BP Ledger, July 5 edition

Baptist Press
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Posted: Jul 05, 2011 5:22 PM
BP Ledger, July 5 edition
EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each Monday from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.

Today's BP Ledger includes items from:

International Mission Board

University of Mobile

East Texas Baptist University

Criswell College

University of the Cumberlands

South Asia News Prayer Requests (International Mission Board), July 2011, http://www.go2southasia.org

SOUTH ASIA (IMB)--Brief items reported by South Asia News (http://www.go2southasia.org) on June 30 include:

BANGLADESH. "There are some things that are just hard to put into words. Even though we live in this impoverished nation of Bangladesh, we are still shielded from some of the everyday tribulations of life of most of the 150 million-plus people. I was talking with my sweet Bengali house helper one day about how God values life and how He forms us and knows us each by name. She then went on to tell me how she recently saw a newborn baby on a trash heap, still alive. She was walking over a bridge with her husband and looked down to see a wiggly newborn lying in filth and human waste. Someone had thrown this precious child away. Her husband had sympathy on the baby and wanted to take it, but she convinced him that they could not afford another baby, and so they walked on. She then told of another time when she walked by a crying baby in a bag on the street. She said it was a beautiful baby but no one would take another child to raise, and so it remained in a tossed-out bag, passed by hundreds, as the whimpers grew silent. Please pray for the salvation of this nation. Ask God to bring hope to those living in desperation. Give praise to our God, who sees each life and loves each one. He is the light for this darkness."

BHUTAN. The population of Bhutan is approximately 700,000, and it is estimated that 75 percent of the people follow Buddhism and the remaining 25 percent follow some form of Hinduism. The Bhutanese people are known for being warm and hospitable, yet the vast majority have never been introduced to the One who gave His own life for them. "Father, we know that You are already working in the hearts of Buddhists in Bhutan. Lead Your servants to meet these men and women of peace. Orchestrate divine appointments that will reveal Buddhists who are willing to open their homes to the Gospel for the purpose of salvation. We pray that new churches will start in their homes."

DIASPORA. There are an estimated 1.5 million Bengali Muslims in Saudi Arabia. Typically these male migrant workers from Bangladesh are on a two- to four-year contract. They are treated poorly and have to work long hours, six days a week, doing various types of blue-collar jobs: construction, assembly work, street cleaning, driving or janitorial work. Give thanks to the Lord that there are a few Muslim-background believers among the workers. Pray for continued boldness for the Muslim-background believers who are seeking to share the Good News among their Bengali friends. Pray that many Bengali Muslims will come to know Jesus while working in Saudi Arabia and will carry the Good News back to their extended families in their home country.

INDIA. This year, Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, will be in August. Workers in one state in India are trying to get permission to show two movies about Jesus on television stations geared towards Muslims. One station refused. The other requested to see the films first. Please pray that they would watch the films and that God would open their hearts to the truth of the message. Pray that God would grant workers favor with the stations so that the films could be shown multiple times during the month of August at a reasonable price. Time is drawing near and much needs to be done after permission is granted and a contract signed. Please pray for this project, as it could give many Muslims in the state the opportunity to hear the message of salvation during their holy month.

MALDIVES. Last month you prayed for tourists who visit Maldives to share the Good News with the islanders. The second largest industry in Maldives is fishing. Many villagers in the outer islands depend on fishing and subsistence farming for survival. Pray that these fishermen and farmers would have dreams and visions of Jesus who said, "Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Mark 1:17). Pray that they would encounter a believer this year who would share the Good News with them.

NEPAL. Two cross-cultural workers saw *Maya lying on the side of the road and were moved to compassion. They prayed and called for help. "When I arrived on the scene, I recoiled at the stench and gasped when I saw a gaping valley of rotting flesh across the back of her neck. It was so deep and wide,almost involuntarily, I said out loud, 'Someone has tried to cut her head off.' After a few seconds to gain my composure, I then saw an oily black mess of chains, wires and twine lying in a pile on the ground. When I looked closer, I could see an assortment of religious amulets and large tufts of matted hair that had to be cut away to remove the disgusting mess of physical and spiritual bondage." The Body of Christ began to work together, and today Maya is alive and being well cared for. Pray that Maya and the millions of others trapped by Satan's lies would be freed from the chains that enslave them as they come to know Jesus who sets the captives free and gives life everlasting.

*pseudonym

PAKISTAN. Recently workers in Pakistan were involved in helping with community development among the Gypsies of Pakistan. Gypsies in Pakistan are sometimes nomadic, although they normally live in tent villages on the outskirts of various cities. They speak their own languages and often have their own culture. They beg, work as laborers for minimal pay, and do whatever they can to earn a living. Very few people are working to alleviate their suffering. Several national believers from Gypsy backgrounds are working among these communities. Workers have recently teamed up with these nationals in order to build wells and latrines in one community where otherwise there were few facilities. Seed was sown and follow-up is being conducted. Please pray for these "least of the least," asking that they will come to know Him who for their sakes became poor, so that they through His poverty might become rich (see 2 Corinthians 8:9).

SRI LANKA. While the Mappilla people group is mainly concentrated in various parts of India - Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu - more than 5,000 of them call Sri Lanka home. Classified as an unreached people group, with less than two percent evangelical, the Mappilla need your prayers. Please intercede for this group of Sunni Islamic followers, asking that Jesus will reveal Himself to them through dreams and visions. Ask God to lead international Christians to Mappilla families, and pray that they will be able to share the truth of the Gospel with them. Pray that Mappilla hearts will be open to receive the forgiveness offered by the Savior.

DECCANI MUSLIMS OF INDIA. Over the last month or so, workers have traveled over the Deccan Plateau of southern India. They have spent time meeting recent believers and sharing the Good News among the Deccani Muslims. Thank the Lord for the growth and maturity coming to the recent believers. Some are actively reading and obeying God's Word. Some Konkani Shaikh Muslims have responded to the Gospel, as have some Marathi-speaking Shaikh Muslims. In other areas, Urdu-speaking Shaikh Muslims have been responding. It has been exciting to see this taking place, as these people groups have been classified as Unengaged Unreached People Groups (UUPGs). God is at work among the Deccani Muslims in answer to your prayers. Praise the Lord for the powerfulness of His Word!

JAT SIKHS OF INDIA. Eight Jat Sikh girls recently joined an English language class. J, their teacher, recently began teaching at the school. She began to tell them about Jesus. One of them told her, "I was looking for someone who could tell me about Jesus, but I never met anyone before now who could tell me about Him." J got each girl a New Testament. They all started to read eagerly as soon as they received it. By the next morning, each girl had read at least seven chapters. One girl had read the entire Book of Matthew. She has decided to follow Jesus no matter what. The other girls want to follow Jesus, too, but they are a bit concerned about their families. Please pray that these girls and their entire families will come to know the Lord Jesus personally. Pray that they will continue to grow in Him as they pray and read the New Testament. Pray that other Jat Sikhs will also have a hunger for the Good News and for followers of Jesus to share with them.

SOUTH ASIAN PEOPLES."The India Ministry of Labor and Employment reported that a woman's daily wage for unskilled labor averages $1.25 - three-fourths of a man's wages for equal work. As a result, it is difficult for women to find jobs that can support an entire family. Many times young widows with children, abused women, and women living in hopeless situations reluctantly turn to prostitution to feed their families and pay the rent. Pray that exploited women throughout South Asia will hear the Gospel, respond in faith, and share the Good News with their friends, co-workers and families. Pray for teams of women in South Asian countries who are sharing the Gospel with exploited women. Pray that more Christians will understand the immense needs facing exploited women and children and will seek ways to end their suffering."

SOUTH ASIAN UNENGAGED PEOPLES. "This month, we are again asking you to pray for the Devanga of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, India. The Devanga are a Telugu-speaking Hindu group of people who were traditionally weavers. Churches in the United States are being challenged to adopt and become involved in reaching unengaged unreached people groups (UUPGs) around the world. We ask you to pray that the Devanga will be one of these groups that are adopted and engaged by a church in the U.S. Pray that God will lay these people upon the hearts of the U.S. congregation that He desires to use in reaching the Devanga."

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National Award-Winning Columnist Quin Hillyer Joins University of Mobile as Writer-in-Residence

MOBILE, Ala. (University of Mobile)--National award-winning columnist Quin Hillyer, whose insights into American politics have made him a "must-read" for politicians, policy makers and political observers, has been named Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mobile.

Hillyer joins the university's Center for Leadership and the Twelve23 Movement, a grassroots project to transform the nation through revitalizing Christian faith and character in America. The movement is bringing national attention to the goal of helping leaders in a variety of professions fulfill their responsibility to God as American citizens.

Hillyer will write a weekly column, "Current Events with Quin Hillyer," which will address important issues facing the nation. To receive the free email column, go to www.twelve23.org and click on "sign up."

In addition, Hillyer will serve as a guest lecturer at the University of Mobile, a 50-year-old Christian university located in Mobile, Alabama, with an enrollment of more than 1,700 students.

University of Mobile President Dr. Mark Foley said Hillyer's nationally recognized ability to analyze and comment upon important issues from the viewpoint of a compassionate conservative will help the university achieve its goal of empowering individuals to take a stand for what is right.

"Quin has an insider's knowledge of how politics in America really works, and the effects policymakers have on our national character. He brings a unique ability to communicate important insights to American citizens who are concerned about the way our nation has drifted from its foundational principles," Foley said.

Hillyer said he looks forward to participating in the life of the university and the Twelve23 Movement.

"I think that the United States is at a time of great challenge, and I think the answers to the challenges will come not from Washington D.C., but from citizens across the land getting involved in the civic realm and applying their faith and their values to matters not just political, but more broadly cultural. Through its Twelve23 Movement and its Center for Leadership, the University of Mobile is merging educational contemplation with real action, and joining faith with freedom. The educational mission of a good university is essential for cultural renewal. This university can be at the forefront of that effort, and I want to be a part of that mission," Hillyer said.

Dr. Joe Savage, director of the Center for Leadership, said the university currently distributes a weekly email aimed at encouraging educators, and "Current Events with Quin Hillyer" will expand the university's influence into the political and cultural realm.

Quin Hillyer is a Senior Fellow for The Center for Individual Freedom, and a Senior Editor for the American Spectator magazine. He has won mainstream awards for journalistic excellence at the local, state, regional and national levels. He has been published professionally in well over 50 publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle, Investors Business Daily, National Review, the Weekly Standard, Human Events, and The New Republic Online.

He is a former editorial writer and columnist for the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, the Mobile Register, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and a former managing editor of Gambit Weekly in New Orleans. He has appeared dozens of times as a television analyst in Washington, D.C., Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana, and as a guest many hundreds of times on national and local radio shows.

Hillyer also has worked in professional or volunteer capacities in dozens of political campaigns, and served for five years as press secretary for U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston of New Orleans. He was an original executive board member of the internationally acclaimed Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, formed to halt the then-meteoric political rise of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Hillyer also has volunteered in leadership roles for numerous church, civic and educational organizations. He is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, and is a Fellow of the Loyola University (New Orleans) Institute of Politics and of Leadership Coastal Alabama. He is married to the former Therese Robinson of Mobile.

For more information about the University of Mobile Center for Leadership and the Twelve23 Movement, visit www.twelve23.org or call (251) 675-7551. For more information about the University of Mobile, visit www.umobile.edu or call (251) 442-2222.

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Two by Two "VanGO"

By Mike Midkiff

MARSHALL, Texas (East Texas Baptist University)--Two East Texas Baptist University graduates are traveling from city to city, much like the appointed 72 in chapter 10 of the Gospel of Luke. Stacie Hooks of Crystal Beach, Texas, and Jenna Jones of Lumberton, Texas, have journeyed over the past six months through Baton Rouge, Hammond, and Springfield, La., Mobile, Ala., Miami, Fla., Savanna, Ga., Chattanooga, Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., and Tulsa, Okla., trying to show true compassion to those they encounter.

Hooks and Jones, after finishing their time at ETBU, believed God called them both to go and spread the Gospel to the United States. They both either sold or traded their personal vehicles in order to obtain a van. Then in September 2010, with a white Ford van as their transportation and home, they have gone "two by two before His face into every city and place (Luke 10:1)." They call the ministry, "VanGo." Why? "A friend gave us the name," said Jones, who graduated in May 2010. "The name has stuck with us because that is our ministry in a small nutshell… a van going," added Hooks, who graduated in May 2009.

In a video posted on their blog (www.whoismyneighborvango.blogspot.com), Hooks describes the ministry in this way: "VanGo is two girls, Jenna and I, living in a van, traveling around the nation, city to city, trying to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in whatever way it needs to be done." The two depend on the Lord to provide gas and food as they travel.

Hooks and Jones are going city to city asking the Lord to show them their neighbor who has been overlooked, much like the Good Samaritan.

"We took the command found in the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 'Go and do likewise' seriously," said Jones. "Jesus tells his disciples to carry nothing with them and go town to town telling cities and individuals, 'The kingdom of God is near.'"

Jones played soccer for ETBU and served as team captain. Her degree is in Kinesiology. Hooks has a degree in Mass Communication. She served a year on campus as the Baptist Student Ministry intern upon graduation.

"When we arrive in a new city, we spend our first few days seeking the Lord in prayer over the city, asking for direction on what He would have us to do. If we have a contact in that city, we meet with them or meet with churches and other ministries to gain wisdom and insight on the needs and hurts of the city," said Hooks.

"As we do this, God leads us to people, areas, and groups to invest in. What we do looks different in every city we have been to so far," said Hooks. "Sometimes we work alongside ministries already at work and have been led to people and areas that have not yet been reached, but in every city, our heart is to show and tell people that there is more to this life than this world's temporary treasures."

Both young ladies agree that back in September 2010, they had no clue what the ministry would look like or what they would be doing. During the first six months of their year journey, God has made it clear to them that He is in control of all things.

When the "VanGo" duo enters a new city, they usually do not know anyone. As they have met other Christ believers in each city, they have found themselves walking side by side, having the same purpose, telling others about Jesus Christ.

"Our routes are tentative for a reason," said Jones. "The Lord is the one who guides us, sets up divine appointments, and carries us through this journey. We have offered him a willing spirit and are just trying to be obedient to whatever he sets before us."

"We have watched God do work in all of the cities we have been to in different ways," said Hooks. "One thing that we have loved watching throughout all the cities is the way in which the body of Christ truly works together," added Jones.

"In Baton Rouge, we were able to show some love to the kids in the ghetto who were overlooked by their parents. In Mobile, we sat on benches in downtown and talked for days with a few homeless people named Pat, Robbie, Nancy, and J.P. We watched as God reminded them that He has greater plans for them," said Hooks.

Jones added, "In Miami, we worked beside a ministry that was just beginning and saw God encourage them that they were not alone. In Atlanta, we brought bags of groceries to small families in the ghetto and watched God answer prayers in people's lives."

The "VanGo" ministry has tentative plans to travel over the next six months to Colorado Springs and Denver, Colo., Salt Lake City, Utah, Boise, Idaho, Bend, Ore., Tacoma and Pullman, Wash., Minneapolis, Minn., Chicago, Ill., and St. Louis, Mo.

"One of the hardest parts for us as we leave each city, is not knowing what will come of the people that we have encountered, but we trust that the Lord will complete the good work that he has started in the places we have been," concluded Hooks.

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Criswell's series on great doctrines offered through online study

By Tammi Reed Ledbetter

DALLAS (Criswell College)--A study of biblical doctrines is the foundation of Christian life and Christian living, explained W.A. Criswell as he addressed his congregation at First Baptist Church of Dallas in the fall of 1980. "If the foundation is strong and correct, then the superstructure above it can be likewise strong and correct. But if the foundation be weak and untrue, then the walls of the life built upon it will surely collapse."

Concerned that his people build their lives on the sure foundations of God, Criswell devoted the next three years to a series of sermons on the Great Doctrines of the Bible, turning to Titus 2:10 for his initial text--"that we may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things."

Utilizing Criswell's own sermons as the central focus of the curriculum, Criswell College is offering college-level courses online in the Great Doctrines of the Bible. Students will progress through major points of theology to become equipped for further ministry and study.

After reviewing Criswell's sermons in preparation for the class, Pastoral Theology Professor James W. Bryant was amazed at the breadth of knowledge the legendary pastor communicated as he delivered the messages in the pulpit of First Baptist Church of Dallas.

"His encyclopedic interest and knowledge is impressive," Bryant said, praising the timeless illustrations and skillful exposition. "His knowledge of English, Hebrew, Greek and Latin are breathtaking."

"Our target group for these courses will be laymen and pastors who have not had any formal theological training," Bryant said, anticipating enrollment of many bi-vocational pastors and church leaders from around the world. Bryant added that pastors who have had theological training may want to audit these courses to sharpen their preaching of doctrine.

Courses will be offered throughout each of the fall, spring and summer semesters. Students research each topic for eight weeks participating in online forums, interacting with students and professors, and accessing all materials, sermons, writings, and videos online at www.wacriswell.com. Selections from Charles Ryrie's Basic Theology will be provided to students as part of the course materials under an agreement with Moody Press.

The eight-week classes in the basic certificate are offered in sequence, addressing Bibliology, Theology Proper and Angelology, Christology, and finally, Pneumatology and the Christian Life. Advanced study addresses Ecclesiology, Soteriology, Stewardship, Prayer and Eschatology.

Students who are enrolled in degree programs at the college will pay $783 per class. Those interested in auditing pay $300 per course and do not need to apply for enrollment. Upon successful completion of the first series of classes, students will earn a Great Doctrines of the Bible Certificate, with the Advanced Certificate awarded those who complete the additional courses.

For more information call 214-818-1392 or email admission@criswell.edu. A link to online courses is available at www.criswell.edu.

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Cumberlands PA Program Hosts Med Campers

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (University of the Cumberlands)--For the past three years University of the Cumberlands (UC) Physicians Assistant (PA) Program has teamed up with Baptist Regional Medical Center (BRMC) to help students that the hospital hosts during their annual Med Camp. Both institutions have a common goal of reaching out to the community to provide a helping hand which has created this special bond between both programs.

The Med Camp brings in high school students that are juniors and seniors that have an interest in joining the medical field. The camp provides campers the opportunity to see what occurs behind the scenes at the hospital by learning surgery procedures, observing surgeries as they take place, observing in the maternity department, working in radiology, etc. All students receive an added bonus as they also earn their certification in CPR.

"Baptist Regional Medical Center is proud to offer the program," exclaimed BRMC Marketing Department/Communications employee Tiffany Sharp. "We feel it's a good opportunity for the campers to see the medical field behind the scenes to help them make a decision about their future careers."

The camp is focused around the hospital starting on Sunday and ending on Friday. In addition to rotations, participants have the opportunity to see how the EMS and helicopter operations work behind the scenes. On the last day camper's parents are invited back to watch their child in a graduation ceremony.

"The camp is a way for us to partner with the community to bring students back to rural areas," said BRMC Marketing Director Debbie Hardin.

During each Med Camp the campers travel to Williamsburg, KY to visit Cumberlands PA program. The PA program is always involved in community service projects and this provides a great way for the PA students to help out those that look up to them.

"We are happy to do this for the community and encourage young people to go into healthcare professions," stated UC associate professor of the PA program Kathleen Flynn, PA-C.

UC PA students that took part in the program were: Nathan Bennett (Frakes/Williamsburg, KY), Suzanne Benninger (Louisville, KY), Danielle Jeffries (Knoxville, TN), Katie Leniham (Edgewood, KY), Stuart Mack (Williamsburg, KY), Cynthia Nwachukwu (Douglasville, GA), and Jason Smith (Woolum, KY).

While on campus the camper's knowledge is tested by having to perform check-ups on the UC PA students while they attempt to diagnose what is wrong with them based on the symptoms. Campers are also given information on different parts of the body and have the opportunity to sit in on a class lecture. An overview of the UC Physicians Assistant program provides the background knowledge that the campers need to see if becoming a PA would be a good fit for them if they choose to enter the medical field.

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at University of the Cumberlands is offered under a cohort system with course work to be completed over twenty-four months. Of the 101 credit hours in the program, sixty-one hours are earned through didactics coursework in a traditional classroom and laboratory setting. All didactics coursework takes place on the university campus in the Forcht Medical Wing of the Correll Science Complex. The remaining forty hours are earned during the second year in the program through eight supervised clinical rotations in the field.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; nine graduate degrees, including two doctorates, a specialist, and six master's degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

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