Caribbean: EAC Newsletter, April-May 2008

General June 4, 2008

Welcome to EAC's e-newsletter. Below are some of the major items of news featured on EAC's website over the past couple of months. News items are regularly posted to www.caribbeanevangelical.org as a means of communicating quickly with Evangelical Christians throughout the region. Many of the items of news have longer articles on our website and so the web address of the page with the news item is included for those who wish to read more.

If there are things happening in your area which would be of interest to the wider Christian community please feel free to send a report by email to Gerry@caribbeanevangelical.org along with electronic pictures and they will quite probably be posted to our website and shared with the Christian media in the region.

AROUND THE CARIBBEAN

Cunningham presides over 53rd Trinidad and Tobago District Assembly

West Trinidad: The 53rd Trinidad and Tobago District Assembly was held on Saturday, March 29, at the St. James Church of the Nazarene in West Trinidad. General Superintendent Paul G. Cunningham presided over the event and was assisted by Regional Director John Smee and District Superintendent Victor George. The main item of business was the reelection of George. He was almost unanimously reelected as he received 157 votes from 161 votes cast. The assembly adopted the Mission 7-11 Action Plan with the following mission and vision statements: The district's mission is to develop Christlike disciples in all their churches and release them to start new churches. Their vision is to carry the message of biblical holiness to every community in Trinidad and Tobago in this generation. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=117

First Haitian appointed president of Haiti Nazarene Bible College

Port-au-Prince, Haiti: On Friday, March 7, Haiti Field Director Bill Dawson appointed Lucien Jean-Baptiste as the first Haitian president of Haïti Nazarene Bible College during the school's chapel service. The ceremony took place with the full support and approval of General Superintendent Paul G. Cunningham, Regional Director John Smee, the academic dean, the director of extension, district superintendents, and students. Jean-Baptiste began his duties as president on Monday, March 10. Jean-Baptiste is a graduate of Haïti Nazarene Bible College. He has served for years as superintendent of the Haiti Central District and has seen excellent church growth and pastoral development on his district. He has also served as president of the National Council for the Church of the Nazarene in Haiti for more than 15 years. "Dr. Lucien has a wonderful vision for the future development of the school and is a man of example both in prayer and leadership to our students," said Dawson. "His pastoral successes have made a great impression on students and other pastors in the country."

From the West Coast to the West Indies

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (April 28, 2008) - Some US$5 million worth of medical equipment, supplies and health care will be delivered free of charge to the people of Jamaica this week by 80 medical volunteers from the San Diego-based Miles Ahead organization who arrived in Montego Bay on Saturday. The medical team of specialist doctors, pediatricians, surgeons and dentists will donate their services to local communities, in close collaboration with Jamaica's Ministry of Health, at four mobile clinics as 200 more volunteers, in conjunction with local churches and community organizations conduct sports clinics, deaf education workshops, school assemblies and rebuild local elementary schools. The volunteers are part of Miles Ahead, an outreach organization founded in 1992 by Pastor Miles McPherson, a former NFL professional football player who has family ties to the island. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=118

CNC Receives Accreditation

The Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) has granted the Caribbean Nazarene College registration for a period of one year. ACTT has identified some additional conditions which have to be addressed within a six-month period, at which time a progress report will be made. The outcome of that report will determine the additional registration period which could be two or three years, with three years being the maximum term, after which there will be a review for continued registration.

Former NFL Player Miles McPherson Concludes Successful Jamaica Visit

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (May 9, 2008) - Miles McPherson, a former U.S. professional football player turned minister of the gospel, told a crowd of 45,000 at a Montego Bay festival Saturday night that sexual relations outside of God's plan for marriage only lead to heartache and disease such as HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, which according to the World Health Organization has the second highest prevalence rate in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa. The San Diego, California-based McPherson, an African American Christian with Jamaican roots, was speaking on the second evening of a two-day Miles Ahead crusade on Dump Up Beach organized in celebration of Jamaica Broilers Group's 50th anniversary - one of three major family-oriented festivals under the Best Dressed 50 Fest banner presented in Mandeville, Montego Bay and Kingston. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=123

CBSI Launches Caribbean Division

Deuteronomy 31 records the passing of the baton from Moses to Joshua. Unlike Moses, as we passed the baton of the CBSI ministry in the Caribbean last weekend, God DID NOT command us to climb the mountain, view the Caribbean and die as He did Moses! Whew! Director Brian Burke used Joshua 1:1-9 to introduce his opening remarks as the meeting convened for the formation of CBSI Caribbean Inc. Brian charged the Caribbean leaders as God charged Joshua, "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, … Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:3 & 9) So it was with confidence in God's leading, protection and calling that we passed the baton to the men & women of CBSI in the Caribbean -- 25 days before our 8th CBSI ministry Anniversary! We praise God for how HE has guided, provided for, protected and built this ministry through 2 people on boat. Our God is able!! http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=124

CBSI Launches Caribbean Division

Anita Charles Ministries has just concluded a series of events on the island of St. Vincent and parts of the Grenadine Islands. These events began with a Miracle Revival Service at Bethel Pentecostal Church in Georgetown, St. Vincent where a wave of revival swept the audience with an amazing outcome of miracles and deliverance. Anita Charles Ministries also visited the Grenadine Islands of Canouan and Mayreau where a similar phenomenon of deliverance was experienced. Vincentian Christian Intervention (VINCI ) 2008, held in the Grenadine Islands of Canouan and Mayreau, was dedicated to the celebration of the Month of the Child as children and youth are an integral part of Anita Charles Ministries. In celebration of the Month of the Child the children of Mayreau and Canouan enjoyed the privilege of singing on stage with Anita and received free snacks and T-shirts at the event. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=127

Murder Rate Climbing

An article o the online version of the Trinidad Express Newspaper indicates that the murder rate in Trinidad has reached 197 this year, 83 higher than the rate for the same period last year. See http://www.trinidadexpress.com This is a matter that should be of prayer concern to the Caribbean Church. As we know, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and wickedness in the spiritual atmosphere. The effective response of the Church is prayer warfare. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=129

Church Leaders Shot In Jamaica

Three church leaders have been shot in Jamaica during the past twelve months. The latest is Pastor George Simpson of Mt. Carey Baptist Church in St. James. Pastor Simpson was standing in the porch of his home about 7:00 a.m. on Monday, May 26 when gunmen approached and opened fire, hitting him in the head. He has been hospitalised and is said to be in serious but stable condition. According to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, "Last May, Pastor Egnol Grant, head of the Adventist circuit of churches in Granville, St James, was attacked and shot by gunmen at his upscale Irwindale home. In February this year, Deacon Peter Salkey, who is also a police corporal, was shot and injured on the compound of the Bethel Town Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Westmoreland."

AROUND THE WORLD

Attack on Christian Group in Village Bahera, Rewa

Mr. Brij Lal Saket, s/o Shri Sant Lal Saket, is a resident of village Bahera, Police Station Naigarhi, Tehsil Devtalab, Dist. Rewa. This is a remote interior village situated about 80 kms from the district headquarters. On 22nd March 2008, at around noon, a group of nine men from the village Bahera, came to his doorstep, armed with rods and sticks and stones, and very drunk. They claimed that they were Bajrang Dal activists, and were shouting slogans to that effect. They were very abusive and violent and demanded that Brij Lal hand over their daughters to them for their pleasure. When Brij Lal tried to tell them that they were drunk and they should go home, they became even more abusive and charged at them. Brij Lal and his two daughters managed to run inside their house, but his old father and mother and his sister were not able to get to safety. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=112

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: The Pivotal Issue in These Pivotal Days – Apostasy, and the baptism of Madgi Allam

Historically the outcome of pivotal moments in Christian-Muslim relations have been determined by military might: the Arab Muslim conquest of the Byzantine Jerusalem (AD 638); the Arab Muslim conquest of Byzantine Heliopolis; Egypt (AD 640); the Ottoman Muslim conquest of Byzantine Serbian Kosovo (1389); the Ottoman Muslim capture of the capital of Byzantium, Constantinople (1453); the European victory over the Ottomans in the Battle of Vienna (1683); the Serb reconquest of Kosovo (1913); the Allied victory over the Ottomans in WW1 (1919); the Allied victory over the Muslim-Nazi Alliance in WW2 (1945); the NATO-enabled Muslim re-reconquest of Kosovo (1998-2008) . These battles and many others like them demonstrated who was ascendant and determined who was in control. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=114

Association of Evangelicals in Africa's Statement on elections in Zimbabwe

As the people of Zimbabwe prepare to vote in parliamentary and presidential elections, on Saturday - 29th March, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) calls for a peaceful, free and fair election. AEA has noted with the sadness the political instability and economical meltdown in Zimbabwe in recent times and hopes that this election will afford the people of Zimbabwe an opportunity to vote for leaders who will assist them in ushering in an era of hope to deal with the many challenges facing the nation. Commenting on the situation in Zimbabwe on the eve of this crucial election, Rev Ndaba Mazabane, the President of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, said: "For sometime now the situation in Zimbabwe has been depressing and distressing to say the least. This election is another test of democracy and credibility, not only for Zimbabweans, but for the rest of Africa. I hope and pray that the reports we are getting about the possible rigging and threats made against the opposition parties will be proven wrong and that the people will exercise their constitutional right to elected leaders they believe will help take Zimbabwe out of the current political and economic woes." http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=113

Good News is no News in Nnewi!

A funny thing happened in Nnewi, Nigeria, last week. (Nnewi is a bustling city in Southeast Nigeria.) Archbishop Peter Akinola presided over a remarkable meeting of the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), but nobody from the world media noticed. It wasn't that it was a closed or secret meeting – it's hard to keep a gathering of a thousand church leaders quiet, and preparations had been public for months. So why didn't any of them care? For one thing, he didn't talk about anything that would make a good headline; instead he focused on a call to personal and corporate holiness. He told all those present that they were too attached to the ways of the world and they needed to change. He reminded them that they have been called to "live in the world but not of the world." Some might have blinked when he challenged his listeners to look inward and deal with their own sin instead of looking at everyone else. But it didn't make news. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=115

Myanmar (Burma): Pray for Openness and Liberty

Pioneer American missionary Adoniram Judson arrived in Burma in 1813. He was 24 years old and Burma was a hostile place. Judson laboured for six years before seeing even one convert. In 1828 a former slave and hardened criminal named Ko Tha Byu became the first ethnic Karen to receive Christ. By God's grace Ko Tha Byu became a mighty evangelist. After 18 years of ministry Judson observed in 1831 that a 'spirit of inquiry' was spreading across the whole land. Operation World (2000) estimates that Burma is now 8.7 percent Christian. The 70 percent Burmese majority is strongly Buddhist, whilst the ethnic minorities are predominantly Christian. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=119

WEA International Director Visits Vietnam, Converses with Key Church Leaders

May 3, 2008

During his first visit to Vietnam since becoming WEA's International Director, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe met with key church leaders in Ho Chi Minh City in early April to inquire into the situation. He also invited a number of leaders to come as observers to the WEA General Assembly in Thailand later this year. Dr. Tunnicliffe found that Christians felt they were benefiting from Vietnams' laws and regulations on religious freedom reportedly liberalized since 2005. Thankfully, in the last three years, government-sponsored programs to force Christians to recant their faith have virtually stopped. The first Protestant church since the liberalization, the Danang-based Christian Mission Church, received full legal recognition in late 2007. A small Baptist denomination followed in January 2008. These two denominations joined the Evangelical Church of Vietnam, both the northern and southern organizations [ECVN(N) and ECVN(S)], to make four fully recognized Evangelical church bodies. Four other house church organizations have a lower level of registration called "permission to carry on religious activities" nationally. This still leaves several dozen without registration. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=120

Interview with Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe on his recent visit to China

May 6, 2008
The International Director of WEA, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, paid a meaningful visit to China from April 5-10, 2008 during his recent East Asia tour, where he also visited Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea. In the following interview Dr. Tunnicliffe shares about his meetings with the Chinese Christian leaders and the Chinese government officials, and their significance to the work of WEA as well as the current state of Christianity in China. http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=122

Word From Myanmar

David Thorne, United Bible Societies' Area Secretary for the Asia-Pacific Region, reports that among the dead in the aftermath of the cyclone that struck Myanmar are 7,000 Christians and 10 pastors. Mar Gay Gyi, Executive Secretary of the Bible Society in Myanmar, has been appointed president of the Myanmar Christian Council's Relief Committee. Your prayers are urgently requested.

KENYA: African church conference discusses misuse of foreign aid

Ecumenical News International, Nairobi: Church and civil society leaders at a global meeting on aid effectiveness in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi are discussing ways of holding governments accountable for the foreign aid they receive, and that some say is critical for Africa's economic liberation but often is misused. "It is time churches waged war in the fight against the misuse of finances. We are always seeking greater good and value out of our resources no matter how scarce they seem to be," Anglican Bishop Pie Ntukamazina of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, told participants at the conference on May 21. "We fail to focus on the governance of financial resources that are of critical importance to the liberation of the continent." http://www.caribbeanevangelical.org/newsevents/articles.htm?id=126