March 2018

 

Laos: A church for the So

Ten years ago, very few, if any, So people called on Jesus as Lord. That was largely because very few of them had ever heard the name of Jesus or the gospel message. The So, located in Laos, are hard to reach, not just spiritually, but geographically as well.

Times have changed. A key catalyst in the formation of a So church was the story of Tongsin, a village madman who experienced a dramatic conversion and became active in sharing his faith with others. Through a combination of miracles, intentional discipleship and testing through persecution, the first So church was established in 2013. Tongsin was (and continues to be) one of its leaders.

At first, the community of So believers did not know a lot of the Bible, but they knew enough to obey. They also knew the power of prayer and they saw God work in miraculous ways. Many people came to them for prayer for their various ailments. God answered and the So saw many healings.

The Christians who first began working among the So continued to disciple the new church’s leaders wherever they could – in the jungle, in boats, guesthouses or in town. They were discipled in the basics of following Christ. These new believers understood that they needed to meet weekly for worship, prayer, and studying the Word and they were faithful to do so. In these early stages, the Christians working with the So practiced the “Model, Assist, Watch, Leave” method (MAWL). Eventually, the leaders of the church were established by the laying on of hands and a formal commissioning by the national church.

Today among the 180,000 So in Southeast Asia, there are seven churches serving more than 260 believers.

Source: OMF, Joel News

Prison, torture, and escape from N. Korea

“In October, 2016, I was finally ordained as a pastor, which still seems like a dream. As I was reading the pledge out loud, memories of my family and friends back in North Korea ran through my mind.

“I was born in North Hamgyong Province of North Korea. I started attending kindergarten when I was 5 years old, and they taught me how to idolize General Kim II­Sung, now it would be Kim Jung-Eun. Dying for the general was everyone’s dream and a huge honor. So it was for me too.

“From where I lived, we could see China across the river, and we all heard that people in China were rich and had plenty to eat. People in North Korea are starving to death. I remember a lady telling us that we were starving to death only because the general did not know about our poverty. If he knew, then we would not die of starvation. What I wanted most was to eat until my stomach couldn’t take any more food. Hence I decided to escape from North Korea. Hunger was the only reason driving me to escape.

“A friend of mine, who is very special to me, helped me cross the river to China. It was the same friend who helped me to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. In North Korea people are persecuted for believing in God and for spreading the Gospel. Hearing about people being killed for their faith was just an everyday story; not too special, and somewhat distant. However, one day this reality became personal. My friend’s whole family died as martyrs for their faith. My friend was willing to risk his life and told me about Jesus. Although I knew that just hearing the Gospel would put me in danger, I could not stop believing in Christ. That was truly the grace of God.

“After I made it to China, I was given a book written by Dr. Billy Kim, the chairman of FEBC-Korea, and I studied the Bible with it. I was able to find and attend an underground church and was baptized in a bathtub.

“The process of escaping North Korea wasn’t easy. I had to cross the river to get to China. Because of circumstances, I had to cross the river 10 times. During this journey, I was thrown into jail and was tortured for believing in Christ. The North Korean guards at the border forced me to deny Jesus. In prison, I witnessed people falling into despair and hopelessness. I witnessed this hopelessness on the walls of the cell I was trapped in. The cell walls were full of graffiti – mostly of it was swear words. But one note that I found under the linoleum made my heart race fast. It said, “Believe in Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” That reminded me of who God is. This note strengthened my faith in Him.

“In my most desperate times, I prayed and trusted the Lord. I can tell you here and now – Jesus Christ is a living God who answers prayers. He is worthy of us being faithful to him until death.”

– Rev. HAN, Tae-Seong


FEBC is in the midst of raising funds for a brand new station on an island off the coast of North Korea. If the station is launched, the entire country of North Korea will be able to hear the Gospel. To learn more about this project and how you can bring the Gospel to 25 million North Koreans, click on the button below. 

 

Bring the Gospel to North Korea

JESUS film project

The film team approached a highly-placed chief who oversaw more than 150 various tribes, nearly all militants. When the team members offered to show “JESUS” he put them in jail.
After two weeks, the guards asked to see the film because it was in their language. The team set up their tiny projector, containing a microSD memory card of “JESUS” and started the film. The chief heard what was happening and went to watch…in the prison!
But midway through the film showing, he ordered them to stop and then he left. He immediately returned with his family. Soon, all the prisoners, the guards, the chief and his family were watching “JESUS”—and hearing the Word of God—within the confines of the prison! When it was over, the chief asked the film team to show it again. At the end of the second “JESUS” showing, the chief stood and left the prison again. He returned and pulled out a tribal sword. Would he kill the team? But then he spoke.
This sword has been passed down from chief to chief for a thousand years.” He handed the sword to the film team and said: “I am no longer a tribal chief. I’m handing over my life, my ways and my sword to you. I’m going to follow Jesus.” Through his influence the team went on to show “JESUS” in all the villages. Within two weeks, several hundred house churches were planted … all in a militant area!  Praise the LORD for this great miracle.
Jenna Browder (Mar 12, 2018)

“They’re not sending missiles up and I believe that. I believe that. I really do I think they want to do something. I think they want to make peace. I think it’s time and I think we’ve shown great strength.” -President Donald Trump

(Washington, DC)-[CBN News] All eyes are on North Korea and the Unites States as the world waits for what could be the first-ever meeting of the nations’ leaders. (Image: President Trump and Kim Jong Un/via CBN News)

In talks brokered by South Korea, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un agreed to meet with President Donald Trump.

Trump quickly accepted the offer.

“They’re going to end or rather cease missile testing, cease nuclear testing and they’ve agreed to not object publicly to the upcoming South Korean-United States joint military exercises,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah told ABC News on Sunday.

Shah said there will be no more conditions imposed between now and May and that Trump’s tough sanctions pushed North Korea to these talks. (Screengrab: President Trump at a Pennsylvania rally/via CBN News)

“Our policy is pressure, is pressure from our partners and allies around the world, pressure to the United Nations, pressure through China. These have had an impact,” said Shah. “It’s impacted Kim Jong Un’s behavior. It’s impacted his conduct.”

It’s still unknown where the meeting will be held.

Some critics say Trump acted impulsively by quickly agreeing to the meeting before negotiators from both countries could set some clear goals.

Still, Trump appears optimistic.

“They’re not sending missilesup and I believe that. I believe that. I really do I think they want to do something,” said Trump Saturday at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. “I think they want to make peace. I think it’s time and I think we’ve shown great strength.”

May North Korea become a Christian nation and may there be freedom.

 

Ben Carson is Unapologetic about His Christian Faith, Says It ‘Helps Me Serve the Nation Better’

Jennifer Wishon (Mar 12, 2018)

“We have to have a foundation for who we are. If you’re going to have free exercise of it-it doesn’t mean you only get to talk about it in church because sitting in the pews of a church and keeping things contained there is not going to help feed the hungry, clothe the naked or take care of the imprisoned or do any of the things that we actually need to do so your faith has to be a living component of everything that you do.” -Ben Carson, HUD Secretary

(Washington, DC)-[CBN News] Leading a Washington bureaucracy and serving as a cabinet secretary isn’t how Ben Carson thought he’d spend his retirement, but the famed pediatric neurosurgeon tells CBN News he’s starting to see why God placed him in this unlikely position. (Screengrab via CBN News)

“As a pediatric neurosurgeon I spent a lot of time trying to give kids a second chance-operating for hours and hours, sometimes all night,” he tells CBN News.

“But then being faced with having to send them back into a horrible environment with mold and lead and vermin-all kind of stuff-it was a horrible feeling for me-now I have a chance to actually do something about that environment,” he continued.

One year into the job, he says God [has] revealed why He placed him there by taking Carson to the Bible.

“There’s a verse in the Bible, Proverbs 29:18, that says, ‘without a vision the people perish,’ and I look around and see a lot of people who just are not thriving,” Secretary Carson said.

Connecting Needs with Resources

That verse sparked the birth of EnVision Centers: community hubs connecting people’s needs with resources that can help.

They bring together public, private and faith-based groups already providing the services needed.
The centers are designed to lead people to self-sufficiency through education and wellness while offering support along the way.

Ending the Cycle of Dependency

Carson is working to end the cycle of generations who have known nothing but living on government assistance.

“We have to provide a mechanism whereby they can climb the ladder of opportunity,” he said.

As secretary, Carson has felt the belt tightening conservatives demand of the Trump administration.

The White House proposes cutting HUD’s budget by nearly nine billion dollars next year.

“Would I rather have more money? Yes,” he said with a laugh. “I could do more, no question about it.”

However, his concerns about the national debt and his desire to make the agency operate more efficiently-like a business-encourage him to rise to the challenge.

“Our new definition of success is not how many people we get in these programs, but how many people we get out of them in a self-sufficient, powerful way so that they become a driving force right here in our own country,” he said.

The conservative found himself in an embarrassing situation when he was forced to cancel an order for an expensive dining room suite for his office, once it was revealed it would cost taxpayers $31,000.

In a statement Carson said “no one was more surprised” than him.

He’s also caught grief for daring to study the Bible and exercise his Christian faith as a member of President Trump’s cabinet.

He attends the weekly cabinet Bible study led by Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries.

No Apologies for His Faith

An atheist group sued HUD to get information about the study and how Carson exercises his faith in public life.

Unapologetic, Carson responded on social media, writing, “It is my faith that helps me serve the nation even better.”

“We have to have a foundation for who we are,” he told CBN News. “If you’re going to have free exercise of it-it doesn’t mean you only get to talk about it in church because sitting in the pews of a church and keeping things contained there is not going to help feed the hungry, clothe the naked or take care of the imprisoned or do any of the things that we actually need to do so your faith has to be a living component of everything that you do,” he said.

He also wrote that Americans have to resist attacks on our spirituality at all costs.

“We can’t allow ourselves to be just marginalized,” he said.

“You know, those who impose the political correctness agenda, you know, they are winning. They’re having their way, they’re changing our society away from what it used to be and that frightens me,” he continued.

He says America needs to do a better job of developing its people and he understands the responsibility he’s been given.

“You know, housing is an important foundation for the development of an individual and having that security is so important.”

 

After four-hour ‘openhearted talk’ between North and South Korea, future negotiations ‘cautiously optimistic’
Mar 6, 2018
“The North side clearly affirmed its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should the safety of its regime be guaranteed and military threats against North Korea removed,” said Chung Eui-yong, national security director of South Korea, according to Fox News.
(Seoul, South Korea)-[Newsmax.com] North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has agreed to hold a landmark summit meeting with South Korea’s president next month and impose a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests if his country holds talks with the United States, a senior South Korean official said Tuesday.
Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s presidential national security director, said the two Koreas agreed to hold their third-ever summit at a tense border village in late April.

 

Indian policeman joins 50-strong Hindu mob’s attack on churches

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March 12, 2018 By Tejaswi Ravinder

 

A Hindu mob raided five churches in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu yesterday (11 March), attacking and abusing Christians as they worshipped. Several women were stripped and beaten.

The attackers, who according to witnesses were accompanied by a state-provided police officer, were part of Hindu Munnani, a Tamil Nadu-based organisation formed to defend Hinduism.

The Hindu Munnani District Secretary, Thangam Venkatesh, led the mob, which began its raids early in the morning.

“At about 9am, Venkatesh went to the prayer hall and abused the pastor, Ravi Jacob. He used extremely vulgar language, and then turned on his wife, Persis,” John J.Y. Arul, Chairman of Madurai District Pastors’ Fellowship, told World Watch Monitor.

“The extremists were aggressive and uncontrollable. In front of children and others in the church, they savagely beat up Jacob and Persis. They removed Persis’ saree and repeatedly kicked her in the face,” Arul said.

“I can’t repeat the words they used against Persis. We were shocked by their inhuman behaviour.

“When Persis was crying for help, the police guard with the Munnani leader asked her to ‘prostrate herself at the feet of Thangam Venkatesh and plead for his forgiveness’.

“Persis’ face was swollen and she had to be rushed to hospital.”

The mob also burnt Christian literature, including Bibles.

“The same Hindu Munnani men went to four other churches in the district,” Arul said.

At about 10am the mob went to the Bethesda Worship Centre, where they stripped and attacked three women. Two of the women, Maariyammal, 40, and Annal, 51, were sexually assaulted. A third, Bava Dhaarani, 23, was slapped and punched. Maariyammal tried to lodge a complaint with the police, but she was told police could “only take one complaint per church” and the church pastor had already made a complaint.

The mob told Bethseda’s pastor, Jerome Jagatheesan, “you will be brutally murdered in five days”.

“Their language was filthy,” Jagatheesan told World Watch Monitor. “They called me a woman, saying if I was a man I would not serve Christ. They bullied me, calling me pottai, pottai. It is an offensive word in the Tamil language, used against transgender people and homosexuals.”

Activists in the mob said to Jagatheesan: “If you are a man, why did you convert? Why did you change your god? You are a homosexual who gives his wife to adultery.”

Jagatheesan said: “Their words were brutish. Had I uttered a single word they would have attacked us the same way sister Persis was attacked. They showed no mercy.”

The activists also said to Jagatheesan: “If you want to serve Jesus Christ, go to Bethlehem or the Vatican. Worship him there. Why do you want to make India impure?”

At the church the mob shouted threats to a 19-year-old named James, whose father, Emmanuel, leads another church. The activists called out: “If we continue gathering for Sunday worship and prayers, it will be my dad’s turn next,” James said.

“[Hindu nationalists] are ruling in the centre, it is their government. We Christians are helpless,” he added.

Another pastor, Sagi Sugathia, said the mob “are at least 25 in number and very violent. Our church services had to be stopped because of Thangam Venkatesh and his men”.

Complaints to the police

Later in the day complaints were made at Koodal Pudur and Alanganallur police stations, but police refused to register the case. Koodal Pudur police issued a Community Service Register (CSR) receipt in which they did not reveal the identity of Thangam Venkatesh and the Hindu Munnani workers.

The CSR receipt, filed on the complaint made by Jerome Jagatheesan, said: “Twenty-five unknown miscreants or unidentified people have attacked the Christians.”

Some 200 pastors later demanded that a First Information Report (a victim or witness statement made to police to trigger further investigation) was filed against the Hindu Munnani activists.

Protest organiser arrested as Nigerian Christians call for end to herdsmen killings

Police in Nigeria’s north-eastern Adamawa State last week arrested the organiser of a protest march against the continued killings of predominantly Christian famers by mainly Muslim Fulani herdsmen. Mijah Stanley had called on “all pro-democracy and civil rights organisations, faith-based and community-based organisations, as well as other Nigerians” to rally […]

 

 

Prayer Breakfast

Trump at Prayer Breakfast says US ‘strengthened by the power of prayer’

Adelle M. Banks, Jerome Socolovsky

The 66th annual event, which drew more than 3,600 people to the Washington Hilton on Thursday (Feb. 8), was a time for prayer, speeches and networking between religious and political leaders from scores of countries. Guests at the breakfast of quiche, bagels and fruit salad included the presidents of Guatemala, Kosovo and Latvia.

Trump cited mentions of God in the Declaration of Independence, the words “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency and the etching of “Praise Be to God” atop the Washington Monument.

“Each year this event reminds us that faith is central to American life and to liberty,” he said. “Our rights are not given to us by man. Our rights come from our creator. No matter what, no earthly force can take those rights away.”

“We see the power of God’s love at work in our souls and the power of God’s will to answer all of our prayers,” Trump said. “When Americans are able to live by their convictions, to speak openly of their faith and to teach their children what is right, our families thrive, our communities flourish and our nation can achieve anything at all.”

At times, the prayer breakfast almost resembled a celebration of faith healing, with an appearance by a military veteran who bounced back from serious injury in a car bomb attack in Iraq, and the president giving a shoutout to a 9-year-old girl who has a disabling illness but whose doctor said she was able to walk again because “this little girl has God on her side.”

 

Courtesy: Religion News Service

 

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Prayer Alert: Girl—Kidnapped by Boko Haram—Still Held because She Will Not Recant Her Christian Faith; Church Calls on Nigeria’s President Buhari to Win Her Release

Nigeria Correspondent : Mar 26, 2018 : Morning Star News
“They said she was a Christian, that’s why they could not release her. They said she cannot be released until she becomes a Muslim. And my daughter said she would never be a Muslim.” -Leah’s father, Nathan Sharibu

(Jos, Nigeria)— [MorningStarNews.org] Islamic extremists in northeast Nigeria retained the only Christian among more than 100 kidnapped girls who were freed last week, prompting the head of her church denomination to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to obtain her release. (Photo: Leah Sharibu/courtesy: Sharibu family/Morning Star News)

Boko Haram refused to release Leah Nathan Sharibu, 15, because she would not renounce her faith and convert to Islam, according to released Muslim girls. The Rev. Jeremiah Gado, president of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), said in a press statement on Friday (March 23) that her parents are members of the ECWA congregation in Dapchi, Yobe state, in northeast Nigeria.

Algeria closes fourth church in four months

21 March

Another church has been closed down in northern Algeria, as pressure against C1hristians intensifies in the Maghreb country. The village church in Azagher, near the town of Akbou, was forced to stop all activities on 2 March. The church had been running for over six years. Two weeks earlier, on 18 […]

Church Told They Can’t Print Word ‘Jesus’ on Signs at Public Shopping Center
An Australian church was told that they could not use the word “Jesus” in their advertisements for their Easter church events.
CONTINUE READING →

Pakistan: Christian family attacked for helping build church wall

March 6, 2018 By Asif

Five members of a Christian family in northeast Pakistan were attacked and injured as they helped to build a boundary wall around their church on Sunday, 4 March.

The pastor of the Pakistan Gospel Assemblies church in Yousufwala village, on the outskirts of the Punjabi city of Sahiwal, told World Watch Monitor that around 20 armed men attacked the church members as they built the wall ahead of the Sunday morning service.

Islamic State threatens to wipe out Egypt’s Coptic Christians

February 20, 2017 by World Watch Monitor

The Islamic State has released a propaganda video, vowing to wipe out Egypt’s Coptic Christians and “liberate Cairo”.

PRAY that God may intervene.

Malaysian federal court refuses four people their right to affirm Christian identity

Malaysia’s highest court dismissed an appeal today (27 February) against four appellants who wanted to be formally recognised as Christians. The five judges of the Malaysian Federal Court ruled that in matters of conversion away from Islam, it was necessary for them to consult the Islamic Sharia courts.

https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2018/02/malaysian-federal-court-refuses-four-people-right-affirm-christian-identity/

Prayer Alert: Boko Haram strikes again; kidnaps 110 schoolgirls; ‘national disaster’

Stoyan Zaimov : Feb 26, 2018 : ChristianPost.com

Nigeria—Boko Haram, the Islamic terror group in Nigeria that has slaughtered tens of thousands of people, among them Christians, has kidnapped 110 schoolgirls in a recent raid, state officials admitted… Click here to read.

 

Bible burning in southern India shows depth of hostility toward Christians

Hindu extremists in southern India issued harsh threats to Christians distributing Bibles before snatching their car keys, taking Bibles out of their vehicle and setting the Scripture on fire, sources said.

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Algeria: two more churches closed, others threatened

March 1, 2018 By World Watch Monitor

Since December, 25 out of the 45 churches affiliated to the main Protestant Church body in Algeria have been visited by a committee of officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, national gendarmerie, and intelligence department. Local authorities in Algeria’s north-western city of Oran have closed two more churches amidst growing pressure on Christians in the Maghreb country.

Praise God

Unprecedented revival breaks out in Spain

February 21, 2018

By Garrett Lahood and Michael Ashcraft

There was a time, during the reign of Franco, when Spain was arguably more Catholic than Italy. Evangelicals were forbidden to evangelize, meet outside their homes or print religious materials. Nevertheless a small band of fervent faith grew mostly in the independent region of Barcelona.

But now, the country – technically and symbolically part of the so-called 10-40 window most resistant to the Gospel – is experiencing unprecedented revival. Two new churches open every three weeks, and there are now 4,045 houses of worship, according to a new survey.

More than 80 new places of worship opened in the last six months of 2017, according to the bi-annual report of the Observatory of Religious Pluralism of Spain’s Justice Ministry.

 

Christians and Jews brought together for first time in Israel’s Knesset Bible Study: amazing! Historic!
Chris Mitchell (Feb 23, 2018)
“It’s humbling. I pray that the Lord will grant many more Christians to have this experience and to be able to go back into the nations as ambassadors – shigurim – to be able to let them know that we are living in probably the most exciting times since the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” – Rabbi Yehuda Glick
(Israel) — [CBN News] A first-time Bible study in Israel is being called a fulfillment of Scripture. In an historic move, Christians joined Israeli Jews this week in the Knesset to study the Word of God. Many believe it’s a significant step toward unity.
Rabbi and Knesset member Yehuda Glick hosted the study. Some 200 Jews and Christians attended the event, cosponsored by the Knesset Caucus for the Encouragement of Bible Study, the Schindler Society and Israel365.

Glick said: “It’s exciting to see how the words of the prophets are really coming about,” “We have people from all over the world who come to study the Bible from Jerusalem, exactly as Isaiah said, ‘The Word of God from Jerusalem.'”

 

Read more

JESUS film project

The film team approached a highly-placed chief who oversaw more than 150 various tribes, nearly all militants. When the team members offered to show “JESUS” he put them in jail.

After two weeks, the guards asked to see the film because it was in their language. The team set up their tiny projector, containing a microSD memory card of “JESUS” and started the film. The chief heard what was happening and went to watch…in the prison!

But midway through the film showing, he ordered them to stop and then he left. He immediately returned with his family. Soon, all the prisoners, the guards, the chief and his family were watching “JESUS”—and hearing the Word of God—within the confines of the prison! When it was over, the chief asked the film team to show it again. At the end of the second “JESUS” showing, the chief stood and left the prison again. He returned and pulled out a tribal sword. Would he kill the team? But then he spoke.

This sword has been passed down from chief to chief for a thousand years.” He handed the sword to the film team and said: “I am no longer a tribal chief. I’m handing over my life, my ways and my sword to you. I’m going to follow Jesus.” Through his influence the team went on to show “JESUS” in all the villages. Within two weeks, several hundred house churches were planted … all in a militant area!

Offstage and On, Billy Graham’s Ministry Was a Team Effort

Adelle M. Banks | Religion News Service | Thursday, February 22, 2018

 

Evangelist Billy Graham, who died Wednesday (Feb. 21) at age 99, was the name and face behind the microphone at many a crusade stage. But the members of what became known as the “Billy Graham team” — on and off that stage — were an integral part of his ministry.

 

Some of the principal members of that team — who worked with the evangelist for decades — reflected over the years on their experiences with Graham in interviews with Religion News Service.

George Beverly Shea

 

Shea became Graham’s soloist in 1947 and sang at his 2005 New York crusade, rarely missing any in between those dates. Shea died in 2013 at the age of 104.

 

When Graham approached Shea about being a soloist for his evangelistic meetings, Shea clarified early on that his role was to sing, not to preach.

 

“I said to him: ‘You’ve asked me to come to sing before your message and I’ve heard about gospel singers, that they will do a verse or two and stop and … preach a little bit, talk for a few minutes. Would I have to do that?’” Shea recalled almost 60 years later in 2005, when he was 96.

 

Graham chuckled and said, “I hope not.”

 

Shea responded: “Well then, I’d like to come with you.”

 

The man known to friends and admirers as “Bev Shea” remembered how Graham’s evangelistic meetings often lasted more days than originally planned.

 

Of the “big tent” they gathered under at Washington and Hill streets in 1949 in Los Angeles, he said: “We were supposed to be there … three weeks and they kept extending.”

 

Then, in 1957 in New York, the crusade originally slated for six weeks lasted 16 instead.

 

“The local committee kept saying, ‘Madison Square Garden is still available and people are coming. Please stay on, Mr. Graham,”‘ Shea recalled.

 

As the team that long included Graham, Shea and music director Cliff Barrows reconnected each morning during their trips across the U.S. and abroad, Shea said fellowship, laughter and prayer were part of what kept them united. They would eat together, take walks together and plan music together.

 

“You’d come together for breakfast, for 10 o’clock prayer meeting in the morning,” he recalled. “You’d just shake hands. ‘What’s happened to you the last few hours?’ Then, you’d go to prayer. You’d just feel warmth of fellowship.”

 

Decades later, Shea seemed to marvel at how he once thought he would live his life in relative obscurity as an announcer on WMBI, a Chicago radio station.

 

“I’ve never thought of myself as any great singer,” said Shea, who ended up singing on dozens of RCA albums. “A very gracious gentleman back in 1943 came to shake hands. In 1947, he asked me to come along and help him with these meetings all over the world.”

 

Shea was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2011 Grammy Awards.

 

Cliff Barrows

 

Barrows served as director of music for Graham for more than six decades and hosted Graham’s “Hour of Decision” radio program for most of that time. Barrows died in 2016 at age 93.

 

When the Graham team drew up what was called the Modesto Manifesto, a series of principles the ministry has long lived by, Barrows was there.

 

“He said, ‘Let’s go back to our rooms and think about evangelists of the past and the pitfalls that have been stumbling blocks and brought disrepute to the cause of evangelism,’” Barrows recalled Graham saying back in 1948 when they were in the California city for a crusade.

 

They regathered and talked about integrity, accountability and “purity of life,” said Barrows, who one time served as president of the ministry’s World Wide Pictures.

 

“He covenanted then to never ride alone in a car with a woman who wasn’t his wife,” Barrows recalled of Graham.

 

Another tenet was humility, even in the face of pastors who weren’t supporters, such as some fundamentalist preachers.

 

“Billy always respected the pastor and he never spoke ill will of any pastors, even though some may have been harsh in their criticism against him as a young man,” Barrows said.

 

Art Bailey

 

Bailey served more than 20 years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, including as crusade director of the 2005 New York crusade and, prior to that, as director of counseling.

 

Though Bailey calls himself “one of the shorter-term guys” as a team member, he said a shared philosophy between Graham and his corps of ministry workers helped keep the organization’s staffers committed to it for decades.

 

“Billy was the type of person who recognized early on that he could not do everything,” Bailey said.

 

Back at the time of Graham’s 1957 New York crusade, the evangelist participated actively in counseling those who came forward when he invited them to dedicate or rededicate their lives to Christ.

 

“It was taking so much out of him, he finally determined that he had to turn that over to someone else,” said Bailey, now 73, in a 2005 interview.

 

The intentional delegation of that task and others paid off for Graham in the years after that.

 

“I think that that’s just a recognition that he had gifts that were integral to what we did and so did others,” Bailey said, “and he trusted them and that served us well these last 60 years.”

 

Beyond delegation, he said the organization benefited from a five-point plan that incorporated prayer, organization, training, follow-up and discipleship, which led people to “begin to build Christ in their life.” Details of that plan ranged from having volunteers pray “over every seat” before a crusade started to helping those who made a commitment to affiliate with a local congregation.

 

“There has to be a plan for follow-up because our credo has been over the years that we want to make disciples, not just decisions,” he said. “That’s been a hallmark of what Mr. Graham has done.”

10 Things Grandchildren Need to Hear

  • Rhonda Stoppe Speaker and Author

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things…” (2 Peter 1:12)

Last week all our children were home along with their spouses and our eight grandchildren. We live on a ranch in the mountains so coming home to visit Gramma and Papa is filled with lots of adventures and feeding the animals.

Getting older brings a clarity to what’s important. While we want our grandkids to remember their times on Papa’s farm, we want to leave them with a godly legacy. With this goal in mind, let’s look at 10 things every grandparent should tell their grandchildren.

 

1. I’m so glad God made you.

Our grandkids are growing up in a world that does not acknowledge God as their Creator, so it’s vital that parents and grandparents regularly remind them how God carefully designed them in their mother’s womb.

Along with knowing God made them, kids need to believe that people important to them are happy they are alive. Too many children struggle with feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. Some act out, some recluse, but few will say, “Hey, when you’re too busy to play with me, read to me, or tuck me in at night, I feel like I don’t matter.”

2. I will always listen to you.

If you want to have the privilege of speaking truth to your grandkids, you have to earn that honor by being a good listener. Too many grandparents spend little time in conversations with their grandchildren until they see them making mistakes or choosing a wrong path. If the only time you engage with your grandchild is to correct them or point out what you don’t like about their attitude or attire, don’t be surprised if they’re not interested in listening to your wisdom when they become adolescents or young adults.

3. You are precious.

Jesus Loves the Little Children is the song at the top of my 3-year-old granddaughter’s request list whenever she gets tucked into bed at night. I often bend over and kiss her forehead as I sing, “Red, brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight” to show her how precious she really is to Jesus and to me.

Kids long to believe they are precious. And while God puts in the heart of every person a longing to find their worth in being loved deeply by their Creator, He has also created us to love and be loved by others. The more valued your grandchild feels by you and your family, the more they will be empowered not to seek affirmation by their peers by succumbing to peer pressure.

 

4. God loves you.

It may seem logical to teach kids about Christianity by telling them what the Bible says they should and should not do. And it is right to train them to honor and obey God’s commands. But if we focus only on the list of dos and don’ts, we miss the wonderful opportunity to introduce our grandchildren to the depth of Jesus’ great love for them.

Kids learn best how they are loved when it is demonstrated to them through loving actions. Saying “I love you” without showing love can feel like empty words to a child––or anyone really. In the same way, God, who is the perfect loving Father, displayed the depth of His love by sending his only Son whose sacrifice would pay the price for our sin. Reminding your grandchild of how God lovingly offers new life in Christ to anyone who would turn from their sin to follow Jesus is a great way to help them realize how great the Father’s love is for them.

The Bible offers many reminders of God’s display of adoration for us. You would be wise to memorize some of these verses and regularly share them with your grandchild:

  1. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God.” (1 John 3:1)
  2. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
  3. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

5. God has a plan for your life.

From the time kids are little, people begin to ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Some children have a definite plan, like our oldest son who dreamt from a young age of being a fighter pilot in the Air Force. He grew up and did just that. But for most kids, their goals change daily––and that’s okay. But deep in their little minds, and this grows more intense as they reach adulthood, your grandchildren give a lot of thought to what they should do with their lives.

My husband often told our kids, and now our grandkids, “I don’t care what you grow up to do for a living as long as you are serving Christ.” When people would inquire, teaching them to respond by saying, “I’m gonna do whatever God wants me to do,” took a lot of pressure off of our kids. When our younger son made the decision to study music in college, he was met with a number of negative comments from men who challenged the wisdom of his decision. Saying things like, “You can’t support a family on a worship leader’s salary.”

These comments were meant in kindness but really threw off our son, Brandon. We would remind him how we trusted his decision because he was walking in a close walk with Christ and  seeking the Lord for His wisdom and discernment. In the end Brandon studied music and biblical studies in college. After graduation he toured with some well known

Christian bands and then after he married, he was hired to lead worship at a church in Southern California. God has blessed Brandon’s decision as a young man to follow the leading of the Spirit, rather than succumb to fear and follow the “more reasonable career path” others thought he should have taken.*

I share this story to remind you of the power of your words as a grandparent. You can pour courage into your grandkids to follow God’s plan for their lives if you remind them of how God saved them unto good works that He has ordained in advance (see Ephesians 2:8-10). Exposing your grandkids to Bible stories and good biographies of people who wholeheartedly followed Christ is a great way to inspire them to trust that God has a plan for their lives too.

6. Loving God is the secret to loving others.

Loving others selflessly does not come naturally. Just spending an afternoon watching your grandkids take each other’s toys confirms this truth. But there is a way to train your grandkids to love others in a way that is truly selfless.

When the religious leaders asked Jesus what was the priority of life His response was, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And then He said the second commandment was to love others as we love ourselves (see Mark 12:30-31). All too often we attempt to love others without first growing the depth of our love for God. When this happens loving others is usually a difficult task.

But when people first determine to spend the rest of their lives discovering God’s character as revealed in Scripture, their trust and love for Him will grow as they learn His ways. The more deeply you love God, the more freely His selfless love will spill out of your heart and onto those around you––even on those who are difficult to love. And don’t you want this to be the example of love your kids learn from you their grandparent?

Jesus said, “The student will become like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). Your grandchildren will learn to love by how they observe you loving others––not by how you tell them they should be treating people. You will bless your grandchildren if you teach them the secret to loving others deeply is not found in how well they measure up to your expectations, but in how well they love God. And let it begin with you.

7. Be quick to forgive.

Learning to quickly forgive others and to think well of them are valuable lessons to teach your grandchild. It is in our sinful nature to hold onto grudges and to assign wrong motives to people’s actions. But by God’s grace and the Spirit’s power, we can break free of these unpleasant sinful practices to become a person who is ready to forgive––and looks for the best in others.

Wouldn’t you agree that the best friendships are with those who you trust to believe the best about you? Helping your grandchild discover this valuable secret will equip them to become someone others will not only like to be around, but also trust to be a loyal friend.

8. Be content.

1 Timothy 6:6 says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” In a generation where your grandkids will be influenced to believe they’re entitled to more of whatever their little hearts desire, training them this valuable secret of contentment will do more to equip them for a happy life than all the gifts you might lavish upon them.

Trust me, I’m a grandparent who loves to pile gifts on my grandkids. But a wise grandparent will balance generosity with training them to be grateful for what they have. Ask God for His wisdom to help you guide them in godliness and contentment––beginning with your own example.

9. I’m praying for you.

When I was a young girl, I’d awaken each morning to the smell of coffee. As I dragged my sleepy self out of bed, I’d walk past the living room where I’d see my father on his knees praying for our family. (To this day the smell of coffee brings a warm reminder of those mornings.) I cannot tell you the security I felt knowing my daddy was daily interceding before God on our behalf. I learned from his example the power of prayer. So naturally when I had children, praying for them became a regular practice.

These days my children are grown, married, and have kids of their own. My father continues to pray for my kids, their spouses, and their children. My eldest daughter recently said, “Mom, Papa’s prayers are precious to me. I love knowing that he and Oma are daily praying for me and my family.” One of the most powerful legacies you can leave your grandkids is training them by example the importance of prayer.

10. Tell others about the hope of Jesus.

Do your grandkids hear you complaining about how the world’s going to hell in a handbasket? Or do they sense your burden for the lost who are blinded by the enemy? It’s easy to point out what’s wrong in the world today––and we should help our grandkids learn to discern right from wrong. But couple those comments with your deep sorrow over the lost. And how their only hope for salvation is if we tell them God loves them so much He sent His Son to save them from their sin.

In this way you’ll train them not to grow overwhelmed with anxiety, but rather to ask God to use them as a light shining like a star in a crooked and perverse generation (Daniel 12:3, Philippians 2:15). For in this, your grandchildren will find purpose in life and hope for the future. And I promise you won’t regret it!

*Get more insights for moms from Rhonda’s book: Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN with more than 30 years experience of helping women build a no regrets lives. Rhonda is the author of six books and appears on numerous radio programs including FamilyTalk, Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and hosts The No Regrets Hour. She speaks at women’s events, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs, and homeschool conventions. Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who pastors First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching, and to book Rhonda for your next event visit NoRegretsWoman.com.

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Members of the Lost Tribe of Menashe Return to Israel After 2,700 Years

“He will hold up a signal to the nations And assemble the banished of Yisrael, And gather the dispersed of Yehuda From the four corners of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12 (The Israel Bible™)

In nothing less than a miraculous appearance of the prophesized ingathering of the exiles, more than 100 Jews from the tribe of Menashe arrived in Israel on Tuesday night. 100 more B’nei Menashe will join them on Thursday morning, just in time to celebrate Passover, the holiday of freedom, in the land of Israel.

The new arrivals are joining 3,500 of their brethren who are already in Israel. They have an oral tradition that they are descended from the tribe of Menashe, one of the ten tribes which were taken as slaves when the Assyrians invaded the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 721 BCE. Their travels in exile took them through Persia, and Afghanistan, Hindu-Kush and Tibet. They arrived in Kaifeng in East Central China around 240 BCE after which their final stop was Manipur in Northeast India.

The new arrivals are joining 3,500 of their brethren who are already in Israel. They have an oral tradition that they are descended from the tribe of Menashe, one of the ten tribes which were taken as slaves when the Assyrians invaded the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 721 BCE. Their travels in exile took them through Persia, and Afghanistan, Hindu-Kush and Tibet. They arrived in Kaifeng in East Central China around 240 BCE after which their final stop was Manipur in Northeast India.

Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/104654/members-of-the-lost-tribe-of-menashe-return-to-israel-after-2700-years/#lOR0bS5oT3Trjasb.99