Zprávy HCJB 2.2.2004

    Dima a Lema Rožkovi vědí, že Otcův dům, služba na Ukrajině, je více než jen budova. Je to domov – místo pro děti, které domov dosud nepoznaly. Rožkovi, kteří dlouho snili o tom, že budou mít velkou rodinu a hodně dětí, které by vyrostly a věnovaly se službě, nikdy nevěřili, že by se tato představa mohla vyplnit. Přesto jsou dnes stálými rodiči v Otcově domě a přijali sedm nových synů a dcer ke svým třem dětem. Předtím tyto děti neměly žádnou rodinu, ani představu o tom, jaké to je, vyrůstat v domácím prostředí. Většina z nich ani nechodila do školy. Nyní se začínají vzdělávat a rády pomáhají v kuchyni i s úklidem svých pokojů. Denně se scházejí ke společným modlitbám a čtení z Bible a téměř každý víkend se zúčastní misijního výletu. Otcův dům založil pediatr a gynekolog Dr. Roman Kornijko, aby pomáhal dětem bez domova. Cílem je přivést děti do zdravé křesťanské rodiny a vzdělávat je, umožnit jim žít normální život. Tento projekt začal v Kyjevě a už se rozšířil do dalších 25 větších měst Ukrajiny a jeho metody byly přijaty i vládou. (Mission Insider)

A group of approximately 20 men stormed into a Catholic church in Mattegoda, Sri Lanka, Monday, Jan. 26, smashing statues and setting fire to Bibles. The attack was the latest in a series of violent incidents against evangelical and Catholic churches in recent months. Observers in Sri Lanka and elsewhere believe Sinhalese Buddhists are encouraging violence against churches as part of their campaign for nationwide anti-conversion laws. Government officials are discussing legislation and may bring in new laws or strengthen existing provisions as early as this month. Religious Affairs Minister Thiyagarajah Maheswaran said at a press conference in December that the new laws would be based on the "Prohibition of Forcible Conversion of Religions Act" passed in Tamil Nadu, India, in October 2002. However, Justice Minister W.J.M. Lokubandara said the ministry was simply "exploring the possibility" of new legislation.

Meanwhile, demand for an anti-conversion law in Sri Lanka is gaining momentum as an article in the country's constitution gives preference to the Buddhist religion, holding the state responsible for its protection. "Two groups -- one a Buddhist group and one a Hindu group -- are now pushing the government to have an anti-conversion law before parliament by the end of February," said Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs. The proposed law would limit evangelistic activities by denominations and mission boards working in Sri Lanka. "What happens next could have a serious impact on ministry in the country," he said. "While the law may not specifically target believers in writing, the reality is that Christians are the ones who are doing evangelism. Christians are the ones who are ministering to the poor, reaching out to them, sharing the gospel. That's who is affected by this legislation even though this legislation doesn't specifically say, 'No Christians.'" In other news, evangelical and Catholic churches have issued press statements denying the use of financial enticement to win converts. (Compass/Mission Network News)


Eritrea's outlawed Protestants confirmed last week that their neighbors are being hired to report to security agents regarding any gatherings of evangelical believers in their communities. Police "spies" are rewarded with special benefits, including exemption from military service and allotments of sugar and flour. Since May 2002 when the government ordered Eritrea's 12 independent Pentecostal and charismatic churches closed, their 20,000 members have gathered secretly in small groups in private homes. Hundreds have been arrested for holding worship services, possessing Bibles or witnessing about their faith. At least 286 Eritrean evangelicals are known to be imprisoned in nine different locations in the country. Protestant pastors say the Department of Religious Affairs has made no progress toward the official registration of their churches. "The only answer we get is that our applications are with the president," said one pastor. Another evangelical leader was told that the threat of war with Ethiopia over the Badme boundary dispute is a "much more serious" concern than registering this handful of churches. (Compass)


The world's first program for a distance-learning Doctorate in Theological Education opened in Guatemala last month. SIM missionary Dr. Carlyle Dewey, who serves at the Central American Theological Seminary, says the eight men and women who enrolled in the program represent key educational institutions throughout Latin America. All are involved in training leaders for the church in Latin America. They are sent by the various ministries where they serve with the understanding that they will be granted at least half of their time to work on their studies. In return, the seminary promises that the studies are specifically relevant to their respective ministries. The doctoral program consists of five semesters of course work plus a thesis. Each semester requires 16 weeks of reading and Internet interaction followed by a three-week residence at the Central American Theological Seminary in Guatemala. The seminary initiated a Doctor of Ministry program in 2001 in cooperation with Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas. (SIM)

* HCJB World Radio has worked with local partners to put Christian stations on the air in three Guatemalan cities: Guatemala City, Santa Elena and Chichicastenango. Through ALAS, the ministry's Latin American satellite radio network, 16 AM, FM and shortwave outlets nationwide use Christian Spanish programming from the network.


More than 100,000 copies of the World Bible Translation Center's Easy-to-Read English Bible were given away at an evangelistic campaign in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Saturday, Jan. 31. Since 2001 the ministry has placed 800,000 Bibles, free of charge, in the hands of Africa's poor. The Easy-to-Read English Bible is translated at a 4th-grade reading level. This version is ideally suited for people who speak English as a second language. (Mission Network News)

* HCJB World Radio, together with partners In Touch Ministries, SIM and the Evangelical Church of West Africa, began airing weekly half-hour programs to Nigeria in the Igbo language in 2000. In 2003, weekly broadcasts were added in two additional languages: Yoruba and Hausa.


Dima and Lema Rozhke know that Father's House, a ministry in Ukraine, is much more than a new building. It's a home -- a place of refuge for children who previously had none. The Rozhkes, who had long dreamed about having a big family with many children who would grow up and become ministers never believed that their vision would come true. Yet today they are resident parents in Father's House and have added seven new sons and daughters to their own three children. Prior to this, many of these children had no functioning family and no idea what it was like to grow up in a family environment. Most had missed schooling. Now they attend lessons or vocational schools and are glad to help in the kitchen and clean their rooms. They also gather daily for prayer and Bible reading, and almost every weekend go on a ministry trip. Father's House founded by Dr. Roman Korniyko, a pediatrician and gynecologist, rescues homeless children. Its goal is to bring the children into a healthy Christian family environment and to educate them, enabling them to have a normal life. Started in Kiev, the ministry has already expanded into 25 other major cities of the Ukraine, and its methods have been adopted by the government. (Missions Insider)

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