17 December 2017

News

Lurgan Churches head to Mourneview Park!

Mission Hope is a Lurgan based programme involving 15 churches from the surrounding area. Additional information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/missionhope2012

Jay Lowder is an International Christian Speaker who is part of the ‘Harvest Ministries’ outreach organisation that aims to share the message of Christ in a relevant manner. For over 20 years Jay has been preaching the Gospel Message. He has been featured on major TV networks and has participated in over 250 Missions throughout America. His “Crossroads” programme in schools addresses the key issues which teenagers face today, and has been presented to over two million students. Jay speaks from experience. In his teenage years he turned from God, living a destructive lifestyle that eventually brought him to consider suicide. He now uses his own story of transformation to help people realize that there is hope and it’s found in Jesus Christ. Jay is the key speaker at Mission Hope a united churches mission in Mourneview Park from May 13th to May 20th. Jay Lowder was introduced to the Churches in Lurgan through Gary Cobb, Director of Training with the Billy Graham Association. More information at www.jaylowder.com

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Workman  goes to be with His Lord

As we go to print we have to report the sad news of the passing of a much loved servant of the Lord, our brother Sam Workman. Sam hailed from Ballymena and was converted at the age of 21. Later he entered the Faith Mission Bible College and then became a F.M. Pilgrim. In his life of service he pastored two Churches in Donaghey and then Abbots Cross. Following this he went into Full Time Evangelism where he was used greatly of the Lord and hundreds of lives were touched and saved through his ministry, throughout Ireland, Great Britain and America as well as other European Countries. Even with failing health Sam still continued to minister both in preaching, prayer, bible teaching and the Lord used him in the ministry of healing.

Sam passed away on the 18th March, which was his birthday. Some 800 people gathered in Abbots Cross Congregational Church where the current minister, Rev. Trevor Gillanders led the Service. Henry Montgomery of Ballycraigy Congregational read from Psalm 16 and David, Sam’s son gave an excellent testimonial to his dad. Pastor Val English spoke from 1Sam.3.v.19 “The Lord was with Samuel”. A Giant has Died. The Lord was with him and now he is with the Lord.

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Change for John Shearer

Pastor John Shearer has joined forces with AsiaLink to help spread the news of what God is doing in Asia today. The informal arrangement will see John present the ministry of AsiaLink at some of the meetings on his busy schedule. John recently retired as senior pastor of Musselburgh Baptist Church. He has already travelled extensively overseas, including to Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist regions, and will continue with his excellent ministry of teaching and encouraging God’s people, both here and around the world. AsiaLink is a Christian mission agency connecting churches with ministry among the unreached peoples of Asia. For more information see www.asialink.org.uk or email talk2us@asialink.org.uk

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Christians in Homs, Syria

During March the mission agency Barnabas Aid was engaged in sending emergency relief to Christians trapped in Homs, Syria, after the withdrawal of anti-government forces from the Baba Amr district.

The relief effort was to aid residents struggling with severe weather without power and basic necessities now that the Free Syrian Army is finally pulling out following a month-long siege by Syrian government forces.

A Christian leader told Barnabas Aid that residents had been stopped from leaving Homs by anti-government forces that wanted them to remain as “human shields” for protection against government troops.

Following the fall of the Hussein regime by the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Christian community was subjected to intense religious violence, forcing thousands to flee to secular Syria. However, the same pattern is re-emerging as Islamic militants are now kidnapping and killing Christians in Syria.

Some Christian families are now leaving Syria to seek refuge in Lebanon.

Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said: “While I am relieved that the withdrawal of anti-government forces from Baba Amr provides the opportunity for a respite for some of the suffering residents of that city, I fear that the crisis in Syria is only going to intensify … Today we have a window of opportunity to alleviate the distress of the Christian families who have been trapped in Homs. Please help us to help them.”

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Christians in Nigeria under great Threat

The recent killing of two hostages, Chris McManus of Oldham and Franco Lamolinara of Italy, at the hands of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, has drawn attention to the fact that this same group has declared “war” on Christians in Nigeria, saying that they are planning coordinated attacks to “eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country.”

A spokesman for Barnabas Aid said that Boko Haram have stepped up their campaign against Christians in the North since Christmas and recently said, “We will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won’t be able to stay.”

It is estimated that the Boko Haram group has killed around 1,000 people since 2009 in its bloody campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria. As well as attacking Christians, the group targets police, security forces and politicians, and also Muslim leaders who oppose its agenda. Over 300 people have been killed so far this year.

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Local Christians send aid to Flood victims in Acre

Acre State in Northwest Brazil is one of the remotest areas of Latin America. Although the tributaries of the great Amazon overflow their banks nearly every year, this year has seen the worst flooding on record. The centre of the state capital, Rio Branco, has been flooded and many smaller towns on the Acre and Purus rivers have been swamped in the devastating floods. Whole streets of houses have been swept away in the current and the dwellings of thousands have been ruined. Over 115,000 people had to be moved from their homes to escape the rising waters. Many of these are not permitted to return home for fear of further flooding which is expected. The floods have left a trail of death and destruction and the receding waters have left a residue of filth and debris. Even fish, snakes and alligators have been found in some houses. One eye witness said that the scene was like the devastation that followed the tsunamis in Asia.

Dr Bill Woods and Dr Tom and Lucimar Geddis, missionaries with Acre International, along with local pastors are administering aid that has been sent by many Christians through Acre International. Keith Lindsay, co-ordinator of Acre International, said that he has been overwhelmed by the generosity of churches and individuals in their donations to help with the flood appeal. Besides providing food for many of the flood victims it is hoped that the team on the ground in Brazil will be able to supply families with their basic needs of bedding and household supplies.