Freedom is for All
Here is your weekly update on what’s going on around the world and how you can join the movement to END SLAVERY & pray for the needs of others!
BREAKING NEWS FROM IJM GHANA
This week we worked with officials in Ghana to rescue 10 boys from slavery in the fishing industry. Throughout the weekend, we were receiving ongoing reports from the frontlines. On the first morning our team found and rescued one boy named Gideon,* who our investigators first met in 2013. Significant obstacles beyond our control set us back, and unfortunately it was too late to search for more children. So we consulted with the police and other officials, and decided that together we would go back the next day. The next day our team set out at 3:00 AM and targeted a cove with several wooden fishing boats. Children, as young as 5, were hard at work, pulling in nets with their tiny but strong arms. We helped police rescue them and bring them to safety.
The boys were initially exhausted, hungry and afraid. But throughout the weekend, the boys eventually became energetic, laughing and constantly asking to play soccer. Our supporters and friends have made this beautiful beginning of freedom possible.This is our first rescue operation in Ghana, but it won’t be the last. We are so grateful you’re in this journey with us.
Apr. 02, 2015 | Tanzania
Pray for Christians After Churches Burned Arsonists have burned three churches in northern Tanzania within the last two months, causing substantial damage. On March 12, a church in the Bukoba municipality, near Lake Victoria, was burned to the ground. Two days earlier, arsonists set fire to another church in the region, burning benches, robes and Christian books, including three Bibles. On Feb. 6, a church in a rural area of Bukoba was looted before being set on fire.
Apr. 02, 2015 | Laos
Pray for Christians Harassed by Local Authorities. On March 18, local authorities shut down a large evangelical event being held at a soccer field. The Gospel Music Festival, hosted by the Lao Evangelical Church (LEC), attracted pastors from all 16 of the country’s provinces, as well as pastors and musicians from outside Laos. Although the event had been approved by the central government, local police shut down the event, citing the “illegal” presence of foreign musicians and pastors. The festival was temporarily allowed to continue indoors at a nearby church, but police later arrived in two trucks and attempted to arrest the pastor who was speaking. The event was immediately canceled. The Lao government has since apologized for police interference and has invited the LEC to reschedule the event.
Apr. 02, 2015 | Korea, North
Pray for North Korean Christians in Discipleship Training. Five North Korean defectors enrolled in VOM Korea’s Underground Technology (UT) are considering dropping out of their discipleship training. Many students who commit to the UT program become discouraged by loneliness, concerns about family, the need to work so they can send money to family members, and insecurities about their ability to do ministry work. Underground Technology (UT) uses a classroom setting as well as field trips and volunteer opportunities to teach life skills, character and relationship development. They receive an academic and spiritual foundation that enables them to reach out to other defectors. VOM Korea asks us to pray that these students will stand firm despite temptations.
Mar. 26, 2015 | Pakistan
Pray for Christians Affected by Two Church Bombings. At least 17 people were killed and 78 wounded in two separate church bombings on March 15. The suicide-bomb attacks occurred within minutes of each other in the Christian neighborhood of Youhanabad, in eastern Lahore. Witnesses said four security guards and police, who died in the attacks, prevented even more injuries and deaths by tackling the bombers before they detonated their explosives. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Mar. 26, 2015 | Nigeria
Pray for Christians Recovering from Boko Haram Attack. Many Christians in Mubi, Adamawa state, are still recovering from injuries sustained in an Oct. 29, 2014, attack by Boko Haram. Insurgents overpowered security officers at a military barracks before searching houses throughout the village, identifying and killing Christians. Boko Haram also released nearly 100 prisoners, who then helped the militants capture hundreds of Christians that they planned to kill. Most of the believers managed to escape during an attack on the insurgents by the military. However, many Christians were injured by gunfire and bomb fragments during their escape.
Mar. 26, 2015 | Uganda
Pray for Pastor James, Threatened for Leading a Muslim to Christ. A group of angry Muslims destroyed Pastor James’s church and threatened to kill him because he prayed for a man thought to be suffering from a demon attack. When the man later decided to follow Christ, the Muslims took him to a mosque, where they forced him to say prayers and lashed him 30 times as punishment for leaving Islam. The group of Muslims also threatened Pastor James’s wife and children when they were unable to find the pastor.
PRAY PRAY PRAY
1 Corinthians 16:14