Praise and Prayer

Praise: Jordanian Widow Wins Final Court Battle—A Jordanian court of appeal has rejected a last-ditch appeal from the Muslim guardian fighting for custody of Christian widow Siham Qandah's two minor children. The June 13 decision reconfirmed an earlier verdict from Amman's Al-Abdali Sharia Court two months ago, which revoked the legal guardianship of Abdullah al-Muhtadi, the maternal uncle of Qandah's daughter Rawan and son Fadi. According to Qandah's lawyer, this final verdict from the appellate court cannot be appealed. It effectively cancels all other pending cases regarding permanent custody of the children. Al-Muhtadi has been ordered by the court to repay misspent funds he had withdrawn from his wards' inheritance accounts without judicial approval. Qandah may now select a new guardian for court approval to oversee her children's legal affairs until they reach maturity at age 18.

Compass Direct via MissionNet

Editor's background note: This Christian widow has been struggling for seven years to keep her children and raise them in her faith. Several times during the intervening years, Siham Qandah had to go into hiding to keep from having to surrender her children, to be raised as Muslims. Her troubles began after her husband, also a Christian, died as a Jordanian soldier in Kosovo. When she applied for necessary identity cards for her children, she discovered her husband's brother had submitted a forged document claiming the children's father had secretly converted back to Islam before his death.

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Praise: Sewing Centers Change Women's Lives—For millions of women in India, life is a day-to-day battle against poverty and despair. Most are completely reliant on their husbands for survival; when he dies, is unemployed or runs away, women are left alone to care for themselves and their children. Having acquired few income-producing skills, many turn to prostitution or suicide. A large number of such suffering women are shockingly young: half of women in India aged 20-24 were married before they were 18 years old. Native missionaries are giving helpless women a means of survival, both spiritual and physical. Christian sewing centers give women not only vocational training but also the opportunity to fellowship with others and hear the gospel. Lalitha was one such woman impacted by a Christian sewing center in Andhra Pradesh. A member of a poor animistic tribe, Lalitha had two small children by the time she was 19. She and her children often went hungry. She learned of a Christian sewing center in her neighborhood where women were taught to make a living. "The Friday prayer meetings introduced me to the gospel of Christ. I accepted Him as my personal Savior, and since then my life has changed. Now I go to church with my children," Lalitha said. Hers is only one story amid those of hundreds of women whose lives have been changed by vocational training centers across India.

Christian Aid Mission via
Religion Today Summaries

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Praise: "Talking Bibles" Bring God's Word to Illiterates in India—Talking Bibles International (TBI) is producing a device for people around the world who can't read or write. TBI's board of trustees recently approved an initiative to distribute 100,000 "Talking Bibles" to needy families across India in the next three years. "We're gearing up to work with our partners, Talking Bibles-India, to prepare the units," said TBI's Paul Hoekstra. They will be manufactured in India to keep costs low, he said. "The illiterate people—the traditionally oral society people—are the last group of people to be reached with the Scriptures," Hoekstra said. The Talking Bibles are distributed primarily via local churches.

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