Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Global Day of Prayer Update

200 Million Christians Join Together on Global Day of Prayer

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May 20, 2005

George Thomas reporting from New Delhi:In New Delhi, India, people began to gather early for the historic day. As you know, people from around the world are participating in this event, not just in India. The day began in the South Pacific island of Fiji. That’s where we begin our international coverage of the Global Day of Prayer.

Manasa Kolivuso reporting from Fiji:In Fiji, the land where the new day begins, the government realized the importance of divine intervention in our social reconstruction, national unity efforts, reconciliation, and the healing of our land. This morning his excellency, Ratu Josefa Uluivuda, President of the Republic of the Fiji Islands, opened the day by praying for the world.

President Uluivuda said, “Almighty God, not to us, oh Lord, but to You, goes all the glory. We regret our sins, we have disobeyed Your Word, disregarded Your gifts, and disowned Your children. We are sorry. Forgive us, dear Father.”

For two hours the youth of Fiji called the nation to repentance, claiming this nation for Jesus Christ. We are definitely looking forward to that day when repentance shall come and forgiveness shall come, and God will heal the nation of Fiji.

A young person prayed, “Lord, we want revival! But we know that revival cannot come unless the nation is called unto repentance. But at this point in time, Father, we choose to exalt the Name of Jesus as Lord, the Almighty over the nation of Fiji.”

Another young person prayed, “For so long we have suffered distrust and lack of cooperation between the native Fijians and our ethnic Indian population. But through the power of prayer and forgiveness we are believing God that genuine reconciliation, unity will become prevalent in Fiji, and Fiji shall become a light to the nations of the South Pacific and the world.”

Jay Esteban reporting from Manila:As the sun moves west, rising over the nations of Asia, so do the prayers of God’s people. In the Philippines, Christians gathered in individual churches, but the day before they gathered together for a time of prayer and fasting.

In observance of the Global Day of Prayer, Christian leaders in the Philippines crossed denominational barriers to come together and seek God’s help to bring about God’s agenda for the country. The leaders feel that prayer is crucial to helping bring reform to their country, which was recently named “the second-most corrupt nation in Asia.” That is a heavy irony, since the Philippines is considered the only Christian nation in the Asian continent.

Bishop Efraim Tendero is the Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical of Churches. He explained how a Christian nation can be corrupt, “The main reason is because many of our people are professing Christians. Christians by lips but not by their lives, Christians by profession but not by practice.”

He added, “We do not live out our Christianity in our day-to-day experience. This is the time for us to really cry out before God! For Christians—real Christians—will say, ‘God, do something!’ In order that there will be a real Christianity in the hearts and lives of men and women, and Christianity will be lived out in everyday lives.”

The younger generation also celebrated the Global Day of Prayer with a vibrant and youth-oriented meeting. The Norwegian Mission Alliance gathered thousands of its callers in an evangelistic crusade. Their goal is to lead this captive audience to Christ and mold them to be the godly Christian future leaders of their country.

An important part of the program was a time of prayer for the Philippines and the rest of the world. More than 6,000 young people in metro Manila gathered here for today to celebrate the Global Day of Prayer. The enthusiasm shows that, amid the troubling national concerns, they too believe that it is only through prayer that transformation and revival can happen in the country.

It is also the way transformation and revival will come to other countries in East Asia. Just north of here in Taiwan, Christians gathered to pray for their nation.

Bonnie Sun, reporting from Taipei, Taiwan:More than 30,000 people came to Taipei on the Global Day of Prayer, to pray for the land of Taiwan.
Tony Tseng is the GDOP Organizer for Taiwan. He said, “We believe this is proclaimed by faith, that the spiritual atmosphere will be changed in Taiwan.”

The rally began with joyful singing by regional peoples in Taiwan. Praise and worship of God is God-inspired and not affected by men at all. Many even came with their families. Besides inspiring worship and prayer, the rally also demonstrated the spirit of unity by building the Altar of Covenant, symbolically, as they built a fire on a concrete block altar.
Eighty-four people, representing different ethnic, political and professional groups stood united, hand-in-hand, for the future of Taiwan. They sang together and literally held hands.

The TV provided a live simulcast all over the nation to help Christians fan the flame of prayer. The Global Day of Prayer is not only a local activity in Taipei but is happening in every major city in Taiwan.

CWN reporter in Hong Kong:Moving on to Hong Kong, which has been under Chinese Communist rule for the past 10 years. The religious restrictions did not stop Christians there from gathering on this historic day.

With the blowing of the shofars, Hong Kong’s participation in the GDOP began. Over 30,000 people attended the prayer meeting, which was held in the city stadium. The event opened with a parade of flags representing all the countries of the world. Although this is the first year for the Global Day of Prayer in Hong Kong, 30 percent of its Christian population attended.
Wilson Chow is the head of the China Graduate School of Theology. He said, “I use just one word: awesome. God is awesome. Everybody participating in this prayer meeting can feel that the Holy Spirit really descended upon us.”

Hong Kong’s GDOP was presented in both Chinese and English. This large-scale prayer meeting was a unique opportunity for Christians in Hong Kong to unite the territory’s diverse community of believers. Over 300 churches and Christian organizations were involved in this event. Local pastors, government officials, representatives of the business community, and young people all shared the same platform to pray.

A young woman speaker said, “This is what the youth of Hong Kong need, the kind of love that nothing, and no one else, can give.”
They prayed for peace and stability throughout the world, as well as healing for the Asian regions that have been devastated by natural disasters over the past year.

The people of Hong Kong also prayed for mainland China, the country that now rules this former British colony. At one point the entire crowd of 30,000 people turned to face north, the direction of China, to pray for the Christians and to bless this emerging country.

George Thomas reporting from New Delhi, India:Now we come back to India, where there have been several Global Day of Prayer events scattered across this country.

People here are getting ready for the music, because this is an evangelistic crusade. But they have set time apart to pray for believers --not just the believers in this country, but believers around the world. In fact, Christians are all excited about penetrating this nation for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

CWN reporter for Korea:In South Korea, thousands of young people prayed all night long on the GDOP, May 15.

This event, held in the capitol of Seoul, was broadcast to sites in four other cities. Organizers say they'll expand to 10 cities next year.

They hope to hold a prayer meeting in North Korea in 2007.

Friday, May 20, 2005

FRDAY FAX: issue 19

Friday Fax 2005 Issue 19, 13 May

In this week's Friday Fax:USA:
5,000 house churches planted so far
Bill Bright Billion Soul Initiative
20,000 'Neo-Apostolics'Germany:
Berlin's most peaceful 1st May in 20 years

USA: 5,000 house churches planted so far "The number of house churches in the USA has probably doubled in the past 18months, from 2,500 to 5,000," according to participants at a symposiumorganized by Church Multiplication Associates' Neil Cole in Los Angeles from25-28 April 2005. "The main growth comes from missionary groups aiming to reachthe unchurched with the Gospel and involve them in multipliable discipleshipstructures," says Cole. "We're expecting up to 1,000 participants at the nextnational House Church conference in the USA in Denver from 2-5 September 2005,"say Tony and Felicity Dale, part of the team organizing the conference. JohnEldredge was the main speaker at last year's conference; this year, speakers include Rolland and Heidi Baker, who saw some 5,000 new churches planted inMozambique and neighbouring nations over the past 5 years, Wolfgang Simson and Neil Cole.

Bill Bright Billion Soul Initiative
Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ who died in 2004,prompted the Billion Soul Initiative founded at the end of last year. Closecolleagues and participants in consultations with Bright report that heexplained his personal missionary vision for the future shortly before hisdeath. He called on Christians to cooperate to call 1 billion people to followChrist in the next 10 years by planting 5 million house churches. James O.Davis, JohnC. Maxwell and Steve Douglass subsequently formed the GlobalPastors' Network. A 'global church planting congress' is planned for September2005, in which over 350 Christian leaders will gather to plan this "largest

Source: various, including JamesO. Davis

20,000 \'Neo-Apostolics'While researching his soon to be published book \'Apostolic Genius\', AlanHirsch, author of \'The Shaping of Things to Come\' "stumbled upon some extremely notable, even astonishing, discoveries by important observers of the global Christian scene." Already in 2001, Professor DavidB. Barrett and ToddM.Johnson mentioned that there were already 111 million Christians without a traditional local church. Barrett highlights particularly the development ofthe so-called \'Neo-Apostolic\' networks and movements, of which there arealready over 20,000 around the world, numbering around 394 million Christians.According to Barrett, these Christians reject historical denominationalism andall restrictive central authority, and attempt to lead a life of following Jesus, seeking a more effective missionary lifestyle. They are thefastest-growing Christian movements in the world. Barrett estimates that by theyear 2025, these movements will have around 581 million members, 120 millionmore than all Protestant movements together. Hirsh, who has invited all ofAustralia\'s missionary movements to a conference in Victoria (Forge National Summit, 1-3 July 2005), confirms the trend from his own experience, andbelieves that these new Christian movements "are simply under the radar oftraditional Christianity", at least as long as it holds on to the classical Constantine church structure (pastor+ building+ programme= church).

Source: Alan Hirsch, www.forge.org.au

Berlin's most peaceful 1st May in 20 yearsBerlin was infamous for the violent demonstrations on 30th April and 1st May,International Workers' Day. "That's going to change," reports Kerstin Hack. The'spiral of violence' was broken last year, with only 'minor incidents' in "The most peaceful 1st May in 20 years!", according to the press. Kerstin Hack:"There were no real street battles, only a few thrown stones and bottles, andone upturned car which lost petrol but did not burn. That\'s certainly partly due to the many people who celebrated a peaceful May Day and the Police\'swisdom, but also to the Christians on the streets praying, both in 2004 and2005. There was an open-air service, and cleaning teams and prayer teams wereon the streets. In 2004, it was relatively peaceful wherever the intercessors were; violence only escalated in places which we had too few people to cover.This year, with only one exception, the violence stopped almost before itbegan."

Source: Kerstin Hack, e-mail info@down-to-earth.de, tel. (+49)308227962- - -

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