91.3 Lewisburg - 90.7 & 107.1 Williamsport - 90.9 Lewistown - 91.9 Kulpmont - 101.7 State College -104.7 Pottsville - 107.7 Bloomsburg 

  

iGive
Support WGRC click here

Share Your Story

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 6:30pm

Todays Word

WGRC Newsletter

Sign up for our Free Newsletter





Quotes

I have been listening to you for only about 6 months now and I love it! I love having moments where I am humming and I realize it is good Christian music I am humming... I enjoy listening to the morning show as I drive to work. I now go to work with a smile on my face.
~ (Milton)

Follow us on Twitter

Shop at Amazon and earn money for WGRC:

AmazonSmile


Lost IRS E-mails have been found

WGRC News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 2:09pm

The new Republican House and Senate will have more evidence to look at in the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal now that thousands of Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails have been found. CBN News reports,
An inspector general with the Treasury Department located 30,000 of the emails on disaster recovery tapes. Last spring, the IRS told Congress that two years’ worth of emails from Lerner, the woman at the center of the scandal, had been lost in a hard drive crash. The missing emails corresponded with the period during which the IRS blocked the tax-exempt status for dozens of conservative groups in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.

Categories: Local News

Bear Hunting Season Underway

WGRC News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 2:08pm

Bear hunting season is underway in the state of Pennsylvania. PA Game Commission officials report that the first day of the season on Saturday saw a grand total of more than 1600 of the animals harvested across the state with Lycoming County leading the way with 143.

Story Blogged at 11–25-14 14:07 by dmurley

Categories: Local News

Bear Season

WGRC News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 2:07pm

Bear hunting season is underway in the state of Pennsylvania. PA Game Commission officials report that the first day of the season on Saturday saw a grand total of more than 1600 of the animals harvested across the state with Lycoming County leading the way with 143.

Categories: Local News

Pastor Touré Roberts, Sarah Jakes Officially Marry in Private Ceremony

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 9:17am
Touré Roberts, the senior pastor of One Church International in Hollywood, has officially married Sarah Jakes, the daughter of fellow pastor Bishop T.D. Jaks.
Categories: Christian Post

In Spite of Sickness

Christian Post - Living - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 9:12am
God can work in spite of sickness. He still answers prayer and heals people today, and He still does miracles. In sickness and in hardships, He can work in a person's life. Even if a person still has the sickness or problem, God can work in spite of it and give them a special strength.
Categories: Christian Post

IS gains resources through violence

Mission Network News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Global Aid Network USA)

Syria (GAiN) -- Editor’s Note: This is a story written by Global Aid Network USA sharing how the Islamic State is advancing. Despite international attempts to check the advancement of the Islamic State in northern Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group's power continues to grow. To solidify their control in conquered territories, leaders have established courts to enforce Islamic law, schools to perpetuate their sect, and consumer agencies to certify adherence to strict food standards. Meanwhile, they continue to seek expansion in the east and south, where government forces appear vulnerable. In the cities controlled by IS, enemies include anyone who is not part of their specific sect of Sunni Islam, but they reserve their most brutal treatment for Sunni Muslims suspected of working with the Iraqi government and Muslims who have converted to Christianity. Punishments include beating, amputation, crucifixion, and beheading. And these measures exclude no one--not even women and children. The photos coming out of northern Iraq are too gruesome to share. To fund their expansion and rule, IS receives huge sums of money from extremist Islamic charities, wealthy individuals in the Gulf, oil fields they’ve commandeered, and resources plundered in Syria. They also gain immense wealth from fleeing residents. Each city overrun by IS puts hundreds of families to flight. While IS militants do allow most residents to leave, they strip them of all possessions and money and have been known to cut off fingers to remove rings and pull gold teeth before granting passage. Unlike banking institutions in the West, funds deposited in one Iraqi bank are not available in another except by wire transfer. When the IS takes physical control of a bank, all of the funds become theirs. So, when a family flees, they leave with nothing; everything they leave behind is forever lost. While the IS gains resources through violence, ministries like Global Aid Network USA (GAiN) struggle to serve victims with limited supplies of food, medicine, clothing, and other basic necessities. GAiN needs help. They need contributions in order to give refugees hope. GAiN says, “Jesus taught His disciples (and us) a critical lesson about ministry. The Lord does not deny that He has called us to engage a mission too great for our own resources. Our gifts will always fall short of the need. Even so, the Lord grants us the opportunity to share what little we have. And when we’re faithful to add our portion, God is faithful to multiply our offering so that it will be sufficient. Indeed, more than enough.” To donate to refugees, click here. Pray that GAiN will have increasing opportunities to help refugees find the eternal hope of Christ which surpasses circumstances.
Categories: Mission Network News

Responding constructively to Ferguson

Mission Network News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy InterVarsity Christian Fellowship)

USA (InterVarsity/MNN) -- Editor’s Note: This is a story from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, reporting on how believers are responding to the fatal shooting in Missouri. The issues in Ferguson, Missouri, resonate with many students on college campuses across the country. InterVarsity staff and students are seeking to respond constructively with Biblical concerns for ethnic reconciliation, For InterVarsity’s campus ministry, as well as for the Ferguson area institutions, this is a significant moment. “The events in Ferguson, and the broader social discourse, serve as a test for our core value of ethnic reconciliation and justice,” said Paula Fuller, InterVarsity Vice President and Director of Multiethnic Ministries. “As a ministry committed to establishing and advancing witnessing communities on our university and college campuses that are growing in love for people of every ethnicity and culture, how we attend to the events unfolding in the public square will either lend credence to our commitment or cause our words to have a hollow ring.” InterVarsity staff have assembled a package of resources designed to help college students engage their campus communities in a proactive manner, with approaches that range from a prayer gathering on campus, to a student survey, to an artistic display. Some InterVarsity staff are working closely with church and community leaders in Ferguson as agents of reconciliation, and advocating more broadly for understanding. InterVarsity alumni are also active in planning constructive response to the events in Ferguson. Several serve on the Ferguson Commission, appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to study the issues underlying the Ferguson incidents and issue recommendations. Members of the Commission include T.R. Carr, Professor of Public Administration at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and former mayor of Hazelwood, MO. He is an InterVarsity alumnus and longtime InterVarsity volunteer. Also on the Commission, Brittney Packnett, Executive Director of Teach For America and alumna of InterVarsity's Harambee Christian Ministries chapter at Washington University. Pray for reconciliation and peace that passes understanding as InterVarsity staff share God's love.
Categories: Mission Network News

The pros and cons of Giving Tuesday

Mission Network News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo credit GivingTuesday.org)

USA (MNN) -- If you're preparing for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, why not throw in Giving Tuesday, too? Giving Tuesday is a global social media campaign that began in 2012. As its name hints, #GivingTuesday is a 24-hour period devoted to the idea of "giving back" -- financially supporting a non-profit ministry or cause. Terre Ritchie of Keys for Kids says this year's Giving Tuesday is vital for their ministry. "We do radio, print, and Internet for kids ages 6 to 12," she says, explaining what Keys for Kids does. "We are trying to raise $135,000 that day so that we can keep the new programs we've started on the air on Keys for Kids Radio." Giving Tuesday: Pros

(Photo credit Keys for Kids)

Giving Tuesday began in New York as an effort to engage new, younger donors using social media, and to get consumption-driven Americans excited about giving instead of getting. Today, it has blossomed into a global movement. Last year, Ritchie says, $105 million USD was raised for non-profits worldwide on Giving Tuesday. Approximately $31 million was given to support religious non-profits like Keys for Kids. Though Keys for Kids is only aiming for a fraction of that amount, the challenge remains a daunting one. "Trying to raise that much money in one day is a humongous feat," says Ritchie. "We really, really need the help of our listeners and constituents to donate and give and share." Giving Tuesday: Cons If Keys for Kids doesn't get the financial support they need, they won't be able to continue their new radio programs. One of those new radio dramas is Red Rock Mysteries, a series based on the popular books written by Chris Fabry and Jerry Jenkins. "We've had great previews and reviews about it, and the kids love it--especially boys," says Ritchie. "If we have to stop that this year, that's going to be pretty painful." Without wholesome programs, Ritchie says, kids will turn elsewhere for entertainment. "They will find something else, and that something else is not always good."

(Photo credit Toca Boca via Flickr) CC2.0

According to a 2010 study performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average U.S. kid spends between 8 and 10 hours consuming various forms of media. Even children under the age of 6 use media at least two hours a day. "If parents are concerned about the spiritual growth and strengthening that spiritual growth of their children, then they need to help us get those programs out there," says Ritchie. Keys for Kids obtained over 832 new "likes" on their Facebook page during the first week they posted about Giving Tuesday, and the engagement rate has only increased since then. They're using the hashtag #GivingtoKeysDay to single out their campaign. "Most of the organizations who've partnered with the #GivingTuesday campaign have developed their own insignia, or hashtag, so people will recognize who it's for," explains Ritchie. "It will be on the donation page; we have a big, huge heart there, which is part of our logo, that will be filling up as people give." One week from today, you can help #GivingtoKeysDay reach a new level. Giving Tuesday and you

(Photo credit Keys for Kids)

Supporting Keys for Kids on Giving Tuesday is simple. Just upload one of these photos, or the #GivingTuesday logo, to your social media profile. Then, write a post explaining why you're supporting Keys for Kids, and encourage your friends to join, too. Be sure to finish your post using the hashtag #GivingtoKeysDay. "We're trying to provide the best [content] we can for kids, to draw them closer to the Lord," Ritchie states. When you donate to Keys for Kids next Tuesday, your gift will be doubled by a matching $25,000 grant. Can't make a gift on Giving Tuesday? Don't worry: Ritchie says they'll be pushing toward their goal of $135,000 until December 31. "We're really hoping to raise that because we do not want to stop producing the programs that we've just started this year," says Ritchie. Not on social media? Help out Keys for Kids here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Lesson from the Middle East church

Mission Network News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 5:00am

Food for the Hungry is working with local partners in the Middle East to address the many needs there.

Middle East (MNN) -- Refuge. It's what millions of people are looking for in the Middle East. Yet there are increasingly fewer places that offer it. Countries surrounding Syria are closing their borders to refugees simply because they're overwhelmed. Already about 25% of Lebanon's population is made up of Syrian refugees. "That would be like 70 million people moving into the U.S. just in the last 6-9 months. I mean, it's just mind-boggling," says Pete Howard of Food for the Hungry. "Countries are closing their borders because they can't handle any more refugees, so people are even just having to flee to different parts within Syria and trying to find safe spaces within Syria." The ministry is partnering up with several of the local churches to address the wide range of needs stacking up in the Middle East. One huge problem with far-reaching implications is the lack of education for children. "The number of children who are vulnerable is just sky-rocketing. And that's creating a generation--they call it the lost generation--of children who are not in school, who are getting sucked into fighting sometimes or other difficult things, and it's just a real tragedy," Howard says. Meanwhile, many Christians are fleeing. Despite the hardships there is a also group of people unwilling to abandon the Middle East. Howard says, "The church is there, the church is active, and the church is truly being the church. It's suffering itself, but even in its suffering, it's giving and it's caring and it's reaching out. "Food for the Hungry [is] coming alongside the local church in Syria, in Iraq, in Lebanon, and trying to help them be the church." Howard says he is humbled by their courage. And he thinks we all have something to learn from them. "I've gotten to know Christians who have been suffering in ways that I just can't understand. My desire is, even as the American church is generous to the suffering church in the Middle East, that as we give to them, they will also give to us in a new understanding of the cross, a new understanding of who Jesus is even in the midst of pain and suffering," he says. Howard believes if the Church in the West could somehow grasp what it really means to carry one's cross, there might be renewal. Meanwhile, the generosity Howard talks about can take many forms. He explains there is a constant need for food and shelter, especially as people continue to move when their current location becomes unsafe. And winter is coming, complicating the situation even more. There are many winterization projects that Food for the Hungry is helping carry out with their national partners in the Middle East. Howard says another big need is education for children in these camps. Why? "These are refugee children who need to be protected from the radicalization or from the violence," so it's important to provide "safe places for children to be children even in the midst of crisis." You can help assist these needs by following this link. And if you're interested in helping spread awareness, you can join a couple of campaigns working with FH: Planet Mommyhood and I Am You Voice. Find out more information by clicking on their names. Howard hopes that fellow members of the Church will take up these burdens of prayer and awareness in order to call out the generosity of America and other able countries and in the end turn awareness into action. Pray that those refugees who don't know Jesus might find comfort in Him.  
Categories: Mission Network News

Kingdom Expansion: Part Two

Mission Network News - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 5:00am

(Screenshot taken from 2013 progress video)

Bangladesh (MNN) -- Our series on God's Kingdom expansion in Bangladesh continues today with a focus on Bible translation. Peter Mazumder, visionary behind the Living Water Center, says Wycliffe Bible Translators has already started using it for ministry. "Thirty pastors are coming every year, 30 days each time, and they are assigned to complete some portions of the Bible; also, they are getting training," says Mazumder. Kingdom expansion: Wycliffe Wycliffe Australia and Wycliffe Singapore are members of the global Wycliffe Bible Translators family. They're teaming up with other ministries in Bangladesh to get God's Word into the hands of more than 300 unreached ethnic people groups. See a complete list of Bangladesh's unreached people groups here.

(Photo cred: Wycliffe USA)

The Living Water Center plays a key role in that effort, since it allows Bible translators to combine theory with application. Bible students travel from India to teach translation methods to the group of pastors mentioned above. "They're doing 'diploma' Bible translation at the same time they're doing [practical] Bible translation, 100 days a year," Mazumder explains. Years ago when the Bible Students Fellowship of Bangladesh (BSFB)--the in-country branch of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship--first connected with Wycliffe, they agreed to take on three language translation projects. "We are hoping, within 10 to 15 years' time, we could finish New Testament translation for these three ethnic people groups," says Mazumder. When it's finished, the Living Water Center will speed up translation efforts and training in Muslim-dominated Bangladesh. Donate here through Asian Access to help the Living Water Center reach completion. Kingdom expansion and Scripture translation

(Photo cred: Wycliffe USA)

Earlier this year, Bible translators completed a booklet and short videos from the book of Mark for the Marma people group. According to The Joshua Project, the Marmas mostly follow Buddhist teachings, though many also practice animism. Oral Bible storying projects for the Usoi Tripura and Mru language communities also progressed. Pray for the completion of the Living Water Center. Pray that the needed people and resources are provided for Bible translation efforts in Bangladesh. Tomorrow, we'll explore the impact the Living Water Center will have on college campus ministries.
Categories: Mission Network News

Florida Megachurch Pastor Suffers Concussion After Fainting in a Parking Lot at End of Daughter's Wedding

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 3:13pm
Florida Megachurch Pastor Jay Dennis consulted with doctors Monday after fainting in a parking lot and suffering a concussion following his daughter's wedding on Friday.
Categories: Christian Post

Operation Safe Holiday

WGRC News - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 2:37pm

PA state police have teamed with local police and Penn DOT to enforce seat belt usage as well as impaired driving. Operation Safe Holiday will take place through the upcoming weekend and will include checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols. Officials say the Thanksgiving holiday period continues to be the leading time period for traffic crashed with a total of 4,683 crashed investigated during last year’s holiday driving period with 48 fatalities.

Categories: Local News

Tentative budget passes

WGRC News - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:41pm

Mahanoy Township supervisors recently approved the 2015 tentative budget. The budget keeps taxes steady, with the real estate tax staying at 9.09 mills. The Republican Herald says total estimated expenditures are at about $373,000.

Categories: Local News

The Believer's War Cry

Christian Post - Living - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 9:08am
The greater our impact for God's kingdom, the harder Satan works to stir up frustration, doubt, and anxiety. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesian believers, warning them that the devil would scheme against a successful Christian life.
Categories: Christian Post

Brute force from ISIS could backfire

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Australia)

Iraq (MNN) -- A recent story from Al Monitor questions whether or not the Islamic State terror group's methods might be backfiring on them. There may be some flaws in the juggernaut's underbelly. According to Al Monitor, the Islamic State's absolute brutality may be fomenting a rejection of the group, its ideologies, and by extension, its grip on the city of Mosul. Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, commented, "It is interesting to see how quickly the tables have turned across northern Iraq. We know in some parts of Syria, the Sunni population sort of welcomed them." Nettleton goes on to explain that part of the terrorist's strategy to occupy cities originally relied on taking advantage of Sunni complaints about Baghdad. "When the Islamic State came to power, they made kind of a PR campaign that 'We are the defenders of the Sunni. We are taking care of the poor. We are setting up a court system.' They really made an effort to present themselves as a legitimate government." In fact, when Sunni anger at the Iraqi government reached its peak, I.S. swept in as the "white knight." After they entrenched, residents realized that life under ISIS really was more a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire. "The population is starting to say, 'Wait a minute. These guys, who were supposed to be our defenders, are arresting our family members on trumped-up charges. They're executing people. They are brutal. Is this really what we want?' So, it seems like they're losing the confidence of the Sunni population that initially they had." ISIS brutality spared no one. Reports surfaced of massacres that included women and children. Within two months, Sunni sympathy for the terrorists cracked. Nettleton doesn't think the residents will be able to dislodge ISIS, though. "Does the Sunni population have the power to rise up against the Islamic State, even if they want to, even if they'd like to see the Islamic State lose that control?" Violence is increasing as fighters from elsewhere join the group, which is calling for ever more volunteers from other countries. Plus, Nettleton adds, "They are exercising a very high level of control. They have spies within the neighborhoods. They have the religious police that are keeping an eye on things. Any real move against them is going to take a lot of work and come with a great deal of risk."

(Photo courtesy Christian Aid Mission)

The future of Christians in Iraq remains grim. In July, hundreds of families fled Mosul, after I.S. members demanded that Christians remaining in Mosul convert to Islam, agree to pay a tax, or face execution. The fleeing Christians left most of their possessions behind, and many who were stopped at checkpoints were stripped of items such as money, vehicles, jewelry, phones, IDs, and even food and medicine. Some Christians, such as the elderly and infirm, were unable to leave Mosul. While Muslim neighbors have protected some of those remaining in the city, other Christians have been forced to convert to Islam by reciting the Islamic prayer of faith in a Sharia court. As the group enlarged its caliphate, more Christians fled Iraq. Nettleton spoke with church leaders who stayed behind: they are discouraged. One pastor stated, "There is no future for us here. Even if the Islamic State is gone, we don't know what the future holds. We don't trust the government. We don't trust that there won't be a new version of the Islamic State a year from now, or five years from now." However, telling their stories and advocating for the remnant Church lets them know others are being their voice.

Todd Nettleton visits with a displaced Iraqi family in Northern Iraq.

To that end, they're simply asking: "Pray that God will call the Christians here to stay, that God would specifically place on their hearts: 'We need to stay here. We need to be ministers of the Gospel in spite of the danger.'" Pray that God would send workers for His Kingdom, as many services and relief deliveries have been delayed due to a shortage of workers. Ask God to save misled young people from ISIS and judge the leaders who are aware and yet still misleading youth with their evil desires and ideologies. And finally, pray that the Church would pray with one heart: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven."
Categories: Mission Network News

The Middle East is finding Christ

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 5:00am

(Courtesy Open Doors USA)

Middle East (ODM) -- Editors note: This is a report from Open Doors USA sharing how the Middle East is finding Christ, despite hostility and turmoil. The Middle East is in turmoil. Civil war in Syria, a battle against the Islamic State in parts of Iraq and Syria, refugees flooding Lebanon and Jordan, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) fleeing to safer areas in Syria or Iraq. That is the negative side, but the other side looks more positive: Muslims finding Jesus in all four countries. During church services in Syria and in Lebanon, there are amazing scenes taking place. Take, for example, on one recent Sunday morning in a Lebanese church, a transformation continued. Early in the morning, busses stopped in front of the church. Groups of Syrian refugees jumped from the busses and walked into the building. The pastor even started a second service on Sunday mornings to have enough room to accommodate refugees and his own church members. During the services, veiled women sang praises to God. Later, their children sang two moving songs with all their hearts while making the gestures, filling the building with joy and painting many smiles on their parents’ faces. In Lebanon, a miracle has happened. Previously, many Lebanese Christians hated the Syrians because of the actions Syrians carried out during the occupation of Lebanon less than a decade ago. Now they embrace many of them. Many former Muslims have entered the church buildings in other countries such as Syria. Recently a young Christian woman from Syria even said: “Thank God that we have gone through this crisis. We, as a church, became stronger because of it.” Pray for refugees in the Middle East to continue coming to God and learning to love one another.
Categories: Mission Network News

Kingdom Expansion: Part One

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 5:00am

God on Throne -- Anonymous painter from Westphalia, late 15th century
(Image credit Wikimedia Commons)

Bangladesh (MNN) -- The Kingdom of God is growing in Bangladesh, despite growing restrictions on missionaries. Over the next few days, we'll be highlighting this Kingdom expansion in a 4-part series. "There's a huge need in [Bangladesh] today for training, and they have a facility they're trying to build that will service all these training groups, including Asian Access, Wycliffe Bible Translators, many others," shares Asian Access (A2) President Joe Handley. "Several of us are rallying to help Peter in raising the funds for this center." Peter Mazumder, co-national director for A2 Bangladesh and general secretary of InterVarsity Bangladesh, dreamed of starting a facility like this years ago. The vision he invested in and laid foundations for years ago is finally gaining traction and support. Watch as Mazumder shares his vision for the LWC here. "The buildings include the actual training center, a dormitory, the chapel will be in one of those buildings, and then a clinic," Handley explains. "The foundation has been laid for one of the buildings and a few floors for the other building. Kingdom Expansion: Asian Access

Peter Mazumder at the inauguration
of the Living Water Center.
(Screenshot taken from BSFB.org)

A building project like this isn't something A2 usually focuses on, Handley says. Normally, Asian Access spends its resources and time investing in Asia's church leaders. "In this case, we have a very unique situation for the country, where they lack that freedom of expression and freedom to worship the way they would like to in these training centers," says Handley. "So, we saw that as a critical need for the country." Another bonus? The Living Water Center would cut costs to run A2 Bangladesh by 70%. The benefits are more than physical and financial, though. A spiritual dynamic runs throughout this Kingdom expansion. "This center is not just for those of us doing ministry," Handley explains. A community of 6,500 garment workers lives near the future site of the Living Water Center. Only 150 of these workers follow Christ, and Mazumder hopes the LWC will become a regular place of worship for these believers, as well as an outreach to the community.

(Screenshot taken from 2013 progress video)

The LWC's health clinic will play a critical role. "When you have 20, 30, 50 people living in very small rooms and cramped quarters without hygienic conditions, you can imagine the healthcare needs of this community," says Handley. Meeting physical needs can often open doors to start a conversation about Jesus. Tomorrow, we'll share how the Living Water Center will help Bible translation in Bangladesh. Stay tuned!
Categories: Mission Network News

Perishing without Christ in Kenya

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Christian Aid Mission)

Kenya (CAM) -- Bandits, tribal turf battles, and Islamist terrorists--not to mention lack of modern facilities and basic necessities--are enough to keep many foreign missionaries from certain areas in Kenya. In such areas, however, a locally-based ministry which is being helped by Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, has planted hundreds of churches. “So many missionaries to Kenya want to stay in comfortable areas. They tend to live where the security is good, where there are facilities, good schools, clean water,” said the director of the native ministry, whose name is withheld for security purposes. “We go to the difficult areas because we realize these people are perishing without Christ. It’s amazing: we meet people who have never heard about Jesus or even a church.” Working in 13 of Kenya’s arid northern and northeastern counties, the native mission group has planted more than 1,300 churches among semi-nomadic tribes such as the Samburu and Turkana. “We have to go step-by-step because most of them believe in traditional animistic religions, and they do sacrifices,” he said. “In every village, there is one guy who acts as a seer for them, who can foresee young men coming with cattle from one direction. And when he sees that, the young men start walking in that direction, see people from this tribe, and just fight and steal their cattle.” The main activity of the tribes, the leader said, is stealing cattle from one another. So there have been a lot of fights, but the tribes are being changed by Christianity. They are changing their life, their way of living. Besides tribal warring, banditry has increased the past few years. The director has been robbed various times, and bandits robbed and killed one of the ministry group’s missionaries last year. The Kenyan government is eager to have the peaceful influence of the native missionaries in these areas, and for a fee it provides police escorts to help protect them. The banditry, inter-tribal fighting, and attacks by members of the Somali Islamic extremist group, Al-Shabaab, have made the areas so dangerous, however, that security escorts for the evangelists are no longer willing to subject their police cars to attacks. "Now it’s a requirement by law that when you have security, you provide them with an extra vehicle. Before, we used to drive together with the police in the same car,” the ministry director said. “Our expenses went higher, because we are forced as a ministry to take the police escort to protect us from both bandits and Al Shabaab.” Driven from Somalia by Kenya-led African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces, Al-Shabaab rebels battling the Somali government have launched retaliation attacks on Kenyan soil the past few years. The militants have targeted churches and Christian leaders. The Islamic extremist threat and banditry have made obtaining a car for security escorts one of the ministry’s top needs. “The first thing we need is an extra vehicle, then we need motorcycles for the people who train the pastors,” he said. “We train them and give them motorcycles and send them out to train the pastors.” More than 80 full-time gospel workers and over 300 part-time helpers work in the ministry, and their discipling of new believers is paramount. While Kenya’s population is nearly 83% Christian, church attendance is only 7%, and superficial or syncretistic faith is common among evangelicals (estimated at 41%), according to Operation World. The native ministry trains leaders for follow-up and discipleship, as well as for church-planting. Many of its churches have sprung up where the ministry has dug wells, as water supply is a major problem for the semi-nomadic tribes. Whereas a well dug with a drilling rig costs $20,000, the ministry works with local community members to dig the wells manually and then affixes a pump, which costs only $2,000. “We have dug 22 wells, and we expect God to provide more wells where they are needed,” the leader said. “Also, there are some areas where we are not able to provide wells, so we provide people with a big plastic tank, and people get water there. There are some areas we pipe the water from the water source to a village, maybe five kilometers [three miles].” A representative of Christian Aid Mission added that the group has been a pioneer in an outreach to one of the most disregarded sectors in Africa. One of most-unreached people groups in Africa is the deaf. It is one of the most unreached groups in Africa because there’s a stigma attached to being deaf. They are shunned. The indigenous ministry director noted that most people on the continent think that having a disability is a curse, and therefore people tend to hide children who are deaf. Parents keep them home, and most of the churches don’t have the programs to convert the deaf. If you have six kids, you take five to Sunday school; the deaf kid is left at home and will not learn about Christ. The ministry director’s wife, who works at a deaf school, has brought deaf children together in various villages and set up programs for them to learn about Christ. “And also, we show the JESUS film for the deaf,” he said. “You have to show it for about two minutes, and then the person will translate it for them, because they don’t have the film in sign language. We are praying that one day we will get the movie in sign language.” To help indigenous missionaries in Kenya working with Christian Aid Mission, find a link here. Pray for the continuous spread of the Gospel in Kenya.
Categories: Mission Network News

Christmas is an opportunity to give hope

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 5:00am
India (MNN) -- The simple fact that you're reading this story gives me some indication that you're missions minded. You want people to hear the Gospel. You may even want to be the one share it. You're probably already doing that in your own neighborhood. What if I told you that you could have the same impact, but on an international scale, by just adding someone you don't know to your Christmas shopping list? The program is called, Gifts that Make an Impact, a ministry of India Partners. "This is a way for you to help someone in need and honor the people you love here in the U.S., choosing one of about 12 or 14 possible gifts on our Web site," says Donna Glass with India Partners. These are practical gifts that go to poor and needy individuals who don't know Jesus. At IndiaPartners.org, you can choose from providing a water well for just $175, a sewing machine for $95, an audio Bible for $15, or a day of safety for a child whose mother is working in the red-light district. Glass says sewing machines are a popular item because it's a simple way for a woman to start her own small business. "After completing a free tailoring [course], she would receive a free sewing machine. [Women] can start a tailoring business out of their home, and they can make some money to help support their family. This is the only money that their family may have coming in on a regular basis." While this opportunity meets their physical needs, what about the spiritual needs? Glass says these women are introduced to Christ through the classes. "They have daily devotions. They are exposed to the Gospel every day. Most of the sewing schools are held in a local community church. So, if they should ask 'Why are you doing this,' that opens up the door to sharing the Gospel." Christians in the region also provide farm animals. If you'd rather purchase farm animals such as chickens for $25 or goats for $75, you're providing individuals or families an opportunity to produce eggs, milk, and protein for their own consumption, or to sell in the market. Many nationalistic people in India believe Christians are forcing people to convert to Christianity through these programs. Glass says Christians wait for questions before sharing Christ. She says it's difficult to be accused of forcing Christianity on someone when that individual is asking the questions. The needs in India are great this year. Consider purchasing a gift in honor of a loved one. Click here to see the options.
Categories: Mission Network News

Kay Warren Remembering Her Son on 'Survivor Day': There's Hope as Suicide Is Preventable

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 9:12am
Sharing on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Saturday, Kay Warren, co-founder of California's Saddleback Church, recalled that her late son, Matthew, was the funniest and most courageous person she has ever met in her life, and said that while the suicide rate is alarmingly high in the country, there is hope because suicide is preventable.
Categories: Christian Post