Evangelical churches throughout Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, partnered with local authorities recently to exchange gang members' illegal weapons for Bibles in an attempt to reduce the country's crime rate.
Over 1,300 guns, knives and machetes were recovered during the month-long initiative that prompted church leaders to go into the city's most corrupt and violent neighborhoods while they took the opportunity to evangelize to gangsters and other criminals.
"We congratulate all the young people, and everyone who turned in their weapons, that was an act of goodwill," said Braulio Porte, a Santo Domingo pastor, according to AcontecerCristiano.com. "When they say they won't continue with that knife, and prefer a Bible instead, that is transformation and a blessing for our country." more >>
Victory Outreach International, a ministry organization with churches worldwide, is committed to community outreach programs throughout several cities including Oakland, Calif. where sex workers have made parts of the city a prostitution hub.
Each week, members of the ministry's church in Oakland take to the streets to talk women into leaving the sex industry as they pray for them and offer shelter. Their focus is International Boulevard, an area known as Oakland's sex strip where oftentimes outreach members are careful not to interfere with the prostitute's pimps.
"There are very few groups who are willing to do what Victory Outreach does, approach the young girls and the pimps and the johns without a badge," said Oakland council member Noel Gallo, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. more >>
YouVersion's newest creation, The Bible App for Kids, has already been downloaded more than a million times since it was made available less than a week after its release on Thanksgiving Day. The app was developed in collaboration with the international ministry OneHope.
"Just like we've seen the Bible App transform how our generation is engaging with Scripture, we believe the Bible App for Kids will change how the next generation discovers the grand narrative of the Bible," said Bobby Gruenewald, innovation pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma, which created YouVersion.
The primary catalyst for the project was the YouVersion community itself, "the world's largest digital Bible-sharing community," the Bible App creators say. Though some kids are already using the original Bible App, it wasn't really made with them in mind. YouVersion moved forward with the project when its survey indicated that more than 95 percent of its community of parents surveyed would be interested in the Bible App for Kids and that it would help their children engage with the Bible more in their everyday lives. more >>
A high-octane mix of alcohol and demonic involvement caused some in his Ethiopian village to label him insane. His own family had to bind him with heavy restraints when they sought relief from a witch doctor.
"I was one of the people possessed by an evil spirit and was being tormented by the spirit of evil in this land," says Dawit. (His name is changed for his protection.) "I was also a drunk and given the nickname of 'crazy person.' My family would tie me up and take me to the witch doctor to heal me."
But his life went in an unexpected direction when a team showed the JESUS Film in his village. "He was very much touched by the love of Christ," says Gebre, with Great Commission Ministry in Ethiopia. "He cried and cried and cried and finally he received Christ." more >>
Strip Church Network, an organization that first aimed at reaching out to women primarily working in Las Vegas strip clubs for the last five years, has taken their ministry efforts nationwide, spreading hope to strippers in other cities where the sex industry also exists, say its leaders.
The organization is a network of ministries that are led by women around the country who are trained and equipped with resources that become useful when they make late-night visits to strip clubs with the intention to show the women that they are loved and valued by them and by God.
"In 2011, we realized that we needed this type of ministry all across the nation, not just in Vegas," said Tara Ulrich, the Strip Church Coordinator, to the Christian Post. "We knew our team couldn't just travel around the country visiting strip clubs, so we decided to train and equip other women to do this in their own cities." more >>
In 2007, Barry Corey became the eighth president of Biola University, officially launching the celebration of the university's centennial year. During his time at Biola he's led the development of Biola's Center for Christian Thought; the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts; the annual Imagination Summit; and Open Biola - an online database for free educational content created and curated by the university.
Under his leadership, Biola has seen the highest enrollment in the university's 105-year history, with the construction of new facilities to serve the needs of the campus. But while his career is about education, his passion is how the Christian community engages today's culture. He's committed to raising up a generation of students who can make a difference in today's secular world.
I sat down with Dr. Corey and asked him about how Christians should re-think how we share our witness with the world. more >>