Kenya Mission Trip

Kenya Mission Trip - December 2005God has been begun preparing me to be a part of an upcoming mission trip; I want to experience first-hand the needs of another culture and to help evangelize our lost world.

Our mission group is scheduled to depart for Africa by the end of this year 2005. We have been preparing and planning for this trip since February, and I’m very excited about this opportunity God has placed in my path.

Some of our work will be focused on addressing the medical needs of the people of the villages of Kijabe and Kitale in Kenya. Kijabe people suffer from malaria, typhoid, AIDS, and malnutrition. Out team will provide both medical care and community health education in Kijabe. In addition to medical care, we will have a number of chances to share our faith, both individually and in larger groups.

My role on the team will be one of helping in community education and evangelization. I’m not a doctor – nor do I play one on TV – but on a trip like this, everyone has a role to play.

I will need both prayer and financial support. The cost of the trip is approximately $3,000 each for both me and Diane. We’re contributing $1,000 each from our own savings, and the mission team has asked that we raise the rest as we enlist others on our prayer team. Even if you are not able to contribute financially, I would really appreciate your prayers as part of my prayer and support team.

E.M. Bounds in his work “My Utmost for His Highest” wrote, “Prayer is not preparation for the battle, it is the battle.” I am asking for a commitment from you to pray for me and the team as we head out, minister there, and return.

The cost of this trip is substantial, but I believe this is God’s will. If He has placed this need on your heart, please consider joining me in proclaiming Christ in Kenya. I’ve added a Paypal donation link on the sidebar; if you’d like to make your contribution tax deductable, just respond in the comments and I’ll contact you by email for mailing instructions.

Thanks for praying about this.

In Him,

Michael
P.S. Of course you can forward this to all your friends. Please email and pray.

A Faith Vacuum

A faith vacuum haunts Europe

There was a time when Europe would justly refer to itself as “Christendom.” Europeans built the Continent’s loveliest edifices to accommodate their acts of worship. They quarreled bitterly over the distinction between transubstantiation and consubstantiation. As pilgrims, missionaries and conquistadors, they sailed to the four corners of the Earth, intent on converting the heathen to the true faith.

Now it is Europeans who are the heathens. According to the Gallup Millennium Survey of religious attitudes, barely 20% of West Europeans attend church services at least once a week, compared with 47% of North Americans and 82% of West Africans. Fewer than half of West Europeans say God is a “very important” part of their lives, as against 83% of Americans and virtually all West Africans. And fully 15% of West Europeans deny that there is any kind of “spirit, God or life force” — seven times the American figure and 15 times the West African.

The exceptionally low level of British religiosity was perhaps the most striking revelation of a recent ICM poll. One in five Britons claim to “attend an organized religious service regularly,” less than half the American figure. Little more than a quarter say that they pray regularly, compared with two thirds of Americans and 95% of Nigerians. And barely one in 10 Britons would be willing to die for our God or our beliefs, compared with 71% of Americans.

The de-christianization of Britain is in fact a relatively recent phenomenon. Prior to 1960, most marriages in England and Wales were solemnized in a church; then the slide began, down to around 40% in the late 1990s. Especially striking is the decline in confirmations as a percentage of children baptized. Fewer than a fifth of those baptized are now confirmed, about half the figure for the period from 1900 to 1960. For the Church of Scotland, the decline has been even more precipitous.

* via JesusPolitics.

Posts are Coming, I Promise

Been busy lately; posting has been slim. You know, what with that wedding thang and all.

Today’s not going to slow down enough to post anything; I want to tell you about the KSBJ Summerfest and the Newsboys and last night’s ImagiNations dinner at the church hearing about African missionaries and listening to Christian African A Capella music by the Zambian Vocal Group and today is stock trading day and and and…

But I’m busy with work stuff, so it’ll have to wait.

Christianity Today Book Awards 2005

Looking for Christian reading material? There are so many titles out there, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Christianity Today has listed the top Christian books for 2005, divided into several catagories:

Apologetics / Evangelism:
The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God

Christian Living:
The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others

Biblical Studies:
Africa and the Bible

History / Biography:
The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys

Christianity and Culture:
The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design

Missions and Global Affairs:
Encountering New Religious Movements: A Holistic Evangelical Approach

The Church / Pastoral Leadership (Tie):
Christ, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship Reviewing Leadership: A Christian Evaluation of Current Approaches

Fiction:
Gilead: A Novel

Spirituality:
Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence

Theology / Ethics:
Violence, Hospitality, and the Cross: Reappropriating the Atonement Tradition

There are more titles that have won an “Award of Merit” so visit Christianity Today for the full list.

True Love Waits

Uganda is under criticism for a policy of abstinence to combat HIV/AIDS. Uganda pushes the ABC method (“A”bstinence, “B”e faithful, “C”ondoms). Critics don’t like that order, but Uganda president Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet insist “there is no safe sex outside of faithfulness in marriage.” Even though this “True Love Waits” program has been credited for cutting the HIV rate in Uganda in half over the last 10 years.

Dang Christian conservatives. Critics hate it when their programs work. Cuts into their condom sales, ya know.

Al Qaeda Operative Arrested in McAllen, Texas

A South African woman, Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed, was picked up at the McAllen Miller International Airport on July 19, headed to New York. Authorities believe she is a high-level Al Qaeda operative.

Government sources tell FederalNewsRadio.com that capturing this woman could be comparable to the arrest of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11. It was revealed in court Tuesday that she was on a watch list and had entered the U.S. possibly as many as 250 times.

Gadzooks, man. Our borders are so porous that it takes 250 crossings before we finally catch them? What’s frustrating is that the instant we propose any method of tightening the border, Mexican officials will complain.

We need to get our priorities in order. Stopping Al Qaeda is first, making Mexico happy with the border is second.