By Melissa Wuske
Evangelism Tool Transcends Literacy
Evangelists in Sierra Leone and other regions have a new tool: the Proclaimer. This battery operated audio player with speakers comes loaded with audio Bibles, music, sermons, and other Christian materials in the native language of a region. They allow the message to reach large groups, especially people who are illiterate.
“The Proclaimers are a very powerful tool in the hands of many converts and even to our MBB [Muslim background believers] evangelists who are working among these unreached areas,” said a worker with Voice of the Martyrs. They’re even more essential to help evangelists who are themselves illiterate. “Their only tool for preaching is by listening to the Proclaimer and then they will share with the people. So in some places the Proclaimer is acting as a kind of discipleship class and Bible school to equip our people.”
New Laws Limit Russian Christians
In July Russian President Vladimir Putin approved new laws that will place tighter restrictions on missionary activity and evangelism. The laws prohibit sharing faith online, in private homes, or anywhere other than recognized church buildings. “I don’t think you can overestimate the Russian government’s willingness to exert control,” said David Aikman, history professor and foreign affairs expert.
“There are potentially very wide-sweeping ramifications to this law,” said Joel Griffith of the Slavic Gospel Association. “It just depends on, again, how it is going to be enforced, and that is a very huge question mark.”
As a result of the new laws, “the religious situation in the country will grow considerably more complicated and many believers will find themselves in exile and subjected to reprisals because of our faith,” said Oleg Goncharov.
But believers of many denominations are determined to continue to worship and follow Jesus, as the church has done during other challenging periods of Russia’s history. “They say, ‘If it will come to it, it’s not going to stop us from worshiping and sharing our faith.’ The Great Commission isn’t just for a time of freedom,” said Sergey Rakhuba, president of Mission Eurasia.
Jailer’s Life Saved by Inmates
A group of inmates in a holding cell in Texas broke out, but it wasn’t to steal the guard’s keys or gun: it was to save his life. From their cell, the inmates saw the guard slump forward in his chair of an apparent heart attack.
First the inmates called out for help, but no one heard them. Then they broke out of the cell to reach the guard, making lots of noise, despite their shackles, to summon help. “They thought it was a big old fight going on down there,” said one of the inmates. Soon help arrived and the man is recovering after his life was saved by the inmates.
Nick Kelton was one of the inmates involved. He said the guard is a “good man . . .
It never crossed my mind whether he’s got a gun or a badge. If he falls down, I’ll help him.”
Homeless World Cup
The Olympics weren’t the only sporting event this past summer. Glasgow, Scotland, hosted the 14th Homeless World Cup. The tournament brings together teams of men and women from around the world who are struggling with homelessness. The goal of the event and the organization overall is to inspire and equip people who are homeless to change their lives. They work with national partners year-round to advocate and empower the more than 100 million people who are at a social disadvantage due to homelessness.
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).