To paraphrase Mr. Dickens, it was the best and worst of times. But major calls to prayer, and individuals, ministries, and local organizations striving for good helped to spotlight the Best of 2011 Los Angeles Faith & Community:
Egypt: The International stage was center stage, with Egypt at the forefront. The Egyptian uprising, and Hosni Mubarak’s fall from power were viewed through the lens of faith. Hanon Awad Rinke mounted a prayer vigil on Valentine’s Day for Egypt and its people, and the faith community was invited to participate: February 14: send Egypt your love through prayer.
India: Real India continued its good work ministering to the orphaned and indigent children of India with its 2011 Bible Camp. The outreaches have continued throughout the year, with Kid’s Camps, and a Christmas Party, where children were fed, given gifts, and learned more about the meaning of Christmas.
Laura Ilger has returned to India’s Asha House a number of times since I first profiled her in 2009. On this 2011 trip, she took her boyfriend, David Olague, and this expanded their ministry potential and outreach. In Mission Asha House: David and Laura’s Great Adventure, I gave details of their travels, as well as their insight and perspective days before leaving for their two-month mission.
Los Angeles: Organizations like KCT Productions, Hands4Hope, and WeCan Pediatric Brain Tumor Network are making a difference in the lives of children, families, and animals through their programs and fundraising efforts. I did my part to market and promote the good being done within our community through these non-profits, as well as promoting events held on behalf of our fighting men and women of the United States Armed Forces for their sacrificial work and service.
Ministry profile: Prayer for the entertainment industry was brought into focus in 2011, with Charlie Sheen and his shenanigans, along with other high-profile failures and indiscretions. In Praying for the cancellation of the Charlie Sheen meltdown show, and the profile of Karen Covell and the Hollywood Prayer Network (HPN), the need for prayer warriors both inside and outside of Hollywood is clearly evident, and HPN continues to sound the clarion call throughout the nation and the world.
Faith & Technology: With more than 800 million active users, Facebook has changed the face of our world and the way we relate to it. So it is foolish to believe that it has not changed the face of the Christian world or the believers in it. Some say for the worse, others, for the better. I explored this dichotomy in Finding God on Facebook.
And YouVersion has met the challenge of the technological age, by putting the Word of God on every smartphone in multiple languages. In YouVersion–Connecting YOU and the Word of God, I show that this company is doing more than producing a Bible app: it is building an online believer’s community through the deepening of knowledge in God’s Word, and fulfilling Jesus’ words in Matthew 24: 14: “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it.”
Here’s to a happy 2012! Looking forward to shining a light on the people, organizations, and ministries that make Los Angeles Faith & Community a happening place.