Monday, June 25, 2012
ASSIST News Readers Tell Us What They Like About Our Stories
By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (ANS) -- Last week, ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net ) asked its readers to look back over the last six months to let us know how they use the news, features, interview and review articles we carry -- on Missions, the Persecuted Church and Popular Christian Culture -- and tell us some of their recent favorites.
Denna Rentz of Ehrhardt, SC, said she only recently began receiving ASSIST News.
“I signed up for them for the ability to be able to see globally what Christians are doing to remind myself of the many different challenges missionaries are facing because here in the US, it’s not very challenging to be a Christian,” she told ANS.
“Also, as I read the stories, I add the people to my prayer list as I know God will keep them from harm and bring them through the trials. I have to admit so far I’ve really enjoyed the articles about the gymnast that has left the pursuit for the Olympics knowing God has put her here for something greater. I liked the story of the man who was crushed by the truck and survived, and because I missed watching the man walking the tight rope over Niagara, I enjoyed seeing and reading it and finding out he was a Christian and prayed openly across the falls,” said Rentz.
“I’ve visited the falls many times growing up and that was quite a feat. Not to put a negative side to the others news – it’s all so important for us to know what others are facing and very hard to read of rapes of young girls and forced abortions to families in China.
“It makes me more aware of other’s circumstances and makes me thankful to live where I do and thankful there are people out there trying to save the innocent. I will use these stories when appropriate at various church functions / meetings / Sunday School classes to help spread awareness. Thanks for all you do – God Bless You and all others doing His work!”
Daniel Scalf writes: “I read every story you guys post, many from your Facebook page. I repost sometimes when they are not on Facebook. I use your stories for prayer requests and sometimes raise funds for certain of the Persecuted Church. One for instance is Pastor Baber George, who had to flee Pakistan for his life.”
Daniel said the Best Human Interest was the article on the Tight Rope Walk at Niagara Falls; the Most Moving: The stories on the 13-year-old girl and her family in Pakistan, and third would be ANS’ many stories on Iran.
“I love reading your news! I look for it daily,” said Debra Holliday of McMinnville, OR.
“I am an Online Missionary for Global Media Outreach and write to hundreds of people each week from around the world. Your news has helped me tremendously in keeping up with what is happening in different countries and to the Christians around the world. I am able to be specific in my letters and my prayers for them.
“I guess I don't have any favorites. Please keep up the good work, we appreciate it so!”
“Thank you, Dan and Michael for all of your stories,” writes Weldine Dossett of Greensboro, NC.H “However, I most appreciate those regarding the persecuted church.
“They enlarge my vision of the world and God's Kingdom - expand my prayer life. So easy to be preoccupied with our own little world......
Carolyn Pecho sais she first used ASSIST News Service when she was living in Peru from 1995 until 2008.
“It helped me to keep up on news about people and events in the Christian world. That is how I first learned about Ruth Bell Graham going to be with our Lord,” she said. “Since 2008 I am stateside with my family.
The articles she most appreciated so far this year are “about a lady who was in a prison camp in North Korea. She was released, escaped to China, and became a Christian. It had a victorious ending. It was a great story.
“About Steve Saint's recent accident. I was glad to know right away. (I guess I am still using ASSIST as I did in Peru, to stay up-to-date on news in the Christian world! I also read about the suffering church, like villages that have been burned in Nigeria. I appreciate it because there is no other place where I can read about these things.”
Nancy Whiting, who lives in Alaska, said: “I'm new to ASSIST, having been reading it for about two weeks. I have used it thus far only as it applies to my personal life, but some of the articles have been very timely.”
Frida Prodan wrote to say: “My favorite stories are hard to find because I am encouraged and grateful for many that I read. However the three most favorites are: the Iranian Christian convert sentenced to two years in prison, from January 29, Muslim lawyer threatens bloodbath in demand for Shariah in Russia, May 8, and ‘I was raised from The Dead’, from March 30.”
Frida added: “In addition I love reading from Rick Marschall, Bill Ellis, all the world of Michael Ireland and Jeremy Reynolds and his work in Joy Junction, not to mention much of Gospel In Asia Group & African Stories -- they give hope to us who see the West under attack from secularists.”
She also recommended Peter Wooding’s work’s as “noteworthy in regards to Christianity in England and his work in Russia and that part of the world in general.”
She commented: “Love and pray for all of you every night.”
“Here at Christian Aid Mission we look to ASSIST News to provide insights on persecution and news from the fields where we are supporting indigenous missions, especially in Africa and Asia. It is a trusted and valuable asset in our work. We read it every day,” said Bill Bray, Development Director of Christian Aid in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Colleen Jamison who is from Hawaii, and attends International Baptist Church in Honolulu, said that while she cannot recall three specific favorites, “I do recall a recent one about a 14- year-old girl who was rescued from being sold into prostitution in India.
“I forwarded this article on to Christian friends/teachers who are familiar with Amy Carmichael. There is still such need in India, and elsewhere to protect our children and youth. ‘Violation of trust’ is in the news on a regular basis, as children are violated by coaches and priests, and sometimes policemen and pastors,” she said.
“Also, I appreciate receiving news from countries where we have missionaries. I forward these to Christian friends who are particularly interested in these particular countries.
“Many thanks, and blessings as you serve in this way.”
Carol Gerber lives in St. Peters, Missouri. She writes: “I am a 77 year old, pretty much home-bound woman, due to illness, but not limited to my access to my Lord so I can use the information you send along for prayer and as the Lord provides to share from my little fixed income.”
Carol liked the series on medical miracles from Kenya “...so interesting and uplifting to see brothers and sisters in Christ serving and the Lord working and glorified.”
She also enjoyed the Equip Nepal with James Varghese and his service to Christ in rescuing young girls from Indian's prostitution rings.
“I would love more about that mission,” she said
Patti Villavivenci said she uses ASSIST “to pray, share on Facebook, tell relatives and friends the needs, miracles, tragedies, and praise reports.
“I can’t come up with three stories,” she added, “but Pastor Yousef, Pastor Chuck Smith and Pastor Mike MacIntosh do come to mind...praying fervently...thank you!”
Grelan Muse Sr., founder of Inside The Pew (www.insidethepew.net ) lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Grelan said: “Since most of our news comes from Texas and Louisiana, we fully understand there is a Christian community outside of these states. Therefore, ASSIST News is a valuable resource to us.
“The stories run on ASSIST News helps us keep our readers informed about events which happen around the world. I personally thoroughly commend you all for posting stories on Christian persecution around the world. We are so blessed to have the freedom to worship our Savior without being accosted for doing His work.”
Grelan’s favorite stories of the last six months are ‘Singer Whitney Houston, 48, dies in Beverly Hills’ – “The story was timely and didn't dwell on her past problems. The subsequent story – ‘Whitney Houston's faith centered on Jesus,’ about her Christian upbringing was also well-written. In the aftermath, these two stories were very popular on Inside The Pew. I think (this is) because Dan (Wooding) and Mark (Ellis) wrote stories which were not scandalous, and focused on her as a believer.”
Grelan said about "New find of Wi-Fi transmitter -- the homeless," that Jeremy Reynalds’ responses from the homeless individuals regarding the article “accented the story.”
Grelan also liked "Rescue mission members attacked in India red light district." – “Good story about the work nonprofits are helping put an end to international sex trafficking of minor girls,” Grelan commented.
Grelan added: “I know you asked for three, but these have been very memorable articles and series and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to receive this information.”
Irene Tay from Singapore said: “I enjoy hearing from ASSIST NEWS because you keep me updated about persecution all over the world, which I use also to send to my friends to pray.
“I also like your biographical write-ups of the great men of faith who passed away, e.g. John Stott, Charles Colson. So keep up the good work and God bless!”
“I use many of the articles in my ezine, ‘Glory and Strength’. No top favorites, but certainly glad to have this service to provide my readers,” said Debra L. Butterfield (www.gloryandstrength.com , Real People. Real Victories; www.debralbutterfield.com , Writer - Speaker – Editor;
We would like to thank these readers for taking the time to respond to our work in telling the story of what God is doing in His World.
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