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Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 6:30pm

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Thank you for all you do to give us good Christian music... As a parent of teens, I'd sure hate for my kids to not have this alternative to what is currently available on the radio. We love the area concerts you bring to us too!  (Kreamer)

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Secret World by Guvna B

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 5:00am
London-based rapper Guvna B recently revealed the release date and cover art of his upcoming album Secret World.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Asian believers cast vision for massive outreach

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 5:00am

Japanese pastors at a training conference.
(Image courtesy Asian Access)

Asia (MNN) -- Believers in East Asia are planning something big. More than 900 pastors and church leaders from their country recently gathered to discuss the largest missionary-sending initiative in the nation's history. Over the next 15 years, this restricted-access country hopes to send 20,000 missionaries to some of the least-reached people groups in the world. "[The country] did a survey of how many missionaries God had sent to their country over the last 200 years, and they realized it's about 20,000 missionaries who brought the hope of Christ to their country," says Joe Handley, president of Asian Access, a ministry dedicated to raising up Christian leaders within the continent. "As they reflected deeper and prayed, they had a sense that they owe it back to God to be a blessing to the nations that have yet to see this hope." The idea behind the initiative isn't new. In its early days, it was known as the Back to Jerusalem movement, a Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim outreach initiative. However, this movement sat dormant for many years and never fully got off the ground. It wasn't until around 2011 when the nation's idea of paying back this "spiritual debt" began to gain momentum, beginning through a gathering of Christians in Korea, which Asian Access attended. The vision kept growing. Last year, 30 of the top Christian leaders from the country gathered to pray for their 2030 vision: to send 20,000 missionaries from their country to nations with little Gospel influence. They met again last month, this time with 900 pastors and church leaders, to discuss ways they can collaborate to accomplish their goal. "For years, this church in this country has been sending missionaries, but it's not been effective," Handley says. "Many of them have come home discouraged, not supported. Now, they're poised and looking for groups like Asian Access and many others that are coming alongside to help build capacity for a local indigenous sending movement. "This is really stunning, because it's not foreign agencies that are running this thing. It's not actually groups like Asian Access, although we're involved. It's really local, indigenous expressions of mission societies and churches that are going to be at the forefront of this sending engine." Although support from groups like Asian Access is vital, the indigenous missionaries are in a unique position to make a difference. Their personal life experiences and nationality allow them to impact people in a way that many Western missionaries could not. "They are a church that has faced persecution," Handley says. "They have been living through it for decades. I personally know pastors that have spent many years in jail, many years under torture or oppression, many years under all sorts of different kinds of pressure, and so they've already been tested and tried. They have something that generally the Western church has not faced at all, in terms of the pressures that have been put on them.

(Photo courtesy of Asian Access)

"The second advantage is in many of these countries, there is a repulsion against the West. Many of these least-reached sectors of the world, many of the sectors of the world where you have persecution happening, there is no desire to have Western presence in those countries." You might not be able to personally impact persecuted believers, but you can always help those who can. Handley asks that you pray for believers in this country as they foster their missionary-sending vision, as well as for groups like Asian Access supporting them. "I would say the key prayer point right now is praying for the capacity building of these nations, whether it's in collaboration, leadership development, or setting up sending structures, having a church that can support from behind," Handley says. Financial resources are also a necessity. Handley estimates that this initiative is a multi-million dollar effort. Click here for ways to give.
Categories: Mission Network News

A Precious story: perseverance, help, and hope

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 5:00am

Precious at two years, seven months old.
(Photo, caption courtesy Compassion)

Uganda (MNN/Compassion) -- Three years ago, a little girl named Precious suffered alone in the dark as her mother died of AIDS. Multiple diseases ravaged the little one's body as hope and health wasted away. Today, thanks to Compassion International's Child Survival program, Precious is lovely, lively, and learning about Jesus. Here's the rest of her story, as shared on Compassion's blog: Precious was suffering from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malnutrition. Born to a single mother who was a prostitute, and being cared for by a neglectful aunt, she had little hope left. Under their care and the weight of disease, her little body was fighting. By 18 months old, Precious had lost most of her hair. Veins on her forehead were visible, her eyes protruding. Her skin pale and rough. She was so thin: ribs showing, joints sticking out, and stomach extending. Not only this, but her toes were swollen and her feet were in pain from jiggers. Because people feared being infected with HIV, no one removed the jiggers or bathed her. Precious’ aunt just sat her in the corner of the house. She would sit in the same position if no one moved her, sometimes all day long. Her beautiful creation of a body was in survival mode with no room for tears or emotion. It was like this that her loving uncle Conard and his wife Asha found her when they came to visit for the funeral of Precious’ mother. Precious was alone and emotionless in the corner covered in her own dried feces. Despite discouragement from neighbors and family members who thought that adopting Precious was futile and a waste of money, Conard and Asha took her home to Kampala to raise with their other two children. After a month in the hospital, Precious was discharged with strict instructions for her care, diet, and medication. But unfortunately, her special diet and medication was too much for Conard and Asha to afford. Conard was barely making ends meet for the family, working long hours as it was. But they wouldn’t give up on Precious. They went to their local church, which has a Compassion Child Survival program, and shared their struggle.

Healthy Precious with her Uncle Conard and Aunt Asha.
(Photo, caption courtesy Compassion)

When Allen, the Child Development Center’s Director, saw Precious for the first time, she thought to herself that maybe they shouldn’t register her in the Child Survival Program--that maybe she was too far gone. But the wonders of the body never cease. Little Precious was, in fact, enrolled in the program. The family received supplemental food each month to help with her nutritional needs. They also received training in income-generating activities to help support their growing family because not only have they adopted Precious, but two other children in need. Asha now sells baked goods to contribute to the household income, and she and Conard have a garden, growing vegetables to sell. With all the loving care, medication, and nutrition, now almost 3-year-old Precious has recovered from her malnutrition. Those who know her can’t believe she was once on the verge of death. Her personality has risen to the surface now that her miraculous yet fragile body has been given a chance. She is lovely and lively. She is confident and friendly. She loves to play with her friends. She walks, runs, and dances. She still suffers from HIV/AIDS, but the journey for Precious is not over. She is getting the chance to grow, to one day understand and marvel at the amazing creation she is, and to learn that life is Precious.

(Photo courtesy Compassion)

For this Giving Tuesday and World Aids Day on December 1st, Compassion Int'l is raising money and awareness to give more precious life a chance. Through the Partners of Compassion fund, Compassion will help meet critical and emergency needs for any child, at any time. These interventions include anything from immediate care for orphans to vocational training for caregivers, from disaster relief to malaria and HIV/AIDS treatment and education, plus much more. Help Compassion raise $10,000 by December 1 to save little ones like Precious.
Categories: Mission Network News

The world’s deadliest terror group may not be who you think it is

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 5:00am

Global War on Terrorism Memorial at the Colorado State Welcome Center/Rest Area in Trinidad, Colorado. CC BY-SA 2.0
(Photo, caption courtesy Matt Lemmon via Flickr)

International (MNN) -- Ask the question, "What’s the world’s deadliest terror group?" and your most common answer will probably include al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. However, according to the annual Global Terrorism Index, it’s Boko Haram: a terror group that’s been responsible for torturing Nigeria since 2009. The group believes the Nigerian government is corrupt and feels that the country should be ruled under Sharia law. Greg Musselman, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs Canada, says ISIS sees moderate Muslims "as having compromised Islam, and they’re trying to bring it back to what they [ISIS] see as ‘true’ Islam. I think with in those organizations like ISIS and Boko Haram, you would have some that they would believe in their message and are willing to do whatever.... Others are probably more opportunistic.” In order to establish a caliphate, Boko Haram has vowed to rid the north of all non-Muslim influence--including Christians--and overthrow the Nigerian government. Many of their attacks have focused on the rural, northeastern portions of the countryside but have been spreading south and west over time. In fact, their six-year insurgency has killed 20,000 people and forced 2.3 million to flee their homes. Three northeastern Nigerian states, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, remain under a state of emergency because of Boko Haram’s attacks.

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs)

As far as "deadly" goes, the killings they’ve claimed have increased by 300% since 2013. The GTI report notes Boko Haram killed 6,664 people last year--more than the Islamic State, which killed 6,073 people in 2014. Between them, ISIS and Boko Haram were responsible for 51% of the deaths linked to militant groups last year. So, why the perception that ISIS is more deadly? Musselman explains, “They tend to be the ones that are grabbing attention, so when you have an attack in Paris that we had last week and ISIS claims that they were the ones that were responsible for it, that catches international news.” Additionally, they’re more media savvy and have slick marketing techniques. Plus, ISIS is both moneyed and bold. ”This was just so blatant to go in and do what they did. That brings a lot of attention. Then, the bringing down of the Russian plane, coming out of Egypt; then you had the suicide bombings in Beirut.” Although Boko Haram has been deadlier, their message isn’t as obvious. It’s all about influence. “Their terror is taking place in Nigeria [or] around there--Chad and some other countries--and it’s not as high profile. While there are media reports, they kind of all look the same--an exploded car or ambulances coming.” Musselman notes a couple of situations that remain high-profile for the Nigerian Islamists. n April 2014, the abduction of more than 200 school-aged girls by Boko Haram militants from their boarding school in a largely Christian community drew international attention and public outcry. Since then, there has been a sharp rise in the number of girls and women used for suicide bombings.

(Photo courtesy Flickr/CC/US Dept of State)

Nigeria had had enough. The people voted in a new president, Muhammadu Buhari, who promised to beef up security. He organized a multinational coalition made up of troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Benin. The force pushed the militants out of areas they’d claimed as part of the caliphate. Some scattered, resurfacing in neighboring countries, waging guerrilla warfare. Then, in March, Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State, taking on the secondary name of Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP). Occasional breaks in the fighting meant Boko Haram was regrouping. In the most recent case, a three-week lull came to a violent end five days ago. The death toll in Nigeria mounted from the 18 November bombing in Kano State. It came not even a full day after Boko Haram was suspected in an explosion that killed and injured dozens in Yola, Adamawa State. Even while churches, schools, and government buildings bear the brunt of Boko Haram’s wrath, Musselman says believers have to be resolute: “You can’t say ‘the issue is Islam.’ We need to promote Jesus Christ. I think the Bible is very clear that our battle is not against ‘flesh and blood.’” VOM provides tools for evangelism, medical care for victims of attacks, and job training for widows and other affected Christians. Church leaders are trying exemplify these thoughts: “Jesus said that we are to love our enemies, we are to pray for our enemies. We are to bless our enemies. Those words become difficult especially when it’s people who are doing such horrendous things.” One way we can stand with Nigeria’s Church in prayer is to ask God to change the hearts of Boko Haram fighters as they encounter People of the Cross. Pray that He will strengthen the faith of the believers in Nigeria. May His perfect peace and strength continue to supernaturally sustain them.
Categories: Mission Network News

Shoes set the stage for evangelism

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 5:00am

Hookworm infection is transmitted primarily by walking barefoot on contaminated soil.
(Photo, caption credit: CDC)

Zambia (MNN) -- Hundreds of millions of Africans get diseases through their feet. Worms, parasitic fleas, and even a rare type of cancer are the cause of severe infections and, in extreme cases, death. Yet, all of these diseases are preventable. How? It's quite simple: shoes. Many adults and children in Zambia have never owned a single pair of shoes. As a result, they've picked up diseases. On top of that, most kids aren't allowed to attend school if they don't have shoes to wear. "They're primarily village people that don't have access to shoes, let alone the funds [to buy shoes] if they were available," explains Helen Williams of World Missionary Press. "Life is basically just trying to feed and take care of their families." For decades, WMP has supplied their distribution partners in Africa with Scripture booklets, devotions, and other Christian literature. One of their newest partners, Soles for Jesus, has been raising funds for, collecting, and distributing thousands of pairs of shoes since 2009. When the recent partnership between WMP and Soles for Jesus began, they saw great opportunities ahead and took action immediately. "We decided [to] send a 40-foot container: half of it with shoes (8,000 pairs) and half of it with booklets--1,280,000 Scripture booklets," says Williams. The two ministries have been promoting, collecting, and organizing shoes and funds which will go to Zambian villages. "We've had great response. Churches around here have been bringing in things, and families are gathering shoes. So, it's an exciting project for all of us."

(Photo courtesy World Missionary Press via Facebook)

Souls for Jesus staff recently met with and washed the feet of village leaders and pastors who will receive the supplies. "It's such a message of grace and oneness in the Body [of Christ]," Williams says. "It is reaching those who under no other circumstance would be able to have this. Physically, it just makes things easier for them…[and] this is a gift that they just in many cases wouldn't envision having." With a new supply of shoes, disease rates are expected to plummet, and children will be able to attend schools. With the shoe ministry and new supply of Christian literature, villagers will see the tangible love of Christ on display and hopefully come to know their Heavenly Father. WMP sees this partnership project with Soles for Jesus as the first of many. Be praying for the success of the distribution and for hearts to receive the Gospel message.
Categories: Mission Network News

SAT-7 answers fear with hope

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy SAT7)

Middle East (SAT-7*) -- SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, is quick to respond to current events and bring a spiritual perspective often missing in other reporting. There is a desperate need for hope and reconciliation in the Middle East and North Africa, and it’s evident these needs exist in Europe and the West too. On 13 November, Lebanon mourned Beirut’s deadliest bombings since its civil war. On the same day, Paris also faced tragic bombings on a massive scale and just two weeks prior, a Russian plane was bombed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. All three acts were claimed by the militant group ISIS and, at a critically-devastating moment, the SAT-7 current affairs program Bridges covered the events for concerned and grieving viewers. The fallout of terrorism extends beyond the precious lives taken during attacks. Egypt’s tourism industry, for example, has taken a dive, meaning workers are being laid off, wondering how they will pay rent and buy groceries for their families. Public morale is suffering as people wonder how God could let such ugly things happen. Fear and social ripples that result from it, something with which the Middle East and North Africa are all too familiar, are becoming a public concern in Europe and the United States. During the Bridges episode, host Bassem Maher (pictured above) discussed the Sinai plane crash and how Egypt’s tourism industry can recover from the hit. Tourism industry experts and business owners called to discuss how the government and investors are working in cooperation to boost the industry. This not only showed empathy for those affected by the plane crash but also provided hope that the future could be better. A final segment of the program asked, Why does God allow pain in humanity, and where is God during times of pain? Special guests included Dr. Edram Lamey, a Professor in Comparative Religion, and Rev. Gohar Azmy, Secretary General of the Evangelical Synod. They explained that pain results from humans committing sin using the freedom that God gives them. They reassured viewers with the example of Joseph in the Old Testament, who underwent severe hardship but was later blessed as he fulfilled God’s plan. The guests gave the audience a hopeful message from 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God is using SAT-7 to remind us He is working His purposes even and especially in the face of evil. Please keep praying for peace throughout the world, and consider continuing support of ministries like SAT-7. (*article has a minor edit for MNN context)  
Categories: Mission Network News

Closing arguments in Columbia County murder trial

WGRC News - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 12:05pm

Closing arguments were presented in a Columbia County murder trial yesterday. The jury in the trial of Maria Sanutti-Spencer could begin deliberating as early as this morning. Sanutti-Spencer is accused along with her father Rocco Franklin of gunning down her husband Frank Spencer outside his Millville home in 2012. Sanutti-Spencer’s defense says she was nowhere near the scene when the shooting happened. The prosecution believes they have enough evidence to convict the woman. Franklin Spencer remains in Argentina awaiting extradition back to the United States to face the charges.

Categories: Local News

Loch Haven’s 2016 budget

WGRC News - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:09pm

Lock Haven city council last night was presented with a 2016 budget which does not contain a tax increase. The city had raised taxes this year by 16% in order to cover a deficit. City officials say that the increase has helped to allow for a $130,000 dollar reserve which will be carried over into next year’s $10.6 million dollar budget. If things go as planned, the city should have about $93,000 dollars to carry over into 2017. Among the expenses increasing in the 2016 budget is the cost of health care for city employees.

Categories: Local News

Governor Tom Wolf welcomes Syrian refugees

WGRC News - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:09pm

An ever increasing number of state governors are threatening to halt efforts to allow Syrian refugees into their states in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris. Here in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf says his administration will continue working with the federal government to resettle Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services says 14 Syrian refugees have already arrived in the state.

Categories: Local News

President Obama heads to G-20 Summit

WGRC News - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 12:34pm

President Obama heads out Saturday for the G-20 summit in Turkey. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said ISIS and Syria will be on the agenda, along with global economic issues and climate change. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend. Rice said no formal meeting is scheduled with President Obama, but the two leaders will have ample opportunity to chat on the sidelines of the summit. Obama and Putin have never enjoyed a warm relationship. Next week, President Obama will travel to the Philippines and Malaysia for summits on economic cooperation and trade.

Categories: Local News

Boil Water Advisory

WGRC News - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 12:33pm

Customers of the Montgomery Water Authority are reminded to continue to boil their water until further notice. Officials with the Authority say an issue at the reservoir serving the borough’s water supply caused a drop in pressure. That issue has since been fixed, but officials say that customers will have to boil their water until officials can make sure that everything is okay with water pressure. Fresh water is available for public use at the borough garage on Henry Hand Drive.

Categories: Local News

Lewisburg woman arrested for scalding 2 year old son

WGRC News - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 12:33pm

A 20 year old Lewisburg woman was ordered to stand trial yesterday in the scalding of her 2 year old son. Hayle Hans is accused of forcing her son into a bathtub filled with extremely hot water which caused second degree burns to the child’s body. The incident happened on August 25th when Hans reportedly became upset that the child had an accident while potty training. She allegedly filled the tub with hot scalding water and placed the boy in it, leaving for a couple of minutes and returning to find the skin on the boy’s legs peeling. She then together with her boyfriend game the boy a cooling bath and applied ointment but he had to be taken in for medical treatment six days later. Bail was set at $10,000 dollars.

Categories: Local News