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Yesterday Heidi Baker spoke at a church in Stockholm not far from where I live. I wasn’t aware of her trip until it was too late, but I’m not sad since yesterday was an amazing day for me even without Heidi. Jesus showed Himself to me again just as He did when I just had become a Christian and needed a sign for His presence. It was in my house church as the brothers and sisters prayed for a very important decision I have to make, and I sobbed and praised Him for revealing Himself in this manner for the first time in nine years.
But yeah, Heidi rocks! And her ministry Iris Global have just published two beautiful videos about a recent outreach to the Mueda region in Mozambique. The first one is just mute recordings from the adventure with a powerful and touching worship song on top of it:
In the second one Heidi and Iris staff narrates what actually happened on the outreach. Wells were dug, education was supported, a deaf-mute girl was healed and people were saved. Praise the Lord! (more…)
Earlier this summer when I was preparing my lecture Jesus vs Xenohpobia, I went to my favourite Bible study site biblehub.com and searched the Scriptures for the word “refugee”. Two passages touched me in a special way, both being from prophet Isaiah’s book.
Isaiah 16:3-4 says: “Hide the fugitives, do not betray the refugees. Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you; be their shelter from the destroyer.” This is in the middle of a prophecy against Moab, that warns the kingdom for an upcoming disaster. In the previous chapter, God says: “My heart cries out over Moab; her fugitives flee as far as Zoar, as far as Eglath Shelishiyah. They go up the hill to Luhith, weeping as they go; on the road to Horonaim they lament their destruction.” (Is 15:5).
It is thus clear that even though this catastrophe is described as being the result of God’s judgment due to the idolatry of the Moabite people, He still cares for them and wants people to give them shelter from the ones who destroy them. Even people who do not worship the Lord still deserves love, care and humanitarian aid. (more…)
Over 3800 have died and over 100 000 people are homeless in the devastating Nepali earthquake last Saturday. Nepal is a precious nation for me personally – my church has been working there a lot – and so I quickly looked up what organizations are providing humanitarian relief. Here are some I can recommend:
Christian Aid are bringing aid relief such as water purification kits and temporary shelter through the international aid network Act Alliance. You can donate in pounds, euros and dollars.
The Mennonite Central Committee already have offices and personell in Nepal, and thankfully all are safe but they obviously have a lot to do now and need support.
World Vision is initiating a response to bring food, water, shelter, emergency health interventions and other types of aid to Nepal.
Finally, UNICEF is coordenating with other UN bodies for a massive response to make sure that especially children are safe. You can donate at their website in almost every currency there is.
Also, please pray for the people of Nepal, all the humanitarian aid workers and the Nepali church in these challenging times. God bless you!
American prosperity pastor Creflo Dollar wants 65 million dollars so that he can buy one of the most luxurious private jets there is: the Gulfstream G650. Dollar asks 200 000 people to give “at least” 300 dollars each so that he can buy this thing without wasting his own money, but thankfully this has caused a lot of criticism from other charismatics. J Lee Grady at Charisma Magazine writes:
The Bible calls us to be good stewards of God’s resources. Private aircraft cost an exorbitant amount of money compared to commercial flights because the owners must provide service and upkeep on the vehicles. If a preacher insists on renting a private jet, the cost to fly from Fort Lauderdale to New York would be in the ballpark of $59,000, compared to a $652 ticket on a commercial plane. People who own private jets spend as much as $4 million a year just on maintenance.
You know what could use the 65 million dollars instead? Vanuatu. The oceanic island state has been devastated by tropical cyclone Pam this week. By the grace of God, very few people have died due to warnings and public advice from the government, and a quick humanitarian response. However, over 65000 people are homeless, and countless crops have been destroyed leaving tens of thousands in need of food aid. Tourism, which accounts for 40% of the country’s income, will most likely also be negatively effected (rich people usually want to go to paradises where they can ignore the world’s problems, not find them).
I got some horrible news for you. Because of lack of funding from UN member countries, the World Food Programme has suspended their food voucher scheme to 1.7 million Syrian refugees. WFP has warned for this risk for several months, without getting a sufficient reaction. Now, there’s no money left. The consequences for the refugees and the countries that host them will obviously be disastrous.
The sad thing is that the problem is not that costs turnes to be higher than expected, but that donor countries simply has ont given what they have promised to give. WFP is urgently calling on donors to live up to what they have committed: (more…)
- There’s a hashtag called #CARcrisis. It’s used on Twitter.
- It has nothing to do with cars. It’s about the crisis in the Central African Republic, a republic in central Africa that has about the same size as Ukraine.
- The CAR crisis is one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophe on the planet right now. Due to the ongoing conflict, thousands have died, hundreds of thousands are refugees, millions need urgent humanitarian assistance.
- The UN fears that the conflict soon will escalate into a genocide. Similar hate propagande that was used in the Rwandan genocide is used in CAR today.
- The people that may commit the genocide are mostly Christians. And the victims are mostly Muslims. Yeah, sorry if I turned your prejudices on their heads there.
- The conflict escalated when the Muslim rebel group Seleka took over the government, but they’re not in the government anymore. They left in in January 2014. But the conflict is still going on by ex-Seleka members fighting the mostly Christian militia anti-balaka.
- The new president of CAR is a chick, and she’s awesome. Catherine Samba-Panza is committed to peace, justice and women’s rights, and urges both the Muslim and Christian militias to drop their weapons and stop planning genocide.
- You can save lives in CAR. Just give a generous amount to World Food Programme and spread the word.
I quickly mentioned in my last blog post thousands of people have lost their homes and income in Mozambique due to flooding. My spiritual hero Heidi Baker and her organization Iris Global is in the midst of the action, having parts of their own property destroyed as well as seeing their poor friends losing Everything. Heidi writes on Facebook:
My friend Francisco is one of many whose home has been completely flooded due to the torrential rains here in the Northern province. We were able to help relocate him to stay in one of our churches and share in the perfect love of Jesus. Thank you for praying. We love you so much and so appreciate your support and prayers.
Iris volontueer Ali Morgan shares some unbelievable images that depicts the devastation in northern Mozambique. She writes:
These are photos from many of us missionaries here in Pemba over the last few days. It has been heartbreaking to see the poorest of the poor loosing the little they own. Watching the Mamas run through the villages with water well above their waist and their mattresses on their heads with babies drenched on their backs and no escape. Please keep praying for all of us in the floods. Many lives have been lost, roads destroyed, electrictiy doesn’t exist, houses washed away, cars going into rivers and not coming back up… and now our base walls have started falling into the river. Rumors have it that a cyclone is coming our way next. Commanding that one to stop in Jesus name! Pray for all of us at Iris and our friends and neighbors in the villages.
Two types of rains are pouring over the nation of Mozambique right now – the sweet rain of revival, since God is saving, healing, raising and restoring thousands of lives through Iris Global, but also the devestating rains of flooding, that are destroying people’s homes, food and income. Iris is sending out a desperate plee for help, so please pray for them and give them something if you can. God bless you!
You probably haven’t missed it – the super storm Hayian has killed thousands, displaced 600 000 and affected 10 million people primarily in the Philippines. So many people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid right now, and doubts whether the aid really reaches the target could be fatal if it leads to inaction. I cann assure you that the three organizations below are serious, effective and accountable and highly recommend that you donate large sums to them, while praying passionately that God will do miracles through His Philippine church and save many lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christian Aid‘s local partner organisations are already assessing the damage and they have dispatched four emergency response assessment teams in the worst hit areas. They’ve helped people reach emergency shelters and will be providing families with essential items such as food, blankets, basic first-aid kits, cooking utensils, shovels for cleaning up and cash assistance. Read the latest update on the situation in the Philippines here.
Please donate today to help them reach people left homeless, hungry and vulnerable (£,€ or $).
UNICEF is rushing emergency supplies to areas of the Philippines ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November, as the latest estimates indicate that up to 4 million children could now be affected by the disaster.
Today UN officials announced that the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) may escalate to a genocide. Since the Seleka rebels preformed a coup in March, the situation has turned chaotic – women are raped, children are killed, and violent hostility between Christians and Muslims is growing. Eugene Richard Gasana, Rwanda’s UN ambassador, said “I had the impression it is like in 1994 at home.”
Doctors without borders have been working in CAR for several years, helping the sick, wounded and dying. Over and over again they have tried to sound the alarm for the horrible humanitarian crisis, but unfortunately the world has been passive. Please give a generous gift so that they can continue to save lives. And pray eagerly for peace and justice in CAR. Thank you!
Two earthquakes with the magnitude of 7.7 and 7.2 have hit the very poor districts of Awaran and Turbat in the Balochistan province, Pakistan. At least 375 people have died and 185 000 have been affected. Thousands are homeless and in need of immediate humanitarian relief.
Unfortunately, not many aid organizations are working in the area. It is a forgotten disaster. The only Christian NGO I could find was Christian Aid who cooperate with Muslim Hands to bring aid to the Balochistan victims. But then, we also have the grace of more relational international contact. (more…)
A couple of days ago the leader of the main racist party here in Sweden was holding a very weird speech. Besides stating that you cannot separate what’s Christian and what’s Swedish, and demanding that Swedish churches must be built with Swedish material, he used the horrible sarin gas attack in Syria as an argument for not receiving refugees from there. Yeah, you heard me. He said that since the crisis in Syria is so severe, it is horrible for the Swedish government to waste money on asylum immigration instead of supporting the refugees in their local areas, i.e. refugee camps.
Perhaps he missed the news about Syrians wanting to return to the conflict because the circumstances in their Jordanian refugee camps are killing them.
I mean, God bless the UNHCR, we should really give as much as we can to them right now, but they can never ever offer the same security, welfare and peace that a Western country can. It’s ridiculously stupid to say that it’s cheaper to help refugees in their local areas than welcoming them to the West, because the results are extremely cheap as well. And no, the refugees that manage to get to a Western country don’t want to be deported to a refugee camp. If we really care about Syrian lives, we must welcome them to our countries.
Today is a big day, where we celebrate the thousands of brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to help and save others. Over 200 million people are every year affected by humanitarian crisis, and humanitarian aid workers do what they can to alliviate suffering and save lives. But it’s risky. Every year several humanitarian aid workers die in service. This is the main reason Doctors Without Borders had to leave Somalia recently – it was too dangerous. Thus, World Humanitarian Day not only celebrates humanitarian action but also commemorates humanitarian martyrs.
As Christians, we should have humanitarian passion. We should be on the frontlines to recognize this day, spread its message and donate to humanitarian relief. I highly recommend the Christian organizations Samaritan’s Purse and World Vision. They rock and are making a wonderful impact to spread the Kingdom through love and justice. Happy WHD!
As I’ve mentioned previously, Iris Relief is right now helping Syrian refugees in Jordan, bringing food, love and the power of the living God. On their facebook feed as well as through other sources, the team publish several testimonies of hope and relief in the midst of unimaginable suffering. Here are some of those testimonies:
I have been been brought to tears today as I sat with the Syrian Refugees listening to their tragic and horrific stories of what war has cost them. Love looks like something! – Daniel
Our Iris Relief Middle East team had so much favor today and made it into the refugee camp in Zaa-tari where 100,000 refugees are staying. We listened to horrendous stories of imprisonment and torture. We saw inner healings as well as many physical healings as we prayed at each tent. The indigenous Jor-danians said that the kind of breakthrough that we saw today has never happened before. These desperate people are absolutely beautiful and Papa God has broken our hearts for them – Christian
Sitting in a UNHCR tent w/ a family of Sy-rian refugees who fled war only 4 days before, I was blown away by this muffin. At her young age she has lived through bombs, bullets and 2 massacres. 1 of 400 ppl and another of 500 ppl. Looking deep into her eyes, holding her in my arms and echoing each other’s giggles I could only lean back on the goodness of God. No matter how bad the circumstance, his love is ALWAYS enough. Always. His beauty is found in the hope he brings to the hurting, the life he restores to the broken-hearted and the fact that he powerfully pursues us wherever we’re at. We’ve seen so much pain, so much devastation but I’ve never been more in love or filled with more hope. – Cassandra (more…)
I know, I’ve written about the crisis in Syria before, it shouldn’t be new to anyone that the humanitarian situation there is catastrophical. But things have become even worse. Today, leaders of four giat UN agencies – UNICEF, WFP, OCHA and UNHCR – published the video above were they demand more support for the humanitarian relief in Syrian and neighbouring countries. There isn’t enough money. People die because of lack of money. The political leaders of donor countries are to blame for this of course, but it won’t hurt if we dig in our pocket books ourselves to save lives.
As of the beginning March 2013, Jordan has received over 320,000 Syrian refugees, with the numbers expected to double or triple over the coming months. There are wide spread shortages of food, water, medical, hygiene and education resources. Jordan is under pressure and struggling to keep up with the demand of the ever increasing basic needs of those seeking refuge. (more…)