01: The Nehemiah Team project is raising urban-suburban partnerships to a new level.
The project, run by World Impact, a Los Angeles-based ministry that plants churches in poor neighborhoods, enlists suburban Christians to establish congregations in the inner-city. Four or more members of a suburban congregation volunteers to lead Bible studies, build friendships and walk through housing projects inviting residents to church. Some become full-time missionaries who move into the inner-city, with their sponsoring congregation paying the costs of planning the urban church.
World Impact provides guidance to the volunteers, training them to overcome cultural barriers. Volunteers may or may not be of the same ethnic group as those in the new church. New partnerships are planned in LA. and across the country.
(Source: Religion Today, May 13)
02: Christian Freedom International (CFI) represents a new breed of evangelical relief organizations that specialize in helping persecuted Christian believers around the world.
The Front Royal, Va.-based CFI trains teachers and teaches natives a trade, but its approach is different from that of mainline and secular relief and charitable organizations. CFI, founded in 1995, is part of the more practical wing of the growing Christian movement to protest and stop persecution of fellow believers. Like similar evangelical groups, it does not accept any government money, believing it would limit “our ability to speak and limit where we could go,” says CFI president James Jacobson, who is said to be on a hit list by the Sudanese and Burmese governments.
Their lack of bureaucracy and accountability to donors and supporters is another factor in these new efforts.
(Source: Wall Street Journal, May 28)