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Columbia County Fire leaves family homeless

WGRC News - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 2:22pm

A fire in Columbia County has left a family homeless. The fire broke out around 5am yesterday at the home on Mountain Road in North Centre Township. Firefighters had a tough time getting to the home due to icy roads, and when they arrived they found flames shooting through the roof. The family made it out without injury. It’s believed the fire started in an attached garage in the rear of the more than 100 year old home and quickly spread. The home is a total loss. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Categories: Local News

March For Life

WGRC News - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 2:22pm

Up to a half a million people from across the United States and abroad gathered at National Mall in Washington DC yesterday for the annual March for Life.
The walk has become the largest ongoing civil rights march in American history. The March for Life began as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world. The peaceful demonstration that has followed on this somber anniversary every year since 1973 is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, abortion.

Categories: Local News

The Pursuit That Will Leave You Empty

Christian Post - Living - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:30am
Has there ever been a more pleasure-mad culture than ours today? It seems that we can't be entertained enough. We have continuous media coming our way with constant imagery and sounds, all things that are supposed to bring us pleasure.
Categories: Christian Post

Grace on Display

Christian Post - Living - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 9:52am
Paul described himself as the worst of sinners, and yet someone to whom the Lord had expressed His favor and love (1 Tim. 1:16). Because of divine grace, the apostle became spiritually alive and a member of God's family. He had a new purpose for living—one that would glorify his heavenly Father and help build His kingdom. From that day forward, Paul's attitudes and behavior were dramatically different.
Categories: Christian Post

Moving forward after flooding in Mozambique

Mission Network News - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 5:00am

(Map credit Operation World)

Mozambique (MNN) -- The South African National Defense Force just did an aid drop to survivors of Mozambique's floods. 2014 was a weird year, going from drought to deluge within a few weeks of each other. Unusually heavy rains kicked out by Cyclone Bansi were followed up by Tropical Storm Chedza. It was too much water too fast, starting in mid-December and not letting up until last week. As a result, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe saw floods that killed 260 and displaced 360,000 people. Malawi and major parts of Northern Mozambique were hit the hardest, leaving them without power and waiting for the sun to come out. That could be a long wait because heavy rain was forecast in the coming days. Getting aid in was hampered by bridges that have been damaged, effectively isolating the survivors.

Audio Scripture Ministries has been working in Mozambique since 2005.
(Photo by ASM)

Audio Scripture Ministries Executive Director Jim Loker says this is coming at a time when ASM is expanding work in Mozambique. "It's affecting areas where we have done Bible distributions in the past. We would hope to be able to get into those places after the flooding has receded." Some of the distribution projects planned in the flooded region will have to be revisited. "Basically, the roads have to be passable and life has to be back to 'normal' so then we can get back into those areas of northern Mozambique where there would be contact again." However, their work can't stop. "There are people who are crying out to God for help. In many countries, their faith is what sustains them, but they have no access to the Scriptures because they're not a literate people." ASM provides God's Word in an audio form of a heart language, loaded onto a player.  They use durable, solar-charged digital players as well as optional field accessories. Players are designed to be self-sustaining and offer great versatility. They are built with rugged durability for the most extreme climates. Loker says in the past, whenever they've done audio Bible distributions and recordings from the central part of the country, there have been traveling logistics, poor infrastructure, and limited connections that made ministry challenging. That's why ASM broke ground on a new “satellite” training and recording studio/distribution center in the central part of the country. "We're about a third of the way done. It's a smaller studio. It's a training facility in the town of Chimoio, which is south of those provinces that have been affected by the flooding." Because it will be smaller than their Xai-Xai headquarters in the south, they're hoping to have it ready for use by April 2015. ASM will be among the "third wave" responders in this crisis. Typically, first wave response included emergency support, rescue, and humanitarian aid; second wave response involves cleanup, rebuilding, and medical help beyond emergency. Third wave responders deal with the emotional and spiritual trauma. Loker says, "Be praying that God would touch their hearts for the need to know Him and to know the Scriptures. That's where we come into play, where we can provide the audio Bibles. God will be glorified through this, and we'll be there to help with any of the people who need audio Bibles or spiritual help."
Categories: Mission Network News

Chakma Christians not wanted

Mission Network News - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 5:00am

The Chakma Christians
(Photo courtesy of Forgotten Ministries International)

Bangladesh (MNN) -- There's a tribe in Bangladesh whose theme is isolation. Holding strongly onto Buddhism, the Chakma people have violently separated themselves from the otherwise Muslim-dominant country. But what happens when one of their own opens up their heart to the saving truth of Jesus' death and resurrection? This tiny restricted area--part of the Iowa-sized country of Bangladesh--cannot be accessed without special government permission. It's impossible for a foreign missionary to have any sort of effective ministry there. Therefore, it's a perfect area of ministry for Forgotten Missionaries International. "We don't send people from here to become missionaries there. We are empowering the local believers, the national indigenous believers, to do the church planting, the evangelism, to own the ministry of church leadership," says Bruce Allen of FMI. He shares an important prayer need for a congregation of Christians in one Chakma village. One of the church planters who has outreaches to three different villages was approached by the tribal leaders of his primary village. Allen explains, "The village leaders, just days ago, told the Christians that they needed to leave the village: they were no longer welcome. This congregation is part of the Chakma tribe which is a little bit of an anomaly in Bangladesh." Again, the Chakma people are Buddhist while Bangladesh exists as the third-largest Muslim-dominant country in the world. Despite their steep history of Buddhism (catch up on the Chakma background here), there has been a great movement in the last few years. "The Gospel had come into several Chakma villages and [is] changing the villages," Allen says.

Late last year, village leaders interrupted a baptism.
(Photo courtesy of FMI)

This transformation causes village leaders to feel threatened. They, in turn, are threatening the future of a 40-member strong congregation. At best, the church will be sort of socially ex-communicated, as Allen puts it. They'll have to find a new place that will welcome them. But even to visit another village is a three-hour hike. And it's hard to believe another village will accept these Christians, judging by their already tense relations with the Muslim government. The pastor is not being deterred by this request, however. While he remains respectful in how he approaches leadership, his passion to teach others about Jesus is not quenched to any degree. If you've been walking with God for a while, you know it's easy to get discouraged without much support for what you're doing. Can you take a moment to consider how you could help encourage this pastor in Bangladesh? Let's start with financial giving. Here are several options: - You can help provide Bibles and hymnals in the Chakma language, and other evangelistic literature as well. - Another way to help is to contribute to the National Pastors fund with FMI. An upcoming conference still needs to be covered financially. - Finally, your church can help support a church planter. Three more church planters have been approved in Bangladesh. Their sponsorship is $100 a month.

(Photo by FMI)

Click here to see a full list of options for supporting FMI. Another way to help is through prayer: - "Pray for this congregation's boldness and tactfulness as they will consistently testify of Jesus Christ...in a respectful manner," says Allen. "Pray that God would change the heart of this village leader, that his heart would be open to hearing and believing the Gospel message." - Pray for the congregation as they experience uncertainty about their future. - Ask God to make Himself known through this hard time.
Categories: Mission Network News

President Obama meets wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini

Mission Network News - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 5:00am
USA (ACLJ) -- U.S. President Obama met with American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and two young children, Jacob and Rebekka, in a private meeting Wednesday in Pastor Saeed’s hometown of Boise, Idaho The meeting lasted about 10 minutes, and President Obama assured Naghmeh that Pastor Saeed’s freedom is a “top priority” for him and his administration. This was the first time that President Obama met or spoke with Pastor Saeed’s family, and Naghmeh left the meeting with a “renewed sense of hope.” As Naghmeh described their meeting: President Obama came in and shook our hands and talked to the kids for a moment. Then he sat right in front of me and started speaking of how much of a priority Saeed's case was and that he was working on getting Saeed home to our family. He mentioned his first call several months ago to Iran’s president Rouhani and how Saeed was mentioned in that call. He again reiterated that Saeed's case was a “top priority” and getting him back to the U.S., to our family, was a top priority. He also said that he meets with Secretary of State Kerry regularly and follows up on Saeed's case. He also said that Secretary Kerry brings up Saeed every time he meets with the Iranians. I told him how appreciative I was that he was willing to meet with my family and for everything he was doing to bring my husband home. I told him that I was praying for him and had been praying for months I would have the opportunity to meet with him. He took my hand, squeezed it, and smiled. I could tell by the look in his eyes he cared. As the meeting ended, I said, "My son, Jacob, has something to say.  Jacob said, "Mr. President, can you please bring daddy home for my birthday?" President Obama asked, "When is your birthday?" Jacob said March 17th, and the President said he would try very hard. He smiled, got up, hugged me again, and said goodbye. He shook the kids hands and left. Meeting with the President of the United States of America and seeing how much he cares about Saeed’s case has given me a renewed sense of hope. I want to thank everyone who has been praying for this meeting to take place and for my husband’s freedom. ACLJ is grateful that President Obama took the time to meet with Naghmeh and speak with her and the children. Pastor Saeed has been wrongly imprisoned for nearly two and a half years. He has been separated from his wife and children; the pain experienced by the Abedini family is impossible to imagine. The meeting between President Obama and the Abedini family is a very welcomed development. It demonstrates the President's concern and compassion for this family. It also underscores the importance of Pastor Saeed's case, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran merely because of his Christian faith. The face-to-face meeting elevates Pastor Saeed's plight on the world stage and should send a powerful message to the Iranians: it is time to release Pastor Saeed so he can return home to his family. Also today, Pastor Saeed’s family in Iran was able to visit with Pastor Saeed and give him updates about how Naghmeh and his children are doing. Like Naghmeh, they are hopeful that President Obama’s direct involvement in this case will lead to Pastor Saeed’s freedom. Please continue to pray for Pastor Saeed, his family, and his swift release.
Categories: Mission Network News

Jesus Revealed by Jason Nelson

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 5:00am
Worship leader, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and soulful contemporary singer/songwriter Jason Nelson burst onto the scene in 2005 with his independent albums, I Shall Live, Brand New Day, and Place of Worship in 2008. As his ongoing ascent to the forefront of Gospel music continued, Jason penned the title track "Thirsty" for Marvin Sapp's #1 album release of the same name. In 2012 Jason signed with Verity/RCA Inspiration and released Shifting The Atmosphere, which debuted at #3 on the Gospel Album chart and featured two Top 5 Gospel Radio hits, the title track Shifting The Atmosphere and Nothing Without You. His major[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

North Point Music: Beginnings by North Point Music

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 5:00am
North Point Music continues its tradition of creating accessible, innovative worship music with the label's latest project, North Point Music: Beginnings. The double disc, available Jan. 20, 2015, showcases the best worship offerings from popular North Point Music albums and artists. Produced by two-time GRAMMY Award-winning producer Nathan Nockels (Matt Redman, Laura Story, Passion) and Steve Fee, Beginnings comprises 21 total tracks. The compilation is North Point Music's first, designed to bring together fan favorites from both past and present. Disc one, titled "Then," highlights music from previous North Point Music live releases, including North Point Live, North Point Live: Awake,[...]
Categories: Christian Music News