Praise: Women of Faith Sponsor 100,00th Child with World Vision-At a national conference on June 30, World Vision U.S. President Rich Stearns thanked Women of Faith for making a huge statement for children in need around the world. He announced that Women of Faith had reached the 100,000 milestone in child sponsorships in association with World Vision. According to the latest numbers, 3 million children benefited from World Vision sponsorship worldwide in 2006, including 850,000 who are supported by people in the U.S. During the conference at Seattle's Key Arena more than 1,200 children were sponsored. More than 3.4 million women have attended some 275 Women of Faith events in more than 70 cities across North America.
Praise/Pray: Campaign Aims to Save North Korean Christian from Execution-Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) launched a worldwide campaign July 10, in an effort to free a North Korean man awaiting public execution for the "crime" of being a Christian. Son Jong Nam, a former North Korean Army officer turned underground evangelist, has been beaten, tortured and held in a bleak North Korean death row basement jail in the capital city of Pyongyang for more than a year. Previously he had spent three years in a North Korean prison after being deported from China. He has been sentenced to public execution as an example to the North Korean people. VOM is calling on U.S. residents and people worldwide to write on Son's behalf using a special Website (www.prisoneralert.com) set up by VOM. The letter is to be mailed to the North Korean United Nations delegation along with a cover letter asking the government to spare Son's life, release him from prison immediately, report on his status and deliver the personal letter to Son. "Jesus said ministering to a prisoner was like ministering to Himself," said Todd Nettleton, VOM's director of media development. "Every letter and e-mail can make a difference."
Praise: Shining Path Orphans Paired with Peruvian Seniors for New Life-Fifteen years of violence perpetrated by Peru's Shining Path guerrillas left behind a terrible legacy that includes 14,000 orphaned children. But a 250-acre farm in the cloud forest area of southern Peru will offer new hope to orphans and take them off the streets. "These kids will spend half the day farming and the other half in school," said Latin American Indian Ministries President Dale Kietzman. "The Apu Ayllu Refuge will create a home for children and stop decades of abuse and start a life of love." Apu Ayllu is a Quechua word meaning a "rich God-based family-run community." The farm will pair indigenous senior citizens with indigenous young people to create a self-sustaining agricultural community. "We will have elderly couples living with the kids in a grandparent-grandchild relationship," Kietzman said. "These older people know how to farm, and this will be out in the country, away from influences of the city." Initial plans call for buildings that will house 200 youths, widows and seniors as well as a school building, clinic and administrative offices. "We also expect to develop more job skills than just farming," he added. "Abandoned youth will be given a family to live with, a chance for economic, emotional and spiritual empowerment, an education in Quechua, Spanish and English, and a new life in which to grow."
Pray: Blind Pro-Life Advocate Beaten in Chinese Jail by Inmates-Amnesty International (AI) reported that Chinese blind pro-life advocate Chen Guangcheng was beaten in jail by his fellow inmates on orders of the prison guards. According to AI's report, after refusing to have his head shaved, Chen was pushed to the floor by six other prisoners who were encouraged by the prison guards to "hit and kick him hard." Chen said he was "being punished for being disobedient" due to his insistence on filing an appeal to the provincial higher court and "refusing water as well as food." AI concluded that ministry leaders "feared for [Chen's] life and that he was at further risk of torture and ill treatment." Chen was first taken into police custody in September, 2005, after exposing China's brutal population-control tactics in Shandong Province. For months Chen was held without trial, beaten, and denied contact with his lawyer, his wife, and other advocates. On Aug. 24, 2006, Chen was formally sentenced to serve four years and three months in prison for "damaging public property and gathering people to block traffic."
Jubilee Campaign, Amnesty International, BosNewsLife via MissionNet