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Garbage collectors charged with theft by deception

WGRC News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 2:18pm

Williamsport Police said they will be charging an alleged garbage contractor with theft by deception. They say they have been taking complaints from residents who say they are paying to have garbage picked up and then the contractor is not returning for pick up after the payment is made. They say they also have complaints of illegal dumping. Police say they have identified one of those alleged garbage contractors and are reminding residents to hire competent garbage service.

Categories: Local News

New York Congregation Is the First to Leave Presbyterian Church (USA) Following Vote to Approve Gay Marriage

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:42am
A small congregation in New York state has voted unanimously to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) following the mainline denomination's recent vote to approve gay marriage.
Categories: Christian Post

Pray about It

Christian Post - Living - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:02am
Have you ever stopped and thought that maybe there are things in your life that haven't happened because you have simply failed to ask God for them?
Categories: Christian Post

Nigeria shut down ahead of election

Mission Network News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 5:00am

Open Doors assists Nigerian orphans.
(Open Doors USA photo).

Nigeria (MNN) -- The world is watching the African nation of Nigeria as presidential elections draw near. The Saturday March 28 election is a rematch of sorts from the 2011 election. Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathon is vying for another term against his main opposition challenger, Muhammadu Buhari. As Nigeria prepares for the election, it's also bracing for election violence. In 2011, post-election violence in the north claimed the lives of 800 people. Particularly hard-hit was the city of Kaduna. Residents there are preparing for similar violence by stocking up on food and closing down businesses. The rest of the country is also taking precautions. The Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday, March 25, that Nigeria has closed all land and sea borders. They'll be effectively closed until midnight Saturday, March 28. Why? Secretary Abubakar Magaji says the borders would be closed "to allow for the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming national elections," reports the Premium Times. Nigeria Immigration Service has been directed to ensure that non-Nigerians do not participate in any part of the election process. According to other media sources, there are signs that violence could erupt again. Religiously, Nigeria is divided between the Christians (or non-Muslims) in the south, and the Muslims in the north. The terrorist group known as Boko Haram has a strong presence there. They want to create a separate Islamic State, adhering to Islamic (Sharia) law. Boko Haram has attacked villages, schools, and churches to force this upon society. According to Open Doors, these attacks have left more than 1.5 million internally-displaced Nigerians refugees in their own country. Many Nigerians have been killed, injured, or kidnapped. More than 1,000 children have been orphaned. There are already signs that the contest between Jonathan--a southern Christian, and Buhari--a Muslim northerner, might provoke another wave of religious violence in a city characterized by its fractured identity. Organizations like Open Doors is providing for the needs of orphaned children physically and spiritually. They are providing food, bedding, and clothing, and they also want to put a children's Bible in the hands of each child. Pray that God will intervene to allow peace to prevail in Nigeria during the election. Pray, too, that the Holy Spirit would move the hearts of Boko Haram members to seek after Jesus and find Him. If you'd like to support the work of Open Doors among these orphaned children, click here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Hope is another name for summer camps in Greece

Mission Network News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of AMG International FB page)

Greece (MNN) -- Too many children around the world have lost their childhoods due to tragedy, abuse, violence, and many times, financial issues. When money is bad and the world is falling apart, the importance of childhood for kids is forgotten. AMG International is especially passionate about helping children in Greece. That's one reason why they run summer camps each year. It's an opportunity for the children to be kids again. Tasos Ioannidis of AMG says, "Everybody in Greece--including the children because their families have been affected by the economic crisis that is going on--is feeling it. So there is a general attitude of despair in a lot of families because there have been so many that have lost, really, everything." When families are devastated, the children are, too. It's more than that the children can't play games. Ioannidis puts it this way: "The crisis has killed the young people's dreams. They cannot dream of a better future. "They kind of have lost hope that things can get better, and it's important to be able to come alongside them and tell them about Christ. [We want to] love them in the name of Christ and tell them that no matter what happens, Christ always loves them." The camps are an opportunity for the children to feel loved, have fun, and forget about the hard things in life for a little while. Financial strain As a whole, Greece has few resources to support ministries like summer camps. "When you look at the economic situation in Greece, income for local ministries and local churches has decreased by 40-50% since 2009," Ioannidis says. As most families cannot afford to send their children to summer camps, contributions from the outside world are necessary. Depending on what type of camp, admission is $80-100. If you'd like to support the camp, click here. Make a note that you want to support children going to Grecian summer camps. Beyond Greece The impact of these summer camps is much greater than you might expect. Ioannidis says, "What is so neat about this event is we have people from Greece and also from different foreign nationality groups that have migrated to Greece over the years. Greece is like a hub of people coming from Asia, the Middle East, from Eastern Europe." For years AMG has ministered through summer camps and through their Cosmovision Center. The Center serves as a family and youth outreach through sports. They have various programs for groups of people who speak a different language. Where the Gospel comes in Ioannidis says telling the children about Jesus is one of the main reasons they run the camp. "A big component of the activities is to share stories from the Gospel." And the results they've seen have been amazing. Children who entered the week hopeless left with the best and truest hope there is. "We have seen many kids come at the beginning of camp not knowing Christ and being in a place where they are resentful and they are angry. And we have seen them leave camp with Christ in their hearts and completely changed. It's amazing to see how God uses camp to change the lives of those kids," Ioannidis explains. This summer, pray for wisdom for the camp counselors. Ask God to work in the hearts and lives of the children who go to the camps, and in their lives of their families as well. Ask God to give them strength and encouragement and hope in Him.
Categories: Mission Network News

A new missions trend emerges

Mission Network News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 5:00am

Street evangelism (Photo by Jesus Army) CC2.5

East Africa (MNN) -- Something's changing in the world of missions. "We really believe that there is a new frontier in missions work," reports Jereme Lambert of Business Connect. "We're seeing the transition from a missionary coming in and providing help, to [missionaries] coming alongside of people in the developing world and raising them up to start their own businesses, bring change." Business Connect is on the forefront of this emerging missions trend. Business Connect Business Connect helps entrepreneurs launch independent water and solar businesses in 34 countries. Founded in 2010, Business Connect is a social enterprise (L3C).

(Screenshot courtesy of Business Connect)

"Our mission is to create hope through business," explains Lambert. They're committed to teaching people how to fish instead of simply giving them a fish, as the old saying goes. Sustainable solutions are at the heart of Business Connect. "One of our biggest strategies is to…provide them with the means and the avenues to create economy, to create business, to create infrastructure that will then care for the needs and provide for people," Lambert expounds. At the same time, they're introducing people to Jesus. "Christ is an integral part of my life and an integral part of our business. They go hand-in-hand constantly," shares Lambert. "We wear Christ on our sleeve. Faith is a part of who we are and a part of what we do." He shares examples from a recent visit to East Africa. "East Africa is one of our target areas," says Lambert. "We have representatives in multiple countries there." East Africa

green: UN sub-region
dark green: East African Community
very light green: Central African Federation (defunct)
light green: geographic, including above

The five countries Lambert visited include Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. His goal was to raise up new representatives, as well as meet with non-government groups and government officials to implement solar and water technologies. "As a whole, I was there to raise up young businesspeople -- entrepreneurs -- to make an impact on their country through clean water and through solar power," states Lambert. While conditions and circumstances differed in each East African nation, Lambert shares a few noteworthy observations. South Sudan Among South Sudan's latest headlines are the release of thousands of child soldiers by rebel troops and the daily flight of refugees from South Sudan to Sudan. Conflict in the world's newest nation has been displacing thousands of people since December 2013. "Where I was at, in Juba, was fairly safe; there wasn't a lot of civil war there specifically, but it's always changing," Lambert shares. If a peaceful resolution to the conflict can be found and people can return home, Lambert says officials will have to confront new problems: infrastructure and clean water. "It's developing, but it's a lot of years behind because of everything that's gone on there," he says. "When I went into Juba, I was really taken aback that the street is lined with water bottles: thousands of water bottles just lining the street because the water there is not healthy." Uganda Business Connect first distributed water filters in Uganda with Compassion International about six years ago. Since then, Business Connect has developed new representatives in both Entebbe and Kampala. "Uganda is one of our oldest-standing places," Lambert says. "In Entebbe, [I] met with a young entrepreneur that has a whole team of people there, kind of raising up out of poverty, looking to start their own business. That was exciting to spend a day with them, raising their capacity in what they wanted to do." Tanzania In Tanzania, Lambert's meeting with government officials was featured on national news. "I had a great time with the government," Lambert shares. "I met with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water; we had quite a few large meetings with the leadership of Tanzania.

International volunteers partner with local people in water filter distribution.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Business Connect)

"Tanzania's really pushing to 'go solar' and provide solar [power] to their rural areas. They really see a need for it. They also see a major need for clean water, so they're working hard as a government to make that happen." There are a few ways YOU can team up with Business Connect, as well. "We have a couple of very strategic ways [to] be involved," Lambert notes. He then describes four different types of Business Connect partnership: the international team, champions, donors, and prayer warriors. Learn more about Business Connect and how you can join their work here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Whether for show or for hope, Asia Bibi offered honorary citizenship

Mission Network News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs USA)

Pakistan (MNN) -- The mayor of France's capital city has awarded Asia Bibi an honorary citizenship. The Council of Paris agreed to recognize the Pakistani Christian woman as a defender of human rights. Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, says Asia Bibi, a wife and mother, used these words to defend her faith against mocking co-workers who tried to make her convert to Islam. "'Mohamed is dead, but Jesus is still alive.' That's what led to this blasphemy charge." She was arrested by police on June 19, 2009. In November 2010, a judge at the court in Punjab fined her $1,100 and sentenced her to death by hanging. With the verdict, she became the first woman condemned to death in Pakistan on blasphemy charges. She appealed the verdict. The Lahore High Court dismissed Bibi's appeal and upheld her death sentence on October 16, 2014. Her lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court. "The hope really is that the Supreme Court, as they have done in some previous cases, will say, 'After looking at this, there's really not evidence to back up this verdict' and she'll be released."

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Canada) Asia Bibi's husband

Nettleton says, in the best-case scenario, Bibi has her freedom. However, "At that point then, the question becomes: 'Can she live safely outside of prison in Pakistan?' There have been threats against her life, there has been a price put on her head by radical Muslims there." Nettleton goes on to say that she'll need asylum. "She likely would find a safe haven here in the United States. It's likely that now, Paris and France would open the door to her. I believe Canada would also open the door to her." It's conjecture though. The reality is: Asia Bibi is on death row for a blasphemy conviction. Asked how this penal code impacts Gospel work, Nettleton says, "I think anybody who goes to their friend with the Gospel message, anybody who pulls out the New Testament and wants to offer the plan of salvation, they know that there's a risk to that." There is a vibrant church though, he says. As for prayer support, "We want to pray for those who are bringing these charges, and those in the government of Pakistan that are Muslims, that they will have an encounter with Jesus Christ." The question now is: when is the Supreme Court going to do anything? Nettleton says, "Our contacts in Pakistan have said that it could be months, it could be years before the Supreme Court hears the case. There really is no way to predict or know what to expect from the legal process now other than just play the waiting game." Asked if it was feasible to overturn the blasphemy law altogether, Nettleton responded, "That's another question I asked at the [Pakistan] embassy [in Washington, DC]: "What are the chances of the blasphemy law being amended or changed?' Again, our friend said, 'That's not likely to happen.'" Until then, Bibi's family continues to live without their wife and mother.

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs USA)

The Voice of the Martyrs has supported Asia Bibi and her family since the time of her arrest. In July, 2011, VOM launched www.CallForMercy.com in an effort to gather 1,000,000 signatures from around the world asking for Asia’s release. Nettleton says, "Voice of the Martyrs has been raising Asia Bibi's case. We have had a petition ongoing at CallForMercy.com. We're now almost up to 700,000 signatures." He hand-delivered the petition last week to the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. There's still more than can be done. You can join with The Voice of the Martyrs and our Pakistani brothers and sisters in a call for mercy. Click here for your opportunity to make your voice heard.
Categories: Mission Network News

1 in 4 Americans Don't Believe in God; Lack of Trust in Local Churches Cited as a Reason Why Adults Are Leaving the Faith

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:57pm
Barna Group has released its 2015 study on the state of atheism in America, and has revealed that one in four unchurched adults in the country now identify as atheists or agnostics. The study also found that rejection of the Bible and lack of trust in the church are two main reasons why people are turning away from faith.
Categories: Christian Post

Joel Osteen Had His First Date With Wife in Building That Is Now Lakewood Church and There Was a Lot of Beer

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:10pm
You probably would never have guessed it, but when Joel Osteen, televangelist, author, and senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and his wife, Victoria, had their first date, it was in the same building that now serves as their church and there was a lot of beer involved.
Categories: Christian Post

Megachurch Pastor John Lindell Urges Church to Vote Against Gay Rights Law; Says Homosexuality Is Distortion of God's Creation

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 4:05pm
Declaring to his congregation that homosexuality is a distortion of God's creation, Southwest Missouri megachurch pastor, Rev. John Lindell of James River Church, urged his followers in a recent sermon to vote to repeal Springfield's contentious sexual orientation and gender identity law in that city's local elections on April 7.
Categories: Christian Post

Episcopal Church Takes Fight With Breakaway Diocese Over $500M Property to SC Supreme Court

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 3:36pm
The Episcopal Church and its allies in South Carolina have filed an appeal with the state's highest court in its legal battle over a breakaway diocese's $500 million property.
Categories: Christian Post

Court hearing set for Obama’s Immigration action

WGRC News - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 3:11pm

A court hearing has been set for April 17 on whether a temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action should be lifted. The President’s executive actions, which would permit as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally to remain here, were put on hold by a preliminary injunction issued last month by a US District court judge in Texas. The injunction was issued at the request of a coalition of 26 states allegeing the President’s action was unconstitutional.

Categories: Local News

Benny Hinn Has Been Battling Atrial Fibrillation for More Than 20 Years; Will Be Out of Hospital 'Very Soon'

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:33pm
After reports swept the media this week about popular televangelist Benny Hinn's hospitalization for heart trouble, his ministry confirmed Wednesday that his problems stem from atrial fibrillation, an issue he's been dealing with for more than 20 years.
Categories: Christian Post

'The Thorn' Large-Scale Production Mixes Martial Arts, Acrobatics in Portrayal of Gospel Message at New Life Church Founded by Ted Haggard

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 11:04am
"The Thorn," a theatrical adaption based on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that includes acrobatics and martial arts, will be performed at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, which was founded by its former pastor, Ted Haggard.
Categories: Christian Post

A Commitment to Obey

Christian Post - Living - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 10:34am
Years ago I made a commitment to obey the Lord regardless of the cost. Like everyone else, I have made mistakes, but my determination to follow Christ has remained unchanged. When difficulties occur, such a pledge helps a person to stand firm.
Categories: Christian Post

God saves woman trapped in addiction and abuse

Mission Network News - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo Courtesy of Buckner International)

USA (MNN) -- Did you ever think the worst thing that could ever happen to you could be the best thing that could ever happen to you? Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, to those who have been called according to His purpose.” Jocelyn Trejo is completing her associate degree in small business management and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in organizational management. She and her two daughters are a part of the Buckner International Place program in Midland, Texas. Jocelyn says she can remember the moment when she gave her life to Christ. “I can see the room; feel the comfort of the couch, and the sun beaming through the window. I remember my friend’s hands clasping mine and the presence of Jesus as we called to Him. As the words flowed from my mouth and the tears dripped from my eyes, I was made new.” She was not always so blessed and fortunate. Her past was filled with hurt, addiction, and abuse. She was not raised in a Christian home and had a difficult youth that led from sexual assault and drug addictions. She eventually ended up in an abusive relationship and had her first child at 17 years old. She was trapped in this relationship for five years until the man left her and her children. Jocelyn found the Lord almost a year later. She immersed herself in the Word of God and realized how much He had truly protected her all those years. Her past now encourages others to be honest about their insecurities and to look to the Lord for healing. “Some Christians are gently and kindly brought to God, and others are pushed and bruised on their way to Him. God doesn't define what kind of Christian you are based on your past. Not everyone comes to Christ the same way, but we are loved the same. We are Christians and are all children of God. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; and if one part is honored, all parts are glad” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Pray for continued protection for Jocelyn and her two daughters as they continue in the Buckner Family Place program.
Categories: Mission Network News

In India, religious freedom in tatters

Mission Network News - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy World Watch Monitor/Anto Akkara)

India (MNN) -- The 300th day of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration did not pass unnoticed. Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, says thousands gathered in Delhi for a protest. "It was a march that included Christians, Muslims, Hindus, opposition party members who were part of the previous government there. But the march really was to draw attention to the fact that 'it's been 300 days, and look at the religiously motivated attacks!'" World Watch Monitor noted that the record of attacks, written on protest banners, show that there was more than one attack every two days on a religious minority group since Modi came to power. Nettleton confirms, "They talk about something like 600 religiously-motivated attacks--most of those against Muslims, but more than 150 of them against Christians." Yet, most of the world never heard about a protest involving thousands of people in Delhi. Here's what's at stake: religious freedoms are falling away while radical Hinduism is on the rise. It's the casual reference to India's future that raises alarm bells from inside the highest levels of government. "There are government officials in Modi's administration who have even referred to India as 'Hindustan:' the land of the Hindus, [meaning] this should be Hindu-land, 100% Hindu people," explains Nettleton. Given that scenario, he echoes the concern shared by one of the officials that spoke at the march. "[He] said, 'This is what's happened in 300 days. Imagine what will happen in five years or ten years or longer, if all of this has just taken 300 days?'"

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

VOM reports spies in churches who monitor Christian activity, and a number of states use anti-conversion laws to inhibit their work. In states where the BJP rules, there are incidents on a near daily basis, where churches and believers' homes are destroyed, pastors and church members are beaten and sometimes killed. Nettleton says it appears Hindu extremists are acting with impunity. "This government is not going to hold them accountable. They're not going to charge them, put them in jail for long periods of time. The Christians know 'We're targets now. The government is not going to protect us like we've counted on in the past.'" Plus, Nettleton adds, "The atmosphere has changed for Christians (and for Muslims, as well), [conveying that] 'you're not welcome here. This is not your place. You're not really Indian. You're part of a foreign religion. You're not really part of us.'" According to VOM, there are countless cases where Hindu attackers are deliberately left unpunished and Christian victims face accusations and trials. The anti-conversion laws are specifically misused against Christians.

(Photo credit VOM USA via Facebook)

What it means is Christians find it difficult in some states to share their faith, to distribute Christian materials, or to conduct social work. These kinds of things are usually not prohibited by law, but since Christians can be accused of "hurting religious feelings" or "disturbing peace and order," discretion and caution have to be incorporated. After hearing what church partners had to say about this, Nettleton realizes they are undaunted. "Their response is: 'We can't control the government. We can't control what they do. We can only control what we do, and we're going to continue to serve the Lord. We're going to continue to reach out to our neighbors and our friends and the people of our cities and share the Truth, share the Gospel message.'" VOM comes alongside the persecuted Church in India, providing support and encouragement to the Gospel workers.   Prayer goes a long way toward the latter, especially when church leaders are saying, "'We're going to do what God has called us to do.' So, their response has been one of not being intimidated and not being discouraged, even though they know they could be coming into a season of suffering." Nettleton also urges prayer for protection and wisdom. "We want to pray for that sense of 'we're going to follow Christ, no matter what,' that they will have that encouragement and that spirit of boldness."
Categories: Mission Network News

Eurasia economic woes continue

Mission Network News - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:00am

Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan), Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus), Vladimir Putin (Russia).
(Latin American Herald Tribune photo)

Russia (MNN) -- The economic crisis in Russia and former Soviet bloc nations is growing. It's getting serious enough that the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia met together to map out a strategy for addressing their currency devaluation, the lower cost for energy, and run-away inflation. Eurasia economic woes continue to have wide-reaching impact. According Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev following their Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) meeting, "Our economy in 2015 requires a detailed discussion of our cooperation." He says, "It will be a year of great challenges and risks" for the EEU. The currency crisis hit a few months ago with the Russian ruble. Joel Griffith of Slavic Gospel Association says while interest rates and inflation have skyrocketed, one thing is missing. "We have not yet seen bankruptcies take places there, a shrinkage in industrial production, or mass unemployment. And how much of that is because of the government propping up certain things is a really good question." Interestingly, the EEU is getting ready to expand further. Armenia is now a member, and Kyrgyzstan is gearing up to join. Is this a new Soviet-Union-style situation? Griffith has some concerns. "What impact will this have on the churches--our brothers and sisters that we're serving over there? How is this going to impact their families? And, of course, [how will this impact] the ability of the churches to be able to travel, to evangelize, and get the Gospel out?" The economic issues are compounding the refugee crisis in Ukraine, which SGA is also involved in. Griffith says these colossal problems aren't all bad news. He says many are beginning to ask questions. "They're really struggling to try to make sense of it all, and they begin to wrestle with these eternal questions: 'Why is this happening? What's my future going to be?' And that creates such an open door for the churches to come in with the eternal hope of the Gospel." While many have labeled evangelical Christianity cult-like behavior, Griffith says the church is changing that. "When they're able to provide a parcel of food, and people are actually able to get to know these believers on a one-to-one basis, all of a sudden they're finding out the stories they've heard for so many years aren't true." Prayer is vital during this time. So is your generosity. You can find specific prayer needs and donate to SGA here. 
Categories: Mission Network News

ISIS cancer spreads to Central Asia

Mission Network News - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:00am

The region of Central Asia includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Central Asia (MNN) -- Like an aggressive cancer, ISIS is deepening its roots in Central Asian gateway nations Pakistan and Afghanistan. Trademark signs of ISIS invasion began surfacing this week.
  • As in Iraq, religious minorities in Pakistan were told to "convert or die."
  • A new ISIS recruitment video is calling Afghans to wage jihad against Jews and Christians.
  • Before landing on United States soil, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani publicly acknowledged -- for the first time -- the Islamic State's imminent threat to his country.
Earlier this month, Turkmenistan began sending troops to its border to ward against the growing ISIS presence in neighboring Afghanistan. In February, dozens of Hazara Shi'ite Muslims in route to Kabul were kidnapped by suspected ISIS terrorists. "Maybe ISIS is losing steam in some areas--some holdings they have had in Syria or Iraq, but they're gaining steam in other areas," observes Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI). Fight or flight? While Afghan President Ghani asks for U.S. help against ISIS this week, Pakistani officials are flexing their military muscles. "For the first time in seven years, the government is saying, 'Let's play this up big:' lots of military parades, air shows of the Air Force, things like that," says Allen, referring to Monday's Republic Day celebrations.

The Sherdils of Pakistan Air Force usually take part in the parade.
(Photo, caption via Wikipedia)

Republic Day, also referred to as Pakistan Day, is a national holiday commemorating the establishment of Pakistan in 1940 as the world's first Islamic Republic. No parades have been held to mark the holiday since 2008, when Taliban-military conflicts reached a peak. Many could interpret the grandiose military demonstrations as a "renewed" feeling of patriotism, Allen says, but he suspects ulterior motives. "Really what I think the government is trying to do is send a message to the terrorists: the military [is set] against terrorism," Allen states. Most of Pakistan's splintered Islamic terrorist cells have sworn allegiance to the black flag of jihad, he adds. "If ISIS says, 'Jump,' some of these groups will say, 'How high?'" The Good News FMI-supported pastors are responding by teaching Christians how to avoid trouble yet still share the Gospel. "We have a lot of good things coming up, even in the midst of all this havoc," Allen shares.

(Photo credit FMI)

Next month, FMI's national partners will be gathering pastors and their families together for a leadership conference. It will also be a time of mutual encouragement. "They also have some plans, after that conference, to be doing some ongoing theological training in three different cities," adds Allen. Normally, FMI empowers indigenous church leaders in Pakistan. But in light of all that's transpired, FMI-supported pastors felt it was important to extend this training to their lay members. "Anyone associated with that church--whether an elder, a deacon, a Sunday School teacher, or even just church members, [the pastors] want to get them more theological training, more understanding of the Bible," Allen explains. To help FMI's partners host the conference and introduce theological training, click here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Illiteracy does not stop the Word

Mission Network News - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo Courtesy to Gospel for Asia)

International (MNN) -- In Revelation 3:16 the Lord says to beware of the lukewarm Christian, the one who calls himself a Christian but does not live like one. Rohak is one such man who called himself a Christian but never went to church. His son, Pandita, says his dad was devoted to alcohol, not Christianity. One day a Gospel for Asia worker offered Rohak a copy of the New Testament. Despite being completely illiterate, he accepted it. When he returned home, Rohak handed the book to his son and asked him to read it out loud. Rohak listened as his son read from the book of Matthew. God’s Word began to stir in Rohak’s heart. After hearing the first mention of Jesus, in Matthew 1:18-19, he decided he wanted to hear from the Word of God every single day. The more Pandita read to his father, the more he thought about the Word. As God's Word was planted and took root, Rohak began to be transformed from the inside out. He gave up his alcohol addiction, and his desires changed. One day Rohak met a pastor who came to his village. He spoke with the pastor about attending church on a regular basis to learn more about the life of Jesus. He soon decided to completely give his heart to Christ. Your support can help Gospel for Asia bring God’s Word to more people like Rohak. Pray that Rohak and his son would grow in the Lord. Click here to learn more about the work of GFA.
Categories: Mission Network News