Sight & Sound


A Resource for Global Christians

Operation World
By Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk
with Robyn Johnstone, Bethany House and
WEC International, 798 pages,
paperback, $17.99; CD-ROM
by Global Mapping International, $17.99.

Since 1974, Christians have used Operation World in book form not only as a prayer tool, but also for research and information about every country on the planet. Operation World is still the definitive global prayer guide, but it has become much more--now available in both book form and an information-packed CD-ROM.

The book's just-released sixth edition is a hefty 798 pages. Completely revised, it features every country from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Want to know how many charismatics live in Kenya? Demonic strongholds affecting Indonesia? The economics of the Maldives? It's in here.

Hundreds of on-site Christian workers compiled facts and figures, praise reports and prayer challenges for each country. Use the book as a reference tool or as a day-by-day prayer guide. Some countries such as Somalia take a day, while others such as India and China have numerous days.

For those who don't want to wade through the book, the Operation World CD-ROM is user-friendly and contains extensive additional data that couldn't fit in the book, including the latest country profile information and related Web links for every country. When opened, it automatically goes to the country featured for targeted prayer that day. Users can click their way around the full-color maps, charts and graphics, which can be copied and pasted for ministry use.

The software can also link users to the Operation World Web site, which has related links not found in the book. Users can also download the entire CD-ROM onto a laptop, using about 400 megabytes of disk space.

For those who are world Christians, this resource will prove to be worth its value.
--Elisabeth Farrell

A View Inside Islam

Jesus vs. Jihad
By Marvin Yakos, Charisma House,
208 pages, paperback, $11.99.

The cataclysmic events of September 11 have left Americans scrambling to understand how and why any human being could inflict such pain and suffering on a multitude of innocent people. What led the Muslim terrorists to organize such an evil plot? What was their point, and what is their ambition?

Jesus vs. Jihad offers some answers during this time of crisis. Author Marvin Yakos debunks the myth that Islam is a peaceful religion and that the Quran can be compared with the Bible--a holy book meant to inspire righteous living. However, he makes a clear statement that all who call themselves Muslims are not willing to carry out the cruel creeds of this religious system and are victims themselves--people to whom we must show love and respect.

A brief history lesson reveals the character and nature of Islam's founder, Muhammad, born 600 years after the birth of Christ. With an imperfect understanding of Christianity--for instance, Muhammad thought Mary was part of the Trinity--Muhammad sought to straighten out Christians and Jews. Quotes from the Quran call for either the enslavement or total annihilation of anyone who does not accept Muhammad's revelation. The Quran justifies murder, rape and stealing in the conquest of the world for Allah, while the Bible tells us that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus comes that we might have life.

This book was written to both inform Christians and to reach those who have been blinded by Satan. This is a crucial time to be educated on the beliefs of the terrorists committing jihad, and this book is sure to bring understanding. It will move readers to support evangelism efforts in Muslim nations and among our Muslim neighbors here in the United States.
--Deborah L. Delk

Addicted to Missions

The Missions Addiction
By David Shibley, Charisma House,
251 pages, paperback, $13.99.

Compassion and conviction permeate this look at the role of missions in today's global culture. In his latest book, The Missions Addiction, author David Shibley, president and founder of Global Advance, defines the need, analyzes an often apathetic church and preaches a powerful challenge. He believes this decade will see a turning point in world missions, a point from which the Great Commission will become the great completion, when entire nations will come under the influence of the gospel in record time.

Shibley's passion for missions is contagious, his heart for missionaries transparent. He narrates countless stories of martyrs and others who have sacrificed all to follow Christ to the mission field--often in the missionaries' own moving words. For example, he cites the impact of a couple who stayed in Afghanistan when all other foreigners were evacuated.

"During our first Christmas," the missionaries related, "over 50 women and their children all squeezed into our home, a little living room, to hear the advent story."

The author dares the reader to seek his role in missions, believing that all Christians are called to participate at some level. Recurring themes include the need for unity in the Christian community and the necessity of adherence to Scripture. Author of 14 books, Shibley writes from experience, having ministered in 51 nations. The Missions Addiction is a valuable reference book, with hundreds of notes and index entries, a history citing centuries of missions greats and a call to action challenging believers to answer God's call.
--Randall Murphree


Taking the Gospel To the Mainstream

By P.O.D., Atlantic Records.

Rock band P.O.D. has made headlines for taking the gospel to hard-core music fans. Fusing Christian lyrics with rap, punk, reggae and rock music, P.O.D. (whose name stands for Payable on Death) has developed a new strategy for evangelism.

With their latest release, Satellite, the band continues to take the gospel where it doesn't always go. Their single "Alive" sat at the No. 1 spot on MTV's popular music countdown show Total Request Live for several weeks--only the third rock band to hit No. 1 on the show.

The four young men--Sonny Sandoval, Marcos Curiel, Traa Daniels and Wuv Bernardo--don't hide their Christian beliefs, nor do they make them their staple. They let their music speak for itself. In "Messenjah," they sing: "This I pledge, and I'll take it to my death / I'll lay my life down for You and die over again / I and I, I'm not ashamed of the Most High." Then they literally scream, "Even if I die tonight, if I die tonight."

With their appeal largely in the mainstream, P.O.D. offers a positive alternative to other rock-music fare. "Alive" is a no-nonsense declaration of faith and is said to have comforted youth after the terrorist attack. They sing: "I'm thankful for every breath I take / I won't take it for granted... / I feel so alive for the very first time / I can't deny you." P.O.D. also garnered attention for "Youth of the Nation," a haunting song about school shootings.

Some Christian radio stations have refused to play Satellite because it doesn't fit their adult-contemporary format. But the audience most in need of the gospel still hears their work. Though some Christians disapprove of their methodology, P.O.D. is going where few Christian bands have gone and making a stand for Christ in the mainstream.
--Margaret Grady

Prayer Power

If We Pray
By Anointed, Word.

Releasing about a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Anointed's If We Pray seems almost prophetic as Americans gather for prayer in record numbers. The group, recently downsized to a brother-sister duo consisting of Steve Crawford and Da'Dra Crawford Greathouse, remind listeners of God's love, faithfulness and power in response to the prayers of His people.

Interwoven with prayers from children, If We Pray begins with the upbeat, rousing title cut telling listeners that they can find hope through prayer. Throughout the release, Anointed brings Scripture to life, particularly on songs such as "You'll Never Thirst," "Rejoice" and "A Time for Everything."

With its focus on one of a believer's most powerful weapons, If We Pray offers strong yet entertaining ministry perfect for troubled times.
--Andrea R. Williams

Unwavering Faith

By Jason Upton, 40 Records.

Using the familiar sounds of the modern worship scene, Jason Upton offers a collection of passionate praise and worship tunes in his release, Faith. Often referring to God as "Daddy," Upton laces his music with themes that will resonate with most believers. In the opener, "Give Me One Reason," Upton sings of his unwavering faith. In the heartfelt "I Will Wait," he speaks of his total dependency on God.

Though musically the release may not have the makings of a classic, Upton more than makes up for it with his intensity. He begins the title cut by making a prophetic declaration for faith to arise. Through the rest of the cut, Upton "prays" the lyrics as often as he sings them, capturing a passion absent in many worship releases. "I'm rejoicing in the fact that the Bible says that You are my victorious warrior / You're the one who fights for me / I don't have to fight anymore /... My faith is rising."

Though its free-flowing worship style may alienate some listeners, Faith will appeal to those who enjoy raw, heartfelt music ministry.
--Adrienne S. Gaines


God's Power to Change Nations

Transformations II: The Glory Spreads Hosted by George Otis Jr., The Sentinel Group,
72 minutes, VHS, $19.95.

The Sentinel Group has released a sequel to its Transformations video, aptly titled Transformations II. This time they document the moves of God in the Arctic of North America, Scotland's Outer Hebrides and Uganda. Viewers will see supernatural spiritual "makeovers" orchestrated by the Creator. The stark before and after pictures are inspiring.

In the far north, Inuit peoples traded their rampant substance abuse, depression and suicide for God's joy, peace and healthy family life. The video traces the life of a missionary who helped set the stage for the radical transformation that manifested years after his death.

The nominal Christians and unbelievers of the Hebrides were awakened by a supernatural visitation of God. Yet it began with the prayers of ordinary women who desired more than the status quo of the typical church meetings. The feeling of God's nearness penetrated the whole area, causing unbelievers to leave pubs and ask the police what was happening.

In Uganda, the government changed for the glory of God. At one time, it seemed Uganda sought to annihilate God's people. Christians had to meet secretly, and pastors were targeted for harassment. But the cries of God's people were answered with His amazing mercy. Now, the demonic government has been brought down, and outspoken Christians are taking key leadership roles.

God's transformation first changed individuals, then families, then churches, then the society around them. This video will encourage anyone desiring to build God's kingdom.
--Deborah L. Delk


Spotlighting Persecution for Generation Y

God's Smuggler relates the thrilling story of Brother Andrew, a young college student who smuggled Bibles into Eastern Europe. Since its release, the book has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. To celebrate the book's 35th anniversary, publisher Flemming H. Revell and the Grammy-winning band Jars of Clay have partnered to release a special version of God's Smuggler for today's youth titled The Narrow Road.

"I developed The Narrow Road because there are so many young Christians today who are searching for a way to make a difference in the world," Brother Andrew said. "We all saw on September 11 how much the world needs Jesus. There is a compelling need for a new generation of young Christians to serve their brothers and sisters in Christ who live under oppression. Strengthening these Christians is not only our duty, but it is also the only way to keep Jesus, whose light shines through them, in these communist and Muslim-dominated countries."

The main text of The Narrow Road is the same as God's Smuggler, but the new edition includes a foreword by Jars of Clay, and a multimedia CD with a video of their song "This Road" tucked into the back of the book. Compelling testimonies from persecuted Christian teen-agers are interwoven in the text.

"My first trip as a missionary was to Poland, and I was young and just out of Bible college," Brother Andrew recalls. "I remember how alive I felt, and the hope of changing lives, taking Jesus where He wasn't known or loved and strengthening people who were weak in the faith. I want readers to know that this is still possible--God will lead them."
--Margaret Feinberg

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