Tuesday, January 22, 2008

JOSHUA FUND PROVIDES EMERGENCY RELIEF TO TRAUMATIZED TOWN: Sderot hit with 120+ rockets since Bush visit

In the summer of 2005, Israel gave land (the Gaza Strip), but did it get peace? Hardly. More than 1,500 rockets and missiles have hit southern Israeli towns such as Sderot since Hamas took over Gaza last June. More than 120 rockets and mortars have hit Sderot just since President Bush visited Israel to boost the "peace process."
[UPDATE: "Since the year 2000, more than 7,000 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Last year alone, that number was over 2,000. And since Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza in June 2007, the frequency of rocket attacks rose 150 percent, to more than 250 rockets and mortars a month. This means, on average, one rocket is fired at Israel every three hours. Most of these rockets fall on the southern city of Sderot. Normal life in Sderot is a thing of the past. Not a day goes by when the Red Alert warning system does not sound, which gives children on playgrounds and in schools, and parents at home and at work, less than 15 seconds to find the nearest shelter before the next rocket comes slamming into their lives." -- Statement to the U.N. Security Council by Counsellor Gilad Cohen, Charge D'affairs, Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations]
The President didn't speak out forcefully when he was in the Holy Land, but we must. Israelis are suffering, and as evangelical Christians we should respond with unconditional love.
First, please pray for the residents of Sderot and southern Israel for courage and protection.
Second, please pray for wisdom, courage and unfailing strength for the local officials, police officers and relief workers as they face what seems to be a never-ending barrage of attacks.
Third, please pray for the Israeli political and military leaders in Jerusalem to have the wisdom and courage to take whatever action is necessary -- and quickly -- to stop these horrible attacks.
Fourth, please pray for my Joshua Fund colleagues and me as we head to Israel next week to visit Sderot and meet with key political, military, religious and humanitarian relief leaders in the country.
The Joshua Fund is responding immediately by providing $100,000 for emergency relief projects, including desperately needed medical equipment for the leading Israeli hospital and trauma center in the southern region, as well as blankets and heaters for needy residents of Sderot who are now facing the cold winter months.
If you would like to help, please click here, or make your check payable to "The Joshua Fund" and send to:
The Joshua Fund
18950 Base Camp Road
Monument, Colorado 80132-8009
Thanks so much and may God richly bless you and your family as you bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.


The Joshua Fund is helping an Israeli organization called The Joseph Project pay for a new shipping container of humanitarian relief supplies to care for the poor and needy in the Jewish State. The supplies include wheelchairs, walkers, linens and household items, toys, and shoes, as well as new and used clothing. The supplies were sent by Mission World Aid in Australia.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Excerpt from Compass Direct News: "Acar-bomb exploded outside a Chaldean church in northern Iraq yesterday, injuring two people, a Baghdad bishop said. The blast is the 10th reported attack on Iraqi churches in two weeks. Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad Shlemon Warduni confirmed that the explosion outside the Tahira church in western Mosul’s al-Shifaa neighborhood had slightly injured two people....The blast hurt a policeman and an unidentified woman and damaged a church wall and windows, the site said. It came just a week after two churches in Kirkuk, 150 miles north of Baghdad, were simultaneously bombed....The blasts came days after the apparently coordinated bombing of four churches and three convents in Baghdad and Mosul on January 6, in which six people were injured. The explosions ended a period of relative calm in which Iraq’s beleaguered Christian community had seen a drop in violence. In the aftermath of the bombings, Iraq’s prime minister came out in support of the country’s Christian minority. Nouri Al-Maliki promised to pursue the church bombers and said his government was deeply concerned with the safety of the country’s Christians, Arabic news website Elaph.com reported on January 8."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Thank you so much for your prayers and generous giving regarding the year-end projects that I described in a December email. The Lord has been very gracious and provided above and beyond what we and our team were asking of Him:

* The Joshua Fund was able to fund 50 tons of food -- not 25 tons -- for Bridges For Peace to distribute to poor and needy Israelis in the first quarter of 2008 (total cost: $110,000).

* TJF was able to fund two trucks -- not just one -- filled with a total of some $300,000 worth of humanitarian relief supplies into Iraq, that will soon be distributed through Iraqi evangelical Christians (total cost: $24,000).

* TJF was able to fund not two 40-foot containers -- not just one -- of desperately-needed food aid for the suffering people of Sudan who are experiencing civil war and genocide. Each container holds 44,000 pounds of food, or about 270,000 servings. Thus, we will soon be sending in 570,000 meals at a cost of only 8 cents per meal. (total cost: $46,000)

* Finally, TJF was able to raise the final $25,000 needed for the Joshua Fund "Epicenter" conference in Jerusalem April 10, 2008. More details of the conference will be released soon. Please pray as we finalize the speaking schedule. We are planning to do a live global webcast of the entire event, a live radio program of the event through hundreds of radio stations throughout the U.S., and a satellite television broadcast of the event to churches throughout North America. The purpose of all this: to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the dramatic rebirth of Israel; to help evangelical Christians around the world better understand the threats and needs in the region; and to mobilize Christians to pray knowledgably, faithfully and consistently for the peace of Jerusalem.

Once this food and these supplies are distributed I will update you further. But thank you again so much for helping make this happen.


Christian Today: SEVEN CHURCHES BOMBED IN IRAQ -- "At least seven churches in Iraq were bombed Sunday in what appears to be coordinated attacks on Orthodox Christians celebrating New Year’s Eve. Mortar shells, explosive devices and car bombs were used in attacks targeting churches and monasteries in Baghdad and Mosul, according to Dubai-based Khaleej Times newspaper. At least six people were wounded, including two guards, reported Voices of Iraq news agency. In the explosion at Saint Maskinta Church in Mosul, the bomb destroyed the external wall of the church and caused panic among children and nuns inside where the church had an orphanage for girls....some Iraqi Christians are defying the violence by refusing to allow persecution to stop their worship service. At one of the bombed churches in Baghdad on Sunday, believers still met after the attack to hold the Epiphany mass. 'We have decided to continue to go to church, let them bomb us, we’ve had enough,' said 'Daniel' (name withheld for security reason) to AINA. 'It’s our country too. If they want to wipe us out, they’ll be able to do it anyway. I will die proud,' he said in defiance of increasing Christian persecution.
Christians are especially vulnerable in Iraq because they hold no political or military power. In October, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had vowed to protect and support Iraq’s Christian community."

RFE/RL: FOUR CHRISTIAN SITES BOMBED IN NORTHERN IRAQ -- "Three churches and a convent were bombed in terrorist attacks in the northern city of Mosul on January 6, Al-Sharqiyah television reported the same day. Two of the churches, the Virgin Mary Church and the Chaldean St. Paul Church, were targeted by car bombs, which left four civilians injured. The outer walls and entrances of the churches were destroyed by the blasts. Meanwhile, two explosive charges went off outside the St. Maskanta Church, destroying its outer walls. Another explosive charge targeted the Catholic Nunnery. No injuries were reported in the latter two attacks. The Washington Post reported on January 7 that one of the sites bombed was an orphanage, not a church."

Therefore, please pray:
1. For strength and courage for Iraqi followers of Christ in face of such attacks.
2. Boldness for Iraqi believers to share the love of Christ with their Muslim neighbors and enemies. (good news: more Iraqis are coming to faith in Christ in the last few years than at any other time in the country's history)
3. Believers in the West to be mobilized to care for and support their Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq.
4. An end to sectarian violence in Iraq.
5. Peace between Turkey and the Kurds.


The following are excerpts from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

AFGHANISTAN'S ISLAMIC COUNCIL CALLS FOR CRACKDOWN ON TV STATIONS...Clerics who are members of Afghanistan's influential Islamic Council reportedly met with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on January 4 to demand a clampdown on a burgeoning private television industry that they say is spreading "immorality and un-Islamic culture," Afghan and international media reported. "The unrestrained programs on television have angered and prompted the [council] to react," the conservative council said in a statement to Karzai, according to a copy released to the news media. The statement pointed to the MTV-style "Afghan Star" show on Tolo TV that is modeled on the "American Idol" show as an example, alleging that "'Afghan Star'...encourages immorality among the people and is against Shari'a [Islamic law]." Over a dozen privately run television stations have sprung up in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, which banned television as un-Islamic during its rule from 1996 to 2001.

...AND WARNS AGAINST MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES --During the meeting with President Karzai, the Afghan clerics also expressed concern over the activities of some international nongovernmental groups that in their eyes are trying to spread Christianity among Afghans. The council warned in its statement of what they termed "catastrophe" if these activities are not prevented. "The council is concerned about the activities of some missionary and atheistic organs and considers such acts against Islamic Shari'a, the constitution, and political stability," the statement said. Ahmad Ali Jebrayeli, a member of both the council and the Afghan parliament, told Reuters on January 5 that reliable sources tell him that Christian missionaries are using NGO offices in Kabul and in other provinces as bases to convert the local population, alleging that "some NGOs are encouraging them [to convert], give them books [Bibles], and promise to send them abroad." In July 2007, Taliban militants took some 23 South Korean Christian missionaries hostage, killing two of them before releasing the remainder (see "RFE/RL Newsline," August 31, 2007)."


Therefore, please pray for:
1. President Karzai to remain physically safe from jihadist assassination attempts.
2. President Karzai to remain committed to democracy and religious freedom for all Afghanis.
3. Followers of Jesus Christ in Afghanistan to be strong and courageous in the face of intense opposition and persecution.
4. More Afghanis -- especially the poor and widows who feel all alone -- to find hope and freedom through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Over the past week, I have spoken to several dear friends of mine who travel regularly to Pakistan to preach the gospel and encourage Pakistani pastors and other evangelical Christian leaders to get an update on how best to pray for the country in the wake of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Here is an email one of them -- fresh back from the region -- sent me yesterday:

"The Bhutto family is respected and revered by so many Pakistanis like the Kennedy family in the USA. Her assassination could throw the country into further turmoil, confusion and instability. Pray for the believers or for the Christian community in Pakistan. Unfortunately the Muslims can take their anger against innocent Christians and they can be used as scapegoats. Since most Pakistanis are anti-West and anti-Christian, they can blame the Christians for all their tragedies and problems. Please pray particularly for the believers who are living in remote villages. They have nobody to defend them or protect them unless the Lord does it. Pray also for the Christian leaders who have a high profile that the Lord may protect them as the country is passing through such turmoil. I personally believe it is the time we should cover our fellow believers in Pakistan with prayer consistently and continuously so that the Lord may put a hedge around them. Pray also for their houses and property that they will be protected from vandalism, bombing and other things.....Unfortunately, President Pervez Musharaf is playing double. Personally I don't think he is sincere. Therefore, I suggest that we pray for Pakistan as a nation at the moment. If Pakistan falls into the hands of the Taliban or other terrorists groups, it will have worldwide repercussions and consequences. Furthermore, Pakistan is a country with nuclear bombs so it is important for Pakistan to have a stable, reliable government."