Trump funding ban forces international abortion giants to cut African operations

A baby with mother in Uganda (PHOTO: Human Life International via Lifesite News).

Two of the world’s most prolific abortion performers have been forced to partially shut down their operations in Africa, thanks to one of Donald Trump’s earliest actions as president.

The UK-based Marie Stopes International (MSI) has closed 22 of its 62 Madagascar-based outreach teams, 17 of its 35 in Uganda, and 600 of its 1 200 in Zimbabwe, Church Militant reported. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has closed 22 programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Both groups will also be canceling programs in Togo, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso.

“Commitments have been made, but the money has not been forthcoming,” IPPF’s Kwamboka team complained. “This reliance on aid from other countries (…) cannot go on.”

The abortion giants’ financial woes stem from Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy last year, which bars the United States’ $8.8-billion (R110-billion) in foreign aid from being distributed to entities that perform abortions. Since Ronald Reagan conceived the policy, each president routinely reverses his opposing-party predecessor’s decision on it upon taking office, although Trump took the additional step of expanding it to groups that promote or discuss it.

The policy requires foreign aid recipients to certify that they will not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in foreign countries or provide financial support to any other foreign (NGO) that conducts such activities.”

The left-wing organisation calling itself Human Rights Watch claims the Mexico City Policy has a “devastating impact” because it also deprives countries of the nutrition, vaccination, child care, and other disease treatment services provided by the organizations that refuse to comply.

However, MSI and IPPF are two of only four non-government organizations (NGO) that have rejected the funds, and the aid money continues to be distributed to 733 other NGOs. Further, it is MSI and IPPF who ultimately chose to forgo the money in exchange for continuing abortions.

Mark Green, administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has testified before Congress that while it is impossible to financially meet all of the world’s needs, “(e)verything we are trying to do is to work with country partners on their journey to self-reliance – these countries one day should lead their own development.”

In addition, a 2010 report found that in Ethiopia, for instance, the Mexico City Policy has had a positive impact on the population’s understanding of abortion by leading to people to ask, “If abortion is a positive development for Ethiopian women’s health, then why does the U.S. government not support it?”

Restoring the Mexico City Policy was the first of numerous pro-life actions the Trump administration has taken, including pro-life judicial and administrative appointees, rolling back the Obamacare abortifacient coverage mandate, opening a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood, supporting abstinence education and religious liberty protections, advocating a ban on late-term abortions, and most recently cutting abortion facilities off from more than $50-million (R632.3-million) per year in family planning funds.




‘A billion-soul harvest’: The end times ushering in history’s greatest revival?

Christ for All Nation’s Daniel Kolenda at the recent Light the Fire Again conference in Toronto, Canada.

Originally published in Charisma News

Christian ministries have been called streams of God. A number of them are coming together because they believe their unity could help set off history’s greatest revival.

It’s a gathering of some of the most powerful streams of ministry that have been used in revival across the past three decades — much like the Toronto Blessing that started in 1994 and touched millions around the world.

Lighting a fire and forming a river
Now these streams have gathered where that revival began because all believe God wants to light the fire again and hit the world with possibly the greatest awakening and harvest of all time.

Daniel Kolenda is the successor of Reinhard Bonnke, whose Christ for all Nations ministry says it has seen more than 72 million salvations. Kolenda insists it’s because they focus on the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

“It actually makes our jobs quite easy,” Kolenda told CBN News. “We just present Jesus to people, and the Holy Spirit comes in and does the rest.”

Lou Engle, co-founder of The Call mass gatherings, has been leading intercessors crying out for this for more than 30 years.

Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world,” Engle said, quoting John the Baptist. “I’m believing for a mass beholding of the Lamb of God. So many people getting saved. And, secondly, that He shall baptise them with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

John Kilpatrick’s Florida church was the headquarters for the Brownsville Revival that began in 1995. He told CBN News he was assured by God Himself this much larger revival is coming the day al Qaeda brought down the Twin Towers in New York City.

A sign of the end times?
“I watched the towers come down,” Kilpatrick recalled. “And I said to the Lord, ‘Lord, does this mean that revival is over?’ And the Lord responded to me immediately. He said, ‘Oh no. Revival’s not over. I’m going to pour out my Spirit again. But it’ll be in conjunction with end-time events.”

Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries believes it’s crucial that all of these various streams of ministry find ways to work in unison.

“Because there’s a multiplication of authority and spiritual authority when you come together,” he explained. “One can put a thousand to flight, but two can put 10 000 to flight.”

Joyner believes that kind of unity among Christians is the best kind of witness to a fragmenting world.

“They’re starting to love each other, come together, have unity, have peace, have joy — all of these things that the world is becoming increasingly devoid of,” he said.

American pastor Randy Clark had come to visit and guest-preach at this Canadian church when the Toronto Blessing burst out in 1994. The surprised preacher had a front-row seat for one of the most powerful revivals of the 20th century. Now he’s expecting something much greater in the 21st century.

A Billion-Soul Harvest
“I do believe in a billion-soul harvest that has been prophesied about,” the Global Awakening founder said.

Clark points out some have prophesied this will be a faceless, nameless revival because God wants to use every willing disciple in the entire Church, not just evangelical superstars.

“It didn’t mean that there weren’t leaders, but that the leaders understood their role was to release the others, the laity,” Clark explained.

From the stage, Engle called the crowd in Toronto to become those disciples rising up from the church pews. He asked them to take off their shoes and shout, “Lord, send me.”

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News,” he declared, saying of the unsaved, “How shall they hear unless there’s a preacher?”

Kolenda explained what God’s after when it comes to harvesters of souls.

“He’s just looking for people who are hungry and open and who will say, ‘God, whatever You want to do, here am I,” he said.

And that’s what these leaders from past revivals, plus more than 3 000 Christians who’ve come to the Light the Fire Again Conference, are all declaring: “God, whatever You want to do, here am I.”




Brain-dead teen saw heaven, came back with different colour eyes

Originally published in God Reports

He’s being called the “miracle in Mobile.” After suffering a severe brain injury in a dune buggy accident, and being brain-dead for several days, an Alabama teen has made a miraculous recovery.

According to WALA Fox 10, Trenton McKinley, 13, was riding in a small trailer being pulled behind a dune buggy when the accident happened. Trenton’s friend who was driving the buggy, hit the brakes quickly, causing the trailer to flip over.

Trenton told the television station he grabbed and threw his four-year-old niece out of harm’s way, but in doing so was pinned by the trailer as it came down.

“I hit the concrete and the trailer landed on top of my head. After that, I don’t remember anything,” Trenton told Fox 10.

The teen was rushed to the hospital where doctors counted seven skull fractures.

His parents had to go through their worst nightmare.

“All I saw was a stretcher with his feet hanging out. He was dead a total of 15 minutes,” his mother, Jennifer Reindl told Fox 10. “When he came back, they said he would never be normal again. They told me the oxidation problems would be so bad to his brain, that he would be a vegetable if he even made it.”

Trenton McKinley recovering in hospital after dune buggy accident left him brain dead.

Doctors determined the teen was brain-dead and his breathing was shallow. His parents knew they had a difficult decision to make. They could help five other kids by donating Trenton’s organs, so they signed the necessary papers.

“They said the next time his heart stopped they had to let him die. This was a Saturday or I could sign a paper to donate his organs to save five other kids and they would keep hitting him with adrenaline till Monday … so I signed it,” Reindl wrote in a Facebook post. “His eyes were solid black and dry and I knew he would not hesitate to save five more lives.”

Then, a miracle happened.

One day before his doctors were to pull the plug on his life support, Trenton began to show signs of brain activity.

“The next day I got a call. They cancelled the final brain wave test right before they hooked him up his hand moved. Then his feet,” Reindl continued in the Facebook post. “So they looked at his eyes and they were back. He had blue eyes. Now they are green with small white specks like glitter. They say when you look upon God … pigment changes … and my baby was in Heaven for a whole day … he is a miracle.”

Fox 10 reports that Trenton believes he went to Heaven.

“I was in an open field walking straight,” Trenton said. “There’s no other explanation but God. There’s no other way. Even doctors said it.”

Trenton continues to recover, although he’s dealing with nerve pain and seizures almost daily. He has had three brain surgeries and currently only has half of his skull. The other half will be reconnected soon in the next surgery.




North Korea: US citizens set for release ahead of Trump-Kim talks

The three Americans have been detained on charges ranging from committing ‘hostile acts’ against the regime to spying for a foreign country

Originally published in World Watch Monitor

Three American citizens detained in North Korea seem set to be released ahead of a meeting between the two countries’ leaders next month.

The BBC reported that the three men had been “relocated to a Pyongyang hotel and are receiving good food and medical care”.

US President Donald Trump tweeted yesterday (May 2) that the US “has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labour camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!”

Who are the Americans?
Kim Dong-chul, a pastor in his early 60s, was arrested in 2015 and sentenced to 10 years’ hard labour after admitting spying for South Korea, which Seoul denied.

Tony Kim (also known as Kim Sang-duk) was detained in April 2017 for “committing criminal acts of hostility” against the North Korean government. Kim, in his 50s, had been involved in humanitarian work with orphanages and taught at the Pyongyang University for Science and Technology (PUST), which trains the children of North Korea’s elite and has a volunteer staff that includes many evangelical Christians.

Kim Hak Song was arrested two weeks later, in May 2017, as he prepared to leave the country after working for several weeks as a lecturer at PUST. He was arrested on charges of “hostile acts” against the regime. Reuters reported that in 2015, he had posted a message on the website of a Korean-Brazilian church in Sao Paulo, saying “he was a Christian missionary planning to start an experimental farm at PUST and was trying to help the North Korean people learn to become self-sufficient”.

Others released
In August last year Hyeon Soo Lim, a Korean-Canadian church leader sentenced to life in prison with hard labour, was released “on sick bail”. Detained since February 2015, he was convicted later that year of numerous charges, including an attempt to overthrow the government.




Trump tells Buhari: ‘We cannot allow Christians to be murdered’

President Buhari meeting with President Trump in Washington. (PHOTO: Nigeria Presidency)

Originally published in World Watch Monitor

US President Donald Trump decried the killings of Christians in Nigeria as he met with the country’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, in Washington yesterday (April 30).

Nigeria has been plagued by violence attributed to Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and northeast. Benue state has been particularly affected, with attacks happening almost on a daily basis.

The killing of 19 worshipers, including priests Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, last week (April 24), has provoked outrage in Nigeria and elsewhere.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has urged President Buhari to step down in the wake of the massacre. Various advocacy groups, including Open Doors International, had called on President Trump to seize the opportunity to call Buhari to account for allowing unchecked atrocities against Christians in his country.

“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria,” said Trump as he met with President Buhari at the White House. “We are going to work on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.”

President Buhari was the first Sub-Saharan African leader to meet with Trump in Washington. In response, he said efforts were being made to ensure that killings in the country were stopped.

He attributed the ongoing violence to cross-border insecurity resulting from the fall of Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.

“The problem of herders in Nigeria is a very long historical thing,” he said. “The Nigerian herders don’t carry anything more than a stick and occasionally a machete to cut down foliage and give it to their animals. These ones are carrying AK-47s.

“People should not underrate what happened in Libya. Forty-three years of Gaddafi; people were recruited from the Sahel and trained to shoot and kill. With the demise of Gaddafi, they moved to other countries and regions and carried the experience with them.”

President Buhari also pledged to rescue the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped and held by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram.

[The] Chibok girls’ kidnap was before we came into power,” he said. “We rescued some of them. The Dapchi girls were 106; we rescued 100 back, four died, one is still in captivity. We are very grateful to the United Nations for helping out. We have not given up on the Dapchi girl.”

The remaining girl, Leah Shabiru, was the only Christian among those abducted and was held, her Muslim friends claimed, because she refused to deny her faith.

Many experts on Nigeria now believe that the violence across the Middle Belt, which World Watch Monitor has reported on at length, has been responsible for more deaths than Boko Haram.




Former gay and trans individuals to participate in DC Freedom March

Originally published in Christian Headlines

On May 5 2018, a Freedom March event will be held in Washington DC. Many former transgender, lesbian, and gay men and women will be participating in the march, including one of the survivors from the June 2016 shooting at Pulse Nightclub.

Daren Melh, president of Voice of the Voiceless which is helping organise the event said it will be “an opportunity for those of us who have a new life with Jesus to come together in fellowship and praise Him for the love and grace available to everyone who seeks it [and] to testify publicly of the life-changing grace available to leave the LGBT identity for something greater.”

The Christian Post reports that Mehl himself identified as a gay man for about 10 years before having a change of heart. Now, he is happily married with two children.

Although he came out of the LGBT community, Mehl only wants to extend a welcome to others who may be struggling with their identity.

“Jesus instructs us to love others as we love ourselves,” he said, acknowledging that many LGBT people have felt hurt by religion and the church.

“When anyone spews hate toward another person they are clearly not operating according to the Holy Spirit,” he continued. “It is extremely sad when this happens and I hope that [Christians] would be convicted of their sin and repent and reconcile with those they hurt.”

Another attendee of the Freedom March is Luis Javier Ruiz, a former gay man who was nearly killed along with 49 others at the massacre at Pulse Nightclub, an LGBT club in Orlando, Florida.

“I should [have] been number 50,” said Ruiz, “but now I have the chance to live in relationship and not religion, not just loving Christ but being in love with Christ and sharing [H]is love. I know who I am and I am not defined with who the enemy says I used to be but who Christ Jesus says I am.”




Pilot: ‘God sent His angels’ to guide her in plane landing

“The pilot, Tammy Jo, was so amazing! She landed us safely in Philly.”

Originally published in Charisma News

The pilot who safely landed a stricken Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday got her first flying experience in the U.S. Navy, touching down F-18 fighter jets at 150 miles per hour on aircraft carriers.

Tammie Jo Shults, 56, may have drawn on her Navy skills when one of the two engines on her Boeing 737-700 blew and broke apart at 32 000 feet on Tuesday, forcing her to implement a rapid descent towards Philadelphia International Airport.

The explosion killed one passenger and nearly sucked another out of a shattered window.

One of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy, Shults calmly told air traffic control that part of her plane was missing, and she would need ambulances on the runway.

“So we have a part of the aircraft missing so we’re going to need to slow down a bit,” Shults told a controller.

Many of the 144 passengers sang her praise on social media after Shults thanked them for their bravery as they left the plane.

“The pilot Tammy Jo was so amazing! She landed us safely in Philly,” said Amanda Bourman on Instagram. “God sent his angels to watch over us. I actually heard someone say, there is a God!!”

Passengers identified Shults as the pilot. Southwest Airlines declined to name the crew of flight 1380 and Shults was not immediately available for comment.

Authorities said the crew did what they were trained to do.

“They’re in the simulator and practice emergency descents … and losing an engine … They did the job that professional airline pilots are trained to do,” National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters.

‘God Sent His angels’
Shults might never have become a pilot if she had not been so determined to fly from a young age.

She is quoted on fighter plane blog F-16.net saying she tried to attend an aviation career day at high school but was told they did not accept girls.

A native of New Mexico, she never lost the urge to fly and, after studying medicine in Kansas, applied to the Air Force. It would not let her take the test to become a pilot, but the US Navy did.

She was one of the first female F-18 pilots and became an instructor before she left the Navy in 1993 and joined Southwest, according to the blog.

A Christian, who is married to a fellow pilot and has two children, Shults said that sitting in the captain’s chair gave her “the opportunity to witness for Christ on almost every flight.”

Bourman was among passengers who said they had been saved by divine intervention.

“God sent his angels to watch over us,” she said.




Texas megachurch pays off over R120m in medical debt for 4 229 Families this Easter

Pastor Stephen Hayes of Covenant Church in Carrollton, Texas reveals during Easter service on April 1 2018 that the congregation has helped relieve over 4 000 local families of medical debt. (PHOTO: Screenshot Covenant Church via The Christian Post)

Originally published in The Christian Post

A Texas megachurch has blessed more than 4,000 families within a 20-mile radius of each of its five campuses this Easter by paying off their medical debt totaling more than $10.5 million.

Stephen Hayes, senior pastor of Covenant Church based in Carrollton, announced during his Easter Sunday sermon that thanks to generous giving by church members, the church had enough extra funds to donate $100 000 (R1 203 240) to an organization that purchases medical debt for pennies on the dollar and forgives individuals and families of their debt.

Hayes explained that in years past, the church had spent upwards of $100 000 to promote Easter services through radio, TV commercials, billboards and mailers. The pastor said that a billboard alone costs about $20 000 to $30 000 per month.

However, this year Covenant Church took a different approach to how it spent the $100 000 it would normally spend on Easter advertisements.

What if we bought up some of this medical debt and write on the letters, ‘We are Covenant Church and we are local in this area and we can serve you in any way and we would love to be your church. But even if we don’t get to meet you, just know that God loves you,'” Hayes said.

Hayes said that the church donated $100 000 to an organisation called RIP Medical Debt.

Initially, the church wanted to designate $50 000 (R601 574) to veterans with medical debt within a 32km radius of each of the campuses and $50 000 to families with medical debt within 32km.

However, there weren’t enough veterans in the area to use up the entire $50,000.

“Right now, there is no veteran in our radius where we minister that will have [medical] debt from this day forward,” Hayes said, adding that many of them suffered injuries caused by war. “It is already paid. Really cool.”

Hayes said 4 229 families in the area will receive letters informing them that their medical debt has been paid off.

“We decided to put up $100,000. Man, can I tell you it is the easiest decision we have ever made,” Hayes told his congregation. “[I]t ended up paying off $10 551 618 (R127-million) in total debt that is paid and gone forever.”

Hayes reminded the crowd that they, too, have received similar letters, referring to what is written in John 19:30 when Jesus was on the cross and said, ‘It is finished.'”

“That is your letter in the mail,” Hayes said. “If you can imagine what those people this week will be feeling when they receive the letter you sent them saying their debt is paid. I prayed 100-fold that [is how] you would feel in reading the letter He wrote to you in the book of John 19:30. … Hey, your debt of sin is paid. You are covered. He wrote a letter to us too. How do we not respond when we see the letter and understand what it means? How do I not want to send letters to others and say, ‘Guess what? I received it, would you consider receiving it?'”

Hayes knows firsthand what it’s like to be riddled with medical debt. According to NBC-DFW, Hayes was hit by a car when he was 17, and spent 12 days in intensive care. His family was aided in paying off the medical bills by his church family.




50 Years after their divorce, this couple is ready to say ‘I do’ again

Harold Holland and Lily Barnes (PHOTO: Youtub/Time vis Faithwire)

Originally published in Faithwire

Harold Holland and Lillian Barnes got married in 1955 after meeting at a restaurant in Salt Lick, Kentucky. By December of that year, they were married. Over the next eight years or so, the couple had five children together. Over time, however, their marriage became strained, and in 1967, they split up. So that was that, for some 50 years, until the couple reunited at a family reunion last year.

By December 2017, the two former spouses were talking about tying the knot. He’s now 83 and she is 78.

“We decided we want to walk the last mile together,” Holland explained to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The pair credits their faith in God as being central to them being able to grow in their decades apart, preparing them for this glorious reunion. Their grandson Joshua Holland, who is a minister from New Orleans, will perform the ceremony on April 14 at Trinity Baptist Church.

Now, upon a lifetime of reflection, this wonderful couple see where the crack began to appear. Harold, who ran a carpet business, said he worked way too much and left his wife to raise the kids by herself.

“It was 100% my fault,” he admitted.

He wants to do things differently now, and make up for a huge amount of lost time — a sound piece of advice that would serve many young couples well!

“We’ll go do whatever we want to, whenever we want to do it,” he declared, stating his commitment to putting his wife first from now on. “I’ll take her wherever she wants to go.”

With these words comes a golden rule of any successful marriage: putting God at the foundation of your love for one another. A certain scripture comes to mind:

“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“We have a lot in common,” Lillian explained.

“I don’t think we ever lost that love, to tell you the truth,” Harold noted.

Lillian laughed how Harold “didn’t think I’d ever speak to him again.”

“He got fooled,” she quipped.




Saudi textbooks still teaching hate, says US Commission

Secondary students sit for an exam in a government school in Riyadh June 15 2008. (PHOTO: Reuters)

Originally published in CBN News

Despite a highly publicised reform movement in Saudi Arabia, Saudi school textbooks still include violent and intolerant content, according to a new study.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) found passages praising jihad against non-Muslims, calling for the execution of apostates and those who mock Allah or Muhammed, demeaning non-Muslims and warning Muslims not to associate with them.

“USCIRF is disappointed to find inflammatory content in Saudi textbooks that was previously thought to have been removed,” said Chairman Daniel Mark.

The State Department last year designated Saudi Arabia as a “Country of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act for “engaging or tolerating systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.”

Officials expressed disappointment that the reform efforts of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is trying to bring religious tolerance to the desert kingdom, have not been extended to the nation’s school textbooks.

USCIRF is urging Congress and the administration to make textbook reform a priority in its engagement with the Saudi government.