Religion Today Summaries - October 18, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 18, 2005

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world. In today's edition:

  • The Charisma Challenge

  • A Preacher's Plea: Don't forget the Gulf Coast  

  • Pakistan Earthquake: Native Missionaries Rush to Help Victims

  • Help Provide Urgently Needed Emergency Supplies For Earthquake Victims

The Charisma Challenge
Stephen Strang, Charisma

The challenge is for you to find a church or a family to help and to respond generously. Let the church be the church! Do to those congregations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas what you would have them do to you. Within days of Hurricane Katrina, Christian Life Missions-the non-profit partner of Charisma-rushed clothing, prescription drug vouchers, gas vouchers, and thousands of hot meals to displaced families through our partnership with Christian-operated shelters in the Southeastern U.S. and California. One shelter, Laguna Beach Christian Retreat, in Panama City, Florida currently houses 425 people who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. Donations to Christian Life Missions have helped do this and so much more. 100% of every donation to Christian Life Missions goes straight to the survivors who need it, and no administrative fees are held, as Strang Communications has agreed to pay all overhead costs for this project. Giving hope to a family who has weathered a storm is easy. Your financial gift will go to help families rebuild their lives and churches rebuild their ministries. You'll be immediately providing housing, food, clothing, and more. You can rush aid to churches and families that survived a hurricane. Please take the challenge and go to www.christianlifemissions.org/giving to give today.

Pakistan Earthquake: Native Missionaries Rush to Help Victims
Christian Aid Mission

A massive 7.6-magnitude earthquake, the worst natural disaster in the history of Pakistan, struck that country, also affecting regions of northwestern India and Afghanistan.  The quake was followed by at least 140 aftershocks several minutes later. Kashmir is the most seriously affected area. The epicenter is located just north of Islamabad in the city of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir. Several apartment buildings in Islamabad collapsed, trapping hundreds of people, and many of the roads near the earthquake-affected region have been completely washed out. According to Tariq Mahmood, Kashmir's communications minister, the death toll is more than 30,000. Another 51,000 are injured.  The United Nations reports 2.5 million people in the affected region need shelter. Immediately following the earthquake, Sarla Mahara, South Asia director for Christian Aid Mission, contacted several indigenous ministries in Pakistan who had already begun helping the many injured and homeless but need financial assistance to continue meeting the great number of needs. By avoiding the costs of sending American relief workers overseas, Christian Aid is able to send 100 percent of donations directly to native workers. Native Pakistani ministries report that thousands of homes, schools, mosques and government offices have been destroyed.  In addition, telephone lines, electricity and the water supply have been disrupted. To find out more information or to donate please visit: www.christianaid.org.

Help Provide Urgently Needed Emergency Supplies For Earthquake Victims
Jenni Parker, Agape Press

World Vision is asking people to donate to its SAVE fund to help provide urgently needed emergency supplies to children and families in crisis in the wake of the magnitude 7.6 earthquake that hit the South Asian subcontinent. More than 30,000 people have been reported killed by the deadly quake, the epicenter of which was about 60 miles north-northeast of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. However, the estimated death toll is currently over 42,000 and rising, with many bodies still buried under debris. A large portion of the hardest-hit area is in the Himalayas, virtually inaccessible, and poor weather is also making rescue efforts difficult. More than three-million people are presently homeless and living in the open, despite temperatures which have dipped below freezing. James East, a World Vision relief worker in Pakistan, told Associated Press that Americans are responding generously to the need in a disaster that has killed 30 times the number of people who died in Hurricane Katrina, and although his agency is a Christian organization, its teams are working well alongside Muslims and being welcomed as people of faith. (www.worldvision.org)

A Preacher's Plea: Don't forget the Gulf Coast 
Charisma News Service

Evangelist Johnny Jernigan has been neck-deep in storm recovery since Hurricane Katrina smashed  the Gulf Coast more than a month ago. But besides delivering food to needy families and helping evacuees reclaim their damaged homes, he has been leading hundreds of people to Christ-people who weren't open to the gospel before the disaster. Yet Jernigan fears this new spiritual openness may not last. He also is concerned that Christians who have been generous with both money and time may choose to forget Katrina's victims by the time Christmas arrives. "What we do must be done before Christmas, or we will miss a great chance to advance the kingdom in this region," says Jernigan, 43, who is a national evangelist with the Assemblies of God. He worries that "America's attention deficit disorder" will cause many people to become bored with the Gulf Coast tragedy at a time when residents need help more than ever. Christian volunteers from other parts of the country are returning to life as usual, Jernigan says, at a time when storm victims are becoming depressed and overwhelmed by the trauma of loss. To find out how you can partner with a Gulf Coast church that is operating a relief station, contact Johnny Jernigan at [email protected].

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