|EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger will not be published Dec. 24 or Dec. 31.
EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today's BP Ledger contains items from:
Open Doors USA
University of Mobile
Joni and Friends
North Korea: Christians Still Intensely Persecuted One Year After Leadership Change
SANTA ANA, Calif. (Open Doors USA) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un allows women to wear pants in public, likes to see Mickey Mouse and his friends perform, and experiments with light agricultural reform, but he hasn't made any essential changes in the first year after his father Kim Jong-Il's death.
In fact, he has been preoccupied with building his image and tightening security. He increased the number of spies in China who search for Christians and organizations helping North Korean refugees. The use of television, radio and cell phones by North Koreans has also been thoroughly investigated and Christians report no changes in their situation of being isolated from the outside world.
2012 must have been a busy year for North Korea's "propaganda department." The "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il announced three years ago that in 2012 North Korea would once again be a strong and prosperous country. He died on Dec. 17, 2011, and left the country to Kim Jong-Un, who most likely is in his late twenties. The regime tried to model its new leader after his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung. His appearance and his public speeches mirror North Korea's "eternal president." There are differences. Kim Jong-Un's attendance of performances with Disney figures, female musicians in miniskirts and an orchestra playing music from a Rocky movie were widely televised. However, the dream of a strong and prosperous nation is still far from reality.
The number of trained North Korean spies in China is growing. They are searching for human rights activists and Christians helping North Korean refugees. Border patrols have been taken over by the National Security Agency, which put pressure on captured smugglers to disclose information about Christians helping defectors.
In at least one region in North Korea, but possibly more, citizens are pressured to confess their crimes. A North Korean person told a reporter from DailyNK.com, "They are gathering people by factory, school and people's units and telling them to write letters confessing precisely what foreign media they have viewed. When they give you the paper they warn you, saying they know everything anyway so just write it down - when, where and what you saw, where and from whom you got it and your impression of it."
Open Doors' Christian contacts inside North Korea have reported no changes in their circumstances, indicating there are no signs that Kim Jong-Un will improve freedom of religion in the communist country. In fact, some arrested Christians were tortured and then released in order to betray their brothers and sisters or to serve as bait.
"This is extremely tragic," says a Open Doors co-worker involved in ministry among North Koreans. "It's so dangerous to help Christians who have been released by the government. Some have been tortured so severely they cannot walk anymore. Often we cannot help them because that would bring too much risk to us. We can pray for them. We know that Jesus will not leave them, nor forsake them."
Jerry Dykstra, Open Doors USA media relations director, states: "Scrutiny of the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 brave underground Christians inside North Korea has increased during the last year. Of the estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people living under horrific conditions in prisons, there are 50,000 to 70,000 Christians. Also, many North Koreans are chronically malnourished and unemployed.
"Christians who escape to China from North Korea are hunted down and expatriated to their country where they face prison and often death. Christian groups which help the refugees are also under more scrutiny. But we know that Christians living under the most brutal regime in the world will be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas - most of them only in their hearts."
Open Doors' focus has been to strengthen and support believers inside North Korea, which has topped the Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians for 10 years in a row. Open Doors' ministry in North Korea is carried out in secrecy under highly dangerous conditions.
An Invention that Changed the World; HSU Alum and Hall of Leaders Inductee Dies
ABILENE, Texas (Hardin-Simmons University) -- To Willis Whitfield the idea seemed simple; to keep a research lab free of dust particles, why not let air be the janitor? Whitfield, the inventor of the clean room, would change the world of technology, electronics, hospitals, labs, and even NASA.
The 1952 graduate of Hardin-Simmons University died November 12, 2012, at the age of 92 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Whitfield graduated with a B.S. in physics and mathematics. He went on to pursue graduate studies at George Washington University after accepting a position at the Naval Research Lab in Maryland from 1952 to 1954, where he supervised research on solid rocket fuels and motors.
It was there that his innovative methodology caught the attention of Sandia Labs in New Mexico, one of the nation's most sensitive defense research centers.
While at Sandia Labs, Whitfield was project leader for advanced development studies of microwave propagation measurements and contamination control /clean room development. It was there that the vision of the Laminar Flow Clean Room became a reality and the world and all of its future possibilities changed.
His clean rooms blew air in from the ceiling and sucked it out from the floor. Filters scrubbed the air before it entered the room. Gravity helped particles exit. Such a simple concept, but no one had tried it before.
Willis held three patents, two of which were the Laminar Clean Room and the Laminar Flow Bench. The third patent was a sludge irradiation device.
His bit of engineering genius would open up the world of miniaturizing electronic and mechanical components with the introduction of contamination-free laboratories. Most modern electronic devices, from iPods to communications satellites use micro-electronics made possible by Whitfield.
The emerging field of nanotechnology would not be possible without a particle-free environment and, likewise, hospitals and pharmaceutical firms continue to make extensive use of the technology that dropped the rate of surgical infection and allowed pharmaceutical manufacturers to guarantee a pure product.
Peers were just as quick to recognize Willis for enabling entire new fields of research and product technology. Receiving numerous awards, Whitfield was recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers with the Holley Medal in 1969, which put Whitfield in the company of such people as Henry Ford for the automobile, Edwin Land for the Polaroid Land camera, William Shockley for the transistor, and Elmer Sperry for the gyroscope.
Also in his honor, Clean Room Magazine named Dr. Whitfield as its first Hall of Fame inductee, and the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology presents an annual Willis J. Whitfield Award for substantial contributions to the field of contamination control.
Whitfield was recognized by both the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers and the Scottish Society of Contaminations Control for outstanding pioneering discoveries in clean room technology and outstanding contributions to economic development. Sandia Labs commissioned a statue of Whitfield, now a prominent feature of the courtyard of the new Microsystems and Engineering Science Applications Laboratory.
Whitfield received an honorary doctorate in science degree from HSU in 1970, and in 2006 Whitfield was inducted into the HSU Hall of Leaders.
Whitfield retired from Sandia Labs in 1984 after 30 years of service. He is survived by his wife, Belva, also an HSU graduate; son, Joe Ray and wife, Joy, of Portland, Oregon; son, James Donald of Albuquerque, New Mexico; a brother, Lawrence Whitfield; and sister, Amy Blackburn, both from Dallas, Texas.
Campbellsville University serves surrounding
community with service valued at $1 million monetary value
By Samantha Stevenson, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University) -- "Campbellsville University faculty, staff, coaches and students are providing community service as part of their call to be Christian servant leaders," Dr. Michael V. Carter, president, said, and the monetary value of this service totals over $1 million.
"While the monetary value of the community service is estimated to be worth more than $1 million during the past year, the greater value is beyond human measure as we seek to change lives, impact the community and world for Christ, and give of ourselves in service to others in the name of Christ," he said.
"I deeply appreciate the support of our community and region and truly hope that this is further evidence of our commitment to the community and world in which we live," Carter said.
An estimated 70 percent of Campbellsville University faculty participated in some form of community service, contributing over 8,000 hours of service, averaging about 65 hours per employee.
An estimated 2,236 students at Campbellsville University participate in community service, contributing over 48,500 hours of community service, averaging almost 22 hours per student.
The students have contributed an estimated $857,507.60 to community service projects, according to Jon Hansford, director of the First Year Experience at Campbellsville University.
The faculty of Campbellsville University has contributed an estimated $146,503.30 to community service projects. These two have a combined total of over $1,004,037.90.
Campbellsville University faculty, staff, students and coaches participate in several community service projects each semester that greatly impact the campus community and the Campbellsville community.
Every freshman at Campbellsville University is enrolled in the FIRST CLASS program, a program that helps students transition academically, socially and spiritually into the collegiate community.
Freshmen are required to participate in two main service projects. Their first is Repair Affair, where students and staff members travel off campus to help a family in need. The Repair Affair involved 462 students along with 24 faculty and staff members and benefited 17 low-income homeowners with badly needed home repairs in 2012.
Students in the university's First Year Experience class worked collaboratively with an affiliated ministry of Campbellsville University, Kentucky Heartland Outreach, to complete five building ramps and 12 decks, while contributing to a total of 3,005 hours of service.
"Service to others always benefits more than those being served because it connects our head and heart together," Hansford said.
"Our investment of time given to the improvement of our community continues to keep the door open to our diverse and yet common humanity," he said. "At Campbellsville University, we make every effort to ensure that we continue to provide opportunities for our students that make these connections a lifelong reality."
This project improved over the past year by serving more than twice as many homeowners. The university works to improve the Repair Affair each year through detailed student evaluations, and staff reflections from the university and its community partner. This demonstrates the commitment each partner has to the sustainability of the program.
Federal work-study, an AmeriCorps VISTA member and the grants that KHO receive support the Repair Affair.
During the second semester at Campbellsville University, freshmen are enrolled in OR 110 FYS Part II: The Servant Leadership Project, but this class is specific to their declared major or field in which they are interested. During their second semester, freshmen students are responsible for creating and implementing a service project with their classmates. Continued...