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Praise Reports

New Wine testimonies

God spoke to us, used us to pray for others and healed some of us during this first week of New Wine 2018.  Ben Williamson from Christchurch Woking said, ‘I prayed for someone whose hands had no movement or feeling and both were healed and restored while I prayed. It was awesome to see God’s power at work so clearly in front of my own eyes.’ Steve said, ‘I want to praise God and thank New Wine for providing a ‘thin place’ where I have felt the healing power of the Spirit. Six months of kidney and back pain gone completely, I feel so liberated.’ Sanna said, ‘I came here, widowed 10 months ago, broken-hearted and missing my other half and best friend. To my surprise, my venue was all about restoration. I have been so blessed and I’m so very happy that I picked up the courage to come here with my teenagers.’

Praise: God and thank Him for a life-changing week in His presence for many thousands. (Exodus 15:6)
More: https://mailchi.mp/new-wine/six-months-of-kidney-and-back-pain-gone-all?e=43e6a6b42a

Victory for nurse dismissed for sharing her faith

In 2016 you prayed for Nurse Sarah Kuteh who was dismissed from her job after talking to patients about her Christian faith and giving a Bible to one patient. After dismissing her, Darent Valley Hospital reported Sarah to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), questioning her ‘fitness to practise’. For nearly two years the NMC has held a series of hearings to determine whether Sarah would continue to be able to practise as a nurse. Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, the NMC panel unanimously ruled that Sarah was fully ‘fit to practise’ and revoked all restrictions on her nursing practice.

Praise: God that Sarah is free to work as a nurse again without restrictions. (Pr.3:6)
More: https://www.christianconcern.com/our-issues/employment/victory-as-restrictions-lifted-on-nurse-who-gave-bible-to-patient

Astounding acts of kindness in face of adversity

In the midst of horrific destruction, where thousands of homes were burnt to the ground by wildfires in Reading California, 67 hospital staff still went to work. All  doctors, nurses, volunteers and office personnel made sure that patient care did not suffer. ‘Some people have slept on the floor,’ the hospital chief executive said. ‘The Reading police chief lost his home, as did two of his officers, but they still went on duty to save others at risk. It was a similar story with at least one firefighter. But it wasn’t just the thousands of first responders who put their own loss and devastation to one side and stepped up to help their neighbours. Many ordinary folk took in people who had lost homes, provided food, donated supplies and offered any support that they could. Hollywood movies show society falling apart when disaster strikes, but the opposite happened; people wanted to band together and help.

Praise: God for those who reached out with acts of kindness in terrible situations. (1 Corinthians 13:4,5)
More: https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-astounding-acts-in-the-face-of-adversity-11461746

Praise Reports

NHS and transgender fertility coverage

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called on Britain’s NHS to update its policy regarding fertility service coverage, alleging ‘current policy discriminates against transgender people.’ The EHRC wrote a pre-action letter to the NHS pressuring Britain’s health care system to change ‘outdated’ fertility policies, saying that policies should cover the cost of egg-freezing procedures for transgenders because many become infertile as a result of hormone treatments. The transgender and LGBT communities applauded the EHRC objections, ‘We welcome this challenge from the EHRC,’ said Stonewall’s director of campaigns. ‘We know the government are committed to improving health and social care provision for all LGBT people, and addressing barriers to fertility support would be a positive step forward in this process.’ On August 1 Stonewall tweeted, ‘The government consultation on reforming the outdated Gender Recognition Act has launched. We want the voices of trans people and allies heard loud and clear. Find out more #ComeOutForTransEquality in the #GRA consultation

Pray: for NHS work to please God, giving basic health care to women without being side-tracked. (Col.3:23)
More: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-transgender-fertility-treatment-legal-action-ehrc-trans-gender-dysphoria-a8478041.html

Defend burka like you defend the cross

Ruth Davidson – who is the leader of the Scottish Conservatives – has been speaking out following the comments by Boris Johnson about the Burka. The Christian MSP suggested we should defend the right of Muslim women to wear the burka in the same way we defend the right of Christians to wear a cross. She was speaking after the former foreign secretary compared the burka to a letter box and women who wear it to look like bank robbers. Theresa May asked him to apologise. With no apology forthcoming, founder and president of the Conservative Muslim Forum Lord Sheikh said the party should take ‘severe action’ against Mr Johnson. On the other hand, Christian, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said there was no need for Mr Johnson to apologise and an imam who has previously criticised the burka said Mr Johnson should not ‘apologise for telling the truth’. The debate continues.

Pray: for this media debate to shrink and not open opportunities for reactionaries. (Ps.92:5b,& 11)
More: https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Christian-politician-defend-burka-like-you-defend-the-cross

School ‘reputations put before abuse victims’

Pupils at two leading Roman Catholic schools, Ampleforth and Downside, were subjected to appalling sexual abuse over 40 years, a report says. The schools ‘prioritised monks and their own reputations over the protection of children’. Both institutions attempted to cover up the allegations but ten individuals, including monks, have been convicted or cautioned for abuse.

Pray: for more people to whistle blow when they discern a culture of abusive behaviour. (Psalm 34:14)
More: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-45127284

A Christian ministry for people with learning difficulties

‘Prospects’ groups are based on two main principles. Firstly, that all people should have an opportunity to hear the Christian message including those with learning disabilities, and secondly, all people are capable of responding to the Christian message because it is a matter of belief and trust, not intellect and ability. In the UK one in fifty people have learning disabilities and Prospects seeks to befriend such people, explain the Christian message in a relevant way, and provide a sympathetic environment where people can grow in their understanding and respond to the message. Prospects meetings can be held in church halls, for meeting-centred ministry, or in the home of a helper, or a residential home for friendship-centred ministry. Helpers make home visits, take people out, provide transport and above all engage in personal discipleship in a way that people with special needs can respond to.

Pray: for God to expand the pool of volunteers for His precious work with unreached people in residential homes, supported living and living with family. (Matthew 9:37,38)
More: http://www.cchh.org.uk/community/causeway-new-format-for-our-meetings/

Modern Slavery

More than 5,000 potential modern slaves were referred for help last year but the CPS only prosecuted 239 suspects, a small fraction of potential cases flagged to authorities. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was committed to improving its response to forced labour and sexual and criminal exploitation after MPs warned that a national strategy had ‘yet to result in coherent action’. Alison Saunders, the outgoing director of public prosecutions, said, ‘Modern slavery has a devastating, lasting impact on its victims. There is no place in our society for those who enslave others, whether for work, sexual or criminal exploitation or domestic servitude. Referrals to the CPS from police and agencies rose by a third and prosecutors said the increase was part of a ‘dedicated drive to clamp down on slavery-related crime’.

Pray: for police and those they network with at home and abroad to be strengthened with resources, finances and reliable leads to build robust cases that deliver early justice. (Ps.91:3)
More: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/modern-slavery-cases-uk-crime-prosecute-government-police-cps-a8483326.html

Praise Reports

France: British aid workers intimidated in Calais

Migrant aid workers in Calais are being intimidated and harassed by French police, with Britons singled out in some cases, according to a report submitted to France’s independent human rights watchdog. Four aid associations on the northern French port, including the British group Help Refugees, published a report detailing 600 incidents against volunteers between November 2017 and July 2018, citing 33 testimonies, 37 incidents of physical violence, including police pushing aid workers to the ground, confiscating phones and forcing people away from food distribution points. Other incidents include repeated identity checks and ‘stop and search’, arbitrary parking fines, threats, and insults. British volunteers were singled out and prevented from giving out food and water.  Those with British passports or British vehicles were barred entry to an area near Dunkirk to distribute meals to the homeless refugees and migrants. Calais’ sprawling ‘Jungle’ camp was razed in 2016 but hundreds have returned, with the figures officially at 350 to 400 people.

Pray: for God’s encouragement and protection for all aid workers caring for migrants. (Ps.72:12)
More: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/08/calais-migrant-aid-groups-claim-britons-singled-police-intimidation/

M4Europe

M4Europe believe that church planting is God’s initiative and that it’s Christ himself who builds His church. Therefore the authority of the Bible is essential for the content and message of M4. They believe church planting has to be done through prayer, worship and discipleship to Jesus Christ and that God‘s presence and action in a Christian’s life and ministry is more important than strategies, plans and methods. They are church planting, training and coaching across Norway, the Czech Republic, Romania and Estonia and we can pray for the leadership team from these countries,  Øivind Augland, Jirí Unger, Theo Bunescu and Craig Hamer. May they and their teams know God’s anointing as they walk His paths to multiply churches across the nations.

Pray: for the team’s church-planting work to be expanded supernaturally. (Mat.28:19,29)
More: http://m4europe.com/

Praise Reports

Australia: You Are Not Alone

An Australian Christian Lobby blogger states ‘The cultural climate of our day often makes the politically engaged Christian in Australia feel isolated. So many issues are beyond us. Safe schools, the rights of parents, conversion therapy, abortion, euthanasia, religious freedom, moral decay, children’s innocence, political apathy, weakened churches. The voices seeking to redefine truth, justice and morality are very loud and increasingly effective.’ He went on to say, ‘Elijah faced an infinitely more desperate set of political and cultural circumstances. He was overwhelmed and desperately cried out to God, ‘Lord, they have killed your prophets, demolished your altars, I alone am left, and they seek my life.’ God’s astonishing answer was, ‘I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ God has preserved a great many in Australia who have not bowed the knee.’ We can pray for our Australian brothers and sisters to engage more vigorously, and confidently to make an enormous impact on Australian society.

Pray: for God to accomplish His plans for Australia through His people. (Psalm 127:1)
More: https://www.acl.org.au/you_are_not_alone

Australia: New South Wales drought

Farmers are struggling to afford to feed their animals in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, which is now officially declared 100% in drought. The area produces a quarter of Australia’s agricultural output and farmers tell harrowing tales of failing crops, severe water shortages and inability to feed livestock; having to spend the equivalent of £5,768 per truckload of hay to feed animals, and the threat of large cullings.  Cattle farmer David Graham said he was resigned to waiting for rain, adding ‘In our community you support each other through the tough times.’ Mental health group Sane Australia has said that suicide rates in rural regions are 40% higher than urban areas.

Pray: for appropriate help for farmers and their families affected by the drought. (Job 6:13)
More: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-45107504

Nigeria: KILLINGS – Let the truth be told

The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) commented on a press release by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). Their opening comments were, ‘On 5 July, 2018, the NSCIA published an article titled LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD. In our candid estimation, rather than tell the truth, the article is the exact opposite of the truth. It might have been more proper to have titled it ‘Let the Taqiyya  be told.’ Taqiyya is religious deception and the article they refer to said that Muslims were the targeted victims of herdsmen. NCEF stated categorically that this statement is untrue and Muslims were not victimised, Christians are the victims while the government consents to ongoing genocide and ethno-religious cleansing of communities. NCEF said that the government deliberately obscures the truth as the targets of the Fulani herdsmen are natives of Middle Belt who are mainly Christians. See also next article – Five Christian youths to be hanged.

Pray: for God to intervene and end rural religious volatility in Nigeria. (Psalm 7:9)
More: http://csmnigeria.org/blog/393-killings-let-the-truth-be-told?utm_source=newsletter_192&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=killings-let-the-truth-be-told

Nigeria: Five Christian youths to be hanged

Muslim Fulani herders do not make the headlines as often as Boko Haram. Christians in the northeast state of Adamawa have fled because of Boko Haram, only to return and find their property occupied by Muslim Fulani herders. Five Christian youths have been sentenced to hang for killing one Fulani herdsman who in turn had allegedly killed 48 people. Who is stopping the violence? Where is the government’s protection for citizens? Where is justice? The lack of response by Nigeria’s security services is seen as complicit in crimes against Christians. The Numan Federation in Adamawa is the only predominantly Christian area remaining in northern Nigeria. In recent years migration of Muslim Fulani herdsmen into that area has increased. The judicial, military, and security agencies are all controlled by non-Christians and many fear that the Muslim President may use the violence as an excuse to cancel the 2019 elections and remain in power.

Pray: for world leaders/countries to exert pressure on President Buhari to protect of all of Nigeria’s citizens, particularly the minority Christians. (Ezra 9:9)
More: http://win1040.com/post.php?id=44190&cat=EPA

Comoros: Sunni Islam now the state religion

Sunni Islam was declared the state religion of Comoros in a referendum vote on constitutional reforms in the southeast African island. The amended constitution reads, ‘The state draws from this religion the principles and rules of Sunnite observance.’ Many believe this will have an impact on the country’s small Christian minority. Things are already very hard for indigenous Christians and this kind of specification is expected to make things even harder for them. The referendum was initiated by President Azali Assoumani and gives him the right to run for another presidential term. Previously power rotated between Comoros’ three islands every five years. In April, Assoumani suspended the constitutional court over ‘incompetence’ which observers saw as an attempt to diminish the rule of law in the country. Open Doors says, ‘In mosques and madrassas Muslim religious leaders teach anti-Christian sentiments and government officials obligate parents to send their children to madrassas.’

Pray: for God to watch over and protect Christians as ‘ measures’ are taken against them. (Pr. 4:6)
More: https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2018/08/religious-minorities-fear-backlash-as-sunni-islam-declared-state-religion-of-comoros/

USA: Prosperity theology in the Church

A new LifeWay Research study on Christians and prosperity theology concludes that ‘more than a few people in the pews have embraced it’ and ‘evangelicals appear to be to the most eager to embrace a link between God’s financial blessings and their actions.’ Researchers asked 1,010 adults who attend Protestant and non-denominational churches once a month to agree or disagree with three statements: -To receive material blessings from God, I have to do something for God. – if I give more money to my church and charities, God will bless me in return. -God wants me to prosper financially. 1/3rd of Protestants said their church teaches – God will bless them if they donate money. One in four said they have to do something for God to receive material blessings. Two-thirds believe God wants them to prosper.

Pray: for Christians to remember that God loves a cheerful giver of time, energy and finance to enable His, not their, kingdom to grow. (Ephesians 2:8)
More: https://churchleaders.com/news/330169-prosperity-theology-beliefs-are-in-the-church-not-sure-to-what-extent.html

USA: The postcard challenge to ‘End Slavery’

There are more slaves today than any time in history. When we stay silent, they remain hidden. America’s Congress is under pressure to cut foreign aid spending, which includes programmes that free slaves. The International Justice Mission (IJM) in America are encouraging people to mobilise their communities to make a stand in the fight for justice via a 100 Postcard Challenge. It is a way for Americans to get involved in the fight for freedom on behalf of children, women and men living in slavery around the world. The challenge involves asking 100 people to sign an IJM’s Abolition Postcard and send it to their member of Congress. The idea is that if enough members of Congress realise that people in their state care about abolishing modern-day slavery, and see a growing anti-slavery movement in their state, they will get behind the voices crying out for justice and financially support programmes that free slaves.

Pray: for many people to take the 100 postcard challenge and add their voices to the cry. (Ps.7:6)
More: https://freedomcommons.ijm.org/action-alert/hidden-no-more

Praise Reports
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