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Archive for November, 2008

1 One of the few Communist nations in the 21st Century , Vietnam faces new challenges. Repression of all types of freedom continues, but at the same time, social ills are on the rise. Drug addiction, AIDS, prostitution and exploitation of children are all too common. There are two abortions for every live birth, one of the world’s highest rates. Pray that the ideological and moral darkness over this nation might be banished by the light of the gospel.

2 All open missionary work ceased in 1975. CMA laboured for 64 years (for 50 years as the only Protestant mission). Other agencies arrived in the 1950s, notably WEC, SBC, UWM and SIL. In 1974 there were 280 missionaries in the land. The years of sowing are reaping an abundant harvest, and these organizations and others (AO, YWAM, AoG) are poised to enter Vietnam once believers’ prayers pry open this closed nation.

3 Vietnam remains one of the worst persecutors of Christians. Seeing the role of Christianity in the demise of Communism elsewhere, the regime has attempted to either control or wipe out believers. Government efforts have intensified as churches respond to persecution with growth and outreach. Registration implies compromise; failure to register churches is illegal — forcing most believers underground. Pray for:

a) Those in prison for their faith. At any time there are probably dozens of Christian leaders imprisoned. Most pastors have had times of imprisonment in grim conditions. Pray for Christians in prison — many prisoners have come to faith through such witness.

b) Registered churches. Pray that they may withstand unrelenting government pressures to compromise and conform to strict regulations. The Church in the north has suffered much longer, and the authorities there are more strict. Meetings are only permitted in the few remaining recognized church buildings, the majority have been closed or destroyed. Open evangelism and itinerant ministry is forbidden and contact with foreign Christians restricted. Yet these churches, especially EVCN/CMA, have grown.

c) Unregistered churches.These are harassed by the police, with meetings frequently broken up and leaders arrested. Yet the courage and tenacity of these believers under pressure rarely fails and growth continues. There are tensions between leaders of registered and unregistered churches.

d) The Montagnard churches among the Ede, Jarai, Koho, Mnong, Stieng and others. They have suffered particularly savage persecution — churches razed, congregations scattered, Christians killed. Yet people movements to Christ are still reported. Maintaining adequate fellowship is hard where meetings are illegal and few of their languages have Scriptures. This lack has led to schisms and false teaching in some areas.

4 Leaders are the key to Vietnamese church. As numbers increase, so does false teaching and error. Opportunities for training are simply not there. The Catholics have reopened several seminaries, all monitored by the government. There are informal study programmes and unofficial Bible schools in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and elsewhere. Expatriates often quietly enter the country to do leadership training seminars, but their low profile limits the impact. Pray for the importation of more study materials and theological books. Pray that the Spirit may guide believers into all truth.

5 The Vietnamese diaspora was birthed through tragedy as many perished in their flight from the Communists. Two million are settled around the globe, where they are more accessible to ministry. Pray for workers with a heart to reach them. Many thousands are returning to their homeland, amongst them many who became Christians while abroad. Pray that they may endure persecution and not fall away, but rather minister to their countrymen who have not yet heard the words of life.

6 The country is gradually opening up. Most of the population was born after the war, and are more interested in capital gain and the outside world than Communist propaganda. They are proving responsive to the gospel. The desperate need for economic development is giving opportunities for tentmakers in business and in teaching English. Christian NGOs who propose legitimate aid projects are increasingly invited to work here. Pray that Vietnam may fully open to missionaries, and that many committed and prepared workers may respond.

7 The less-reached. Present church growth is not even — many sections of the community and numerous ethnic groups remain scarcely touched by the gospel.

a) The northern Vietnamese. As a result of the longer Communist presence, they are much less evangelized than their southern brethren.

b) The Muslim Cham and Buddhist Khmer of the Mekong Delta; only a handful have believed. FEBC broadcasts in both Cham and Khmer. Resources are available in Khmer — the Bible, the JESUS film, radio — the need is for people who will take them to the Khmer.

c) The northern minorities have been beyond the reach of missionaries for 50 years because of war and Communism. Most are Buddhist or animist, many without any known believers. Pray especially for the Giay, Hani, San Chay, Tho and Puoc, the largest groups with no known believers. Christian radio is a key ministry, but only some have programmes in their language. The Hmong church has grown to over 100,000 believers largely through FEBC radio. The government has begun jamming broadcasts to them to prevent further growth.

d) Communist officials and government leaders. The ideal Communist state for which they fought and suffered is proving a grim failure. Disillusionment is widespread.

e) The Cao Dai and Hoa Hao religionists strongly resisted Communism. Together they may number as many as 4.5 million but these religions are declining. Christians must be aware of their unique cultures and beliefs and reach them in a relevant way.

8 Bible and literature ministries:

a) Vietnamese Bibles were finally printed locally in 1995. There are now over 35,000 Bibles and 65,000 NTs printed and distributed throughout the country — primarily through state-approved churches. While this is an encouraging development, it is not nearly enough for the great need. Pray that it might increase.

b) Bible translation is an ongoing task. Many ethnic minorities lack the Word in their languages — 45 have a definite translation need, with possibly a further 22 that might do so. Pray for the completion of this huge task. A long-needed modern translation of the Vietnamese Bible is now available.

c) Christian literature is in great demand, but strictly monitored. Recently 80,000 gospel portions and 120,000 Bible comics were produced locally with permission. Pray for the provision of more literature for evangelism, follow-up and teaching.

9 Media ministries:

a) The JESUS film and video is available in Akha, Cantonese, Hmong, Khmer, Lahu and Vietnamese. Lack of freedom and equipment limit their use, but 500 video cassettes were recently legally imported.

b) GRN have prepared recordings in 60 languages of Vietnam. Pray that these recordings, as well as cassette players, may be circulated throughout the country.

c) Christian radio programmes of FEBC have been remarkable in their scope and impact. Vital for believers, they are widely heard despite shortages of batteries and radios and in the face of persecution of listeners if discovered. FEBC broadcasts 24 hrs/wk in Vietnamese and one or two programmes/week in 21 other minority languages. TWR adds 10 hrs/wk in Vietnamese.

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PDF / Doc

Prayer
An Article
By: J. C. Ryle
Webpage PDF Word

MP3

8 Winning Insights

Show Summary: How can you WIN in this battle for sexual purity? There are so many challenges and obstacles in our culture and around the world to living a daily life of purity. This broadcast will help our listeners to fight well against lust and cross the finish line as winners.

Download the FREE mp3 at http://www.puresexradio.com/mp3/psr20081122.mp3.

Podcast

The latest White Horse Inn is a talk between Baptist, Reformed and Lutheran ministers on what makes up the signs of the true church. The minsters discuss the common Reformation idea of the church against the idea of the church in many other American churches

Other

If you visit Jerusalem on Google Earth now and go to “Jerusalem Ritmeyer composite” under “Places”, you will see an overlay with the map that I provided to create plans of Jerusalem in the various periods for the ESV Study Bible. The exciting thing is that you can see the walls of Jerusalem in 3D and change the perspective as you wish. Here is a snapshot of the walls of Jerusalem seen from the north-east:

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Kazakhs of Kazakhstan

“Who am I?” That’s the question on the minds of contemporary Kazakhs. In the aftermath of a turbulent series of national events, they are now undergoing an identity crisis.

During Soviet rule, the region known as Kazakhstan became a dumping ground for the empire’s unwanted. In the 1930s and 40s, dictator Josef Stalin banished millions to concentration camps in the Kazakh steppes. The original residents, the Kazakhs, quickly became a minority as l30 nationalities were cast into this confusion.

In the process, the Kazakhs lost their history and individuality as a people. With no written records, they depended upon oral tradition to communicate their uniqueness. This was quickly wiped out and they were soon unable to remember life before Soviet control.

Today, Kazakhstan is attempting to return to its roots by invoking laws that make learning the Kazakh language mandatory. This has caused non-Kazakhs to feel alienated and to resent the Kazakhs. The discovery of oil and the subsequent rush of wealth and Western values have merely added to the stress of an already volatile situation.

Ask God to reveal to the Kazakhs the identity which He envisioned for them before the foundations of the world: those who would worship Him, and identify with Christ above all else. Ask Him to establish the Kazakhs as part of the Body of Christ, equipped to praise and serve Him in unique and wonderful ways.-CL

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Tujia of China

People Name: Tujia
Country Name: China
Population: 8,961,000
Primary Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
% Evangelical: 0.30
Status: Unreached

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“And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:6).
CONTRADICTION: “God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of a man that he should repent” (Numbers 3:19).
EXPLANATION: God is without sin, so any references to Him and repentance merely mean “a change of mind.”
There are at least twenty-six references to God repenting, and every time it is used it is in a context of changing His mind or purpose in punishing or rewarding a person or group of people.
However, man is sinful and when the Scriptures speak of man repenting it is in reference to him changing his mind and turning from sin. It mans to “confess and forsake” his sins. Numbers 3:19 is saying that God is not like a man, who needs to repent of lying. He can be trusted to keep every promise He makes.

 

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Mission News

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S. Baptists Gear Up for Ambitious Mission Plan

Southern Baptist churches are being recruited to join a massive 12-year long, grassroots evangelism plan to share the Gospel with every person in North America by 2020. Pilot editions of God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS) will be launched in five states.

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What would happen if Korea developed the same plan? It is

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Iraqi Christians Jittery After the Murder of Two Christians

By Success Kanayo Uchime
Special to ASSIST News Service

MOSUL, IRAQ (ANS) — Tension has continued to rise among Christians in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq over the recent murder of two Christian sisters.

In a statement by Release International (RI), gunmen shot one of the women outside her home in Al Qahira district, before storming the house, killing her sister and wounding their mother.

“The assailants planted a bomb in the entrance to the house before leaving and the device exploded when police arrived at the scene, injuring several officers,” the report said.

According to the report, thousands of Christians fled Mosul after a spate of killings and attacks on their community in September and October 2008 and that some were starting to return home as security seemed to be improving.

But the recent killing by some Muslim fundamentalists has created serious tension in the city thereby worsening any hope of peace returning in the region and Christians across Iraq are angry about a new electoral law which gives them only three seats out of a total of 440 available on provincial councils.

The report has it that the legislation, signed by President Jalal Talabani earlier this month, fell a long way short of earlier promises that 13 seats would be reserved for the Christian community.

To make the matter worse, the government said it will use the new legislation only to renew provincial councils’ in January’s elections and that thereafter it will conduct a census to review quotas.

In his reaction the auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Shlemon Warduni, expressed dismay over the issue stating that; “It is meaningless to deny representation today whilst pledging equality for later.”

Other Iraq Articles: View article…, View article…

Videos Show Muslims Storming Church in Egypt

Thousands of Muslims who stormed a church in Ain Shams, Cairo, on Sunday and set fire to the building, are seen in two videos on a news agency website.View article…

20,000 Muslims Attack a Church in Cairo, Trapping a Thousand Christian Worshippers Inside

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Going Rate to Kill a Pastor in India: 250 Dollars

Hindu extremist groups are offering money, food and alcohol to anyone who murders Christians and destroys their homes.

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Prayer of the Day

Thank you, Father, for revealing your will to me through the Scriptures. Thank you for wanting to bless me and protect me from evil. Please forgive me for the times in the past that I have ignored your will or neglected being obedient to it. Today, I commit to live intentionally in your will and to live obediently to your word. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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