By Melissa Wuske
Rising Persecution Around the World
According to Christian Freedom International (CFI), every five minutes a Christian is martyred because of his or her beliefs. “They are your Christian family throughout the world,” said CFI president Jim Jacobson, addressing the global church in advance of November 8’s International Day of Prayer. “Pray for their safety; that they would be emboldened to continue sharing the gospel even in the face of persecution; that their persecutors would also come to know Christ as they observe the courageous witness of these believers.”
Widespread persecution in the Middle East and Africa, as well as the internment of 50,000 to 70,000 Christians in North Korea, is driving the swell of persecution. In fact, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, more people have been killed for Christian beliefs than all the centuries since Christ—combined.
Open Doors rates the severity of persecution around the world. The following countries are in its top tier of extreme persecution: North Korea, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Maldives.
Google Street View Protects Elephants
Google Street View has become an indispensible tool for travelers, but now it is taking on a new task. Google is working with a nonprofit rescue called Save the Elephants to create street view images of the roads in Samburu National Reserve in Kenya—all in an effort to protect the elephants that live in the park.
Researchers estimate that between the years 2010-2012, about 100,000 elephants in Africa were killed for their ivory. But the work at Samburu National Reserve has resulted in progress against poachers. The Google images and accompanying short film include groups of elephants running, playing, and taking mud baths to stay cool, but they also include rows of jawbones of elephants killed illegally in the area.
“Today, a visit to Samburu is a chance not only to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat but also discover a uniquely beautiful landscape where people’s lives are interwoven with the landscape’s wildlife,” Google stated.
104-Year-Old Street Artist
The stereotypical image of a street artist is a young, edgy person who works under cover of night. But Grace Brett breaks the mold. She’s a 104-year-old knitter and grandmother who worked with her knitting group, the Souter Stormers, to yarn bomb (cover benches, phone booths, fences, lamp poles, and other public surfaces with custom-knitted covers) the towns of Selkirk, Ettrickbridge, and Yarrow in Scotland. The group spent nearly a year preparing—knitting colorful houses, animals, and people as surprise decorations for their towns.
“I liked seeing my work showing with everyone else and thought the town looked lovely,” said Brett. “It’s very nice of [people] to take any notice of it.”
Cat Naps at Lunch Coming Soon
Nearly everyone with a desk job has had those sagging-eye moments when it seems the day cannot proceed without some sleep. Soon office workers may not have to turn to coffee and 5-Hour Energy to make it through—not when they have NL Studio’s prototype “desk studio bed.” It’s a sleek desk that has a slim mattress and pillow underneath; plus, there’s a privacy wall and a television. Power naps are shown to increase productivity, so bosses everywhere will surely be ordering the desks for everyone in the office—right?!
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).