Meanwhile, theological education is greatly needed in China. According to China Partner’s Erik Burklin over the last 20 years the evangelical church in China has seen phenomenal growth. Some say, because of the unprecedented growth, the Chinese church will out number the church in the United States. However lack of trained leaders and resources is causing an increase in cult activity, and materialism in the church. Burklin is asking peole to pray that God will help meet these incredible needs.
We begin today in Taiwan where tensions are still riding high after the people elected a pro-independence president. China has long threatened to invade if the Island declared independence. Far East Broadcasting Company has offices in Taiwan. Chinese Ministries Director Peter Chou says they’re concerned, but not making any rash decisions. “I’m saying wait and see because we really don’t know where it turns to. Too excited is not a way to handle the situation. We need to be cool. And, we are observing the situation very carefully what’s the move and deciphering every meeting. But, we can not commit ourselves to either way.” Chou says radio ministry from Taiwan will continue, despite various changes in strategy. However, people need to pray. “Because, this area is such a volatile area and such an unstable area as far as broadcasting is concerned. The situation or opportunity that we can do Gospel work is always under the shadow of one day China will no be open again. It will be closed. And, if that happened the radio ministry is more important.”
Next, Open Doors is reporting the execution of an evangelical leader in Peru. The man was executed two weeks ago, after Marxist guerrillas declared him guilty of taking part in police and military activities. He was shot to death following a “people’s trial” conducted by nearly two dozen terrorists, who identified themselves as members of the Shining Path rebel group. Open Doors says Christians in Peru’s rural communities often are targets of violence because of their refusal to choose sides in the area’s conflicts.
New Tribes Mission is reporting that between extreme rains and an epidemic of rats on the Island of Palawan (PAL-uh-wan), the Tagbanwa (Tag-BAHN-wa) people are near starvation. Local missionaries are asking prayer for God’s provision for the needs of all those suffering from a severe food shortage. NTM’s Jody Crain is visiting several Tagbanwa churches, their leaders, and missionaries working there to see how he can encourage them during this hardship. NTM asks that believers pray for not only his safety, but also that he will be able to help.
Meanwhile, Trans World Radio has expanded its ministry to reach in closer to home-to the 52 million residents of other-language-speaking households in the United States and Canada. TWR’s Glenn Sink says this month, they began airing a block of Spanish Gospel programming on a commercial AM station in Miami. “I think that as we, the church, begin to see that this growth is so massive, and that we don’t have to cross the ocean anymore to reach people who speak another language and who have another culture-today, they’re in our own backyards.” Sink says, in addition to the new broadcasts, TWR has recently pioneered a ministry initiative. “‘Languages Plus’ is designed to enable and equip and assist the local church by providing ministry material to reach those more than 42-million other-language speaking residents of the U-S.”
Topping today’s news, New Tribes Mission is keeping a close eye on increasing conflict and tensions in the Philippines. Islamic rebels on Mindanao have increased their activity against non-Muslims. NTM’s Guy Sier, says they have workers in some affected areas. “New Tribes Mission has been down in that area for quite a number of years, doing work primarily with the tribal people interior of the largest island there in Mindanao. Occasionally, we’ve had Islamic rebels come through our village, but they’ve not shown any over interest in bothering our works interior.” Sier says there is a lot to be thankful for and much to pray for, as well. “Just because rebel groups have not bothered us, doesn’t mean that this new tension created may not change that posture. Be praying for the safety of our missionaries and also for the success of their work out there. It’s very difficult to try to establish churches in the middle of areas that have been traditionally Muslim.”
Meanwhile, Southern Baptists are reporting that damage assessments are underway in Nigeria following a deadly assault against the Baptist seminary in Kaduna in late February. The cost of replacing buildings burned during the attack may run as high as $5.3 million, not including school furnishings, personal belongings and library books. Despite the tension between Muslims and Christians, Baptist workers vow that the destruction of buildings and even the loss of life will not stop the growth of God’s kingdom in Nigeria.
Missionary groups are hoping Vladimir Putin’s presidential election victory will provide stability in Russia, making their work easier. Christian Reformed World Mission’s Jeff Busscher says if governmental chaos ends, it could benefit missions work. “Some of the local decision making that’s taking place, which is contradicting federal law in many cases. I’m quite hopeful that perhaps if there’s an appropriate expression of order on a federal level that convinces local power brokers that they have to follow the federal line. That might even afford some measure of protection.” Some municipal leaders won’t allow evangelical groups to rent public building space. Busscher says prayer for foreign workers is essential. “We’re praying that we would have the opening to continue to serve. There’s been some spotted situations there in respect to people getting visas. Not that they’ve been turned down, but the process has become harder. So I think access for foreign missionaries that are really needed in the country.”
Next, food is the tool being used to get the Gospel into the hearts of the people of Liberia. After nearly a decade of civil war, many thousand of people are hungry because the war destroyed farms and infrastructure that allows for food distribution. Feeding Starving Children’s Richard Sandbatch. “We have gathered and garnered here already in our warehouse 5 containers of food, clothing, medicines and medical supplies to go to the church organizations in Liberia and it’s going to be distributed to the needy and the poor.” Sandbatch says people can’t hear the Gospel if the bellies are empty. He has a challenge for those listening. “If they would consider taking five minutes a day just to pray for the spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Liberia. Their food may be on the way, but sometimes when you’re in the midst of storm you need to have the comfort of prayer.”
We begin today’s newscast in Indonesia where violence against Christians is continuing, leaving people dead and churches destroyed. John Norvell is the Director of World Missions for the Pentecostal Church of God. Norvell says radical Muslims have destroyed 39 church, and killed seven pastors with their mission. “Some while they were kneeling in prayer in their church. Some were even grandchildren and family members of the pastors. It seems as there’s been a target of pastors particularly and it’s been indicated that there’s been a 15-million rupee price on the head of all of the pastors.” Norvell says the violence is concentrated on the Island of Morotai (mohr-AH-tee). He’s confident it will all work out for the good. “When Martyrs blood is shed God moves in the heavens and we’re confident that there will be many who come to Christ as a consequence. But, our prayer is that God will honor the blood of those who have given their lives for the sake of the Gospel and that their murderers and all associated with them will come to know Christ.”