Brigada Today
27 of December, 1996

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News and Notes about Brigada, Your Gateway to Missions Networking!
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SPECIAL "ADVANCE" ISSUE

In August, 1995, Brigada Today began a special relationship with Mark Kelly's Advance, a monthly publication similar in vision to the Brigada family of conferences. And so began what has turned out to be a long-standing partnership of two sister journals - proving that there is "no competition among lighthouses!"

Today we dedicate the January 4th issue to Advance by including the entire New Year's issue - The January Advance - "lock, stock and barrel" - in this edition of Brigada Today. If you haven't downloaded a copy for awhile, I think you'll see why we made it a regular feature in the first place! Like all Brigada Todays, Advance is archived on the file server. To receive past copies, just send a message to hub@xc.org  with the content of the email message looking something like this (if, for example, you wanted the Nov., '96, issue of Advance):
get brigada advance.9611

And now . . . let's see what Mark has to say about January!!!

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Advance
January 1997


Praying for unreached peoples and persecuted believers

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THE WORD


"As the Father sent me, so I am sending you."
John 20.21

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THE GOSPEL FOR EVERY PEOPLE

The number of church members in Hong Kong grew from 83,000 in 1980 to 381,000 in 1994, while the number of churches jumped from 634 to 1,056. Evangelist Luis Palau will hold a crusade April 10-13, less than three months before the city returns to People's Republic sovereignty July 1. Ask God to give Hong Kong believers courage and boldness as they turn their crisis into opportunity for the gospel.

Believers in China's Shanxi province shared the gospel in 60 villages and at least 500 people made decisions for Christ. China's DAWN movement is working to start 1 million house churches by 2000. Ask God to multiply the gospel across China.

The gospel is advancing among Vietnam's peoples. About half the Raday people are now church members. Christian workers among the Bru people have seen 14 house churches begun, with 1,600 believers. The number of Christians has multiplied in the past three years among the Bahnar, Jarai, Koho, Mnong Bunong and Stieng peoples. Beseech God for new believers in each of these people groups. Ask the Lord to raise up strong Christian leaders for each one.

China arrested 57,000 Uighurs and executed 1,700 of them in a crackdown on Muslim separatists in Xinjiang province, according to a Uighur nationalist group. Pray for a breakthrough of the gospel among the 500,000 Uighurs in Central Asia.

Clan warfare in Mogadishu, Somalia, intensified in December to the worst levels in months. More than 80 people were killed and dozens wounded in attacks Dec. 15. Militants claim to have killed all the Christians in Mogadishu. Lift the suffering Somali people to the throne of mercy. Pray that the light of the gospel would penetrate Somalia's darkness.

Trans World Radio and Far East Broadcasting Co. provide 295 hours of gospel radio programming in 35 languages each week for audiences in India. Broadcasts reach more than 20,000 towns and villages in northern India, where less than 1% of the population is Christian. One program received 2,154 letters from new listeners in two months. Ask God to bless the witness of these ministries and draw many hearts to Christ.

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THE PERSECUTED CHURCH

A Turkish court sentenced Syrian Orthodox believer Soner Onder to 16 years and 8 months in prison for a 1991 firebombing attack conducted by Kurdish separatists, despite police admissions there is no evidence he was involved. Onder was attending a Christmas service at his church when the attack occurred but signed a confession after police tortured him. Ask God to strengthen and encourage this young believer. Pray that justice would be done on his behalf.

A Catholic priest in Zaire, Jean-Claude Buhendwa, was murdered by Tutsi rebels after he protested the slaughter of about 500 Rwandan and Zairean refugees in a camp south of Bukavu, Zaire. Thank God for his courageous witness. Pray that his death will bear fruit for the Kingdom.

Five hooded men murdered Jorge Luis Gonzalez in his home the day after he and another ex-prisoner testified to their faith in Christ in a small church in Valencia, Colombia, the week before Easter. Gonzalez' father and aunt have accepted Christ since his death. Pray that many would come to Christ because of his faithful witness.

Ask God to strengthen a house-church evangelist arrested at the end of December in a central province of China. A large amount of his ministry money was confiscated by officials and co-workers fear for his safety. Pray for this brother's quick release.

An estimated 150 people armed with rocks, machetes and firearms attacked 22 evangelical families building homes on property given to them by the government in Mexico's Chiapas state. Police stood by during the attack. Ask God to comfort and strengthen these families. Pray that their suffering will turn hearts to Christ.

Police in Vietnam's Lam Dong province used metal pipes to beat 41-year-old pastor Ha Sieng for holding theological training in his home. When they could not revive him, he was rushed to a hospital, where he is recovering slowly. Lift up Vietnam's suffering believers. Ask God to multiply the harvest in Vietnam.

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SPIRITUAL FORCES OF DARKNESS

Job and education quotas for lower-caste Hindus in India have sparked a backlash from upper-caste Indians fearful of losing their land and powers. In one instance, 20 women and children and one man were hacked, shot and burned to death in broad daylight by upper-caste men from a neighboring village. None of the attackers was brought to justice, though their identities were known. Ask God to bind the dark powers that inspire such hatred.

Stand in prayer against the demonic powers behind ethnic slaughter in Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire. About 300 Burundian Hutu refugees were massacred in a church compound by Tutsi soldiers. Rwandan Hutu militants killed four Spanish missionaries working with refugees in eastern Zaire. Thousands of displaced people are at the mercy of soldiers, rebels and armed militants. Pray that God would use this oppression to turn hearts to himself.

As Western cultures turn from materialism to spirituality, many people are giving themselves to false religions. An estimated 60,000 people turned out for a New Age festival in Sydney, Australia. Many celebrities are proclaiming the benefits of Buddhism. Pray that believers will advance boldly into the West's spiritual void. Ask God to burden his people for their neighbors' spiritual yearnings.

A militant Hindu organization, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has trained 116 "missionaries" to stop the spread of Christianity in India's Guajarat province. The Hindu workers reportedly confront and threaten Christian workers regularly. Ask God to bind the dark forces that hold Hindus in fearful captivity. Pray that Hindu eyes will be opened to the truth of the gospel.

The suicide rate after an abortion is three times the general suicide rate and six times that associated with childbirth. Ask God to wrap his loving arms around women who have had abortions and protect them from dark powers of depression. Pray that God's people would take the good news of forgiveness to women in despair.

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REJOICE!

Reports from southeast Asia indicate a great harvest is taking place among the Hmong people. Most Hmong believers fled the region at the end of the Vietnam war, and the few remaining have been the target of great persecution. Yet Hmong believers reportedly now number at least 300,000 in Vietnam and 20,000 in Laos and whole villages reportedly are turning to Christ. Thank God for the power of the gospel among the Hmong. Pray that the good news of his love would sweep hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and Laotian souls into the Kingdom.

A Hmong witch doctor in Laos contacted Far East Broadcasting Co. to ask how he can be free of the evil spirits that control his life. Some people in the hill tribes of Southeast Asia reportedly are selling farm animals to purchase radios so they can listen to a daily hour of FEBC gospel programming. Praise God for the movement of his spirit among the Hmong. Ask him to multiply the harvest.

As many as 350 believers in Kuwait took public stands for Christ after a Muslim court stripped Robert Hussein of his wealth and family and pronounced him an apostate deserving death. Glorify God for giving his children the courage of conviction. Ask him to make their witness bold and effective.

The world's largest Muslim organization held a meeting in Surabaya, Indonesia, where six months earlier Muslim fanatics burned 10 churches. The Muslim group assigned guards to protect churches during the meeting so opponents would not embarrass them with more attacks. Praise God for the men of goodwill who lead this organization. Pray that bridges of understanding will be built between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia.

Egyptian student Michael Dura was released Dec. 10 after two months in prison on charges of promoting ideas that disturb the security of Egyptian society. Since his conversion five years ago, Dura had been arrested two other times and had been the target of a sensationalized newspaper article. Praise God for his release. Ask God to protect and strengthen him and to use his persecution to draw many others to Christ.

Praise God that India's state-run Doordarshan television network has decided to broadcast a 100-part series on the life of Jesus Christ in 1997. Pray that these programs will turn many hearts to Christ.

God prompted a prayer warrior to visit a family in China's southern Henan province, where a man had died of an incurable disease. After more than an hour's prayer, the dead man coughed. Soon he was walking about the house and eating food brought for the funeral meal. Magnify the Lord for this powerful sign. Pray that many hearts will be turned to Christ as a result.

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IT'S TRUE!

Tin Lanh ("Good News") church workers in Vietnam started 112 house churches with 42,000 members in 1995.

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QUOTED

"If our world mission means anything, it means the powerful proclamation that no other name, philosophy, religion, scientific world view, or whatever, is ever going to bring anyone to salvation. Never. To say that a sincere Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Orthodox, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, or animist is going to gain salvation apart from confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is an unspeakable affront to his blood."
Jim Reapsome
in "World Pulse"

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NETWORKING

South Asian Concern will sponsor "30 Days of Prayer for the Hindu World" in April. For information, contact 100126.3641@compuserve.com or call 011-44-181-770-9717.

Prayer guides and videos on the Madurese people of Indonesia and the Kyrgyz and Dungan people of Central Asia are available from Caleb Project. For information, contact info@cproject.com or write 10 West Dry Creek Circle, Littleton, CO 80120 USA.

Caleb Project needs people who will devote at least 10 months to learning about an unreached people group so prayer and missions efforts can be launched to take the gospel to them. Training, coaching and technical support will be provided. For information, contact info@cproject.com or write 10 West Dry Creek Circle, Littleton, CO 80120 USA.

A prayer training conference, "Praying With Power: Empowering Ordinary People for Extraordinary Exploits," will convene Feb. 12-15 in Colorado Springs, Colorado USA. For information, contact the Christian Information Network at 73422.3471@compuserve.com; telephone 719-522-1040.

"Pulse," a semimonthly publication of the Evangelical Missions Information Service, provides an excellent overview of trends and developments in global missions. For subscription information, contact pulsenews@aol.com or write P.O. Box 794, Wheaton, IL 60189 USA.

"AD 2025 Global Monitor" reports on progress in reaching the world's unreached peoples with the good news of Jesus Christ. For subscription information, contact gem@xc.org or write P.O. Box 6628, Richmond, VA 23230 USA.

Check out a source for world news delivered by e-mail: http://www.merc.com.

"Facts & Faith" is the quarterly newsletter of Reasons To Believe, a ministry that relates scientific discoveries to Christian faith in order to communicate "the uniquely factual basis for belief in the Bible ... and for personal faith in Jesus Christ." For information, write P.O. Box 5978, Pasadena, CA 91117 USA.

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FRONT LINES

Passing the torch

Jesus had completed his mission for the Father. He had found the comrades God had set apart for him. He had taught them about the Kingdom.

His work was done. He had endured the agony of the cross. He had suffered for the sins of mankind. He had laid down his life so others could make peace with God.

After God raised him from the dead, Jesus appeared to his disciples. He gave them proof of his physical resurrection. He taught them about God's Kingdom.

Jesus also told his disciples that they must complete the mission he had begun. He said: "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you." His mission became theirs. Through Jesus, God had been reconciling the world to himself. Now, through the disciples, that work would continue.

Jesus had given his life to spreading the good news about God's love and forgiveness. Now his disciples would devote their lives to the same work. It was their turn to extend the Kingdom, their turn to demonstrate God's revolutionary power in human lives.

The disciples were given Jesus' mission. They also were told how to accomplish it. Jesus called his disciples from among the people he had contact with every day. He told them, in turn, to make disciples of those they met along the way. God would give them disciples, just as he had given them to Jesus. They would teach their disciples, just as Jesus had taught them.

Their lives would be focused on building the Kingdom. Along the paths of daily life, they had contact with people: Family. Friends. Neighbors. Business contacts. Casual acquaintances. Among them would be people enslaved by the Enemy. People living in rebellion against God. People needing to find peace with God.

They would build relationships with these people. They would come to understand their struggles and sorrows. In the name of Christ, they would meet their needs. They would share how the power of God had freed them from sin and given them new meaning and purpose in life. They would teach them about Jesus and help them make peace with God. Then they would help the new disciples begin the process all over again with their families, friends, and neighbors.

God would give them the power and wisdom to do this, just as he had given Jesus power and wisdom. The work that had consumed Jesus would consume them as well. Jesus said they would do what he had been doing.

Jesus expected no less of his disciples than he expected of himself. In fact, he promised them they would do even greater things than he had done. Because he was going to the Father, his spirit could be multiplied through all of them. Because of their numbers, because of the years that lay ahead, they could carry the good news to all the peoples throughout the whole earth. They could complete the work that God had begun in Jesus: defeating the Evil One, freeing the captives, and bringing the world back into harmony with God.

(Matt. 28.18-20; John 5.16-19; 14.12-14; 20.19-23; 2 Cor. 5.14-20)

Next: Our enemy

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"Advance" is offered free of charge. Please circulate the newsletter freely. To subscribe or contribute information, contact Mark Kelly at 70420.1057@compuserve.com.

Mail and fax subscriptions are available from

Kainos Press,
8992 Midway Road
Richmond, VA 23229.
Copyright © 1996, Kainos Press

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BRIGADA TODAY IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE FOLLOWING TEAM OF REGULAR VOLUNTEERS:

*Global Glimpses: John Hanna, Caleb Project, jhanna@cproject.com
*ADVANCE: Mark A. Kelley, Kainos Press, 70420.1057@compuserve.com
*Brigada Website: Bob Mayhew, Brigada Volunteer, mayhew@xc.org
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*Brigada Coordinator: Doug Lucas, Team Expansion & Brigada, DLucas@TeamExpansion.org
*and many other occasional contributors too numerous to mention!
But thanks for working together! That's the dream of Brigada!

3 of January, 1997

"If you've been asked to lead, you've been asked to serve."
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