19 abril 2007

Kingdom geography.

thought one:
"Open Doors has just learned from a reliable source that the number of Christians in China has gone over the 100 million mark. "

"Approximately 10,000-25,000 come to Christ each day in China."

That's (approximately) the 2007 Superbowl attendance each week... the question is... after they "come to Christ" do they stay with Him? ay, for Shepherds! for TRUTH! for discerning! for cohesion, integrity, and LIFE change...

thought two:
"400-500 people attempt escape from North Korea to China each week.

While the risks are high for those trying to escape North Korea, the possible reward of freedom for many outweighs the danger of being imprisoned or executed for those caught. In 1994 alone, 3 million North Koreans died of starvation. [Although the famine has abated,] food shortages in North Korea continue to be a problem to this day. Additionally, the Stalinist government imprisons Christians caught worshipping or sharing their faith. Ten of thousands sent to prison camps face torture, extreme cold, and inhumane "medical" experiments."

from a 1997 pbs.org interview with the VP of World Vision:
"The other thing that we found very disturbing, and it's again an absence of something, on the streets of Huichon, a city two hours North of Pyongyang, close to the Chinese border--it's an industrial city of perhaps a quarter of a million people--we went to a hospital and saw malnourished children; we went to a kindergarten and saw malnourished children, but what we didn't see was something you see in every village, in every city in Asia, and that is elderly people.

Elderly people are revered in Asian culture, a very family centered culture. If you're not in a family, you don't exist sort of, but the elderly lead the families, and they're on the streets everywhere. There were almost no people over 60 anywhere in that city, and I found that to be very odd. And I asked about it, and the comment made to me by local officials and other people was that the elderly are keeping their grandchildren alive by not eating, and they're too weak to move around..."

talk about "push factors" for immigration...

thought three:

intensest places to be a Christian on Planet Earth in the year of our Lord 2007:
1. North Korea
2. Saudi Arabia
3. Iran
4. Somalia
5. Maldives
6. Yemen
7. Bhutan
8. Vietnam
9. Laos
10. Afghanistan

thought four:
"Arab evangelicals number about 2,000 in 30 churches in Palestine. 20 of those churches are located on the West Bank."

hmmm... irony: God CHOSE 2,000 Palestinians to be His people... to be our brothers. i love it.

thought five: Ezekiel = "the Lord will strengthen"
chpt. 34:11
'For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land [...]

15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. [...]

27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. 31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.

do i err in "redefining" Israel? but man, what a faith. what a God!