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News Around the World
Published on 16 August, 2017

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Charlottesville: Viewing racism through a biblical lens

PUBLISHED ON 16 August, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

USA (MNN) -- So what does that mean for the Body of Christ? Biblica’s Carl Moeller says that our first response should be to step back and examine our human nature. “I think, first of all, we all have to acknowledge that I think as Christians, or just as human beings, I think the events, the violence, and the pure hatred that was expressed on Saturday should be repulsive to us, and it should be something that causes us to really stand back and look into what I call the mirror of human nature apart from the love of Jesus Christ.” Racism is nothing new. The Bible is chock-full of stories of hatred between people of different backgrounds. Moeller says these feelings stem from prioritizing our national identity over who we are in Christ. “If we remember that racism is an idolatry, then we have to remember also that Christ’s coming is to destroy the divisions and the basis for racism. It’s to break down, as Paul said, that dividing wall between us, between our ethnicities and between our self-centered idolatries.” Moeller says that no matter where we fall on the political spectrum, Christians must be united in biblical thinking. He challenges us to pray that the Spirit would penetrate the hearts of those spreading their hateful ideology and to show Christ’s love in every situation.

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A Christian response to Charlottesville

PUBLISHED ON 16 August, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

USA (MNN) -- This past Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalists and neo-Nazis assembled to protest a Confederate monument’s removal. The group shouted racist slurs and hateful chants, and several counter-protestors gathered. Christian Aid Mission’s David Taylor was on-site. "You felt that electricity in the air. You felt like this was going to get violent." One man drove into the counter-protestors, injuring 19 and killing one. Taylor points out the ideology of nationalists is quite similar to terrorists and extremists. "What we saw this past week where the young man drove into a crowd, that was reminiscent of what al-Qaeda is doing, what extremist Muslims are doing." Some within the alt-right claim to be Christians, but they do not represent the heart of Christ who told the Church to make disciples of all nations. "Let’s get ahead of the narrative, and let’s let people know that as Christians we have nothing to do with racism. Quite the opposite. Jesus came to tear down divisions. And we are going to do everything we can to bring healing to the past. I think these are wounds that are resurfacing from the past, things that have never been healed. So there is a larger issue here. It’s not just about monuments. There is a deeper issue here that needs to be addressed, and that’s what we need to be talking about as Christians."

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Fighting illiteracy in India

PUBLISHED ON 16 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

India (MNN) -- Imagine trying to travel without being able to read roadsigns or feeding your family without understanding expiration dates. Erik Morsehead says those are the challenges Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India is helping people overcome. “So in India, there are nearly 300 million illiterate adults. So to kind of help offset that and lower that number, we implemented years ago the adult literacy classes.” Each class will teach students basic reading, math, and finance, all while bringing them the Gospel of Christ. “These programs, these classes are really geared to go after the holistic nature of a human being, so not only just the spiritual but also the social and economic side of things is what we go after in these classes.” For $30 a month, you can help send a student to school for a year-long class so they’ll gain practical skills and an eternal perspective. Only six percent of India is Christian, so every change makes all the difference. “Join with us in that prayer, that not only would these individuals become educated but that they’d also come to know Jesus and receive Him as their Savior, and through that, their families would be transformed as well.” Find out how you can partner with students in the adult literacy classes by visiting the FULL STORY.

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Global Disciples offering advice on business-as-missions

PUBLISHED ON 15 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

International (MNN) -- When it comes to business-as-missions, Eric with Global Disciples says they have plenty of experience. That’s why they're making new efforts to share their victories and failures with other organizations looking to put Christ in the marketplace. “Many of the places that we go, they’re not welcoming missionaries or people who are just there to share the Gospel. But using business as a bridge allows us to go into those communities.” Training classes in the U.S. and abroad allow believers to become leaders who can spread truth through their reputations as quality business people. But in some places, it’s hard for Christians to think that anyone other than a pastor could really be doing the work of God. “You would think if it’s a business training, it would be all about business or accounting or records, and that is part of it. But we’re also looking at the biblical permission.” Even when believers realize the impact they can have through business, it’s still hard to penetrate some communities that are closed off to the Gospel. “If you pray, I would ask that you pray for invisibility at times when we go into restricted areas.” Find out what else you can pray for in the FULL STORY.

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Boko Haram captives released, but not yet home

PUBLISHED ON 15 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

Nigeria (MNN) -- Three years ago, over 200 Chibok girls were kidnapped from a boarding school by Boko Haram militants. Now, Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs says they’re starting to come back. “We know of 81 girls that were released in May. They are all currently in Abuja, the capital city, under what I guess you would call the control of the Nigerian government.” But even though the girls are out of militant hands, they’re not actually home yet. “Recently our staff was in Nigeria and met with a lady named Elizabeth. Her daughter Mariam was one of those who was abducted but has not been returned. Since May, Elizabeth has spent a total of 24 hours with her daughter.” That’s because the Nigerian government is worried that some of the girls may have been radicalized during their time as captives. However, Mariam says it was her faith in God that helped her survive. She managed to take her Bible with her when she was kidnapped and read Scripture daily without getting caught. Nettleton says it’s a perfect example of the power of prayer and faith. “One of the main ways that we can be involved is simply to pray for them and pray that God would bring healing to them. For those who are still held captive, we pray for their freedom.” Find out more about Mariam and the other captives in the FULL STORY.

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North Korea threatens missile launch at Guam; Guam ministry launching the Gospel back

PUBLISHED ON 15 August, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

North Korea (MNN) -- In the war of words between North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, North Korea threatened to launch missiles at Guam. But Guam has already been launching something else into North Korea. Something they can’t shoot down. Something that has extreme impact. Something that combats the stalwart grip of tyranny and fear and hatred -- radio broadcasts of the Gospel. Lauren Libby with Trans World Radio says, through their ministry in Guam, "TWR has been broadcasting into North Korea for the last 40 years. Every night, we’re on the air, we’re encouraging people, we’re putting hope into North Korea. And I think it’s kind of like one of our missionaries said: ‘You know, the North Koreans may lob missiles at Guam, but we’re going to lob hope back in response.’" Doing so is risky, but the results are spiritual encouragement. "The stories we’ve got is that people who have a radio keep it in a plastic bag and will bury it during the daytime and then dig it up at night and listen to the broadcast. We know that there are groups of believers in North Korea and we know that the Church is alive and well and probably growing under persecution." Pray for the situation with North Korea to de-escalate and for the Gospel to be proclaimed.

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Ministries in India face intense government scrutiny

PUBLISHED ON 14 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

India (MNN) -- A box of receipts is probably not the first thing you’d think of when it comes to persecution, but John Pudaite of Bibles For The World says that's exactly what ministries of India would picture. “Since the Hindu party came into power at the central government they have been tightening things, tightening restrictions, watching things a lot more closely, so we have been under a tremendous amount of scrutiny.” That means extensive annual investigations into many Christian ministries that serve one purpose: complication. “It takes a couple of weeks and repeat visits, things like that, and it’s a way that they can really frustrate and try to discourage those who are working in ministry, those who are working for the Kingdom.” So far, Bibles For The World has passed every test, but the pressure isn’t letting up. Pudaite thinks this is only a taste of what’s ahead, and the local Church is asking for your prayer. “We just need prayer here for ourselves and our teams, that they may stay diligent and focused on their role of keeping things in order so we can continue to pass these inquiries without any problems.” Find out more about Bibles For The World in the FULL STORY.

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Kenya wary of ethnic violence following presidential election

PUBLISHED ON 14 August, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

Kenya (MNN) -- Kenya is teetering on the edge of political chaos. The Kenyan presidential election was last Tuesday, and President Uhuru Kenyatta won re-election by nine percentage points. The opposition has made fraud accusations, and police were deployed in the capital of Nairobi to quell violent protests. Food for the Hungry’s Gary Edmonds explains, "So often, the political leaders come from one tribal group or another and people want to make sure that their tribal group is represented." Violence in Kenya often leads to an economic crisis, so Food for the Hungry is trucking in aid and food. Edmonds says the Kenyan Church is stepping up to promote not just superficial peace, but true reconciliation. "I had a friend who mobilized a prayer walk in one of the largest townships, Mathare, right there in Nairobi itself. And he said, ‘We’re going to walk and we’re going to ask people to come together in these kinds of ways because we’re Gospel people. We believe in reconciliation and we believe that this election does not need to degenerate into violence and hostility.’" The best thing you can do for Kenya right now? "Pray that a spirit of peace would enter into the conflict, the hardships, that people would not use violent means to try to come to an end that they desire."

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Spiritual freedom through prison ministry

PUBLISHED ON 14 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

USA (MNN) -- Biblica’s prison ministry is older than most of the prisons they serve, and yet, it’s not slowing down. In fact, Andrew Wilson with Biblica says they’ve been getting more and more requests for Bibles every year for the last two centuries. “With Prison Fellowship International, with Prison Book Project, with just our individual chaplains, it’s probably close to the 3,000 facility mark that we’re able to get God’s Word into, which is just amazing.” Biblica even has a special Bible to distribute to prisoners -- the 'Free On The Inside' Bible. “What we did was we inserted testimonies from individuals who are either currently incarcerated and know the Lord or came to know the Lord during incarceration and are now free and doing ministry or just living their lives outside of prison.” By using Scripture, testimonies, and partners across the United States and beyond, Biblica hopes to continue reaching prisoners for generations to come. “For those who are incarcerated, they’re in such a hopeless situation. They’re stuck there, they don’t know how long it’s going to be, they’re taken away from everything -- and of course, yes, that’s a result of their actions -- but we know that when Jesus came and died for us and our sins, that doesn’t exclude them.” Find out more about how you can come alongside these prisoners in the FULL STORY.

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One Way Ministries begins training program for believers in Ghana

PUBLISHED ON 11 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

Ghana (MNN) -- A recent trip to Ghana brought a group of Americans and 20 locals together for the first-ever Livingstone School of Missions. Beth Beckman of One Way Ministries says the school is a new effort to bring young believers together to minister effectively in the name of Christ. “The first part is actually in the classroom. It’s an intensive one-week training program that includes some experiential learning on topics like Christian mission foundation, discovering your spiritual gifts, trends and issues in global missions.” After classwork comes fieldwork. “We took a 17-hour bus ride up into the remote villages of Northern Ghana and did some outreach among the Kumba people who are a very receptive but unreached people group there in Northern Ghana.” Now the team members are looking for ways to move the Church to reach the rest of Ghana with the Gospel, but they can’t do it without your prayer and support. “Pray that God will continue to raise up young people, including these young people that were part of the School of Mission this summer, that He’ll raise them to just share about Jesus.” Find out more about how you can pray, give, and even go in the FULL STORY.

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Local churches assist in Bible translation in the Middle East

PUBLISHED ON 11 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

Middle East (MNN) -- Sometimes ministries bite off more than they can chew. However, when it comes to Wycliffe Associates, Bruce Smith says they relish the chance to be a part of a translation movement in the Middle East that just keeps growing. “What started out as an initial foray into seven languages four years ago has now grown to 100 languages that are currently in process. We’re translating Scripture into minority languages in that region, and the vision is for another 80 to begin in the next month or years as we’re able.” How do they handle such a massive interest in translation? By using local churches eager to help get Scripture into their own language. “These are people that are experts in their language and culture. These are people that have known these languages and have learned these languages from birth, and with the right tools and with the right resources, they actually produce incredibly accurate translations.” Despite intense persecution and turmoil in the Middle East, the Church is growing and getting stronger. “Those kinds of stories don’t get the front lines or the headlines but they are the backstories behind all of the headlines, that God is at work in these arenas and we need to remember that there are still thousands of groups that don’t have even one verse of Scripture in their own languages.” Find out how you can be a part of Bible translation with the FULL STORY.

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West Africa faces quickly escalating crisis

PUBLISHED ON 11 August, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

West Africa (MNN) -- In West Africa, multiple factors are converging to create a quickly escalating crisis. Rain shortages have left people without food, while terrorist groups like Boko Haram have left people fearing for their lives. Christian Aid Mission’s David Bogosian explains, “So you have this convergence of these two factors, and then you have the political crisis in the country and these different countries which is affected by corruption. So humanitarian organizations are trying to bring aid to these groups, but it’s not getting to the people because of corruption. So it’s a huge mess that’s affecting millions of people.” Christian Aid serves the most vulnerable by bringing food, rebuilding shelters, and providing education. This is opening up doors to share the Gospel. “The Gospel is so powerful for the Islamic context because Jesus is speaking. In many cases He’s speaking to the same type of system that Islam is. When he’s talking to the pharisees, when He’s talking about these legalistic systems, it’s the exact same framework that Muslims are operating under. And so the Gospel can speak so powerfully into that situation to people who are in bondage and to people who are looking for freedom and truth.” You won’t hear much about this crisis in the news, so it’s important to be intentional about staying informed. Remember also to keep this situation in your prayers.

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Art therapy leads to Gospel conversations

PUBLISHED ON 10 August, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

Spain (MNN) -- When we want to share our faith story with someone, it usually helps to sit back and listen to their story, first. In Spain, a partner ministry of World Gospel Mission is getting to know immigrants through the integration services they provide in community centers. Most of the immigrants come from North Africa, some from further south, and others from the Middle East. Katie of World Gospel Mission says, “I think a lot of them need to experience love and acceptance because as immigrants living in Europe, especially because they’re Muslim, I think they sense some rejection and have trouble really integrating into the culture.” Because many of the women immigrants struggled with emotional trauma from their homeland, they’ve started offering art therapy to some of the women there: “The women come and we choose different mental and emotional health topics to discuss each week and do some kind of art or craft. And that has opened a lot of doors for women to share about their deep pain or struggles or trials." As they share more about their own stories, the women open up to hear more about the story of Jesus. Will you ask God to use this outreach to bring more Muslims to faith in Jesus?

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Russia sanctions could harm ministries

PUBLISHED ON 10 August, 2017 BY Beth Stolicker

Russia (MNN) -- It’s been just over a week since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin retaliated against the recent United States sanctions set against the country. In late July, U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law sanctions with the potential to hurt Russia’s economy. The sanctions came as a type of punishment for Russia’s meddling in U.S. the 2016 presidential election. But now, the concern for retaliation from Russia against U.S.-supported ministries is growing. The Slavic Gospel Association’s Joel Griffith shares how the sanctions war is affecting their church partners. “We serve the indigenous churches. We’re not over there with our own mission, doing our own thing. I mean, we exist solely to serve these churches. And I think by God’s grace and mercy, I think that has shielded us from a lot of the difficulties that could be encountered over there.” While SGA partners haven’t been directly affected, the recent sanctions could still hurt them. Especially as they prepare for their Christmas ministries. How? By a bruised economy. Still, SGA and its partner churches are walking forward in faith. “And we need to pray that the Lord would restrain the enemy from letting the political situation [escalate] so intensely that it actually does begin to have an impact. Whether it be on support for the churches or to make the ministries of the churches more difficult if they’re perceived of having Western support of any kind.”

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Under the FCRA, what does the future of ministry in India look like?

PUBLISHED ON 10 August, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

India (MNN) -- The Indian government has used the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, or the FCRA, to deny over 20,000 foreign funding licenses to charities and NGOs. Compassion International was one major ministry who was forced to pull out of India earlier this year. Amnesty International India and Human Rights Watch have criticized how India has implemented the FCRA and its ever-changing regulations to shut-down NGOs. Mark with a ministry in India says they’re keeping up with the FCRA requirements, but it hasn’t been easy. "I think every time I’m in India, the regulations change and new rules are being implemented and we are constantly having to keep up with all of this. And there is no excuse for ignorance and there is really not a whole lot of grace or mercy shown either." For their ministry in India to thrive, they work with indigenous ministry partners. Today, a lot of their support in India comes directly from the local Church. Even with the ministry's audio Bible distributions, churches pay a small fee for the audio Bibles. "It’s a very small, nominal fee we collect for every distribution we do. And that model has helped not only give people a sense of ownership of God’s Word, but it’s enabled our ministry in India to grow more and more self-reliant and self-sustaining." Pray for God to grant wisdom to ministries in India.

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Pakistan prime minister disqualified for corruption

PUBLISHED ON 9 August, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

Pakistan (MNN) -- In Pakistan, an unexpected transition of leadership means even more uncertainty in an already unstable region. Parliament elected Shahid Abbasi as interim Prime Minister after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for corruption. Open Doors USA’s Kristin Wright: “So now we have an interim Prime Minister, and it’s expected that after this interim period, then another, possibly the brother, of the previous Prime Minister, will then come into power.” The decision especially creates a sense of uncertainty for believers, who already face immense persecution. Those who convert from Islam to Christianity can receive the death penalty. “We’re looking at a country where Christians are right around maybe two percent of the population. They’re a very marginalized minority, and if you can imagine being a Christian in a country where people actually think that you should lose your life, simply because of not being a part of the religion that most people are in Pakistan, that’s a pretty tragic thing, and that’s the situation that Christians in Pakistan are facing on a daily basis.” It’s a dire situation for believers, but one where you can make a difference. Open Doors has numerous resources to help you pray and advocate for of persecuted Christians around the world. Visit Mission News dot o-r-g to learn more.

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Food shortages, violence, and forgiveness in South Sudan

PUBLISHED ON 9 August, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

South Sudan (MNN) -- South Sudan is perpetually in crisis. While the nation grapples for stability, violence erupts at the slightest provocation, especially between ethnic groups. Set Free Ministries operates a school in South Sudan where they’re seeing firsthand the impact of conflict on food supply: “It’s pretty dire. Food costs have more than doubled since last November. So, budget-wise, it is a larger and larger piece of their budget just to feed the kids and to feed themselves.” That’s Rob Cornelison, the new international director of Set Free. Instability has also stunted the young nation’s growth when it comes to education and health care. But Cornelison says that underlying all these issues is a great need for forgiveness among the people of South Sudan. “You can’t deal with literacy, you can’t deal with health, you can’t deal with nation building without addressing the need for forgiveness and reconciliation.” But through the school and their relationship with the local leaders, Set Free is working to empower the local Church to exemplify forgiveness. Will you ask God to break the chains of anger, hatred, and fear in South Sudan as the Gospel goes forth? And pray for protection and provision for the school in South Sudan.

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Persia, where the Gospel is flourishing

PUBLISHED ON 9 August, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

Iran (MNN) -- If you look closely through your Bible, you’ll find that the history of Persia is often intertwined with that of God’s people. This is one reason why Global Catalytic Ministries is working in Iran where the majority of Persians live today. Because God has a heart for Persia, they do too. And as far as Gospel movement is concerned, it’s an exciting time in the Middle East. From G-C-M, *Reza, says,  “That was one of the main reasons why we came into existence because we’re just seeing such an amazing move of the Spirit, having the biggest revival in the history of the 10/40 window happening right now.”  G-C-M has found through their evangelism, discipleship, and leadership training that many people in this region are already deeply spiritual:  “We see that Muslims are passionate about God. They love God, unfortunately they are misinformed and love the wrong god.” And so, despite the challenges and dangers in Iran, the Gospel is flourishing with anywhere from two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand to one-million believers. And: “Iran is the only country in the Middle East that speaks all the languages of the Middle East. […] We are hoping one day that Iran will become a missionary sending nation.” Learn more about this ministry and how you can get involved at Mission-News-dot-org.

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FMI brings Bible and evangelism training to Indonesia

PUBLISHED ON 8 August, 2017 BY Beth Stolicker

Indonesia (MNN) -- FMI’s Bruce Allen was recently in Indonesia conducting field visits for FMI church planters and distributing Indonesia’s first set of the Snapshot Packets. Allen shares, “So all the church planters, their spouses, and key members of their congregations on Java and then the same on Kalimantan would come together for an ongoing training conference where special topics talked about discernment and how to use Scripture properly to identify and to refute false teaching. And then also to give some training for evangelism.” For most church members, this was the first time they had received any biblical or evangelism training. “They were so excited. They would say, ‘I’m not the pastor, but I can be involved in ministry. There’s a place for me in reaching my community.’ So, using the Snapshot tool that was developed specifically for Indonesia, they were so eager to get back home, take the extra packets that we gave, and train other people.” One of the goals of the Snapshot tool is to help the Gospel’s reach grow exponentially. So please, pray that it does so in Indonesia. Find more ways to get involved in the FULL STORY!

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Finding freedom of religion in Nepal

PUBLISHED ON 8 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

Nepal (MNN) -- Change is coming for Nepal. John Pudaite of Bibles For The World says Nepal has one of the fastest growing populations of Christians in the world. “For centuries Nepal was under a very restrictive monarchy, and as the country opened up to democracy and developed its own constitution I think all of a sudden people realized they did have a choice when it came to what they believed.” But with newfound freedom of religion comes new challenges. “Even though there is freedom of religion in the country, some of the more fanatic Hindu and Buddhist groups are trying to say, ‘Well, there is freedom of religion, but you can’t convert.’” But while some groups put pressure on believers, Bibles For The World is supporting the Church. They’re providing Scripture and resources for partners that are touching the lives of unreached people groups all across Nepal. “Christians there need a lot of prayer. We hear of persecution and oppression in different parts of Nepal, so just pray that believers there would be strong in their faith and continue to share the Gospel with their neighbors.” Find out more about what you can do in the FULL STORY.

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Christian convert Maryam Nagash Zargaran released from prison

PUBLISHED ON 8 August, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

Iran (MNN) -- Earlier this month, Maryam Nagash Zargaran was released from an Iranian prison after four years. She’d been charged with actions against national security. However, in Iran, these charges can stem from sharing faith or planting churches. And the most targeted believers are those who, like Maryam, converted from Islam. Peter of Global Catalytic Ministries says sadly, her story is one of many. “Ever since the Revolutionary Guard and the Islamic Republic got started in 1979, they have either quietly or very openly arrested pastors and Christian leaders. And often times when they are arrested, they go months without any information about that person.” Maryam already suffered from poor health before entering Evin Prison. While there, she reportedly suffered a broken leg and severe mental trauma. “Historically when people have come out of that particular prison, it literally takes them months to recover physically -- partly due to torture and beatings, but also because of just the lack of sanitary conditions and then the food, etc. It’s a tough place to come out of.” Will you please pray for her continued physical, mental, and emotional healing? Tune back in tomorrow as we officially introduce Global Catalytic Ministries and talk about how the Gospel is flourishing in Iran.

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Myanmar believers push for unity

PUBLISHED ON 7 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

Myanmar (MNN) -- Myanmar is hurting, and the Church knows it. Wesley Thura of Asian Access says that between political strife, religious tension, and even genocide, Myanmar’s people are looking for a sense of unity. “The Church is trying to be a peacemaker. That’s not easy, but we know that we are ambassadors of Jesus Christ and that makes us peacemakers.” Thura says some of Myanmar’s Christians are too caught up in tradition, while local nonbelievers are resistant to the message of the Gospel. But it’s hard to bring change in a culture where trust doesn’t come naturally and unity is often unheard of. “Nowadays the whole world is talking about transparency and accountability, but this is a very new concept for our people, so we are trying to build trust between Church and nation.” That’s why Asian Access is equipping Christian leaders to move their churches and spread the love of Christ. “People can see, especially church leaders who are really in the field can see the need to be equipped more and more to become Christ-like leaders based on a love-relationship with God.” You can learn more about the Church’s work in Myanmar in the FULL STORY.

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Bangladesh cracks down on religious NGOs

PUBLISHED ON 7 August, 2017 BY Beth Stolicker
TOPICS:▼ bangladesh, christian, FMI, NGOs

Bangladesh (MNN) -- In response to Bangladesh’s major terrorist attack last year, the government recently began cracking down on religious organizations in the country. FMI’s Bruce Allen explains, “In talking with members of our national leadership team, they’re telling me that up to 200 organizations that had been operating Christian NGOs were, in effect, shut down by the government in Bangladesh.” The crackdown targets foreigners who moved to Bangladesh and are working with religious organizations. Thankfully, since FMI deals directly and exclusively with national church planters, it hasn’t been affected. However, this crackdown has a catch: “If you’re an organization, even if you’re a Christian mission agency or NGO, providing non-religious services such as a hospital or relief work [and] things like that and your services are available to anyone in Bangladesh, then you’re able to continue to operate in Bangladesh.” Please pray for FMI’s continued ability to partner with Bangladeshi church planters, to support and encourage them, and for the Gospel’s work in the country. Find more ways to come alongside FMI’s work in Bangladesh in the FULL STORY!

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One Deaf man’s journey from language deprivation to Gospel saturation

PUBLISHED ON 7 August, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

Colombia (MNN) -- We told you recently about Deaf Bible Society’s new partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators to advance sign language Bible translations. Deaf Bible’s President JR Bucklew says one of the translation projects they’re collaborating on is in Colombia. When the Deaf Bible staff traveled to Colombia, they met a few Deaf believers there. One man named Jose had been language deprived as a child and didn’t learn sign language until he was in his 20s. Bucklew shares the rest of Jose’s story: "Not long after he learns to communicate, he meets a Deaf evangelist and this Deaf evangelist begins to tell him the Gospel story. And Jose, of course, is telling us this and he’s starting to weep as he says, ‘I didn’t know how to talk to anyone. I learned what my language was, I was given my heart language, and because of that I came to know who this precious Jesus is.’" Jose’s story shows just how much Deaf individuals value the gift of language and the desperate need that still exists for God’s Word in every sign language. Pray for God to bless these sign language Bible translations. "We’re seeing Deaf people empowered that will be able to translate the Bible into their own language. That will then result in pastors and evangelists being equipped with God’s Word so we can continue to see more lives like Jose’s changed in making His name great among this Deaf people group."

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Disabilities in India: a ministry challenges social stigma

PUBLISHED ON 4 August, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

India (MNN) -- Despite the fact that the reported number of people with disabilities in India rivals the population of Mozambique, it’s likely that the actual number of cases is much higher. But when disabilities are ignored because of stigma, it puts the people who bear them at a disadvantage. John Sparks of India Partners: “People are compassionate, but it’s sort of a back of the mind thought and so these people are pushed to the back and they’re not given the ability to get schooling and training according to their skills.” India Partners is working with the Agape Rehabilitation Center to provide computer training—and it’s opening doors of opportunity. “Agape is able to bring these smart, intelligent, skilled people into the work force by providing them this training, and then they’re given a certificate, they have to pass a government test. All of these things will allow them then to get a job.” As the instructors demonstrate genuine care for the student’s wellbeing, seeds for the Gospel are planted and lives are being transformed. And the good news is, the program is in the process of expanding. If you want to help make a vocational and spiritual impact in India, head to Mission-News-dot-org. Ask God to bless the Agape program, and to help it continue to grow and bless more lives.

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U.S. sanctions against Russia fuel anti-Western sentiment

PUBLISHED ON 4 August, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

Russia (MNN) -- Recent U.S. sanctions against Russia are fueling the fire of the country’s anti-West sentiment. U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law new sanctions punishing Russia for its alleged involvement in the U.S. presidential election and annexation of Crimea. Mission Eurasia’s Mark Sawyer explains the impact these sanctions could have, specifically toward ministries. “We might see more constraints, bureaucratic constraints, or hoops that groups will have to jump through. And these are religious groups that are affiliated with the West. So we might see some more constraints on any groups that are affiliated with the West. Generally, more anti-Western sentiment against any groups that are working in Russia.” For Russian believers, practicing their faith under pressure is nothing new. That’s why Mission Eurasia is working to train and equip the next generation within Russia for ministry. “Really, it’s young people in Russia and young people across the former Soviet Union, that, they know their political context, they know their culture, and they know how to bring the Gospel best to it and how to transform their communities.” It’s a complicated situation, but as Christians, Sawyer says it’s important to understand the political context we operate in. He also asks that you pray for wisdom and protection for ministries there and that the church would remain united.

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For Haiti With Love wishes you a Merry Christmas

PUBLISHED ON 4 August, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

Haiti/USA (MNN) -- Eva Dehart might be one of the only people who will wish you a Merry Christmas this weekend. That’s because For Haiti With Love’s Christmas in August banquet is coming Monday. It’s a chance for donors connect with each other and get caught up on For Haiti With Love’s work. “We’ve got some new programs down there now that are pretty exciting that we will be sharing with the people so that they’ll understand that we’re expanding our outreach and touching more neighborhoods and more people.” Guests will donate small toys and gifts, and those presents will get to Haitian children just in time for Christmas. ”We have the Jesus Film for children in Haitian Creole, so they get the full gospel story and a full meal, then they get a brand new gift before they head for home.” Even if you missed the banquet itself, Dehart says it’s easy to get involved in the project from wherever you are. “They can get involved by sending money for us to buy gifts or they can get involved in sending small gifts that we can include in the shipment to Haiti.” Get more details at our website.

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Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro quickly cementing role as dictator

PUBLISHED ON 3 August, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

Venezuela (MNN) -- I’m Ruth Kramer with Mission Network News. A failing economy and political instability are throwing Venezuela into a downward spiral. An election on Sunday to form a new body capable of rewriting the constitution was ridden with fraud and widely boycotted. We spoke with Trans World Radio’s Steve Shantz for some context: “It’s very difficult for just everyday life in Venezuela because of course, in addition to a political situation there, we have an economic situation which is very, very dire. Rampant inflation. The bolivar is worth next to nothing.” Four months of protests between civilians and government soldiers have left hundreds dead. But amid the political crisis, Trans World Radio is working to spread a hope that transcends earthly conflict. “TWR is of course broadcasting every day into Venezuela. We have programming that talks specifically about how to be a believer in difficult situations, how to find hope in your faith, and how to get through life’s tough times. And they’re certainly going through life’s tough times. So our attempt is not to speak into the political situation there, but to offer Jesus Christ as a hope to what people need in times like these. “Can you keep these believers in your prayers? Pray that the church in Venezuela would remain bold.

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Global Programs opens eyes at InterVarsity

PUBLISHED ON 3 August, 2017 BY Beth Stolicker

USA (MNN) -- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is helping students explore new countries this summer through its Global Programs international trips. However, these trips are about a lot more than just exploring a new country. InterVarsity’s Scott Bessenecker explains, “One of the new things that I’m excited about, with regard to summer missions with InterVarsity, is doing vocational ministry. Giving students a vision for how their studies [and] how their vocations impact the kingdom worldwide." Not only do these trips help merge vocational and spiritual passions, they can also be life changing. "It helps to reframe the understanding of life back here, as well as the possibility of their future. So, it’s a great reorientation tool and it includes quite a bit of displacement. And there’s something about getting us out of the cocoon that we’re in and putting us in a situation that disrupts normal for us to see with new eyes what God’s up to, what’s inside of us, what needs to change, what’s being affirmed, and how it is that we need to live.” InterVarsity offers trips in over fifteen countries every year. Interested in finding a Global Program or helping support a student to take one of the trips? Get the details in the FULL STORY!

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Northern Uganda refugees: faces in the famine crisis

PUBLISHED ON 3 August, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

Uganda (MNN) -- When it comes to the famine crisis in East Africa right now, most people have either heard so much about it that they’re overwhelmed, or have never heard of it and are shocked. Gary Edmonds with Food for the Hungry says the correct response for the Body of Christ is not despair or distraction -- but action. "Right now in East Africa, it’s estimated that over 108 million people are severely hungry. There is famine, there [are] drought conditions. But in northern Uganda, specifically, we just had a team that is there. We are working there; we have been in Uganda for quite a number of years." Food for the Hungry specifically works with refugees in northern Uganda, like this one mother and her toddler. "She had trekked for nearly six months, found herself in northern Uganda, and she’s sitting there with a daughter [who is] highly emaciated, a daughter that was a two-year-old that weighs no more than 11 pounds -- almost unheard of." FH sends in staff, medical teams, and trucks of food and water. Their ministry workers even help displaced individuals take care of things like refugee camp registration and ration cards. But unlike other NGOs, Edmonds says, "We’re there to be the hands, the feet, the heart of Jesus." Your donations can make a difference. Learn more in the FULL STORY.

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Mental health deteriorates in Grecian island camps

PUBLISHED ON 2 August, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

Greece (MNN) -- The Turkey-European Union agreement has been in place for well over a year. Human Rights Watch believes the deal has contributed to high rates of self-harm and suicide attempts along with feelings of despair in the Grecian island camps. Tasos Ioannidis of AMG International says this large group of refugees stuck in Greece deals with poor camp conditions which compound the trauma they carry. “There is unquestionably a lot of psychological harm that has been done. These individuals, most of them come from areas that they have faced violence. A lot of them have lost loved ones, a lot of them have seen family members being hurt, a lot of them have fled because they are trying to protect those family members.” AMG has an ongoing outreach on the mainland, and they’ve also partnered with organizations working on the islands. Through practical care, the group is able to broach spiritual conversations with the refugees. We have seen as the Evangelical community in Greece has engaged with the refugees, there are a lot of lives that are being transformed by the Gospel.” Will you ask for God to sustain these workers and volunteers as they speak into the lives of the broken? For more ways to help, head to the FULL STORY.

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Ministry builds relationships with Mozambican villages through medical aviation

PUBLISHED ON 2 August, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

Mozambique (MNN) -- Mozambique is marked with extreme terrain -- everything from high plateaus and mountains to coastal lowlands. The Niassa Reserve in Mozambique is similar to the size of Switzerland and it’s very hard to reach the 40 villages across the reserve. Mission Aviation Fellowship recently started the flying doctor initiative in Mozambique. They’re flying a Christian doctor and nurse they’ve partnered with to three remote villages on the Niassa Reserve to offer medical service. Steve Simpson with MAF says the villages are all unreached and the aviation team is hoping to display Christ’s love. "It was one of these things where we’re initially just showing the love of Christ, you know, coming alongside and saying we’re just here to do this because we believe that God loves you. In this culture, when you’re poor and isolated, no one really cares about you. So we can come in and say, ‘Hey, we care about you. We love you.’" It’s still early in the relationship building process. Simpson asks, as they fly in medical aid and build trust with these unreached villages in Mozambique, would you join them in prayer? "Just [be] praying for the hearts of the people in those villages that we’re going to, that God would just open their hearts to us and to the Gospel." The MAF Mozambique team is also looking for another doctor to partner with them as they try to reach more villages. You can learn more about this opportunity in the FULL STORY.

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Indonesia’s capital city to jump islands

PUBLISHED ON 2 August, 2017 BY Beth Stolicker
TOPICS:▼ asia, capital city, FMI, indonesia

Indonesia (MNN) -- Indonesia’s capital city might be doing a bit of island hopping in the coming months. Indonesia’s capital resides in Jakarta on the island of Java. However, that’s about to change. FMI’s Bruce Allen, who was recently in the country, shares; “Although Java is the primary island in terms of population, 60 percent of the population lives on that single island, but, the megalopolis that Jakarta has become, and it’s surrounding territories, it has 30 million people living in that area. So, traffic is constantly gridlocked. There are problems with water management, with trash and liter, and one of the bad the bad things that are really difficult for them to deal with is the fact that Jakarta is literally sinking.” Jakarta, which was originally designed to only hold about five-to-six-million-people, has outgrown itself. Now, for the sake of both the people and the island, it’s time to disperse. “So, they’re looking at some alternatives and they expect to make their recommendations to the president by the end of this year.”Hopefully, this move will help in opening doors for the Gospel in Indonesia. However, please pray for the potential effects the move may have on FMI’s work in the country. Find more details in the FULL STORY!

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Sanctity of human life faces opposition in New Zealand

PUBLISHED ON 1 August, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

New Zealand (MNN) -- In New Zealand, the sanctity of human life is facing overwhelming opposition. Polls show three-quarters of New Zealanders support the End of Life Bill, which would legalize euthanasia. We spoke with Life Matters Worldwide’s Tom Lothamer about the larger impact this bill could have on our culture. “When we talk about legalizing euthanasia, it’s becoming more and more apparent that we’re in a very liberal state as far as our cultures go, and people do not uphold the sanctity of human life. In fact, it’s more about how healthy am I, how’s my so called quality of life, and if I don’t have that quality of life, I want to be able to just take and end my life.” It isn’t about politics—it’s about people rejecting God’s truth. Now more than ever, the Church is needed to remind people of the value of human life and introduce them to the hope found in Christ. “What is the Church going to do about this? How are we going to continue to reach out to those people who at the end of life are struggling, who maybe have no one to care for them? And the Church then can come alongside people and explain to them that, ‘We’re not going to leave you. We’re going to take care of you.’” There are most likely people all around you who need to hear the Gospel or be encouraged. Reach out to one of those people today.

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Relationships, addiction, and a free resource

PUBLISHED ON 1 August, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

International (MNN) -- Relationships are a double-edged sword. They build up. They tear down. And they have an incredible impact on our lives. David Meengs, a longtime biblical counselor and friend of Set Free Ministries, says that many of the struggles we have -- even when it comes to addiction -- have a lot to do with our relationships. “Almost always, there is a problem with anger, bitterness, or a lack of forgiveness and unless and until those who are having addictions of various kinds can fix their relationship with God and with others, they’re probably not going to come out of their addictions.” That’s why Meengs wrote the book “Excelling in Relationships”. It’s a counseling tool, yes, but one that is based on the freedom of the Gospel and a renewed relationship with God: “When the grace of God goes into our hearts -- not our heads, but it goes into our hearts -- it’s going to come out. Grace in, grace out. That’s excelling in relationships. In other words someone’s not going to be gracious to others unless they have received the grace of God.” But this book is not just for people with addictions -- it’s for anyone who wants to cultivate healthy relationships. That’s why for the month of August, Set Free Ministries is giving away a free copy of this 32-day lesson book. Learn how to get your copy in the FULL STORY.

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On Eagles’ Wings team needs the support of prayer warriors

PUBLISHED ON 1 August, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

North America (MNN) -- The On Eagles’ Wings summer evangelism team was launched last month and they’re calling on all prayer warriors. The team of Native young people is going to Native reservations across North America and sharing their testimonies with an invitation to accept Christ. They’ve been to nine reservations so far, and are on the tenth one this week -- another community where hope is so needed. Ron Hutchcraft with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says on some of these reservations, "There is just a tremendous amount of spiritual resistance and great difficulty in talking about Jesus. And these are young men and women will be attempting to share their Jesus with people who have felt like this could not possibly be an option for them. But these young men and women have stories to tell of massive brokenness in their lives that have been taken care of by Jesus." So, prayer warriors, here’s what you can do. "Pray that God would open eyes that have been closed to Jesus, that He will give courage in hard situations and hard conversations to the warriors of the On Eagles’ Wings team." You’ll find more prayer requests in the FULL STORY.

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Partnership helps sign language Bible translation projects go faster and farther

PUBLISHED ON 31 July, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

International (MNN) -- There’s an old African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Today, while there are many portions of Scripture translated into sign languages, there isn’t one sign language today that has a complete Bible translation. And with current translation rates, JR Bucklew with the Deaf Bible Society says it could be 200 years before there was a completed Bible in every single sign language. To go both faster and farther with those projects, Deaf Bible Society has partnered with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Bucklew explains that with this new relationship, Deaf Bible will handle the field coordination for Wycliffe Bible Translators sign language translation projects. "We’re looking at having about 15 projects that we’re working on with Wycliffe Bible Translators around the world. And our goal at Deaf Bible Society is we say we’d like to see another 50 new translation projects started over the next two and a half years." You can always support Deaf Bible Society and these sign language Scripture translation projects through the links in the FULL STORY. And be sure to cover the projects and this new ministry partnership in prayer. "We pray that it will not only strengthen the ability to see an acceleration in the sign language translation world, we pray that it brings strength to the overall Bible translation cause."

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Democracy in Turkey teeters on brink of extinction

PUBLISHED ON 31 July, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

Turkey (MNN) -- One year after the Turkish military’s failed coup that killed nearly 250 people, democracy in Turkey is on the brink of extinction. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is disposing of civil servants by the thousands for alleged links to the coup and is rewriting the constitution to give him uncontested powers. We spoke with Voice of the Martyrs Canada’s Bassma Dabbour for some context. “Turkey was going through an amazing time of Democracy under President Ataturk, who brought secular state… in a Muslim context, which was kind of very innovative. But with the election of President Erdogan, Islam became the religion of the state back and had more influence in democracy and regulations and politics." Turkey is a key player in the Middle East, as extremists from countries like Algeria and Libya travel through it to reach Iraq and Syria. But Dabbour says this also opens doors for the Gospel. “It’s amazing what the Lord has been doing there, especially with the refugees coming from Syria, Iraq, [and] Afghanistan.  There is an unprecedented revival taking place among Muslims and the underground Church there.” There’s a great spiritual harvest happening in Turkey. Pray for more workers and for their safety.

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Prime Minister of Pakistan steps down

PUBLISHED ON 31 July, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

Pakistan (MNN) -- On Friday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned, following a Supreme Court order to oust him from the position. Sharif was one of several world leaders caught up in the Panama Papers scandal last year. Sharif’s brother has been named interim Prime Minister, and many believe he will continue to hold unofficial power through the close family tie. Bruce Allen of FMI says the situation is par for the course for the nation: “It is struggling to remain stable. Actually, Sharif is the 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan in its history, and not a single one of the 17 Prime Ministers that preceded him have been able to complete their full term in office.” Allen says Pakistanis are much less concerned with the legal issues than they are about how this will impact existing problems: “The average citizen is much more concerned about the economic situation which they believe is going to remain the same, which is not a good one. Food prices are spiraling high.” But, if things are uncertain for the average citizen, how much more for the Pakistani Christian, who is so often persecuted?  Allen says to pray this way: “We want to pray for the ability of the leaders to disciple their congregations in very strong ways so that the congregations themselves can be reflections of that hope to the wider community.”

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Ministry combats trafficking through victim rescue and community transformation

PUBLISHED ON 28 July, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

India (MNN) -- This coming Sunday, July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. At least 21 million people are in forced labor and sexual exploitation today. Food for the Hungry is just one of several ministries taking action against human trafficking. But they’re doing it both by rescuing victims and by getting in front of the problem. Food for the Hungry has partnered with Youth With A Mission in central India to establish safe houses for children, mostly girls, who are rescued from sexual slavery. Gary Edmonds of Food for the Hungry explains, "We take them into a home where they’re going to be cared for, they’re going to be nurtured, they’re going to be given clean clothes, they’re going to have house parents, and at the same time, spiritual formation and educational opportunities." Then Food for the Hungry also asks, “What leads parents to sell their children to traffickers in the first place, knowingly or not?” The answer is most often poverty. So something else FH does is go into poor communities in India targeted by traffickers, and they teach families about sustainable agriculture to combat poverty. "We’re coming against it in a way to say that God has power, God has truth, God has grace and mercy to help these people, and it needs to be addressed in a very holistic way." So what can you do to stop trafficking? Support ministries fighting the issue in the name of Christ. And pray.

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Tenwek Hospital: out with the old, in with the new

PUBLISHED ON 28 July, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

Kenya (MNN) -- To put the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” into practice can feel so good sometimes. Take this story from Tenwek Hospital, for example. Angela Many of World Gospel Mission and her husband have been serving at the Kenyan hospital since 2014. But the birthing beds that greeted her upon arrival had been there for about three decades. “These beds were metal, they were rusted, they were broken. None of them had foot plates any longer.” And despite the fact that Tenwek oversees about 3,000 births a year, there were only three beds. But, God took care of this dilemma. Recently, OB/GYN partners in the United States donated a total of eight beds to Tenwek. Three of the beds have already arrived, and the old beds have been removed. “They were met with great joy. There was a dedication ceremony as they were wheeled in. And there was singing and praying over them. Our vision, of course, is to have our Kenyan mamas who come into the hospital to have their babies to be able to be comfortable and have dignity with their delivery.” Tenwek Hospital not only provides quality health care, but they’re also reaching souls with the Gospel. Learn more in the FULL STORY.

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New nominee for Office of International Religious Freedom

PUBLISHED ON 28 July, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

USA (MNN) -- A new Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom has been nominated. David Curry of Open Doors USA says it’s about time the position has been filled. “This person is our liaison as Americans to these foreign countries to talk about these very critical, important issues and it’s important because these are the things that are at the center of many of the very major issues we face today.” From ISIS to Boko Haram, the nominee will have plenty of religious intolerance to address. President Trump’s nominee is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who has a strong background when it comes to fighting persecution. "He spoke out on the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region and he stood behind and was one of the first key sponsors for the International Religious Freedom Act. These are the kinds of things he has in his background that I think make him uniquely qualified for this role.” Pray that the Senate can swiftly come to a decision and an ambassador will be put in place. “People need to have a right to freedom of conscience and the people that the United States does business with, the countries around the world, we need to all hold up this right as central to human dignity.” Want to find out more about Governor Brownback and the position he has been nominated for? Check out the FULL STORY.

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Ukraine kids camp sees 83 commitments to Christ, potential church plant

PUBLISHED ON 27 July, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

Ukraine (MNN) -- Have you ever of a congregation planting a new church through teenagers? Well, that’s exactly what is poised to happen in the wake of a recent children’s summer camp in Ukraine. Wally Kulakoff with Mission Eurasia recently led a mission team from a church from Indiana to hold an evangelistic English camp for Ukrainian kids. Of the 138 children and teens who attended, 83 of them decided to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. The team worked with two other local churches for follow-up, and from there, God prompted an amazing opportunity. "The teens that come from the next village, they didn’t have a house church. So now they have a group of teens who have made commitments to Jesus Christ and the church is designating a family or a couple to work with these teens in the next village who came to the summer camp. So now there is a platform for the establishment of a new church." You can still get involved with Mission Eurasia’s upcoming kids' camps this summer. This last team was able to give every child a Bible, but Kulakoff says, "Not every camp does that because we cannot afford it. So if a person would like to donate $2.50 so a child during this summer will receive a pictorial New Testament, that’s a great involvement."

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Strikes in Kenya raise prayer request from ministry

PUBLISHED ON 27 July, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

Kenya (MNN) -- We’ve been talking a lot the last few days about Tenwek Hospital -- a joint ministry effort of World Gospel Mission and Africa Gospel Church. It’s one tiny fragment of the mission field, but one that’s making a national impact in Kenya. Angela Many of World Gospel Missions says right now, medical care is at risk in Kenya. “There have been strikes that have been affecting the health care in Kenya. There was a doctors' strike in the beginning of the year that lasted 100 days. And now there’s currently a nurses' strike that is going on.” The strikes are taking place because a pay increase agreed upon in 2013 has not been fulfilled. Many says while Tenwek is not involved, the strikes have affected everyone, including those hospitals that are still open: “Tenwek has been very busy. We’ve gotten a lot more patients because of government facilities being closed because of the doctors' and now the nurses’ strike.” Please, take a moment to pray for Tenwek’s staff as they care for the great number of patients, and for a solution to be found for Kenya. And: “Prayer for our staff that we can use this opportunity to reach even more people with the love of Jesus as people come to our hospital that might not otherwise come.” For more ways to help, visit the FULL STORY.

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Suicide bomber kills 26 in Pakistan

PUBLISHED ON 27 July, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

Pakistan (MNN) -- A Taliban suicide bomber in Pakistan killed at least 26 people including nine police officers in the capital city of Lahore on Monday. Reports say the terrorist was targeting law enforcement, but FMI’s Bruce Allen says the media is missing the whole story. “What the mainstream media is not reporting is that this is the second-largest Christian colony in Pakistan where this blast occurred. And while this Taliban special group claimed that it was targeting police, the fuller story is that they’re targeting police, or security, in [the] Christian colony.” Pakistan has faced numerous attacks over the last couple of years, which have put Christians at a heightened sense of fear. Allen asks that you keep believers in your prayers as they seek to be an encouragement to those around them. “You know, we talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with people who were in combat. Well, here you have a whole population of people who that’s what their life is: combat. And so it has psychological, spiritual, and emotional wearing. So pray for their wholeness and their ability to continue to do ministry, and not shrink back and just kind of retreat, but that they will still engage their culture.”

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Diving into overseas adoption

PUBLISHED ON 26 July, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

International (MNN) -- Adoption can be a complicated road to life-changing rewards, and adopting from overseas sometimes means stepping into uncharted waters. Catherine Lafler, head of International Services at Bethany Christian Services, says things are always changing in the world of international adoption. “Historically, younger, healthier children were sent internationally from other countries into the U.S., and the reality of international adoption now is it’s predominantly, and as it should be, for children who don’t have options in their own country.” That means older children who will soon outgrow local orphanages and children with special needs that don’t have access to medical assistance. “Children with extensive lifelong conditions also can receive so much therapy here in the U.S. that they have a much higher potential of reaching their full abilities through the care that they receive here in the U.S.” But even if that sounds like a tough challenge, Bethany walks with families even after the adoption process, and Lafler says Bethany isn’t the only one on your side. “God designed the family for children. His original design was that children grew up with parent figures, and our children who are being sent internationally did not have that opportunity.” Want to find out more about international adoption? We’ll connect you in the FULL STORY.

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U.S. ramps up pressure on North Korea

PUBLISHED ON 26 July, 2017 BY Reagan Hoezee

North Korea (MNN) -- The U.S. is ramping up pressure on North Korea, this time banning Americans from visiting the country altogether. Once the ban goes into effect, it would make it illegal to enter the country using a U.S. passport. Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says people shouldn’t be surprised. “You know, I don’t think it’s a surprise in light of the death of Otto Warmbier, who was an American who visited North Korea, was arrested there, was apparently brutally mistreated while incarcerated, came home, and subsequently died. So I don’t think, in response to that, that it is too much of a surprise that the State Department would say, ‘Wait a minute, we really don’t want Americans to go there.’” Voice of the Martyrs is influencing North Korea for Christ through radio broadcasts and other creative means. Nettleton says they’ve heard stories proving they’re making an impact. “We do have some anecdotal evidence. We have people who have escaped from North Korea who have talked about reading the Bible -- in one case on an orange balloon, which was the balloons that we launched in the past that had the Gospel printed on them.” It takes great courage and creativity to bring the Gospel to a country like North Korea. Pray that the Good News would go forth. You can find ways to support Voice of the Martyrs’ work in the FULL STORY.

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Medical missions: what it’s like to be a doctor in ministry

PUBLISHED ON 26 July, 2017 BY Julie Bourdon

Kenya (MNN) -- Last week, we shared a story about two married doctors who gave up their comfortable life in the United States to become medical missionaries at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya. Today, Angela Many of World Gospel Mission is back to share what it’s like to work as a medical doctor on the mission field. Truth be told, it comes with its disadvantages: “We practice in an area with much fewer resources and [a] much higher poverty rate. This impacts the types of illnesses and diseases and injuries that we see and brings a definite challenge from the medical standpoint.” But on the flip side, Many says, are blessings beyond compare. Unlike in the United States, the Manys are able to directly share the Gospel with their patients. In fact, that’s part of the care all patients receive. “We take a spiritual history from our patients. We’re addressing not just their physical ailment or physical brokenness, but also their spiritual brokenness. So, we’re able to directly address the whole person.” Tenwek Hospital works under the motto and attitude, “We treat, Jesus Heals.” Tenwek also has an ongoing Compassionate Care fund that helps people who can’t afford services get the care they need. To contribute, head to the FULL STORY!

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Discerning the truth about China

PUBLISHED ON 25 July, 2017 BY Alex Anhalt

China (MNN) -- When it comes to China, everyone has a different story. Do Bibles need to be smuggled in or can they be bought? Is persecution rampant or is the church supported by the government? Are believers thriving or struggling? According to Wendell Rovenstine of Bibles for China, the answer is usually simple. “If someone tells you something about China, you can look them in the eye and with a smile and almost a peace in your heart say to them, ‘Yes, that’s right.’” That’s because, with over a billion people, China is host to many different situations and problems. Bibles for China works with the registered Church, but those aren’t the only believers in the country. “There are those Christians -- and there [are] millions of them -- that meet in houses and business buildings and homes that are often considered the underground Church.” But Rovenstine says our focus needs to always be on God and how we can serve His kingdom and His people. “The greatest travesty is that Christians spend their time trying to work through these things so that they know what they should do rather than go see and be with someone or with a group.” Find out more in the FULL STORY.

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Iran wary as Iraqi Kurds vie for independence

PUBLISHED ON 25 July, 2017 BY Lyndsey Koh

Iran (MNN) -- The Kurdish people in Iraq will hold a referendum in September to try and declare independence. But neighboring countries Turkey and Iran have made it clear they are not happy about it. Iran has even started a military recruitment campaign to possibly attack the Iraqi Kurdistan region if they declare independence. Tom Doyle with e3 Partners says this doesn’t bode well for the Kurds. "They’re in between Iran and Turkey, and it would not be surprising -- if they declared independence or moved forward -- if both nations attacked them. That’s how dangerous it is. So this could be catastrophic." The Kurdish region spans Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. But the Kurds are often underrepresented by their central governments and have even faced genocide in the past. If Iraqi Kurds declare independence, Iran is worried that the Kurds in their country will make more demands of Tehran and even start their own rumblings for independence. The Kurdish people are mostly Muslim, and we need to pray that as they push for national freedom, they would also find spiritual freedom in Christ. "We know that the physical war on the ground is a reflection of the spiritual war raging in the heavenlies. More Muslims have come to faith in Christ than in the last 1,400 years of Islam."

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