Thursday, January 03, 2013Download All Stories
Yemen workers, 'begging to stay,' still inspire 10 years later
CLEMSON, S.C. (BP) -- In 1997, I entered a country far different from my own. As a trustee of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, I visited Yemen in July of that year.At that time, trustees were debating whether to keep Jibla Baptist Hospital open. The hospital workers requested the trustees see their work before making a final determination. I was ill-prepared for the experiences that awaited me.
Before my arrival, physician Martha Myers had been kidnapped and miraculously released. That news made my steps unsteady. After safely passing through customs and seeing men with machine guns on their backs and jambiyas (daggers) across their chests, I was alarmed.
After winding four hours through rugged terrain to Jibla Baptist Hospital, I heard alarming details that elevated my normally low blood pressure: Rabid dogs were wandering, malaria was spreading, water was scarce, electricity was sporadic, the hospital was under red alert due to threats from al-Qaida and the airlines had just gone on strike.
They had me at rabid.
I was officially in culture shock. And who's al-Qaida?
But this kind of news was status quo to the workers called to serve in Yemen. I would only sample a taste of their everyday lives. Yet, no complaints.
Why, they should be begging me to rescue them from this. Instead, Bill Koehn, the hospital administrator, and others did their best to show me all God was doing, begging to stay.
My first day began with meeting the staff for devotions, prayer and a hospital tour. Hours later I was shuttled between prison and orphanage ministries. By the end of the afternoon, Koehn escorted me to the sheik's house. What an experience. As we prepared to leave, Koehn's face revealed his pain as he was unable to tie his shoes. A head-on collision on a winding mountain road had nearly disabled him, requiring hip-replacement surgery. Read More
'I could depend on Him,' widow saysGRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) -- For retired Southern Baptist worker Marty Koehn, Dec. 30, 2002, was a fairly normal morning in Yemen -- until she heard an "extremely urgent and atrociously loud" knock at the door of her home.
Koehn recalls being frustrated by the interruption. Read More
Bullets bolstered couple's resolvePAYNE SPRINGS, Texas (BP) -- Don and Teri Caswell thought they would just lie low when they returned to Yemen seven months after the 2002 terrorist attack on the Jibla Baptist Hospital where he had served as a pharmacist. Read More
Adoption credit made permanent in 'cliff' bill'This will ease the minds of adoptive families across the country'WASHINGTON (BP) -- The so-called "fiscal cliff" bill signed by President Obama didn't fully please either political party, but it did contain great news for the adoption community by maintaining a tax credit that makes adoption more affordable for low- and middle-income families. Read More
Egypt's new constitution sparks 'time of tension ... to work for the Kingdom of God'
CAIRO (BP) -- With Egyptian voters approving a new Islamist-backed constitution, fear has heightened that it will lead toward an Islamic theocracy and undercut the rights of women, Christians and other minorities.
Such tensions, however, have led the country's Christians to pray for God's hand to be at work.
"Please know that God is good to His [Egyptian] church," one Egyptian Christian said at an interdenominational prayer meeting of more than 10,000 people. "We are really blessed and... Read More
Carry the Gospel amid tragedy, grads urged
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Although commencements at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary are joyous events, both for the new graduates and faculty and administration who helped them along the way, the Dec. 15 ceremony for NOBTS and its Leavell College took on a solemn yet resolved tone in light of the previous day's tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
New Orleans Seminary President Chuck Kelley, greeting a class of 91 graduate, 64 undergraduate and 30 doctoral students, said, "What a wonderful, gloriou... Read More
2 profs graduate from Southwestern
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary commissioned a new class of graduates, including two of its own professors, by awarding degrees to 197 students Dec. 14 -- 13 undergraduate degrees, 156 master's degrees and 32 doctoral degrees.
Terri Stovall, dean of women's programs and associate professor of women's ministries, walked across the stage to receive her master of divinity degree.
Already having earned her Ph.D. and master of arts in Christian education ... Read More
FIRST-PERSON: A Christian response to Putin's adoption ban
Columnist Tony Merida says Scripture has much to say about protecting orphans -- and by extension, much to say about Russia's new ban on U.S. adoption of Russian children. Read More
BIBLE STUDY: Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013
NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: Joshua 1:1-9; Judges 2:11-19; Ruth 4:14-17
What are some of God's best earthly g... Read More