Weekly Global News
Updated Every Week
Last update: April 10, 2014
Ghana: Families Of Spirit Children Encounter The Holy Spirit (Mission Network News) — In some villages of the east region of Northern Ghana, children born with an ailment or illness have little hope–until now. Dave and Ellen Bartlett are a couple with The Mission Society serving in Ghana who has encountered the superstitious practice involving “spirit children.” These are children are often born with a physical or mental deficiency. The local fetish priest will pronounce them to be a spirit child, proclaiming the child to be an evil spirit trying to enter the household. As the missionary couple encountered this reality for the first time, they had to remember, as Ellen says, “God is good, the devil is evil, and the people are deceived. They are not evil; they are deceived by the evil one, which is the devil, and God is good.” They are trying to teach these villagers that their children are not “spirit children” and that they are sick and still worthy of human kindness. There is no one way to reach all the people in the area. “It’s just this one-by-one discipleship program that Lord opens these doors. The children just walk up to us; we don’t even have to go looking for them. Then we develop these relationships with these families, and we’re just praying that these people that we’re developing these relationships with–that we’re being Jesus to–become the people of peace in their family and in their community. [We hope that] the Gospel will be propagated through them,” says Ellen.
International: Call Of Love Reaches Millions Of Muslims (Mission Network News) — Muslim outreach, Call of Love Ministries, is bringing thousands of Muslims to the arms of Christ. Call of Love Ministries was founded in America in 2001 in by Mike and Samya Johnson. The ministry focuses on delivering God’s message of hope and life to the Muslims in North America and globally in both English and Arabic. Samya Johnson says, “We also disclose the truth about Islam to awaken believers to God’s heart for the Muslims by providing practical tools and teaching. We do it through TV programs. Our programs in Arabic reach worldwide and reach potentially 400 million Arabic-speaking people. We also do conferences and outreaches. It is such a joy for us to be a part of this revival in the Muslim world.” There are 10-12 million Muslims in North America, mostly in major cities. Call of Love also works in places where there is persecution, oppression, and war. “After the Arab Spring, Muslims discovered the lies of Islam and are rejecting what Islam is offering and what Allah is offering. [They are] turning to Christians whom they have seen stand up and love when the Muslims have tried burning their churches,” says Samya. Christians are winning the war of terror with love and compassion. Call of Love ministries challenges Christians to reach out and love those who seem unlovable. Samya expresses that it is difficult for a ministry that helps a people group which is disliked by many. “Many of us have a fear or hatred of Muslims, don’t know a lot about them. It is hard to find supporters and churches who want to be a part of this. There is a lot of baggage we need to get rid of as Christians before we are ready to see them through God’s eyes, to love them and want them to become a part of God’s family.”
Zambia: Two More Saved From The Grip Of Witchcraft (Mission Network News) — Witchcraft is still very much alive in this world. Kids Alive International staff members in Zambia rescued two children in Zambia were recently rescued from their grandfather, who was heavily involved with practices of witchcraft. The children were living in squalor after being abandoned by their father. They were selling charcoal on the streets to support themselves. Witchcraft is something often glorified in media in Western countries. People watch horror movies about witches and magic, believing that it is only entertainment and unrealistic. But it is very real and part of the indigenous religion in Zambia. Just ten years ago, BBC estimated that there were 40,000 witchdoctors active in the country. These practices of magic are often meant for healing or protection from evil spirits. Yet people don’t realize that witchdoctors actually utilize evil spirits, and the effects are harmful. For these two children, witchcraft meant living in constant fear and torment. It meant leaving the only family they had. It meant pain when hearing the truth of the Gospel and of the one true Spirit that can heal and comfort. The children were brought to the Children’s Village of Kids Alive. For the first few weeks, the staff prayed heavily for the children. . The children are enjoying school and loving church. Instead of crying out, the children’s faces shine with joy as they sing to their Savior.
Africa: World Mission Goes Coast-To-Coast (Mission Network News) — Radical Islam is expanding its reach, and the entire continent of Africa is at stake. World Mission is entering the spiritual battle and equipping fellow believers by going “Coast-to-Coast for Africa.” “Our passion is to empower the Christians and prioritize that area with our audio Treasure distributions,” World Mission’s Executive Director Greg Kelley explains. Each Treasure contains God’s Word in audio and shares Christ with 144 people. Muslim extremists have a heavy presence in northern Africa; nations like Sudan, Eritrea and Libya top the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians. Kelley says Islamic radicals are now broadening their horizons. “Their desire is that Africa [becomes] an Islamic continent,” he explains. “They’re moving largely from the north into the southern part, and in the central part is really where Christianity and Islam collide.” Central Africa is also the new focus of World Missions’ efforts. The ministry is sending 8,000 Treasures into the Muslim world this year, from Senegal to Somalia. “That will allow more than one million Muslims to hear the Gospel. In many cases, it’s for the first time in their lives,” says Kelley. According to The Joshua Project, Africa holds 216,076,214 of the world’s unreached individuals. The “Coast-to-Coast for Africa” campaign is equipping national believers in eight adjacent countries. “What we’re seeing is Muslims responding to Jesus as they connect the dots [between] Old Testament truth…with who Jesus is, and that He came to save them from their sins,” shares Kelley.
Ethiopia: Should Comic Books Always Glorify Violence? (Food for the Hungry/ Mission Network News) — Part of the work of Christians is to turn focus back to God in all areas of life. This includes using comic books to glorify God. According to a study conducted by Food for the Hungry (FH), in some areas of Ethiopia, as many as 60% of women believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife if she burns food or argues with him. This spring, FH is launching a series of comic books in partnership with Search for Common Ground (SFCG), as a continuation of a larger scale, four-year campaign to reduce gender-based violence and promote healthier gender relationships. This includes education on how to communicate in a godly manner despite conflict. The comic books, a popular media in Ethiopia, will be distributed to several communities where FH and SFCG have been working. Concrete, understandable illustrations of improved gender relations and practices tell stories of local men and women who overcome obstacles with non-violent communication. Ethiopian women play key roles in the economy but are often excluded from decision-making positions, contributing to gender inequalities in nutrition, labor, education, fundamental rights, and food security.
Rwanda: New Partnership Leads To More Gospel Opportunities (Mission Network News) — Thanks to a new partnership, 60,000 Rwandans will soon have consistently-clean water. Living Water International is partnering with SweetSense to install sensors in over 200 clean water pumps. It’s a win-win situation on multiple levels; not only will repair work be more efficient, Living Water workers will have more Gospel opportunities. The SweetSense sensors will make sure installed pumps are working correctly, sending an alert by cell phone when they aren’t. This should drastically cut-down on repair time, because workers will be notified instantly when repairs need to be made. By spending less time on repairs, the Living Water Rwanda team will have more time to dig wells in new communities. Since each project opens doors to share the Gospel, this means more opportunities to reach the unreached for Christ. Each Living Water project brings the community and the Body of Christ together. The water ministry works hand-in-hand with local churches to dig wells and teach villagers about physical water. As relationships are established, one-on-one conversations eventually lead to the living water of Jesus Christ. Through the process, lives are being transformed physically and spiritually