Meanwhile, the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention is asking that believers continue praying for missionaries in war-torn Burundi. IMB’s Mark Kelly explains why. “One of the church leaders was discovered missing November 2nd, and people are afraid he may have been imprisoned. At least three truckloads of men and male teenagers were taken away and they weren’t expected to be seen again. There’s just a lot of turmoil in the country. People are afraid that there’s much, much worse things on the horizon.” Kelly says people need to pray not only for the missionaries there, but also because: “The civil war situation there has gotten worse. Things in the country have gotten very difficult. Officials have told missionaries David and Cathy Brandon that they have to leave the country, and so, the Brandons are planning to leave Friday, November 12th.”
We begin today’s broadcast in East Asia where Mission Network News’ Greg Yoder begins a weeklong investigation into the status of the evangelical church in Tibet. Greg is on his way to his destination as we speak. He filed this report just prior to his departure. “It’s often called the country on top of the world, referring to it’s high elevation, but it’s also considered a very difficult area to reach evangelistically speaking. This week, together with International Aid, we’ll be looking into the status of the church in Tibet and discuss way the church in the west can help. I-A’s Ralph Plumb explains. “The Christian workers that are there now have a sense of needing to be supported. There are activities going on in health, in teaching English, and some other activities, but there are not enough resources and workers are needed, prayer partners are needed. International Aid is really in a good position to be able to provide some of those tools.” Plumb is hoping the government will be open to I-A’s desire to help the people physically, while also pointing them to Christ. Greg Yoder, Mission Network News.”
Meanwhile, an evangelistic ministry is celebrating a milestone. Adventures in Missions’ Ron Ovitt says they have experienced exhilarating growth and they are reaching new goals. He asks that people: “Pray for our expansion. This is our tenth year anniversary. As we face a new century and new millennium, we’re looking to expand AIMS’ vision into the future. Our goal is to have 65-hundred young people out in the mission field. We’re expanding our base-we’re opening up in West Virginia, in Philadelphia, the inner city. We’re looking at opening up other inner city ministries.” Ovitt points out that the growth they’ve seen is end result of what happens once people become aware of their surroundings and of how God’s love changes community. “All of the sudden, they’re seeing an area where poverty isn’t just a block or two, they’re seeing poverty as a way of life for many people. You see the gratefulness of people when you tell them about the love of God and you help them with a house.”
American Leprosy Mission has partnered with Habitat for Humanity India to further the purpose of the their mission. ALM’s Baskaran Richard says this new cooperative is part of their approach to healing. He explains why housing is an important part. “The main objective is to assist the leprosy patients to own a reasonably good hygiene house, which is one of the basic needs, we feel. With that objective, we’ve committed to construct 50 houses for the leprosy patients. We have completed nearly 13 houses.” Richard says even though they work in Muslim areas, the people have learned to respect the work of ALM. “They accept us by seeing our work, our Christian love, and the honesty and the dedicated services we provide them. They feel that we care for those patients. That’s the main reason they come to a Christian organization like Leprosy Mission.”
Elsewhere, Dayspring International is preparing to release an all-African and an all-Chinese version of their Life of Christ Film “Dayasagar”. The film is currently done with an all-Indian cast and has been translated into several of the major Indian languages. So far, it has reportedly been viewed by more than 60 million people with more than 4 million decisions for Christ. With these two new films, Dayspring officials estimate they will be able to reach millions of new people with the message of the Gospel.
Today, we continue our look at the Ukraine’s future for evangelism and note the irony that the crucial run-off election falls on the same day as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. World Concern’s Elaine Leslie says she’s concerned about the election because some people are disillusioned and want to return to Communist rule. “It’s very troubling to us because that means those people are not thinking they could lose their freedoms. They feel there’s a 50-50 standoff to choose between Communism and the present president. November 14th is going to be a very important day to our projects.” Leslie adds the window of opportunity may be closing. She says political problems have begun to effect their outreach. “This year, five schools refused to let us have the Bible classes that we’ve had since 1990. We’ve had to go and find other schools that would allow that [Biblical teaching]. Our focus is on the children because we feel that they are the future of that country.”
Next, evangelism is thriving in Taiwan after this century’s worst earthquake there. More than 13-thousand after-shocks have hit Taiwan since the September 21st quake that killed more than two-thousand people. Send International Missionary Victor Loa (low) says people are now more open to the Gospel. “We were distributing Gospel tracts and we found out that the people were reading it right away. Before, people just threw them away. We have started Bible studies. One of the ladies living near our church prayed to accept church in one of our meetings.” Loa says because people are still fearful counseling sessions are opening evangelistic doors. “We still have to be careful with the way we approach them. This Christian counseling center here would share with them how they can really find peace and they might know that this is very normal. And of course this is where we introduce them to the Lord.”
Bethany Christian Services is prayerfully watching the movement of the proposed Adopted Orphans Citizenship Act. The proposed measure makes it easier for the adopted children of US citizens get their citizenship. Right now, the process may take a year or more. Under this bill, the requirements for the adoption process are equivalent to those of a US citizen whose biological child was born overseas. BCS shows the compassion of Christ by helping children and families through a variety of social services.
Meanwhile, ministries who are reaching out to the spiritual needs of people in China are meeting this weekend in Thailand. President of International Aid Ralph Plumb is there today. He explains why they’re meeting together. “For reasons of security we don’t identify the name of the conference or the attendees, but this is one of about two major gatherings that ministry partners come together and share what’s happening in the different provinces. International Aid has had a long history of ministry in China and so we’re looking forward to expanding our base of networking with other ministries and evangelists and church leaders.” Plumb says Christian work has been largely successful in China. “75 to 100 million Christians (is) the range of estimates currently. Despite the fact that Christianity is not encouraged, there is a strong growth taking place both in the Three Self church and also in the variety of house churches.” Mission Network News Greg Yoder will be with International Aid next week in China.
We begin today’s newscast in the Ukraine where incumbent President Leonid Kuchma (kooch-ma) is pitted against Communist challenger Petro Symonenko (sim-mon-YEN-ko) in a runoff election later this month. What this means for evangelistic ministry, Russian Ministry’s Peter Deyneka explains. “The fear is that if Mr. Symonenko is elected, he will return to past Communist ways of doing things. There’s fear among the Protestants that his emphasis will be more toward nationalism than the Protestants and that would diminish the opportunities for evangelism and church planting.” Deyneka says they’re using the time they have for planning for the future of missions in Ukraine. “Our goal is to train as many nationals as possible because we don’t know how long this window of opportunity will be open. It would remain open under Kuchma, but no one can predict what could take place under Mr. Symonenko. We’re praying that freedom will continue and opportunity will continue because there’s actually a great deal of interest.”