Monthly Archives: July 2013

Forgotten Christians are Not Alone

This article was written by Ray Alary, President of TWR Canada.  I’ve reposted it on our website for our readers but you can see the original here.  Its just another great way God is using radio around the world.

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When you think of persecuted Christians what comes to mind? China, the Middle East? What about Cuba, north and east African countries like Somalia, Libya, and Algeria. The Philippines and Malaysia? There are more than 60 countries that The Voice of the Martyrs Canada classifies as restricted, where laws allow the persecution and execution of Christians. Many more countries have legislation allowing Christians to worship but turn a blind eye to prejudice, persecution, and destruction of property. The Voice of the Martyrs Canada also reports that more than 200 million Christians are denied basic human rights based solely on their religion.

These places are difficult mission fields. Missionaries struggle to reach these people, the social and political persecution faced in these countries makes it very difficult for believers to gather or have access to Bibles or other biblical materials. The statistics gathered by ministries and non-profits are a best guess because much of the persecution happens in rural settings where authorities are not compelled to report violence or can’t be bothered to.

Not Alone Any More

Many Christians in these persecuted areas cling to the broadcasts from TWR. Radios are more easily concealed and listened to in secret. They gather in small groups to listen to preachers and teachers and soak up every morsel of spiritual learning they can because they don’t have Bibles or a trained pastor to lead them. Under a pillow at night, they are connected to the global church through TWR and grow in their faith.

“We were permitted to have portable radios…a group of us were trying to tune into a program and were surprised to find the Spanish transmission of Radio Transmundial (TWR) from Bonaire, Dutch Antilles. The reception was crystal clear, like we listened to a local program. It was the first time I had heard a program like that. To listen to sermons and Christian music in the middle of such difficult circumstances was an unexpected and valuable blessing.” ~Alberto Gonzalez, TWR’s Ministry Director in Cuba.

Join us in praying for those who are persecuted, mistreated, or imprisoned for their faith. Pray that the TWR signal they cling to remains strong, and that we are able to grow our ministry to reach even more of these people for the Gospel.

Photo taken by Roo Reynolds

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What kid doesn’t want a water trampoline?

Launching screaming kids four feet into the air off  a blob; bringing milk to bleating lambs; holding my breath as I pull the cord to go hurtling down on the giant wing; and screaming as I zoom down a zip line in the pitch black darkness of night time; These are a few of my favorite things! (Now read that again imagining Ryan and I doing a musical number)

Actually, these are just a few of our favorite experiences of camp at Cross Bar X Youth Ranch.

Cross Bar X Youth Ranch is a camp for at risk kids. Many of these kids come from urban areas and often from broken, impoverished, and troubled backgrounds.  With water trampolines, horses, giant swings and 150 acres of land, these kids are treated to a one of a kind camp.  With all that said the staff there is committed to so much more than fun. Their true heart lies in what they do for the kids. They present the gospel to every camper.  None fall through the cracks because every counselor only gets the maximum of five campers. Even when camp is over, the relationships do not end. The Cross Bar X staff dedicate time to continuing discipleship and mentorships of the kids through retreats and involving them in a local church.  Playing a small part in their ministry honored us even if it was only for three weeks.

The Black Forest fire devastated many homes and affected so many people.  Even in Durango we felt the effects.  Cross Bar X’s cooks the first week left suddenly to evacuate their belongings from their home.  Just as quickly we filled in for the cooks. After that trial period, our kitchen supervisor Jenny, liked us so much, she kept us there the rest of the three weeks. We had many great conversations in the kitchen. One in particular encouraged Ryan while talking with our head guy counselor named Keith. At this time, Ryan was discouraged about our progress in support raising.  After Ryan explained TWR’s ministry, Keith said, “Wow that is the coolest thing I have heard today!” It was encouraging to remember what a privilege it is to be a part of TWR.

For me, the greatest joy I had at camp was to train and encourage Allison (a young student nurse) further in her nursing. It was wonderful watching her grow in her skills, her confidence, and her compassion for kids. It was equally satisfying to see her overcome difficult situations and excel with trying patients. I worked beside her helping her gain experience so she could grow into her job. As a team, Allison and I dealt with homesickness, dehydration, cuts and bruises, a nasty allergic reaction to a bee sting, and a hospital visit for an asthma exacerbation. One exciting thing we were able to do was to pray with many of the kids who were sick and in pain.

We were in Durango to help with this camp but also to fundraise. We were able to speak at two churches there.  We’ll tell you more about that, but you’ll have to read about it in our prayer letter. OH! That is what you call a teaser!

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