BP Ledger, July 8 edition

Baptist Press
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Posted: Jul 08, 2013 4:52 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.M

Today's BP Ledger contains items from:

Harvest Ministries/LifeWay Films

Open Doors USA

Harvest Ministries, Lifeway Films partner to host on-demand events

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Harvest Ministries) -- A new film from Harvest Ministries (www.harvest.org), "Hope for Hurting Hearts," tells the true stories of how Greg Laurie, Cathe Laurie, Jeremy Camp, Nick Vujicic and their families dealt with times of extreme suffering but found hope in the midst of it. The film will make its world premiere via free, on-demand events hosted by Lifeway Films, from July 10-14.

With narration by Dr. James Dobson, "Hope for Hurting Hearts" shares how each of the individuals featured stood at a spiritual crossroads marked by challenging and painful circumstances, and how each chose the road of trusting, following, and glorifying God.

"Everyone experiences pain and difficulty in life," said Pastor Greg Laurie. "Hardship knocks on the door of the wealthy and the poor, the great and the small, the elite and the outcast. But Scripture offers true and lasting hope for hurting hearts, and it's our privilege to share that message of hope. That's why we've created this film and are partnering with LifeWay for the free worldwide premiere."

He and his wife Cathe experienced incredible heartbreak at the unexpected death of their eldest son in 2008. Since then, the Lauries have been sharing their story of hope in God and eternal life in heaven. After Dove Award-winning Christian musician Jeremy Camp tragically lost his first wife to cancer, he wrote the hit song, "I Still Believe." Nick Vujicic, born without arms or legs, is the President and CEO of Life Without Limbs, a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing Nick's life-changing message of hope found in Jesus Christ.

"We've all experienced devastating and painful situations, but we've learned through these circumstances that you can still have hope and faith," Laurie added. "We wanted to help share that message with a hurting world and make it freely available to as many people as possible."

"Audience members will be encouraged by these intensely personal and intimate accounts, which give a glimpse into God's perspective on suffering, and declare that there truly is hope for hurting hearts," said producer Gary Zelasko.

The film was produced by the same award-winning team behind Laurie's biographical "Lost Boy: The Next Chapter," which took eight international film festival awards. Through the innovative web-based world premiere screening with Lifeway Films, churches, small groups, and individuals are all invited to participate.

The film's website, hope.harvest.org, offers more information, including registration for the world premiere, the film's trailer and the opportunity to pre-order the film on DVD. Lifeway will provide proven, one-on-one customer service/technical help leading up to and during the event.

"We are excited about the free world premiere of 'Hope for Hurting Hearts,'" said Scott Mills, Director of Lifeway Films. "The film will encourage Christian believers who are going through a valley and provide new hope for those who don't yet know Christ. It is an honor to partner with Harvest to bring this film to churches and individuals. Our desire is to see many hearts changed for His glory."

With nearly 1,000 churches and other venues already signed up for the premiere, the film will function as a "test run" for this fall's Harvest America Crusade to be broadcast and simulcast from Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center Sept. 28-29. Now in its 24th year of leading national and international Christian revivals, Harvest Crusades (www.harvest.org) with Pastor Greg Laurie (www.harvest.org/newsroom/greg-laurie/biography.html) will host the two-day event where our nation once faced its own historic and spiritual crossroads.

Laurie is the senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, one of the largest churches in the U.S. Laurie is also the founder and evangelist for Harvest Crusades, evangelistic outreach events that have drawn some 4.7 million people to stadiums and arenas around the world since 1990. Laurie serves on the board of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Several hundred Philadelphia-area churches have already committed to participate in the live event, and training for pastors and volunteers is already underway. A schedule of upcoming events and a volunteer registration form are available online at philly.harvest.org.

Besides conducting evangelistic outreaches, Harvest Ministries produces "A New Beginning," an international radio program with messages by Laurie. In addition, television specials featuring past Harvest Crusade events air internationally on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and a weekly television program (greglaurie.tv) is available online at www.harvest.org and airing every Friday evening on both TBN and the Church Channel, as well as on ROKU and the Harvest app. Laurie serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, based in Riverside, Calif., which oversees Harvest Crusades. The ministry exists for the sole purpose of presenting the life-changing message of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible, and to help believers mature in their faith. More information is available at www.harvest.org.

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David Curry named president/CEO of Open Doors USA

SANTA ANA, Calif. (Open Doors USA) -- David Curry has been appointed the new president/CEO of Open Doors USA, according to the Open Doors USA Board of Directors. Open Doors, which will celebrate 60 years of ministry in 2015, is an international ministry which supports and strengthens persecuted Christians in some of the most dangerous countries in the world.

Curry has previously served as CEO of The Rescue Mission in Tacoma, WA. He will begin his new duties at Open Doors USA on Aug. 1.

"After an extensive search involving an impressive group of highly qualified candidates, the Open Doors USA Board of Directors is delighted that Dr. David Curry will be our new president/CEO," board chairperson Roger Spoelman said. "During interviews board members were impressed with his spiritual maturity and leadership capability which he demonstrated in previous roles. He clearly has a passion for persecuted Christians around the world. The board is excited about the future of the ministry under the leadership of Dr. Curry."

Curry said: "It's an honor to serve alongside those who stand for their faith against great opposition. Open Doors is doing incredibly important work to support and advocate for those persecuted for their faith.

"For many years I have been troubled and concerned about the increasing persecution Christians have faced for their faith, and the neglect by some governments to take a stand. While I've always been an advocate for the persecuted church, it's my belief that the next generation will see even greater persecution. As a result, we need a deeper awareness to support and advocate for those who face prison or even death for their faith in Jesus Christ."

According to Curry, his vision includes "continuing to increase Open Doors' effectiveness in serving persecuted believers. In addition, Open Doors USA will be striving to communicate to people in the United States the challenges Christians face around the world in order to live their faith in freedom."

Curry added that his eight years as CEO at The Rescue Mission and his position as president of the Foundation for Grace, an organization which provided leadership and management training to non-profit groups in South America, will serve him well in his Open Doors presidency.

"My whole life and calling have been about serving those who are suffering, living in despair and who are placed in really challenging circumstances," he states. "Serving with the Foundation for Grace placed me in the position of service to impoverished pastors in the Third World; assisting, training and supporting them in their important work. Serving the homeless and hurting further deepened my resolve that God's love extends to everyone, and that everyone should have the ability to experience and grow in their spiritual journey regardless of socio-economic strata, ethnicity or nationality. These are all parts of my experiences that I will bring to my ministry at Open Doors in assisting those who desire to serve Jesus in freedom."

Curry is an expert on the subject of ethical leadership and life transformation and has addressed such diverse groups as Fortune 500 company AT&T, the Congress of Peru, drug-recovery programs and social workers in the Amazon jungle. He is the author of four books, including his new book First Aid for Enablers. His other books are: It's Not How Far You Fall It's How High You Bounce, God Plays Golf and Change Your World!

His family includes his wife Kate and sons Jack, 17, and Cole, 15.

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