Introducing People to Jesus Using Your Mobile Phone

Source: Mobile Ministry Forum

The mobile phone is the most rapidly adopted technology in human history. Do you know how to use it to connect and communicate with those who have yet to discover abundant life in Jesus? This free, one-hour course will show you how to use your phone to improve and expand your gospel witness in face-to-face interactions, overcoming language barriers and more. The material looks very engaging and inspiring. You can go through it at your own pace, or better yet, complete it with a friend or group.

Learn more or sign up. You may also want to poke around the Mobile Ministry Forum website.

Looking for tools to help you in virtual outreach efforts, too? Check out online training courses from Missions Media U.

More Than 30 Short Videos to Inspire Mission Efforts

Sources: Various, via Project Ablaze

Looking for a video to show your church, small group, class or conference? You may find one in this collection of 36 videos curated by Project Ablaze. Note they come from a variety of sources; content and quality varies.

Browse the video collection.

If you are looking for someone to make a mission video for your team or organization, check out Ablaze Media Productions.

Podcast Series: The Hardest Places on the Planet

Source: Mission Matters Podcast

The Mission Matters Podcast is a partnership between Sixteen:Fifteen and Missio Nexus. Each month hosts Matthew Ellison and Ted Esler invite guests to discuss the mission of God as well as the matters of the mission. While Ted is on sabbatical, Bob Blincoe of Frontiers will be joining Matthew for a three-part series on “The Hardest Places on the Planet.”

The first episode is great! Bob Blincoe tells the story of his own experiences on one of the first missionary teams in Iraq and shares helpful insights on how to build grit and resistance for workers called to the hardest places on the planet. Episode 2 (February 15) will feature Mary Ho of All Nations talking about lessons from the life and death of John Chau. Episode three (March 15) will include guests from TRIAD discussing preparing to send to the hardest places.

Find The Mission Matters Podcast wherever you get your podcasts or watch it here.

You might also want to listen to Dick Brogden on Building Resilience for the Missionary Task (Global Missions Podcast).

“Welcome Corps” Refugee Sponsorship Program

Source: U.S. State Department

“Best government decision ever!” Shane Bennett wrote in a recent edition of Muslim Connect. He’s talking about a new program called Welcome Corps. It looks like a great opportunity for people like many of us.

Through this program, Americans can band together to sponsor refugees, taking on tasks like finding a refugee family housing and furniture, meeting them at the airport, getting their kids into school, and helping them find jobs and learn the ropes. The pilot effort is looking for 10,000 Americans who can help 5,000 refugees. Canada and Australia also have private sponsorship programs, according to the UNHCR. This sounds much like the Sponsor Circles program we wrote about a year ago. Not sure what the difference is. Do you know?

Think this is something your church or small group could do? Learn more or get started.

And don’t go it alone. Check out Christian networks like the Refugee Highway Partnership.

February Conferences, Training, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

February 3-4, Santa Barbara Mission Conference (Santa Barbara, CA, USA). An annual community event.

February 3-5, Missionfest Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB, Canada). Community-based mission festival.

February 6 to June 11, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (online). New online classes begin regularly. Most in-person classes have already begun for the semester, but consider visiting a class in your area if there is one.

February 6-7, Support Raising Bootcamp (Cedar Park, TX, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions. Note that another February bootcamp will happen in Bali, Indonesia, February 20-21.

February 7, 8 Myths about Missions and What They Mean for the Church (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

February 9, The End of Globalization (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

February 12, Call to Prayer Virtual Prayer Gathering (online). Join others to engage the Muslim world through prayer on the second Sunday of each month.

February 14, Contend: Monthly Day of Prayer For Mission Mobilization (global). Coordinated by GMMI and held on the third Tuesday of each month. 

February 16, Diversity and Mission Mobilization (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

February 16-19, Haven Retreat (Palawan, Philippines). For kingdom-minded women serving overseas from various nations. Provided by Azmera.

February 17-18, Midwest Conference on Missionary Care (Roseville, MN, USA). An annual event.

February 17-18, The Journey Deepens retreat (Tempe, AZ, USA). Go deeper with Jesus and journey into missions; provided by MissionNext.

February 20-23, Thrive Retreat (Rome, Italy). For cross-cultural workers from the US and Canada who serve overseas. 

February 21 to April 26, Encountering the World of Islam (Littleton, CO, USA). Focused on embracing Muslims with the love of Christ. A second in-person class will start on March 7 in St. Louis, MO and go through May 22.

February 22-23, George Liele Missions Summit (St. Louis, MO, USA). Celebrating and reimagining a diverse global missions movement (focus on challenges related to sending African-Americans).

February 22-25, Tell: Orality Training (Joplin, MO, USA). Learn gospel storytelling with TRAIN International.

February 23 to March 31, Foundations of Media to Movements (online). Develop a social media outreach strategy; from Media Missions U.

February 24-25, Short-Term Mission Connexion (Seattle, WA, USA). A MissionWorks and MissionConnexion event focused on short-term missions.

February 24-27 Haven Retreat (Da Nang, Vietnam). For kingdom-minded women serving overseas from various nations. Provided by Azmera.

February 25, Mission Mentoring Morning (online). Connect and share strategies to advance your church’s missions commitment. Sponsored by Into All the World (a Canadian mission).

View the complete calendar, updated regularly. We welcome your submissions.

Praying for 5 Places in India | Turkey’s First Church

In this edition of News Briefs:

  1. India: Urgent Prayer Needed for Five Places
  2. North America: 200+ Imams Ask Taliban to End Ban on Education for Girls and Women
  3. Turkey: Country’s First Legally Built Church to Open in Istanbul
  4. North Korea: Reopening in 2023?
  5. North Africa: If You’re Going, I’m Coming, the Watchman Said

Read or share the email edition or scroll down for more

Photo by Tom Chen on Unsplash.

India: Urgent Prayer Needed for Five Places

Source: Global Christian Relief, January 6, 2023

You might expect India, as the world’s largest democracy, to set the global standard for the protection of human rights, including the freedom to worship. The country’s constitution grants every individual freedom of conscience, including the “right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion.”

But a recent report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) claims the opposite is true: “In 2022, religious freedom conditions in India remained poor.” The report states that all levels of the Indian government continued to promote and enforce policies and laws that target Christians and other religious minorities.

With nearly 1.4 billion people in 28 states that cover an expanse over one million square miles, India has places where Christians are the frequent targets of extremists.

Global Christian Relief is calling for urgent prayer for believers in these five specific hotbeds of persecution: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Punjab.

Read the full article for details, or check out the USCIRF report on India. That was released in November.

See also 15 Places Where Christians Risk Everything When They Convert from Islam and another article from Global Christian Relief which asks, Does the Bible say if persecution will ever end?

Never heard of this organization? They were formerly Open Doors USA. Learn more about the change in a joint statement from the two organizations.

Meanwhile, Open Doors just released its 2023 edition of the World Watch List, 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution and discrimination. You might have a use for the four-minute video featuring the top ten. North Korea leads the list this year, after losing that spot to Afghanistan last year. Afghanistan is now ranked number nine.

North America: 200+ Imams Ask Taliban to End Ban on Education for Girls and Women

Source: Sound Vision Foundation, via Religion News Service, January 12, 2023

More than 200 imams, Islamic scholars, and leaders across the United States and Canada are calling on Afghanistan’s Taliban to end its ban on girls’ and women’s education in the country.

Months after banning education for girls in high school, in December, the group announced an indefinite ban on girls’ and women’s attendance at universities.

The move has elicited outrage across the world, with Muslims, both scholars and laypersons, condemning the ban and calling on the Taliban to rescind it.

“Education is both a right and a duty for all Muslims, women and men,” said Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, an imam in Chicago and former Chair of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the largest interfaith organization in the world. “The Taliban cannot claim to be following the teachings of Islam while violating a core tenet and requirement of the faith.”

Read the full story and the full text of the petition.

Turkey: Country’s First Legally Built Church to Open in Istanbul

Source: The Christian Post, January 9, 2023

The construction of the Mor Efrem Syriac Ancient Orthodox Church, the first church built in the modern Republic of Turkey, is nearly complete and is expected to open within two months, the Istanbul Syriac Ancient Foundation has announced.

The church’s foundation was laid in February 2019 during a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul’s Yesilkoy district.

[Foundation president Sait] Susin told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency that the church cost about $4 million.

He further explained that while there are churches from the Turkish Republic era, Mor Efrem Syriac Ancient Orthodox Church is the first church to be built from scratch in modern Turkey. “They were built without official permission. It is the first time that a church has been officially built. This gives us great pride,” he said.

Anadolu Agency previously reported that when completed, the church would serve about 17,000 Syriac Orthodox believers living in Istanbul.

Read the full story for context and links. Note the population of Syriac believers in the city increased significantly due to war in Syria.

Also under construction: Berlin, Germany will be the first location to construct a significant worship center for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to worship together. The House of One will be built on a historically significant site, once a Christian church (Back to Jerusalem).