Missions Catalyst 04.04.12 – World News Briefs

In This Issue: Living and telling the story of his suffering

  • MALI: Military Coup, “It’s Personal”
  • NORTH KOREA: Global Day of Prayer
  • YEMEN: Youth on Slain American, “We Love You, Joel”
  • BURMA: Army Ransacks Church

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!


I was carefully watching for a story that had an Easter or Lenten theme to give you this week. In thinking about the suffering of Christ it dawned on me that the stories of our brothers and sisters in North Korea, Yemen, and Burma are “passion” stories. They “participate in the sufferings of Christ.” As you meditate on the suffering of Christ this passion week, please remember them.

Thanks to blogger Ann Smith for pointing me to the beautiful Lutheran hymn (YouTube) by Thomas Kelly (see sidebar).

See The Story of Jesus for free print and audio downloads you might be able to use. I plan to send a link to this one out on Sunday with some Easter e-cards!

Speaking of stories, you may remember our previous mention of a collection of Bible stories told Malian style. I’ve downloaded the 16 pictures and made them a slide show on my computer as a reminder to pray for Mali at this critical time.

Telling the story … He lives!

Pat Noble

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See him dying on the tree!
‘Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, ’tis he, ’tis he.
‘Tis the long-expected Prophet,
David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
By his Son God now has spoken:
‘Tis the true and faithful Word.

>> Read all four verses.

MALI: Military Coup, “It’s Personal”

Source: Baptist Press, March 27, 2012

I sat stunned for what felt like hours when I read the first email from Bamako, the capital of Mali, from one of our Southern Baptist friends. Something I had known might happen – but prayed wouldn’t – had indeed occurred. In that frozen moment of time the morning of March 22, hundreds of memories raced through my head: the people I had encountered, the places I had been, the smells, the sounds – hundreds of memories.

When I was in Mali in February, I told the believers in our village the day may come when we could not get to them. Either the economy, or more likely political unrest in their country, may prevent us from being able to get to their village. I challenged them to continue to assume responsibility for sharing the Word of God with their family, other villagers, and neighboring villages. Now I sat wondering, “Was that my last trip?”

>> Full story.

>> Also read Is There a Solution to Tuareg Insurgency? (Institute for Security Studies), and take a look at this interactive map of the Sahel region (Sydney Morning Herald).

NORTH KOREA: Global Day of Prayer

Source: Open Doors, March 2012

The “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Il promised his citizens that North Korea will be a strong and prosperous nation in 2012, right on time for the 100th anniversary of the [birth of] “Eternal President” Kim Il-Sung. Kim Jong-Il passed away before he could live up to his promises. His son, Kim Jong-Un, inherited a country where between two and three million people have died of hunger and that still holds hundreds of thousands prisoner in infamous labor camps, including scores of [known] Christians.

Because of this, Open Doors calls on Christians worldwide to participate in a global day of prayer and fasting on Kim Il-Sung’s birthday, April 15, 2012.

>>  Full story and resources.

>> Also watch reporter Euna Lee’s moving testimony about her imprisonment (Q), and another missionary and former prisoner Robert Park’s North Korea: The World’s Principle Violator of the Responsibility to Protect (Carnegie Council).

YEMEN: Youth on Slain American, “We Love You, Joel”

Source: CBN News, March 25, 2012

Protestors and young students in Yemen are demanding justice for Joel Shrum, the American English teacher executed by terrorists this week in the city of Taiz. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the killing, accusing Shrum of trying to convert Muslims.

Meanwhile, the people Shrum devoted his life to are demanding the murderers be caught and tried. Hundreds of young protesters marched in honor of their teacher this week, holding posters that read, “We Love You, Joel.”

The young Yemenis said Shrum was gunned down in his car for no good reason. He had worked in the Islamic nation for the past two years, teaching poor people English and vocational skills.

“Mr. Joel came all the way from the United States of America, having nothing but good intentions to help and teach the people of Taiz. And I believe he did nothing to be killed for,” one young student said in a video of the protest posted on YouTube.

>> Full story.

>> Also read Slain American Teacher Honored in Yemen (CBS News), and watch Shem, Sanaa and Jesus (PTAP). Pray for the local prophecy about Jesus to come true!

BURMA: Army Ransacks Church

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, March 26, 2012

On March 13 the Burma Army ransacked [a] Baptist church. According to Reverend Jangmaw Gam Maw, pastor of Pang Mu Church, soldiers from the 33rd battalion of the Burma Army’s 88th Infantry Division burned Bibles, destroyed church property, and stole a video player, loudspeakers, and villagers’ belongings. The soldiers claimed that the property belonged to a Kachin Independence Army outpost. They also took money from the church donation boxes.

The pastor and over 1,000 church members from Pang Mu village had abandoned the village for Mai Ja Yang IDP camp on November 19, 2011.

On March 10, Burma Army soldiers disrupted a Christian conference and threatened a Member of Parliament (MP) at gunpoint in western Burma’s Chin State, according to the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO).

More than 1,000 delegates from 80 local branches of the Mara (Chin) Evangelical Church at Sabawngte village, in a remote area of Matupi township, southern Chin State, had gathered for the conference, which had official permission. CHRO reports that several Burma Army soldiers disrupted the meeting and rebuked the village headman for not reporting the event to the army camp. When Pu Van Cin, an MP from the Ethnic National Development Party, saw the soldiers confronting the village headman and tried to intervene, he was threatened at gunpoint.

>> Full story.

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.





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