Religion Today Summaries - September 23, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 23, 2005

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

  • TBN and Friend Ships Assist Thousands in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

  • Churches Urged To Show Video On SBC Disaster Relief Efforts 

  • Storm Survivors See Christ's Love Demonstrated in Faith-Based Relief Effort 

  • Churches Urged to Join Week of Prayer for North Korea - September 19-25

TBN and Friend Ships Assist Thousands in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Religion News Service

Two weeks after docking its 180-foot cutter Hope at Gretna, Louisiana, the humanitarian agency Friend Ships has assisted thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina with food supplies, water, personal items, emergency home repairs, and spiritual encouragement. With the help of a $100,000 gift from the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Friend Ships set up quickly in a special area designated by the mayor of Gretna, who had personally asked Friend Ships to assist the community. The Bell JetRanger helicopter donated to Friend Ships by TBN, affectionately dubbed "Wings of Love," flew in teams of volunteers and a  huge cook kitchen to serve people with hot meals. "After setting up two prayer and cook stations our teams unloaded food, water, ice, and other disaster items," says Don Tipton, Friend Ships' founder and director. TBN has already sent over 10,000 Bibles for distribution to affected areas, as well as more than 85,000 dolls and other toys for the children whose families lost everything. Friend Ships is continuing to accept gifts of money to help with its ongoing outreach to Katrina victims, as well as a wide variety of needed items, including new and gently used clothing, bottled water, rice, beans, and other food supplies, roofing nails, hammers, and other tools needed by volunteers doing repairs to homes in the community. For a more complete listing of needed items visit or call 337-433-5022. For TBN information go to:

Churches Urged To Show Video On SBC Disaster Relief Efforts
Baptist Press

Southern Baptist leaders are urging pastors to download a six-minute video highlighting Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts for viewing by their congregations this Sunday. The video is a collaborative effort between SBC entities. It includes updates on disaster relief efforts. The video presents information from SBC Executive Committee President Morris H. Chapman about the committee's decision to redirect beyond-the-budget Cooperative Program contributions for SBC national entities, received for the 2004-05 fiscal year ending Sept. 30 (an estimated $7 million) and during the first quarter of the new fiscal year. Also included is a message from James T. Draper Jr., president of LifeWay Christian Resources, about LifeWay's $6 million donation to disaster relief as well as a challenge from SBC President Bobby Welch to share the Gospel while meeting the physical needs of victims of Hurricane Katrina. The video is available for online viewing and download today by 10 a.m. Central Time at NAMB also has been producing a webcast updated weekly about Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts at Ongoing disaster relief information, meanwhile, is posted at

Storm Survivors See Christ's Love Demonstrated in Faith-Based Relief Effort
Allie Martin, Agape Press

On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where many residents lost homes and personal property due to a massive storm surge during Hurricane Katrina, the faith-based relief efforts are continuing to
provide for thousands of devastated storm victims. One Mississippi couple say they see Christ's commands being lived out through the volunteers who are helping the hurricane survivors in their area. Lorenzo Brown and Mona Polk live in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and decided to ride out Hurricane Katrina along with their infant son, Drew. But as the hurricane made landfall and their apartment began to flood, the couple quickly realized they had made the wrong decision. Brown, Polk and their son have joined thousands of south Mississippi residents who are now receiving free meals, medical care, and supplies where volunteers with Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief teams are distributing aid and otherwise ministering to survivors. Brown feels the assistance of the church volunteers has literally saved his and his family's lives. The relief being distributed at the church is "a good help," he says, "because a couple of days we went hungry. Now we've got food, and we're blessed to be living." Christian agency and church volunteers deployed to the area continue to make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors daily.

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."