Many Christians Choose to Remain in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to Share the Good News of Jesus Christ

Photo courtesy of World Mission.

After the Taliban cemented its control over Afghanistan, many Christians fled. World Mission has helped over 200 Christians get out of the country.

Greg Kelley says the Taliban compiled lists of Christians and has even hunted them down to arrest or kill them. “However, there still remains a large number of Christians inside of Afghanistan that will never leave. They are so convicted and challenged that they want to share the good news of Jesus Christ. The idea is that if they leave, who’s going to share Jesus with their fellow Afghans?”

One pastor’s story

Kelley tells the story of one pastor who sent his daughter out of the country. Women face worse prospects under Taliban rule by far, with education limited and forced marriage a possibility in some places.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Ask God to protect Afghan Christians who remain in the country and give them courage.
  • Support World Mission’s work with Afghans.

Andrea Dos Anjos, an Evangelical Baptist, and a Host of Others Open Up Sex Shops for Brazil’s Evangelicals

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Sometimes, she disguises her merchandise as medication. Others, as a bakery delivery. Whatever the packaging, Andrea dos Anjos knows discretion is key when Brazil’s emerging Evangelical sex shops send erotic products to their clients.

Dos Anjos opened her online store, Memorias da Clo, in 2019, offering Evangelical women a safe space to ask questions and seek advice on products designed for a part of life that remains taboo for many conservative Christians in Brazil.

The 43-year-old Baptist is based in Rio de Janeiro, but counsels her clients mainly via private messaging app, like fellow pioneer Carolina Marques, who opened her own Evangelical sex shop — or “love store,” as she prefers to call it — a year ago.

Marques’s business, ConSensual, offers an online catalogue of “auxiliary products for relationships,” such as erotic toys and flavored lubricants — all tactfully presented, steering well clear of the wilder side of the sex-toy trade.

The idea, she says, is that clients “won’t have to rush to close their laptops” if someone walks in the room while they’re browsing her website.

Click here to read more.
Source: France24

There’s a Devil Loose: Security Guard Who Claimed to Be a Bible-believing Christian and Sent Out Multiple Words of Encouragement to His Facebook Friends Killed His Four Children and Mother-in-law After His Wife Filed for Divorce

A Bible-thumping security guard who is charged with shooting dead his four kids and his mother-in-law after his wife filed for divorce posted self-righteous Facebook rants about ‘being attacked by the devil,’ ‘learning from the worst mistakes’ and ‘being a good person to the wrong people’ before Sunday’s massacre.

Germarcus David, 29, turned himself in to Los Angeles authorities on Monday after the bodies were found at the Lancaster house that David jointly owned with his wife, Tyanna Brown.

Ericka England, a Los Angeles correctional officer in her 50s, and four children under the age of 12 were found dead by their mother, who reportedly screamed ‘My babies are gone! They’re all dead!’ upon arriving at the scene, a neighbor said.

David remains jailed on $2 million bail and is expected to make an initial court appearance on Tuesday.

Court records from the website UniCourt show that Brown filed for divorce from David in 2020, but the process had since been dismissed.

David´s Facebook page includes a photograph of a crucifix and posts from late October and earlier this month offering spiritual and moral views.

One of his posts reads: ‘The devil wouldn’t be attacking you so hard if there wasn’t something valuable inside of you. Thieves don’t break into empty houses.’

‘The devil wouldn’t be attacking you so hard if there wasn’t something valuable inside of you. Thieves don’t break into empty houses,’ posted Germarcus David, 29, who turned himself to Los Angeles authorities after the bodies were found at the house that David jointly owned with a woman, Tyanna Brown

The security guard appears to be a die-hard religious fanatic, often offering motivational advice about God and the Bible to his Facebook friends and getting hundreds of likes

David remains jailed on $2 million bail and is expected to make an initial court appearance on Tuesday

What appeared to be David´s Facebook page includes a photograph of a crucifix and posts from late October and earlier this month offering spiritual and moral views

David wrote on Facebook that ‘life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes’

A body is seen being removed from a house in Lancaster, California, where four children and their grandmother were murdered allegedly by the father of the children

His last post, on November 16, spoke about feeling unloved.

‘God’s never been interested in you being “enough”. Moses didn’t think he was good enough. People didn’t think David was strong enough. Maybe today you’re in the “not enough” mindset. Just know that God loves you when you feel unloved for. God loves to show up in the not enough moments to teach us that he is more than enough. Look to God and stay as strong as you can,’ he wrote.

David also self-branded as a ‘good steward’ and wrote about not wanting to be remembered by ‘his money, fame, or fortune’ but by his ‘good actions,’ and wanting to be seen by his now deceased children as a ‘conscious warrior.’

‘My words, deeds, the love I spread unconditionally, and my pursuit of being a good human above, and beyond, everything will echo in this world long after I leave it through the deeds of those who were affected by me,’ he wrote.

He added: ‘THAT is what I want my legacy to be. THAT is what I want my children to grow up seeing. THAT is what inspires me to do what I do; to fight for what I want; to speak up the way I do; to love through all the pain I’ve experienced in my life.’

David hinted on Facebook about his ‘dark’ past and referenced healing and growing from recurring pain and challenges in his life.

‘I’m telling you this because I wish someone had told me this. When things keep repeating in your life that are causing you pain is because there’s a lesson to be learned that you are not yet learning. Remember things happen for you not to you and the pain will leave you once it’s done teaching you,’ he wrote over the summer.

Ericka England, a Los Angeles correctional officer in her 50s, and her four grandchildren under the age of 12 were reportedly killed by their father

Heartbroken coworkers of England, David’s mother-in-law, posted heartfelt tributes to the correctional officer who was reportedly preparing for retirement on Facebook.

‘Wow! I Will definitely miss you. You were transparent, sweet, funny and always full of life! I thank God for the opportunity to have worked alongside you as a correctional officer, u are a beautiful soul!’ Norvella Jackson, who claimed to be England’s coworker, wrote.

Meanwhile, John Miller posted: ‘Been keeping this in all day. HEARTBROKEN is the only thing that comes to mind. See you and your 4 Grandbabies in heaven. Rest now, we got your back.’

Craig Tucker, who said to have worked with England at the state prison, also mourned her death.

‘Out of all the friends I made while working at the state prison you Ericka England were one of the most memorable funny accepting and positive. I will miss you, may the Lord accept you and the children you loved in his house with loving arms. I will never forget the joy you brought to all of us,’ he wrote.

David is a licensed security guard whose firearm permit was canceled, according to a state database analyzed by The Los Angeles Times. The California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services were unable to explain the cancellation.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a home in Lancaster, north of Los Angeles, at around 10.30pm, after the mother of the children found them inside the house.

When the deputies arrived at the scene, they found an adult woman and four children suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper torso.

All of the children – three boys and a girl, according to CBS Los Angeles – were pronounced dead at the scene.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail

Josh Duggar holds hands with wife Anna as he arrives for first day of child porn trial that could see him jailed for 40 years

Fallen reality star Josh Duggar ignored questions today as he arrived for day one of a federal child pornography trial that could see him locked up for 40 years.

Duggar, 33, clasped hands with his wife Anna and strode purposely past TV cameras as the pair arrived at the John Paul Hammerschmidt federal courthouse in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Tuesday.

Asked how he was feeling, Duggar, wearing a dark navy suit, white shirt and polka dot tie, and Anna, wearing a black dress, both stared straight ahead before entering the building, where phones and electronic devices have been banned for the duration of proceedings.

Duggar, famous for appearing in TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, was charged in April with two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty and jury selection is due to start today.

Judge Timothy L. Brooks is also set to decide ahead of jury selection whether previous allegations against Duggar can be used as evidence and if two witnesses, including Duggar’s father and a family friend will be allowed to testify.

Brooks began proceedings by posing questions to a pool of 51 jurors to begin whittling the number down to 12. That included reading out a list of potential witnesses who may give evidence during the estimated five to six day trial.

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Source: Daily Mail

Lawsuit Says ‘Troubled’ Mennonite Boys Were Trafficked, Forced Into Physical Labor, and Abused at a Pennsylvania Farm

Since at least 2011, parents of wayward Mennonite boys and young men sent their sons to Liberty Ridge Farm in McAlisterville, Pa., where they would receive spiritual guidance, structure, and a “closely supervised homelike setting,” according to court documents. Parents were told their sons would leave reformed members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church.

But two former Liberty Ridge residents claim the facility was abusive. In a lawsuit filed against the farm and the church on Nov. 17 in federal court, the men allege the farm used them in a human-trafficking plot, where boys were subjected to forced labor with no compensation while being physically and emotionally tormented and deprived of food and education.

Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church officials could not immediately be reached for comment Monday night. Martin Nelson, a named defendant who owns Liberty Ridge Farm, did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Tuesday. Attorneys for the farm and church were not listed in court documents.

Renee Franchi, one of their attorneys for the plaintiffs — identified in the lawsuit only as D.C. and J.D.M. — said other potential victims are urged to contact her office, according to a statement to the Washington Post.

“We have heard from other former residents as well as witnesses, and believe there to be more,” Franchi said.

The lawsuit is the latest allegation of abuse of power by a religious leader. Earlier this month, the founder of a Filipino megachurch was arrested and charged with orchestrating a sex-trafficking operation. According to federal prosecutors, Apollo Carreon Quiboloy and his accomplices told victims forced to engage in sexual acts that their obedience was “God’s will.” Quiboloy’s lawyer has denied the allegations. In October, eight leaders of a Nation of Islam offshoot in Kansas that has been labeled a “cult” were arrested for allegedly separating children from their families, housing them in poor conditions, and forcing them into labor without pay.

Click here to read more.
Source: Inquirer

31 New Missionaries Appointed by Southern Baptist Churches to Take Gospel to the World

Messengers to the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting pray for 31 new International Mission Board missionaries as they are commissioned. “Southern Baptists, this is part of, if not the primary reason we came together in the first place …” said IMB President David Platt.
Photo by Matt Jones

As a young girl, as Amy Sanderson* listened to stories of missionaries serving around the world, she told God she would “go” to take the Gospel to people who had never heard it. In college, as she studied physical therapy, she began to ask God to expand her horizons to go on mission. Continue reading “31 New Missionaries Appointed by Southern Baptist Churches to Take Gospel to the World”

31 New Missionaries Appointed by Southern Baptist Churches to Take Gospel to the World

Messengers to the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting pray for 31 new International Mission Board missionaries as they are commissioned. “Southern Baptists, this is part of, if not the primary reason we came together in the first place …” said IMB President David Platt.
Photo by Matt Jones

As a young girl, as Amy Sanderson* listened to stories of missionaries serving around the world, she told God she would “go” to take the Gospel to people who had never heard it. In college, as she studied physical therapy, she began to ask God to expand her horizons to go on mission. Continue reading “31 New Missionaries Appointed by Southern Baptist Churches to Take Gospel to the World”

5 Ways to Quiet the Noise in Your House So You Can Rest and Hear

Life for most of us is anything but quiet and definitely not still. Most of us most of the time are running from one thing to the next. There’s so much noise and activity that it can be hard to know what to do next. We continue day after day thinking that if we work faster, if we work harder, if we make better use of our time, then we will get caught up and then we will have time to rest. Unfortunately, that never happens. Continue reading “5 Ways to Quiet the Noise in Your House So You Can Rest and Hear”

The Fascinating, Nearly 2,000-Year-Old History Behind Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity

Christians are well-acquainted with biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth, but some might not know much about the Church of the Nativity, a site in Bethlehem that has long been venerated as the traditional location of Christ’s birth.

Mazen Karam, CEO of the Bethlehem Development Fundation, an organization created to help improve conditions in the town of Bethlehem, recently revealed details about his group’s ongoing efforts to renovate the church and restore various elements of its historic splendor.

Karam also delivered a helpful history lesson about the longstanding view that the Church of the Nativity is, indeed, the location where Mary and Joseph welcomed Jesus into the world.

Listen to Karem break down the captivating history:

The History Surrounding the Church of the Nativity
The site of the Church of the Nativity was pinpointed by St. Justin Martyr in the 2nd century and was later marked with the physical building of a church by St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.

Nearly two millennia later, a house of worship still stands on the site, making it one of the oldest houses of worship in the world.

“In the year 326 A.D., [Helena] commissioned the construction of … the Church of the Nativity,” Karam said, noting the church was completed by 339 A.D. “It was a smaller church than what we know now. … It was destroyed in later years by an earthquake and was rebuilt in the year 526 by the Emperor Justinian.”

Years later, the site was expanded upon, with mosaics and other elements added. Over time, desecration and disrepair befell the church, though, with the last major repairs unfolding more than five centuries ago.

“The last major repair that was done to the church was done in the year 1480, 540 years ago,” Karam said.

But that changed in 2013, when the Bethlehem Development Fund began modern-day renovations on the site. Those updates are now 90% complete, with Karam and his organization fundraising the final $2 million needed to complete the transformational project.

What Convinces People of the Historicity of the Site?
Some might debate whether the Church of the Nativity was really built over the actual location where Jesus was born, though one fact persists, regardless of where people stand: millions across multitudes of generations have reverently visited the site, believing wholeheartedly in its authenticity.

Karam noted the early citation by St. Justin Martyr of the site’s true location of Christ’s birth, and explained some other factors that might add credence to claims about its ties to Jesus.

“At the time there was no Google and no mobiles and no WhatsApp and everybody received news by mouth, by witness,” he explained of the communications conditions present in the early church. “There is no room for false information here.”

Karam said pilgrims would come by the thousands to visit the location and to honor it as Christ’s birthplace.

“Like the star led the Magi to Bethlehem, I’m sure they were led by others,” he said. “Word of mouth travels fast.”

Considering the importance of accurate news traveling by word-of-mouth, Karam believes it is very likely the information was properly translated and spread among the populace.

And his claims could be well-founded, as CBN News has reported on other experts who believe there is historical backing for the location’s ties to Jesus.

Qustandi Shomali, a professor at Bethlehem University, has said the site dates back to the mid-first century.

“We do know that the identification of the site where Jesus was born already traditionally goes back to the middle of the first century at least,” Shomali said.

Roman Emperor Hadrian apparently destroyed Bethlehem and subsequently built a temple and trees over the location where Christians would visit the traditional site of Christ’s birth. While the act was likely intended to remove meaning from the location, it reportedly had a very different effect.

“In fact, this temple, instead of destroying the place, preserved the place,” Shomali said.

Read more about the Church of the Nativity and the ongoing restoration of this historic site.

Source: Faithwire