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HOSTAGES RESCUED IN NIGERIA

    Nigeria’s army has rescued hundreds of hostages, mostly women and children, who had been held for months or years by radical Islamic terrorists from the extreme group Boko Haram.  International Christian Concern is confirming that 209 children, 135 women, and six men were rescued from the clutches of Boko Haram in late May.

    The hostages were reportedly exhausted and their clothes were ragged after enduring terrible conditions for long periods of time.  Some of the girls had babies who were likely born as a result of rape and forced marriages with their captors.  One such hostage said she couldn’t escape because she wouldn’t have been able to save her seven children who were also captive.  “I always wanted to escape but couldn’t,” said Hajara Umara, who was finally rescued with her children.  “If they caught you trying to escape, they would torture you and imprison you indefinitely.”

    Boko Haram has been fighting since 2009 to overthrow the Nigerian government, establish an Islamic regime, and force the citizens to submit to brutal Islamic Shariah law.  International Christian Concern points out, “The group has incited terror against many of the 180.3 million Christians living in Nigeria.”  At least 35,000 people have been killed and 2.1 million people displaced in the jihadist violence that has ensued.  More than 1,400 students have been taken from Nigerian schools since the headline-grabbing 2014 kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in the village of Chibok in Borno state shocked the world.

    – CBN News

    Thank the Lord for the release of these hostages.  Pray for their physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being as they recover and heal from the terrible ordeal they have experienced.  Pray for the Lord’s protection over other hostages and that they will soon be rescued or released.

 

BIBLE TRANSLATION IN IRAN

    Bible translators are praising God for progress in a language of northern Iran.  Transform Iran’s Lana Silk says the Gilaki language has a broad reach.  “There are three million Gilakis living in a predominately unreached part of Iran,” Silk says.  “There has never been an accurate translation of the Gilaki Bible, and now we’re in a place where we can give them the entire New Testament.”  Along with the text, Transform Iran’s team is publishing audio dramatizations of Scripture in Gilaki. 

    “Even before using it in evangelism, we’re already seeing dozens of Gilakis coming to know Christ, just through the process of translation and review of the New Testament,” Silk says.  Work has already begun on the Old Testament translation, and “some of the Psalms are already being audio dramatized today,” she adds.

    Once the Psalms and Pentateuch are completed, translators will begin work on select Old Testament books.  “We’re thinking about Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Daniel, some of the giants of the Old Testament whose graves can be found in Iran today.  These are meaningful stories for people who live in that land,” Silk says.  “We want to give them those texts first, and then as we progress, the plan and the vision is to see the entire Old Testament translated.”

    Praise God for the progress being made in the Gilaki language.  Pray for the Church to be established, take root, and grow among this people group.

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

 

AID FOR FLOOD SURVIVORS IN BRAZIL

    Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes for safety after many days of heavy rain caused deadly flooding and mudslides across southern Brazil [in late April and May].  In Rio Grande do Sul’s capital city of Porto Alegre, the Guaiba River rose to record heights, broke its banks, and damaged major city infrastructure, leaving 80 percent of the population without clean drinking water.  And the rains keep coming to this beleaguered region.

    One of the organizations responding to this crisis is Samaritan’s Purse, including the delivery of water filtration systems, thousands of hygiene kits, solar lights, shelter tarps and blankets.  Their Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has also deployed to Porto Alegre to offer help, distribute these items, and share God’s love with those who are suffering.

    Pray for comfort for those suffering in southern Brazil.  Pray for wisdom for Samaritan Purse’s teams, and other organizations, that are providing desperately needed relief items.  Pray for many people to take hold of the eternal hope found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    – samaritanspurse.org

 

CHRISTIANS TARGETED IN MYANMAR

    Officials released more than 3,300 people from prison, including a Baptist pastor, in mid-April to mark the Buddhist New Year.  On the night he was released, police re-arrested the pastor, his wife, and a Christian colleague.

    It is not an isolated incident.  “This re-arresting of innocent people, like this pastor and other Christian leaders, has been a practice they’ve been doing ever since the coup,” says Brian Dennett of AMG International (Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel).  “The intent is to cause fear and insecurity among the church congregations and local citizens.”

    Junta leaders believe Christians have power and influence over their villages and congregations.  Four days after the Buddhist New Year arrests, Myanmar’s army attacked a Christian-majority village.  “[At] two o’clock in the morning, they dropped the bombs, injuring many [and killing] a Sunday School teacher from an AMG church and a child.  That teacher’s mother was also injured; [she] lost her leg in the bombing,” Dennett says.  “This is the second time they’ve targeted this village since January.  They want to show people they have power over your life and that only when the population submits and obeys the government will there be hope for them.”

    Pray for AMG International as it provides help and hope in the name of Christ.  Every time they reach out, they are looking to share their hope in Jesus, and also to meet the very deep physical needs of the people.

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

 

HUNGER IN WAR-RAVAGED YEMEN

    Millions of people across Yemen are dealing with grief, despair and hunger.  They are a people weary of war as their country has been locked in civil war since 2015, with neighboring countries backing opposite sides.  As areas across the country become battlegrounds, Yemenis are forced from home and pushed toward starvation.  More than 4 million people in Yemen are displaced, 80 percent being women and children.

    Approximately half of Yemen’s population faces severe hunger levels.  The country’s shattered economy gives limited opportunities for people to earn an income and feed their families.  Malnutrition, coupled with a lack of clean, accessible water, leaves Yemenis susceptible to diseases like cholera and measles.  With limited health facilities and many people unable to afford treatment, these conditions can quickly become life-threatening.

    But as He does in all situations all across the world, God is using Yemen’s unrest and needs to open doors.  For example, Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) is working through contacts to provide food, water systems, kits, clothing, and other aid in Yemen, giving struggling Yemenis an opportunity to see Christ’s love in action.  After receiving aid, one recipient stared in amazement at the contact and said, “I can say God is here.  No one [human] cares about us.”

    – Christian Aid Ministries 

    Pray for the Lord’s provision for CAM and other organizations seeking to minister to the people of Yemen.  Pray for many hearts to be open to the love of Christ.  Pray for the war to come to an end.

 

PRAY FOR ISRAEL

    Pray for Israel to soon defeat the Hamas terrorists.  Pray for the safety and soon release or rescue of the hostages.  Pray for the safety of the Palestinian people and for food and other aid to reach those in desperate need.

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