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United Church of Canada to Investigate 'Effectiveness' of Minister Who Professes Atheism

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - 6 hours 26 min ago
A regional body of the United Church of Canada will interview a clergywoman who is an outspoken atheist to see about her "effectiveness."
Categories: Christian Post

Judge denies mistrial in Holmes case

WGRC News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 1:48pm

There won’t be a mistrial in the Colorado theater shooting massacre. During testimony in the James Holmes case, a psychiatrist testifying as an expert witness said he didn’t believe Holmes was mentally ill enough to prevent him from knowing what he was doing was wrong. That prompted a motion for a mistrial from Holmes’ lawyers, which the judge denied.

Categories: Local News

Groundbreaking for natural gas terminal

WGRC News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 1:47pm

A groundbreaking was held today just outside of Montoursville for a natural gas terminal which will allow for delivery of natural gas to customers across Central Pennsylvania and beyond. Officials with Compass Natural Gas say their Quaker terminal will provide a solution in a system of deliveries from their terminals and trucks to their valued customers and that they are committed to providing the benefits of clean, green American Fuel for the 21st century.

Categories: Local News

Rick Warren Remember's U2's Late Manager Dennis Sheehan as 'a Calm and Kind Christian Man'

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 1:41pm
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren remembered U2's tour manager Dennis Sheehan, who died suddenly on Wednesday, as a "calm and kind Christian man" and offered up prayers for him.
Categories: Christian Post

Kid’s ministry goes ‘Retro’ for the Summer

Mission Network News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 5:00am

(Logo credit Keys for Kids)

USA (MNN) -- If you're a fan of the radio program "Red Rock Mysteries," a children's show produced by Keys For Kids Ministries, you might be wondering instead, "What are they airing this week?!" Rather than the familiar characters pacing through harrowing adventures, you might be hearing a woman named Aunt Bea storytelling, or maybe a children's choir. It's all part of Keys For Kids' Retro Summer break. Executive director Terre Ritchie explains, "It's giving us time to get the next series of Red Rock Mysteries produced. We need to have the summer to get this series together. That's not counting writing, prep, and post-production. They needed something to offer listeners during the hiatus other than re-runs, Keys for Kids thought, "Let's just unlock this vault and let the kids know what it used to be like for their parents to listen to Keys For Kids Ministries/CBH Ministries.'

(Image courtesy Keys For Kids)

Why not? They've got 73 years of programming to draw upon that has had a singular mission, adds Ritchie. "We focused on telling boys and girls about Jesus. This has been accomplished through many different types of media: like in the 50s and 60s, when Aunt Bea (Aunt Bertha Shooks) was here--and she even hosted a TV variety show, of sorts." Other than a nostalgia factor, who would listen to old radio shows? More people than you might think, observes Ritchie. The shows hail back to simpler times, which is its own attraction. "You can listen to songs by choirs, duets, trios, there were instrumentals in there, plus stories that went with verses from God's Word. These are so interesting to listen to and even watch." Plus, who doesn't love to watch a little kid sharing something as powerful as Scripture?   Think about the little kids you watch in church programs who are always the sidebar anecdotes for what else is going on center stage. With the video component, children get the spotlight. Ritchie adds, "It's so fun to watch little kids who are three and four (years) saying verses. They're singing, they're playing instruments. They're doing all sorts of things. They're in little plays, and telling the stories."

(Photo courtesy Keys For Kids)

Let's be honest, it's fun to see the hair styles, clothing styles and more, in their then-modern settings of decades ago. Plus, if you were part of the choir, your kids can see you in action as a kid!  So, while the next season of "Red Rock" is gearing up, Ritchie encourages you to check out some of the Retro Summer offerings for yourself. One last thing to remember, says Ritchie. Regardless of the medium, "God's Word has never changed. We have never failed to use the Bible as our main resource. That's what our ministry is built on, telling boys and girls about Jesus and presenting His Word. That has not changed in 73 years."
Categories: Mission Network News

Burundi crisis prompts refugee wave

Mission Network News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Food For the Hungry)

Burundi (FH/MNN) -- The people of the Burundi urgently need our help. Aid agencies say more than 100,000 people have fled what they say is a killing campaign by pro-government militia. This, in the wake of an attempted coup earlier this month. Food For the Hungry Senior Director of Emergency Response Pete Howard agrees. The government denies the coup, but the crisis was sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term. Presidential elections are scheduled for June 26 while Senate elections are slated for July 17. Protests flared into violence which raised the specter of Burundi's bloody history, a 12-year civil war from 1993 that claimed close to 300,000 lives. Even the attempt to flee is not without its risks. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says new arrivals into Rwanda report that youth militia have set up road blocks in Burundi, which is preventing people from fleeing. Despite the tenuous situation, Food For the Hungry is grateful for their on-the-ground team and partners worldwide who have been monitoring the growing conflict in Burundi and who are working to set up and maintain emergency care programs for the followers of Christ in Rwanda.

(Photo courtesy Food For the Hungry)

FH is working in the Mahanga refugee camp in Kirehe, Rwanda, to provide educational classes and trauma counseling for children, many of which are unaccompanied minors. Unaccompanied children are especially vulnerable to predators, both human and animal. It is FH's mission to reunite these young children with their families to give them peace and security after going through so much. They'll continue to provide food and other provisions (i.e. mosquito nets, transportation) for the refugees in their time of need. The FH emergency response team will monitor the situation in Burundi daily. For 44 years, FH has been responding to God's call to end physical and spiritual hungers worldwide. What makes them unique is the truth of Christ's love. According to them, it serves as the inspiration for everything else they do to meet the physical needs. The financial support, prayers, and partnership with people like you allow FH to address broken relationships with God, each other, self, and creation. If you feel led to help support the Mahanga refugee camp and the work that is changing lives in Burundi, please consider giving to the FH Rapid Response Fund at fh.org/helpburundi.  
Categories: Mission Network News

Global Outreach Day is Saturday

Mission Network News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 5:00am


International (MNN/JFP) -- Did you know that last year, more than 2 million people shared their faith worldwide--on the same day? According to The JESUS Film Project, it’s happening again this Saturday, May 30, on a much greater scale in the world’s largest outreach day ever. Will you be a part of it? It's called Global Outreach Day. One day, one world, one message. This year, more than 15 million Christians around the world are expected to share the Gospel with at least one person this Saturday. So many people still haven't had the opportunity to hear the good news of Christ. They're waiting to experience the saving love of Jesus. They are waiting to hear from people like you. Especially for this day, Jesus Film Media™ has prepared seven pre-selected video clips from the JESUS film and other short films. They make sharing the gospel easy. You can find the clips on the app through your smartphone or tablet at app.jesusfilmmedia.org and at jesusfilmmedia.org through the links below. Also, with 1,275 language versions of JESUS in the palm of your hand, you can connect with almost anybody from any country. Give your family, friends, and others the gospel in the language they best understand. Pray and ask the Lord who you might reach out to. Will it be your neighbor, a classmate, or your local barista? It starts with sharing the message of hope with one person. Then see who else the Holy Spirit puts on your heart, even beyond Saturday. Download the free Jesus Film Media™ app today. Discover how God can use you to change someone’s life for eternity. Click here to learn how. On any given day, a YouTube video can make us laugh, cry, or both. When we’re captivated by what we see, we want to share it immediately. There are 7 short films immediately at your fingertips when you use the Jesus Film Media™ app. You can also click on the links below to help you share your story and introduce the good news of hope to those waiting to hear. 1. Ctrl-Z (5 mins) This short film starring Tony Hale of “Arrested Development” entertains with the possibility of undoing life’s regrets with a keystroke. 2. Rain (5 mins) A daughter places a desperate phone call to her parents in the dead of night. 3. #FallingPlates (4 mins) With brokenness all around us, there is One who redeems our brokenness. 4. Jesus Calms the Storm (2 mins) There is peace that can be found in the midst of life’s storms. This 2-minute scene comes from the JESUS film. 5. Parable of the Good Samaritan (2 mins) Jesus’ example of sacrificial love breaks through the norms of His day and ours. 6. Jesus’ Triumphal Entry (1 min) Everyone likes a party, right? When Jesus comes to town, we are confronted with how we will respond. 7. Invitation to Know Jesus Personally (6 min) Sometimes it’s just this simple. When you need to share how someone can begin a relationship with the One who alters our story, it’s nice to have a closer that’s available in nearly 1,300 languages. If you'd like more information, visit: www.globaloutreachday.com.
Categories: Mission Network News

Foster care program assists children in Haiti

Mission Network News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of Bethany Christian Services)

Haiti (MNN) -- June 1 is International Children’s Day: a day dedicated to the awareness of children’s issues such as education, health care, and human rights. While any good-natured person would want a child to be reared in the best possible environment, there has long been debate about what that looks like. And with Haiti recently overhauling its child-welfare system, it currently stands at the intersection of this issue. Haiti drastically changed its adoption and foster care policies to keep more children in their home country and to avoid adoption-scammers, among other reasons. The Haitian government's decisions to prohibit private adoptions, restrict the amount of foreign adoption agencies allowed to work in the country and to limit the amount of Haitian children that can be adopted per year went into full effect on April 1, 2014. Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit organization that provides adoption, foster care and pregnancy counseling opportunities, is one organization Haiti's government allowed to work in the country. But despite these restrictions on international adoptions, Bethany has recently started a foster care program in Haiti, where it works closely with the Haitian government and a local church to give children a stable, loving home while keeping them in their native culture. “We have a very huge buy-in from the government. They want to be involved,” Bethany International Programs Director Kristi Gleason said. “But we are also tapping into those already-built networks of the local church. The local church in Haiti is very much alive, it’s very dynamic, it’s very much a part of the daily life of Haitians. By partnering both with the church and the government, we feel that we have a very strong ability to succeed.” Opinions differ regarding the change of Haiti’s child welfare system. Some say the healthiest place for a child to grow up is in his or her own family or culture. They say there are too many adoption agencies who scam parents into giving up their children. Others argue, however, that a child's home country may lack resources necessary for their survival. Bethany considers both of these opinions to give children the most stable life possible.

(Photo courtesy of Bethany Christian Services via Facebook)

“Bethany fully supports inter-country adoption,” Gleason said. “We’ve had an inter-country adoption program in Haiti for quite some time now. There’s a place for international adoption, especially in Haiti. “While we certainly support a child’s right to grow up in their biological family, grow up in their country of origin, there is a place for inter-country adoption, especially in Haiti because there are kiddos who are growing up in orphanages who have special placement needs, who have needs that are not able to be met in Haiti; medically, psychologically. And those are the children we are really trying to find families for in the states. “There’s a continuum of care that we very much support in trying to keep kids in their families, but we know that not all kids are able to stay in their families.” One of Bethany’s goals is to represent Christ to the children it works with. This is done less by preaching than it is by imitating Jesus through daily actions. (The Gospel) is the foundation of our work. It’s what allows us to do what we do,” Gleason said. “So while we work in the church and through the church, its not so much about sharing the Gospel as it is living the Gospel, acting out the desires of God through our actions in Haiti. “When we do foster care training, we recruit through the local church, but also our training has a biblical basis to it. All of the reasons why we tell families why we want them to become a foster family is because it is answering God’s desire to take care of each other.” Answer God's call to serve the vulnerable and help Bethany do the same. Pray that Bethany would be successful in providing Haitian children with a stable environment through its foster care program. If you feel God's leading, Visit bethanyglobal.org to see how you can sponsor a family or financially support a child.
Categories: Mission Network News

Is Russia planning an invasion?

Mission Network News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 5:00am
Russia (MNN) -- Could an invasion of Ukraine be imminent? Reuters reports Russia is massing tanks and other heavy armor at the Russia/Ukraine border. Photos of trainloads of tanks and convoys of other military vehicles in the region were seen on Web sites yesterday. One reporter noted that Russian insignias have been removed.

(Image courtesy of Mission Eurasia)

President of Mission Eurasia Sergey Rakhuba says their partners on the ground are concerned. But this is nothing new. What about the ceasefire agreement? "Most of the networks were not reporting on it because there were crises in other parts of the world. The ceasefire was never followed. We know that there were still lots of casualties." This isn't the only disturbing news. Russia has also passed legislation restricting freedom. Rakhuba says the first law puts more teeth to the law calling organizations who receive funding from outside Russia "foreign agents." However, a new law was ratified. Rakhuba says it's called, "Undesirable NGOs in Russia. If they decide they are undesirable, they don't need to go to court; an administrative order can be [used] to kick them out of Russia." (Listen to the full interview with Sergey Rakhuba here) This could jeopardize all organizations, Christian or non-Christian, in Russia. Why is Russia doing this? "Russia is building up the tools to stand against any western influence in Russia," Rakhuba says.

"God gave us a second chance, and now our children are smiling again," was the response of Sasha and Lena when School Without Walls students from Kiev visited the family with groceries, Gifts of Hope, and Scriptures. The family evacuated from Alchevsk, in Eastern #Ukraine, due to the fighting. They had to leave their life behind and are now struggling to earn enough to put food on the table.
(Mission Eurasia Photo)

These laws, coupled with a massive propaganda machine that's using radio, television, internet--including social media, are plunging Russia into something not seen since the Soviet Union. We asked Rakhuba if this is what it was like during the days of the former Soviet Union. "I would say even probably worse. Under the Soviet Union, [citizens] didn't really believe the Kremlin. [Today] 85- 87% (that's what the polls show us) whole-heartedly support Putin and the Kremlin." Today, there are still 1.2 million internally displaced people in Ukraine. These people have been displaced because of the fighting between the two nations. According to Rakhuba, while the propaganda is pitting Christians in Russia against Christians in Ukraine, the conflict is having a positive impact on the church in Ukraine. Why? Because the churches are providing hope through Mission Eurasia's I-Care Refugee Program. I-Care provides food, clothing, shelter, counseling, and most importantly, God's Word. Rakhuba tells us word gets around, especially those in the conflict zone. "Those who got trapped [by the fighting], they go to churches. They are opening their hearts for more relationships with Christians. We've noticed--we've already done some analysis and research--that the church is growing tremendously in those areas." Rakhuba says those 1.2 million people still need your support. As you get involved in Mission Eurasia's I-Care Refugee Program, you're providing the tools to reach into a hurting heart with food, love, and the Gospel. If you'd like to support the work of Mission Eurasia, click here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Bishop T.D. Jakes Calls on the Church to End Racial Divide and 'Fulfill the Prayer of Jesus Christ That We May Be One' (VIDEO)

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:27pm
Bishop T.D. Jakes, founder of The Potter's House, one of the largest megachurches in the United States, recently called on the Church to become a source of unity and healing in the faith community, particularly in the wake of ongoing racial unrest.
Categories: Christian Post

Governor Wolf’s nomination of new State Police Commissioner

WGRC News - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:24pm

A hearing has finally been set to discuss Governor Wolf’s nomination of former Maryland State police superintendent Marcus Brown as the PA State police commissioner. Brown has been serving as the acting commissioner since being nominated to the post earlier this year, but the State Senate Law and Justice Committee has not taken up a hearing to give him the job permanently. He has come under fire from some retired troopers and others because he did not attend the State police academy or come up through the department’s ranks. Others question his views on law enforcement.

Categories: Local News

White house will not appeal immigration ruling against President Obama

WGRC News - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:23pm

The White House will not be appealing the injunction on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Tuesday that the orders regarding undocumented immigrants must be delayed until a lawsuit filed by 26 states is resolved. Yesterday, the Obama Administration said it will not ask the Justice Department to go to the Supreme Court and seek a stay on the injunction. The executive actions would allow five million undocumented immigrants to remain in the country.

Categories: Local News

NYC Church Offering Free Movie Tickets to First Time Visitors

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:09pm
Starting this Sunday a church located in the heart of New York City will be giving away free movie tickets to every first-time visitor as well as the person who invites them.
Categories: Christian Post

Andrew Palau, Andy Mineo, Gungor, Hezekiah Walker and Other Top Artists to Fete NYC With Good Music and the Gospel

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 1:14pm
International evangelist Andrew Palau will be preaching the Good News, while popular local artists and other top-selling Christian singers provide good vibes in NYC's historic Harlem neighborhood this weekend.
Categories: Christian Post

God's Loving Discipline

Christian Post - Living - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 8:51am
Lot's point of reference was Egypt. Genesis 13:10 tells us, "Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)"
Categories: Christian Post

SOAR International serves disabled in Abkhazia

Mission Network News - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 8:27am

(Photo courtesy of SOAR International via Twitter)

Abkhazia (MNN) -- Few countries recognize its independence. Many people do not know it even exists. It has been forgotten by much of the world, but one Christian organization has made it the target of its ministry. Abkhazia broke from the Soviet Union in the 1990s and considers itself an independent state. Georgia’s government, the United Nations, and much of the rest of the world, however, consider it a part of Georgia. Due partly to this lack of world recognition, its needs go unmet, and poverty in Abkhazia is rampant. But SOAR International is working to bring change. One church SOAR partnered with during the Sochi Olympics is ministering to the churches in Abkhazia, and asked SOAR to help with its outreach. One of the Abkhazia church’s main outreach programs is aimed toward serving handicapped children, specifically those with cerebral palsy. SOAR workers packed a 40-foot long container full of wheelchairs donated from the Joni and Friends foundation, a handicap van, and other supplies to be shipped to Abkhazia for the churches there to access. “The church is really filling a vital need, and we have been excited to do what we can to help then in that outreach ministry,” says SOAR’s Greg Mangione. But this wasn’t the only way SOAR helped meet needs. The pastor of the church has a building where he gives therapeutic massages to children with cerebral palsy. Not only was he in need of supplies, but he needed space to store them. And since the church sits on a small plot of land, the ministry doesn’t have much room to expand. But again, SOAR workers stepped in to bring assistance. SOAR held a fundraiser, and earned enough money to purchase a plot of land. “The Lord opened up an opportunity to buy a perfect piece of property just down the street from the church, across the street from the Black Sea. It was good sized and has a building on it,” Mangione says. “We had a big fundraiser, and they were able to purchase the property. There was even enough money to get electricity and running water going.” Every year, the church also holds a summer camp for disabled children. Finding an available location for the camp was difficult, let alone expensive. Now, the church can hold an affordable camp on its own property.

SOAR International's Greg and Vika Mangione.
(Photo courtesy of SOAR International)

Not only does this ministry meet children’s physical needs, it gives them hope and security. With unemployment around 70%, parents spend more time searching for work than caring for their children. Abkhazia has few resources for assisting those with birth defects, so their needs often go unattended to. Like Abkhazia itself, these children are often forgotten. But SOAR is demonstrating God's love and creating opportunities to share Christ. “I got to meet a gentleman who came to the Lord through his handicapped situation,” Mangione explains. “He had become handicapped, and the church started reaching out to him as nobody else was, and he saw God’s love and accepted the Lord. “It definitely is opening doors, showing people that they are loved, that God loves them, and that they aren’t just abandoned. Every day the church is trying to find more and more people that they can reach out to help and really show God’s love through this ministry to the handicapped.” God has blessed SOAR with resources to serve, but they still need your help. Pray that SOAR would effectively meet physical and spiritual needs in Abkhazia. Pray also for the safety of SOAR workers as they travel to Abkhazia this summer to continue helping the church. Support SOAR's work in Eastern Europe by donating to its Abkhazia ministry fund.  
Categories: Mission Network News

You can help special needs in Guatemala

Mission Network News - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 5:00am

Orphan Outreach partners with a ministry for special needs kids in Guatemala.

Guatemala (MNN) -- As with most organizations serving the Lord by meeting people's needs, ministry partners are essential. Orphan Outreach is just one organization who needs these partners to fulfill their mission. In 2012, Orphan Outreach began helping the Guatemalan Association of Down Syndrome (AGSD-Asociación Guatemalteca para el Dindrome de Down) in Guatemala City. The goal of AGSD is to support children with Down Syndrome so they can have access to specialized care, stimulation, and education. AGSD was founded in 2005 by Alfredo and Irene Salazar, two years after their son Alfredo Salazar was born with Down Syndrome. They founded the school after discovering the urgent need to provide support, schooling, and therapies to children with Down Syndrome in Guatemala City. The couple sold their house and used those funds to start the Association. The Association helps families from extreme poverty situations and orphans. Their goal is to provide support the families and provide high quality service. Today, they currently serve 40 children and 10 babies. You can get to know these amazing kids and help provide a brighter future for them through child sponsorship. It costs just $36 a month to sponsor one of these or other children. You can also help these kids through church partnership and by visiting them on short-term mission trips. For more information, click here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Christian could help stop ISIS fighters

Mission Network News - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 5:00am

Mosque in Dearborn, Michigan.

USA (MNN) -- More and more we're hearing stories of people in the West flying to the Middle East to join Islamic State terrorists. Twins from Germany recently died fighting for the group. Two California men were arrested as they attempted to join the movement. Two British girls are suspected of traveling there in recent months. Why? What is the appeal? Vice President of E3 Partners and Middle East Expert Tom Doyle thinks he knows. "We're in this generation where young people are searching for an identity. They're wanting to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and they were in search of a lost identity." Doyle believes it probably starts soon after they arrive in a Western nation. "Last year, about a million people came to America from the Middle East. A majority of them would be Muslim. And so, I think we have an opportunity to reach them when they come." Because many Muslims look and dress differently, it's easy for Americans to keep to themselves. "[Muslims] can be marginalized and just flat out ignored. What that does is it causes them to retreat into their own Muslim community, and yes, sadly, there is that potential that they can become radicalized." God has given Christians an opportunity to bring unreached people to the West. Doyle says this opportunity can't be ignored. Muslims, especially when they first arrive in a new country, are very open to making new friends. "So welcome them and reach out to them the moment they get off the plane." Doyle says our actions can go a long way to reaching a Muslim. "If they understand who Jesus is and they see His love, they are more than attracted. So let's not repel them as believers in America; let's let them see who our Jesus is." (Listen to the full interview here) More Muslims than ever before are coming to Christ. Much of it's in response to ISIS. They're mortified that people are using Islam to torture and kill innocent people. Many Christians are afraid to befriend Muslims, which can be part of the problem. Doyle says, "The Great Commission is for all people groups, so nobody is off the table. Nobody is beyond His ability to save, regardless of what we're seeing on the news." Learning how to share your faith with Muslims is important. Doyle says it's not pounding a pulpit. "We have a seminar that we do called, 'How to Love Muslims to Christ.' We'll send you all the slides. We'll send you the information. We'll come to your church and do it. We find this is a very open people group to the Gospel today. Doyle adds, "The number one thing that attracts Muslims to Jesus is the love that they feel from believers that reach out to them and befriend them."
Categories: Mission Network News

Adventure and mission are calling

Mission Network News - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 5:00am

The JESUS Film Project is working to get the Gospel out quicker to smaller language groups. (Photo courtesy of The JESUS Film Project)

International (JFP/MNN) -- Each year, thousands of people go on short-term mission trips. Some want to be a part of something that benefits someone else. Others are looking for adventure and personal growth. Still others are wondering if they might be hearing a call for purpose. The JESUS Film may have what you're looking for. Each year, JESUS Film Mission Trips (JFMT) offers more than 40 trips year to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Guided by professional mission trip leaders, groups range from 5 to 30 participants. Greg Jackson* oversees the trips for The JESUS Film Project. It's not a "one size fits all" approach either, he says. "One of the more traditional kinds of mission trips that we do is classic JESUS film showings. When we go into closed countries, we'll use some of the JESUS film products in classroom setting is to build relationships with people and then share the Gospel that way. Then, one of the third ways that we do is distribution of materials." The distributions come at port cities or in other places where people are in transit between Europe and the Middle East North Africa region (MENA). If you've ever traveled, you know that a good part of the trip is spent waiting. Jackson says they take advantage of this time. "As the lines and lines of people are there, we are walking among them, offering them packets that have the New Testament or have the JESUS film, or a variety of other evangelistic materials." But the first contact isn't always the last. Jackson explains, "Each one of those packets has a contact card so that, when they are interested in more information, or they want to receive Christ, they can call, e-mail, or even snail-mail-connect with our contacts over in Europe." Follow-up is as important as the initial touch point is. The card keeps the door open for communication and relationship.

(Photo courtesy of The JESUS Film Project via Facebook)

As The JESUS Film Project advances with digital media platforms to the individual, will that negate the need for mission trips? Jackson says No. "All the places we're going, there's usually about 4% Christian population or less. So the fact that we can come in there and come alongside them not only accelerates the ministry, but it's a huge encouragement as well to the body of believers that are there." Jackson explains his theory of acceleration this way: "There's something that God uses about bringing foreigners into these places. There's a 'clout' that we can bring to the local believers that are there that really accelerates their ministry." Detailing further, he says that what their mission teams do in two weeks would take the local JESUS film team close to a year to do. They capitalize on the novelty of foreigner. For example, "If it's in an English -speaking class, we may talk to anywhere from 70 to 300 students. From those students, we will be able to filter out and let the locals know that there are 15 men and 25 women that are really interested in spiritual things." Months of planning have gone into each of their short-term mission trips. Yet, the fact is they can only happen if volunteers join in to accomplish the trip strategy. "We have a certain minimum number that we need for a reach trip in order to make the trip viable. If we don't have that number, we have to cancel those trips," notes Jackson. Making the need known and providing the opportunity is connecting availability and accessibility. "I believe that there are people out there hearing this saying, 'How can I go and be a part of this?' I believe that God is stirring their hearts." It's easy to find a mission trip. Just click on the map above, or click "Trips" in the top menu bar. Choose from the Trips drop-down menu. Then click on the trip name link to view an individual trip description. After you have picked the trip you are most interested in, you can apply online, or use the "Request more info" form link found below the trip description. This form sends us an e-mail, which the JESUS Film Project will respond to as soon as they are able. JFMT is ministry of Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ International. Beyond what is offered on the Website, college students looking for opportunities in the USA and internationally can explore GOsummerproject.com. Likewise, if you are a high school student looking for a project here in the USA or internationally, Cru High School has trips designed for high school students. JFMT offers some family-friendly mission trips; minors must be accompanied by their parent. Learn more about the ministry. *Names changed for security purposes.
Categories: Mission Network News

Deadly heatwave continues in India

Mission Network News - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Mission India)

India (MNN) -- Extreme hot temperatures in India have resulted in the deaths of more than 1100 people this week. The heatwave has topped out at around 122F (50C), mostly in the southeastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Searing temperatures wreaked havoc with melting roads, crop failures, and power outages. Although on the extreme end, the season isn't unanticipated for people who live there. Two years ago, parts of India were hit with similar temperatures right before the monsoon season, resulting in the deaths of over 1,100 people then, as well. To combat the heat this time around, the government has issued advisories against going outside during midday hours. They're also providing water for motorists and those who have to work outside. Through their Facebook page, Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India has been asking people to pray for their partners on the ground. Although they haven't heard anything specific, spokeswoman Lindsay Ackerman shares some of the ministry's concerns: *10-day Children's Bible Clubs are underway, many of them taking place outdoors during the heat of the day. Many of the children are undernourished, and the heat can take a terrible toll on already vulnerable bodies. *Many of their literacy students are day laborers, who have to work outside regardless of the temperatures. They then come to classes at night to learn basic reading, writing, and arithmetic. The high temperatures are draining on physical reserves, and there's little relief when the sun goes down. *Church planters travel all over during the day. The heat takes a toll on travelers. There are few places to find relief in the hottest parts of the day. That can disrupt church planter visits. Annual monsoon rains that are expected to hit southern India in the coming days will bring some relief. Will you join Mission India in prayer for the heat wave to break and for the rains to come sooner than expected to cool down the temperatures?  
Categories: Mission Network News