Today's BP Ledger includes items from:
International Mission Board
Compass Direct News (two items)
Charleston Southern University
South Asia News Prayer Requests (International Mission Board), August 2011, http://www.go2southasia.org
SOUTH ASIA (IMB)--Brief items reported by South Asia News (http://www.go2southasia.org) on Aug. 2 include:
BANGLADESH. Each year pantries are stocked with dates and special kinds of lentils and rice. Prayer caps and beads are in place. Anticipation in the air as Bangladesh Muslims await the official sighting of the moon that signals the beginning of the month of Ramadan. Muslims fast during the daylight hours and break the fast at sundown. They often eat well into the evening and then have an early breakfast before sunrise. During the day, they are not even allowed a drink of water. Some are able to keep the fast the whole month, and others falter at some point and give up. It is a time when Muslims try to spend more time focusing on God and learning about patience and humility. Pray that the Muslims of Bangladesh will realize their deep need for a Savior. Pray that they will experience the grace and love of God that will forever replace the rules and works of man.
BHUTAN. Bhutan is a tiny landlocked nation nestled within the folds of the Himalayan mountains between India and China. It has been protected from outside influences for many years, but in 1974 Bhutan was opened to tourists. Pray that tourists who travel to Bhutan would use this opportunity to share the Good News in a reproducible manner so that the Truth can go forth freely throughout Bhutan.
DIASPORA. During Ramadan -- the month of fasting for followers of the Islamic faith -- many people around the world are seriously searching for favor with God through this yearly ritual. Some are hoping to receive a special vision or dream as God's guidance for their lives. Please pray for South Asian immigrants who live in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia who are fasting this month. Ask the Holy Spirit to give them dreams and visions of Jesus calling to them, "Come to Me!" Pray that our God will lead them to followers of Jesus who can tell them the Good News. Ask our Father to give them grace to repent, believe and follow Jesus.
INDIA. A cross-cultural worker in India writes: "My friend Astha (pseudonym). wants to get married to another believer, but her parents aren't believers, so at first they said no. Now they've said yes, but they want her to find a husband, like, right now! Since that hasn't happened, they're getting impatient and even angry. But in the midst of all of this, Astha keeps telling them that she trusts her Father to give her the man He wants to give her. As I talked to her tonight, we talked to the Father. And the thing most important to Astha wasn't finding a husband; it was the salvation of her parents." Rejoice that Astha and others from non-Christian backgrounds are coming to know Jesus in a personal way. Pray that they will daily study His Word and draw close to Him. Pray that like Astha, they will remain respectful of their parents and seek to share the Good News with them. Pray that the number of devoted Christian families will multiply throughout India.
MALDIVES. Maldivian leaders proudly call the country 100 percent Muslim. Islam took root in the Maldives in 1153. Praise the Lord that young Maldivians are beginning to ask questions. Ask the Lord to open the eyes of men, women and children to spiritual truth. Pray that Maldivian leaders would emerge to start church planting movements among their own people.
NEPAL. Riding back home in a taxi from the Nepal border, one South Asian worker encountered severe traffic jams in a small border town. Local police directed the taxi driver to turn off the main road onto a smaller, but equally crowded, side road. In the process of turning, the young taxi driver, whose name is Raj (pseudonym), accidentally ran over a bunch of mangoes piled up near the edge of the street. The local fruit sellers became irate and threw a rock through the car's window, smashing out the entire rear window. By God's grace, the driver and worker were able to escape the scene without more violence erupting. At the end of the trip, the worker tried to share the Good News with Raj, along with a Bible and some other materials. Sadly, Raj didn't seem to be very interested. Please pray for Raj and the people of Nepal to realize how fragile and brief life is, and to open their hearts to the only One who can give them eternal life and peace.
PAKISTAN. "What a man desires is unfailing love ..." (Proverbs 19:22a, NIV). During Ramadan, Muslims are generally more sensitive to spiritual matters during this time. Pray that the Lord Jesus will heal the hearts of those who are seeking and are sensitive to spiritual matters, but have not yet made decisions to place their faith in Him. Plead for the people of Pakistan to come to know the one, true Savior who demonstrates, offers and is unfailing love. Ask for those who do have a personal relationship with Jesus to be sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit guiding them to share the story of Jesus with others around them. Pray that they, too, will come to understand a new depth of this unfailing love by sharing it with others. Above all, pray against the father of all lies, asking that he will lose his grip on the hearts he is trying very hard to keep captive. Jesus is where freedom is found, and He already holds the victory.
SRI LANKA. August in Sri Lanka will be a time of fasting and feasting for the 8 percent of the population who follow Islam as they celebrate Ramadan. While this may not sound like many people, these pockets of Muslims make up significant communities all around the island: Arab (4,000), Bengali (22,000), Malay (60,000), Mappila (5,000), and the Sri Lankan Moor (1,500,000). Each of these groups is recognized as an unreached people, and while some resources are available for them, there has been no active church planting among them within the past two years. Muslims consider this month to be a favorable time to receive revelation from above. Please beseech our Father to make Himself known to Muslims all over the island during this time. Pray also that God will burden the church of Sri Lanka to look past ethnicity and cultural barriers and see a people bound in darkness, a people whom God wants to free. Though they, too, are few in number in comparison to those who follow world religions, pray that the believers will passionately live for Christ and share truth, and that God will open hearts and minds to salvation.
BANGALORE HOSPITAL. Thank you for praying for the selection of the new nursing students. Thirty young women from four Indian states and Nepal are beginning their studies. Pray for them as they adjust to a completely new environment and routine. Pray for quick language learning. Ask that good relationships will be formed at all levels.
Pray for the follow-up chaplains in the hospital as they travel out into the city and villages daily. Ask God to open homes and hearts to their visits, and pray that many will choose to follow Jesus. Lift up the new believers groups that are being formed. Ask that they will multiply rapidly.
BIHARI MUSLIMS OF INDIA. In January 2009, you began praying that Philip (a pseudonym), a former Bihari Muslim-background believer, and his family would be able to obtain passports so they could travel to Bangladesh for a time of retreat, planning and prayer with those serving among the Bihari Muslims of Bangladesh. In May 2009, Philip was granted a passport. The retreat was postponed, however, because his wife and daughters had not yet received the passports for which they had applied. Finally, this spring, Philip's wife and daughters were granted passports. Give thanks to the Lord with us. Ask that He would now guide the timing of the retreat. Philip and his family still need to apply for visas to Bangladesh. A Bihari Muslim-background believer, like Philip, who is from India and speaks Urdu would be welcomed among Bihari Muslims in Bangladesh and would be able to share his testimony and God's story widely.
MUSIC, ARTS and STORYTELLING. Thank you for praying for the storytelling workshop in May. Give thanks to the Lord that approximately 30 people attended, and after two weeks, some became amazing storytellers. A few were nonbelievers, and one person accepted Jesus Christ while there. Many others left feeling empowered to go out and share the story of Jesus in their communities. Pray for some music workshops happening in northeastern India in August. Although one area has many believers, pray that they will want to reach out to nonbelievers using the arts. Also intercede for music and chronological Bible storying projects among Hindu and Muslim people groups that will be beginning in one northeastern state.
SOUTH ASIAN HINDU FESTIVALS. South Asian Hindus will celebrate "Krishna Janmashtani" on Monday, August 22. They believe this is the day Krishna was born as an incarnation of their supreme deity, Vishnu. At midnight on Sunday, they will bathe and dress an idol of the infant Krishna, place the idol in a cradle, and worship it. The following morning, women will draw patterns of children's footprints leading towards the house to represent their invitation for Krishna to enter their home. Some will observe a 24-hour fast and an all-night vigil so they can be forgiven of the sins of 10 million births. Please pray that Hindus will have the chance on this day to hear the Gospel and learn?? that the only true God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for their sins, and that He is ready to live in their hearts and homes if they will only repent, believe and confess Him as Lord.
SOUTH ASIAN UNENGAGED PEOPLES. Praise the Lord for "divine encounters" among the peoples of South Asia who are classified as Unengaged UnreachedPeople Groups (UUPGs). A cross-cultural worker writes: "On the second day in the city, my husband drove about five hours north of the city to a hill-and-forest area where the tribal people live, including one tribe that is a UUPG. By the time they had reached the area where they thought they would find the tribal people, they stopped for lunch along the road. They were very surprised when they began talking to the people at the table next to them and learned that one of the men at the table was from that UUPG tribe. He invited them back to their village. They were able to visit in the man's family's home and share the Gospel with that family." Pray that seeds sown among this family will take root and that many from this tribal people group will come to know and love the Savior. Pray for a church-planting movement among the tribal peoples of South Asia.
Campbellsville football coaches instruct pro football in Brazil
By Chris Megginson
VILA VELHA, Brazil (Campbellsville University)--Coaching a football clinic in July is nothing new for Campbellsville University head coach Perry Thomas or assistant Ricky Gehres, however coaching on a Brazilian beach - now there's an experience.
The two Tiger coaches traveled to the beach of Itaparica in Vila Velha, Brazil last week to lead a clinic for a start-up Brazilian professional football team, the Vila Velha Tritons.
I'm loving Brazil," Thomas told sports reporter Guido Nunes of Globo Esporte. "I had no idea that football was played here … I am very excited to see the organization of football in a country that has so much tradition."
Before leaving for the trip July 20, Thomas said he and Gehres were excited to experience a new country and help the sport of football grow. Tritons head coach/quarterback Bruno Araujo was equally excited.
"It's the beginning of a new era," Araujo told Golobo Esportes. "I remember when we played in the sand and had the dream of playing football. Today, we see two American coaches come here and help show us that the work being done is very rewarding."
The Tritons began playing football in 2004, but did not hold their first full-pad work out until 2010, according ot the team's Web site. After winning the league championship last season, the Tritons are currently making a run for a repeat. Thomas' message to the Tritons was the same message he has for the 2011 Tigers - discipline is key.
"The thing we wanted to do is let them know that organization and discipline are the most important parts of building a team, and that while they are doing things right here, there are fundamental things they can continue to work on to continue to make this program grow," Thomas told a group of reporters. "Fortunately, we're going to be able to work with them on the field some also ... I think they can learn from what we bring from our U.S. experience, where football has a long tradition."
During the media visit to the Tritons' camp, Thomas had the opportunity to try on a team jersey. After letting a roar for the cameras, he proclaimed, "I look good in that jersey. I may have to wear this home."
After working on skills and fundamentals with the Tritons through the weekend, Thomas and Gehres returned to the U.S. earlier this week. Gehres, a former CU and European pro player, provided training for skill positions, while Thomas worked with linemen and overall defense.
"I think it's great. I think football here in Brazil is getting bigger and bigger," Gehres told another media outlet. "The guys are great and have been working together for several years. I'm very happy to be here working with these guys."
Thomas hopes he can return to Brazil in the future to continue the work from the short visit.
"I'd like to come back every year, not only to work with these guys but to do a workshop with some of the young guys and help the sport take off," Thomas said.
The Tritons' next game is August 6 on the road against the Trimbo Rhinos.
Campbellsville University football players will begin to return to campus Aug. 12 for the 2011 season, which begins Sept. 1 at CU's Finley Stadium (204 Tiger Way, Campbellsville, KY) against Union College. Kickoff is 7 p.m. ET.
Guido Nunes of Globo Esporte and TV Tribuna contributed to this story.
HSU Named "A Best in the West" by The Princeton Review "2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region"
ABILENE, Texas (Hardin-Simmons University)--Hardin-Simmons University is one of the best colleges in the West according to the nationally known education services company, The Princeton Review. HSU is one of 121 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its "Best in the West" section of its website, "2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region."
"From hundreds of institutions surveyed in each region, we selected these colleges and universities primarily for their excellent academic programs. We also took into account what students attending the schools reported to us about their campus experiences," says Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP/Publishing.
The Princeton Review asks students attending the schools to rate their own schools on several issues, from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food, and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and their campus life. "Only schools that permit us to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for our regional 'best' lists," says Franek.
The company narrows its list based on visits to schools over the years, the opinions of Princeton Review staff members, college counselors and advisors, and institutional data collected from the schools.
Hardin-Simmons University president, Dr. Lanny Hall, says, "HSU is committed to offering our students an education that helps them reach their full potential. We have about 13 students to every professor, so HSU students receive a great deal of personal attention. We are very proud to be included in the 2012 Best in the West rankings by The Princeton Review. This is the kind of information families and prospective students need to know when considering which college is right for them."
The 121 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its "Best in the West" list are located in 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
The schools in The Princeton Review's "2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region" website section are also rated in six categories. The ratings, which appear on the school profiles, are scores on a scale of 60 to 99. The Princeton Review tallied these scores based on institutional data it obtained from the colleges in 2010-11 and the student survey data. The rating scores are for academics, admissions selectivity, financial aid, fire safety, quality of life, and environmental friendliness. The Princeton Review explains the criteria for each rating score on its site at: http://www.princetonreview.com/college/college-ratings.aspx.
The Princeton Review also designated 220 colleges in the Northeast, 153 in the Midwest, and 135 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company's "2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region" lists. Collectively, the 629 colleges named "regional bests" constitute about 25% of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges.
"We believe our choices offer applicants and their parents a wide range of fine schools to consider," says Franek. "We're pleased to recommend Hardin-Simmons University to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree."
Two Bombs Explode Near Churches in Jos, Nigeria
Police probe motives for weekend blasts in areas where Islamic sect leaders live.
By Obed Minchakpu
JOS, Nigeria (Compass Direct News)--Security officials are trying to determine suspects and motives for two weekend bomb explosions in predominantly Muslim areas of Jos where three churches and the residences of Islamic sect leaders are located.
The explosions led many Christians to remain indoors on July 31. One bomb exploded on Saturday night July 30 in the Angwan Rimi area of Jos near a Baptist Church building no longer in use because of previous damage by Muslim extremists. A second bomb exploded early Sunday morning near a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) building on Sarkin Mangu Street and an Assemblies of God sanctuary in the Kwarrarafa Area, according to police reports obtained by Compass.
No one was hurt in either of the explosions.
Prominent Islamic leaders residing in the area of the Sunday morning blast include Sheik Balarabe Dawud, chief imam of Jos Central Mosque, and Sheik Sani Yahaya, leader of the Izala Islamic sect.
The churches near both blasts are located in areas that are predominantly Muslim because of displacement of Christians during religious conflict earlier this year. Christians have been forced to relocate to safer areas of the city.
Fears that large-scale violence by the Islamic extremist Boko Haram sect would seize Nigeria at the end of July, on the two-year anniversary of the death of the group's leader, were not borne out.
The explosion on July 30, from a bomb disguised as an empty can of groundnut oil, occurred in an area of Jos where Sheikh Saidu Hassan, deputy leader of the Izala Islamic sect, lives. The bomb exploded in the Angwan Rimi area at about 9:30 p.m., according to police.
An incident report obtained by Compass at the Angwar Rogo police station states that the bomb caused no death or injury but shattered the windows of a parked taxi.
The explosions occurred a week after five persons were killed in violence that broke out on July 26 between Muslims and Christians in the Angwan Rukuba area of Jos.
"Five people have been confirmed dead and 12 seriously injured," said Capt. Charles Ekeocha, spokesman of the Special Task Force of a Special Military Operation in Jos to restore peace.
The Angwan Rukuba area became a hotbed of violence in Jos following multiple bomb explosions there last Christmas Eve. The bombs went off in three different locations in the area, killing over 100 Christians and injuring many others. Security agencies confirmed they were planted by members of the Boko Haram sect.
Emmanuel Dipo Ayeni, commissioner of police for Plateau state, called for calm over the explosions and said police were working hard to discover those responsible.
Kidnapped Christian Girl in Sudan Escapes, Traumatized
Muslim abductors tried to force her to convert to Islam.
KHARTOUM, Sudan, August 3 (Compass Direct News)--Hiba Abdelfadil Anglo, 16, has escaped from a gang of Muslims who kidnapped her last year, but it may be a long time before she recovers from the trauma.
As she told Compass how the kidnappers beat, raped and tried to force her to convert from Christianity to Islam, she broke into tears for nearly half an hour.
"They did many bad things to me," she said, tears streaming down her eyes.
Abducted on June 17, 2010, she was reunited with her family on July 10.
"Several times I was warned that if I do not convert to Islam, then I risk losing my life," she said. "The man who put me in his house on several occasions tortured me and threatened to kill me. He did not allow me to pray Christian prayers. He even insulted my family as a family of infidels."
Hiba said that after a year of captivity, she had given the unidentified man who housed her enough of an impression that she had converted to Islam and accepted her fate that he left her unguarded. She was able to leave the house in the Soba Al Aradi area south of Khartoum and beg a motorist to take her to her home two hours away, she said.
"I had tried to escape three times before, but they captured me every time and beat me a lot," she said, sobbing.
Her widowed mother, Ikhlas Omer Anglo, told Compass the kidnappers targeted them because they are Christians, members of Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum. The girl's mother said that when she went to a police station to open a case, officers told her she must first leave Christianity for Islam.
"Right after my daughter was kidnapped, one officer told me, 'If you want back your daughter, you should become a Muslim,'" she said. "I thank God for enabling my daughter to escape before the start of Ramadan, though she is now traumatized."
Hiba said the kidnappers moved her to various locations in Khartoum over the initial eight months, threatening to kill her if she tried to escape.
"Even if you call the government, they will not do anything to us,'' her abductors warned her, she said.
She was initially locked in a room and beaten until she was unconscious. The leader of the group raped her, and she is still suffering pain in her right eye from a blow he recently dealt her, she said.
"Apart from abusing me sexually, he tried to force me to change my faith and kept reminding me to prepare for Ramadan," she said. "I cannot forget this bad incident, and whenever I try to pray, I find it difficult to forget. I ask believers to pray for me for inner healing.'
At the same time, Hiba said prayer was the only effective option while in captivity.
"I was praying to God to keep me and my family safe," she said.
Last year the then-15-year-old Hiba was kidnapped while going to the Ministry of Education in Khartoum to obtain her transcripts for entry into secondary school.
"One of the kidnappers was monitoring me as I was going to the Ministry of Education," she said. "He pretended to have been working in the Ministry of Education."
Two days after she was abducted, the family received threatening telephone calls and SMS (text) messages from the kidnappers telling them to pay 1,500 Sudanese pounds (US$560) in order to secure her return.
"Don't you want to have this slave back?" one of the kidnappers told her mother from an unknown location by cell phone, Anglo said. She lost her job after taking time off to search for her missing daughter last year, she said, as her employer initially gave her time off in order to seek her daughter but later used the absence as a pretext for firing her.
"It is good that those who prayed for us to know that their prayers were answered, and that my daughter is back at home with me," Anglo said. "I also need prayers because I am jobless since the time my daughter was kidnapped."
Hoping to study to be an accountant after missing an academic year, Hiba said her future is unknown as her family is unable to afford school. She also fears the Muslim criminals might still be trailing her.
Charleston Southern personnel promoted in student affairs
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Charleston Southern University)--Dr. Rick Brewer, vice president for student affairs and athletics, has announced personnel changes in the student affairs and athletics division.
Rev. Clark Carter, former campus minister, has been promoted to dean of students. Carter will provide leadership for student discipline, student life, campus ministries and the general oversight of the work of the associate dean for student development, assistant dean for student services and assistant dean for campus life.
Carter says serving as campus minister will help in his role as dean of students. "It helped me to get an up-close and personal view of the great potential of our students," said Carter. "In today's world, we hear so much negative news about college students. Words like lazy and directionless are often used to describe them. But I have found that so many of our students are hard working, faithful and passionate about serving the Lord and others."
In his new role, Carter will still be interacting with students. "I am planning on going on mission trips with them," he said. "I want to attend conferences with them. I want to serve with them. I know that in this role I may also have to help with disciplining them, but I will always have what is best in mind for the student and our university. Our students are the fulfillment of dreams: dreams of better life, dreams of being the first in a family to graduate from college, dreams of making a difference in the world. We want to help these dreams come true.
"I also still see myself as a minister of the gospel. God called me into vocational ministry 28 years ago…and that call will never change," said Carter.
Carter is a 1987 graduate of CSU and a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He joined the CSU staff in 2002.
Dr. Hester Young has been promoted to assistant dean of students for student services. Young will provide leadership for career planning, service learning and multicultural programming. She joined the CSU staff in 2003.
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