VIETNAM: The Far-Reaching Impact of Uncle Som’s Testimony

taidamSource: OMF International, January 23, 2017

[Uncle Som] began trusting in and following Jesus. However, for several months he still had the ancestral altar in his house and allowed other family members to take part in animistic practices. Now he was ready to make a clean break from all of it.

Many others fasted and prayed for Uncle Som as he publicly turned away from the spirits and from ancestor worship. Three months passed and he was alive and well, joyfully praising Jesus and telling his story to other Tai Dam.

In a nearby country, a group of Tai Dam families had turned to Jesus. They [realized] they needed to turn from their old ways but were worried about the response they would face from their community. That’s when a Tai Dam Christian from Uncle Som’s village shared his story with them. Now they are considering the way forward for them and have an example of a Tai Dam man like them being faithful to God, despite the pressure to follow their traditional ways.

» Read full story with prayer points. It’s not too late to join a month-long prayer movement for Vietnam.

BURUNDI: Missionary Surgeon Recognized for Outstanding Service

Source: Joel News International, February 6, 2017

A missionary surgeon to Burundi has won the first-ever $500,000 Gerson L’Chaim prize for outstanding Christian medical service. Jason Fader, whose parents were also medical missionaries, is one of 13 surgeons serving the 10 million people in the sub-Saharan African country. Three-quarters of the population are malnourished, making Burundi the hungriest country in the world.

Fader, who grew up in Kenya, has been in Burundi since 2013. In addition to caring for about 25,000 patients a year with his team, he trains local doctors. “Jason is doing surgeries that no one else has done before in Burundi,” fellow doctor Rachel McLaughlin said. “He’s teaching medical students surgical skills and management.”

The prize money will be used to create the country’s first postgraduate medical training, add 48 new beds to the 172 at Kibuye Hope Hospital, and improve lower-limb fracture care—a crucial need in a country that travels by foot. “Literally hundreds of people will walk because of this prize,” Fader said. “Thousands of people will be cared for. And tens of thousands will be helped by the doctors we train here.”

Fader is part of a recent resurgence of medical missionaries. Attendance at the Global Missions Health Conference has ballooned more than tenfold over the past 10 years. Attendance at the Christian Community Health Fellowship conference has quadrupled. And the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board reported an all-time high of 300 medical missionaries on the field in 2013.

The African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), co-founder of the Gerson Prize, was created in 2010 to promote health care in Africa, where Christian mission hospitals provide about a third of all medical work.

» Read full story from Joel News, or watch a short video from AMHF.

» We also read that Kenya’s health system is on the verge of collapse as a doctors’ strike grinds on (The Guardian).

BURUNDI: Missionary Surgeon Recognized for Outstanding Service

Source: Joel News International, February 6, 2017

A missionary surgeon to Burundi has won the first-ever $500,000 Gerson L’Chaim prize for outstanding Christian medical service. Jason Fader, whose parents were also medical missionaries, is one of 13 surgeons serving the 10 million people in the sub-Saharan African country. Three-quarters of the population are malnourished, making Burundi the hungriest country in the world.

Fader, who grew up in Kenya, has been in Burundi since 2013. In addition to caring for about 25,000 patients a year with his team, he trains local doctors. “Jason is doing surgeries that no one else has done before in Burundi,” fellow doctor Rachel McLaughlin said. “He’s teaching medical students surgical skills and management.”

The prize money will be used to create the country’s first postgraduate medical training, add 48 new beds to the 172 at Kibuye Hope Hospital, and improve lower-limb fracture care—a crucial need in a country that travels by foot. “Literally hundreds of people will walk because of this prize,” Fader said. “Thousands of people will be cared for. And tens of thousands will be helped by the doctors we train here.”

Fader is part of a recent resurgence of medical missionaries. Attendance at the Global Missions Health Conference has ballooned more than tenfold over the past 10 years. Attendance at the Christian Community Health Fellowship conference has quadrupled. And the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board reported an all-time high of 300 medical missionaries on the field in 2013.

The African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), co-founder of the Gerson Prize, was created in 2010 to promote health care in Africa, where Christian mission hospitals provide about a third of all medical work.

» Read full story from Joel News, or watch a short video from AMHF.

» We also read that Kenya’s health system is on the verge of collapse as a doctors’ strike grinds on (The Guardian).

TURKEY: Letter Campaign Seeks Release of Imprisoned US Pastor

Source: WEA Religious Liberty Commission, January 30, 2017

For over three months, US pastor Dr. Andrew Brunson has been detained in Izmir, Turkey for his Christian faith. Charged falsely with holding “membership in an armed terrorist group,” he now desperately needs your help. The WEA is launching a letter-writing campaign to demand his release. We also encourage you to sign the ACLJ petition for Andrew.

» Read full story and view the sample letter.

» Also pray for three men in Sudan, one a Czech national, as they seek to appeal lengthy prison sentences (Voice of the Martyrs).

PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi Story Highlighted on Day of Social Justice

Source: Jubilee Campaign, February 13, 2017

This week Jubilee Campaign is highlighting cases of religious persecution and discrimination in Pakistan in light of World Day of Social Justice, February 20.

Though justice has not yet been brought to Asia, believers worldwide still pray for her freedom. Efforts have been made in the US to urge Pakistan to repeal their blasphemy laws. In June 2015, Congressman Joe Pitts and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee introduced H.Res. 290 “calling for the global repeal of blasphemy laws.” The resolution calls on the President and State Department to make repealing blasphemy laws a priority topic when dealing with countries with such laws. It also urges for Pakistan to be designated as a Country of Particular Concern by the State Department.

» Read full story.

SUDAN: Rescued Refugee Returns with Gospel

Source: International Mission Board, February 14, 2017

The world has watched in horror over the last several years as millions of people have been displaced from their homes in South Sudan as a result of civil war. It’s easy to wonder what good can come from children and families being forced from their homes, torn from any sense of safety and security.

But in God’s amazing grace, he is redeeming the stories of these lives, one by one, calling refugees to himself, and sending them back out to share the gospel with the nations. Abuk, a disciple of Christ and an IMB missionary, is one of them.

Abuk is subtly redefining what many people believe missionaries to be. Her humble spirit and inspiring story shows how they are ordinary followers of Jesus.

As a young girl, Abuk was displaced with her family and landed in Amarillo, Texas, right in America’s heartland. Abuk has now embarked on a journey to obediently answer God’s call to return to Africa to make disciples. Through her obedient response to the call to the nations, Abuk is subtly redefining what many people believe missionaries to be. Her humble spirit and inspiring story shows how they are ordinary followers of Jesus, each with his or her own story of redemption [and] part to play in God’s mission.

» Read full story and watch a related five-minute video.

» See also this encouraging story about ministry among refugees and immigrants in the UK from World Outreach (Nations Magazine).

CANADA: First Inuit Bible Translation Conference

Inuit-MapSource: United Bible Societies, January 27, 2017

The Inuit people inhabit the rugged Arctic terrain on the north coast of North America from Alaska to Greenland, including the Canadian Arctic and Labrador. Though this is a single ethnic and linguistic family, by historical criteria there is not one, but rather several distinct Inuit languages spoken across the Arctic today. The indigenous peoples continue to initiate translation of the Bible into their “heart language.”

Christianity was embraced by many Inuit peoples of the North; in fact, there are several churches today that are thriving in Inuit communities. Today, there is a resurgence of indigenous languages and cultures, and in the church, a corresponding desire for Scripture that speaks to cultural expression and a vibrant indigenous faith community.

In this moment of renewal and eagerness to preserve indigenous language and cultivate Scriptural translations for the whole community, the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) is hosting the first ever Inuit Bible Translation Conference taking place in Toronto, January 30 to February 3, 2017.

» Read full story with pictures and prayer points.

To learn more, see related article from the Canadian Bible Society.

» Another story from the world of translation: Critical Shareholders describes Wycliffe Germany’s free, annual “parents weekend,” serving the needs of translators’ families back home. What a great idea!

UK: Prayer-based Relational Network Equips “Ordinary” Christians for Ministry to Muslims

Source: Lausanne Global Analysis, January 19, 2017

Over the last year or so, Christians across the UK have been confronted with a sudden escalation of media accounts of the actions of extremist Muslims, with stories of terrible atrocities and bloodshed in Iraq and Syria. What has shocked them even more is that British Muslims by the hundreds have gone out to these war zones to give their support to ISIS and other extremist groups. Many Christians have focused on the effects of Islamization and on the persecuted church, responding with fear and alienating themselves from face-to-face interaction with their Muslim neighbors.

In this context, a new phenomenon networking both agencies and churches has proved to be a catalyst to unity and prayer. This prayer-based relational network is called Mahabba (“love” in Arabic); and it has flourished over the last four years, mainly because of the unprecedented opportunity in the UK. Its emphasis is on motivating and mobilizing “ordinary” Christians rather than just “specialists” to reach their Muslim neighbors. The model is a prayer-based relational network which equips local churches with mentoring and training materials, and which helps church leaders to train ordinary members of their churches to relate to Muslims in love and be able to explain the gospel clearly.

» Read full article and see also the rest of the January issue of Lausanne Global Analysis.