News Archives

Story number 2 for 5 Feb 1999

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Next, a recent change in the law books in Greece could spell trouble for non-European missionaries. Wayne Ritchie is an independent missionary ministering with his family there. He explains… “It used to be that when we’d go into Greece, we’d get three-month visas and then would have to renew them by crossing over into Italy and then going back again the next day or two days later. But now, when you cross over to Italy, it’s not like leaving Greece, because it’s all one nation…so now, they’re closing their borders on all the foreigners that are living within the countries.” Ritchie says the law could be disruptive to mission work. “It’s going to greatly effect Americans because, whereas many of them have visas for a year, now they only get visas for six months…and whereas before they could cross over to another country and turn around and come back again, now they have to be out of the country for six months, so it’s going to disrupt a lot of missionary activity.” The Ritchies are staying at D & D Missionary Homes in Florida while they are in the United States. They return to Greece in May.

Story number 3 for 5 Feb 1999

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Bible Translators are asking people to pray as they begin contacting an Aztec people group for the first time in two years. Wycliffe Bible Translators’ Dave Mason says these people haven’t been open to them, so they’ve held off making contact with them until now. Mason recently discovered a Mexican church has been working with the group for some four years and believes there may be some believers there. Mason hopes to make contact with them Saturday.

Story number 4 for 5 Feb 1999

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Meanwhile, an evangelical missions group is translating scripture portions for use among the Mnong people in Vietnam. Brother Paul of Asian Minorities Outreach says much of the Mnong Bible translation work was destroyed when the communists when they took over two decades ago. “We’re not printing a whole Bible, but we have found that there’s about 500 scriptures that were saved from the 1970’s as well as a large collection of hymns and songs. And, so the Mnong believers asked us if we can print these books which contain very sound theology.” Brother Paul says these scripture portions will have a huge impact on the church there. “Many tribal languages in Asia the believers there don’t really learn God’s word so much by reading big books, or by listening to preaching, but they best learn by singing worship songs that contain God’s word.” Paul says as the Mnong sing the songs, they’re able to introduce people to Christ. A-M-O is hoping to raise some 20-thousand-dollars for the project.

Story number 1 for 4 Feb 1999

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We begin today in Sierra Leone where Christian workers have suffered due to the fighting that has continued in the area. Christian Reformed Church World Missions’ Paul Kortenhoven says a new rebel offensive has unleashed a wave of violence that has swept up some of their workers. “Unfortunately, one of our own, a Sierra Leonian employee, of our mission called CES, Christian Extension Services, was killed by gunfire by the rebels on the 23rd. We had another staff member, our senior accountant, a man in his sixties, who was attacked by a machete, trying to kill him as well, but he survived. In the last month, it’s been a horrendous scene in Freetown.” CRWM has tried unsuccessfully to get supplies into Sierra Leone. When asked what else Christians could do to help, Kortenhoven said… “I think that they should be reminded to just pray for a cease fire and pray for peace-but also remember the thousands of Christians in the country who are trying to survive on bare minimums.”

Story number 2 for 4 Feb 1999

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Next, a food shortage in Tanzania is causing problems for the people. Grace Ministry International’s Sam Vinton, Junior says last season’s harvest was destroyed by too much rain…but things look better this year. “Hopefully, in the next four or five months, when the next crop comes in, they’ll be able to do well because we understand that the rains are not as bad this time of the year as they were last year. Because of the hunger, people are going out in gangs, attacking other people by stealing what they have. This hunger business has turned some of the people into actual bandits.” Vinton says oddly, the famine has led to evangelism. “It has given us opportunities where our missionaries have been able to go into some of the villages and especially where we have pastors, and try to help them out-it has opened up the possibilities, I think, of people listening to us more because they see that the church and the mission are concerned about their physical needs.”

Story number 3 for 4 Feb 1999

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Death threats have become more commonplace in Indonesia during the last several months of chaos. However, The Mustard Seed’s Gary Parker says that doesn’t mean they’re taken lightly. “We take them seriously. These are Indonesians threatening Indonesians. We know, last year for example, we had three attempted attacks on our main campus in South Kalimantan…so, these are very real threats that they receive.” Parker asks that other believers pray and find a way to get involved. He expects that the crisis will strengthen the testimony of the church in Indonesia. “Indonesian Christians have always been people who’ve demonstrated their love by the way that they help their neighbors, in spite of all the difficulties. I’m sure that that is going to continue.” The recent violence adds to the mounting lawlessness sweeping the area which is grappling with the country’s worst economic and political crisis in thirty years.

Story number 4 for 4 Feb 1999

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Meanwhile, a radical Hindu group known as the R-S-S is calling for legislation that would essentially end Christian missionary work in India. Over the weekend R-S-S national secretary H-V Seshadri (suh-SHAH-dree) called for the special legislation saying the increasing number of Hindus converting to Christianity has to stop. Seshadri says legislation needs to be in place to control conversions by Christian missionaries. However, he justified reconversions calling it a homecoming for the Hindus from other religions. The proposed legislation doesn’t have much support.

Story number 4 for 4 Feb 1999

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Meanwhile, a radical Hindu group known as the R-S-S is calling for legislation that would essentially end Christian missionary work in India. Over the weekend R-S-S national secretary H-V Seshadri (suh-SHAH-dree) called for the special legislation saying the increasing number of Hindus converting to Christianity has to stop. Seshadri says legislation needs to be in place to control conversions by Christian missionaries. However, he justified reconversions calling it a homecoming for the Hindus from other religions. The proposed legislation doesn’t have much support.

Story number 1 for 3 Feb 1999

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We begin today in Sierra Leone where evangelistic ministry to children is being hampered by continued fighting. Christian Reformed Church World Mission’s Paul Kortenhoven says thousands of children have been kidnapped, indoctrinated and pressed into fighting. That puts them on the path to murder. (KORTENHOVEN: 11) The worst of the killers and butchers are always the younger. And so you literally have 12, 13 year-old mass murderers running around. Our staff member was killed by a teen age soldier last week. (BROOKS: 04) CRWM has also had workers attacked. Kortenhoven says efforts to turn those teens around have been hindered. (KORTENHOVEN:21) A group called Children Affected by War, our group and a group called The Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone, the Mennonites, all of us are involved in trauma counseling and reconciliation, but because of security right now we’re unable to be on the ground and our staff can’t either. There are mechanisms to help, but the fighting has got to stop before we can really do something.

Story number 2 for 3 Feb 1999

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(BROOKS:13) Next, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan opens what promises to be a volatile and violent season of political campaigning that culminates with the election of a president in Indonesia. We asked The Mustard Seed’s Gary Parker how this might effect evangelistic work. (PARKER:20) Pray particularly for the Indonesian election, because that is going to be a crucial election that will determine the kind of country Indonesia becomes. If the radicals take over, there will be violence for three to five years at least. If the moderates manage to retain control, then Indonesia may be able to recover and get back on a path for development. (BROOKS:04) Parker says the unrest brewing has also made some areas more dangerous than others for Christians. (PARKER:18) Two weeks ago, our director for South and Central Kalimantan, told me that he had been visited by an extremist from another religion who had suggested to him that his school and church might be burned down and he probably would be killed if he didn’t stop his Christian witnessing.