Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tensions between Russia and Georgia take toll on the church

Georgia-Russia is slowly beginning a pullout of Georgia.Humanitarian aid trucks are going in, but residents are still very jittery.In fact, many fear the tinderbox situation could reignite into war.Both Russia and Georgia have been accusing each other of genocide and ethnic cleansing during the five-day war in the Caucasus.Even as they are hopeful of returning home soon, Russia's presence means once neighborly Ossetians and Georgians are now enemies.With international pressure mounting, President Dmitry Medvedev says withdrawal from Georgia would be completed within three days. However, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says contrary to that report, there's still no proof that it's being carried out.Jonathon Shibley with Global Advance says their ministry was scheduled for a conference in Georgia this week. With all of the military action taking place, there were obvious security concerns."Our team was at the border of Armenia and Georgia, having just completed a pastors' gathering in Armenia. They received some news at the border, coming from within Georgia, that really made them decide that this would not be an appropriate time to go in for safety concerns, both for their sake and for the gathering of leaders."While the Frontline Shepherd's Conference was called off, Shibley says it's not a total loss. The events are catalysts for church planting and indigenous mission efforts. And yet, because there was already a body of Christians gathered anticipating the training, "It could potentially be an opportunity for these pastors still to come together and just use this as a strategic time of prayer and intercession for the nation. This was going to be a multi-denominational gathering of pastors and leaders of various churches, and we hope that somehow they'll still be able to convene."
--Pray that these church leaders would remain safe as they gather and intercede for the nation.
--Ask God to speak to the hearts of those in contact with the church.
As in the days of Noah...

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