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President Obama’s twitter account

WGRC News - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 2:05pm

President Barack Obama sent his first tweet from his own account on Twitter Monday, and within hours he had a million followers. So what was the President’s 140 character message? It said, “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account,” His twitter handle is @POTUS.

Categories: Local News

'Justice Conference' in Chicago Featuring Louie Giglio, Cornel West to Focus on Human Rights and 'Poor, Vulnerable Kids'

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 11:52am
An annual conference focused on gathering Christians together to advance justice for the less fortunate is scheduled to take place in Chicago next month.
Categories: Christian Post

The Three Cs of Life

Christian Post - Living - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 10:18am
What you decide to eat for lunch and what you decide to wear don't have long-lasting repercussions in life. But there are other decisions that are very important, like whom you will marry and what career path you take. And the most important choice of all is whether you will follow Jesus Christ.
Categories: Christian Post

United Methodist Body Votes to Change the Church's Position on Homosexuality by Allowing Clergy to Be 'Practicing Homosexuals,' Perform Gay Weddings

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 9:51am
A United Methodist body approved proposed legislation that would, among other things, allow clergy to perform gay marriage ceremonies and local conferences to ordain non-celibate homosexuals.
Categories: Christian Post

Millions of Records and Fans Later, It's Still All About Jesus for Global Coalition of Empowered21 Worship Leaders

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 8:20am
Two million people once showed up at a worship service to hear her sing live, but for popular Brazilian worship leader Ana Paula Valadao and the global coalition of worship leaders at the Empowered21 Global Congress in Jerusalem this week, nothing behind their magnetic music will be about them. It's always about Jesus, they say, always.
Categories: Christian Post

Resource distribution focus: Aruba

Mission Network News - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 5:00am
Aruba (MNN) -- It's a tropical island that's famous for white sandy beaches, mild trade winds, and the most amazing snorkeling known to man. The aqua colored water that surrounds this island off the coast of Venezuela isn't known for its need for Christian resource distribution, but it is now. Executive Director of Christian Resources International Jason Woolford says, "Over the last year, we've been working with a graduate of Moody Bible [Institute], and her husband is finishing up his degree. They asked, 'Hey, we heard we could come to the free library there and pick up some materials. We were hoping to get two or three boxes.'" CRI said "Yes."

Ed and Luisette Kraal want to use their education from Moody Bible Institute to train pastors in Aruba. They're getting the resources they need from Christian Resources International. (Photo courtesy of Jason Woolford)

Woolford says Ed and Luisette Kraal want to go back to Aruba and train pastors and lay leaders. As they do, they want to give them the tools they need to be successful. Woolford says that's all he needed to hear. "I just felt prompted, as we have what they need, to let them know that we were going to send them a used book value of $40,000--a Great Crate--to Aruba. It's on its way there." He adds the Bibles and Christian books will be used to "further their education [and] to become better leaders and have materials to do outreach." This is just another connection to Moody Bible Institute. Woolford says, "God has been bringing some Moody folks through our ministry and really locking arms with them and doing incredible things around the globe with them." Listen to the interview with Jason Woolford. This Great Crate will allow them to do more than this couple had ever imagined. "They were hoping to be able to give 10 or 15 pastors the materials that they would need, but this has the ability to reach about 3,000 people--pastors and others--needing and wanting God's Word. Distribution of this Great Crate wasn't budgeted this year. Woolford says, "Every time God asks us to do something, or we see something that needs to be done, we do it. And then, things show up financially to make it happen." CRI needs $3,500 to pay for these resources to get to Aruba. He says that amounts to about $1 a book. "You can't even go and buy a Bible or seminary book for less than that. So, you're seeding into good ground." Aruba is just one place where resources are scarce. Woolford says, "Throughout the world, we have people who don't have the resources, and they're improvising. And there's one thing we can do, and that is improvise on the Word of God." When that happens, it breeds false teaching and cults. You can become a Book Missionary through CRI. $20 helps deliver 20 books to pastors in Aruba. Click here to help their cause.
Categories: Mission Network News

Violence consuming Burundi

Mission Network News - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Food for the Hungry)

Burundi (MNN) -- Over 105,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring countries to escape violence following an attempted coup. In refugee camps, they’re lacking food, water, and medicine. The UNHCR reported seven have died since the evacuation, and 300 are suffering from acute diarrhea. In Tanzania, officials reported an outbreak of cholera. But many organizations are giving their support to feed and give medical attention to sick refugees. Food for the Hungry is working with partners to set up emergency care programs for the thousands that have sought refuge in Rwanda. The Protests Protests exploded several weeks ago after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intentions to run for a third term--which is against the Burundi Constitution. Nkurunziza argued he should be entitled for the term since he was appointed to the presidential role by parliament in 2005, not elected. Clearly, not everyone agreed. “We just want Nkurunziza to respect the constitution and leave office. In the years he has been in power, he has done nothing for us,” said protestor Bertland Nkurunziza, according to the NY Times. The Associated Press reports hundreds of angry protestors took to the streets, putting up barricades made of burning tires. In the capitol, BBC reports protesters broke into the national jail, released arrested demonstrators, and burned down the building. Police and soldiers armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades have been standing against demonstrators. The violence has led to at least 15 deaths. According to International Business Times, the violence consuming the country is the worst it’s been in over 12 years when the civil war ended. The Refugees More than 100,000 Burundians are running to neighboring countries to find sanctuary. According to the UNHCR, more than 70,000 have flocked to Tanzania, 26,300 to Rwanda, and around 9,200 to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the Mahanga refugee camp in Kirehe, Rwanda, Food for the Hungry is transforming the lives of suffering refugees. They’re sharing the love of Christ by giving food, mosquito nets, and transportation. And for children who have become orphaned or don’t know where their parents are, FH is providing educational classes and trauma counseling. They’re even trying to reunite children who have been separated from families. Help them reach more refugees by donating to their Rapid Response Fund. Pray For: • The violence to subside • Refugees to be healed from any sicknesses in camps • Burundians to find Christ in the midst of the violence and chaos
Categories: Mission Network News

Boat people suffer as officials block help

Mission Network News - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Partners Relief and Development)

[UPDATE: Praise God! Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia vow to NOT push boat people back into the sea! Click here for details.] SE Asia (MNN) -- There's a lot of talk, but not much action in Southeast Asia. Thousands of Rohingya refugees, commonly termed "the boat people," are stranded at sea, dying slowly. The total number is unknown, but estimates range from 8,000 to 20,000. How did the boat people come to be? Foreign ministers from Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are meeting in Kuala Lumpur today,  not to find a solution but to discuss how refugees got there in the first place. In a statement released earlier this week by Malaysia's foreign ministry, "Talks would focus on human trafficking and people smuggling in the region." Boat people were reportedly "high on the list" of priorities for today's meeting, but no specifics had yet been released at press time. More high-level talks are scheduled for May 29. "One of our goals is to bring enough international attention to this crisis so the countries--Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, in particular--[will feel] forced to do something to help these people," shares Oddny Gumaer, co-founder of Partners Relief and Development. You can help by sharing this story on your Facebook page. Partners' response Right now, a small Partners team is at the water's edge, ready to help boat people with emergency supplies and a message of hope only Christ can bring. They've been trying to reach the refugees for days but kept running into obstacles, Gumaer reports; today, it appears they finally have access.

(Image courtesy Partners)

In order to reach the stranded Rohingya, they need your prayers. "The Thai Navy has blockaded access to these boats," shares Gumaer. "They don't want journalists or media or aid organizations to get to the boats, even if it is only to give the people water." Please ask the Lord for miraculous intervention so Partners' team can reach the boat people. Ask Him to give the team wisdom and protection. Pray for endurance and strength for suffering Rohingya. In the past, Gumaer says, demonstrations of Christ-like compassion have led to questions from the Rohingya, such as "Why are you helping us?" and "Why do you care?" "When we have shared with them that we are Christians, and we are doing this because we believe that God loves them and that He hasn't forgotten them, they say, 'We really appreciate that; please continue to pray to your God for our situation,'" Gumaer shares. Circumstances remain difficult for the Rohingya to follow Christ, and Gumaer says none have committed their lives yet. But they remain open to His people and their message. Pray for softened hearts among the boat people. Pray that as the Partners team provides emergency help, the Rohingya will see Christ through them and that their eyes will be opened to His Truth. Your response Now that you know about the boat people and their plight, what will you do? While prayer is the first and foremost need, Gumaer suggests additional options. GIVE "All the money that we have, we are now spending to help these people," she shares. "The more funding we have, the more people we can help." Help Partners save the Rohingya. SHARE Despite the best efforts of governments in Southeast Asia, word is getting out about the boat people. "They don't want the world to know what's going on," explains Gumaer.

Use this photo for your Facebook cover picture & encourage your family and friends to do the same.
(Photo, caption courtesy Partners)

Make your friends aware by sharing this story on social media. Join the social chorus already calling for change by using #SaveTheRohingya in your post. "By reading and sharing what they're reading, and speaking about it, [people] are helping." If you're reading this in the U.S., ask your elected officials to help the boat people. "Contact your politicians and your senators, and tell them that you would like the United States to put more sanctions on Myanmar until they change their policies on the Rohingya," Gumaer requests.
Categories: Mission Network News

Humanitarian aid planned for hard-to-reach areas in Nepal

Mission Network News - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Global Aid Network)

Nepal (GAiN) -- [Editor’s Note: After much earthquake aid has been put forth to help urban areas of Nepal, Global Aid Network and a local Christian organization are partnering to help people in hard-to-reach areas. This is the project proposal they want to use in the upcoming months.]   The Crisis On April 25, 2015 at 11:56 local time, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, with the epicenter in Lamjung District (north-west) of Kathmandu and south of the China border. This event and dozens of aftershocks killed more than 8,000 and displaced 1.3 million people. Then, on May 12, another 7.3 magnitude earthquake wreaked further havoc just 76 km northeast of Kathmandu. The Analysis Global Aid Network (GAiN) immediately sent a crisis assessment team to survey the existing crisis conditions and complete a situational analysis of needs, resources, and personnel. Our focus was to evaluate how we can support and assist the 320 Campus Crusade National staff in their relief efforts on behalf of the Nepalese people impacted. GAiN and Nepal Campus Crusade for Christ agree that our priority must be to serve victims of the earthquake who would otherwise be neglected. They reside in the tough places of Nepal—tough to get there and tough to live in. Moreover, the work of evangelism and followup will be more effective in these smaller, more isolated communities than in the chaos of urban Kathmandu. Nepal CCC, through its 120 field staff and 200 church planters, have already developed relationships in these communities. People living in these mountain villages experience greater suffering because, even before the earthquake, the roads were primitive and poorly maintained. Now, many are severely damaged. Consequently, humanitarian aid will reach these communities last, if at all. The Strategy Global Aid Network, in partnership with Nepal Campus Crusade for Christ, will respond to the crisis with a three-phase project, summarized in the chart below. Based upon current capacity available, the decision was made to resource 1,000 families in phase one and two. In the third phase, we plan to help 50 families rebuild their permanent homes. This plan provides the capacity to scale this project as additional resources (funds, supplies, and personnel) become available.

(Photo courtesy Global Aid Network)

Phase I – Emergency Relief Our advance team discovered a surprising lack of sources for clean water, both in the Kathmandu valley and the remote villages. A water filtration kit, consisting of a plastic bucket or bag fitted with a Sawyer “Point One” filter, will provide a family with virtually unlimited supply for more than two years. Food security is, of course, low after a disaster on this scale. GAiN and Nepal CCC will deliver a 21-day supply of staple food items purchased locally and bundled into kits by local staff. Each bundle consists of rice, noodles, lentils, cooking oil, salt, and sugar. While food, water, and medical care remain critical needs, the people of Nepal face a potential new crisis with the arrival of monsoon season, usually beginning in June. Many structures lay in ruins, and most others have not been inspected for safety, so victims live in makeshift shelters consisting of any material that can be salvaged. GAiN and Nepal CCC will provide 1,000 families with waterproof tarps to construct temporary shelters. Logistics within the Kathmandu valley remain relatively straightforward. The same cannot be said for remote villages, however, which lie in the surrounding mountains. The roads are notoriously primitive and the terrain treacherous during the rainy season. GAiN must purchase 2 trucks designed for rugged terrain. The proposal includes fuel and maintenance for 15 months. Phase II – Stabilization GAiN and Nepal CCC will then extend tangible help beyond the immediate crisis, in anticipation of the monsoon season. The second phase will include the delivery of tents for 1,000 families, 3,000 blankets, and 5,000 pairs of shoes. To help stave off disease, GAiN and Nepal CCC will assemble and deliver personal hygiene supplies. To treat the sick and wounded, we will deliver disposable medical supplies, such as syringes, swabs, gloves, etc. These will be shipped in two 20-foot containers. GAiN will work with Nepal CCC staff to secure an enclosed area for storage and staging. Phase III – Reconstruction One Nepal Campus Crusade for Christ staff couple—newly married and expecting their first child soon—lost their home in the earthquake. They now live in the front yard of their demolished house. According to new husband and father-to-be, Narayan, the price of bricks has quadrupled since the earthquake; so, most everyone expects a slow recovery.

(Photo courtesy Global Aid Network)

Once the monsoon season has passed, GAiN and Nepal CCC plan to help 50 families rebuild their permanent homes. As life returns to normal (God willing) and Nepalese children resume their typical school schedule, GAiN will equip Nepal CCC with 3,000 CarePacks. These school supplies offer Christian workers an opportunity to develop relationships with families and school administrators. Global Aid Network and Nepal Campus Crusade for Christ seek to offer much more than temporal relief; we will work together to bring the eternal hope of Jesus Christ to the lost. We will do this first by delivering tangible evidence of God’s love for the people of Nepal. The Impact The Nepal Campus Crusade for Christ staff numbers more than 100, with another 200 Campus Crusade for Christ International workers serving alongside them. While other organizations, both Christian and secular, are sending tons of humanitarian assistance, none have the ability to combine practical help with spiritual guidance. We give assistance to all, without conditions or reservations, fulfilling the Great Commandment as our Lord taught us. Experience has shown us, however, when we extend kindness to those in need, we discover abundant opportunities to share the good news with people who would otherwise be afraid or unwilling to hear it. We would be privileged to have you as our partner in this great endeavor. Click here to help now.
Categories: Mission Network News