A Sweet Sound
Sarah Reeves: Telling of the freedom God brings
Sarah Reeves says God messed up her life. The 19-year-old dreamed of becoming a big rock star, but at age 15 she sensed a call to lead worship instead. “God humbled me and messed up my life, my way of thinking and said, ‘Sarah, life’s not about you; it’s about Me,’ ” she says. Through her debut album, Sweet Sweet Sound, the Alabama native hopes her music will remind listeners to let their lives “be a sweet, sweet sound” to God. “This life is short, definitely too short to play games,” she says. “And my prayer is that God would just use me to speak and to sing over people who are so lost and don’t really know the power of God, and don’t really know the freedom of Him.”
The makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court will change this summer when Justice David Souter retires. With the court poised to hear cases involving gay marriage and possibly abortion, we encourage you to pray this month that:
• God would give President Obama and Congress wisdom as they select Souter’s replacement
• The high court would uphold traditional marriage, in particular the Defense of Marriage Act
• Moves to broaden abortion access would be rejected.
To sign up for regular prayer updates from Charisma’s Prayer Initiative, visit prayerinitiative.com.
For the first time in 15 years, a majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life, according to a May Gallup Poll. The survey of 1,015 adults found that 51 percent of Americans call themselves pro-life while 42 percent describe themselves as pro-choice. Just a year ago, 50 percent of respondents were pro-choice, and 44 percent were pro-life. Previously, the highest percentage of Americans to ever consider themselves pro-life was 46 percent in August 2001 and May 2002. Gallup attributed the shift to an increase in Republicans, Protestants and Catholics who identify as pro-life.
An Atlanta-area “café” is serving up missionaries to take the gospel into the least evangelized parts of the world.
Launched in 2000, Café 1040 trains college-age youth to spread the gospel in the 10/40 Window, an area spanning from West Africa to East Asia. “Almost all of the peoples who do not have access to the gospel ... live within the 10/40 Window,” says founder Chuck Phillips, who helped organize the Passion youth events before founding the ministry.
Café participants spend three months in Africa or Southeast Asia, studying the culture, religion, language and history of the nation they seek to serve. “What we’re trying to do is get them focused on doing missions work among unreached people groups because the Great Commission will not be completed until someone from every tribe, tongue, nation ... [has] heard,” Phillips says.
Since 2004, 112 students have completed the program, with 78 percent planning to become missionaries. Erin Gray, a recent University of Georgia graduate, says the training was life-changing. “It really teaches you ... everything that you can do in that culture so you’re really getting a grasp of how to acquire a language, how to be a part of that society and be a Christian in that society,” she says.
Phillips believes a great student movement is rising that could complete the Great Commission. “But only if this movement sends its followers to the unreached peoples of the world,” he says.
—Em Ferguson in Atlanta
Kevin Weaver is an optimist. So when the founder of It’s Feasible, a business development company in Dallas, happened upon a job fair for ex-offenders where 5,000 people showed up to interview with just six employers, he believed he could help. Weaver adapted the technology he uses in his health care staffing businesses to develop Freedom Exchange, which will confidentially connect former inmates with potential employers when it launches this fall. “Jobs are the best way to lower recidivism,” says Weaver, noting that thousands of ex-offenders leave prison each year with just $100 and a ticket home. Although he says marketplace ministry is part of his calling, Weaver also wants to start an “uprising” of Christians who see healings, salvations and miracles in everyday encounters at the mall or grocery store. “I know in the world it looks as though we’re in a crisis time,” said Weaver, who posts teaching materials at AnUprising.com. “But at the same time a generation of people are rising up with an unquenchable desire for a manifestation of the kingdom.”
—Adrienne S. Gaines read more