Mission News Network

News Worth Listening To
  1. Turkey (MNN) -- Andrew Brunson will appear in court tomorrow for his third hearing in four months. Despite rumors circulating about Brunson’s release, Miles Windsor of Middle East Concern says, “Pastor Brunson isn’t free until he’s free.

    “In advance of his next hearing, we would certainly value prayer for him, for his release, for him to stand firm and for him to know God’s comfort.”

    American-born pastor Andrew Brunson was arrested in 2016 in suspected connection to Turkey’s failed coup. He’s been in prison ever since and, if convicted, faces a sentence of up to 35 years.
    Andrew Brunson

    (Photo courtesy of Middle East Concern)

    Please pray for Brunson’s family, and for the persecuted pastor. “It’s been an ongoing trauma for Andrew and his family for such a long time now, and it’s been so extraordinarily painful,” Windsor says. Norine Brunson is Andrew’s wife, and wrote the following in a July 7 post on the couple’s Facebook page:

    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for persevering in prayer with us. I pass on your comments to Andrew from time to time. YOU, the body of Christ, are truly amazing! Where else do people love and pray for others they've never met? What a testimony YOU have been.

    The summer heat means Andrew can't sleep well as he is constantly drenched in sweat. He makes a point of offering that up as a sacrifice. He is not wanting to exaggerate the discomfort of heat - he knows that many have been in much worse conditions.

    He has been calmer recently as is trying to see things through the lenses of demonstrating the value, the worth of Jesus - that those whom He loves and who love Him are willing to suffer for him. He often prays "Father, cause to burst into flame in me the love you have for Jesus, that I may be a fervent, ardent lover of Him, willing to undergo whatever is asked."

    Please remember the next hearing date - July 18.

    U.S. senators Lindsey Graham and Jeanne Shaheen met with Turkey’s president at the end of June to discuss the case. Few details were released regarding their visit and whether it will affect the court’s decision tomorrow or not. But, as believers, we know the authorities are guided by God’s hand. Pray for His will to be done in this situation. Pray that the outcome of Brunson’s case will not stop believers from sharing the Gospel in Turkey. "This has come to the point where it's no longer in Turkey's interest to hold Pastor Brunson," Windsor comments. "[Pray] that the Turkish authorities would allow his release." Read our previous coverage of Pastor Andrew Brunson’s case here.   Header photo courtesy of World Witness.
  2. Middle East (MNN) – Since their inception, Mission Cry has sent over $330 million worth of Bibles and Christian books to 171 nations. “You can imagine the impact of now the hundreds of millions of people that have given their life to the Lord or learned of the Lord Jesus Christ because of it,” Mission Cry’s Jason Woolford says. Yet because of the lack of partners and ways for the materials to be brought in, the ministry has been unable to send materials to the Middle East. However, doors were recently opened, making it possible to send Christian books and Bibles to the people in Jordan and Palestinian territories.

    A Connection, a Donation, and a Distribution

    Woolford explains he met a Palestinian man when Mission Cry sent Bibles and Christian books to the Philippines several years ago. The man, Paul, had a ministry there and was excited about what Mission Cry was doing. Mission Cry held onto this connection, but they had no materials to send to the Middle East. Later, Mission Cry received a large donation of brand new Arabic Bibles and Christian books. “We have a gentleman in Texas and God has put on his heart the last two years to send us brand new [books],” Woolford says. A majority of the materials Mission Cry receives and sends to partners are used books and Bibles. “But God had put it on his heart to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars of Bibles and books and send them to us and he said he had felt like he wanted to help us get stuff into Palestine, Jordan, and the Middle East because that’s an area where we haven’t been able to send very much English to or had the materials to send in their language.” After receiving this donation, Paul contacted Mission Cry, explaining that he had a way to bring Christian materials into Palestinian territories and Jordan. Now, Mission Cry has recently sent $50,000 worth of brand new Arabic Bibles and Christian books which are being distributed in Jordan and Palestinian areas.

    Hope Amidst the Trials

    “This is very significant because we always like to look at whatever the hotbeds, whatever is going on in the world right now, and wherever we see a lot of turmoil and problems,” Woolford says. Believers in Jordan and Palestinian territories are religious minorities and many face persecution. Open Doors’ World Watch List ranks Jordan as #21 for the countries that persecute Christians the most. Believers, especially former Muslims who have converted to Christianity, face violent persecution to persuade them to renounce their newfound faith and are sometimes killed.

    (Photo courtesy of Mission Cry via Facebook)

    These Christian books and Arabic Bibles give hope to believers amidst the persecution and trials they face. Further, it gives them the tools to educate and encourage others to follow Christ as well. “You talk about the area that they’re in and the stress that they’re under being a Christian in that area. You talk about encouraging them and encouraging someone where it’s one thing to ask Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, but it’s another thing to have a Bible... that you call your own and then giving people the ability to go and minister to other people.”

    Get Involved

    Paul will be holding evangelistic events and distributing Christian books and Bibles to believers and Muslims that a donor like you gave. Thousands, perhaps millions, of people in the Middle East will hear about Jesus and learn who He truly is because of these donations. Help make a change in the Middle East by spreading the Word of God. Donate your old Christian books and Bibles or give to help finance shipments of books. Your gifts will make a difference as the Word of God does not return void. Also, pray for the distribution of materials and for the hearts of people receiving them to be open.
  3. Indonesia (MNN) -- Indonesia, home of the world’s largest Muslim population, is getting a fresh translation of the full Bible. It’s been around 30 years since the last full translation was launched in the country. A lot has changed since then.

    New Contemporary Translation

    According to Biblica’s Hans Combrink, Biblica inherited the Living Bible in Indonesian. It was translated in the 1970s and early 1980s. While portions of this bible were translated well, there were sections which needed some help. Now, it’s time for an update. “Language changes, culture changes, and there have been advances in Biblical scholarship and research…so, you know, from a translation and a communication point of view, we need to revise the Bible for every generation,” Combrink explains. The current full Bible translation in Indonesia is mainly used by the Church. But for someone not immersed in a congregation, understanding the translation can be difficult. Biblica is taking the dated Living Bible translation in Indonesian, and translating it to a contemporary version using modern idiomatic Indonesian. By doing this, God’s Word will be better communicated. “Our goal with the contemporary Indonesian version is that this will be a translation that communicates to young people, to people outside of the Church who may be seeking. [It is] a translation that could be used for discipleship, and evangelism, and outreach,” Combrink says.

    Setting the GroundWork

    Biblica has been working on this translation for roughly two years. The process has included raising the funds for the projects, prayer, and talking with people on the ground to determine the need for the translation project. And while Indonesia being a majority Muslim nation, the contemporary Bible translation will be available for both Biblica’s partners and for the public.

    (Header and photo courtesy of Biblica)

    “We already have talked to a publisher in Indonesia. So, I would imagine that this translation would be available in bookstores in Indonesia,” Combrink shares. “But, initially our primary focus of making this available will be through ministry partners. And Biblica has a lot of compelling resources that we can use together with the text of the Bible.” Biblica has been doing incremental translations of the new contemporary Bible. Once portions are translated, Biblica has been making them available for ministry products. “We envision and trust that the text of this new contemporary version will be well received and used by ministry organizations who can then use it for outreach purposes, for discipleship, and for evangelism,” Combrink explains.

    Be Prayerful, Be Active

    Ask God to use this translation to transform hearts and reveal himself to those yearning for Him. Pray for God to prepare the right team, consultants, and the right reviewers to finish this project. Also, pray for God to provide the finances necessary for completion. “Pray for the impact of God’s Word, that His Word would go forth and would not return to him void, but achieve all its purposes and everything that He has intended for it in the country of Indonesia,” Combrink shares. To give to this project, click here!