Would you tell your friends about how they can have a free subscription to the ASSIST News Service and then start their own prayer group?
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS – April 10, 2016) – I want to thank you for being a subscriber to our news service, and also for regularly praying for the many Persecuted Christians that we feature daily in our many stories.
But now, as our world continues to spin out of control with unthinkable violence being perpetrated against our brothers and sisters around the world from terror groups like Islamic State (ISIS), the Taliban, and Boko Haram, I feel the urgent need to recruit an even larger Prayer Army to intercede on their behalf.
Here at ANS, we are committed to bringing you all the latest news from places like Lahore, Pakistan, where in a park on Easter Sunday were many local Christians had gathered to celebrate Resurrection Day after their Easter morning services, at least 74 people were killed by an Islamic suicide bomber, including 29 children, and over 370 people were injured in the blast.
And also from Nigeria, the land of my birth – my parents were British missionaries – where the deadly Boko Haram terrorist group, continue with their barbaric killings of Christians. The Nigerian jihadists, who pledged allegiance to Islamic State in March 2015, are said to have killed even more people than their fellow Islamic State murderers, claiming some 6,644 lives compared to 6,073. Nigeria has accordingly experienced a staggering 300 percent rise in terrorism deaths in 2014, although other militant groups take partial blame for the increase. In particular, the Fulani Islamist militants who have also killed 1,229 in Nigeria.
According to Open Doors, North Korea, a country I once reported from, heads their World Watch List for the 14th consecutive year now. “Kim Jong-un has continued to consolidate his power, and no changes or improvements have been seen over the past year,” said an Open Doors spokesperson. “Ideology again trumped everything as could be seen in the celebration of the ruling Korean Workers Party’s 70th anniversary in October 2015.
“North Korea remains an opaque state and it is difficult to make sense of most of the news pouring out of the country. This is even truer when it comes to topics like human rights or the situation of the Christian minority.”
Christianity is not only seen as “opium for the people,” as is normal for all communist states, it is also seen as deeply Western and despicable. Christians try to hide their faith as far as possible to avoid arrest and being sent to labor camps with horrific conditions. Thus, one’s Christian faith usually remains a well-protected secret, and most parents refrain from introducing their children to the Christian faith in order to make sure that nothing slips their tongue when they are asked.
Our full name is Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times, and since we launched the ASSIST News Service (ANS), which is a vital part of our ministry, we have seen persecution rise to a now record level, and it shows no sign of slowing down.
When I began ANS some 25 years ago, I took the decision to never charge for a subscription, believing that it would be wrong to ask people to pay for news about our friends who are paying the ultimate price for following Jesus Christ. Of course, we have many expenses involved in producing our news service, but we have chosen to trust the Lord to touch the hearts of friends, like yourself, to get involved in helping us financially. (If you so wish, you can help us continue, by going to www.assistnews.net, and then click on DONATE).
But that isn’t the main point of this message. I want to challenge you to not keep all the news you are receiving from us to yourself, but rather allow your many friends at church, and even your pastor, to also avail themselves of this free subscription, so they too can not only learn about what is going on in this dark world of ours, but also to join our ANS Prayer Army. (If you already run a prayer group, I’d love to hear from you about it. Just send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org).
So, maybe you could share this message with them, or point them to our website – www.assistnews.net – where, if they scroll down the main page, they can find the place where they can sign up. Once they have done this, they will then receive an e-mail asking them to confirm their subscription, and once they have done so, the stories will begin flowing into their in-box. (By the way, we don’t use any of the e-mail addresses for anything else except to send them our stories. We don’t sell our lists to anybody.)
But then, I would like our ANS new friends that you have encouraged to get a free subscription, to prayerfully consider taking another important step, and that is to start a prayer group for Persecuted Christians in their home or church, and, of course, they can use any of our stories to pray over.
Also, my ANS colleague, Mark Ellis, and myself, host a weekly TV program on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv) called “Windows on the World,” where we share our top stories of the week. You and your friends could maybe go to the website above and watch the programs together.
So would you please share this opportunity with as many friends and colleagues as you can, and by so doing so, help us expand to a vast Prayer Army that can stand with the millions of Christians who are depending on us to help ease their burden, and allow them to be a light in the dark area of the world.
Thank you for doing this, and I pray that within days, our ANS Prayer Army will grow and grow and grow, and our persecuted brothers and sisters will then know that they are not alone, and there are people who truly care and pray for them.
Photo captions: 1) Pakistani Christians protesting the violence against them. 2) Nigerian terror group, Boko Haram, in action. 3) Dan Wooding in a North Korean church, which he never discovered was for real, or just set up for Westerners visiting the country. 4) Dan Wooding reporting for ANS outside the Kurdistan Parliament in Erbil, Northern Iraq.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is the author of some 45 books. He also has two TV shows and a radio show, all based in Southern California. He has reported for ANS from all over the world, including North Korea, and his most recent trip was to Northern Iraq.
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