Christian World News: March 16, 2012 - CBN.com


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Transcript:
Today on Christian World News ñ
Suffering in Sudan. Military attacks on civilians force tens of thousands to flee. Why this
famous face is joining others in a call for action.
The gangster and the missionary. A Brazilian gang leader finds salvation just days before
his death, thanks to the Christian pastor who daily risks his life to share the Gospel
in Rioís most dangerous slums.
Hope floats. Japanese fishermen lost their livelihoods when the tsunami swept their boats
away. How a Christian ministry is helping them get back on the water.
Welcome everyone to Christian World News. Iím Wendy Griffith.
And Iím Mark Martin. George Thomas is on assignment.
Ethnic cleansing, mass murder, and rape. Itís something the people of Sudan face every day.
The Islamic regime in the north continues its assault on the Nuba mountains, home to
one of the largest Christian communities. Now a U.S. lawmaker is asking the Obama administration
to intervene.
John Waage has that story.
More than 25,000 refugees are living in camp Yida, just 20 miles south of the Sudan border.
They have fled the fighting in the nearby Nuba mountains where the armed forces of President
Omar Bashir are terrorizing people with daily air strikes and house-to-house raids.
This refugee says she lived in fear as bombs flew over her familyís head every day.
Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf is a long-time advocate for Sudan. He recently visited the
refugee camp, which is run by the Christian relief organization Samaritanís Purse.
He is the first member of Congress to visit the camp in Yida. When he returned to the
U.S., he held a press conference to make a plea for help.
The world should be outraged, this administration should be outraged. And if itís happening
in southern Europe, or southern Africa or southern Sudan, there ought to be a similar
parallel. The value of the people is the same there.
Franklin Graham says the attacks could escalate into a full-blown war. He told CBN News that
the international community should establish a no-fly zone over the region and the Obama
administration should work to broker a peace deal.
You need to have somebody who is willing to take the leadership for peace. Yes, war will
break out but I think the United States, I think President Obama has an excellent opportunity
to bring all these sides together and hammer out a peace accord.
Wolf said what refugees need most right now is food and if they donít get it they could
be facing a severe famine. He said Bashir and his forces have denied access to food
and humanitarian aid.
Tom Andrews, with the organization United to End Genocide, also called on the U.S. to
intervene.
We have half a million people facing starvation and the President of the United States and
the Secretary of State have to personally stand up and call upon him to lift this blockade.
The blockade didnít stop CBNís Operation Blessing last summer from taking a team into
the Nubas. When he heard about the extreme shortages of medicine there, President Bill
Horan put together an emergency relief mission. The team brought in medicine and other medical
supplies, enough to set up a temporary clinic.
Horan also so firsthand the brutality of the Khartoum regime.
A school was actually targeted, a school that was filled with children in school, in session.
Two huge bombs. Thank God they missed but not by much. Two giant craters in the soil
but it was close enough to the school that some shrapnel fell and penetrated the walls
of some of the school buildings. One child was killed and a whole group of children were
injured. Who in the world would target on purpose, children?
Bashir is an indicted war criminal for the genocide in Darfur. He also remains on the
list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Bashir needs to be brought to justice. No American tax dollars should be going to any
country that welcomes Bashir, period. Absolutely, positively, none.
The Nuba people suffered persecution at this level back in the 1990s. Humanitarian organizations
say the same people who killed more than 500,000 people back then are trying to ìfinish the
jobî today.
John Waage, CBN News.
Hollywood actor George Clooney is using his star power to shine the light on human rights
abuses in Sudan.
This week Clooney and his father were arrested for protesting outside the countryís embassy
in Washington, that after a trip to Sudan to document attacks by the government against
people living near the border of South Sudan.
Testifying to Congress, he shared some of the victimsí stories, including one about
a boy who lost both hands during a bombing raid.
Heís urging lawmakers on Capitol Hill to increase pressure on the Muslim-dominated
north to stop what he calls war crimes.
In a one-on-one interview, Clooney told CBN News Christian ministries play a key role
in helping those who are suffering.
They lead the work a lot of times here. When we were at the Darfur rally it was ministers.
It was a lot of people of faith that had been working very hard on this. So in some ways
Iím trying to honor whatever part I can in the hard work that they do, because Iím a
big fan of it, of all of the work thatís being done. And people really put their hearts
and souls in it.
Clooney also met with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Staying in Africa, a video exposing the crimes of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony is continuing
to spread though it is getting some criticism.
ìKony 2012î has been viewed by about 80 million people on YouTube. Kony is the leader
of the Lordís Resistance Army, a group that terrorized northern Uganda and abducted as
many as 30,000 children in the ë90s and early 2000s.
Some say Kony is no longer a threat to Uganda. He reportedly has been driven from the country
and has only about 300 followers. Others say the video is doing a good thing by bringing
awareness to the issue of child soldiers in Africa.
And joining us now is Jesse Eaves. Heís a policy advisor for Children in Crisis with
the Christian humanitarian group World Vision.
Jesse, the film highlights the abuses by Joseph Kony, but kids in many parts of Africa are
the victims of conscription and exploitation. What can you tell us about this problem?
Well, thatís absolutely right. In fact, right now globally there are about 250,000, a quarter
of a million children who are actively serving as soldiers. And itís absolutely tragic in
every single case.
These children are not only used as soldiers carrying weapons but theyíre also used as
porters, theyíre used as human mine detectors. And the girls are most often used as sex slaves.
Ahh, itís horrible! What types of trauma are these children experiencing?
Well, if you take the case of the Lordís Resistance Army and what Joseph Kony has forced
these children to do, they often abduct them at night and then force them to commit terrible
acts against their own family and friends and community.
They basically force these kids to kill their mother or father, brothers and sisters, and
then saying okay you are now one of us; youíve killed your own family, now your community
hates you, you must join us now.
And we saw this time and time again with close to 30,000 children, specifically in the LRA.
And so the trauma that these children come through and then have to deal with in the
aftermath is absolutely tragic. And it takes a comprehensive effort to try to bring them
back and heal them both emotionally and physically.
Oh, itís just heartbreaking to see those pictures! What can be done to help these victims
cope with this trauma? Can they ever recover?
Actually, they can. World Vision actually in northern Uganda has run a program called
ìThe Children of War Rehabilitation Center.î And since about the mid-ë90s this center
has served about 14,000 abducted children, formerly abducted children, and child soldiers.
And in the center they receive emotional, spiritual, and physical healing. They are
given an education; in some cases, theyíll receive vocational training.
And then most importantly thereís a ceremony of forgiveness. Thereís a forgiveness ritual
thatís held between their families and their communities. So these children who feel like
theyíve committed horrible acts, they can never be forgiven, get to really understand
the power of Christís love and forgiveness as their family welcomes them back with open
arms and they undergo a ceremony where all is forgiven and they only look towards the
future and getting these children back to live a normal life.
Oh, my goodness, that is so powerful, the power of forgiveness, I canít imagine! Well,
what can the international community do to stop this problem on a bigger scale as a whole?
Right, well, everyone has a direct role to play. I mean, we have close to a hundred million
views of this video and awareness of this issue at an all-time high. What weíre hoping
is that all of this awareness will be transformed into direct action.
We hope that this inspires millions of people to engage actively in serving developing communities
around the world. And there are several ways to do that.
First off, itís never been easier to communicate with our elected leaders either through social
media or just picking up the phone and calling them. So if this is an issue that has impacted
you in some way, itís really touched your heart, itís so easy to talk to your congressman,
to your senators, to the president, either through FaceBook or Twitter or even just calling
their offices and saying ìI care about this issue. I want the U.S. to be involved.î
But also itís not justÖwe shouldnít just rely on the government to do everything here.
I mean, each individual person plays a role and that can include supporting programs in
the field, supporting organizations like World Vision that are actively engaging on this
issue. And I think whatís most important to remember is that clicking like on Facebook
is not enough in this situation.
Good point, Jesse.
Itís absolutely critical to turn this awareness into direct action.
All right, good point, Jesse, we appreciate World Vision, all youíre doing. God bless
you guys and thanks for being with us today.
Well, thank you so much.
And you can add your voice to the millions of people who are speaking out against child
exploitation and child soldiers. Post your thoughts and prayers to our CWN Facebook page.
Mark.
Fifty human rights activists from around the world are calling on Pakistan to free Asia
Bibi. She is the imprisoned Christian mother sentenced to death for blasphemy.
Several groups signed a petition this week at a U.N. human rights summit. French journalist
Anne-Isabelle Tollet was among the attendees urging Bibiís release.
Asia Bibi is innocent and the Pakistani government knows it but does nothing for fear of reprisal.
By refusing to act and to impose reforms, the Pakistani government becomes an accomplice
of the fundamentalists.
Asia Bibi has been in prison for nearly three years. Her case is on appeal. CBNís Gary
Lane met with her husband and daughters late last year and they asked people to pray for
her safe return home.
Up next ñ
Meet an American missionary who risked his life in Rioís most dangerous slums, and the
gang leader who found salvation just days before his death.
Welcome back.
This next story comes to us from our friends at the International Missions Board of the
Southern Baptist Convention. Itís about an American missionary who spends his days ministering
in the favelas, the slums of Brazil.
More than 11 million people live in the midst of poverty and violence there. But Eric Reese
is working to bring light to one of the darkest slums in Rio de Janiero.
What makes me love Rio is just seeing the hurting people in the communities like this.
Just trying to survive. Just trying to pay the bills, just trying to put food on their
table. I see that every person here is a creation of God and that when Christ went to the cross,
he went to the cross for these people, too.
This is where Eric Reese works. He thinks often of the danger knowing he might go out
one day and not come back.
I wrote a letter to my wife: ìIf I donít return, you be strong. Let my girls know dadís
going to miss them.î
Ministry in the favelas is hard, even for the Brazilians.
Itís hard because the Christian people here in Brazil, and I think in other countries,
donít want to do this kind of job. Donít want to go to the streets at night to speak
the word of God, to preach the word of God. They donít want. They want to stay in their
big church, just watch a good sermon.
Yet the American couple continues reaching out to drug dealers, gang members and prostitutes.
Ramona Reese believes their own background helps them relate.
From the beginning, the way in which we grew up, to bring us to do what weíre doing. Itís
not so hard for us to understand the people that weíre ministering to. Itís just trying
to be, minister to somebody who needs Jesus, who just so happens to be a drug trafficker,
or a militia, or whatever.
Reese and his family came to Brazil 13 years ago as Southern Baptist missionaries from
Albany, Georgia. His greatest challenge? Gaining the confidence of a top favela gang leader,
the godfather. One night, the man agreed to an interview in a secret location.
The godfather, who originally wanted to kill Reese, now spoke well of the missionary.
Shortly after the interview, a rival gang assassinated the godfather. But not before
he put his faith in Jesus Christ.
I will not go back into a comfort zone for my comfort level, shorten the hand of Christ,
shorten the hand of God, when people are dying, going to hell, needing to know thereís a
way their life can be changed, and changed radically. I will not do it.
Reese now finds help from a Brazilian pastor with a favela background.
I tried to steal a car. And when I looked behind there was a police car. They started
shooting at us and one of these shots got me here. My mother had always told me that
even if it were the last minute of my life, if I repented, God would forgive me of my
sins. And that time had come. I started a new life with Jesus.
The grace of God has brought that guy from near deaths and shootings to, now, a beautiful
family, a lovely wife, awesome kids. Only the grace of God can do that.
Ramona Reese supports her husband in ministry. She befriends other women, including Viviane,
a single mother and former prostitute.
When that relationship has been established, and the Holy Spirit does his work, and that
person receives Christ, and I can actually see them being baptized, and seeing them join
the church, thatís the greatest. Thatís the biggest reward.
And as the Reeses deal with the daily challenges of work in the favelas, people like Viviane
remind them why they came in the first place.
Stan Jeter, CBN News.
Coming up ñ
One year ago the sea brought death and destruction to Japan, including those who make their living
on the water. Today theyíre back with a little help from some Christian friends.
Well, in just moments people in Japan had their world turned upside down about a year
ago.
Thatís right, when they were hit with the largest earthquake in their history and a
devastating tsunami. But Operation Blessing has been on the scene to help people get back
to work and restore their lives.
George Thomas has the story from Japan.
Thereís something about his smile and his laugh that warms the heart. Perhaps itís
because at 75 Kiyoshige Chiba has survived the most difficult year of his life.
Did you ever think that this is too much, Iíve lost my boat, Iíve lost my livelihood,
Iím not making any money, did you ever think, wow, this is enough, I canít take it anymore?
Not anymore. Kiyoshige and ten other fishermen whose way of life were ruined a year ago are
back on their feet.
(Voice of Interpreter). I was really surprised because I was given something that I wasnít
expecting.
Ten new fishing boats donated by Operation Blessing to this village that saw nearly all
its boats destroyed by the tsunami.
These boats represent two things for the fishermen here: first of all theyíre restoring their
livelihood which is so important to help these communities get back on their feet, and secondly
the boats represent hope, hope for the future.
That hope was robbed one year ago when a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated
Japanís northeast coast. Small fishing villages like this one took the brunt of the devastation.
The companies that manufacture boats in Japan have simply been overwhelmed by the demand
for new boats. So Operation Blessing got creative, turning to Stacey Raymond, a boat builder
from Maine, to custom-design boats for Japanese fishermen.
They have a very specific design criteria to their fishing and that required us to actually
design these boats from the ground up.
Operation Blessing has commissioned ten more boats, bringing much needed economic relief
for Raymondís business back in Maine.
This was an important project for us. It allowed us to feed our people in the States, keep
our employees going, and at the same time, you know, help the Japanese out. It was a
win-win situation.
This past Saturday, Raymond joined Operation Blessing and representatives from the software
company SAP that sponsored the first ten boats, in presenting the new vessels to the fishermen.
The new boat could not have come at a better time for Kiyoshige Chiba.
...because for the last twelve months he has had no boat, has had no income and in fact,
heís been telling me that heís had to dip into his savings to, in essence, survive.
(Voice of Interpreter). With this boat Iíll be able to fish for valuable seafood closer
to the shore such as shell fish, oysters and nice varieties of fish.
(pointing to new boat name and reading it in Japanese). What does this mean to you in
Japanese?
Heís named the boat Victorious Treasure.
(Voice of Interpreter). When I heard that I was going to be receiving a boat it gave
me huge motivation to go back to fishing. It was a huge help so thank you very much.
Operation Blessing was on the scene days after the earthquake providing more than 100 tons
of emergency supplies to families in need. Twelve months on, they are still here helping
to rebuild.
Darg says that whether itís providing prescription eyeglasses to those who lost theirs in the
tsunami or whose eyesight has worsened since then, to giving fishermen the tools and equipment
to get their businesses back up and running, Operation Blessings is here for the long haul.
The fact that Operation Blessing is here one year later after the tsunami is testament
to our commitment for long-term solutions to these disasters here in Japan and around
the world. And so Operation Blessing isnít just a one-hit, weíre in, weíre out, weíre
here committed to serving and having an impact in these communities.
George Thomas, CBN News, Kesennuma, Japan.
Thanks, George. And for daily stories about the work of the church around the globe, you
can check out our Christian World News web page. You find it at cwnews.org.
Weíll be right back.
CBN is working to purify water in villages near the capital of India.
Yeah, law prohibits well drilling in the area because the water table is already low. But
the need for clean drinking water is high. So CBN is working to distribute water purifiers.
So far, more than 450 have been handed out.
Villagers were also taught about good hygiene. And the host of a local CBN TV program visited
residents and offered a message of encouragement.
I tell you what, CBN is just doing incredible work all around the world.
I know, I love that story from Japan.
Uh-huh.
The fisherman was so happy to have his boat backÖ
Yeah.
Öand called it Victorious, you know.
Thatís right. Itís wonderful. Well, thatís all for this week. Thanks for joining us.
Until next week, from all of us here at Christian World News, good-bye and God bless you.