A group of Christian surfers in New Zealand saved a mother and her two sons from drowning on Christmas Day after the family was caught in a near-lethal rip tip tide off the shore of a beach an hour west of Auckland.
The five surfers, who are all members of a local Christian surf club called the North Shore Christian Surfers Group, saved the mother and her two teenage sons who were allegedly close to drowning when the surfers rescued them, The New Zealand Herald reported Thursday.
The surfers, Darren Celliers, Caleb Lemkus, Olly Mason, Lewis Mennie and Troy Duckworth, arrived at Bethells Beach around 6:30 p.m. last Thursday when they were quickly told by a beachgoer of the swimmers in distress. more >>
In a review of its 2014 efforts, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reveals that it has shared the Gospel with close to 9.5 million people around the world through its outreaches. More than 1.6 million of those people have made a decision for Christ, reports the BGEA.
Those outreaches include BGEA collaborations with local churches in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia to hold large scale festivals and celebrations. BGEA President and CEO Franklin Graham and his son, Will Graham, also preached the Gospel at functions hosted in parts of the United States, Canada, Japan, Sri Lanka and Papau New Guinea.
Franklin Graham praised God for the BGEA's efforts in a recent letter. He wrote "Our hearts overflow with gratitude to God for all He has done and is doing, and we are eager to keep pressing forward as He continues to open doors." more >>
Over the Christmas holiday, Christian pro-golfer Bubba Watson announced that he and wife Angie Ball are in the process of adopting a daughter.
On Christmas Eve, Watson posted a picture of his son holding a baby girl in his arms on his Instagram account with the message, "Caleb has a brand new baby sister, Dakota. Watson Family is now 4 and we are so blessed! #ABCD."
He published a second picture days later of himself with little Dakota captioned, "Daddy-daughter Selfie!! #ProudDad." more >>
The staff and congregation at the Church of the Magdalene in New York's Pocantico Hills are stunned following the Christmas day robbery of $20,000 in offerings.
Rev. Joseph Dietz told the Journal News "I was shocked and our parishioners were shocked. We've never had anything like this happen here."
According to Mount Pleasant police, the thief struck during the church's Christmas morning mass. The person reportedly pried open a back door, broke in into the church office and stole the money from a desk drawer. The $20,000 was collected from attendees of its two Christmas Eve mass. more >>
Americans named Billy Graham the number four "Most Admired Man" in world of 2014 according to U.S. polling agency Gallup. The polling results mark the 58th time that the 96-year-old televangelist has made the top 10 list.
The pollster's telephone survey results from 805 U.S. adults ages 18 and older placed Graham, referred to as "America's pastor," in the top 10 list of most admired men in the world for 2014.
Two percent of poll participants named him as their first or second choice when asked "What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world do you admire most." more >>
Christians in Nigeria reportedly celebrated Christmas in good numbers despite the constant threats of attacks, including suicide bombings, by terror group Boko Haram, which has destroyed churches and slaughtered entire congregations throughout the years. Many who celebrated the holiday at churches are internally displaced people, who no longer have any homes to go to.
Fr. Gideon Obasogie, director of communications of the Diocese of Maiduguri, told Fides News Agency that despite fears of terrorist attacks, "the Catholic faithful went to Christmas Mass, majority of whom are IDPs from the Adamawa part of the diocese (Pulka, Madagali, Gulak, MichiKa, Mubi), to express their faith in an eloquent manner."
Boko Haram has been attacking Nigerian government and church buildings for over five years now, often targeting the country's Christians who make up close to half of the population. The militants have made it their mission to establish Islamic law over the nation, and drive out all followers of Christ. more >>