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Dear Non-Christians: What Would You Do in Our Shoes?

Christian Post - Evangelism - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 6:44am
If you were completely convinced that heaven and hell exist, and that there is only one way to inherit heaven and escape hell, would you tell people about it?
Categories: Christian Post

Selfless love in a survival-oriented society

Mission Network News - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 5:00am
India (MNN) -- The streets of India are some of the most unforgiving places to grow up, places where the selfless love of God is a completely foreign idea to most families and individuals trying to survive another day. Gary Bishop, President/CEO of Far Corners Missions, elaborates on the plight of Indian children. “They really learn the hard lessons of life of how to get by by scheming and finagling and even cheating or stealing--whatever they have to do to get by.” That’s why Far Corners encourages child sponsorship and establishes children’s homes where they’re most needed. “They have 39 children there at the home right now,” Bishop says. They work to teach the children the selfless love of Jesus while caring for the kids, and it’s all worth it when they see it reflected in the lives of the children they pour their hearts into. Bishop recalls just such an occasion. He received a report from the director of one of the children’s homes about a little girl who exhibited the love of Jesus better than most adults. As the director observed the children from the home playing together, “He started seeing an additional young girl amongst all the kids.”

(Photo Courtesy Far Corners Missions)

She kept returning, and the director was puzzled. He wondered, “’Who was this child, and why was this child in the group of kids from the home?’” Finally he decided to simply ask. “As he approached the young woman, he noticed that the little girl had a dress on that belonged to Shanti.” Shanti is a young girl at the home who “is nine years old.” Confused about this, “he addressed Shanti and he said, ‘Is this a friend of yours?’” “’Well, yes she is! I invited her to come.’” The director asked Shanti how she knew the girl, and Shanti looked at him and beamed. “’Well, you’ve always told us that we should love others with the same love that Jesus has shown to us. I met this girl at our school, and she really didn’t have anything but one pair of clothes to wear. So I just thought I would share my clothes with her. I wear them one day, and she wears them the next!’” Astounded, the director listened as she continued with the touching story. “’She really doesn’t have enough to eat, and so we get a snack in the afternoon after school. I said, 'Just come home with me to our home, and I’ll share my snack with you!’”

(Photo Courtesy Far Corners Missions)

The director admitted in his report to Bishop that, “NEVER have I seen the love of Jesus expressed so perfectly by a heart so young as Shanti’s. “It simply is a child that is in the school where our children from this home go, and Shanti simply invited her to come home after school to share her snacks in the afternoon, and then figured out she could share her clothes with her, too.” And yet, as simple as it might seem in a world where life is so grounded in personal survival, these selfless acts are “the difference that being in the children’s home makes in the life of one of those children because they truly are reflecting back the love of Jesus.” Now one more little girl is “seeing the love that Jesus reflected to her through the life of one of our kids there.” So what can we do? Bishop says there’s a twist on this particular story! “This young lady is one that my wife and I actually personally sponsor.” Sponsoring a child means giving a child hope and showing them that you care. More importantly, it gives them a chance to learn that God cares, and as Shanti proves, they can share that love with someone else and start a ripple effect that could touch an entire community. Bishop closes by saying, “We know that Jesus pushes His love out to other people as we show it to others.” Join that push here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Yemen: at the intersection of war and a nuclear treaty

Mission Network News - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

Yemen (MNN) -- Iran's nuclear deal with the United States is a polarizing issue. Among the things in the treaty: a lifting of international economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for a reduction of their nuclear activities. But if Iran is behind Yemen's Houthi insurgency, what happens to the region when the multi-billion dollar sanctions lift? It's the question being asked now by Open Doors USA President and CEO, David Curry. "People are concerned that this influx of money […] is going to greatly destabilize the area for Christians--for everybody in general, but Christians--the most oppressed group within that region." How would it destabilize the region? "What you have is growing tension added to an already big civil unrest there where you have the two sides of Islam, backed by two separate countries," explains Curry. "Saudi Arabia is backing its faction; Iran has been backing its faction." Yemen, the country that begat Arab Osama bin Laden, is the "poor cousin" of the oil sheiks next door. Sitting next to Sunni Saudi Arabia, Curry says, "They have kept it dependent. Iran sees this as an opportunity to destabilize somebody who has been their enemy within the region, so it's a proxy for the greater issues between those two countries." It's the latest in a series of clashes in the Middle East since the Arab Spring in 2011, beginning in January when Shiite Houthi rebels marched into the capital and ousted Sunni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi from power. Iran supplied arms to the Houthi rebels, who belong to the Shi'a sect of Islam. Are you lost yet? The easiest way to keep track of who's who is to remember: Sunni Islam is the Arab Muslim side, and the Shi'a sect is Persian.

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

Curry outlines the situation facing Yemen's Christians. "There's this internal struggle, but caught in the middle of it is the under-fire Christian minority there, which is being pushed underground or being pushed out of the country."   Christians are practically nonexistent in such an inhospitable environment. Unofficial statistics suggest that there are some 2,500 indigenous Christians in the nation, practicing their faith underground even as hostile tribes surround them. What's more, Curry believes that if Christians leave, "It will greatly destabilize the region if there is no expression of Christian faith. It's helpful for that region to have Christians being salt and light." How would the absence of 2500 believers have that much impact? "These are folks that are adding the peaceful part of society; they are contributing in a helpful way. I think the natural outgrowth of the teachings of Jesus creates great citizens."

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

In Yemen's grinding war, if the bullets don't get you, disease, starvation or lack of water will. Yemen's perpetual water shortage is worsening noticeably. Usually mission groups are there with assistance. Not this time. The Church can't open the doors to help because there aren't any congregations meeting above ground. Missionary activities by expatriates have led to detentions and deportation. Curry explains, "Christians haven't been able to mobilize. They're actually being pushed underground to a large degree. They're already very much under pressure in Yemen. I don't think you're seeing the sort of response to this humanitarian crisis that you could if there was a strong, vibrant Church in Yemen." It's a desperate situation made worse because no one can speak for Christians. Open Doors says this is why they're calling for the Obama Administration to appoint a Special Envoy for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. An envoy is someone sent out as a messenger to represent another person or group, such as a country or business. Without one, says Curry, "They don't have any point person leading the charge for religious freedom, and it has greatly affected the crisis here--the fact that they do not have anybody speaking out on this issue. It is the lead issue within this region (in my opinion)."   [Click here to get to the petition if you want to sign it, too.] In this case, the Special Envoy would be advocating on behalf the religious minorities being targeted by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab, and other Muslim extremist groups. Other religious minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere in danger of being wiped out include the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan, Baha’is in Iran, and Yazidis in Iraq. "Pray that God raises up a strong, indigenous church in Yemen. I don't know how that's going to happen, but I know that God changes things," says Curry. Pray that [believers] will find deep and sustaining joy in Christ, and that the Gospel will penetrate the hearts of many Yemeni people.
Categories: Mission Network News

War is affecting summer camps for kids

Mission Network News - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 5:00am

Youth camp in Ukraine, 2014

Ukraine (MNN) -- Everyone knows about the war in Ukraine. This situation makes it harder not only for political relationships between Ukraine and other countries, but it also makes it more difficult for Ukrainians--not to mention the work of Christians there. Every year, evangelical churches invite young people to summer camps. One of these camps is usually held on the Coast of the Azov Sea in eastern Ukraine. This year, because of the war, they've had to move. According to camp leaders, it's not safe to be in eastern Ukraine with a large group of people. Because of the political uncertainty and violence in eastern Ukraine, the camp is moving to a quieter part of the country: Alexandria, in western Ukraine.

Kids form a cross at the Azov Sea

The main topic of this camp will be "Locked locks and questions without answers." Through the camp, young people will discover the right keys to open those locks and answers to life's important questions: “What is the meaning of life? Why were you born? How can you find happiness? Who is God?” Those attending will meet new people, play games, participate in workshops, worship God as they hear God's Word, and listen to a great Christian band. Camp organizers hope many young people will come to Christ. As the political uncertainty continues, it's important for camps like this continue. It will ultimately help the next generation find the truth of Christ through God's Word and the testimony of camp volunteers. Pray that leaders will be wise in their counsel and that campers will have open ears to hear the Gospel and for safety as they participate. If you would like more information about this camp, click here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Putting faith in action requires help

Mission Network News - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 5:00am

Rowena Mendoza
(Photo courtesy Haggai0

Philippines (MNN) -- James 1:22 tells us to "be doers of the word, and not hearers only." It's pretty clear the mandate and expectation is faith in action. It's also safe to say we all need someone to show us what this looks like as a lifestyle. For Rowena Mendoza, that mentor was the Haggai Institute. "Before going to Haggai, I was already a leader. But after Haggai, [it was] like I was given a shot to make me go faster, see things clearer, communicate better," Mendoza shares. "You could probably liken it to a car driving at 50 miles-an-hour;  then I go to Haggai, and now I'm going 150 miles-an-hour." Faith in action: 50 mph Mendoza leads a ministry in the Philippines that helps people climb out of poverty. "The foundation of what we do is microfinance," she shares. But the group doesn't just hand out loans. "Microfinance alone will not take the poor out of poverty. It has to be coupled with…the other dimensions of life." That holistic approach includes teaching people about Christ and the salvation He offers. For example, Mendoza's ministry holds a "Values Training" course for each person who comes to them for financial help.

(Photo courtesy Wholistic Transformation Resource Center)

"In that 6-month period, they meet every week and they share the Word of God, they pray together, and then they learn other things," says Mendoza. "Ultimately, the goal is to build their values, help them appreciate how the Word of God connects with the credit that they're going to get. [That way] when they get the credit, they value it so much that they already know they need to pay it back, they need to steward it well." The end result? People apply what they've learned, both practically and spiritually. "The changes -- people going to church, people conducting their own Bible studies -- that happens quite successfully," says Mendoza. Faith in action: 150 mph Receiving training from the Haggai Institute helped Mendoza bring her ministry to a higher level of success.

Women's training session.
(Photo courtesy Haggai)

"Whatever I'm good at, I've managed to get even better at," she shares. By helping Haggai train existing leaders, you can start a "ripple effect" for God's Kingdom around the world. "If God's power is already pouring upon you, [Haggai] just opens the floodgates so that you can do much more. But even more than that, it helps you bring others along on your journey." Visit Haggai's Web site here to see how you can get involved.
Categories: Mission Network News

Becoming doers of the Word

Mission Network News - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Crossmap via Pinterest)

USA (MNN) -- [James 1:22 tells us to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. MNN's Reagan Hoezee is living out this verse on a short-term mission trip to Philadelphia's inner city. What follows is a post recently written by Hoezee for the team's blog.] It has been said that the smallest acts of kindness can leave the largest impact. I always believed this statement, but recently I experienced its powerful truth. On Monday, our group was playing with kids at Nelson Park. I noticed one little boy struggling to tie his shoe, so I walked over and asked if he needed help. He nodded, so I showed him the shoe-tying method I learned when I was his age: make a loop with each string, then tie them together. He looked confused, or maybe just uninterested. Either way, I didn't expect him to remember. Fast forward to Wednesday. We had just returned to the park from the community pool. The same boy was removing his flip-flops and putting on his tennis shoes. I asked if he knew how to tie his shoes, and his response was surprising: "Yeah, you taught me how!" I had completely forgotten it was the same boy I had helped two days earlier. What I assumed was merely an expected, forgettable act of helpfulness turned out to be a meaningful extension of love. It was truly shocking.

(Photo courtesy Reagan Hoezee)

Every night, upon returning from the inner-city back to the hotel, our group meets and discusses the day's events, then hears a message from a Vision for Youth worker. During one session, VFY national director Tim Ahlgrim explained how nothing we do is going to bring large-scale change. A city can't be transformed in a week. But, he said, that doesn't mean we can't make a difference. That single act of love, I thought, made a difference in the boy's life. There was no profound spiritual impact, but he experienced the manifestation of God's love. And that love, when it takes hold in the heart, can make all the difference.
Categories: Mission Network News

Pastor's Ex-Wife Composes 'Christian Erotica' to Help Others 'Save' Their Marriages by Spicing Things Up in the Bedroom

Christian Post - Pastors - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 1:37am
The ex-wife of an Alabama pastor has created her own genre of erotic fiction literature that she has labeled "Christian erotica." She says it's designed to help married Christian couples save their marriages.
Categories: Christian Post

British Man Confesses to Shooting Someone in the Face Four Times 10 Years Ago After He Becomes a Born Again Christian

Christian Post - Bible - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 1:45pm
A 31-year-old U.K. man who recently dedicated his life to Jesus Christ decided to confess his sins and turn himself in to police for shooting another man in the face in 2005. He will now serve a 12-year sentence after being convicted on several charges by a London court on Friday.
Categories: Christian Post

Avoiding Obstacles to Effective Prayer

Christian Post - Living - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 7:28am
Some of King David's prayers are recorded in the Psalms. There we read how he praised the Lord, confessed sin, and cried out about his troubles. He also asked God to hear his prayers and not be silent.
Categories: Christian Post

Movement in Asia Bibi’s case in Pakistan

Mission Network News - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs USA)

Pakistan (MNN) -- There's FINALLY been movement in Asia Bibi's case in Pakistan Bruce Allen with Forgotten Missionaries International confirms, "The Supreme Court of Pakistan stayed the execution of Asia Bibi. She was a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy on fairly trumped charges stemming from a labor dispute years ago. She has been in jail since2009 and on death row since 2010." The court also granted the Christian woman leave to appeal. Allen explains, "The lower courts had upheld her death penalty, but the Supreme Court said, 'We are going to stay that execution.' So that is good news, in and of itself." Asia Bibi's case started in 2009 when she said these words to a group of women she was arguing with: “Our Christ sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins....Our Christ is alive.” She was accused, tried, and convicted of insulting the prophet Muhammad. After a lengthy trial, on Nov. 8, 2010, Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by a judge. Since then, she's been in and out of courts with appeals. In October 2014, the high court in Lahore (where the incident took place) upheld Bibi’s death sentence. The decision on July 22 reverses a lower court ruling from last October and breathed new hope into her case. Could there be a full acquittal on blasphemy charges? On that point, Allen pauses. "She could be acquitted. It's too early to say, and there's more that will be forthcoming from the Supreme Court on this. This was just the first part of the hearing." Good news to celebrate, Allen agrees. However, "There still is a hard road ahead for her--she's still in prison. And even if the wheels of justice move in her favor and she is released, we have to remember that local Muslim clerics have put a price on her head." The American Center for Law & Justice notes he's offering a half million rupee bounty for anyone who kills Asia.

(Photo courtesy CallforMercy.com)

International pressure has been mounting, not only calling for Asia's release, but also for reform on the blasphemy laws. Reform has been a hot-button topic in Pakistan. The last two politicians who called for change were assassinated in 2011. For that reason, says Allen, "The situation is at a knife's edge in Pakistan regarding this case and other cases like it. They may say, 'No, we'll keep her in prison. We won't execute her, but we're not going to take further action on the case,' or something like that." In fact, the code was implemented nearly three decades ago to appease religious parties. Today, the laws are seen as being regularly misused to settle personal scores. Since 1984, nearly a thousand people have been convicted of blasphemy and thousands more accused of blasphemy. Despite the threat, more than 150,000 Christians in Pakistan have signed a petition demanding justice for persecution victims, including Asia Bibi. Will it be enough? The pressure counts for a lot. Allen says, "There were some objections raised. That could be taken up in the next hearing of the case. We're just glad that there was some movement on the case because it has been a long time since any action was taken legally on her behalf."

At the Supreme Court Hearing, Lahore, Pakistan (Photo courtesy FMI. Asia's husband, Ashiq Masih, seated on right)

What now? Asia Bibi isn't out of the woods yet. Long imprisonment has taken its toll. "Prayer is still needed. Pray for her health that God would be touching her body and restoring her and refreshing her." Pray for wisdom and safety for her legal counsel, adds Allen. "People who speak out in her defense, or who speak out on the blasphemy laws, are targets for violence. So we can be praying for Asia's lawyer, for his protection because he's taken on a high-profile case that is very divisive in that country." For her husband and children, Allen asks you to remember their needs, too. In spite of the upward trend in harassment, discrimination, and worse, the Pakistani Church is still growing. Growth means the hope of Christ is still getting out through the ministry of nearly 30 national pastors and evangelists who are partnering with FMI. They also provide tangible support, such as bicycles for pastors’ transportation, materials for church site construction, and helps maintain a network of safe houses for persecuted believers. For details, click here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Making a difference, one conversation at a time

Mission Network News - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 5:00am

(Image courtesy MNN)

USA (MNN) -- Making a difference through action, like donating to your favorite cause or distributing Bibles, is fairly easy. But when it comes to sharing your faith out loud, do you ever get tongue-tied? "I was pretty nervous to do that," admits student worker Reagan Hoezee. "I haven't done anything like [sharing] the Gospel, I guess, with anyone." Hoezee, a journalism major at Cornerstone University, began writing for MNN this Spring. Right now, he's putting his faith into action, and making a difference at the same time, on a short-term mission trip to Philadelphia's inner city. As the team meets people at their point of need, they get a chance to talk about life's deeper issues. While playing games with inner city kids, or helping out at a local soup kitchen, Hoezee and his fellow missionaries form relationships with the people they meet. Somewhere along the line, conversations with people like "Raul" often turn spiritual. "He sells drugs on the street just to survive, and that's his only income," explains Hoezee. Raul claims to be a Christ-follower but spends most of his days on the streets, using and abusing drugs. Though he's been sober for a few days, Raul admits that once he has money again, he'll be back in the same downward cycle. "We just...talked to him about how through Jesus, you can find complete freedom from that addiction, that no addiction or problem is beyond God's control," says Hoezee. "It wasn't like we saw any kind of big commitment or life change right before our eyes, but...I felt like we planted some seeds." Please pray that Raul and others like him will accept Christ as not just Savior but Lord of their lives. Keep Hoezee and his fellow missionaries in your prayers, too. The team is made up of a youth group and its leaders from Jamestown Baptist Church in Hudsonville, MI. On this trip, they're serving alongside Vision for Youth.

(Photo credit InterVarsity Christian Fellowship)

Hoezee is one of the team's older members, but all of them can still be categorized in the wider "Millennials" category. And, according to Barna Research Group, this short-term mission trip is one example of why Millennials are "the most evangelistic generation." "While the evangelistic practices of all other generations have either declined or remained static in the past few years, Millennials are the only generation among whom evangelism is significantly on the rise," reads a 2013 study of evangelism from Barna. "Their faith-sharing practices have escalated from 56% in 2010 to 65% in 2013." Passionate about truly making a difference, Millennials are committed to righting injustice and sharing the Truth of Scripture with those in need. Pray that the Lord will use these young people to accomplish His will and purposes in Philadelphia's inner city.
Categories: Mission Network News

‘Bring These 400 Home’ Campaign costs a cup of coffee

Mission Network News - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 5:00am
International (Bethany) -- Imagine if all you had to do to help special needs orphans was give up a cup of coffee. That’s exactly what Bethany Christian Services is asking you to do with their new "Bring These 400 Home" campaign. The Premise Bethany has identified 400 special needs orphans from around the world who need families to take them in. They’ve also managed to find Christian families across the United States who are willing to adopt them! The problem? International adoption is expensive, especially when the children will require ongoing medical care.

(Photo Courtesy Bethany Christian Services)

These families and children are ready to be paired, but they can’t afford to take the next step. That’s where your morning coffee comes in. A Cup of Coffee It starts with you. Give up $3.33 a day--the price of a cup of coffee--for 3 months and start your own campaign page. The personalized campaign page will include a video of you asking your friends to join the campaign, and the flood will spread. Your friends can choose the Coffee option--$3.33 a day, or the Tea option--$1.67 a day, and join campaign. All that’s required is $3.33 a day for 3 months from 33 of your friends. By the end of those 3 months you will have raised $10,000 dollars! The money will go to adoption fees, medical needs, traveling costs, and more.

Personalized Campaign Page
(Photo Courtesy Bethany Christian Services)

And it doesn’t end there. During and after your campaign, you and your friends will receive information about where your money has made an impact. You’ll receive updates on how many children have been matched with families because of your money, and you’ll also hear stories and see photos of children who now have families. Throughout the campaign you’ll see updates on children waiting for your funds. Bethany Christian Services is asking you to help these families. Each special-needs child has already been matched with a family; all that’s required is the funds to put them together. You can start your own Bring These 400 Home campaign right here.
Categories: Mission Network News

The aftermath of ISIS

Mission Network News - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 5:00am
Iraq (MNN) -- Picture this. You’re living in a city that has been your hometown for generations. You hear about a new threat, a group of religious extremists attacking your city. Considering there are 52,000 governmental security forces protecting you from the 3,000 terrorists, there’s not that much to fear. You go to bed at midnight with news that the security forces are winning. Someone shakes you awake at four in the morning: the 52,000 surrendered to the 3,000. The city is lost.

(Photo courtesy VBB)

That’s what happened in Mosul, Iraq, and the surrounding villages last year in June. ISIS beat a force over 17 times their size then stormed from house to house. Vision Beyond Borders President Patrick Klein elaborates: at each house, he says ISIS “told the people to convert to Islam or die or leave. Many of them left.” How many? Enough to cause a serious problem in Dohuk, “which is about an hour north of Mosul. "We’re seeing more and more flooding of refugees,” Klein says, “and the government in Dohuk said, 'We can’t handle all this influx of refugees.' Camps can have as many as 70,000 refugees, and they’re desperate for care. “They can’t afford to buy anything because when they left Mosul and the surrounding villages, they left with just the clothes on their backs," says Klein. "They had no time to go to the banks and get any money out.” One man even lamented to partners that ”he had $60,000 saved. It was his life’s savings, and ISIS took all of his money.” ISIS isn’t done traumatizing the people of Mosul. Young girls and women are being taken as prizes by ISIS members who use and abuse them before “sending them back to their families [so] that they’re terrorized to increase the fear in families,” says Klein. One man’s 70-year-old mother was beaten and abused until the militants decided, “’We don’t want her, we don’t want to feed her anymore, we don’t want to be responsible for her. Let’s let her go back to her family.’” The most fervent prayer for many refugees is that “we might just see ISIS get routed and then people can go back and live in their homes again,” says Klein. But even then, they are still fearful. “A lot of them said they were afraid because they thought there were land mines actually put in their houses.” So what can we do to help? Vision Beyond Borders is taking a giant first step. Klein says, “We’re doing containers to Northern Iraq to help our Christian brothers and sisters and also to reach out to Yazidi people in Iraq that have been affected by ISIS.” This first container will include “school supplies, medical supplies, and also hygiene supplies," says Klein, "just to say, ‘We’re with you in this.’”

Photo Courtesy Vision Beyond Borders

And that’s not the end of it. Vision Beyond Borders has been ”raising funds to buy Bibles to help them to replace the Bibles that have been lost.” But for such a big problem, there needs to be a long-term plan in place. “What we thought we’d do is start small," explains Klein. "We thought, ‘Let’s send a container. Let’s get Bibles for them. Let’s start small and then let’s see where God takes it.’” That doesn’t mean this first container will also be the last. “I think what we want to do is continuously send containers and supplies for them.” As the people struggle for money, Klein introduces yet another long-term plan. He says they want “to set up micro-finance loans, to help ]refugees] get settled in Northern Iraq.” So how can you help? It turns out you are vital to the cause. You’ve also got options. Klein says they can get full Arabic Bibles from Northern Iraq for “$4 a piece.” In addition, Vision Beyond Borders is still accepting “school supplies, hygiene materials, and basic medical supplies” for the container. Klein closes by reminding us that God can use the warpath of ISIS to His glory. “I feel like there’s an opportunity for Christians and Americans around the world to say, ‘We’re standing with you. We love you. We care about you.’”
Categories: Mission Network News

Draft constitution weighed in light of public opinion

Mission Network News - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 5:00am

(Graphic courtesy GFA)

Nepal (GFA/MNN) -- Nepal's earthquake survivors are still trying to recover from April's devastating earthquake, and another big change is on its way. According to Gospel for Asia (GFA), Nepal's government is getting a report today that tells the public's view of a draft constitution. A majority of the country's 30 million citizens took part in the conversation; some 200,000 copies of the draft constitution were made available for public review. An interim constitution has governed Nepal since the country’s monarchy was dispelled in 2007, and plans to establish a finalized ruling document have come and gone multiple times. Many people hope the current draft constitution is a sign that Nepal is finally moving toward democracy. The Constituent Assembly (CA) hopes to ratify the constitution by mid-August. Believers fear their freedom to share Christ will be severely restricted if the draft constitution isn't changed. A controversial anti-conversion law could cause problems for Christians and other religious minorities, if it's included in the final copy. Open Doors USA reports if anyone is found guilty for breaking this law, they could be thrown in prison for a maximum of five years and be fined up to 50,000 Nepalese rupees.

(Photo courtesy Gospel for Asia)

Please pray that governing authorities will be guided by wisdom as they work to finalize Nepal's constitution. Pray that God's people will be granted the freedom to worship Him in safety. Violence erupted between police and protesters in southern Nepal when government officials held a public meeting to gain citizen input to the constitution, according to news reports from the region. The protesters threw chairs at the deputy prime minister. This isolated country wedged between India and China historically has been a Hindu nation, and most protesters are demanding a return to that status. Nepalese monarchs advocated Hinduism, and the people believed their monarchs were the reincarnation of Vishnu, a Hindu god. A secular republic led by Maoists abolished the traditional monarchies in 2008 and welcomed the humanitarian aid of Christian organizations. Only about 2% of Nepalese are Christians. Gospel for Asia has a long-standing history of support in Nepal for Believers Church, a network of 450 churches and 20 Bridge of Hope Centers that serve downtrodden children.

(Photo courtesy Gospel for Asia)

During the earthquakes in April and May, Gospel for Asia responded quickly with Believers Church workers already on the ground. Their response grew to include Compassion Services teams that delivered basic supplies and other goods and built shelters in remote mountain areas. Along with praying for the spiritual freedom of Nepal's residents, you can help them regain physical stability through GFA. Click here to send help and hope through GFA's Earthquake Relief Fund.
Categories: Mission Network News

Potter's House Pastor Chris Hill Explains Why His Denver Megachurch Needs Armed Guards

Christian Post - Pastors - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 5:02pm
The Rev. Chris Hill, senior pastor of The Potter's House of Denver in Colorado, has shared that members of his congregation who were once critical of the presence of armed guards in the sanctuary now understand the necessity of such security measures in the wake of the Charleston church massacre.
Categories: Christian Post

Potter's House Pastor Chris Hill Explains Why His Denver Megachurch Needs Armed Guards

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 5:02pm
The Rev. Chris Hill, senior pastor of The Potter's House of Denver in Colorado, has shared that members of his congregation who were once critical of the presence of armed guards in the sanctuary now understand the necessity of such security measures in the wake of the Charleston church massacre.
Categories: Christian Post

Two Christian Colleges Allow Hiring of Gay Married Professors; Goshen Board Sought Guidance in Prayer Before Final Decision

Christian Post - Bible - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 3:49pm
Two universities that belong to the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, an organization dedicated to delivering Christ-centered education at all of its schools, will now allow the hiring of professors who are married to a partner of the same sex.
Categories: Christian Post

Governor Wolf issues reprieves for death row inmates

WGRC News - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 2:38pm

The governor continues his strong stance on issuing reprieves to prisoners sentenced to death in Pennsylvania. Shortly after taking office this year, Governor Tom Wolf announced a moratorium on executions in the state and has been challenged twice now in the state Supreme Court, the latest by the state’s Attorney General. In a filing this week, Wolf’s lawyers pointed to an executive power of reprieve granted by the state’s constitution. Wolf says he will continue to issue reprieve’s at least until he receives the results of an overdue report by a legislative commission on the death penalty.

Categories: Local News

Rand Paul Sees Role for Federal Government in Restoring Ex-Felon Voting Rights

Christian Post - Missions - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 1:52pm
Republican Senator from Kentucky, presidential candidate and noted state's rights proponent Rand Paul expressed support for the federal government playing a role in restoring voting rights for former felons.
Categories: Christian Post

Why Does God Allow Pain And Suffering? A Difficult Question, The Answer Is Right Here!

Christian Post - Bible - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:10pm
It is one of the most difficult questions you can ask and probably one of the hardest to answer. When bad things happen to good people we are all stuck asking the question, why? These people come together to answer the question that so many have trouble with and it will blow you away.
Categories: Christian Post