Zprávy HCJB 12.3.2003

   Cyklón v Mozambiku zabil minulý týden 11 lidí a tisíce připravil o střechu nad hlavou. Avšak přírodní katastrofa nezastaví OC International v její práci. Mluvčí organizace Jim DeVries říká, že cyklón udeřil na zemi v době, kdy se ještě dostávala z rozsáhlých záplav, ke kterým došlo před dvěma lety. „Všichni jsme viděli obrázky z těch povodní. Kostely byly odplaveny a domovy pastorů zcela zničeny. Tím narůstají fyzické potřeby, ale i duchovní potřeby jsou stále velmi aktuální v celé zemi,“ řekl DeVries. „Mnoho nových sborů potřebuje prostředky na školení vedoucích a pastorů pro tyto své sbory. V Mozambiku sloužím už více než 10 let, školím pastory a vedu skupinky a semináře pro vedoucí sborů, ale teprve nyní máme poprvé v Mozambiku skutečně místní tým.“ (Mission Network News)

A cyclone in Mozambique killed 11 and left thousands homeless last week. However, the natural disaster isn't stopping OC International from doing its work. Ministry spokesman Jim DeVries says the cyclone hit as the country is still recovering from massive flooding two years ago. "We all saw the pictures of the flooding. Churches were washed away and pastors' homes were destroyed. That increases the physical need, but the spiritual need is still very real throughout the country," DeVries said. "There is a need for many new churches and for training of leaders and pastors in those churches. After having ministered in Mozambique for more than 10 years, training pastors and leading workshops and seminars for church leaders, this is the first time we actually have a resident team in Mozambique." (Mission Network News)


A Chinese house church leader is asking for more Bibles as Christianity expands in his area. "In the past we had very few Bibles, and the people insulted our faith," he said. "When we walked past, some people would insult and mock us." However, as the churches began to grow and ministries such as Open Doors supplied the believers with Bibles, the situation changed. "Now 8 percent of the population [in this area] is Christian," he said. "Every year we have so many new believers who come to the church without a Bible. Many times the Public Security Bureau will come and confiscate and take away all our Bibles. Also, when evangelists are on the road their Bibles can get ruined from rain and wear and tear. We still need a lot of Bibles!" This year Open Doors plans to supply China's persecuted believers with more than 2 million Bibles, Bible reference books, training manuals for church leaders, Sunday school curriculums, hymnals and children's Bibles. Open Doors President Terry Madison says that while Bibles are available for members of the official Three-Self Patriotic Church, this isn't true for the most of the 60 to 80 million Chinese Christians who gather in small unofficial house churches nationwide. "I have met many Chinese house church believers who are hungry for a Bible," he said. "Many of them -- especially those living in remote countryside areas -- simply do not have access to Bibles or can not afford to purchase Scriptures." Madison estimates that 10,000 to 25,000 people are coming to the Lord each day in China, and few have Bibles. (Assist News Service)


A sacred Jewish burial site traditionally regarded as the tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph has been destroyed by Palestinian vandals. "It's a travesty to all humankind when traditional or archaeological sites are destroyed -- sites that are revered and respected -- regardless of who does it in the name of science or war or anger," said Steve Andrews, professor of Old Testament and archaeology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. "Connected with such destruction is extreme religious intolerance -- contrary to the Jeffersonian principles of the free exercise of religion held dear by all Americans," Cantor said in introducing his bill designed to protect the Temple Mount. "Thousands of years of Judeo-Christian heritage is under siege." (Religion Today)


More than a dozen Christian leaders have applauded U.S. President George W. Bush's global HIV/AIDS initiative and proposed principles for future policy addressing the disease. Leaders such as Prison Fellowship Chairman Chuck Colson, Focus on the Family President James Dobson and Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, outlined their own principles for global AIDS legislation that reflect their stands for abstinence and against abortion. They urged that preventive techniques use the "ABC" model that has been successful in Uganda -- focusing on abstinence first, then being faithful to a monogamous partner and, thirdly, condoms. "Condoms must no longer be treated as a panacea of HIV prevention," the leaders wrote in a letter to Bush. The signatories also called for inclusion of faith-based organizations as a key aspect of prevention and treatment programs, protection of victims of sexual violence and preservation of families. (Religion Today)

* HCJB World Radio has sent out short-term teams to Cape Town, South Africa, to help with an AIDS clinic at a community center operated by Fish Hoek Baptist Church. HCJB World Radio's Vozandes Hospital in Quito also operates an AIDS clinic. The ministry's healthcare, broadcasting and teaching staff in Ecuador are working together to produce educational videos and radio programs to warn people about AIDS.


The time has come for urgent and practical involvement in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders told delegates at the first regional workshop on the issue in Zimbabwe last week. The meeting, sponsored by the church's Southern Africa/Indian Ocean region, drew experts from around the continent and overseas, as well as leaders from 11 other Christian denominations. Pardon Mwansa, president of the Adventist Church in the region, said the meeting was organized because of the staggering number of HIV/AIDS cases in Sub-Saharan Africa -- home to more than 70 percent of the 40 million infected persons worldwide. All agreed that churches have been late in responding to the crisis, but Mwansa urged believers to take action. Attendees praised the open nature of the meetings in which Adventist church members living with HIV/AIDS spoke publicly -- many for the first time -- about living with the disease and the stigma they often face in their own churches. Some attendees raised questions of the safety of touching and being near people infected with the AIDS virus. Experts believe that education is the first step in dealing with fear and the stigma which has kept some church members from reaching out to people with the disease. (Adventist News Network)


The church in Nigeria -- a strategic West African nation with more than 120 million people living in 37 states -- is "not growing, but exploding" says Matthew Elliott, executive vice president of the Chicago-based Oasis International literature ministry. Operated by the Oak Foundation, Oasis is helping this "explosion" with affordable, Christian literature to this and other needy countries "In 1999, following many years of military rule, a Christian president was elected," Elliott said. "The majority of Nigerians in the more populous south are Christian, while northern Nigeria is predominately Muslim. This provides a unique door to Islam, the world's largest group of unevangelized people." Oasis manages two wholesale distribution centers and the Challenge Bookshops chain, owned by the Evangelical Church West Africa. "We provide bookseller training and have distributed more than 1 million books and Bibles," Elliott says. (Assist News Service)

* HCJB World Radio, together with partners In Touch Ministries, SIM and the Evangelical Church of West Africa, began airing weekly half-hour programs in the Igbo language in 2000. The programs air via shortwave to Nigeria's 15 million Igbo speakers.

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