This is Whyte House Report podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Barnabas Aid, Islamic militants turned a village soccer field in northern Mozambique into an execution ground when they beheaded more than 50 people during three days of savage violence between Friday and Sunday, Nov. 6-8. Villagers who tried to flee were caught and taken to the field in Muatide village, where they were murdered in a series of ferocious attacks in Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado province, according to Barnabas Aid, an organization which funds projects on behalf of suffering Christians in Mozambique. In one attack, gunmen stormed into Nanjaba village on Nov. 6, firing weapons and setting homes on fire. Two villagers were beheaded and several women abducted. Barnabas Aid’s contacts in the area report that anyone who refuses to support the jihadists and embrace their beliefs is attacked, and their property set on fire. Christians who refuse to deny Christ are among the victims. The attacks are some of the worst seen in recent years in the brutal campaign by militant Islamists to establish an Islamist caliphate in the oil and gas-rich Cabo Delgado province. More than 2,000 people have been killed and about 430,000 left homeless in the region since 2017. The militant Islamist organization Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, known locally as Al Shabaab (not the Somali-based group), is linked to Islamic State and has effectively gained control of an area of Cabo Delgado.
According to Assist News Service, People overwhelmed by crises like the Coronavirus, earthquakes or war need more than material relief – they need spiritual and emotional healing, too. That’s why TWR and Biblica are renewing their collaboration and bringing well-informed, Scripture-based programming to people trapped in traumatic circumstances. “One reason pandemics are frightening is because they are beyond our control,” Biblica’s crisis-relief booklet When Your Whole World Changes explains to readers. “We may know what’s happening, but we don’t know how severely the impact will affect us or how long it will last. … But while we’re powerless to help ourselves, God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, remains powerful and good.” This message is already being incorporated into TWR Africa’s new radio program Hope in Hard Times, which will soon offer guidance and encouragement to Mozambican listeners whose lives have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Program development is also underway in regions of Asia. “This content draws people to the true hope of Christ in times of crisis,” said Sphiwe Nxumalo-Ngwenya, TWR’s ministry director for southern Africa. “It’s organized to address the various phases emotionally and socially or psychologically that are faced by people when their whole world unexpectedly changes.”
According to Gospel For Asia, More people will die from diseases linked to lack of toilets and poor sanitation than from COVID-19 this year, a leading humanitarian agency has warned. So far this year, more than 1.2 million deaths worldwide have been attributed to the pandemic, but it’s likely millions more will die from exposure to diseases carried by human waste—diseases that don’t make the headlines. As millions across the developing world relieve themselves in the open, raw sewage spawns a multitude of deadly diseases. Excrement attracts flies that quickly spread diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, typhoid, polio and hepatitis A. UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, said 2.2 million people worldwide will die this year from diarrhea alone—nearly double the number of COVID-19 deaths recorded so far. Many of those deaths—mostly children under 5—could be avoided if the world’s poor had access to safe, sanitary toilets and hand-washing facilities, according to Gospel for Asia, a Texas-based Christian organization that builds thousands of new toilets across Asia every year. Last year, GFA World workers built more than 5,400 toilets and latrines across Asia and educated communities about the importance of using them. “I never imagined that we’d measure the impact of our Christian faith by the number of toilets we build,” said Yohannan, “but the reality is that people see from our actions that God’s people really do care about them.”
According to to Mission Network News, Initial damage reports from Hurricane Iota aren’t looking good. The storm killed dozens in Nicaragua and severely damaged or destroyed 98-percent of the infrastructure on a small Colombian island. Iota officially dissipated earlier this week, but its wrath remains. Forecasters predict extensive rainfall over parts of Central America already deluged by back-to-back storms. Helen Williams says World Missionary Press has some good news for partners on the ground. “This container that you and I have talked about before is leaving our docks next week to head to Honduras. It has literature on it that they’ve been waiting for for months,” Williams says. “We think this is propitious, [how] the Lord is going to allow the Word to get there, into the hands of people, as they’re in the greatest need of encouragement and hope.” Printed in Spanish at the World Missionary Press headquarters, these Scripture booklets point readers to Jesus. “When you’re sitting in a pile, so to speak, you need to get your eyes lifted to eternal values. And that’s what this will do,” Williams says. “They help people focus on something besides the thing that’s right in front of them, and the Scripture gives hope.”
According to Assist News Service, A married Christian couple, detained for being “apostates and evangelists spreading Christianity” in Muslim-majority Somaliland, have been suddenly released and deported to Somalia, allowing them to subsequently travel with their youngest child to a safe country and reunite with their two older sons. Barnabas Aid says the couple, who were arrested by police on September 21 when Christian material was found at their home, made several appearances in the Somaliland regional court before being unexpectedly released and ordered to be deported on November 1. The couple’s lawyer noted that the decision came after European government representatives raised the case with the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Middle East Concern said that on November 1 the Somaliland Regional Court ordered the deportation of the couple, Somali converts from Islam to Christianity, to Somalia. They had been arrested in September, considered to be “apostates and evangelists spreading Christianity.” On November 5 they, with an infant, travelled to Somalia. This week they moved to a safe country, to be reunited with their two oldest sons.
According to Christian Post, A container packed with Bibles and books to help build the Church arrived in Albania Nov. 9, said Mission Cry President Jason Woolford. The 27,000 books in the container cost half a million dollars. To ship the container into the majority-Muslim country, Mission Cry had to carefully navigate bureaucracy, Woolford told The Christian Post. A little over half of Albanians practice Islam, he said. When Muslim workers unloading containers spot Christian book titles, they often notify authorities, who fight the shipment with paperwork. “We had to go through a lot of hoops for documentation, paperwork and clearing agents so everything was done above and beyond reproach,” he said. “They’ll find every undotted ‘i’ or uncrossed ‘t.’ We asked people to pray, and God worked because the container’s clear.” Believers in Albania are receiving the Bibles now, he said. Woolford said that God once gave him a vision of Christians putting on the armor of God but still losing battles. When he felt confused, God told him to look closer. He noticed something missing. “They didn’t have the shield of faith or the sword of the Word of God,” Woolford said. “If people don’t have the Word of God, it’s impossible for them to have the shield and the sword.” The need for Bibles outweighs the need even for food and water. “Food, water, and clothes are nice things but eventually they return void,” Woolford said. “You can give someone a cup of water and it will satisfy them for a minute, but when you give them the Word, it will satisfy them for all eternity.”
According to Mission Network News, Does it seem like your social media newsfeed is full of division and anger right now? You’re not alone. Between an election year in the United States, a global pandemic, social justice tensions, and holiday stress, there’s a lot of kindling for keyboard warriors. But what if Christians viewed social media not as a cultural battlefield but as their mission field? Doug Hutchcraft with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says, “If you’re like me, it might take all of the self-control you have to not express your own frustrations about what’s going on in the world. But why be another loud and argumentative voice? Why not be the one that chooses to be the peacemaker? When was the last time you got into an argument on social media and actually convinced somebody of your viewpoint? It’s more our heart to want to be right than to want peace. Like any other medium, it’s not that social media is good or bad, but rather how we choose to use it.” Ron Hutchcraft Ministries recently hosted a conversation on Facebook Live with Native American young people through their On Eagles’ Wings outreach. They talked about loneliness, suicide, the pandemic, and what it all means in the context of faith. Hutchcraft says, “It was amazing – even though it’s an online thing and you’re not in the same room – how much God used that.” When we set aside our personal agendas on social media, it opens the door for Gospel-focused interactions like this.
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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless you.