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Religion Today Summaries - January 5, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - January 5, 2005

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

  • South Indian Mission Seeking Friends In America To Help With Tsunami Relief

  • Compassion International Helps Those Affected By The Recent Tsunami In South Asia 

  • Ministers Use Quran as 'Ultimate Tool' to Evangelize Muslims

  • Overcoming The Obstacle Of Witnessing In Muslim-Dominated Afghanistan

South Indian Mission Seeking Friends In America To Help With Tsunami Relief
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service

Mercy and Grace is a non-profit, Christian, church-based and charitable organization providing physical, spiritual, educational, vocational/technical, psychological and economic aid, run by Madhava and Nirmala, Founders and Trustees. In an e-mail message the mission organizers say: "We request your daily prayers to meet needs of our Lord's work for spreading the gospel to four corners of every village of remote rural areas to win the dying souls for his kingdom and needs of the children who are destitute, child labor, street children, neglected, school dropouts and orphans at Mercy and Grace Residential School for Christ and his kingdom." The mission Board of Trustees of Mercy and Grace Charitable Trust visited the affected families who are totally and partially lost by tsunami earth quake. Madhava and Nirmala are seeking friends in America who will help with their mission, especially as a result of the combined earthquake and tsunami tidal wave. Madhava and Nirmala say that a friend is a friend even when we are in adverse circumstances or in trouble or in sickness.

Compassion International Helps Those Affected By The Recent Tsunami In South Asia

A disaster relief fund has been established by Compassion International to help those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in South Asia.  Donations received through the Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund will help the ministry partner with other evangelical relief agencies to help disaster victims. The hardest hit area for Compassion International was in India, where at least three projects were affected.  Melissa Eiles, director of communication for the ministry, says many Compassion families felt the impact personally.  "The storms just came in incredibly quickly, and more than 400 fishermen were swept away; 25 of them were fathers of Compassion-assisted children," Eiles says.  "So those families are not only grieving the loss of their fathers, but they've lost their livelihood [and] they've had their homes destroyed.  It's been very tough for this area of India."  Staffers for Compassion International in India area are traveling to the home of each child in the impacted areas to see if all children and family members are accounted for.  Ministry projects in Thailand and Indonesia were not affected by the disaster.

Ministers Use Quran as 'Ultimate Tool' to Evangelize Muslims
Charisma News Service

Many believers denounce the Quran's teachings, but some Christians have taken the controversial approach of using Islam's holy book to bring Muslims to Jesus. They say by communicating the gospel in a manner Islamists can understand, many receive Christ. Their converts are called "Messianic Muslims," partly because they are encouraged not to abandon some Islamic traditions. A Messianic Muslim is an Islamist who has accepted Jesus but refuses to be referred to as a Christian and chooses to stay within the Arab community. "I use their own book of precepts to validate the authenticity of Christ," Patricia Bailey, founder of Georgia-based Master's Touch Ministries, told Charisma magazine. Bailey is not alone in her provocative way of reaching Muslims. John Taimoor is an itinerant preacher and founder of Crossbearers, a California-based ministry that presents Christianity within an Islamic context. And Jeremiah Cummings, who studied Islam with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, is now on a mission to bring the gospel to Muslims. However, some leaders of Arabic missions organizations question the way Bailey, Taimoor and Cummings evangelize Muslims, especially when it comes to using the Quran. "In fact, at every cardinal point of the gospel, it contradicts the Word of God." David Goldmann, missions consultant with Frontiers, an organization that plants churches among Muslims in more than 40 countries, agreed. "Using the Quran to prove Christianity can emphasize Quranic authority over the Bible," said Goldmann, 73, who spent 24 years ministering to Muslims in North Africa. (http://www.charismanow.com)

Overcoming The Obstacle Of Witnessing In Muslim-Dominated Afghanistan

Christian churches are expanding in Afghanistan because of a unique evangelism tool.  Missionaries in Muslim-dominated Afghanistan face a major problem when it comes to witnessing in that nation. Seventy percent of Afghanis are illiterate, so EvangeCube Ministries is working with the Christian church there to overcome that obstacle.  An "EvangeCube" is a puzzle-like picture cube that helps to tell the gospel story. Tom Doyle, director of international ministries with EvangeCube Ministries, just returned from Afghanistan. Doyle told Mission Network News that Afghanis are open to the EvangeCube presentation.  "They're wanting to hear what the difference is between Christianity and Islam, and this is just a great way to do it," he explains. "So there is a freedom, but ... the terrorist groups are striking ... when the Church congregates because they know that's our strength." Doyle says money is needed to get 150,000 EvangeCubes into Afghanistan and other parts of central Asia.