Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Special delivery for Sugartree Ministries

Sugartree Ministries receives a special delivery from Glenn Beck: 38,000 pounds of food.

In London, Ohioans & Ethiopian church partner

LONDON (BP) -- An email about a mission trip to London during the Olympics captured Terri Frasure's heart.

Upon receiving the notice from the Ohio Woman's Missionary Union, "all I could think about was what a perfect opportunity to reach the nations," said Frasure, a member of First Baptist Church in South Lebanon, Ohio.

"I could not get it out of my heart, that God had commanded us to go to all nations and to teach the Gospel."

Frasure is one of 11 volunteers from churches in the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio ministering in London as the city hosts the Olympics. They are part of a team who came with More Than Gold, a Christian organization seeking to help churches in the United Kingdom engage with the 2012 Olympics, according to its website.

Frasure and her team are working with the Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church to share the Gospel with people near King's Cross, one of London's biggest travel hubs.

The Ethiopian church is using its building as a hospitality center during the Olympics, offering people free cake, tea and coffee and an opportunity for visitors to watch the Summer Games on TV.

"When they come to take part in that, we sit down and try to talk to them a little bit," Frasure said. "We really try our best to look for an opportunity to share Jesus Christ with them."


Congressman Frank Wolf Adds Voice of Urgency to Senate Special Envoy Bill

Open Doors USA, Rep. Wolf Urge Sen. Webb
To End His Senate Hold on Legislation
SANTA ANA, Calif. (July 17, 2012) – Last month Open Doors USA launched an advocacy campaign to encourage the U.S. Senate to pass a bill which would create a special envoy at the U.S. State Department for religious minorities, including Christians, in the Near East and in South Central Asia.
Senate bill S. 1245 was introduced last year, but it still has not been brought to a vote. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has placed a hold on the bill, preventing it from moving forward. If S. 1245 is not passed in this session of Congress and signed into law, the process will have to be started all over next year in the new session of Congress.  The House overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan measure last summer. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.
Last week Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), asked Sen. Webb to lift the hold placed on the legislation. Wolf has talked to Webb personally and to his staff.
Part of the letter Rep. Wolf sent to Sen. Webb reads: “…I would venture that the Coptic Christians, Baha’is, Chaldo-Assyrians, Ahmadis, small remaining Jewish population and countless other religious minorities throughout the Middle East and South Central Asia who face daily persecution, hardship, violence, instability and even death would be hard-pressed to see your objection to this straight-forward, bipartisan legislation.

“Will a special envoy guarantee these communities’ survival – and even flourishing – in the lands they have inhabited for centuries?  I do not know. But I am certain, that to do nothing is not an option – lest on this administration’s and this Congress’ watch we witness a Middle East emptied of ancient faith communities, foremost among them the beleaguered Christian community.”
Sally Rae, Advocacy Assistant at Open Doors USA, states: “We applaud Rep. Wolf’s efforts to urge Sen. Webb to lift his hold on S. 1245. The creation of a Special Envoy will add a strategic voice of support to these vulnerable regions, especially countries such as Syria, Egypt and Iran. It would communicate that the United States is doing all we can to stem the persecution, violence and even death that religious minorities face in these countries.
“We urge those who care about moving this bill forward to contact their senators. Go to http://advocacy.opendoorsusa.org/ for a sample letter. With a third of the U.S. Senate facing election votes in the fall, it is a great time to share with your elected officials about the issues most important to you. Already over 2,300 people have joined in this timely and critical campaign.”
The Near East countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and also the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The South Central Asian countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. All of these countries are on the Open Doors 2012 World Watch List – www.worldwatchlist.us/ -- of the worst persecutors of Christians with the exception of Israel, Lebanon and Nepal. The Special Envoy would be appointed by the President and report to the President and Secretary of State.
Nearly 70 percent of the world's 6.8 billion people live in countries with little or no freedom of religion. Open Doors is an organization that for over five decades has come alongside Christians in 60 of these restrictive, dangerous countries, campaigning for the freedom to believe from the gulags in North Korea to the halls of Congress. Open Doors' outreach to more than 100 million persecuted believers includes delivery of Bibles and other materials, training of indigenous leaders in the Word, Christian community development, prayer and advocacy. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            888-524-2535      end_of_the_skype_highlighting) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            616-915-4117      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email jerryd@odusa.org).

Faith and Pro-Life Activists to Pray and Risk Arrest at the White House as a Public Witness against Unjust HHS Mandate

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- There will be a news conference, prayer vigil and civil disobedience at the White House on Wednesday, August, 1 at 3:00 P.M.

The activists will be gathering on Pennsylvania Ave. NW in front of the White House on the Lafayette Park side.

The HHS mandate, which will force people of faith and conscience to violate their deeply held values and convictions, takes effect for many companies and individuals on August 1.

The mandate would force Christians and people of good will to provide abortion inducing-drugs and sterilization in their health care coverage even though it violates their religious beliefs and conscience.

We agree with Cardinal Dolan when he says, "No government has the right to intrude into the affairs of the Church, much less coerce, the Church faithful to engage or cooperate in any way with immoral practices."

The vigil and witness on Wednesday is a preview of a larger national event taking place at the White House called Actsfive29. (Go to actsfive29.com for more information.)

On September 29-October 2 people from all across the nation are coming to the White House to take part in Actsfive29 which will include 72 hours of continual prayer, public witness and arrests.

Wednesday's activities are being led by long time and revered pro-life activist Joan Andrews Bell, Chris Slattery, Founder of Expectant Mother Care in New York City, and the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition.

Chris Slattery comments;

    "August 1 marks a new day of infamy when the Obama Administration undermines the religious liberty of all Americans. We strongly protest the imposition of a new Obama religious test and immoral health care mandate which offends and degrades millions of Americans.

    "This mandate forces all to be complicit in paying for Obama's anti-religion and anti-life values."
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, adds;
    "Benjamin Franklin stated, 'Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.' Sadly, the Obama Administration is dictating to people of faith and conscience how they are to live their values in the public square.

    "If President Obama can force Christian individuals, institutions and businesses to abandon their core values and follow the dictates of the government in violation of what they know to be true, then religious freedom and the First Amendment are dead.

    "The faith community can never be silent or indifferent when it comes to matters of justice, human rights and religious freedom. As we gather in front of the White House we are sending a powerful message to our President and political leaders that we will never comply with unjust and immoral government mandates."
For more information contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 540.538.4741

Christian Newswire

American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) Launches Abortion, Sexual Trauma and Healing Division

CHICAGO, July 31, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the world's leading faith-based counseling organization, announces the launch of a new professional division focusing on Abortion, Sexual Trauma and Healing. Julie Woodley, ministry outreach representative at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, will provide leadership and serve as the division head, joined by an advisory board of Christian professionals. Woodley is also founder and director of Restoring the Heart Ministries.

"We are committed to equipping Christian counselors and the entire 'community of care' --licensed professionals, pastors, and lay church members with little or no formal training -- to provide the best possible mental health and soul care, ultimately leading clients toward maturity in Christ," said AACC president, Dr. Tim Clinton.

The wounds caused by abortion and sexual trauma are far-reaching and devastating. In response to this epidemic, the AACC is taking a pro-active stance to equip and train counselors and caregivers on these important issues. Many clients -- both men and women -- are affected by such heartache, and it is essential that professional counselors and lay leaders understand their deep soul wounds and are equipped to offer effective healing interventions that lead to forgiveness, freedom, and wholeness.

"My vision for this new division is to mobilize both mental health professionals and lay counselors to respond to the pain of sexual trauma and abortion," said Julie Woodley. "We will provide training to the Christian community and beyond on healing from the deep wounds of post-abortion, sexual trauma, human exploitation, trafficking and prostitution."

In conjunction with AACC, Woodley has produced two DVD training series -- In the Wildflowers, to help lead individuals through the healing process of recovering from childhood sexual abuse, as well as Into My Arms, to help lead women through the forgiveness journey after an abortion.. The DVD training series with curriculum are being used throughout the country and internationally by counseling professionals.

In addition to her outreach role at Timberline Knolls, Woodley is a national speaker, author, and counselor. Her desire to reach men and women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse came out of her own life experiences. Her story has been aired on various national media outlets and she speaks to audiences across the country on healing from trauma. She holds an M.A. in counseling and a certificate in Theological Studies from Bethel Seminary. She is also a certified trauma counselor and was ordained in 2000.

Woodley co-authored her life story, Restoring the Heart: Experiencing Christ's Healing after Brokenness with Mathew Woodley. She also wrote Post-Abortion Trauma: The Silent Side of Abortion with Mark Kretschmar, and Surviving the Storms of Life with Dr. H. Norman Wright and Mathew Woodley.

"My passion is to become involved in the lives of others, inviting them to consider their own hearts and helping them discard the things that rob them of the joy that God has for them," adds Woodley. "In my new role, I hope to bring my passion and knowledge to those struggling."

About the American Association of Christian Counselors
The AACC is the world's leading faith-based counseling organization, with a vision to serve the worldwide Christian Church by helping foster healing and maturity in Christ. The organization seeks to educate and equip professional clinicians, pastoral counselors, and lay helpers through developing comprehensive resources, trainings, conferences, magazines, newsletters, webinars, and other media forms. In addition, the AACC facilitates community, networking and collaboration among Christian caregivers around the world. For more information about membership and events, visit our website, call 1.800.526.8673 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1.800.526.8673      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or stop by our social media sites -- Facebook and Twitter.

About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 - 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. Women and families seeking Christian treatment can opt for specialized Christian-based therapy. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            877.257.9611      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. We are also on Facebook - Timberline Knolls, and LinkedIn - Timberline Knolls.

Christian Newswire

DreamWorks acquires VeggieTales' parent company

The animation studio that created Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon has acquired the parent company of Big Idea and its popular VeggieTales brand.
DreamWorks Animation SKG announced this week that it has entered into an agreement to buy Classic Media for $155 million in cash from Boomerang Media Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR.
Classic Media owns one of the most extensive portfolios featuring many of the best-known franchises in family entertainment, including Lassie, The Lone Ranger, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Where's Waldo? and George of the Jungle.
In 2009, Boomerang Media LLC purchased Big Idea and Classic Media, which bought Big Idea after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2003.
"As we approach celebrating Big Idea's 20th anniversary [in 2013], we couldn't be more pleased to join the DreamWorks Animation team," said Leslie Ferrell, general manager of Big Idea. "DreamWorks Animation respects and supports Big Idea's successful history in producing faith-based, family friendly entertainment and is committed to supporting our growth. We expect many wonderful things to come of this partnership."


Responding to International Religious Freedom Report, Rep. Smith Calls for Sanctions on Worst Violators

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- In response to the release of the State Department's annual International Religious Freedom Report, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) expressed concern about the administration's failure to prioritize religious freedom in the face of extreme abuse, as well as its refusal to condition aid on improvements in religious freedom.

Covering nearly every country of the world, the International Religious Freedom Report was mandated by Congress to document religious freedom violations so that the U.S. government could defend religious freedom more vigorously and sanction the worst violators. The International Religious Freedom Act enacted in 1998 was authored by Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10) and cosponsored by Rep. Smith.

"The new report documents deteriorating religious freedom conditions last year in countries like China, Egypt, and Vietnam, and Iran," said Smith. "The real question is, what will the administration do differently than simply dialogue with abusers? Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, it can and should move quickly to designate Countries of Particular Concern and attach appropriate sanctions. Unfortunately, despite Secretary Clinton's words today, this administration has for almost four years shown very little commitment to promoting religious freedom."

Regarding religions freedom violations in China and Egypt, Smith said, "Reusing existing sanctions, as has in the past been done with China, misses the point and fails to achieve results." Previous administration actions had re-designated an already existing sanction instead of applying a new sanction specifically for religious freedom in China. New information in the report confirms what China's religious believers and the human rights community have been telling us about control, harassment, jailings, and persecution -- religious freedom in China has deteriorated. On Egypt, the Report documented the culture of impunity created by the Egyptian government for crimes against the Coptic community. "The administration's dialogue with the Egyptian government on religious freedom has failed to achieve results, and conditions have gotten worse for the Copts," said Smith. "Egypt's failure to take even the most basic action to ensure justice for and protect its Coptic citizens from crimes, including the abduction and forced conversion of Coptic women, should mean a cut in aid dollars," Smith said. Congress attached conditions to the $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt, but they were waived by Secretary Clinton this year.

Rep. Smith is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights, as well as the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Christian Newswire