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Summer camps with SOAR International more than fun   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-26 - 28 days ago
Russia (MNN) -- With the confusion and violence surrounding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, people are looking for answers. And more than ever, Christians are hoping people will find their answer in Christ. SOAR teaches children life skills and tells themabout the love of Jesus Christ.(Photo by SOAR International) SOAR International Ministries is pursuing many summer camp opportunities in Russia the next couple of months to minister to a group of people who are certainly overlooked in this time of turmoil. Joanna Mangione of SOAR International tells us about their orphan ministry plans. One staff member will be assisting a church in Blagoveshchensk while they conduct a summer camp. In early July, Mangione will lead an English camp in the Moscow region. After that, a team will travel to their transition house in Ryazan to assist them with the summer camp they run. SOAR then hopes to hold a week summer camp for orphans in and around Abkhazia. Recently, Russia closed adoptions to America, even making it difficult for missionaries to visit orphanages. Mangione explains that this hasn't been a problem for their ministry so far. "We definitely ask for prayer, though," she says. "The church in Russia, our counterparts, have requested prayer obviously that there would be unity and a resolution. "But it has not inhibited us. We are still able to do ministry, and we just ask for continued prayer over that situation, that it wouldn't create any major obstacles for us." The camps are taking small teams to the camps, similar to American summer camps. They include crafts, English classes, food, and even activities like gymnastics. Mangione explains the problems that many orphans face after they are too old for the orphanages: "It can be anywhere from girls in prostitution to drugs or to suicide. There's a very low percentage of orphans who are actually being able to live on their own and be successful." She explains that this is because "they're quite young when they graduate from the orphanage, and they don't have a lot of skills: they don't learn what they need to learn in the orphanage, so a lot of them end up on the street." The partnership SOAR has with the transition home in Ryazan is meant to address these common problems, giving orphans a better chance to succeed in life. "The transition home takes in graduate orphans, basically, and really gives them the skills to be able to live on their own, but also provides them with the knowledge of Christ," Mangione says. The camp at the transition home will be a chance to emphasize the hope of the Gospel more intentionally. With all of the opportunities SOAR has this summer, there are also financial responsibilities. The camp that SOAR will host later in July costs about $40 per orphan per day, or around $280 a week. Would you help with that here? If you have any doubt as to the impact these camps have on the lives of orphans, consider what Mangione has to say. "Last year, it was quite encouraging," she explains. "There were a few boys who had accepted Christ the year before. This last summer camp, upon talking with one of our staff members, they actually assisted with bringing other children to Christ." It isn't just SOAR and the churches they work with who are sharing Christ's love, Mangione says. "These kids are taking hold of the Gospel and the love that they don't have anywhere else, and then going and sharing it with their other friends and the other kids in the homes." Pray for the safety, health, and financial provision of the teams going to Russia. Pray that they would fulfill their mission of enabling the church to reach out to the community. Pray for God to prepare the hearts of the orphans who will come into contact with the Gospel. Continue to be in prayer for the Ukraine situation, as well.

Iraq falling apart, Christians are pawns   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-25 - 29 days ago
Iraq map Iraq (MNN) -- The battle between the Kurd, Sunni, and Shiite factions for control of Iraq continues. Sunni militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have carved out new boundaries in Iraq that may never go back. This is causing great difficulty for all involved, but especially Christians. Middle East expert with E3 Partners Tom Doyle says ISIS has a terrible reputation. "This is a group that was considered too radical for al-Qaeda. They threw them out. Some of the things that have happened are just so detestable, what they even do to their victims after they kill them. The only thing I can liken it to is Nineveh." Doyle says Christians in Mosul are being terrorized with Sharia, or Islamic law. "Women have to be veiled. Families are being told they have to convert to Islam or pay the jizya tax: you either convert, you're killed, or you pay a tax." But some Christians have been treated well. Doyle tells us why. "Probably to use them as human shields, or some kind of barrier. Last week they were doing some things to act like humanitarians. They were even giving nuns rides to different places, trying to convince them that they're there for the good of the people." This has created an even larger refugee crisis. One million people, or one in five Iraqis, are now displaced. That's in addition to the more than one million refugees who have already left Syria. Doyle says Christians are actively sharing Christ's love and compassion. "We're supporting refugees in several countries: Syrian refugees that have gone into Jordan and Lebanon, and Iraqi refugees that are fleeing to other parts of the country. And, as people give, that will help feed them and clothe them. Also, none of that happens without a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Doyle says refugees have turned to Christ. "We have seen at least 600 Sunni Muslims come to faith in Christ because of acts of kindness from believers as they pray and as they have donated to help feed and clothe them. It's paying off." Support E3 Partners as they partner with national churches to help those in need.

Healing in DRC from Matthew 28   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-25 - 29 days ago
DRC (MNN) -- Being involved with the Church means different things for different people. For Jonathan Blomberg of Mission Aviation Fellowship and his fiancée, Lisa Justum (formally of Samaritan's Purse), that meant starting a lasting discipleship program that ministers to the church in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Jonathan Blomberg and Lisa Jutsum started M28 (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Blomberg) While working in the Eastern DRC, Blomberg and Jutsum noticed one of the church's great needs. Jutsum says, "DR Congo has experienced over two decades of war, and the church has often been--like any other organization, any other person in the DRC--affected by the war. "And what you have is a church that really is weak in discipleship and a church that is eager to learn. The young people are eager to learn more about what it looks like to follow Christ and really obey Him in discipleship." Blomberg and Jutsum wanted to do something to address the strife the people of the DRC are living in. They decided they were going to provide discipleship guidance for members of the church. Matthew 28:19-20 says, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (ESV). Taking this commandment to heart, the couple named their group M28. The name is even more significant because it addresses the violence of the last couple of decades. The rebel Congolese army is known as M23. Blomberg explains that he wants the group to focus on being rebels for Christ in a way that unifies believers. Jutsum says, "It is counter-cultural to follow Christ and to be honest, and to be not just a good moral person but to be somebody who follows Christ and seeks to see Him glorified in everything that they do." This call to obedience must permeate every area of a Christian's life, even to the point where they're sharing it with others. Blomberg asks, "How do you obey His commands if you don't know what they are? You have to know the Bible to know what they are." The group focuses on the youth who are already going to church. As their sessions progressed, Blomberg and Justum were informed by a leader of the church that the participants didn't have a clear understanding of what their salvation meant. Jutsum says, "As a result of that, we sort of adjusted our curriculum to include a section of a very beginning basic explanation of the Gospel. And we did it in such a way that we believe […] for the first time, maybe, they accepted Christ." Even while the group is geared toward the younger generation, the couple hopes to have a far-reaching impact. "Most of our students are college age or just post-college age. Ideally we want to affect the older generation as well, but we think one of the best ways we can do that is by reaching the younger generation who are becoming the leaders of the church." At the end of the two and a half years Blomberg and Jutsum ministered to those people, they were seeing individuals from M28 step up in leadership positions in the church. Not only are they affecting the church, but they're taking what they've learned to their families. In reality, M28 is reaching more than the youth of the church. There remains some tension between various ethnic and tribal groups of the church in the DRC. "A lot of the churches are basically split based on tribes. Sometimes it's not talked about in the culture," Blomberg explains. One of the lessons taught in M28 is about conflict resolution. They talked openly about the conflict between tribes within the church. As a result of what they're learning in the group, many members of M28 have since reached out to other tribes and churches they would have never approached before. Jutsum explains it like this: "Once you realize that your primary identity is in Christ and that identity transcends tribes, it transcends culture, I think that was a big realization for a lot of our young people seeing that 'Wow, our relationship in Christ goes beyond nationality, goes beyond our tribes.'" In its own small way, M28 is healing the rifts created by 20 years of war. The couple is pleased to see that the group is quite independent now. Blomberg says, "Probably one of the most encouraging things to see is the Congolese youth kind of take over the group basically. I know it's been a struggle for missionaries in the past; it's hard to let go and it's hard to transfer the ownership of the church or these different mission projects to the Congolese." The leaders have actually told the couple they're ready to take over and construct the curriculum. "By the time we left, they were basically doing it themselves," Blomberg says, "We trust God and we trust the leaders that we left the group with. We really believe that it's mostly probably through these guys and girls that great things will happen over in Congo in the next generation." What started out as a side project from the main work that Blomberg and Justum were doing has turned into successful ministry that they hope will continue to glorify God no matter what it turns into in the future. Jutsum leaves us with this thought: "I think prayer is the #1 way that people can help MAF [and] help M28, because we know that being a Christian is not easy: it calls us to come and die. And at the end of the day in Congo, it's a challenging place. There is war, there is suffering on a large scale. And it's a challenging place to be a Christian and to be a light for Christ. So just pray for M28 to be a light in the midst of darkness." Learn more about how you can help MAF here. Read related stories at this link.

Central African Republic crisis: insight from the front lines   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-25 - 29 days ago
Jim Hocking and Farel Ndango of Water for Good share an update aboutthe Central African Republic. (Image from Farel Ndango's Facebook page) Central African Republic (MNN) -- Violence occurs daily between Muslims and Christians as the Central African Republic crisis continues. The country is reportedly inching closer to genocide, as national security forces have been unable to contain the fighting. Nearly 20 Fulani Muslims were killed yesterday after Christian anti-balaka militants attacked their village near Bambari. In addition, Sudan is trying to evacuate Darfur refugees living in the CAR. The U.S. is sending another $51 million in humanitarian aid that will reportedly provide for clean water, food, emergency health services, and more. Farel Ndango of Water for Good, an in-country partner of Living Water International and Reach Beyond, is sharing an update from the front lines. "My generation, my children's generation, had never experienced a war like this," he explains. "We had seen some government turnovers, but never this bad and this long. "[Now] is the time to be speaking about the Gospel on a regular basis." Reach Beyond and Water for Good share the hope of Christ daily through radio broadcasts. "We talk about the Gospel, about God, and what His desires are for everyone," Ndango notes. Established just a few years ago, the shortwave radio station was originally intended to broadcast maintenance information to CAR communities. Following the violent outbreak of sectarian violence, Water for Good and Reach Beyond's radio station gained new purpose: sharing regular reminders of God's love, redemption, and reconciliation. Help reconciliation and Gospel broadcasts continue. (Image courtesy Reach Beyond) "We have this tool that God has given us: we are able to use it. We have radio announcers, [and] we continue to work on funding to make sure it stays on the air," says Ndango. "It's currently on the air eight to ten hours; we hope to move it more toward 12 and 24 hours, but God continues to give us just enough funding to continue." Radio is only one aspect of Water for Good's ministry in the CAR. They also help communities start the climb out of poverty by providing clean water and agricultural development. Acting as Living Water's in-country representative, Water for Good teams drilled 20 new wells during the first six months of 2014 and completed 667 well maintenance visits. They also built several platforms in refugee camps to hold the water bladders these camps relied on for clean water. No matter where in the ministry Gospel workers serve, they each face danger. One of Water for Good's drivers was kidnapped by militants, dressed in a uniform, and taken to Chad; he eventually managed to escape and return home. A security guard was shot in the arm. "It's been difficult," Ndango shares. "We have not had people killed, but we have had a lot of people injured." Water for Good's maintenance teams have shown a lot of courage. In the last 6 months, despite the dangers, they’ve continued to visit remote villages, servicing water pumps for people in desperate need of hope. A total of 667 visits have been made. They’ve kept clean water flowing for approximately a quarter of a million people.(Image, caption courtesy Water for Good) Despite the dangers and challenges, national workers press on to care for their neighbor and make Christ known. In response to the ongoing Central African Republic crisis, Water for Good initiated a year-long campaign called "Love Now" focused on relief for CAR families. "There's never enough [funding], so we covet your prayers as we seek support on a regular basis," says Ndango. "There still is evidence of a lot of work to be done before reconciliation and peace really arrive there in the Central African Republic." Will you help Water for Good, Living Water International, and Reach Beyond meet needs in the name of Christ? Learn more about the Love Now campaign and how you can help here. Prayer is also a top priority. "Pray for peace in the country and pray for reconciliation across the lines," Ndango requests. Pray also for Ndango's family. Residing in Bangui, they've had to relocate to refugee camps three different times. "Continue to think and pray for our country. The war is not over," urges Ndango. "There's still fighting, and until the United Nations troops arrive, 12,000 of them, we know we still have hard times ahead."

Do donations make a difference?   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-25 - 29 days ago
(Photo credit: John Schuler) South Sudan (WYC/MNN) -- Have you ever wondered, "Do my donations really make a difference?" Wycliffe Bible Translators USA says they do, especially for the Murle people of South Sudan. Inter-tribal conflict is an everyday reality for the Murle, who live in a remote area near the Ethiopian border. Conflict between subversive groups and the country’s army has destabilized the Murle area, displacing thousands. Many have lost Bibles as a result, including a Murle man named Marko. “I had [a Bible],” Marko recently told Wycliffe's in-country partner. “But I lost it when we were running from the fighting.” Pray that the Murle will find peace that can only come from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Learn more about this people group here. Gifts to Wycliffe's annual summer campaign help replace Bibles for people like Marko. Support raised through this campaign also helps other people groups read God's Word in their heart language, many for the first time. (Photo credit: Wycliffe USA) Summer months can be hard for translation teams, when giving tends to drop and the work becomes harder to sustain. Over June, July, and August, Wycliffe USA is asking everyone to help press the work forward. Thanks to a matching gift, each donation up to $110,000 USD is matched. As a result, more people can be trained to be Bible translators, and more work can be finished. More Scripture can also be printed, and more lives can be restored by the power of God's Word. Help Marko and others like him here. Pray that this opportunity will challenge and inspire many of God's people to participate. Ask God to continue moving work forward in the translation projects represented by this campaign. Pray for those who are still waiting for Scripture to be printed in their heart language. See the other places Wycliffe is at work.

Christians in North Korea face more hardship   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-25 - 29 days ago
North Korea (MNN) -- Isolation, persecution, deception. These words describe reality for Christians in North Korea. And now, Christians are facing even more hardship. Reuters reports the country is facing the biggest drought in over a decade. (Photo courtesy of Christian Aid Mission) Army troops are protecting what crops there are, and office workers, farmers, and women have been ordered to direct water to farmland. Some reports indicate that areas of North Korea have gone 70 days without rain. The situation spells a high chance for another famine in North Korea. Christian Aid Mission connected us with a ministry leader in North Korea to discuss recent allegations made by the government against Christians. While the ministry leader wasn't aware of those specific allegations, he says it is very possible. "This is their typical style of accusation. To control their people, they must blame someone, and it is the Christians and missionaries this time," he says, suggesting that the accusations stem from border security vulnerability. The ministry leader goes on to explain why Christians are an easy target. "Christians in that region are willing to risk doing underground activities in order to help North Koreans. They are unselfishly helping the poor and hungry in North Korea in and out of the country by providing food, basic needs, vocational training, and other support. "When missionaries show compassion and kindness to North Koreans, it is a foreign concept to them." He says that the kindness shown to them alongside the truth of God is "a spiritual/intellectual earthquake in their thinking." The underground work that Christians are doing is the only way that the North Koreans in the direst of situations will receive help. "That's why North [Korea] blames Christians: people are being reached and their lives are changed by the love of Christ." Photo courtesy of Christian Aid Mission The contact explains that many who come to Christ become aware of the government's deceit and are thankful that their eyes have been opened. He says, "North Koreans are so closely 'quarantined' from outside influence and information that they believe they are the most prosperous, advanced, and fortunate people on earth." The ministry leader stresses that it is not the goal of the Gospel to tear down the Korean ideology, "but when Christ is preached, the intellectual/spiritual bondage/deception is broken." Just as the apostle Paul asks his brothers and sister to pray for boldness, the ministry leader asks that you pray for our brothers and sisters working in North Korea to be emboldened with the power of the Gospel. Pray that God will bring truth and comfort to the people of North Korea. Pray that God's people will be obedient to their calling to go out among the nations and spread the Good News. Pray that as the drought begins to take a greater toll on the stomachs in North Korea, they will flee to the refuge in Christ Jesus. Pray that the full armor of God will protect God's people from the spiritual warfare going on all around them. The ministry leader says this is a very real battle in North Korea. He included the testimony of a new believer. It gives us some perspective on the government's influence, and also the seriousness of the situation before the drought has had time to make its full impact: I have lived under the Ju-Che ideology of General Kim; that was my only mission in life in my country. But it was a propaganda slogan that many people clung to till they died of hunger. Now in NK, many terrible things are happening because no rice is given to the family members to eat; they are drying the skin of potatoes and the tofu remains to eat as their daily food. Our family has no rice to cook so we always go into the mountain to collect grass weed to cook to eat. There is an ancient proverb that no one stands loyal when they are hungry more than three days. This is also true in NK now. I was so hungry that I crossed into China illegally. I learned about Jesus because of this illegal crossing into China. I thought I would die when I knew Jesus. In NK’s education, I learned that pastors and missionaries who believe in God are evil. But when I met them in person, they were not at all evil. I realized what I had learned was a total lie and propaganda to fool the people. As I realize this now, the NK society is full of lies and false teaching, leading people the wrong way--a very dangerous society. When I came to China, I came to realize that the Korean Chinese life that believes and lives in God is the real life on earth with God. When I met the missionaries, they were kinder than any of my own blood relatives by asking about myself one by one, about my health, my family. I have no idea how to express my feelings I felt at that time. It was so touching to me. Really, the love of Jesus transmitted to me through the missionary and it has been the greatest blessing that I have ever received in my life because this has been transferred now to my parents who are in North Korea, who received Jesus as their Savior. The missionaries have shared the truth of God with me and connected me to the love of God, so that I love to tell these feelings to my friends in North Korea. I will leave myself to the hand of Jesus forever till I come to heaven, walking boldly by enduring and overcoming any difficulties I may have in the future. This interview was made possible with Christian Aid Mission's help. If you would like to support them, click here.

Meriam Ibrahim released from prison   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-24 - 30 days ago
(Wedding photo of Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani, courtesy Daniel Wani) Sudan (MNN) -- The Sudanese Christian woman who was sentenced to death because of her Christian faith has received some good news. 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to death after being accused of converting from Islam to Christianity, has been released from prison, according to her lawyer. Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs reports, "She had been sentenced to be whipped and then to be executed. That sentence has been overturned by an appeals court in Sudan. We understand there are reports that she has already been set free from prison." Why does Nettleton think she was released? "The first people banging the drum for her were Christians and those who associated or understood her through our spiritual bond that we have through Christians around the world." That helped foster even more outcry. "The Sudanese government had come under intense international pressure: pressure from Great Britain, pressure from the U.S. State Department, pressure from around the world." Ibrahim gave birth to a baby daughter while in prison. Nettleton says this is a great example of outspoken faith in Jesus. "Merium Ibrahim clearly and very publicly stood up for Jesus Christ, stood up for her faith in Him." Another tool to help in the process was Voice of the Martyrs' PrisonerAlert.com. "[It's] a Web site where people can write letter to Christians in prison, but they can also write letters to government officials in the countries who are holding Christians. There are still Christians in prison around the world." Nettleton says you can have an impact on their future. "Pick one or more of the prisoners. Write them a letter. Write a letter to their president or prime minister or government official that's also listed on the site, and have a voice for them." Click here to learn more.

Central Asia persecution threatens summer ministry   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-24 - 30 days ago
The region of Central Asia includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Central Asia (MNN) -- Preparations are underway for summer Bible camps in several nations formerly belonging to the Soviet Union. At the same time, Central Asia persecution is on the rise. "In the last several years, we observed that the issues of religious freedom [have] been increasingly disturbing. [The] Evangelical Church is very much limited, very much under pressure today, in their outreach activities," shares Sergey Rakhuba of Russian Ministries. "For example, in Kazakhstan, one of the largest Central Asian countries…we see that new laws that regulate religious affairs [have] been tightened." In Uzbekistan, "authorities are scared of any evangelical activity," Rakhuba continues. One of Russian Ministries' School Without Walls (SWW) students in Uzbekistan shares her story of persecution here. Believers are doing whatever they can to overcome Central Asia persecution and share Christ with the needy. With summer officially underway, Russian Ministries' and SWW students' concerns immediately turn to their annual camp outreach. "We are preparing for the summer and summer camps--sports camps, community camps--in Central Asia that become one of the most effective ministries today," Rakhuba shares. Part of the training SWW students receive from Russian Ministries involves the planning and execution of summer Bible camps in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and the countries of Central Asia. Last year's Summer Bible Camp in Mongolia.(Image courtesy Russian Ministries) "We cannot call it a 'Bible camp' there in Central Asia," notes Rakhuba. "But a 'community sports festival,' a 'community sports camp,' attracts lots of children." Learn more about Russian Ministries' Summer Bible Camps and support them financially here. Would you add these summer camps to your prayer list? Pray that the summer camps will take place in a safe environment so there will be no persecution. Ask God to give wisdom and direct summer camp leaders so the camps will be successful and the Gospel will be preached. "Pray, but also contribute if possible, and partner with us to provide an opportunity for a needy child to hear the Gospel," Rakhuba requests.

China open to Gospel, but not to Bible printing   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-24 - 30 days ago
China (MNN) -- How do you give out Bibles when you have none to give? Bible distribution has always been a challenge in China. The country used to be closed to any Christian activity. More recently, ministries have been able to be active in China, within certain restrictions. The problem then was that Bibles were not easily accessible for some areas of China. To get to rural locations, for instance, distributors had to have clearances from local authorities. Barry Werner of Bibles for China says now the problem is availability. Photo by Bibles for China If you know anything about Amity Press in Nanjing, China, this may shock you. Amity Press is the largest Bible printing press in the world. So why aren't Bibles available? Werner says, "From January to May 13th of this year, to the best of my knowledge, they did not print any Bibles in Chinese. They printed for all the other countries around the world, all the other languages." Werner explains that this decision most likely rooted from the extreme numbers of Bibles printed in recent years because of the demand for them. Every five years or so, Werner says, communist officials evaluate all the different areas of society. He guesses that they viewed the numbers of Chinese Bibles printed as an inordinate amount. Werner said, "I think the Chinese government--it got their attention. And anytime that outside influences are influencing a segment of society in China, they look at that and then they put some more restrictive policies into place that control that." As a result, the government is putting restrictions, for the time being, on the amount of Bibles each church can have. Each church is allowed 1000 Bibles per month. "It used to be that any church that could afford it could get basically an unlimited supply," Werner says. Bibles for China usually distributes 15,000-20,000 Bibles per team that goes to China. For the May trip with Bibles for China, their partners had to search hard to find enough Bibles to distribute to the churches. The ministry is already working hard to prepare for the July trip they are taking. God has been gracious in providing them with the Bibles they need for this trip. "We're just asking God for wisdom," Werner says. "We have to function, trusting God, that He will have every possible scenario covered if He really wants Bibles in rural China." Bibles for China is waiting to see if any immediate changes will take place after the government evaluates the effect of their new policies. "But for the short-term, we're going to proceed as we always have, with our teams and with the volume of Bibles we put out. But, long-term, again, it's a matter of prayer. If the door's open but there's no supply, one is just as tough as the other," Werner says. While the new policy has created a new challenge for Bibles For China, they expect to see a closeness form between members of the church. "The believers have to work together: it's the Word of God. These Chinese believers are not frivolous Christians. The Word of God is very precious to them. And when one person has the Word of God, they're not at all selfish: they share that. It's a unique bond." They have seen families in the past give up one of their two Bibles to another family or individual without one. "It's so precious. They've waited 20 years to get a Bible," Werner says. "That's the uniqueness of Christianity: when the love for one another is so great that you'll give up the things that are most precious to you that you've waited years for. And that is a unique bond. I think American Christians would have a little bit of difficulty understanding what that's like." There is a way that you can help get Bibles into China, and that is through your prayers. As Bibles for China looks ahead, not knowing how these new policies will affect their ministry long-term, they know that God will be in control of it all. If you'd like to support financially, click here. Read other stories of what Bibles For China has been doing.

Faith Comes By Hearing surpasses one million BibleSticks and Proclaimers produced   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-24 - 30 days ago
International (FCBH) -- Over 40 years ago, Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) began offering Audio Bibles on cassette tapes. When CDs came into existence, the ministry also took advantage of the advancement in audio players. Less than a decade ago, they again adapted to technology and developed their own digital playback devices: the BibleStick for individual use, and the Proclaimer for group listening. Today, the ministry is pleased to announce they have produced and distributed over one million units in their mission to provide access to the Holy Scriptures for all who want to hear. Audio Bibles heard around the world in hundreds of languages on ministry’s suite of digital audio devices (Photo by FCBH) Mike Jayne is the engineer who invented these playback devices, and he continues to innovate with quality and efficiency updates, as well as developing new designs that meet the needs of listening groups in various parts of the world. “I’m truly grateful to be able to use the skills I’ve been blessed with to help bring God’s Word to those who otherwise may never have a chance to hear,” says Jayne. The BibleStick is a small, portable device that runs on a AAA battery and individuals listen with the ear buds that are included. It can be loaded with any of the ministry’s Audio Bibles, which are now available in over 800 languages. The standard BibleStick is one of the few items that the ministry still sells to the public, rather than their program outreaches that are donor funded and provided free of charge. An example of a donor-supported program would be their Military BibleStick outreach. Wanting to meet the needs of troops in deployed situations, FCBH collaborated with a handful of active duty chaplains to design a deployment-friendly model that would meet military specifications. The chaplains quickly discovered Bible listening was particularly effective in engaging this younger generation of soldiers. Since the start of the project in 2008, more than 430,000 units have been distributed. Between both the standard and military versions of the BibleStick, over 678,000 units have been produced. In contrast to the BibleStick, the Proclaimer was specifically designed for larger group listening--which is the model FCBH has used for many years in their work around the world. The self-contained digital playback unit is about the size of an older transistor radio and can be heard clearly by groups of 300 or more people. It has a built-in solar panel to re-charge the battery and contains a hand-crank, or dynamo, in the absence of sunlight. The Proclaimer can also be charged through the AC-adapter, but many of the regions where it is used have little or no access to electricity. As Jayne explains, “We are reaching some of the poorest people on the planet. We never want them to have to choose between food for their family or putting batteries in the Proclaimer. That’s why we’ve made it self-sufficient and cost-free for them.” Jayne has also developed several smaller versions of the Proclaimer to meet the needs of various-sized listening groups. Between the several iterations of the device, there are more than 370,000 units proclaiming the Word of God in hundreds of languages to millions of people worldwide. Faith Comes By Hearing currently provides Scripture recordings in 829 languages, which are spoken by over 5.7 billion people globally. In addition to their digital playback devices, FCBH offers free access to this digital collection of Scripture via podcasts, Internet radio, satellite TV, and the Bible.is and Deaf Bible apps, all of which are powered by the Digital Bible Platform.

Boko Haram terrorists turn to Christ   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-24 - 30 days ago
Northern Nigeria is experiencing a rash of attacks by insurgents who systematically destroy villages, marketplaces, and schools. Local gospel workers are ministering to refugees and to the militants who are becoming soldiers for Christ.(Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid) Nigeria (MNN) -- In northern Nigeria, there's still no trace of more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped in April by Boko Haram terrorists. As these Islamic radicals continue their rampage unabated, the outlook for Nigeria seems dire. But Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, shares a reason to rejoice. Last week, a special committee created to investigate the April abduction submitted their final report. Two months after 276 girls were abducted while taking final exams in Chibok, 57 have escaped and returned home to their families. The remaining 219 minors have seemingly vanished without a trace. Pray that these missing schoolgirls are found and brought back to their families. Speaking at the State House on Friday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan promised to find the girls and stop the Islamic insurgency. Despite help from U.S. military and intelligence personnel, Nigerian officials have yet to locate any kidnapping victims. Meanwhile, Nigerian missionaries are sharing the Gospel boldly with Boko Haram terrorists. As a result, lives are being saved. The leader of a Nigerian ministry supported by Christian Aid recently shared this update on their work. Along with providing necessities for refugees, they share the Gospel with Islamic militants who are curious about Christ. Audio Bibles bring the gospel to remote Nigerian villages.(Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid) "We were able to give out 45 of 'The Treasure' audio Bibles to Muslims who were ready to hear. Some of them assured us we shall hear from them when we come back," the leader shares in his report. "Pray for one new convert who accepted Christ after listening to the Gospel of John. "This is a great tool for reaching Muslims." However, these indigenous missionaries are not immune to danger. The ministry leader says Boko Haram attacks continue daily. "We are playing it safe for now," says the leader. "We have been able to repatriate some people, including children and ex-insurgents who left the rebel group and repented of their crimes. We have been training and feeding them at two of our stations--the School of Missions and our convert care center." The ministry leader shares three critical needs on Christian Aid's Web site. See what they are and how you can help here. Pray for continued boldness for indigenous missionaries who are sharing God's Word with insurgents. Pray that more resources will be provided for the Nigerian ministries to share with refugees. Here's another ministry that's sharing the Gospel in audio with Boko Haram terrorists.

Ongoing militant violence hurts ministry in Nigeria   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
Nigeria (CRC) -- Ongoing violence in Nigeria has tragically touched members of the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN), including the deaths of three church leaders. Rev. Peter Borgdorff, deputy executive director of the CRC in North America, read an e-mail from CRCN president Rev. Caleb Ahima, a graduate of Calvin Theological seminary. The e-mail informed delegates that an evangelist, a pastor, and a denominational administrator have been killed in recent attacks. Another pastor was shot but survived. The CRCN “has come under heavy and unyielding pressure from forces of bad politics and of Islam,” Borgdorff read from Ahima’s e-mail. “The CRCN is going through very challenging and trying times and needs the prayer support of all concerned Christian minds..” The attacks happened in a region of south central Nigeria where the CRC has long done mission work, dating back to the 1920s, when Johanna Veenstra served as the first CRC missionary in Nigeria. Christian Reformed World Missions has strong partnerships with CRCN and two other denominations in the area. The CRCN is more than 100 years old and has more than 100,000 members. (Photo courtesy Open Doors USA) CRC officials last month called the churches to pray for the release of more than 250 school girls kidnapped by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram in a different part of Nigeria. Borgdorff said the CRC crisis management team would meet to determine whether further security measures are needed for CRC personnel in Nigeria. All employees are currently accounted for. World Missions Director Gary Bekker will draft a response from Synod 2014 to the Nigerian church. Borgdorff led delegates in prayer for the CRCN and all affected by the conflict in Nigeria. “May people of goodwill be empowered to be of leadership and to bring an end to that senseless violence,” Borgdorff prayed.

Ongoing militant violence hurts ministry in Nigeria   (Open in a new window)

Source: mnnonline.org | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
Nigeria (CRC) -- Ongoing violence in Nigeria has tragically touched members of the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN), including the deaths of three church leaders. Rev. Peter Borgdorff, deputy executive director of the CRC in North America, read an e-mail from CRCN president Rev. Caleb Ahima, a graduate of Calvin Theological seminary. The e-mail informed delegates that an evangelist, a pastor, and a denominational administrator have been killed in recent attacks. Another pastor was shot but survived. The CRCN “has come under heavy and unyielding pressure from forces of bad politics and of Islam,” Borgdorff read from Ahima’s e-mail. “The CRCN is going through very challenging and trying times and needs the prayer support of all concerned Christian minds..” The attacks happened in a region of south central Nigeria where the CRC has long done mission work, dating back to the 1920s, when Johanna Veenstra served as the first CRC missionary in Nigeria. Christian Reformed World Missions has strong partnerships with CRCN and two other denominations in the area. The CRCN is more than 100 years old and has more than 100,000 members. (Photo courtesy Open Doors USA) CRC officials last month called the churches to pray for the release of more than 250 school girls kidnapped by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram in a different part of Nigeria. Borgdorff said the CRC crisis management team would meet to determine whether further security measures are needed for CRC personnel in Nigeria. All employees are currently accounted for. World Missions Director Gary Bekker will draft a response from Synod 2014 to the Nigerian church. Borgdorff led delegates in prayer for the CRCN and all affected by the conflict in Nigeria. “May people of goodwill be empowered to be of leadership and to bring an end to that senseless violence,” Borgdorff prayed.

Huge cultural shifts in Japan open doors   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
(Photo courtesy Operation Mobilization) Japan (MNN) -- Japan is one of the most orderly societies in the world. In terms of global economy, the people of this nation are advanced, tech-savvy, and wealthy. However, Japan is also at a point in its history where it is experiencing unprecedented social upheaval, which creates anxiety and uncertainty throughout the culture. For example, Japan has the oldest and the most rapidly aging population of any country in the world. There's been a rapid disintegration of the youth culture, where few young adults seem to navigate life by a moral compass. Those caught in the middle are caring for aging parents and despairing over their children. All of those issues have shaken Japan to its core. The strength test on Japan's government came in the form of a triple disaster in 2011: the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear disaster. An Operation Mobilization ship staffer (unnamed for security reasons) says they saw that shift firsthand in their recent visit to Japan. "This visit was significant in the fact that we expected to find coolness toward the Gospel, and one of the big differences that we experienced was a very warm response to the Gospel." How did they get that impression? Nagasaki was the entry point for missions into the country, also a place of persecution and even martyrdom. But, notes the OM ship staffer, that was hundreds of years ago. While the overt hostility has tempered historically, there has been a chilly reception to Christianity and the Gospel message. Although OM Ships have stopped in Japan 21 other times, this was Logos Hope's first visit to the ports of Nagasaki and Kanazawa (where 80,000 people visited the ship). This time, there was a definite thaw. "There's, of course, great insecurity within the country, within the population. People are questioning their future and questioning why their developed society is vulnerable to natural disasters." Nationally, Christians number only 1/2 of 1% of the population. However, this staff member noted, "As we shared about our project and about our lives, we found that many people were very anxious to hear about the hope and the security we have in our relationship with God." In fact, "anxious" might not be the right descriptor. "During the two weeks that we were in Nagasaki, we reported 50 people who made decisions to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior." (Photo courtesy Operation Mobilization) He goes on to explain that part of the Visitor Experience Deck on Logos Hope is an exhibit called "Journey of Life." A series of pictures tells the story of the prodigal son, and many visitors are hearing it for the first time. "In every port that we go to, there are people everywhere that are searching for hope, searching for a sense of confidence and a relationship with God. Many have not even heard the name of Jesus Christ." What's more exciting is the shot in the arm this event gave the local church. The staffer explains, "The churches are very small. During our visit, there were perhaps 20 churches. The average size of a church was maybe 30 people." After seeing how open people were to the story of Christ, "Many of the churches, the older churches in Nagasaki, were very encouraged by this. They had never really seen or experienced such a strong response to the Gospel in their history." Logos Hope crew members helped connect these new Christians with people who could help mentor them in their new faith. "Those that did respond to the Gospel are being followed up by local churches. We have heard from a number of these people who wrote to us and were very thankful for the message that they heard." The greatest need in Japan, as is true in many parts of the world, is for expressions of authentic friendship and genuine witness among those in the church. This OM staffer sums up their visit to Japan with this request: "We just keep praying that the Lord will open our eyes to be aware of those around, in whom He is already at work."

Huge cultural shifts in Japan open doors   (Open in a new window)

Source: mnnonline.org | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
(Photo courtesy Operation Mobilization) Japan (MNN) -- Japan is one of the most orderly societies in the world. In terms of global economy, the people of this nation are advanced, tech-savvy, and wealthy. However, Japan is also at a point in its history where it is experiencing unprecedented social upheaval, which creates anxiety and uncertainty throughout the culture. For example, Japan has the oldest and the most rapidly aging population of any country in the world. There's been a rapid disintegration of the youth culture, where few young adults seem to navigate life by a moral compass. Those caught in the middle are caring for aging parents and despairing over their children. All of those issues have shaken Japan to its core. The strength test on Japan's government came in the form of a triple disaster in 2011: the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear disaster. An Operation Mobilization ship staffer (unnamed for security reasons) says they saw that shift firsthand in their recent visit to Japan. "This visit was significant in the fact that we expected to find coolness toward the Gospel, and one of the big differences that we experienced was a very warm response to the Gospel." How did they get that impression? Nagasaki was the entry point for missions into the country, also a place of persecution and even martyrdom. But, notes the OM ship staffer, that was hundreds of years ago. While the overt hostility has tempered historically, there has been a chilly reception to Christianity and the Gospel message. Although OM Ships have stopped in Japan 21 other times, this was Logos Hope's first visit to the ports of Nagasaki and Kanazawa (where 80,000 people visited the ship). This time, there was a definite thaw. "There's, of course, great insecurity within the country, within the population. People are questioning their future and questioning why their developed society is vulnerable to natural disasters." Nationally, Christians number only 1/2 of 1% of the population. However, this staff member noted, "As we shared about our project and about our lives, we found that many people were very anxious to hear about the hope and the security we have in our relationship with God." In fact, "anxious" might not be the right descriptor. "During the two weeks that we were in Nagasaki, we reported 50 people who made decisions to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior." (Photo courtesy Operation Mobilization) He goes on to explain that part of the Visitor Experience Deck on Logos Hope is an exhibit called "Journey of Life." A series of pictures tells the story of the prodigal son, and many visitors are hearing it for the first time. "In every port that we go to, there are people everywhere that are searching for hope, searching for a sense of confidence and a relationship with God. Many have not even heard the name of Jesus Christ." What's more exciting is the shot in the arm this event gave the local church. The staffer explains, "The churches are very small. During our visit, there were perhaps 20 churches. The average size of a church was maybe 30 people." After seeing how open people were to the story of Christ, "Many of the churches, the older churches in Nagasaki, were very encouraged by this. They had never really seen or experienced such a strong response to the Gospel in their history." Logos Hope crew members helped connect these new Christians with people who could help mentor them in their new faith. "Those that did respond to the Gospel are being followed up by local churches. We have heard from a number of these people who wrote to us and were very thankful for the message that they heard." The greatest need in Japan, as is true in many parts of the world, is for expressions of authentic friendship and genuine witness among those in the church. This OM staffer sums up their visit to Japan with this request: "We just keep praying that the Lord will open our eyes to be aware of those around, in whom He is already at work."

Burma election could mean tribal freedom   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
Burmese village (photo by Dyann Romeijn) Burma (MNN) -- Opposition political power-house Aung San Suu Kyi is rebuffing election threats in Burma. She's being told to refrain from using language that “challenges the army” during her rallies. Laws are in place preventing this lawmaker from winning a presidential bid because her late husband was English. President of Vision Beyond Borders Patrick Klein says, "Her popularity has just skyrocketed. She's their hope for freedom. She has stood for democracy and wants freedom in the country. They're trying to find any way they can to stop her from running." Suu Kyi is trying to overturn a law that bans her from running. "They know that if she's allowed to run, she'll win in a landslide," says Klein. The current government has a grip on the country exploiting its natural resources and genocide connected to tribal people like the Karen, Kachin and Rohingya. Klein says her election could end government corruption and ethnic genocide. That genocide has seen entire villages destroyed and families killed. Many are living in refugee camps in nearby Thailand. Many of them are orphaned children and VBB is helping by sending teams. "They've lost everything. So when a group of Americans come and serve them and spend time with them and show them that they're loved, it's kind of like God is demonstrating His love in a tangible way to them. And they're just so encouraged. We get so challenged and changed." Klein adds many of these children have come to Christ and they become an example. "When you see kids who've lost everything. They sleep on hard bamboo. And, those kids are so free and so happy. It just brings you back to what we're all about as Christians." Are you feeling called to go? Connect with Vision Beyond Borders to sign up for their next trip to Burma.

Burma election could mean tribal freedom   (Open in a new window)

Source: mnnonline.org | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
Burma (MNN) -- Opposition political power-house Aung San Suu Kyi is rebuffing election threats in Burma. She's being told to refrain from using language that “challenges the army” during her rallies. Laws are in place preventing this lawmaker from winning a presidential bid because her late husband was English. President of Vision Beyond Borders Patrick Klein says, "Her popularity has just skyrocketed. She's their hope for freedom. She has stood for democracy and wants freedom in the country. They're trying to find any way they can to stop her from running." Klein says her election could end government corruption and ethnic genocide. Child victims are now refugees in nearby Thailand, and VBB is helping by sending teams. "They've lost everything. So when a group of Americans come and serve them and spend time with them and show them that they're loved, it's kind of like God is demonstrating His love in a tangible way to them. And they're just so encouraged. We get so challenged and changed." Are you feeling called to go? Connect with Vision Beyond Borders to sign up for their next trip to Burma.

International Widows’ Day   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
South Asia (MNN) -- Today is International Widows' Day. The Bible tells us to take care of the orphan, the widow, and the alien. It's easy to see these are some Jesus referred to as "the least of these." Gospel for Asia is using this day to focus on widows in South Asia. According to GFA, there are over 40 million widows in South Asia who struggle every day just to live. Often, widows are blamed for their husband's death, so not even family will help out. It's International Widows Day.(Photo courtesy of GFA) One in four homes in India belong to widows. That's 25%! They often resort to prostitution or street begging just to provide for their children. Some even gather food from the trash. Gospel for Asia also reports that for some women, the only way out they can see is suicide. That's why GFA is providing free medical checkups, sewing machine and tailoring classes, new clothes, food and water and other basic necessities, and animals that can provide an income. You can be a part of this not only today, but every day. You can help these women get back their dignity. You can help them wake up in the morning without having to wonder where they'll get their food for the day. Your gift and your support could be the open doors pastors in the area need to share the hope of the Gospel. If you would like to support widows financially, here's the link. As you read this, pray for God's protection over widows of the world. Pray that they would be able to see the hope that's in Christ Jesus, even in their dire circumstances.

International Widows’ Day   (Open in a new window)

Source: mnnonline.org | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
South Asia (MNN) -- Today is International Widows' Day. The Bible tells us to take care of the orphan, the widow, and the alien. It's easy to see these are some Jesus referred to as "the least of these." Gospel for Asia is using this day to focus on widows in South Asia. According to GFA, there are over 40 million widows in South Asia who struggle every day just to live. Often, widows are blamed for their husband's death, so not even family will help out. It's International Widows Day.(Photo courtesy of GFA) One in four homes in India belong to widows. That's 25%! They often resort to prostitution or street begging just to provide for their children. Some even gather food from the trash. Gospel for Asia also reports that for some women, the only way out they can see is suicide. That's why GFA is providing free medical checkups, sewing machine and tailoring classes, new clothes, food and water and other basic necessities, and animals that can provide an income. You can be a part of this not only today, but every day. You can help these women get back their dignity. You can help them wake up in the morning without having to wonder where they'll get their food for the day. Your gift and your support could be the open doors pastors in the area need to share the hope of the Gospel. If you would like to support widows financially, here's the link. As you read this, pray for God's protection over widows of the world. Pray that they would be able to see the hope that's in Christ Jesus, even in their dire circumstances.

The JESUS Film Project simplifying recording process for smaller people groups   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
Papua New Guinea (MNN) -- You can only focus on so many things at one time effectively. The popularity of the JESUS film continues to grow, and more and more requests for new translations are made all of the time. The JESUS Film Project is working to get the Gospel out quicker to smaller language groups.(Photo courtesy of The JESUS Film Project) For The JESUS Film Project, this has been a blessing that creates a dilemma. Smaller people groups long to have the film in their language so that more people can know about Jesus. Meanwhile, they're still working at finishing projects for larger language groups. Until now, it hasn't been feasible to translate the film to these lesser-used languages. Steve Baumann of The JESUS Film Project says they're in the testing phase of a new tactic because "God loves all people, and we knew that we were missing out on reaching the smaller groups. So we had to develop a way that would reduce the cost." The project is called "JESUS Simplified Script," and they're working on six different languages in Papua New Guinea. It really is quite simple, without watering down the content of the film. Instead of hiring multiple actors to re-dub the film in a new language, they are having one person of that language narrate the entire film. What's interesting is that this format resonates better with the people anyway. It mimics traditional tribal storytelling. Once The JESUS Film Project can work out all the kinks of the process, they hope to repeat this process in about 20 languages. "We want to go where things are moving and people are excited in those particular regions," Baumann says. They hope to have the process down pat by 2015 so that it can be easily shared with other ministries. "We'd love to be able to hand it off to them so that they could do translations, they could do recordings, they could edit, they could mix and allow for their technical team to be able to run with it," says Baumann. "It's exciting because what we're seeing in Papua New Guinea in the first six languages, because they're smaller groups, they can translate quicker.... Another benefit is that we can edit and mix right there on the spot." The way it has progressed the production of new translations of the video is quite extreme. Baumann says it has the ability to cut months or even years out of the entire process of recording. "Being able to do it with such small groups that we've never been able to work on has just exponentially increased what these people can do in reaching the smaller groups." The Gospel in video form is so important because many of the people groups being reached are illiterate. If you want to be a part of this exciting work, Baumann explains how you can. "Prayer [is] the #1 response that all Christians should be doing. And as we pray for these things and see God moving, we believe it is in God's heart to do this and to bring about His word throughout all the nations." Baumann reminds us, "As the Gospel goes out to all the nations, we quicken and we hasten Christ's return and that prayer that God is working on. Either we ride with where God is going, or we're missing the boat completely." If you would like to support the projects of The JESUS Film Project financially, you can do so here. Also, check out audio technician internship opportunities.

The JESUS Film Project simplifying recording process for smaller people groups   (Open in a new window)

Source: mnnonline.org | 2014-06-23 - 1 month ago
Papua New Guinea (MNN) -- You can only focus on so many things at one time effectively. The popularity of the JESUS film continues to grow, and more and more requests for new translations are made all of the time. The JESUS Film Project is working to get the Gospel out quicker to smaller language groups.(Photo courtesy of The JESUS Film Project) For The JESUS Film Project, this has been a blessing that creates a dilemma. Smaller people groups long to have the film in their language so that more people can know about Jesus. Meanwhile, they're still working at finishing projects for larger language groups. Until now, it hasn't been feasible to translate the film to these lesser-used languages. Steve Baumann of The JESUS Film Project says they're in the testing phase of a new tactic because "God loves all people, and we knew that we were missing out on reaching the smaller groups. So we had to develop a way that would reduce the cost." The project is called "JESUS Simplified Script," and they're working on six different languages in Papua New Guinea. It really is quite simple, without watering down the content of the film. Instead of hiring multiple actors to re-dub the film in a new language, they are having one person of that language narrate the entire film. What's interesting is that this format resonates better with the people anyway. It mimics traditional tribal storytelling. Once The JESUS Film Project can work out all the kinks of the process, they hope to repeat this process in about 20 languages. "We want to go where things are moving and people are excited in those particular regions," Baumann says. They hope to have the process down pat by 2015 so that it can be easily shared with other ministries. "We'd love to be able to hand it off to them so that they could do translations, they could do recordings, they could edit, they could mix and allow for their technical team to be able to run with it," says Baumann. "It's exciting because what we're seeing in Papua New Guinea in the first six languages, because they're smaller groups, they can translate quicker.... Another benefit is that we can edit and mix right there on the spot." The way it has progressed the production of new translations of the video is quite extreme. Baumann says it has the ability to cut months or even years out of the entire process of recording. "Being able to do it with such small groups that we've never been able to work on has just exponentially increased what these people can do in reaching the smaller groups." The Gospel in video form is so important because many of the people groups being reached are illiterate. If you want to be a part of this exciting work, Baumann explains how you can. "Prayer [is] the #1 response that all Christians should be doing. And as we pray for these things and see God moving, we believe it is in God's heart to do this and to bring about His word throughout all the nations." Baumann reminds us, "As the Gospel goes out to all the nations, we quicken and we hasten Christ's return and that prayer that God is working on. Either we ride with where God is going, or we're missing the boat completely." If you would like to support the projects of The JESUS Film Project financially, you can do so here. Also, check out audio technician internship opportunities.

2 ways to get Bibles into China   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-20 - 1 month ago
Amity Press printing Bibles in China.(Ruth Kramer photo) China (MNN) -- Some Christians say, "If you follow the rules, you can distribute Bibles in China." Others say, "Millions of Bibles are printed in China. They don't need Bibles brought in." Still others suggest the need for Bibles is great. Which is it? Actually, all of the above!. President of Vision Beyond Borders Patrick Klein just returned from China. He says they need Bibles. "They estimate that the church needs 40-50 million Bibles just for Christians who don't have a Bible right now." What about those who say, "If you follow the rules, you can distribute Bibles in China?" That's true, but only go where the government tells you to go. What about the millions of Bibles that are printed in China? "They say they're cranking out 8 million Bibles a month, which is true. But what they don't tell you is that they're printing Bibles for all over. So they give you the impression that they're printing 8 million Bibles a month. There's a small percentage of those Bibles being produced for the believers in China, but those are available in the big cities." Klein says rural areas are desperate for Bibles. "[China] says they're wide open, but they're not. And there are some Bibles available, but they're not meeting the needs." There are two ways for you to help get Bibles into China, and it can be risky. "We need more people to come and help us carry Bibles. We need for people to be praying that the borders would be open, so we can get more Bibles in." Klein says carrying Bibles to distribute doesn't come without some risk. "When I was there a week and a half ago, part of our team members were stopped and Bibles were confiscated. So, for a country that's saying they're open and Bibles are freely available, why are they stopping them at the border?" VBB also needs people to support their work. If you're feeling called to do that, click here.

2 ways to get Bibles into China   (Open in a new window)

Source: mnnonline.org | 2014-06-20 - 1 month ago
Amity Press printing Bibles in China.(Ruth Kramer photo) China (MNN) -- Some Christians say, "If you follow the rules, you can distribute Bibles in China." Others say, "Millions of Bibles are printed in China. They don't need Bibles brought in." Still others suggest the need for Bibles is great. Which is it? Actually, all of the above!. President of Vision Beyond Borders Patrick Klein just returned from China. He says they need Bibles. "They estimate that the church needs 40-50 million Bibles just for Christians who don't have a Bible right now." What about those who say, "If you follow the rules, you can distribute Bibles in China?" That's true, but only go where the government tells you to go. What about the millions of Bibles that are printed in China? "They say they're cranking out 8 million Bibles a month, which is true. But what they don't tell you is that they're printing Bibles for all over. So they give you the impression that they're printing 8 million Bibles a month. There's a small percentage of those Bibles being produced for the believers in China, but those are available in the big cities." Klein says rural areas are desperate for Bibles. "[China] says they're wide open, but they're not. And there are some Bibles available, but they're not meeting the needs." There are two ways for you to help get Bibles into China, and it can be risky. "We need more people to come and help us carry Bibles. We need for people to be praying that the borders would be open, so we can get more Bibles in." Klein says carrying Bibles to distribute doesn't come without some risk. "When I was there a week and a half ago, part of our team members were stopped and Bibles were confiscated. So, for a country that's saying they're open and Bibles are freely available, why are they stopping them at the border?" VBB also needs people to support their work. If you're feeling called to do that, click here.

World Refugee Day: Iraqi Crisis   (Open in a new window)

Source: https: | 2014-06-20 - 1 month ago
(Image courtesy ALBAZ via Flickr) Iraq (MNN) -- In response to the flood of Iraqi refugees arriving in Kurdistan, the United Nations Children's Fund upgraded its disaster designation. Greg Musselman, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs Canada, describes the situation for Christians. "They are going to places up in Kurdistan, and there are tens of thousands of cars that are lined up trying to get out of there. It's an absolute mess. We need to really be praying that God gives our brothers and sisters wisdom." UNICEF raised the crisis to a Level 3--its most severe designation--as the UN and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) struggled to provide food, water, sanitation, and shelter to nearly 1.5 million people. Iraq’s crisis has become critical, just one week after Sunni jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched a rapid sweep across the country. (Photo courtesy Ian Terry/Flickr/CC) What's more, it's not the refugee crisis alone that is cause for concern, but rather, three Level 3 crises that are raising the alarm. Iraq is under a Level 3 polio emergency, Syria's civil war is a Level 3 humanitarian disaster, and now, Iraq's insurgency. June 20 is World Refugee Day. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says, "I call on the international community to intensify efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts, and to help achieve peace and security so that families can be reunited and refugees can return home." Musselman says many followers of Christ are beginning to realize that might be hard to do. They already have a target painted on their buildings. "I know of a church in Baghdad, St. George's church with Canon Andrew White. They've lost 1200 people (church goers) [who] were killed…and many hundreds more have left the country." (Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Canada) Yet Canon Andrew White, known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," remains resolute. "I will not leave my people here, however bad it is," he says. "I am not leaving, and neither is God." White is one in-country partner of The Voice of the Martyrs presence in Iraq. Musselman says despite the nature of persecution, the up side is this: "God is still working in the midst of that. In our contact with people in the country, we're trying to find ways--'how can we best help Christians in Iraq,' because that's our focus." The displacement pattern begins to take on the shape of diaspora. "There are many things that are going on in terms of church planting, [that] God is really administering and encouraging us to do in working with our partners there. It gives us hope, but on the other hand, you see the chaos there and wonder how things will ever be able to continue." The church can be a vessel of God's peace, extending love to all their neighbors. Musselman explains, "The average Iraqi person doesn't want this. They just want to be like the rest of us, live a normal life, raise their children and their grandchildren, and have their dreams and their hopes for the future." The story of Christ hits a nerve with many people. Church leaders are asking that you pray "in the middle of all this that they would see that Jesus is the only answer and He is the hope." Pray, too, for an end to the fighting and bloodshed in Iraq which have been mainly caused by tensions between Sunni militants and the Shia-dominated government.

World Refugee Day: Iraqi Crisis   (Open in a new window)

Source: mnnonline.org | 2014-06-20 - 1 month ago
(Image courtesy ALBAZ via Flickr) Iraq (MNN) -- In response to the flood of Iraqi refugees arriving in Kurdistan, the United Nations Children's Fund upgraded its disaster designation. Greg Musselman, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs Canada, describes the situation for Christians. "They are going to places up in Kurdistan, and there are tens of thousands of cars that are lined up trying to get out of there. It's an absolute mess. We need to really be praying that God gives our brothers and sisters wisdom." UNICEF raised the crisis to a Level 3--its most severe designation--as the UN and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) struggled to provide food, water, sanitation, and shelter to nearly 1.5 million people. Iraq’s crisis has become critical, just one week after Sunni jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched a rapid sweep across the country. (Photo courtesy Ian Terry/Flickr/CC) What's more, it's not the refugee crisis alone that is cause for concern, but rather, three Level 3 crises that are raising the alarm. Iraq is under a Level 3 polio emergency, Syria's civil war is a Level 3 humanitarian disaster, and now, Iraq's insurgency. June 20 is World Refugee Day. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says, "I call on the international community to intensify efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts, and to help achieve peace and security so that families can be reunited and refugees can return home." Musselman says many followers of Christ are beginning to realize that might be hard to do. They already have a target painted on their buildings. "I know of a church in Baghdad, St. George's church with Canon Andrew White. They've lost 1200 people (church goers) [who] were killed…and many hundreds more have left the country." (Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Canada) Yet Canon Andrew White, known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," remains resolute. "I will not leave my people here, however bad it is," he says. "I am not leaving, and neither is God." White is one in-country partner of The Voice of the Martyrs presence in Iraq. Musselman says despite the nature of persecution, the up side is this: "God is still working in the midst of that. In our contact with people in the country, we're trying to find ways--'how can we best help Christians in Iraq,' because that's our focus." The displacement pattern begins to take on the shape of diaspora. "There are many things that are going on in terms of church planting, [that] God is really administering and encouraging us to do in working with our partners there. It gives us hope, but on the other hand, you see the chaos there and wonder how things will ever be able to continue." The church can be a vessel of God's peace, extending love to all their neighbors. Musselman explains, "The average Iraqi person doesn't want this. They just want to be like the rest of us, live a normal life, raise their children and their grandchildren, and have their dreams and their hopes for the future." The story of Christ hits a nerve with many people. Church leaders are asking that you pray "in the middle of all this that they would see that Jesus is the only answer and He is the hope." Pray, too, for an end to the fighting and bloodshed in Iraq which have been mainly caused by tensions between Sunni militants and the Shia-dominated government.
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