Editor's note: The following is part one of a two-part interview with Prabhu Singh Vedhamanickam, Ph.D, a missions scholar well-known in both the U.S. and India as a trainer of missionaries to India and the world. According to Dr. Prabhu Singh, relationships in the global church can be strained when short-term and resident missionaries from wealthy nations don't confront wrong notions they have about Christianity in the world. He asserts attempts to partner have sometimes gone awry, producing hurt and separation, and argues it's time we come together.
Intro by Ruth Burgner, who interviewed Dr. Prabhu Singh, for The Mission Society.
American Christians go to India. They see extreme wealth side by side with incredible poverty. They return to the States and come up with a plan to "help India's poor." This happens a lot. But is this serving God's kingdom? more >>
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, residents of the Philippines are turning to God and resting on their faith leaders, as tens of thousands struggle to survive.
One such faith leader who is providing comfort is Rev. Edwin Bacaltos, of the Church of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in central Tacloban. He is assuring that the city will rise again.
Typhoon Yolanda roared through the Central Philippines last week, killing almost 4,000 people. That number is expected to hike up as recovery efforts continue. more >>
As the death toll in the Philippines reaches over 3,600 from last week's devastating Typhoon Haiyan, Christian aid organizations continue to work endless hours delivering necessary supplies, such as food, water, and medicine to victims, 900,000 of whom have been displaced by the natural disaster. Christian relief agencies such as Integral Alliance and Food for the Hungry have told The Christian Post that while they're offering immediate assistance to those in need, they're also preparing for what is expected to be a long and arduous reconstruction period.
On November 8, Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, struck the island country in Southeast Asia with unprecendented strength and scope, flattening entire towns in its path, hitting the Eastern Visayas region, covering the islands of Leyte and Samar, the hardest. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the latest data includes 3,621 confirmed deaths, 1,140 missing and 12,166 injured. Additionally, several roads and bridges have been completely swept away, forcing some victims to travel hours by foot just to reach safe drinking water. Media reports indicate some survivors are drinking coconut water to stay alive, and experts have estimated the damage cost to be around $15 billion.
Integral Alliance, an international network of 19 Christian relief organizations and an affiliate of the World Evangelical Alliance, has launched a joint disaster response with 18 of its members, working either directly on-ground in the Philippines or through fundraising efforts in other parts of the world. Fiona Boshoff, International Director of Integral Alliance, told The Christian Post that right now the most immediate needs of Typhoon Haiyan victims are "water, food, medicine and shelter." more >>
A week after Super Typhoon Haiyan killed 4,460 people and displaced over 1.8 million in the Philippines, American Christian groups working with their local partners are calling for prayers and financial support amid tragic stories of loss and a severe scarcity of food, water and medicine.
While U.S. Christian relief agencies, along with other international organizations and foreign governments, are responding to the devastation, the need "is still so great," says Indiana-based Church World Service (CWS) in a statement.
"Tragic stories of loss are emerging every day – mothers searching for their children, families torn apart," CWS adds. "The people of the Philippines and other regions damaged by the storm desperately need our prayers and financial support." more >>
A Mississippi couple who operates a music ministry in the Philippines said Typhoon Haiyan reminded them of reliving Hurricane Katrina after surviving the deadly superstorm that swept through the island nation last week, claiming the lives of over 3,000 residents.
Doug and Diane Lee have been living in Negros, Philippines, for a year where they also teach English at a Bible college in addition to helping 80 churches with outreach efforts, many of which were destroyed while members of those congregations were also among the casualties.
"The winds were stronger than Katrina, although it reminded me a lot of Katrina," said Diane, reports Louisiana-based wwltv.com. "North of our island here, there's a lot of destruction and damage, but the island is almost in total collapse on the island of Leyte." more >>
China's official government news agency announced Friday that the county will be loosening its controversial One Child Policy, as well as end its equally controversial re-education through labor program. These announcements come after top communist leaders met in Beijing for four days of closed meetings to design the country's future over the next 10 years.
The new policy reached by communist officials will allow families in which one parent is an only child to have two children, the country's official Xinhua News Agency said in a policy document released Friday. The previous policy only allowed two children per family if both parents were only children. The country's controversial One Child Policy was enacted in 1979 as a method of population control, but critics stipulate that as the country seeks to move ahead economically, it may have chosen to loosen its policy to allow a population surplus.
"Until now, the growth of the Chinese economy has been propelled by a demographic surplus, and that has been turning into a demographic deficit," Steve Tsang, a professor of Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham, told The Guardian regarding the policy change. Tsang added that the change in policy "should lead to a significant reduction in the abuse of human rights, in terms of forced termination." more >>