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New videos tackle problems afflicting Latin families


CALI, Colombia (BP)–Spouse abuse, child discipline, abortion, aging, drug addiction, AIDS. All these issues — and others — afflict Latin American families, just as they do families in the United States.

Several new video programs produced by the International Baptist Communications Center in Cali, Colombia, will help Latin American families find solutions for these problems.
One video under development at the center will help raise awareness among young people about the risk of AIDS. The series will contain testimonies of people with AIDS supplemented by docu-dramas and orginal music on the AIDS theme, said John Magyar, the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board missionary who directs the center.

Designed for television broadcast as well as local showings, the video is intended to create opportunities for direct witness.

One 39-year-old Paraguyan interviewed for the program already has died. He came to Christ after contracting AIDS and became a national spokesman for AIDS victims in his country. But he experienced rejection by his own family — and by Christians — even in death, Magyar said.

The AIDS problem is growing so rapidly in Latin America “we felt something needs to be done to bring it to people’s awareness,” said missionary Ken Bailey, the center’s business manager.

“Many people think ‘You did it; you deserve it,'” Bailey said. But he pointed out some people are infected with the mortal disease through no fault of their own, such as those who contract it through a contaminated blood transfusion or children born with it.


Another series dealing with family-related issues is designed for use in churches or seminaries in Spanish-speaking countries. An adaptation of the same materials can be used for home discussion groups.

Each tape of the series dealing with family-related problems begins with a docu-drama based on actual cases in Latin America provided by Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board missionary Hebert Palomino. The docu-dramas, performed by professional actors, were scripted by Paula Sanchez, a Guatemalan who works at the communications center. The details of each case are disguised to protect the privacy of the people involved.

After each dramatic episode, Palomino talks about the dynamics involved and suggests ways to minister to people in similar circumstances.

For training seminary students or pastors, the series will have a listening guide to stimulate discussion after viewing. The videos can also be used for training laymen in churches.

A total of 46 professional actors were used to produce the 12 dramas, Magyar said. Each episode, from seven to 18 minutes in length, is scored with music to enhance its dramatic effect, he said.

The series will be adapted for use in homes as a church planting tool, Bailey said. In these home-use videos, a group leader will follow the drama with questions as a guide for discussion.

Out of a decade of experience as a church planter in Bolivia, Bailey sees the videos as a church planting tool. The series can be shown in the homes of believers or non-believers as a means of starting cell groups, he said, recalling his experience in using videos in Las Palmas, a small suburb of Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

“I believe with this we could plant a church,” Bailey says.