Archive for the 'The Need in North America' Category

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Heroin Epidemic in Rural America

Oprah Winfrey recently discussed the plight of families in rural America with journalist Lisa Ling.  She also talked to a family, and young pregnant mother, both addicted to heroin.


Journalist Lisa Ling has reported on critical issues across the globe, but she found this shocking story right in the middle of America. Richland County, Ohio, seems like a typical Midwestern community. An hour and a half north of Columbus, it’s a mostly rural area with more than 1,000 farms and nearly 130,000 residents. But the people who live here are facing a big-city problem.

Central Ohio, which includes Richland County, is in the grip of what the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) calls a heroin epidemic. Anthony Marotta, the DEA special agent in charge of Ohio, says the drug is coming out of Mexico and being transported to Ohio through the southwest border states.

“Heroin here in Richland County is completely out of control,” says Sergeant Don Zehner of the Richland County Sheriff Department. “It’s affecting everybody.” The situation has gotten so bad, local law enforcement officers say they’re in over their heads.Lisa says the most surprising thing about this devastating phenomenon is that it doesn’t discriminate. “I could not believe that people of different ages, different socioeconomic backgrounds, were literally dying this slow death in the middle of America,” she says. “The reason why it affected me so much is that I interviewed so many people, and every single one of them was begging for help. Nobody liked that they were addicted to heroin.”

Click here to read the entire story

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Expectant Mother Is One of Many Addicts in Rural Heartland

ABC News Nightline reports on the heroin epidemic in Rural America. As a sheriff quoted in the story said: “Everywhere you go, it’s like it’s snowing heroin.”

Merry Doerr has spent her whole life in the American farmbelt, a rural pocket of green tucked into the middle of Ohio. She’s close to her family, living with her mother and 4-year-old daughter.

Merry Doerr, a heroin addict, is currently pregnant with her second child. She plans to give her baby up for adoption. (ABC News

Merry Doerr, a heroin addict, is currently pregnant with her second child. She plans to give her baby up for adoption. (ABC News)

With her blond hair and blue eyes, Doerr embodies the classic American look — and says she grew up with classic American values.

“When I grew up, my mom had raised me in Christian beliefs,” she said, “and I knew … right from wrong based on the Bible. I was a cheerleader. I had a lot of friends.”

But life is different now. Doerr, who is five months pregnant and preparing for her second child, is not like other young mothers. She’s a heroin addict.

Click here to read the entire story

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Why America Needs More Missionaries

Dollie Harvey of Missionary Gospel Fellowship writes about some of the obstacles that missionaries face in this article:

Missionaries who ask pastors for opportunities to teach their congregations how to witness to people of other religions are often met with a negative response: “Some of our people are married to Mormons (or Muslims, or Buddhists) and we don’t want to rock the boat. We’ll just present the Gospel and leave the other religions be . . .”

When one pastor made a similar statement to Jack Harvey, Jack exclaimed, “Pastor, I don’t want to ROCK the boat, I want to SINK it!”

According to a recent Barna Research Group study, it’s time American Christians got serious about reaching the world for Jesus Christ, beginning with teaching people in the pews that truth is not relative. For instance, the study reports that 46% of born again Christians think that Satan is “not a living being but is merely a symbol of evil.” Shockingly, 37% of those born again believe that if a person is good enough they can earn a place in Heaven. Is it any wonder America has lost her missionary zeal?

To read the entire article, go to:

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

A Church Dies

A small church in our community closed down on Easter Sunday. We helped the pastor and his family load up their moving trailer the second week of June.  It was sad to see him leave – he was a good friend.  We are thankful for the times we see good attendance at Sunday school & worship service. We’re never sure exactly who is going to attend from week to week, but we’re thankful for the opportunities our Lord provides. 

~ Jim & Lynette Karg

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

John Piper: America is Dying

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Village Missions Is Reaching the Forgotten People of North America

As of June 2008 Village Missions is serving 194 churches in the United States and 30 in Canada.
Here are some of the results:

From July 2007-June 2008
Recorded Professions of Salvation:
Adults: 307
Children: 584
Recorded Baptisms:
Adults: 210
Children: 103

We are committed to going to places with the greatest need, regardless of their ability to help pay a pastor.  Since October 2005 we have served 14 such churches, with a total investment of $309,546 through June 2008.  Six additional churches are waiting for leadership.

We need your help to continue reaching the places that need our help the most.  Please join us by spreading the word and giving whatever you can afford.  Thank You!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Is North America a Mission Field?

It is estimated that the unchurched populations of the United States and Canada are 195,000,000 and 24,000,000, respectively. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, the population in the United States increased 11.4%, but the overall Church membership declined 9.5%. Less than 5% of all Canadians are evangelical. (1.)

North America contains a very diverse religious landscape, and the Church’s growth is not doing so well. Cults and other world religions are growing at a very rapid rate. Aubrey Malphurs noted in his book on church planting that the Mormons have tripled in size between 1965-2001 in the United States and that the Jehovah’s Witnesses did likewise in Canada. (2.)  Christianity grew by 5% from 1990-2000 in the United States, but compare this statistic with the following growth rates:

  • Nonreligious/Secular 110% increase
  • Islam 109% increase
  • Buddhism 170% increase
  • Hinduism 237% increase
  • Unitarian/Universalist 25% increase
  • Native American 119% increase
  • Baha’I 200% increase
  • New Age 240% increase
  • Sikhism 338% increase
  • Scientology 22% increase
  • Taoism 74% increase
  • Deism 717% increase (3.)

“Most Americans, when asked to describe rural America, conjure up images of farm life, fresh air, wide open spaces, and small, somewhat isolated towns populated with hard-working, independent people (W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 2001). When we think “rural,” we imagine a time in our country’s history when life seemed more simple and straightforward. Folks raised their animals and crops, cared for their families and land, and met their neighbors at church every Sunday. In the twenty-first century, while parts of this image still hold true, close to 94 percent of the rural labor force is engaged in work other than farming (Johnson, 2006). New pressures from globalization, demographic shifts, migration, landscape transformation, and resource limits are reshaping rural life. Fifty million people live in small towns and rural communities— 17 percent of the nation’s population, living on 80 percent of the land. During the last four decades, jobs in rural areas have moved from agriculture, mining, and forestry to low-skill manufacturing, and more recently, to the service sector.” (4.)

1. North American Mission Board, New Churches Needed: Our Church Can Help!: A Step-by-StepHandbook for Planting New Churches (Alpharetta, GA: North American Mission Board, 2001.), iv
2. Aubrey Malphurs, Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004), 38.
3. Accessed February 18, 2005.

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

What Happens When You Forget Your Country is a Mission Field?

“It took several centuries to convert Britain to Christianity, but it has taken less than forty years for the country to forsake it.” (1.)

“In unprecedented numbers, the British people since the 1960s have stopped going to church, have allowed their church membership to lapse, have stopped marrying in church and have neglected to baptize their children. Meanwhile, their children, the two generations who grew to maturity in the last thirty years of the twentieth century, stopped going to Sunday school, stopped entering confirmation or communicant classes, and rarely, if ever, stepped inside a church to worship in their entire lives.” (2.)

According to Ruth Gledhill, “Church attendance in Britain is declining so fast that the number of regular churchgoers will be fewer than those attending mosques within a generation, research published today suggests.” She writes further, “According to Religious Trends, a comprehensive statistical analysis of religious practice in Britain, published by Christian Research, even Hindus will come close to outnumbering churchgoers within a generation.” (3.)

1. Callum G. Brown The Death of Christian Britain As quoted in Dr. Al Mohler’s blog
2. Callum G. Brown The Death of Christian Britain As quoted in Dr. Al Mohler’s blog
3. Ruth Gledhill The Times (London) As quoted in Dr. Al Mohler’s blog

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