Church & Ministry

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Posted 12/14/16 at 6:00 PM | Mark Ellis

Muslim woman bitten by deadly snake, but Jesus brought healing after a powerful dream

By Mark Ellis

Hajira* was raised in a prominent, loving, Muslim family in the Middle East. Her father is one of the top religious authorities of the state, an enforcer of Sharia law.

“We all were strict in Sharia law and the religious practices,” Hajira told Bibles4Mideast.

Her brother commanded a militant group “protecting” Islam and taking immediate action against its enemies. He is also trained as a sharp shooter.

One evening her family, along with their cooks, drivers and servants, went out to the desert to enjoy an evening bonfire under the moonlight. It was an annual tradition, and this year, they set up camp near some rocky hills.

After dinner she went for a short walk through the desert with her brothers and sisters. Her father and mothers remained near the bonfire with the servants.

“While we were walking, I knew something bite my leg,” she recounts. “We saw a big snake moving fast after biting me.”

It seems the snake was partially covered with sand, and in the darkness she inadvertently stepped on it. “My brother took his revolver and shot the snake at once and killed it,” she told Bibles4Mideast. FULL POST

Posted 12/14/16 at 12:20 PM | David Fournier

Just Because You’re in a Christian Community Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Lock Your Doors

If you’re a Christian, you likely seek out Christian communities. Primarily Christian communities tend to be closer knit. You’ll see your friends and neighbors at church and send your kids to a Christian school. These communities also tend to be safer places to live. However, you shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security. There’s a surprising amount of crime that happens in Christian communities, and we’re often the innocent victims who could have done more to prevent it.

7 Percent of Americans Don’t Lock Their Doors

In 2014, the Huffington Post took a randomized poll of Americans all over the United States. They found that seven percent of Americans leave their doors unlocked when they exit their homes for the day. That might seem like a small percentage, but out of a population of 319 million people, that’s more than 22 million people who leave their doors unlocked across the country.

The study also showed that 23 percent of Americans said that they rarely lock their doors when they’re home, leaving it wide open for perpetrators. This is a little more understandable since the vast majority of home invasions occur when the residents aren’t home, but it’s still surprising that such a large number don’t fear their surroundings. FULL POST

Posted 12/5/16 at 1:37 PM | Mark Ellis

Nigeria: British baroness barely escapes deadly attack

Baroness Caroline Cox

By Mark Ellis

Baroness Caroline Cox, a member of the House of Lords and important voice in the British Parliament for religious freedom throughout the world, narrowly avoided an attack by armed Islamist Fulani herdsmen on November 14th.

Baroness Cox and Bishop Stewart Ruch III were visiting Jos Plateau State where Islamist cattle herdsmen have become as great a threat as the infamous terror group Boko Haram.

Only thirty minutes after Cox and her team left the village of Lo Birin, armed men came into the valley, the only way out of the village, and started shooting at vehicles. Many of those wounded or killed were young people driving back from a wedding.

Rev. Gyang Boyi witnessed the attack and believes the attackers were targeting Baroness Cox and her group.

“The Fulani Herdsmen killed the traditional ruler [in July, in a similar ambush]. We thank God you escaped this,” Rev. Boyi told Cox, according to Global Christian News.

Cox’s team of eight included David Thomas, Corinna Loges, Sam Maison and Helen Gilbert, with Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART). FULL POST

Posted 11/28/16 at 12:57 PM | Marvin Thompson

Post-Election the Church is in Crisis

The 2016 presidential election is over and all true Christians must pray sincerely for President-Elect Donald Trump. That is required by scripture and anything else will be willful disobedience to God. Christians do not have the luxury of pouting and expect to be excused for disobedience because of what they perceive to be a natural reaction to disappointment, for that would not be righteous indignation, but sin - pure and simple. Be upset, be angry, and be disappointed, but do not sin.

Being a Christian means being theologically and morally consistent regardless of circumstances. We serve an unchanging God. He was the same in the past as he is today, and as he will be forever. The famous Hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness says “There is no shadow of turning with thee.” Throughout the ages this notion of a steadfast and sure God has been an anchor for the faith of believers everywhere, in every situation, and at every stage of life. That is, until now.

For all that has happened within the Christian community during the presidential election campaign season, the most important revelation is the theological and moral crises facing the Church. The Church is theologically confused and morally compromised as never before. We have seen the long standing bulwark of biblical morality toppled for political expedience as moral relativism and religious hypocrisy invade the confines of orthodoxy, aided and abetted by evangelicals. Such ecclesiastical treachery must not be allowed to linger or the community will be corrupted for a generation. FULL POST

Posted 11/22/16 at 2:42 PM | Mark Ellis

Muslim immigrant to UK led 600 Iranians to Jesus

Pioneers
Shapoor

By Mark Ellis

He was uncertain and purposeless when he immigrated to the UK from Iran as a Muslim. But eight years later, God is using Shapoor to build His kingdom among the refugee population.

“When I was a Muslim I didn’t believe God could talk to ordinary people and have any relationship or use ordinary people,” Shapoor told a ministry leader with Pioneers.

When Shapoor began to read the Scripture for the first time, it changed his life. “When I came to Christ and read the bible I found out God has a heart for sinners and everybody,” he says.

After Shapoor first believed, God filled him with a contagious zeal to spread the Gospel. “When I saw this unconditional love and the grace of God in my life I couldn’t keep this Good News to myself,” he told Pioneers. “Because we came from darkness to light we don’t keep this to ourselves. As you receive freely, give freely to other people.” FULL POST

Posted 11/21/16 at 4:08 PM | Mark Ellis

Myanmar/Burma: Thousands receive Christ at Franklin Graham festival

Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn.
Franklin Graham speaks at Festival in Myanmar

By Mark Ellis

Over three days, 170,000 people crammed into the Yangon Love Joy Peace Festival with Franklin Graham and more than 7,600 made decisions for Christ.

Christians comprise a small minority of the heavily Buddhist population, and Open Doors ranks the persecution level as “severe,” with radical Buddhist monks intensifying their campaigns against religious minorities and laws introduced for the “protection of race and religion” in 2015 that create obstacles for conversions and religiously mixed marriages.

Yet thousands converged on the Myanmar Convention Center grounds for three meetings held November 18-20, with crowds building each night. They filled plastic chairs set up in the gigantic, outdoor square in front of the convention center.

Thousands more viewed the proceedings on huge screens in overflow areas. People filled the steps and outdoor balconies of the convention center itself, and even more stood or sat in grassy areas outside the property. FULL POST

Posted 11/7/16 at 6:30 PM | Mark Ellis

Imam hated Christians until Jesus raised him from the dead

Imam leads Friday prayers at Faisal mosque

By Mark Ellis

He not only hated Christians, he directed his followers at the mosque to attack them. But after he died and was being prepared for burial, he stunned his family by returning to life with a new message of salvation.

Munaf Ali*, 45, was an influential imam as well as scholar and preacher of Islam in a Middle Eastern country.

One day a team from Bibles4Mideast approached the imam and they entered into a vigorous discussion about the authority of Jesus and the Bible. Munaf denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and the credibility of the Bible.

Pastor Paul offered him a copy of the New Testament but he refused to receive it. Visibly upset, the imam cursed the pastor and his team.

That night the imam incited a mob to attack the place where Pastor Paul and his team had been staying with shouts of “Allahu Akbar.”

But the Holy Spirit directed them to leave that location a few hours earlier, narrowly escaping the attackers before they arrived, according to Bibles4Mideast. FULL POST

Posted 11/7/16 at 3:13 PM | Mark Ellis

God bringing momentous growth to Iranian church

Baptism service in mid-September

By Mark Ellis

More than 200 Iranians and Afghans were baptized in mid-September at a jubilant, pool-side service near Iran. People from eight different Persian-speaking churches gathered together to share the story of how Jesus transformed their lives, according to a report by Elam Ministries.

The theme for the day was “Jesus changes lives,” and this powerful truth was underscored by many testimonies. One man had been suicidal, but Jesus intervened and brought new hope. One was searching for the truth and found it after he read Romans chapter three.

Another shared: “I never thought I would find freedom from my past, but Jesus has set me free.”

Growth in the Iranian church has been spectacular, with several statisticians noting it may be the fastest growing church in the world. “Twenty years ago, everyone thought there were 2000-5000 believers in Iran,” says Mark Howard, with Elam. FULL POST

Posted 10/27/16 at 12:40 PM | Marvin Thompson

Trump Evangelicals Discard Biblical and Moral Values

There is a silver lining for evangelicalism based upon a report in Christianity Today: recent polling suggests that most evangelicals will not vote for Donald Trump; just most white evangelicals. However, that is merely irenic comfort, and overlooks a more weighty concern. That will be discussed momentarily. But first, the rank hypocrisy of Trump supporting evangelicals is breathtaking, especially of those who pontificate in opinion pieces and speeches about values while excoriating the character, motives and faith of the “liberals.”

Values no longer matter to Trump evangelicals

When these Trump evangelicals started justifying their support of him, they proffered philosophical reasons mainly clothed in a false choices and false dilemmas, and dubious scriptures savaged to imply a principled biblical choice. But the outcry from biblically sincere evangelicals forced them to abandon the farce that their decision to support him was rooted in any real value, principle or biblical morality.

Mark Creech in an opinion piece on Christian Post, “Why Evangelicals Should Vote for Donald Trump,” demagogically implied that voting one’s conscience is not voting in the interest of the country, if that conscience vote is not for Trump. He says, “…with the deepest respect, you may be seeking to serve your conscience, but you are not necessarily serving your country.” Wayne Grudem says much the same thing in renewing his support for the most unqualified nominee to run for president. Talk about a false choice! FULL POST

Posted 10/26/16 at 2:21 PM | Mark Ellis

Seven Catholic girls hid under beds as ISIS invaded house, say Virgin Mary blinded attackers’ eyes

Celebration in Erbil marks recent liberation of Qaraqosh, once the "Christian capital" of Iraq

By Mark Ellis

Seven young Catholic students in Kirkuk hid under beds for eight traumatic hours while ISIS fighters used their bedroom as a hideout. They say the Virgin Mary guarded their safety during Islamic State’s assault on the city.

“The Virgin Mary was with them,” Father Roni Momika told the Catholic News Agency (CNA). Father Momika ministers in the refugee camps near Erbil.

Remarkably, the priest spoke with two of the young women by cell phone while they hid under the beds, providing a live account as the terrifying ordeal unfolded.

The seven university students found themselves in the line of fire after Islamic State attacked the city October 21st.

“ISIS entered the house of our students, the girls,” the priest told CNA. FULL POST

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