Tag Archives: violence

Church of God Missionaries to Sri Lanka Heartbroken After Easter Attacks

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

Church of God in Nicaragua Takes Steps Forward Amid Challenges

Feeding ministry program in Nicaragua.

By Jason and Abby Torgeson

An important part of our new role as regional consultants involves traveling to check on the missionaries and projects in our area. For our first such trip, we decided to pay a visit to our neighbors to the north. Guillermo Herrera and his son Lesly are the pastors and leaders of the two Church of God congregations in Nicaragua. They are currently in process of transitioning from being launched by the Costa Rican church and funded by outside resources, to a self-sustaining ministry. The process has been challenging, as Nicaragua is one of the top-three most impoverished nations in the Western hemisphere. As Pastor Guillermo Herrera said, “Our congregation has eighty members. Eleven have jobs, and, of those, seven tithe.” Continue reading

Prayer Movement Overtakes New Mexico, Gains National Traction

Prayer for New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez.

By Carl Stagner

All 33 counties in New Mexico are covered. Ninety churches are participating, representing 26 cities. With Jesus as the subject, numerous denominations are represented. They’ve come together in a movement devoted to prayer, a movement which has overtaken the state. From the halls of government, to the classroom, to the streets, this prayer movement has already been proven powerful and effective. For 24 hours a day, every day, 365 days a year, they’ve set out to cover the state in prayer until Jesus comes back. One of the co-founders of what’s been dubbed “New Mexico Prays” is Richard Mansfield, senior pastor of New Beginnings Church of God in Albuquerque. Continue reading

CHOG Pastors Offer Perspective, Prayers for Charleston, South Carolina

Morris_Brown_AME_day_after_tragedy_adj_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

June 17, 2015, was yet another dark day for all of us in the United States of America. Searing pain was felt across the land, especially for those who lost loved ones in one of the largest mass shootings ever to take place inside the doors of a church. In the days that followed, the Church of God encouraged believers to spend focused times in prayer for families of the victims, for the safety of our churches, for reconciliation, and for the future of our country. As heinous acts of racism and persecution against Christians continue to rise in our world, the Church of God stands on its founding principles of holiness and unity with the Prince of Peace as our common subject. Two examples of a holy, loving response to the June 17 tragedy come from Brownsville Community Church of God in Charleston’s neighbor-to-the-north, Summerville; and the Church of God in Varnville, South Carolina. Continue reading

CHOG Congregations Offer Hope, Healing for Baltimore

CelebrationAtMonroeStreet_communityservice_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

It’s been all over the news. You’ve no doubt seen the coverage of the protests and the riots that rocked Baltimore, Maryland, for several weeks. On April 19, 2015, twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray died following injuries sustained while in police custody five days earlier. Navigating the maze of media punditry has been no easy task in the weeks since the tragedy. Regardless of one’s opinion on the matter, one thing is abundantly clear: where and when Jesus Christ is the subject, light has permeated the darkness. Though it was the looting and hostility that dominated television screens across the country, our Church of God congregations on the ground tell a different story—a story of hope and healing. Continue reading

Violence in the Middle East: Update from Egypt

pyramids_FORWEB

Following the brutal execution of twenty-one Christian Egyptians in Libya, concerns about the safety of the Church of God in the region have been expressed. We give thanks to God that Ken and Keli Oldham, as well as the Church of God congregations in Egypt, are safe. Ken offers the following context for a video update uploaded earlier today: Continue reading