INTERNET CHANGE POSES RELIGIOUS LIBERTY THREAT

Baptist Press

http, www, web, site, computer, screen, InternetNASHVILLE — When the U.S. government relinquishes control of a nonprofit organization that oversees Internet domain names, a California Baptist University software engineering professor says, the potential for religious liberty violations could increase.

Since 1998, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has coordinated and administered Internet domain names, with oversight from the U.S. Department of Commerce. But as of Oct. 1, when the government’s contract expires, ICANN will be governed entirely by an independent board — a move that has been decried by some commentators as dangerous and dismissed by others as innocuous. [Read more…]

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HURRICANE SLAMS HAITI, CUBA; HEADED TOWARD UNITED STATES

Baptist and Reflector

Image: NOAA.gov

Image: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist disaster relief volunteers are on alert, awaiting word from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief as to where and when they will be needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, causing massive destruction before hitting Cuba later that night. The damage in Cuba was not as extensive as first expected, according to news reports.

Associated Press reported that at least 11 deaths have been blamed on Hurricane Matthew, which at one time was a Category 5 storm, making it the most powerful hurricane in the region in nearly a decade. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE MISSIONARY CHARLIE WORTHY ASKS FOR PRAYER FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE IN ITALY

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160829italy1AREZZO, Italy — Prayer is the greatest thing people can do in response to the 6.2 magnitude earthquake which devastated several towns and villages in central Italy Aug. 24, said Tennessee native Charlie Worthy.

Worthy, who hails from Memphis and is a graduate of Union University, Jackson, and his wife Shannon are Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionaries in Arezzo in the Tuscany region of Italy. The Tennessee Baptist Convention has been in a partnership with evangelical believers in Italy since 2013. The Worthys coordinate volunteer teams from Tennessee that travel to Italy for missions opportunities. [Read more…]

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3,202 DECISIONS FOR CHRIST REPORTED IN BRAZIL

By Will Hall
Baptist Press

A church helper and a volunteer interpreter react with tears of joy upon learning an elderly woman could now see with the help of donated prescription eyeglasses fitted by Sue Johns, a member of First Baptist Church in Graceville, Florida, and mother of Brent Johns, administrative and discipleship pastor at First Baptist Church in Houma.

A church helper and a volunteer interpreter react with tears of joy upon learning an elderly woman could now see with the help of donated prescription eyeglasses fitted by Sue Johns, a member of First Baptist Church in Graceville, Florida, and mother of Brent Johns, administrative and discipleship pastor at First Baptist Church in Houma.

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (BP) — Southern Baptists returning from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, are sharing testimonies of widespread revival in churches, communities, prisons and schools, following an 8-day schedule of crusades, medical ministries and other outreach efforts in this South American country.

Wayne Jenkins, director of evangelism and church growth for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, said there were a recorded 3,202 salvation decisions resulting from events conducted July 10-17.

“God did exceedingly above all that we could think or ask,” Jenkins said.

“Even working for the first time with this Brazilian association, the way was smooth in constructing three church buildings in five business days and reaching the number of people who came to know Christ, especially in some difficult areas. [Read more…]

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CHALLENGES ABOUND IN RIO

Baptist Press

Sid Hopkins, shown at the 2010 Olympics, will serve once again this year in Rio.

Sid Hopkins, shown at the 2010 Olympics, will serve once again this year in Rio.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Sid Hopkins is an eye-catching sight when he visits the Olympics.

The retired director of missions for the Atlanta-area Gwinnett Metro Baptist Association dons a hat and vest decorated with hundreds of pins that people aren’t bashful about inspecting. Hopkins trades pins with other Olympics fans while distributing pins made especially for the Olympics that tell the story of Jesus.

“There is an openness by people to talk with one another and to talk about spiritual things,” Hopkins said. “So sharing the seeds of the gospel through the ‘storytelling’ witnessing pin is well-received. Then the seeds of the gospel go back all over the world as the people return home.”

Hopkins is in Rio de Janeiro as the world prepares to turn its gaze on the first South American city ever to host the Olympics. The Games, kicked off with the Aug. 5 opening ceremony, will become the centerpiece of family entertainment and workplace discussions for more than two weeks. [Read more…]

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SIX WAYS TO PRAY DURING TERRORISM

On Mission Today

Christian-Woman-kneeling-in-Prayer-SilhouetteTerrorists opened fire at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul recently before detonating explosives, killing 42 people and injuring more than 200. It was the second terrorist attack in Istanbul in June, the month of Ramadan.

Weeks earlier, during the height of morning rush hour, a car bomb tore through a crowded area of Istanbul, killing 11 people and wounding dozens more. In a moment, Ramadan, a time associated with heightened spiritual devotion and prayer, turned violent and chaotic. [Read more…]

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GUIDESTONE READY FOR BRITAIN’S EXIT FROM E. UNION

Baptist Press

160629brexitLONDON — Though the United Kingdom’s vote June 23 to leave the European Union took many political observers by surprise, leaders at GuideStone Financial Resources and the Southern Baptist Foundation say they’ve had the referendum in view for months and have taken steps to protect Southern Baptist investors from the resultant market volatility.

Meanwhile, Christian commentators on both sides of the Atlantic have weighed in on the “Brexit” — as Britain’s E.U. exit has been dubbed — with opinions divided and calls for believers to help bring unity to the U.K. [Read more…]

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A LIGHT IN MOUNTAINS OF DARKNESS

By Chris Turner
Director of Communications, TBC

Lucila Huamani (wah-MAHN-ee) is a widow. She faithfully maintains God’s house every week and puts fresh flowers at the altar. On Sundays, she opens the church, reads her Bible, prays, and sings hymns. Many weeks she’s the only one there. She daily faces ridicule from neighbors for her Christianity. She perseveres. Her prayer request is that the church will one day be filled and that the gospel will spread across the mountains that surround her village of Machahuay (mah-CHAH-why). Pray that God will reward her faith by granting her prayer request.

Lucila Huamani (wah-MAHN-ee) is a widow. She faithfully maintains God’s house every week and puts fresh flowers at the altar. On Sundays, she opens the church, reads her Bible, prays, and sings hymns. Many weeks she’s the only one there. She daily faces ridicule from neighbors for her Christianity. She perseveres. Her prayer request is that the church will one day be filled and that the gospel will spread across the mountains that surround her village of Machahuay (mah-CHAH-why). Pray that God will reward her faith by granting her prayer request.

VIRACO, Peru — Julissa knelt beside her daddy and urged him to get back on the donkey. He’d collapsed by the side of the road, torso in the bushes, legs and feet stretched out into the dusty mountain road.

“C’mon Papi. We need to go home.”

But he was barely conscious and unable to move, a stupor brought on from a morning of heavy drinking.

Julissa’s plight is not that uncommon from many other children living in the isolated Andean Mountains of Peru where there is a high level of alcoholism among men. Much of the bacchanalia centers around the veneration of Catholic saints, such as Saint Ursula, who is the patron saint of the town of Viraco (vee-RAH-co), located in the shadows of the dormant volcano, Coropuna.

Saint Ursula is uniquely recognizable. Most female Catholic saints have crowns atop their heads. Not Ursula. She wears a cowgirl hat. Legend has it that Ursula appeared to the Inca people here in the 1500s to warn them of an impending Spanish ambush. The people rallied and defeated the Spanish, solidifying Ursula’s significance in perpetuity. [Read more…]

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MISSIONS CLINIC HELD IN THE U.S.

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

A lady from Somalia discusses her teeth with help from a family member and Alan Nguyen, a dental student and BCM member who was a part of the missions clinic held by the BCM of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis.

A lady from Somalia discusses her teeth with help from a family member and Alan Nguyen, a dental student and BCM member who was a part of the missions clinic held by the BCM of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis.

MEMPHIS — The dental clinic being held could have been set in another country.

The people lined up for treatment were not Anglos. They waited patiently queued outside like the very needy will though it was cold that Saturday morning. The clinic was being held in a gritty, older apartment complex in a very large city.

The sunlight may not have warmed the area but it did provide good light for the dental students as they began to screen patients. A generator droned on by the treatment area marked by three chairs. Dental equipment on nearby tables was managed by other clinic staff.

[Read more…]

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10,356 FILIPINOS MAKE COMMITMENTS

Baptist and Reflector

Charles Pratt, left, assists a Filipino pastor in baptizing a new Christian in the South China Sea. Pratt directs Cross Partners Ministry.

Charles Pratt, left, assists a Filipino pastor in baptizing a new Christian in the South China Sea. Pratt directs Cross Partners Ministry.

SOMERVILLE — A team of nine missions volunteers serving on the Cross Partners Ministry team recently returned from two weeks in the Republic of the Philippines where they served with more than 30 churches in four different Baptist associations.

The team participated in more than 100 evangelistic crusades with Filipino Baptists across Luzon Island and saw 10,056 professions of faith and 300 other decisions for Christ.

The team was led by Charles Pratt, director of missions for Fayette Baptist Association based in Somerville. Pratt also is president and founder of Cross Partners Ministry, Inc. He has been leading volunteer missions teams on 5 continents for over 26 years to serve on short time missions trips. [Read more…]

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