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Posts Tagged ‘Missions News’

Hope for slum dwellers

 

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is the story of a boy’s life growing up in the slums of India

India (MNN) ― After viewing the Academy Award winning film, ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ many people were shocked by the living conditions portrayed. The picture painted of poverty was uncomfortably accurate.

Dave Stravers with Mission India explains the reality of the poor conditions. “People in the slums have a few square feet of space, and sometimes a roof over their heads. [There is] no running water and no toilet facilities whatsoever, not even a hole in the ground. Usually their work is day by day. They’ll go stand on a street corner or a place where some people come to hire day laborers, and they typically earn anywhere from 50 cents a day to two dollars a day, depending on the job.

“Kids don’t go to school because they work, even from the age of six. They’ll go out doing some job, working in a factory or even scavenging on the street. Often there’s not enough to eat and conditions are extremely crowded. … It’s a pretty grim existence.”

While there is a happy ending for the protagonist of ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ this is clearly not the case for all who live in poverty. With all this in mind, the situation may seem hopeless for these slum dwellers; but with the help of Mission India, hope flows in abundance.

“In the past six months, more than 30,000 children have come to Christ through our ministries to children in slums; and actually more than 30,000 of their parents have also come to Christ,” says Stravers. “These people are generally living without much hope, but when they receive the Gospel and the friendship of a local Christian, life can really dramatically change for them.”

Mission India has reached thousands with the Gospel through Children’s Bible Clubs and adult literacy courses. Slum children are given opportunities to engage in tutoring, games, music and Bible stories, many experiencing holding a toy or learning a song for the first time. Once adults are trained through literacy classes, many are able to pass literacy tests, allowing them to earn much higher incomes and rise up out of poverty.

God has softened the hearts of many in India to receive the Gospel as they participate in these ministry activities. “The church in India is growing so fast,” says Stravers. “The Holy Spirit has really prepared people in India to hear the Gospel and believe like never before.”

The response of local Christians has been equally exciting. Believers are delighted to share their faith and the Gospel in any way they can. Mission India is currently providing training for 100,000 believers who would like to minister through Children’s Bible Clubs and adult literacy classes. Stravers notes that “for every three or four that we train, there are three or four more who would love to [be trained].” Although this may keep the ministry busy, an abundance of servants for the Lord is undoubtedly a welcomed problem.

Mission India asks you to pray for connections to reach as many people as possible with their ministries. “The Holy Spirit has already prepared hearts to receive Christ–that work is done. Now it’s a matter of just bringing the workers to those people who are ready to be helped.”

If you would like to help Mission India in this exciting work, click here.

View article…

In Other News

Political power split benefits India’s believers View article…

Inside India: Where Are the Indian Missions in Influencing the Indian Diaspora around the World? View article…

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Sudan expels aid groups, CRWRC remains

Sudan (MNN) ― The Sudanese government is having a difficult time filling the gaps left when Sudan expelled 13 aid groups. This was done in response to the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue a warrant for President Omar al-Bashir, charging him with war crimes for the Darfur conflict.

However, the expulsions didn’t affect the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee and their work in Darfur, says CRWRC’s Ken Little. “We have not been impacted. We work in partnership with World Relief, and our programs are going on as normal. We’re keeping an alert watch around us to see what’s happening. Our regular work week began yesterday, and as far as I know, today everything is going well.”

Even though CRWRC is still there, they can’t make up the difference the 13 groups were contributing. Little says many were involved in water and food projects. “If in fact they do have to leave, it will just enhance the suffering and increase the suffering of many, many, many people in Darfur.”

Little believes over 2-million people have been displaced by the fighting in Darfur alone.

He’s hoping these groups will be able to return. “We do know that all 13 groups are appealing the decision of the government of Sudan and asking for a reversal of the decision.”

In the meantime CRWRC’s work continues. Little says, “We’ve been providing some medical health clinics; some after-school programs for kids; a very comprehensive nutrition program, water, sanitation and food security; and helping with new varieties of seeds.”

With the increasing needs in Sudan, how is the economic downturn affected CRWRC’s work? Little says, “Our Canadian giving has stayed right up there, and our U.S. giving has come down a bit.”

As CRWRC is helping with the physical needs, the spiritual needs aren’t forgotten. But Little says it’s challenging. “We’re being the hands and feet of Christ. It’s a Muslim-dominate society, and the best way to testify is to show and demonstrate Christ’s love.”

According to Little, there are some specific prayer requests. He’s asking people to pray for the safety of their team. Also, “Pray for wisdom for the Sudanese government and for an ability to recognize that there’s an opportunity for positive change rather than retribution.”

He also asking people to pray for the Sudanese who were employed by the expelled aid agencies. That makes the situation even more difficult for those who were struggling to survive

 

In Other News

Missionaries celebrate new beginnings in Macau  View article…

Secularism gains ground in the U.S. View article…

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Music ministry communicates truth in C.A.R.

Central African Republic (MNN) ― Song is second-nature to the African people. Music is used to express emotion, and everyday life is saturated with singing. Wendy Atkins, a missionary with Africa Inland Mission, uses this concept to reach the hearts of indigenous people in a small C.A.R. village. Using music, her ministry breaches the areas of culture that haven’t been addressed by the Gospel.

“I challenge Christian leaders to put Scripture to song using ways that people can easily relate to,” Atkins says in a recent AIM article. “We call it ‘heart music’ — songs that reach deeply into the core of a person and communicate God’s life-changing message.”

Although AIM has worked in the C.A.R. since 1927, Atkins believes that there are areas of African culture that haven’t been addressed — issues like jealousy, idol worship, alcohol and witchcraft, all of which are glorified by traditional Zande songs.

“The Gospel has definitely been preached,” said Atkins. “The church exists, but there are areas of the culture of the people that the Gospel has not permeated yet.”

Atkins says that in her village, mythological beliefs cause villagers to struggle with jealousy. Villagers believe in the “theory of limited good,” which states that each village is allotted a certain amount of “good.” This must be spread equally among all villagers; so when one person begins to succeed, they are believed to have stolen some of the village’s “good.”

Atkins worked with composers to find what the Bible taught about jealousy and how believers were supposed to deal with those feelings.

The group decided to compose a song using teachings found in Colossians 3:12 and 1 Corinthians 13:4. Because of the song’s style and easy-to-learn lyrics, it quickly spread to surrounding churches. The AIM missionary recently taught the song to a small church group and was encouraged by the group’s response.

“Within two or three minutes, everyone was singing along, singing all of the words, standing up and dancing along. Then it gave a great opportunity to  share with them what that Scripture verse really means.”

Atkins says believers can join AIM in praying that behavior would change as a result of hearing these songs.

“Those words are in their heads, and we just pray that they’ll permeate their worldview and permeate their entire lives to bring about change.”

View article…

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Orthodox Efforts to Reach Muslims
The Orthodox Church hierarchy has denounced nationalist and anti-Islamic statements. Orthodox patriarch Alexey II stated, “Orthodox Christians, Muslims and members of other traditional churches have lived in Russia side by side for centuries. Russia has never had religious wars and, I hope, it never will.”

There is another side to the story. According to Roman Silantyev, executive secretary of the Inter-religious Council in Russia, “2.5 million Muslims have converted from Islam to Orthodox Christianity in Russia, while only 2,500 Orthodox have converted to Islam.” He said that most of the converts to the Russian Orthodox Church are non-practicing Muslims. Many of these are young and have married non-Muslims. Muslims who regularly attend mosque rarely convert. He went on to say that the conversions happen not so much due to evangelism, which is mainly done by Protestants, but it was because of Russia’s roots in Orthodox Christianity. He further explained that after the Beslan School Massacre in North Ossetia, where Muslim gunmen killed hundreds of children, the number of Muslims dropped by 50 percent. It appears that tens of thousands of Muslims may have accepted baptism after this 2004 tragedy. Muslim sources acknowledged that after each major Muslim terrorist incident in Russia, thousands of Muslims have converted to Christianity.

Let’s Pray!

  Pray that nominal Muslims will seek truth through Christ.

  Pray that Russian believers will seek God with all of their hearts, souls and minds and become strong witnesses of our Lord to Muslims.

  Pray that God’s Word will be understood in the languages of Russia’s Muslims and that His message will be conveyed through radio, television and the Internet.

  Pray that more Russian Orthodox will become committed believers.

For the full article or for those who want somewhere else to go to be disgusted the origninal article is here http://www.global-prayer-digest.org/monthdetails/2009/md-March-2009.asp

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Brigada Today

1.       YOUR OPINION ON THIS ARTICLE ABOUT AFRICA NEEDING MISSIONARIES? —
Here’s an article by an atheist pointing out that, in his opinion, Africa would be made better by missionaries. Would you take a moment to read the article and comment on it? What’s your opinion about this atheist’s conclusions? (Thanks for the tip about this article, Shibu!)

To see the article, click to this item on the web: http://www.brigada.org/2009/02/1_08.html

 

2.       DIGITAL MINISTRY FOR MISSIONS — Lausanne World Pulse is a free online publication on mission issues. An article in their February issue covers the many opportunities that missions can use for digital outreach:

http://www.lausanneworldpulse.com/themedarticles.php/1087

 

3.       CHRIST FOR THE NATIONS — Japan Bible School is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. Information on Japan and activities at CFN-Japan can be found on the English web site  http://www.cfnjapan.org/

 

4.       EFL WORKBOOKS FOR CHRISTIAN STUDIES — These workbooks provide contextualized passages for students involved in biblical studies who want to improve their proficiency in reading English. Vocabulary Building for Biblical Studies is an intermediate level workbook of 15 contextualized chapters centering on biblical and Christian themes. Each unit includes a passage of 1000 words and exercises that aid the students in understanding and expanding their vocabulary. Men and Women in the History of the Church is a pre-intermediate reader. Each unit begins with pre-reading questions and a biography of approximately 650 words. This is followed by exercises on reading comprehension and vocabulary building, and ends with discussion questions. The workbooks are available as a download, to print and photocopy for personal or
class use, but may not be reproduced for profit. The website is:
http://geocities.com/stapletonlyn/homepage

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Only 6,649 People Groups to Go!

http://www.calebresources.org/product_images/03-0416hr.jpg

In Revelation 5:9, John writes of Christ,

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

As of 2009, there are 6,649 people groups who have not yet heard of Christ. To be gospel-driven is to be mission-minded.

Paul tells us in Galatians 1:16 that the gospel and mission are inseparable. God the Father, Paul says was “pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles.”

As we seek to saturate ourselves in the Good News of Christ, may we like Paul come to understand that one of the grand purposes of the gospel is to be sent on mission.

May the gospel compel our hearts to pray for this unfinished task of reaching these 6,649 unreached people groups.

For more detailed information see The Joshua Project.

In Other News

Romanian church reaches Filipino women View article…

Malaysia to allow Christians to use ‘Allah’

Though the Catholic publication has been granted the right to use the word “allah,” in its Bahasa Malay edition so long as they print “For Christians Only” on the cover, the Catholic Herald will still push for that limitation to be lifted, as well. View article…

Iraq: Christian leader warns against security “vacuum”

An Iraqi Christian leader warned the allied forces not to create security vacuum when they leave Iraq. Christian and other minorities should continue to be protected against violence. View article…

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Myanmar government clamping down even more

Myanmar (MNN) ― The government of Myanmar continues to make it difficult to help people in need in that military-led government. On May 2, 2008, thousands were killed and millions were displaced by Cyclone Nargis. Christians aren’t giving up, despite the difficult times.

Patrick Klein, founder and President of Vision Beyond Borders, says it was difficult to get into the country at the beginning of the disaster. But now, “The government’s clamping down even more. We just had two teams who were in there. They said the borders are getting even tighter. The goverment is looking more closely for materials being carried in. Thankfully our teams were able to get through.”

For the rest of the article

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