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How to Get a Life

Christian Post - Living - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 9:50pm
Some may think the Christian life is restrictive, but actually it is the very opposite. Out there in the world where there are no restrictions, people will start reaping the consequences of their foolish actions. But those who are following Christ will find life at its fullest. Yes, there are boundaries and parameters, but they are there for our own protection.
Categories: Christian Post

Reinhard Bonnke, Evangelist Who Clashed With Muslims in Africa to Win Millions of Converts for Christ to Get Lifetime Award for Global Ministry

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 1:27pm
Reinhard Bonnke, a longtime and once hardline global evangelist who clashed with Muslims in Africa to win millions of converts for Christ on the continent, is set to get a Lifetime Global Impact award at the Global Congress of Empowered21 in Jerusalem for his trailblazing ministry next month.
Categories: Christian Post

You can do something about ISIS

Mission Network News - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Children's HopeChest)

East Africa (MNN) -- As if Ethiopian orphans didn't have enough to deal with, the Islamic State is on their doorstep. Over the weekend, dozens of Ethiopian Christians were slaughtered by ISIS in Libya. Yesterday, government leaders announced three days of national mourning. ISIS has been flaunting its use of child soldiers in Iraq and Syria, recruiting children to join their ranks as "Cubs of the Caliphate." Without the guardianship of parents and an innate desire to belong, orphans make an easy target. The world has been waiting for someone--anyone--to do something about ISIS. Wil Crooks of Children's HopeChest (CHC) says they need YOU to respond. "It is one thing to hear about the atrocities that take place globally…but until you're on the ground…there's a gap between what we know and…what we can do about it," Crooks states. CHC isn't asking for donations. They're asking you to see their ministry in-person by joining them on a Vision Trip. Find details here. Protecting innocents

(Photo courtesy Children's HopeChest)

By protecting a vulnerable child, you can tangibly do something about ISIS. While many great things are done through individual child sponsorships, CHC believes teamwork is vital to complete transformation. Relationships are a key part of that equation. "You don't just pour in resource, because resource without relationship really becomes a transaction," says Crooks. "We believe that transformation happens when it's one life on one life." Using a Survive, Thrive, and Succeed approach, CHC changes kids' lives by pairing Christ-followers in North America with believers on-the-ground in nine countries. Two of those nations in East Africa--Ethiopia and Uganda--have a combined orphan population of 7.2 million. "Children's HopeChest will only partner with communities that are already reaching out to the orphans and vulnerable children," clarifies Crookes.

(Photo courtesy Children's HopeChest)

Christ's command in Matthew 28 is the driving force behind CHC's work. "We want to go and to make disciples. We want not only the children, but the caretakers and the entire community, to know Jesus Christ and to have a relationship with God through Christ." As believers in the West come alongside overseas communities through CHC, they help to make an eternal difference for the "least of these." It's one thing to read these words. It's another to see them in action. Seeing, believing, responding On a CHC Vision Trip, Crooks says partakers get to do a few things. First, they meet with local leadership and learn about the difference CHC's Community–to–Community (C2C) model is making. "We're going to sit down with the leaders, and the leaders are going to tell us three things," explains Crooks.
  1. What the challenges are for orphans and vulnerable children
  2. What the team is currently doing about it
  3. What the leaders' dreams are for the community

(Photo courtesy Children's HopeChest)

"The second thing we're going to do is get to know the children and get to know where they come from." Part of that process involves touring the child's community and walking the child's daily routine with them: where they go to school, how far they have to walk to get water, etc. The whole time, Crooks says visitors will be encouraged "to listen to what God is up to, to lean into His voice and what He may be calling a church or a community to get involved in." CHC's next Vision Trips to East Africa are heading out in September. Click here to sign up, or check out their "Vision Trip" page to see ministry in other locations.
Categories: Mission Network News

More executions by ISIS in Libya

Mission Network News - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 5:00am

Seal of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
(Image courtesy Wikipedia)

Libya (MNN) -- The Islamic State terror group released another grisly propaganda video over the weekend. It was another mass execution of Christians in Libya: this time, Ethiopians. It bears a resemblance to February's Egyptian Christian murders. Libya has become a hub for migrants across Africa hoping to cross the Mediterranean to enter Europe for work and better lives. Open Doors USA CEO David Curry says it's possible this group of Ethiopians fell into that category. "Within Libya, you have migrant worker groups, just like when you had Egyptians who were there to work within Libya. It's likely; we don't know.... What we know about this incident is what ISIS has been willing to brag about thus far." The White House has condemned "in the strongest terms" the mass murders. But Curry says that doesn't really go far enough. "What you have here is another example of ISIS showing that they are targeting Christians within the Middle East regions. It's not just within the caliphate, the region of control that they set up in Iraq and Syria. It's in Libya--it's in anywhere where they can gain a foothold, where they're not being resisted." Why target Ethiopians? Although Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian nation, Christians in Muslim areas have been reporting discrimination. The country has also drawn the ire of Islamic extremists due to military's attacks on Somalia, which is over 99% Muslim, according to the Joshua Project.

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

ISIS violence in Libya is creating a reaction among moderate and non-Muslims. Curry explains, "It essentially forcing a mass exodus out of the area and has for some time now. But, you're going to see that speed up to where you'll have a region total devoid of Christian faith. That destabilizes the societies within the region." He goes on to say that the ISIS strategy is straightforward. "They're exporting their ideology, their resources to these areas, and their strategy to eliminate Christianity throughout the region." The response has been twofold: first, there have been government responses. After the February killings of the Coptic Christians, Egypt's military responded with airstrikes targeting Darna, a militant stronghold. Curry notes, "The civil governments need to recognize what is happening, because right now, the United Sates government, the administration, has not even recognized that Christians are being targeted within the region." Curry goes on to note, "This isn't just a failed state, it's not just a governmental program. It is an ideology which has targeted, which has explicitly said they want to eliminate Christians." It's that threat that launches the second response: "I think that this is part of a plan to unsettle Christians...Christians need to be aware that there is a component here of spiritual attacks on Christians that the enemy doesn't want us succeeding. It wants us to live in fear." Violence against Christians has increased in a country where rule of law is absent. Curry expects Islamic extremism to spread rapidly. What is our responsibility? Pray. "Recognize your brothers and sisters in faith are in danger. Pray that they are safe, that they can worship in freedom," says Curry. What else can we do? Make some noise, says Curry. "We need to pray for the American Church to wake up to what is happening, so that we will stand behind these people and let our voice be heard. The politicians don't care, because we haven't been heard on this subject. I think we need to let people know we care that Christians around the world are being executed. These are just the ones that we know about."
Categories: Mission Network News

Chadian among Coptic Christians killed

Mission Network News - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs)

Libya (VOM) -- [Editor’s Note: This Voice of the Martyrs story sheds light on one of the 21 Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in February, who was unknown for a time period.] Following the martyrdom of Coptic Christian men by Libyan Islamic State (IS) militants in February 2015, the names of 21 of the martyrs were widely shared. The martyrs were kidnapped from Sirte, Libya, where they were working. Initially, it was believed that all of the men killed for their faith were from small villages in Egypt. However, the name and background of one of those killed, a black man, was unknown. Mathew Ayairga was soon identified by friends after being recognized in video footage of the killings released by IS. According to Ahram-Canadian News, Mathew was from Chad. Mathew had gone missing in January 2015, captured by one of the radical groups in Libya who have kidnapped hundreds, both Muslim and Christian. The video made public on Feb. 15 shows each of the men dressed in orange jumpsuits, kneeling on a beach, with their black-clothed attackers standing behind them. Each one is systematically beheaded, and the video clearly shows many of the men praying “Lord Jesus Christ” in their final moments. According to reports, Mathew Ayairga was not a Christian. However, when moments before his death the IS extremists demanded that he follow Islam, Mathew turned them down. After reportedly witnessing the “immense faith” of the Egyptian believers, he decided to become a follower of Christ. On camera, one of the terrorists asked Matthew, “Do you reject Christ?” “Their God is my God,” he responded, and he became one of the 21 men laying down their lives for their faith in Christ. The Names of the 21 Martyrs: 1. Milad Makeen Zaky 2. Abanub Ayad Atiya 3. Maged Soliman Shehata 4. Youssef Shukry Younan 5. Kirollos Boshra Fawzy 6. Bishoy Astafanous Kamel 7. Samuel Astafanous Kamel 8. Malak Ibrahim Sinyout 9. Tawadros Youssef Tawadros 10. Gerges Milad Sinyout 11. Mina Fayez Aziz 12. Hany Abdel Mesih Salib 13. Samuel Alham Wilson 14. Ezzat Boshra Naseef 15. Luka Nagaty Anis 16. Gaber Mounir Adly 17. Esam Badir Samir 18. Malak Farag Abrahim 19. Sameh Salah Farouk 20. Gerges Samir Megally 21. Mathew Ayairga Sources: VOM sources, Bombay Orthodox Diocese, Diocese of Los Angeles Coptic Orthodox
Categories: Mission Network News