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Issue 11-11

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.
The authenticity, however, of these testimonials from individuals who have survived horrific attacks is undeniable. No professional film crew could have captured that any better.

The 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.

Nigeria 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.

I 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.

With this 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.

Medical 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.

Government 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 nave 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.

I 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 victorious.

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.


The 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

Help With Facebook

A 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 karen@hungrysouls.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 “Dust Allergy.”


Reminder!

The Soulish Food e-mails are being 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.


David Mains

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 well.”
BOOK CORNER

Purple Hibiscus

Purple Hibiscus
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 preparations.

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.”

If you 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 own.  DM



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