Free Kindle E-book on How People Change, Free Downloadable Resources for Persecution Sunday, Persecution Stories and How the Church is Overcoming and Opportunities to Help




How People Change
by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp
from CCEF.org 
Free on Kindle for a limited time

Free Resources for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (Downloads)  
IDOP is November 2nd   
(NEXT SUNDAY)


UKRAINE

Petition Calling for the Immediate End to the Persecution of Non-Orthodox Christians in Eastern Ukraine (International Christian Concern)


A memorial service for four protestant Christians murdered by pro-Russian militants in Eastern Ukraine.

On Sunday morning, June 8th, Viktor and three other ministers were taken from their church and stuffed into a car by men carrying automatic weapons. A month later, their burned bodies were found in a mass grave. Three of the ministers had been executed at point blank range. Viktor was shot in the back as he tried to flee his captors.
These Christians weren't murdered in Nigeria, Iraq, or Pakistan. They were killed in Europe, shot dead by armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Tragically, their case represents only a tiny fraction of the persecution that has swept war-torn Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.

ICC has received eye-witness testimonies from local ministries revealing that dozens of Protestant and Catholic Christians have been abducted and violently tortured because of their religious identity. Four ministers have been murdered and scores of church buildings have been destroyed or taken over by pro-Russian militants.

The time to end this is now. Even in war, no one should have to fear being executed or abducted because of their faith.

Sign our petition to the Russian ambassador calling for an immediate end to this unprecedented modern day wave of persecution in Eastern Europe. Your voice can make all the difference!

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION

Please submit all signatures by December 6, 2014.

"Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people." - Isaiah 58:6 (NLT)


A letter from a brother serving in the conflict zone of Ukraine:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, deacons and pastors of the Church of Christ!

I writing to you on behalf of the churches and ministers in Lughansk region. A real war has filled our cities and our villages inevitably bringing with it destruction, pain, death, sickness and hunger. I’m not writing about this as someone who is looking on from a distance but as someone who is directly involved in these tragic events. God called me to personally to experience this horror, fear and pain of war.

My city, Pervomaisk has been terribly destroyed, for more than 50 days there has been no water, electricity, no gas, no stores and no food, no pharmacies and no medication. Explosions, bombs and rockets. The dead are counted in the hundreds. Our wonderful church building “Revival” has been burnt to the ground. The city is empty. The lives of the church leaders have been threatened. The Church has been scattered. The people are left without even blood, they have lost everything they had. This is only a small part of what’s happening – it’s a drop of water in a sea of suffering that is storming our area. The situation in other cities is a little better. Lugansk is destroyed. Thousands of refugees. Church buildings in Antratsit and many others have been seized.

But thanks be to God, He is faithful and he has not forgotten us!

I want to thank you brothers for your active participation in our suffering, and in our ministry!

I know that in many churches they are regularly praying for us -THANK YOU! I ask you to continue praying! Many churches and families opened their homes to refugees from our region -may the Lord take care of you! Many churches gather food and clothes and I assure you that these are needed and valued! (In a few areas of our region the humanitarian catastrophe is such that people are waiting days for bread and water.)

I ask you and I exhort you to do the following:

Don’t stop praying for us. Pray for peace and for freedom in our area. Pray for repentance. Pray for the ministers and the churches that are carrying out this ministry in such difficult circumstances.

I ask you to open your heart to all who are going through tough times, to those who have lost their house, their work, their pay and their retirement. Open your heart and the doors to your homes. Accept these people and bless them!

I ask you and I call on you to help! Help churches, help the refugee camps, help the ministers who stayed behind in the conflict zone! This is extremely difficult, but we see how God is blessing our toil through those seeking God, repenting and being baptized.

We know that God will calm this stormy cruel sea! We believe that He is powerful to transform the suffering and pain of our people into joy and peace!

This is what we pray for with you, rejoicing that through the blood of the Lamb we became close family in order to suffer together, support each other and come to the aid of one another.

May the Lord bless!

Your brother in the Lord

Elisha Pronin – Area Association of Churches, Evangelical Christian Baptist, Lughansk Area

You can give through ABWE's Ukraine Crisis fund here.


SYRIA/IRAQ and the surrounding countries taking refugees

SAT-7 Gives Hope to Middle-easterners

Iraq (MNN) — “They’re not going to school. They’ve been uprooted from their homes. They don’t know maybe where their parents are. They don’t have any sense if they’re even alive.” Speaking of children, Dr. Rex Rogers, President of SAT-7 USA, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, says they are the ones most affected by ISIS attacks.

More than ever, children–and their parents–need a message of peace. This message is being aired on SAT-7 24 hours a day, on 6 different channels, in three different languages: Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish. SAT-7 programming is produced by Middle Easterners, for Middle Easterners.

Rogers says, “We broadcast who we are. We share Christ and Christianity. We talk about human rights, like liberty and respect for property, respect for religious worship for all people. And we try to reinforce values of peace or dealing with conflict in a different way other than violence.


Role of the Bible Grows Following ISIS Attacks in Northern Iraq
October 23, 2014

People of all religious backgrounds and ages are eager to receive Bibles in Kurdistan.


In Iraq’s northern areas, where Islamic State (ISIS) militants have extended their brutal campaign to establish a caliphate, coveted copies of the Bible are playing a key role in the lives of displaced people from a myriad of religious backgrounds.

Supply is limited – some Bibles are available locally while others need to be shipped in – but the demand appears to be endless, especially among refugees and internally displaced peoples.

“Every time we try to open a box or container to distribute Bibles, we get ‘attacked’ by people in their eagerness to get a copy,” the director of a locally-based ministry said. “We have never had a problem giving them away.”

Nominal members of historic churches are seeking the Bible, as are Yazidis and Sunni and Shia Muslims. Yazidis practice a blend of Christian, Islamic and Zoroastrian rituals.

“The religious nature of the region makes faith matters of great interest and an important part of their lives, and the search for the truth has become one of the priorities of the Muslims,” he said, adding that ISIS militants’ religiously motivated murders of civilians have provided a golden opportunity to present the “loving and peaceful Christ.”

The native ministry, which Christian Aid Mission assists, provides Bibles along with material aid, such as food and blankets. While meeting their immediate needs is crucial, the knowledge of God found in the Bible provides refugees a more enduring benefit, said Christian Aid Mission’s Middle East director.

Because of restrictions by countries in the Middle East to print and distribute Bibles, there is a continual need to purchase Bibles, he added. Whole Bibles in Arabic, Aramaic and Kurdish languages are sought, as well as children’s versions of the same. Also needed are New Testaments in Kurdish, Sorani, and Bahdinani languages. The ministry also distributes Christian literature as well as illustrated Bible stories for all ages, designed for Muslims who know nothing about Jesus.

The books of illustrated Bible stories and the children's Bible cost $5 each. A whole Bible costs $4, with hardcover copies going for $5 to $8. New Testaments printed locally cost $2.

“For the hundreds of thousands of refugees in the tents in the fields everywhere, in the mountains and the Kurdistan area, it’s the right time for us to give Bibles.” the Iraqi ministry director said. “I strongly believe God’s hand is in this situation, and God brought all these people to us and wants us to act as fast as we can.”

To help indigenous missionaries to meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call 434-977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 444SHM. Thank you!

Read more at: http://www.christianaid.org/News/2014/mir20141023.aspx



IRAN, AFGHANISTAN AND TAJIKISTAN

Fear was present, faith was stronger

Iran is #9 on the Open Doors World Watch List, a list of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. Seeking out God or spreading the gospel in Iran can lead to imprisonment or other serious consequences. And though fear was present, a stranger slipped a note to a young Iranian woman on the bus. This note explained to the woman what the Gospel was and how she could accept Christ.

The Iranian woman we’ll call “Sara” disregarded the note for eight years, until a TV channel caught her eye. SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, reminded her of the note she received many years ago.

Compelled, she called the phone number displayed on the screen and was able to receive information from a SAT-7 counselor. She learned more about the Gospel and how to connect with Christians near her. Sara was even blessed to find a house church nearby to attend.

In Sara’s case, she is quite fortunate to have found a house church. Small groups usually meet together in private, but they’re hard to find and slow to grow due to fears of raids and imprisonment.

Often those who seek out fellowship with other Christians cannot attend church since churches have even been pressured to ban Farsi-speaking Christians from services. Identification is even required before entering.



With SAT-7 PARS, God has provided a way for Farsi-speaking Christians to learn more about Him and His Word. The ministry is broadcasted in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, offering engaging and biblically-sound programming options that help to present Christ and strengthen those with Christian faith.

SAT-7 PARS also offers programs to inspire individual Christians as well as programs for children who can watch from the safety of their own homes. 
It is providing much-needed answers to life’s greatest questions each and every day for people who cannot learn biblical truths in almost any other way.

SAT-7 is completely donor-funded. If you would like to make a donation, click here. Your gift of $10 supports 10 viewers for 1 year!

Pray that the Farsi-speaking Christians would find ways to connect with other Christians and that they would grow in their faith.

WEST AFRICA
LIBERIA

Good news regarding Ebola
CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ)

First door of opportunity is a campaign called “Ebola kills, Jesus heals.” This campaign is an ongoing community effort to stop the spread of the virus using two primary approaches:

Public Service Training — The usage of PowerPoint presentations and video clips of the virus with emphasis on the cause, how it kills and preventive measures. The PowerPoint presentation transitions from the negative effect “Ebola kills” to the gospel message “Jesus heals,” providing the audience the opportunity to make decisions for Christ. This campaign started on the 7th of August and ended on the 12th due to the imposition of a night curfew. However, 266 people watched the presentation, and 20 prayed to receive the gift of salvation!

Second door of opportunity: Community Task Force Training — Every community has set up a task force to fight against the spread of the virus. Two communities invited us to help train their task force with focus on the history of Ebola, the cause, preventive measures, contact tracing, the usage of the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and the gospel presentation. This training brought together 110 participants. Thirty-two persons made decisions for Christ.

The third Door of Opportunity provides students the ability to help with ongoing distribution of medical and food supplies in several places, including hospitals with Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs), quarantined communities, and disabled communities. The humanitarian aid supplied was provided by our major donor, GAiN International, based in Plano, Texas, USA.

The fourth door of opportunity involves the “In Touch Messenger.” This device contains the New Testament Bible and prerecorded inspirational messages by Rev. Charles Stanley. Our primary focus is to give each device to an Ebola survivor to help him or her understand that if no one will accept them as they get reintegrated into communities, Jesus will. On the 7th of October, 21 Ebola survivors were discharged from Ebola Treatment Unit at E.L.W.A. Each received a copy of the device.

It is so unfortunate that there is not much publicity regarding Ebola survivors being discharged from ETUs across the country. There are more than 500 confirmed cases in which infected people have survived. It is even more frustrating that few resources exist to help survivors rejoin their communities after losing almost everything during their misfortune. As students make follow-up visits in communities where survivors have returned, it is so disheartening to note that some return to empty homes with no mattress, food, clothes, or other basic necessities.

Fortunately, the students have begun distributing humanitarian aid to survivors, and include the In Touch Messenger. By meeting the physical and spiritual needs of Ebola victims, and by equipping communities to confront the Ebola crisis, the name of Christ is shining brightly in the darkness.

Note: to save you time since the day for the persecuted church is so near, the articles listed above are in their entirety unless otherwise noted. Please consider following a link and donating to a worthy cause that will help reach people for Jesus or encourage the saints in the midst of war, disease or persecution.









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