Displaying items by tag: Praise
‘People may ask, ‘How is it possible for an Afghan man to become a Christian?’’’ Homayoun, who was once bent on violence and vengeance, is now a pastor. He shared his testimony on SAT-7 PARS live programme Signal, in the hope that God will use his story of transformation to touch the lives and hearts of viewers facing enormous challenges in Afghanistan and Iran today. ‘I grew up in Afghanistan and come from a Muslim background. As I got older, I always had God on my mind, I prayed five times a day and read the Quran. I wanted to know God and I wanted to know the truth, but I never found peace and tranquillity. Eventually I joined the army. I wanted to fight Daesh, the Taliban, or anyone really. But it didn’t work out. God didn’t want me to kill anyone.’ Read Homayoun’s testimony here
Thomas came to know Christ last year, while living in a communal home with his non-Christian parents. Tensions began to mount, prompting him to build a tent on his parents' land as a temporary living space. When he tried to purchase land and build his own home, the authorities repeatedly blocked his efforts. Thankfully, his pastor was able to secure him a new piece of land and then International Christian Concern was able to help him build a new, humble home for his immediate family. His pastor said, ‘Thomas is very firm in his new faith. God saved him and his family. Thomas would never give up his faith.’
IJM reports, ‘Last week we celebrated justice for IJM lawyer WK, his client and their driver. Three police officers and one civilian were convicted of their murder’. Prior to 2016, few police officers had ever been convicted for murder - despite many instances of police abusing power. But in the past five years, 45 officers have been convicted on murder or manslaughter charges. This gives hope to victims and families of police abuse that justice is possible. ‘Also, praise God for the acquittal of an innocent IJM client in Kenya. He was framed for a crime he didn't commit. During the trial, the prosecution failed to produce any witnesses. He is now free, but please pray for him to be protected from further false accusations.’
Since 2000 there have been 300 churches planted across Sweden by other nations. The Nigerian Redeemed Christian Church of God has 40 Swedish church plants. Their vision is to plant worshipping communities within five minutes' distance from each other. Also from Nigeria there are church plants from Deeper Life Bible, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. There are plants from Ghanaian Church of Pentecost where the worship language is English, Ghanaian Swahili and Swedish. Chile’s International Mission Church gathers 1,500 people for Sunday services in Stockholm. For Sweden, this is a very big church. There are also congregations with Ethiopian, Eritrean, Iranian, or Afghan connections that are generally closer to the established Swedish denominations.
Two years ago, World Missionary Press (WMP) sent 6.4 million Scripture booklets to ministry partners through a project called ‘Blessings for Brazil’. WMP freight coordinator Helen Williams says she is flooded with reports of the Holy Spirit changing hearts. ‘The feedback is overwhelming as our distributors describe new opportunities; one ministry is sending 500 boxes a time to distribution points for pastors. There are places being reached that have never been reached because of the lack of resources. Some use Scripture booklets in the inner city, others take them to remote jungle tribal villages. Optician teams use Scripture booklets for their eye test reading charts. Where literacy is marginal, teachers use the booklets to teach the language - their lesson plan is the Scripture booklet. Eight million more booklets will go out before the end of 2022.
Craig's farm was seized by Zimbabwe’s government in 2003, forcing his family to move to Harare. He joined a Foundations for Farming group and began teaching the new owners and other small-scale farmers a unique way of farming revealed by God - farming without tillage or burning. He immediately got a 10% increase in yield. He started to grow it bigger, but he knew that God had given him this revelation not for himself but to share across Africa to the rural farmers, the hurting, the poor ones. Zero-tillage technique caught the attention of the government, which endorsed the method. In 2020 Zimbabwe experienced its first food surplus in two decades and now Foundations for Farming teaches the technique all over the world, with the main goal of sharing the Gospel. ‘80% of what we teach is the heart, using agriculture as an entry point for the gospel.’
Seven Australian rugby league team members boycotted a championship match against Sydney Roosters on religious grounds, after being told to wear a jersey celebrating LGBTQ+ rights, replacing white stripes with rainbow bands. Reverend Palu has never met the players but he’s proud of them, saying, ‘Christianity takes a very strong root in our people’. After another team told players to wear such a jersey without consulting them, that was another flashpoint in deepening tensions between people of faith and the mainstream community over sexuality and same-sex marriage. A similar battle is happening in schools, politics and inside the churches as secular and progressive religious communities embrace sexual diversity while theological conservatives say it contradicts the Bible. Reverend Fihaki said Christianity was ‘ingrained into our culture. It’s not just a matter of going to church on Sunday, it’s part of our DNA, it’s part of our culture, it is who we are’.
Tens of thousands attending ‘Festival Manchester’ heard the Gospel in the three-day event in Wythenshawe Park that was hosted by hundreds of churches, in partnership with The Message Trust and the Luis Palau Association. A sea of people came out each night to enjoy live music, worship, and prayer which resulted in thousands responding to God's Word. ‘This mission was on a scale not seen in a generation,’ said the founder of The Message Trust. Over 65,000 people heard about Jesus' love for them and over 3,400 responded to the good news they heard.
Iraqis, Muslims, Christians and those of no faith at all tune into a radio station vastly different from what is normally heard on Middle Eastern airwaves. ‘Saut al Salam’ or ‘Voice of Peace’ is broadcast from a tiny studio in Qaraqosh and reaches 150,000 listeners, living up to its name. The programmes have no politics or conflicts. The broadcasters tell stories about the church, Christianity and Christian life, dispelling many misconceptions in the Muslim world that are passed on from generation to generation. For instance thinking that Christians just like to party and drink alcohol. Saut al Salam is changing wrong perceptions with programs on raising children, Christian music, and reporting cultural church events. Their highest hope is that listeners, a majority of whom are not Christians, will hear a message of peace, consideration and love.
A UK mission worker says, ‘I had the joy of personally attending our outreach event in L attended by over 1,000 people! L is a nation in crisis politically and economically. What a blessing to share worship music and the Good News with the hurting people of this nation. Our local team member, a pastor himself, brought a powerful message. Then a sixty-year-old man who received Christ one year ago shared his testimony, telling the crowd, ‘Life without Jesus is death.’ Hundreds of people raised their hands indicating they had accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and asked for prayer. Praise God!’