Andrew Brunson Prayer Update

Andrew Brunson’s trial resumes next Friday, October 12.  In preparation for that, we have gathered the following resources for you.
 
The first is a blog by Rev. Bill Campbell who was in the courtroom with Andrew at his trial last July.  This provides not only first-hand insight into what it’s like in the courtroom, but also how things are for Christians throughout Turkey.
 
This is the first 13 days of a 31 day prayer initiative.  The second half will be published once the outcome of his trial on October 12 is made known.  These are short, daily prayers you can easily add to your daily quiet time routine or at any point throughout your day.  Paper copies were made available last Sunday and are still available to pick up at church.
 
In an effort to stand with and pray for the entire Brunson family, the EPC is issuing a Call to Prayer and Fasting for the week of October 8.  We will make these available as a bulletin insert on Sunday, October 7.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for Andrew.  May his faithfulness in spite of the adversity he’s faced encourage you in your walk with the Lord as well!

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EPC asks churches, individuals to fast and pray May 5-6 ahead of Andrew Brunson trial resumption

This post is reposted from EPConnection.org.
 
The trial of Andrew Brunson, EPC Teaching Elder imprisoned in Turkey since October 2016, resumes on May 7. In an effort to stand with and pray for the entire Brunson family, the EPC is issuing a Call to Prayer and Fasting for the weekend of May 5-6.
 
Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk, suggests praying Scripture in four specific ways:
  1. That Andrew will be strengthened, emboldened, and released: Pray Isaiah 42:3 (A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness, He will establish justice.); Isaiah 40:31 (Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength); and Luke 4:18 (The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free).
  2. That Norine will not grow weary: Pray Exodus 17:12 (When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady until sunset.) and Isaiah 40:29 (He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak).
  3. That the Brunson’s children (Jordan, Jacqueline, and Blaise) would walk in the steadfast love of the Lord: Pray Lamentations 3:22-23 (Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness).
  4. That Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, would be directed by the Holy Spirit: Pray Proverbs 21:1 (The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases).
 
“Norine was blessed and encouraged by how many people participated in our call to prayer and fasting before the April 16 trial,” Jeremiah said. “On Thursday, April 26, she was able to pass this on to Andrew, with our plan to do it again before May 7. I hope every EPC church will continue to pray for Andrew, Norine, their family, and the rest of the trial as Andrew faces the judges again.”
 
Following opening arguments on April 16, Brunson was returned to prison. Prosecutors in the case have asked for a 35-year prison sentence on charges that Brunson helped terrorist organizations and worked to convert Turks to Christianity.
 
To help facilitate corporate prayer, a printable bulletin insert in pdf format with these prayer suggestions can be downloaded at www.epc.org/news/freepastorandrew. The bulletin insert is available in two sizes and is designed to be printed on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper and cut in half (either horizontally or vertically).

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How To Support the Recovery Efforts Going Forward

According to a press release from Amherst County, 126 homes have minor damage, 25 are restricted use and 22 are destroyed.  That means at least 47 families are displaced until their homes are repaired or rebuilt.  The recovery needs for these families will be ongoing, long after this event moves out of the news cycle. And many of those in the path of the tornado, whether their home was destroyed or not, are dealing with wounds and hurts that go beyond physical.  So what can we do to support our neighbors and friends in the weeks and months to come?
 

Pray

Make praying for those affected a regular part of your prayer routine. Include in your prayers the contractors and builders, insurance adjusters, police, fire and medical first responders who have and are continuing to step in to help these families rebuild their lives. Here are some practical steps and prayers in the weeks and months to come:
  • Pray for healing.  While certainly praying for physical healing, also pray for emotional and mental healing.  Continue to praise God that no one lost their life, and ask Him to rest His hand of healing on those who need it.  The emotional and mental scars can last far longer than the physical ones, which leads to…
  • Pray for rest.  This might sound trivial, but many of these people, particularly the children but also the adults, could well be having a hard time sleeping.  Nightmares, stress, the internal need to keep working on cleanup, and especially post traumatic stress can negatively impact sleep.  Pray for God’s peace to settle over those trying to piece their lives back together when they sleep.
  • Pray for a smooth process.  Working with insurance companies, contractors, government aid agencies is a difficult and time-consuming process.  It can be its own layer of stress on top of an already stressful and traumatic event.  Pray that God would smooth out the process and that there wouldn’t be any hiccups for these folks.
  • Pray for moments of normalcy:  In the midst of the aftermath of a traumatic event like this, it can feel as if “normal” is a word that will never be used again.  Pray for moments of “normal” for these families and people, That might come in a meal taken as family at a restaurant, to even the regular routine of work and school, or maybe even just going to the store to buy groceries.  A moment of “normal” can go a long way in helping the healing and recovery process.
  • Set a reminder.  Put a reminder in your phone to repeat once a week, and maybe another one in a month or two, to remind you to continuing praying for their recovery.
 

Give

Many have given sacrificially already, but there will continue to be ongoing needs for those affected in the weeks, and especially the months, to come.  Many of them have no idea what they need at this time, so gift cards to grocery and home improvement stores can be very helpful, as they can make use of those as they figure things out.  There are several GoFundMe donation pages set up for these families, if you would like to give directly to them.  Here are some suggested links and ideas:
  • GoFundMe: This link is  a generic search for “Madison Heights, VA fundraisers,’ however at the time of posting (4/24/18), all but one result on the first page of results were for victims of the tornado (there’s another tornado victim fundraiser on the 2nd page of the results as well).  If you would like to give aid directly to the families, this can be a good option.
  • ElonStrong.com: Our friends at River Church have been actively involved in helping those affected from the first day.  Donations made through ElongStrong.com and AmherstStrong.com are primarily going to families with no insurance.
  • Gleaning For The World: GFTW has been partnering with local churches to minister to those displaced by these storms, particularly in providing emergency assistance to those are are victims of the tornado.  They have been distributing food and materials directly to the families and victims.
  • Through Northminster: Please put “Elon Strong” in the memo field of checks made out to Northminster, and we will direct those funds to those in need.
  • Gift Cards: Purchasing gift cards to Food Lion, Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot and various places like that are very helpful.  Many of these families have lost everything and don’t know what they need right now.  A gift card can be very helpful in allowing them to purchase what they need, when they realize they need or are ready for it.  Gift cards can be turned in to the Amherst County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center in Amherst, to the church office, or placed in the offering plate on Sunday mornings.  Gift cards given to us will be passed along to Elon Presbyterian for them to give out directly to the community impacted.
  • Set A Reminder:  As with praying, set a reminder for a month or two, if not longer, from now.  There is always a large influx of donations in the immediate aftermath of disasters like this, but the needs last for months.
 

Volunteer

If you are looking to volunteer, we encourage you to contact Gleaning for the World to see when and where they are distributing materials.  Right now, we are not aware of other organizations that are actively looking for volunteers to help victims rebuild and repair.  If you know families impacted, we encourage you to contact them directly to see how you might be of service.  As we hear of opportunities, we will post them here and on our Facebook page.
 
Thank you for the wonderful ways you have already cared for our neighbors affected by the tornado, may God bless each of us as we seek to continue to be Christ’s hands and feet in caring for and loving them in the weeks and months to come.

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Community Service of Prayer and Praise

Sunday Evening, April 22nd at 7 p.m. we are going to have a service of prayer and praise for the Elon Community! Even in the midst of the storm, maybe especially in the midst of the storm, God’s hand has been protecting and loving His people. We want to praise God for our community and praise Him for being with us through it all! We will join with Elon Baptist, Elon Presbyterian and other churches as well as our entire community to give thanks to God for His great faithfulness and for each other. Area pastors will help lead the service.  The service will be held at Elon Baptist Church, 145 Younger Drive, Madison Heights, VA 24572 (Next to Elon Elementary School – click here for map and directions).
 
Please note that Youth Group/Confirmation Class will meet from 5:00-6:30PM this Sunday.

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EPC issues call to prayer and fasting for April 15 ahead of Andrew Brunson trial

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church has issued a call for prayer and fasting for Andrew Brunson as he prepares for and faces trial this coming Monday in Ismir, Turkey.  Below, you can find the letter from the EPC with more details.  The original post can be found here.
 
On April 16, 2018, EPC Teaching Elder Andrew Brunson will go on trial in Izmir, Turkey. If convicted of the charges in the 62-page indictment filed by the prosecutor, Andrew could be sentenced to 35 years in prison. The indictment charges Brunson with helping terrorist organizations and of trying to convert Turks to Christianity.
 
In an effort to stand with and pray for the entire Brunson family, the EPC is issuing a Call to Prayer and Fasting for Sunday, April 15. The trial is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. local time in Turkey, which is 2:00 a.m. EDT Monday.
 
Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk, said Andrew’s wife, Norine, has requested three specific prayers:
  • Pray for Andrew’s release, using Psalm 18, which speaks of deliverance from the “cords of death” (v. 4-5).
  • If he is given the opportunity to speak in his defense, please claim Jesus’ promise, “But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourself. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict” (Luke 21:24-15).
  • That the steadfast love of the Lord will comfort our children (Jordan, Jaqueline, and Blaise) and that He will give them peace and help them to trust.
“As we consider Norine’s steadfast faithfulness and courage, my prayer is that she not grow weary,” Jeremiah said. “I have been claiming Galatians 6:9 and Exodus 17:12 for her, and she knows that we are helping ‘hold up her arms’ for her husband.”
 
In addition to the April 15 Day of Prayer and Fasting, a seven-day prayer guide for the week leading up to the trial can be downloaded at www.epc.org/files/andrewbrunson7dayprayerguide.
 
“I encourage the Prayer Team of every EPC church to utilize this guide and lift Andrew, Norine, their family, and the trial to the throne of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Jeremiah said.

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