June News from around the World

ANGOLA: Southern Baptists Respond to Effects of Severe Flooding
Severe flooding hit southern Africa earlier this spring, and reports say the “situation is worse than last year.” About twenty-five thousand people in Angola have been displaced, and the Red Cross estimates that in the Cunene province, around 125,000 people have been affected. Reports indicate that in Angola more rain has fallen since December than fell during the entire 2007-2008 rainy season. Cholera and malaria are a constant threat; the World Health Organization has delivered five tons of healthcare kits and drinking water supplies. The Southern Baptist International Mission Board's ongoing work in Angola includes ministering to unreached people groups. These groups include the Ngangela, Lunda, and Nkhumbi peoples. Indigenous church planting efforts have recently begun among the Ngangela, while culture and traditions make it hard for evangelical Christianity to take root among the Lunda and Nkhumbi people groups. (Mission Network News)

AROUND THE WORLD: Dr. Ralph Winter Passes Away at Age 84
One of the most significant missiological thinkers of the twentieth century, Dr. Ralph Winter, passed away 20 May 2009 at his home in Pasadena, California, USA, from complications of cancer. He was 84. Winter founded the U.S. Center for World Mission (USCWM) in 1976 and the William Carey International University a year later. His 1974 address to the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization created a seismic shift in mission strategy, with his call to evangelize people groups outside the focus of established mission efforts (unreached people groups). “He was constantly thinking outside the box,” said Dr. Dale Kietzman, a professor at William Carey. “He did this to such an extent that you weren't sure what the box was anymore.” As a missionary to Guatemala with his wife Roberta from 1956-1966, Winter became a key leader of the Theological Education by Extension (TEE) movement throughout Latin America. At Fuller Theological Seminary's School of World Mission, Winter taught mission history and leadership training. He also helped launch the American Society of Missiology and the International Society of Frontier Missiology. Many believe Dr. Winter's address to the Lausanne Congress in 1974 changed the face of missions. Building on the work of Donald McGavran, Cameron Townsend, and others, Winter's well-researched address awakened his audience to the thousands of people groups outside the reach of established churches and mission efforts. His Perspectives Course—first written at Fuller in 1973—was further developed at his new campus and proved a significant mobilization tool, with over seventy thousand graduates today. Other ministries launched under his leadership include the Global Prayer Digest and Missions Frontiers magazine, as well as World Christian Foundations, a curriculum for field missionaries. In September 2008, Winter received a Lifetime of Service Award from the North American Mission Leaders Conference in Denver, Colorado. For more information, click here or here. (Assist News Service)

AROUND THE WORLD: N1H1 Virus May Have Devastating Second Wave
The N1H1 influenza virus, commonly known as the swine flu, is subsiding in Mexico. However, Carolyn Wetzel with Food for the Hungry says the second and third waves could be worse, particularly in Africa: “Thirty percent of the population is infected with HIV. So if the pandemic flu reached there, we could see serious impact on a much greater scale than we would see in a more developed country.” Wetzel added, “If we are prepared in case this situation does escalate, then we can really make a difference in terms of saving lives.” (Mission Network News)

AROUND THE WORLD: All God's Children International Appoints New President
John Blanchard was recently appointed president of All God's Children International (AGCI). With a background in business and education administration, Blanchard has filled roles such as director of operations for The Nature Conservancy of Oregon, vice president of the Oregon State University Foundation, and vice president of administrative services for Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. For the past six months Blanchard has acted as CEO for AGCI. Founded in 1991, the adoption and orphan care agency now serves thousands of orphans in nine nations. (Christian Newswire)

INDIA: Operation Mobilization Launches Appeal to Help Children
In an effort to meet the needs of poor and deprived children in India, Operation Mobilization (OM) has launched an appeal for the sponsorship of children. The appeal, tagged “Help Feed a Child in India,” is targeting more than fifteen thousand of the poorest children in India. The appeal is expected to give hope to children who are students in OM's nearly one hundred Dalit schools. Many of the children are from families who don't have enough money to provide lunch for the school day. For more information, visit http://omusa.org/give. (Assist News Service)

MALAWI: Teen Missions International Goes Fishing
Lake Malawi holds approximately one thousand different kinds of fish. These fish could serve as a food source for the fifteen million AIDS orphans in Malawi, presenting a ministry opportunity for Teen Missions International (TMI). TMI plans to take twenty young “fishers of men” on a unique short-term mission trip to teach orphans to fish. Malawi fishing trip team members will receive training in the United States from mid-June to 5 July 2009 before departing for Africa. For the next four weeks, the team will minister to AIDS orphans in Malawi. (Mission Network News)

MIDDLE EAST: Plight of Women Highlighted in Documentary Series
Satellite television station SAT-7 has voiced the plight of women who are the sole providers for their children, their siblings, or their parents—women facing social, legal, and economic hardships. Through twenty-six documentaries from Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco, these women tell their stories. The series, called And I Am Not Just a Woman, aired on 5 May 2009. The documentaries are part of a larger media campaign, which also includes a number of awareness-raising spots. (SAT-7)

PAKISTAN: Sharia Law Enforced in Swat Valley
The Taliban has now officially enforced sharia law over the Swat Valley in what looks like a desperate attempt by the government to create peace with the group. It appears to have had the opposite effect. Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) expressed the opinion that the Taliban sees this as encouragement for expansion. Nettleton explains, “This is the part of Pakistan that is known to be the most radically Islamic, and therefore most radically anti-Christian. We have had Christian workers in that area who have been kidnapped, they have been badly mistreated, and they have been beaten because of their Christian witness. Some have been killed, simply because they were known to be Christians and known to be involved in outreach to Muslims.” (Mission Network News)

PAKISTAN: Country Facing Refugee Crisis
As Pakistan continues its press on the Taliban, thousands of people are fleeing the Swat Valley. A “peace” pact with the Taliban broke down when security forces began an assault to push the militants back into their territory. The rebels had begun to encroach upon Islamabad in a grab for land and power. The government is now preparing for up to 500,000 internal refugees, the largest displacement crisis in Pakistan's history. Even when the refugees arrive at refugee camps, it's not a guarantee of safety or comfort—the camps are hot, overcrowded, and have inadequate sanitation facilities and no electricity. Add to that diseases and a lack of medical help, and the situation deteriorates quickly. Teams from the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee are helping the refugees. (Mission Network News)

TAJIKISTAN: New Law Hits Christians Hard
A new law in Tajikistan may force evangelical Christians underground in this predominantly Muslim Central Asian country. Allowing Christian literature into the country is a decision open to government officials’ subjective interpretation of the law. Legally-registered Christian organizations, including Bible League (BL), will be required to re-register under the new law. BL is one of the world's largest evangelical, nondenominational scripture placement agencies, partnering with local churches worldwide. Those re-registering should know by the end of June 2009 whether or not they’ve been approved. (Bible League)

UNITED STATES: Missionary Gospel Fellowship Celebrates Seventy Years
Missionary Gospel Fellowship (MGF), headquartered in Turlock, California, is celebrating its seventieth anniversary this year, culminating in special events at its annual conference 8-12 August 2009. The event will honor long-term missionaries and supporters. Ministering to immigrants pouring into the U.S. from East Asia and the Middle East, MGF has established mission fields in areas heavily populated with Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims in the U.S. and Canada. (Missionary Gospel Fellowship)

UNITED STATES: HCJB Announces Ministry Contest
On 20 April 2009, HCJB Global launched the “Be the Voice and Hands of Jesus” contest, part of the Me and My Household campaign. HCJB president Wayne Pederson explained, “We're encouraging listeners to declare and demonstrate Christ's love through a mission project, either in your community, within the U.S., or globally. Tell us what you're doing to be the voice and hands of Jesus this summer.” The deadline for the contest is 1 August 2009. One can enter the contest by going to the website, HCJBGlobal.org/contest. HCJB hopes the contest will do two things: provide others with ideas for outreach and help monetarily with a cash prize of $200 USD for the winning ministry project. (HCJB Global)

ZIMBABWE: Emergency Supplies Airlifted to Those in Suffering
On 28 April 2009, Medical Teams International (MTI) airlifted $2.5 million USD in emergency medical supplies to Zimbabwe to help people suffering from HIV and AIDS, malnutrition, and other severe health problems. Zimbabwe's economy is in ruins with hyperinflation and unemployment at around ninety percent. Millions are in need of food and the country's infrastructure and institutions are in shambles. Experts do not agree as to the cause of the collapse—mismanagement of the government, global recession, U.S. sanctions, or a combination of all factors. MTI is a Christian global health organization which sends teams of volunteer health professionals to carry out disaster relief, long-term development, and community health programs in collaboration with local partners. (Medical Teams International)