|Zprávy HCJB 21.9.2008 - 27.9.2008|
|Američtí voliči ostražitě sledují evangelikály|
|Evangelikálové se před letošními listopadovými volbami opět stávají konverzačním tématem, a proto Barnova skupina zkoumala, jak Američané vidí evangelikální voliče, a to jak ve skupině neevagelikálů, tak evangelikálů. Barna se zaměřil na osm charakteristik včetně čtyř nejvíce vžitých tvrzení: a) že evangelikálové významně ovlivní nadcházející volby b) že do politické konverzace vznášejí konzervativismus c) že stráví víc času kritikou než řešením problémů a d) že jim ostatní nesprávně rozumějí, a že média je poškozují. Překvapivě bylo zjištěno, že jen polovina Američanů má pocit, že hlavním tématem pro evangelikály jsou potraty a homosexualita. Asi polovina respondentů odpověděla, že evangelikálové se jen málo zajímají o sociální problémy. 47 procent respondentů má pocit, že evangelikálové budou volit hlavně republikány. Zhruba dva z pěti Američanů jsou přesvědčeni, že evangelikálové jdou k volbám s klapkami na očích. Sami evangelikálové vyjadřují sebedůvěru a odhodlání a domnívají se, že jejich vliv při volbách je důležitý (84 procent). Mají však pocit, že jsou špatně chápáni, a že jsou očerňováni sdělovacími prostředky (81 procent). Zdroj: Barna Research|
|Nekončící útrapy egyptského konvertity|
|Nejznámější egyptský křesťanský konvertita je vězněm ve svém domě a musí se neustále skrývat. Před rokem se 25letý Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy stal prvním Egypťanem, který požádal o změnu údajů ve svém občanském průkazu, aby bylo jasné, že už není muslimem, ale křesťanem. Jeho tvář byla v televizi i v novinách a může tak být nalezen fanatickými islamisty, kteří usilují o jeho život. Kromě toho by jej mrtvého ráda viděla i jeho vlastní rodina. Podle lednového vládního rozhodnutí je opuštění islámu v rozporu s islámskými zákony a v souvislosti s publicitou, které se následně jeho případu dostalo, se Hegazy se svojí manželkou a dcerkou museli již pětkrát stěhovat. Jednou přitom stěží vyvázli životem. Loni koncem října mu telefonoval přítel a řekl mu, že jeho vlastní advokát řekl úřadům, kde bydlí. „Hned jsme se přestěhovali a příští noc skutečně přišli fundamentalisté, aby nás zabili,“ řekl Hegazy. Skupina islamistů se tehdy na mnoho dnů usadila kolem jeho bývalého příbytku. Také podpálili byt jeho sousedky, která zahynula. Hegazy řekl, že tato sousedka, jejíž jméno je z důvodu ochrany její rodiny utajováno, byla nejlepší přítelkyní jeho manželky a pomáhala jim v jejich utrpení. Jedinou nadějí tohoto konvertity je, že se jednou budou moci vystěhovat ze země, bez pasů je ale tato možnost v nedohlednu. Zdroj: Compass Direct News|
|Všechny zprávy v angličtině|
| ECUADORIAN CHURCHES SEEK GOD’S WILL IN RUN-UP TO CONSTITUTIONAL VOTE
Sources: HCJB Global, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor
As the “sí” and “no” factions in Ecuador wrap up campaigns aimed to convince voters of either the benefits or drawbacks of a proposed new constitution, Radio Station HCJB in Quito stands on ground it has occupied for decades—praying for God’s will.
“We have called it 40 Days of Crying Out to God for Ecuador,” said Tatiana De la Torre, director of local radio at the station, who coordinated the station’s on-air involvement while local pastors in Quito and throughout Ecuador promoted it within the churches.
Initiated in mid-August, the prayer effort concludes on Sunday, Sept. 28, the day Ecuadorians will vote in a national referendum to either approve or disapprove the 444 articles drawn up by a Constitutional Assembly.
Since becoming an independent nation in 1830, Ecuador has enacted 19 constitutions, the most recent 10 years ago. The proposed constitution represents months of work by Ecuador’s National Assembly that met in specially constructed facilities at Ciudad Alfaro in the coastal Manabí province.
This summer the assembly approved the 444 articles of the proposed constitution, addressing such matters as economic organization, natural resources, the courts, the military and other institutions of the state, universal healthcare, wage increases, various collective and human rights, and interestingly, the granting of rights to the environment.
De la Torre is asking believers to pray that God would bring national repentance to the Ecuadorian church, peace in society, unity among God’s people, a passion for His Word, revival in the church, and wisdom for government leaders, church leaders and all citizens in this time of transition, and God’s blessing on Ecuador’s destiny.
“We invite everyone to join with us in this purpose, both individually and collectively, and in their workplaces and churches,” she said. “We desire to obey God’s command to pray and to intercede before Him.”
ECUADOR’S CHACHI BELIEVERS GET PRINT, AUDIO VERSIONS OF SCRIPTURES
Source: HCJB Global
Eighty-one-year-old retired Wycliffe missionary John Lindskoog looked into the face of a Chachi man, Santiago Anapa, at the dedication of the Scriptures in the Chachi language last month, culminating 53 years of translation work.
“If you had not come, where would we be now?” asked Anapa, referring to the Wycliffe missionaries who have seen the project of translating Genesis, Exodus and the entire New Testament through to completion.
Uncharacteristically, Anapa then broke into sobs, according to Neil Wiebe, who along with his wife, Ruth, headed the project since 1970 after receiving it from Lindskoog and his wife, Carrie.
“Twenty sets of 40 CDs of Mártires Tapuyo’s recording of the Chachi Scriptures, a five-CD chronological series of 40 lessons on the character of God, and a CD of Chachi music are intended for group use in Chachi communities that agree to listen to them regularly,” said Wiebe. Tapuyo has been one of the main Chachi translation workers for several years.
Lindskoog’s grown children had convinced him to make a final trip to Ecuador for the mid-August event at Zapallo Grande, a town along the Cayapas River in Esmeraldas province. All five of his adult children, a daughter-in-law and six adult grandchildren accompanied him while the Wiebes’ grown daughter, Melody, was also there.
Arriving at Zapallo Grande by canoe from a church two hours downriver, Chachi believers and people from nearby settlements filled the church to overflowing for the Sunday, Aug. 17, dedication. Lindskoog recounted highlights of mission and translation work and Wiebe described specifics, such as expressing key biblical terms with descriptive Chachi phrases instead of borrowing from Spanish.
“I concluded by saying that this work was our offering, first to God but also to the Chachi people,” Wiebe said. The official publisher of the Chachi Scriptures is the Bible League, directed in Ecuador by Milton Bustos. His overnight bus trip to Esmeraldas province went awry when bandits held up the bus, robbed those on board and took control of the bus when a police chase ensued.
“The thieves managed to escape, but not before Milton was thrown against a solid object, and he sustained a broken vertebra,” said Wiebe. But his enthusiasm hasn’t waned as he and Mártires will be training Chachi leaders to use simple Bible study guides “such as the one we have just translated for the Gospel of John,” he added.
HCJB Global has a triple tie-in to the translation project’s continuing ministry among the Chachi, who number about 15,000. “Jim Childs, an HCJB Global Voice engineer, enabled us to hook up small 12-volt Gel-Pak batteries to solar panels which are to power the CD players,” Wiebe said. “We trust that the printed and audio forms will complement and stimulate the use of each other.”
In addition, it was the final project of HCJB Global’s Vozandes Printshop before permanently closing. Through the decades, Bibles in the indigenous languages of Cofán and Waorani (Auca) have rolled off the mission’s presses.
While still doing translation work, Tapuyo had begun collaborative work with HCJB Global Hands engineer César Cortez who serves in clean water projects. Serving as a liaison between water technicians and Chachi communities, Tapuoy ensures comprehension of the project rationale and Chachi participation in the work.
“Mártires is working full time for water projects on the Cayapas River, teaching hygiene and preaching the gospel,” Cortez added. “Part of his work is to producing hygiene material with the Ministry of Education as part of the official curriculum for the Chachis’ next school year.
DR. RALPH WINTER HONORED WITH LIFETIME OF SERVICE AWARD
Source: HCJB Global
Dr. Ralph Winter was given a Lifetime of Service Award Thursday, Sept. 25, for his years of promoting the global missions cause. He received the award during the triennial North American Mission Leaders Conference in Westminster, Colo., Sept. 24-27, where mission leaders have gathered to focus on partnerships with Third World countries. The event, using the theme “Mission Next,” is a joint effort of Mission Exchange (formerly called the Evangelical Fellowship of Missions Agencies), CrossGlobal Link (formerly the International Foreign Mission Association) and the Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). Leaders took time to recognize Winter during the Thursday-evening session with family and friends of Winter and all conference attendees participating. He is best known for launching the U.S. Center for World Mission, the William Carey Library and the Perspectives on the Christian World Movement course. Marv Newell, executive director of CrossGlobal Link, and Steve Moore, president and chief executive officer of Mission Exchange, presented Winter with the award, describing his service as “pioneering,” “faithful obedience” and “world-class educator.” Through his various roles as missionary, educator and missions leader, Winter has championed the cause of unreached peoples and the global missions movement.
FEBC RADIO PROGRAMS IN CAMBODIA STRESS IMPORTANCE OF PURE WATER
Source: Mission Network News
In Cambodia, 47 percent of the population doesn’t drink clean water simply because the people can’t afford filters. Others don’t know the importance of clean water, and many suffer from diarrhea and waterborne illnesses. Far East Broadcasting Co. has begun airing radio programs to help people learn more about hygiene, irrigation, the science of wells, and providing clean water for livestock. One program is called “The Well of Life”—a five-minute drama that runs five days a week. The other is a 30-minute informative program. Listeners also hear how water and wells are a symbol of rebirth and life for Christians.
* HCJB Global Hands helps provide clean drinking water and sanitation to rural Ecuadorian communities which do not have access to safe drinking water. Community wells with hand pumps and community potable water systems with a spigot or connection for each home are built to meet this need. Health/hygiene teaching, water system maintenance training and follow-up are improve the health benefits and assure sustainability. In each project, the benefiting community provides the manual labor and the majority of the resources needed. Pastoral and church lay leadership training is provided in conjunction with these projects. Water projects in 2007 benefited nearly 9,000 Ecuadorians.
5 YEARS AFTER LIBERIA’S CIVIL WAR, SIM KEEPS TRAINING LEADERS
Source: Assist News Service
SIM is doing what an African journalist calls a “great work in its effort to raise national leaders for the Liberian church.” Despite the country’s 14-year-long civil war that ended in 2003, “SIM’s missionaries have stood with the Liberian people—encouraging, mentoring and praying with them,” said journalist Success Kanayo Uchime. Recounting the ordeal of his capture by rebel fighters, Joe Wankollie, SIM’s business manager in Liberia, said missionaries continue to work alongside Liberians to train them in sectors such as broadcasting, services and medicine. “They also disciple Liberians, working through a consortium of churches,” he explained. Progress however, has been slow as the war “set back everyone living in Liberia,” leaving more than 200,000 people dead and destroying the country’s infrastructure. Liberia’s electrical system is mostly defunct while just 25 percent o f Liberians having access to running water. Crime is also high, literacy is low and corruption is rampant.
* HCJB Global Voice works in partnership with ELWA, a ministry founded by SIM in Monrovia in 1954, to air the gospel across the country and West Africa. The radio station was destroyed twice by civil war, first in 1990 and again in 1996. ELWA most recently went back on the air in 1997 with a small FM transmitter. Then in 2000 HCJB Global Voice provided a low-power shortwave transmitter, again enabling the station to cover the entire region. ELWA broadcasts the gospel in 10 languages and plans to add more as resources become available.
RELIGIOUS GROUPS DIVIDED ON IRANIAN PRESIDENT’S VISIT TO NEW YORK
Source: Ecumenical News International
Despite protests against a meeting with religious and political groups in New York, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met to break bread with some 300 people to promote the importance of religion in solving global problems. Numerous statements have condemned the gathering, and a protest was staged outside the Manhattan hotel where the event was held. Religious leaders who spoke at the banquet made clear that they felt both the need to engage with the Iranian president and to speak out against Ahmadinejad’s statements on the Holocaust and human rights problems within Iran. The Iranian leader is in New York to attend the opening of the U.N. general assembly. William F. Vendley, secretary general of Religions for Peace, a New York-based inter-faith coalition, noted that the meeting with Ahmadinejad would be the fourth in a series of encounters since 2006 and a “continuation of the dialogue that faith groups are developing with Iranian politica l, religious and academic leaders.”
AUTHOR: PUTTING GOSPELS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER REVEALS INSIGHTS ABOUT JESUS
Source: Christian Newswire
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, four men witnessed Jesus Christ’s ministry years, each from his own perspective, and wrote about them. These are the four Gospel accounts with only the Book of John written chronologically. The random sequences of events found in Matthew, Mark and Luke makes it difficult to get a complete and accurate picture of Jesus’ life. Author Frank Ball has organized the gospel scenes to create an accurate, chronological story that is easy to read, understand and remember. “Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story” is like a snapshot taken from a wide-angle lens, providing greater depth than the four Gospels read separately. Using the book of John as the chronological “skeleton,” Ball adds the “flesh” of information supplied by the other Gospels.
STUDY: U.S. VOTERS WARY OF EVANGELICALS’ INFLUENCE IN ELECTION
Source: Barna Research
With evangelicals again part of the conversation regarding the 2008 U.S. presidential election in November, The Barna Group explored what Americans think about evangelical voters, including the perceptions of non-evangelicals as well as the self-perceptions of evangelicals. Barna examined eight perceptions, including four of the most widely held views: a) that evangelicals will significantly influence effect on the election outcome, b) they will cause the political conversation to be more conservative, c) they will be spend too much time complaining and not enough time solving problems, and d) they will be misunderstood and unfairly described by news media. Surprisingly, only half of Americans felt that evangelical voters would focus primarily on homosexuality and abortion. About half of respondents said evangelicals will minimize social justice issues; another 47 percent felt they believe that evangelicals will vote overwhelmingly Republican. Roughly two of every five Americans believe evangelicals will not approach the election with an open mind. Evangelicals themselves exude both confidence and concern, seeing their influence in the election as significant (84 percent), but felt they will be misunderstood and unfairly depicted by the media (81 percent).
PASTOR’S APPRECIATION MONTH TO BE CELEBRATED IN OCTOBER
Source: Assist News Service
Pastor’s Appreciation Month is a time to remember, to say “thank you” and to honor those who influence our lives spiritually and philosophically. A few things people may do to let pastors know they are loved and appreciated include:1) praying daily for your pastor and his/her family, 2) inviting others to hear them preach, 3) asking how you may assist in ministry and lighten their load, 4) offering to babysit if your pastor has small children, 5)volunteering to keep a ministry scrapbook for the pastor, 6) inviting your pastor to meet your friends by inviting him or her to your clubs, organizations or community functions, 7) inviting him or her to a dinner or party with your family and friends, 8) providing money and gifts to make their vacation more enjoyable. 9) being sure the church is paying your pastors the very best it is capable of doing and providing medical insurance, automobile expenses, adequate housing allowance, etc., includin g an adequate pension plan, 10) supporting your pastor with your attendance, participation and financial resources, 11) remembering him or her with a special gift on anniversaries, birthdays and at Christmas, and 12 ) writing a brief note or phone call of gratitude for pastors can give them a lift and positive encouragement . October is the month to join with thousands of churches to find ways to say, “Thank you pastor.”
UPDATE: ONE EGYPTIAN CONVERT’S NEVER-ENDING STRUGGLE
Source: Compass Direct News
Egypt’s most famous convert to Christianity is a prisoner of his own home, hiding for his life. A year ago, Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy, 25, became the first Muslim-born Egyptian to request that his identification card to reflect his newfound faith. Since his face has since been publicized in newspapers and televised, he might be recognized by fanatical Islamists bent on killing him. Besides that, his own family members want him dead. A January ruling declared it is against Islamic law for a Muslim to leave Islam, and since the publicity surrounding his case, Hegazy has had move five times with his wife and baby daughter. Once they barely escaped alive. Last October, he received a telephone call from a friend who told him that one of his own lawyers had given authorities his address. “So we moved immediately, and the next night the fundamentalists came to attack us,” Hegazy said. A group of Islamists camped around his former house for day s. They also set fire to the apartment of Hegazy’s next-door neighbor, killing her. He said the neighbor, whose name was withheld for the security of her relatives, was the best friend of his wife and had helped them in their ordeal. The convert’s hope is that one day he can get his family out of the country, but without passports that is a remote possibility.
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