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Iraq: taking action

Mission Network News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 5:00am

A village in Iraq destroyed by ISIS.
(Image courtesy ANM)

Iraq (MNN) -- Do you ever feel completely helpless about what's going on in the Middle East? Well, that's why we bring you stories like this one. Advancing Native Missions says their partners in Iraq are helping people displaced by ISIS. But, with winter quickly approaching, they're in need of your help. As this recent article from the Wall Street Journal explains, families are on the move daily in Iraq. Islamic State advances have essentially divided Iraq and its displaced people into three regions: one controlled by the Kurds, one controlled by ISIS, and another held by Iraq's Shiite army. In some cases, such as the plight highlighted in the WSJ article, families are forced to cross newly-drawn borders to get daily essentials like food or medicine. At other times, as in the case of many Iraqi Christians, families are forced to flee their homes permanently. ANM recently shared an example on their blog:

(Photo credit ANM)

There was a knock, then Ammar’s wife opened the door to find a man and his son standing there. The man explained that they had escaped from Mosul and were looking for a place to stay. Ammar’s wife told him, “We are Christians.” Bursting into tears, the man responded, “I and my family love Christ.” The couple invited them in and prayed with them. Then the man left to get the rest of his family. For Ammar and his wife, strangers at the door had been revealed as family in Christ. For the family from Mosul, the Lord had provided shelter and hospitality in a time of desperate need. Christians throughout Iraq, like the couple mentioned in this story, are opening their homes to people displaced by ISIS. ANM's national partners are helping these believers put Christ's love into action by providing daily supplies for the refugees: things like shampoo, towels, diapers, first aid kits, and more.

(Photo credit ANM)

With northern Iraq's harsh winter quickly approaching, the need for more supplies is growing dire. ANM is collecting supplies for a container they hope to fill and send to their partners in Iraq by the end of October. Take action and share Christ's love with Iraqi refugees by helping ANM here. Most importantly, please continue to pray for the situation in Iraq and Syria. Pray that ISIS terrorists will somehow be contained. Pray that more supplies are gathered and sent to refugee families. More Middle East stories here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Serving Haiti is serving Christ

Mission Network News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of For Haiti with Love)

Haiti (MNN) -- Hunger in Haiti is on the heart of many. This is evidenced by the amount of donations given to For Haiti with Love recently to address the many needs in Haiti. For Haiti with Love runs a burn clinic and a food program for residents in need. Recently they had the opportunity to buy burn supplies in bulk for an entire year, significantly reducing the overall cost but demanding a higher up-front cost.

For Haiti has the unique opportunity of
ministering to burn victims.
(Photo courtesy of For Haiti)

Eva DeHart of For Haiti says, "People have answered the plea for the money to actually pay for the burn cream. And the reason we needed so much is that we had the opportunity of getting the burn cream in bulk." People have been sending food and other supplies to For Haiti with Love as well. The challenge now is getting those supplies to location for distribution. "As with everything else that you [purchase], it has to be shipped across the United States and then by sea into Haiti," DeHart explains. Even the burn cream will cost $1000 to get to Haiti. And a full container of food can cost about $10,000. Altogether it is a big number, but the spiritual and physical impact is worth it. "Jesus was all about feeding the hungry. In all of His ministry settings...feeding the poor and the hungry was a very important part of the Lord's ministry," DeHart says, "When their tummies are growling, they can't hear you talking about God. But satisfy the physical hunger, and it opens the door to satisfying spiritual hunger." DeHart wants supporters of this ministry to remember that they're not only serving people in need in Haiti. "We want them to remember that when you're looking into the eyes of the poor, you're looking into the eyes of Jesus. They are partnering with us and they are literally feeding the hungry themselves. We're just the conduits that get the product to help deliver the message." Want to help? Get connected here. Pray for God to provide the means for these supplies to get to Haiti. Ask Him to provide places for discussion about the Gospel among the people of Haiti.
Categories: Mission Network News

Reaction to Pastor Mark Driscoll's Resignation Includes Sadness, Gratitude From Mars Hill Church Community

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 6:09pm
Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, has resigned from the multi-city megachurch he and his wife helped found 18 years ago after a series of calls were made for the Seattle, Washington, preacher to step down from ministry due to his admitted "divisive" leadership style.
Categories: Christian Post

Not All Catholic Bishops Onboard With Positive Language Toward Same-Sex Couples in Controversial Synod Report; Needs 'Right Degree of Prudence'

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 1:53pm
A recently released midterm report from the Synod of Bishops on the family, which defended the traditional definition of marriage but used positive language toward same-sex couples in some situations, has garnered controversy among some bishops who say it does not accurately reflect the assembly's views.
Categories: Christian Post

Gas prices continue to fall

WGRC News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 1:01pm

The price for a barrel of crude oil is the lowest it’s been since 2012 at $82 a barrel. Right now, the average price per gallon in Pennsylvania is $3.30 and that is expected to drop even lower.
Seven states have gas prices averaging below $3 a gallon and other states are expected to follow suit. It Slow global economic growth is the reason for the decrease. Missouri has the lowest gas prices at $2.87 per gallon, while California is the highest at $3.59.

Categories: Local News

The death investigation of a 9 year old boy continues

WGRC News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:59pm

It may take several weeks for authorities in Northumberland County to pinpoint the exact cause of death of a 9 year old boy, Toxicology tests have been sent out to determine why 9 year old Korbin Rager died. He was found in the Point Township, Northumberland County home of 58 year old Victor Hare who had been entrusted with his care. Hare told police the boy had taken oxycontin pills and had a history of abusing drugs and alcohol. Hare is being held on child endangerment charges, and police say they are treating the death as a homicide investigation.

Categories: Local News

Pets up for adoption

WGRC News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:58pm

If you’ve been thinking about adopting a new pet, here’s an idea: the owner of 17 dogs and four cats have surrendered the animals to the Hillside SPCA in Schuylkill County. They’ll be up for adoption soon. WNEP says officials said the owner just couldn’t care for the animals anymore, and they’re in good shape.

Categories: Local News

Supper

Christian Post - Living - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 9:47am
Can you picture yourself sitting down for lunch with Abraham and Isaac—or the apostle Paul or C. S. Lewis or C. H. Spurgeon? Heaven will be amazing beyond description. And that's why the Bible tells us we should all be a lot more heavenly minded.
Categories: Christian Post

Child sponsorships: promise of future

Mission Network News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:00am
International (ORO) -- Editor's Note: In answering the question, "Do Child Sponsorships really work?" we thought we'd share a post by Orphan Outreach staffer Julie Cramer. She shares the impact of her sponsorship on a little girl and children like her.

(Photo courtesy Orphan Outreach)

I pray for Shraddha when I open the refrigerator for milk. I close the door to bins stocked full of fruits and vegetables, and again I see her picture tacked there with a magnet. I have more than enough, but at times I wonder if the $36 a month I contribute to her care through Orphan Outreach’s sponsorship program is really making a difference in her life. How could so little do so much? A group of economists and researchers gave me a compelling answer. In 2013, Bruce Wydick (University of San Francisco), Paul Glewwe (University of Minnesota), and Laine Rutledge (a student at the University of Washington) presented their findings on the impact of international child sponsorships. They studied the adult lives of children who had been sponsored in comparison to their siblings that were too old to have been sponsored. The study is the first of its kind to measure the long-term impact of such sponsorships--and critical considering they estimate 9 million children are sponsored globally each year, with contributions mirroring that of U.S. foreign aid to developing nations, exceeding $3 billion annually. The researchers gathered data from 10,144 adults over 2 years that had received sponsorships through Compassion International from 6 countries. At the time, only children 12 years of age or younger were eligible for the program. A few of the team’s findings in the Journal of Political Economy offered solid evidence to the value of such programs: • Child sponsorship raised a child’s education level by three years • The probability of formal employment increased from 55% to 72% • The probability of white collar employment increased from 19% to 31% • Teen marriage and childbearing decreased • Community and church leadership increased • Basic necessities such as sturdier homes, clean drinking water, and use of mosquito nets were more likely • Positive lifestyle choices increased “You could beat this data senseless, and it was incapable of showing anything other than extremely large and statistically significant impacts on educational outcomes for sponsored children,” Bruce Wydick told Christianity Today. “The key to ending poverty resides in the capacity of human beings--and their view of their own capacity--to facilitate positive change.” Orphan Outreach’s emphasis on the spiritual and emotional development of children leads to this type of positive change. And by involving local churches to mentor the children, Orphan Outreach is helping to build the children’s networks of support. “All projects include Christian discipleship of the children,” the program’s coordinator Beth Galway said. “The children receive so many benefits, which often include their only meal of the day, a Christian education in most cases, and loving caregivers.” At times, sponsors can travel on mission trips and meet their child face to face. “Of course, having all of the sponsors and mission trip participants keeping these children in their prayers is probably the most important benefit,” Beth said. “Just this morning, I had a new sponsor ask if he could help his sponsored child forever! We are constantly trying to ensure that sponsors feel connected to the child and the program. As a new program, there is still a learning curve. We struggle with how to keep non-sponsored children from feeling left out.” For Orphan Outreach, 369 children remain to be sponsored, which would equate to an additional $16,000 monthly. Such consistent financial support enables the agency "to build quality into each program and allows them to have financial security," said Tiffany Taylor Wines, director of marketing for Orphan Outreach. Sponsorships extend benefits to all children, however, by freeing up other dollars to be directed toward overall operational costs. So, for the cost of some milk and other groceries, Shraddha--and children like her--can curl up in bed at night knowing there will be breakfast in the morning … and, thankfully, school.
Categories: Mission Network News

Storm damage and spiritual warfare

Mission Network News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:00am

Cyclone Hudhud
(Image credit NASA.gov)

India (MNN) -- In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi just returned from surveying the damage left behind by Cyclone Hudhud. Some officials say it could cost over $1 billion USD. Making landfall exactly one year to the day as Cyclone Phailin, Cyclone Hudhud tore through Andhra Pradesh and Orissa on Sunday. At least 400,000 people have been affected by Hudhud, and 24 people are known to have died as a result of the storm. Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India hasn't been able to reach their partners yet because of damage to communication lines. Recently-appointed President of Mission India Todd VanEk asks you to pray that they'll hear from their partners soon. Also pray that the Lord will give Mission India guidance as they support partners throughout the country. "Our greatest challenge will continue to be keeping up with the Indian Church. People are coming to faith in Christ at a rate in India that I just don't think has been experienced by many people here," VanEk notes. It's one of the observations VanEk made during his first trip to India as the ministry's president.

Todd VanEk is Mission India's new USA President.
(Photo credit Mission India)

"I was officially in my role for two weeks, and I jumped on a plane and traveled to India," VanEk shares, adding that the visit had a two-fold purpose. "One [purpose] was to 'Meet Todd, our new president' and to continue to foster the great relationships that we have. "The other purpose [was] just allowing the Holy Spirit to lead my thoughts and my mind, in terms of the work that is being done there." During the trip, God's Spirit affirmed a calling VanEk felt to serve as Mission India's new President. "I just cannot think of anything I would rather do with my time and the leadership gifts that God has given to me, than to further the Kingdom of God in India," he shares. While VanEk had taken several trips to South Asia as a Mission India donor, this was his first visit as the ministry's leader. "Mission India and our family have a relationship that goes back 10 years," explains VanEk. "I think that was very strategic in the Lord's working of my life, bringing me to this point, because as I went in [this time], I've already established a relationship with many of the key leaders that we work with in India." As VanEk met with different leaders and visited partner locations, he became increasingly aware of the spiritual battle being waged in India.

In India, violence against Christian believers is on the rise. Pray for their safety!
(Photo, caption courtesy Mission India)

"This is, ultimately, not just a strategy that we're about. This is a spiritual battle that we're involved in," states VanEk. "Probably one of the most surprising things was that there's an area in the northeast that's probably 50-60% Christian, and there was some persecution there. "A church was burned, and that sent the message to us that, even in very strong Christian centers, there is [spiritual] work countering the work that we're doing." Learn more about Mission India's work by visiting their Web site. Then, add Mission India and their indigenous ministry partners to your prayer list.
Categories: Mission Network News

Here's to the Ones by Rhett Walker Band

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am
Since their 2012 debut, COME TO THE RIVER, the Rhett Walker Band has toured non-stop with everyone from MercyMe to Newsboys, spending more time on the road than at home. The project generated the band's first Top 10 hit, "When Mercy Found Me," which garnered Walker a GRAMMY© nomination for CCM Song of the Year. The band also received three 2013 Dove nominations in multiple categories including New Artist of the Year, Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year and Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year. Since their inception, the group has been invited three times to perform on the Grand Ole Opry,[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

VIP by Manic Drive

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am
VIP comes out 10/14/2014. Click here to find out how to play a part in creating this album: www.pledgemusic.com/manicdrive[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Fightback Soundtrack by We Are Leo

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am
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Categories: Christian Music News

The Dream by Sanctus Real

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am
Capitol Christian Music Group announces that on October 14 Sanctus Real will release THE DREAM, their seventh studio album as well as their most personal project to date. Since banding together 18 years ago, this two-time GRAMMY-nominated band is excited to return with 12 songs, including its first single, "Lay It Down," which is already a top 10 hit and continues to climb the charts at radio. The members of Sanctus Real not only enjoy collaborating as a band and communicating about life and faith through their music, but are also a band well-known for being so real not just in[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Unto Us by Aaron Shust

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am
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Categories: Christian Music News

Paradox Realities by BABZ

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am
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Categories: Christian Music News

Sentimental Season by Wayne Haun

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am
[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

The InBetween by Scarlet White

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am
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Categories: Christian Music News