Today's BP Ledger includes items from:
California Southern Baptist
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Florida Baptist Witness
Forum 18 News Service
Dakota Baptist Connections
FRESNO, Calif. (California Southern Baptist)--Polly McNabb, associate editor of the California Southern Baptist for more than 40 years, died Dec. 12 from a massive stroke. She was 87.
Polly, whose column "Just Polly" was a staple in the CSB for eight years, served California Southern Baptist Convention — The Southern Baptist General Convention of California when she started — 43 years before she retired in 1992.
Hers was the longest tenure of any CSBC employee, and she served alongside seven editors and under the leadership of five executive directors.
The Missouri native attended Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield and taught school before being invited to serve as secretary at First Southern Baptist Church in Bakersfield. Polly subsequently was hired as assistant to the editor of the CSB, Floyd Looney.
Having interrupted her college work when she moved to California, Polly enrolled at California State University, Fresno and changed her major from education to journalism.
She was named acting editor in 1961 after Looney resigned.
J. Kelly Simmons was elected editor.
In 1962, Polly was promoted to associate editor and advertising manager. Other editors with whom she served included J. Terry Young, Don McGregor, Elmer Gray, Herb Hollinger and Mark Wyatt.
Though she never married, Polly was considered an "honorary pastor's wife" by the women because of her service covering the annual Ministers' Wives' Conference at Jenness Park for many years.
Her Just Polly columns ranged in subject "from personal observations and musings to accounts of service by various individuals, to stirring debate over issues confronting Baptists," Mark Wyatt wrote upon her retirement. "She displayed a fierce commitment to traditional Southern Baptist values and personal liberty.
"Her columns also provided occasional history lessons culled from her almost encyclopedic knowledge of California Southern Baptist churches and institutions."
When Polly began working for the CSB, the Convention had 225 churches with fewer than 27,000 members. Forty-three years later 1,500 churches represented a combined membership of more than 400,000.
Polly received an honorary doctor's degree from California Baptist University in 1991, and was recognized by the Southern Baptist Press Association in 1992.
In 2003 she received the Heritage Award from the California Baptist Historical Society. The annual honor is presented in "recognition of outstanding and unusual dedication to the cause of Southern Baptist history in California."
C.B. Hogue, late CSBC executive director who was exec at the time of her retirement, wrote about Polly: "How do you measure the contributions of service by anyone who has committed a lifetime to a task? Do you do it by tenure? By faithfulness to the job? Love for the organization and its heritage? Excellence in doing the task? These are a few standards of measurement which could be used. For one Polly McNabb, these positively apply."
She was a long-time member of Woodward Park Baptist Church in Fresno, and a member of Sierra Heights Baptist Church at the time of her death.
Funeral services were held Dec. 17 Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis, Calif. Polly is survived by a sister and two nephews.
Distinguished professor emeritus Leon Marsh remembered for 'selfless ministry'
By Keith Collier
FORT WORTH, Texas (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)--James Leon Marsh, distinguished professor emeritus of foundations of education at Southwestern Seminary and pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church in Arab, Ala., died Dec. 12.
"Dr. Leon Marsh entered Glory today with recognition that probably surprised this faithful saint of God," Southwestern president Paige Patterson said.
"Whether in the classroom or from a bed in declining health, his selfless ministry and enthusiastic embrace of the providence of God provided the backdrop for usefulness to the Savior that far surpassed any public acclaim he ever knew. During my term as president, I have had no more faithful a prayer partner and encourager than Leon Marsh. His journey to the other side makes heaven sweeter and many of us to long for it more than ever."
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Marsh joined the Navy. He saw extensive combat in WWII and was wounded by a bullet to the chest that went through a small New Testament in his chest pocket.
A native of Arab, Ala., Marsh returned to the state and graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now known as Auburn University) in 1946. Feeling the call to vocational ministry, he moved to Fort Worth to come to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master of Religious Education and Doctor of Education degrees.
Marsh served as a professor at Hardin-Simmons University from 1951-1956. During that time, he also served as assistant dean of students for the institution. In 1956, he returned to Southwestern to join the faculty in the School of Religious education, where he established and served in the Foundations of Education division for 30 years. From 1960-1979, Marsh served as director of doctoral studies in the education school and pioneered the transition from the Doctor of Religious Education to the Doctor of Education degree. During his time at Southwestern, he also became the first seminary professor to serve as a trustee of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Rick Yount, professor of foundations of education at Southwestern, knew Marsh as a professor, a mentor, and a friend.
"I am one of 8,000 students Dr. Marsh taught over 20 years of service," Yount said. "His focus on lifelong learning, discipleship, and focused attention on spiritual growth have girded me over these 30 years as a faculty member here, and will continue to drive my teaching ministry."
Jack Terry, vice president emeritus and former dean of the School of Educational Ministries (now known as the Jack D. Terry Jr. School of Church and Family Ministries), also noted Marsh's profound impact on his life and the life of the seminary.
"I loved the man dearly. He was like a father to me," Terry said. "He mentored me through all of my work here. He brought me back to the seminary after I was in full-time church work."
After Terry completed his doctoral work at Southwestern, Marsh recommended him as a professor at Hardin-Simmons. Terry taught there several years before Marsh again recommended him for a teaching position, this time at Southwestern.
"Of all the professors and faculty members I've ever known," Terry said, "he was the most generous and considerate, and the very best friend that I ever had."
Over the years, Marsh served as interim pastor in more than 40 churches and preached more than 200 revivals. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, and brother, Dr. Ralph W. Marsh. He is survived by a brother, Dr. Glenn Marsh; two nieces, Dr. Martha Marsh, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Towzen; five nephews and several great and great-great nieces and nephews.
Graveside memorial services will be held at Arab Memorial Cemetery in Arab, Ala., on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. with Dr. Paul Murphy officiating.
Former IMB missionary, Lynda Daniels, dies at 63
STUART (Florida Baptist Witness)--Lynda Lee Daniels, 63, a missionary to South America for 28 years with the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board, died Dec. 15 at Treasure Coast Hospice in Stuart. A member of First Baptist Church of Palm Beach Gardens, she is survived by her husband of 41 years, David Daniels, pastor of the church.
Daniels was born in Miami and had been a resident of the Stuart area for five years. She and her husband retired early from the IMB to care for her mother. A nurse, Daniels served the Florida Baptist Convention's Women's Missions and Ministries departments as a camp nurse at GA/ACTEEN camp, and had spoken at events at Lake Yale and other locations. She was an active member of her church choir.
Daniels is also survived by daughters, Deborah Filosa of Loxahatchee and Rebecca Harris of Arkadelphia, Ark.; father, Martin D. Kjellstrom of Stuart; mother, Marjorie B. Kjellstrom of Stuart; sister, Peggy Roberts of Stuart; brother, M. David Kjellstrom of Macon, Ga.; and two grandsons.
Visitation is 9-11 a.m, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 at Forest Hills Funeral Homes, 2001 SW Murphy Road, Palm City, Fl 34990.
Memorial service will follow immediately in the chapel at 11 a.m. with William J. Trucano Jr. officiating. Interment will take place in Forest Hills Memorial Park in Palm City
Memorial contributions may be made to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230-0767.
Hardin-Simmons University Responds to Mayor's Request to Honor First Responders
ABILENE, Texas (Hardin-Simmons University)--Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald called on residents of Abilene to honor fallen heroes and first responders by placing Blue Hero Lights in windows this Christmas season. The mayor was joined in the news conference by Annemarie Holder, the widow of Abilene motorcycle police officer Rodney Holder, who died in a traffic accident in 2010.
Neighbors of the Holders placed blue lights in their windows last holiday season in honor of the 28-year Abilene Police Department veteran. Archibald urged area retailers to stock up on blue lights so Abilene residents can easily find them.
Tim McCarry, facilities director for Hardin-Simmons University and one of the people responsible for the Christmas lights twinkling on trees across the campus, was moved by the mayor's request and took the matter of adding a Blue Hero Tree to the campus lighting to HSU's President Dr. Lanny Hall.
The Hero Tree request was quickly approved and the Blue Hero Tree was added to the other 100,000-plus white lights that have illuminated the campus each Christmas since the mid-1990s.
Annemarie says she and Kyler, the Holders 14-year-old son, drove by the HSU campus to view the tree after someone mentioned it to her. "I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate the Blue Hero Tree at the entrance of your campus. We were so touched! Thank you so much, for your obvious support of our First Responders. It means so much to our family to see that," Holder stated in an email to the president's office. "Please let all of those responsible for this display know how much we appreciate it," said Holder.
The Abilene Blue Hero Lights program is one of many similar programs spreading across the country. The city of Bay City Michigan is in its tenth year of honoring first responders with blue lights.
Other places in Abilene boasting scores of blue light are the Abilene Police Department and the Holders own neighborhood. You can view the Hero Tree at the entrance to the HSU campus located at Ambler and Hickory.
Hana Caner shares testimony
at GBC women's luncheon
By Vicky Kaniaru
CLEVELAND, Ga. (Truett-McConnell College) — A 14-year-old girl walks nervously into a large school with bare walls. As she walks down the hallway reverberating with sounds of gossiping gullets, the shadow of her school's mandatory career advice day casts her eyes to the floor. She reaches the principal's office, and with a clammy fist she taps on the door.
"Come in," a croaky voice says.
She pushes the heavy door and walks in the office. The walls reflect the grey flecks in the man's eyes and his coldness swallows the room as if the two are one. She sits down.
"What would you like to be when you grow up?" the principal asks.
"I would like to be a teacher," she says.
His wrinkled hand sifts through her file, and he says, "Sorry, it's not going to happen."
"Okay, what are my other options? Could I be a nurse or physical therapist?"
The principal fixes his gaze on her and assures her that she cannot work anywhere where she has influence. The choices for her are limited to factories—pushing a button on a machine or moving a lever for 12 hours a day.
"Listen," she says trembling. "If God wants me to be a physical therapist, I'm going to be a physical therapist."
She leaves the room petrified because she knows defying authority has consequences. Pacing down the hallway, she understands that in her file lies this truth—her father, Jan Titera, and grandfather are pastors and her family professes Christianity. She is the enemy of the communist regime.
This was Hana Caner's plight as a young girl living under communist rule in what was Czechoslovakia.
Hana -- wife of Truett-McConnell College President Emir Caner -- shared her testimony at "The Real Me" women's luncheon during the 2011 Georgia Baptist Convention, Nov. 14-15, at North Metro Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Spiritually, Hana recognized her family was blessed. Despite communism, the persecution for the Christian faith was less severe in Czechoslovakia than in the Soviet Union or Romania.
She never sensed this persecution as a child, and it was only recently that Hana discovered that her father's occasional "errands" were actually when the secret police were interrogating him. To this day he avoids talking about that.
"When a grown man, years past communism, says he doesn't want to talk about it, it must not be pretty," she said.
Unaware of the consequences of spreading the Gospel, the children still "understood we're not supposed to be speaking too openly about our faith," and "about what our parents do," Hana said.
She recalled how, as a first grader, she would travel with her father. Hana would excitedly hop in the car, hoping to visit places like West Germany.
At the border, her father would whisper, "Hana, lie down and pretend to be asleep. Shh... Don't make a noise."
They would always reach their destination at night, where Hana would see adults pulling out big black bags. Hana and her father would return home in the dark; at the border, she would play the sleeping child.
"Hana, those days when you were going on these trips," her father told her recently, "I was smuggling Bibles. Those big bags were bags with Bibles in them."
The car had compartments at the bottom and behind the headrest of the backseat. Border agents would check the trunk -- empty.
"I had you sleeping on those Bibles, because everybody knows you do not wake up a sleeping child no matter what," her father continued.
A preacher's daughter, Hana felt pressured "to be the super child, prim and proper, with all the correct answers." She knew about Christ, but she did not live for Him.
"Everything was in my head; nothing was in my heart," Hana said.
One night in a town called Ostrava, Hana was seated with a friend in a church balcony during a youth choir concert. Her father was preaching, and the two friends were chatting during the sermon.
"I remember the only words I heard were: 'If you were to die today, are you going to be with Christ?'" Hana said.
In a panic, Hana realized she did not know Christ, and she pleaded with her friend to walk to the front with her.
"It was that fear of God, the fear of the one who can kill the soul," said Hana, referring to Matthew 10:28-39.
However, at 13, Hana understood that if she professed Christianity, she risked exclusion by friends, losing an opportunity for a good education, and persecution for her faith.
"The fear of pleasing the world was bigger than the fear of going against God," she said.
In that moment, she promised God that if she ever sat in that same church, at the same time, in the same exact spot, next to the same person, and there was an invitation, she would commit her life to Christ.
"That year, I was living in open rebellion against God," Hana said. "It was the hardest year of my life because I was going against everything he told me to. There is no more miserable place to be than being outside the will of God."
A year later, Hana found herself in the same town, in the same church, with the same friend, in exactly the same spot, with her grandfather preaching at a youth conference.
In the midst of conversation, Hana heard the invitation and froze.
"It was God saying, 'You promised something, and I did it for you. Are you going to step up to the plate and do what you said you're going to do?'" said Hana, who realized her life is "not about what people think."
"I am not going to be held responsible for their actions," Hana said. "I'm going to be held responsible for my actions, for my decisions."
In a symphony of voices singing "Just as I am," Hana ran downstairs and accepted Christ.
"To me, that was the best decision of my life," said Hana, who lived in a world that questioned why she abandoned familiar comforts for an old faith.
"God told me I can trust him. God told me I can believe in him and he's going to take care of me and He will," she said.
A few months after her conversion, it was career day at school; and she stood in front of a school principal who deemed her a factory worker.
"It was just because of Jesus and Jesus living in me and understanding what kind of decision I made that I was able to stand up and say, 'Listen, if God wants me to be a physical therapist, I will be a physical therapist,'" Hana said.
That fall, she was accepted into physical therapy school. In the same year, the communist regime fell and a teenage Hana was ready to share her faith openly. "Everybody wanted to hear about God because it was something you didn't talk about for 40 years," she said.
In her newly found faith, Hana lived for a long time trying to act better so others would accept her.
"Finally, God took me through some really hard times in my life. And he finally got me to the point that I had to give up. And I said, 'God, again, this is not about me and about others; it's about you, and I'm just going to do whatever you're calling me to do. And my life is not about pleasing others, it's about pleasing you because that's the only way I can be happy and have a fulfilling life."
"That's something I want our ladies at Truett-McConnell College to understand ... It doesn't matter how you look or how smart you are, it's about reading God's Word, staying in His Word because that's the only way you can learn what is his will in your life. And once he tells you, you better go and do it because that's the only thing you should be doing," she advised.
Before a tearful audience, Hana reiterated her passion for Truett-McConnell students and encouraged the women to have same passion for the ladies in their church. She read the verses of the hymn, "In Christ Alone," saying the song sums up her testimony.
"This is what I want everybody to understand, people cannot determine your destiny," Hana said. "People cannot tell you what to do. The only person who can tell what to do is God and God alone. If you are not in his will, you're going to be miserable. If you are in His will, no matter what comes your way, you're going to be able to stand up and be strong and supportive to your husband because you are in will. And understand wherever God calls your husband, that's God's will for your life. You go with him.
"Who is the real me?" Hana said. "I don't know. The only thing I can say that I know is that I'm absolutely nothing. But because of Him, I have everything. I am a sinner saved by grace. I'm an ordinary person who has been saved by an extraordinary God."
Vicky Kaniaru is senior staff writer at Truett-McConnell College.
Kazakhstan's Baptists: 3 fines, a 48-hour jail term, and a deportation
By Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service
OSLO, Norway (Forum 18 News Service)--Baptist leader Nikolai Popov was imprisoned for 48 hours in early December for refusing to pay fines handed down for leading meetings for religious worship, according to the verdict seen by Forum 18 News Service. Also given a large fine for unregistered religious activity was another Baptist, while a third is expected to be fined tomorrow (14 December). A Muslim was fined and ordered deported back to his home country elsewhere in Central Asia, for occasionally leading prayers in his local mosque without being personally registered as a "missionary".
The punishments come as Kazakhstan's State Secretary Kanat Saudabaev insisted in a closed 27 October meeting of senior ministers and other officials that the "progressiveness" of the harsh new Religion Law must be promoted at home and abroad and that "positive acceptance" of its demands by Kazakhstan's religious communities must be achieved (see forthcoming F18News article).
Charges against two of the Baptists were brought under the still current Article 374-1, Part 2 ("Participation in the activity of a banned religious organisation") of the Code of Administrative Offences. Charges against the Muslim and the third Baptist, Popov, were brought under the old Article 375, Part 3 ("Carrying out missionary activity without local registration") of the Administrative Code.
"Offences" widened, punishments increased
The scope of the Administrative Code's Article 375 to punish the exercise of freedom of religion or belief was considerably widened, and the punishments sharply increased, in an Amending Law changing other laws relating to freedom of religion or belief. Among the many increases in Article 375's scope, Part 3 now punishes: "The carrying out of missionary activity by citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, foreigners and persons without citizenship without registration (re-registration), as well as the use by missionaries of religious literature, informational materials of religious content or objects of religious significance without a positive assessment of a religious studies expert analysis".
The fine for this "offence" under Article 375 Part 3 is for Kazakhstani citizens 100 Monthly Financial Indicators (MFI). Article 375, Part 9, punishes such offences committed again within a year with fines of 200 MFIs. The punishment for foreigners and stateless persons under Article 375, Part 3, is 100 MFIs with deportation.
The MFI is set annually, and since 1 January 2011 has been 1,512 Tenge (60 Norwegian Kroner, 8 Euros, and 10 US Dollars). This is just below one tenth of the official minimum monthly wage.
The previous Article 375, Part 3 made no mention of "missionaries" using unapproved literature or other religious materials. It handed down fines for missionary activity without local registration ("uchetnaya registratsiya" in Russian) on citizens of up to 15 MFIs, with similar fines for non-citizens together with deportation from Kazakhstan. No provisions were present for increased fines for repeat "offenders".
The Amending Law which changed Article 375 along with the Religion Law came into force in October, without the provisions in the drafts of both laws being altered (see F18News 23 September 2011 ).
Since both new laws restricting freedom of religion and belief were adopted, the Religion Law has been increasing used to close places of worship in prisons and social care institutions (see F18News 11 November
2011 ), and to bar foreign Protestant and Muslim guest speakers from entering the country (see F18News 23 November 2011 ).
48 hours in prison
On 1 December, Baptist pastor Popov from the town of Balkhash in Karaganda Region began a two-day prison term, local Baptists complained to Forum 18. The sentence was handed down that day for refusing to pay a fine for leading meetings for religious worship without the compulsory state registration.
"After the court hearing that day, he was allowed home for two hours before they locked him up in Balkhash's temporary isolation cells," Baptists told Forum 18. "The court bailiff warned him that if he does not pay off the fine when he is released, he will again be prosecuted."
Popov leads a congregation of the Baptist Council of Churches, who reject state registration on principle in all the former Soviet republics where they operate. Council of Churches Baptists have long faced fines or short terms of imprisonment for their insistence that they have the right to meet for worship without state registration.
According to court documents seen by Forum 18, Popov was accused in September of violating the then Article 375, Part 1 of the Code of Administrative Offences ("Refusal by leaders of religious associations to register them with state bodies, carrying out of activity by religious associations not in accordance with their statute, participating in the activity of or financing political parties, violating the rules governing holding of religious events outside the location of a religious association, organising of special children's or youth meetings not related to worship, and forcing individuals to carry out religious rituals").
On 12 October Judge Nurlan Asanov of the Specialised Inter-regional Administrative Court in Balkhash found Popov guilty and fined him 10,584 Tenge (417 Norwegian Kroner, 54 Euros or 72 US Dollars). However, Popov refused to pay the fine, arguing that it "violated his religious faith", according to the record of his refusal drawn up by the court bailiff on 29 November, seen by Forum 18.
Charges were then brought against Popov of violating Article 524 of the Code of Administrative Offences ("Failure to carry out court decisions").
On 1 December, Judge Yerkin Zhaparov of Specialised Inter-regional Administrative Court in Balkhash found him guilty and ordered the two-day prison term. "During the court hearing, Popov did not recognise his guilt," the verdict records, "and explained that he could pay the 10,584 Tenge fine, but that his religious convictions do not allow him to do that." The judge refused to accept that Popov had "objective reasons" for refusing to pay the fine.
The official who prepared the case, Rakhman Uzbekov, the senior aide to Balkhash's Prosecutor, was not present when Forum 18 called on 7 December.
However, a colleague who did not give her name told Forum 18 that the law demands the registration of all religious communities and that it must be carried out. She then put the phone down.
International human rights commitments?
Forum 18 on 5 December commented to Svetlana Penkova, spokesperson for the government's Agency of Religious Affairs (ARA), that the actions of the court in fining and jailing Popov are not in accordance with Kazakhstan's Constitution or international standards in the area of freedom of religion or belief, including those of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) (see Forum 18's compilation of OSCE freedom of religion or belief commitments at ).
Penkova was then asked by Forum 18 what the ARA is going to do to defend Popov's constitutional rights. She responded that she could only answer the question in writing, so Forum 18 sent the question in writing on 5 December, and resent it on 7, 9 and 12 December. No response had been received by the end of the working day in Kazakhstan on 13 December.
Refusal to pay fines
Council of Churches Baptists have a policy of not paying fines handed down to punish them for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief.
In response, the authorities give some short terms of imprisonment. One pastor, Vasily Kliver, received a five-day prison term in June 2009 (see F18News 9 June 2009 ).
In other such cases, court bailiffs have confiscated property including washing machines, or the value of the fines has (for those in work) been taken direct from individuals' wages. This happened to Viktor Gutyar, who works in a coal mine (see F18News 27 September 2011 ).
A Muslim has been ordered deported back to his home country elsewhere in Central Asia, according to court documents seen by Forum 18. Sources close to the case asked Forum 18 not to give the individual's name and location, for fear of state reprisals.
In a case brought by a town Prosecutor's Office, the Muslim was found guilty of becoming the imam of a local mosque without permission from Kazakhstan's Muslim Board. There he taught people the namaz (Muslim prayers) and conducted "illegal" missionary activities without permission or personal registration as a missionary, the verdict in his case claims.
A Judge at a city Court found him guilty in mid-November of violating the old Article 375, Part 3 of the Code of Administrative Offences ("Carrying out missionary activity without local registration"). The Judge sentenced him to a fine of 7,560 Tenge (298 Norwegian Kroner, 39 Euros or 51 US Dollars) and deportation from Kazakhstan.
The Muslim appealed against the punishment, arguing that he only led prayers in the mosque on an occasional basis when the main imam was absent and was not aware that this required registration as a "missionary".
However, in early December, the Regional Court rejected the appeal. The Muslim has paid the fine, officials said on 12 December, and moves to deport him are expected "within days".
Colleagues of the Prosecutor's Office official who brought the case said he was not in the office when Forum 18 called on 12 December, but one colleague insisted that the Muslim was a "law-breaker". However, she added that only the head of the Prosecutor's Office was authorised to speak to the press. The head was not available when Forum 18 called.
The Judge who handed down the initial sentence began discussing the case with Forum 18 on 12 December. But as soon as Forum 18 asked whether fining the Muslim and ordering his deportation simply for leading prayers in a mosque was a violation of religious freedom, the Judge put the phone down.
Subsequent calls went unanswered.
Under the new Religion Law anyone - whether a Kazakh or foreign citizen - regarded by officials as engaging in "spreading a faith" or "missionary activity" is classed as a "missionary". These terms are undefined. The "missionary" must every year obtain approval from a registered religious association, as well as personal registration as such with state authorities (see F18News 23 September 2011 ). The ARA is preparing Regulations to implement the Law, including Missionary Regulations (see F18News 7 December 2011 ).
The ARA has also made plans with a wide range of senior officials to bring all permitted Islamic activity under complete state control, including taking over the Muslim Board (see F18News 29 November 2011 ).
Fined following extorted statements
Another Council of Churches Baptist, Aleksey Buka from the village of Kievka in Karaganda Region, was fined for participating in unregistered meetings for worship. On 1 December, Judge Aidar Mikhibaev of Nura District Court found him guilty under Administrative Code Article 374-1, Part 2 ("Participation in the activity of a banned religious organisation"). Buka was fined 75,600 Tenge (2,978 Norwegian Kroner, 387 Euros or 511 US Dollars), according to the verdict seen by Forum 18.
Nura District Court began hearing the case on 11 November, but the case had to be sent back for further work as the claims that police had found the church at worship turned out not to be true. Several church members testified in court that a police officer D. Zhanabylov had pressured them to sign statements about the activity of the church, but had deceived them by saying such statements would not be used to prosecute anyone.
The police also claimed to have visited the meetings for worship, which church members denied (see F18News 15 November 2011 ). Three other church members refused to testify in court about Buka's activity, the court verdict reveals, despite threats by police of criminal prosecution.
Zhmagul Shuzhenov, Chair of Nura District Court, told Forum 18 in November that the Baptists had to register their church as "the law demands it" (see F18News 15 November 2011 ).
Buka insisted that he has done nothing wrong and will not pay the fine. He told Forum 18 from Kievka on 12 December that he has lodged an appeal to Karaganda Regional Court, which is likely to be heard within the next month.
Prosecutor calls for fine
Another Council of Churches Baptist, Ivan Yantsen, is also on trial in Karaganda Region under Article 374-1, Part 2, the same charge as Buka faced. The sixth hearing in Yantsen's case is due at Temirtau City Court on 14 December, local Baptists told Forum 18. The prosecutor is also calling for a fine of 75,600 Tenge, the same fine as was imposed on Buka. (END)
A daughter's missionary heart
By Lesley Wisinger
BISMARCK, N.D.--"Hey Mom," said my daughter, Elizabeth. "Do you know there are kids who don't have enough food to eat? I read about some kids who were hungry in New York City."
"Where did you see that?" I questioned.
"In the On Mission magazine," was her response. Thus began the ministry project of my 9-year-old evangelist.
On a sunny Wednesday morning in October, Elizabeth approached me with the information about hungry children. I thought it was simply an informational conversation. For Elizabeth, it was the birthing of a ministry opportunity.
Where I saw fact, she saw an outreach. In her mind, she saw a way to give instead of always taking.
Elizabeth and 13-year-old Hannah Fix, who also attends Capitol Heights in Bismarck, decided some time ago to start Kid's Club after the Sunday morning services. Instead of running around after the church service, the two girls gather the other children at church ages 5 to 13. One of the girls tells a Bible story and leads in memorizing a Bible verse. Sometimes the children make a craft.
Hannah also publishes a monthly newsletter called Kid's Club.
After reading about the needy children, Elizabeth turned her thoughts toward Bismarck.
"If there's needy children in New York City, there are probably needy kids here too. Do you know of a place where people get food?" she questioned.
I pondered that question for a moment and recalled that the Ruth Meyer's house (a community center) distributes food and clothes.
"Well, I've been thinking that they (Kid's Club) need to learn to give and share with others instead of always sitting and hearing Bible stories" Elizabeth told me.
Thursday morning, Elizabeth and I discussed some questions she could ask the receptionist at Ruth Meyer's hospitality house. She located the number in the phone book, called, inquired about their needs and set up a day for us to deliver the goods. On Friday afternoon, we went shopping for the needy children of Bismarck-Mandan.
Non-perishable food items were collected by the children and their families throughout the month of October. They were delivered in a big cardboard box - cans of vegetables, mac and cheese, ravioli, salad dressing and much more - to the Ruth Meyer's Hospitality house on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
In November, the church concentrated on Christmas Child shoeboxes. This month? It's the Lottie Moon offering for international missions.
Where does ministry begin? It begins in the heart. Are we ever too young to minister? Absolutely not.
This article, submitted by Lesley Wisinger, originally appeared in Dakota Baptist Connections, newsjournal of the Dakota Baptist Convention.
Campbellsville Lady Tigers find a 103-year-old friend
By Richard RoBards/Campbellsville University Sports Information
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University)--Frances (Newton) Moss is living proof that you're never too old to start a love affair.
Moss, who will be 104 in February, and Lady Tiger Basketball, which is 46 this year, are now connected thanks to CU trustee Barry Bertram.
"It was just coincidental that we met her," said Lady Tiger Coach Ginger Colvin. "It's really good for our kids to bridge a gap, and this is a pretty huge gap."
Moss is older than the aggregate age of any five present-day Lady Tiger players, older than the combined ages of most of the players' parents and older than the combined ages of all three Lady Tiger coaches.
But they hold one thing in common -- a love for basketball.
In 1908 when Moss was born, the Model T Ford had just come off the assembly line, the Chicago Cubs won their last World Series and the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified authorizing the Federal government to collect income taxes.
That last point is prophetic, considering that Moss spent 27 years with the Internal Revenue Service in Louisville.
"That's a slap against me," joked Moss. "I usually just tell people I worked for the government."
Moss played ball in high school at Taylor County back in the mid-1920s. That was when women's basketball played with six players - three on offense and three on defense. After each made basket the ball was jumped again at mid-court so the presence of a good center was paramount.
"I was a very poor player," said Moss, "but I was tall."
Lady Tiger Mary Jehlik, 6-3, might disagree. By today's standards Moss would probably be a point guard - spouting out orders. Standing in at a wiry 5-foot-7 during her playing days, she was one of the taller players on her team.
"I wasn't a goal shooter," she said, "but we had some feisty players for that."
"We've done a lot of community service projects," said Colvin, "but I hope this one sparks a little interest. Mrs. Moss played and is still interested in the game. I just want the girls to know there are things going on besides what's on campus."
The team met with Moss for more than 30 minutes and then some of the players toured The Grandview afterwards and met other residents.
"It's just a neat opportunity to invest in the community, be a blessing and be blessed in the process," said Kristi Ensminger, a CU assistant coach who is attending Louisville Baptist Theological Seminary. "The girls just loved it and many of them said they wished they could have had more one-on-one time with Mrs. Moss.
"We'll be going back, I'm sure."
Bertram, who is a retired Commonwealth's Attorney, is a regular visitor to The Grandview, a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Campbellsville where Moss resides. He occasionally sings to the residents and spends time getting to know most of them. When Bertram discovered that Moss was the half-sister of Peggy Graham, who along with her husband Chick, is a big fan of CU basketball, he offered to take Moss for a ride around town.
Moss grew up in Campbellsville and lived in a house just across Underwood Street (now Tiger Way) from what is now Druin Hall. The changes at the university startled her, only having been driven through campus once since she moved away. Bertram stopped at the Powell Athletic Center and that's when she had a chance meeting with a couple of Lady Tigers - Mackenzie Lee and Katie Allen.
When Moss found out that she was going to meet all the Lady Tigers, she said: "This is going to be the high point in my life as far as basketball is concerned."
The day of the actual meeting, she said: "I can't tell you what it means for all of you to come see me. The Lord has been good to me and he's been good to me today, too."
Her comments say a lot for a lady that played on a regional championship team and traveled to Lexington to meet Georgetown in the state tournament. She didn't find out until today that Georgetown went on to win the state title.
"That was a big, big thing in those day," said Moss. "Georgetown came out on the floor with nice shorts and tight jerseys. They looked so good that it just deflated us.
"We were just a bunch of country girls in bloomers. We didn't win, but I had a good time trying."
Moss has outlived most all her family. Her mother died when she was 18. She and a sister had to take care of the home and a 4-year-old younger brother. But she still managed to play basketball.
"My daddy loved basketball and that was part of the reason I wanted to continue- to please him."
Moss, who regularly watches Campbellsville University programming on WLCU (Comcast Channel 10), was happy to learn that some of the Lady Tigers' games are broadcast live.
"I'll have to check that out if someone will remind me," said Moss. "I loved it (basketball) when I played. I'm sure I'll love watching the Lady Tigers just as much."
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