New Tribes debunks inaccurate reports.

By February 22, 2006

Venezuela (MNN)–Recent media reports say Venezuela expelled New Tribes Missionaries for spying. However, New Tribes’ Nita Zelenak says those reports are inaccurate.

On February 12, their teams completed the pull out of the tribal areas, but remain in-country. “At this point, there’s a lot of just waiting and seeing because of no access with the tribal groups.”

Myth #2 was that their case had been thrown out unheard. Zelenak explains that it could take a year before they hear back, however, “What we’re doing now is pursuing all legal means that we can for the case that’s before the Supreme Court in Venezuela. We’re waiting for their decision on whether or not they will annul the order.” The Supreme Court accepted the appeal and will hear the case in the coming months.

In some locations where the projects were just beginning, Zelenak says, “Basically, it’s just stopped everything because there are no believers at that point. The missionaries were learning language and culture and hadn’t reached the point of even being able to teach.”

What makes it worse, is the momentum that was building under some of the projects is lost. It’s hard on the teams, she adds. “Those were probably the hardest locations for our missionaries that had to move out because in some cases, the language ability was so limited that there wasn’t even a clear understanding of why the missionaries were leaving.”

Please pray that the ministry of NTM will be correctly understood for their role and function in Venezuela, and pray for their missionaries who are coping with change.

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