Praise and Prayer

Praise: Women of Faith to Bring Hope to Americans, Africans-In addition to its "Irrepressible Hope" message to hundreds of thousands of North American women, Women of Faith 2004, America's largest women's event, stands to affect the lives of thousand of hope-starved women and children in AIDS-ravaged Africa. At 30 arena events in 28 U.S. cities this year, Women of Faith (WoF) will dispense its signature laughter therapy to address the deep lows in women's lives. (WoF will hold its first national event in San Antonio's Alamodome in March, expecting to draw from 20,000 to 40,000 women from all across the country.) In 2004, WoF will help to sponsor children orphaned and abandoned by HIV/AIDS crises around the world, continuing its association with World Vision.

From a news release.

Praise: Souper Bowl Totals Climb Toward $4 Million-Food Banks, soup kitchens and other charities scored big as the winners in the 2004 Souper Bowl of Caring. As of Feb. 17, some 11,500 organizations had reported $3,962,456 dropped in soup pots at churches and schools across America. "It's not too late to give or report gifts," said Dianne Berry. "We definitely expect to reach $4 million." Participants send all of the money to a charity of their choice. "As totals continue to climb toward $4 million, a new record, we affirm all of the young people who held soup pots and worked in food banks, shelters, and soup kitchens in an effort to spread the love of God to their neighbors in need," said Brad Smith, Souper Bowl of Caring founder and executive director. The Souper Bowl of Caring is a faith-based, grassroots campaign that began in one church in South Carolina in 1990. Now, congregations and schools around the globe participate and almost $24 million dollars have been raised, one dollar at a time, to help hungry and hurting people. The contact number is 800-358-7687.

From a news release from Souper Bowl of Caring

Pray and Praise: Paralyzed Patient's Recovery in India Almost Kills Missionary-It really wasn't Leela's fault. She lives in a region of India that is under control of radical Hindus, who severely oppose Christian missionary work. Paralyzed for seven years and unable to walk, this village woman was miraculously healed through the intercessory prayer of two Christian missionaries.

However, when one of the Christians later returned to strengthen Leela's faith, he was attacked by a gang of 25 villagers led by the village leader.  They severely beat the man of God, breaking three of his ribs. The missionary lost consciousness, was revived with water, and was taken out of the village to be finished off. Fortunately, he escaped from his captors, hiding in a lake until he could give them the slip. The ministry of these missionaries continues to impact nearby villages.

Mission Insider via MissionNet

Pray: Neighbors in Eritrea Hired to Spy on Evangelicals-Over the past two years, hundreds of evangelical Christians in Eritrea have faced prison and torture after all evangelical churches were ordered closed in May, 2002. In a January 30 report from Compass Direct, it was revealed that neighbors of the outlawed evangelicals have been hired to spy on their activities, reporting any gatherings.  Those who cooperate as spies have been granted exemption from military service and luxuries such as allotments of sugar and flour.

At last report, at least 286 evangelicals are imprisoned for their faith, many facing the promise of release if they renounce their faith. Although freedom of religion for all is guaranteed in the Eritrean constitution, there are only four recognized religious organizations: Islam, Roman Catholic, Eritrean Orthodox and Evangelical Lutheran.

Voice of the Martyrs via MissionNet

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