Missions Catalyst 01.21.09 – World News Briefs

In This Issue: Gaza, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and More

  • GAZA – An Insider Reports
  • ZIMBABWE – A Heart Cry
  • SRI LANKA – Still in Need of Prayer
  • PAKISTAN – Christian Lawyers Praise Government Steps
  • EVENTS – New on the Missions Catalyst Calendar

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!

World News Briefs, edited by Pat Noble, are published twice a month.

Dear Readers,

Today’s edition includes some first-person accounts from brothers and sisters living in hard places. We’ve cleaned up their English a bit, but tried to preserve their voices. As one wrote, “There is more behind the little news you receive from your channels.”

Blessings on you as you pray,
Pat Noble

GAZA – An Insider Reports

Source: Partners International, January 8, 2009 (Email)

One of Partners International’s ministry partners writes,

“Please pray for Gaza situation. God looks at this place and cries. Over 400 people are killed and there are over 3000 injuries. Almost everything is … dust. Whole families are killed [or] only one member of the family stays alive. Some don’t have a place to stay.

“Christian [families] face the same [as] Muslim ones in terms of tough situations. One Christian girl, 14 years old, had asthma and died from fear when she kept hearing the sound of the bombs. Another Christian family had their whole building leveled to the ground. We are now working continuously [to] get food to the needy families.

“On the Israeli side the people in the south have been afraid and some even running away from the missiles and trying to find refuge in hotels [or] with family or friends. The same is happening in the north after it was attacked by Lebanon. People are dying and being injured on the Israeli side as well. Both sides need Jesus in a great way.

“Pray that God would have mercy upon Gaza, the Christians there, [and] the Muslims. [Pray for] the war to stop, the right leadership on each side. [Ask God to] heal the wounded hearts on the Israeli and Palestinian sides, protect the Northern Israelis, open doors for ministry, use this whole situation to bring glory to his name, purify this land and set it free from the hand of the devil.

“I don’t know what else to tell since tears can’t be written.”

See also: The Open Doors report, Gazan Christians Connected in Spirit

ZIMBABWE – A Heart Cry

Source: Sudan Support Network January 15, 2009 (Email)

A Christian leader in Zimbabwe writes,

“This year was the most challenging that I ever came across in my life both spiritually and physically. The country of Zimbabwe has come to a point of standstill. Nothing is functioning in Zimbabwe except banks. Schools have been closed since April. Hospitals were closed since October only to mention a few. Police are not attending to the crime which make the country a difficult place to live in.

“The church has been attacked badly for telling the government the truth. Some pastors have been harassed and badly abused. For the first time I’ve witnessed the death of people who are dying of hunger. Sometimes I feel so bad because I cannot give them food to survive due to limited resources I have. Common sickness have attacked people to death. Because there is no medicine I have lost two of my church members this year.

“I still believe with the prayers which are done in Zimbabwe, God will come to our rescue. But we have already lost thousands of people across the country. In towns there are no clean water. We have about a ninth of the population dying of cholera, more every day and this has all been broadcast on our news.

“I tell you there is more behind the little news you receive from your channels. We really need your prayer support for our country.”

See also: The CBN report, How Bad Is Zimbabwe’s Cholera Outbreak?

SRI LANKA – Still in Need of Prayer

Source: Email to Pat Noble, January 12, 2009

A Christian working in Sri Lanka writes,

“We are still worried about the situation [in this country], with growing government propaganda and two attacks on media freedom last week – a midnight attack on the MTV studios and two days later [January 8] the assassination of the editor of the Sunday Leader, whose funeral we attended in solidarity.

“Perhaps the war will end soon, but other ‘wars’ are far from over … pleading the cause of the Tamil people, caring for the poor and marginalized, justice, freedom of speech, [the] continued increase in the cost of living … Not a great way to start the new year, but there it is!

“Though the government is putting forward an ‘[everything is] wonderful’ face, it’s still far from better and still a climate of fear. So your continued prayers are really appreciated.”

Editor’s note: Sri Lanka has suffered civil war since 1983. See also the WEA statement on the assassination of newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunge, who wrote his own obituary here.

PAKISTAN – Christian Lawyers Praise Government Steps

Source: ASSIST News, January 15, 2009

[A] group of Christian lawyers from different parts of Pakistan held a meeting in Islamabad to discuss the issues being faced by religious minorities of Pakistan [as well as] steps taken by the government for the betterment of religious minorities of Pakistan. They then visited the Federal Minister for Minorities, Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, at his office.

“We, Christian lawyers, appreciate President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani for taking concrete steps such as the allocation of a five percent job quota for minorities, the declaration of August 11 as Minority Day, minorities representation in Senate, increase in minorities reserved seats in provincial and national assemblies, declaration of official celebration of religious festivals of minorities, and review of all discriminatory laws facing minorities,” said a resolution which was passed unanimously by the lawyers.

The lawyers said they appreciated induction of Mr. Bhatti as Federal Minister for Minorities’ Affairs and put their full confidence in his leadership.

Full story with picture here.

See also: Reports of an Islamic leader speaking against Islamic apostasy laws.

EVENTS – New on the Missions Catalyst Calendar

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

January 29 – Practical Tips for Personal Support Raising in a Tight Economy (online). Webinar from The Mission Exchange, featuring Ellis Goldstein, Director of Ministry Partner Development for Campus Crusade for Christ International.

January 30 to February 1 – Missions Fest Vancouver (Vancouver, BC, Canada). Free admission. Speakers include Tony Campolo, Mark Buchanan, Joseph D’Souza, Marie Ens, and Mike Yankoski.

February 4 to 7 – International Conference on Computing and Missions (Netherlands). Informal gathering of Christian technologists.

February 5 – Mega Churches in Missions (online). Webinar from The Mission Exchange, featuring Robert Priest of Trinity International University

February 12 – The North American Missionary Movement: Facts and Trends (online). Webinar from The Mission Exchange, featuring Michael Jaffarian, researcher for Operation World and World Venture.

March 5 to 8 – Elijah Company’s Missionary Training Camp (Valentines, VA, USA).

November 13 to 15 – Missions Globales (Montreal, QC, Canada). Free admission. Bi-lingual global missions conference; part of the Mission Fest movement.

December 27 to 31 – Urbana09 (St. Louis, MO, USA). Intervarsity’s 22nd Student Missions Conference.

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