Zprávy HCJB 24.2.2004

   (Mission Network News) - Misijní výbor Jižních Baptistů ( Southern Baptist International Mission Board ) hledá dobrovolníky pro toto jaro, aby připravili podmínky pro práci při letní olympiádě 2004 v Aténách. „První skupinu potřebujeme na březen, aby na místě připravila zařízení a ubytování pro další dobrovolníky.,“ řekl Bill Cashion, ředitel oddělení dobrovolnických misií IMB. Další skupina odjede koncem dubna nebo počátkem května na alespoň 10 denní pobyt Tento druhý tým bude pokračovat ve stavbě Uvítacího centra a pomáhat při vybavování kostela, který bude útočištěm hlavních srpnových dobrovolníků. Během samotné olympiády bude Uvítací centrum nabízet informace návštěvníkům města společně s osvěžením a odpočinkem na chladném místě. Centrum bude také vysílat dobrovolníky pro svědectví víry mezi návštěvníky. Budou moci svědčit i mezi sportovci, účastnit se při úklidu, umělecké činnosti a dalších misijních projektech.

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   Stovky komunistických táborů pro mládež, které od pádu komunismu v Rusku nejsou využívány, se vrací na scénu. Namísto komunistické výchovy se využívají k budování vztahu s Ježíšem Kristem. Bob Rasmussen z OC International říká, že ruská mládež se nalézá v těžkých časech. „Existuje zde velké rozčarování, závislost na drogách i alkoholu a aktivita gangů,“ říká. „Ale jsou teď ve velmi citlivém věku. Jsou v této době otevřeni evangeliu. Je to obrovské pole, připravené ke žni.“ OCI bude letos v létě organizovat šest cest do Ruska, během kterých vyškolí 35 až 40 lidí v křesťanských táborech. „Je tu potenciál na stovky táborů pro tisíce mladých Rusů, aby mohli přijít ke Kristu,“ říká Rasmussen. (Mission Network News)

For the third straight year, the isolated communist nation of North Korea remains atop the Open Doors "World Watch List" of countries where Christians are persecuted. The annual list ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith. Saudi Arabia retains the second spot followed by Laos, Vietnam, Iran, Turkmenistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma) and China. Myanmar and China are newcomers to the top 10 -- Myanmar was ranked 13th last year and China 11th. No. 12 Pakistan (sixth last year) and No. 11 Somalia (ninth last year) fell out of the top 10. Iran climbed five places compared to the 2003 list, rising to No. 5 from No. 10. The change is primarily due to the number of Christians being arrested and held without trial for their religious beliefs during the past year. In December a large number of Christians with an Islamic background were also physically harmed in connection with their newfound faith. For years, little information about the church emerged from Kim Il Sung's harsh North Korean regime that is now ruled by his son, Kim Jong Il. Recent years, however, have seen a stream of information coming from North Korean refugees fleeing to China. They report that the church has not only survived but grown. To visibly practice the Christian faith in North Korea today can still result in imprisonment and death. North Korea is ranked atop the World Watch List for the third straight year. (Open Doors)


The All India Christian Council has called for a summit meeting of Christian leaders on Saturday, Feb. 28, to decide on an appropriate response to allegations that missionary organizations are working for the CIA as part of a U.S. government "conversion agenda" for India. The claims appeared in a series of recent articles published in the newly launched weekly newspaper, Tehelka. In the 11-page cover story in the inaugural issue Jan. 30, the newspaper portrayed Christian missionary work as a "sinister and disturbing phenomenon" that should "ring alarm bells within the intelligence agencies in India." A second report on Feb. 7 claimed mission organizations were using the HIV/AIDS crisis as an opportunity for evangelism. Both Catholic and Protestant leaders said the claims are "ludicrous" and planned to issue a joint press statement refuting the allegations. Such accusations are not new. In February 2002 Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party member G. Madhusudan accused missionaries of spying for the CIA. The frequency of such allegations appears to be on the increase. Christians in India are increasingly harassed by militant Hindu activists who are determined to prevent conversions to Christianity. Five states in India have passed legislation aimed at restricting religious conversions. (Voice of the Martyrs/Compass)


Hundreds of communist youth camps that have gone vacant since the fall of communism in Russia are making a comeback. Rather than fostering communism, the youth camps are being used to communicate a relationship with Jesus Christ. OC International's Bob Rasmussen says Russia's youth are facing difficult times. "There's lot of disillusionment, drug and alcohol abuse, and gang activity," he says. "But it's a very responsive age group. They're very open to the gospel at that age. It's a tremendous harvest field." OCI will lead up six trips to Russia this summer, training 35 to 40 people in Christian camping during each visit. "There is the potential for hundreds of camps for thousands of Russian young people to be brought under the claims of Christ," Rasmussen says. (Mission Network News)


The Southern Baptist International Mission Board is seeking volunteers this spring to help prepare for ministry opportunities during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. "The first team will be needed in March to begin setting up a Welcome Center and housing for future volunteers," said Bill Cashion, director of the IMB's Volunteers in Missions department. The next team will be needed in late April or early May for at least 10 days. The April/May team will continue work on the Welcome Center and help prepare a church that will hold volunteers in August. During the Olympics, the Welcome Center will offer information to the city's visitors along with refreshments and a cool place to rest. The center will also provide volunteers with opportunities to share their faith with visitors. Volunteer opportunities in August include sports evangelism, clean-up teams, creative arts teams and other ministry projects. (Mission Network News)


Tom Fortson, the new president and chief executive officer of Promise Keepers (PK), is on a mission to lead men around the world on an "Uprising" for Jesus Christ. In an interview at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Charlotte, N.C., Fortson, who succeeded Bill McCartney in the leadership of PK last October, said, "In 2004 the theme is 'Uprising: Revolution of a Man's Soul.' For 12 years we have impacted men in the U.S. Now we need to take our message worldwide." When asked what his message was to the men of the world, he said, "Bottom line -- 'What are you going to do with Jesus Christ?' That is the issue; that is the defining moment in a man's life. . . . Promise Keepers, we feel, has the message that God wants to have for men; to be real men; to be men who will live for Him and be courageous in proclaiming who He is -- the Lord of the universe." Fortson, born in Camden, N.J., and now living in Denver, Colo., brings a diverse body of experience to his position at PK. He spent many years in corporate America serving as an administrator and has an abundance of experience in ministry organizations. He sits on the boards of Moody Bible Institute and Carver Foreign Missions. (Assist News Service)


Former HCJB World Radio President Dr. Abe Van Der Puy was honored with the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Hall of Fame Award for his outstanding and remarkable lifetime of service in Christian broadcasting.

His daughter, Lois Spragg, received the award on her father's behalf at the Tuesday-evening anniversary banquet at NRB 2004 in Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 17. She said her father, who died on April 3, 2003, would have been "honored and humbled" to receive the award. "He would have given all the glory to God." The presentation featured a six-minute video highlighting his various accomplishments throughout 57 years of ministry with HCJB World Radio.

Spragg said the tribute fit well with this year's NRB conference which emphasized "personal spiritual growth and integrity -- not just ministry. When receiving the award, I told about how a few weeks before my dad died, Mincaye, one of the old Auca (Waorani) Indians, saw him in bed and said, 'His spirit is leaving. But we have followed God's trail, and not turned back. You have marked the trail well for those of us who are left behind.' I think my dad from heaven would have said to those at NRB, 'Be faithful. Mark the trail well for those you will leave behind.'"

Van Der Puy was HCJB World Radio's president for 20 years (early 1962-late 1981), seeing the mission grow from a tiny Ecuador-based operation to a worldwide ministry. His first wife, Dolores Hicks, died of cancer in 1965 after 22 years of marriage. In 1966 he married Marj Saint, the widow of Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot Nate Saint who was martyred along with four companions by Ecuador's Waorani Indians in 1956.

In addition to president, Van Der Puy served as manager of Radio Station HCJB, Ecuador field director, Hospital Vozandes-Quito administrator and honorary board chairman. He also played a key role in building up HCJB World Radio's North American ministries. The World Radio Network, for example, grew from a single station in 1978 to its present level with 23 FM outlets -- most along the U.S.-Mexico border -- making gospel broadcasts available to 12 million people on both sides of the border. He served as the network's president for 14 years. Van Der Puy was also the "Voice of Missions" for Back to the Bible for 12 years and served as president of NRB from 1975 to 1979. (HCJB World Radio)

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