By Carl Stagner
Celebration of the risen Christ ended early and abruptly on Sunday, April 21, in Sri Lanka, as the deadliest violence in a decade devastated the island country south of India. More than 300 people were killed and another 500 injured in a series of bombings that struck churches and hotels in the cities of Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa. As investigations continue, the Church of God fervently prays for the injured, families of victims, first-responders, and churches affected both directly and indirectly. Steven and Peggy Beverly, missionaries for Global Strategy to Sri Lanka, were just beginning their home assignment at the time of the incident. Their updates on the situation reveal their broken hearts. They would prefer to be with the suffering people they’ve come to love than safe in the U.S. right now. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Global Strategy
Tagged Andrew Gale, Asia and the Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Beverlys, church, crisis, disaster, Easter, evil, global, Global Strategy, grief, home assignment, hotel, hurt, loss, missions, pain, peace, Peggy Beverly, persecution, prayer, prayer matters, prayer request, sadness, sorrow, Sri Lanka, Steven and Peggy Beverly, Steven Beverly, terrorism, tragedy, turmoil, victims, violence
Photo: Mentoring based on God’s Word at Hope Ranch.
By Carl Stagner
In February 2015, we first shared the story of how Hope Ranch for Women in Wichita, Kansas, came to be. A little over two years later, their story of reclaiming what hell has stolen from the lives of victims of exploitation continues to unfold. With its origins in one of several strong Church of God congregations in Wichita—Christ Church—Hope Ranch will be celebrated at Church of God Convention 2017 for its highly effective ministry. Those who attend the Freedom Summit on Friday, June 23, will also have the chance to tour their life-giving campus. Before you go, get to know a bit about the ministry which has forever changed the course of sex trafficking survivors. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central, CHOG TraffickLight, Church of God Convention
Tagged Andover, Cathy Turner, Central Community Church, CHOG Convention 2017, CHOG TraffickLight, Christ Church, Church of God Convention, equine assisted learning, equine therapy, Freedom Summit, healing, hope, Hope Ranch, Hope Ranch for Women, horses, human trafficking, Kansas, mentoring, Reclaim 2017, sex trade, sex trafficking, Trafficklight 2.0, victims, Wichita
Photo: Crosses displayed with victims’ pictures inside the church.
By Carl Stagner
Approximately eight hundred murders rocked Chicago in the last year alone. Gang violence is on the rise in many large cities across the country, and Chicago is no exception. While many would rather retreat to the suburbs and write off urban centers as a loss, there is a growing movement of people that won’t give up on the youth, the children, and the families of densely populated areas. The grim statistics might suggest the forces of evil have completely taken over cities like Chicago. But soldiers of the cross like Greg Zanis are fighting side-by-side with congregations like Restoration Church of nearby Aurora, Illinois, to take back their cities. Recently, this reclamation effort took the form of one cross built for each of the eight hundred victims. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged Aurora, Chicago, city, crosses, gang violence, Greg Zanis, homicide, Illinois, Manny Rivera, march, Marcy Rivera, murder, prayer vigil, Reclaim, reclamation, renewal, restoration, Restoration Church, urban, victims