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Updated: 27 min 57 sec ago

SOUTH ASIA: God Uses Ordinary Women to Grow Churches

Source: Beyond, September 15, 2017

“One day, busy with housework at home, I heard a loud voice come through the open window. It seemed to come from my neighbor’s house. The person was telling a story. I stopped to listen. It was an amazing story about how the world came to be. Back at the beginning, God made this world a beautiful place. Amazing! I had to give my full attention to that voice.

“Once the story was finished, I went to find out more. Rini, my neighbor, told me that three months ago, she became a follower of Jesus. A man named Raj gave her an audio speaker with God’s stories on it so she could learn what it means to follow Jesus. Rini now meets with 47 other people in her home each week to study the stories. They listen to a story, and then discuss questions about it. That creation story was so beautiful. I began to attend the meetings and soon decided to also follow the God of those stories.

“One month later, I met Raj. He gave me a speaker, too, and now we have two groups meeting in our village! Just like the group at Rini’s house, we listen to a story, discuss what it teaches about God, and then try to apply it to our lives that week. We are all learning about God. I am very thankful to Raj for providing us with a speaker. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to know this amazing and lovely God. I am an illiterate woman. I cannot read or write, but the stories on this speaker have changed my life.”

» Full story includes several other examples of God working through ordinary women to spread his Word and build his Church.

» See also Reaching Beyond One (Frontiers) and pray for the woman it describes to introduce her friends and family to Jesus in such a way that men and women say, “tell us more!”

TURKEY: Andrew Brunson, Political Hostage

Source: World Watch Monitor, September 29, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has for the first time confirmed publicly that a U.S. pastor jailed in Turkey for the past 12 months is being held by his government as a political hostage.

In a speech at his presidential palace [on September 28], Erdoğan openly called on the United States to exchange Pastor Andrew Brunson for Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish citizen living in exile in the U.S. since 1999, who is accused of masterminding last year’s failed coup.

“[The U.S.] says, ‘Give us the pastor back,’” Erdoğan said. “You have one pastor [of ours] as well. The pastor we have [Brunson] is on trial. Yours [Gülen] is not—he is living in Pennsylvania. Give him to us. You can easily give him to us. You can give him right away. Then we will try him [Brunson] and give him to you.’”

Turkey has launched a massive internal crackdown over the past 15 months to identify and punish the FETO (Fethullah Terror Organisation) network accused of infiltrating Turkey’s armed forces and government. More than 50,000 “suspected” judges, prosecutors, soldiers, academics, journalists, human rights activists, and police officers have been jailed, held for months in pre-trial detention.

Since October 7, 2016, Andrew Brunson has been one of these prisoners.

» Read full article (or a related story from Reuters) to better understand the dynamics at play. Please pray for Brunson and his family as the anniversary of his imprisonment approaches.

» Check out the latest edition of EMQ Online for an article about a movement that bears Gülen’s name. This group has been quite active in the U.S., running a network of charter schools, interfaith dialogue groups, and cultural centers. The article focuses on ways to engage followers with the gospel (subscription required).

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