Kamis, 25 Agustus 2016

Fake ISIS attack causes widespread panic

Fake ISIS attack causes widespread panic
Dr. Jim Denison
August 23, 2016
Today's news takes us from the momentous to the mundane.

This morning's New York Times reports that a fake ISIS attack in Prague, intended to protest the threat of Islam, caused widespread panic in the streets instead. The suicide attack in Turkey has now claimed fifty-four lives, twenty-two of whom were under fourteen years of age. Students beginning school in Miami yesterday were coated in bug spray to prevent the Zika virus. And Speedo USA has dropped Ryan Lochte's sponsorship after the Rio scandal.

Meanwhile, the highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge in the world has just opened. It stretches 1,410 feet (nearly five football fields) over a valley that is nearly 1,000 feet deep. It will feature the world's highest bungee jump (count me out).

Closer to home, St. Dominic's Catholic Church in San Francisco has been the custodian of a fragment believed to be part of the True Cross of Jesus Christ. According to its priest, "The True Cross is a relic that goes back 2,000 years to the very cross of Christ himself." The fragment was stolen from the church last week. A sign has been placed on the case asking for the thief to return the relic, no questions asked.

Here's what the bridge in China and the relic in San Francisco have in common: they serve as parables for the greatest privilege in life. This privilege is relevant to terrorism and disease and every human frailty.

The Chinese bridge is the highest on earth, but it cannot compare to the bridge between you and heaven. The True Cross relic is historic, but as St. Dominic's members know, we don't need the physical cross to pray to the One who died on it.

Before Good Friday, the High Priest was the only person on earth permitted into the presence of the Holy God, and that only on the Day of Atonement. Since our Great High Priest died for us (Hebrews 4:14), we can "with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (v. 16).

Here's the problem: only 31 percent of evangelicals say they set aside a substantial period of time each day to pray. Here's one reason why: if we do anything less than connecting consciously and intimately with God Almighty in our prayers, we're not really praying. As Shakespeare observed, "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go."

We all have times when our prayers are more rote and ritual than heartfelt and passionate. But the needs of our day are so urgent that our prayers should be equally urgent. So let's adopt this practice: when you see a crisis in the news, pray.

For instance, pray now for the survivors of the tragedy in Turkey, asking God to use the horrific attack to reveal his love and gospel to many. Pray for those affected by Zika and those who are at risk of being infected. Pray for Ryan Lochte and the next person whose personal failures make the news. Bring them intentionally and passionately to God. Ask him to infuse them with his omnipotent strength and redeem all he allows.

Charles Spurgeon observed, "I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than this, the measure of the intensity of your prayer." How warm is your soul today?
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57,000 Displaced Batongas Thirsty for Hope

Thirsty for Hope
In a valley in Africa, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, runs the Zambezi River, a longtime source of life to the Batonga people. They relied on the river for its hospitable climate and for the fish they would eat and sell to nearby villages. They were even nicknamed the "River People" by others throughout Africa.
In the 1950s, everything changed for the Batongas. Local governments decided to build the Kariba Dam, a hydroelectric dam that could supply 6,400 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. With that massive amount of potential power at stake, the government moved quickly to build.
The costs proved astronomical.
Nearly $500 million was spent over the next 20 years to build the dam, and 86 lives were lost during its construction. Even more costly was the forced relocation of over 57,000 Batongas by their governments. Overnight, the way of life they had known for generations evaporated. They were placed in the desert without sources of food, water or income. Hate and mistrust for the government grew as parents watched their children become malnourished. Some families lost hope and starved to death in the desert. When the Batongas tried to return to the river, they were told to buy permits they could not afford in order to fish in the place they had always called home. What happened to the Batongas during the construction of the Kariba Dam is now commonly known as "the worst dam-resettlement disaster in African history."
Against this backdrop, the EHC outreach began. How do you bring an idea like the hope of the Gospel to an area devastated by mistrust and despair?
Continue Reading

Khampa, Northern in China

Khampa, Northern in China
The Northern Khampa are part of the Tibetan nationality in China. They are nomadic and live on a high mountain plateau. The Khampa have a reputation for aggressiveness among neighboring tribes. "Stories were told of the cruelty with which they sometimes put their victims to death. They go so far as slaughtering pilgrims and wandering monks and nuns - although they profess to be Buddhists, the Kampa religion is little more than a crude imitation of the ideals of the pure form of Buddhism."
Ministry Obstacles
The Khampa live in an area that is remote, and they are often nomadic.
Outreach Ideas
Sustained and focused prayer is needed, as well as evangelists to take the good news of Christ to the Khampa people.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the few Christian believers among the Khampa people, that they will be eager to learn of Christ. Pray they will be taught accurately the ways of Christ.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray the Khampa will increasingly be made aware of sin, and their need for a Savior. Pray the good news of Christ will be made available to them in different forms: stories from Scripture, films, recordings, and evangelists.
Scripture Focus
"Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised." 1 Chronicles 16:24-25

People Name: Khampa, Northern
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 147,000
World Population: 147,000
Language: Tibetan, Khams
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Bible: None
Audio NT (FCBH): No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

Ashley's Testimony: I Am N "Changed My Life"

Man with i am n book
See and hear Iraqi Christians share their testimonies in your home, classroom or church.
Meet your “I Am N” family members.
“This [I Am N] book changed my life. It’s changed how I am raising my two boys. It’s changed how I read and value the Bible! The Bible has come back to life for me!”
–Ashley, Oklahoma
The Voice of the Martyrs’ I Am N curriculum is changing lives. When your persecuted family members become real to you and you realize what they face every day, it changes how you read the Bible and how you live your faith.

Have you met your “I Am N” family members yet? With VOM’s new six-session DVD curriculum, you will see the Christians who are experiencing persecution every day and hear their stories in their own words.

Order I Am N

i am n curriculum
VOM’s I Am N video curriculum helps you get to know your Iraqi brothers and sisters who have been displaced by ISIS. By experiencing their dramatic stories, you will be following Christ’s mandate to unite with His body as you learn more about the intense persecution occurring today.

Our brothers and sisters have given up everything to proclaim that they are followers of Christ.

Take the challenge. Are you N?

Order the Kit

Pashtun, Southern in Afghanistan

Pashtun, Southern in Afghanistan
Passionate is a word that well describes much about the Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan. They are said to love or hate with equal intensity, displaying fierce loyalty to friends, yet defending the right of badal - revenge or blood feuds - where enemies are concerned. Behavior expected without question includes hospitality and protection for guests, provision of refuge to a fugitive, and acceptance of a sincere offer of peace.
Ministry Obstacles
Afghanistan is not hospitable to Christian ministry of any type. Access to the people is limited.
Outreach Ideas
Believers can minister to the physical and material needs of these people who have suffered much.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the few believers among the Pashtun, that they may grow in Christ and be zealous to know and serve him. Pray for their protection.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray for stability and peace in Afghanistan, for the government to be able to maintain order and an environment where people can live safely and productively.
Scripture Focus
"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Habakkuk 2:14

People Name: Pashtun, Southern
Country: Afghanistan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 6,819,000
World Population: 7,146,000
Language: Pashto, Southern
Primary Religion: Islam
Bible: Portions
Audio NT (FCBH): No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

GPN - 08/23/2016

Dear Church,

Faith keeps the sails of our lives filled with the breath of heaven. Matthew 8:26; Luke 17:5

URGENT: From January Mrs. L. has a difficult time because of the death of her oldest sister and youngest sister. Now her sister Annie has cancer in her lymph, lungs and intestines. Pray that her blood levels go up and the allergic reaction (itching all over her body) will stop. Thursday they want to start another chemo of 30 treatments. Pray for God's strength and a miracle of healing.

Suriname: Keep on praying for healing of the renal function of my wife. She is in the hospital and must have dialysis, but her condition is very weak. Pray also for daughter S., for healing of her headaches. And for a good offer for our house, shop and field. Mr. A.S.

For new strength and healing for Mrs. E.v.R., who has been suffering from insomnia. She is worn out. Also for the conversion and healing for her unbelieving husband, who suffers from Crohn's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Pray for I., who is suffering from gastric ulcer. Ask God for His healing. Also pray for Y., who has allergic itching. Pray for his healing. Mr. A.B.

Vietnam - Hanoi: Christian rights activists say more than 100 Vietnamese pastors of house churches in Vietnam remain jailed in Vietnam for refusing to join the central church in the communist nation. (BosNewsLife)  Pray for God's strength, protection and that He will set them free.

Mrs. V.H. has stress caused by a person. She also has a sleep disorder. Pray for God's peace, liberation and victory in her life and her family.

Pray that God brings the right man into my life soon. Singleness is a very difficult season of life. I am 26 years old and have never had a boyfriend, never had my first kiss and never been on a date. I hope and believe that God is the perfect Matchmaker and I wait until He finally brings us together. Ms. N.

Suriname: Pray for my son R.R., for provision in a suitable job in Christian environment. Mr. K.R.

Pray for Mrs. G.B., for God's peace and joy and wisdom to be a blessing in faith and confidence for the brothers and sisters in her own church. That she will show to be faithful in small things, so she can grow in the ministry in God's Kingdom.

Mr. E.R. asks us to pray for complete deliverence of his alcohol addiction. That he will have no desire to drink.

Mrs. W.R. and Mrs. W.W. have become internally damaged from events from the past. Pray for their salvation and spiritual peace.

Brazil: For God's blessing, protection and provision for the pastor, staff and the brothers and sisters of The Blessing Churches in Curitiba and Santo Antônio de Jesus. Pray for God's miracles and new hope for the staff, the children and their families, and all those involved in the OASIS children projects.

For a breakthrough and deliverance for Mr. L.D. of his mental and physical weak moments. That he can quickly move to another assisted living project.

After five years of efforts, I am releasing my dream project: ‘MORAN AMEKH’ (The Lord Be With YOU). Christian chants in Indian ancient Sanskrit language. I need your prayer support. Mr. F.

Curacao: My daughter has had a stroke and is slowly coming out of a coma. As a mother I am glad that she is alive and can talk again, but she lives in the past. Pray for a place in a nursing home where she can convalesce. Mrs. P.

I ask prayer for God's touch in my health, finances and in my relationships. Mrs. M.

The Blessing Family Message Station
Listen non-stop to the faith-building messages of anointed preachers with singing, music and special prayer. Choose your own language, preacher and topic. Listen, download, like it, put in your favorites, share with others and much more! Pray and thank God that this station will reach many people in places where little or nothing of the Gospel is found and where people are on their own. Tune in at maasbachradio.com.

The team of GPN wishes you a very blessed week!

Asia Bibi Supreme Court Appeal date set for second week in October

Asia Bibi Supreme Court Appeal date set for second week in October

Pakistani Christians pray for her freedom and their safety!
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
Asia Bibi usePAKISTAN (ANS – August 23, 2016) -- Pakistani Christians have expressed great joy and fear after receiving news that Asia Bibi, Pakistan's most famous blasphemy law victim, will finally have her long awaited Supreme Court appeal hearing during the second week of October.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Anwar Zaheer Jamali, yesterday (Monday, August 22, 2016), ordered the Supreme Court to fix a date in October, the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) were advised by Asia’s solicitor (lawyer).
Asia Bibi’s nightmare back in June of 2009, when she was harvesting falsa berries with a group of mainly Muslim women farmhands in a field in Sheikhupura in Punjab Province. She was asked at one point to fetch water from a nearby well; to which she complied, but stopped to take a drink with an old metal cup she had found lying next to the well.
A neighbor of Asia, who had allegedly been involved in a running feud with her family about some property damage, saw her and angrily told her that it was forbidden for a Christian to drink water from the same utensil from which Muslims drank, and some of the other workers considered her to be “unclean” because she was a Christian.
Some arguments ensued and Asia recounts that when they made derogatory statements about her religion, she responded by telling them, “I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?”
This incensed the women, and later, some of the workers complained to a local Islamic cleric claiming that she had insulted Muhammad and soon an angry mob came to her house, beating her and members of her family before she was rescued by the police. One report even alleged that she was gang-raped for her alleged crime of blasphemy, was been beaten all the way home, and then her children were later sexually molested.
The police initiated an investigation about her remarks, resulting in her arrest under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code. She subsequently was imprisoned for over a year upon the demands of the local Iman, before being formally charged under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws. Asia Bibi has now been incarcerated since June 2009.
Ms. Bibi denied that she had committed blasphemy and said that she had been accused by her neighbor to “settle an old score”. In November 2010, Muhammed Naveed Iqbal, a judge at the court of Sheikhupura, sentenced her to death by hanging. Additionally, a fine of the equivalent of $1,100 was imposed. With the verdict, she became the first woman condemned to death in Pakistan on blasphemy charges.
Punjab governor with Asia BibiAsia Bibi described the day of her sentencing as follows: “I cried alone, putting my head in my hands. I can no longer bear the sight of people full of hatred, applauding the killing of a poor farm worker. I no longer see them, but I still hear them, the crowd who gave the judge a standing ovation, saying: ‘Kill her, kill her! Allahu Akbar! The court house is invaded by a euphoric horde who break down the doors, chanting: ‘Vengeance for the holy prophet. Allah is great!’ I was then thrown like an old rubbish sack into the van... I had lost all humanity in their eyes.”
“Asia Bibi, has always upheld that she will be set free by God's grace even when it has seemed like there was no chance of freedom,” said a spokesperson for the BPCA. “After a failed appeal at the Lahore High Court on October 16, 2014, many thought freedom was beyond Asia Bibi.
“However, in a pre-trial hearing at Pakistan's Supreme Court on July 22, 2015, the court suspended her death sentence permitting an appeal. In her appeal hearing Asia intends to ask the court to reconsider deficiencies in the case which include poor investigation and manipulated evidence by the local police.”
The appeal was originally meant to have been held on March 26, 2016, but after the judiciary and Government of Pakistan decided to push through with the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri under anti-terrorism laws they were forced to postpone Asia Bibi's appeal hearing.
Mumtaz Qadri had admitted to assassinating Salmaan Taseer, the then Governor of Punjab for his stance calling for abrogation of the draconian blasphemy laws of Pakistan and freedom for Asia Bibi.
In the wake of Mr Qadri’s death a wave of demonstrations, including 100,000 Muslims encamped during a sit in protest outside Government buildings in Islamabad, where they demanded termination of proposed reforms of the blasphemy laws of Pakistan and death for Asia Bibi.
The government caved in on the law reforms which had passed through Parliament and were to be ratified in the Senate of Pakistan. Many Christians at this point thought Asia Bibi’s chance of freedom had run out and that the government had failed her and other minorities - especially when they postponed her case due to the scale of social schism.
“However,” continued the BPCA spokesperson, “news of the revised date for the appeal hearing has now induced mixed feelings. Many Pakistani Christians believe the date will be postponed again when the Muslim protests for Asia Bibi’s death resume, they still recall the five postponements before Asia Bibi had her Lahore High Court Appeal rejected.
“Moreover, despite their joy and delight that Asia Bibi will have her day in court and a chance for justice, they fear that a community backlash will result in attacks on the innocent Christian communities across the country. Despite their fears every Pakistani Christian stands with Asia Bibi and is praying for her release.”
Whilst in prison Asia Bibi has been forced to cook her own food due to attempts to poison her, whist bullying from other inmates has also meant she is forced to stay in isolation. Last year BPCA reported on her failing health.
Mumtaz QuadriThis Supreme Court hearing will be the final opportunity for Asia Bibi to gain freedom through the country's law courts. Failing this she will have to rely on a presidential pardon under article 45 of the Constitution of Pakistan, which states:
45. President’s power to grant pardon, etc.-The President shall have power to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority.
Wilson Chowdhry, the Pakistan-born Chairman of the BPCA, said in a message sent to ANS: “Asia Bibi has suffered the injustice of five years’ imprisonment for a made up crime. A cultural faux pas and innocuous comment made while being attacked, led to her being raped, her children being sexually molested, and her arrest under the draconian blasphemy laws of Pakistan for good measure yet no-one else was arrested for the violence to her?
“As a devout Christian she continues to believe that God will free her from her ignominious incarceration. She prays daily and has placed her life and her family before God.”
Mr. Chowdhry berated previous governments for failing to free Asia, adding, “I have spoken to Pakistani government officials and the judiciary. All of them express great shock at the ongoing abuse of her liberty. Yet Asia's tragedy continues. I have come to the conclusion that all I have been receiving is diplomatic lip service, devoid of passion for justice.
“Asia's story is one of oppression and discrimination and despite international pressure, statutory authorities and the Government of Pakistan have failed her, just as they have failed all minorities in Pakistan.”
He concluded by saying, “Freedom for Asia Bibi would be a watershed moment in the campaign for justice, equality and freedom for minorities in Pakistan. Previous governments have failed miserably, but I believe the incumbent Government is genuinely attempting to restore the balance. I hope that effective protection is provided to Asia and her family, the judiciary and all persons that could make this latest appeal a success. Any half-hearted approach will undermine Asia's trial and create a further blight on Pakistan's reputation.”
Still, BPCA told ANS that it expects a “large mob of Muslims baying for the blood of Asia Bibi outside the Supreme court during the hearing, a scene very common to trials of this nature in Pakistan.”
The spokesperson said, “We are calling on the Pakistani Government to ensure that known ring-leaders are rounded up and prosecuted under the countries incitement to hatred laws.
Main Pakistani Muslims demand execution of Asia Bibi“If these extremist elements are allowed to foment violence against innocent Christians, then it will be the government and security forces that will be to blame. Any community tension must be controlled and attacks curbed by security forces ensuring that innocent Christian communities are protected, during a time when their pariah status is set to reach epic levels.”
Many Christians in Pakistani are deeply concerned that if she is finally freed, she and her family would be the immediate target for assassins in an extra-judicial killing as they left the court. Already, the Mayor of Paris, France, has offered sanctuary to them, but in view of recent terrorist attacks there, they may not be safe. So please prayer for this situation.
The BPCA has told ANS that it has continued its appeal to support the Asia Bibi and her family. If you would like to donate towards the upcoming appeal, please go to: https://britishpakistanichristians.worldsecuresystems.com/donate.
To sign the BPCA Petition on behalf of Asia Bibi, go to: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/justice4asia.
Photo captions: 1) Asia Bibi – will she finally be freed? 2) Salmaan Taseer with Asia Bibi, a meeting that is thought to have cost him his life. 3) Mumtaz Qadri after his arrest. 4) Pakistani Muslims demand the hanging of Asia Bibi. 5) Dan Wooding pictured outside his home with his BPCA award.
Dan Wooding with his BPCA awardAbout the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, who then worked with the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as SIM. He now lives in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for some 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of the ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is also the author of some 45 books. He also has one weekly radio show and two TV shows all based in Southern California. Dan has received special award from the BPCA for his long-standing reporting on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan.
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