The Word at Work Issue 190 – Spring 2010
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It’s the former Soviet eastern bloc and it covers a vast region stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Bering Sea, from the Arctic Circle to Central Asia. It has a population of over 400 million people who speak around 200 different languages.
Nicknamed the “God Pod”, MegaVoice is a small, hand held audio Scripture encoded on a microchip. Bible Society is using the solar-powered MegaVoice unit to bring God’s Word to the Nenets people or the “Shepherds” who live within Siberia’s Arctic Circle.
Home to more than 25 million people and 36 indigenous languages, it’s the size of Canada and comprises two thirds of the area of Russia. Stalin sent millions of prisoners here, into exile, many of whom never returned from its frozen wastelands.
Challenge is a word that seems to equate with being a Christian in Uzbekistan. Lately the government has been fining Christians around $700, that’s about two month’s wages, if they’re found to possess a Bible.
Poverty, rather than riches, has been the outcome of freedom for many in Ukraine. Into the vacuum left by the demise of communism has come not joy but crime and immorality. The Chernobyl disaster still affects huge swaths of the country and the AIDS virus is beginning to take its toll.
A sad, grey and corrupt land, Kyrgyzstan has become known in recent months for the violence that has flared up against its second largest ethnic group, the Uzbeks.
The global recession has hit hard in Latvia.
“For some years a consumerist way of thinking has prevailed in Latvia,” says a Bible Society worker, “but the economic crisis is forcing people to re-think their priorities. Many people have lost their employment and there is a lot of hardship, despair and even those contemplating suicide.”
Deep within the remote, mountainous regions of Armenia are its border villages.
Many of these communities are surviving under great duress. They live under an uneasy ceasefire with neighbouring Azerbaijan.
Bible Society supporters in New Zealand have provided Scriptures for villagers living in remote South Pacific islands through the Dayspring Ministries team on their yacht Seahawk.
Immediately news came through of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January, Bible Societies, including New Zealand, began to plan their response.
Mrs Edith Hamilton of Whitianga has been a Bible Society supporter for nearly 40 years. Visiting her recently, Bible Society’s Terry Hore showed her the very popular E100 book.
Bible Society worldwide distributed more than 29 million Bibles during 2009. This is three percent more than the previous year.
Sometimes one Bible has to be shared among four people in rural China.
In a village in Henan Province, live two sisters-in-law, Cao and Du. Both in their late forties, they are subsistence farmers growing mainly maize. Both are Christians but could not afford a Bible.
Belarus is a country caught up in a mire of backward looking leadership, economic decline and environmental catastrophe in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. Bible Society is finding that there is a great hunger for the Word, amongst young and the old.
The smile on this woman’s face says it all as she listens to the New Testament on a "Proclaimer" audio Scripture unit in Azerbaijan.
Please give prayerful consideration to offering a gift to bring Bibles – both audio and printed – to people who live in countries that once were a part of the former Soviet Union.
Or send your gift to Bible Society, Private Bag 27901, Marion Square, Wellington 6141.
Bible Society has learned with sorrow of the passing of the following friends. Gifts towards the work of the Bible cause have been made in their memory. Their work of love goes on . . .
|Mr Howard Annan, Algies Bay||Rev Malcolm Highet, Geraldine|
|Mr Colin Ayrey, Auckland||Elizabeth Hodgen, Christchurch|
|Mrs Lorna Ayrey, Auckland||Mr Richard J Hulse, Omokoroa|
|Mr Russel Badger, Hamilton||Mr Eric Lane, Napier|
|Mr Jim Barr, Auckland||Mr Colin Phillip Little, Auckland|
|Mr Jim Begg, Wellington||Sue Marlow, Walton|
|Mrs Carter, Mt Maunganui||Mollie Mathews, Essex (Rainway) U.K|
|Mrs Margaret Williamson Corin, Hamilton||Caroline McArthur, Christchurch|
|Mrs Jessie Crothers, Wellington||Mr A Page, Nelson|
|Mr Colin John Dally, Tauranga||Mrs Joyce Penetito, Papakura|
|Mrs Helen Rosalyn Davidson, Matamata||Mrs Nola Florence Pritchard, Feilding|
|Joan Dawson, Tawa, Wellington||Mr John Pye, Tokoroa|
|Mrs Lilian Ruth de Waal, Auckland||Pastor Daniel Rao, Auckland|
|Audrey Emery, Auckland||Mr S Jack Roberts, Pukekohe|
|Mr Sam Enright, Taupo||Mrs Valerie Frances Rowe, Feilding|
|Glennis Gallienne, Auckland||Wanda Smith, Gisborne|
|Mr Bevan Gay, Christchurch||Mr Arthur Viegas, Christchurch|
|Mrs Thelma Hepwarth, Gisborne||Mrs Stella Wellington, New Plymouth|
The disciples said to him, “This is a remote place. Send the crowds away, so they can buy themselves some food. Jesus said to them, “You feed them.” - Matt 14:15-16
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