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Children carry loads of joy into our lives. Their zest for life, their uncontained excitement when receiving a gift and their willingness to quickly make friends all produce a remarkable sense of wonder!
I love meeting children in the field. Maybe it’s because my five children are not that young anymore. I miss the days when they would run down the hall when I returned from work, almost knocking me over with excitement and hugs.
Nearly every parent remembers a day when they first realized that their “baby” really wasn’t a baby any more. They grow up fast!
But, how many of us testify today that it was sometime during those young, formative years when we first trusted Christ?
By God’s grace, The Voice of the Martyrs has delivered tens of thousands of children’s resources to some of the most difficult places on earth, specifically reaching children between the ages of four and fourteen.
This month, I was in Nepal as part of one of these distributions. As we neared our destination, a brother met us on the side of the highway, climbed into our vehicle and asked us to turn into the jungle.
As we drove through the dense foliage for several kilometers we encountered a different type of traffic jam—women carrying bundles of sticks on their backs, bicycles loaded with leafy brush, cows, goats, and even a monkey scurrying across the road!
We turned a corner, entering into a cleared area and saw people moving in one direction. The guest that we picked up earlier on the side of the road began calling out the window announcing our arrival.
With knowing glances, as if they had been anticipating this visit for some time, men and women climbed onto bicycles and began to pedal behind us for the remainder of our journey. Children began running down the road with giant smiles on their faces.
After the driver determined that it was unwise to drive any further down the path, we piled out of the vehicle and began to unload boxes. It wasn’t a problem getting the boxes to the meeting place. There were plenty of ready hands!
After a few lively songs, I stood up to remind these dear sisters and brothers that they are not alone. I told them that many Americans are praying for Nepal, because we know how difficult it is to be a Christian there. We will continue to stand with them.
I also asked them to pray for us, because it is also difficult to be a Christian in America, although in different ways.
Finally, I told them that it was a joy to meet them face-to-face and that I long for the day when we will share eternity together, swapping stories of how God was at work in each of our lives.
With that, the distribution began! Children beamed from ear to ear as they each received a gift that will draw them back to God’s Word again and again and that will also be shared with many other children…
Dr. Jason Peters serves in VOM’s International Ministries department, traveling frequently to meet with our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. He has ministered in 35 countries, as diverse as Cuba, India, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and Nigeria. Before joining VOM’s team, Jason was a faculty member of the Air Force Chaplain Corps College, where he directed Crisis and Trauma training. He also completed a one-year residency at a Level I Trauma Center and has utilized his experience as a trauma responder to offer practical and spiritual assistance to those who are suffering. Jason and his wife, Kimberly, along with their five children, consider it a great honor to serve alongside the persecuted church.