A Kit-Kat is a famous British chocolate bar named after the KitKat Club but the original Kit-Kats were mutton pies.
He laughed and said “No way! My family hasn’t been Christian since before my dad was born. We’re atheists; we don’t believe in God.” “What about you, Craig? What does your family believe?” I wondered if Craig was non-religious too. “My family is Muslim, but we don’t go to the mosque very often; just sometimes when my dad thinks we should.” “Christians are crazy!” Alec laughed and shook his head “A person who needs God is weak. Just make your own rules! Live the way you want. Nothing bad will happen.” “I have to go,” I said, as we reached my house. “See you at school on Monday.” “Think about it, Oliver,” Alec called as he and Craig continued
walking. “Think about how silly it is to believe in some old book and follow the rules of someone you can’t even see!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Oliver and his family who remain true to Christianity in a nation that is turning away from it. ►►Pray for children like Alec and his family who don’t follow any religion. Ask the Lord to show them their need for Him. ►►Pray for children like Craig and his family who are Muslims, as the number of Muslim people in the UK is increasing. Ask the Lord to open their eyes to the truth found only in Jesus.
Saudi Arabia was the birthplace of Islam’s prophet Mohammed and is still today a Muslim stronghold. The two main Holy cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina, are both is Saudi Arabia. Other religions are strictly forbidden in this desert Kingdom, under threat of torture, expulsion or execution.
You can do it !
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Make and wear a traditional Saudi Arabian headdress (a “gutrah”) from a dish towel and some cord.
Facts: Population: 29.2 million people Language: Arabic Capital: Riyadh Belief: Muslim
“ When I grow up, I will have three wives ... ... and make them all do whatever I say!” bragged my friend Kamal. “Oh yeah? Well I’m going to marry four wives and they will have to cook all of my food and do all the cleaning. That’s what wives are for!” said Taufic. The three of us all laughed and tried to outdo one another in how we would treat our wives when were old enough to get married. “I think it will be fun to be the boss of someone,” I said. “Everyone is always telling me what to do. When I have a wife, I will be the one in charge!” In Saudi Arabian culture, a woman must have a man to serve as her protector. He is the one who makes many decisions for her, like
Did you know? Saudi Arabia houses Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam. No non-Muslims are allowed to enter these cities.
whether or not she may have a job. My father said my mother must not work, but must stay at home and look after the house and the family. “Have you ever thought that maybe women would like to be treated respectfully, Zihath?” All three of us looked up suddenly. My older sister, Mariam, must have overheard our conversation. She was frowning at me and we were suddenly very embarrassed. “You’re just children, so I don’t expect you to understand, but you really should think about treating your wives more kindly than what I heard you saying. If you do marry, your wives would be much happier being loved and appreciated. A woman is just as much of a person
as a man is.” My sister has some very strange ideas about men and women. I don’t know if she’s right. Every man I know treats his wife the same way. How could they all be wrong?
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Zihath and his friends whose parents tell them, and show them, it is okay to treat a woman like a slave. ►►Nearly all Saudi Arabians are Muslims. Ask the Lord to soften their hearts, give them dreams about Jesus and show them their need for a Saviour - Jesus Christ. ►►Pray for the small number of Christians, as it is very hard to be a Christian in Saudi Arabia. Ask the Lord to give them faith, boldness and wisdom.
Russia The largest nation on Earth, Russia is both rich in history and natural resources, with oil and gas providing much wealth. This wealth, however, is not shared very equally amongst Russian citizens. Social issues such as drug use, HIV/AIDS, unemployment and organised crime are taking their toll on the community.
You can do it !
nt e n i t n Co rope Eu
For fun, dress up like you would need to survive a Siberian winter - with as many layers of clothing as possible! Be careful not to overheat!
Facts: Population: 143.5 million people Language: Russian Capital: Moscow Belief: Christian, Non-religious
“Brr!” I said, climbing out of the ... ... icy river. “Grab your blanket, Irina! We’ll freeze if we don’t get back in the house quickly!” “Ugh, why do we have to do this each morning, Olga?” my friend Irina complained. “It’s torture! It’s already -30 Celsius out here.” “You know what our mothers say: if we bathe in freezing water we are less likely to get sick. And you know we haven’t even had a cold all year, so it must be working!” We rushed back inside my house and put on our warm clothes again. We both pulled on our fur coats and hats, which is very typical among people who live in Siberia. Fur is the warmest thing you can find, and as cold as we get here, we need the very warmest! “I like your new boots,” Irina said, looking wistfully at the warm
Did you know? Russia is the largest country in the world and covers more than a ninth of the world’s land surface.
boots my parents had bought me for my birthday. “I bet they keep your toes really warm.” “Yeah, they do,” I said, feeling sorry that I hadn’t thought before putting the boots on in front of my friend. Irina’s father had died during an accident in the mine where he worked. She and her mother had been having a hard time to have enough money. She needed a new pair of boots, I noticed, looking down at her old ragged pair. “I’m sure you miss your father very much. I’m sorry about the accident.” I knew it wasn’t much, but I wasn’t sure what else to say. “Thanks, Olga. I do miss him. It’s
a very lonely feeling to be without a father. I feel like my mother and I have no one to take care of us or protect us. We both feel like we’re on our own.” I wish there was something I could do to help Irina, but I can’t think of anything. My father is alive and well. I can’t imagine my life without him.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Irina whose fathers work in the Siberian mines. Mining can be very dangerous and even deadly work. Ask the Lord to show His children who have lost their earthly fathers that He is their Heavenly Father. ►►Pray for the people who live in Russia that the Lord will turn them from their Orthodox and Islamic beliefs and bring them to His Son. ►►Pray for more missionaries to be sent to minister and proclaim the truth in Russia. Also ask the Lord to raise up more Russian nationals to be Christian influences to their own people.
Mali is one of the poorest nations on Earth. Its vast, dry landscape is home to much conflict, with unrest from the nomadic Tuareg people from the north, infiltration across its borders by Al-Qaeda terrorist groups and drug-smugglers who use the desert as a highway to transport their goods between South America and Europe.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Find out what traditional Malian clothes look like, and try dressing up. Sheets and towels will be useful!
Facts: Population: 14.5 million people Language: French Capital: Bamako Belief: Muslim
When our city in northern Mali was ... ... taken over by the Islamic rebels, my family had to leave. The Muslims were persecuting Christian families like ours, and it wasn’t safe for us to be there any longer. “We should leave soon, Kadi,” my father said, looking out of the window at the crowds gathering to watch the Islamic rebels loot a Christian’s home. “Before dawn! We must get to the south where the rebels haven’t taken over.” My mother and I hurried to pack a few of our things, but we knew we would have to leave most of our belongings behind. I was sad I couldn’t take the few toys I had, but I knew it was more important that we travel light. We would have to walk quickly. But while we were packing, someone knocked on our door. I peeked through the curtain and saw that it was our neighbour, Moussa. He was a Muslim man, but has
Did you know? The Malian national drink is sweet tea, served three times from the same pot. The first cup is “strong as death”, the second “mild as life” and the third “sweet as love”. A fourth cup means you are no longer welcome.
always been kind to us. My father has been talking to Moussa for many years, telling him the truth about Jesus, but Moussa says he is afraid to leave Islam. If he isn’t seen practicing his religion faithfully, he will be persecuted by the rebels as well. My father opened the door and Moussa hurried inside. “What brings you here, friend?” my father asked him. “It is dangerous for you to be seen in our home!” “I know, Oumar, but I was sure you would be fleeing the city soon and I brought something that may help you.” He unwrapped a bundle he was carrying and inside were three sets of clothes, one for each of us. They were traditional outfits worn by
Muslims. They would make us look like devout followers of Islam. “Thank you, Moussa!” my father said, as he held up his new clothes. “If the Lord is willing, these clothes may hide us from the eyes of the rebels and help us reach safety in the south.” There’s not much time to lose, so I dress quickly. I know we may never see Moussa again, so I ask my father to pray for him before we leave, asking that God will open his eyes and show him Jesus.
To help you pray ►►Pray for the Christian families like Kadi’s in the north who had to leave their homes. Many have been able to return, so praise the Lord for this! ►►Pray for the missionaries who have had to leave Mali. They are sad to leave the people they were ministering to, and sad to see them in such difficult situations. ►►Pray that the Lord will change the hearts of the leaders in Mali, that they will once again let Christians in the north worship without oppression.
La Paz, Sucre
Many Bolivians are farmers and groups such as the Quechua and the Aymara live in hard-to-access mountain or forest regions. Most Bolivians would call themselves Christians but mix superstition and traditional practices with their beliefs; even the government encourages the revival of the old, cultural beliefs.
Co nt S Am ou ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! Plant a seed in your garden, water it and watch it grow. Thank God that it is He who brings life to the earth.
Facts: Population: 10.5 million people Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara Capital: La Paz, Sucre Belief: Christian
I knew what I would be doing today... ... even before I heard my mother call to me to get out of bed. It was time to do the planting, so mother and I would spend most of the day in the fields. “Come Nina, it’s not going to get any warmer, no matter how long you stay in bed!” “Coming, mother,” I called. I used to enjoy doing the planting, but ever since I went to the youth camp the missionaries held two months ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way the Aymara people do things. Mother handed me the seeds I would be planting, and then the two of us walked through the chilly Andean trail to our field. I wished I was able to go to school like my brothers, but as an Aymaran girl, I had more responsibilities at our home than they did. Especially
Did you know? Bolivia is home to the world’s one and only known bolivianita mine. Bolivianita (ametrine) is a precious stone or gem that is partially yellow and partially purple.
during planting season, there was no time for me to attend school. Every planting season was the same and it didn’t take long for me to see that this one would be no different than usual. “Do you remember why it is you and I who always do the planting, Nina?” my mother asked. “Yes. Planting is the job of the women because Pachamama is the goddess of the earth. The women tend to the earth in her honour.” “Very good! You remembered it well!” My mother smiled as we continued planting our seeds in the rows. I used to believe what my parents told us about the spirits we
worshipped, but the missionaries’ youth camp really made me think about things. The leaders of my people tell us to hold to our old Incan religions, to remain true to the worship of the many spirits, but the missionaries told us stories of Jesus. I don’t know if I can keep following the traditions my family and people hold so tightly. Now that I know the stories of Jesus, how I can I know if the spirit stories of the Aymara people are true?
To help you pray ►►Pray for the Aymaran children of Bolivia, like Nina. Ask God to continue to use things like youth camps to teach them the truth about Jesus. ►►Pray for the Aymaran leaders who are trying to keep their people faithful to their traditional religions. Pray that the Lord will open their eyes to their own need for Christ. ►►There is a complete Bible in the language of the Aymara people, but many people cannot read. Ask the Lord to bring teachers to these people so they can learn to read His word.
China is the third largest country in size and the largest in population. Overcrowding has forced the government to make harsh policies such as the “one child policy”, which allows each family to have only a single child. In the past, there were very harsh punishments for breaking this law, and although things have become more relaxed in recent years, the consequences of this rule are still being felt by Chinese society.
You can do it !
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Have a “chopsticks race” with a sibling or friend. See how many grains of uncooked rice you can move from a serving bowl to your own bowl in only five minutes and with just a pair of chopsticks.
Facts: Population: 1.35 billion people Language: Standard Chinese Capital: Beijing Belief: Non-religious, Traditional Chinese religion
“Stop crying, Lu,” I heard my father tell my mother. “We’ll make it...somehow.” I walked into the living room where my mother was holding my baby sister, just two weeks old. She was crying quietly and my father sat in his chair, rubbing the sides of his head. “What’s wrong, Daddy?” I asked. I had never seen my big, strong father looking so confused or frustrated. Something must be very wrong. My father sighed, and held out his hand for me to come to him. “The only thing that is wrong is the rule the government made many years ago. They say that we are only allowed to have one child, and now we have two.”
Did you know? According to popular legend, tea was discovered by the Chinese emperor Shennong in 2737 B.C. when a tea leaf fell into his boiling water.
I had never heard that this was a rule. I thought parents must only want to have one child. I am the first one among my friend to have a sister. “My boss has fired me from my job because we didn’t obey the law. There is a very big price to pay for having a second child, and we cannot afford it.” I looked at my tiny baby sister,
Lu. She was sleeping and looked so pretty wrapped up in a pink blanket. I had no idea that she wasn’t supposed to be here. I felt she was already part of our family, and I couldn’t imagine not having her with us. Why should families not be allowed to have many children? And what will happen to us, now that we have broken the law?
To help you pray ►►Pray for families like Wei’s as they face penalties like large fines for having more than one child. God provides and meets every need of His children! ►►Pray for the many Chinese women who are forced to not have any more children. Ask the Lord to show them that He is the only true comforter. ►►Pray for Chinese Christians who are hated and hurt for believing in Jesus, that they will be strong and courageous, for the Lord God is with them always.
Turkey Turkey is a nation with a foot quite literally in both the East and the West; its largest city, Istanbul, straddles the Bosporus Strait, the border between Asia and Europe. Turkey is officially a secular state and has freedom of religion, but in reality the minority Christian population is still persecuted.
You can do it !
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Write a letter or an email to a missionary family working amongst Muslims in Turkey. Encourage them!
Facts: Population: 75.6 million people Language: Turkish Capital: Ankara Belief: Muslim
“ What do you mean by this, Yasemin?” my mother said, panic setting in her eyes. “A Bible in your father’s house? And now you tell me you have been talking to Christians, too? This cannot be! Do you have any idea what your father will say when he finds out?” I could feel my heart pounding fast, and for a moment I regretted telling my mother. My family is Muslim and for all 12 years of my life we have never known any Christians, anyone who could tell us the truth about God and his Son. But a few months ago, I met a Christian lady who had just moved into our apartment building. She gave me a Bible and I visit her often to learn more about her faith. “I know what father will say,” I
Did you know? Istanbul is the only city in the world that is located on two continents: Europe and Asia
said quietly, looking at my feet. In Turkish homes, the father must be respected and obeyed. I knew that turning from Islam to Christianity would be defying his rules. “And still you insist on being disobedient.” The panic my mother had shown a few moments ago had changed to sadness. She sat down slowly on the sofa and put her hands over her face. “How could you bring such shame to your family, Yasemin? Have your father and I not always taught you that rebellion brings shame?” “Yes, mother, you have. And I wish I could follow Jesus without rebelling against father’s rules. I wish I could make both of you
see the truth that God has shown me! All my life, we have tried to do everything we can to earn approval of other people, even God! But when Jesus changes our lives, He makes us perfect. We can rest from all the work we do to look good!” My mother didn’t answer. I knew she was too worried about what my father would say to admit that she was tired of striving to be perfect for others. In Turkey, people care very much about what other people think of them. They work hard to make things look good on the outside, hoping people will think well of them. I hope I can show her God’s solution to this problem through the Bible, and through my life.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Yasemin who have been raised in Muslim families. Pray that God would show Himself to them. ►►Pray for Turkish Christians to be strong in their faith, even though they may be persecuted for believing in Jesus. ►►Pray for Turkish Christians to be strong in their faith, even though they may be persecuted for believing in Jesus.
Ecuador Ecuador´s geography ranges from expansive rainforest to breath-taking mountains. The gospel has made a large impact on people groups such as the Quichua, who live in the highlands of Ecuador. The number of believers has grown from 120 in 1967 to 3 million today.
Co nt S Am ou ine er th nt ica
You can do it ! Climb to a high place – a hill, a building, or even just a tree – and pray for the Quichua people in the highlands of Ecuador.
Facts: Population: 15.2 million people Language: Spanish Capital: Quito Belief: Christian
It’s early, and very cold... ... in the Andes mountains of Ecuador. I pulled on a coat and headed down the trail to our little pasture, where we have a few sheep. My family of eight all live together in a little stone house. It has a dirt floor and little beds, but no electricity or running water. I have friends that live in the city, and they have bigger houses that are more modern. I used to be jealous every time I went to visit them. But last week, when I went to visit my friend Cauac, something happened that changed everything. “Achic,” Cauac said, “I have a gift for you. Here it is!” Cauac handed me a little black book. It was a Bible. “Since your brother has taught you to read, I thought you might like to read this. It’s in our language.” I looked at it doubtfully. It was a very big book, and didn’t have
Did you know? Ecuador exports more bananas than any other country in the world.
a single picture. It’s true that my brother had taught me to read, but I’m not that good yet. “It will take me years to read all this,” I told Cauac, hopelessness sneaking into my voice. “I’ll never get through.” “Why don’t you start here?” Cauac suggested. He turned to a book called John, and pointed to chapter 10.
“This one made me think of you.” Every day since then, I’ve read John chapter 10 while I watch the sheep. It’s a chapter all about Jesus being our shepherd. I had no idea Jesus was a shepherd, like me. And his children are like the sheep. I’m not jealous of my friends in the city anymore. Now that I know that Jesus is a shepherd too, I’m happy to live in the mountains and watch over my family’s sheep, just like Jesus watches over me!
To help you pray ►►Pray for the families like Achic’s who live in the mountains. Ask the Lord to send people to them who will bring the Good News of Jesus. ►►Pray for the alcoholism that is a big problem among the Quechua people. Ask the Lord to show the people that this is a dangerous habit. ►►Pray for those who practice animistic religions. These people need to know that there is only one God who is over all things.
Kazakhstan â&#x20AC;&#x153;To be a Kazakh is to be Muslimâ&#x20AC;?; this is the unspoken rule of those living in the highly traditional nation of Kazakhstan. For centuries, nomadic tribes traversed the vast plains of this land-locked country, and even today, many still cling to the traditional way of life, which includes strict adherence to folkIslam. Kazakh Christians, who are few, face strong persecution.
You can do it !
nen i t n o C sia A 96
Do some research and find out in how many countries around the world, like Kazakhstan, it is illegal to be a Christian.
Facts: Population: 17 million people Language: Kazakh, Russian Capital: Astana Belief: Muslim, Non-religious
“Alright, I’m here with Sam. When Ulan and Sattar arrive, we’ll make sure we get them their supplies.” “Who were you talking to, Mum?” I asked as she hung up the phone. “Is Ulan coming over tonight?” “Yes, Ulan and his father will be here in a few minutes, but they are on a very secret mission. We’ll need to be as careful as we can.” My family are missionaries in Kazakhstan, and sometimes we have to do things in secret. I’m used to being careful around my friends. Christians in Kazakhstan can be imprisoned or fined sometimes, so it’s best for us not to draw attention to ourselves. Soon there was a knock on our door. I went to open it and saw my friend Ulan standing in the dark
Did you know? It is believed that it is in Kazakhstan where man first tamed and rode on horses.
with his father, Sattar. We greeted each other and they came inside. I noticed at once that each had a satchel over their shoulder. Ulan was a small boy so his satchel looked very funny on him! “Thank you for letting us come, Anne,” Sattar said to my mother. “I know it’s late.” “No problem,” my mother answered, “What supplies do you need?” “Would it be alright if Ulan and I took some of the Bibles in our language? We have some friends who we know are desperate to read about God.” “Of course my mother said, leading Sattar to the closet in the back bedroom of our house. “How many do you need? Two or three?” “Actually,” Sattar said, looking
down at his feet, “we need 17.” Mum’s eyes grew very large for a moment, but then she and Sattar began packing the Bibles into the satchels. In a few minutes, they had all the supplies they needed and were on their way. “Why did they take so many Bibles, Mum?” I asked. “No one has ever come to get so many at one time before.” “Sattar cares about his friends, Sam. We need to pray that God will grant him and Ulan safety as they faithfully distribute His Word.”
To help you pray ►►Pray for families like Ulan and Sattar. They are Christians in a part of the world where it can be very difficult to be open about their faith. ►►Pray for the distribution of the Bible among new Kazakh believers. ►►Pray for more faithful missionaries to be sent to Kazakhstan to spread the truth of the gospel of Jesus.
Maldives It might make a stunning holiday destination, but the Muslim nation of the Maldives is anything but a haven to the tiny group of Christian believers living there. Any faith but Islam is strictly forbidden, Christian websites and literature are illegal and sharing the Christian faith is enough to get someone thrown into prison for a very long time. Some secret believers have access to the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, but are hungry for more.
You can do it !
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Ask your parents for a Bible in your home that is not being used, or buy a new one from a Christian bookstore. Ask God to show you who you can give it to.
Facts: Population: 328,000 people Language: Dhivehi Capital: MalĂŠ Belief: Muslim
I didn’t know what to do ... ... with the book in my hands. I tried to stuff it into my pocket, but it was too thick. I panicked and took off along the beach, wondering all the time if I should throw it into the ocean. But surely someone would see me do that and question me about the book. After a few minutes of running, I came to the boat where my friends and I had planned to meet to go fishing. Fish is a staple diet in the Maldives, and we catch fish both to feed our families and to sell on the streets. “What’s wrong, Hassan?” my friend, Buner, asked when he saw my face. I could only imagine how worried and confused I must have looked. I beckoned him to where I stood; I couldn’t risk showing the book to all the boys. “Look what a foreigner gave me,” I said, carefully showing
Did you know? Maldives is the lowest country in the world. Its highest point is only 2.4 m high.
him the book that said Holy Bible across the cover. “He had stopped me as I was on my way to meet you, and he said he wanted me to have this, that it can teach me the truth about God.” Buner’s eyes grew wide. “You aren’t thinking of keeping it, are you Hassan?” He asked. “You know how strict the government is about religion on these islands. Everyone must be a Muslim, no exceptions! We aren’t even allowed to talk about religion! Why, if someone overheard us right now, who knows what would happen to us and our families. You must get rid of that book, before it gets us into big trouble!” I knew Buner was right. To be a Maldivian is to be a Muslim. Many tourists visit our beautiful islands, and usually they are allowed to
bring their own religious things with them–as long as it is a small amount. But no one is allowed to come here to talk about their religion to other people! This foreigner would probably have been sent straight home if the government had learnt of his actions. I got into the boat with my friends and we pushed it out to sea. But I wasn’t thinking about catching fish. Buner sat beside me and whispered, “I’ll distract the others, while you drop the book over the side of the boat!” I nodded and as soon as Buner had them all laughing at a joke, I quietly dropped the Holy Bible into the water. I felt relieved as soon as it was out of my hands. It was a dangerous thing that could have brought suffering to my family, and I was glad to be rid of it.
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Hassan who are raised in this predominantly Muslim country. Many of them will probably never hear the truth about Jesus. ►►Pray for the many tourists who visit the Maldives each year. Ask the Lord to send Christians who will be willing to carefully share their faith. ►►Pray for any Christians who live in the Maldives, that they would continue to grow in their knowledge of the Lord.
Democratic Republic of the
The DRC is a very big country in Central Africa; so big and with so many people groups that the government struggles to rule it all. It also has a long history of corruption and exploitation. Many evils have been done in this country and still continue today. Children, in particular, suffer the most.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Think of a way you can raise money - do chores, sell something you make or ask for donations. Give this money to a charity that rehabilitates former child soldiers.
Facts: Population: 75 million people Language: French Capital: Kinshasa Belief: Christian
“ Come on, Jonas! ” my friend Samuel called as he ran. “I’ll race you to school!” “Wait, wait!” I yelled back, “you had a head start!” I was about to run after him when suddenly, a man stepped out of a van and grabbed Samuel by the arm. I quickly hid in the bushes a few yards away, but I could still hear what he said. He told Samuel that he had to come with him, and that he had a job for him to do. “All boys your age wish they could have this job,” the man said to Samuel. “You get to play with your very own gun!” He and the other two men with him started to laugh, but Samuel didn’t say anything. He looked over to where I
Did you know? The DRC has its own space program! In 2008, they launched the Troposphere V rocket with a rat ‘astronaut’ on board. It reached an altitude of 36 km before exploding.
was hiding, and I could see he was frightened. I wanted to help him, but I was too afraid to move. In the DRC, many children are taken, or have decided, to be trained as soldiers, to fight, kill and steal and whatever else they are told to do. Some of these children are 13, like Samuel and me, but others are even younger. My cousin Ruth was taken two months ago, and she was only 11. I started to cry as I watched the men push Samuel into the back of the van. I could see the guns they wanted him to use, and I wondered if I would ever see Samuel again. Some child soldiers were able to escape, but not all who escaped
were allowed to come home. My uncle said that even if Ruth could escape, he would not want her to come back. “She could be guilty of all kinds of horrible crimes!” he had said. “I will not allow a criminal into my home!” My uncle is not a Christian, but my family is, and so are Ruth and Samuel. I know the only thing I can do now is pray. “Oh Lord, please, please watch over Ruth and Samuel! Those soldiers will make them do horrible things, and I know they don’t want to hurt people; they want to obey your Word. Please keep them safe, and help them to escape!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Samuel and Ruth who have been taken from their families to work as soldiers. Pray that they will trust the Lord to protect and release them. ►►Pray for children who are suffering in other ways in the DRC. Some are accused of being sorcerers or witches and are made to leave their homes. Others are orphans as a result of HIV/ AIDS, or live on the streets due to their parents’ divorce. ►►Pray for the Christians in the DRC to ask the Lord how they can best help these needy children. May they be strong in the face of these difficult circumstances, and to keep trusting the Lord and sharing Him with others.
This tiny country is situated in the horn of Africa, with some very big, politically unstable neighbours. It is one of the hottest countries on earth and lacks water and many other natural resources. Djiboutians are very poor and high rates of joblessness, as well as the excessive use of the drug qat, makes it difficult for people to escape from poverty.
Co Af ntin ric en a t
You can do it !
Find out what was the hottest day on record for your home town or country. Compare this to the average daily temperatures in Djibouti.
Facts: Population: 880,000 people Language: French, Arabic Capital: Djibouti Belief: Muslim
“ You better stay away! ” I hissed at my brother Delly. He was tiptoeing around our dozing uncle Mahdi who had just returned from the market. “Don’t worry, Mouna,” Delly whispered back, a mischievous grin on his face. “He never budges while he’s chewing his qat. I just want to see if I can get his hat off of him without being caught!” My brother tried this game every few days on our uncle. Every day, when the plane lands with the shipment of qat leaves, our uncle heads to one of the vendors in the market, along with most of the other
Did you know? Most men in Djibouti chew Qat (a type of drug) and spend a lot of their salary on this. When a new shipment arrives in Djibouti almost the whole city comes to a standstill as men go to buy more Qat leaves.
men in the city. They all want to buy their daily bouquet of the leaves they stuff in their mouths and chew for a few hours of “peace”, as uncle Mahdi says. Sweat dripped from my forehead. I stood in our doorway fanning myself, shielding my eyes from the bright Djibouti sun that bakes the ground and our skin. I looked out over the street and saw dozens of men, some snoozing like uncle Mahdi, some talking in quiet, happy groups, but they all had one thing in common: cheeks full of the nasty qat leaves. “I got it!” Delly whispered, waving the hat proudly in front of me as he danced around. I stifled a laugh, which would otherwise wake our uncle and ruin Delly’s victory.
“Good job,” I said, “He must be really out of it today.” Delly looked over at uncle Mahdi, suddenly frowning. “You know Mouna, I don’t think I ever want to chew that awful stuff, no matter how good the people say it is.” I was relieved! Nearly every man I knew chewed the qat leaves, eager to find a drug to bring them some rest and relief from the constant reminder of heat and poverty. “I think I’ll sell it instead.” My relief turned to shock! “What are you talking about Delly? You want to sell that terrible stuff?” “Sure!” Delly said excitedly. “Uncle Mahdi pays a lot of our money to buy the leaves, so the people who sell it must be getting very rich. It sounds like a good plan to me!”
To help you pray ►►Pray for children like Mouna and Delly who live with a family member that is addicted to a drug. Pray that the Lord will show them that He is the only one we can depend on for help. ►►Pray for the families in this poor country who spend money on qat, rather than things that they need. ►►Most Djibouti people are Muslims. Ask the Lord to change hearts and lives through the power of Jesus.
Judaism What is Judaism?
Hi, I’m Isaac, and I come from a Jewish family. People from all over the world are Jews; we don’t live in just one country or on just one continent. Our religion and way of life is called Judaism, and we Jews believe that this way of life is the way God told the Israelites to live thousands of years ago.
Do Jews believe in God?
What do Jews believe about life after death?
As Jews, we spend more time on how we live and act now rather The most popular symbol than thinking much about life after often associated with Judaism is we die. While we do think there is probably the star of David. more to come after death, we don’t think there is one clear answer Do Jews have their own about the life to come.
Where do Jews worship?
We worship in buildings called Jews are very devout believers in synagogues. God. We know that he is real and that he lives forever. He gave us the law in the Torah, and we pray only to him.
Do they believe in Jesus?
We don’t believe that the Messiah has come to earth yet, and we certainly don’t believe that Jesus is God’s son.
What do Jews believe about sin?
Jews believe that sin is breaking any of God’s commandments.
Do Jews have a sacred symbol like the Christian cross?
Jews follow the Tanakh, also known as the written Torah. Christians call it the Old Testament in their Bible.
Buddhism What is Buddhism?
Hello. My name is Lee and I live in China with my family where we practice the religion of Buddhism. Buddhists are followers of the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who is also referred to as “the Buddha.” About 6 out of every 100 people in the world are Buddhists, which makes Buddhism the world’s fourth largest religion.
Do Buddhists believe in God?
Buddhists don’t believe in a supreme being, creator, or any type of god. The closest thing to a god for us is karma, or the void.
Do they believe in Jesus? We know about Jesus and think that he was a spiritual master, a bit like Buddha.
What do Buddhists believe about sin?
We consider “desire” to be sin. Any kind of killing is also sinful to Buddhists.
What do Buddhists believe about life after death?
Buddhists believe in reincarnation. After we die we can come back as humans or animals, depending on the good things we’ve done in our present life. We will continue to reincarnate until we have reached enlightenment.
Where do Buddhists worship?
Buddhists can worship both at home or at a temple. We will often set aside a room or part of a room as a shrine. There we keep a statue of Buddha, candles, an incense burner, ancestor plates and names on the household shrine.
Do Buddhists have a sacred symbol like the Christian cross?
The Dharmacakra symbol is represented as a chariot wheel with eight or more spokes. It is one of the oldest known Buddhist symbols.
Do Buddhists have their own scripture?
Buddhist follow several sacred texts and scriptures. There are three groups of writings which have the Buddhist teachings, known as the “Three Baskets” (Tipitaka). Some Buddhists also read the Sutras, and the Tibetan monks read the Book of the Dead.
Islam What is Islam?
My name is Ali and my family and I are Muslims living in the Middle East. The word “Muslim” comes from the word “surrender” or “submit” in Arabic. We follow the religion of Islam. Did you know that about 21 out of every 100 people in the world are Muslims? That makes Islam the second largest religion in the world. Islam was founded by Muhammad in around 610 AD. Muhammad was born in Mecca, Arabia (which is now called Saudi Arabia) in 570 AD.
Do Muslims believe in God?
God, or Allah, as we call him, is one. There is no trinity. We believe that Allah is all-powerful, just, allknowing and merciful.
Do they believe in Jesus? Islam teaches that Jesus was not the son of God and was not crucified. We believe he was a prophet but not as great as the prophet Muhammad, the last
of the prophets. Other prophets include Adam, Noah, Abraham and John the Baptist.
What do Muslims believe about sin?
Sin is anything that goes against the will of God.
What do Muslims believe about life after death?
Paradise (or heaven) is the place of eternal delight for those who are devout. Hell is the place of horrible torment. Allah might decide to send a righteous person to hell anyway, or a sinner to heaven. There is no assurance of salvation.
Where do Muslims worship?
Muslims worship together in a mosque. The mosque is a place where Muslims can come together for prayer as well as a centre for information, education and help in settling arguments. Men and women are separated inside the mosque.
Do Muslims have a sacred symbol like the Christian cross?
The crescent and the star are usually thought of as Islamic symbols.
Do Muslims have their own scripture?
Our main scripture is the Qur’an which we believe is the literal, revealed word of God. We believe this was revealed to the prophet Mohammed. The Qur’an is only considered authentic when it is written in Arabic. Second to the Qur’an is the Hadith, stories about the words and deeds of Muhammad.
Animism What is Animism?
My name is Kitso! My family and I live in Botswana and we are animists. Animists are people who believe that everything has a spirit: humans, animals, plants, thunder - everything! There are probably about 100 million other animists in Africa. It’s the traditional religion and no one knows how long it has been around, or who started it.
Do animists believe in God?
Even though animists believe that everything has a spirit, we also believe that there is a Supreme Power, or a spirit that is the most powerful. But we don’t just worship this spirit; we also worship spirits who are less powerful, as well as our ancestors who have already died.
What do animists believe Do animists have a about sin? sacred symbol like the Animists believe that “sins” are acts Christian cross?
that offend the gods and spirits, and Animists don’t have just one sacred when we sin the spirits punish us symbol. Instead, we have sacred by bringing us trouble. There isn’t places, actions, words and people. much talk of forgiveness among animists; the focus of animism Do animists have their is for the entire community to be own scriptures? blessed by the gods. We don’t have any formal What do animists believe scriptures of our own like the Christian Bible. Our traditions are about life after death? passed on through the generations Animists think of death as a journey by word of mouth. to the world of the spirits. After we die, we keep on living and help those who have not yet died. This is why we pray to our ancestors.
Where do animists worship?
We don’t have a special building Do they believe in Jesus? like a church, but we do have sites that we believe are sacred. I have heard of Jesus before, but These are places where we think a he’s not someone we worship in traditional animism. Sometimes, an sacred power is very strong. During animist will become a Christian and our times of worshiping the spirits, there is often singing and dancing add Jesus to the list of things they worship. This is called “syncretism.” and even possession by spirits.
Hinduism What is Hinduism?
We believe in reincarnation, which means that after this life, we will My name is Daaruk and I live in India. I’m a Hindu, as are most of the have another life as something or people I know. Fourteen out of every someone else. Hindus who live well one hundred people in the world are and achieve good karma come back to a better life; those who live Hindus, which makes Hinduism the badly earn bad karma which can world’s third largest religion. only be paid for by suffering.
Do Hindus believe in God?
Hindus believe there is only one supreme Absolute called Brahman but we worship many deities. The gods and goddesses of Hinduism amounts to thousands or millions representing the many aspects of Brahman.
Do they believe in Jesus?
Jesus could be one of the many gods Hindus recognize. We believe he was a great teacher, but we don’t think that he died for sin or rose from the dead as Christians believe.
What do Hindus believe about sin?
For us, sin is caused by ignorance and causes bad karma.
What do Hindus believe about life after death?
Where do Hindus worship?
Hindus can pray either at home or at a temple (called a mandir). Hindus usually have a shrine at home that includes pictures of family gods and personal gods. Temples usually have an idol of the god to which it is dedicated.
Do Hindus have a sacred symbol like the Christian cross?
Aum or amukara is a sacred symbol in the Indian religions, and a common sign for Hinduism. lt is commonly seen in Hindu art all over India and Nepal. For Hindus, since ancient times, the cow has symbolized the universe and its gifts to humans. In our
eyes cows are givers of life, food, sacrifice and worship. They are not eaten, but milk, urine and dung are used for food, fuel and rituals. Since we don’t eat the actual cows, most Hindus are vegetarians.
Do Hindus have their own scripture?
Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Instead, we have a collection of sacred writings. Most Hindus read the Bhagvad Gita.
Atheism What is atheism?
wrong. Jesus in mentioned in lots of historical books, so I’m sure he My name is Gary and my family and I are non-religious, or atheists. was a real person. My family and I, This means that my family doesn’t however, do not believe that he was the son of God, or that he rose from know if there is a god (or even the dead. many gods) and choose not to actively follow any faith or religion. What do atheists believe Almost 10% of the people in the about sin? world are non-religious, and this I think you should treat people number is growing. morally, which means that you Do atheists believe should treat everyone in a nice, polite way. I think that we should in God? act in a just, moral way, not Not all atheists are alike in their because a god or a spiritual book beliefs. Some of us say there tells me to, but because it is the definitely isn’t a God and some of right thing to do, and it makes the us, like my family, say we are not sure if there is a God or not. I would need to see actual proof for the existence of a god before I would consider changing my view.
Do atheists believe in Jesus?
I believe that there was a man named Jesus who lived in Israel. He was a good teacher who taught important lessons about the difference between right and
world a better place. We all need to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong, and then follow the principles we choose to believe in.
What do atheists believe about life after death?
I don’t believe that there is any such thing as life after death. It would be nice to think that death is not the end of a person, but I don’t think heaven is a real place. Has it ever been proven? My family and I don’t believe things unless we can see it for ourselves, or until it has been scientifically proven.
Where did we get the pictures ? Japan:
Japanese Macaque Fuscata: PMS2718 wikipedia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_Macaque_Fuscata_Image_367.jpg Bullet train in Tokyo: BradBeattie - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shinkansen_Nozomi_in_Tokyo.jpg earthquake and tsunami, Japan: United States Navy - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SH-60B_helicopter_flies_over_Sendai.jpg
Bosnia & Hercegovina:
Stari Most bridge: Sven Wolter - Creative Commons BY-SA-3.0 de - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mostar_Br%C3%BCckenspringer_Trevor.jpg City of Neum: Anto - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neum02450.JPG Mount Igman, with the Igman Olympic Jumps that were used during the Winter Olympics in 1984: wikipedia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Igman.jpg
Colombia: beach of San Andrés: Joao Carlos Medau - www.flickr.com/photos/medau/8304072347/ Olinguito: Zoo Keys - Kristofer M. Helgen, Miguel Pinto, Roland Kays, Lauren Helgen, Mirian Tsuchiya, Aleta Quinn, Don Wilson, Jesus Maldonado www.pensoft.net/journals/zookeys/article/5827/abstract/taxonomic-revision-of-the-olingos-bassaricyon-with-description-of-a-new-species the-olinguito Israel:
20 shekel notes: Bank of Israel (Scanned by Yuval Y) - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:20_NIS_Bill_(polypropylene_and_paper)_Obverse.jpg
mountain ‘Alpamayo’: Brad Mering - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alpamayo.jpg - www.sxc.hu/photo/198396 Manu National Park river bank, Madre de Dios: As578 - Creative Commons - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Manu_riverbank.jpg outskirts of Lima: Håkan Svensson Xauxa - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lima_PuebloJov_4.jpg
Tiles of Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque: یفنام- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iranian_Tiles.JPG shepherds: Fabien Dany - www.fabiendany.com/ Roasted pistachio seed with shell: Muhammad Mahdi Karim - www.micro2macro.net
woman with headscarf: Steve Evans - www.flickr.com/photos/64749744@N00/2161316513 boy working with cocoa beans: Electrolito - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chuao_003.JPG
Presidential Palace Ashgabat: - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PresidentialPalaceAshgabat.jpg Independence Day Parade: Kerri-Jo Stewart - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Independence_Day_Parade_-_Flickr_-_Kerri-Jo_(326).jpg Nisa, an ancient parthian capital: flydime - www.flickr.com/photos/flydime/2891642847/ woman with rug, Tolkuchka Bazaar, Ashgabat:Martijn Munneke - www.flickr.com/photos/martijnmunneke/3405968109/ rugs, Tolkuchka Bazaar, Ashgabat: Martijn Munneke - www.flickr.com/photos/25529311@N03/3405968279 bread: Martijn Munneke - www.flickr.com/photos/martijnmunneke/3406772058/in/photostream/lightbox/ boy from Turkmenistan: Presidential Press and Information Office - www.kremlin.ru/visits/9319
North Korea: The statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang: J.A. de Roo - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_statues_of_Kim_Il_Sung_and_ Kim_Jong_Il_on_Mansu_Hill_in_Pyongyang_(april_2012).jpg Baitou Mountain Tianchi: Bdpmax - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Baitou_Mountain_Tianchi.jpg Mauritania:
man in light blue: Ji-Elle - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chinguetti-Guide.JPG mountains: Manu25 - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mauritanie_-_Adrar2.jpg school children: Ferdinand Reus - www.flickr.com/photos/72092071@N00/746927408 Barein houses: Ferdinand Reus - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bareina,_Mauritania.jpg
Port-au-Prince: Agência Brasil - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EscombrosBelAir7.jpg Tap tap public transportation bus: MichelleWalz - www.flickr.com/photos/61152197@N00/135925089
sausages in Frankfurt: Anita Evans Mercedes Benz AMG SLS Black: Steve Lyon - www.flickr.com/photos/15779944@N00/8228731913 Oktoberfest Girl: Markburger83 - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hacker-Pschorr_Oktoberfest_Girl.jpg
schoolgirls: USAID Africa Bureau - www.flickr.com/photos/57424551@N06/7269275010 boy grinding sugar cane: John Atherton - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Young_boy_grinding_sugar_cane_in_Liberia.jpg
Sumatran Orangutan, a great ape endemic to Indonesia: Jalo - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Man_of_the_woods.JPG Balinese children: Merbabu - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ubud-Kids.jpg water buffalo to plough rice fields in Java: Merbabu - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KerbauJawa.jpg Rafflesia 80 cm: Steve Cornish - www.flickr.com/photos/23508331@N00/275469883
Eurasian Lynx: Bernard Landgraf - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lynx_lynx_poing.jpg Albania pasture: Arben77 - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Albania_pasture.jpg Porto Palermo castle and Albanian beaches: Kevinalbania - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pics_(23).jpg Albanian schoolchildren: Goodfaith17 - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Albanian_children_at_school.jpg Orthodox Cathedral of Korçë: Marc Morell - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Church_in_Kor%C3%A7%C3%AB.jpg
cigar production in Santiago: BluesyPete - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SantiagoPeople_01.JPG Varadero’s beach: Emmanuel Huybrechts - www.flickr.com/photos/ensh/5982433102/ little school: BluesyPete - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CubaLittleSchool.JPG iguana: Panther - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iguana_at_the_Iguanas_island_near_Cayo_Largo_shot_02.jpg
garbige city: Участник:Salut - ru.wikipedia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cairo_Garbage_City_Street.jpg Sphinx: Hamish2k - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Egypt.Giza.Sphinx.02.jpg
Acapulco / Mexico City: Eneas De Troya - www.flickr.com/photos/eneas/8210079888/ dancing ‘Jarabe’: Oaxaca Profundo - www.flickr.com/photos/39334586@N04/3687231665/
Greece: Holy Trinity monastery, in Meteora, Thessaly: Dido3 - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Meteora_Agios_Triadas_IMG_7632.jpg Statue of Theseus, Athens: Mstyslav Chernov - mstyslav-chernov.com/ - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Statue_of_Theseus,_Syntagma_Square._ Athens._Greece.jpg Tanzania:
coconut crab - fearlessRich - www.flickr.com/people/96483949@N00 lion: William Warby - www.flickr.com/photos/26782864@N00/2404546005
mountains of north Yemen: Bernard Gagnon - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Manakha_01.jpg kids in San’a: yeowatzup - www.flickr.com/photos/46274125@N00/4325049306 dance in Sa’dah: Bernard Gagnon - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sa%27dah_05.jpg Yemeni doctor: Ben Barber (USAID) - gemini.info.usaid.gov/photos/displayimage.php?album=304&pos=4
Carcassonne: Harry - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carcassonne-vignes-2.jpg - commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carcassonne-vignes.jpg Loir-et-Cher Chambord Chateau: GIRAUD Patrick - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:France_Loir-et-Cher_Chambord_Chateau_03.jpg Louvre, Paris: Wilhelm Lappe - www.flickr.com/photos/wlappe/2902529849 Tour de france 2010 - Champs Elysées: bibi95 - www.flickr.com/photos/bibi95/4827296249/ Gypsies during the pilgrimage at Saintes-Maries de la Mer: Yann - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tziganes_aux_Saintes-Maries_de_la_Mer.jpg
butterfly ‘HeliconiusDorisLinnaeus’: MamaGeek wikipedia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HeliconiusDorisLinnaeus.jpg volcano Poás: Peter Andersen - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Poas_crater.jpg World’s Largest Oxcart Sarchi: Pablo A - wikipedia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World%27s_Largest_Oxcart_Sarchi_Costa_Rica.JPG Plaza de la Central - San Jose: Eric T Gunther - wikipedia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plaza_de_la_Central_Costa_Rica.JPG
bald eagle: W. Lloyd MacKenzie - www.flickr.com/photos/saffron_blaze/ roller coaster ‘Fahrenheit’ at Hershey Park: Coasterman1234 - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fahrenheit_(Drop).jpg
Lumphini Park, Bangkok: Terence Ong - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aerial_view_of_Lumphini_Park.jpg Phutthamonthon Buddha: Tevaprapas Makklay - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phutthamonthon_Buddha.JPG|
Tribal Delegation on horses: Mark Knobil - www.flickr.com/people/36448457@N00 women carry water: Rebecca Musarra - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mao_Women.jpg maternity ward - women waiting: Mark Knobil - www.flickr.com/photos/36448457@N00/66825026
Papua New Mangrove Jack (fish): Taro Taylor - www.flickr.com/photos/tjt195/2330012633/in/set-72157604510473215/ Guinea: Betelnut Girls: Taro Taylor - www.flickr.com/photos/tjt195/2327691387/ Mount Tavurvur: Taro Taylor - www.flickr.com/photos/tjt195/2435842896/in/photostream/ Guria Pigeon: Taro Taylor - www.flickr.com/photos/tjt195/2488087358/in/photostream/ Father & Son: Taro Taylor - www.flickr.com/photos/30674396@N00/2315374581/in/photolist-4wAUcp-4xjmFA-4xG2y8-4yZpA1-4DZxot-4EmiU3 4FqnCN-4FrVP6-4FCuof-4FU77S-4Hfkej-4LDGkB-4LUwHf-4MvQSx-4MRNbc-4MS6FU-4NByeN-4SuDfp-4Sz48b-5CWKEh-5D3w8E-5D5PjT-5XTdDJ 62yrgm-63wMyx-68Toan-6oo9iH-6qwWWG Huli Wigman from Hela Province: Nomadtales - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Huli_wigman.jpg Nepal:
Himalaya sud avion: Dr Michel Royon - Wikimedia Commons - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Himalaya_sud_avion.JPG Means of transport in mountain area: Krish Dulal - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yak_Nepal.jpg
oasis in the Hoggar: Bertrand Devouard ou Florence Devouard - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hoggar8.jpg desert picture: Anita Evans
United Kingdom: Palace of Westminster, London: David Iliff - License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Palace_of_Westminster,_London_-_Feb_2007.jpg KingsCollegeChapelWest: Andrew Dunn - www.andrewdunnphoto.com/ - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KingsCollegeChapelWest.jpg Wembley Stadium: Rob - www.flickr.com/photos/86368962@N00/5055894363 rugby, England versus New Zealand in 2006: England Kath - www.flickr.com/photos/unofficialenglandrugby/376574749/ Black London Cab: James Barrett - www.flickr.com/photos/jtbarrett/2220601538/ Saudi Arabia:
Medina - mosk of Mohammed, the prophet of Islam: Noumenon - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mescidi_nebevi.JPG woman wearing a niqāb: Retlaw Snellac Photography - www.flickr.com/photos/74089637@N00/385807779
Altai, Lake Kutsherla in the Altai Mountains: Stefan Kühn - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Altai_Kutscherla-See.jpg
Ametrine stone: de:Wela49 - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ametrine_cut.jpg ‘Los Yungas, La Paz’ mountains: Elias Bizannes - www.flickr.com/photos/87956460@N00/2238070425 Festival in Sucre: Micah MacAllen - www.flickr.com/photos/42697379@N00/85524669 children playing tarka: a leyla - www.flickr.com/photos/69023454@N00/232593997 Miners at work, Potosi: Christophe Meneboeuf - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Miners_at_Work_Potosi_(pixinn.net).jpg
tea leaves steeping in a zhong: Wikimol - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tea_leaves_steeping_in_a_zhong_%C4%8Daj_05.jpg
ingapirca inca ruins: Delphine Ménard - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ecuador_ingapirca_inca_ruins.jpg two ‘Galapagos’ tortoises: Aaron Logan - www.flickr.com/photos/36755713@N00/3282474944 woman in Ecuadorian dress: hozinja - www.flickr.com/photos/44717021@N06/4852643538 Blue-footed booby: Marc Figueras - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SulaNebouxi.jpg
Markakol reserve in the Altai Mountains, eastern Kazakhstan with horses. Dmitry A. Mottl - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kazakhs.jpg Bactrian camel: Petar Milošević - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bactrian_camel_in_Kazakhstan.jpg
Malé after tsunami: Oblivious - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mal%C3%A9_after_tsunami_(cropped).jpg fish turn: Ibrahim Iujaz - www.flickr.com/photos/notsogoodphotography/4484453741/in/set-72157594587533756/lightbox/ little house: Ibrahim Iujaz - www.flickr.com/photos/notsogoodphotography/3174785762/in/set-72157594587533756/ fishermen: Ibrahim Iujaz - www.flickr.com/photos/notsogoodphotography/3463433714/in/set-72157594587533756/lightbox/ bananas: Ibrahim Iujaz - www.flickr.com/photos/notsogoodphotography/3499818421/in/set-72157594587533756/lightbox/ ladies on the beach: Ibrahim Iujaz - www.flickr.com/photos/notsogoodphotography/3981052348/in/set-72157594587533756/
male silverback gorilla: Brocken Inaglory - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Male_gorilla_in_SF_zoo.jpg collecting firewood in Basankusu: Francis Hannaway - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Basankusu_collecting_firewood_by_Francis_Hannaway.jpg Stratovulkan Nyiragongo: Maik Bunschkowski - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nyiragongo2004.jpg Congo river: Julien Harneis - www.flickr.com/photos/julien_harneis/2293424781/ rocket: LiveLeak - http://www.boreme.com/posting.php?id=23790
Blue-naped Mousebird: Doug Janson - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Urocolius_macrourus-20090110B.jpg Mosque in Djibouti city: Tyke - wikipedia - commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Djib_005.JPG
Dharmacakra symbol: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharmacakra
Star of David: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_David
203/365 The Atheist Bus: stuartpilbrow - www.flickr.com/photos/stuartpilbrow/3253768361
Animist altar, Zhuhai, China: David Boté Estrada - www.flickr.com/photos/logatfer/7331159464