PODCAST: New report examines dangers migrant children face on road to America (WHR 01.27.22)

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According to Assist News Service, America’s humanitarian border crisis is featured in a shocking new report that examines the horrors facing the world’s children in 2022. Many migrant boys and girls fall prey to human traffickers, smugglers, and drug cartels en route to the U.S., according to the report “Children in Crisis: The World’s Greatest ‘Badge of Shame’ by Texas-based humanitarian agency Gospel For Asia World. The report highlights a terrifying U.S. Border Patrol video that shows human smugglers dropping sisters – 3 and 5 years old from Ecuador – over a 14-foot section of the border fence in the New Mexico desert. The smugglers ran off, leaving the young girls alone in the dark. The border situation, says the report, is a “stark reminder” that children are “in crisis right on our doorstep … wherever we live in the world. And the problem is growing worse.” The report estimates 1.2 billion children worldwide are vulnerable to a host of calamities, including abuse, hunger and diseases. It’s a “toxic combination” driven largely by poverty and supercharged by the pandemic, the report says. Among the horrors are child slavery, sexual exploitation – including the online cybersex industry – and even child sacrifice. The report highlights the following disturbing facts: 30-35% of sex workers in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are 12-17 years old / Mexico’s social service agency reports more than 16,000 children engage in prostitution, mostly in tourist destinations / 20-50% of prostitutes in Lithuania are believed to be children – sometimes as young as 11 – and orphans have been exploited to make pornographic movies / North Korean girls, some as young as 9, are forced to perform sex acts in front of webcams, live-streamed to paying customers worldwide. “GFA World is helping children escape poverty and protect themselves against such vile abuse and atrocities,” said the organization’s founder K.P. Yohannan, also known as Metropolitan Yohan. “Unless we act now to protect all children and show them God’s love is real, the consequences will be unforgivable.”

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According to Mission Network News, Like a farmer tilling the ground before planting seeds, the Lord is breaking up spiritual strongholds in the Middle East and North Africa. “The Holy Spirit is working in North Africa, particularly Morocco. I can’t testify to exactly what’s going on [for security purposes],” Denise Godwin of International Media Ministries says. There are no church buildings in Morocco, and Islamic oppression has dominated the country for more than a thousand years. But that landscape is slowly changing as Moroccans encounter the Gospel online and connect with the underground Church. “Often, these (highly) persecuted areas also have very high growth in the Church,” Godwin says. International Media Ministries uses both short- and long-form video to bring people closer to Christ. More about that here. “We’ve been excited to record three pieces now for Morocco,” Godwin says. “One of those, we’re still praying in two more actors to finish doing the piece.”

According to Mission Network News, Believers from a Muslim background, also known as Muslim-background believers or MBBs, lead a new initiative reaching Muslim families for Christ. In partnership with Superbook, Heart4Iran is launching a new virtual Sunday School program designed for families. Program Director Jennifer Shamoon says her passion for this work comes from experience. “Salvation [came] to our family through us (the children) going to Sunday school,” she says. “I was seven years old, my sister was four years older than me; we were invited to Sunday school in Iran [at an] Assembly of God [church]. Back then, they gave us a small picture of each story, and we would bring it home and tell the story to my parents,” Shamoon says. “It triggered a thirst (in my parents) to go and read Bible, and that brings salvation.” During Superbook’s premiere in Japan, an estimated 4 million people watched each week on television, resulting in the Bible becoming the best-selling book in that country. Heart4Iran hopes to see a similar effect in Iran, and transformation through the Gospel of Christ.

According to Mission Network News, More than a half-million children need immediate food aid as severe drought grips Kenya. The other day, Kenya received a $1 million aid package from the United Kingdom to help alleviate starvation. “There has been drought throughout the years, but they’ve gotten some reprieve, some rain, so things still grow and stuff; but this year, it’s not happening at all,” Joy Mueller of Kenya Hope says. Typically, a shorter rainy season in October and November provides some sustenance, while “Kenya receives ‘big rains’ between March and May,” she continues. However, “normal” didn’t happen in 2021. “Parts of the country have received no significant rains since last year in March.” Kenya Hope is transforming lives through the Gospel of Christ with a holistic approach to children, families, and communities. “We work mostly with the Masai people, and they are not as nomadic as they used to be, but they’re still pastoralists, meaning their whole living is dependent upon their livestock,” Mueller says. The ministry provides food aid and the Bread of Life during difficult seasons like these. Now, for the very first time, “we bought food relief for the animals because it is a domino effect,” Mueller says. The people’s “money is in the animals [and] as their animals die, they have no money. Therefore, they can’t buy food,” she explains. Kenya Hope works alongside local church partners. Pray their tangible expressions of Christ’s love leads to Gospel conversations.

According to Mission Network News, Following Christ in Afghanistan was risky before the Taliban took over in August. Now, it’s even worse. “I was talking to one of my partners today, and he told me two people just got arrested by the Taliban. They’re (the Taliban) now going through their phone numbers to see who [these Christians are] in contact with,” Reza* with Global Catalytic Ministries says. “THE TALIBAN, EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE TRYING TO SHOW A ‘LIGHT’ VERSION OF THEMSELVES, IT’S NOT TRUE. THEY ARE GOING AFTER CHRISTIANS; THEY ARE GOING AFTER BELIEVERS.” Afghanistan just replaced North Korea as the world’s most dangerous place to be a Christian, according to the persecution watchdog Open Doors. It’s the first time North Korea has not topped Open Doors’ annual list in two decades. “For Christians, there were basically no freedoms to lose: Afghanistan had been No. 2 on the Open Doors World Watch List for several years, and Christian persecution remains extreme in all spheres of public and private life. The risk of discovery has increased since the Taliban controls every aspect of government.”

According to Mission Network News, A month-long truce has ended between the government of Pakistan and the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (or TTP). Nehemiah with Forgotten Missionaries International calls it the most feared terrorist group in the country. “The TTP carried out 95 attacks in 2020, killing 140 people, and 44 attacks in the first six months of 2021. On July 14, it carried out a suicide attack that killed nine Chinese engineers working at the hydroelectric project in Pakistan.” So why did the truce fail? Nehemiah says, “During the talks, it was agreed that the TTP’s central leaders would be released from Pakistani jails. But they weren’t released in spite of an understanding between the two sides.” Since the ceasefire ended, the TTP has claimed responsibility for 16 more attacks, killing and wounding several people. The group even targeted police in the capital, Islamabad. Nehemiah says the TTP has over 70 splinter groups, all united under a common cause. “This is the reason that there is a massive rise in the kidnapping of young Christian girls (forcibly converting them to Islam) and registering false cases of blasphemy against Christians. This Taliban mindset has penetrated into Pakistani society, and it’s very fluid situation.” Pray many within the TTP would turn away from violence and find hope in Jesus. And ask God to protect Pakistani Christians.

According to Mission Network News, Land borders remain closed in Burkina Faso following Monday’s military coup. It’s the region’s third ouster in the past 18 months. Air borders reopened on Tuesday, while a nightly curfew remains in place. After kidnapping the president and dissolving the government, soldiers now face condemnation and possible sanctions from the global community. “There was great frustration with President Kabore and his inability to stop the attacks from radical Muslims in Burkina Faso, particularly in the northern part of the country,” Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says. “There is the perception that, perhaps, the military can stop those attacks and keep radical Muslim terrorists from coming into the country.” If land border closures continue beyond a temporary period, it could prevent aid from reaching these vulnerable communities. Pray events in Burkina Faso will not become violent. “This is still a very fluid situation, so I think praying for stability” is essential, Nettleton says. “How long will they (the borders) be sealed? How soon will the rest of the world be able to provide help? Will the rest of the world provide help? So far, the condemnation of the coup has been pretty universal,” he adds. “Those are all questions we don’t know answers to right now. But they certainly will impact the people of Burkina Faso – especially those who are displaced and essentially living as refugees in their own country.” Pray believers will find Gospel opportunities. “Times of upheaval can be great times of ministry,” Nettleton says.

You can read these stories and more at Whytehousereport.com

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless you.

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