A mission agency gets wind of a surprise announcement in Venezuela.

By October 14, 2005

Venezuela (MNN)–New Tribes Missions got wind of a surprise announcement from Venezuela.

President Hugo Chavez, in national speech this week, accused them of imperialism and spying. Chavez has also ordered the Florida-based missions group out of Venezuela.

While he did not specify a timeline, he did say the exodus would be orderly. NTM has 160 assigned missionaries in Venezuela working with 12 indigenous groups. Their teams have been active for nearly six decades.

New Tribes’ Nita Zelenak says their primary concern is for the indigenous people of Venezuela whom their missionaries serve. She adds, “We would very much welcome an opportunity to address his concerns and to help him better understand our organization and the work that we do there.”

They are more than a missionary force, she explains, adding, “In addition to the religious teaching, our missionaries work in areas of humanitarian assistance, community development and literacy.”

Zelenak urges prayer. “Probably our first prayer request would be that President Chavez could better understand New Tribes Mission as an organization and the work that we do in Venezuela.”

In the days ahead, she hopes he will “…reconsider his thoughts concerning us. Folks could pray for wisdom for our leadership in knowing how to deal with the misrepresentations that have been put out there about New Tribes.”

NTM will pursue further dialogue concerning this matter. Please pray their missionaries will know God’s peace in the situation.

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