News Archives

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.”

Story number 4 for 28 Jan 2000

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Meanwhile, the Christian nephew of an Indian parliament member was recently
attacked by members of a fundamentalist Hindu party. Compass Direct reports
that the Shourie family has been at odds since the nephew’s conversion, since Arun
Shourie has been at the forefront of a campaign against Christians. During the attack,
fundamentalist Hindu party members referenced the murders of missionary Graham
Staines and his sons and threatened further violence.

Story number 1 for 27 Jan 2000

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Topping today’s news ministry leaders in Sudan have mixed reviews of the
government upheaval there. The Bridge International’s R-K Ulrich says they are
working among the refugees in Uganda and those returning to Southern Sudan. She
says the Muslim government has been trying to stamp out Christianity in the south. She
says she’s concerned violence will resume. “There’s always a risk to be taken in a
country like that. Because people go in and they rebuild. If the government makes the
decision that they become a more hard line government again, they may come back
again and raid the whole area and pull the people out again.” Ulrich says they’re
equipping pastors to be leaders. “As they go in, instead of it being the chief that is doing
magic and witchcraft, the chief is the pastor who gives the good news of the Gospel.
So we have helped finance some educational programs, carpentry tools and wood
work, setting up some Bible Schools.”

Story number 2 for 27 Jan 2000

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Next, despite the government shake-up in Sudan it’s not affecting the work of
SIM International. That’s the word from SIM’s Ron Frazee. “SIM has retained a
presence in the north in the capitol of Khartoum. Through the darkest hours SIM has
remained there and the government of Sudan has allowed a small contingent of SIM
missionaries to remain there. And, there are quite a few ministries going on. They’re
legitimate. The government knows about them.” Frazee says SIM helps 93 existing
congregations and 108 developing churches. He says they also have prison, street
children, and refugee ministries. Frazee tells us why SIM is allowed to stay. “Obviously
it is a government that favors Islam. Still, they are happy for the missionaries to be there
and realize that the missionaries are helping with relief programs, resettlement, and
other programs that are very beneficial to the society at large.”

Story number 3 for 27 Jan 2000

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World Servants is sending a training team to several small villages in remote
parts of Central Mexico next month. Chris Clum says they’re very excited about the
trip because it is the culmination to a ministry that was years in the making. “There’s
been some resistance we’ve had from the government to go up into the mountains…and
we’ve also had some resistance just from the shaman and some of the traditional
Indians that have been opposed to the Christians coming up into the villages. It’s been a
long time coming, but they’ve actually asked to come and to provide training for them.
We’re excited that these doors are starting to open up.” Clum says in spite of an
openness to the Gospel, they’re asking that Christians pray for the work of the teams
and the local believers. “Often times in some of these villages of a 100, 125, there
might be only one or two Christians-so these guys are isolated, they have to deal with
language barrier…there’s a lot of issues that they have to deal with. Pray for unity for
them-pray that God is going to give these guys passion and vision to love and to serve
and to reach their villages for Christ.”

Story number 4 for 27 Jan 2000

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Meanwhile, the internet is giving people around the world a chance to know
Jesus personally. Audio Scriptures International now has “A Portrait of Jesus”
available on the internet in 85 languages. The selection of scripture readings from the
Gospel of Luke, are available in Real Audio and MP3 formats. ASI also has entire
Bible readings in Albanian, with Mandarin and Russian available soon. Currently entire
New Testaments are available in some 200 languages. You can find ASI at
www-dot-AudioScriptures-dot-org.