Sunday, November 03, 2013

The 3 - November 3, 2013

This week's edition of  "The 3" includes news of a massive prayer movement in the nation of Indonesia. Also, the Texas pro-life bill passed this summer was set to go into effect this week, and some last-minute court action threatened to prevent two provisions from moving forward, but a higher court allowed those to be implemented, as well, albeit temporarily.  And, churches across America and around the world celebrated Orphan Sunday this weekend.

3 - Prayer movement gains traction in Indonesia

An estimated five million Christians in Indonesia are participating in a non-stop effort of intercessory prayer encompassing some 500 cities.  Indonesia is home to 13 percent of the world's Muslim population and only 15 percent of the people in the island nation identify as Christians.  According to The Christian Post, organizers hope that the initiative will result in improved relations between Islam and Protestant believers.

Jeffrey Petrus, an organizer of the movement, according to, said that, "24 hours a day, we are praying for the churches in Indonesia, all pastors and leaders. No single hour or day passes without prayers for our country."

Prayer organizers have commissioned multistory buildings throughout the country for the multi-denominational initiative where several bunks have been set in place for intercessors. At the prayer sites, participants are able to take on four-hour shifts at a time with the option to rest then recharge for prayer again.

The World Prayer Assembly reports that the spiritual awakening effort has been taking place since 2009.  In 2012 alone, 100,000 Christians, including 20,000 trained child intercessors and 20,000 youth, gathered at the national stadium of the nation's capital city, Jakarta, for a large-scale prayer meeting that was televised live in 200 cities throughout the country.

Leslie Keegel, from the World Prayer Assembly, has said, according to the organization's website, "The nation of Indonesia in particular is the Asian nation God has chosen to be the epicenter for the world impacting global revival He is planning on sending on the nations. God has heard the cries of the Indonesian Church, seen the tears and the blood of her saints poured out like a river."

The Post report indicates that Christians still feel threatened by the Indonesian government even though they can exercise their right of religious freedom. Contributing factors for their concerns include the difficulty to register their churches versus the less challenging process for mosques. In addition, Muslims who convert to Christianity often times leave Islam as their religion on their identification cards in order to not be ostracized.

2 - Texas pro-life law goes into effect; 2 parts initially struck down, then upheld by appeals court

Last summer, the Texas Legislature, after an unprecedented blocking move by pro-abortion advocates toward the end of its regular sessions, passed a pro-life bill which not only banned abortion at 20 weeks gestation, which is the point in an unborn child's development at which he or she feels pain, but also enacted new restrictions for abortion clinics.

On Monday, the day before the entire law was scheduled to go into effect, a Federal district court struck down the provisions that abortionist have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics and that they follow FDA procedures on the administering of abortion-inducing drugs.

On Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the two provisions that had been previously blocked could be implemented as the case against those portions of the law, filed by Planned Parenthood, moves forward.   According to CitizenLink, the 5th Circuit said the state demonstrated “strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits of that part of the law concerning admitting privileges.”   Fox News reports that the panel's decision means as least 12 clinics in the state would not be able to perform the procedure due to the admitting privileges provision.

The CitizenLink piece quotes Americans United for Life Action (AULA) President Charmaine Yoest as saying that, “Asking abortionists to follow the laws created for out-patient medical facilities is a low bar for an invasive medical procedure that can have life-threatening complications.”   AULA reports also that more than 2,200 have faced complications from chemical abortion drugs. Eight of these women died from severe bacterial infections that would not otherwise place healthy women in danger.   

1 - Churches celebrate Orphan Sunday

This weekend, thousands of churches across the country are observing Orphan Sunday.   According to the initiative's website, the purpose of the day is for churches across America and beyond to celebrate the love of the God who “places the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6) and calls us to do the same.  Ultimately, Orphan Sunday seeks to make the Gospel visible as Christians explore and respond to God’s heart for the orphan in adoption, foster care, and global orphan ministry. 
According to, the campaign is getting a public boost from Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. He and his wife, Mary Beth, adopted three little girls from China and lost one in a tragic accident.
The Chapman family has a ministry, Show Hope, that offers guidance to people considering adoption and to help them face the unexpected challenges.

CBN quotes Jodi Jackson Tucker, the international director of Orphan Sunday, who said adoption is one way Christians can care for needy children. Tucker has adopted five children.

"When you adopt a child, under the biblical view that is a covenant relationship that can never be broken," Tucker told the Associated Press.

To that end, she said it's important to make sure Christians adopt orphans for the right reason. And that reason is to offer them a committed, loving family.

On the website of the originators of Orphan Sunday, the Christian Alliance for Orphans, Jedd Medefind reported on some of the plans for the celebration.

For example, he relates that a number of churches will be celebrating Orphan Sunday for the first time in Nigeria this year. For instance, a gathering in the city of Jos included eleven pastors of churches in the region, who met to discuss, among other things, the major cultural and practical barriers to local adoptions and how to create a culture of adoption in churches.

In Nepal, Orphan Sunday will be celebrated there for the first time also.  A group had planned to print and distribute some 5000 posters, as well as requesting churches to pray and do something for orphans.

The blog reports on other churches that are involved in celebrating Orphan Sunday, some for the first time.

These and so many efforts are continuing to spread the awareness of the Biblical admonition to take care of widows and orphans and to, as Isaiah 1 says, "defend the cause of the fatherless".

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