The stories swirling around Tim Tebow and elements of his Christian testimony continue to maintain a presence in "The 3", as well as the fate of missionaries to Haiti being held in prison. Also, a missionary to North Korea received some really good news recently.
3 - North Korea releases missionary held since Christmas Day
On Christmas Day, a young missionary crossed the border from China into North Korea carrying letters with a confrontational message for that nation's leader. He was apprehended, and last weekend was released from prison. Here is the story from the Arizona Daily Star.
Of course, the Korean Central News Agency reported that Park had renounced his views about religious freedom (of the lack of it) in the isolated Communist country, but I would imagine that those quotes were made under duress. The whole situation involved North Korea is intriguing - this is a totalitarian regime which has topped Open Doors' list of the top persecutors of Christians for a number of years - and it's not even close!! (See list here.)
The nation has attempted to put a positive face on by inviting notables such as Billy and Franklin Graham to the country, and Casting Crowns and the Annie Moses Band, who are Christian music groups, travelled to a cultural festival there last year. But behind the attempt to look good and communicate a message of tolerance, there is fierce treatment of Christians, and it is hoped that increased international scrutiny and pressure will cause the leadership to pull back on its treatment of Christ-followers.
2 - Tebow video at Focus on the Family approaches one million hits, NCAA proposes "Tebow Rule" concerning eyeblack writing
As Focus on the Family's Super Bowl ad continues to attract attention, the video on the ministry's website featuring an interview with Bob and Pam Tebow is approaching and perhaps surpassing one million hits. The 8-minute video shows the Tebows telling the story of their decision to choose to give birth to their son, Tim. The website address was displayed at the end of the Super Bowl ad, and apparently that has generated an enormous amount of web traffic for the ministry.
And, this comes at an excellent time for Focus!! Dr. Dobson's last week on the radio broadcast is coming up during the final week of February, and new leader Jim Daly has had plenty of media time granted to him, which has served to cement him in the new position of being the chief spokesperson for the ministry. Here is the Christian Post report from earlier this week.
And, I came across this story from the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Meanwhile, more attention has been garnered by Tim Tebow, although a bit inadvertent. The NCAA Football Rules Committee is considering regulation of messages contained on the eyeblack that football players place under their eyes. Tebow has been known for placing Scripture references on the eyeblack, but other, less redeeming messages are also printed there by players. Here is a story from the Palm Beach Post.
This is a practice commonly associated with Tebow, but it has been abused by other players. I can see the merits of what the NCAA is trying to do, but it does come at a rather curious time, when it could be interpreted as being directed at the former Florida star.
1 - Missionaries in Haiti get judge's OK for release
There was seemingly good news earlier this week emerging out of Haiti regarding the 10 missionaries, mostly from Idaho, who had been arrested for suspected trafficking as they attempted to extract Haitian children, presumably orphans, into the Dominican Republic. The judge in the case recommended their release, but apparently a local prosecutor has to sign on to it, even though the judge has the final word. This is the latest development in a case that has had numerous twists and turns, and the case will still not be over once the missionaries are released. Baptist Press has done an outstanding job covering the developments, and here is their update.
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