Religion Today Summaries - September 7, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 7, 2005

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

  • Bishop T.D. Jakes And The Potter's House Church Reach Out To Survivors Of Hurricane Katrina

  • New Orleans Residents: God's Mercy Evident in Katrina's Wake  

  • Prominent Mennonite Pastor Released From Jail In Vietnam

  • New Weather-Resistant Bible Developed to Meet Climatic Challenges

Bishop T.D. Jakes And The Potter's House Church Reach Out To Survivors Of Hurricane Katrina
Religion News Service

On August 31, Bishop T.D. Jakes placed the full force of The Potter’s House ministry resources into actively assisting individuals and families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He also began galvanizing the support of several large churches and ministries across America to aid the survivors. The Potter’s House is also partnered with the World Children’s Fund, successfully donating $250,000 worth of ready to eat meals, nutrition bars, water, ice, and first aid, representing 200 tons of material relief, which has already on the ground in the devastated region. The church is also in partnership with World Vision and with their assistance, truckloads of various non-perishable supplies, including clothing, toiletries, and water has also been delivered. A telephone bank is up and running at the church, fielding the many calls received from displaced individuals and families, survivors now residing in the North Texas region hosted by friends and relatives, and from Good Samaritans offering their assistance. The church is responding to the immediate needs of the people. Parents can also enroll their children into Clay Academy , the ministry’s elementary school, as long as space is available. To receive information about regional emergency services or to make donations, call: (214) 623-4081. To volunteer to help, call: (214) 333-6313.

New Orleans Residents: God's Mercy Evident in Katrina's Wake
Jody Brown and Allie Martin, Agape Press

Two Christian leaders in New Orleans are testifying to God's mercy in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One suggests that the death toll could have been much higher had it not been for God's mercy -- and the other that God may have used the hurricane to purge wickedness from the city. Chuck Kelley is president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Kelley now finds himself homeless and with only a few personal belongings following Hurricane Katrina's devastating blow to the New Orleans area. Kelley's faith, despite his personal situation, remains steadfast and he is confident of God's provision. "When we get to the end of this story," he says, "the last paragraph is going to be a testimony to the greatness and glory of our God, who is able to do all things well, and able to provide every need." Rev. Bill Shanks, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship of New Orleans, also sees God's mercy in the aftermath of Katrina -- but in a different way. Shanks says the hurricane has wiped out much of the rampant sin common to the city. "God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there -- and now we're going to start over again," Shanks says.

Prominent Mennonite Pastor Released From Jail In Vietnam
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service

A prominent Mennonite pastor was released from prison on 30 August as part of Vietnam's National Day amnesty. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the former General Secretary of the Vietnam Mennonite Church, the Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang, was originally arrested on 8 June 2004 and convicted of inciting others to resist officers doing their duty, and had been sentenced to three years' imprisonment. He always denied the charges against him, despite severe pressure to sign an admission of guilt. CSW said Pastor Quang's prison experience was reportedly a very difficult one. In an e-mail report to ASSIST News Service (ANS), CSW said Pastor Quang was held in five different prisons, and suffered abuse at the hands of fellow prisoners. CSW said Pastor Quang returned to his family in the evening of 30 August. His family home is in the building which houses the Mennonite church, which was partially demolished under the supervision of Vietnamese authorities on 19 July. Since Pastor Quang's imprisonment, his Mennonite church has continued to suffer constant raids from the authorities, which now number over 80. CSW says Pastor Quang's wife, Le Thi Phu Dzung, has bravely led the church through the period of her husband's detention. CSW said Pastor Quang's release came as part of a general amnesty in which around 10,000 prisoners were freed, in connection with Vietnam's National Day on 2 September.

New Weather-Resistant Bible Developed to Meet Climatic Challenges
Agape Press

Although God's Word endures forever, people who work or play outdoors know a typical Bible subjected to the elements is unlikely to last long. But a new weather-resistant Bible, soon to be available, promises to endure water, sand, heat, snow and general outdoor wear. The new "Outdoor Bible" was developed specifically to meet the climatic challenges of outdoor environments in order to provide inspiration anywhere from the rivers to the mountains to the deserts, standing up to extreme weather or even accidental immersion. The Outdoor Bible resembles the size, format, and flexibility of a road or trail map, but instead of trail and road markings, it contains the New American Standard translation of the New Testament. Co-developer Bobby Bardin says he and his partner both love being outside in the rain, snow and sand, but none of their traditional Bibles could stand up to the abuse of the elements as they wanted. "So we created a lightweight, durable, compact, and waterproof version," he says. Bardin describes their new NASB scripture resource as "a perfect all-weather companion for missionaries, campers, boaters, hunters, sports teams, the military, and any other outdoor enthusiasts." The rugged, waterproof, wear-and-tear-resistant Outdoor Bible will go on sale September 12 and will be available exclusively online at