Praise and Prayer

Pray: Ex-Homosexual Ministry Leader: My Heart Breaks for Mark Foley'-A former homosexual who now runs a Christian outreach to those who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle, says he is not surprised at the scandal surrounding former Florida Congressman Mark Foley, Agape Press reports. Foley resigned September 29 after allegations surfaced that he had sent sexually suggestive e-mails and instant messages to young boys who were serving as Congressional pages. On October 3, Foley's attorney told the press that the congressman is, in fact, homosexual and that he had been sexually abused by a clergyman while between the ages of 13 and 15. Stephen Bennett, a former homosexual and founder of Stephen Bennett Ministries (SBM), says his ministry often deals with homosexuals who were abused as youngsters. In fact, he says there is a definite correlation between molestation and homosexuality. And it is time, Bennett urges, for people "to stop worrying about being politically correct' in the media regarding homosexuality and finally deal with the truththat homosexual (and heterosexual) molestation of children can and [do] produce future homosexual men and women. "Foley's story is so tragically typical," Stephen Bennett says. But the good news, he adds, is that the former Congressman and others like him can find deliverance from the homosexual lifestyle through a relationship with Christ, because help and hope are available, and change is completely possible.

Religion Today Summaries

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Pray: Crippled House Church Pastor Gets 2 Years for Printing Bibles-Prominent Chinese house church Pastor Wang Zaiqing from China's Anhui Province was sentenced Oct. 9 to two years in prison on charges of "illegal business practices." He was also fined the equivalent of US$12,500, and all books in his home and funds for printing were confiscated. Wang, who has been crippled since age 5, had been printing and distributing Bibles and other Christian literature from his home free of charge. This resulted in his arrest on April 28. Wang and his lawyer contended that for the printing to be considered an illegal business practice, the accused must make a profit. The court disagreed and sentenced the former pastor to two years in jail. Wang and his attorney planned to appeal to a higher-level People's Court.

China Aid Association
via MissionNet

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Praise: Missionary, Horse Trainer Reach Out to Mexican Vaqueros-Andy Hill believes there is a "vaquero" (Spanish for cowboy) at the heart of every Mexican man, and he is basing his missionary ministry in the border town of Agua Prieta, Mexico. At first, Hill tried to push the idea away. "I thought, "Wait a minute. That sounds like too much fun," he said. "I was afraid it was too much my idea and not enough God's." But Hill observed how few vaqueros are being reached by Christian groups in the area and how important the vaquero culture was. Then Hill's supervisor with the Baptist International Mission Board, Allen Alexander, posed the question, "Andy, have you ever thought about starting vaquero' churches in your area?" In the meantime, God was also preparing horse trainer Chip Sugar of Hawley, Texas, to start a part-time ministry reaching lost people through the use of horses. Sugar makes annual trips to Hill's church, incorporating scriptural principles and the gospel message into his horse training seminars. Now seven vaqueros and their families study the Bible and worship regularly with the Hills at the local rodeo grounds. Hill believes it's the "beginning of a movement of vaquero churches that has the potential to spread across Mexico."

Baptist Press

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Praise: Operation Blessing India Sets New Monthly Medical Patient Record-Operation Blessing India (OBI) has set a new record for the number of patients served medically in a single month. In July OBI held 76 one-day "medical camps" during which more than 43,000 people were treated. Medical procedures including eye exams, distribution of prescription glasses, dental procedures, distribution of medicine, and administration of anti-parasite pills to every child in attendance. OBI uses an ever-expanding network of pastors, doctors and local volunteers to spread out geographically and reach out to India's rural population. "More than 70 percent of our population lives in rural India," said OBI Director Kumar Periasamy. "But of an estimated 700 million rural Indians, about 300 million live in poverty with an income of less than 50 rupees (US$1.08) a day." The camps are designed to provide medical care to India's rural poor.

Religion Today via MissionNet<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

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