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We are so thankful for the ministry of WGRC.  It is hard to put into words how the Lord has used it in our lives.  Most of all, our worship has been blessed beyond words.  (Coal Township)

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State Lawmakers React to Wolf Budget Proposal

WGRC News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 9:13pm

State lawmakers react to Governor Tom Wolf’s new budget proposal released Tuesday. Wolf wants to increase personal income and sales tax but lower taxes for homeowners. His plan also includes a big investment for education. The Governor’s proposal closes the $2.3 billion dollar deficit the state faces. Republicans say the proposed budget appears to provide solutions, just too good to be true. Democrats say the plan has merit.

Categories: Local News

Teen Dies in Icy Wreck

WGRC News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 9:07pm

A Union County teenager is dead after a weather related wreck in Lycoming County.
Police say 16 year old Dionna Satteson from Allenwood crashed after hitting ice on Brouse Road near Montgomery Monday evening. Satteson was driving her friend’s SUV when she lost control on the slippery road and crashed on Brouse Road near Montgomery. Two passengers traveling with Satteson were not seriously hurt.

Categories: Local News


WGRC News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 9:03pm

Another area teenager dies in a weather related car wreck this time in Lycoming County.
Police say 16 year old Dionna Satteson from Allenwood crashed after hitting ice on Brouse Road near Montgomery Monday evening. Satteson was driving her friend’s SUV when she lost control on the slippery road and crashed on Brouse Road near Montgomery. Two passengers traveling with Satteson were not seriously hurt..

Categories: Local News

Small businesses in Indonesia yield saved souls

Mission Network News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 6:28pm

A chainsaw rental business
thrives on demand to clear away trees.
(Photo and caption courtesy of Christian Aid Mission)

Indonesia (MNN/CAM) -- [EDITORS NOTE: The following is an explanation from Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, regarding how small businesses can take on an evangelical role in places otherwise hostile to Christians.] In impoverished areas among Indonesia´s varied peoples, Christians are learning to run small businesses to support themselves and their ministries--and to open avenues to Muslims and Hindus that otherwise would be closed. An indigenous ministry in Indonesia has granted workers funds to start businesses that were key to the recent planting of two churches in Bali, where 83% of the people are Hindu. Along with dozens of other churches the ministry previously established with the aid of small businesses, the micro-enterprises recently helped plant a church in the western province of Sumatra, where Muslims make up 87% of the population, as well as four churches on the 73% Muslim island of Borneo, the leader of the ministry said. The small businesses, from beauty salons to chainsaw rentals, have been integral to these church plants, he said. “As people in the church begin to have their own micro-businesses, they have income, and that funds the establishment of a healthy church in that area,” he said. “Recently church planting servants have testified that more than 1,000 people have been reached with the evangelical faith through methods of micro-business in Indonesia, and more than 20 people who have received Christ Jesus were baptized.” Among the enterprises that have begun with start-up assistance from Christian Aid Mission are laundry, frozen treat, used clothes, farming, sewing machine, soccer center, café and chicken egg businesses. These services have created inroads to resistant communities. “Because we are in a Hindu area, Christians are not welcome into a village or area unless there is some product or service that can be helpful to the community,” the ministry leader said. “If the Christian has a helpful business or service, he is welcomed into the community and has opportunities to build relationships with people. The discussions that naturally happen as a result are very effective evangelism.” Hinduism is one of six recognized religions in Indonesia. Though Hinduism is practiced by only 1.7% of the total population, that amounts to more than 4 million people. Indonesia is home to the world´s largest Islamic population, 204.8 million, which is 12.7% of the world´s Muslims. In one enterprise in Bali, a pastor fit cooler boxes of frozen treats onto a motorbike, which drew children and their mothers to invite him to their doorstep. “Over time, this has created relationships and great opportunities for evangelism in this Hindu culture,” the director said. “Without the tool of the iced treat business, the opportunity to build relationships and share the Gospel would not be there.”

Residents of the island of Bali meet for worship.
(Photo and caption courtesy of Christian Aid Mission)

Once established, the pastor enabled several church members to run their own frozen treat businesses. “They all now have successful iced treat businesses, which have expanded the evangelistic outreach to this community, but also have funded a healthy local church,” he said. Benefiting the community is one of the fundamental purposes of business, according to numerous Christian philosophers and theologians, who affirm it as a public service rather than just a means of seeking personal gain. As the late British politician and industrialist Sir Fred Catherwood wrote, “Our creed is that we are here to serve not ourselves but others. We should, therefore, be much more conscious than others of our standards of service.” The indigenous ministry leader noted that small businesses in Indonesia provide income for local missionaries, pastors and church members; these workers find that Christian values, such as industry, honesty and integrity contribute to business success. In familiar settings without tension and conflict, the ministry leader said, conversations about Christ take place within business relationships on deep levels. While not all of the business workers travel, they follow in a tradition established in the early days of Christianity, when the Gospel spread in large measure through Christian merchants, slaves and other workers taking advantage of the Roman Empire´s excellent roads, according to historian Justo L. Gonzalez. In Central Java Province on the island of Java, another ministry has helped start small businesses that have revived the spirits of pastors discouraged over their lack of livelihood. In these impoverished areas, the ministry’s director said, village pastors receive no financial support from their congregations. “Before we introduced this micro-enterprise system, the typical pastor spent his time going to ministry conferences sponsored by foreigners in hopes that someone there would offer him money for a project, or an offering to help him feed his family for another week or so until the next ministry conference,” said the director of Kezia Ministries. “In their communities, pastors were viewed as individuals who lived very poorly and did nothing but go from conference to conference. The result was a negative impact on the work of the ministry, in that no pastor focused on his true mission of the Great Commission.” Micro-enterprise assistance from Christian Aid Mission has enabled many pastors in these areas to sustain their families and ministries, as well as help the local economies. “Not only does the small business offer the pastor a way to provide for the needs of his family and ministry, but it can also provide jobs for church members and a bridge to reach those who do not know about Jesus,” he said. In Wonogiri County, a pastor runs several small businesses, including one producing Indonesian crackers. The enterprise provides jobs to Muslims and possibilities for the pastor to explain the Christian hope he carries within. Kezia Ministries provided low-interest business loans to the pastor so that he could expand the business. “We not only mentor pastors as business owners so they can be self-sustaining, but also provide needed discipleship training for the pastors so that they can be fully equipped for the work of the ministry in every way,” he said. The ministry thus provides strategic guidance to pastors, from start-up to management and expansion phases, along with discipleship training. “These pastors are trained in how to use their micro-enterprise as a ministry vehicle to spread the good news of Jesus Christ while sustaining their families and their ministries,” he said. “Thank you for allowing pastors to be free to do the true work of the ministry. Please pray that the Lord will grant a harvest of souls through micro-enterprise ministry in Indonesia.” To help indigenous missionaries meet needs, you may contribute online to "Enable Evangelism through Microenterprise" here, or call 434-977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 800TENT. Thank you!
Categories: Mission Network News

Texas Diocese Wins Court Battle Over Property Dispute With the Episcopal Church

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:11pm
A district court judge in Texas has ruled in favor of a diocese of The Episcopal Church that broke away in 2008 over theological differences regarding who controls the diocesan name and property.
Categories: Christian Post

Prison fire may have been deliberately set

WGRC News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 4:24pm

A report in the Sunbury Daily Item this morning says an investigation has been underway into the recent fire which destroyed the Northumberland County Prison. The report says an inmate there says that prison guards were attempting to pay off inmates to set the fire inside the prison which occurred back on January 14th. The inmate told investigators that staff members were unsatisfied with the work environment and were concerned with health and security issues in the 139 year old building. The official cause of that fire was ruled as undetermined.

Categories: Local News

How God Calls

Christian Post - Living - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 10:11am
God's call on our life extends beyond the moment we receive salvation. He wants to develop Christlike character in us through the Holy Spirit's presence and power. Every believer is given this call to sanctification—God's intention is for all Christ-followers to be set apart. His Spirit enables us to turn from our old patterns of action and attitude so we can give ourselves exclusively to the Lord. Sanctification brings about genuine freedom from self-centered desires that keep us in bondage (Titus 3:3-7).
Categories: Christian Post


WGRC News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:50am

Governor Tom Wolf delivers his budget address to the General Assembly this morning. Lawmakers expect proposals for significant tax changes. Wolf has already said he will seek a five percent tax on natural gas drillers and rework the state’s corporate tax guidelines. Other tax hikes are likely to help the state eovercome a projected two billion deficit and pay for Wolf’s promise to boost state funding for education. How to deal with rising healthcare costs and pension payments also items to watch for. An Income tax exemption aimed at the middle class and some kind of property tax relief plan might also be included.

Categories: Local News


WGRC News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:49am

Residents of a Pottsville neighborhood shocked by the suspicious death of a neighbor. Schuylkill County police investigators showed up to a home on West Norwegian Street. It’s not clear exactly what happened or how the man died. State police and the members of the DA’s office are also helping with the investigation.

Categories: Local News

Russian Christians fearful after assassination

Mission Network News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am
Russia (MNN) -- Thousands of Russians filled the streets over the weekend protesting the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, 55. He was an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin. He was killed near a highly visible location near the Kremlin, hidden meticulously behind a service vehicle. The shooting has ignited fear from many Russians who oppose Putin's policies. Russian Christians are fearful.

Red Square in Moscow (MNN photo: Greg Yoder)

According to reports, many of the 70,000 people who marched believe the government was responsible for the Nemtsov's killing. State media is pointing their fingers at the west, suggesting spies are trying to destabilize Russia. Project manager for Mission Eurasia Wade Kusack says there's a new political atmosphere. "In this atmosphere of hatred and nationalism, anything can be done to people with a different point of view, and basically that's what happened to Boris Nemtsov. He was assassinated." Kusack says this has been propagated by the government. "The propaganda machine is very strong in Russia." What about Christians? Kusack says Christians are a part of the propaganda. "Religious minorities, including evangelicals, are more and more isolated and blamed for hardships that Russia is going through. They're named not only as sectarian, but also as a spies."

Special Projects Director for Mission Eurasia Wade Kusack (Twitter)

Kusack tells Mission Network News that this isn't a battle against people: it's against spiritual forces or evil. What can combat it? Kusack says, "The only one thing is through the Gospel because the Gospel is the truth. This truth is opening eyes for the people, and people start thinking differently." Mission Eurasia has an indigenous training program to help equip young evangelical church leaders. It's called School Without Walls. "School Without Walls is a tremendous opportunity to get the truth, to own the truth, and to change the heart of a nation." The program goes into a community and allows students to learn about the Bible and practice hands-on evangelism while still working, going to school, and caring for family responsibilities. Basing the ministry in local churches helps revitalize those churches while ensuring both teaching and evangelism practices are culturally appropriate. $48 sends a student to school for a month of classes. Your ongoing gift not only helps train future Christian leaders, but it helps prepare the nation for heart-change. Click here to support the work of Mission Eurasia.
Categories: Mission Network News

Church leaders charged with medical malpractice after praying

Mission Network News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am
Laos (VOM/MNN) -- [Medical malpractice is a serious charge. But it's recently been used to incriminate five church leaders who were only responding to a sick woman's request to pray for her. The following report comes from Voice of the Martyrs,]

A Christian leader gives comfort to mourners during a believer’s funeral service in Laos. (Photo and caption courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs)

Five Christian leaders in Laos were charged with medical malpractice after praying for a sick woman who later died. The Christians were ordered to serve nine months in prison and pay a fine for causing Mrs. Chansee’s death. Mrs. Kaithong, Mr. Puphet, Mr. Muk, Mr. Hasadee, and Mr. Tiang are all local church leaders in Savannakhet province. The five have been in jail since the woman’s death in June. On Feb. 2, they were found guilty of “treating [a person] without an official [medical] license, causing her to die,” sentenced to nine months in jail, and fined. The Christians did not have legal representation during the trial. The ordeal began after Mrs. Chansee, a new convert to Christianity, asked for prayer on June 19, 2014 after she became severely ill. The five leaders from surrounding villages came together and prayed for the woman’s healing for two days. After no improvement, they took her to a local hospital where she was given a blood test, IV fluids, and oxygen. In spite of this medical treatment, Mrs. Chansee died shortly after being sent home. Police did not investigate the cause of death, and authorities blamed the Christians for her death. During the funeral service on Sunday, June 23, 2014, authorities arrived at the family home and tried to force the family to recant their Christian faith. After an appeal was filed at the district level, the Christian leaders stayed at the home to await the outcome with the family. The next afternoon, village authorities arrived with military forces and arrested the five Christian leaders. A few hours later, the village authorities brought in Buddhist monks who performed a funeral service, and Mrs. Chansee’s body was taken and buried in the village cemetery, which is off-limits to Christians. Mrs. Kaithong, Mr. Puphet, Mr. Muk, Mr. Hasadee, and Mr. Tiang were locked up at a sub-district prison where they were kept in handcuffs and their feet were fastened in wooden stocks. Court documents stated that the Christians had claimed “to heal every sick person without resorting to any medication at all,” ignoring the fact that the Christians had taken Mrs. Chansee to the hospital for treatment. Though local authorities and an attorney appealed to district authorities, they were prevented from helping after the court case was moved to the provincial level. While the five remain in prison, several human rights organizations are seeking to provide legal assistance. Sources: Human Rights Watcher for Lao Religious Freedom, Radio Free Asia Please pray that legal assistance would be made possible for these Christians. Ask God to comfort their families and congregations.
Categories: Mission Network News

Equatorial Guinea sees Gospel growth

Mission Network News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am

Equatorial Guinea is a tiny country wedged between Cameroon and Gabon.

Equatorial Guinea (MNN) -- Distributing Bibles in Equatorial Guinea is a challenge, according to Operation World. And yet, God's Kingdom is growing in the tiny West African nation. World Mission Executive Director Greg Kelley says one of their teams recently visited a pastor in remote Equatorial Guinea. As the team entered his village, the pastor pointed out the local witch doctor. "This guy was 80 years old, has been casting spells and curses, making potions, his whole life," Kelley recounts. Saul becomes Paul Obeying Christ's command in Matthew 28 to "go and make disciples," the team gave a Treasure to the local witch doctor. The Treasure is World Mission's audio Scripture device.

(Photo by World Mission.)

"He listened to the Gospel that night, and the next morning, without any instruction, he came to the pastor's doorstep and said, 'I am giving all this up. I surrender all of this.' And he handed him a bag full of all of his witchcraft paraphernalia," shares Kelley. Repenting of his sins wasn't the only step this witch doctor took that day. "When he's saying, 'I surrender, I surrender,' and handing over his bag of stuff, that was him turning his life to Jesus," Kelley explains. "It was just an amazing demonstration of the Holy Spirit convicting a heart and someone responding to it." This type of Saul-Paul conversion isn't common in Equatorial Guinea, even though Christianity is the country's largest religion. "Jesus is kind of a 'menu selection,' one of many things. But as far as someone being sold out, born again, 'Jesus is the only way,' not so much," says Kelley. "There might be knowledge of who Jesus is, but the old adage 'Christianity is a mile wide and an inch deep' is true [here]." Changing Equatorial Guinea Working with local partners, World Mission seeks to change this reality using the Treasure. Its three-fold application-- evangelize, disciple, multiply--is helping local believers impact the country for Christ.

World Mission distributes Treasures to third world countries. (Photo by World Mission)

"Local church members will use the Treasure to reach out to their unsaved friends, [and] then in the evening, they might be using it for their own personal edification and growth and Scripture memorization," Kelley explains. When pastors bring Treasures to an unreached village, and people hear the Gospel for the first time in their heart language, the process starts all over again. "The Bible says that 'My Word will not return void,' and that's exactly what's happening," says Kelley. "They're not hearing a commentary, they're not hearing an argument: they're hearing the Word of God, and it's just going into their heart." Creating change

(Photo courtesy of World Mission)

According to Kelley, $40 USD can send one Treasure anywhere in the world. You can connect with World Mission and help start the process here. Or, if $40 is easier to collect over time, you can ask for a free "Change Your World" box. Find more World Mission stories here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Mental health emerges as new crisis for Syrian refugees

Mission Network News - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am
Lebanon (MNN) -- This month, four years ago, Syrians gathered to protest for an end to corruption and for greater freedom. Although Syria came late to the Arab Spring party, she came enthusiastically. Then, in an effort to regain control, security forces opened fire on demonstrators. That had the effect of causing more demonstrators to take to the streets. By July 2011, hundreds of thousands of people across the country were attending protests demanding President Bashar al-Assad's resignation. An iron-fisted response only stoked mounting anger. A referendum on the constitution rammed through, and soon Syria was in the grip of a full-scale tug of war between the Alawites, Sunni, and Shia groups. Chaos breeds terrorism, and with no one group in control, the Islamic State terror group joined the fray. Since then, an estimated 220,000 people have died. More than three million others have become refugees. There are reports circulating that children have been arrested and tortured in prison, and those who survive are a lost generation. Matt Parker, executive Vice President at Kids Alive International noted in his blog, "Today, more than 12 million Syrian people are now in need--more than 6 times the amount of funding that is available to provide for their basic needs."

(Photo courtesy Kids Alive International)

Kids Alive Lebanon answered with the Oasis program. It's a program that provides a safe place for learning for these traumatized Syrian children. Since it began in November, their numbers are up to 100, and Parker says they're hoping to at least double that (60 to100 more children) this year. He also mentioned that this week, they're launching a counseling program. "These are people that have had to flee from their homes because of war and violence. Families have been split up and separated. Our desire is to care for them, love them, support them, and connect them with the One who provides true healing and restoration." Primarily aimed at the mothers, Kids Alive is not only concerned with meeting the obvious physical needs, but also with the pain that is etched onto many a mother's face. "It's critical, when working with populations like this, that we do provide the support--helping to meet their emotional needs, providing the counseling, and the care and the love that they so badly need." When asked why the program was primarily aimed at the mothers, Parker explained, "Either the family's been separated, maybe the father has died, or the father is still in Syria or is elsewhere; so we're working with a lot of single parent families--a lot of single mothers."

(Photo courtesy Kids Alive International)

This counseling program seems to model the Oasis program in purpose. "The goal is really to help the family, as far as possible, become self-sustaining and be able to stand on their own feet, providing them with the resources and the care that enables that to happen." Sometimes, it looks like taking care of the children. At other times, Parker says, "It's also working with the family, and sometimes that's providing counseling, sometimes it's providing practical ways to the family so that the single mother maybe can go out and get a job, so it's providing them with skills and training." Pray for an end to the bloodshed, the fear, and the brokenness. To that end, this story ends with hope that is rooted in greater freedom. "We're committed to sharing the Gospel with them and discipling those that make commitments to Him. So, we're excited to see what God is doing."
Categories: Mission Network News

Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship by Third Day

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am
Third Day returns with a brand new worship album for 2015. Says vocalist Mac Powell, "We've been wanting to do a worship album for quite a while but have been waiting for the right time. NOW is that time! I believe this is the best batch of songs that we have ever recorded!" Bass player Tai Anderson adds, "LEAD US BACK is a call to worship not just for our audience but the band as well. Why now? We're ready for these songs. We're ready to feel God's spirit fall afresh on all of us again." The deluxe edition will include[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Carry the Fire by WorshipMob

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am
Founded by Colorado Springs worship leaders Sean Mulholland and Garrett Chynoweth almost four years ago, the group began as a weekly gathering between two local worship teams. Today, the "Mob" represents 30 local churches through 70-80 ministry leaders who meet weekly to worship, pray together and encourage one another. The meetings are also "open to anyone who wants to come soak in the presence of God," shares Mulholland. For the first time, WorshipMob will share their songs through a full-length album, Carry the Fire, which Integrity will release March 3 as a physical CD and as a digital album and digital[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Mighty Ocean Strong by Trev Conkey

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am
Trev Conkey's debut album is a collection of prayers and praise that capture his heart to respond to a God that heals, restores and gives new life. Percussive and primarily guitar driven tracks geared to turn your eyes towards Him.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Flesh and Soul by Danen Kane

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am
Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter, Danen Kane, is scheduled to release his second national project, Flesh and Soul, March 3rd to all digital music outlets. The self-produced album was recorded at Skyview Studio in Wisconsin and OceanWay Studio in Nashville, TN. Kane once again used Grammy Award winning engineer, Mills Logan (Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Matthew West), to partially record and fully mix Flesh and Soul, while featuring Grammy Award winning session musician, Jimmie Lee Sloas (Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Switchfoot), on bass guitar throughout the album. Flesh and Soul features ten new songs that were written by Kane and once again[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Worship Anthems Inspired By A.D. The Bible Continues by Various Artists

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:00am
This new album brings together some of the most well-known songs sung in churches around the world with such renowned Christian artists and worship leaders as All Sons Daughters, Lincoln Brewster, Paul Baloche, Jeremy Camp, Darlene Zschech, Desperation Band, Natalie Grant, Kim Walker-Smith, Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Newsboys and more. Each of the songs on Worship Anthems Inspired By A.D. The Bible Continues was specifically chosen to complement the themes of the twelve A.D. television episodes.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Costco vs. LensCrafters Eyeglasses – How Much Does It Cost?

Christian Post - Living - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 4:22am
Why the dearth of good, upfront information on Costco and LensCrafters eyeglass lenses online? I don't know. But in my quest to find the best prescription eyeglass – my definition, designer frames and stylish for the cheapest price – I came across some shocking information. I'll share my eyeglass hunting experience, with detailed price and lens information, in this article.
Categories: Christian Post