Monday, February 24, 2014

The 3 - February 23, 2014

This week's edition of "The 3", my week-in-review feature, includes an annual event sponsored by international relief organization World Vision, where young people go without food in order to identify with those who are hungry around the world.   Also, the Winter Olympic Games have provided excellent venues through which the good news of the gospel of Christ is being shared.  And, the top story involves Christian communicators from around the world coming together to learn, grow, be inspired, and gain a greater connection with others who share in that unique call.

3 - Thousands of young people stand with World Vision in "30 Hour Famine"

More than 60,000 teenagers from some 3,000 churches were expected to rally this past weekend to fight hunger and trafficking through World Vision's 30 Hour Famine and new "Childhood Lost" events, according to a World Vision press release.

The 30 Hour Famine, now in its 23rd year, brings together teens who will devote a weekend to fasting, prayer and service to fight hunger.  The teens forgo food for 30 hours and spend a weekend, usually at a church, learning about the impact of hunger on children around the world and volunteering in their own communities.   They prepare for the Famine by raising money for World Vision food and nutrition programs. Participating teens raised more than $8 million last year to fight hunger through World Vision. Since its start in 1992, teens have raised nearly $170 million through participation in the 30 Hour Famine event.

Leah Swindon, World Vision's national director for youth mobilization, says that, "Youth are an incredibly powerful community...These issues are new to many of them, but they so often respond with passion -- and with action. Every year we see them make the world a bit better because of their commitment to bringing change."

This year, World Vision also launched a new experience event to raise awareness and resources to fight child trafficking around the world. The experience, called "Childhood Lost," will revolve around a series of vigils during which students learn about trafficking around the world and solutions that World Vision is implementing to prevent trafficking before children are forced to become soldiers, laborers and sex workers.

For more information, visit

2 - Sochi Olympics bring opportunities to share Christ

With athletes and spectators from all over the world converging on Sochi, Russia, the Winter Olympics provides an opportunity for the love of Christ and the good news of the gospel to be spread.  Not only do Christian Olympians have a tremendous platform through which they can share God's work in their lives, but there were a number of different avenues for ministry in and around the city.

Assist News provided an excellent profile of some of the spiritual activity surrounding the games.
It spotlights the International Christian Information Center, which is presenting daily news and other coverage of Christian and secular events at the Games. The center is run by several evangelical organizations and its team of volunteers is in Sochi for the express purpose of serving the Lord and the visitors to the games.

After church leaders Ivan Chehunov, Richard Page and Vladimir Samoilov, the primary organizers of the Christian Hospitality Center in Sochi, solemnly cut the ribbon at the entrance to the tent on February 7, the Center was open for business.

The ASSIST story mentions that an important aspect of the Olympics is unity, which is especially noticeable not only among athletes and fans but also among Christian churches. The openness of the church to society was spoken about by the senior pastor of the union of churches, Sergey Malinkin who visited the Hospitality Center in Sochi.   There was a special program organized at the Center by SOAR International Ministries and “Wave of Hope” movement.

One of the key ministry outreach tools is the Fun Zone, which is offered on the grounds of one of the local churches.   Wally Kulakoff of Russian Ministries shared with me about this gathering place, where people can come and watch the various Olympic events on large screen televisions.    Their ministry offered various types of literature, as Wally told Mission Network News: “Russian Ministries together with the Gideons International of Canada have provided literature: a magazine called ‘Hope,’ the New Testament in Russian and English, and the Gospel of John in Gospel in Russian and English.”   The Salvation Army also played a part in serving hot drinks.

Terry Veazey, working with International Sports Chaplains, also joined me on my radio show and shared with me about the personal evangelism that was taking place as the chaplains interacted with people on the streets of Sochi.  

So, as the eyes of the world have turned to Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Games, peoples' eyes have been turned toward the Lord Jesus Christ as various ministries reach out in numerous ways.

1 - Religious broadcasters journey to annual convention in Nashville

Beginning this past weekend, thousands gathered in Nashville for the National Religious Broadcasters International Christiian Media Convention. It is billed by NRB as "the world’s largest annual gathering of Christian communicators."

A NRB press release says that, "Convention participants will be exposed to new media insights, connections, resources, and opportunities that will help them and their organizations to advance."  It states that participants will "attend a broad range of educational sessions, network with like-minded individuals and organizations; and be inspired by nationally and internationally known speakers and artists."

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, who was installed as the new President of the organization on Saturday night explains: "The NRB Convention is a 'must attend' on the calendar of many Christian media and ministry professionals...In the course of just a few days, you can make more strategic connections and gain more knowledge and resources than you might in the course of a year. It's a one-stop venue for what many need to more effectively reach people for Christ.”

The event draws a wide range of participants, including radio and TV station owners and operators, pastors, church media professionals, radio and TV program producers, college educators, students, film producers, web and mobile developers, social media managers, marketing representatives, and ministry staff members.

The Convention offers approximately 40 educational sessions led by professionals addressing topics such as fundraising, marketing, video production, social media, technology, and leadership.  On Friday, the NRB Digital Media Summit covered best practices for an effective social media presence using today's digital media tools.  Dozens of speakers are featured during the course of the Convention, and this year speakers include Ben Carson, Jack Hayford, Bryan Loritts, Eric Metaxas, Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, Barbara Rainey, and Todd Starnes.  Musical guests this year include Ginny Owens, GLAD, Michael W. Smith, and Tommy Walker.

Again, this year, Faith Radio has a presence at the Convention.  Members of our ministry team are attending, and we again have a booth on the exhibit hall floor, where I am conducting interviews for The Meeting House program with some of the key speakers as well as others who are attending.   Tune in weekdays between 4 and 6 this week for our special NRB coverage.

No comments: