Transformation amid war
Rebel in northern CAR.
(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
Central African Republic (MNN) -- Anyone informed about the situation in Central African Republic most likely associates the country with war, violence, starvation. These words are so different from "transformation."
Yet, The JESUS Film Project (JFP)
is seeing transformation among the Sango-speaking people, due to the Sango "JESUS" film. A group was recently baptized, and six churches have been planted so far.
"The people were so hungry for the teaching found in Walking With Jesus:
after the fifth episode finished, they asked to watch the series again!" the ministry reports.
According to the Joshua Project, there are approximately 442,000 Sango people in CAR, and 49% are evangelical believers. They have many Scripture resources available to them in their heart language, including the JESUS
(Photo credit JFP)
Pray for the Gospel to continue to heal CAR through the JESUS
JFP distributes the film JESUS,
a two-hour docudrama about the life of Christ based on the Gospel of Luke. The film has been seen in every country of the world and translated into hundreds of languages since its initial release in 1979.
As a result, more than 200 million people have indicated decisions to accept Christ as their personal Savior and Lord.
The JESUS Film Project is a ministry of Cru, an interdenominational Christian evangelism and discipleship ministry committed to giving people everywhere the opportunity to know and experience God's love and plan for their lives.
Learn more about their work by visiting JFP's Web site.
Jesus Wells deliver redemption and safety
Slum well in Mumbai.
(Photo credit MNN/Katey Hearth)
South Asia (MNN) -- One in nine people worldwide has no access to clean water. What those individuals do have access to looks and smells like something you'd find in a dirty fishbowl.
This month, Gospel for Asia (GFA)
is highlighting the need for clean water in South Asia. They're praying for enough funding to dig 5,000 more Jesus Wells which will bring clean water and the Gospel to poor villages.
GFA-supported Gospel workers who dig Jesus Wells don't limit their clean water to Christian families. Entire communities are invited to use the well, regardless of religious background. As Christ's love is demonstrated to nonbelievers through the provision for basic needs, hearts soften and become receptive to the Gospel.
So far, GFA has raised 68% of their financial goal. If you can help them cross the finish line before 2014 comes to a close, click here.
Pray for enough funding to dig 5,000 Jesus Wells. Pray that the provision of clean water will improve health and open doors in communities to share the Gospel.
ISIS forms religion police in Nineveh
(Map credit YourMiddleEast.com)
Iraq (MNN) -- According to Reuters, ISIS has formed a new religious police squad in Nineveh, and Iraq's Shi'ite leader says their country needs international help to fight what he calls "black terrorism."
Citing a militant Islamic Web site, Reuters reports Nineveh's Islamic State police force was created to "implement the orders of the religious judiciary." However, other sources within the province told Reuters these new authorities were mainly focused on capturing "people they consider opposed to their cause."
The horrific acts of ISIS, from beheadings captured on video to a rape campaign in Iraq, are meant to invoke widespread terror and dread. While seemingly too intense for a modern era, ISIS terror tactics are nothing new: ancient Assyrians,
known for their cruelty, used fear to expand their territory.
Steve VanValkenburg of Christian Aid Mission,
your link to indigenous missions, says the viciousness of ISIS underscores why national Gospel workers are so effective.
Flag used by Islamic State in Iraq and al-Shabaab in Somalia.
"When you have people who are from that area, they know best how to handle themselves, even though outwardly, you would think there's no way they can have a ministry," states VanValkenburg.
Christian Aid supports pastors who have stayed in Mosul to minister to Muslims, and church planters who are caring for refugees in Kurdistan. The church planters report a great spiritual harvest among Iraqi refugees. Find more details in the full report.
"As they [church planters] go around and provide food and supplies, they also provide the Gospel and New Testaments. People are becoming Christians, and so the logical place to meet would be whatever tent [they] are living in," VanValkenburg says.
"As people congregate in tents and they begin to sing, it attracts other people that want to come and hear what's happening."
You can help Iraqi missionaries reach more refugees here.
With financial support, Iraqi missionaries can care for refugees' physical and spiritual needs. Along with practical supplies like food, shelter, mattresses, and medicine, missionaries are also handing out complete Bibles, New Testaments, tracts, and Bible-based coloring books for children.
In the Kurdish area of Iraq, where people of
different beliefs fled atrocities of the
Islamic State, the Iraqi ministry team
supported by Christian Aid Mission found
people in need of water, food and medicine.
(Photo, caption courtesy Christian Aid)
"They've got some good, strong, healthy churches, so they've got plenty of manpower and plenty of ability to reach out," VanValkenburg shares. "They just need resources."
VanValkenburg explains how Christian Aid helps indigenous missionaries in the full interview.
As always, prayer is the biggest need--even more so at a time like this.
Pray for unity among world leaders as they try to overcome ISIS. Pray for an end to Islamic State terrorism. Pray for God's grace to be upon aid workers and indigenous missionaries as they reach out in Christ's name.
More Iraq updates here.
Ukraine: a war overlooked
(Photo courtesy Russian Ministries)
Ukraine (MNN) -- Air and anti-tank defense perimeters are being tightened. Shells regularly fall. Gunfire can be heard often.
Sounds like a battle, right? This conflict is nearly a year old. Yet, says Russian Ministries
president Sergey Rakhuba, "Nobody wants to recognize it yet, but this is a war between Russia and Ukraine. My family reports that their neighbors are going to help to dig trenches around my hometown, Zaporozhye."
Front-line towns like Zaporozhye are trying to protect themselves, because Ukraine can't. Rakhuba says, "Ukraine is a bankrupt country. Now, the global community starts kind of helping them to rebuild their economy and their life. But the Ukraine is a very poor country." Refugees are flooding into the region only to find a grim situation. "The government failed those people. There's no support for refugees on behalf of the Ukrainian government."
Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked for help before a joint session of Congress and from President Obama in the Oval Office. Poroshenko left with a promise of $7 million in an aid package, but without the specific help requested.
(Photo courtesy Russia Ministries)
This is where the Church comes in. Their "field headquarters is based in Ukraine, in Kiev. Our families and our training centers spread throughout Ukraine are caught right in the middle of that crisis that we've been watching growing since last fall," says Rakhuba. It also means they're in the right place at the right time to catch those falling through the cracks. "Churches are getting involved, helping Ukrainian soldiers with even, sometimes, uniforms, to buy helmets, to help them to protect, to be safe in the fight."
More specifically, "The Church brings spiritual, emotional relief. They bring the word of encouragement. We call it a word of 'hope.' The Church fills the gap that the government cannot do even materially."
How? Rakhuba shares one of dozens of similar stories trickling out of the region. "People who managed to escape that area with the bombs and shelling--where the fight is going on--come to the outskirts of Zaporozhye, get out of the car, and start knocking on the doors of homes: 'Would you be able to provide shelter for us for one or two days until we figure out something more permanent?'
"They come to a Christian home, and the guy takes them to church. The church surrounds this family, they provide food and shelter, and they provide all the resources they need. They provide medicine for them, and they were with three little kids."
(Photo courtesy Russian Ministries)
Wherever they are, the Christians have been working on improving living conditions. "We see the Church has started growing because of the refugees that are looking for places. The government does not support them, but the Church steps in. They fulfill their responsibility to be the 'salt and the light' in the midst of crisis."
With thousands of displaced seeking refuge, resources are being stretched thin. Prayer helps a lot. $25 helps. $50 helps. Rakhuba says these believers are our
family. It's our duty to respond. "Through our 'I Care' program, there is a wonderful opportunity to advance the Gospel through providing food packages and Scripture to these needy families. $50 will provide enough food for an entire week, for a family of three to five people, but it also provides a copy of Scripture."
Click here to get started.
God is moving in Nepal
(Photo courtesy World Mission/Greg Kelley)
Nepal (MNN) -- This seems like a dismissible number -- .6% out of 1000.
But before you dismiss it, consider this: according to the Joshua Project, .6% of Nepal's nearly 30 million people are Christian. Out of 337 people groups, 328 have never heard about Jesus. That totals around 28,694,000 out of 28,922,000 people. Joshua Project says 82.2% of the population are Hindu and 10.2% are Buddhist.
That's a lot of people who don't know Christ and who have never heard about Him.
But thanks to work done by World Mission
, the number of people who have heard about God is growing.
Greg Kelley of World Mission is in Nepal where they are distributing digital audio players of the Bible called The Treasure
He says, "I'm standing here in the mountains of Nepal just literally in awe of the natural beauty of this place-- it's amazing. And yet I think of the spiritual condition, and the contrast is so alarming.
(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
"Most people who do research say that nine out of ten Nepali have never heard the name of Jesus. And on this recent trip with World Mission, we had the opportunity to meet people who through the influence of The Treasure
became followers of Jesus and have even planted a church here, all in the last twelve months. And so, it's exciting to see God moving in Nepal."
World Mission believes in the guiding power of prayer. Will you pray for God to lead them to people whose hearts are ready to receive the Gospel?
If you'd like to partner with World Mission, click here.