May Praise and Prayer

Praise—Retired Dutch Sea Captain Gives Away 18 Million Bible Storybooks: In 1989 retired Capt. Warmolt Houwing of the Dutch Merchant Navy discovered the illustrated Bible storybook, He Lived Among Us. After obtaining the copyright, he started giving the books away to fellow seamen in the port of Antwerp. Giving away these books has become the lifelong mission of 65-year-old Houwing. By enlisting the support of others, he has printed and given away more than 18 million copies in 27 languages. Houwing’s purpose is to proclaim the gospel in this attractive, nonintrusive way, especially in China, Indonesia, India, and the Middle East. Houwing served in the Dutch Merchant Navy from 1953 to 1983. Starting as a cook’s boy, he finished his last 10 years as captain, sailing all kind of vessels, from freighters to tankers to passenger ships and tugboats. In 1986 after a dramatic conversion, he gained a fresh start in life. His conversion led to sailing as relief captain on the Mercy Ships vessel Anastasis and the Operation Mobilization ship Logos. In 1988 he began working as an evangelist to fellow seamen in Antwerp. “Our main target group was the Russians,” he said. “Every day about 17 Russian ships docked in Antwerp with approximately 1,000 sailors. I smuggled tens of thousands of Bibles and New Testaments to them.” Since 1989 he has concentrated on printing and distributing the illustrated Bible storybook. The book is also available on the Internet in 18 languages at www.gospelcomics.com.

Assist News Service via

HCJB World Radio

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Praise—Salvation Army Wins Moscow Case: The Salvation Army has defeated a case brought by Moscow’s Tagansky Municipal Court that sought to close down the religious group’s Moscow chapter for failing to re-register. The Salvation Army’s legal battle with city authorities dates back to 2000 when its re-registration application was repeatedly turned down. The ministry’s case was bolstered last year, however, when the Constitutional Court ruled that religious organizations could not be shut down for failing to re-register. The ministry now plans to contest a 2000 Presnensky court ruling that called the Salvation Army a “militarized group.”

Moscow Times via MissionNet

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Praise and Pray—Massive Evangelistic Thrust Planned for Olympics: While the Greek government allays fears of delays in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, saying that some key sports venues are being completed ahead of deadline, AMG International is working in partnership with Christian organizations worldwide to prepare for a full-scale evangelistic thrust during the games. “Because of AMG’s history and tradition, we are taking a leadership role in that area,” said AMG spokesman Tasos Ioannidis. “Pray that the preparations would continue to go smoothly, that the material which is going to be distributed for evangelistic purposes would be ready. . . and for safety of all involved.”

Mission Network News

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Praise and Pray—Convert to Christ Gunned Down in Iraq: A Kurdish Christian taxi driver, Ziwar Mohamad Ismaeel, was shot dead February 17 in the city of Zakho in the Kurdistan region of Iraq when he refused to deny Christ. Ziwar came to faith in Christ seven years ago and was very open about his faith. Several times he had received threats on his life. “With Jesus on my side, I have nothing to fear,” he told friends. “Even when they kill me, I will never deny Christ.” After his conversion, the local Muslim mullah advised his family that he should be killed as an apostate. He was taken captive by relatives who threatened to kill him if he did not recant. He refused and was rescued by friends. He had been arrested twice in recent years in connection with his faith but was never charged. Last June, after having been arrested again for two weeks, he lost his job and started working as a cab driver.

Pray for Ziwar’s wife and children during this time of grief. Pray for the family members who have opposed him—and who refused to claim his body and bury him. Pray that he will continue to be a testimony, both through his life and now his death.

MissionNet

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