Tuesday, September 1, 2015

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO MARGARET DENEKE: On the death of her husband, Paul Benecke, Lewis’s old history tutor and a Fellow at Magdalen College.

3 October 1944

It will give me great pleasure to come to lunch at one o’clock on Oct. 30th. I will not try to express my sympathy to Miss Benecke when we meet—such things are often merely embarrassing. You, I am sure, will not doubt that she has it.

The gap in College is terrible. Already (and yet it is only a few days) I have twice found myself setting aside a problem ‘to ask Benecke about it’ and then realised with a pang that there is no more of that. His image haunts every room in Magdalen. I hear his imagined voice again and again: so vividly, when crossing Magdalen bridge this morning, that I almost wondered if there were not some objective reality in the experience. I can hardly explain how his funeral affected me. I have heard that service read in that chapel so often for those who have not believed a word of it and who (had they been alive) would have mocked, that my feeling was almost one of relief. Here at last was a dead man not unworthy of the service. In some queer way it enormously strengthened my faith, and before we filed out of chapel I really felt (do not misunderstand me) a kind of joy—a feeling that all was well, just as well as it could be.

I count it among my great good fortunes to have known him. As far as human eyes can judge he was—is—a saint: but oh!, we still needed him here so very badly.


From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 1, 2015

TAIWAN - n March 18, 2014, a group of several hundred university students occupied the Taiwan legislature in protest of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, which would open Taiwan’s service trade sector to mainland China and vice versa. Taiwan’s ruling party had pushed the legislation through for a vote without a clause-by-clause review or public hearings over the specifics, as had been agreed upon in 2013. Protesters feared that the agreement would profoundly damage Taiwan’s economy.

The Sunflower Movement took its name from the student’s use of the flower to symbolize the reach for light in opposition to secret, black-box political deals ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, August 31, 2015

From ChinaAid: "Zhejiang officials continue removing crosses in Taizhou and Wenzhou"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

ChinaAid Photo
Zhejiang officials continue removing crosses in Taizhou and Wenzhou
Distributed by ChinaAid, July, 2015 ...

TAIZHOU, ZHEJIANG, CHINA – On July 22, government officials continued their cross removal initiative by breaking into a house church in China’s coastal Zhejiang and forcibly removing its cross despite church members’ attempts to halt the demolition.

The Taizhou municipal government sent approximately 300 employees to Shuangcun Church, where several Christians surrounded the church’s cross and tied themselves to it to prevent it from being moved ...


more on this story from China Aid  



C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

At Beaversdam they re-crossed the river and came east again along the southern bank. They came to a little cottage where a child stood in the doorway crying. “Why are you crying, my love?” asked Aslan. The child, who had never seen a picture of a lion, was not afraid of him. “Auntie’s very ill,” she said. “She’s going to die.” Then Aslan went to go in at the door of the cottage, but it was too small for him. So, when he had got his head through, he pushed with his shoulders (Lucy and Susan fell off when he did this) and lifted the whole house up and it fell backward and apart. And there, still in her bed, though the bed was now in the open air, lay a little old woman who looked as if she had Dwarf blood in her. She was at death’s door, but when she opened her eyes and saw the bright, hairy head of the lion staring into her face, she did not scream or faint. She said, “Oh, Aslan! I knew it was true. I’ve been waiting for this all my life. Have you come to take me away?”

“Yes, dearest,” said Aslan. “But not the long journey yet.” And as he spoke, like the flush creeping along the underside of a cloud at sunrise, the color came back to her white face and her eyes grew bright and she sat up and said, “Why, I do declare I feel that better. I think I could take a little breakfast this morning.”


From Prince Caspian
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 31, 2015

PHILIPPINES (continued) - In the Philippines, extreme weather events are intensifying. News reports describe Manila as an air-pollution “time bomb,” not only because one in eight deaths worldwide are attributed to air pollution but because pollution affects weather. Survival is exceedingly difficult for the poor: in cities, prices of water and basic services skyrocket due to privatization, yet flood waters are increasingly common; in rural areas, farmers who borrow at high interest rates for seeds and supplies drown in debt when storms destroy their crops.

Amid such realities, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) draws great inspiration for mission as disciples of Jesu ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

If the first and lowest operation of pain shatters the illusion that all is well, the second shatters the illusion that what we have, whether good or bad in itself, is our own and enough for us. Everyone has noticed how hard it is to turn our thoughts to God when everything is going well with us. We ‘have all we want’ is a terrible saying when ‘all’ does not include God. We find God an interruption. As St Augustine says somewhere, ‘God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full—there’s nowhere for Him to put it.’ Or as a friend of mine said, ‘We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.’ Now God, who has made us, knows what we are and that our happiness lies in Him. Yet we will not seek it in Him as long as he leaves us any other resort where it can even plausibly be looked for. While what we call ‘our own life’ remains agreeable we will not surrender it to Him. What then can God do in our interests but make ‘our own life’ less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible source of false happiness?


From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 30, 2015

MINUTE FOR MISSION: UNION PRESBYTERIAN SEMINARY - In January 2014, my wife and I journeyed to Ghana with a group of students and staff as part of Union Presbyterian Seminary’s travel-seminar program. I remember particularly our group’s visit to a wonderful market in the middle of Agbogbloshie, a vast slum outside Accra. We were met by leaders of the Konkomba Market congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. The congregation is led by a pastor who came to this impoverished area to, in Jesus’ words, “bring good news to the poor.” As we walked through the community, people called out to him, greeted him with smiles and handshakes, and welcomed us with warmth simply because we were with him. Here, in a place where so many live without material and physical comforts, he was proclaiming the Lord’s favor ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

It is a wonderful thing and a strengthening of faith that two souls differing from each other in place, nationality, language, obedience and age should have been thus led into a delightful friendship; so far does the order of spiritual beings transcend the material order.

It makes easier that necessary doctrine that we are most closely joined together alike with the sinner Adam and with the Just One, Jesus, even though as to body, time and place we have lived so differently from both. This unity of the whole human race exists: would that there existed that nobler union of which you write. No day do I let pass without my praying for that longed-for consummation.


From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 29, 2015

PHILIPPINES (continued) - It was the first day of our training in the use of creative methods for psychosocial support and action. Jocelyn was in tears as she explained to fellow day-care staff the work of art she had just completed—a paper with a circle that she had colored purple, black, and red. “I so desperately wanted to put happy colors like yellow or orange in the circle. But I could not." ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, August 28, 2015

From ServLife International: "Good Vs. Best"

ServLife International is a movement defined by values of God’s kingdom, not programs built around human efforts and activities. The reign and rule of God should be made apparent to every person on the planet, despite their religion, race or socioeconomic status. We believe that issues of justice are inseparable from the good news that Jesus Christ came to proclaim. ServLife exists to take the gospel of Christ and the hope of a better, more just, world to the lives of people we touch. This happens through individual contributions of time, creativity, resources and dreams.



Good Vs. Best

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” And what is the will of God? To preach the Gospel and perform powerful acts of sacrificial love, right? Jesus goes on, “many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’”

What?! So preaching and healing and serving are not enough? Or not the right things? I wish Jesus would just give us a righteous task list… But he doesn’t. It’s harder, deeper and more complex than that.

Sometimes the right thing is the wrong thing. Doing the will of God is the only thing that is always the right thing. And that is more difficult to accomplish than a righteous task list. It requires knowing God’s will today. This moment. Which requires us to listen. To be quiet. To hear from God before we act.

When an orphan is brought to the ServLife children’s home in Nepal, the child with all their paperwork is presented and interviewed by the staff. They do their due diligence. And then our director’s wife, Bhakti, goes upstairs to her bedroom. To pray. And she doesn’t come out until God speaks and says whether or not to take the child into the home. When God speaks, they do God’s will, and that is the final decision.

I’d rather just do what I think is best and what will do the most good. I say, accept every single orphan into the home. But the good thing is not always the best thing. God’s will is best, and I’m learning to listen before I act. I want to be like Jesus, who said, “I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders.” (John 5:30 MSG)

Your desire to adopt God’s will and care for orphans, share the good news of Jesus and empower families struggling financially is having an incredible impact in India and Nepal. Thank you for your obedience to God’s prompting, and for seeking God’s will not just for your life but also for the lives of others.

May we listen before we act. May we not settle for good but pursue what is best. May God’s will be done in heaven and earth and our lives. Amen


Thank you,

Adam Nevins 
From Adam Nevins
Executive Director
ServLife International Inc.




Join Our Mission

ServLife International propels reconciliation and justice by building global community to plant churches, care for children and fight poverty. Compelled by the message, life and love of Jesus Christ, we seek to care for the spiritual, physical, social, and economic areas of life in northern India and Nepal.  Learn more about our latest news, featured stories, and how to get involved at servlife.org

Support a Pastor

Our church planters spread the love of Christ in some of the most difficult
 environments in the world.
Support Them ... 

Sponsor a Child

For only $30 per month you can help give a child food, education, care and, most importantly, hope.
Sponsor Now ... 

Fight Poverty

The HOPE Fund, our micro-finance program, provides start-up funds for a small business, paving a way out of poverty for families in need.
Learn More ...



ServLife International, Inc.
P.O. Box 20596
Indianapolis, IN 46220
USA


From @FWMission ... Friday Story: "The The Smell of the Sun"

COMING THIS FALL ... double-down with Free Wheelchair Mission and 1st Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Turning 1 wheelchair into 2, then 4!
Details to come in the weeks ahead.



Founded in 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission
is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. Headquartered in Irvine, California, FWM works around the world in partnership with a vast network of humanitarian, faith-based and government organizations, sending wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, providing not only the gift of mobility, but of dignity, independence, and hope.



Friday Story: "The Smell of the Sun"

Greetings, and Happy Friday!

Occasionally we receive a story from the field directly from the recipient and I found the story of Yang Bao very compelling. So many of our wheelchair recipients live life from a backroom feeling depressed and even useless. Yang Bao is a 51 year old man from a remote village in Xixian County, Henan province, China who was involved in an automobile accident and left unable to walk ...

read the rest of this story ...



Want to take one of these wheelchairs for a test drive? During normal business hours, visit the lobby at the Texas Street entrance of First Presbyterian Church-Midland, at the northwest corner of Texas and A streets, on the west side of downtown Midland. You can give the gift of mobility. The cost of $72.00 is a bargain to us ... but it is a life-changing gift to impoverished and disabled recipients ... and there are times when your contribution will be matched, reaching not one - but TWO, and sometimes FOUR recipients. Please note on your check "Wheelchair Gift."

In the News ... "Rapture Ruckus brings Kiwi flair to Christian hip-hop"

• FREE concert TONIGHT in Andrews

Trent Johnson, Reporter

Midland Reporter-Telegram

ANDREWS, TEXAS - usic is often a cathartic tool for people in a struggle. A soothing calm that helps soothe the mind through tough moments. In every genre, there’s always an ideology or subtle message one can relate to.

For New Zealand native Brad Dring, front man for Rapture Ruckus, the world of music helped him overcome a variety of obstacles. After dropping out of high school at the age of 16, Dring transformed his struggles into lyrics, a practice he’s done ever since.

Tonight, the hip-hop group brings their act to Andrews, Texas. We talked to Dring, a fixture in the Christian music scene about his humble beginnings, faith in music and more before he and his hip-hop group headlines Cross-Bar Cowboy Church in Andrews ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

“Aslan—and children from another world,” thought Tirian. “They have always come in when things were at their worst. Oh, if only they could now.”

And he called out “Aslan! Aslan! Aslan! Come and help us now.”

But the darkness and the cold and the quietness went on just the same.

“Let me be killed,” cried the King. “I ask nothing for myself. But come and save all Narnia.”

And still there was no change in the night or the wood, but there began to be a kind of change inside Tirian. Without knowing why, he began to feel a faint hope. And he felt somehow stronger. “Oh Aslan, Aslan,” he whispered. “If you will not come yourself, at least send me the helpers from beyond the world. Or let me call them. Let my voice carry beyond the world.” Then, hardly knowing that he was doing it, he suddenly cried out in a great voice:

“Children! Children! Friends of Narnia! Quick. Come to me. Across the worlds I call you; I, Tirian, King of Narnia, Lord of Cair Paravel, and Emperor of the Lone Islands!”


From The Last Battle
Compiled in A year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 28, 2015

PHILIPPINES - We stood at the edge of the sea, 92 delegates to the annual church conference gathering. It was pouring rain, and we were huddled under umbrellas. Our destination was the island of San Vicente, two hours across the stormy waters.

Our boat, an open outrigger with a tarp for a cover, had a capacity of 30 people. Given the stormy conditions, the limit was firm. Walking across the boat’s narrow gangway, I asked a council member: “Why are we doing this? ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

EPCAT-USA: Anti-Trafficking Accessories


ECPAT USA is part of a global network of organizations and individuals working together for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. It seeks to encourage the world community to ensure that children everywhere enjoy their fundamental rights free and secure from all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.

Anti-Trafficking Accessories
Purchase and use of EPCAT luggage tags help ...

  contain warning signs of human trafficking and how to report it
  spark conversations about the issue while traveling
  show that are you an advocate
  provide skills and opportunities for vulnerable women
  support our work to train the travel industry
  help you find your luggage on the carousel

... and EPCAT USA has other accessories for sale, as well!

CLICK HERE to go shopping with ECPAT USA




For more information on this and other ECPAT USA efforts, please email us at info@ecpatusa.org


C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO GENIA GOELZ, who had asked Lewis for a prayer in her struggle to believe: Lewis’s prayer for a daily increase in obedience and faith.

18 March 1952

Don’t bother at all about that question of a person being ‘made a Christian’ by baptism. It is only the usual trouble about words being used in more than one sense. Thus we might say a man ‘became a soldier’ the moment that he joined the army. But his instructors might say six months later ‘I think we have made a soldier of him’. Both usages are quite definable, only one wants to know which is being used in a given sentence. The Bible itself gives us one short prayer which is suitable for all who are struggling with the beliefs and doctrines. It is: ‘Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief.’6 Would something of this sort be any good?: Almighty God, who art the Father of lights and who has promised by thy dear Son that all who do thy will shall know thy doctrine: [John 7:17] give me grace so to live that by daily obedience I daily increase in faith and in the understanding of thy Holy Word, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 27, 2015

JAPAN (continued) - Located in northern Japan, the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) is an international training ground for grassroots rural leaders. Each year it conducts a nine-month Rural Leaders Training Program in sustainable agriculture, community development, and leadership. ARI recruits women and men who are living and working with their neighbors in rural communities. It seeks out local leaders who have demonstrated their commitment to serve and act as conduits for positive change within their own communities ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WAW Wednesday: "More hope ... from you and God"

"The Word at Work is a ministry that mobilizes churches and individuals to answer God's call to minister to those in need," writes Rev. Tim Tam, Director of the Amarillo, Texas-based ministry. "Through our relationships, God reveals needs and opportunities for service. As we come along side the poor, new friendships develop and doors for ministry open. As we serve, God provides the resources to supply for the needs he reveals."


More hope ... from you and God

Hi Friends -

Are you the answer to someone’s prayer?

Pinnacle Community Church (Amarillo) worked in Belize this summer and they had a reunion meeting last night where they shared some of the things that have burdened them since returning to the US. One team member, a public school teacher, lamented that many of her students take education for granted. She is struggling with how to impart the precious gift education after hearing first-hand how so many students in Belize struggle to come up with tuition and funds for books and uniforms. ( No free education in Belize) We take for granted what is given to us with out cost while our Belizean friends struggle with funding their children over feeding the family.


This is the case in The Valley of Peace, one of the places where we have a scholarship program. Here we received about 40 applications from our Valley of Peace Partners (a group of leaders and church representatives who review the applications, meet with families, and hold students accountable) for school scholarships this year. Are you the answer to a student’s prayer? ... to be able to attend school? Each sponsorship is $150 USD, which helps us with what we need to cover tuition , books , and uniforms.
Can you spare a $12.50 per month for the coming year? If you feel moved to help sponsor a child's education, send an email response to our office at mollie@twaw.org 


NEXT

Often we refer to what we call "The iron rule" In mission. Never do for others what they can do for themselves. Those of you who have been to Belize know that we emphasize coming alongside our partners in Belize.

7 Mile Progresso Village is an excellent example.

First Presbyterian church of Midland Texas and Baptist churches from New Mexico, working together with the local congregation, have just finished putting the roof on the Casa de Alabanza church.

These churches from the United States could easily have funded the entire project, but they have moved slowly and deliberately so as not to take away indigenous ownership and disregard the contribution that the local church is able to make. Healthy support dictates that we step in only at the point of need rather than throwing our cash at the project and supplanting local initiatives.

Here's an incredible photo ...

... Look closely and observe the original church structure under the new roof. The congregation was able to continue meeting in the old structure during the construction process.

The construction of this building was a shared effort of mission teams from the US and the local church. On every occasion they worked together side-by-side. The money for materials was given to match what the locals raised…... Initially the local church grew and sold a field of potatoes to pay their part. As for the roof, FPC Midland loaned the church literal "seed money” so they could plant peanuts. After the peanut crop gets sold, the Belizean Church is able to pay for their half of the roof and repay the loan for the seed.

But the best part is the relationships that are being forged between the partner churches. Have a look at their Spring trip video by clicking on this link . It will definitely make you smile and catch the joy. On that mission trip you'll see a house was built for a local pastor and his family and the team working in the community school. And if you watch closely you will see children singing in the original tiny wooden Church.


Other great news today ...

Today work is going on to install Solar panels at the Kings Children’s home. This will translate into saving tons of money and that translates into a sustainable Ministry and care for orphans. Thank you so much for your willingness to give and make that happen ...


... and please be praying that old man Kenny doesn’t lose his footing and fall off the roof.
Blessings,

TT (Tim Tam) The Word at Work

ps: Our Ministry Associate team gathers school supplies, toys, and stuffed animals through out the year ... we've discovered blankets are an ongoing need as well, so please be saving them, too. Click here to learn more about becoming a TW@W Ministry Associate, or get in touch with Tim Hagen for more information!


EDITOR'S NOTE: Speaking from my own first-hand experience - working side-by-side with Tim, Kenny and our brothers and sisters in Belize - won't you give thoughtful, prayerful consideration to supporting the efforts of Tim, the Word At Work staff and their partners? Please please fill out this Commitment Card and return it to their office!

Also, remember that you can follow The Word At Work on their Facebook page!

FBR Report: "Naga Teams Complete First 2015 Relief Mission"

COMING THIS FALL ... David Eubank, founder of the Free Burma Rangers, will be visiting 1st Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas, in September, and giving us a first-hand
account of what's happening in Burma/Myanmar.
Details to come in the weeks ahead.





The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma (Myanmar). Ethnic pro-democracy groups send teams to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency assistance and human rights documentation. Together with other groups, the teams work to serve people in need.


"Naga Teams Complete First 2015 Relief Mission"
Distributed by Free Burma Rangers, July, 2015

Dear friends, family and team mates,

The first 2015 mission of Free Burma Rangers Naga Social Relief team has been successfully completed and took place between the 22 January and 12 March. The mission was conducted in Eastern Nagaland around Lahe Township, one of the poorest and least developed parts of Burma. Many villages were visited and six clinics were held where people were given free medical care by the team ...
 

CLICK HERE to read the full FBR Report, and enjoy photos from the mission ...

In the News ... "Catholic Church Fills Priest Shortage With Foreign Priests"

KOSA Photo
• Teaching newcomers about American culture, lifestyle and how the church operates in the USA

By Christopher Saul, Reporter
KOSA-TV


ODESSA, TEXAS - The Catholic Church has experienced a shortage of priests in recent years, causing bishops to look abroad for holy men to fill the void.

In the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo, which includes Midland, Odessa and most of western Texas, every other priest calls a foreign country home ...

read/watch the rest of this KOSA report 


C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. . . . He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert. Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honor) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, ‘Son, thou art welcome.’ But I said, ‘Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.’ He answered, ‘Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.’ Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”


From The Last Battle
Compiled in A year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 26, 2015

JAPAN - In the aftermath of the Second World War much of Japan lay in ruins, and the population was spiritually and physically exhausted. The nation was hard pressed to meet even the most basic needs of the people. Presbyterian missionaries returned to this challenging environment and immediately conducted a survey to prioritize their efforts. One of the highest priorities was to witness to the love and compassion of Jesus Christ through medical ministry. Together with Japanese Christians, an area in Osaka called Awaji was identified as especially lacking medical services. It had been severely damaged during the war and was home to a marginalized minority group ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From Uganda, Dr. Greg Bartha: "Common Medical Problems Seen in the Cross Emergency Medical Clinic"

Longtime Midland physician Dr, Greg Bartha describes himself as ... "Elderly physician embarks on a new journey in life serving God and the people of Uganda. My goal is to move from living a good life to living a great life." In addition to his long-term mission, working at a medical clinic in Uganda, he is also a contributor to the Formula Vita blog.




Common Medical Problems Seen in the Cross Emergency Medical Clinic

Malaria is the most common problem I see in the Cross Emergency Medical Clinic. It strikes mainly babies and young children, presenting with high fever, diarrhea, vomiting and occasional seizures. The text books advise anti-malaria treatment for any child under age three who has high fever and lives in the area. First, we usually do blood examinations on these children. There are characteristic markings in the red blood cells which indicate malaria. The greater the number of these abnormalities present, the more severe the condition ...

... It has been a steep learning curve for me to familiarize myself with these diseases and symptom complexes. I’m thankful for the assistance of Oboot Luke, the doctor stationed here at the clinic. He has been an enormous help to me and has become a great friend ...
 

CLICK HERE to read the rest of Greg's post ... 

In the News ... "From EMT/firefighter to pastor"

OA Photo by Edyta Blaszczyk
• Prior job helpful in reverend’s new role

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - The Rev. Leland Hart’s experience as an emergency medical technician and firefighter has given him a better understanding of people facing crises.

Pastor of Open Door Assembly of God Church at 3102 E. University Blvd., the 54-year-old Denver City native says his work as director of the EMS program at Midland College and as chief of the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department from 2001 to last year “helps you grasp what people are experiencing when they lose their home or a loved one ...

read the rest of this OA report ...


C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Pleasure

[The demon Screwtape writes:] [God, the “Enemy,” is] a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a facade. Or only like foam on the sea shore. Out at sea, out in His sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it; at His right hand are “pleasures for evermore.” Ugh! Don’t think He has the least inkling of that high and austere mystery to which we rise in the Miserific Vision. He’s vulgar, Wormwood. He has a bourgeois mind. He has filled His world full of pleasures. There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least—sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working. Everything has to be twisted before it’s any use to us. We fight under cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side.


From The Screwtape Letters
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 25, 2015

NORTH KOREA - As a regional liaison for East Asia, I was looking for a partner to share the ministry in North Korea with me. In November 2013, I traveled to Shenyang, China, to attend Seotop Church’s 100th-anniversary celebration. There I met Rev. Sungnam Chen, associate pastor of the church, and shared my thoughts with him about reconciliation between North and South Korea and about the abiding poverty in North Korea. He suddenly grabbed my hand ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, August 24, 2015

From ChinaAid: "Cross removals in Zhejiang rising: More than 20 cross demolitions reported in 3 week period"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

ChinaAid Photo
Cross removals in Zhejiang rising: More than 20 cross demolitions reported in 3 week period
Distributed by ChinaAid, July, 2015 ...

WENZHOU, ZHEIJIANG, CHINA – As persecution against churches in China’s coastal Zhejiang province intensifies, two Christian organizations in Zhejiang released an open letter directed to the Zhejiang Provincial Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau, calling for the immediate and unconditional cessation of cross demolitions ...

more on this story from China Aid