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Christian World News - October 19, 2018

Christian World News - October 19, 2018 Read Transcript


(dramatic music)

- A number of times, I lost hope.

And that's where I came to a point where

I had to look away from hopeand more towards submission.

- Today on Christian World News,

our interview with Pastor Andrew Brunson.

He talks about his timein a Turkish prison cell,

his prayer with PresidentTrump in the Oval Office,

and what he learned about Godthrough this whole ordeal.

Hello, everyone, welcome to this week's

edition of Christian World News.

I'm George Thomas.

- And I'm Wendy Griffith.

Well, after two yearsheld prisoner in Turkey,

Pastor Andrew Brunsonwent from a courtroom

to the Oval Office allin less than 24 hours.

The world watched as hethanked President Donald Trump

and then knelt down to pray for him.

- The pastor's journeybegan two long years ago,

when Turkish officials detained Brunson

and charged him with tryingto overthrow the government.

In our Christian WorldNews interview, I asked him

about that experience andhow God got him through.

Andrew, how did God sustainyou these last 18 months?

- Well, (chuckles) I think through

the prayers of God's people.

What I've said to my wife, I'd said,

where is all the gracethat I expected to come

pouring out from these, obviouslymany people are praying.

Where is the grace?

And what I found is that God was taking me

a different route andwas not letting me feel

or sense the grace that isthere that's sustaining me.

So I say it was like anunfelt grace, an unseen grace.

But then as I look back on thethings He brought me through

and I realize my incredible weakness,

then I say, oh, He wasthere the whole time.

He was carrying me through.

The grace was there.

I just didn't sense it.

- Did you ever lose hope?

- Oh, yes, especially the first year.

I was really broken.

A number of times I lost hope.

And that's where I came to a point where

I had to look away from hopeand more towards submission.

And the point of thesubmission was saying,

God, if this is what you have for me,

I don't have the strength to do this.

I can't endure in prisonlong-term for years.

I don't want to.

But if this is what you have for me,

then I want to serve your purposes.

But then I need you to strengthen me.

I need you to pour into me the courage,

the strength, the perseverance,

a steadfast sense of Jesus,because I don't have it.

So every day, I would pray for this.

And it became, my cry was,I want to be found worthy

to stand before you onthat day without regrets

from things left undone, from cowardice.

So I don't wanna be a coward.

I don't want to leave undone the

assignment that you've given me.

But I need your strength for it.

- Noreen, you were in prisonwith Andrew for 13 days.

Then you had a chance to, they let you go.

What got you through those 18 months,

when you only had a chance to see

Andrew once a week for 35 minutes?

It then got extended to an hour.

But what got you through?

- Yeah, again, first of all,

the prayers of people around the world.

Some were especially touching to us.

All prayers were wonderful.

We were really touched by theprayers of the Turkish Church.

We were touched by theprayers of Iranians, Chinese.

These are suffering Churches.

And to know that they are praying

for us was just very humbling.

There's no question that we were

carried on a wave of prayer.

Yeah, secondly is justpressing into the Lord.

Difficult times, that's what we do, right?

We have to press into theLord a whole lot more, so--

- And I'm sure that there were days

when you were gettingready to see your husband

once a week that you were weak and--

- Absolutely, absolutely.- And in some ways,

you had to--

- Absolutely.- Did you have to dig deep

in order to be there for him?

- Absolutely.

So, it was hard to get up in the morning.

Every morning, I was just very slow

to kind of, I sleep well at night,

but I wake up, and I'm back in this again,

and very slow to start to my day.

But I had to just start itwith the Lord, definitely.

Certain things I would pray through.

It wasn't a rote thing.

It was fresh every day 'causeI knew how much I needed it.

And actually, there was a shift from,

Lord, walk through this daywith me, to, Lord, you lead me.

We're still walking together,

but you lead me through this day.

So definitely spending alot of time in some prayers

and sometimes just sitting quietly

because I thought, what can I say, Lord?

But definitely holding on to him.

- We at Christian WorldNews, we were reporting

on your plight for a very long time.

Literally, there werepeople in some of the most

difficult parts of the world,whether it's Afghanistan,

Iran, China, Saudi Arabia,but all around the world,

believers who were facingtremendous challenges,

but they knew your story and they prayed.

- Amazing.

- [George] How does that make you feel?

- Well, I never feltworthy of this prayer.

It was astounding to me.

As Noreen would tell me,I'm very isolated in prison.

But Noreen would tell me,these people are praying here.

They're praying in this other country.

And I'm thinking, why?

Because we're in a corner of Turkey

ministering for yearsin relative obscurity.

Why should all thesepeople be praying for me?

And I came to see that the Lord

was doing something much bigger

than just dealing with me,that He was gathering prayer,

I think, for Turkey, for the purposes

that He has for that country,and also in the Middle East.

So I think I'm a little part of something

very big that God is doing, and that's why

God raised awareness in other countries

and had people praying for us.

- [George] Thank youfor coming on the show.

- [Andrew And Noreen] Thank you.

- George, that's so amazing that

you got to sit down with them.

I got to meet thembriefly, but you really got

to find out what it was liketo be in that Turkish prison.

What was that like for you?

- Well, I mean, you get a sensethat he's processing this.

I mean, it's only been a--

- A week.- A week since

he was released.

So, it's gonna take some time.

But clearly he went through

an incredible ordeal for the first year.

The second year was much better.

But that first year, those first

few months were very, very difficult.

And truly, our prayers have been answered.

- All right, thank you, George.

- You're welcome.

- Well, coming up, we talkwith a religious freedom group

that fought for Brunson's release

and learn how President Trump'stough tactics won the day.

- God Almighty is a God of blessing.

He always wants to bless His people.

But how do you get that blessing?

And what principleswill unlock that secret?

- [Announcer] In Miraculous Blessings,

Pat Robertson shows youhow to open the floodgates

of God's awesome blessings in your life.

- In order to have a blessing,you've gotta be blessable.

- [Announcer] Discoverwhat the Bible has to say

about God's covenant ofblessing, the laws of blessing,

and what are the hindrancesto the blessings of God.

- The words of Jesus, they are

as valid as the law of gravity.

And if we follow thoselaws, we will be blessed.

- [Announcer] You'll seeamazing, true stories

of everyday peoplewhose lives were rescued

and transformed by God'smiraculous blessings.

- But even the doctors acknowledged

that this had to be a miracle.

- [Announcer] Call 1-800-700-7000,

or visit cbn.com to become a CBN partner

and get Miraculous Blessings today.

- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know there are more than

148 million orphans in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three little girls that

taught me about the plight of orphans.

My husband and I spent nearly a month

immersed in the daily activitiesof a Ukrainian orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw firsthand the utterloneliness, the pain of rejection,

and the overwhelming desire to be loved.

That experience changedme forever, and out of it

grew a ministry from my heartcalled Orphan's Promise.

Today we're helping orphansand vulnerable children

in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes.

They're being educated andthey're learning life skills.

I'm asking you to join with me

and become family to these children.

Will you call the numberon your screen right now?

Because every child deservesa chance to be happy.

- The American Center for Lawand Justice has been fighting

for Pastor Brunson's releasesince the very beginning.

And joining us now to share more

is Senior Counsel from the ACLJ CeCe Heil.

CeCe, thank you so muchfor being with us today.

- Thank you so much for having me.

- Well, tell us aboutthe work that the ACLJ

was doing and has been doingto free Pastor Brunson.

- Sure, we were retainedright in the beginning

in October of 2016 after Pastor Brunson

and, actually, his wife,Noreen, were arrested.

And so we have been workingwith the Turkish attorney there

on the ground, as well as with the

United States administration,and then through

international bodieslike the United Nations.

- Yeah, talk about the difference

that the Trump administrationmade in his release.

- Yeah, it's always criticalto get the administration,

especially the State Department,on board in these cases.

It is an absolute giftto have the president

or the vice president engaged.

And so it was wonderful onthis case with Pastor Brunson

that President Trump was engaged,

Vice President Pence was engaged,

Secretary Pompeo, the entireState Department, the embassy.

We just had full engagementfrom the administration.

And then we had great help from Congress,

both Houses and bipartisan support.

So the United Stateswas just a big advocate

in getting Pastor Brunson out.

- Have you ever seen an administration

stand up like this in asituation like this, CeCe?

- Never, it's really unprecedented.

This amount of engagementwas amazing to us.

We've just never seen that.

Usually, we're pushing andpushing and asking and asking.

And they were there every step of the way

and helped us every single step

of the way, so really unprecedented help.

- We were very fortunateto have Pastor Brunson

and his wife in our studios today,

and he was basicallysaying, a week ago today

I was standing in a Turkish courtroom

not knowing my fate, notknowing if I was gonna

receive several life sentences.

And literally, they were shocked.

Were you guys also shocked a week ago

when he was set free insteadof getting a sentence?

- Yeah, you know, I've lived this case.

And so every trial date,which there were four,

I would, of course, stayup all night because

it was Turkish time and justget updates and follow it.

And every single trial, we had

hope that he might be released.

This one was very much different,especially when I started

getting reports from the morning session.

All of the witnesses were basically

exonerating Pastor Brunson, and those were

witnesses put on by the prosecution.

So we knew something wasa little bit different,

that they were setting up thepossibility to release him.

But you never know.

We just didn't know.

And so it was very exciting when the judge

made the ruling and we found out

that there was a conviction,but released on time served.

So very great news and a great report.

- How much do you think prayerplayed a part in his release?

- I think it was themajor part, absolutely.

I mean, we do our work asattorneys, and we do it well.

But it's God who moves the heart of kings.

And prayer is what also moves God's heart.

So I believe it was thefaithful prayers of people

all over the world that werepraying for this release,

praying for Turkey,and even praying for us

at the ACLJ and the work that we did.

And I believe that wascrucial and critical.

- And, of course, there are many

others who are still behind bars.

What does this victory for Pastor Brunson

say to persecutedChristians around the world?

- You know, we dointernational human rights law.

So this is what we do.

And unfortunately there are still

many Christians suffering behind bars.

And we won't stop our work and efforts,

but it is certainly very encouraging

when we do have a victory and we are able

to get someone out and get them back

to their family and back to their home.

Being at Andrews Air ForceBase and seeing the Brunsons

get off the plane and being reunited

with their children,that's why we do this work.

So, hopefully it does give hope

to those around theworld that there is hope,

and that hopefully it'llalso encourage people

to keep praying for those people.

- Yeah, and finally, what other cases

are you all working on right now,

and who should we be praying for?

- You know, Asia Bibi's probably the one

that is most on my mind right now

because we're waiting for a verdict.

And she has suffered a long time,

but there are several others.

And in China, I know that that's an area

that we are working inbecause it seems like

more and more every day, people are being

arrested for their faith in China.

So, I think just keepevery persecuted Christian

in your prayers, andhopefully we'll be able

to effectuate some changeand get them released.

- Well, it's a happy day for the Brunsons,

the ACLJ, and for all of us who've been

praying for so long for his release.

And job well done.

CeCe Heil, thanks so muchfor joining us today.

- Thank you so much for having me,

and thank you for keepingthis case in the news.

That helps very much, too.

- Absolutely, our pleasure.

- [George] Coming up,we bring you more news

of the Church around the world,

including a doctor wholeft his lucrative career

in America to help thepoorest of the poor in Africa.

(dramatic orchestral music)

- God Almighty is a God of blessing.

He always wants to bless His people.

But how do you get that blessing?

And what principleswill unlock that secret?

- [Announcer] In Miraculous Blessings,

Pat Robertson shows youhow to open the floodgates

of God's awesome blessings in your life.

- In order to have a blessing,you've gotta be blessable.

- [Announcer] Discoverwhat the Bible has to say

about God's covenant ofblessing, the laws of blessings,

and what are the hindrancesto the blessings of God.

- The words of Jesus, they are

as valid as the law of gravity.

And if we follow thoselaws, we will be blessed.

- [Announcer] You'll seeamazing, true stories

of everyday peoplewhose lives were rescued

and transformed by God'smiraculous blessings.

- But even the doctors acknowledged

that this had to be a miracle.

- [Announcer] Call 1-800-700-7000

or visit cbn.com to become a CBN partner

and get Miraculous Blessings today.

- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know there are more than

148 million orphans in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three little girls

that taught me aboutthe plight of orphans.

My husband I spent nearly a month immersed

in the daily activitiesof a Ukrainian orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw firsthand the utterloneliness, the pain of rejection,

and the overwhelming desire to be loved.

That experience changedme forever, and out of it

grew a ministry from my heartcalled Orphan's Promise.

Today we're helping orphansand vulnerable children

in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes.

They're being educated andthey're learning life skills.

I'm asking you to join with me

and become family to these children.

Will you call the numberon your screen right now?

Because every child deservesa chance to be happy.

- South Korean PresidentMoon Jae-in hand-delivered

a special invitation toPope Frances this week.

In a visit to the Vatican,Moon gave the pontiff

a personal invitation from North Korea's

Kim Jong-un to visit his country.

Christianity is outlawed in North Korea,

and believers face prison and even

death for practicing their faith.

David Curry of Open Doors says the pope

should accept Kim'sinvitation and encourage him

to loosen restrictions on the Church.

Curry writes, respectfully,I say to Pope Francis, go.

Go and go boldly.

Do not let this rare moment pass.

- Apartheid ended in South Africa

more than 20 years ago,but racial tensions

are still very high,that along with reports

of rampant corruption and high crime.

Some wonder if South Africais headed for civil war.

That's why evangelist AngusBuchan is calling Christians

together to pray for South Africa

in an event called It's Time Pretoria.

- Our nation is on a knife edge.

We are possibly facinga potential civil war.

And that's why thenation is coming together

in one place at one time toask the Lord Jesus Christ,

2 Chronicles 7:14, tointervene on our behalf.

- Organizers say theyexpect around five million

people to attend the prayer meeting.

- Well, in 2010, Erik Hansen gave up

a lucrative medical career in America.

He packed his bags and movedhis wife and four children

8,000 miles from his home in South Texas.

- That's right, now they livein a remote part of Africa,

where he serves as aChristian missionary doctor.

I went to Kenya to hearabout this inspiring story.

(speaking in a foreign language)

(bright music)

- [George] Dr. Erik Hansen didn't speak

Swahili before he moved to Kenya.

In fact, he and his family never planned

on living on the African continent at all.

- My wife actually askedme when we were dating

if I was gonna be a long-termcross-cultural missionary,

and I said no, and thatwas the right answer.

So, it was a little bitof a bait and switch.

What brought us here seven years ago

was really God changing our heart.

- [George] The Hansensmoved from Texas to Kenya,

specifically to work at Kijabe Hospital,

which is about an hour outsidethe capital city of Nairobi.

- Where are things with you?

Are you okay?

- Yeah.- Are you ready?

Okay, so can we--

- [George] Hansen is the leadpediatric surgeon at Kijabe.

By definition, he's a missionary doctor.

But the definition is changing.

- The model of the past,where mission hospitals

were staffed almost exclusivelyby expatriate missionaries,

is maybe relevant in some places,

but increasingly not the best model.

And I think that as we train,as the Kenyan staff here

at Kijabe grows, half thephysicians are African here.

Scrub team, we have Murebi, Frances.

Kimani's here also, andthen we have students.

Okay.

If that means that in 10, 15, 20 years

I'm not needed here, that's fantastic.

But if I am, that's fine, too.

- To better appreciate theservices provided by these

Christian hospitals, you justneed to look at the numbers.

For example, here in Kenya,40% of the medical services

are actually provided bythese Christian hospitals.

(gentle music)(heart monitor beeping)

If he were simply a surgeon,Hansen could perhaps

treat hundreds of children each year.

But as a teacher, thereach is far greater.

(heart monitor dings)

- Training these people who will go out

and train others, we're talking about

tens of thousands of children.

That's more than I couldever do in a lifetime.

So I think it's a greattestimony to the love of Christ.

Well, we try to put thenames of all the children

over their bed and just letthem know they're loved.

Every opportunity we get to care

for someone is an opportunity to be love.

- [George] It's a sentimentshared by many at the hospital,

including chief surgeon Dr. Peter Bird.

- So, I might be very goodat taking appendix out.

But someone like Mercy or other pastors

are really good at justsharing the gospel.

That's critical.

You can't just be populating Hell

with all these people withexcellent hernia repairs.

You've gotta be actuallydoing more than that.

(singing in a foreign language)

- [George] Twice each day, doctors,

staff, and patients have the opportunity

to attend services at the campus chapel.

- Because of what He didabout 2,000 years ago,

He's still speaking life toeach and every one of us.

- [George] Still, thechallenges here can be great.

(phone ringing)

- [Woman] Oh, this is perfect.

- [George] And there are everyday

life challenges living abroad.

- Hello?

- [Man] The patient is on the way.

- Hello?

We don't always have running water.

That can be frustrating.

Electricity is generally reliable.

(speaking in a foreign language)

Hey, good morning.

- [Boy] Mom?

- [Amanda] What?

- Do you know where the sugar is?

- [Amanda] I put it over bythe coffee machine, I thought.

- You did?

- There're days I think I could pack up

and we could live a differentlife somewhere else.

But ultimately, we wouldn'ttrade this life for anything.

Big picture, we're happy here.

We have a sense of purpose,a sense of calling.

- I think the challenges thatwe have here ultimately pale

in comparison to theopportunities that we have.

There's the epiglottis.

- The epiglottis.- Okay?

It's a privilege to beable to operate on anybody.

From a surgeon's standpoint,it's a cool case.

From the patient's standpoint,

we hope we can really helpthe child and the family.

And then from a trainingstandpoint, it's key.

- [George] Hansen and Bird could easily

make six figures in their home countries.

- Where I come from, Australia,there are many surgeons.

They don't need anothersurgeon there, really.

- [George] Instead they havechosen a different life,

a different calling withits own unique rewards.

- Living here, we feellike we've hit the lottery.

It's about obedience.

It's about love,hopefully response in love

and loving other peoplethat are my trainees,

but also that are my colleagues,and also the patients, so.

So, let me say a prayer for Mobi.

God in Heaven, we pray for your mercy.

I thank you for the chance to take care--

- [George] George Thomas,CBN News, Kijabe, Kenya.

- [Wendy] Great story.

Well, learn more aboutthe work of the Church

around the world at ourChristian World News website.

Find it by going to cbnnews.com.

We'll be right back.

(dramatic orchestral music)

(uplifting orchestral music)

- [Announcer] When yougive, smiles grow bigger.

When you care, homes are happier.

When you comfort,

the hurt goes away.

When we all come together to love,

miracles happen.

- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know there are more than

148 million orphans in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three little girls that

taught me about the plight of orphans.

My husband and I spent nearly a month

immersed in the daily activitiesof a Ukrainian orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw firsthand the utterloneliness, the pain of rejection,

and the overwhelming desire to be loved.

That experience changedme forever, and out of it

grew a ministry from my heartcalled Orphan's Promise.

Today we're helping orphansand vulnerable children

in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes.

They're being educated andthey're learning life skills.

I'm asking you to join with me

and become family to these children.

Will you call the numberon your screen right now?

Because every child deservesa chance to be happy.

- Hello?

Is this thing on?

Hey, kids!

Do you love games?

- [Children] Yeah!

- [Gizmo] And do youlove discovering things?

- [Child] Yeah!

- Well, do ya?

- [Children] Yeah!

- [Announcer] Then you're gonna love this.

It's the new freeSuperbook kid's Bible app.

You can play games, watch videos,

find answers to your questions,and a whole lot more.

The new Superbook kid's Bible app.

(children cheer)

Free downloads available oniTunes and Google Play now.

- And welcome back toChristian World News.

Here in America, it will be years before

Florida's Panhandle recoversfrom Hurricane Michael.

Packing 155-miles-an-hourwinds, the storm blew buildings

off their foundationsand snapped trees in two.

- It's incredible.

Those who fled the storm are returning

to see what's left of their homes.

As Caitlin Burke reports,churches were also

hit by the storm, but even so,

many are looking to serve their community.

- [Caitlin] Residents whofled Florida's Panhandle

ahead of Hurricane Michael arebeginning to make their way

back home to see ifthere is any home left.

- It's pretty devastating.

Everybody we know lost their house,

everybody, and their jobs.

- It's a devastation.

It's like a bomb just went off here.

- [Caitlin] In Panama City Beach, Florida,

churches are ready to help, even though

they weren't spared destruction.

Destiny Worship Center lost the side

of its kids' building,but that's not stopping

them from serving their community.

The church is helpingto collect and deliver

basic necessities to those in need.

- Well, really we'rebeginning to communicate,

to take supplies here on thebeach level and bring them

over into Panama City andSpringfield and Callaway,

where the churches overthere were really destroyed,

major damage, and allowthem to be collection points

to take the suppliesthat people are giving us

and distribute to the people in need.

- Just down the road, Lighthouse Church

took a more direct hit.

The eyewall of Hurricane Michael

came right through thisarea, and you can see

the type of damage that that can do.

But the folks here at Lighthouse Church

say this is not gonna stop them

from being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Lighthouse Church welcomedall who could make it

to worship with them on Sunday.

(congregation singing)

- I think we all knowthat's just a building.

That's just a building.

We can build a building,but we wanna make sure

our community is taken care of.

We wanna make sure ourmembers are taken care of.

We have teams out right.

Now we have seven teams running right now

with chainsaws and front-end loaders,

and we're moving trees and making sure

that everybody is accountedfor and that they can get out

and they get the aid that they need.

- [Caitlin] Pastor Colesays that by meeting

the basic needs of his community,

he's able to pursue them for Christ.

- I can tell you I love you all day long,

or I can show you that I love you.

So, our neighbors, if they'veever wondered if we love them,

they're about to find outfor sure when they see

one of these Dream Team T-shirts on.

- [Caitlin] We also found MercyChefs in Panama City Beach.

This ministry can serveup to 18,000 meals a day

to victims, volunteers,and first responders.

- We'll be able to standup three separate locations

around Florida and Georgia as needed.

But from those sites, we send food out

to different distribution points.

- [Caitlin] As devastated asthis area is, God can be found,

not in the destruction,but in the response.

Caitlin Burke, CBN News,Panama City Beach, Florida.

- [Both] Wow.

- I've never seen anything like that.

- No, and good news is that our folks

like Operation Blessing aregonna be there long-term.

- That's right.

- Okay, folks, thanks so muchfor joining us this week.

- Well, until next week,from all of us here

at Christian World News,good bye, and God bless you.

(dramatic orchestral music)

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