Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ohio church sews quilts of love for Congo ill

Nancy Byrd and the congregation at Christ United Methodist Church, Kettering, Ohio, know how it feels to be wrapped up in a “God-size” dream and see it come true.
The church raised $117,000 and helped tip the scales to buy a new plane for an aviation ministry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But money wasn’t enough; they wanted something more personal.
An idea formed in Byrd’s heart of a way that each person in the Ohio church could actually touch someone in the Congo. Touch a piece of cloth, touch a person was how Byrd explains it.
At a special service in May, every woman, man and child in church that day held a nine-inch square of cloth in his or her hands and prayed over it. Those cloths were sewn into quilts that will be shipped to the Congo to bring comfort to sick and suffering people.
“These small pieces of cloth will emerge into a symbol of the family of Christ Church personally touching the lives of our brothers and sisters so many miles away … personally sending the extravagant love and healing power of Christ from this place to our brothers and sisters in the Congo,” Byrd said as the congregation held the pieces of cloth in their hands and prayed.


Church and State for the Homeless

When Kimberly Banks unexpectedly lost her job in 2006 and her job search stretched from weeks to months, she became despondent. Living in a Denver motel, she would frequently wake at 3 A.M. and cry out to God in prayer as her two sons slept soundly nearby. "I was always a woman who said I can take care of my own. There were some nights that I didn't want to keep living because I felt like less than a mother, like my kids were better off somewhere else," Banks recalls. "I didn't know what to do."
But getting involved with Denver's innovative Family and Senior Homeless Initiative (FSHI) changed all of that. Banks was matched with a mentoring team from a local church. They met regularly for financial counseling, support, and encouragement. The church paid the first month's deposit on an apartment and helped her furnish it.
A year later, the outlook for the Banks family was hugely brighter. Banks started college full-time and she didn't have to move. Success stories like hers give FSHI leaders reason to think their ministry model could be useful in solving the nation's growing problem of family homelessness.
In the past seven years, the initiative has helped about 1,100 families, beating its original milestone of aiding 1,000 in 10 years. Some 86 percent of the families who take part in the initiative still have the same housing after one year.
"It's almost double the average," says Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who was mayor of Denver in 2005 when he and religious leaders launched the program. "Look at the bang for the buck. This is one of the highest-yield philanthropic activities you can do."

WEEK OF PRAYER: Cancer becomes one of God's 'greatest gifts' to IMB missionary

DURBAN, South Africa (BP) -- Roger Hesch should be dead.

After stage 4 bone marrow cancer decimated his body, his recovery encountered several life-threatening setbacks, each of which should have overpowered his ravaged immune system. Doctor after doctor told him the chances of survival were next to nothing.

But God had more for Roger to do.

Saying 'yes'

Years earlier, after graduating from high school in his hometown of Little Falls, Minn., Roger spent a year in South Africa as part of an international exchange program in Johannesburg that exposed him "to the bigger world," he said.

He and his wife Meg met while attending college in Minneapolis and were married in 1980. Early on, the couple made a commitment to say "yes" to God's leading, regardless of what that meant. They said "yes" to Roger attending seminary and pastoring two Southern Baptist churches.

"In January 1986, I was speaking on the Great Commission and while I was preaching, God said, 'You can't encourage other people to do what you are not willing to do,'" Roger recalled.

It was then the couple said "yes" to serving overseas as missionaries with the International Mission Board.

"We said we'll go where other people can't or won't go," Roger said.

That led them to live in a dangerous country in sub-Saharan Africa with few missionaries -- Roger was even wrongfully imprisoned for a week. But he and Meg remained obedient, seeing 70 churches multiply to 500 in about six years.

It was after a move to North Africa to pastor an international church that Roger and his family -- which now included three children -- would face their biggest challenge.


Tim Tebow Speaks in Central VA at Wildfire Men's Event

2013 Wildfire "Men's Impact Weekend" Conference to feature Tim Tebow at the Liberty University Vines Center, March 8-9, 2013
FOREST, Va., Nov. 14, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The 2013 Wildfire "Men's Impact Weekend" Conference is set to pack out the Liberty University Vines Center with 10,000 guys in just a few short months. National Football League icon, Tim Tebow of the New York Jets has just been confirmed as the headliner for the March 8-9, 2013 event.

Tebow will be sharing his personal testimony of faith on Friday evening at the conference. Tim Tebow won two college football national championships at the University of Florida, was a first-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, and led the Denver Broncos to the 2011 NFL Playoffs for the first time in six years. He lives a life that consistently reflects his values and founded the Tim Tebow Foundation(tm), which partners with CURE International to build hospitals in the Philippines. Tim was also named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2012.

While Tebow sees football as a platform for greater good, it's clear that the public's fascination with him spreads far beyond the gridiron. He has over 2 million Facebook subscribers and 2 million Twitter followers, and his New York Times bestselling memoir Through My Eyes, was named the #1 Sports Book of 2011.

Joining Wildfire Founder, Tim Clinton, and Tim Tebow, the weekend will include a stellar lineup of some of America's premiere Athletes, Outdoorsmen, Bible teachers and speakers, including John Smoltz, legendary pitcher for the Atlanta Braves; Willie Robertson, star of the hit reality TV show, Duck Dynasty; Joe White, President and founder of Kanakuk Kamps; Rick Rigsby, a dynamic motivational and leadership speaker; and more!

This annual gathering will also feature inspirational praise and worship with Michael O'Brien and the Wildfire Worship Band. Attendees can expect a two-day event packed full of workshops, exhibits and fun around the stuff that men love -- hunting, fishing, motorcycles, racing, athletics, extreme sports and other outdoor activities -- taught by some of the leading experts in the world.

Wildfire is partnering with Pastor Jonathan Falwell from Thomas Road Baptist Church, Spirit FM, Liberty University and the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia to bring this stellar event to Central Virginia.

Looking ahead to this landmark men's event, Clinton shares, "Wildfire is designed to help men draw closer to the heart of God and become better fathers, husbands, sons and leaders. Our 2013 program will bring together thousands of men -- many with their sons -- to hear real-life testimonies of faith, to worship together, and be challenged to live the life of true adventure that God created us for."

"Guys, think road trip!" Clinton encourages. "Bring your dad, son, brother, friend, hunting buddy, or a group from your church or work and get to Central Virginia. Don't miss this one!"

Register before the Special Savings Deadline of December 28th and pay only $64 (at the door tickets are $109)! That's an incredible savings of $45! And if you bring a group of 10 or more, you'll get your ticket ABSOLUTELY FREE! Military (active or retired), Young Men (ages 12-17) and College student's tickets are only $49.

Don't wait! Register today at or call 1-800-526-8673.

A press photograph and complete bio of Tim Tebow are available upon request.

**Media Advisory:
Media is welcome to cover the event but must adhere to the following guidelines: All requests for credentials for this event must be made in writing by 12 noon on Monday February 25; all requests should be sent to Michael Queen will confirm receipt of your request and approved credential.

Christian Newswire

Recent Rampage Shows Drastically Worsening Plight of India's 285 Million 'Untouchables'

Gospel for Asia Urges Ernest Prayer for Abused Humanity
CARROLLTON, Texas, Nov. 13, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- With almost 300 homes destroyed recently by angry mobs of caste Hindus, the plight of the Dalits, India's "untouchables," is growing more critical daily, according to K. P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia (GFA). An estimated 1,500 homeless Dalits spent the night in fear without shelter before being housed in government schools, he said.
"Christians everywhere are called to urgent prayer for these oppressed people who are crying out to God for hope," said Yohannan. "Only Jesus Christ can offer the ultimate hope and freedom these abused people seek."
The Hindu-caste violence revealed to the world in "The Hindu," a major Indian secular newspaper, is indicative of their silent suffering that almost never receives public attention, Yohannan said.
According to "The Hindu," the most recent outbreak of violence occurred in three colonies of Dalits of the Adi-Dravida community in western Tamil Nadu.

 As many as 268 of their primitive huts and one- or two-room concrete houses were torched by a mob incited by the marriage of a caste Hindu girl to a Dalit boy from Natham Colony. Upon learning of the marriage, the girl's father committed suicide, and mobs took fierce revenge on unsuspecting families in not only the boy's colony, but two adjoining colonies as well.
This kind of violence inflicted by the upper castes is not an isolated incident, said Yohannan. The Dalits, who are considered subhuman, less valuable than farm animals and therefore not even part of the lowest of the caste system, are segregated, treated as slaves and mercilessly abused. In many places, they are denied access to safe water, education and choice of faith and occupation. In their suffering, they are opening their hearts seeking hope.
Of India's 1.2 billion people, one-fourth are "untouchables." Ninety-five percent of all Dalit women are illiterate. The 62 million child laborers from the Dalit and the lowest caste comprise the largest number of working children in the world.
Into this culture, 580 GFA Bridge of Hope institutions are bringing education, meals and healthcare to 60,000 children in need. In communities where Dalits are not allowed to draw water from public wells, "Jesus Wells" are providing clean water for 800-900 families.
"In spite of all that Gandhi did to fight the caste system, it still exists," said Yohannan. "True hope, liberation and human dignity for 285 million outcast people in India can be found only in Christ. It is imperative that we join in their suffering through prayer."
Gospel for Asia ( is a mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.
To schedule an interview with K. P. Yohannan, contact Taun Cortado at 972-300-3379 or

Christian Newswire