The October 2007 PNEUMA INFORMER
In this issue
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org
DowntimeNew Links and Content Worth Noticing
The Pneuma Foundation website experienced a hardware failure over the weekend of October 13-15. This issue was resolved when the component was replaced and the new component was reconfigured on Monday the 15th. If you sent a message that has not been responded to, please resend your message and the volunteer staff will endeavor to respond quickly. Special thanks to the long-time supporter who offered their hardware as a potential replacement. Your thoughtfulness was a very timely encouragement.
- The Pneuma Foundation is pleased to add content to our website as a resource to our members and friends around the world. We also add links to content that we are not able to republish ourselves, but may be of interest. Here are some examples of links added recently to "Links to Articles & Books" www.pneumafoundation.org/links_articles.jsp and from "Links to Study Resources" www.pneumafoundation.org/links_study.jsp
- The largest list of Pentecostal/charismatic Bible Schools available online anywhere. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/links_schools.jsp
Add your school: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/links.jsp#link
- Christian Leadership: "Rules of Engagement" Visitor Assimilation. Guest Connection. Closing the Back Door. Church leaders may not agree on what it's called, but everyone agrees that connecting new people to their church is both a critical priority and a source of frustration. Hear leading pastors discuss their thoughts on the keys to successfully engaging visitors and providing a meaningful connection both to your church and, ultimately, to the Lord (Outreach&EvangelismToday). http://www.christianitytoday.com/outreach/articles/rulesofengagement.html
- "Preaching Prosperity by Jim Mann. "Some preachers preach it, others avoid it, but there is a balance. You can preach on true prosperity while avoiding extremes" (Ministries Today, Nov/Dec 2000). http://ministrytodaymag.com/display_cms.php?id=727
Reports from Around the World
North Korea: Christian imprisonment worse than thought
In North Korea, the treatment of Christians is worse than previously thought. Spies have been sent into the country to to find out how believers are treated, and Open Doors USA president, Carl Moeller, says the number is mind boggling. "The number of political prisoners and people that includes Christians in prison camps may number between 500,000 and 1 million people out of the 25 million or so in North Korea. It's almost inconceivable." Camps this large appear as small cities on satellite surveillance. Despite great oppression against Christians, however, the church is growing, says Moeller. "We estimate the number of underground Christians to be at least 200,000, and it's likely there are as many as 400,000 to half a million. Christians there were deemed illegal by the government almost 60 years ago, yet the church continues to grow. That's one of the great paradoxes of persecution." Open Doors has started a three-year prayer campaign for North Korea. To participate, sign up at our Web site.
Source: Mission Network News, 3 October, 2007 Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/10421
Belarus: Christians remain firm in spite of government persecution
"If the law doesn't allow believers to pray and serve God, then we will sooner obey God than a person or law restricting our rights," Dmitri Podlobko, the pastor of a charismatic church in Belarus, has insisted to Forum 18 News Service. Pastor Podlobko was speaking after he was given an official warning to stop "illegal" religious activity by a district Public Prosecutor in the south-eastern regional centre of Gomel. The warning followed an attempt by local state officials to prevent Sunday worship by the 100-strong Living Word Church at private premises on 30 September.
State officials stated that the worship was illegal as it broke the restrictive Religion Law, under which "services, religious rites, rituals and ceremonies" taking place outside designated houses of worship must have advance permission from the state. Violations may be punished with a warning, a fine of up to 30 times the minimum wage, or 25 days' imprisonment. Gomel Region's senior religious affairs official, Mikhail Zhukevich, declined to answer Forum 18's questions.
Source: Forum 18 News Service Full story: http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1033
JESUS Film Project responds to increasing military need
Suicide and divorce rates are rising in the U.S. Military. To combat this, JESUS Film Project has sent a surge of the film to service members--deployed or not. Major General Retired Bob Dees with Military Ministry says the goal of this initiative is to help soldiers "hide the reality of Jesus in their hearts before they go. That's the ounce of prevention that's worth a pound of cure and then, certainly after they come back, if they're in a challenging situation, just the knowledge of the things they've seen via the video is very assuring and provides courage and hope during dark times." Chaplains are excited to get the film. The ministry gets positive feedback everyday and in one case, Dees says, "They showed it on the ship en route to the Persian gulf--en route to harm's way. There were sailors on board that heard the claims of Jesus Christ, and several in fact gave their lives to Christ as they were headed to harm's way." Sponsors are needed to make this happen.
Source: Mission Network News, 1 October, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/10412
Christian ministry examines the "war on terror"
The United States' War on Terror is now in its sixth year. The military effort remains controversial on the global front, and the alliances formed are showing the strain. International Aid's Bob Goodwin says the war on terror can be addressed on a non-military front. "Part of the reason I left the Pentagon is because I felt that, really, to help fight against extremist groups, we're going to have to connect the compassion of the United States with the people who need it most. Part of the reason that these extremist groups have supporters is because you have people with no jobs, no education, and poor health care. We can play a major role in creating better conditions for them." Goodwin says that through their partnerships with other like-minded Non-Government Organizations and faith-based groups, "We have had access to Muslim communities that we never would have had access to if not for health care intervention. We set up hospitals and clinics, and the goodwill that you feel from the community opens up doors to build those relationships so that, at some point, you can share the Gospel."
Source: Mission Network News, 19 October, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/10481
Azerbaijani pastor heads to prison as appeal rejected
News and Headlines
Baptists are "in shock" that an appeals court in Azerbaijan failed to overturn the two-year prison sentence of Pastor Zaur Balaev. He was arrested May 20 after police raided what they claimed was an "illegal" religious service. But, that's not ultimately what Balaev was charged with, says Slavic Gospel Association's Joel Griffith. "The police officers there in essence lied. They basically said that Pastor Balaev resisted arrest, and if you know anything about Zaur Balaev, he's a very frail man and not in the best of health. These allegations were made up out of thin air, and they charged him with resisting arrest." Balaev's attorney says he will appeal the decision to the country's Supreme Court. Whatever happens, Griffith says, "This kind of persecution of opposition tends to backfire in the long run. It only causes the Gospel to spread even more. It only causes Christians to be more unified. It makes us more devoted to prayer. It makes us more determined than ever to obey the Lord regardless of the cost." The 44-year-old pastor has a wife and children.
Source: Mission Network News, 8 October, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/10435
for Current News and Links
- Christian Bookstore Manager Martyred in Gaza City Rami Ayyad received death threats after store bombing in April (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/octoberweb-only/141-12.0.html
- Consensus wrong: "The Best Research Yet" by Tim Stafford. Two psychologists show that homosexuals should not be discouraged from seeking change (Christianity Today, October 2007). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/october/5.52.html
- Evangelical Theologian Disputes Creationism's Alleged 'Threat' to Human Rights Europe's Resolution on Creationism Indicative of Secularized Society, Says Prominent U.S. Theologian (ChristianPost.com). http://www.christianpost.com/article/20071010/29644.htm
- Special Report: False Accusation Made Against National Council of Churches. Christians often quite correctly complain about the mis-information meted out by the modern media. The liberal bias of much of the media is more often than not suspect when it issues inflammatory and offensive remarks apparently deliberately casting Christians in a bad light. However, accuracy and honesty should also characterize conservative Christian media. Yet the news blurb on "National Council of Churches praises Ahmadinejad" http://www.onenewsnow.com/2007/10/national_council_of_churches_p.php has its facts completely wrong. J. Daryl Byler who made these comments regarding Ahmadinejad is not a member of the NCC and has no relation with the NCC. He is actually the Mennonite Central Committee's Washington D. C. staff person. The trip in February was not an NCC delegation. It was organzied by the MCC (not NCC!) and the American Friends Service Committee. The Associate General Secretary of the Interfaith Relations Commission of the NCC, Dr Shanta Premawardhana, participated on behalf of the NCC. However, he did not write a letter to President Bush about it. Neither did he make "glowing statements" about Ahmadinejad. Again, the letter in question was from MCC, and they did call for dialogue. Generally speaking, the NCC advocates dialogue as a means of reaching understanding and resolving differences. Yet a simple check on their website reveals they have strongly denounced Ahmadinejad's harsh rhetoric, e.g., regarding his denial of the Holocaust. See "NCC Condemns Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Statement" at http://www.ncccusa.org/news/051216Ahmadinejad.html. Christian media ministries, conservative or liberal, should hold themselves to a higher standard of honesty than that which they rightfully decry in the secular realm.
Ahamadinejad rabidly refuses to recognize the right of Israel to exist and to live in safety and security within legally recognized borders. Furthermore, he denies the historical reality of the horrors of the Holocaust. He labels as "Zionists" and enemies any who disagree with him - especially Americans. These positions clearly portray him as a religious fanatic and political extremist who is definitely dangerous to the stability of the Middle East and of the world. Nevertheless, using Americans' concerns over him to make ungrounded claims against other Christians, whether conservative or liberal, whether individuals or institutions, is not an ethical or acceptable practice. If this false witness was unintentional, an apology is in order. If it was intentional, repentance is in order. The flurry of vicious comments posted after this false news blurb vividly underscores the biblical admonition of Prov 18:21 that "The tongue has the power of life and death" (NIV).
Correction posted. Please note that OneNewsNow.com has posted a correction to their news story and have re-titled it to "Correction: Mennonite official praises Ahmadinejad".
- Zimbabwe: Mugabe infiltrates churches, intimidates leaders Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has intensified a clampdown on his detractors, including church leaders (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/november/4.15.html
- Religious Liberty in USA: "Free from State Oversight" Texas Supreme Court says state has no business regulating Christian schools (ChristianityTodayOnline). | "No Regrets" Christian student sues over commencement speech censure (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/november/8.19.html
See other news to pray and praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below.
Report the News
We are looking for stories about what God is doing in the world, reports about the persecution of Christians, and information about significant trends and ministry opportunities. If you have a news item to report, please send an email to the PNEUMA INFORMER. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/contactus.jsp
NCC Leader Appreciates Pentecostals, Advises on Iran, Israel, and Interfaith Relations
Exclusive PNEUMA INFORMER interview with National Council of Churches leader.
NOTE: On October 19, 2007, Dr. Tony Richie conducted an exclusive phone interview on behalf of the Pneuma Informer with Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, Associate General Secretary of the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ (USA), on a variety of current events topics of pressing concern in the religious world. The following is a slightly condensed and edited version of that interview.
Dr. Tony Richie: Dr. Premawardhana, please tell Pneuma Informer readers something about yourself, especially your background and ministry.
Dr. Shanta Premawardhana:Yes, of course. I sometimes joke, "I am Baptist to the bone." I am pleased to say that I am a third generation Baptist pastor. I am also quite pleased that my son is now continuing the family tradition of Baptist ministry. I was born and raised in Sri Lanka. Because of the pluralist environment of that country, which is primarily Buddhist, early in my faith formation I was forced to ask the hard questions about the exlusivistic message I was receiving from my Baptist church. This changed the trajectory of my ministry. I spent twenty-six years as a pastor in Chicago. Even my pastoral ministry was often characterized by inter-religious concerns. So, four years ago I accepted a position with the National Council of Churches in New York City as the Associate General Secretary of the Interfaith Relations Commission.
TR: Would you also briefly describe your duties in the National Council of Churches as the Assoc. Gen. Sec. of the IRC?
Dr P: In our world today, the issue of inter-religious relations is not simply a fringe concern. Neither is it just about being nice to others. It is about being faithful to the gospel. A central biblical imperative and a sound Christian theology of religions compel us to confront the fact of other religious faiths all around us. One of the key ways the IRC attempts to address inter-religious relations is through inter-religious dialogue. For example, we are currently involved in an ongoing Jewish-Christian leaders' dialogue, where leaders of mainstream Jewish organizations and Christian denominations come to the table. We are also beginning a similar Muslim-Christian dialogue. An especially important point to remember is that inter-religious dialogue does not compromise in order to accommodate. In fact, all the conversation partners must be genuinely committed to their own faith tradition or the dialogue fails. Any impressions that inter-religious dialogue dilutes Christian doctrine for the sake of compatibility with religious others are simply false. That would not be true dialogue at all. Our actual experience is that one's faith is tested and refined, and made deeper and stronger, through the process of dialogue. I personally feel that I am a stronger Christian today because of opportunity to be involved in dialogue with those of other religions. Looking afresh at the Church's mission, after engaging in dialogue with others has helped me to think of the Church more creatively, and has deepened not lessened my commitment to its unique task.
In addition to inter-religious dialogues, the IRC also facilitates educational and exploratory efforts. We recently initiated a special topics forum at the American Academy of Religion on "Christian Theology's Engagement with Religious Pluralism." As you know, Tony, our panelists included several Christian traditions, including yourself, and Regent University professor and Pentecostal theologian Amos Yong as Pentecostal scholars. Presently, the IRC is also sponsoring an upcoming conference on missiology at Regent University in Virginia, for which Amos is our on-site partner. As Jamestown commemorates 400 years of Christian mission, we will study historic and contemporary missions among Native Americans and their implications for interfaith understanding.
TR: Shanta, let's get right down to it. Readers of PI often tend to be conservative Evangelical and Pentecostal-Charismatic Christians involved in hands on church leadership and ministry. Many probably have heard that the NCC is a politically and theologically liberal organization ideologically at odds with their most cherished conservative values. What would you say to our readers regarding the NCC?
Dr P: I am glad to have had a close and warm association with Pentecostals and Charismatics for many years. When I was a young evangelist conducting evangelistic rallies in Sri Lanka, local Pentecostals were some of my strongest supporters. We often worshipped and prayed together (sometimes including speaking in tongues). We even had a Gospel Band that sang together. As I've already said, I continue to partner with Pentecostals in ministry. Moreover, I still consider myself an evangelical Christian. Though definitions of evangelicalism differ internationally, for me it means that the cross of Christ and the power of his resurrection are central, and that the ministry of evangelism is still crucial.
The NCC is a community of thirty-five Christian communions from Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant traditions that are evangelical and Reformed, Historic African American, and peace churches. Some of these are more or less conservative. The NCC really can't be out on the liberal edge because these churches would call us to account. We are a fifty-seven-year-old organization. All our public statements have to conform to already-established policies - policies that have been informed and shaped by the churches over the years. For examples, our positions on the war in Iraq or the crisis in the Middle East, or even the global fight against poverty are in fact reflections of the churches' views. Beginning in the 1980s the media mistakenly presented the NCC as a left wing organization. This was part of an overall caricature of the entire ecumenical movement as essentially liberal in philosophy. It simply isn't true. Notably, "60 Minutes" later expressed regret regarding their segment on the NCC. As we often say, "a community of communions" means that the churches hold us accountable. While we do receive funds from private foundations, their agendas do not drive our programming. That simply means that such foundations too believe in the agenda that the churches have set out to follow.
TR: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, current president of Iran, is presently a very controversial figure on the world stage, both politically and religiously. I understand that your work has at times taken you to Iran and brought you into direct contact with him. What are your impressions?
Dr P: Many Americans are led by the media to assume that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has the same kind of power that President Bush has in the United States. Fact is that he does not have power over foreign policy, nuclear issues or the military. Of utmost importance to remember is that Iran is a theocracy, a government ruled by religious leaders regarded as representatives of God. The most powerful person in Iran is the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He is the religious leader for life. Accordingly, religious leaders are extremely important for international diplomatic relations with Iran. They have the moral authority, significant influence in policy, and a large public following. The situation is quite different in the USA where we divide official power and spiritual influence between politicians and religious leaders.
We are now beginning to understand the value of "Faith based diplomacy" in relations with Iran. Americans, including the government, don't fully understand or appreciate this approach. However, when traditional diplomatic approaches are failing, we need to do something different if we expect to get different results. I think religious leaders need to begin dialogue with Iranian religious leaders. Of course, this would be primarily a conversation between religious leaders in Iran and in the US.
Only in the above political and religious context can we understand and respond to Ahmadinejad. I have met him on two occasions, once when he was in New York and once when I was in Tehran. He is not crazy, but he bases his logic on premises foreign to us. I disagree with his premises, but in order to understand him, I must first listen to him. There's no question but that he's a very religious man. The American media and political leaders miss it when they simply portray him as crazy. Rather, an apocalyptic Islamic eschatology motivates him. In other words, his religious beliefs about the end times are behind much of his bizarre rhetoric. Ahmadinejad is also a populist, and is often full of bluster in his attempt to impress his public. His support has actually been waning because of his failing economic program and because some of his own people worry about his rashness. Yet when incidents like the recent debacle at Columbia University with Lee Bolinger's rude remarks occur, his constituency naturally feels offended and wounded. Iranians in turn become defensive. Consequently, these kinds of occurrences cause them to rally around their president. This actually increases his popularity.
TR: With your experience in international politics and inter-religious relations, Dr Premawardhana what options do you see as advisable or preferable for the USA and other nations in dealing with Mr. Ahmadinejad?
Dr P: In my opinion, a preemptive strike against Iran by the US to prevent nuclear development would be a mistake. It would only perpetuate an unending cycle of violence. Dialogue is much better. We are mistaken when we view dialogue with opponents as a concession. We cannot hope to even begin to help ease the crisis if we will not at least sit down to talk. While I am not naïve about the danger and the real risks involved, I look for any slight rays of light that might help us to build on dialogue, to use diplomacy rather than military. When in Tehran, I challenged Mr. Ahmadinejad about his inflammatory remarks regarding Israel. I especially challenged him on his denial of the Holocaust and his public statements about "wiping Israel off the map." He didn't avoid trying to answer my concerns. He pointed out that his comments were aimed at the "regime" in Israel, that it would go the way of the Soviet "regime." His concerns about the holocaust included its use to legitimize Israel's occupation of Palestinian areas. The situation in Israel and Palestine can only be resolved with a political solution, he said, not a military one. Although I didn't agree with many of his points, his willingness to discuss it looks to me like a slight ray of light upon which possibly to build better dialogical and diplomatic relations. Admittedly, we don't yet know what to believe concerning his nuclear development program. He alleges it is for energy not military purposes. In my opinion, the best way to find out more is to keep him at the table talking.
TR: Again, would you offer any specific suggestions regarding the volatile and often violent situation in the Middle East, that is, namely in Israel and Palestine?
Dr P: The NCC, as a reflection of the views of its member communions, advocates a two-state solution to the confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians. We oppose all terrorism, whether state sponsored military occupation or suicide bombings by individual Palestinians or organizations. We long for a time when a just peace is established in the Holy Land, and the human dignity and religious faith of all its peoples, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, are protected. We are particularly concerned about the diminishing numbers of Christians in the Holy Land. These historic Christian communities are being decimated, and historic churches are becoming monuments without any worshipping communities using them. What this means is that while we strongly support the right of Israel to exist as a nation within safe and secure borders legally recognized by the United Nations we equally strongly disagree with the use of force and violence by the State of Israel to subjugate the Palestinian people, a practice that is in violation of their human rights as set forth by international law and ascribed to by the US and other nations. I honestly think that by God's grace it is possible for Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in justice and peace. Of course, that would require all of us to make the peace process, a real priority.
TR: Anything you'd like to add to our discussion, Dr Premawardhana?
Dr P: Yes, thank you, just one more thing. The recent open letter (October 11, 2007) by 138 Muslim scholars and theologians to Christians calling for dialogue and cooperation is an example of both the promise and peril of inter-religious relations. On the one hand, we have the positive impact of so many highly regarded Muslim leaders and thinkers publicly reaching out to Christians in pursuit of peaceful relations. The call for exploring commonalities is exciting and inviting.
On the other hand, the language of both the letter itself and some of the hasty responses to it by Christians are not always thought out clearly. For example, when the letter attempts to use both the Koran and the Bible to make its points, it inadvertently crosses over into interpreting the Christian scriptures through an Islamic lens. That just won't work. Each religion should respect the right of the other to interpret itself. Again, when some Christians hastily responded, they at first uncritically adopted the language of the letter, that is, Islamic language, for instance, in referencing Jesus with "Peace be upon him." They then had to scramble to change this terminology because it covertly presents Jesus as roughly comparable to Mohammed - something they didn't mean to imply. For Christians no one is comparable to Christ. I intend my observations not to be critical but to call attention to the often hidden complexity involved in inter-religious encounter. Accordingly, the best inter-religious work usually has to be done carefully and gradually. Much patience and prayer are prerequisites. Yet the results are well worth it.
TR: Thank you, Dr Premawardhana. We appreciate you granting Pneuma Informer this exclusive interview regarding some of the most important inter-religious dynamics on the international scene today. I'm sure the readers and staff members of PI will be remembering you and your work in their prayers.
Excerpts from the PNEUMA REVIEW
The PNEUMA REVIEW is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders. For more information about the PNEUMA REVIEW, and to learn how to subscribe, please visit: Introducing the PNEUMA REVIEW. www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
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In order to complete this issue of the INFORMER while it is still October, no excerpts from the journal will be included.
- From members and friends:
- Calvary greetings to you in Jesus name! Please pray for me and my wife. We are both unemployed, with no job at hand and wife is facing a health problem.
We are both ministering as associate pastors. We are believing God to take us to overseas for the work of the ministries as he has said. Please do pray for us that God should perfect his will in our lives.
Your son in the Lord, Otasowie
Reference Number: 90030068
- Dear friends in Christ,
I greet you in Jesus name. My name is Godwin O. and I'm writing to ask you to join me in prayer for certain issues in my life at the moment. I am a Christian by his grace.
Please pray for the Lord’s financial provision for me, things seem to be getting out of hand financially with me at the moment. Also I have went to borrow money with interest please join me in prayer for God’s provision to settle the debt. I am married with children but right now I'm in the university studying law. No much time to work. Please pray that God will bring helpers to me and for God to give me the grace to complete my studies paying all my fees.
Please pray for the Lord protection over me and my family.
Thank you for the time to pray for me. God bless you.
In Christ, Godwin
Reference Number: 90029978
- I have a very good friend that has been told that she has breast cancer, she is a Christ believer and she believes in the power and healing that can come form the Father through the power of prayer--Pray for a God-sized healing for this lady--her name is Lynn.
Reference Number: 90030026
- Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Saviour.
We have been out on a rural mission trip to Central province of Zambia to evangelise. We had an outdoor crusade, and after the crusade we held our first Church Service with 150 new converts.
My prayer request is about the area to be reached. It is so big and requires many resources. Help us in prayer that we will be able to reach the whole province. This area is polluted with prostitution and drinking as being the main activities of the day.
The resources required are: Bibles in the local Lenje language, funds to enable us move from place to place, food stuffs and clothes for orphans and vulnerables.
God Bless you even as we are together in prayer.
Reference Number: 90029999
- Pastor Mubarik K. writes: "I believe that your prayers for me will bring blessing to our Christian community in Pakistan. Our Calvary Gospel Assembly is growing day by day in God's love. We are preaching the gospel in different rural areas of Pakistan. ... Please do remember us. We remember you, too."
- "We need only your prayers so that the children which are neglected and disabled may succeed in thier life. And pray for us so that with Lord Jesus Christ's help we will work better for thier better future and to uplift them.
We just need stationary, books, Bibles and bags for children so that they feel equal to other children. Once again thank you very much.
Reference Number: 90030317
- My friend Huong fell and broke her hip. She is in her 80's. Good bless you all.
Reference Number: 90030344
- Dear Brethren in the Lord,
First of all allow me to greet in the name of our almighty God, I hope everything is well through the guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You know Brethren, we works only to glorify God, and our Mission and Vission is to preach and teach and to reach the unreach and bring theme back to the family of God, hope you can help us, hope you will make us one of your partner and frriends here, thank you for the time you give in this letter, more power to you all. God Bless You.
PRAYER REQUESTS: 1. Second hand Motorcycle
2. Bible Old & New Testament 100 pcs. in our own Cebuano language.
Pastor Ferdinand J.
Reference Number: 90030188
- Recieve greetings from Kenya. My prayer request is to pray for the church [I pastor] to continue growing spiritually and remember to pray for the orphans which are under the care of the church. Hope and belief to here from you. May God bless you as you are fighting to serve God"s people. Amen.
- Pray for believers in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is still engaged in a nationwide manhunt for a "wanted" Pentecostal Christian, Makset Djabbarbergenov, police have told Forum 18 News Service. Asked why Djabbarbergenov is being hunted, a police officer stated that: "He gathers people in his home for religious activity. Let him believe on his own, but this is agitation and he shouldn't do it," the officer complained. "He doesn't have permission. He must have an official religious community to be able to do it." Asked why religious believers are not allowed to practice their faith freely he responded: "That's the law."
Source: Forum 18 News Service. Full article: http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1034
- In the August 2007 edition of the PNEUMA INFORMER, we prayed for the mother of Pneuma Foundation web volunteer, Todd H. He writes with this update:
Below are my specific prayer requests:
1. Increased physical strength so that mom is more mobile/independent.
2. My mom is quite upset with the possibility of not being able to walk again. So I pray that she is able to keep positive and stay motivated with her therapies and regain the strength to walk.
3. Patience and knowledge while my sister, dad and I are going through training.
4. My mom's goal is to be able to be home for Christmas (preferable by Dec 9 - her granddaughter's birthday) and I pray that she is able to do that.
5. Continued patience, strength, knowledge, as me and the rest of the family adjust to these life changing circumstances.
- Pray for Christians in Northern Nigeria. Persecution of Christians has intensified in Northern Nigeria since Sharia was enacted in the northern states. A recent Muslim pogrom in the town of Tudun Wada, Kano State, left 10 Christians dead, 61 injured and over 500 displaced, with nine churches razed. This bore all the signs of an orchestrated event: it was started by a totally unsubstantiated rumor (that a Christian had drawn a cartoon of Mohammed); it destroyed every church and Christian property in the town; and as Christians fled into the bush they were ambushed and killed by waiting Muslims. If there is no justice and no security then such violence will spread. This will be a test that could determine how northern Christians will fare under the new government of President Yar'Adua, a Muslim.
Source: World Evangelical Alliance RLP 449 | Northern Nigeria: Persecution Intensifies
- Pakistan: pray for the protection of believers. Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in north-western Pakistan have cranked up their terrorism since the government conquest of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad in July . Whilst their main target has been the Pakistan Army, they are also attacking everything they deem un-Islamic, from ancient carved Bhuddas to girls' schools and especially Christian-run schools. In September, a Catholic high school in the Swat Valley, North West Frontier Province, received a letter threatening it with suicide bombings if full Islamisation is not implemented. The demand was later published in a local newspaper. The local government has chosen to align with the Islamists against the Christians and order full Islamisation including the veiling of all girls in burqas. This has caused an exodus of students. Some 1000 Christians live amongst 1.5 million Muslims in Swat Valley. Pray for God to protect and deliver them.
Source: World Evangelical Alliance RLP 451 | UPDATE - October 2007 http://www.ea.org.au/default.aspx?id=034165f4-2ea3-4772-bdbb-2e81f5796e50
- Evangelist AG in the central-eastern Pakistani city of Gujranwala wrote that in early October, "two muslim fundamentists attacked me and hit me on my back and chest with a steel rod and hit me on my head with a pistol butt. The culprits warned me and threatened my life saying that if I did not close my evenglism program and CSP work that they will kill me." By mid October, Evangelist AG was able to report: "Greetings in the Name of My Lord God. In these days, I spend most of my time in my house waiting for assistance. My injuries have now healed up. Thanks be to the Lord God. I do need some financial help to fulfill my evangelistic programs and for my security. Please pray for me. Thanks, Evangelist AG."
- New equipment needed. The Pneuma Foundation webteam is in need of new computer hardware to upgrade the web server. An efficient and powerful server can be built for $600. Please join the volunteer staff as we pray about this need, first announced in September 2007.