Zprávy HCJB 2.6.2004

   30 SPONSORED CHILDREN AMONG 2,000 KILLED IN CARIBBEAN FLOODING More than 2,000 people are feared dead and thousands more are homeless after heavy rains pummeled the Dominican Republic and Haiti, causing severe flooding. World Vision's Kevin Cook says the ministry has been "adversely affected" by the disaster. Among the dead are believed to be 30 World Vision-sponsored children in Jimani, Haiti. Torrential rains caused two rivers on the border with Haiti to burst their banks on Monday, May 24, sweeping away a whole village near Jimani. While World Vision's primary goal is to provide physical aid, the outreach has opened doors for spiritual outreach, Cook says. "This is part of our ministry to the most oppressed and poor people of the world, and we believe we can show God's love to them. There are many opportunities to share our faith with people." Meanwhile, evangelical organizations are working to help prevent outbreaks of disease in the affected areas. In the area of Cite Soleil, Haiti, marines and sailors teamed up with Food for the Poor to help local workers scoop seemingly endless amounts of garbage, sludge and human waste into back-end loaders and dump trucks. (Mission Network News/CBC/CNN) * Staff members from the HCJB World Radio Engineering Center in Elkhart, Ind., are working with OMS International to establish a satellite radio network based at 4VEH outside the city of Cap-Haitien that will deliver programs to FM stations nationwide. Downlinks have been installed in Tortue Island and Pignon, and at least three more are planned. HCJB World Radio also helped partner World Gospel Mission with a small station in Port-au-Prince. IRAQI NATIONALS KEEP CHRISTIAN CLINICS OPEN DESPITE INSTABILITY In Iraq where a transitional government was sworn in on Tuesday, June 1, insurgents have taken out their anger by targeting foreigners, relief workers and Christians. The instability is prompting leaders to call for a united Iraq. Despite the violence, International Aid's Myles Fish says the ministry's work won't be affected. "We have four clinics in Iraq that are still functional, and they're being staffed by Iraqis, not by North Americans, so those efforts are ongoing," he says. "We just got a report back this past week that the church is alive and well and growing, but there's a great deal of uncertainty because of the transition of power." Fish explains that teams are working with ministry in mind. The organization has encouraged members of churches that were established during the Saddam Hussein era to reach out to their communities. "Conversions are taking place, and some new churches have been formed in Baghdad," he says. (Mission Network News) IMPRISONED INDONESIAN PASTOR MAKES 'MIRACULOUS RECOVERY' Friends and family of Rev. Rinaldy Damanik, an Indonesian pastor imprisoned since August 2003 under what many believe are false charges, confirmed last week that he has made a "miraculous recovery" from a serious kidney problems. Damanik's transfer to a hospital in Jakarta on May 4 was made possible by the intervention of a Muslim cleric, Ustadz Idrus Alhabsy. Impressed by Damanik's quiet, uncomplaining attitude, Alhabsy was incensed when he read a newspaper report about Damanik's medical condition. He immediately went to Maesa prison to confront authorities on the prisoner's behalf. When Damanik arrived at Cikini Public Hospital in Jakarta on May 4, doctors found that the kidney stones, clearly shown in x-rays taken at Woodward Hospital in Palu, had disappeared, leaving only minor damage to his urinary tract. Further tests on May 8 showed that the problem appeared to have corrected itself to the degree that no surgery was required. Damanik has now served 20 months of his original 36-month sentence (later reduced to 35 months). A prominent figure in peace negotiations between Muslim and Christian communities in Poso, Sulawesi, Damanik was convicted on charges of "illegal weapons possession" in June 2003. The charge dates back to an incident on Aug. 17, 2002, when his relief convoy was stopped by police and his vehicle searched. Days later, police claimed they had found firearms and ammunition in the vehicle. Damanik denies the charges. (Open Doors) * HCJB World Radio worked with local Indonesian partners to establish a local Christian station in Sumba Island. Plans are also being made to establish stations on Roti Island and at Kupang in West Timor. Equipment was sent from the HCJB World Radio Engineering Center in Elkhart, Ind. THOUSANDS MARK AUSTRALIA'S FIRST NATIONAL DAY OF THANKSGIVING Tens of thousands of Australians participated in the country's first National Day of Thanksgiving Saturday, May 29, with nationwide celebrations. Organizers said they were "delighted with the level of involvement by both churches and individuals," especially since they only had three months' warning after Australia's governor general announced the holiday. Federal and state parliamentarians and local government officials attended some 200 community breakfasts organized in different locations while thousands of "random acts of kindness" were initiated by churches and individuals as the day was celebrated in hundreds of communities across Australia. People also visited police, ambulance and fire stations as well as retail outlets with morning tea to say thank you to those serving the community faithfully but often with little acknowledgement. Churches held prayer meetings, worship celebrations or opened their doors to people to pray during the day. Others organized concerts in local parks and town halls or encouraged home groups to invite in their neighbors for a meal. Churches are already making plans for the next National Day of Thanksgiving set for Saturday, May 14, 2005. (Religious Media Agency) SALVATION ARMY MARCHES AHEAD DESPITE LOSSES IN WESTERN EUROPE While the Salvation Army has faced declining membership in Western Europe in recent years, a smaller but spiritually better-equipped army is emerging, said retired leader Gen. John Gowans at the denomination's national congress in Hanover, Germany, May 29-31. Gowans told some 800 attendees that while materialism and traditionalism are slowing down the Salvation Army in Western Europe, the group is experiencing its fastest growth in Africa (particularly in Kenya), South Korea and the former communist Eastern Bloc (especially Russia and Czech Republic). The Salvation Army was founded by the English Methodist pastor William Booth in the mid-19th century. The movement quickly spread around the globe. Today some 3 million Salvationists are bringing "Soap, Soup and Salvation" to the needy in 109 countries. (IDEA) MINISTRY WORKS TO BOOST MISSIONS PROGRAMS IN LOCAL U.S. CHURCHES CB International is redoubling its efforts to help restore missions programs in churches across the U.S., says spokesman Hanz Finzel. "We're here to serve the local church in the U.S. In fact, we believe that God gave the Great Commission to the church -- not to us as a parachurch organization. Our role is to come alongside the local church to help fulfill the part of the Great Commission that is to the uttermost parts of the earth." CBI encourages local churches to get more involved in missions. "If a church doesn't have a missions program, we will come in and help refigure a mission policy and come up with a new strategy," Finzel says. He also suggests that sending local church pastors on a short-term mission trip is another good way to breathe new life into a church mission program. (Mission Network News)

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