SYRIA: Christian Workers Persevere, Receive Crown

Source: Christian Aid Mission, October 1, 2015

At several steps on their path to death by beheading and crucifixion last month, 11 indigenous Christian workers near Aleppo, Syria had the option to leave the area and live. The 12-year-old son of a ministry team leader also could have spared his life by denying Christ.

They stayed because they believed they were called to share Christ with those caught in the crossfire, [the leader] said.

The 41-year-old team leader, his young son, and two ministry members in their twenties were questioned at one village site where ISIS militants had summoned a crowd. The team leader presided over nine house churches he had helped to establish. His son was two months away from his thirteenth birthday.

In front of the team leader and relatives in the crowd, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of the boy and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he, the father, returned to Islam. When the team leader refused, relatives said, the ISIS militants also tortured and beat him and the two other ministry workers. The three men and the boy then met their deaths in crucifixion.

» Read full story, details of which are also included in a larger story, Christians in Syria Struggle to Survive amid Terrors (Morning Star News).

» See also Egyptian Land Dispute Threatens Inter-religious Flashpoint (World Watch Monitor).

Help us help our friends at Brigada

Web

Dear readers,

Do you know about Brigada Today?

Founded in 1995 in the same initiative that birthed Missions Catalyst, this free, weekly web-and-email journal offers resources, mission trends, motivation, strategy tips, and tools for Great Commission Christians. I use it to keep up with new resources and upcoming events. Maybe you do, too.

This month, editors Doug and Tina are asking us to pray for Brigada. Among other things, they ask us to pray that during these last months of 2015, the Brigada community would grow from 6,000 participants to 7,000.

So I prayed. I also started to wonder if we could help them reach that goal. That’s why I’m writing. If you haven’t seen it—or haven’t seen it lately—I’d encourage you to check out Brigada.

  • Browse through recent editions. Troll the archives.
  • If you like what you see, subscribe.
  • Tell your friends. Share it with others!

Thanks for reading and considering this request. Next week we’ll be back with the September edition of Missions Catalyst Resource Reviews.

Blessings,

Marti Wade
For the Missions Catalyst team

MIDDLE EAST: The Middle Eastern Mesh

Source: INContext Ministries, August 5, 2015

On July 14, 2015, Iran and six world powers (America, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) agreed on a historic deal to limit Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons.

But the conflict in the Middle East is far deeper and wider than just the nuclear threat. Four Arab civil wars are currently being fought—in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen—with Iran, America, and Saudi Arabia supporting a complex mix of warring parties.

These charts show the complexity of the conflicts that stretch over religion, ideology, ethnicity, and class. What is evident is that the Sunni-Shia rift has become more acute, with Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia playing leading roles on either side of the divide.

» Read full story. The original chart and analysis behind this piece were published in The Economist in April.

» Editor’s note: Let’s keep praying for all these powers in the Middle East, and note that September 23 is a global day of prayer for Saudi Arabia.

Resource Reviews

Missions-Catalyst-no-tagline_largeMissions Catalyst Resource Reviews 4.22.15

  1. BIBLE STUDY: God’s Heart for the Nations
  2. FOR USE WITH CHILDREN: Fabric Map and Lesson Plans
  3. BOOK: Missiographics 1.0
  4. BOOK: Mission Mobilization Fiction?
  5. EVENTS: May Calendar

Dear Readers,

In this issue we highlight a new edition of the Bible study God’s Heart for the Nations. I should let you know: I worked on that one! So I hope you’ll let me know if you have any comments or questions about it.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us about resources you’d like to see featured in future editions. We don’t have space to write about all the new books that come out or describe upcoming events in detail, but we can always use your tips about new videos, websites, online tools, and other resources that are accessible and would be interesting to other readers. We’d also welcome your comments on our website or Facebook.

Much thanks!

Marti

World News Briefs

Missions-Catalyst-no-tagline_largeIn This Issue: Religious projections and thought-provoking videos

  1. WORLD: Growth Projections of World Religions
  2. KENYA: “I Need God to Help Me Forget”
  3. SOUTH AFRICA: Young Man Forgives His Father’s Murderers
  4. BURMA: God at Work Among Soldiers
  5. NIGER: She Found Jesus, Faced Rejection and Violence
  6. INDONESIA: Muslims Make Marketing Push

Dear friends,

As I was working on this edition of Missions Catalyst I came across a Steve Saint talk which includes thought-provoking observations, statistics, and inspiration. See Let God Write Your Story (But What If We Don’t Like the Next Chapter?).

After watching that, I searched for more of his talks and found Sovereignty, Suffering and the Work of Missions, given long before his accident that paralyzed much of his body. Each of the talks is just under an hour long.

Blessings,
Pat