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Darkness on Peru’s Emerald Mountains

Rachel Chimits
May 24, 2019

Major challenges are facing the church in Peru as they look for ways to serve their society’s most vulnerable. 

This spring, Director of Mercy Ministries Mark Buzzetta traveled to Cusco, Peru to connect with a local church doing great work caring for widows.

The trip was eye-opening to Peru’s great natural beauty and local struggles, coming almost as often from floods of global tourists to their region as well as stifling animist traditions.

A Booming Economy Downside

The Chicago Tribune pointed out the sad state of Peru’s massive tourist attraction, Machu Picchu, and by connection, Cusco.

When Depression Isn't Healed

Rachel Chimits
May 17, 2019

A battle with mental health can already feel like a lonely one, but when God doesn’t miraculously free us from it, the question “Why?” inevitable rises.

A research project collaborating with the University of Oxford conducted a study on depression and anxiety disorders worldwide in 2016. They found that about 322 million people globally suffer from depression, making it the predominant psychological disorder.

Despite its prevalence, depression is often ignored or dismissed in great part because of the wide variety of ways it can manifest.

Drug Runner Comes to Christ

Rachel Chimits
May 16, 2019

A drug user and alcoholic turns to God and becomes a respected member of his church and community.

A Hard Crash

Francis was a renowned weed smoker, drug supplier and drunkard in his Ugandan village.

…“members of the community didn’t like me because of my habitual drinking and smoking,” said Francis. “I was always involved in bar fights and gambling, and I sold marijuana in the village. Parents didn’t want me near their children for fear I would recruit them into this devilish behavior.”

He confessed that alcohol and marijuana also drove him to harass his wife on a daily basis. Painfully, he recalled one fateful evening when he stumbled home after getting extremely drunk and began beating his wife.

Pray for the Worldwide Church

Rachel Chimits
May 14, 2019

Pummeled with constant news about crises, it becomes tempting to simply ignore the persecution of our brothers and sisters around the world.

In a sermon at Times Square Church, Pastor Carter Conlon pointed out, “Many today find themselves journeying through this season of despair….

“As much as you know it, you’re doing what’s right. You’re trying to be a representative of Christ in this perishing world. But it looks so hopeless! Everything seems to be going the other way, and you wonder, ‘Will I ever make a difference?’” 

Turning off the Feelings

Often people respond to the overwhelming number of calamities in the news by simply lowering their eyes to whatever immediately affects them and shrugging off everything else.

A Leap of Faith

Rachel Chimits
May 6, 2019

When we’re making major life decisions or are faced with a huge change, planning our next move can be challenging.

David Brinkley is credited with having once said, “She took a leap of faith and grew her wings on the way down.”

This advice seems in the same vein as popular “empowering” messages that Western media figures, celebrities and even some Christians toss around, pointing to the wild success stories of a few and neatly sidestepping all the shattered dreams of many others who inexplicably didn’t manage to sprout feathers.

The dark side of this saying is its implication that whoever doesn’t achieve their goals is at fault for the failure.

No pressure.  

The Promise of a Mansion

Rachel Chimits
May 2, 2019

In a fairytale life gone wrong, one young Filipino woman finds a true rescuing hero in her heavenly Father.

Krystal’s parents came to her and explained that she could finish high school, but that was all. She needed to find work to help support the family.

In the Philippines, this scenario was nothing strange, particularly for low-income families. At age 18, Krystal dutifully started work in Quezon, one of many poor, young women toiling in minimum wage jobs.

Everything changed when a handsome man approached her. He told her she was beautiful, striking among all the others, and he invited her into the wealthy, upperclass circles of his life.

A fairytale in the making…right? 

Finding the God of Truth and Grace

Vanessa Johnson
May 1, 2019

Now one of MOG’s leaders and World Challenge’s potential partners, one young lady looks back on how God made himself real to her.

I was born in Mexico. When I was five, my parents divorced. My father had put us in a situation where my mom was frightened for our safety.

We moved in with my grandparents who were Christians. Most people in Mexico are Catholic, so I grew up in a unique situation. 

Looking back, God was always present.

Picturing a Complete Family

I had a lot of anger as a child, and I would take it out on God mainly. I remember a couple nights getting really frustrated—“God, why is this part of my life this way?”—questioning everything.

A Question of Forgiveness

Rachel Chimits
May 10, 2019

"Are there any circumstances, do you feel, where one can be a good Christian and yet not forgive?" —Queen Elizabeth II to Billy Graham, The Crown

recent article about mental wellness advocated several appealing strategies for letting go of past hurts and creating healthier relationships: look for the positive in the situation, cultivate empathy for the other side and just move on.

It sounds very nice, but how many people are actually able to do this?

The real heart of the problem is that God was nowhere in this polite mix of pop-psychology and secular counciling.

Preparing for Easter

Rachel Chimits
April 16, 2019

Some of the great symbols of our faith have been sadly misused in history, but this doesn’t make them any less important.

My mother observed Lent and always wore all black to church on Good Friday. One time, shortly before we left the house, I asked her why. 

“Today is kind of like remembering Jesus’ funeral. Of course, we know he’s alive and waiting for us in heaven, but first he had to die.”

As a child who’d already attended several family funerals, the connection of the dark clothes and those memories made a stark impression on me of the early disciples’ emotions and seriousness of Jesus’ sacrifice.  

A Man Reborn

Rachel Chimits
April 17, 2019

“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.” —John Chrysostom, "Doctor of the Church"

“Hopeless as a penny with a hole in it.” These were the words of some Kamdini residents to describe Robert Moro as they knew him a few years ago. 

You would be hard-pressed to recognize him anymore based on that description, and these days his neighbors are the ones seeking him out for help.

Survivors of the LRA

In the wake of Joseph Kony’s uprising and the Lord’s Resistance Army’s rampage across Northern Uganda, Robert and his family settled in Kamdini, battered and stripped of almost all their earthly belongings.