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 […]