Ornitheology? | World News Briefs



In This Issue:

  1. USA: Faith Takes Flight
  2. INDIA: Man “Converted by Carol Singers” Now Claims Membership in Militant Hindu Group
  3. NORTH KOREA: Five Gut-Wrenching Facts
  4. FINLAND: Reaching Russians
  5. USA: Transforming Virtual Conversations

geese smallerPhoto by Gary Bendig on Unsplash.


Sometimes the news is confusing. I’m not referring to opposing views. Nor am I referring to unreliable sources. Sometimes it is just confusing because we live in a crazy, broken, mixed-up world.

In some of the stories I found this week, information is simply missing or mystifying. I submit them to you knowing that Missions Catalyst readers are intercessors. We can always pray for captives to be set free, take flight, and escape “the snare of the fowler” (Psalm 124:7).

We know so little of what is really going on, but God knows.


BOOK: The Advent of Relationship

AdventSource: Peregrini Press

The Advent of Relationship, by T.J. MacLeslie. Peregrini Press, 2017. 66 pages.

“Have you ever been alienated from a loved one? Have you ever been estranged from a friend? Have you experienced separation where you desire connection, distance where you want closeness?

“I have. I have experienced geographic distance, as I have lived across the sea from my family and friends. But I have also known what it is to be physically close but a million miles away in the heart.

“Relationship is the root and trunk of the universe. God designed and created us for life with him. We are hard-wired for relationship. But we messed up. Both corporately and individually we have made mistakes (some of them willful) that have broken our relationship with the Community that is our Trinitarian God.”

  • In what areas of your life are you aware of God’s nearness?
  • How might you cultivate broader and deeper awareness of him?
  • As you approach Advent, is there anyone with whom you need to seek reconciliation?

T.J. MacLeslie is the author of several books we’ve highlighted here before. This one is a devotional which includes only glancing references to cross-cultural ministry. I think, however, you’ll appreciate its portrayal of many of the dynamics of walking with the God who took on flesh… and living out our faith in relationships.

» Purchase The Advent of Relationship from Amazon for US$5.99 (paperback) or US$2.99 (Kindle) to read and meditate on alone or with others during the Advent season.

» For something a little lighter to do with your kids, download Kate & Mack’s 12 Days of Christmas and learn how 12 different countries celebrate (Wycliffe Bible Translators). It’s free but requires registration.

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


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.


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.