Last week we prayed for the safe release of Christian aid workers kidnapped in a remote area of Badakhshan's Yafta district. (See Prayer Alert 22-2012) This week we can give thanks for their release. David Cameron authorized a dramatic cave rescue by the SAS of the British aid worker Helen Johnston who was one of those being held. He gave the go-ahead for the operation last Friday when the gang threatened to kill Miss Johnston and the other hostages unless an Afghan drug baron was released from prison and the ransom paid. Troops took part in a 'long march' to a cave where the hostages were held, without being spotted. SAS officers then arrived by helicopter, stormed the cave in the dead of night and all hostages were rescued safe, no troops injured.
Praise: God for this speedy answer to prayer. (Ps.113:1-2)
During the Taliban rule those deciding to leave Islam were considered traitors. Since the Taliban was ousted Afghan’s government has allowed a measure of liberalization in Kabul. However, the situation for Christians and converts from Islam remains difficult as the deposed ‘in hiding’ Taliban continues intimidating people and most Afghan Christians only share their faith with a few trustworthy people. But praise God many Afghans are miraculously coming to faith in Jesus Christ through divine revelations in dreams and visionsor through Christian radio and television programmes broadcasts, and in places where internet is available those who seek are able to find answers to their questions online. Last year after the nationally televised exposure of Afghan Christians on the internet, it became widely known that Afghan Christians actually exist. Others started asking questions and are beginning to seek and a number of well-educated and skilled Afghanis have begun participating in underground Christian activities.
Praise: God for new life; may they continue to find new creative ways to bring the gospel to the Afghan people and strengthen the church. (Ps.22:22)
Last week more than 70,000 prayed all night in Cairio, but they weren't Muslims. The largest Christian event in Egypt for more than a millennium was held at St. Simeon the Tanner Coptic Orthodox Church in Mokattam, Cairo's largest ‘garbage city’. An Egyptian Christian leader called it the beginning of a revival, even though there was no promotion for, or media coverage of the all-night event. Back in September 2009, during a prayer meeting in Egypt, the event's organizer prophesied that President Mubarak would receive ‘no grace’ in 2011; the Spirit further revealed that there would be bloodshed, persecution and the destruction of churches, but if God's people would hear His voice and repent, then He would hear their prayers. Fast forward to Oct. 9, 2011, when many Coptic Christians were killed in Cairo; in response, Christian leaders met for 3 days of prayer, after which they announced their intention of an all-night prayer event for all of Egypt.
Praise: God for the way He is calling His people to prayer in a place of need. (Ps.62:8)
Members from around 50 churches across greater Norwich will be forming an annual chain of prayer at St Luke’s Chapel in Norwich Cathedral on Thursday January 19 to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Other churches and Christians are invited to join, said organiser Graham Fletcher, and help form the chain of prayer for Christian unity. The allotted times shown on the link are designed to ensure that the chain is unbroken, but everyone is welcome to join in the prayers at any time during the day.
Praise: God for this work of unity among the Norwich churches and pray that other towns would follow these moves to unity.(Jn.17:23)
Frenchman Eric Célérier heads up Jesus.net, an internet evangelism movement he founded over seven years ago and that now involves more than 100 people from 20 countries. Jesus.net is best known for the websites Knowing God and Peace With God. Since the movement started, Célérier has seen more than 36.8 million people click on one of the Jesus.net websites that deliver a gospel presentation through video format. More than 4.5 million people have indicated they prayed to receive Christ and roughly 25 per-cent of those have filled out a personal information form, which has been used to send discipleship material as well as help new believers get plugged into a local church. A network of 330 churches has signed on to help new Christians grow in their faith. You might want to check out the fascinating Google Earth map with real-time decisions for Christ in 3D. Every minute three people come to Christ.
Praise: God for the many thousands of decisions for Christ every day. (Joel.3:14)
Three weeks of worldwide evangelistic outreach culminated this past Saturday at Juventud Libre, a lively, open-air festival in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. An estimated 45,000 people converged at the city’s bicentennial fairgrounds, forming a crowd so large that it swelled into nearby streets. Approximately 4,000 response cards were received, each representing an individual who made a decision to either follow Jesus Christ or to reconcile their relationship with Him. Cards are being sorted and distributed to local churches, in order to connect new believers with a local congregation to begin the follow-up and discipleship process. The theme for the festival, which was largely aimed at the younger generation, was ‘Venezuela abre tu corazón a la esperanza’ (Venezuela, open your heart to hope). The theme reflected festival organizer Gabriel Blanco’s desire to see the generation transformed by entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ, living a life influenced by biblical morals, and discovering hope in the midst of uncertain circumstances.
Praise: God for the wonderful response to this outreach. Pray for the local church as it takes up their responses to follow Jesus. (Ro.8:31)
In Norway 300 churches have been planted in the last 15 years. This is reported by Oivind Augland, director of DAWN Norge, a national network for church planting in which many denominations and churches participate. DAWN Norway is serving a network of people who recognize that when we stand together as the Body of Christ, we have the opportunity to see the nation filled with living cells, groups and congregations of believers in all geographic areas, ethnic and cultural groups in the nation. Churches in Norway are actively working together and have a vision beyond their own nation. They want to ‘ignite multiplying church planting movements all over Europe.’
Praise: God for this encouraging cross-denominational growth in Scandiinavia and beyond
SAT-7: SAT-7 is celebrating 15 years of broadcasting Christian programmes across the Middle East and North Africa. The ministry started out as a single channel format but has enjoyed unexpected success over the years and now broadcasts SAT-7 Arabic, SAT-7 Pars, SAT-7 Kids and SAT-7 Turk. Until SAT-7's first transmission on 31 May 1996, fear of government reprisals meant the media had largely been out of bounds for the Arab Christian community. Rita El Mounayer, Executive Director for SAT-7's three Arabic channels sees a continuing hunger in the Middle East and North Africa for SAT-7's holistic and uplifting programming. ‘We're very excited about our shows and the people making them - people who want to make a real difference in the lives of our viewers,’ she said. The 15th anniversary coincides with the Arab Spring sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa. Praise: God for the blessings that SAT-7 has brought to the Arab world. (Is.44:3) More:
SAT-7: SAT-7 is celebrating 15 years of broadcasting Christian programmes across the Middle East and North Africa. The ministry started out as a single channel format but has enjoyed unexpected success over the years and now broadcasts SAT-7 Arabic, SAT-7 Pars, SAT-7 Kids and SAT-7 Turk. Until SAT-7's first transmission on 31 May 1996, fear of government reprisals meant the media had largely been out of bounds for the Arab Christian community. Rita El Mounayer, Executive Director for SAT-7's three Arabic channels sees a continuing hunger in the Middle East and North Africa for SAT-7's holistic and uplifting programming. ‘We're very excited about our shows and the people making them - people who want to make a real difference in the lives of our viewers,’ she said. The 15th anniversary coincides with the Arab Spring sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa.
Praise: God for the blessings that SAT-7 has brought to the Arab world. (Is.44:3)