Four ways to celebrate International Week of the Deaf

USA (MNN) — It’s day two in the International Week of the Deaf, an annual celebration of Deaf culture, accomplishments, and sign languages.

(Graphic courtesy of World Federation of the Deaf)

Each of the seven days has a specific focus, and IWD aims to raise Deaf awareness and advocacy among the wider hearing community. Read past IWD stories here.

There are approximately 70 million Deaf people worldwide who use more than 350 unique sign languages. Until this summer, no sign language a complete Bible. Today, U.S. Deaf believers rejoice as the first to have all of God’s Word within reach. Watch the ASLV Bible here.

“There has been a tremendous and exciting reaction from the U.S. Deaf Christian community,” Deaf Missions President Chad Entinger says via email. Earlier this month, the first-ever ASLV Bible “went live” on Deaf Missions’ app after 38 years of labor.

“Doing sign language Bible translation with video drafts takes longer than text or printed drafts,” Entinger explains.

“Our..

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Kenyan girls at risk for teen pregnancy and FGM due to Coronavirus

Kenya (MNN) – The current Coronavirus pandemic has stretched its arms worldwide, and young girls in Kenya are greatly feeling it’s affects. With the closings of schools, many girls have become desperate for ways to get access to necessary items.

“There are things that a girl child cannot go without,” Tumaini, a board member with FMI in Kenya, says. “Number one is what we call sanitary towels. And so, those girls who cannot get them will try and get them at all cost. And so, men will take advantage of them.”

Courtesy of Sean Lee on Unsplash

For many girls, school was a safety net from becoming child brides, female circumcision, and rape. While female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in Kenya, many families have used the lockdown as an opportunity to continue the practice in rural areas. Schools were also a place where girls were able to receive sanitary napkins and food.

“During school times, the government will provide them at a time, but since schools have been closed down, the..

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Muslim herdsmen ramp up attacks on Christian farmers in Nigeria

Nigeria (MNN) — A Nigerian leader says the threat of COVID-19 pales in comparison to the violence of Muslims against Christians in the northern and central parts of the country. This was reported to the UK parliament shortly after COVID-19 reached Nigeria, and the violence has only worsened since then. The report finds thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Ed Weaver of Spoken Worldwide says this persecution doesn’t just come from armies like ISIS. “The Muslim herdsmen believe that all cattle are theirs, that God gave them all the cattle on the planet. If you’ve got herds of cattle, and you’re not Fulani, then they have a God-given right to take those back. They’re saying, ‘No, this isn’t stealing. We’re just taking back what is rightfully ours, God-given.’”

This picture shows a pastor from Northern Ghana using orality methods to teach the story of Lazarus from the Gospel of John. Pastor Naomi cannot read or write, yet she proclaims the Gospel. (Pho..

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Three tips for sharing your faith

International (JFP) — It’s difficult to share your faith when you don’t feel prepared. In a multigenerational survey on evangelism conducted by Jesus Film Project with more than 1,600 Christians, one out of every 10 people said they felt unequipped to share their faith.

Prayer and Scripture reading are valuable practices for helping you get better at sharing your faith. But if you feel like you should be better prepared to tell others about Christ, Jesus Film Project has put together these three ways to equip yourself to evangelize.

Become a good listener

(Photo courtesy of Lilibeth Bustos Linares via Unsplash)

We often assume that preparing to share is about lining up the right arguments. But you might read several good evangelism and apologetics books and not be any better prepared to talk to others about Jesus. Why? Because a lot of the time, the arguments we prepare for aren’t aligned with the questions people have.

You feel the most prepared to share your faith when you can ..

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Will politics and the pandemic reshape ministry in China?

China (MNN) — Tension between the U.S. and China remains at an all-time high. Saber-rattling from China and a U.S. ban on Chinese social media are the latest developments in a year of division. Analysts say investments have fallen to a new nine-year low as U.S. companies feel pressured to leave Chinese markets.

How do politics and the pandemic affect China-focused ministries? Bibles for China President Kurt Rovenstine says there has been “a lot of posturing, a lot of exchange of words; we’re hopeful that it doesn’t keep us from moving forward.”

(Photo courtesy of Bibles for China)

Thankfully, COVID-19 restrictions haven’t stopped their partners’ work. “Ministry continues, but we feel like we don’t have the same touch that we’ve had before, so we’re anxious for that to loosen up,” Rovenstine says.

“China has allowed some countries to begin to come back in [but] the United States is not on that list.”

Praying for open doors
Based in the U.S., Bibles for China partners with rural chu..

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Six refugees arrested in Greece after Moria camp fire

Greece (MNN) — The Greek government has charged six Afghan refugees with burning down the Moria camp last week. Two of the suspects are minors. The government has brought a counter-terrorism unit to Lesbos to help with the investigation. Five more local fires have followed the Moria blaze, and the authorities suspect they could be connected.

Liz Steggall Lewis of TeachBeyond says of the refugees,“They’ve just been so angered by the isolation measures imposed due to COVID-19, angry that people are staying in these squalid conditions for years without being moved to the mainland or being given asylum.”

These COVID-19 restrictions impact TeachBeyond’s work in the camps as well. Lewis says, “We’ve only this month been able to reengage in our work. But obviously, because of the crisis now, those educational programs are on hold again.”

TeachBeyond works with kids and schools in 61 countries around the world. (Photo courtesy of TeachBeyond on Facebook)

TeachBeyond works in 61 countries a..

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Bible translation efforts continue during lockdowns

Worldwide (MNN) — Wycliffe Associates has not let the ongoing pandemic keep them moving forward with Bible translation.

“We’ve adapted to the local situation in each country, especially countries where we have local staff,” CEO Bruce Smith says. “So by listening to them, we actually were able to resume after a brief disruption in the spring, we were actually able to resume our Bible translation training workshops in May. And throughout the summertime, we’ve seen a continuing surge and an expansion of sort of getting back to our previous pace.”

Wycliffe Associates currently has about 20 international team members on the ground as their eyes and ears in the countries they’re servicing.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Technology plays a major role in Bible translation, and that’s especially true now that certain countries face restrictions. Wycliffe Associates’ goal is to supply local translators with tablets housing virtual tools to safely and securely aid in the process.

“The tec..

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Diplomats raise Rohingya crisis in virtual UN talks

Bangladesh (MNN) — UN officials met virtually this week to discuss the Rohingya crisis in Southeast Asia. Bangladesh urged fellow UN members to press Myanmar for a political solution. Turkey and Saudi Arabia praised Bangladesh for hosting the most refugees, pledging political and humanitarian support.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch urged Bangladesh to move Rohingya from a remote island to the main settlement in Cox’s Bazaar, and Amnesty International advocates for refugee input on relocation decisions.

In the past five years, targeted attacks forced nearly a million Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh. More Rohingya headlines here. Bangladesh is already one of the world’s most densely-populated countries, and an onslaught of strangers didn’t make locals happy.

According to Aja, FMI’s National Director in Bangladesh, crowding isn’t the only issue.

“[The] Rohingya people, they have a lot of things they got from the NGOs, but local people [received] nothing. Sometimes our local people [te..

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Greece building new refugee camp after Moria fire

Greece (MNN) — Last week, over 12,000 refugees fled the Moria camp on Lesbos as it burned to the ground. Now, many have moved into a new camp being hastily built nearby on the shores of the Aegean Sea.

The Greek government maintains the fire was set intentionally and has charged 4 Afghan refugees with the crime. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the fire.

People from over 70 countries sheltered at Moria, though most hail from Afghanistan. Liz Steggall Lewis of TeachBeyond says, “Presently, the Greek government and army have been working day and night to set up a temporary tent city that’s right there on the Aegean. Right now, that space where they’re setting up UNHCR tents is about 10 times the size of the former camp.”

The Moria refugee camp packed thousands of people into an area about the size of this Walmart. (Image by jimaro morales from Pixabay)

The Moria camp packed thousands of people into a space the size of a Walmart, forcing many to live in squalor and leaving the camp seve..

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Kids in Read-A-Thon can support children in India!

USA (MNN) — Here’s a chance to get your kids reading with Great Commission impact! Sonlight Christian Homeschool Curriculum is hosting a Read-A-Thon so children and teens can raise funds for ministries like Mission India.

When kids sign up to support Mission India through the Sonlight Read-A-Thon, every dollar fundraised will be matched by Sonlight Curriculum and goes towards Mission India’s Year-Long Children’s Bible Clubs.

(Photo courtesy of Johnny McClung via Unsplash)

Erik Morsehead with Mission India says, “Every dollar will be matched up to $100,000 for us, so that’s great! For every $24 given, a child in India gets to go to a Year-Long Bible Club. So for an entire year, they’re mentored by a Bible Club leader to help improve their education, to form relationships,…but ultimately they get to hear about the love of Jesus.”

Read-A-Thon participants can commit to reading a certain number of books, pages, or hours. For non-readers, they can listen to audiobooks, watch videos, or ..

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