East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 5, No. 4, Fall 1997, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe


Practically Speaking

The Boeing Relief Program
In early 1992 an Evangelical Christian employee of Boeing Manufacturing had the vision of developing a ministry of shipping humanitarian aid on new Boeing aircraft being delivered to countries all over the world. He wrote a proposal and presented it to his superior.  It eventually ended up at the President's office.  The President approved the proposal.

During five years some of the organizations involved in the establishment of this ministry have been Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, World Concern, Friends in the West, the Red Cross, Northwest Medical Teams, and World Vision.  During these five years these groups have moved over one million pounds of airfreight free of charge.  The program has included aid flights to Russia and Finland, and three to Russia are scheduled for January-April 1998.

The Boeing Relief Committee, consisting of company and  relief organization representatives, meets approximately three to four times a year in Seattle, WA.   The major purpose is to review together upcoming flights, to look at possible joint ventures, and to work toward using as many flights as possible.  When an organization identifies flight it wishes to use, a Boeing representative contacts the airline receiving the airplane, asking for its approval for that relief organization to ship humanitarian aid on its flight.  If the airline approves, the Boeing staff begins to work with the relief organization in planning the delivery of the relief goods to Boeing.  Boeing cannot store humanitarian aid for longer than three to seven days before the flight is scheduled to depart. Three organizations in the Portland-Seattle area can assist in short-term storing and delivering humanitarian aid to Seattle: Friends in the West and World Concern, both located in Seattle; and Northwest Medical Teams, located in Portland.

The relief staff and Boeing work together on developing needed shipping documents to assist in clearing customs at the final destination. It is important that field staff in the country receiving the shipment work with the airline in making the arrangements for receiving the shipment and clearing customs.  Some of the airlines are also willing to provide one-way transportation for relief personnel and volunteers on the plane delivering the aid.

The merger of Boeing and McDonald Douglass opens up more flights to more countries.  Also, Boeing staff have made arrangements with Northwest Airlines to ship humanitarian aid free of charge on a space-available basis. For assistance in arranging contacts with the Boeing Relief Program, contact Harold F. Frye, executive director, Nazarene Health Care Fellowship, 6401 The Paseo, Kansas City, MO 64131; tel: 913-764-1797; fax: 816-333-2948; e-mail: hfrye@nazarene.org.

 

On 7-8 November 1997 the Institute for East-West Christian Studies (IEWCS) sponsored a "Consultation on Christian Medical, Dental, and Health Ministries in the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe" at the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.  Topics included networking and partnership; the new Russian law on religion; clearing customs with medical and relief supplies; medical education; and church-based medical clinics.  To request a full listing of available audio tapes, use the contact information for the Institute for East-West Christian Studies on page 16.

At the medical consultation William Clancy, project coordinator for the St. Nicholas Christian Medical Center, St. Petersburg, gave a workshop addressing "On Line Medical Resources."  While that session was not taped, Mr. Clancy has taken the initiative to establish an e-mail conference on "FSU-Eastern-Central-Europe-Medical-Missions."  The purpose is to provide a clearinghouse for information and ideas.  To subscribe, send an e-mail message to Hub@XC.org.  After typing the following message: "subscribe fsu-eastern-central-europe-medical-missions," subscribers will receive a general introduction and guidelines for posting messages.  To contact Mr. Clancy directly, send an e-mail message to clancy@infopro.spb.su.

 

Russian Christian Satellite Radio Network Proposed
As of November 1997, only a few Christian radio stations were operational in Russia, including NEW LIFE RADIO (Magadan), FEBC (Khabarovsk/Vladivostok), HCJB partner stations (Ufa, Kazan, Cheboksary, Vladikavkaz) and RADIO TEOS (St. Petersburg/Moscow).  This status leaves the bulk of the country without access to full-time Christian broadcasting.  While Christian programming appears sporadically on state and independent television and radio, as well as on Radio Russia (primarily Russian Orthodox features), access is controlled.

HCJB World Radio and the Evangelical Covenant Church have established a consortium of Christian ministries involved in radio evangelism to Russia and the other CIS nations.  The immediate goal is to create a production center and satellite uplink facility in St. Petersburg, which will provide 24-hour-per-day Christian radio service across the Russian Federation. Programming for this network will feature materials produced by existing Christian stations in Russia (at roughly 16 hours per day), with the remaining eight hours to be offered to consortium members (or interested Christian radio producers) on a paid basis.

For additional information contact:

Daniel Johnson, General Manager, New Life Radio (Magadan, Russia)
4 Moskovskoe shosse, kv. 180, St. Petersburg 196158, Russia
Tel/fax:  011-7-812-127-3529; E-mail:  DJ@infopro.spb.su

David Kealy, Regional Director, HCJB World Radio Euro-Asia
Box N 89, 253002 Kyiv 2, Ukraine
E-mail: dkealy@radio.com.ua

Byron Amundsen, Department of World Mission, Evangelical Covenant Church
5101 N. Francisco Ave., Chicago, IL  60625
Tel: 773-784-3000, Fax:  773-784-4336; E-mail: fowm@compuserve.com

Source: E-mail from Daniel Johnson to editor, 4 December 1997.

Focus on the Family offers gratis subscriptions to its children and youth magazines to missionary families:  Clubhouse Jr. (ages 4-8); Clubhouse (ages 8-12); Brio (teen girls); and Breakaway (teen boys).  Missionary families must personally submit requests by mail or fax.  Magazines are mailed without wrapping, so overt Christian references are visible.  Requests should include the child's name, gender, birth date, address, and fax, if available. Write:  "I do not wish to receive additional complimentary materials," if that is preferred.  Contact:  Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO  80995; fax:  719-531-3424.

 

A "Missions Coalition Joint Meeting" on 9 October 1997 in Budapest, Hungary, established a new Evangelical networking organization.  "In partnership with the Church in Hungary," its purpose is "to obey the Great Commission by making disciples, strengthening churches, and serving as a resource to Hungarian church-planting movements."  While the goal of Magyar Mission Link is "to share information and build relationships inside the missionary community" (see the East-West Church & Ministry Report 4 [Summer 1996], 13), the new organization, while having a similar purpose, plans to "be more task oriented toward ministry to Hungarians and minorities within Hungary."  As an example, the Coalition is organizing a four-week "missionary training school" for September 1998 under the direction of Bob Martin, Alliance for Saturation Church Planting, BobMartin@compuserve.com. Future meetings in Budapest are scheduled for 27 January and 24 March 1998.  For additional information contact: The Missions Coalition, ERD 2030, Bajuszfu, U. 15, Hungary; tel:  36-23-375-975; fax: 36-23-375-976; e-mail MCH@h.om.org.
Source: E-mail transmission of "Minutes of Missions Coalition Joint Meeting," 9 October 1997, from Donald Johnson, World Gospel Mission, Budapest, Hungary.
Editor's note: The Coalition may want to reconsider its provision that new members are to be admitted based on "unanimous approval by present agencies."  This arrangement in effect extends an absolute veto power over membership to each charter agency.  It can be questioned whether this hurtful blackballing provision is the healthiest approach to membership.  Abuses of this mechanism range from the seventeenth century Polish Parliament (the liberum veto) to present-day U.S. fraternity and sorority membership.


Practically Speaking, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 5 (Fall 1997), 12-13.

Written permission is required for reprinting or electronic distribution of any portion of the East-West Church & Ministry Report.

1997 Institute for East-West Christian Studies
ISSN 1069-5664


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