A Chronicle of Renewal and Revival

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From fear to freedom

From fear to freedom…

For many years Rieka had been burdened. Worry about evil spirits and
night-terrors haunted her. She longed to be free of fear.

Rieka lives in a neighbourhood in South East Asia where there are no known followers of Jesus. How could she ever experience the hope and freedom that she craved?

Well, an unexpected conversation with a worker from Global Interaction’s Education Foundation led Rieka to a job teaching there where she saw staff read the Bible and pray together. Although deeply suspicious at first, she wanted to know more.

One night Jesus appeared to Rieka in a dream. A few nights later when a night-terror struck, she prayed in Jesus’ name. The terror left her. Rieka was overcome with joy. Over time her faith grew and on Christmas Eve, she asked be baptised as a follower of Jesus.

Rieka is now part of a small but growing community of believers in her part of the world. They want to share the gift of Jesus with their families and neighbours.

Many years ago, Jesus met a woman by a well. Life weighed her down. He offered her the ‘living water’ that her thirsty soul longed for. Today, there are millions of other men and women around the world who like Rieka are searching for hope, thirsty for ‘living water’.

Global Interaction workers are a catalyst for the Good News in communities across Asia, Africa and Outback Australia where there are few, if any, believers who are prepared to cross religious or cultural boundaries to share this gift of life.

You can be a vital member of this team. Your gift will mobilize Global Interaction workers to go to communities like Rieka’s.

Link to Global Interaction
Join us in sharing “living water” with those who are thirsty for life!

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Sacrificial duck became a witnessing tool

Indonesia: How a sacrificial duck became a witnessing tool

The leader of a Hindu temple in Indonesia needed a special duck to sacrifice to one of his gods, as a protection against disease. Then he met a Christian ministry leader.

‘Can you help me find such a duck?’ the Hindu priest asked. The Christian ministry leader seized the opportunity. He explained the role of animal sacrifices in ancient Israel and how they were no longer necessary because the blood of Jesus Christ is the perfect, final, and sufficient offering for the forgiveness of sins. He also cited a passage from the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, explaining that the life of God is the only sacrifice needed. The Hindu leader was stunned, returned many times to ask questions about Jesus, and now calls himself a believer.

Hindus represent only 1.7 percent of the population of Indonesia, while 87.2 percent are Muslim and less than 10 percent are Christian. Last year this indigenous Christian leader saw 54 people decide to follow Jesus, and 13 were baptized. The ministry conducts outreaches in Central Sulawesi, Bali, and other islands, and trains evangelists and pastors. As a result of their outreaches, they have seen teenage children changed and entire communities transformed.

Source: Christian Aid Mission
Joel News International, # 1038, May 22, 2017

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Life-changing Miracle

China: Adoptive family experiences life-changing miracle

China is facing an abandoned baby crisis as parents walk away from children born with physical disabilities. One Chinese couple, however, saved a child and called on God to do a miracle. 

For seven years Fu Chun Zhi and his wife Xiao Li tried to conceive a child. Finally, in 2011, they decided to adopt an abandoned baby and the Christian couple was thrilled when they found the perfect baby at a local orphanage. “As soon as we got the phone call, we were so happy. My wife and I couldn’t wait to see this baby,” Zhi said.

In the midst of their happiness, they received disappointing news. The baby was born with a small tumor in his mouth and was not able to eat and drink. “We didn’t know what to do. We wanted to keep the baby, but meanwhile, the cost for the surgery was so expensive,” Zhi said.

Church leaders felt compassion towards the couple and invited all Christians to pray for a miracle. Although nothing was changing, they continued to pray. “God’s favor will show up when we are down to nothing,” says pastor Kate Gu. “Just because they didn’t see a way, it certainly didn’t mean God was not working behind the scenes. I told the couple to remain faithful and be patient.”

One day, Zhi and Xiao Li saw the baby just spit something out of his mouth. They took a closer look and discovered that it was the tumor that had been lodged in the child’s mouth. It brought the couple to tears. “Only Jesus could do such an unthinkable miracle,” Zhi said. “When all Christians come and pray together, we can move mountains!”

Not only did God give an abandoned child a new home, but he also performed a life-changing miracle for an entire Chinese family.  

Source: Mengfei Li
Joel News International, # 1038, May 22, 2017

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Free eBooks now and this weekend: 7 books – each of the Chronicles of Narnia stories


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GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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South Africa: almost 1,000,000 people pray together – April 2017

South Africa: almost one million people pray together

Sth Africa
On 22 April a mass prayer session under the theme ‘It’s Time’ outside Bloemfontein, South Africa, drew nearly one million people.

Farmer-turned-preacher Angus Buchan and his team organised the event and Christians from all walks of life and different denominations attended the prayer meeting. Serious matters such as the current political climate and crime were addressed in united prayer.

“I believe what’s taking place today is going to spread from South Africa right over the border into Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia right up to the Congo, right up to the top,” said Buchan referring to the prayer meeting. For Buchan, unifying South Africans has to start at home. “There’s some people here today, you want to save the whole world but your own home is a mess,” he said. “You are not talking to your wife, your children have left home. I have a very stern word for you from God: Put your own house in order before you try and help somebody else.”

Sth Africa 2

Watch a video impression of the prayer event

Source: It’s Time
Joel News International, # 1035, April 29, 2017

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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The ‘Unqualified’ Farmer

West Africa: The ‘unqualified’ farmer

“Church planting is the result of simply sowing Jesus,” says Canadian missionary Andy Rayner who blogs at The Invisible Humanitarian.

Rayner, a former ordained theologian and local church minister who “jumped off the steeple to live among the people” as he calls it, heads up Man Of Peace Development, a non-profit humanitarian organization. He lives two lives: in the drought season he does hands-on development field work in Mali, West Africa, while in the wet part of the year he captains a commercial lobster fishing vessel from Prince Edward Island at Canada’s East Coast.

‘My guiding philosophy is: Simple, economical, easily repeated.’

“My guiding philosophy for everything is: ‘Simple, economical, easily repeated’,” Rayner says. “In West Africa I learned the hard way that most approaches to community development are too complicated and expensive to be repeated by locals. I’m trained in theology, but God made it clear to me that our western style of leadership is not needed to advance the church. I have observed that the mass people movements taking place today have many common characteristics. The most interesting, and humbling, is that every one of them spread apart from theologically trained people or association with theological institutions.”  

In Mongola the Gospel was spread by young school girls. On weekends and school vacations one girl’s family would invite another friend home. And the young girls would tell their other friends the bible stories while they played. Not a planned thing. It just happened, as missionary Brian Hogan vividly described in ‘There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub’. The adults overheard them tell the stories in their yurts and listened. By this the Gospel spread in a region formerly impenetrable to foreign mission activity.

‘No gift qualifies or disqualifies anyone from sowing Jesus.’

“There is no talk about leadership or the five-fold ministry in these circles,” Rayner comments. “Old women of no apparent leadership attributes have planted more churches than I have. I’ve come to believe that no gift qualifies or disqualifies anyone from loving others, sharing Jesus, or planting a church. Church planting is the result of sowing Jesus.”

He illustrates his point with an anecdote from West Africa. “We turned over a new work of 18 communities of believers to a mission agency, and moved on to start another new work. The agency sent five mission families in… and the expansion of communities stopped instantly. Four years later the westerners asked me to come back and do something, anything, to get mission and church planting to begin again. I spent 30 days in the bush with the local men and listened and listened some more. After that I did the same with the westerners, and learned that they were very critical of one farmer.”

‘That farmer you criticized brought the Gospel to nine villages.’

“So I asked the five families how many church communities they had started here. ‘None’, they said. ‘How many communities have you started anywhere in your life?’ I asked. ‘None’, they said. I replied: ‘Well, that farmer you are criticizing has brought the Gospel to nine villages. With no pay, no salary, no expense money, no bible college training, and he did it without your fancy training programs designed to teach him how it’s done. This farmer has more Gospel living and church forming experience in his pinky fingernail, right now, than all five western families will ever have in a lifetime, combined. So why don’t we get out of the peoples way?’”

“The uneducated rural farmers were defaulting to the educated important people, as they always do in those cultures,” Rainer explains. “The farmers were submitting to all of the westerners meetings, classes, and training programs. But for four years the advancement of the Gospel slowed to a trickle, not one new community was started.”

The five family mission team agreed to step back. Rayner and his team went back to the bush, and all of the villages met. Within thirty days a new community sprung up, and by three months there were four new Jesus communities.

Source: Andy Rayner

Joel News International, # 1034 | April 18, 2017

Christians reach out to Muslims

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UK: Christians reach out to Muslims in 40 cities

‘A Turkish imam’s daughter has inspired many by personally leading over 100 Muslims to Christ.’

We are currently presented with one of the greatest opportunities of our time: to unveil Jesus to Muslim people in the Western world and bring them to Christ.

The number of people identifying themselves as Muslim in the UK has grown by almost 70% in ten years, from 1.6 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2011. It is estimated to grow to 5.5 million by 2020. Across Europe, there are already 47 million Muslims. By the year 2030, there will be 58 million Muslims in Europe, 8% of the population. Islam has found a home in Europe.

To seize this opportunity a new network called ‘Mahabba’ (‘love’ in Arabic) is developing in the UK, networking both agencies and churches, and proving to be a catalyst to unity and prayer. Its emphasis is on motivating and mobilizing ‘ordinary’ Christians rather than just ‘specialists’ to reach their Muslim neighbours and help them grow in Christ.

‘A Turkish imam’s daughter has inspired many by personally leading over 100 Muslims to Christ.’

Director Gordon Hickson on the Mahabba Network reports the first fruits. “In Oxford, it took two years to break through in prayer, but then about 40 Muslim people came to Christ over the next five years, especially among the Iranian fellowship. They were joined by an imam sheikh from Uganda who was an expert in Sharia law: he had a radical conversion experience, and now spends hours witnessing to Arabic speaking Muslims studying in Oxford. A Turkish imam’s daughter came to Christ outside of Oxford and has inspired many by personally leading over 100 Muslims to Christ.”

Most of the networks are witnessing Muslims coming to Christ. In Manchester, in just a few days, a young man from Pakistan walked into the cathedral asking to convert; a Saudi woman walked into a church and asked to become a Christian; and a Somali man shared with his Christian friend that he wanted to become a Christian.

‘The goal is to have 75 Mahabba networks across the UK in 2019.’

Mahabba networks have now been launched in over 40 cities across the UK, as well as spreading across to France, Belgium, Norway, Austria, and even South Africa. They have been asked to help establish networks in India and Korea. One couple has moved across to Chicago (home to over 400,000 Muslims) and another to help set up in Australia. The goal over the next two years is to have 75 Mahabba networks across the UK, with strong relational networks with others across Europe and other Western nations.

Source: Gordon Hickson, Mahabba Network

Joel News International, # 1032 | April 05, 2017

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