News Archives

Story number 4 for 1 Feb 2000

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Elsewhere, we turn to the United States where World Servants is seeing fruit
from a ministry in the Appalachian area. Ruston Seaman explains how they’ve built
up the outreach. “We kept asking ourselves, ‘What more could we do to help the local
churches develop a complete ministry?’ So, World Servants developed a community
leadership training to help these pastors and leaders understand their position in Christ
and their ability to work together. Each of these community groups has been able to
develop programs out of that training.” Seaman says as with most ministries, there are
tests as well. “Pray that the mission experience would not just be a one-week event
either in the lives of the participants or at the community level. [Pray] that people would
[not only] understand how God can use the mission teams as a way to begin
something, but that also, the ongoing work of ministry in these small neighborhoods
really is the responsibility of the local congregations, and that God would raise up
faithful leaders with a vision for the future.”

Story number 1 for 31 Jan 2000

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We begin today’s newscast with a look at an ominous anniversary. It was seven
years ago today that missionaries Mark Rich, Dave Mankins and Rick Tenenoff were
taken hostage by Colombian guerrillas. They, along with their families, were working
among the people of Panama with New Tribes Mission. Mission spokesman Guy
Sire says while they know very little about their whereabouts, but they have been
checking leads. “One lead that was a sighting of the men turned out to be false,
however another lead arose that states the men are alive and so we’ve yet to pursue
that one. Defecting guerrillas claim that the men were executed some years ago,
however their accounts conflict with each other.” Sire is encouraging people not to give
up. “We are doing our best to try to resolve this as quickly and thoroughly as we can
and we just need folks to just continue to stand with us in prayer and we appreciate
everyone that does.”

Story number 2 for 31 Jan 2000

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Next, Compass Direct is reporting that Saudi Arabian officials continue to hold
four Filipino Christians in jail, but have released their wives and children. Saudi
religious police arrested 16 believers at a home Bible study in early January. Earlier
reports indicated that the children’s imprisonment was intended to pressure their
parents into revealing more about the activities of the Church. Currently, those that
remain in jail are in solitary confinement and face a possible deportment.

Story number 2 for 31 Jan 2000

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Next, Compass Direct is reporting that Saudi Arabian officials continue to hold
four Filipino Christians in jail, but have released their wives and children. Saudi
religious police arrested 16 believers at a home Bible study in early January. Earlier
reports indicated that the children’s imprisonment was intended to pressure their
parents into revealing more about the activities of the Church. Currently, those that
remain in jail are in solitary confinement and face a possible deportment.

Story number 3 for 31 Jan 2000

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Opposition to evangelistic outreach in Pakistan continues even as the country
endures terrorism from its neighbors. International Friendship Evangelism’s T. E.
Koshy says the hostility faced by believers is often very serious. “The parliament
passed a law, which is known as the ‘blasphemy law’. That means [with] any statement
derogatory to the Allah, there can be capital punishment. So that means, if you preach
the Gospel, that’s a blasphemy-and that’s why in Pakistan, there is so much
persecution.” Koshy says in spite of the discrimination, people continue to hear the
Gospel. Although, he adds that for many believers in Pakistan, there is no going back.
“The persecution has been highly intensified in the recent months and years. Unless
people are willing to lay down their lives, it is not going to be very easy. If I’m afraid of
my death, I’m not worthy to follow my Jesus. So, I went, preached the Gospel, and the
Lord protected us. Over 5000 people accepted the Lord.”

Story number 4 for 31 Jan 2000

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Meanwhile, officials at the Jesus Film Project have some ambitious goals for the
current year. We talked with the director of the Jesus Film Project Paul Eshleman. He
shares some of the challenges facing the ministry that’s attempting to put the story of
Jesus in everyone’s language around the world. “I think the biggest challenges will be
those areas where the Jesus film doesn’t have access in the countries to free
distribution. We’re going to be using extensively the Jesus film on video cassette and
audio cassette. We would hope during this year to distribute some 10-million video
cassettes throughout the world.” According to Eshleman, they’re planning to produce
the radio version of the Jesus film in more languages this year. “We’ve developed a five
half hour radio programs and rather than push forward to get the Jesus Film completed
in some of the smaller languages of 10 or 15,000 people, we’re going back and
developing it for audiences of 20, 30 and 50-million.”

Story number 1 for 28 Jan 2000

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We begin today in Mozambique where a missionary was gunned down in his
attempt to save his family. Martin Brooks with Good News for Africa says the
attack took place last week at their training facility there. He says four armed robbers
made their way past security and broke into two homes…including that of Cecil Bird.
“The robbers kicked in the back door. He grabbed a baseball bat. They shot into the
room. They didn’t hit him at that stage. He ran through the house to get the front door
open to get his family out. They followed Cecil out the front door and shot him twice.”
Bird died at the scene. Brooks says most of the suspects have been identified. He
reminds us that prayer for missionaries is vital. “You never know. The Lord is using it
for good. I would ask that the people would pray for his students that are coming to
study. For the students that Cecil has touched since he entered the country in 1993,
that the Lord’s kingdom would be advanced.”

Story number 2 for 28 Jan 2000

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We turn next to Venezuela where the December mudslides are being called the
worst natural disaster in South American in the last century. International Aid’s
Sonny Enriquez just returned from that country. He says they’re taking a two-pronged
approach to attacking the disaster. “First, is the immediate response to their current
situation, and this is predominately to emergency relief commodities. Now the plan of
the government is to set up new communities. That’s where we would like to see how
we could be of help to the church partners and their new communities, specifically in
the area of health care.” Enriquez says when they help physically, people open up to
the Gospel as did one of their military escorts. “This military escort was observing us all
throughout the trip and then at the end he said tell me something more about what
you’re doing. And, again, the team just came to him and started sharing and later one
he says I’d like to be a Christian too.”

Story number 2 for 28 Jan 2000

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We turn next to Venezuela where the December mudslides are being called the
worst natural disaster in South American in the last century. International Aid’s
Sonny Enriquez just returned from that country. He says they’re taking a two-pronged
approach to attacking the disaster. “First, is the immediate response to their current
situation, and this is predominately to emergency relief commodities. Now the plan of
the government is to set up new communities. That’s where we would like to see how
we could be of help to the church partners and their new communities, specifically in
the area of health care.” Enriquez says when they help physically, people open up to
the Gospel as did one of their military escorts. “This military escort was observing us all
throughout the trip and then at the end he said tell me something more about what
you’re doing. And, again, the team just came to him and started sharing and later one
he says I’d like to be a Christian too.”

Story number 3 for 28 Jan 2000

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The Russians have been trying to wrest Grozny from Chechen militants for a
month, and the fighting has left the area pock-marked and battle-scarred. The
violence has also caused foreign ministry to slow down or evacuate, but as Book of
Hope’s John Young says, that doesn’t mean that the work of the Gospel has stopped.
“Right now, we’re not doing any work in Chechnya because of the war that’s going on
down there. But, we have folks in our national churches that have been involved in
ministries in the southern Russia area-there’s always something going on, and that just
continues to give God opportunity.” Young explains the phenomenon that changes
evangelistic outreach in these times. “When things are smooth and going great is when
people are satisfied, and they don’t feel like they need any spiritual help, but a place
that’s in turmoil is a place where God is and where God wants to reach out and touch
the hurting people. Even though there’s constant turmoil there, it continues to be an
open door.”