I know this is old BUT relevant! It take a while to tell the story but really listen to what he says at from 2:44 to 4:00!! Give me 75 seconds of your day and I promise you will be convicted by an atheist!!
Canada (JFP/MNN) - You've heard it said that once your eyes are opened on a missions trip, you can never go back to the way life was before it.
That's true of Peggy, a 77-year-old grandmother from Canada. She participated on a JESUS FilmTM summer mission trip to London and distributed JESUS Film DVDs to a group of North Africans.
Whatever her assumptions were beforehand, Peggy said that her views of North Africans changed during the week. God showed her how He sees them. Sharing about a conversation with one veiled woman, she said, "I found out she was a woman just like me! I saw warmth and kindness." Peggy went on to say, "I could have been one of those ladies saying 'No' to the packet. I never want to go back to life as it was before this trip."
Upon returning home, Peggy was so excited that she ordered 800 DVDs to distribute to those in her city. While shopping one day, she met an Asian woman and learned she was from Japan. Peggy gave her a DVD.
Later, she met a woman from the Philippines. "So I gave her one," Peggy stated. Next, Peggy gave one to a Vietnamese bagger at a grocery store. "She gave me a big hug and was so excited [saying,] 'I will listen to it tonight.'"
Another day Peggy visited an ill man and met his caregiver. "I asked where she was from. 'France,' was her reply." She was delighted to receive a DVD and said she would look at it tonight. I have taken DVDs to our Sunday school [class] twice and people have taken them to share with others. We distributed the DVDs at our Good News Club in an elementary school as most of the [students] are from Spanish speaking homes."
Based on the Gospel of Luke, the "JESUS" film has now been translated into more than 1,160 languages, with new languages being added every month. This allows God's Word to speak to people in more than 200 countries in languages they know and understand. By God's grace, it is yielding a spiritual harvest of unprecedented results.
Not only is the story of the "JESUS" film one of effective evangelism, but also a powerful tool for expanding the church worldwide. Hundreds of churches, missions groups and denominational agencies, both indigenous and global, are also seeing this tool ignite the launch and growth of thousands of new churches.
Want to help? Or do you want to know more about the "JESUS" film? Just start clicking on the highlighted links. Take the first step toward the rest of your life.
Romania (MNN) -- A couple in Romania is caring for 10 orphans as if they were family. But they're struggling to keep a roof over their heads, says Vision Beyond Borders' (VBB) Marshall Grover.
"Originally, they had a one-year lease on the property," he explains. "And then, it was shortened to six months. Recently, it has been shortened to one month."
Grover says John and his wife, the couple who cares for these orphans, desperately need your prayers.
"He's very concerned about how he can maintain housing for these orphans," states Grover. "He doesn't have a long-range provision plan for these kids and the home."
On a recent trip to southern Romania, Grover and a few other believers shared the hope of Christ with this family. They were able to give the family a lot of shoes and clothing, along with many garden seeds.
VBB is looking into more ways they can come alongside this family. Pray the Lord will provide a way for this family to stay together.
Grover and his teammates also shared the Gospel with a couple of Roma Gypsy communities. With a history of discrimination in Europe dating back to the 1700's, the Roma Gypsies have long lived as an unwanted people.
During World War II, the Roma were targeted by Nazis for extermination; up to 500,000 Roma are thought to have been murdered at Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. Today, hundreds of thousands of Roma are forced to live in ghettoes and slums.
Christ's unbiased love is a powerfully appealing message to the Roma. However, leaving the life of an outcast is an intimidating feat.
"They have been labeled as a pack of thieves and liars; immoral people and such. For them to step out from what they have been previously labeled as is pretty hard," Grover explains.
But some are making the change. In one Roma community, several of the Roma were interested in hearing more about Christianity, and one man rededicated his life to the Lord. In another village, a former alcoholic in his mid-60's became a new believer and was baptized during the team's visit.
"This is a big step for him because of so many years in alcoholism," says Grover. "He has a terrific battle ahead of him, but nevertheless, God is able to deliver him from that.
"Pray for him in the respect that he will put his dependency on God instead of alcohol."
VBB will be taking another group to Romania in the fall. Click here to see a list of upcoming trips.
"Pray for trust in Christ as Savior among the ones that have been exposed to the Gospel."
Chains and rope were among the items police took from Castro's home earlier this week.
USA/Nepal (MNN) -- Have you been following the case of the three girls kidnapped and kept as slaves in Cleveland, Ohio for 10 years?
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were rescued Monday after a neighbor heard Berry screaming for help. Also rescued was Berry's six year-old daughter. Berry, her daughter and DeJesus are safe with their families, while Knight remained at a Cleveland hospital.
The women's captor, 52 year-old Ariel Castro, was recently charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. He could face more charges once the case goes to a grand jury.
In charging documents released Wednesday, police said Castro lured Knight into his car in 2002, took her to his home, and "repeatedly sexually assaulted" her. Authorities described a similar scenario for Berry, who was lured into Castro's car in 2003 on the same road as Knight.
The following year, DeJesus was lured into Castro's vehicle and, like the other two women, repeatedly sexually assaulted in the subsequent years.
This story shows how most human trafficking cases start. You see, trafficking doesn't require movement; slavery is at the heart of this global problem.
According to the U.S. Department of State's 2012 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report, "People may be considered trafficking victims regardless of whether they were born into a state of servitude [or] were transported into the exploitative situation….At the heart of this phenomenon is the traffickers' goal of exploiting and enslaving their victims."
Cathey Anderson of Operation Mobilization says their annual Freedom Climb helps fight the problem worldwide.
"We're just all out there being this voice for these gals," Andersons states.
Each year, women climb one of the world's toughest mountains to raise awareness of the issue. The first Freedom Climb tackled Mount Kilimanjaro, while this year's group took on the foothills of Mount Everest.
"We walked into it with the anticipation that it would be very similar to our Kilimanjaro hike," Anderson recalls. "But it turned out to be dramatically different in so many different ways."
Along with a longer hike and more difficult terrain, sickness took down a majority of the group.
"Think of the worst stomach flu you've ever had, and that explains it," says Anderson.
"It was a struggle! It was just an absolute push-through, give it everything you got and just depend on the Lord."
The climb does more than raise awareness though; 'Freedom Climbers' also raise support for OM projects that fight human trafficking. Anderson says their projects tackle the issue in three ways: prevention, development and rescue. Learn more about them here.
One of the best parts about this story? You can be a part of it.
"We really need to get out there and be aware, be the voice, be the hands and the feet, and start making a difference," says Anderson.
Click here to learn more about the Freedom Climb and how you can get involved.
Keep praying for the victims of modern-day slavery, and pray justice for the women in Cleveland.
"Pray for those that are suffering - physically, mentally, emotionally - all of that. Oppressed, enslaved, whatever it is, because it doesn't end," says Anderson.
"It's a big, bad stain on all of humanity."
Camps usually last only a week, but a child's new relationship with Christ lasts a lifetime. (Image/caption courtesy SGA)
Central Asia -- School's out for the summer! That means sleeping in, bonfires, and summer camps for many kids.
But it's also "a very, very important time for reaching children with the Gospel," says Joel Griffith of Slavic Gospel Association.
SGA supports evangelical churches in nine countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS.
Churches in these regions, with the help of SGA, hold more than 300 summer camps that teach kids about Jesus. Along with typical camp activities like swimming and hiking, children also hear the life-changing message of salvation from camp counselors.
"[Camps are] basically held from June through the end of August, and it's a tremendous time of ministry for these churches," says Griffith.
In countries like Russia and Ukraine, churches can hold these summer camps without a problem. A camp in one Russian town even got local television coverage last summer. SGA says it's rare for evangelical ministries to get such positive coverage in the media, and they're thankful for God's sovereign work.
"But in other places, such as Central Asian nations that are largely Muslim-dominated, these camps have to be held secretly and discreetly," explains Griffith.
Throughout Central Asia, governments are erasing any trace of religious freedom. For example, Christian outreach to children in Kazakhstan is officially prohibited.
However, at the end of 2012, SGA-sponsored workers were able to hold a "Fall Camp" for about 40 orphaned children. Praise God for this opportunity to share about His Son. Pray for His protection over believers in Kazakhstan.
Despite religious restrictions, SGA expects this summer's camps to yield a bountiful harvest in Central Asia.
"Please continue to pray with us about that," Griffith requests.
Pray that the Gospel goes forth safely this summer. Ask God to open the hearts of children to believe the Good News.
If you can help SGA send resources for these camps, click here. $41 USD sends one child to camp for a week, where he or she will be given a New Testament in the child's language.
(Image of vocational student courtesy Every Child Ministries)
Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) - Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is a city of more than 7 million people. The United Nations estimates that about 30,000 of these are street children under the age of 18, and of that 30,000, about three-quarters of them are boys.
However, recent studies show that there's an increasing number are girls on the streets now, many of them working as prostitutes as young as 10 years old. As to the reasons there are so many kids abandoned to the streets, they are many, says Lorella Rouster with Every Child Ministries. "Part of it is because of the wars that the countries have faced. Part of it is because of poverty... [and also] superstition, believing that any bad thing that happens must happen as the result of witchcraft."
The list of other reasons for ending up as street children is long. Children were conscripted to fight in bloody wars. Those who survived are now returning home. AIDS has decimated the adult population, leaving behind children who are fending for themselves as the head of a household. For most of them, surviving the next 24 hours is as much hope for the future as they can afford.
Rouster doesn't want that for these kids and therefore started working with the most vulnerable targets, places where the community gathers. "Every Child Ministries ministers in one particular area at a market area. Almost all open air markets have street children attached to them." For the past several years, ECM has been ministering to street children--primarily boys--around a market area across from the Teachers' Training University (Institut Pdagogique Nationale or IPN).
These street kids are eking out their existence and crave safety, dignity, and hope. A regular Fellowship for Street Children with Bible teaching and worship services has been established. ECM has also been feeding these boys.
With the help of the University Chapel Church, ECM has organized sporting events which have helped the street children begin to see themselves as normal children who could actually be accepted into society. With the help of a generous Congolese friend who donated use of some land, the street children of the area have developed their own garden where they learn the value of work and raise vegetables to enhance their diet.
That's all great, until you realize these boys are still ill-equipped for real life. What happens when they turn 18? Without training or skills, they will be in worse shape than before. ECM developed a vocational training program. "It targets older teens and matches them with a skilled worker who agrees to have that young person come alongside them as an aid, and then gradually teaches him or her skills of their trade", Rouster explains.
It's really an apprenticeship, and it has been successful for its participants. "It allows the children a way to eventually escape from the streets. If they don't get in with a family, or if they don't receive some kind of vocational training, they'll end up as gangsters or prostitutes," says Rouster.
Nearly a decade ago, the ministry graduated the first two individuals from their mechanic's apprenticeships. But that's not the only measure of the program's success, Rouster notes. "One of the teenage boys actually led his apprenticeship master to Christ. So, he had enough influence with the master and his life showed Christ enough that that master became interested in becoming a Christian, and he actually led him to Christ."
On her last visit to Kinshasa, Rouster saw a number of other success stories. "We have several now who have gone through the program, who are living on their own, and have started families . And really, that is just a dream come true for a street kid."
However, that brings an interesting challenge to ECM. First, they need other believers to stand alongside the street children and help get them off the streets. "Many vocational youth can actually be supported for $32/month while they're in training, and we also need extra funds to provide the business startup at the end of their training."
Students learn dressmaking, tailoring, auto mechanics, and carpentry, among other skills. When they graduate from the program, they're given the tools (like a sewing machine) they need to help establish successful businesses ($325/youth).
You could consider the apprenticeship program the beginnings of community transformation. "We're reaching the children with the Gospel while they're still homeless, before they even start this program, and then maintaining contact with them while they're in the program. So they are receiving regular Bible teaching and Gospel influence."
In a way, you could say that ECM is the tool used by God to flesh out Jeremiah 29:11 for the street kids of Congo. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Is it really that simple to provide hope and a future? All it takes is the willingness to help, and Rouster adds, "We need prayer that God will continue to open their hearts to the Gospel. To know that God cares for them so much that He sent His Son for them is really good news for street kids. We want them to realize that, and that happens through God opening their hearts."