INTERSECT | WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY – Nov 28, 2018

Election Update:

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Epsy in Mississippi’s runoff Senate election yesterday. The win gives the GOP a 53-47 majority in the Senate over the Democrats. While this does little to impact the advantage the Republicans have going into 2019, it does give them more breathing room in both their legislative agenda and in the ability to confirm Federal judges. Please remember to pray for all members of the 116th Congress, especially the first year members and those in key leadership positions.

In this week's Intersect, read about:


US Missionary Killed by ‘World’s Most Isolated’ Tribe

A 26-year-old American missionary was killed on a remote island off the coast of India, where he attempted to share the Gospel with the most isolated tribe in the world. All Nations, a Christian missions agency based in the US, confirmed that John Allen Chau traveled to North Sentinel Island after years of study and training to evangelize its small indigenous population, who remain almost entirely untouched by modern civilization. According to news reports based on Chau’s journal entries, the Oral Roberts University graduate shouted, “My name is John, and I love you, and Jesus loves you,” to Sentinelese tribesmen armed with bows and arrows. He fled to a fishing boat when they shot at him during his initial visit, with one arrow piercing his Bible. The young missionary did not survive a follow-up trip on November 17. read more

THINK.
He gave his life so others might know about eternal life. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity calculates that Christians sent out approximately 400,000 international missionaries in 2010. The US sent the most with 127,000 and Brazil came in second with 34,000. However, the US also received the most – 32,400. Chau wrote a letter to his parents before his death that read, “You guys might think I'm crazy in all this but I think it's worth it to declare Jesus to these people,” he wrote in the letter to his parents. “Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed. Rather please live your lives in obedience to whatever he has called you to, and I'll see you again when you pass through the veil. This is not a pointless thing - the eternal lives of this tribe are at hand, and I can't wait to see them around the throne of God worshiping in their own language as Revelations 7:9-10 states. I love you all, and I pray none of you love anything in this world more than Jesus Christ.” Missionaries change eternity though we don’t always hear about them presently. But we pray Chau was able to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) when he entered heaven.

PRAY.
Pray for Chau’s family as they mourn his death and for the fisherman who aided Chau in reaching the island now being held while Chau’s death is investigated. Pray that they would be released. And most importantly, pray Chau’s story and his boldness for the Gospel would live on and bring the Gospel to others.

ACT.
Chau was supported by All Nations, an organization that supports 150 missionaries in 31 countries across the world. Sign-up for their newsletter to learn more about their work and be inspired by the stories of others who are sharing the Gospel around the globe.


Number of Abortions in US Declines to Lowest Level Since 2006

The number of abortions in the United States dropped sharply from 2006 to 2015, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The government data shows that the number of abortions dropped 24 percent to 638,169 over that nine-year period. The rate of abortions also declined, from 15.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 to 11.8 abortions for the same amount of women in that age group in 2015.” read more

THINK.
A study released back in 2017 found that nearly half of all 55.7 million estimated abortions around the world were performed in an unsafe manner. Half are unsafe for the mother, but every abortion is deadly to the child. 70 percent of American women who have had an abortion indicate their religious preference is Christian. Research indicates that one of the primary reasons women get an abortion has to do with “managing an array of responsibilities using only limited resources.” It is hard to consider the beautiful future of your child when you can’t even deal with current circumstances that come with bearing a child (Jeremiah 1, Psalm 139). Providing space to have hope about the future might serve as one of the greatest weapons in the fight for life. Where there is hope, there is an opportunity to choose life.

PRAY.
Pray today for the women who are considering abortion. Pray for God to bring people into their lives who will help ease their burden of all the varying responsibilities, and help them choose life.

ACT.
We encourage you to get involved with a pro-life organization to be part of the solution to ending abortions. Save the Storks is a fantastic organization that outlines 6 simple ways you can get involved. See if there is a “Stork Mobile” near you.


Hundreds of Migrants Apparently Try Rushing Toward California Port of Entry, as Trump threatens to Close Entire Border

Images and videos posted on social media Sunday afternoon showed hundreds of migrants from the leading Central American caravan pushing past Mexican riot police and rushing the border at the port of entry in San Ysidro, Calif., in a major test for both U.S. border authorities and Mexican officials. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it suspended northbound and southbound crossings for both pedestrians and vehicles at the San Ysidro port of entry at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time. It later tweeted that the pedestrian crossings had re-opened, a little more than four hours after the initial closure. The vehicle lanes re-opened at approximately 5 p.m. local time, five-and-a-half hours after they were closed. CBP added that some demonstrators "attempted to illegally enter the U.S. through both the northbound and southbound vehicle lanes at the port of entry itself. Those persons were stopped and turned back to Mexico." read more

THINK.
As you might expect, divisions have emerged regarding this latest news. The divisions center around this question – who are these people? Numbering upwards of 8,000,  some say they are asylum seekers, others say criminals, but God says they are mine. For the asylum seeker contingent, they want the migrants to have the chance to present their case to the 334 immigration judges in the immigration courts. Currently, there are 714,067 pending immigration cases. Others believe they are criminals, throwing rocks at the wall and endangering US border officials. According to Justice Department data from the last 5 available years, approximately 25 to 40 percent of non-detained migrants don’t attend their immigration court date. Instead of proceeding through the US system, they just enjoy the privileges of the US. In his latest book, The Dignity Revolution, Dan Darling writes: “God is calling all of us not just to see that people have dignity, but to act accordingly. Not just to know, but to do.” As Christians, we should respect the law but also recognize the dignity of each and every person. Even in their wrong, God still recognized Adam and Eve in the garden. He acknowledged them despite their disobedience to him. Entry to this great country is a privilege, not a right. But to whom much is given, much will be required (Genesis 2:4-3:24, Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:17).

PRAY.
Pray for the border patrol agents and military who witness difficult situations and try to balance justice with mercy. Pray for their protection as they do their job. Pray for those seeking to cross the border, that their physical needs would be met and they would understand there are laws to be followed. Pray for the safety and protection of the children involved, that they would not be used or trafficked. And pray for our lawmakers to have the wisdom to correct the problems with our current immigration system.

ACT.
What is the difference between a refugee and someone seeking asylum and how does the process work in the US? This is a helpful resource to understand some of the critical questions regarding those who seek to gain entry into this country.


Advent Begins This Sunday

This Sunday marks the first day of the Advent season. Advent is traditionally celebrated each of the four Sundays before Christmas as a means of preparing our hearts for the miraculous birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The word Advent is derived from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” read more

THINK.
Is the tradition of Advent celebrated in your family or at your church? Though it is not a mandated observance in Scripture, there are profitable reasons to consider making Advent part of your holiday rhythm. This article gives seven potential benefits of observing Advent as you prepare for this Christmas season.

PRAY.
Father, meet me in the waiting, the place where I long for what is not fully in view. Still my heart and give me the ability to know that You are near. I believe Your plans are good. I see it in the birth of Your only Son. But sometimes I struggle to see beyond the haze that surrounds me. Renew my confidence as I lift my eyes to You. Be glorified in my life during this season of expectation. Amen. (Prayer by Louie Giglio)

ACT.
Start a new Christmas tradition on December 1st. The book of Luke has 24 chapters. Commit to reading one chapter every day, and when you wake up on the morning of Christmas, you’ll have read about the life of Jesus and why we celebrate the King of Kings!