Diary of a Rescue

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Intervening on behalf of those lured into slavery isn’t all about infiltrating brothels and kicking down doors in police raids. Rescue is perhaps more bureaucracy than action and for every person set free, there is a great deal of behind-the-scenes coordination, research, and preparation. Here’s an office-eye-view of one rescue. The Table The staff who will soon gather around this table work for an NGO that secures justice for vulnerable groups including the poor living in urban slums, bond slaves and sex slaves. But what makes JVI unique is its chameleon-esque adaptability. JVI teams survey the needs of a particular city and seek to help where nothing currently exists, partnering with a wide variety of other organizations. In one city, they provide legal support and representation for men who are destined for life in prison without ever going to trial. In another, they help provide freedom-producing work to victims of … Read More

Entire SIM South Sudan Team Safely Evacuated Amidst Unrest

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28 December 2016 We praise God for a safe evacuation on 27 December of our entire South Sudan team out of Doro with the assistance of AIM AIR and our SIM Crisis Management Team. Following several days of unrest between the refugee communities and the host community, our 18 adults and five children safely arrived in Kenya from South Sudan, thanks to the courageous and coordinated response of AIM AIR pilots and flight crew. “Member care services have been activated and we had people meeting the Doro team at the airport in Nairobi. We have made arrangements for trauma counseling to ensure the mental health of our team. Thank you all for your prayers, we thank God for his protection over our people. We also thank the pilots of AIM Air for their willingness to fly in and get our people. Please keep in your prayers the South Sudanese who … Read More

Crossing Barriers to Filipino Muslims

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Ibrahim, a former Filipino Muslim, and his wife Mae are crossing cultural and religious barriers in Mindanao to support Islamic communities and the people who serve them. Through local arts, storytelling and the House of Barnabas retreat center they are hoping to introduce Muslim Filipinos to the prophet Isa – Jesus. I am a Storyteller He saw the group of university students from a distance and approached. They were packed into a crowded public area on a campus that is 98 percent Muslim students. Ibrahim approached them with a simple introduction. “I am a storyteller,” he said. They looked intrigued as he told them the Bible story of Jesus healing the paralytic man. Ibrahim pointed out that like the crowded house in the story, the students were also sitting elbow to elbow in the tight space. “We came to the part of the story where Jesus forgave the sins of … Read More

$5m Elwa Hospital a New Era for Liberian Healthcare

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by John Stuart 24 October 2016 Dr. John Fankhauser looks out over the tropical, 130-acre Eternal Love Winning All (ELWA) campus in Monrovia, Liberia. On one side of the street. the ELWA Hospital Executive Director sees the past – the old ELWA Hospital that was erected by SIM in 1965 to meet the medical needs of the local people. Since the old hospital opened, nearly 2.7 million people have flowed through the facility, receiving quality care in a country with one of the worst patient-doctor ratios in the world. Through multiple civil wars and most recently the Ebola epidemic, ELWA Hospital has remained true to its vision to “…glorify God by ministering to the whole person – the spirit, the soul and the body…” But after 51 years, the hospital facilities were tired and outdated. Fortunately, on the other side of the street lies the future of ELWA healthcare – … Read More

An Audience of 150,000 and Growing

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Each day, Getachew travels by motorbike into the refugee camps around Doro, South Sudan, to share the gospel and disciple new believers. Photo credit – Tim Coleman by Tim Coleman Hailing from Ethiopia, Getachew and his wife Tibarek were sent by their home church in Ethiopia to South Sudan where they serve with SIM as evangelists in Doro, Maban County. They make a mean cup of coffee, the Ethiopian way, naturally. Doro village is home to the Mabaan people who number up to 50,000. But since 2011, the population here has skyrocketed, as many have fled the civil war taking place in the neighbouring countries of Sudan. Today, the population in Doro village and the surrounding refugee camps is more than 150,000. For gifted evangelists such as Getachew, the movement of 16 different Sudanese tribes from hard to reach areas into a single refugee area, presents a wonderful opportunity. It’s an … Read More

Going Where There Is No Gospel in Central Asia

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by John Stuart “Julie” is part of a small group hoping to bring the word of God and maybe, one day, the first church among the Central Asian minority we call “Cheuasai”. As Julie watched the dance performance in the town square, a few locals approached. They struck up a conversation in the majority language, intrigued by the foreigner in their midst. Thankfully, Julie had been studying the language for some time and it felt good to speak to them in her limited fluency. She thought it was going well when the conversation took a different turn. “Can you speak our minority language?” one of them asked. Disappointed, Julie admitted that she didn’t know the language. “If you could speak our language, you would be amazing,” he said. In an area where many of the minority people can’t speak the majority language, the simple experience led her again to a powerful … Read More

SIM’s Danja Fistula Center Gives New Hope: International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 2016

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23 May 2016 Salome is the first person in her Nigerien family to attend school. “I came from a very poor family and I have worked hard to say that I’m the best student in my family,” she said. Her determination had twice earned her the top student award in her school. While she excelled in a variety of subjects, it had been her aspiration to become a doctor since primary school. However, these plans got side-tracked in the first year of her secondary school studies. During a school break she went to visit her grandmother’s village. As in customary in some parts of the country, Salome and her sister were subjected to female circumcision by family members. The surgery left lasting physical ailments for Salome, and because of her incontinence and shame she was not able to return to school. “I was crying day to night,” she said. “Crying … Read More

God’s Good Work: Dr. Vandana’s Story

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by Sarah K. Sitting behind the desk in her hospital office, Dr. Vandana points to a faded picture of a mousy girl. The girl’s clothes are slightly too big; they seem to swallow her, like the timidity clinging to her features. “No one wanted to be my friend,” Vandana recalls, laughing ruefully. She regularly failed exams and often found herself on the bench in class reserved for the worst performing students, which didn’t help her shyness. When her parents announced to relatives or neighbors their plans to make her a doctor, Vandana would look for a place to hide. It’s hard to find a trace of that girl as Vandana, now actually a doctor, bustles down one of the hospital’s outdoor corridors, her arms full of papers. She’s moving so quickly that her green dupatta (long scarf) and dark shoulder-length hair flutter out behind her in the morning breeze. It … Read More

My Story: Warren

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The Hat are a Central Asian minority whose Chinese-Islamic heritage and culture distinguishes them from the Majority populations in the countries in which they live. Numbering about 10.6 million, they are descendants of Muslim merchants from Persia and Arabia, as well as Muslim mercenary armies sent to support local dynasties. Pray for workers willing to go among them with humility, vulnerability and respect, helping them to learn how to follow Jesus as Hat.  Two Hat men – Photo courtesy of Tom Thai Warren’s restaurant was across the street from our home. He would often see me cycling around town or heading out to exercise.  One day as we ate in his restaurant Warren asked if he could exercise with me. We started cycling together once a week – sometimes for several hours at a time, followed by refreshments back at his restaurant. As our friendship deepened Warren shared about his … Read More