Prayers for a Treacherous Journey
I spent a good part of early October reviewing disturbing video
footage filmed by Nigerian nationals. They have courageously chronicled
what is happening in that country as radical Islamists terrorize
Christians, insisting that our dear brothers and sisters in faith must
either convert or be killed.
By Western film standards, the quality of the footage is poor.
The lighting is bad and the sound is uneven.
authenticity, however, of these testimonials from individuals who have
survived horrific attacks is undeniable. No professional film crew
could have captured that any better.
trauma is undeniable in these witnesses’ flat voices and expressionless
faces. Some are still in shock. They have lost family members and loved
ones, seen their homes go up in flames, their livestock stolen and
their crops destroyed. Surviving by running for their lives, they hid
when they could in the bush. One pastor tells how his wife and children
were burned alive in their home.
The single reason these people were targeted
is because of their faith in Jesus.
is just one of several countries where there have been recent attacks
on believers. This July, a Reuters report said, “Last Sunday at about
10:00 a.m., masked assailants launched simultaneous gun and grenade
raids on two churches in Garissa, a Kenyan town near the Somali border,
killing at least 17 people and wounding 60. … The dead include 4 men,
10 women and 3 children. It is the worst in terms of the numbers
killed, the manner of execution, the anger behind it and the anguish it
has aroused as well as the national impact it has made.”
Similar reports are now coming out of Congo.
was scheduled earlier to go to Nigeria to work on a film report
regarding my dear friend Dayo Obaweya. He is the International
Coordinator for West Africa for Medical Ambassadors International
(MAI). Because of the ongoing violence, the MAI staff canceled that
trip. In the meantime, I worked on a draft script telling about Dayo’s
life and work and the death threats he is facing.
powerful new footage available, however, another trip has been arranged
for this month (November) to complete this project. We will now be able
to capture what we need on film in a safer part of the country. I will
be traveling with Paul Bahn, an accomplished international videographer
(who, to Karen’s relief, is a former E.R. nurse). Though we don’t
anticipate any problems, travel in developing nations and particularly
in places that are unsettled politically still demand the prayers of
our friends. Write my name down and remember me when you can. Thank
you. I am 76 years old, after all.
Ambassadors is paying Mainstay Ministries for this work, which will
help to make up for the present shortfall in our finances.
We ended the
summer with an economic hole of about $10,000.
We still need to make up that deficit, but the income from this project will prevent any further financial slide. God provides.
leaders in Africa are reluctant to call what is happening a religious
problem. Church leaders, however, will tell you that there is no
question but that is precisely what these brutal attacks are. Another
anti-Christ force is moving across the world. In the West, I fear, we
are naïve as to what is happening. Hopefully, the little documentary I
am involved with will open the eyes of some and call those who are
concerned to concerted and sustained prayer intercession.
hold a conviction that Earth finishes its present history in an
eventual winner-take-all showdown between the forces of good and evil,
light and darkness, God and Satan. The good news is that Christ is
As in all real wars, however, there are a great
many casualties. With this in mind, one could say that the immediate future is
somewhat a mixed bag. From the side of the church, it’s comforting to
know that God is triumphant.
From an individual perspective, like in all bitterly contested battles, many will be called upon to pay the ultimate sacrifice.
toll has already begun to be taken in places like Africa, the Middle
East, and much of Asia. In time, how can it help but include the
Americas as well? I am praying that my work in Nigeria, this small but
potentially significant project, will help awaken the American church
to what is going on.
Dr. David R. Mains
NOTES From KAREN
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prayer and discernment committee is gathering around me (spontaneously
and surprisingly) for the purpose of designing the future of the Hungry
Souls ministry. One of my prayer partners reminded me that when we
began some 11 years ago, the idea was to provide an online mentoring
ministry. We are committing ourselves to this discernment process for
the next few months. I invite you to keep us in your prayers. My
involvements worldwide and the inevitabilities of an aging timeline are
and will eventually decrease my capacities.
If you are interested in being part of this discernment process, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen's Blogs for This Week
Link is http://blog.karenmains.com/blog/thoughts-by-karen-mains.
Titles for this week are: “Tale of the Metal Bed Frame,” “My Tongue
Will Talk,” “The Circle of Our Connections,” “Sabbath Practice” and
The Soulish Food e-mails are
posted biweekly on the Hungry Souls Web
site. Newcomers can look that over and decide if they want to
register on the Web site to receive the biweekly newsletter. You might
want to recommend this to friends also. They can go to www.HungrySouls.org.
Dr. David Mains
Director, Mainstay Ministries
“The toll on the
church has already begun to be taken in places like Africa, the Middle
East, and much of Asia. In time, I fear it will include the Americas as
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
FThis month our international book group (Read and Intercede) has been assigned the book Purple Hibiscus
by Nigerian-born writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Since I leave for
Nigeria on the 13th of November, I thought this was a fitting title and
made a point of finishing the book even in the midst of all the travel
Beautifully written, the characters are
compelling and vivid. Set in an exotic location, the characters yet
experience what many families all over the world
experience—dysfunction. Publishers Weekly
reports, “By turns luminous and horrific, this debut ensnares the
reader from the first page and lingers in the memory long after its
tragic end. First-person Kambili Achike is a 15-year Nigerian girl
growing up in sheltered privilege in a country ravaged by political
strife and personal struggle. … Adichie examines the complexities of
family, faith and country through the haunted but hopeful eyes of a
young girl on the cusp of womanhood. Lush, cadenced and often
disconcerting, this is an accomplished first effort.”
are wanting to expose yourself to excellent writers who are
international artists, I highly recommend this book. Our book group has
introduced us to titles and countries and global thinking we would
never have met without this emphasis of reading only authors (Christian
but mostly non-Christian) who write out of a culture that is not our