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** Millennium Holiday Edition **
December 2000
From Orville and Edith Jenkins

We wish you Peace and Joy at this time of remembrance of the birth of Christ.

Our Christmas greetings are on the Internet at the Jenkins Millennium Centre.

THE  Millennium  IS  HERE!

2000 Years of History!
We have now finished 2000 years and are entering the Third Millennium of our calendar!  The critical number is 01/01/01 -- the First Day of the First Month of the First Year -- of the New Century and the New Millennium!

Our Billennium Centre is becoming the Millennium Centre -- celebrating entry into the Third Millennium of the Western Calendar! The Centre has personal information, and info and articles on the New Millennium, technology and world culture, matters of faith, language and other interests, and photos.

Of course, for Christians, this date has no special significance, for calendars are simply a mechanism by which we count the passing days, months and years -- in various arbitrary patterns.  There are many calendars in the world today, and there have been various ones in western history.

The 2000th anniversary of Jesus' birth, for instance, actually occurred in about 1994 or 1995 by our calendar, due to various historical problems and calibration attempts in history.

The early Christian centuries used two calendars for quite some time -- the Roman 8-day calendar and the Hebrew (Jewish) 7-day calendar.  To read more about the calendar, the Millennium, Christmas and other fun with history, click here

Highlights of 2000
-Led training sessions in worldview research and cross-cultural communication in the UK and one in a country in our region
-Gave presentations in Media Specialist Training Workshop in August
-Individual training for research interns in November, for Croatia, Albania and Cyprus peoples
-Major update of the people group database for this region, with several hundred major changes
-Several consultations on cross-cultural communication and training
-Edith's participation in a weekly Bible study group and two quilting groups, with internationals and Cypriots
-Some personal time in studying spoken Greek
-Since October, Orville has been supervising a Media Specialist Training Program
-Expanded research resources in the Virtual Research Centre

The Flying Kid
Orville's Linguistics and Media work has involved exciting opportunities over the previous years in Africa. In the mid-80s in Kenya, Orville worked among the Maasai.  During this period, we saw a rapid change among the Keekonyokie tribe of the Maasai, and across Maasailand, as Maasai suddenly decided to become Christian.  Churches quickly sprang up and the Maasai themselves spread the good news, and joined the broader Christian family in outreach and spiritual growth.

Our children sometimes went with Orville into the bush of the Rift Valley.  On one of these trips Gareth tried to fly.  Read the story on our Millennium website.

Speaking of Kids ...
Kevin is a senior at Hardin-Simmons University, majoring in Computer Science and working for Abilene Online.   He is recovering from an injured arm and a recent illness.  He is active in Beltway Park Baptist Church

Gareth is doing well in his job with Fidelity Investments in Irving, Texas, where he is a computer Systems Administrator.  He is helping in the media and youth work at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church (now NorthPointe) in Arlington, a young, warm, growing church we all joined last year when we were on a quick trip home.  He is also setting up a brand new computer network for the church.
Virtual visit to these churches online -- North Pointe Church              Beltway Park

Ramadan -- A Time of Reflection
During our Advent season, our Muslim friends have observed the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Did you know there are 5.5 million Muslims in the US? Ramadan ends 26 or 27 December, depending on when the moon is first sighted in each location.  This month is set aside for reflection and personal purification. In this time of personal seeking, many Muslims every year respond to dreams or visions of Jesus, whom Muslims hold in high reverence.

Learn more about Ramadan, and read Orville's special prayer song for Ramadan.

Aid as a Tool of Religious Coercion
We have been concerned for the events in Israel and Palestine.  We pray for the Palestinian people, Christian and Muslim, oppressed by Israel.  We received a report that food is scarce due to the disruptions.  Religious charities distributing food are neglecting the Palestinians who have recently become Christian.

Cyprus Updates
One interesting site in Cyprus is on the northern side, about 1/3 of the island occupied by Turkey since 1974.  Talks have been underway for several months to bring the Turkish and Greek sides to some agreement that might break the stalemate in the divided island.

When the Ottoman Turks invaded in 1570-71, they converted a great Latin (Roman Catholic) church into a mosque.  This retained its gothic shape and towers, but the idols (by the Muslim view) were removed and the clean, crisp interior still provides a plain meditative environment for Muslims to pray.  A traditional minaret was added to the left tower, giving it a rakish, asymmetrical look to the western eye, but providing overall an appealing effect.

The former Church of Saint Nicholas was renamed the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque.  Photos of this building are included in our Cyprus Churches photo set (see below).

Photo Tour of Cyprus
In Cyprus, we feel like we are in the Hub of History.
Our article on Cyprus is periodically updated.

You may have already read enough by me.  But I have now put up a site for my writings.  It is minimal right now, as it takes quite an effort to get materials into web page format.   But try the site:
Orville's Thoughts and Resources.

The Nuba and Modern Slavery
The Nuba are one of the most isolated people of the world, living in the fastness of the Nuba Mountains in southwestern Sudan, where they can maintain some security against the various peoples that have pressed them hard culturally and militarily over the centuries.  The Nuba are many small tribes with various languages.

In one month in 2000, over 5000 Nuba people were displaced and 1000 taken captive. The Nuba have been raided for slaves over the centuries, and reports indicate this is still happening in our day! Well-meaning western organizations, even some with Christian identities, may be supporting this modern slavery with their controversial program of ransoming.  They raise money to buy back these slaves at the rate of $100 each.

While this does have the immediate benefit of freeing those particular individuals at any one time, it also provides money for arms and other benefits to the slavers, who then return and capture more who will then also be ransomed.

While these western "redeemers" see themselves as freeing the slaves, don't the slavers see them as slave purchasers?  Do you stop slavery by buying slaves!?

A reliable source also tells me that whole villages pretend to be slaves, and the western "redeemers" come out to see them and pay their "captors" and they are "released," then share a feast with their conspirators after the well-meaning but misguided "redeemers" have left.

The Nuba are one of the groups also affected by the long civil war between northern and southern Sudanese powers.  There is somewhat of a religious nature to this conflict, though it is largely cultural, with the Nilotic southerners resisting aggression and cultural oppression from the northern Arab and arabized Sudanese powers.  The southern peoples are animistic traditional peoples with some Christian presence in some tribes.

For more information on persecution of Christians and minorities in Sudan and other countries, see the various links at the Christian Solidarity web site.
For more information, and advocacy for the persecuted Christians of the world, click here.

Computers -- Their Origin and Use   {;->
We work extensively with computers.  And often Orville finds he has to work ON them, as something seems to always be going wrong with one of them.  We have several in our company offices and at home. Computers are immensely helpful and terribly frustrating!  We have to take them seriously -- but not too seriously!

Did you know that the source of computers is lightning and stone carving? At least according to Orville's light-hearted history of computers and civilization. How We Got Computers and Taxes.

Worldview and Research
There is a thought system behind every culture.  We call this Worldview. It is also called Cognitive Culture.  It is natural to one growing up in that cultural setting.  But someone from another culture has to start at the bottom to learn how to communicate in another worldview.

Our cultural research probes for the key features of a people's worldview to enable cross-cultural communicators to make sense in that cultural setting.  Cultures are based in collective group experience.  New experiences are interpreted in light of previous experiences.  Thus change may be slow and difficult, new concepts hard to understand and accept, even if better (in some views).

Learn how worldview underlies all your beliefs and assumptions.

The Peoples
Our eye of faith looks at the people of the world in their ethnic cultural identity, not just by political entity (country).  The people group concept is not new, but reclaimed from ancient Old Testament and New Testament perspectives.  The focus is not on the program or method, but rather, the people are the focus.  Actually God is the focus, but that focus leads us immediately to the peoples he loves and is calling, through his children and church, as the instruments. They have a right to join us around the Throne, adding their songs in their own musical styles and languages to our own, enriching our total experience of faith!

Read more about the people group concept in our article.

Who is My Neighbour?
Remember the question the lawyer put to Jesus?  Consider Orville's reflections on how Jesus changed the question -- and what this means as you cross cultures.

Wings of Eagles
"Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint."  Is.40:31

We soar on the wings of faith like eagles.  Most of the time the eagle's wings do not beat, but simply maneuver for the greatest uplift available from the air. When necessary the eagle folds its wings and plummets with eye-challenging speed downwards, confident in the presence of the air to recover equilibrium after the successful hunting strike.  We have to know how to spread, and how to fold, the wings of faith.  The power is in the skill, not the strength.  The air provides the opportunity, the support, the context.  Faith uses the Spirit power available.

Erroneous Links
You may occasionally find that links in our letter or articles on the websites are broken. Sometimes this is due to temporary problems with the server where those files are located. If you find broken links give it a later try.  Please report any non-working links or pages on our sites.

December 2000                            == Cyprus Sentinel == Millennium Holiday Edition ==

Copyright 2000, 2001 Orville Boyd Jenkins                                                                                                           

First Posted 03 December 2000
Last updated 27 April 2010
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Other rights reserved.



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