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Pastors are looking to new options as technical difficulties plague their go-to video conferencing platform.On a hot night in August, Yong Shao, a small group leader of a house church in a major city in northern China, was about to start the weekly Zoom Bible study when he started receiving a barrage of messages from his small group members with an unexpected problem: Zoom wasn’t working for them.An IT professional, Yong went into troubleshooting mode. He suggested they update the Zoom app and switch to using cellphone data instead of Wi-Fi. In the past, these tricks worked when Zoom was down—but this time, nothing. As a backup, they decided to switch to an audio-only group call on WeChat, which Yong’s church typically avoided due to government surveillance and censorship on the app. (CT has changed all names of people in China in this article due to security concerns).Thankfully, the group didn’t face any interruption or abrupt termination even as they mentioned sensitive religious words like Christ and eternal life. Yet the app limited the number of participants to 15 people, so some were unable to join, and the group’s worship leader was unable to share the audio of the worship songs they planned to sing.Since that night, Yong and the small group have continued to face problems with Zoom and have no choice but to continue to use WeChat.Other Christian ministries in China have faced similar issues using Zoom in the past three months, according to interviews CT conducted with nine Chinese church leaders and ministry workers. While the company has not made any official announcement of being kicked out of China (Zoom’s service status website states it is operational in China), users on Reddit and Zoom’s website have also complained about the outage as well. Zoom did not respond to CT’s ...Continue reading...
Adam Sandler's new kids' movie is an entertaining musical with an unlikely lesson in intergenerational discipleship.A recent conversation in my Bible study turned to how we interact with people who are different from us. I assumed we’d talk about differences of ethnicity or religion, but the discussion focused on generational differences instead. The group is all recent college graduates, and we considered how we talk about boomers and millennials—but also how they talk about us as members of Gen Z.There are tensions in those differences, but believers of older generations have also discipled and prayed for us. And soon after that conversation, I was reminded again of the deep value of those relationships in a place I least expected: Adam Sandler’s new Netflix kids’ movie, Leo.Leo centers on a class pet lizard (voiced by Sandler) who suddenly learns he has just one year left to live. The realization forces him to consider what he wants to do with his remaining time, and his initial idea is to escape the classroom and explore the world. His bucket list includes hunting a fly, seeing the Everglades, and showing his moves to a lady lizard.Leo’s escape plans are thwarted when the teacher decides he’ll be sent home with a different student each weekend. Soon, he finds himself less focused on flies and ladies and more interested in counseling the kids in his class, talking them through social dynamics, grief, and even early puberty.Some of this happens in song—Leo is an entertaining musical with songs both satirical and thoughtful. The animation style varies throughout the film, distinguishing flashbacks and hypotheticals from the primary narrative. (A family member of mine was an artist on the film, but that relationship did not influence this review.) For younger viewers, the plot is easy to follow—a ...Continue reading...
3 Dead, 8 Injured In Terrorist Shooting Attack At Entrance To Jerusalem A 24-year-old woman, a 73-year-old man and an additional victim were murdered Thursday morning (30th) in a shooting ... Read MoreThe post News Digest — 11/30/23 appeared first on The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.
We are so excited that the Lord provided a building that will serve as the Answers Academy building—and it's nearly ready for the students to move in!
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