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9000 families in Syria assisted by Open Doors

Mission Network News - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

Syria (ODM) -- The situation in Syria, ranked No. 3 on the World Watch List, continues to change, but there is still the reality of extreme violence and displacement. The latest United Nations figure shows 3.25 million Syrians are refugees in the surrounding countries. Non-official figures are higher. More than 6 million Syrians are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Based on contacts with church leaders inside Syria, Open Doors estimates about 40% of Christians have left Syria since the start of the civil war over three years ago. Depending on where new battles are taking place, new waves of refugees are reported. The United Nations recently announced it is reducing food support to the refugees and the displaced because of lack of contributions of donors and donor countries. Open Doors is working with partners inside Syria to provide food packages, shelter, medicine, blankets, trauma counseling training. They are also training Syrian Christian in leadership and relief work. Open Doors reports it is partnering with churches and other Christian organizations to help 9,000 families each month. The gospel of Jesus Christ is also going out. An Open Doors worker in Syria says: “We hear church leaders saying that the churches are not empty. New people are coming to church, interested in the gospel and comforted by the message. We hear of people coming to Christ.” Pray that more Syrians will come to faith in Christ.
Categories: Mission Network News

This Christmas, help care for vulnerable children

Mission Network News - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 5:00am
International (MIS/MNN) -- This Christmas, help care for vulnerable children around the world. When you give to the Children-at-Risk fund, you help children in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Nicaragua, and Thailand experience the love of Christ. The Children-at-Risk fund supports the projects of several Mission Society missionaries who are making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. Imagine children in Costa Rica having a “birthday party for Jesus.” Bryan and Beth Tatum coordinate the events. Children are treated to a party, a meal, and receive a Christmas gift of their own to keep. In Thailand, 90% of the children who are trafficked--primarily for the global sex trade--are from the Essan region. Mission Society missionaries working in Essan, like the Barbee and Attaway families, are raising funds to establish a shelter for vulnerable children in this area. Ronnie and Angi Hopkins minister in Mira Luz, Nicaragua and are gathering school supplies for the 100 children in this village whose parents cannot afford basic items. In one community in Ecuador, young people tend to leave the church around age 14. Missionaries Tim and Daina Datwyler have helped to start a music group which will become the worship team, to inspire kids to stay connected with the church. The church’s teenagers have a plan to raise money for musical instruments through bake sales. Your contribution will help them purchase an oven. You can provide blankets for children and families in northern India this winter. Winter brings severely cold weather to the people of northern India. Many families have only one blanket to share among all of their children, and unfortunately, many families do not have a blanket at all. Help Peter and Esther Pereira provide blankets and share the story of Jesus with families in remote villages. In Ghana, provide a Hepatitis B vaccine for a child. Affecting one in five children, Hepatitis B can be prevented for a lifetime with one vaccine. Dave and Ellen Bartlett are working with a primary school to vaccinate every child. To help, donate here.
Categories: Mission Network News

International Human Rights Day case study: India

Mission Network News - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 5:00am

(Image courtesy baba via Flickr)

India (MNN) -- Rights don't match up with reality in India. When the United Nations established International Human Rights Day in 1950, India was among the founding parties. But today, India is one of the world's biggest sources of social evil: human trafficking, child labor, and Christian persecution, to name a few. "The Kingdom of God is about justice, and if people don't have their human rights, it says there's something wrong with us," says India Partners' John Sparks. International Human Rights Day and the Body of Christ International Human Rights Day was designed to call attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which establishes fundamental human rights that should be honored and protected everywhere. Inherent rights like equality, freedom from slavery, freedom of religion, and others are routinely violated in India. For example, while it's been "officially" wiped out, India's age-old caste system continues to dictate social, economic, and educational standing based on class. Families on the lower end of the social strata are stuck in abject poverty. Women and girls born into India's lowest caste are most likely to fall victim to human trafficking.

(Photo courtesy India Partners)

Forced labor and sex slavery are the driving force behind India's human trafficking market, and approximately 16 million people are held in sex slavery. India Partners works with local believers to restore dignity to those whose rights have been violated and meet physical needs on various levels. The Gospel is woven throughout each project. Learn more about their work here. "It's a real long-term commitment that we make to these families," notes Sparks. For example, when a woman is rescued from sex slavery, believers walk with her throughout each step of recovery: taking care of health needs, finding a safe place to live, learning sustainable job skills, discovering Christ through Bible studies and church. In doing so, Sparks says India Partners expresses God's heart in both word and deed. "In Isaiah, it says 'the Lord loves justice,'" he states. "There's something wrong with my relationship with God if I'm not concerned about justice." International Human Rights Day and you

(Photo courtesy Global Advance)

As you stand with India Partners in prayer for this issue and for the at-risk people they help, be ready to respond. As William Wilberforce famously stated, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” "Whether I ignore it or I read [the information], God still holds me responsible for it because it's there, it's available for us [to know]," Sparks reiterates. "When we pray for such things, God's going to say, 'Ok, you're the man who's going to fill in that need'." Searching India Partners' Christmas Catalog is an easy place to start. "Many of these things relate to human rights," Sparks notes. "If you help a woman go to sewing school and get a sewing machine, that allows her to put food on the table and clothes on her children's backs, and that essential human right of self-sufficiency is restored."
Categories: Mission Network News