We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

PHILIPPINES: SECRET STORYTELLING GROUPS GROWING FAITH IN YOUNG PEOPLE

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Where 10 year-old Wahid lives in the Southern Philippines, choosing to follow Jesus can be very dangerous. While a lot of the country’s population is Christian, his region is mostly Muslim – and anybody who decides to leave Islam for another faith can face death threats and being disowned by their family and community.

But Wahid is finding a valuable new community – a group of Christians sharing stories from the Bible. Wahid and other young secret believers come with their parents to this undercover group, led by Open Doors local partners, and together find comfort and inspiration as they read the Bible together.

The group meets twice a month, sharing stories about the heroes of faith and how God takes care of His children. Each time someone tells a story, they learn how to disciple others, ensuring that everyone learns these important lessons.

Learning about God’s faithfulness

“At this very young age, there are dangers that they will face but these children don’t easily give up,” shares Faith*, a local Open Doors partner. Recently, the children have read about God’s faithfulness to Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis 21. “This story reminds the kids that, even when things are hard, they can get strong by sharing their stories and knowing that God helps others through them,” Faith says. “By telling this story, they’re not just talking about the past. They’re spreading hope and understanding in their community.”

Wahid and Ramsi*, another young believer, agree: “God won’t leave us, and He helps us when we’re in need,” Ramsi says.

Beacons of hope

Looking ahead, the group wants to help even more people understand the Bible. More kids are interested in hearing these stories, and they want to reach out to them. The stories can help everyone see that we’re all connected – and support these children as they face persecution or opposition.

In the Muslim-dominated area where these gatherings take place, numerous secret believers know they live in a region where openly declaring their Christianity can lead to expulsion from their homes or even death. Faith notes that in a region where danger and faith often intersect, these children from this Southern Philippine tribe are like beacons of hope. “Their whispered stories, admirable faith and unity show how people can be strong regardless of the circumstances,” she explains.

Shamira*, one of the young participants, says she looks forward to each gathering: “I thank God for the times we meet,” she says. “I always wait for the day we come together again. It’s amazing to know that God can do many things.”

Every Christian child should be protected, provided for and given an education to give them hope for the future – and programmes like this one help to make that happen. Wahid, Ramsi and Shamira are part of the next generation of the church, but they are also vital members of the church today. Your prayers and support can help strengthen and encourage them, and contribute towards the future of the global church.

*Names changed due to security reasons

PRAY NOW...
1

For these children and their families to have the courage, boldness and will to deepen their faith despite the challenges they face

3

That God would use the faith of these young believers and their parents to make a life-changing difference in the broader community.

2

That these gatherings would multiply throughout this part of the country and beyond and foster a deep sense of unity and mutual support among the participants

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