Robert Jeffress: God Gave Trump Authority to Take Out North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un

(Photo: Robert Jeffress Twitter video screencap)

Pastor Robert Jeffress speaking at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, on May 15, 2016.

One of President Donald Trump's spiritual advisers, Dallas megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress, said God has given the president the power to take out evildoers like North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.

Shortly after Trump warned on Tuesday that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it threatens the security of the United States, Jeffress felt compelled to issue his support for the president's comments.

Jeffress, the 61-year-old pastor at the 12,000-member First Baptist Dallas who was one of the first well-known evangelicals to align himself with Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign, issued a statement through his public relations team that was shared with The Christian Post on Tuesday evening.

"When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil," Jeffress' statement reads. "In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un."

According to the press release, the point of Jeffress' statement was to commend Trump for his "resoluteness against the regime and affirming his role as defender of the American people."

"I'm heartened to see that our president — contrary to what we've seen with past administrations who have taken, at best, a sheepish stance toward dictators and oppressors — will not tolerate any threat against the American people," Jeffress added. "When President Trump draws a red line, he will not erase it, move it, or back away from it. Thank God for a president who is serious about protecting our country."

North Korea has claimed that it's working on developing capabilities to strike the United States and has long ignored calls for it to halt its nuclear activities. Reuters reported on Wednesday that North Korea has said that it's "carefully examining" a missile strike on Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific.

North Korea's state-run news outlet KCNA reported that a spokesperson for the Korean People's Army said that once Kim makes a decision, such a strike will be put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment."

In an interview with The Washington Post, Jeffress explained that it is Romans 13 that gives government the authority to take out evildoers.

"That gives the government to the authority to do whatever, whether it's assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong-Un," Jeffress was quoted as saying.

Jeffress added that even though some Christians might cite Romans 12 to point out that the Bible says not to "repay evil for evil," that verse only refers to Christians, not leaders in power, like Trump.
"A Christian writer asked me, 'Don't you want the president to embody the Sermon on the Mount?'" Jeffress replied, "absolutely not."

Jeffress' comments did not sit well with some conservative Christians, like Ryan Anderson, a senior fellow at the conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C.

Anderson posted a tweet that linked to a CBN News article about Jeffress' comments. In the tweet, Anderson claimed the argument that "God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary" is "heresy."

"Cannot use evil means to good end," Anderson wrote.

Jeffress' comment also drew the ire of many progressive Christians.
The Rev. Chuck Currie, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who teaches at Pacific University, posted a tweet in reply to Jeffress.

"You promote a dangerous theology of war that goes against Prince of Peace who preached just peace," Currie wrote. "I see nothing Christian in your remarks."

Transgender Identity: Let's Look at the Bible

(Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso)A Bible is seen at the transgender gallery in La Joya prison on the outskirts of Panama City, Panama January 29, 2016.
Editor's Note: This is Part 2 in a Christian Post series on how Christians should respond to transgenderism. Part 2 will look at the theology. Click here for Part 1.

When it comes to making a biblical case for transgender identity, some have cited scriptures about "natural-born eunuchs" and Apostle Paul's words that there is "neither male nor female" in Christ Jesus. This argument and arguments against it were already laid out in a previous Christian Post article.

Offering more insights on what the Bible has to say about the issue of gender identity, Dr. Richard Land, who is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina, and Pentecostal pastor Bishop Harry Jackson spoke with CP and began with how God created humans.

"The Bible tells us in Psalm 139 that God knits and embroiders us together in our mother's womb. And all of our parts were in God's book before any of them came to be. Clearly, God is involved in every conception that takes place," said Land, noting that it is a biological fact that one's sex is determined at that precise moment.

Jackson, who leads Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, explained that one's biological sex is not only a divine imprint but part of God's "assignment" to the human being.

"I believe that God gives us the original assignment of gender, even nationality — what we would call race — where we were born, and the family into which we were born. All of that is pre-selected by God. He wants us to steward that uniqueness as a beginning point, as a gift from God," Jackson said.

"In the context of that, the Lord has a fairly strict set of boundaries that He wants us to carry out, principles by which we live."

At a recent SES event on "God, Sex, & Gender," Land posed the question, "What is a human being?"
He pointed to the first chapter in the first book of the Bible — Genesis — where it states that God made man in His image and likeness, and "male and female He created them."

There is a difference between human beings and the rest of creation as humans are the only creature that have the divine image, Land stressed.

"A human being is a special creation of God, thus human life is sacred," he said.

Additionally, the Apostle Paul, Land noted to CP, calls the human body "the temple of the Holy Spirit" in 1 Corinthians 6 and the word he uses for temple in the Greek refers to the Holy of Holies, the innermost part of the temple. This was the very place where the Holy Spirit — the shekinah glory — dwelled.

With all that said, when someone maintains that he or she was born in the wrong body, this is not just a matter of confusion; it represents the "ultimate rebellion" against God's design for them, Land contended.
Jackson also called transgenderism a rebellion against the original assignment God gave each person.
In essence, Land believes that transgenderism is "self-idolatry."

"It is the ultimate attempt to become one's own god. I want to be different than the way God made me so I'm going to employ modern medical science to change my gender, chemically and surgically," he maintained.
"The religion of America today is narcissism. … We want to define our own version of truth of who we are regardless of anything else."

He went on to explain that at the root of the transgender movement is a resurgent Gnostic belief that the body and mind are not united and the hedonistic creed of the sexual revolution: "If it feels good, do it."

"The sacred trinity of modern man is I, myself, and me. And it is only with modern science that people have the ability to claim they can change their gender and seek to do so," Land, a father of three, said.
Renowned Anglican theologian N.T. Wright also recently called the confusion about gender identity a "form of the ancient philosophy of Gnosticism."

"The Gnostic, one who 'knows,' has discovered the secret of 'who I really am,' behind the deceptive outward appearance," Wright said.

"This involves denying the goodness, or even the ultimate reality, of the natural world. Nature, however, tends to strike back, with the likely victims in this case being vulnerable and impressionable youngsters who, as confused adults, will pay the price for their elders' fashionable fantasies."

Christians should have particular reverence for their God-given biology and the human body because the Lord took on a human frame, noted Land, who is also executive editor of The Christian Post and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

"We are not what God intended us to be," he said, speaking of how much our bodies matter. "He intended us to be the vice-regents of creation and we have become slaves to our own sin and desires through the Fall. But Jesus came … in order that He might make us everything that He is."

And when people receive Christ and what was accomplished on the cross by faith, they are in the process of being all that God created them to be.

Pastorally speaking, both Land and Jackson emphasized the need to love transgender persons.

"Christians have an obligation and a responsibility to love people who identify as transgender and to seek to act redemptively toward them," Land emphasized, adding that those who struggle with gender dysphoria should never be made fun of or mocked.

At the same time, pastors should not affirm transgenderism as normative.

"You do them no service by acquiescing to their malady and calling it normal," Land said. "Calling it normal does not make it normal, affirming it as healthy does not make it healthy.

"God has set the norms and when you live in a society where there are no norms, everything is normal, and that is a recipe for madness."

For Jackson, he outlined three things he would tell someone who has gender confusion:
"1) God loves them, 2) they are not an accident, and 3) they should be willing and expect the grace of God to help them comply with God's commandments for their behavior on any level," he explained.
"We have to understand that the people who come to us for help in the context of Christian ministry, they have to be willing to accept the Bible as the highest authority for human behavior, and whatever counseling and encouragement and help will be based prescriptively on what the Bible teaches."

Jackson said that if he pastors someone who thinks that ministers are prejudiced against them, he said he cannot help it, because he's not going to change the doctrine of his church to accommodate an exceedingly small minority of people.

People must come to understand that when they accept Jesus, it is a call to a lifestyle and journey with God, Jackson added, emphasizing that it's imperative for churches to find a way to teach about these things in a loving but directive manner in order to set people on a course to have a normal family life as they pursue God and the Scriptures.

7 Keys to Great Sex in Marriage

( and Jeanette Gross talk about sex in the “Best Sex Life Now” series.
My wife Jeanette and I and our friends Dave and Ashley Willis put together a video series called "Best Sex Life Now."

Because after 16 years of marriage, I'm more passionate about this than ever: married folks need to be having sex... and great sex at that!
(Photo: Facebook/Craig Gross)Pastor Craig Gross of
So here are seven keys to help you unlock that great sex life.

#1 Twice a week.
Practice makes perfect. Sure, sex is a great chance to have an orgasm, but more than that, sex connects you and brings you closer. You won't have great sex the first time and you probably won't have great sex the first year of marriage every time. I have been married 16 years now and I can honestly say it gets better and better. The more comfortable you are with your spouse (and with your own bodies), the more in love you grow with each other. But, you have to work at it and this can only happen when you are having sex. I recommend twice a week AT A MINIMUM. The more the merrier, but one way to have great sex in marriage is to have sex often. If this is not a priority in your marriage make it one.

#2 The other person comes first.
I can cut to the chase on this one and just say make your spouse cum first and leave it at that. I am not trying to be tasteless here – I'm being honest! Look, porn has taught so many people what they like (or so they think) and how they like it, and a lot of people approach sex in marriage with this selfish attitude. You want to have great sex in marriage? Then remember your partner and their needs and their likes. Make it a point to serve your spouse in this way. Let's be honest, not every girl likes it from behind as much as men do, so men, make sure your wife is taken care of not just you.

#3 Start early and keep the lights on.
This is a 2 for 1. Maybe one for the guys and one for the girls. Guys, don't just touch your wife when you want sex. Be affectionate and start earlier in the day. Kiss, hug, gross out your kids, and then don't wait till right before bed to have sex. Tired sex is not great sex. Turn off Modern Family or CSI or Sportscenter and get to it. Women, remember men are visual as well; both you and your husband need to feel comfortable when having sex but if you can be comfortable with the lights on, then great sex happens.

#4 Husbands initiate.
I just saved so many of you couples a ton of hours of fighting and angry nights. I don't know how many couples I talk to who argue over and over and over about this one. "My wife doesn't initiate sex enough." So, then that leads men to play games. "I wonder how many days I can go without having sex to see if she will ask for it." Dumb. Don't play games like this. I'm not trying to be a sexist here, nor am I saying women can't initiate sex (I sure don't complain anytime my wife initiates). What I am saying is: just take it off the table and initiate as often as you need to.

#5 NO More Excuses.
It hurts. He snores so we don't sleep in the same room. We have a young baby in our bed. I'm uncomfortable with my body. I have a disturbing or painful sexual past. 

Please hear me on this: I'm not trying to make light of all these situations, but some of them can be serious. Even so, sex is so important to your relationship that you must work like crazy to work through these issues in your marriage so you can have great sex. You might need to go to counseling to work through your past, you might need to hit the gym so you feel better about your body, you might need to get some of those strips to go over your nose and prevent you from snoring. Whatever your situation is, I seriously am tired of hearing excuses on why you are not having sex.

Start having sex. In order to start having sex you need to work through your junk. Today. Attack this stuff so it doesn't keep you out of the bedroom any longer.

#6 Connect in and out of Bed.
You and you spouse need to be partners. You need to be best friends. You need to enjoy each other as people and be connected emotionally. Without that, then your sex life is just going to be strictly physical and won't be great. You want to have great sex? Be best friends. Care for each other, serve each other and be connected.

#7 Hotel Sex.
I travel a lot and just trust me on this one. There are no Bible verses to back this up, but I have 16 years and a wife who would agree. Get out of your house sometimes, go vacation in Hawaii or just get a hotel room in the city next to yours. Whatever you do – just get away occasionally and enjoy something new. Hotel sex is some of the best.

Hope this helps.
PS. I gave Jeanette (my wife) the blog to read and she thought it would be important to mention WHY having sex is important and needed in your relationship. I made a list and shared that in this post. Trust me, you and your spouse need to be having sex otherwise you are just roommates.

Originally posted at

Lesbian Mom Loses Effort to Have Christian Judge Removed From Divorce Case

A lesbian mother in Alabama was unsuccessful in her attempts to have a conservative Christian judge removed from her divorce case on the grounds that he holds traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality. reports that Tiara Lycans initially filed two motions earlier this year asking Judge Shaunathan Bell to recuse himself from her divorce proceedings with her husband, Zachary Lycans. The mother feared that the Christian judge would rule unfavorably against her when it came to parental custody of their child.
The wife raised concerns with Bell's 15 years of service as a preacher at a fundamentalist church.

But after her motions for recusal were denied by Bell, the mother took up the issue with the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Court documents indicate Lycans argued that Bell has "publicly expressed belief that homosexual relationships and marriages are contrary to God's law."

However, her request was denied by the appeals court last week. In the court's opinion, the mother did not assert in her argument that Bell was "actually biased against her because she is a lesbian" but only expressed a notion that Bell's religious beliefs on marriage is a "reasonable basis for questioning Judge Bell's impartiality in the divorce action."

In justifying their decision, the court noted that Bell granted to Lycans joint physical custody that alternates weekly. Additionally, Bell had done the same in two other cases he has handled involving lesbian moms.
"A reasonable person who knows everything that Judge Bell knows would know that Judge Bell, in his pendente lite custody order entered in the divorce action, granted the mother and the father joint physical custody of the child, with custody alternating weekly, and that Judge Bell has granted two other lesbian mothers and the fathers of their children joint physical custody, with custody alternating weekly," the court explained. "We conclude that a reasonable person who knows everything that Judge Bell knows would not have a reasonable basis for questioning Judge Bell's impartiality in the divorce action. Accordingly, we deny the petition."

Leading Christian conservative activist Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based advocacy group Family Research Council, praised Bell for refusing to back down from the case.

"Like us, he doesn't think that his beliefs compromise his judgment — a reality his previous rulings would confirm," Perkins wrote in a blog post on the FRC website, adding that the fact that Bell had previously given joint custody to other lesbian mothers didn't "seem to satisfy Lycans."

"Just because Christians believe what the Bible says about marriage and sexuality doesn't mean they're incapable of upholding the law or defending other people's rights. To suggest that judges shouldn't have any personal convictions is, ironically, its own brand of intolerance," Perkins wrote.

"Unfortunately, this is just a continuation of the effort to drive men and women of faith out of public life. In this age of 'diversity,' it's becoming more and more clear that the only group that it's acceptable to attack is Christians. That must be aggressively fought — in Alabama and everywhere."

Last month, it was reported that a Christian magistrate in the United Kingdom has taken up legal action against his former employer after he was dismissed from his position for voicing his belief that adopted children are better served with a mother and father rather than a same-sex couple.

Pregnant Woman Dies Suddenly, 123 Days Later Doctors Perform Miracle Surgery

Miracles appear in the strangest of ways. Even when the world seems to be at its darkest, if you look closely, you will find that there is a ray of light coming out from somewhere, all ready to light up the way for you. Death and bereavement can be hard to cope with, especially when it is sudden and unexpected, such as from say, a stroke or a heart attack. But for one family in Brazil, a sudden death in the family also saw the unlikely rescue of two unborn children, who were delivered by the doctor 123 days after their mother died. The children had clung onto life, and whether it was because of God’s guiding hand, or because of faith and hope – but they were rescued.
Pregnant Woman Dies of Stroke, Doctors Deliver Her Babies 123 Days Later

Frankiele da Silva Zampoli Padilha died from a stroke during a time when she was nine months pregnant with her twin babies. During a time when her family should have been in mourning, they received shocking news when the doctors told them that the babies inside of her were still alive. When the doctor noticed the small heartbeats emanating from the embryo, they knew that they had no choice but to save the babies. It was a situation where the brain had gone dead, but the body was functioning as normal – nourishing the children and keeping them alive.

The hospital where she was kept was called the Nosso Senhora do Rocio, and there, they decorated the mother’s hospital room, spent time singing to the children and even kept talking to the growing embryos in the woman’s womb. Dr. Dalton Rivabem, told Caters TV that they had performed an ultrasound on the womb, expecting the children to be dead. To their great surprise however, they had discovered that that was not true and that little heartbeats could be heard from the womb, as if they were still clinging to life. The decision was then taken to keep the mother alive, artificially, until they could safely remove the babies from her body. It took 123 days for the foetus to grow and develop properly, and finally, when the time came, a C-section was performed on the woman to remove the babies from her stomach. Once the babies were removed, the life support system that kept her alive was turned off, and she could finally rest in peace.

The twins, one boy and one girl, were kept in incubators for three months before their family could finally take them home. They are currently being cared for by their father, Muriel Padilha, and grandmother, Angela Silva. The woman’s mother commends her for doing her best to protect her children, even after she had passed on. Meanwhile, her husband, Muriel, believes that she had visited him since she had died. He believes that she had come to him to tell him that he must move on with his life, that she was in a better place, and that he must take care of the children. The family thus celebrates both the joy of new life, and experiences the loss of losing a dear one as well.

Miracle Babies

There are so many blessing that come with having children, but there are also many difficult things that come as well. There are many women who suffer with infertility and are told that they can’t have babies. But nothing is impossible with God, here are some miracle births from women who were told they would never have kids via

1. Caroline Savage
The road to becoming pregnant was a difficult one for Caroline Savage. She and her husband, Sean, were burdened with infertility. They decided to turn to a clinic and have an IVF in hopes of conceiving. Savage got more than she bargained for when the clinic that performed the procedure made a mistake and impregnated her with someone else’s child.

Even though she was told she wouldn’t have another chance to conceive, she carried that baby to term, and gave it to his rightful parents. They later relied on a surrogate to complete their family and became the parents of twin girls.

After struggling for years, turning to IVF, and relying on a surrogate, the couple experienced the blessing of a lifetime. Savage became pregnant naturally at the age of 45. Once the shock wore off and the fear of miscarriage passed, the family became excited to welcome their son.

2. Jennie Hill
Georgia couple, Jennie and John Hill, suffered a series of 5 heartbreaking miscarriages in their years of trying to conceive. They decided to meet with genetic counselors to explore why Jennie couldn’t have a viable pregnancy. Jennie spoke with WSB Channel 2 News to discuss what the doctors discovered about her condition.

“Because I had lost five angels, my doctor decided to order a karyotype blood test, and it was then that we found out that I have a genetic chromosome disorder called balanced translocation,” she said. This is a condition in which two chromosomes have broken off and switched places.
Jennie and John made the decision to try IVF. After a series of surgeries and procedures, two balanced embryos were implanted. The Hills were thrilled to learn that on of those embryos had been successful. To their delight, they welcomed their miracle baby, Harper Grace, on January 25, 2017.

3. The Hixen Family
Tia and Matt Hixon started trying for a family in February of 2012. After months with no success, they turned to professionals to diagnose their issue that kept them from concieving. It turned out that Tia had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and her levels of estrogen were too high. Women with PCOS don’t ovulate regularly.

The couple decided to try any and all methods of getting pregnant. Tia told Fit Pregnancy, “We tried every imaginable approach to conception: acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, acrobatics (an abundance of headstands happened in our bedroom!), ovulation tracking, basal temperature monitoring—you name it! But then we were prescribed Clomid—it was a game changer! I took my first round of five pills on May 7 and had my first positive pregnancy test on June 8.”
She also advised couples who are having trouble conceiving to believe in the impossible and to always trust your gut.

4. The Krahn Family
Chelsea and A.J. Krahn started trying to get pregnant after they were married but didn’t have success. They consulted with specialists who ran a series of inconclusive tests that only gave them more questions. Chelsea told Fit Pregnancy, “To this day, the only answer we’ve actually received from a doctor is ‘you have really bad luck.”

They took a break from trying and were surprised when she became pregnant. Unfortunately, she suffered a miscarriage. After that point, she had no problem conceiving but couldn’t keep a viable pregnancy and suffered 2 additional miscarriages. She finally had a stroke of luck and carried for a full term pregnancy. She delivered their daughter in October 2013.

She wants others couples who are having trouble to not lose faith. “It’s a very stressful and emotional time, and after all that I have been through, I am still a firm believer that ‘everything happens for a reason.”


Parents Give Up Little Girl After She Is Born With Red Skin, Now Doctors Can’t Believe What She Looks Like 23 Years Later

Miracles, even though most people do not often know what to believe, are a part of life. Sometimes they come in the form of happy coincidences. Sometimes they come in the form of recovery from a life threatening illness, and sometimes it comes from the will power that a human has that makes them want to survive through conditions that most people would find impossible. Sometimes, doctors say that a certain individual cannot be saved, but years later, that person overcomes all their struggles to come out on top and become a winner. It is by having faith in ourselves that we create a future where we are in complete control of our own destiny.

Newly Married Couple Expects to Bury Baby, Doctors Surprised by How She Survives Even Twenty Years Later
Rog and Tina Thomas met for the first time in Hong Kong, where they quickly fell in love and got married. It took them five months to decide that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with each other, even though they figured that they did not want to have children yet. It was then that social services introduced them to a little girl named Mui, and they immediately realized that they were in love with her.

They were warned that the little girl had a skin condition and that her health was quickly declining, but the new parents paid no heed to that. Mui had been abandoned by her own parents at birth, and physically looked very different from other children. No one knew what exactly her condition was, but that did not deter her parents either. When she was three years old, Rog and Tina adopted her. But life after the adoption was not a bed of roses – the new parents constantly had the threat of losing their new daughter over their heads. But Mui hung on, despite what the doctors said. Finally, in the year 2002, she was diagnosed with the disorder harlequin ichthyosis. This was a rare genetic condition that caused her body to shed the same amount of skin in one night, that other people shed over the course of two weeks. This left her skin raw, colored bright red and made her more susceptible to infections of the skin.

But just because she was surviving did not mean that life was easy. During middle school, she was constantly bullied by her classmates because of her appearance, and she even found herself contemplating suicide multiple times. They insulted her, shouted art her and made her feel unhappy about herself. At the same time, she attempted to block the pain and started to avoid treatments that could help her. What Mui wanted more than anything else in the world was the chance to live a normal life – a life that everyone around her seemed to live.

Now, at the age of 23, she is the fourth oldest person in the world to survive with her skin condition. Surpassing all expectations placed on her by her doctors, she truly paved the way for a future where she proved that she was a fighter.

Strange But Rare Skin Conditions You’ve Never Heard Of
Our skin is our largest organ and it is vital to keep your skin healthy. Here are some very strange and rare skin conditions via CBS News:

If you think only the cast of the Blue Man Group has blue skin, think again. Folks who have ingested or had prolonged contact with silver salts may end up with a condition called argyria, in which the skin is stained a grey-blue shade. What causes people to come into contact with silver particles? Working with silver, such as in mining, refining and manufacturing. Colloidal silver has also been used to treat infections in alternative medicine, and silver dietary supplements have been marketed to treat cancer, though never proven safe or effective.

According to Medscape, people with this condition can treat blue areas with a depigmenting medication, although it’s not very effective. Sunscreens and opaque cosmetics may help skin from darkening even more.
Morgellons disease

What is Morgellons disease? It’s still a mystery. The condition was established after dozens of anecdotal reports of people experiencing symptoms that include crawling, biting and stinging sensations on the skin; skin lesions, rashes or sores; and some mental confusion. A 2012 study yielded no answers explaining the disease, which many doctors believe exists only in patients’ minds.
The CDC recommends seeing a doctor who can treat co-existing medical, including psychiatric conditions, that might be contributing to their symptoms.

Vitiligo is a skin condition in which there is a loss of brown pigment from certain areas of skin, leading to irregular white patches. It affects about one per 100 people in the U.S. Vitiligo occurs when immune cells destroy the cells that produce brown pigment, and is thought to be an autoimmune problem.

Vitiligo is tough to treat. But cosmetics can help, and there are a number of treatments that can minimize, camouflage, or even eliminate the white patches. These include steroid creams and a treatment known as photochemotherapy, in which drugs and ultraviolet light are used in combination. For people with vitiligo on more than 50 percent of their bodies, there’s depigmentation, in which patients apply a drug that fades the skin to match the depigmented areas.
Erythropoietic protoporphyria

Erythropoietic protoporphyria, known as EPP, is a disease characterized by extreme sensitivity to light. Patients with EPP feel a burning sensation in their skin, and experience redness and swelling. As a result, they typically have to avoid exposure to strong light and must wear appropriate protection when they’re in the sun.

Besides avoiding the sun, treatments for symptoms include pain medication, sedatives, beta-carotene supplements, fluids and glucose to boost carbohydrate levels.
Blau syndrome

Blau syndrome is a rare condition characterized by skin rash, arthritis and swelling in the eye. People with Blau syndrome tend to have fluid in their joints, and sometimes have permanent bending of the fingers and toes. It is an autosomal disease caused by genetic mutations.

Blau syndrome can’t be cured, but doctors will sometimes treat patients with immunosuppressant medications to reduce symptoms.

[Source/CBS News]

Why a High-Paid Business Woman Is Leaving It All Behind to Help People Come to Christ (Interview)

(Photo: Ana Mims)Undated photo of Ana Mims (C) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, during a short-term missions trip.

A highly successful businesswoman who's held top positions in Fortune 500 companies worldwide says she's leaving all of her financial success and security behind in order to help the unreached hear the Good News.

"Many come to the saving knowledge of Christ through His Word, through getting their hands on His Word," Ana Mims told The Christian Post in a Skype interview on Wednesday.

Mims, who lives with her 11-year-old daughter in Singapore, told CP that she's following God's call despite initial fears and reservations in taking up a role with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the United States.

"It's one of those things in life where they pick you, and you don't pick them. I didn't actually pick Wycliffe; I think the Lord sort of did that for me," she added.

Born in Havana, Mims and her family immigrated to the U.S. as refugees on one of the Freedom Flights from Cuba, and had to break through language barriers and learn English. Although she was raised as a Roman Catholic, she said she was 18 when she gave her life to the Lord. While she was interested in getting involved in ministry work early on, she felt God was telling her back then that it wasn't the right time.

So Mims embarked on a 28-year business career where she achieved success in serving as a legislative specialist, government relations and operations director, vice president of communications, and CCO at Fortune 500 companies across Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S.

It was late one evening when she was reading information about trauma counseling for women and children in war-torn countries that she first heard of Wycliffe Bible Translators, an organization that helps people translate the Bible into their own languages.

"I was always looking at how to get involved in missions or giving to some groups that are underprivileged in some way around the world. It is something that has always been in my heart since I've been a Christian," she said.

Despite feeling that she wasn't the "market audience" for that in the Christian realm, as she was "not a very churchy Christian," she left her contact information with Wycliffe, which began several rounds of communication back and forth.

Mims thought long and hard about whether joining Wycliffe was the right move for her, given that she also has to provide a stable future for her daughter.
But then, she said, she felt God's call.

"All of a sudden there was this shift inside of me that said 'Ana, you have to pursue this. Now is a different time.'

"It has very much taken me by surprise that what has always been 'No, this is not for you now,' suddenly became 'Now is the time,'" she added.

Mims, who will be working as senior director of corporate communications for one of Wycliffe's sister organizations, noted that she's leaving behind a high-paying corporate lifestyle, along with material comfort and financial security for herself and her daughter.

"I live in one of the wealthiest per capita countries in the world. I am surrounded by a lot of wealth. I've lived in a high-rise with a private elevator that leads right to my apartment," she said of life in Singapore, adding that one of her hobbies used to be racing Porsches.

"I have been blessed with a lot of success, and obviously with that success has come a lot of remuneration. And so to go to a place where you're used to earning a salary, to a role where you are not paid a salary per se, but you build a group of financial investors that partner with you financially, and their support financially is how you get paid, that's quite different. That's how the Lord sent the disciples out," she said.

Mims also shared with CP some of the questions she had for God: "Wait a minute, Lord, I am a single mom, I am raising an 11-year-old, and this is not the right time for this. How could you call me for this now?"
She noted that serving in ministry full time was very new to her. "How am I ever going to live like this? How am I going to survive like this? What is my lifestyle going to look like?" she wondered.

Mims said she knew in her heart that she was going in the right direction, however, as that is what she felt God wanted from her.

"A God that has always been faithful to you, a God that has provided for you in so many ways — when you have history with someone who has been loyal and faithful to you, you know you can count on them.

"I could hear the Lord saying, 'Do you trust me that I am going to provide what you need, provide what your daughter needs, that I am going to meet you right where you are?'"

Looking back at her successful corporate life, Mims recognized that it was God who took her there.
"When we are sitting in those high places, it is easy for our pride to tell us 'It's me, I'm so good, I'm so intelligent,' but it's really the Lord who opens the door, the Lord who enables us, the Lord who bring us to those places."

She explained that she still has days of doubt, but that is when her faith rises up.
"The Lord is good because He didn't lead me this far to fail me. I encourage myself in the Word that tells me who He is, and the testimony He has given me that He has been faithful to me in many ways and will continue to be so."

"My experience was a laying down of my life to the Lord, it was a full conversion," Mims continued. "I don't see my life as my own. I have desires, wants, needs, but I always present those to the Lord."

She recalled sitting in training at Wycliffe with people who had been in ministry out in the field doing Bible translation, and hearing their stories of impacting and changing people's lives. That is when it dawned on her the importance of being in a support role.

"The whole mandate that we have as Christians, to go tell to the whole Earth the Good News, just the sense of knowing that the work that I'll be involved will enable the Gospel to go into places where the Gospel has not yet been" is what inspires her, she said, along with helping people understand a concept as critical as salvation.

"All of those years I spent in the corporate world, learning my craft and learning all those things that the Lord needed me to get good at so that now I can enter ministry, I think is just awesome," she said.

Mims believes that God has His reasons for saying "not now," and reflected that without her business background, she would have never had the level of experience to step into this role now.

Speaking about her goals, she said that ultimately she wants to see more people come to the saving knowledge of Christ.

"The short term goal is that the work that I do in the communications role will enable the whole of the organization and all of the teams out in the field to be better equipped and do better at what they do to get the Word into the hands of those that need it," Mims said, expressing her desire to help "extend the Kingdom of God on this side of eternity."

Want to Lead a Happier Life? Be More Generous, Study Says

A new study out of Switzerland shows that people who are generous and focus on helping others report feelings of happiness more than those who act on their own self-interests.

Philippe Tobler and Ernst Fehr from the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich, along with a team of international researchers, conducted an experiment with 50 people in a lab who described their levels of happiness after doing acts of generosity, EurekAlert reported on Tuesday. The team sought to investigate how areas of the brain communicate to produce feelings of happiness.

The study's participants were promised 25 Swiss francs a week for four weeks. Twenty-five of them were asked to spend the money on others; the other 25 were told they could spend it on themselves.

"Doing something nice for another person gives many people a pleasant feeling that behavioral economists call a warm glow," a news release from the University of Zurich states.

The participants consistently reported that giving made them feel good. MRI scans of their brains were done simultaneously and showed that one area of the brain triggers a response in another area that is related to happiness.
"Our study provides behavioral and neural evidence that supports the link between generosity and happiness," the research team explained in the journal Nature Communications.

The researchers looked at three areas of the brain, "one linked to altruism and social behaviour, a second to happiness, and a third area involved in decision-making."

Those who said they would give the money away said they were happier than the "self-spenders" even without having moved forward on their commitments to give.
While their brains were being scanned they were asked questions which "evoked scenarios pitting the participants' own interests against those of the beneficiaries of their experimental largesse."
The degree of happiness they had was reportedly not related of the amounts they committed.

The research team also said their findings have all kinds of implications for other realms of culture like public health, education, economics, and politics.

"Generosity and happiness improve individual well-being and can facilitate societal success," they said.
"However, in everyday life, people underestimate the link between generosity and happiness and therefore overlook the benefits of ... spending" on others, they continued.

The brain science behind generosity will not surprise some.

Christian Smith, a University of Notre Dame sociologist and Hilary Davidson, note in the book, The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose, that an accumulating body of research has shown the positive effects of generosity on the brain.

Citing experts in neurobiology, Smith wrote: "Experimental studies have shown that the increasing amounts of oxytocin in people's neurological systems significantly increases their generosity, empathy, and love."

"But the relationship may work both ways: increased feelings of empathy for others and generous practices appear to be capable of increasing the oxytocin released into people's brain systems."

Furthermore, a lack of generosity can have the opposite effect, stimulating negative neurochemical processes. Smith cited a study showing that stingy people have been shown to secrete more cortisol in the brain, a stress hormone that is known for creating "wear and tear" on the body.

Parents Warned Not to Let Children Play 'Blue Whale Challenge' Suicide Game

Blue Whale ChallengeParents should be aware of the Blue Whale Challenge that kids are playing on social media.

A social media game called the "Blue Whale Challenge" in which children are urged to cut themselves and take their own lives is raising alarm in the United States where suicide prevention advocates are advising parents to be vigilant.

The "Blue Whale Challenge" is a 50-day challenge competition where teens compete among themselves on social media as an online curator gives them tasks to carry out, such as watching horror movies and performing self-harming activities like cutting, CNN reported on Sunday.

The Sun reported in May that pictures of these self-harming acts were being posted by the teens on Instagram.

On the final day participants are prompted to take their own life. This online challenge, which reportedly began in Russia two years ago, has been reaching young people through social media platforms Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube. Suicides worldwide have been linked to the game, and as The Washington Post reported on July 11, is believed to have led to the suicide of a teenage boy in Texas.

A press statement from Russian state media says that Philip Budeikin, a 21-year-old psychology major, is now under investigation for "incitement to suicide." The statement adds that Budeikin confessed to creating the game and used a social site to encourage over a dozen teenagers to kill themselves.

Suicide prevention organizations are issuing advice to parents about the game's dangers, encouraging them to remain vigilant.

"Unless there is reason to believe your child already knows of or has played the game, don't bring up the 'Blue Whale' game. By doing so, you increase the chance that your child will investigate it on their own," the website of the American Society for Suicide Prevention advises. "Monitor your children's online and social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this game."

Phyllis Alongi, a licensed professional counselor and clinical director for the New Jersey-based Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, explained in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday that it's essential parents take the initiative in fostering conversations with their "screenagers" — especially when they're distressed — and must actively monitor both the amount and the kind of media intake.

She also emphasized that there are many contributing factors to suicide and each case is unique, but the "crisis thinking" that adolescents are prone to engage in need not be fed by destructive media.

"The way kids process information is different from the adult brain," Alongi said. "Their problem-solving skills are not as fine-tuned as ours, so it's difficult for them to see past intense emotional pain."

Parents need to be armed with information, she emphasized. Her organization offers a free educational video called "Not My Kid" that answers the 10 most-frequently asked questions about suicide. The video dispels the myth that when they talk to their children about suicide they're planting the idea in their minds.
"Kids are typically relieved when they have someone to talk to," she said.

CP asked Alongi what she thinks is driving the seeming uptick in all types of media where suicide is shown as a positive solution to problems, such as in the series 13 Reasons Why, which in its final episode the lead actress takes her life in a grisly fashion.

"Unfortunately, the media tends to glamorize and sensationalize suicide," she said, noting that extensive research shows that when suicide is portrayed in this way it negatively impacts children and anyone else who is already having suicidal ideation.

"Anyone in the media who wants to report on suicide needs to follow the safe messaging guidelines," she stressed, referencing the website Reporting on Suicide.

She further noted that while she doesn't intend to criticize the producers of 13 Reasons Why, she did find it unwise that all of the episodes of the series were released at the same time, which enabled binge-watching and no time for teenagers to process the content.

Because the acting was good and the storyline compelling, people became "emotionally invested" in the characters without realizing the potentially destructive messages being sent, she added.

Church Mourns as Funeral Is Set for Pastor, Father of Five, Killed in Crash

(Photo: Facebook)Pastor Trevor Morris (center) and his family.

Parishioners of Union Hill Baptist Church in Brownsboro, Texas, mourned their late pastor and father of five, Trevor Morris, 40, on Sunday three days after the Marine Corps veteran died in a crash on his way to his other job as vice president at Burton Oil Service Operations Thursday.

"We come today to honor Brother Trevor and in doing so we'll be glorifying God," Deacon Bill Wallace told the congregation Sunday, noting that the Morris family "needs their love the most today."

Morris died tragically early Thursday morning when the plane in which he was traveling crashed near Tyler Pounds Regional airport shortly after takeoff.

As parishioners embraced and comforted each other over the loss on Sunday, Wallace said he wanted to operate the service just the way their late pastor did — with openness and acceptance.

"We're so full of love here at this church. We're a small congregation but you cannot find anymore love than you can find through these doors," Wallace said.

The church announced on Saturday via their Facebook page that visitation for Morris will be at Rock Hill Baptist Church on Monday from 5 – 7 p.m. His memorial service will follow at the same location on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Last Friday, about 300 people gathered at Rock Hill to remember the departed pastor as his parents, Diane and Calvin Morris, greeted them through tears.

"He will always be our pastor," Rodger Stanberry said, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. "He's as good as they come. He loved his family and would call on them during church service."
Tiffani Shelby, Morris' sister, reportedly knelt at the altar with tears in her eyes and prayed until her father came and comforted her.

The late pastor lived with his wife, Nafisa, and five children Kylor, Cole, Lane, Cana and Boaz in Murchison prior to his death.

"Y'all, words can't really express what I feel right now. I am grateful for the 15 years I had with this amazing guy, but we had plans for so many more," his heartbroken wife wrote on Facebook early Friday morning.
Morris served as pastor at Union Hill from 2009 to 2012 before moving to Ecuador to serve as an international missionary. In October 2016, he returned to his leadership role at the church again.

"Nafisa and I have a heart for the gospel and seeing the lost come to know and follow Jesus. Because of this passion, our full intention is to spend every day of the rest of our lives working as hard as we can, in His power, to see as many as possible meet Jesus," Morris said on his church's website prior to his death.
Eric Johnson, Baptist Mission Association of America International Missions director, who met Morris through missionary work, told the Telegraph that Morris had a passion for God and his family.

"He loved his wife, gave God the glory and served Jesus. He was a husband, a great friend. He loved to share the message of Christ," he said.

In 30 Years People Won't Have Sex to Make Babies, Stanford Professor Says

(Photo: Reuters)Newborns in a file photo.
Within three decades sexual intercourse will no longer be necessary to conceive a child. Instead, parents will choose from a range of embryos made with their DNA in a laboratory, a Stanford professor claims.

Hank Greely, who directs Stanford Law School's Center for Law and Biosciences, believes that although the reproductive technology already exists to create life outside of the womb, over time the process will become less expensive, as Quartz reported Saturday.

When many embryos are created couples will be able to choose which ones they want and screen out the embryos that carry potential for diseases, he said.

"I think one of the hardest things about this will be all the divorces that come about when she wants embryo number 15 and he wants embryo number 64," the professor said. "I think the decision making will be a real challenge for people. How do you weigh a slightly higher chance of diabetes with slightly lower risk of schizophrenia against better musical ability and a much lower risk of colon cancer? Good luck."

The process in lab "involves taking a female skin sample to create stem cells, which is then used to create eggs," the article explained. Those eggs are then fertilized with sperm which results in a selection of embryos.
Greely dismissed concerns that he is somehow advocating creating "perfect" children even as ethical issues remain.

"This is not designer babies or super babies," he maintained. "This is selecting embryos. You take two people, all you can get out of a baby is what those two people have."

From a Christian standpoint, however, completely divorcing sex from its procreative function proves problematic as the thinking Greely expresses is indicative of modern culture which regards the human body as a mere vehicle and children as commodities.

In a recent interview with The Christian Post, bioethicist and filmmaker Jennifer Lahl explained how the fertility industry is fraught with abuses and expressed her frustration with pastors who don't preach about infertility and reproductive issues even though they frequently appear in the Bible.

"[Christians] have full permission to speak about how children come into the world. They are gifts, they are blessings," Lahl said.

But the Bible never establishes that anyone is entitled to them and most people today, regardless of their faith background, operate with "shallow theological thinking on the most profound matters of making human life," she added.

"Make no mistake, once we move into the laboratory, we are making children. They are not begotten, they are made. They are manufactured."

Greely also believes that parents will one day be able to select the hair and eye color for their children, and eventually even more complex traits like intelligence.

"I don't think we're going to be able to say this embryo will get a 1550 on its two-part SAT," Greely said last week at Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. "But, this embryo has a 60 percent chance of being in the top half, this embryo has a 13 percent chance of being in the top 10 percent — I think that's really possible."

Pastor Donates Life-Saving Kidney to Ailing Congregant After He Spent Years Praying for Miracle

(Photo: Go Fund Me)Pastor Basilio Montez (R) of Holy Ground Baptist Church in Cameron, Texas, and his congregant, Jesus Cerecerez (L).

A Christian man who had been praying for relief from end stage renal disease since 2015 recently got a life-saving answer from his pastor who turned out to be a matching kidney donor after God told him to give his ailing congregant one of his own organs.

End stage renal disease is the final stage of chronic kidney disease where the kidneys of those afflicted don't work well enough for them to live without dialysis or a kidney transplant.
In a narrative on fundraising website GoFundMe, Jesse Cerecerez, a longtime member of Holy Ground Baptist Church in Cameron, Texas, explained how his life changed after he was diagnosed with kidney disease.

"In April of 2015 I was diagnosed with E.S.R.D. (End Stage Renal Disease) my doctor told me that my kidneys had failed. I started dialysis treatments on May 5, 2015, and that has changed my life forever. Dialysis is a rough lifestyle to live. I felt as if all my freedoms were taken away from me. These last two years have been really hard. I take dialysis three times a week. Every day I have been praying for a miracle in my life," Cerecerez wrote.


Without even knowing if he was a suitable matching donor, Cerecerez said his pastor, Basillio Montez Jr., told him last fall that God asked him to donate one of his kidneys. Eight months after Montez made his anointed offer, medical professionals determined he was a suitable matching kidney donor for Cerecerez.

"About eight months ago Pastor Basillio and his wife came to visit me. During his visit he explained that God had impressed in his heart to donate a kidney to me. I was shocked and excited all at once. So he went and got tested, and he's a match," Cerecerez revealed in late May.

On June 16, two days before Father's Day, Cerecerez went on to have a successful kidney transplant and he shared how grateful he was on his Facebook page.

"So on this Father's Day weekend I'm in the hospital. This past Friday I was given the gift of life by my pastor. I am forever grateful! Thank you pastor for allowing God to use you in this mighty way of donating your kidney to me. Love you pastor!" he wrote.

Both men are now recovering. A day after the surgery, Cerecerez was already jesting in good spirits.
"So now that I received my pastor's kidney, he tells me I'm a Cowboy fan! Lol Dang it!" he quipped.
"I got my life back and I can't wait to see what else God has in store for me," he told 11 Alive in an interview Monday.

Montez explained that even though he was fulfilled in his normal duties as a pastor it was a special honor to be called to save a life.

"We praise God for everything that God has been doing," he said. "For the healing that he's been giving us and always for his honor and his glory."

This Mother Wanted to Hold Her Baby One Last Time…You Won’t Believe What Her Touch Did!

We are told of the incredible power of a mother’s touch, but how far can that extend? For one couple, it seems to have extended farther than anyone would imagine!

When one of their twins, born prematurely, was pronounced dead, its mother took the child in her arms. She began to talk to the baby, holding him skin to skin for two hours. You won’t believe what happened next!

The practice of holding a premature baby skin-to-skin is called kangaroo care. It first began in Columbia in the 1970s in response to high death rates in premature babies. It is often used when no incubators – or inadequately working incubators – are available. But it has also become common practice for all babies, because of its benefits.

The term kangaroo care comes from the kangaroo’s practice of keeping its baby – or joey – in its pouch. Kangaroos are marsupials. When they give birth, the babies are relatively undeveloped. So, they climb into the mother’s pouch and attach to her nipple to grow and continue to develop. This lasts about nine months. At that point the joey only leaves the pouch for short periods of time, returning to be nursed by the mother. The joey leaves the pouch for good after about a year and a half. Animals like wallabies, wombats and koalas are also marsupials and have similar pouches for their young.

Kangaroo care involves placing the newborn in an upright position skin-to-skin against the mother or father’s chest for several hours a day. What practitioners see during kangaroo care was a stabilization of breathing, heart rate and more. Because the baby is next to the parent’s chest, his or her chest stays warm, which helps the baby breathe better. Respiratory problems from inadequately developed lungs are a major complication in premature babies.

It was precisely in this type of environment that a miracle occurred for the mother, Kate, in this video. Even when doctors dismissed her initial words, she believed. And what was the reaction?? You’ll have to see!

We know a mother’s love is powerful!

UMC High Court Rejects Request for Reconsideration of Ruling Against Lesbian Bishop

(Photo: Charmaine Robledo)Karen Oliveto, the first openly gay bishop in the history of the United Methodist Church, at her consecration service July 16, 2016, at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The United Methodist Church's highest court has rejected a motion to reconsider its ruling that an openly lesbian's election to the position of bishop violated church law.

In an email sent out to the parties involved in the case, Judicial Council Secretary the Rev. Luan-Vu Tran explained that the ruling was going to stand.

"... after careful review and prayerful consideration, the Motion to Reconsider JCD 1341 of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops has been denied," wrote Tran, as reported last Friday by United Methodist News Service.

In late April, the United Methodist Judicial Council ruled 6-3 that the Western Jurisdiction's election of Karen Oliveto to the position of bishop violated the UMC Book of Discipline, which prohibits non-celibate homosexuals from ordination.

"Under the long-standing principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore, or negate Church law. It is not lawful for the college of bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop," read the decision.

"Paragraph 310.2(d) requires that all clergy persons make a complete dedication to the highest ideals of the Christian life, including but not limited to, their commitment to abide by and uphold the Church's definition of marriage and stance on homosexuality. An openly homosexual and partnered bishop is in violation of these minimum standards."

Last month, the jurisdiction requested a reconsideration of the ruling. Richard Marsh, counsel to the Western Jurisdiction, said in a statement that the brief was meant to help advance acceptance of the LGBT community within the church.

"The Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops believes it has an obligation to the wider LGBTQ community within the Church and beyond to point out the fundamental errors contained in this decision," stated Marsh.
In the brief, Marsh argued that Oliveto being in a same-sex marriage did not necessarily make her a "self-avowed practicing homosexual," which is the specific group the Book of Discipline says cannot be ordained.

"The Judicial Council is without authority to expand the list of chargeable offenses. Only the General Conference can declare that same gender marriage is a chargeable offense, and it has not done so despite opportunity," argued the brief.

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‘Make America Safe Again:’ President Trump Receives Support From Nigerian Girls Kidnapped by Boko Haram

‘Make America Safe Again:’ President Trump Receives Support From Nigerian Girls Kidnapped by Boko Haram
Don’t let the critics bring you down.

That was the essence of the message two young Nigerians had for President Donald Trump at a recent meeting in the White House.

The two girls know a lot about turmoil and despair. Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu were among 276 girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, by Boko Haram militants in April 2014.

The pair were among dozens who managed to escape in the immediate aftermath of the kidnapping, jumping from trucks after the Islamist militants rounded them up and tried to bring the girls to their forest hideout. But while more than 150 have escaped or been freed, 113 of the so-called Chibok girls remain in captivity.

Bishara and Pogu met with President Trump and his daughter Ivanka at the White House in late June; a visit timed to coincide with the State Department’s annual report on human trafficking around the world. The leader of Boko Haram—which means “Western education is forbidden”—claimed shortly after the 2014 kidnapping that the girls would be trafficked at market or married off to the group’s fighters.

Both Trumps were “deeply moved” by the visit of the girls, according to a White House press statement released Thursday. The Nigerian pair recently graduated from Canyonville Christian Academy, a boarding school in Oregon. They were originally brought to the U.S. in August 2014 by a Christian NGO in Virginia, the Jubilee Campaign, according to an interview the pair gave to People.

The pair are due to attend Southeastern University in Florida this fall and have a crowdfunding page to help fund a visit to their parents in Nigeria this summer, which has raised $7,000 so far.

During their visit, the two girls read a letter to President Trump, urging him to uphold America’s national security as an example for other nations in the world. The White House published an extract of the letter, which reads:

“Mr. President, we urge you to keep America safe and strong. We know that some people are trying to discourage you. Do not be discouraged. You are right to keep American [sic.] safe and strong. Not only for America. But for the world. If American [sic.] is not safe and strong, where can people like us look for hope, when there is danger? Finally, we urge you to keep making America prosperous.”

The visit was not publicized widely in advance, although a picture of the two girls alongside the president, Ivanka Trump and several other people appeared as the White House Photo of the Day on its Facebook page on June 28.

The president of Canyonville Christian Academy, Doug Wead, told NPR that Ivanka Trump had reached out to him to set up the visit. Wead is a prominent conservative commentator who has published several books, including one titled Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign and Donald Trump’s Winning Strategy.

The kidnapping of the Chibok girls sparked a worldwide publicity campaign under the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, publicized by, among others, then-first lady Michelle Obama. A New York-based organizer of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign group, R. Evon Idahosa, told NPR she was “not exactly sure what the intent of the meeting” between Trump and the girls was. She also called upon Trump to do more to publicize the plight of the Chibok girls remaining in captivity.

The U.S. president spoke to his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, in February in a telephone call, during which he expressed support for the possible sale of attack aircraft to the West African country. The Obama administration had put the sale on ice due to human rights concerns and indiscipline by the Nigerian military, including the accidental bombing of a refugee camp in Rann, northeast Nigeria, that killed more than 100 people in January.

Boko Haram has been waging its insurgency against the Nigerian government since 2009, killing tens of thousands and displacing millions. While Buhari has claimed on several occasions that the group is finished as a fighting force, Boko Haram—which has ties to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS)—has carried out at least 50 attacks in 2017 alone.

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At least 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death from malnutrition.

Industrialist Donates N50M To Victims Of Ife Crisis

Aliko Dangote

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has donated N50 million to victims of the communal crisis that hit Ile-Ife, Osun State, on March 8.

The Chairman, Dangote Group of Companies, made the donation on Monday, at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

The fracas, between the Yoruba and Hausa residents of the city, claimed many lives.
A panel of inquiry set up by the Osun State Government, which began sitting on April 19, received 406 memoranda. 

Most memoranda contained demands for compensations.

While many claimed that their shops were looted, others claimed that their houses were burnt, and appealed to government to assist them.

Dangote, who was represented by Mrs. Suera Yusuf, Managing Director of Dangote Foundation, said that the N50 million would be shared among 220 victims.

“Each of the 220 victims will receive a cheque commensurate with the losses suffered,” Yusuf said.
She expressed the Foundation’s readiness to assist victims of violence so as to ameliorate their sufferings, but cautioned youths against being used to perpetrate such violence.

The Managing Director called for unity between the Yoruba ad Hausa residents of Ife, saying that peace and unity would attract development and posterity to the city.

Ogunwusi, in his remarks, thanked Dangote for the gesture which he described as “encouraging”.
He called for more cooperation between traditional rulers and the private sector, saying that such partnership would benefit the country.

The traditional ruler cautioned youths against resorting to violence over the slightest excuse, pointing out that development was impossible without peace.

He challenged wealthy Nigerians to give something back to the society by emulating Dangote’s humanitarian gestures.

Also speaking, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido, hailed the Ooni for his leadership role during the crisis, saying that his neutrality helped to douse tension and fear.

From the north, we were convinced not to issue any public statement after Ooni explained the steps he had taken; he indeed deserves our praise,” he said.

Lamido cautioned Nigerians against hate speech, suggesting that dialogue be used to resolve every disagreement.

Chairman of Ife Progressive Union, Prof. Muib Opeloye, commended the monarchs for facilitating the donation, and described the incident as “unfortunate”.

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