IRAQ: A Child’s Prayer

Source: SAT-7, September 29, 2014

The takeover of several Iraqi towns by extremist group ISIS (or Islamic State) has been devastating in recent weeks. Children in particular are sensitive to such tragedies. Mario, a regular fan of the SAT-7 KIDS program “Why Is That,” called the studio last week to pray for Iraq and all the Arab countries.

The young boy called from his home in Tanta, just north of Cairo in Egypt. As soon as Mario’s voice came over the air, presenter “Mr. Know” recognized him. Even though Mario lives hundreds of miles away from Iraq, he is touched by the plight of families suffering there.

The innocence and goodwill of a child’s prayers are an uplifting witness during such trying times. They give hope that God can use the next generation to shape a different future for the region according to his will.

» Read full story and listen to Mario’s prayer.

» Also read Informed Intercession: The Wonderful Marriage of Research + Prayer (Mission Frontiers) and inspire others to pray by sharing answers to prayer (Catalyst Services).

» Check out amazing footage on the Islamic State (VICE News).

SAUDI ARABIA: Millions Head toward Mecca

Source: Prayercast, September 28, 2014

Roughly three million people will descend on Mecca, Saudi Arabia from October 1-6 for the largest annual pilgrimage in the world: the Hajj. This journey is the life-long aspiration of one-fifth of the world’s population, and, when accomplished, is the spiritual climax of their lives. Being the fifth pillar of Islam, this pilgrimage and its accompanying rituals are supposed to increase Muslims’ chances to attain paradise and forgiveness. The Hajj represents an opportunity to be reborn.

Millions will circle the Ka’bah and perform countless rituals, seeking answers, assurance, and absolution from a god who cannot hear and will not answer. May Muslims on this year’s Hajj encounter the Living God through his son Jesus Christ, and may countless masses be truly born again by the power of the cross.

» Subscribe to updates from Prayercast.

» Download a video and prayer materials about the Hajj from Praying through the Arabian Peninsula, and see ISIS Threatens Mecca (WIN Reporter), Taking the Hajj to Heaven (Crossroads Arabia), and a story about breakthroughs in Christian broadcasting in Saudi Arabia (Arab World Media).

GUINEA: Ebola Team Members Killed over Tragic Misunderstanding

Source: ASSIST News Service, September 25, 2014

Rev. Moise Mamy and seven others in an Ebola education delegation were killed by villagers in southern Guinea [in mid-September]. According to a news release from Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA), government officials and news reporters were also among those who died.

Wome [where this happened] is located in Guinea’s forestière region—a densely forested, mountainous and resource-rich area where villagers have long settled their own affairs.

CAMA said Mamy was a member of the Eau de Vie (Water of Life) Ebola awareness team, a ministry of CAMA, the relief and development arm of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA). In addition, Mamy was an evangelist and district superintendent of the CMA church among the Mano, the people group of his ethnic origin. CAMA said he was also the executive secretary of Eau de Vie and cofounder of Hope Clinic, a CAMA-initiated medical and surgical facility that provides treatment for villagers in southern Guinea who otherwise would have no access to medical care.

“Many places accepted (the awareness team’s) teaching,” wrote Jon Erickson, an Alliance international worker and close friend of Mamy, with whom he cofounded Hope Clinic, “but some villagers had heard a rumor that the (bleach they were distributing), which kills the Ebola virus, was actually the virus itself.”

In the ensuing chaos, the team members were attacked and killed. The BBC reported that the bodies were recovered from a septic tank at the local primary school.

Mamy is survived by his wife and five grown children.

» Read full story.

» Our friends at SIM have called Christians to pray all this week for an end to Ebola. Learn more. And this just in, free educational resources in French and English available to ministries working in Ebola-affected countries (Women of Hope International).

INDIA: Church Converted to Hindu Temple

Source: Barnabas Fund, September 18, 2014

A church in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was turned into a temple on August 27 after Hindu extremists converted members of the congregation to Hinduism. The church in Asroi village, Aligarh district had been the place of worship for a group of Dalit Christians, who are from the lowest level of India’s stratified society.

During a Hindu purification ritual at the church, which is around 100 miles southeast of New Delhi, its cross was torn down and a poster of the god Shiva was placed inside the church building. The Hindu extremists responsible released a YouTube video of the conversion and published a press release stating that 72 Christians had become Hindus.

A church leader who was part of a fact-finding team told reporters that he believed this particular church had been targeted because there are only a few other Christians in the area, and the pastor did not live nearby and was therefore unable to visit the village regularly.

» Read full story. On a happier note, see Indian High Court Moves to Overturn Ban on Non-Hindu Evangelists.

» Will you pray for Hindus, Hindu-background believers, and workers seeking to plant churches among Hindus? Today is the sixth day in a series of annual Hindu festivals. See 10-day Navratri Prayer Guide (Christar).

WORLD: Fifty Years of Mission

Source: GMI, September 30, 2014

In 1964 Mongolia, Nepal, and China were among the most “closed” countries in the world. Today, all three have thriving churches with powerful mission vision. In 50 Years of Mission, their most recent in a series of mission infographics, our friends at GMI survey other ways the world has changed—and mission issues have changed—in the last 50 years.

This missiographic was produced in partnership with Evangelical Missions Quarterly, which is now celebrating 50 years of publication. (Happy anniversary, EMQ!)

» Learn more and explore how to use resources like Missiographics and EMQ in your ministry.

Missions Catalyst Resource Reviews

cropped-Missions-Catalyst-no-tagline_large.pngIn This Issue: Tools for your toolbox

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Dear readers,

First of all, thanks for reading! We’re grateful for your partnership in the gospel and the opportunity to hear from you and serve you.

This edition of Resource Reviews includes a few new tools for a mobilizer’s toolbox. Please let us know if you’ve come across others that readers should hear about. We have some more cool things we can’t wait to tell you about, but they’re not quite ready yet – next month, I hope!

Finally, we want to apologize for a mistake in our September 17 edition of Missions Catalyst Newsbriefs. Our item about ISIS included a link to a story about the conversion of the brother of an ISIS leader, a report which (as several readers pointed out) proved to be untrue. Sorry for passing it on!

blessings,

Marti Wade
publisher and managing editor

IMG_0243 - croppedMonthly Resource Reviews are composed and compiled by Marti Wade, who has managed and published Missions Catalyst since 2004.

Based in Oregon, Marti is a writer, editor, and project manager serving with Pioneers on the Church Partnerships Team. She is the author of Through Her Eyes, a book about the lives of women serving cross-culturally in the Muslim world. She also speaks at conferences, Perspectives classes and similar events.

DOWNLOADS: Free Bible Studies and Coaching Tools

Source: Center for Mission Mobilization

The Center for Mission Mobilization has repackaged some of their materials, created related pieces, and made them all more accessible to a larger audience as free, versatile downloads. You can also purchase hard copies of the Bible studies if that works better for you.

Xplore is a seven-lesson small group study designed to help believers discover God’s overarching purpose throughout the Bible and history, learn about world religions and unreached people groups, and grow in World Christian practices. A set of one-page coaching conversation documents will guide you through one-on-one conversations that reinforce the same topics. Take a look at those; they include some great material and may be able to stand alone.

Go Mobilize is another seven-lesson small group study, designed to help World Christians grow into mobilizers and learn what it takes to start a mission movement among their friends, churches, and families. A set of coaching conversation documents is also available for this study.

The GOer Groups study, video-based with downloadable discussion questions and a leader’s guide, is designed for college students interested in serving internationally. It addresses major questions and barriers students encounter as they pursue cross-cultural ministry.

Finally, take a look at the NVision video series, a set of 15 videos, 5-7 minutes in length, designed to to help you point people who know and follow Jesus to entire groups of people that don’t. Use these to help believers discover God’s pursuit of worship all over the earth, as well as simple, practical ways to impact the nations for Christ.

» Learn more or download resources (registration required for some pieces).

APPLICATIONS: Bible in Hundreds of Languages

Source: Faith Comes By Hearing

Looking for good Bible apps not only for your own study but for your kids or to use evangelistically, even cross-culturally? What about Bibles for those who prefer listening over reading? You may find just what you want from the Bible.is family of applications from Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH).

The free Bible.is app now features 1,556 languages (including hundreds in audio versions and JESUS film video) and is available on the web and for both iOS and Android devices. The Bible.is app is capable of providing access to God’s Word to over two-thirds of the world’s population.

Then there’s the Deaf Bible app, which FCBH says is the most downloaded Deaf app in the world, with 10 new sign languages added this year.

The Bible.is KIDZ app, created in partnership with Child Evangelism Fellowship, is a new, free scripture app for children. It features illustrated Bible stories, audio, games, and other interactive activities. The story selection is somewhat limited, but they plan to keep adding.

» Visit the app page on the Bible.is website to learn more and follow links to download apps from the various platforms.

BOOKLET: Guide to Mobile Ministry

Source: Mobile Ministry Forum

Your Phone – God’s Glory is a hands-on guide meant to enable Christians anywhere to pull their phone out of their pocket and use it for the glory of God as a tool for evangelism and more.

This document provides a story-based introduction to mobile ministry as well as detailed tutorials that will enable anyone with an Android or iOS mobile device to get equipped and launch out into mobile ministry. A video series that goes along with this guide is under production, and a leader’s guide to assist trainers in presenting these materials and equipping short-termers, national believers, and missionaries is also planned.

» Learn more or download the PDF (3.2 Mb, 74 pages).

TRAINING TOOLS: Team Building Kit

Source: DELTA Ministries International

Looking for lessons and activities to help a short-term mission team get to know one another and learn how to work together? Check out the new Team Building Kit from DELTA Ministries. It includes complete instructions for ten helpful activities, along with all the supplies you’ll need and advice on what you can hope to accomplish with each activity or how it can be adapted. Could save you a lot of time figuring out what you need and how it will work best.

“After 35 years of preparing successful teams, DELTA Ministries International has learned that experiential activities are the most effective way to instill the basics of team dynamics: trust, communication, cooperation, spontaneity, and fun,” says the website. “Each activity can also be customized to accommodate a variety of learning styles.”

Take a look at their list of about two dozen skills mission teams need. Which ones are most important? What would you add? Are the teams you work with getting what they need?

» Learn more or purchase the kit for US$129 from DELTA.

» See also Mission Team Training: Where can I find good resources to use in training a team? (ShortTermMissions.com).