Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world. In today's edition:
- President's Call for Remembrance of Storm Victims Spurs Online Prayer Rally
- Churches Urged to Join Week of Prayer for North Korea - September 19-25
- Campus Ministries Join The Effort
- India: Missionaries Homeless after Mumbai Floods
President's Call for Remembrance of Storm Victims Spurs Online Prayer Rally
Allie Martin, Agape Press
The Presidential Prayer Team (PPT), a grassroots prayer movement with more than two million members, have organized a massive online Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi Gulf Coast region hurricane victims. The group is encouraging Christians everywhere to join in its "Virtual Prayer Rally," which is set to take place today. Last week, President George W. Bush proclaimed September 16 as a national day of prayer in the wake of the devastation and loss of lives caused by Hurricane Katrina. John Lind, president and CEO of the Presidential Prayer Team, says the Virtual Prayer Rally is a way for Christians to come together in a concentrated effort to respond to the disaster. Go to: www.PresidentialPrayerTeam.org and click on the icon that says 'register for the Virtual Prayer Rally. Those registering will come to a page where they can put in their first and last name, e-mail address, what state they're from, and what one-hour time block they'd like to select. The Virtual Prayer Rally will last through the entire day on Friday, Lind adds. He believes the Day of Prayer could become the starting point for a renewed focus on prayer and repentance across America.
Churches Urged to Join Week of Prayer for North Korea - September 19-25
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service
Churches and Christians around the world are being urged to remember the suffering people of North Korea during the Week of Prayer for North Korea running from 19-25 September, 2005. "The immensity of the need and the deep spiritual darkness in North Korea requires urgent and intense prayer by the Body of Christ," says Christian Solidarity Worldwide's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas. Thomas says that North Korea is probably the most closed of all societies in the world today and its walls of isolation have very effectively blocked the population from hearing the Gospel. CSW is urging all Christians to pray for North Korea during the Week of Prayer. "We know of no country in which the state repression of Christianity is so thorough and violent," says Thomas. "We therefore strongly urge the Church to fervently pray until we see the forced imposition of idolatry and the violent suppression of faith fall, and the walls of darkness and repression crumble. Now is a pivotal time to pray and we urge all Christians to take to heart the injunction in Hebrews 13.3 to 'remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."
Campus Ministries Join The Effort
The nation's college students are not allowing themselves to be counted out of the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast region. Many of them were among the first to jump on board to earnestly help those in need. Steve Masters, the Baptist Collegiate Ministries director at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, reported that "After the hurricane, a decision was made to set up the hospital. I helped those 12 students to round up 50 to 60 more BCM students and they set up the hospital." "This was the beginning group of the 2,000-plus volunteers at LSU that helped for a week." And Campus Crusade for Christ International reports that it is mobilizing the largest and longest relief and recovery effort in its history in response to Hurricane Katrina. "In the face of so much suffering, I'm thrilled by the generous, cooperative spirit of so many who want to help," Jim Topmiller, national director of development for CCC's U.S. Campus Ministry division, said in a news release. "Students are getting ready to go. We're partnering with churches, denominations and Christian relief agencies. Corporate partners and thousands of individual donors are all asking, 'How can we help?'"
India: Missionaries Homeless after Mumbai Floods
Christian Aid Mission
It has been over a month since deadly floods tore through western India, killing over 1000 people and rendering thousands more homeless. Among the survivors were native missionaries, already impoverished and living in the poorest parts of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), who have now lost everything. Missionary Ramesh wrote to Christian Aid, “I live in the slum area of central Mumbai. On July 26, there were heavy rains and wind. By evening water entered my one-room rented house up to six feet. I sought refuge in a higher place, as I am only five feet tall. All the meager furniture, the cot, couch, clothes, books and food, were soaked in water and became useless. Nothing could be salvaged, as the water was very dirty. The public toilets and open drains outside caused a bad stink. After the water abated, my family came home, and now my 3-year-old daughter is suffering from pneumonia. We are looking for another house.” Ramesh leads a church of about 60 poverty-stricken former Hindus. Thankfully, no native missionaries supported by Christian Aid were killed in the flooding. Pray for those who lost all they owned, that their sacrificial ministries among the most desperate residents of Mumbai would continue to bear fruit.