Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Churches Reach Out to Tennessee Flood Victims
- President Obama Proclaims National Day of Prayer
- Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti Copes with Orphan Crisis
- 'The Hole in Our Gospel' Named Christian Book of Year
Churches Reach Out to Tennessee Flood Victims
Baptist Press reports that churches and Baptist associations across Middle Tennessee are reaching out to members and residents who were impacted by a record-setting flood. More than 13 inches of rain fell over the weekend, causing the Cumberland River to crest more than 10 feet above floodstage, flood thousands of homes and close sections of three interstates. Forest Hills Baptist Church in Nashville had at least 20 families whose houses received flood damage, some of them losing everything. Todd Young, associate pastor of education and activities at the church, helped a church family Sunday evening move their furniture upstairs, safely away from the floodwaters. He was heading out to help more families Monday afternoon and said he witnessed images in the flooded areas he won't soon forget. "I saw people walking out of their houses, in water, holding their bags over their heads like in Katrina," Young told Baptist Press.
President Obama Proclaims National Day of Prayer
The Christian Post reports that President Obama has issued his proclamation for the National Day of Prayer as planned, despite the April 15 ruling declaring the day "unconstitutional." "On this day, let us give thanks for the many blessings God has bestowed upon our Nation," Obama said in the proclamation. "Let us rejoice for the blessing of freedom both to believe and to live our beliefs, and for the many other freedoms and opportunities that bring us together as one Nation." Obama cited the long history of prayer in a national that seeks to uphold the religious freedom and freedom of conscience, calling the day a "fitting and proper" observance. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb decided the National Day of Prayer constituted a call for religious action and was therefore unconstitutional, but acknowledged the ruling would not go into effect until it is reviewed by a higher court.
Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti Copes with Orphan Crisis
Mission News Network reports that many of the youngest survivors of Haiti's massive Jan. 12 earthquake are still searching for a home. The country has only 100 licensed orphanages and perhaps thousands of orphans after the earthquake. Eva DeHart, founder of For Haiti With Love, says that poses a unique problem now for their staff members. "The government brought five little girls to the orphanage and just said, ‘You will take these,'" DeHart said. "Presume asked, ‘Do they come with food?' The guys from the government just laughed, ‘Of course they don't come with food.' They have more kids than they know what to do with, and they're forcing existing orphanages to take them." DeHart says that his group has seen nothing of funds set aside for rebuilding, since For Haiti With Love has a different focus. "We thought those first few weeks were the biggest challenge, but it was only the slow beginning of a daily increasing need."
'The Hole in Our Gospel' Named Book of Year
Christian Newswire reports that Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has named "The Hole in Our Gospel" as their 2010 Christian Book of the Year. Author Richard Stearns is president of World Vision U.S. "We hope the honor of being named 'Christian Book of the Year' will help 'The Hole in Our Gospel' mobilize even more Christians to care for the poor worldwide," said ECPA's President Mark Kuyper. "In a year of unforgettable world disasters, including the devastating earthquake in Haiti, we are eager to encourage believers to take action for those in need." Published by Thomas Nelson, the book chronicles Stearns' journey of faith, as well as his decision to leave the corporate sector after more than 20 years and lead the major fundraising office of the world's largest Christian humanitarian organization.