Officials in Laos have threatened members of two Hmong churches with expulsion from their villages and seizure of their property if they don't stop worshiping God. But a Hmong pastor in the area is encouraging the believers to stand firm in their faith. The church leader's own church has dwindled from 10 families to only five after officials revoked the Christians' residency permits in 2008. Without the permits, the Christians can't prove their Lao citizenship and their children can't attend school. When the pastor heard that a nearby church was facing similar threats, he immediately went to encourage the church members; other pastors had stayed away out of fear. The Christians are very sad and worried, and they aren't sure what will happen next . Pray for the members of these two churches and for the pastor who is encouraging them. Pray also that the officials' hearts will be softened toward God's people.
Syria--Prayers and Bread Needed Source: VOM Contacts
A Syrian pastor wrote to tell us how encouraged he was to learn that many people are praying for Syria. He said his city stil l has electricity and water despite the continued fighting there . "The city is still closed, and hills of rubbish are spread everywhere," he wrote. "As for bakeries, few are open, but hundreds of people are waiting their turn and fighting for bread." It takes between five and 10 hours to get bread. The pastor wrote that one of his church members gave him several loaves as a gift. "You can imagine the gifts we are giving each other these days!" he wrote. His church has been meeting regularly, spending the entire service in prayer. "One of the very tragic situations is seeing people with some of their stuff on the sidewalks ... wondering what to do or where to go because they lost their houses or ran away because of the fights," he wrote "Please keep praying for us."
Eleven nurses were poisoned on Sunday, July 29, apparently for breaking the Ramadan fast. At least five of the nurses were reported to be in serious condition. Local Christians said the nurses were poisoned for drinking tea during the month of Ramadan, which Muslims set aside for fasting. The eleven trainee nurses, who live together at a hostel near the Civil Hospital in Karachi, were studying on the evening of July 29, when one of the women decided to make tea for the group in a common kitchen. After drinking the tea, all of them began to vomit and were rushed to the emergency room. According to VOM contacts, someone had been observing the nurses for the previous four days and poisoned them for breaking the Ramadan fast. Christian leaders in Pakistan are calling for a full investigation, while several hospital officials have denied that the poisonings could have anything to do with Ramadan.