Roundup 293

Pray with us

1. We continue to pray for an end to the war in Ukraine. News reports are full of hundreds of military strikes, widespread devastation, a brutal turn in the east, and possible war crimes by the Russian forces.

2. Ramadan is under way. There are a number of prayer campaigns being launched around this time, including two strands of 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World (here and here). Also, Frontiers has “Hidden Treasures of the Muslim World,” a 30 day prayer guide available via daily emails. Also note the Global Day of Prayer for Turkey below.

3. We are thankful for what appears to be a holding peace in Yemen. We have heard of many refugees who want to return home to their people, and bring the Gospel with them.

New Events

North Africa + West Asia = Middle East (570m)

Sudan faces significant increase in food insecurity. UN
… and many neighborhoods have a severe drinking water crisis. Dabanga
Yemen’s new leaders: “Our first option is peace, but we are ready for war.” Al-Monitor
Reeling from Friday’s clashes, Israel braces for more violence in Jerusalem. Al-Monitor
… clashes broke out on the Temple Mount between Muslims and Israeli police
… as tens of thousands gathered for Ramadan prayers at the mosque
Child population in Turkey continues to shrink. Hurriyet
… despite some ‘population scare’ videos, many Muslim countries are seeing pop. declines

East Africa (520m)

20 million risk starvation as Horn of Africa drought worsens. Hiraan Online
33,000 in NE Tigray facing extreme food insecurity. AllAfrica
… negotiations over relief convoys into the region are troubled. AllAfrica
Renewed clashes in Abyei border region between Sudan, S Sudan. AllAfrica

West + Middle Africa (600m)

Attacks on villages in Plateau State, Nigeria: 154+ killed. Al Jazeera

South + Central Asia (2b)

On former front line in long Afghan war, an appreciation for peace. CSM
… “for many war-weary Afghans, like those in Wardak, the end of the conflict has proved more important than who is in charge.”

India: Religious clashes spark fears of further violence. WaPo $
… “…that set off a massive street fight that was subdued only when riot police…”
Madhya Pradesh: why an Indian state is demolishing Muslim homes. BBC
… in the aftermath of communal violence that broke out on 10 April
… government claims its destroying illegal constructions to teach rioters a lesson
Violence in Delhi followed by anti-encroachment drive: houses razed. BBC
Delhi’s old illegal construction gives divisive politics new fangs. Quartz
… “If Delhi’s civic authorities genuinely decide to pull down illegal structures,…
… a vast majority of the city’s residents could turn homeless overnight.”
“Modi’s India has no space for Muslims.” The Diplomat
… and, one wonders, if no space for Muslims, then who else has it no space for?
Eight-hour blackouts hit India after hottest March since 1901. Straits Times
… sparked by the scarcity of coal, accounting for 70% of India’s electricity
… “threatens to hobble economy that’s looking to fire up post-pandemic”
Mumbai heatwave leaves fewer fish in the sea for female sellers. Japan Times
Dung power: India taps new energy cash cow. Straits Times
… “one half will run Indore buses, the other half sold to industrial clients”
Mask mandates return to Delhi as Covid-19 cases rise. Straits Times
A year on, we still don’t know the real impact of India’s second Covid wave. Quartz
… WHO estimates 4 million. Official toll 0.5 million.
… during 2nd wave, many couldn’t schedule tests, simply died at home waiting for oxygen.
… only officially tested by the government were officially designated as Covid deaths.
… reality is, many families are mourning losses

Sri Lanka at a crossroads: food, fuel shortages, mass protests, debt default. Straits Times

Tajikistan builds a temporary camp near Dushanbe for Afghan refugees. Khaama Press

Eastern Asia (1.6b)

How private Chinese companies are winning in Africa. SupChina
… Private companies are making a unique impact on the continent’s transformation …

Shanghai lockdown:
… 4/20 a total of 12 million (out of 25 mill) allowed to go out doors. NBC
… Anger mount, restrictions strain nerves, livelihoods. WSJ $
… inside a Shanghai mass quarantine center: no showers, lights 24/7. WSJ $
… How the lockdown is remaking Shanghai neighborhoods. Sixth Tone
… Shanghai Lockdown 2022: The Neighbors. Sinosplice
Chinese police order residents to hand over passports ‘until after the pandemic.’ RFA
… amid a massive surge in people looking for ways to leave China
… “said the measure is being rolled out nationwide”
Hong Kong to reopen to non-residents. HKFP

China exports to North Korea surge with oil, wheat flour as trade resumes. CNA
“The poor live in penthouses rather than the rich,” said a NKorea defector. Link
… “lifts are often not working properly, and cannot pump up water due to low pressure”
… “selling and buying houses is illegal; residents are assigned housing”

Southeast Asia (700m)

Thailand cuts on-arrival test + quarantine for vaccinated. CNA
… unvaccinated will require pre-flight PCR test.
Covid: Cambodia cuts quarantine for unvaccinated visitors to 7 days. CNA
… fully vaccinated travelers: no quarantine, no on-arrival test
Malaysia “fully reopens”; thousands return home from Singapore. USNews
1 in 100 displaced by conflict since Myanmar coup, UN says. RFA
Prophecies, rituals and resistance in Myanmar. Diplomat $
… “the popular Burmese expectation of a ‘min laung‘ or messiah king who will right all wrongs, vanquish evil, and rule justly”


New Zealand expects to take years to recover from Covid-19 shutdown. Straits Times

Russia’s ‘special military operation’
Russia begins assault in the east after raining missiles nationwide. NYT $
How Ukraine won the battle for Kyiv. Rolling Stone
… medium long read article from deep within the Kyiv battlefield
Putin is deploying mercenaries in Ukraine that terrorized Libyans. Time
Ukrainian refugees who have fled the country top 5 million. NPR
Parsing Pacifism: Ukr’s Mennonite heritage shapes Evangelical responses to Russia. CT

New Data

Covid global case data

4/22: 507.8m cases, 6.2m deaths (trackers: Johns HopkinsNYT)
70% of England have had Covid at least once. Telegraph
99% of people on Java have Covid antibodies. Reuters

Other data

A [very brief] look at Americans’ prayer habits. Pew
… “extraordinary prayer = ordinary + a little more on top”
… ordinary: 45% pray daily, down from 58% in 2007.
… 79% of self-described evangelical Protestants pray daily
Also, 26 million Americans stopped reading the Bible regularly during Covid-19. CT
… 2021, 50% of Americans read the Bible “at least 3 or 4 times per year.”
… 2022, 39% say they read the Bible multiple times per year
… Only 10% of Americans report daily Bible reading (14% before pandemic)
… “thinks dramatic change = how closely Bible reading connected to church attendance”

Longer Articles

Wes Watkins: “A Movemental Turn in Missions: Thoughts on New Eras and New Wineskins.” Arab Baptist Theological Seminary. Link

“The Cross: That’s how they get you.” Link
… I thought this was an interesting look inside the mind of a Westerner who had abandoned his faith–also quite sad. The last paragraph shows someone who has “lost the plot” – in fact, there is only one way to take the idea, and if you reject that, nothing else makes sense.

Contrast this with Alistair Begg on the power of the cross – Youtube
… I’m not huge on sermons, especially on Youtube, but the 2 to 4 minutes starting at 31:48 is compelling.

Book Notes

The books I’ve read in 2022. The books I read in 2021.

Tech & Futures

Netflix just lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade. The Verge
… blames it on price increases, but never expected to tally many new subscribers this Q
… my own idle speculation: how much of the loss is due to post-pandemic out-and-about?
Drones have transformed blood delivery in Rwanda. Wired
… more idle curiosity: any mission groups (e.g. MAF, etc) using drones for deliveries/work?
The end of astronauts–and the rise of robots. Wired
… “can outperform astronauts at a far lower cost, and without risk to human life”
Ford has a robot that can autonomously operate 3D Carbon printers. Impact Lab
Robots to help Muslim pilgrims at holy sites in Saudi Arabia. Al-Monitor
Online shopping in Turkey took off in 2021: mostly on cell phone apps. Al-Monitor
NoTraffic: using AI and hardware in traffic lights to optimize road traffic. Fast Company
… instead of rigid timing plans, system keeps traffic flowing …
Censors in China are having a hard time silencing all the rage right now. Futurism
China will complete its in-orbit space station in six more missions. Ariana
Advances in renewable energy technologies in America (could be deployed elsewhere). Link
… offshore wind farms, cheaper roof solar, mass-market electric vehicles …


“There is no one who is insignificant in the purpose of God.” ~Alistair Begg

“Everyone wants to be clothed with power but no one wants to be stripped of self.” ~Leonard Ravenhill

“We can know the right words yet never be changed. This is the difference between information and transformation.” ~A.W. Tozer

“Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” ~Francis Schaeffer

“When the culture collides with scripture, let the culture collapse.” ~Pastor Dan Cadavos

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