The Reveille Shofar

in this issue 02 June 1998, Vol. 2 No. 3

Army Lieutenant Takes Missions Trip to South Asia

photo This past February, Lieutenant Rob Brendle, a tank platoon leader in the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson, took two weeks leave and deployed himself to a war zone of a different kind.

On a short missions trip to Varanasi, India, he observed the seething hatred powering the world's most recent nuclear arms race.

Varanasi hosts one of the holiest sites in Hinduism, the Golden Temple. It also contains one of India's largest mosques. Heavily armed paramilitary troops guard them both, preventing their obliteration by militants from each group.

Just outside Varanasi sits the Kaachua Christian Hospital. It allows an extremely small and persecuted Indian minority to demonstrate what it means to love one's enemies. Rob says, "The volatility is already there. Running a Christian hospital does not increase it. The love of Christ is, in fact, the only answer." Rob got to participate in demonstrating that love.

Operating in old colonial structures, the hospital's ministry is greatly constrained by facility inadequacies. Labor and materials for expansion are plentiful, but technical expertise for planning long range development and designing facilities to fit the plan is prohibitively expensive. Rob and his teammates from EMI (Engineering Ministries International) volunteered their valuable time and skills. EMI will produce plans for site renovation and long range development and designs for new living quarters and a new hospital wing from the data that Rob and his teammates collected.

Supervised by the team leader, Rob did surveying, soil and drainage testing, and produced scale site drawings that will be used at EMI's base of operations in Colorado Springs to produce the plans and designs. "I never dreamed my Duke degree would prove useful for Christian ministry," Rob mused.

But of equal significance is the impact the trip had on Rob. "It completely changed my perspective on my own world," he says. "God gave me such a love for those suffering people that when I returned I had to ask myself, what about the people here? I can't just be faithful over there and not over here as well. I love my soldiers more than I did before."

Asked if he'd recommend a similar trip for other technically skilled soldiers, Rob says, "Oh absolutely!"

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Albanians Make Headlines
people profile

News Clipping In spite of a strong sense of cultural identity, the Albanians may be the most physically and spiritually needy people of Europe. The mountainous Albanian homeland includes Albania and parts of Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro. It has long been a region of economic poverty, political upheaval, and spiritual confusion, but it is especially so since the collapse of the economy and government last year due to the failure of a nationwide pyramid investment scheme.

Albanians are the original inhabitants of the western Balkan Peninsula called Illyricum in Paul's New Testament letter to the Romans (Romans 15:19). After the Barbarian capture of Rome, Slavs began migrating into the Balkans, pushing the Albanians into their present borders. Under the Ottoman Turks, most Albanians were converted to Islam. Under Communism, most of the Albanians became atheists.

Today Albanians are divided into Christian, Muslim, and atheist religious groups as well as Tosk and Gheg language groups, but they remain a tightly knit culture that resists blending into other nationalities.

Albania's capital and largest city, Tirana, with only 300,000 people is not just the industrial, administrative, and cultural center for the country but for the Albanian people as well. From here the constitutional government, though constrained by adverse social and economic conditions, seeks to preserve the rights of Albanians beyond its borders.

In the Kosova province of Serbia, the Albanian majority seeks independence and maintains a shadow illegal government. Separatists have violently engaged the Serbian police and military. Serbian forces have responded with brutal reprisals on civilians, setting the stage for another Bosnian type crisis.

With its own internal struggles and ineffective military, Albania is powerless to help the Albanians in Kosova except to focus world opinion on Serbian atrocities. Atrocities, however, have been committed on both sides.

The New Testament is available in Albanian. Several mission agencies have work among Albanians. Trans World Radio and Words of Hope orchestrate gospel radio programs in Albanian language. Project AERO (Albanian Evangelical Rural Outreach) is a two month annual summer project that takes the Jesus film into villages and follows up in responsive areas.

Pray that Albanians will find peace, security, purpose, and identity offered in Christ. Consider what you may do to help those ministering to Albanians.

Agencies Reaching Albanians

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EMI Connects Talent to Global Needs
agency profile

EMI logo Bring clean water into a village in Haiti or design a home for orphans in Guatemala. Show the love of Christ in practical ways by . . .

photo . . . participating in a one or two week trip that gives you the opportunity to use your talents and skills to help people in desperate need.

. . . or by joining the EMI society to help with Christian relief, community development, and evangelism on an ongoing or occasional basis without leaving home.

photo EMI connects design professionals like architects, engineers, and surveyors with the needs of people in developing countries to facilitate proclaiming the gospel of Christ in all the world by orchestrating ministry teams, trips, and a fellowship of Christian designers the EMI society.

110 South Weber Street Suite # 104 Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 USA phone: 1-719-633-2078 fax: 1-719-633-2970 e-mail: emiusa@aol.com website: www.emiusa.org

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Finishers Project Helps Early Retirees Stay Significant

finishers logo Caleb was 85 years old when he said, "I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day!"

Baby Boomers are seeking to leave a legacy. They are searching for a way to finish with significance.

The Finishers Project is about finishing: finishing the course, finishing the Great Commission, and finishing well.

The leading edge of the boomer bulge at 80 million strong is nearing the point where many can give their lives to a second career offering deeper meaning and significance. Many have the skills and financial means to enhance and serve the vision of mission agencies. They bring experience and maturity not seen in traditional missionary candidates.

Until recently promising "Calebs" have been hindered from "taking the hill country" by mission agency structures tailored for young adults. Now organizations are gearing up to recruit second-career professionals.

The Navigators asks, "Why finish your days on the golf course when you can leave a legacy in Lithuania?" Dr. John Piper, author and pastor in Minneapolis, says, "There's a radically Biblical and even Dylanesque feel to it! I love telling my contemporaries that Saudi Arabia would be a better place to retire than Phoenix. The weather is similar and the end could come much more suddenly without that dreaded lingering on the fourth floor of the nursing home."

To learn about careers in missions, meet second career missionaries, hear inspirational messages, and get recruited by thirty of the nation's top agencies, attend the Finisher's Forum '98. Space is limited, so don't delay.

The Forum is sponsored by the Navigators. It is to be held October 1st to 3rd at the Westin Hotel just ten minutes from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Brochures and registration information can be obtained by calling 1-800-981-6703 or writing finishers@navigators.org.

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Compass Direct Provides News
resource review

compass direct image The faxes, e-mail, and publications from this news service provide exclusive news, penetrating reports, moving interviews, and insightful analysis of situations and events facing Christians persecuted for their faith.

For subscription information . . .
call: 1-(714) 862-0300
e-mail: compassdr@compuserve.com
or fax: 1-(714) 752-6536

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CD Rom Equips Those Traveling to Muslim Lands
resource review

photo of box Islam on a Disk! Well . . . maybe not quite . . . but close, according to our friend Rod. He says it's "the hottest Islamic resource" he's ever seen.

After showing it to one friend heading into missions among Muslims, he stated emphatically, "No missionary to Muslims should leave for the field without it!"

WinAlim is an entire bookcase full of scholarly Islamic resources on one CD. ISL software designed WinAlim for Muslims desiring to become an Alim (scholar) in Islam.

Just as Christians have powerful Bible software today, Muslims have WinAlim. In many ways, WinAlim is far more sophisticated than most Christian software.

With WinAlim, you not only have quick access to any book, subject, or page of the most widely read Islamic reference works, but you can also HEAR any verse of the Quran recited in eloquent Arabic! (Great for memorizing those helpful ayats which can be used as evangelistic bridges!)

WinAlim lets you search for any word, phrase, person, hadith narrator, subject, or idea and easily acquire the facts you need. The Alim is an indispensable tool for every missionary to Muslims.

Purchasing all the books contained in WinAlim would cost hundreds of dollars, but the cost of WinAlim is $99! Such a deal. Mac users need not lament the fact that this amazing tool is only available for Windows users. With Virtual PC WinAlim works beautifully on a Mac!

This article is reprinted from the Brigada Today e-mail conference. TO SUBSCRIBE TO BRIGADA TODAY, send email to hub@xc.org with only the following message: subscribe brigada

For more information contact:

ISL Software
phone: 1-(800) 443-3636
e-mail: sales@islsortware.com
website: www.islsoftware.com/html/

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Open Doors logo

Open Doors on the Muslim World
web site review

From survey results this site lists countries by degree of persecution of Christians and comments on developments in them.


Provides current news reports and prayer items on the Muslim world.


Lists and gives detailed information on Christian prisoners around the world who are in jail strictly on account of their faith.


Gives detailed reports on nine Musim countries

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Arms Race Demands New Perspective
news and needs

The nuclear crisis between India and Pakistan is rooted as firmly in religion as politics.

Pressure to match India's recent detonations mounts not only from the desire to defend Islam on the mostly Hindu subcontinent but also from internal challenges to the rule of Islamic law.

This internal dimension pivots around blasphemy laws which condemn a person to death for insulting Islam or Mohammed.

Among 135 million Muslims, Pakistan's 2 million Christians, most of whom come from the poorest levels of society, have been increasingly persecuted through false allegations and capricious application of these laws.

The persecution has been so serious that on May 6th the Catholic Bishop of the city of Faisalbad protested by taking his own life on the steps of the courthouse where the man Ayub Masih had been recently condemned.

The charge against Masih, that he praised Muslim heretic Salmon Rushdie, had been trumped up because of a land dispute. Lawyers who might have defended him were threatened off.

Thousands of grief stricken Christians converged on the suicide scene. Turning from grief to outrage, they chanted slogans, "End persecution of Christians! Repeal the blasphemy laws! Stop repressing religious minorities!"

Demonstrations spread to other cities, and a nationwide day of prayer and fasting was called by church leaders to oppose the blasphemy laws.

Muslims responded by denouncing Christians for "insulting Islam." Mobs set fire to homes and shops in Christian districts. A 50 year old man who allegedly hit an Islamic inscription over a shop with a thrown rock was arrested for blasphemy.

Now a group of Christians threatens to take up arms to deter increasing persecution. They will call themselves "Guardians of the Messiah."

But if the blasphemy laws are repealed, fanatic Muslim groups will take the law into their own hands. They would capture and execute blasphemers themselves, and they have credibly threatened to overthrow the government.

David Aikman, a Time magazine correspondent, wrote in the forward to The Last of the Giants, "some of the world's most intractable problems may be due at least partly to spiritual forces behind the scenes rather than merely the obvious 'overt' factors such as geography, history, and political conditions."

From the revolution in Iran to the invasion of Kuwait, Americans consistently fail to foresee events and maximize opportunities because of blindness to spiritual realities. Solutions to the crisis in South Asia will not be found in sanctions and diplomacy but in religious dialog and understanding.

Pray that the eyes of world leaders will be opened to underlying spiritual factors affecting the region, and pray that the gospel will go forth in peace.

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Confusion in Indonesia Creates Historic Opportunity
news and needs

Sumatran languages Indonesia closely resembles the ancient Roman empire. More than 3000 islands and over 300 ethnic peoples are united by a ruler, a bureaucracy, a national police force, a national ideology, and an official language. As with ancient Rome, the mix of nationalities and pagan attitudes creates fertile soil for bouts of violence and for the gospel.

beggar photo Commenting on the latest cycle a missionary writes, "I sense that things are getting out of hand and I do not know where it will end . . . . We are taking necessary precautions in our daily affairs and remain on alert status with regard to possible evacuation . . . . Both emotionally and physically this is taking its toll. Spiritually, almost everywhere, I hear of greater openness to the truth. We are looking to the Lord to use this difficult time to open people's hearts to the truth. In many ways this is a great time to be in Indonesia."

Indonesia map Similar turmoil occurred in 1965. Hundreds of thousands perished in a violent public reaction to communist brutality in their attempted coup. Out of the ashes sprang both the present corrupt government and over two million new believers.

Pray that present confusion will lead to another historic harvest

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What Do the Bible and Wet Pants Have in Common?
news and needs

visa page You can't imagine what it feels like to be approaching a Chinese border carrying a load of contraband Bibles until you have had the experience. No matter how much faith you may have had just earlier, suddenly the heart rate goes up, you become slightly paranoid, and images of Chinese jails begin to flood your mind. Believe me, when the crisis looms, it provides incredible peace of mind to know that many people are upholding you in prayer, praying for your load of Bibles to get through the border.

Prayer really works, and because you prayed, the Bibles I carried all got in. (Don't worry Mom even if caught I won't go to jail; at worst I will just get a severe lecture!) This past year I have been studying Japanese in Nagoya, Japan, and being conveniently located just across the sea from China, I have decided to return for a second tour of duty smuggling Bibles.

I will be working once again with a church's China Ministries, based in Hong Kong, from May 17 to the end of June. After this time, I will take a load of Bibles into Vietnam, and then tour several countries in SE Asia, looking for God to speak to me about my future.

Pray for this unnamed "smuggler" and others like him. Consider a short tour of such duty yourself.

For Information on how you can be involved:

Mission to Unreached Peoples
by e-mail: mupinfo@mup.org
by phone: 1-(206) 781-3151

Open Doors International
by e-mail: opendoors@gospelcom.net
by phone: 1-(714) 752-6600

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Evacuated Team Needs Help to Return
news and needs

"We could hear over the radio reports of others being beaten. We began to realize the seriousness of the situation. We didn't know to what extent the rebels would go. It was beginning to look like a war zone . . . . rock throwing and breaking glass continued until we heard the SFOR personnel coming for us."

Despite losing everything, the twelve IMPACT TEAMS members are anxious to get back to Drvar, Bosnia, and continue their ministry. They need $30,000 for reequipping to restore effectiveness. For information or to contribute to the Drvar Team Relief Fund contact:

IMPACT teams
75-5851 Kuakini Hwy
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
phone: 1-(808) 326-4464
fax: 1-(808) 326-4434
e-mail: impactteams@compuserve.com

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END The Reveille Shofar - Volume 2, Number 3 - O2 June 1998