Let the little
children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a
little child will by no means enter it.” (Mark 10:14b–15, NKJV).
children are able to see truth in unencumbered, refreshing ways. Jesus loved
children, and even challenged his followers to “receive the kingdom of God as a
little child.”At VOM, we acknowledge the mandate of James 1:27 and have a
unique interest in serving the underserved, especially children and widows
living in areas that experience intense persecution. Pakistan is one of those places.
For several years, VOM has been in active partnership with David C. Cook, a
nonprofit organization dedicated to publishing discipleship resources to help
Christians all over the world grow in their faith. Together, we have been able
to distribute hundreds of thousands of “Story of Jesus” books in some of the
world’s most difficult places. These colorful books, which are similar to
“comic books,” introduce Jesus to children in a way that is very compelling. In
fact, when I took a copy home to my own children, they were immediately drawn
In July of
2013, two young girls in Pakistan received a copy of “the Story of Jesus” in
their native language of Urdu. The
Christians who distributed the booklets happily reported that these girls
trusted Christ after reading these engaging booklets. Two more sisters were
added to our family!
Just a couple of months later, on a sunny Sunday morning, two
suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound in Peshawar, Pakistan.
These Islamists waited until the services were over and the nearly 500
worshipers began to gather for a meal together. At 11:45, they detonated their
suicide vests and killed 78 people and injured another 130. It was the
deadliest attack on the Christian minority in the history of Pakistan.
In October, I
received word that the two young sisters who received “the Story of Jesus”
during the July distribution, and began to follow Jesus, were killed in the
attack on that bright Sunday morning.
The death of
children is especially tough, and many of the victims from Peshawar were women
and children. There are never easy answers for difficult situations like this.
They serve as vivid reminders of how fallen our world is. But, we do not mourn
as those without hope! We believe that “while we are at home in the body we are
absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians
As you look at
the photograph of these two young girls, please remember their families in
prayer, along with the other families who lost loved ones in this attack. Pray
also for those who plotted this attack. May God’s glory be manifested in all of
the chaos that continues in this area.Finally, please pray with us that God will guide us as we do our best to
minister in that difficult place.
originally appeared on the Persecution
Jason Peters serves in
VOM’s International Ministries department, traveling frequently to meet with
our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. He lived overseas for
five years and has ministered in more than 30 countries as diverse as Cuba,
Nepal, Iraq, Nigeria and Indonesia. He and his wife, Kimberly, along with their
five children, count it a great honor to serve with the persecutedchurch.