News Archives

Story number 1 for 5 Nov 1999

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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.”

Story number 3 for 5 Nov 1999

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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.”

Story number 3 for 5 Nov 1999

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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.

Story number 4 for 5 Nov 1999

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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.

Story number 1 for 4 Nov 1999

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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.”

Story number 2 for 4 Nov 1999

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Next, we turn to Saudi Arabia where we get news that thirteen Filipino Christians have been released from custody. International Christian Concern reports the group was detained for 24 days because of their Christian faith. The group was arrested because they were considered to be key leaders in two house churches. However, their ordeal is not over. The group has been given ten days to make preparations before being deported. Saudi Arabia tops Open Doors’ list of the countries most known for persecution of Christians.

Story number 3 for 4 Nov 1999

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Despite celebrating 10 years of freedom next month, mission groups are asking people to pray for evangelical ministry in the former Soviet Union. Next week will be the anniversary of the Iron Curtain falling. New Hope International’s Rei Abrudan (ray AH-broo-dan) conducts youth ministry training in Romania. He says a lot has changed in 10 years. “If I have to try to describe ministry in those times it was high quality, but very low quantity. Now, the quantity of ministry is huge. Like, the churches are involved in all sorts of ministries.” However, the now quality of ministry is lacking. Abrudan says there is a great need of youth ministry training. “Our closest goal is to go in those churches that are opening their doors to help develop their area of youth ministry. Then, there is a huge need for training youth workers. There is no school in Romania that is doing training for youth workers or youth ministers. In Romania there is only one youth pastor that is paid by the church.”

Story number 4 for 4 Nov 1999

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Elsewhere, Adventures in Missions is embarking on a trip this week that will not only help people in Mexico, but also re-shape lives and attitudes toward missions outreach. AIM’s Seth Barnes explains. “The thing that impacts people more than anything else is the opportunity to minister to those who have fallen upon hard times, and are hopeless, and to bring them the hope that Jesus Christ offers. Then, through that, to see that God can use them to impact lives, and as they impact lives, they become turned on to the Great Commission.” Barnes says the impact of the trip is surprising because: “They don’t have much opportunity to get out there and live the life of a missionary, but, when they do, they get out of their comfort zone, and they’re forced to re-invent themselves. It can be a shattering experience where they come back and they can’t live their life in the same way-they’ve been a part of Jesus’ Great Commission, and they’ve got to view everything as new and different.”

Story number 1 for 3 Nov 1999

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Topping today’s news, efforts to deliver aid to India’s cyclone-ravaged state of Orissa are increasing even as violence breaks out in areas where storm victims have gone four days without aid. As the country’s infrastructure reportedly crumbles under the strain, Operation Mobilization’s Peter Dance says they are mounting their response to the crisis. “Our teams are going to go in there as soon as we can. Pray, not only for our O-M teams, there’s several other organizations…because the devastation is massive. They say it’s probably the worst in 30-odd years. We want to raise as much money as we can for food, blankets, wells and also coverings.” Dance says the teams are looking forward to the opportunity to minister to the storm victims. He adds: “We go in to a place like that with food, with blankets, with shelter, and some clean water. Basically we’re showing, and we’re not frightened of sharing the fact that in Jesus’ name, we send this to them; in that way, we’re exhibiting the love of Christ.”

Story number 2 for 3 Nov 1999

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Next, five men have been charged with assassinating the Armenian Prime Minister and seven other government officials. The attack in parliament last week left those with ministries in the country discreetly watching the conditions. The Bridge International’s R.K. Ulrich gives this take on the situation. “It seems that there was dissatisfaction over the corruption in the country, and this group of men basically wanted to overthrow the government. I don’t think it will have an immediate effect on the work, because it is not really a fight against Christians. [But] whenever there is instability, it makes it difficult for everybody, including the church.” Ulrich says despite political troubles, their ministry is seeing fruit. “There is a new surge of people coming out of the old Communist isolationism. There has been a tremendous interest among young people who see a form of Christianity that is attractive because it’s more life-oriented.”