Meanwhile, we continue our series on the needs in Liberia after years of civil war. Feeding Starving Children International’s Dick Proudfit just returned from the country. A thriving church and Christian government are two areas that will help them reach those in need. Proudfit says they’re trying to raise five-million dollars to help feed the starving children there. He says by doing so, it opens doors to share the Gospel. Pray that God will meet this financial need as millions of children are starving and dying without Christ.
We begin today in Sri Lanka where a 16-year civil war has left thousands dead and many families grieving. Sri Lankans now want an end to the fighting and peace has become a major issue in the December presidential elections. Shelter Now’s Jeff Hollenbeck says the situation is still a bit unstable. “There has been quite a bit of ethnic unrest within the country. There’s a group of people trying to pull away from the government-it’s a revolutionary kind of force that’s trying to gain independence from India and create a society for themselves. Sri Lanka is a country where people are doing Christian work, but you do have to be a little bit careful about where you do that sort of thing.” Hollenbeck says in the lull between battles: “One of the projects that we’re working on is to build some homes for the war widows in six of the villages up there in the north. It involves housing, and some water and some sanitation. In the name of Jesus, demonstrating the love of God, just doing what we do for these people and just hope that the seeds that we plant will grow inside these people.”
Meanwhile, the International Bible Society is providing resources to help people through depression and other emotional needs. IBS has developed some scripture tools to help in seven key areas of emotional stress, which many times, hits around the holidays. Debbie DeaBueno (dee-BWAYN-oh) is the managing editor of this project. “We know that God’s word can heal hurts in lives, but sometimes giving someone a Bible is a little overwhelming. They start with page one and they get stuck in Deuteronomy or Numbers. Although the power of God’s word is there, we needed to direct people straight to some of the scripture.” DeaBueno says pointing people to scripture will turn many hearts to Christ. “Seeing that it’s okay the Jesus cried out to God in these scriptures and other Biblical characters did the same, I think it helps to know that I’m not the only one who’s ever had this problem and they received help and comfort and hope. ”
The Protestant Churches of Turkey reports that people in the quake zones are in desperate need of shelter. Following a severe earthquake in November, thousands of people in the affected areas were left homeless. The area is now experiencing cold temperatures and rain. PCT is sending emergency supplies to help during the crisis. Church leaders add that the spiritual atmosphere has intensified this month and ask that believers pray for the people of Turkey.
Next, we continue with our series on the needs facing Liberians as civil war ends in that country. Feeding Starving Children International’s Dick Proudfit says they’re taking a leadership role in helping the people with food and medicines. He says Liberia has lush farmland and they’re going to help rebuild its agricultural base. “The country is just lush. They have the rain forest there. The surrounding country outside of the rain forest is green, but it is over grown because of the war. We’re looking for large donations of seeds. Two or three containers of seeds.” Proudfit says they also need farm implements. He says this is just another step toward leading people to Christ, but they can’t do it alone. “We’re asking a lot of people to step forward and some of the bigger financial entrepreneurs to step forward and be a part of the organization. And, I believe the big picture that we’re looking at immediately is five-million dollars.”
We begin today’s newscast in Vietnam where the country’s worst flooding in 50 years has left more than five-thousand people dead and thousands more homeless. Evangelical Baptist Missions’ David Haag says they just returned from a medical mission trip to that communist country. “They have completed a two week project of not only hands on ministry with a medical team, but also taking a considerable amount of antibiotics, which are always needed in a situation like that, as well as finances to assist some of the people who have literally lost all of their possessions.” According to Haag this project gives Christians a more open door to share the Gospel. “And, it does enhance their identity in the situation to be seen as the ones who are exercising compassion. I know that it’s provided an opportunity for the church in the west to link hands with the church in the east and I think in that spiritual good will come from that.”
Next, Trans World Radio is making plans to bolster its outreach to listeners in North and South America. After seeing success in the Caribbean Gospel Network, the ministry will be relocating the Bonaire work to Florida. TWR’s Scott Hollinger. “The location on Bonaire, while it served us well, and continues to serve us well for medium wave broadcasting, is not ideally suited for the kinds of interactive ministry that we now have through the Caribbean Gospel Network…but, South Florida suits both our affiliates and us.” Hollinger is excited about the move because: “It’s really a new day for Trans World Radio. We’ve gone to them and said, ‘How can we help?’ We are learning from our partners at the Caribbean Gospel stations and in return then, we’re able to utilize the resources that Trans World Radio has to produce programs that a local station can use that will most effectively reach their people.”
While police are dismantling army checkpoints in Liberia, the needs of the people continue to surface. Feeding Starving Children International’s Dick Proudfit just returned from the country. Proudfit says the lack of food isn’t the only problem. He describes what he saw when he went into a hospital. “I was flabbergasted walking in that building to see nothing. Almost zero medical supplies. Zero equipment because the country has been looted. And so, what they’re asking for is equipment and medical supplies immediately.” Proudfit says meeting their physical needs is vital to reaching them with the Gospel. He says the church will be their link to those who haven’t heard the message of Christ.”The church is already in place. They’re practically in every village around the country. We would like to begin to partner with them to start a feeding programs for the children and the families that they know who are devastated.”
Meanwhile, construction is underway to help a medical mission ship be more effective in ministry. The Mercy Ships, based in Texas, is in the process of building an International Support Center. Among other things, this new 17-thousaand square foot facility will increase by 70-percent the amount of warehouse space Mercy Ships currently has, enabling them to receive millions of dollars more annually in gift-in-kind contributions. The International Support Center is scheduled to open in the spring of next year.
We begin today in Indonesia where conflict in that country is forcing mission groups to modify their work there. New Tribes Mission’s Guy Sire say they have around 65 missionaries working in Indonesia, but their workers from Maluku (mah-LOO-ku) won’t return. “Most of our folks are now in the process of filtering back to Indonesia, but are relocating on the island of Sulawesi because of the difficulties in Maluku. We really don’t see where we’ll be able to put missionaries back into the tribal areas in Maluku for some time.” Sire says they’re also facing another problem. “Our work permit that allows us to conduct ministry is up at the end of this month. The government has gone through a lot of upheaval, and if we do not have that renewed by then we will need to cease ministry. Visas will not be renewed and our folks may have to leave the country.”