November 2008


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The churches that we visited were small and their buildings unimpressive but their vision certainly was not.  It was exciting to see the variety of outreach strategies that these churches are using to reach their community and the surrounding villages.

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We were in Nepal during the festive season, in the week running up to Deepavali which is the major celebration for the Hindu worshippers.  One church used this oppportunity to run a week long overnight camp for village children to give them a break from some of the issues caused by the extensive use of alcohol, which is an inevitable part of every celebration.

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One of the highlights of the trip for me was to meet and have tea in the home of a great man of God.  Although he long ago lost most of his hands and feet to the effects of leprosy, this in no way has limited his effectiveness in ministry.  In fact he is currently pastoring three churches.311

Although we were able to give him a radio, I am sure that he will shortly be giving it away to a new group of people waiting to hear the broadcasts.

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Youth with a Passion

As we drove through the countryside we would often see very small buildings, identified as churches by a cross on the front. We were able to visit a number of these churches to see their work and to give a radio to some members of the congregation who had already established an outreach.

We met a lovely group of young people, some who had come as far as 45 kms, by bike.  They were anxious to show us their work through a drama presentation in which they distributed, not tracts, but radio program guides, giving us some insights into the strategies for reaching an oral society.

One young lady took us out to visit some “club houses” which are new, small groups of people who gather together around a single radio and form the beginnings of a learning community and a new church.  It was exciting but humbling to see these seeds planted, marked by a sign in a tree, identifying TWR and radio broadcasting as the avenue.

 

 

 

I have to admit that I wanted to give a radio to anyone that expressed an interest as it seems such a small thing to me.  In reality, radios are just such a valuable commodity that no one recieved one unless they had already proven that they had a goal for its use, listened to a presentation on the mission and values of TWR and signed a statement saying that it would be used only for the work.

I have waited for nearly a week to write this post, not because Pam has been busy getting caught up with her news from Singapore and Nepal. But rather because I needed to calm down, as I honestly haven’t been so angry and disappointed about an issue in a long time, and that doesn’t help coherence.

I am refering to the ‘Letter From 2012’, put out by CitizenLink, the political arm of Focus on the Family. In it the fictional letter writer makes 34 points about how things have changed, all for the worse, in an Obama-led United States, from the loss of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the rise of Russia in eastern Europe, to the loss of freedom of religion and speech in America. But the first 12 points, fully one-third of this nasty, right-wing screed, are devoted to wholesale hatred of homosexuality and homosexuals.

It is true that the Bible lists homosexuality as sin. That can be found in a list of vices in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. But the same list also condemns drunkenness and coveteousness, idolatry and adultery. Why hasn’t this ‘letter’ focused on them? Other lists (Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 5:11; Galatians 5:19-21;Colossians 3:8; 1Timothy 3:3) likewise condemn avarice and gluttony, anger and envy, lying and slander, but no other list mentions homosexuality. Obviously to the writers of the New Testament it wasn’t a big deal. Christ talked about the peril of materialism more than He talked about hell, yet He never mentioned homosexuality.

Dr. Dobson, my wife and I were happy to have followed your advice on raising our children for years. We thought yours was a voice of reason in a world of vain words. But you have just fouled your name and that of your ministry beyond recovery. It is not just your small-minded obsession with the denial of minority rights that is so troubling, but this ‘letter’ that you allowed to go out under your name lacks any shred of Christian charity, compassion or understanding; it borders on hate-mail.

The economy is in meltdown, America’s reputation is in shatters, the world is reaching out, desperate for world leadership and all that’s on your tiny mind is how does America continue to deny gay rights for as long as possible? Dr. Dobson, you have done the cause of Christ a great disservice, and if you are not thoroughly ashamed of yourself, then shame for you has lost all meaning.

Read at your own risk:

Click to access 10-22-08_2012letter.pdf

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