This is Whyte House Report podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Mission Network News, Tomorrow marks a year since the World Health Organization first used the word “pandemic” to describe China’s COVID-19 outbreak. Over two million people lost their lives, and much of daily life has changed in the past 12 months. One thing, however, remains constant: “The responsibility Jesus gave us, that Great Commission of getting the Gospel out around the world, has not changed,” Dave Meyers says. “Even though we’re in this pandemic and it’s caused us to be more inward-focused, we’ve still got to take responsibility as believers to do what Jesus asks us to do.” Meyers leads ZimZam Global, a member of the Alliance for the Unreached. The Alliance helps believers and churches prioritize the Great Commission and unreached people groups. Despite centuries of progress, one in three people today still have no Gospel access. You can help change that on May 23 – the International Day for the Unreached. Each year, Alliance members organize an online event for the International Day for the Unreached. The event helps believers everywhere learn how they can help bring the Gospel to people without Christ’s hope.
According to Mission Network News, Indian families who would never set foot in a church have been sending their kids to 10-Day Children’s Bible Clubs with Mission India! The question is, why? One thing Mission India noticed is that some of these families are the same ones they gave COVID-19 relief kits to last year. Erik Morsehead with Mission India says, “We gave families a relief kit that included enough food and hygiene items for four weeks. And that really allowed us to open doors for other ministry to take place. So people who we previously couldn’t reach with the Gospel, we were reaching. “Now we have these opportunities, if you will, to walk through these open doors that relief kits provided us to engage through Children’s Bible Clubs.” From now until April 30th, Mission India is running their Open Doors Matching Challenge. Every dollar given to their 10-Day Children’s Bible Clubs will be matched by a generous donor up to $300,000. It only costs $1 to send one kid in India to a 10-Day Children’s Bible Club. So if the Open Doors Matching Challenge is fulfilled, half a million Indian children will get to hear about God’s love for them this year.
According to Assist News Service, Covid-19 is fuelling a growing, hidden, “shadow pandemic” of gender-based violence, abduction and trafficking, directed towards Christian women and girls around the world, according to Open Doors. This is one of the findings of a new report commissioned by the Christian persecution charity. The “Same Faith, Different Persecution: WWR 2021 GSRP (Gender-Specific Religious Persecution) Report”, published ahead of International Women’s Day, states: “The Covid-19 pandemic has made the vulnerable even more vulnerable. They face persecution and opposition in lockdown, from within their families and communities – hostile to their faith”. On top of this, states and militants have exploited the current situation with Covid, “weaponising women’s bodies to inflict harm on their minority Christian communities and limit growth of the church.” The report looks at the nature and extent of gender-specific religious persecution towards both women and men over 12 months between October 2019 – September 2020. It focuses largely on the 50 countries highlighted in Open Doors’ annual World Watch List, where Christians face the worst persecution and oppression.
According to Mission Network News, Ten years after gaining independence, South Sudan cannot shake its chronic violence. Last month, the United Nations published a report describing ongoing atrocities, stating “vast swathes of South Sudan have witnessed a massive escalation in violence perpetrated by organized tribal militias exceeding the violent conflict of December 2013.” Now, hope is on its way to South Sudan in the form of 50,000 Bibles and Christian books. Mission Cry collects donated resources like these and ships them to believers around the world. A church in Kentucky and two former Marines partnered with Mission Cry to send this latest order on its way. “It just blessed me to see somebody understand the importance of the Word of God and the need to give it to our brothers and sisters around the world,” Woolford says. Aaron and Bobby, both wounded in Afghanistan, drove across several state lines to collect the final remaining order of donated Bibles for South Sudan. “One Marine called [the other], and he said, ‘Brother, we got another mission. We’re going to go get these 1000 Bibles [and] drive them to Michigan so that they can get on a container and go to South Sudan’,” Woolford recalls. Believers in South Sudan have a mission, too. No matter what the future holds, they’re committed to reaching their people for Christ. Pray the Bibles and Christian resources help them spread the Good News.
According to Mission Network News, And along with many other countries, Russia has begun vaccinating people against COVID-19. Russia became the first country to approve a vaccine for use, named Sputnik V. This vaccine did not undergo the same level of testing as other vaccines before it was approved, leading to some concerns. But new research shows it to be safe and effective. Eric Mock of the Slavic Gospel Association says the vaccinations haven’t reached many outlying areas of Russia. “Financially, a mass majority of the wealth and prosperity of Russia is in Moscow, or even in the state of Moscow. So I expect a lot of what we hear about vaccinations in Russia predominantly has to do with vaccinations that are occurring in Moscow and St. Petersburg.” Mock says the vaccine alone won’t end the problems faced by impoverished Russians. “Even with the advancement of the vaccine, I think economic hardship caused by the restrictions and the pandemic will extend way beyond COVID-19. It is great that we’re starting to beat back the virus and maybe the variants that come from the virus. But the suffering that is out there is far more extensive than the virus alone.”
According to Assist News Service, Mercy Ships and CURE International have announced a partnership to provide specialised surgical care to children living with disabilities across the continent of Africa. Both organisations provide hope and healing to children living with disabilities through surgical care in under-resourced countries. During a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has made access to specialised surgical care even more difficult, combining the resources of two like-minded organisations will provide treatment to the most vulnerable in under-resourced countries like Uganda and Niger. Mercy Ships sent UK volunteer anesthesiologist, Dr Sarah Kwok, to the CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda, which has been open during the pandemic and admitting children in need of specialized neurological care for conditions like hydrocephalus. “My hope is that CURE and Mercy Ships continue to partner together to provide the highest standards of care for every child we touch,” stated Dr Kwok.
According to Mission Network News, After the pandemic last year brought major shutdowns and changes worldwide, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) was worried the number of people willing to serve on the mission field would drop. However, that’s not what happened. In fact, MAF’s department manager of mobilization Crissie Rask says, “We had almost twice as many people that interviewed and did technical evaluations last year as the previous year. And only God could have done that to move in people’s hearts during an uncertain time to take a step forward even when there were so many restrictions. “There’s a seriousness about people about what life is about and a focus on the intentionality of engaging in what God has for them and stepping forward in faith during this time.” It’s a good thing too because MAF’s aviation services to remote areas are needed now more than ever.
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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.