Friday, July 13, 2012

A camp that heals in Sri Lanka

In recent years, more than 250 churches in Sri Lanka have been damaged or destroyed, and Christians and their homes have been attacked. After such attacks, it is often the children that struggle to cope, worrying about whether another assault might come or what might happen to their parents. 

To help these children, VOM sponsors a kids’ camp run by The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka through our Families of Martyrs Fund. The camp provides kids with biblical teaching and tools to help them process their experiences. The kids are also able to build lasting friendships with other kids who have faced similar attacks, reminding them that they are not alone in their sufferings.

VOM’s children’s ministry, Kids of Courage, recently shared stories of several children who attended the camp. These stories were originally published in our July 2011 newsletter, but have been modified to be appropriate to share with children.

Please share these stories with the kids you know, encouraging them to remember their persecuted brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka!
Nimal, age 6, and his sister, Nirmala, age 12, were two of the Christians whose home was attacked.
A mob threw a fire bomb through their window one night, catching the curtains on fire. Thankfully, the children’s father put out the flames and no one was hurt. But sometimes the children felt worried and fearful after the attack.
Christians in Sri Lanka invited Nimal and Nirmala to come to a camp for children whose families have been persecuted for their Christian work. At the camp, they made friends with other children who had been through similar experiences. They learned more about the Bible and about how to overcome their fear. Their family is grateful for the camp.
John and Andrew are brothers who also attended the camp. John is 16 and Andrew is 13. Before they went to the camp, they had visited relatives with their parents, then headed home. But they found they no longer had a home! Their house and the attached church were completely burned down. A mob had burned it because John and Andrew’s father was the pastor of the church. Some non-Christians in Sri Lanka do not want churches to grow.
John and Andrew were shocked when they saw their burned home and church. John found the drums and guitar he had used to lead worship at the church. The instruments were ruined. His schoolbooks and notes were also burned.
Christians invited John and Andrew to the camp, where they found comfort in the Bible teachings and friendships with other persecuted kids.
Thank God for providing comfort for his children are in difficult situations.
For other age-appropriate stories and activities to teach kids about the persecuted Church, visit Kids of Courage online.

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