Author: Mildred Rhodes

Here's why DCS hasn't met its hiring goal for caseworkers

Four years after getting the go-ahead to hire 1,400 front-line staff, DCS has yet to meet that goal.

      

 

 

Phoenix Mercury assistant coach Todd Troxel charged with assault, disorderly conduct

Todd Troxel, assistant coach with the Phoenix Mercury, has been charged with assault and disorderly conduct about a month after an incident wi

      

 

 

He Led Churches in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp. Now He Waxes Floors.

But in his spare time, a leading refugee pastor is mentoring immigrant ministry leaders across the country.

Nobody naps on Saturdays in the Gatera family.

If anyone has a right to, it’s Jean Pierre Gatera. Most weekdays the 43-year-old drives his wife, Appoline, to her tomato-packing job in Minneapolis at 6:30 a.m. Then he sends their kids—Joel, 15, Emmanuela, 12, and Deborah, 8—off to school and does a few hours of work for his degree, a master’s in leadership from Bethel University. He preps some rice and meat for dinner, since Appoline is usually exhausted when she gets home. Then, at 4:20 p.m., he leaves for work: waxing floors for a janitorial company until 1 a.m. He sleeps about four hours a night.

But if he’s fatigued on a Saturday afternoon in July, Jean Pierre does not show it. He and the kids pile into the family van and one of them says a prayer for safety before heading to the Hosmer Library, just south of downtown Minneapolis. He leaves them at the stately, hydrangea-framed historic building to kill a few hours while he drives to Jonathan House, a ministry in neighboring Saint Paul where immigrants seeking asylum can stay for up to six months while they find their feet.

Jean Pierre stands waiting at the door of the small, forgettable white structure, unornamented except for some gray shutters. He is about 20 minutes late for a 1 p.m. appointment with Gabriel Wilson, an immigrant from Liberia. But Wilson is still asleep. He works nights too.

Asylum seekers like Wilson have almost no safety net; they are not eligible for welfare cash assistance or other government benefits. Which is why Jean Pierre is here today, to see to it that Wilson never needs a net.

Still groggy, Wilson shows Jean Pierre into the front room, where they review several goals they’ve set together for Wilson: get a …

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CT’s Top 15 Articles for Pastors in 2018

Eugene Cho explains why he stepped down from Quest Church, ministers reflect on Eugene Peterson’s influence, and Noe Garcia reveals the challenges of hosting John McCain’s memorial service.

We hope all of Christianity Today’s content is valuable for those in vocational ministry, but we also publish articles specifically for pastors. Here are our top 15 most-read articles from our Pastors section, ranked in reverse order.

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Christmas air pollution exceeded national standard for second year in a row

On Christmas Eve and Day PM 2.5 count exceeded EPA federal air quality standard. High pollution advisory expected for New Year’s Eve and Day.

      

 

 

Cave Creek Road closed in Sunnyslope after rollover kills 1, cuts power for thousands

Arizona Public Service Co. reported more than 2,800 people were without power in the area following the crash. Power was restored around 7 p.m.

      

 

 

If You Give a Tsunami Survivor a Crayon

Ministries in Sulawesi, Indonesia, engage kids in a crucial first step in trauma healing: play.

In a church in the bayside city of Palu, Indonesia, volunteers smile wide as they lead dozens of children in sing-alongs with hand motions. They pass around coloring pages with packs of crayons and colored pencils. The group sits cross-legged on the white tile floor, hands folded in their laps, to pray together.

It looks like a typical day at Sunday School—and that’s the point. Because outside of the walls of GPID Manunggal Palu, these kids’ world is a disaster zone.

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck nearby in late September, causing a massive tsunami, aftershocks, and mudslides that killed more than 2,000 of their neighbors—including hundreds of students at a Bible camp. Their streets are unrecognizable, with crumbled buildings and buckled roads. They’ve lost homes, electricity—and normalcy.

“The kids miss their normal routine,” said Priscilla Christin, spokesperson for World Vision Indonesia. “Routines like school are especially important when children have experienced a scary event.”

Days after the earthquake, ministries rushed to provide safe spaces and trauma recovery programs specifically for kids, who often can’t process what has happened or what they’re feeling as readily as adults. “They lack both the language and life experience to understand what they’re going through,” said Jamie Aten, founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) at Wheaton College.

Relief charities like World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse have seen on the ground what researchers like Aten have concluded: Even basic care—like a safe location, kids to play with, and someone to talk to—can go a long way toward reducing …

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Ahead of 2019, Bulgaria Rejects Severe Church Restrictions

The new year brings new regulations—but thankfully not the worship and seminary bans evangelicals initially feared.

Since October, Bulgarian evangelicals have protested proposed legislation that would hinder preaching, evangelizing, funding, and training by non-Orthodox minority faiths with weekly demonstrations and nationwide calls to prayer.

Last Friday, its last working day of 2018, the country’s parliament finally passed the new law, without the restrictions Protestants had feared the most.

“We celebrate the decision by the government of Bulgaria earlier today to allow hundreds of churches, including 130 Baptist churches, to remain open so that people of faith may continue to worship in the free convictions of their conscience,” stated the Baptist World Alliance, which opposed the initial proposal along with the Baptist Union of Bulgaria and several other national church councils.

The amendments to the Religious Denominations Act go into effect January 1 and present some additional regulations in the southeastern European country. The two major faith groups, Orthodox (85%) and Muslim (10%), also receive bigger government subsidies under the new law.

An earlier version of the amendments, as CT reported last month, put the future of Protestant education and foreign funding for churches in jeopardy.

The original proposal also barred all church activity outside official buildings and kept foreign preachers from leading services; the approved amendments regulate only the use of loudspeakers to amplify outdoor worship and allow non-Bulgarians to preach if they inform the religious affairs office, according to Evangelical Focus, a Christian news site in Europe.

Gong forward under the new rules, churches and other religious buildings can join an optional national registry to receive tax deductions.

“The willingness of the …

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Adoptive parents of the 'Hatbox Baby' had a short-lived marriage

The couple who adopted Sharon Elliott, the Hatbox Baby, led complicated lives — all the way to the end.

      

 

 

Officials: Lewis prison inmate who took employee hostage in 2006 did it again Wednesday

An inmate took a male employee hostage at Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis on Wednesday.
The situation was resolved without injuries, officials said.