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Isolated Christians given opportunity to worship

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of SAT-7)

Algeria (SAT-7/MNN) -- For many Christians in the U.S., going to church means a 10-minute drive down the road. But for believers in North Africa, It’s not nearly that simple. At a rural Protestant church in Algeria, believers walk for miles through the rugged Atlas Mountains to make it to Sunday worship. They get up as early as 5:00 a.m. to make it to the 9:30 a.m. service, which is usually packed by 8:00 a.m. For many other believers in North Africa, public worship isn’t even an option. Thousands of rural villages have no church building or Christian gatherings. That’s why SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, started MY Church in Algeria. Now in its third year, the television program airs Sunday services from the rural Protestant church in Algeria to thousands of rural villages throughout North Africa. The program is aired in the Kabyle language, a sub-dialect of the Amazigh language, along with Arabic subtitles. SAT-7 chose Kabyle because in countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Somalia, it is often better understood than Arabic. "Before we start our cell group church in my house on Sundays, we watch My Church in Algeria because it is in Kabyle,” one viewer from Morocco says, according to an article by SAT-7. In a country where Christianity was nearly wiped out by Arab invasions in the 7th century, Christianity is growing. Out of more than 39 million people in Algeria, an estimated 75,000 are Christians, with a lot of the growth coming in the last 20 years. Can you help SAT-7 continue reaching Muslims for Christ through satellite television? For $1, you can support one SAT-7 viewer for a year. Remember also to keep Algeria, as well as the rest of North Africa, in your prayers. Pray that SAT-7 programs would continue touching hearts and that Muslims would come to Christ.
Categories: Mission Network News

Threats of war nothing new in North Korea

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs via Facebook)

North Korea (MNN) -- Last week, threats and several bombings were exchanged between North and South Korea. It was the highest tensions have been between the neighboring countries in years. These new pressures escalated when landmines--which North Korea refused to take responsibility for--wounded two South Korean soldiers. “The North Koreans have even, in 2010, sunk a South Korean ship. They have always refused to acknowledge that it was their fault or to apologize,” says Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). “The South Korean government, in this instance, is saying, ‘We’re not going to settle for that sort of ignoring the issue. You must apologize.’ After refusing to do so, South Korea blasted loudspeakers that had been inactive for 11 years, to spread truth about North Korea and it’s leaders. For the North Korean government, that is one of the most dangerous things to happen. “The North Korean government is very touchy about information for their citizens. Because of the nature of their regime, because of the level of control, any information from the outside world is cut off.” The information that came across the border from the loudspeakers quickly acted as a direct threat to the North Korean government. “And you can see in the level of their response that they [felt] threatened by it,” Nettleton says. Friday, Kim Jong-un declared a "quasi-state of war" on the south and ordered troops to prepare for battle. While North Korea doubled the artillery forces on it’s frontlines and 50 of the country’s submarines disappeared into unknown locations, it looked like this conflict would end up in more than a "quasi-state of war." Yet after several days of negotiations, an agreement was struck on Tuesday morning. In the agreement, South Korea said it would stop propaganda. North Korea expressed regret for the injuries of the soldiers and said they would call off the "semi war." While the world held its breath over the last few days, the people of North Korea went about their business unscathed, and not the least bit concerned, according to the Associated Press. Why? Because threats of war are nothing new to their daily lives. “The North Koreans will often make these amazing statements of ‘You’ve done this and we’re going to respond this way.' So until it goes [further] than what it’s gone now, I think it is posturing, and I think it is kind of back and forth," Nettleton says. Associated Press journalist Eric Talmadge writes, “North Koreans are accustomed to being told they are on the brink of war with their southern neighbors and U.S. troops.” Having become accustomed to rumors or threats of war, and growing worshipping their leaders, the truth of the Gospel is vital for the people. “We are involved in getting information into North Korea, getting New Testaments in, getting Gospel radio broadcasts in,” Nettleton says. “In some ways, I think the North Koreans would identify us as part of the problem because we’re part of the outside world trying to get the truth to the North Korean people.” As tensions ebb for the moment, pray that God will grant the Korean governments wisdom to find a permanent solution. Also pray for the church to stand firm during persecution. North Korea is #1 on the Open Doors World Watch List.
Categories: Mission Network News

Missionary spreads the Word throughout Egypt

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of Operation Mobilization)

Egypt (MNN) -- [EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an article written by Nicole James, a freelance journalist and an intern with Operation Mobilization. Click here to find other ways OM is spreading the Gospel around the world.] “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (Isaiah 55:11 NLT). *Ali, a local worker, has one goal for his life: to wash Egypt with the Word of God. Before 2017, he hopes to distribute 2 million Bibles to Egyptian Muslims. He hands out Bibles by the carton-full, according to team leader *Jared. “Ali is not afraid in any situation to offer a Bible as a gift,” Jared said. Often, when one family member receives a Bible, other relatives come back to ask for their own copy. A couple of times a year, Ali and *Ibrahim, another OM worker, partner with a local ministry. In a courtyard, event volunteers set up displays of used clothing to sell. When a local leaves the event, they receive a Bible. One day, 2 girls entered the courtyard and silently perused the area. On their way out, they both accepted a Bible. Some time later, both returned to the center, having read through the Bible and come to faith. Another day, a Muslim lady wearing a full burka came into the area. One of the volunteers, standing next to the doorway, handed her the Bible as she entered. She accepted the book, hugged it tightly to herself, and said, “I don’t need anything else.” “Incredible things are happening in Egypt these days,” Ali reported. “We’re praying that the Word of God will go across [the country].” Since the Egyptian revolution in 2011, Bible distribution within the country has increased every year. There was “an incredible response to the Gospel from the backlash when the Muslim Brotherhood was running the country,” Jared explained. “[Many] people rejected that form of Islam. They’re exploring many different areas, but many are coming to Christianity.” OM workers are spreading God’s Word across Egypt’s social strata--from politicians to people off the street. However, the openness experienced by the OM team in Egypt may not last. “We don’t know what will happen in a year or two,” Jared said. Pray that OM workers in Egypt will continue to find ways to distribute Bibles across the country. Pray that many Egyptians will read God’s Word and come to faith in Jesus Christ. *Name changed for security
Categories: Mission Network News

Bangladesh flooding: crisis or opportunity?

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy DFID via Flickr)

Bangladesh (MNN) -- Conditions are dire and desperate amid nonstop Bangladesh flooding. Landslides and a cyclone have intensified the effects of annual monsoon flooding, leaving at least 180,000 Bangladeshis homeless. Amid the chaos, national pastors and church planters supported by Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI) are islands of security. “Members of their congregations are looking to them for leadership in the midst of a crisis,” explains FMI’s Bruce Allen. “So, we really want to come alongside and resource them with the things that they need. Bangladesh flooding

Cyclone Komen (Photo obtained on Tumblr)

Situated among the world’s largest river delta system, Bangladesh is naturally vulnerable to cyclones and South Asia’s annual monsoon rains. This year, however, has been particularly difficult. Monsoon season typically lasts from June to September, affecting 14 nations in South and Southeast Asia. Flooding and landslides are expected results, and ministries throughout the region are adept at dealing with the aftermath of these natural disasters. What caught most by surprise was the severity of Cyclone Komen. Formed over the Bay of Bengal, Cyclone Komen swamped Bangladesh at the end of July before adding insult to injury in neighboring Myanmar and India. According to Weather.com, areas already struggling to deal with Bangladesh flooding were inundated by Cyclone Komen. Church leaders supported by FMI are among those still trying to “pick up the pieces” nearly a month later. “Many of our ministry partners, our church planters, in Bangladesh are now very sick,” shares Allen, attributing illnesses to water-borne diseases.

All of the resources seen here
were destroyed by recent flooding.
(Photo courtesy FMI)

Water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, and polio are common during monsoon season because flood waters often contaminate sources of drinking water. “Our National Director lost his home,” Allen adds. Inside the home were volumes upon volumes of the director’s Christian resources. Can you help FMI empower struggling believers in Bangladesh? Empowering local responders Allen says FMI wants to replace the National Director’s resources claimed by floodwaters. “If we could get him a digital library on, let’s say a Kindle or Nexus, that would be a God-send for him,” he explains. But, they’re not stopping there. “We’re trying to educate people in how to build smarter, use better materials: concrete block, or brick, mortar, that is not going to dissolve in water,” says Allen.

Traditional bamboo hut building: the "weaved" walls
are attached to the framework, and
corrugated iron is used to make the roofs.
(Photo, caption obtained via Wikipedia)

Bangladesh flooding is “a tragic cycle repeated year after year in certain areas of the country, and they just keep going back and using those [same] materials, but then they have to rebuild every year," says Allen. “If we can help them with better building materials, that makes a large difference.” Visit FMI’s Web site here and select “Tangible Resources” to help Bangladeshi believers transform their communities. “We’re looking for people to come alongside [and] say, ‘We stand beside you. We want to see you be a beacon of hope and a message of Jesus’ Truth and forgiveness.’” More stories from Bangladesh here. Is there a quote or Bible verse that motivates you to help people in need? We’d love to hear it! Please share in the Comments section below.
Categories: Mission Network News

Protect Nun's 'Dignity' in Birth Control Mandate Case: 20 States Recall Gay Marriage Reasoning in Supreme Court Brief

Christian Post - Missions - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:35pm
Mirroring the Supreme Court reasoning used to implement nationwide gay marriage, 20 states filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the Obama administration is infringing upon the "dignity" of the Little Sisters of the Poor in forcing the nuns to either violate their religious beliefs or pay crippling fines.
Categories: Christian Post

Continued budget talks

WGRC News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:12pm

The sides continue to spar over the budget issue in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf yesterday blasted a Republican plan to vote to override his budget bill veto piece by piece as unconstitutional. Republican leaders plan to start taking those votes today and Wolf says not only do they not follow the state constitution but that they would also cause even longer delays in trying to get a budget done. Budget talks are scheduled to get underway between the Wolf administration and Republican leaders as they continue to spar over planned tax increases and other issues.

Categories: Local News

Hillary Clinton looking for Conservative operatives

WGRC News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:11pm

Hillary Clinton’s campaign continues looking for undercover conservative stings. Time says the campaign worries that conservative operatives may try to infiltrate the campaign in an attempt to uncover illegal or improper activities. This follows three volunteers asking questions about skirting campaign finance laws. Clinton continues dealing with questions over how she used her email during her time at the State Department.

Categories: Local News

PA AG Kathleen Kane heads to trial

WGRC News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:08pm

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will head to trial on charges she leaked secret grand jury information and lied about it under oath. The ruling came Monday after a hearing where Kane’s lawyer tried to get some charges dropped. Kane has been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. She’s denied any involvement and has, so far, refused to step down.

Categories: Local News

Retired Bishop Says Pope John Paul II 'Couldn't Deal' With Child Sex Abuse Scandal, Criticizes Pope Francis' Leadership

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 2:40pm
Geoffrey Robinson, a retired senior bishop in Sydney, Australia, has told the Royal Commission looking into institutional responses to child sexual abuse that Pope John Paul II failed to show leadership and could not deal with the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church for decades. Robinson claimed that Pope Francis has also failed to demonstrate the needed leadership.
Categories: Christian Post

Quiz: A Crooked Businessman, A Stripper and Caitlyn Jenner

Christian Post - Pastors - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:39am
No one would have questioned whether Jesus loved sinners. Watching how he treated people caught in sin, they might have questioned whether he hated sin, but they never would have questioned if he loved sinners. Today, no one questions whether Christians hate sin, but just about everyone questions whether we love sinners.
Categories: Christian Post

Quiz: A Crooked Businessman, A Stripper and Caitlyn Jenner

Christian Post - Evangelism - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:39am
No one would have questioned whether Jesus loved sinners. Watching how he treated people caught in sin, they might have questioned whether he hated sin, but they never would have questioned if he loved sinners. Today, no one questions whether Christians hate sin, but just about everyone questions whether we love sinners.
Categories: Christian Post

Quiz: A Crooked Businessman, A Stripper and Caitlyn Jenner

Christian Post - Church Growth - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:39am
No one would have questioned whether Jesus loved sinners. Watching how he treated people caught in sin, they might have questioned whether he hated sin, but they never would have questioned if he loved sinners. Today, no one questions whether Christians hate sin, but just about everyone questions whether we love sinners.
Categories: Christian Post

With Culture Hostile to Christianity, What Will the Church Look Like in 20 Years?

Christian Post - Church Growth - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:37am
For generations it's been easy to live as a Christian in America. We have lived in a culture that largely assumed and supported Christianity or at least Christian moral principles. ... What's next for the American Christian?
Categories: Christian Post

A Walk of Faith

Christian Post - Living - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 6:41am
The Bible tells the story of a man who had everything this world says one should have to feel happy and fulfilled: power, wealth, influence, and fame. But along with that came an emptiness that sent him on a search for God. As secretary of the treasury for a powerful nation, he was second only to the queen. But there was a hole in his heart, so it led him on a search to the spiritual capital of the world, Jerusalem. He did not find what he was looking for, but as he was returning home, he unexpectedly found the answer to his questions. He had an appointment with God that resulted in his conversion and complete transformation.
Categories: Christian Post

Wildlife Storytellers: furry friend or evangelism tool?

Mission Network News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy WCOI via ASM)

India (MNN) -- When a child’s world is turned upside-down, there’s nothing more soothing than a furry friend to hold and the assurance that “everything will be okay." Just ask Audio Scripture Ministries’ JP Sundararajan. “When you are a victim of trauma, or a kid who has been abandoned, the most amazing thing you can do is provide them a ‘stuffed reminder,’” he says. “You know, something they can physically hold on to because they have just been yanked away from anything that has been near and dear to them.” Enter: ASM’s Wildlife Storytellers. Wildlife Storytellers: fuzz and hope Sundararajan and two short-term mission teams spent the last few weeks delivering 300 Wildlife Storytellers to vulnerable kids in India. Some were abandoned in the streets, others were victims of human trafficking.

JP Sundararajan with some of the boys who received Wildlife Storytellers.
(Photo courtesy ASM via Facebook)

No matter their background, each child experienced a new phenomenon in receiving a Wildlife Storyteller. First of all, “most of these kids have never, ever owned a stuffed animal of their own,” Sundararajan explains. Secondly, each of the Wildlife Storytellers holds a promise of hope that extends beyond today. As kids listen to recorded Scripture and Bible stories, they’re reminded that “they are not just an abandoned child, but they are children of God. “There is a God who loves them and who cares for them.” Learn more about Wildlife Storytellers here. Wildlife Storytellers: a new horizon

(Photo courtesy ASM)

Wildlife Storytellers haven’t been a primary focus in ASM’s past, Sundararajan admits. But, that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay this way. “The potential for this to ‘go big’ is there,” says Sundararajan. Abandoned children and orphans are an easy target for traffickers, and India has the world’s most child workers, according to UNICEF. In addition, India holds around 20 million HIV/AIDS orphans. Even if kids are rescued from danger and put into a safe living situation, many basic needs remain unmet. Can you help ASM provide a simple gift of comfort? “I would love to send about 1,000 more in the next couple of weeks; maybe in the next month or so,” Sundararajan shares, lamenting that ASM’s teams could only give Wildlife Storytellers to a small portion of the children they visited. “We would love to make sure that when we come back to this place, every one of these kids gets their own stuffed animal.” Help make it happen here.

(Photo courtesy WCOI via ASM)

“It costs about $30 per stuffed animal, [and] that’ll include the shipping, the cost of the animal, and everything else,” explains Sundararajan. More stories from ASM here. What’s the best way you’ve found to comfort kids who’re upset? Please share in the Comments section below!
Categories: Mission Network News

Is America post-Christian?

Mission Network News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 5:00am
USA (MNN) -- You may be wondering what’s going on in the United States. A move to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the nation has sent churches into confusion and uncertainty. What’s next? Barna Group Research and the Pew Forum back up that observation that America is moving toward post-Christianity. In fact, in just two years, the percentage of Americans who are categorized as "post-Christian" accelerated from 37% in 2013 to 44% in 2015. The study, published earlier this month, notes that the highest percentages of post-Christian Americans are living in urban areas of the northeast and Pacific Northwest. For a country founded on principles that acknowledged God and the Bible, it’s not good news. Biblica CEO Carl Moeller notes, “It’s a dramatic shift in the way in which Christianity plays a role in society and culture. Basically one can look to Europe and the empty cathedrals and churches of Europe as a post-Christian culture.” That begs the question: how did we get here? Moeller reveals, “Our research at Biblica Institute identified one glaring change in people’s Christian commitment, and that is in terms of Bible reading. The decline in Bible reading has been dramatic.” So you don’t read your Bible every day. Does it really make that big a difference? In Moeller’s opinion, it does. “It really presents a dramatic problem because, when a culture that has been founded on the biblical narrative no longer recognizes the importance of that narrative in its current state, the culture is open to wild changes.” What’s more, he adds, “If present trends continue, a two-thirds majority of America by 2030 will have virtually no knowledge of any Bible stories or biblical reference.”

(Courtesy Biblica)

How did researchers figure out what Post-Christian America look like? In the survey of 60,000 people over 7 years, respondents were asked about several categories. Some of the factors used to gauge categories included "whether individuals identify as atheist, have never made a commitment to Jesus, have not attended church in the last year, or have not read the Bible in the last week," explains Moeller. With the rise of mega churches, he says, “The church, as a celebrity-based church, has substituted the word of these celebrity leaders for the Word of God.” He explains that “we’ve created a culture where Christian books have taken on the role of best-sellers and created a momentum of ‘these are great ideas!’ Unfortunately, as the church has done that, it has also walked pretty steadily away from the authority of God’s Word.” What’s more, the next generation is disappointed with their preparation for their lifelong journey. It’s personal, adds Moeller. “With the assault on our Christian worldview through this post-Christian America, my kids have come back and said, ‘The churches have not given us what we need. They’ve basically given us a watered-down pop psychology of how to live a better life.’” But is Bible engagement really the answer to problems like same-sex marriage, ISIS and major disaster? It is. Moeller suggests, “What I’m talking about is simply people understanding that God’s Word has something to say to us today--not reading it in little snippets, but reading it deeply, and reading well, and understanding it, and being taught from the Bible.” Every instruction teaches the follower of Christ how to respond to all of the social ills. Simple, yet complex. “God’s Word is transformative. It does truly make a difference in our lives. It saves our souls, and it saves our culture if we’re spending time in it.”

(Photo couresy Biblica)

The problem is how to increase Bible engagement. Biblica has a few Bible reading plans available to help people walk through God’s Word. Another tool is the Books Of The Bible format. Moeller explains, “It actually reflects both historical and literary integrity of the New Testament. Take Paul’s letters, for example. While we still have chapters, and breaks for the natural thought chapters that are there, we’ve taken out the verses.” In the New Testament, for example, the book reads like the letter it was intended to be (Pauline epistles). Moeller reminds us that at its core, the Bible is a story. When you experience God’s Word in a presentation that honors the original literary form, it can transform the way you read. And, who doesn’t love a good story?
Categories: Mission Network News

Rejected woman finds hope

Mission Network News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of Gospel for Asia)

South Asia (GFA/MNN) -- Life for newlywed Vinanti and her husband was blissful. They were content in their marriage, and unlike many young wives in South Asia, there was no conflict between Vinanti and her in-laws. But after two years of marriage, things changed. Vinanti couldn’t get pregnant, so she went to the hospital to undergo testing. Her health was fine, but the tests showed she was infertile. In a culture where a woman's worth is defined by her ability to bear children, Vinanti began to feel shame. Her in-laws turned on her, verbally abusing her for not giving them a grandchild. Vinanti pleaded with her gods to grant her a child. Months passed without answer, and she began to doubt her gods’ power and goodness. She lost weight and sunk into a deep depression. A New Hope The answer Vinanti was searching for came in the form of a pamphlet. She met a few women from a Gospel for Asia Women’s Fellowship team, and they handed her a booklet about Jesus. They then explained to her the love of Jesus and invited her to their church. But Vinanti had her doubts. “Even though I listened to the Word of God, I could not make any decision whether I should attend the church or not,” Vinanti says, according to an article by GFA. “I was in great confusion and in a great dilemma.” After a few days on the fence, Vinanti picked up one of the booklets she had received, titled “The Heart of Raju." Inside, she discovered the hope she needed. She ended up attending church that Sunday, and immediately experienced God’s love. “During the worship service, I saw all the believers joyfully worshiping the Lord in one accord,” Vinanti remembers. “When the pastor shared the Word of God, it penetrated my heart."

(Photo Courtesy of Gospel for Asia)

That day, Vinanti gave her life to the Lord. She started regularly attending Sunday services, prayer meetings, and the local Women's Fellowship group. Faith Amidst Sorrow Soon, Vinanti's husband and his family began expressing opposition toward her faith. She stopped attending church but continued seeking God and asking Him for a child. Eventually, Vinanti became pregnant. But in the seventh month of pregnancy, her blood pressure skyrocketed. She was hospitalized, and her child died in the womb. Vinanti had to undergo an operation. And when the Women's Fellowship team heard about it, they fasted and prayed the entire day. “The Lord indeed heard their prayers, and my operation was done successfully,” Vinanti says. “After coming back from the hospital, I asked my husband and his family if I could attend the church again, and they graciously gave their consent. Now I’m attending worship service and all the prayer meetings in the church regularly.” Vinanti's faith continues to grow. And though her prayers weren't fully answered, she hasn’t given up hope.

(Photo courtesy of Gospel for Asia)

“I surely believe that the Lord will bless me with a child in the days to come,” she says. You Can Help The transformation of Vinanti’s life began with the words of a small pamphlet. But she isn’t the only one that's found hope this way. Millions of women have found new life after receiving Christian literature from GFA-supported missionaries. Can you help GFA continue to bring hope to the hurting in Asia? Click here to see how you can share the Good News through Christian literature yourself.
Categories: Mission Network News

War for independence continues in Ukraine

Mission Network News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 5:00am

Last year's fighting in Ukraine catches civilians
right in the middle.
(Photo courtesy SGA via Facebook)

Ukraine (MNN) -- Though yesterday was Ukraine’s 24th Independence Day, the country is still fighting for freedom. “The Ukrainian people are desiring for their independence,” says Vice President of Ministry Operations at Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), Eric Mock. “The sad part is: no matter on which side you stand, there are people who are caught in the middle who are suffering. There are people that are desiring freedom, and their freedoms are being taken away.” The once-very-free country has been fighting to keep and regain control from Russia and Pro-Russian rebels since fighting started in April 2014. “We stand for peace, but we are not pacifists,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said during his Independence Day speech. “We must get through the 25th year of independence as if on brittle ice. We must understand that the smallest misstep could be fatal. The war for independence is still ongoing.” Poroshenko pledged more troops to be sent to Eastern Ukraine. More than 6,800 have died since fighting began, according to the United Nations. And right in the middle of this fighting are civilians who have been maimed or killed simply by taking a step out of their house. Why Civilians are stuck in war-active areas Around 1.4 million people have fled Eastern Ukraine and taken refuge in the West, Belarus, and Russia. But many are stuck in war-active areas. “Most of the families that have remained in these villages are either disabled, elderly, or incredibly poor,” explains Mock, explaining that only the "young, mobile families" have had the means to leave. “The people that remain were already the marginalized or the poor within the community. Now they listen to gunfire and artillery constantly.”

(Photo courtesy SGA via Facebook)

Because of the ongoing war taking place just outside their doors, families don’t leave their house very often, which means they struggle to get supplies or food. They’ve become unacknowledged victims. “The devastation there is pretty pronounced. There are people that are lacking of medicine, lacking of water, food, and sometimes lacking in any kind of shelter,” Mock explains. “There’s really a different circumstance in there, and the amazing part, by God’s grace, is there are churches that God has raised up to be His witnesses both in action and in word.” SGA and churches taking a role Families stuck in dangerous areas are looking to local churches and SGA donations to bring support and encouragement. While bringing food and supplies, church members also bring the message of God. In one certain town, members come every week to hear a sermon, searching for hope and giving truth. But, it’s not as easy as it sounds. “The church members that help with these projects actually put on body armor and drive into areas within the range of gunfire and artillery. They’re delivering bread to people that absolutely do not have access to adequate food and medical care.” Mobs of people have started coming to SGA vans, looking for and depending on food and supplies. Earlier this year, Mock had the opportunity to share with an Alaskan church how families in Eastern Ukraine are being affected by the crisis. After speaking, a young girl named Charlotte handed him a crumpled $10 bill and told him she knew it wasn’t much, but she wanted it to go to the families. “It’s amazing to see a young life care so much for other people,” Mock said.

A child bites into bread that Charlotte's $10 provided.
(Photo courtesy SGA)

Until she received a video, little did Charlotte know her money donated 50 loaves of bread to Ukrainian families stuck in dangerous areas. It’s people like this who are doing small things to make a big difference. “We take for granted what a 10 or a 20 cent loaf of bread might mean for us. But for them, it may mean life.” While fighting continues and Poroshenko calls on more troops to work toward freedom, Mock says we need to pray for the church, which is struggling because so many people have left the area. “Rather than me taking a stand on pacifism versus open war to defend the freedoms, might I instead direct the call back to the power of the local church to reach the people in their community.” Will you provide for suffering families stuck in Eastern Ukraine? Just like Charlotte gave $10 and provided 50 loaves of bread, you can do the same. Click here to supply food and encouragement in the name of Christ.
Categories: Mission Network News