Praise and Prayer

Pray: Katrina Takes Emotional Toll-Among the 500,000 people who evacuated Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama because of Hurricane Katrina a year ago, about 11% now have severe mental illness compared with 6% before the storm, according to the first study of its kind sponsored by the federal government. USA Today reported Aug. 29 that nearly 20% of Katrina evacuees said they had mild to moderate mental illness, compared with less than 10% before. About 15% of residents of the counties and parishes struck by Katrina have depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other forms of mental illness, USA Today said, which is twice as many as before. Almost 90% of survey respondents said their storm experiences helped them develop a deeper sense of meaning in life, and more than 75% said they had become more spiritual or religious.

Baptist Press

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Praise: One Godly Teen Dies; Hundreds Find New Life-Nathan Johnson, 16, of Hendersonville, Tenn., dreamed of starting a revolution for Christ. But before he could see the revolution become a reality, Johnson's life was cut short by an automobile accident on July 28. Despite his early death, friends and family say that God is using the tragedy to make Johnson's dream a reality. Nearly 300 people have professed faith in Christ in the aftermath of Johnson's accident, including more than 30 at his funeral July 31, reported Jeff Lovingood, student minister at Long Hollow Baptist Church where Johnson was active in the youth ministry. Another 16 teens prayed to receive Christ two nights following the funeral at the Wednesday night youth gathering.

"We're comforted by the fact that even in his death, God is at work," Nathan's father, Chris Johnson, said. "He really did want to be a part of starting a revolution, and our prayer is that that revolution will continue on."

Johnson, was a highly-regarded kicker on his high school's football team. Nathan saw his athletic ability as a tool to win teammates to Christ, his father said. During his freshman year, he led two players to faith in Christ during football camp and later led a senior to faith, his father recounted. A little more than a week before his death, Johnson called his father late one night and excitedly announced, "Dad, I just led this 14-year-old to Christ." Chris Johnson added that among others Nathan had led to Christ recently are people he met on a spring break trip to Florida and the friend of a cousin.

Baptist Press

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Praise: Interrogation of Bible Society Worker Uncovers Help in Unlikely Place-Iraqi program coordinator for the United Bible Societies Nabil Omeish was asked about the contents of his suitcase by an Iraqi security official. Upon seeing the children's Bibles and Scripture calendars he was transporting, officials pulled him aside for further questioning. Two other officials were dismissed from the room, leaving Omeish alone with one man. "I explained that I distribute the Scriptures to all who want to receive them," shared Omeish. "His tone became friendly, and he asked whether we distribute food packages along with the Bibles through various churches. When I confirmed this, he began to tell me his story." The official then told him that when he had been unemployed, his 10-year-old son was playing near a church and noticed local families coming out with food. His family had gone four days without food, and when the boy entered the church, he received a package of food and Bibles. When the official went to thank the pastor the next day, he was given another Bible and more food. He began reading it and listening to Trans World Radio's broadcasts, soon putting his faith in Christ. With tears in his eyes he asked Omeish to pray with him adding, "Remember you have a brother here."

Trans World Radio/United Bible Societies via MissionNet

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Pray: Dalit Woman Robbed of Her Kidney During Surgery-A doctor robbed a Dalit woman in India of her kidney as she underwent surgery for a pain in her uterus. Gospel for Asia founder K. P. Yohannan says this is another sad example of how India's Dalits, often referred to as "untouchables," are denied even the most basic human rights. Even worse, Yohannan says, "they are openly abused with no consequences for those who oppress them." The woman's efforts at justice have been met only with resistance and scorn due to her social status. When the impoverished couple did not have money for surgery, they were referred to Dr. Richharia who performed a surgery on Dec. 20, 2003, but after surgery the pain in her uterus continued. When they returned to Richharia, he assured her the pain would disappear after a few months. The woman suffered for almost two years until last January when the couple went to another doctor. An ultrasound showed the woman's left kidney was missing. When the couple returned to Richharia, he refused to see them while staff there physically assaulted them for criticizing the doctor's reputation.

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