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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this is pretty amazing. Chavez keeps surprising me with his consistant commitment to the people of his country...it's rare that a politician sticks to their promises and values like this.<br><br><br><a href="http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-venezuela-missionaries,0,7158911.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines" target="_blank">http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...orld-headlines</a>
 

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I think this is wonderful. Many Christians simply cannot fathom that not everyone wants to be "saved." Plus, I believe that many of these missionary groups have other motives beyond spreading the word, as this author indicated in the article.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamaInTheBoonies</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why can't we have such a great leader? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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Well, two reasons occur to me...<br><br>
1) the poor in our country are so beaten down and disempowered and most importantly *unorganized* that they cannot band together to elect a leader who actually gives a crap about them, and 2) corporate interests are wayyyyyy too powerful in this country to allow something like that to happen.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The New Tribes Mission specializes in evangelism among indigenous groups in the world's remotest places.</td>
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READ: The New Tribes Mission specializes in destroying cultures that have existed for thousands of years in the world's most pristine places.
 

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I know next to nothing about missionairies, other than the Simpsons episode where Homer became a missionary to escape from Betty White and the PBS pledge drive, so can someone answer this question for me?<br><br>
Do missionaries just show up in foreign countries, or do they need to get permission from the government first? And how do they decide which countries to go to?<br><br>
I truly mean no offense to any missionaries here, but I don't understand.<br><br>
This is totally my opinion, but to me it seems kind of arrogant to just insinuate yourself into someone else's culture and unilaterally decide what's best for them.<br><br>
Hey, isn't that what we're doing in Iraq....??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Wow. What total baloney some folks will believe. New Tribes is an incredible missions group that does literacy and healthcare in some of the most impoverished places in the world. And yes, they tell people about Jesus. But they don't force conversions or hold out their services only for those who convert.<br><br>
You say "pristine cultures." My fanny. I don't see y'all running out to live in the jungle and die in childbirth after burying half your kids before their fifth birthday. There are certainly beautiful and valuable parts of any culture. But leaving people with no healthcare, illiterate and powerless against their own government is not beautiful, it is deadly.<br><br>
Many of these missionaries spend their lives in squalor, at great risk to themselves and their children, to share a faith that they believe in. It has nothing to do with power or money or freaking Walmart. It has to do with a sincere belief that Jesus is Lord and has the power to change lives. If you don't share that belief, fine. But don't impune the motives of folks who do.<br><br>
Yes, I was a missionary in Venezuela. And the things I saw would break your heart. The Venezuelan government doesn't give a rat's behind about it's native indiginous people groups. Perhaps the reason Chavez doesn't want New Tribes and others working with the indigenous people groups is because he doesn't want the outside world's attention brought to the shabby treatment they receive.
 

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pfamilygal, thank you for your perspective.<br><br>
Can you answer my question as to how the missionary organization chooses which countries to go to? Like I said earlier, I know nothing about this subject and I'm curious. Is the choice based on poverty, healthcare needs, etc.?<br><br>
Also, you mentioned literacy. When teaching the indigenous people how to read and write, do missionaries teach them in English or their native language?<br><br>
I hope you don't mind my asking these questions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Most missions agencies choose countries based on needs. A country where most are Christians or have been given an opportunity to hear about Christ is not as needy as a country that has no Bible in it's mother tongue or has no Christian community. More humanitarian missions are sent to countries with physical need. We don't see the hospital ships from YWAM, for instance, docking in Western Europe. They dock in South America and Africa and perform thousands of surgeries on needy people every year.<br><br>
It also depends on the receptiveness of the local governments to missionaries. There are few missionaries in Saudi Arabia, for instance, as the government has strict anti-proselytization laws. In fact, conversion from Islam in several countries is punishable by death. So these countries are not open to traditional missions. There are several radio stations that transmit Arabic Bible classes into the Middle East and North Africa.<br><br>
Missions organizations, for the most part, translate into the indigenous language. In some areas this means creating an alphabet and a written language for the first time ever. The Philippines recently put out postage stamps featuring Wycliffe missionaries, honoring them for their literacy work. They have done translation and literacy work in many, many countries. In some areas where there are tribes who speak more than one language, or a trade language (for instance, French in some areas of West Africa) studies are done to determine the need/usefulness of coming up with a written language vs. teaching them to read a sister dialect or trade language.<br><br>
Does that make sense? I'd be happy to answer any questions about missionary work. I have spent time in South America and Asia and when our student loans are paid off in a few years my dh and I intend to go (him as a teacher, me as a nurse) to either work with a mission or at an MK (missionary kid) school.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pfamilygal</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">he doesn't want the outside world's attention brought to the shabby treatment they receive.</div>
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if i want to see people living in abject poverty in deplorable conditions, i don't have to look to Venezuela. There's plenty to see right here in America.
 

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While I admit there is a shameful level of poverty in the US, it is nothing compared to what I have seen overseas. Isn't it a bit ethnocentric (something we missionaries are accused of all the time) to only be interested in helping the folks in your country? I have seen appalling poverty on a massive level overseas. I've cleaned maggoty wounds on preschoolers who lived with their entire tribe in the ravine between two highways, drinking from a sewer drain that runs down the middle. All because the Venezuelan government doesn't consider them real citizens. These people had little food and lived in cardboard boxes and other peices of refuse taped and strapped to the scrubby little trees in their ravine. In the Philippines I saw mind-boggling slums. Thousands and thousands of people living in one room huts on stilts over the water. The shoreline has been extended 15-20 feet just from the piled up garbage the children drag home to sort through each day to find bits of food and things to sell. I've been to some very depressed parts of several inner cities and Appalachia and have seen some sad things here in the US. But again, nothing compared to what I have seen overseas. Over here, there are many who have been blessed and should share. Over there there are few who are blessed and many who suffer.
 

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pfamilygal <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"> I also have seen what you are talking about.<br><br>
I was in Venezuela in 2002 and talked with local people - college educated and the poor in the slums - most agreed that Chavez deceived the poor to get into power. Almost all of his votes came from the very poor. And is he following through, no. He is going to turn that country into a dictarship (prob. is already)/communist state. We all know he has a very good buddy in Cuba.<br><br>
Also the people I talked to feared repercussions for speaking out and were very cautious.<br><br>
yes the USA has poor but they also have a chance in this country.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momtwoboys</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">most agreed that Chavez deceived the poor to get into power.</div>
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Reminds me of someone else...
 

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When I've seen churches built overseas (at least by the organizations I've worked with) they have been built by the indigenous people. Many times they have chosen to worship in small groups in their homes though.<br><br>
Some groups (especially in the past) have pushed a Western lifestyle on other cultures. There is nothing holy about wearing Western clothes or farming in a Western way. Good grief. Jesus Himself was not a European or an American. I have been to some beautiful churches that are totally different from my own. I think it is incredible to see the different ways of expressing our love for Christ that each of us is given. Some of the most joyous celebrations I have been to have been at churches that were very, very different in culture from my own. Such a blessing to me.<br><br>
I get so psyched thinking about the verse in Revelations that talks about people from every race and tribe and tongue worshipping at the throne of God. That is the heart of evangelism and missionary work for me. I don't want to just see other Westerners in heaven. I want to worship with all of God's creation and see all the different variations in culture He has made. I can't wait for that day!
 

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I have removed several posts from this thread that were sarcastic, baiting, adversarial, and attacking.<br><br>
When a member posts a thread to discuss a topic that you have strong feelings of contrary opinion about, please refrain from posting sarcastically and rudely. If you have nothing to present in the way of information, opinion or respectful disagreement with appropriately worded argument, and can only post in a sarcastic manner that serves to take the thread into a downspiral of negativity, then please refrain from posting to the thread altogether.<br><br>
This thread is now reopened for discussion.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Huh. I can't help but wonder what I missed! :LOL<br><br>
I firmly believe it is inappropriate toa ssume that christianity is a better religion that people's indigenous spiritual practices and beliefs, especially when you look at all of the death and destruction, torture, murder, rape and pillage done in the name of christianity over the past thousand or two years.<br><br>
I understand that most christians think it is part of their duty as christians to convert heathens, and that is one of the reasons I am so disturbed by christianity.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sadie_sabot</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Huh. I can't help but wonder what I missed! :LOL<br><br>
I firmly believe it is inappropriate toa ssume that christianity is a better religion that people's indigenous spiritual practices and beliefs.</div>
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I agree. While I admire the work that missionaries do in terms of fighting poverty, and have no problem if their personal belief in Christianity leads them to that work, I see no reason why "fighting poverty" has to be tied up with distributing Bibles and preaching a religion. Why not just do the good work without attempting to convert people?
 

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I used to work w/ several Venezuelans, and they despised Chavez. I don't know a whole lot about this, but my former co-workers thought he was a dictator waiting to happen.
 

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Go Hugo! Chavez simply removed a terrorist group from his nation under pressure from his people to do so, including several Christian organizations who were confronting some egregious ethnocentric, racist behavior on the part of that terrorist "missionary" group. First he's thrown off American backed coup attempts now he's rooting out American spies and covert operatives. Good for him. He's fighting an uphill battle.<br><br>
More broadly, ask a native american about missionaries and their benevolence and love for indigenous people. I understand the missionary mindset, having known many throughout my life. I've read the posts on this thread that were permitted to remain on the thread. I cannot see the systematic and intentional deconstruction and devastation of indigenous culture and praxis as innocent, not can I see it as "love for another." There is a profound difference between "sharing" one's beliefs with another human being in conversation/cultural exchange and "coercing" another through the "good works" and "humanitarian" efforts of missionary organizations. If the missionaries' motivation is actually the kind of love the Jewish reformer a.k.a. "Jesus" seems to have advocated, then I challenge missionaries to provide all their "loving" services to the "less fortunate" while keeping their mouths and their bibles shut. If they cannot do that, their real motives become clear and it's all just self-rationalized talk.<br><br>
Charity is not justice. At least in Venezuela that part of the conversation is rising towards the surface.
 

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I also know several Venezuelan expats (they're all ex-oil-elites) and they're not fans of Chavez either, but they draw the line at calling him a "dictator waiting to happen." Their beef with Chavez has more to do with his policies negatively impacting their trust funds. Go figure.<br><br>
Chavez is merely the local whipping boy for uber-captialist paranoia. Lula in Brazil is another one but he doesn't have the oil Chavez has so the US uber-patriots aren't as concerned about Lula. Whenever I hear Chavez-worship or Chavez-hate I can't help but roll my eyes.<br><br>
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is an intriguing documentary that points all the anti-Chavez hysteria and hyperbole into perspective.<br><br><a href="http://www.chavezthefilm.com/html/home.htm" target="_blank">http://www.chavezthefilm.com/html/home.htm</a>
 
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