September News from around the World

AROUND THE WORLD: Global Media Outreach Reaches a Milestone
For the first time, Global Media Outreach (GMO) saw over one million people indicate decisions for Jesus Christ in a single month. In June 2009, 1,030,581 people indicated either a first-time decision to follow Jesus or a decision to recommit their lives to Christ through one of more than ninety GMO gospel websites. GMO has seen the number of people indicating decisions for Jesus on their gospel websites triple over the last year. “This is an historic event only possible by God's power,” said Walt Wilson, GMO founder and chair. “Over the past few months, we have seen an increasing number of people come to our evangelistic web and mobile sites.” GMO is using the Web and other emerging technologies to effectively and efficiently convey the love of Christ and plan of salvation across the globe. Since its inception in 2004, GMO has seen the number of people making commitments to Christ grow from 21,066 people annually to more than three million people in 2008. (Assist News Service)

AROUND THE WORLD: Thirty Days of Prayer Focuses on Ramadan
Muslims around the world are in the midst of Ramadan. It's Islam's holiest month, and it began 22 August 2009. Ramadan is a time when Muslims re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. For the eighteenth year in a row, World Christian's Paul Filidis is asking Christians to pray that many Muslims will come to know Christ during their holiest time of the year. He helped create the 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus. “The prayer focus always coincides with Ramadan, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. And Ramadan is the annual month of fasting where Muslims fast from sun up to sun down,” Filidis explained. This year, the thirty days occur from 22 August to 20 September. The 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus is a worldwide prayer effort designed to raise awareness, educate, and mobilize new support and workers to reach out to people groups who practice Islam. Many Christians want to participate in Muslim evangelism, but don't know where to begin. Mission Network News is providing the 30 Days Muslim Prayer Guide for a gift of any amount. This prayer guide is a 30-page booklet that focuses each day on a specific area of the Islamic world. (Mission Network News)

CONGO: Wycliffe Moves Quickly to Establish Bible Translation Center
War in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has ravaged the land for the past five years and left three million dead. Estimates report almost 1,200 people die each day “from conflict-related causes.” In addition, the life expectancy rates are age 45 for men and 48 for women. Wycliffe Associates realizes this country needs Jesus more than ever and will be constructing a Bible translation center in the city of Bunia in northeastern DRC. Some of the violence has subsided in this region recently, according to Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “There's a window of peace, of security. If we move quickly, we can establish a permanent translation center. The Christians of the Democratic Republic of Congo are begging for this opportunity not to be missed,” Smith said. The center will be located at Shalom University and will begin translating the Bible into five new languages. This will give 1.6 million people access to the scriptures in their own language for the first time. (Wycliffe Associates)

GAZA: A One Heart Solution
E3 Partners’ Tom Doyle was recently in the Gaza Strip on a short-term mission trip; his team visited Jerusalem, the Hypha area, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, and the West Bank. In several of the areas they visited, such as Hypha, Jews and Arabs live together peacefully. Doyle said while Palestinians are often associated with terrorists, many just want peace. “The majority of the Palestinians that we know would love for there to be a peace. They really don't want to fight Israel, and don't want any of that nonsense that has been going on for decades,” said Doyle. E3 Partners sees this as an open door to share with the Jews and Arabs in the region the inner peace Jesus gives. Doyle also said, “We hear all about maybe a 'two states' solution—Israel and Palestine. We try to stay out of the politics if we can and just say, ‘How about a one heart solution, where Jews and Arabs come together under the name of Jesus Christ?'” (Mission Network News)

MOLDOVA: Donated Cancer Medicines Help the Poor
The National Cancer Coalition and German nonprofit HFK Krebsallianz recently donated $130,000USD in cancer-fighting drugs to Medical Teams International. These medications arrived in Moldova earlier this month and are already helping patients who cannot afford cancer treatments. This donation will benefit an estimated 150 children and adults seeking care at Moldova’s largest cancer hospital. According to the United Nations, Moldova is the poorest country in Eastern Europe, with most families earning less than $2,200EU per year. Although Moldova recently established a centralized health system, the program is in its infancy and faces serious shortages of medical supplies and equipment. Medical Teams International has an office located in the capital city of Chisinau and employs eight full-time national staff. The primary activity of this office is to train local paramedics in pre-hospital emergency response. (Medical Teams International)

PAKISTAN: Believers in Pakistan Urge Prayer
Christians in Pakistan invited believers around the world to join them in prayer for their nation and for the blasphemy laws to be repealed, according to the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) contacts. More than 575 pastors from different churches in Pakistan agreed to observe 26 July as a day of prayer for persecuted believers. Christians also ran a petition aimed at repealing the blasphemy laws that have led to the arrest of many believers. VOM joined believers in Pakistan in prayer and encouraged Christians around the world to pray. Recently, incidents of persecution and violence toward Christians in the country have escalated. It was reported that on 26 June, more than 150 Muslim extremists attacked more than 150 Christian families. (Voice of the Martyrs)

RWANDA: On the Road to Healing, Festival Draws Thousands
Fifteen years after the 1994 genocide that killed an estimated one million people in one hundred days, the people of Rwanda continue the hard work of healing and restoration, laying the groundwork for a strong future. Through Kigali Festival with Andrew Palau on 17-18 July 2009, and the festival's preceding Season of Service, hope and good news were offered in abundance. With attendance estimated at more than seventy thousand people, the evangelist's two-day festival was held on the Amahoro National Stadium grounds in Rwanda's capital city. Another three thousand people attended separate events for women, government, business, and civic leaders, and prisoners at Kigali Central Prison. More than five thousand people made public decisions for Jesus Christ. The Palau festival was a partnership with Africa New Life Ministries, Hope Rwanda, and Water for Life, combining their efforts to gather more than 350 participating churches. The campaign was fully supported by Kigali City's mayor, vice mayor, city council, and all of the city's sector leadership. (Andrew Palau)

VIETNAM: Violence Escalates, Church Property Confiscated
Catholics carried out mass demonstrations in Vietnam the week of 30 July 2009 against a violent police clampdown on a protest over a disputed site. Among the casualties was a priest who was beaten and thrown from the second floor of a hospital by gangs allegedly acting on police instructions. It was reported that armed police attacked a group of priests and lay people as they tried to erect a cross and altar at the ruins of Tam Toa Church in the coastal city of Dong Hoi. Police reportedly used stun guns, tear gas, and batons. On 26 July, Father Paul Dinh Phu Nguyen was attacked by a mob, including plain-clothed police, on his way to celebrate mass at Tam Toa. He was later visited in the hospital by Father Peter Nguyen The Binh, who was attacked by a gang and thrown from an upstairs window of the hospital. He is in a coma and believed to be in critical condition. Christian Solidarity Worldwide sources have reported that tension has been rising for some time between the government and both Catholic and Protestant communities regarding confiscated church property. (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

UNITED KINGDOM: Soul Survivor Keeps Growing
July and August saw the seventeenth year of the growing U.K.-based youth movement, Soul Survivor. Soul Survivor grew out of an Anglican church, St. Andrew's Chorleywood, which was equipping Christians to move in the power of the Holy Spirit through the New Wine family conferences. Because of significant growth in youth work at New Wine, something separate was needed for young people. So in 1993, Soul Survivor launched its first annual five-day conference in Shepton Mallet, Somerset in southwest England. This first event hosted just fewer than two thousand people, and the number of delegates has grown every year since. In 2008 approximately twenty-eight thousand people participated. Key leader Mike Pilavachi never expected it to grow at such a rate. “Every day, every year, you just do the next thing that God tells you to do….But the thing is you can't get complacent with serving God, because it's not about the past; it's about the future.” Currently, six international Soul Survivor centers around the world share the movement's vision and values and hold annual events for young people in Australia, Holland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the USA. (Assist News Service)

UNITED STATES: Audio Bible Ministry Targets the Many Languages of Texas
Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) was called upon by the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) to provide audio Bibles for the Texas Hope 2010 campaign. Texas Hope 2010 is a BGCT outreach to more than 8.8 million homes in Texas. “The audio Bibles are in a word-for-word, dramatized format—complete with sound effects and music,” said Troy Carl, FCBH national director. “These audio Bibles are easy to listen to and people can listen while getting ready for their day, while driving to work, or while doing household chores….We want to give everyone the opportunity to hear the Bible in their own language.” said Carl. (Faith Comes By Hearing)