Hola-Hello in Espanol/Spanish.! This year at UMM, we have a student from Valenzuela. From my (Sal(vador)) years at Morris, this is the first student from this nation I've ever met. I decided to do a profile site on this nation-also because of Santana of the 3 Peat MLB Central Division Baseball Champs-Minnesota Twins!
ST. PAUL � Since graduating from a St. Paul high school in 1960, God has used Bruce Olson to change world missions.
After arriving in Venezuela in 1961 as a 19-year-old eager to share the Gospel, Olson has developed innovative ways to share Jesus with the fierce Motilone tribesmen.
Forty-six years later, those tribes are almost entirely Christian and hold positions in Colombia�s government, assist other tribes with representation throughout South America, address the United Nations, and travel the world.
Olson is currently a world-renowned missionary, linguist and statesman. Yet his early life seemed destined for a different outcome.
His parents emigrated from Norway. Olson�s father was a prominent St. Paul investment banker whose wife graciously entertained in their home. Nominal Lutherans, they were upset when Bruce began attending River-Lake Tabernacle in Minneapolis.
�It was evangelical and stressed a holy life,� say the Stendals, a famous Minnesota missionary family from the same church also serving in South America.
Young Olson became inspired to reach �stone-age Indians.�
With a one-way plane ticket, $70 in his pocket and the conviction that God had sent him, Olson flew to Caracas with his parent�s release�not their blessing. Excelling academically in high school, Olson taught himself Hebrew and Greek but didn�t know Spanish or any Indian language on arrival. When he heard of the Motilones, a tribe so fierce that no white man had encountered them and lived, he determined to reach them.
Local missionaries shunned Olson. They viewed him as an outsider because he arrived without sponsorship.
Meeting Olson years later in Bogot�, Colombia, the Stendals describe him as, �A quiet, serious young man with glasses � very independent with his own ideas. He did not get along well with most missionaries.�
Olson attended a university in Venezuela for several months, studying South American tribes, and then entered the jungle. Instead of the Motilones, he encountered the primitive but more peaceful Yukos, spending a year with them.
Finally, he persuaded one Yuko to lead him to Motilone country. As they approached, his guide fled and the Motilones shot a 5.5-foot arrow through Olson�s thigh. He survived captivity, torture and jungle diseases.
Nearly executed by the chief, Olson won his captors hearts but struggled to communicate. God inspired him to present Jesus in terms the Motilones knew: �Tie your hammock strings into Jesus,� �walk Jesus trails,� sing spontaneous salvation songs.
Olson�s adventures were published in the 1977 best-selling book, �Bruchko� (how the Indians pronounced his name). The book portrayed huge contrast between Olson�s approach and traditional missionary methods.
The 2006 update, �Bruchko and the Motilone Miracle,� quotes an unsaved Indian chief telling Olson his concerns about tribal members becoming Christians: �They�ve rejected everything about us. They won�t sing our songs now. They sing those weird, wailing songs that are all out of tune and don�t make sense.�
Olson reflected, �I thought of the Indian Christians I had seen at the missionary compound. They had been taught to dress in clothes with buttons, how to wear shoes, how to sing Western songs. Is that what Jesus taught? � Is that what Christianity is all about? What does the good news of Jesus Christ have to do with North American culture?�
Not supported by any missions group, Olson lived by faith and developed economic cooperatives based on his father�s international banking principles. The St. Paul native established bilingual schools, medical clinics and agricultural centers.
In 1988, Olson was kidnapped and held for 10 months by communist guerillas trying to win him to their cause. Indoctrinated by daily political harangues, �Papa Bruchko� instead fascinated young recruits. Many joined him in prayer and Bible study.
�As many as 60 communist guerillas eventually gave their lives to Christ. His refusal to join ranks with the communists earned him death threats and he narrowly escaped execution by a firing squad,� the media ministry The Forerunner reported. �Fearing the reprisal of a united war effort of 50 jungle tribes, the guerilla leaders released Olson in the summer of 1989. The Indian tribes of Colombia had united against the guerillas in a war-pledge to defend Olson�s cause if he was executed.�
After release, Olson became a national hero. His courage in resisting guerillas encouraged ordinary citizens to oppose drug cartels.
Many tribal leaders asked Olson to set up clinics, schools and agricultural centers, and teach them about Christ. Olson and Motilone believers became key to fulfilling the Great Commission to South American tribes.
Today the Motilones evangelize other South American tribes.
Olson�s daily life brought him membership in the Motilone tribe. Chiefs from 50 tribes representing 500,000 tribe members trust and respect him. He has been friends with five Colombian presidents, received awards, and frequently spoken to the United Nations and other world bodies.
Olson rarely returns to Minnesota. Though never visiting his mission field, his parents ultimately became reconciled to their son�s work and appreciative of his accomplishments.
�We have an exciting opportunity to reach half a million people,� Olson said recently. �In August, I was among the Cogi Indians in the mountains adjacent to Santa Marta. I baptized more than 40 adult believers. Several Motilone pastors accompanied me.�
Forty-five years after he left St. Paul, the Motilones are flourishing and self-governing. Although Olson gets numerous invitations to travel teaching missions, linguistics and theology, the jungle is home.
One tribal son promised Olson, �Wherever you die, I will � take you back to the jungle.�
His Web site currently states, �I am still in the jungles of the High Catatumbo, working off solar-energy on a portable computer with a mini-satellite antenna.�
The St. Paul native�s obedience to Christ has changed world missions. His advice to other St. Paul Christian graduates: �Pray, prepare, and answer God�s call. He will show you your path for making a difference.�
For more information, visit www.bruceolson.com/english/english.htm or contact Bruce Olson by e-mail at email@example.com.
Contact the Stendals and Colombia Para Cristo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan police rescued Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos on Friday, two days after he was kidnapped, officials announced.
Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said on state television that Ramos was "safe and sound" and that he was rescued by police. He said the circumstances weren't immediately clear.
Information Minister Andres Izarra initially announced the news on Twitter, saying: "The baseball player Ramos found alive by security forces in mountainous zone."
Armed men seized Ramos at gunpoint Wednesday night outside his home in a working-class neighborhood in the city of Valencia. Authorities said Thursday that they had found a stolen SUV used by the kidnappers abandoned in a nearby town.
The abduction was the first known kidnapping of a major league baseball player in a country that has dozens of players on big league rosters in the U.S., and it brought a renewed focus on worsening violent crime in Venezuela.
Security has increasingly become a concern for Venezuelan players and their families as a wave of kidnappings has hit the wealthy as well as the middle class.
Bodyguards typically shadow major leaguers when they return to their homeland to play in Venezuela's winter baseball league, but it was unclear what precautions, if any, Ramos was taking while at his family's home.
Major League Baseball officials said it was the first kidnapping of a major leaguer that they could recall.
Fans in both Venezuela and Washington had held candlelight vigils and prayed for his safe release.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) "
"While Nettleton stopped short of saying that religious freedom was getting worse there, he did say, "It's definitely not on the upswing. It'll be interesting to see if there are changes towards Venezuelan national Christians and the Venezuelan church itself now that Hugo Chavez has taken these powers."
Last year, Chavez threw the US-based missionary group New Tribes Mission out of the country. The group had been working with 12 different tribes over the last 60 years.
According to Nettleton, the best thing Christians can do right now is pray.
"Pray that Hugo Chavez will come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,� he said. �What an impact that could have, not only on that country, but on the world, if this man would say, 'I'm now a follower of Christ.' It would change the way he governs. It would change that country."
"...But he compared Chavez to Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler and quoted German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "[That if a madman were] driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver."
Bonhoeffer was hanged by the Nazis for his involvement in a 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler...."
Niños Especiales - Venezuela
"Es un video que muestra la actividad realizada por el grupo de jovenes Generacion de Fuego con los niños especiales de la Asociacion Nacional Contra la Paralisis Cerebral. www.generaciondefuego.org"
"Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Hugo CHAVEZ, president since 1999, has promoted a controversial policy of "democratic socialism," which purports to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking globalization and undermining regional stability. Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, drug-related violence along the Colombian border, increasing internal drug consumption, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples."
"Los Pastores Ruddy y maria Gracia junto a el Pastor Carlos Ortiz, al Pastor John Vereecken, al grupo Identidad, la agrupacion Rescate, Jesus Adrian Romero, el Comediante Cristiano Jose OrdoÃ±ez sembrando una semilla en la ciudad de Merida, Venezuela"
"Venezuela was always one of the most autonomous of colonies, due to the power of the local creoles (native-born whites) who owned most land fit for agriculture. The creoles declared independence in 1797 but didn�t finally defeat the Spanish until 1823. Gen. Sim�n Bol�var received help in the war for independence from the new Republic of Haiti and a foreign legion of British and Irish soldiers.
After independence Venezuela was briefly part of the nation of �Gran Colombia,� which included present-day Colombia and Ecuador, but broke away in 1828. After that and for the next 130 years Venezuela was ruled by a series of caudillos. Powerful warlords with private armies to back them, the caudillos put the government to work for them. ..
"GSE-DVD-VEN - Venezuela with its 43 national parks and 21 national monuments is a South American treasure house of biodiversity. After savoring cosmopolitan Caracas, we explore six Venezuelan regions each noted for its unique environment. Join us as we visit these extraordinary sights:
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