Venezuela debates the expulsion of a mission agency.

By October 25, 2005

Venezuela (MNN)–Venzuela’s president, Hugo Chavez has been asked to reconsider his ouster of New Tribes Mission. The U.S. ambassador has offered to mediate discussions between NTM and Venezuela.

Media reports are now listing the accusations against the group. They range anywhere from ties to evangelist Pat Robertson, to CIA covert operations to greedy missionaries.

But New Tribe’s Nita Zelenak says the thrust of the accusations they’re hearing are actually a rehash of thirty years ago. “There were a number of things that New Tribes was accused of doing. The government went in and investigated, and we were exonerated of all the accusations. They were proved to be false.”

It’s an obvious hack job. Zelenak says, “Someone has gone back in there and pulled all those accusations up but they’re not bringing up the government investigation that said they were false.”

So, NTM officials now face dismounting a campaign of misinformation. Zelenak says they’re hoping for a chance to talk to Chavez and show him what their real work has been over the last 59 years.

Their focus, she says, has always been helping the indigenous people. “We go in, learn their language, learn their culture, teach literacy, teach the Bible, translate the Bible, that type of thing. We also do community development, but we’re in no way involved with any government agency.”

As the investigation continues, please pray for their future outreach in Venezuela.

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