Tuesday, May 10th, in the year of our Lord, 2016.
By Emily and Kevin Swanson
God’s smugglers are getting the Gospel into North Africa. Despite the risks involved, Open Doors USA is transporting Bibles into an unspecified North African country to meet the growing thirst for the living Word of God. Open Doors volunteers shared that God has “blinded” the eyes of border officials on many occasions.
This is the sword that Africa needs. Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
A BBC reporting team was thrown out of North Korea last week after the authorities accused them of “filing disrespectful reports.” The team, headed by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, arrived back in China on Monday evening, per a tweet from BBC’s Asia Bureau chief.
A Chinese Christian pastor was killed on April 30th, and Voice of the Martyrs reports that North Korea may have been involved. VoM reported that Pastor Han Chung-Ryeol was actively helping refugees from North Korea, a role that made him a target for the North Korean government. Pastor Han has fought the good fight. He has finished the race. Pray that God would use his sacrifice to save his persecutors.
London’s red buses will proclaim “glory to Allah.” That is the new slogan, recently approved by the city’s new Muslim mayor. Christian groups question the approval of the ads, especially after Britain’s theater chains refused a one-minute-long Christian film at Christmas time last year.
Lawsuits are flying in North Carolina. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is suing the federal government for its strong-arm tactics used against his state over the transgender bathroom bill. David Benham is one Christian who is supporting Governor McCrory. Benham says this battle boils down to one big issue: “From a spiritual perspective, Romans 1 is being lived out today. And there’s a pattern in verse 18 all the way down through the remaining—I think it’s verse 33 or 34. It starts with ‘deny truth,’ and it goes from there to ‘darkened heart,’ ‘displace God,’ ‘degrading passions,’ and a ‘depraved mind.’ And it all starts when we deny the truth that God is the Creator of heavens and earth.”
Hundreds of victims of the Fort McMurray wildfire assembled to pray on Sunday for the fire and the firefighters. Pastor Doug Doyle of Beulah Alliance Church in Edmonton, Canada, remarked that it was encouraging to see people crying out to God in their distress. By God’s mercy, rain and cooler temperatures have served to abate the fire, but Alberta officials are saying that the fire is not yet contained.
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple he heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears” (Psalm 18:6).
A Northern Ireland court is considering an appeal for Asher’s Bakery. The Christian-owned bakery was fined 500 pounds for breaching Ireland’s Equality Legislation when it refused to make a cake for a “gay pride event” in 2014.
Daniel McArthur, general manager of Asher’s, said that this case is not just about a “bakery,” but their freedom of religious expression. In a statement to the press, McArthur said, “Throughout this all God has sustained us graciously even though we are only weak sinners. And the gospel says that we’re all sinners and that God is the great judge. None of us can hope to stand before Him on our own strength or our own goodness because we have none. But we’re thankful that Jesus Christ has lived that perfect life, he’s died an atoning death, and he’s risen from the dead, so that we can be reconciled and have peace with God. And it’s this hope that sustains us.”
She has no hands, but she still won a penmanship contest with only the use of her forearms. 7-year-old first grader Anaya Ellix of Chesapeake, Virginia, was born without hands. By God’s grace, the little girl beat 50 other students at the recent National Handwriting Contest in the special needs category. Tracy Cox, her principal at Greenbriar Christian Academy, told The World View that Anaya’s life is a true living example of David against Goliath: “It’s easy for people to look at her and think of all these things that they think that she can’t do. But yet here’s this little girl who’s conquered so many giants in her life already, and just with God’s help, with love and support from her family, and just this determination that God gave her as a character trait. And so it’s neat to see what God’s doing.”
1 Samuel 16:7: “The LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
It wasn’t a nice vacation for 200 passengers on board the British cruise line ship Balmoral. The Centers for Disease Control reported that 250 out of 912 passengers have contracted the gastrointestinal norovirus. The ship is currently being investigated and disinfected.
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