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It’s Going To Be Busy

By | missions, MNN, news, persecution, special reports, urbana | No Comments

Fall is in full swing. You’re probably experienced it. If you live in the United States you’ve probably already had your homecoming weekends. The football games are underway. Your kids have already started their school and church activities and you feel more like a taxi cab driver than a parent. While you’re feeling the stresses in your household, we’re feeling the stresses at Mission Network News, too.

For us, the fall means a few things. It means getting ready for See You At the Poll, start planning for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Radio broadcast, and this year we’re getting ready to take the whole team to Urbana. While those events create stress, we’ve also added two new staff members, and we’re redesigning our website.

See You At the Pole is over, so that stress is gone. Now, we start focusing on IDOP. We have to find a speaker who will motivate. We have to find music that will be compelling and go with the subject of the persecuted church, which is never easy. Then we have to line up people to pray for areas of the world where there is persecution of Christians. Then we have to recruit radio stations. We have less than one month to do it.

Urbana is the world’s largest student mission conference. It takes place every three years. This year Urbana 12 is being held in St. Louis, Missouri. We’re taking our entire team there so we can bring coverage of the event. We’ll be providing daily coverage on our radio broadcast, but also providing long form programming that we hope many radio stations will air. So, my time will not only be getting the broadcast ready to air, but recruiting radio stations.

Our two new staff members you probably have already met. Katey Hearth replaces Elisa Talmage, who resigned in August. Kara Tucker is a part-time writer/producer. Katey is just about up-to-speed on her responsibilities. Now, she’s just fine tuning. Kara is just getting started and there will be a pretty significant learning curve for her. So, be praying for both ladies.

Next, our website is being redesigned. It has been forever since we have done this. We’re going with an entire new back-end design that is requiring a lot of time and effort. The actually look of the website is coming along nicely and I think you’ll like where we end up.

And finally, I am spending a little more time talking to donors and finding out who has a heart for missions so we can keep Mission Network News financially healthy. Overall, our revenue is off just a bit. With our current economy I shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s requiring a lot more of my attention these days. The good news about that is that I get to spend more time talking to donors and people like you who value and love what we do here.

So, when i look all everything we have to do between now and December 31 it’s overwhelming. But, it’s also exciting. It’s exciting because Mission Network News has the privilege of telling countless stories of God working supernaturally all over the world. Not only that, but we get to encourage people like you to get involved in it.

Thank you for being a part of what we do here. If you feel the Lord leading you to give financially to Mission Network News, click here.

Urbana ’09 Day Three

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Listen to Fouad Masri interview here Fouad Masri Interviews at Urbana '09

USA (MNN) — “The increase in Jihad is a good thing.” That was the word from the President of the Crescent Project, Fouad Masri in a session during InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana ’09 Convention. Masri says in Islam at the end of your life God weighs the good works with the bad and that’s how its determined if you go to heaven.

Fouad Masri speaking to students at Urbana '09.

Fouad Masri speaking to students at Urbana '09.

However, Masri says there’s only one way to escape that. “The only way to escape the system is to die in Jihad — in a war — trying to establish the rule of Islam. So the sign that more and more people want to join Jihad is a sign that people are thirsty for salvation, or thirsty for assurance.”

Masri says Muslims are what Jesus describes as sheep without a shepherd. “What you’re seeing is people who are spiritually are like sheep. And, spiritually have no shepherd telling them that, ‘yes they can have assurance, yes they can have forgiveness, yes they don’t need to kill themselves and kill others.”

However, Masri says Christians in the west simply avoid Muslims altogether. They try to argue with them about their faith. Some simply call them enemies and ignore them.

In his session Masri says there are three things Christians can do to win Muslims to Christ. You can love them. Develop friendships with them. That will allow you to bridge divide allowing you to share your faith.

Hundreds of students participated in Masri’s sessions this week. He says because many Christians are unaware of the issues facing Muslims around the world, nothing happens. “As they get exposed to the spiritual, social and injustices of Muslim woman [or instance], now they’re saying, ‘let’s do something.'”

Yale is a student from Chicago. He says God has convicted him that he needs to be more loving in Muslim outreach. “They’re people like you and me — people who want to be loved.”

Aaron is a Cornerstone University Student and says, “Over the last three years God’s really put it on my heart to work with Muslim people. So, that’s why I’ve come. I don’t have much experience with them personally, but I came to find out more. I graduating soon and I’m planning to do my student teaching in Turkey.”

Crescent Project has a number of resources to help you get the information you need to reach out to Muslims. Go to CrescentProject.org for information.

Gospel For Asia at Urbana '09

Gospel For Asia at Urbana '09

I was also able to walk through the convention center, or the Global Connections center where more than 200 mission organizations and agencies are displaying this week.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is just one organization. MAF Recruiter Brian Behal says this Urbana isn’t as busy as it was three years ago. “The attendance is down. I think the economy has affected it a bit, but the quality of the folks who are here are every bit as high quality as they’ve been in years past.”

Behal says while ‘social justice’ is this year’s Urbana ‘buzz word’ MAF is involved indirectly. “We don’t have any specific social justice outreaches, but we’re working in countries where after we’re done with our day jobs — which is ministry for us — we can get involved in those kinds of things.”

President of Africa Inland Mission Ted Barnett says they need more people in Africa. He says a recent trip to Africa, “every place I went they said we are in desperate need of teachers and trainers. Most of the missionaries have left because of all the strife and conflict that is going on.”

Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsLarella Rouster with Every Child MinistriesStudents learning more about ministry at Urbana '09.Teen Missions International

Pictures of Urbana ’09 are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregyoder/

MNN headed to Urbana ’09

By | missions, MNN, news, special reports, urbana | No Comments

Every three years thousands of students head to the largest mission event in North America — Urbana ’09 — held for the second time in St. Louis, Missouri. Urbana ’09 begins Sunday, December 27 and will continue through December 31st.

Mission Network News will be there once again, covering the event. This year staff writer Elisa Whiteman and I will be there to provide just in time coverage of the event. We’ll provide you audio, pictures and new this year — video of the conference. So, you’ll not only be able to LISTEN to the sounds of Urbana, but SEE it.

In the mean time, pray that Urbana attendees will have open hearts as they head to the event.