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Katey Hearth

#GiveHope15 to be a voice for the voiceless

By | missions, MNN, special reports | No Comments
#givehope15

(Graphic cred: MNN)

MNN partners with 71 mission groups who are working to build God’s Kingdom globally. Their focus of ministry ranges from Bible translation to child evangelism.

Meet our partners here.

By helping us #GiveHope15, you’re supporting the people who work on-the-ground. MNN gives these missionaries a voice they might not otherwise have. These partnerships allow us to relay news and needs to you, so you can make a difference by praying, giving going, or sharing.

That’s right — by sharing MNN stories you’re becoming a “voice for the voiceless”, too. Whether it’s clicking the “Share” button on Facebook or forwarding one of our Daily Emails to a prayer warrior you know, you’re spreading the word and helping others get involved.

Will you help us continue sharing “news you won’t get anywhere else” in 2015?

What happens when you #GiveHope15?

By | missions, MNN, special reports | No Comments

If you’re following MNN on social (Facebook, Twitter, Google+), you’ve probably caught a glimpse or two of the hashtag #GiveHope15 with one of our posts. In case you’re wondering, there IS a reason it’s there 🙂

For starters, “hope” is a multipurpose theme…

  • Your encouraging feedback gives our team hope
  • Supporting projects & groups that meet physical needs worldwide gives tangible hope to people in need
  • By getting involved in the Great Commission, you’re giving others the ultimate source of hope: Jesus Christ

During the remaining days of 2014, we’ll explore how you can “give hope” in each of these areas.

Today, we’d like to share some of your remarks that have helped “give MNN hope” in 2014:

#givehope15

(Graphic cred: MNN)

“It’s my best source of news! I don’t know what I’d do without MNN!! Thank you SO much for all of the stories you send my way. I feel like I’m so much more informed about what is happening within the body of Christ worldwide. I have a heart to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters and MNN helps me pray with current information. It is the best news service I have ever found. So, so thankful.” –Laura Guarnieri

“Thanks for the [work] being done, we are to be the light & lifeline to a dying world out there.” –Henry Tavune

“I learned about you for the first time as I was on-air with Greg Bullen waiting to be interviewed this morning. All your information made me want to hang up and pray. Thank you.” –Jeannie St. John Taylor

“I heard about you through Yes FM 89.3, Lima, Ohio, this morning…If the Church of Jesus would know more about what foreign Christians go through, it enables us to pray more specifically. [Thank] you for your voice :).” –Bill Cheshire Jr.

“Want to use this opportunity to thank Mission Network News for the update about the religious crisis in my country Nigeria. Thanks to Greg and the entire crew. God bless and protect you all.” –Name withheld for protection

“It helps me to know how to pray and I know the news I get is the truth!!! Thank you.” — Lorraine Gardenier

We LOVE all of our friends and “followers”, whether they’re on email, social media or radio. The encouragement we see on Facebook or website comments and the uplifting call-in’s we get from listeners remind us why we do what we do. Thank you all for reassuring our team of its purpose!!

Our team here at MNN can only accomplish our 2015 goals with your help. Would you consider partnering with us financially?

Urgent Prayer Request from E3

By | persecution, urgent prayer needs | No Comments

Hey friends,

(Graphic cred: E3 Partners)

(Graphic cred: E3 Partners)

E3 Partners’ Tom Doyle shared an urgent prayer reminder with me during a recent interview. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, we also need to be mindful of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.

“We get excited about worshipping Jesus,” Doyle shares. “Believers [in Syria] wonder, ‘What’s the blowback going to be?’.”

Because Christmas is known as a “distinctly-Christian” holiday, Christians in areas controlled by ISIS will be targeted.

“People will die just because they’re known for following Jesus, and [Christmas is] the day that we celebrate His birth,” says Doyle.

During Easter last year, “ISIS and other terrorist groups claimed, ‘we will wash the streets in Syria with Christian blood’.”

A similar reaction is expected tomorrow.

“They (terrorists) hate Jesus, they hate the resurrection; therefore, they’re going to hate the day that we celebrate His birth.”

As you gather with your families for Christmas and celebrate Jesus’ birth, pray for His family.

Join E3’s prayer initiative for Syrian Christians here.

Pakistan: Anti-Blasphemy Laws

By | church planting, missions, news, persecution, trends | No Comments
FMI_Muslim prayer in Pakistan

Muslim workers pause for a few minutes along an alleyway in the afternoon to offer their ritual prayers.
(Image, caption courtesy FMI)

According to Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI), terrorists aren’t the only source of persecution for Pakistani Christians.

Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws were first put into place in 1927, but the amendment that has made the laws infamous for persecution wasn’t added until 1986. Between 1927 and 1986, there were only seven violations of Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law; however, from 1986 onward, as many as 4,000 cases were formed.

According to Contributoria.com, half of the people charged were minorities.

Today, the laws are mostly used to persecute Pakistan’s religious minority groups, such as Christians and Shi’ite Muslims.

“What is so ironic is Pakistan itself was founded for the protection of minorities,” says Allen, referring to the Pakistan-India split of 1947.

He says those belonging to the “religious majority” in Pakistan follow Sunni Islam. Shi’ite Muslims comprise 10% of the remaining population, while Christians and Hindus make up less than 4%. Less than one-percent of Pakistani’s are evangelical Christ-followers.

Nevertheless, “They’re ALL being affected by these anti-blasphemy laws,” says Allen.

You can help provide a safe haven for persecuted Pakistani Christians here.

“We operate several safe houses where they can go for crisis or transition and receive medical care, a safe place to live; perhaps some vocational training,” says Allen.

Get more FMI updates here.

“Pray for the repeal of the anti-blasphemy laws. They are being so abused in Pakistan,” Allen suggests.

“[Pray] that God moves in the hearts of the political leadership to see that justice — true justice — gets done.”

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday: where to begin?

By | Giving Tuesday, missions, MNN, special reports | No Comments
Giving Tuesday

(Photo cred: GivingTuesday.org)

Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) — a global social media initiative tracing its roots back to 2012. A couple of U.S. non-profits wanted to shift the holiday shopping focus from getting to giving. (Read the full history here.)

Giving Tuesday is a great way for non-profit ministries like MNN — which relies primarily on donor finances — to both spread awareness about their work and raise support to keep that work going. Any charities can participate; they just designate a hashtag to single-out their efforts (#GivingToKeysDay or #RICE4LIFE, for example) and include it in all of their social media posts, along with a link to their website.

We’ve got a whole gob of non-profit ministry friends here that are doing great work around the world. To see if they’re doing any special #GivingTuesday campaigns, just click on the website link included on each group’s profile page.

(Just don’t forget about MNN! We need your help too! #Giving2MissionsDay)

To kick-off your #GivingTuesday, we’re spotlighting a few friends for your consideration:

Partners Relief and Development: For the past 20 years, Partners has been caring the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of refugee children living near the Thai-Burma border. What started as a gift of $30 to provide care for one child has grown to 911 children cared for across 16 community based homes.

By making a donation this Giving Tuesday, you are helping provide care for each of these beautiful children and ensuring they can continue to attend school.

Keys for Kids Ministries: Keys for Kids produces radio, print and Internet materials that point children ages 6 to 12 years-old to Christ. This year, Giving Tuesday is vital for their brand-new radio ministry.

“We are trying to raise $135,000 that day so that we can keep the new programs we’ve started on the air on Keys for Kids Radio,” says Executive Director Terre Ritchie in a recent article.

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF): This year, MAF is hoping to raise $24,000 on Giving Tuesday to keep their work going in isolated parts of the world. They’re challenging supporters this year with the hashtag #DoMoreIn24.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday place such a huge emphasis on buying and materialism,” said John Boyd, president and CEO of MAF. “Giving Tuesday is a way to turn our thoughts toward helping others.”

We’d love to hear who you’re supporting this #GivingTuesday & why! Please share in the Comments section below. 🙂

SE Asia trip report

By | india, missions | No Comments

Full trip report from Vision Beyond Borders

“I just returned from a week in India and Nepal. God blessed our trip as we visited our contacts and saw how God is using them to touch and transform lives of women who have been sold into sex trafficking.

The lady we work with in India has been ministering to the oppressed and downtrodden in the Red Light District (RLD) for over 17 years. It is amazing to walk through the RLD with her. The ladies who have been sold, often against their will, are drawn to her as she shines the light of Jesus Christ in this dark place. These women are forced to have eight to twelve customers a day. If they do not service that many customers, they do not eat. The red light areas are dark, oppressive and hopeless.

Our contact knows many of the ladies by name, greeting them with hugs and kissing their children. I have been challenged by her fearless love of these people; she is not concerned with whether they have Aids or other contagious diseases and what may happen to her own life. I am reminded of Jesus concern for the lepers. Our sister works tirelessly to minister to those in need, whether it means waking up in the middle of the night to take a lady or one of her children to the hospital or buying them medicine out of her own money. She loves these women and children as her own family, and many times opens her home to those in need.

We are working with our sister to set up a salon in this area as a point of contact in which to minister openly to those who have been trafficked. We are excited to see how God is going to open more effectual doors of ministry to her as her passion is to serve Jesus Christ in spite of death threats and many challenges. She is truly one of my heroes of the faith. I have also been challenged as a Christian man that we, as men, need to stand against the oppression of women and children around the world.

After spending a few days in India, we flew to Nepal to visit the safe house that we established in January.  One morning, we visited the largest Hindu temple, a holy place that many pilgrims come to worship Hindu deities. The day we were there, there were literally thousands of women dressed in red saris coming to pay homage to Shiva, hoping to find a good husband or to see their husbands become better men. Women were standing in line for hours with empty eyes, holding offerings in their hands to a god made of stone.

The headwaters of the Ganges river, the ‘mother of all rivers,’ flows through this temple.  The water is filthy dirty; but worshipers believe that if they drink of the water, their sins will be washed away. Unfortunately, they have been blinded by the enemy and cannot see that Jesus already paid our debt. ‘Holy men,’ often wearing little clothing and covered with the ashes of humans , looked on while smoking marijuana. The smoke from the funeral pyres coupled with the stench of burning flesh filled the air. This place reminds me of what hell must look like.

After leaving the temple, we made our way to the safe house. It is exciting to see God transforming lives as ladies are being saved and renewed in Christ.  What an incredible contrast between light and darkness. Here the ladies openly read the Bible as they gathered for morning Bible Study. The faces of these ladies are radiant as they reflect their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Their smiles brought joy to my heart and the other two guys with me. There are about 13 women who have been rescued and are living in this home, where they are loved and cared for. After Bible study, we had a time of prayer and worship with them.

Later, we had lunch and enjoyed times of laughter with our new sisters in Christ. There was an 18 year old lady, who recently came to the safe house, after she and her younger sister ran away from home. Their father had raped his daughters for four years, while their mother justified his actions saying, “This is how he shows his love.” The girls ran away and ended up on the streets; we are working to find the younger sister to bring her into the safe house. The father is wealthy and has threatened to sell the older daughter into a brothel in Delhi. We are praying to hire full-time security to protect the women and young ladies in the home. It was encouraging to see the young lady smile as she feels at home now.

Three of the ladies who were rescued have left the home to start a salon and to move forward in their lives. These three ladies have become followers of Jesus Christ, and we are praying about helping them set up a salon/tailoring shop near a church. We pray the local Christians will frequent their shop and encourage them in their walk with Jesus. My heart was thrilled to hear the reports of God transforming lives. With so much sadness and hopelessness in the media these days, I pray it will be encouraging to know that God is still on the throne and saving people. We are excited as we trust God to set up another safe house to provide a safe haven for women and their small children. Please take a moment to thank Jesus for His sacrifice on the cross, His love for the world, and what He is doing around the world.”

Weekend Prayer Alert: Ukraine

By | urgent prayer needs | No Comments

Dear Ministry Friends and Supporters,

With Ukrainian presidential elections scheduled for this Sunday, May 25, violence has sharply escalated in the eastern part of the country, renewing fears that Ukraine is on the verge of civil war. On Thursday, a total of 14 Ukrainian troops were killed and 32 were injured in two separate attacks in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Sadly, Christians have also become targets of the violence. Today, armed separatists attacked a prayer tent in Donetsk, ripping the tent apart and issuing this threat to those who were praying: “If any Christians come back here tonight to pray, they will all be shot.” Specific threats have also been made against pastors in the cities of Pervomaisk, Lisichansk, Slavyansk and Bryanka, who had to flee the region with their families.

Many speculate that this escalation in violence is an attempt by pro-Russian separatist forces to derail the imminent presidential elections by further destabilizing the situation in the eastern part of the country.

The following is a firsthand account from one of our School Without Walls coordinators that describes the situation in eastern Ukraine as well as how these young Next Generation leaders trained by Russian Ministries are reaching out with the gospel:

“I live in Dimitrov in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine. I love my country and believe that, as a Christian, I must do everything possible to help it flourish and to spread God’s Kingdom. My roots are also from Russia and I can’t help but love the Russian people. I pray and care for Russia and want Christ’s light to reach all corners of that enormous country.

“In Dimitrov and Krasnoarmeisk three weeks ago things were already starting to stir. Government buildings and police stations were seized. They raised a flag of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) above the mayor’s building. Many people with criminal backgrounds have gotten behind the DPR. For some people war is a tragedy, while it puts others in their element. People are scared, and are buying up all of the sugar and flour, in case of war. Most people keep their money in Privat Bank, but the DPR members are robbing Privat Bank’s cash in transit vehicles, so the bank shut down for a while. It has started working again, but they will only issue limited amounts of cash. People are panicking.

“On a positive note, people are more open to the gospel. In churches we are praying a lot. We have had night-long prayer meetings. We ask God to have mercy on our country, not to allow war, and to save many people in our town. Praise God, the Ukrainian army has set up posts around our town. We collected money and took them some basic necessities – razors, soap, socks, water. We also distributed Scriptures. We prayed for them, for God to protect them.

“I recently attended a meeting of pastors of Baptist and Pentecostal churches of our town. Everyone said that they are also praying for Ukraine and hope for peace.

“It is sad that the DPR has announced that they are against all churches other than the Russian Orthodox Church. It is sad that this resonates with a large portion of the population. But for us it is a signal that we have work to do here, that the harvest is ripe, but the workers are few.”

Russian Ministries has been responding to this situation by organizing prayer meetings, providing emergency aid and distributing Scripture throughout the country.

This Sunday also marks the observance of Refugee Sunday. While major Western news outlets are not reporting on this problem, there are now as many as 20,000 refugees fleeing Crimea and the eastern part of Ukraine. Russian Ministries is caring for these refugees by providing food, clothing, temporary housing and the Gospel of Luke through its Emergency Fund.

In light of the growing violence and refugee crisis in Ukraine, Russian Ministries urges the global Christian community to pray that the violence would cease and that the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine would take place without interference or disruption. Please also consider a generous gift to our Emergency Fund by visiting our website at: www.russian-ministries.org, clicking on the Donate tab, and selecting Emergency Fund from the dropdown menu.

Thank you for your prayers and support during this critical time that may determine the future direction of Ukraine.

Prayerfully,
Sergey Rakhuba
President

Christian-Catholic coalition issues global call to prayer

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Global Call for Prayer and Fasting for Peace as Tensions Escalate Between the West, Russia, and Ukraine

As fears grow that Russia and Ukraine could ignite WWIII, a large Christian coalition is urgently mobilizing a 40 day prayer campaign for peace to begin Monday, April 28th 2014.

The world also faces unprecedented global financial crises, record-breaking natural disasters, and attacks against life, family, and religious freedom. As soon-to-be saint Pope John Paul II said about the power of prayer and fasting, “Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil,” (Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae 1994).

Last September 7th, Pope Francis called the world to a prayer and fasting vigil for peace. More than a hundred thousand people gathered in St. Peter’s Square in response to Pope Francis’ appeal. He said, “I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions, and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: Violence and War are never the way to peace.”

The Pope began by praying the Rosary and at the end he invoked Mary “Queen of Peace, pray for us.” The Pope wrote to his nine million followers on Twitter, “Pray for peace.”

To help combat these alarming threats, a grassroots Coalition of Catholic and Christian organizations worldwide are mobilizing for the 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Peace.

Coalition chairperson Maureen Flynn says, “Many news broadcasters and religious commentators speak today about our global financial crisis, the scandals of our administration, and the global imminent threat of world war. However, few speak about our rapid spiritual and moral decline, which manifest in our families and our nations. Many people believe that America is now under God’s judgment. In addition to the concern over the state of our global economies and the violence in our world, there should be outrage and sorrow over the daily destruction of over 4,000 unborn babies in America through abortion, the euthanizing of our elderly, and the mass shootings of our youth, etc.”

We must remember, Our Lord is a God of Mercy and He responds to our repentance and prayers. As individuals, as families, and as nations we must pray and fast for a return to a moral and spiritual nation founded on God.

Learn more here: http://40daysofprayerandfasting.org/

Pray for Afghanistan: Day 3

By | special reports, urgent prayer needs | No Comments
An Afghan worker verifies the identification card of a resident at a polling center in the Matun district of the Khost province of Afghanistan Sept. 18, 2010, during parliamentary elections.  (Image, caption courtesy U.S. Dept of Defense via Flickr)

An Afghan worker verifies the identification card of a resident at a polling center in the Matun district of the Khost province of Afghanistan Sept. 18, 2010, during parliamentary elections.
(Image, caption courtesy U.S. Dept of Defense via Flickr)

Barring Taliban deterrence, some 3.8 million registered Afghan voters are expected to show up to the polls tomorrow.  Logistics challenges mean the final winner may not be known for several weeks, but multiple sources agree that the 2014 elections are a crucial step in Afghanistan’s journey toward democracy.

So-called elections have been taking place in Afghanistan since 2004, but have been marred by fraud and violence. Those issues are once again a concern for this year’s elections; ballot-stuffing could be an issue since Afghans hold multiple voting cards. The 2009 elections were reportedly marred by this occurrence, resulting in a win-by-default victory for current President Hamid Karzai.

New electoral laws passed last year not only made tomorrow’s election possible, they set a up a commission to deal with voter fraud “and other irregularities.” As the BBC notes, there’s a lot riding on tomorrow’s polling: “Donor countries have made it clear that continuing aid depends on fair elections.”

Keep an eye on the 8thirty8 Facebook page for updates.

PRAY: Pray that the Taliban will not stop tomorrow’s elections from taking place. Pray that no more bystanders will die at the hands of terrorists. Pray for a free election and peaceful transfer of power.

Favorite Fan/Follower Comments!

By | MNN | No Comments

7K0A0796_resizedTo mark our annual Facebook Fan/Follower Appreciation day, here are some of our favorite comments from the MNN page:

Thanks for the being done, we are to be the light & lifeline to a dying world out there
(From Henry Tavune on 03/01/14)

I love this,plz kp me up dated!
(From Dina Reinard on 01/11/14)

Always feed me information dat can encourage me to network with missions
(From Egbudu Alice on 11/2/13)

We love the work that Mission Network News does; your concern for the world and the Mission inspires us to enable continuing action in the most difficult environments across the globe.
(From Jason Moorhead on 10/16/13)

Thank you for opening my eyes I will be looking into this Jesus I pray you bless Mission Network News 100 fold in everything they do god bless xxx
(From Annabel Letford on 05/07/13)

Very Inspiring picture. Thank You MNN for sharing & working to Glorify Him.
(From Koshy Jinu on 04/25/13)

I heard about you, through Yes FM 89.3, Lima, Ohio, this morning… If the Church of Jesus would know more about what foreign Christians go through, it enables us to pray more specifically. Than you for your voice 🙂
(From Bill Cheshire Jr on 02/07/13)