Praise and Prayer

Praise: Christian Maid, Daughter Freed After Months in Basement-A Christian housemaid and her daughter spent months as captives of a Muslim homeowner who tortured them in attempts to make them renounce their Christian faith. Shahbaz Bhatti, chairman of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), reported Dec. 7, that 40-year old Nareen Pervaiz and her 13-year-old daughter, Razia, were "tortured and illegally detained" in the city of Sialkot in Pakistan's Punjab Province. After her husband's death, Pervaiz and her daughter began working as a maid to support the poor family. When homeowner Muhammad Ikram discovered the two were Christians, he and his wife physically tortured them and forcefully ripped cross necklaces from their necks. "Both mother and daughter were asked to change their Christian faith and embrace Islam," Bhatti explained. "On refusal they were tortured and often brutally beaten. When they wanted to leave the job, they were forcibly detained in the basement of the house and fastened with chains at night so they should not flee away." The family's eldest daughter contacted the APMA after the two disappeared earlier this year. A Pakistani court approved a rescue plan on Wednesday, Nov. 29, and the two are now free.

BosNewsLife via MissionNet

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Praise: Idaho Churches Pump Free Gas for Military Families-An interdenominational group of pastors from Idaho's Treasure Valley pumped free gasoline for the families of deployed military service members across the region for three hours Dec. 9. After military families were served, the general public was invited to have their tanks filled as well. In three hours, 120 volunteers pumped $12,277 worth of gasoline, cooked and distributed food, and handed out bags and services to 388 families. The Christian Churches of the Treasure Valley, an association of approximately 75 churches from the five-county region, joined together for the third year in a row to take part in what they call "a modern-day parable." This year's event, titled "Grace Gift Parable III," was designed to be a living representation of the nature of God's grace. The original event allowed people to have parking fines paid in full just by asking. Last year's event reached out to single parents with free gasoline, washing of cars and other gifts. Idaho's governor, several congressmen, mayors and county officials took part in the event.

Christian Newswire via MissionNet

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Praise: Island Inhabitants in India Saved in 2-Story Church Building-An evangelist supported by India Partners is making inroads on Royal Island in the middle of the Krishna River in India's Andhra Pradesh State. The 1,500 island inhabitants were antagonistic to Christian when India Partners evangelist Brent Hample first arrived on the island. "They ran him off the village and said, Don't come back or we will kill you.'" But he prayed and persisted until finally he convinced village elders to allow India Partners to come in. "Over the course of the past four years we've sent some teams there to do medical and dental work, build a community center there that is used as a church, and hopefully in the future, as a school," said Hample. This community center did more for outreach than anything else during a recent flood. "(The) Krishna River flooded, and the villagers were able to save themselves and their families in the church because it's two stories and it's strong," he added. "They really were saved physically by the church." The people's gratitude has opened the doors for ministry. The majority of the islanders still are not Christians, but they are no longer opposing the pastor at every turn. India Partners also has projects in place to help with the communities' physical needs after the flood.

Mission Network News

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Praise/Pray: "Young Adults Want Genuine Church"-The Christian Post reports that more studies are taking a closer look at young adults and are finding the church is having a fading influence in their lives. According to a new LifeWay survey, the primary factor is the church's inability to minister to young people during their transition stage. The survey measured people age 18 to 34 and found that this particular group's greatest need is community. But once they end high school, churches send them away to their next life stage without accountability. "After graduation, they (the church) give you a pat on the back and say, when you start a family, we'll be here for you,'" said one respondent. The need for community was further confirmed when 71% of young adult churchgoers said they want to participate in small-group meetings to discuss life application of Scripture. Social action also proved to be another essential element to this generation with 66 percent of churchgoers and 47 percent of non-churchgoers agreeing.

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