Missions Catalyst 10.30.13 – Special Edition

This week’s special edition comes from a long-time friend of Missions Catalyst who now works with the Center for Mission Mobilization, home to a variety of mobilization ministries. Check ‘em out at www.mobilization.org.

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

A Purpose Bigger than Ourselves: Thinking Big about Kids and the Kingdom         

By Karen Hardin

We all know some pint-sized members of God’s family – kids. They have the simple faith God requires, eagerly crave involvement, and long to be committed to a cause. By God’s spirit, believing children are full members of Christ’s body. Yet we as adults often minimize the contribution they can make, putting kids on hold until they’re older or more grounded in their faith.

It’s time to think big. What if we teach children that God loves not only them, but also all the peoples of the world, and is at work making his name great among the nations? What if we affirm that our kids’ lives have meaning because God has uniquely designed them to partner with him in a work that impacts eternity? What if we give children opportunities to commit to the greatest purpose of all – advancing the kingdom of God?

Two sets of adults are uniquely positioned to turn these “what ifs” into reality – parents and children’s ministry leaders. Here are some resources to inspire and equip the boys and girls sitting around your dinner table or in your church class.

Free Resources from Weave

Weave, a new children and family ministry of the Center for Mission Mobilization, has created the following tools to help families to embrace both the person and purposes of Christ in their home discipleship.

Family Handouts

The Journey family handouts reflect the same themes as the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course. This set of 15, one-page lessons was crafted to help parents shape their family into World Christians.

Each handout includes a Bible passage, thought-provoking discussion points, suggested family activities, and prayer points. Free to download.

Web-based Activities

The Weave website provides monthly activities that connect families to the global story of God. Free subscription.

Content includes:

eBook

If you register with the site, you will receive a free copy of Living Your Legacy, an eBook that helps families develop a vision statement that reflects their unique makeup and aligns with God’s purposes.

Three Ministries Focused on Kids

Kidz at Heart

Kids at Heart offers families a way to learn about other cultures and cultivate a heart for the world through their Kidz Kan program. Monthly content focuses on different countries like Uganda, India, and Latvia. Activities include crafts, games, recipes, stories, memory verses, and giving opportunities. US$22 annual subscription; discounts available for bulk orders.

Window International Network

Window International Network has developed Window Kids, a mission website that helps children explore countries and peoples in the 10/40 Window. Kids can visit the 10/40 Window Wardrobe to create their own character, learn geography, play online games, and explore cultures through photos, music, and recipes. This website also includes a monthly online magazine and offers opportunities for children to pray for their peers in unreached cultures. Free subscription.

Woman’s Missionary Union 

The WorldCrafts division of WMU has four sets of felt finger puppets you can use introduce preschoolers to people from other cultures around the world: South America, West Africa, World Set A, and World Set B. Each five-puppet set is US$19.99.

Fall Observances

Churches worldwide participate in the following observances in November. Here are related activities and lessons for children and families.

Orphan Sunday

Orphan Sunday is November 3. My Life As An Orphan is a 45-minute simulation that helps children compare their daily life with that of boys and girls living in orphanages. Rotating through five stations, participants read short stories and look at photos from several different countries. The simulation culminates with scripture on God’s heart for orphans as well as prayer. This is a great large-group activity for parents and children to participate in together. A related activity for youth groups is a Pizza and Porridge Movie Night. Both lessons are free downloads.

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is November 10. Here are two lessons for children that explore forms of persecution around the world, address reasons why God allows persecution, and explain how God uses the suffering of his children to expand his kingdom. Both lessons introduce our God-given responsibility towards believers who suffer as well as towards those who persecute them. Persecution: What Can I Do?  is a 45-minute lesson for children in grades 1-3. Persecution: What and Why? is a 60-minute lesson for grades 5-8. Both include hand-on activities, scripture, and prayer. Download each for US$5.

Karen Hardin serves with Weave, a children and family ministry of the Center for Mission Mobilization.

Missions Catalyst 9.4.13 – Special Edition

In This Issue: Special Edition on Egypt

Dear Readers,

This week we bring you a special edition. The two opinion pieces below, from Answering Islam and Operation Mobilization, offer different angles on the situation in Egypt and its spiritual implications. May they help you pray!

See also John Piper’s meditation on Isaiah 19, What God Says to Egypt, and the Windows International Network article, The Lord Will Bring Egypt from the Brink of Self-destruction.

Quotable:

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together.

In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

Isaiah 19:23-25

About Us

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

Pat

Pat Noble has been the “news sleuth” for Missions Catalyst since 2004. In addition to churning out the news, she is working to create a SWARM (Serving World A Regional Mobilizers) in Northern New York using the NorthernChristian.org website. You can connect with her at www.whatsoeverthings.com.

 

 

Are Diabolic Forces Undermining Egypt?

Source: Roland Clarke, Answering Islam, August 2013

Egypt is embroiled in its worst crisis in thirty years. What does all this bloodshed mean? It seems significant numbers of Egyptians have woken up to the fact that their aspirations for freedom have been hijacked by radical religionists.

Under Morsi’s sharia-driven regime, Muslims attacked churches and Christians with impunity. Not only so, no sooner did the military start disbanding obstinate camps of protesters than a series of attacks broke out against Christians. Within a week, six dozen churches were burned, vandalized, or attacked. Morsi’s supporters also attacked several dozen Christian schools, businesses, and institutions. Among these were two Bible Society shops which were completely destroyed.

During this same period of rage, an article was published online showing pictures of Islamists vandalizing a church (This Is What It Looks Like Just Before the Muslim Brotherhood Jumps You). What makes this incident so astonishing is that it evoked a backlash within the Muslim Brotherhood ranks and caused them to deep embarrassment.

[Another article,] Egyptian Churches Burn as the Muslim Brotherhood Shows its True Face, quotes a Twitter statement by the Brotherhood spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad: “We will always be non-violent and peaceful… Our peacefulness is our strength and we will never be dragged into violence. We unequivocally reject all forms of violence/vandalism.” However, the burning and looting of dozens of churches [tells] a different story.

On August 16, I received a letter from an evangelical church leader in Egypt that voiced similar concerns. Speaking as an insider, he gives a very different picture to reports in the mainstream media.

“I speak with absolute certainty when I say that, for the vast majority of Egyptians, the military are finally doing what the people have been asking – this is not part of a military coup but rather a restoration of control to the majority of Egyptian people. Although the huge number of mortalities is both tragic and regrettable, they could have been avoided, had the MB (Muslim Brotherhood) entered into peaceful productive dialogue with the transitional government, as the military so often invited them to over the past six weeks.”

[In Understanding the Present Situation in Egypt, another respected Egyptian leader, Ramez Atallah (General Secretary for The Bible Society of Egypt), confirms what my friend wrote:

"Many of us involved in Christian ministry in Egypt are appalled at the misunderstandings about the situation in Egypt being propagated by even normally balanced international media like the BBC, and the way it has, in general, portrayed the Muslim Brotherhood as the victims of injustice...

"In November 2012, he [Morsi] illegally gave himself new sweeping powers to act without censure and rushed through a new pro-Islamic constitution despite the protests and boycotts from liberals, moderate Muslims, and Christians, and then he refused to call for new elections – as had previously been agreed to do after a new constitution had been adopted.”

It seems that more and more peace-loving Muslims feel anguish and deep embarrassment at the never-ending atrocities (as well as pervasive deceit) perpetrated in the name of Allah. The bloodshed in Egypt and Syria – indeed, across the Muslim world – is causing many Muslims to feel disillusioned and to yearn for real peace.

» Full story here.

» Feel free to ask Roland Clarke any questions related to this article. You may also be interested in these articles he mentions: Egyptian Ambassador: ‘It Became Necessary to Finish This Thing Today’, Muslim Brotherhood Kills Its Own, and Inside Egypt’s Terrorist Camps: Torture, Rape, Mass Murder.

Egypt: Breaking the Fear Barrier!

Source: Debbie Meroff, OM News, August 18, 2013

A lot more is happening in Egypt these days than is apparent on our nightly news. A Christian worker on the ground in Cairo, whom we will call John Nyalls to protect his security, reports a groundswell of excitement among the Christian population who are involved in reaching Muslims. He declares, “One year of Morsi’s government has done more to advance Christianity in Egypt than all the decades before it.”

Media attention to Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations gives the impression that this group is much bigger than it actually is. John estimates that only about one-half to one percent of the population are avid pro-Brotherhood and up to five percent may be ultra-conservative Islamists. But after Morsi failed in his promise to represent all the people rather than the Islamist faction and [passed] an Islamist-favored constitution, the vast majority of Egyptians made it clear they’d had enough.

So unpopular is the Muslim Brotherhood these days, observes John, that many shopkeepers are refusing to serve men with long beards (the usual Brotherhood trademark), and taxi drivers are refusing to pick them up. Some Muslims have shaved off their beards in self-defense.

Christians – especially young people from the churches – have become proactive, handing out thousands of copies of Bibles, New Testaments, [copies] of the JESUS Film, and other material. Very few Arabic Bibles are refused. Believers add that they’ve even observed some covered Muslim women, after receiving Bibles, lift the book to their lips in a reverent kiss.

It hasn’t all been easy for the Christian population, however. Ultra-conservative Muslims have retaliated against what they called Christian support for Morsi’s removal. A number of attacks have been launched against churches and Christians, particularly those who live in Brotherhood strongholds.

“Now,” says John, “the wolf – the Brotherhood – is no longer pretending to be a sheep. Members are now unbridled in going after churches and Christians. And this is turning more moderate Muslims against them.”

He pointed out the astonishing fact that tens of thousands of Bibles are being downloaded each month in the Muslim world. The website aljazeera.net published an interview with Ahmad Al Qataan, an important Islamic cleric, who said that every year six million Muslims convert to Christianity. Unfortunately, most disillusioned Muslims will turn to atheism rather than Christianity unless more people seize the day. John reports that Christian Egyptians who have been reaching out are coming across a significant enough number of atheists; they are feeling the need for specific training on how to reach them.

» Full story here.

Missions Catalyst 10.17.12 – Feature Article

In This Issue: Could it be the key to evangelism in our day?

  • Editor’s Note
  • Hospitality and the Great Commission

“In a progressively post-Christian society, the importance of hospitality as an evangelistic asset is growing rapidly. Increasingly, the most strategic turf on which to engage the unbelieving with the good news of Jesus may be the turf of our own homes.”

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Missions Catalyst Special Edition – 2011 in Headlines

Dear Readers,

While we like to think weekly emails from Missions Catalyst enrich your life in some way, we know most people don’t read every edition. And some of you have only been with us for a month or two; others subscribe only to the News Briefs, or only to the Features.

So we thought we’d invite you to skim our complete set of headlines from 2011. Take a look and see if you missed anything you’d find interesting or helpful. Just click on the links to get the rest of the story.

Are there topics you wish we’d say more about, or things you’d love to see us cover in the year to come? Post your comments below,  write to us directly, or catch us through Facebook or Twitter.

Enjoy!
Marti

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