BOLIVIA: THEY CAN READ!
The most exciting event to the villagers of Cashi Cashi is not the performance of the world-famous Devil Dancers of Oruro. In fact, what has really changed this village is that more than a dozen once illiterate people have learned to read their own Quechua language in the last few months. Basilio Villa, who serves as a pastor in Cashi Cashi, also teaches literacy classes in three villages in the area.
He is just one of four literacy workers assisted by CHRISTIAN NATIONALS who is using the methods and materials of former Wycliffe missionaries, Don and Nadine Burns, to teach Quechuas to read and to read with pleasure in six weeks. Isolated in the barren, frozen regions of the high Andes, the villagers used to look forward to the Devil Dancers’ visit to break the monotony. But now as they are learning to read, they are fascinated by the words leaping out of the printed page, and by the Bible stories they can read for the first time in their own language.
PHILIPPINES: LONG-TERM EVANGELISM AMONG MUSLIMS
Basilan Island reminds one of a kernel of grain about to be swallowed up by the ferocious beak of Mindanao Island to the north. Basilan is about as far as you can get from Manila and still be in the Philippines. Predominantly Muslim, the people of Basilan have effectively resisted any inroads of Christianity.
In fact, during the Muslim rebellion some years ago, the Muslims burned the one mission station in Panandakan. They destroyed everything but a school building and forced the Western missionaries to leave, but not before Madjaran Dakula, one of the native Basilians, became a Christian. Today Dakula has returned to his island home to win his Yakan people to Christ.
Dakula admits it is difficult to work among the Muslims: “Sometimes we are mocked and opposed … or considered second class citizens.”
Open evangelism is impossible. The Dakulas have taken a slower, less-direct route. They have recently completed building a dormitory for Yakan students who have come into the city of Lamitan to go to school. In this “home away from home” the Dakulas have the opportunity to teach the Bible and to model the Christian life. In time they expect to see Christian Yakan leaders come out of this ministry.
KOREA: OPERATION LIGHTHOUSE ROUNDUP
- Eleven young churches achieved self-support.
- Fourteen churches received assistance in building their first permanent sanctuaries
- fifty overseas church planters received support
- sixty-two new church planters received assistance.
Rev. Ki Chang Ahn, director of Operation Lighthouse, and his team will pioneer a new method of planting house churches among the many sparsely populated offshore islands this year. They also plan to add sixteen more churches to the list of those now supporting themselves.
THAILAND: PIONEER MISSIONARY DIES
Grace Chang Vun, who pioneered among Chinese refugees in Northern Thailand, died of cancer in Brooklyn, New York, in November 1985.
In 1959, as a young widow, Grace left her home in Hong Kong to work with CNEC in the northern border areas of Thailand. She visited refugee camps of Chinese soldiers who had fled from China after the Communist victory and taught Mandarin classes. After she established a church in Chiengrai, Grace moved on to Chiengkam to pioneer a new church. She left the first church in the care of one of her Chinese converts, David Soo, who later went on to evangelize tribal people in the Golden Triangle of Northern Thailand.
In Chiengkam Grace also worked among Burmese refugees, and met a Burmese teacher, John Vun, who later became her husband. The Vuns left a vibrant, growing church in Chiengkam to live in the United States with Grace’s daughter, who had emigrated here. Both Grace and John served faithfully in the Chinese Church in Brooklyn until her illness took over.