The Australian Prayer Network (APN) has been invited by a number of Armenian Church leaders to work alongside them in seeking to establish a National Network of Prayer in Armenia. This follows a Strategic Prayer Journey to Armenia in September 2014 initiated by CHI-Ministries and the Australian Prayer Network, whereby a team of 29 leaders and pray-ers travelled throughout Armenia and South-East Turkey (Western Armenia) praying for those nations. Recently Pastor Ben Gray and Jonathan Gould represented the Australian Prayer Network on a visit to Armenia to gauge the response of the Church as a whole to the concept of united prayer for the nation.

 After seeking the Lord Pastor Ben felt to put forward to the Church leaders the following proposal which he was able to put to 20 key Pastors and leaders in Armenia. The proposal was to call the Armenian Church together in prayer this coming September on:

* Friday 18th in the evening for a Prayer Assembly in the capital of Yerevan

* Saturday 19th for a day-long seminar in Yerevan on ‘How to pray for your church, city and nation’

Tuesday 22nd in the evening for a Prayer Assembly in Vanadzor, Northern Armenia

* Wednesday 23rd for a day-long seminar in Vanadzor on ‘How to pray for your church, city and nation’

* Thursday 24th for a National Prayer Breakfast in Yerevan.

The Prayer Assembly format will be a dynamic mix of worship and prayer where leaders from across the Body of Christ would each lead prayer on a focus area for the church and nation of Armenia. Our desire is to see the assembled congregation, representing the widest possible breadth of the Church, praying together with one voice. The day-long seminars will be open to all who want to learn how to better pray and intercede for their church, city and nation. Sessions will be taught by leaders from the Australian Prayer Network who regularly travel around Australia teaching on prayer and intercession.

The National Prayer Breakfast will be hosted by us in a suitable venue in Yerevan where invited leaders from across Armenia can enjoy breakfast together and pray for the nation. Our hope is to ask those assembled to consider how we can move forward together in prayer for Armenia. As part of our partnership with the church in Armenia we intend to take a prayer support team to cover this initiative in prayer and serve as appropriate. The leadership of CHI-Ministries and the APN are planning to continue their partnership with this Armenian Prayer Initiative beyond the events of September into 2016, exploring together with prayer leaders in Armenia what God would have them do.

Everywhere and everyone Ben and Jonathan visited were entirely welcoming of this proposal for the Australian Prayer Network to partner in prayer with the church in Armenia. The timing of the proposal in the current season of commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide was seen as a chance to look forward to realise God’s destiny for the nation. Many were convinced that prayer was the key in moving forward. Amongst the leaders visited were representatives of several church traditions, including Armenian Evangelicals and Pentecostals, as well as student ministries and business/professional networks.

We invite the members of the Australian Prayer Network to partner with us in this exciting venture by praying for the following:

* The Armenian people as they have recently (April 24) commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the Genocide;

* God’s leading and wisdom for the leaders and coordinators of this initiative, particularly in all the steps of initial preparation and planning;

* For all those God wants to be involved in the Armenian Prayer Initiative to find out and hear & obey the Lord’s promptings;

* For those writing the monthly Armenian Prayer Initiative bulletin to give progress reports and prayer points prior to September to inform pray-ers and leaders in both Australia and Armenia;

* For the translation and publication of 3,000 copies of a book on prayer to give away;

* For financial provision and all the material & personnel needs of this initiative.

If you feel called to support this initiative financially you may do so through secure PayPal donations which can be made at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=MH3CTFADU6B2W  

For more information go to www.prayarmenia.net

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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Australian officials could do almost nothing to stop Australian parents from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after the couple decided they did not want to bring him to Australia. In documents that raise fresh concerns over overseas surrogacy arrangements, government cables and emails show that Department of Foreign Affairs staff told an Australian couple that they could leave their son “stateless” if they did not apply for Australian citizenship for him. The documents, released under Freedom of Information and first reported by the ABC, show Australian officials struggling to deal with the case of a couple from NSW who had twins – a boy and a girl – born to an Indian surrogate in 2012.

The husband approached the Department of Immigration in December 2012, saying that he and his wife only wanted to take the baby girl back home, explaining to officials “they could not afford to support both children”. “He also stated that they already had a boy and wanted to take the girl to complete their family.” “Our ability to ensure the welfare of a non-Australian child in a foreign jurisdiction is limited,” an official cable sent in late 2012 says, while other messages call for “urgent” advice from government colleagues. “To date, we have not confronted a situation where a child born through surrogacy arrangements is put up for adoption.”

The husband also told officials that he and his wife wanted to adopt the child out to close family friends who lived in India. Officials later became aware the prospective adoptive parents were only known to the biological parents through a mutual friend. It is understood that the baby boy was left behind when his parents returned to Australia. Last year, Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant told the ABC that officials had told her they were concerned money had exchanged hands in the process of adopting the boy, which she said could be human trafficking. Under state legislation, it is also illegal for NSW residents to enter into overseas commercial surrogacy arrangements.

The latest example of baby-abandonment should cause Australians to question whether surrogacy is in the best interests of children and surrogate mothers, according to the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) Managing Director Lyle Shelton. Mr Shelton said, “While infertility is heartbreaking for many couples, children shouldn’t be regarded as commodities or products designed to meet the requirements of adults. Deep bonds are formed between mother and child during gestation and, unsurprisingly, there have been several cases where the mother has resisted relinquishing the child. “While sympathising with couples who cannot have children, ACL does not believe surrogacy is in the best interests of relinquishing mothers or their children.”

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs’ Round Table on Surrogacy recommended the Abbott Government set up a Parliamentary inquiry into surrogacy. “The round table seems to feel that the problems with this practice merit a proper examination and ACL supports this push. However, it is important that the assisted reproductive technology industry is not the dominant voice at any Parliamentary inquiry. Surrogacy, even when done altruistically, objectifies children and surrogate mothers and creates lifelong emotional issues for both. The only thing a new-born baby knows is her or his mother and this bond should not be severed unless absolutely necessary” Mr Shelton said

Source: Media reports and Australian Christian Lobby

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A Former Superintendent of Wesley Mission in Sydney, and well known Australian Churchman, Gordon Moyes passed away on Sunday 5 April 2015. “The Rev Dr Gordon Moyes AC had a distinguished ministry in Victoria, prior to an outstanding contribution at Wesley Mission from 1979 until 2005,” the current Superintendent and CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev Dr Keith Garner said. “He will be remembered for his contribution in expanding so many distinctive and enduring Wesley Mission services. Like those before him, he gave himself untiringly to a media ministry, believing that it was one of the key ways in which the gospel could be shared with the nation.” 

“He declared evangelism to be the heartbeat of Wesley Mission.  However, it was not only in the life of the church that Gordon made a huge contribution, but in the wider community. In the field of politics and community engagement, Gordon was at the forefront of his day. “He entered the New South Wales Legislative Council in 2002, following a resignation.  Gordon subsequently stood at the 2003 State Election and was elected in his own right. He will be remembered as one strongly committed to the Word and deed ministry. “The whole Wesley Mission family is remembering and praying for Beverley, the children and grandchildren at this time.” Dr Garner said

Source: Press Release Wesley Mission Sydney

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