Monday, October 18, 2004

Missions Update

A missionary family from our church returned from Uganda a month or so ago. Last night they gave a presentation at church of their activities in Uganda. Unfortunately, I missed it:

I performed at another church last night where another missionary couple was on furlough. They were English teachers in China and were telling us about the peple in China. They are primarily in contact with urban Chinese. Interestingly, they noted that the Chinese public, in genera, has a great admiration of, and interest in, the US. Althought the Chinese government can be very threatening, it is important to understand that the socialist party is a very small segment of the Chinese population.

As a parenthetical, I don't believe there is such thing as socialism. That is to say, the ideology is sold to the public in order to obtain their initial compliance. In due course, the Party takes over and the government becomes the ruling class of a practical oligarchy with a dicatatorial leader.

Back in China, there are North Koreans who have been risking death to escape to China. Many are captured, tortured and returned to North Korea. According to the relativly few accounts of North korean refugees who have experienced the tortue, an estimated 90% of re-captured North Koreans do not survive the torture. So closed is the country that any contact with a non-North Korean is punishable by torture. Posession of even one page of a Bible is punishable by death. The South Korean Christian Church has managed to cross the 3-mile-wide dividing line and minister to thousands of North Koreans - although it is not disclosed how they do this lest they be stopped. The North Koreans are extremely poor because of the rule of the North Korean Socialist Party. The Bible is smuggled into North Korea by memory.

On the western Chinese border, Chinese Christians are poised to risk their lives to take the gospel into the closed Muslim nations all the way back to Jerusalem where the gospel started 2000 years ago.

In other nations:

There are indigenous people in Venezuela who make their living off the waste from Maracaibo. Their communities surround the dump there. My family is planning to join a group that goes annually to minister to their material needs as well as teach them of the hope that only comes from Christ. We bring construction teams to build houses, wells, septic systems, etc. We also bring food, medicine, medical and dental teams. Last year we started cutting hair. We also bring a carnival team that allows us to interact one-on-one with the Venezuelan people.

We are sending two men into Southern Sudan this year for a couple of weeks. They will take school supplies into the mountainous area where Christians have fled from the persecution of the Muslims in the north. They will do focused discipleship to build up church leaders in the area.

Our church supports a lady who teaches in an Iraqi missionary school. The school has been opened up to local Iraqis. While the school is in a northern city that serves as a supply depot for terrorist troops, the school is protected by the terrorists because they want the US to leave the town alone. In other words, they don't want to attract attention by killing a bunch of missionary teachers.

There are many other missionary endeavors our church is involved with. As more events happen in other parts of the world, I'll post updates.


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