"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

WORSENING CRISES IN SYRIA

    The humanitarian crisis in Syria continues to worsen.  Drought-like conditions have led to the lowest wheat harvest since 2011.  The severe water shortage is making Syria’s cholera outbreak even worse.  Furthermore, the U.N. reports that the number of people needing help to survive winter is up by 30 percent since last year.

    Like neighboring Lebanon, a series of crises in Syria make survival increasingly difficult.  As one ministry leader points out, “The only way most families are subsisting right now is because they have relatives, particularly their sons, who have fled to other countries and are now sending money back.”  This leader also points out that the Body of Christ in Syria is helping address community needs:  “Lots of different churches, denominations, and backgrounds are doing amazing work amid this chaos – education programs, children’s activities, micro-enterprises that are helping create income for these families….”

    Pray for the churches and organizations working in the region, including brothers and sisters in Christ who are choosing to stay and be a light in the midst of all of this.  Ask the Lord to have mercy on Syria.  Pray for pastors and church staff who are exhausted by war and unrest.  “Pray that God would reveal Himself to the people, and they would see and experience hope again through Jesus Christ.”

    – mnnonline.org.  Information by permission of Mission Network News.

 

ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY PEACE AGREEMENT

    On November 2nd, the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front agreed to end the two-year-long civil war.  The war has devastated the Tigray region (the northernmost region of Ethiopia), killing hundreds of thousands.  Millions lost their homes, and a blockade has largely cut the region off from communication and aid.  Roughly 5.2 million people need aid in the region.

    Notably, Eritrea was not involved in the peace talks.  Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says, “Eritrea and soldiers have been invited into Tigray on the side of the Ethiopian government.  There have been allegations of atrocities committed by Eritrean soldiers.  And yet the peace deal doesn’t address if they are going home.”

    The Eritrean government harshly persecutes Christians, arresting and imprisoning them without trial.  Some believers have endured decades in underground cells or metal shipping containers.

    There have been previous reports about Eritrean soldiers attacking refugee camps in the Tigray region.  Nettleton says, “Eritrean Christians who have fled Eritrea have crossed into Ethiopia and were living in those camps.  So that has been a big concern of ours as Eritrea has become involved in this.”

    Pray the peace deal will hold.  Ask God to strengthen Christians in the Tigray region.  Pray that international aid will flow into the area.  Nettleton says, “Tigray has been very isolated, very cut off.  The Ethiopian government has cut off the internet, and they’ve cut off electricity.  They have not allowed reporters or humanitarian aid groups into the area.  I don’t think we even know how desperate the needs are.”

    – mnnonline.org.  Information by permission of Mission Network News.

 

JESUS FILM HITS MILESTONE

    The JESUS film is a depiction of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus based on the Gospel of Luke.  When the film was originally released in 1979, requests poured in from around the world that it be translated into other languages.  As people responded powerfully to hearing the story of Jesus in their own heart language, the importance of translating the script and dubbing the film became more and more evident.  Soon it became the goal of Jesus Film Project to help everyone, everywhere have access to the Gospel in their heart language, in a way they could understand.

    To this end, recording teams from Jesus Film Project have traveled around the world to complete new translations of the JESUS film, working with local speakers to translate, record and review the film, ensuring that the story truly resonates in each heart language.

    Partnerships, technological advances and the prayers of Christians around the world have greatly aided this work through the years.  Now 43 years in, God has been faithful to allow the completion of the 2,000th translation of the JESUS film into the Zo language.

    The Zo are a small people group of roughly 65,000 people.  Many live in northwestern Myanmar and northeastern India.  Due to discrimination and persecution, many Zo have scattered around the world.  Some live in 28 cities around the U.S.

    The 2,000th translation of the JESUS film represents a significant milestone, but many are still waiting to hear the story of Jesus in their language, so the work of Jesus Film Project continues.

    – Jesusfilm.org

    Thank the Lord for the extensive outreach of the JESUS film.  According to the ministry’s website, over 490 million people have come to salvation in Christ after watching these films.  Thank the Lord for the completion of the newest translation and pray it will be very effective in reaching the Zo people with the Gospel.  Pray for the ongoing ministry of current translations and for work being done on new ones as well.

 

MINISTRY IN UKRAINE

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that started February 2022 has led to months of horrific violence, with thousands of soldiers and civilians losing their lives.  Despite the invasion and difficult conditions in Ukraine, the Lord is very much at work, according to a representative with Operation Mobilization (OM).  He says that OM workers and other Ukrainian Christians continue ministering to those in need.  Churches are filling up with people touched by Jesus’ love.

    This leader asks believers to join in prayer for the following:  “Pray the war would end and that justice and righteousness would prevail.  Pray leaders in Ukraine and around the world will act with godly wisdom and selflessness as they make decisions.  And pray that people in Ukraine might come together in a mighty way and find that their refuge and strength is the Lord.”  Ask God also to sustain those in occupied cities or cities under siege.  Pray they will get the food and fuel they need as winter approaches.

    – mnnonline.org.  Information by permission of Mission Network News.

 

ANTISEMITISM INCREASING ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has released a new report highlighting the growing problem of antisemitism on college campuses.  The report found more than 350 anti-Israel incidents took place during the 2021-2022 school year, including vandalism, verbal and written harassment, and physical assault.  Specifically, it found a disturbing trend toward anti-Israel sentiments that claim Israel has committed “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” and found that on some campuses Jewish students were ostracized and kept from campus organizations because of their assumed support for Israel or Zionism.

    “We’ve seen this happening in over the last ten years, where Zionism is equated with racism…that then translates to students on campus being targeted for being Jewish,” Serene Hudson, vice president of advocacy at Passages, told CBN.

    In one high-profile case, nine student groups at the University of California’s Berkeley School of Law passed a new bylaw pledging to deny access to all pro-Israel speakers.  Their rule says they “will not invite speakers that have expressed and continued to hold views or host/sponsor/promote events in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine.”

    The ADL found antisemitic incidents in the U.S. reached an all-time high last year, with a total of 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism reported to the ADL.  That’s a 34 percent increase, with a average of more than seven incidents occurring each day.

    – CBNNews.com

    Pray for protection for Jewish people around the world.  Pray for a halt to the spread of lies and prejudices that fuel antisemitism.  Pray for the church to understand God’s heart for Israel and the Jewish people.

    – Jewish Voice

    Pray also against the spiritual forces behind antisemitism as they work to oppose God’s plans and purposes for the Jewish people.  “I say then, has God cast away His people?  Certainly not!  …God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.  …I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall?  Certainly not!  But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.  Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!” (Rom. 11:1-2, 11-12).

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