March 1, 1997
Copyright © 1997 by The Family
The Grapevine consists of news and views from Family members, and is not intended to reflect WS policy.
Suggested reading age for this publication is JETTs and up. Parents or shepherds may read with or allow portions to be read by younger ages, at their discretion.
PO Box 4938
Orange, CA 92863 USA
Deep thought: We turn to God when our foundations are shaking, only
to learn that it is God who is shaking them.
Checking the WEB
(From Blake, WS:) Over the last month I've put together some statistics on what's happened during the first full year that our Family Home Page has been on the Internet. I have been thrilled as the stats keep going up and up on the number of people visiting, and the amount of material that is being viewed and downloaded.
Our first month began with four megabytes of material being downloaded (about 800 GN- size pa
ges). We felt that was shocking. The following month it increased to about 12 megabytes. Then we hit 20, then 30 megabytes, and we thought that was good. Then we hit the 120 megabyte range. It leveled out in the 120-130 megabyte range for about six months, then suddenly shot up to 220 megabytes, staying there for about three months. I thought that was quite high, but then suddenly it shot up to 300 megabytes, and now it has been at 330 megabytes (about 66,000 GN-size pages per month) for each of
the last two months.
This is a huge volume of material! Of all the things we have on the WEB, Dad's photos are the most popular! The most popular text section is the Tribute -- which presently is all we have on Dad on our WEB site. The GP Daily Mights are also being quite a bit busier than we expected, and they, along with the Color Brochure, are the second most popular places.
Your translators at work
(From SPALIM:) Every January we go on red alert to translate and lay ou
t the pubs for the Feast, so the Homes can receive them before February 15th. -- But this January has been a record month! Thanks to the participation of our teens and SGAs, who are now working in the office full-time, between the Feast pubs and some other pubs, we finished a total of 963 pages in one month! All glory to God, Who did many miracles along the way! (Editor's note: Thanks to all our LIM and NPC staffs who did such a great job of getting the Feast pubs to the Homes! GBT!)
ion Brewing in Venezuela
(Compiled from reports from the Family in Venezuela:) A detractor in Venezuela, possibly with backing from anti-Family elements, has engaged in an all-out attack against the Family, stirring up the media and prodding government officials to take action against the local Homes. The media team has appeared before a congressional subcommittee member, who was civil, and we are praying that he will represent us fairly in his report. Meanwhile, an investigation is
still in progress, so please pray for this potentially serious situation.
In recent months there has been serious disunity amongst some Homes in this area, so pray that this persecution will unite them as they work together to fight the attacks of the Enemy. Pray that these winds of possible persecution will come to naught, and that any investigation made will be resolved in the Family's favor; also against further negative media publicity, and for wisdom for our media team as they respond to
the allegations made against the Family.
(From Peter and Joy, TS:) We recently made a two-month trip to Botswana, which has a population of just over a million people, half of whom are Christians. We brought plenty of tapes and literature in both English and Setswana, the local language.
We were able to put on 16 slide shows at schools, colleges, hospitals and churches, leading over 900 people to the Lord! At the Botswana Meat Inspection Training Center, the em
ployees stayed for half an hour after working hours to attend our question and answer session. They had questions about everything from evolution to baptism! It was inspiring to see what a hunger they had for the Word!
We also presented our slide program in prisons, the first of which was a juvenile prison in Gaborone, the capital. Despite nothing being set up when we arrived, the adapter short-circuiting, and having to make repairs in front of 300 restless prisoners, it ended up being a victo
ry as everyone humbly prayed to receive Jesus.
(From Gabriel:) We recently spent 26 unforgettable days past the Urals, in Uzbekistan. It was amazing to think that the people of this country -- direct descendants of the great Mongol warriors, who for centuries had been a constant plague and frustration to Christian Europe -- would now open their hearts to the Gospel.
As Christina and Sveta (two Russian nationals), my son Juan Andres (15) and I journeyed through the great Kazajks
tan desert, it felt as if we were going back in time to when Tamerlane made Bukhara the capital of his great Mongol Empire.
The beauty of Russian nature and the splendor of the Volga River soon disappeared as we crossed the Ural mountains and entered the desert. We discovered that we had arrived during the hottest time of the year, with temperatures up to 50°C (122°F) in the shade! The panorama, interrupted once in a while by a herd of camels or a solitary dromedary, was both impressive and mo
Our train passed close to the Aral Sea, two-thirds of which had evaporated due to the extreme heat at that time of year. The train, infested by little roaches who have made it their home, was well insulated against the cold Siberian winter. In other words, there was no outside ventilation, and hardly a window that could be opened to let in fresh air. On top of that, our train broke down in the middle of the boonies, under the scorching midday sun.
We met a variety of people during
our three-day train ride, and were able to witness to many. By the third day we were all friends, and celebrated someone's birthday with a large plate of rice and lamb. There were also a few bottles of vodka, and even some fermented camel's milk (though I couldn't stand the smell of the latter substance)!
Upon arrival at our destination, one of our new-found friends, Mohammed, who had prayed with us, invited us to his house and served us a delicious meal. He said his niece would be getting mar
ried soon, and insisted we stay with him till the wedding.
Weddings here last for one week, and relatives come from all over to attend. There were tables full of food, pastries, dried fruits and all kinds of delicacies, and the first thing they said to us was, "Sit and eat!"
Towards the middle of the feast, a group of musicians came out, accompanied by a beautiful dancer dressed in red. She began to dance something similar to the dance of the seven veils, and before we knew what
was happening, we were swept into the dance as well. Sorry to say, she did not take off any of the veils.
Caught in Trouble
According to Lonely Planet Editors, an English expedition guide, Uzbekistan, out of all the former Soviet republics, has the highest rate of police per square meter. There is virtually no crime in Uzbekistan due to very high penalties (15 years in jail for stealing a car, death for rape, etc.), so these police have nothing to do other than to look for foreigners who hav
e infringed any one of the hundred visa regulations.
I soon found out I had already broken one of the regulations by not registering at a local hotel. When I went to the office to get my papers in order, I found myself in front of a fierce-looking official, who, after seeing my passport, got quite upset and began yelling at me.
I simply smiled and motioned that I didn't understand what he was saying, to which he yelled even louder. He asked for my train ticket, which unfortunately I didn't h
ave anymore, and this didn't help matters.
Finally he grew tired of yelling and asked me to pay a fine. I explained that I was a missionary and didn't have any money; besides, it was now midnight and I hadn't had any dinner yet. That softened him, and he invited us to eat dinner with him. He talked for quite a while, although I'm still not sure what our conversation was all about (ha!), and so an unusual friendship began. Oh! And about my passport, he told us we could just forget about that li
This country is surrounded by conflict: to the west the Chechen war; to the south an ethnic Afghani war; to the east a civil war in Tadjikistan. Nevertheless, Uzbekistan has a rather uncommon political stability -- mostly because of the idealistic spirit of the Uzbeki people, who cherish their peace. There are many people in this country looking for ideals which they can fight for, or a meaning to existence.
One such person we met was a political refuge
e from Pakistan. He had been active in the Pakistani communist party, which led to his to exile. After the downfall of communism, he saw he had wasted all those years on a cause that was unable to solve the problems of this world, and this left him feeling empty.
After meeting us and seeing that we have the true solution, he invited us to stay in his house for a couple of weeks. We witnessed to him a good deal, and this precious man prayed with us to receive the Lord. He not only allowed us to
stay in his home, but also fed us and gave us cash for expenses.
After nine years in India and two months in Russia, I thought I had seen everything there was to see in the way of red tape and bureaucracy. But I was wrong. When we went to the train station to buy our tickets to return to Moscow, we were informed that foreigners must buy their tickets in another building. We then found that in order to purchase an advance ticket, we had to go to yet another office.
When we finally
found the right office, a sweet lady was surprised that we, as foreigners, wanted to buy second class tickets. This was such a novelty that she had to get special permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which took a whole day. When we returned the next day, the lady triumphantly announced that she had gotten permission to sell us the tickets.
She then asked for our authorization papers from the police at the station. "What authorization papers?!" Since we didn't have any such papers,
we had to go to the police station to get them, but there were no blank forms left. The police official finally said we could tell the lady that he had given us the authorization. So back to the office we went, told the lady we had police authorization, and we proceeded to make history in the Uzbeki rail office records as the first foreigners to travel second class, ha!
What an unforgettable 26 days in Uzbekistan. It was so inspiring to see the receptivity of the people there. People would rea
d the posters immediately after receiving them, sometimes even out loud, if they were with friends. They are so hungry for the Word, and quite often would come back asking for more posters. We hope to return soon to open the first Home in this country -- to give the over 20 million souls here a chance to hear about Jesus.
christmas continues ...
(From Phil [of Marie]:) It was one of those cold, rainy nights during a one-week road trip. Our team of five had made a prior appointment to
carol at a hospital for patients who had suffered heart attacks, strokes, or had cancer, etc. You should have seen the radiant smiles, teary eyes, and cheerful voices which came forth from those who heard the simple Christmas songs we sang and who responded to a little attention and our words of encouragement.
In a therapy ward, the patients got up and danced a little jig to "Jingle Bells," and everyone sang along when we caroled "Silent Night" and "White Christmas." The volunteer director co
mmented: "We've had many different groups come to our hospital to sing, but your kids are extra special! Their smiles come from their hearts."
While caroling, a nurse came quickly down the hall and called for us: "Send the carolers! Send the carolers!" At once, we were hurried down a hallway by our staff-escort and asked to sing a carol to a patient who had been admitted to the hospital after slipping into a coma, but who began moving his mouth and trying to talk after hearing our first song.
The man was only 40, and the doctors who were examining him said that the coma would cause brain damage. The nurses had been doing all they could to get him to respond, but nothing had helped!
As we gathered around his bed and began our second song, the patient began mouthing the words to the very song we were singing! The nurses rejoiced loudly, and some were teary eyed! He began emerging from the coma that instant -- all because of a simple Christmas carol. We were very moved by this and the
other reactions we received, and grateful that the songs we sang that night had such far-reaching effects, bringing life where darkness and dreaded sickness had been.
(From Byron, Marie and Michael T.:) Tom, a friend and supporter who has been helping us for about seven years, invited us to go to his Batak Christmas party. (The Bataks were the first Christians in Indonesia. They were reached by German missionaries, and some even suffered martyrdom for their faith.) Tom is practic
ally their patron saint, as he has financially "adopted" so many people, putting them through school, etc. The Lord has blessed him materially because of his generosity and genuine concern for others.
Tom invited our whole Service Home (35 people) to his Christmas party and lunch on Christmas Day. This was quite an honor, as although this man has literally thousands of personal close friends (at his 25th wedding anniversary, to which he invited only his close friends, 3,000 people came!), we w
ere among the few he invited to spend Christmas Day with him! After the children sang to his approximately 50-60 relatives who were there, he gave a sweet appreciation speech, thanking us for coming and for the work we do. He then proceeded to go around to each of our children, teens and YAs, (a total of 25) and gave each one a donation of $20 -- a total of $500!
(From Abner [of Promise], TS:) Reading "Mama's Christmas Message" and "Christmas in Heaven" compelled us to do our best thi
s Christmas season. We sent a newsletter and Christmas card designed by Ambrosia (15) with a photo of the kids and the Good Thots story of Silent Night to 120 people. When we followed up on these people, nearly everyone wanted to purchase the Christmas Treasures CD.
Promise, Ambrosia and Candle (our handicapped daughter) distributed posters and tracts on the streets almost daily. David (6) and I went on daily follow-up, getting sponsors for sets of videos. We sang and played with the kids at t
he biggest orphanage in our area, and sent boxes of videos and tapes to the eight orphanages in the prefecture.
Mama's words came to pass -- that if we poured out our souls to the lost, the Lord would heal us -- and financially He did this month. It was our highest income for the year, and all of it came through personal witnessing with our tools.
your views on issues
(From Lisa, CRO:) In seeing the limitations many small teams are facing, I feel the burden to m
ake a Word study on communal living and the testimony it can be. Many, remembering the down-side of large combos, still have reservations. I think these fears have to be addressed, but then they can be dispelled or overridden by seeing the other, positive side.
I think it's important not to give up on each other too soon when starting to work together. Several teams made a point to tell me that they are so happy and thankful to be working together. They shared how they now have a real love and
admiration for each other, although it wasn't always that way. They explained that they had many battles in working together, but when seeking the Lord, He told them to stay together, and so they did and now are so happy that they didn't give up on each other.
It seems we go through three different stages with new people. In the first stage we see how wonderful they are, in the second stage things start getting on our nerves and the "other side" shows up. But if we can just hold out a little,
we hit the third stage where the two blend together and we are able to accept each other, better overlook the faults, appreciate each other's strengths, and cover with love a multitude of sins. When a team knows each other in this way and has learned to compensate for each other, it helps them be more fruitful for the Lord despite the weaknesses they might have.
I recently saw one good example of two couples working together. S. is a terrific witnesser and provisioner, but she's not necessari
ly so good at keeping house and taking care of the children, although she of course loves them dearly. Some people in their previous Homes were dissatisfied that S. was not partaking in the schedule as equally as the rest of the Home. This caused disunity and misunderstandings. She was also under a lot of pressure, as everyone wanted her to provision for them and she was a favorite outreach partner.
Sometimes it seems people in a Home can get on a trip of wanting everything to be divided up eq
ually, without maturely judging the team as a whole and seeing how we can help each other be most fruitful.
Her new team members have accepted her the way she is, and help compensate for her limitations by stepping in more with the schooling of the children and the practical care of the house. S. provisions and witnesses up a storm, and receives respect and appreciation for her particular gifts from the rest of the team. She in turn is so thankful and appreciative of her team, who she knows is
doing the jobs which she can't do as well. In this way they make a well-rounded team.
CVC and the ARC
(From Charity [of Titus]:) The CVC and the ARC are helping us to put more priority on the Word in our Home. I often felt frustrated in trying to inspire ministry training since the Charter, but the CVC puts the cookies on a lower shelf so the teens can reach their goals!
The ARC is a great tool! I'll start researching one subject and get drawn into some Letters I haven't read for a
long time; there's so much to learn! It's easy to get busy with the day-to-day routine of things and forget how important our job is to the Lord, but knowing the amount of time that must have gone into preparing the ARC and CVC, as well as the expense to get it to us, made me remember how much training the Lord is pouring into us, if we are willing to receive it!
Teamworking trouble spot
(From John:) In the late '80s we discovered the virtues of teamworking. Our Home level leader
ship moved sharply away from husband/wife duos to our present standard of a "trio system," with additional members as needed. However, since the Charter, it seems there has been a gradual return to couples forming the backbone of Home level leadership.
With small Homes and few other voting members, these teams can get away with a lot. Also, it can be very difficult for the duo teams to keep each other in check. Sometimes the mate who is trying to uphold or correct something isn't able to, beca
use it can cause such an uproar in the house when an unreceptive mate feels they are being railed at by an "overbearing or self-righteous mate." Lord help us to grow and learn lessons from the past! God bless Mama and Peter for their good sample in this area.
(Editor's note: And remember, Homes of more than three voting members must have three members on their teamwork, as specified in the Charter, page 141, point B.,2.,c of the Election Rules.)
Small Home solutions
We have been learning so much together as a small Home. We put in a Want Ad for personnel, but no one has answered, and with all our ministries and kiddos, there just aren't enough hands to do the job. However, the Lord has been giving us some inspiring solutions.
Instead of having an OC group (apart from Word time and get-out), we decided to divide our OCs up after school and give them all a "ministry notebook." The OCs team up one-on-one with us adults, helping us with whatever we're doing.
The main goal is to encourage a situation where they can get more practical training. We want to use the CVC and Childcare Handbook material as much as we can, to give them Word-related reading material on each of their ministries.
Also, we have live-outs who Paul has been giving Bible and ML classes to for some time. They are growing and are getting the vision to help us more than ever. When we don't have enough hands to cook, they come to help with the cooking! Even though we don't have enou
gh hands, Jesus is showing us different ways to use "what's in our hand" and it's been really fun!
This is also drawing our live-outs much closer towards our DO living. One live-out in particular recently went through a period of intense battles with jealousy. M. would come over to get a personalized Word class from Paul several times a week, which helped to pull him through. He would give a small gift for Paul's time, and we'd all scoop up the kiddos in order to allow him to be fed.
carnal mind, it could easily seem that it may not have been the best way to use our time, but he was hungry and needy and faithful. Just recently M. confided in Paul that although he's been tithing ¥10,000 (approx. $85) a month, he had never tithed an inheritance he received a year ago -- and gave us 3 million yen (approx. $25,000) to cover it!
After all the witnessing we've done to the top, we never seemed to come up with much financially, but here is this precious fellow, who, because of all
the Word he has absorbed, is now far brighter, on the ball, and now helping more than all the others put together! What a lesson on how "man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart!"
(From Tito, Rosi and Frank Newman:) When we discovered that one of our supporters was among those kidnapped by the Tupac Amaru group at the Japanese Embassy in Lima, we contacted all the Homes in the area asking for prayer. We claimed his deliverance in p
rayer, and within two hours he and three others were set free. It was an immediate answer to a specific petition!
Living of the Gospel
(From Willing, Mary and JETT Miguel:) "Write out this verse," said our skeptical Chinese host, as he handed us a piece of paper with only the reference "John 3:16" scrawled at the top. He then hurried off to serve the customers in his Chinese restaurant on a chilly winter evening somewhere in Southern Germany.
It was our freeday and we had just bee
n turned down when trying to provision a movie. We determined to stay positive, and figured the Lord must have something better up His sleeve. When we entered the Chinese restaurant to provision our dinner, the owner, who we will call Mr. Wong, had his doubts about whether we were bona fide missionaries.
After we explained our work, he replied that we would not be begging if we were real Christians. We shared Matthew 6:33 with him and he reluctantly agreed, telling us that we could sit down an
d order food for 20 marks (for all of us). The lowest priced meal on the menu was 17 marks a plate. -- What to do?
Silent prayers were shot up and the Lord gave us the courage to further explain to Mr. Wong that we were serving Jesus, and that we would appreciate it so much if he could give us each a simple meal. That is when he pulled out the piece of paper, wrote "John 3:16" at the top and asked us to fill it in. Thanks to our Family heritage, we could have written much more, but we only wro
te out John 3:16. Mr. Wong took the paper, read it, and the most marvelous change occurred in him! Through our knowledge of the Word, the Lord convinced him that we were real missionaries.
He then said, "Choose anything you like!" Between serving his other customers, he came to our table and told us his testimony of how he met the Lord in China. He gave us more food than we ordered, and kept asking if we'd had enough. When we left, he said, "It was an honor to serve you."
But that was not th
e end. While we were standing outside the restaurant deciding what to do next, he came out with tears in his eyes and a generous donation in his hands. He exclaimed again how thankful he was to have met us. He was so sweet and humble, and promised to support the Lord's work further.
Reaching the deaf
(From Happy and the Delhi Deaf Home:) Our Home takes care of catacomb churches in five cities, with a total of 300 members. We are also conducting various social programs for these membe
rs, including an employment program, computer courses, English courses, sign language, and most recently we're in the process of setting up a full-scale deaf service center in collaboration with the government. Please pray for this project.
We have been called upon by organizations of the deaf all over the country to conduct seminars on sign language. I have been signing for the national TV news broadcast for the past two-and-a-half years, and have now been invited to begin a new broadcast for
a channel in another city.
We started publishing India's first monthly magazine for the deaf, and the first ever Internet e-zine (electronic magazine) on deaf issues. The magazine is called The Deaf Way. We send it to every school for the deaf in the country, and it has received rave reviews all over India, as well as abroad. We receive articles and stories from all over the country for publishing. Through this magazine the Lord has put us into a leadership role in India, as we are often aske
d for our expert opinion on deaf issues, and are invited to conduct seminars and meetings, etc.
The deaf cata-combers and myself have made a total of 24 road trips to six cities. In each city we ministered to the resident deaf catacombers and the local association of deaf persons. We conducted over 50 classes for the deaf in these cities, in addition to the classes that the local cata-combers have given. We've distributed about 100,000 pages of lit, including 4,000 posters, 150 tapes and 12,00
0 magazines, and we've won over 3,000 souls. (See Grapevines #10 and 11 for more details on the Delhi Deaf Ministry.)
To You! -- With Love! responses
(From Harvest Gold and Ben Fisher:) We have been receiving 3-5 telephone calls daily in response to the To You! -- With Love! tracts, and all have been favorable! Answering our telephone has now become a ministry in itself! We pray with most of these people, and feel such an anointing and burden to help them realize Jesus' love for the
m. This has been the most terrific response we have ever received here in the islands. In fact, while I was typing this, someone just called in!
(From Joanna Claire, for the Vladivostok Home:) We give four weekly English classes at one of the largest naval universities in Vladivostok, for officers on a battleship, and at a private school. We also visit the local orphanage on Saturday, to read Bible stories and do activities with the children. We have Sunday school in
the morning for a group of young dancers who we also give weekly dance classes to. They are now performing one of our anti-drug songs in their concerts. We hold meaningful meetings on Sunday afternoon, with lively inspirations and Bible classes for all our friends. We have approximately 55 visitors over to our apartment every week!
(Editor's note: Unless we have received prior permission from the author of the letter, only initials will be used in this section.)
a, Peter, and Gary,
I was very touched and encouraged by the "Problems and Solutions" series, and wanted to comment on the point that: "WS is out of touch and not able to relate to the problems of the field." I lived at Family Care for over a year, and I can say that that is not a factual statement. The FC Home is a unit specifically geared to producing childcare pubs, and I'd say they're very much in touch and able to relate to people's problems with their kids.
They have a normal Home's ch
ildcare situation -- rascally kids, JETTs needing to be challenged and trained in the Word and ministries, not enough personnel to give the kids as much time and attention as they would like, etc. There were always lots of schedule changes, visa trips, childcare girls needing to record in the studio, and the cook was also the provisioner. When there was provisioning to be done, the cook was replaced by a teacher or sometimes a JETT.
The Home also had its share of financial problems, and though
it was supported, it was not luxurious by any stretch of the imagination. The Home setup was simpler than some field Homes, as the budget could only be stretched so far, and then that was it. We couldn't just pick up our Home phone and start provisioning our needs due to security factors, so when certain needs couldn't be covered by the budget, the Home finance/business man and a faithful sister went out and tried to provision them.
There were also plenty of spiritual battles and trials and t
ribulations, and to me, they seemed even more intense, as the Enemy really fought to keep us from being united, in an attempt to keep us from producing the tools the Family needs. I have a great admiration for all the people who've stuck there faithfully over the years, in spite of the difficulties and obstacles. So that's my little opinion of WS not being "out of touch," for what it's worth.
I also have a comment on the statement: "The Family is falling apart, and things aren't getting better
." I recently came to Sao Paulo, and was very impressed by the Family here. They're united and work together on a lot of projects. Homes help each other out when needed, and they are faithfully witnessing and doing the job. I think it's a matter of simply obeying the Lord, and as a result, His blessings are poured out. It's as simple as that!
-- M. (an adult woman), Brazil
Dearest Mama and Peter,
The latest GNs are so power-packed and right on. As the younger people would say, you are rea
lly cool! Ha! -- Or better yet, you are "freezing"!
The Lord has blessed my wife and I with nine children. We wouldn't want to have missed any of them, and people always comment positively when we take our singing team out, though they wonder how we cope.
Shortly after "Go for the Gold" came out, other mothers and members in our area openly stated that they had enough children. In the past, when our fruitful mothers got pregnant again, even if it was number 10 or 11, the reaction was general
ly positive. -- It was considered to be something very special the Lord had begun, in creating another living soul.
Now the reaction often seems different, more like, "Oh my, you should know better!" I think such reactions and negative comments are not of the Lord. To hear such comments from the System is one thing, but to hear it from our own brethren is very sad. If this approach to having children starts going around more, then soon larger families like ours may be looked down upon and cons
idered to be "out of it."
We don't want to hurt anybody's feelings here, but would like to appeal to all those who don't feel called to "go for the gold" to perhaps be a little more sensitive, so as not to intimidate or hurt the feelings of others who are going for the gold.
-- an adult couple, Europe
(Editor's note: While this article is from SACRO, the other CRO offices face similar challenges, so this is fairly representative of them all.)
om the SACRO Office:) In recent GNs, it has been mentioned that, God willing, the Homes will be receiving answers more quickly from their Continental Offices. While we do answer your questions as quickly as we can, we feel it may be helpful if everyone in the Family could see the many duties of the CRO Offices and understand the timetables they must keep. In this short summary we'll try to explain just a little of what answering all the questions that come into our CRO office entails.
a staff of 12 at our office, who handle the processing of reports and correspondence from over 230 Homes (DO and TS) in our area. We know that NACRO and EURCRO have considerably more Homes in their respective areas, with similar-sized staffs. Additionally, there is ABM business, PPC affairs, Service Home correspondence, media matters, Charter infractions, OHR mail, and the wide variety of questions that come from sources other than your TRFs, which must also be taken care of.
A Home rightfully
views its question or situation as important, but at any given time, our to-do list dictates the order in which we are able to answer questions. Sometimes we get a flood of questions at the same time, sometimes emergencies arise, sometimes unexpected business takes someone away from their desk for a few days, sometimes an office team member is absent for a few weeks due to visiting relatives or sickness, sometimes there are personnel changes or we're training someone from scratch. All these thi
ngs can slow us down a little.
Related to this is the time factor: Since not everything is sent to us by modem, there is often a time difference of 3 or more weeks before something even reaches our office by mail, and sometimes it can take us a few weeks to process questions that come in. If the answer is not returned by modem, it begins its winding journey back to the Home; so from the time the question leaves the Home and the answer finally reaches them, a considerable amount of time has pas
sed. If we receive an important message by modem, we try to answer it promptly via modem. However, only half of the DO Homes in our area are set up with computers and modems. Additionally, we are not able to answer everything by modem, due to the expense involved.
Although we are doing what we can to be more efficient and cut back other aspects of our workload to make more time for answering your questions, we want to let you know that we may not be able to answer every question, nor as quickl
y as we would like. It's an immense job with many facets, and we're stretched to the limit and always working to catch up. Like you, though the harvest is plenteous, we laborers are few! Trying to recruit new behind-the-scenes workers after the Charter hasn't been very easy either; it seems people count the cost, as the sacrifices look bigger to them, so, fewer people are willing to make the sacrifices needed to work behind the scenes.
So please do not get frustrated or discouraged when you do
n't get answers immediately, or feel that we at the Office don't care. We love you and will continue to do all we can to help you and answer your questions. Thank you for your understanding and patience, and please do continue to pray for us.
(From Peter A.:) We have learned from a number of Family members that Thomas Buckley (a.k.a. Paul Ever-ready), a former member presently in Scandinavia, has been spreading antagonistic, false rumors about the Family and certain Family memb
ers. While in some cases appearing to be friendly, he has shown his true colors in a number of vicious and threatening letters written to various Family members around the world. We have heard that he is presently residing with the head of an ACM group actively fighting the Family. Please be aware of this if he contacts you, or if you have any communications or interactions with him.
(From the ASCRO Office:) We'd like to share a "how-to-name-your-file" tip for anyone send
ing messages to either India or Indonesia, so that your messages don't get mistakenly sent to the wrong country! Oops!
Please name all files for Homes in India with IA as the first two letters of the filename. All files for Homes in Indonesia should have IN as the first two letters of the filename. For example: IA23US.02 would be for India, and IN12IVM.02 would be for Indonesia. Thanks so much!
Movies Rated for Senior Teens and Up
TIN CUP (1996)
Kevin Costner, Rene Russ
Character study/love story about a washed-up professional golfer with an attitude, trying to get on top of things again, in his career and in love. Contains some foul language and a bad sample of pride and temper.
Movies Rated for Junior Teens and Up
IN LOVE AND WAR (1997)
Chris O'Donnell, Sandra Bullock
Historical romance recounting the relationship between 18-year-old Ernest Hemingway, and a Red Cross nurse in Italy during WWI. Clear portrayal of the fruits of bitterness and pride
. Beware of a few gory battle scenes.
Movies Rated for JETTs and Up
TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL
Della Reese, Roma Downey
Television series about "angels with an attitude" who carry a message of love from the Boss to lost souls on Earth. Doesn't always directly mention Jesus, but is full of Christian message. Overall, the series contains a very uplifting, Bible-based, full-of-faith presentation, and often tackles complex personal and social problems. Each episode will need to be previewed for yo
unger audiences, as some deal with heavy subjects, but many may be fine for OCs or MCs.
WOMEN OF VALOR (1986)
Susan Sarandon, Kristy McNichol
Drama/character study set in WW2 about a group of U.S. Army nurses in the Philippines who are captured by the Japanese. Contains some rough scenes of prison life in a concentration camp which JETTs should be prepared for, but overall it has a positive message and depicts a good sample of unity and coming through difficult situations victoriously.
Movies Rated for OCs and Up
ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO, THE (1996)
Martin Landau, Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Mixed live-action and computer-animation version of the famous story of the wooden marionette who yearns to be a real boy and magically comes to life. Beware of parts which could be scary for some children, in particular the scene where some characters change to donkeys and the part with the sea monster.
Movies Rated for MCs and Up
WALLACE AND GROMIT: A CLOSE SHAVE (1996) (Animation)
Half-hour British stop-motion animated feature about a man and his dog who get involved in a mysterious sheep-rustling racket. Enjoyable for adults as well.
ACE VENTURA, PET DETECTIVE (Jim Carrey, Courteney Cox; 1994)
The song "Go Slow" on the Family Fun was just what I like! It must have been a lot of work, but it was certainly worth it. I hope more of these songs will be produced; maybe even a video with FTT songs done in that style for teens?! I
t makes watching Family Fun with the kids so much more "fun."
-- Christina Donna (17), Thailand
I'd like to see some of the latest fast songs, such as "Charlie," "Doublespeak" and "Set Me Free" on the Burn Free videos, as well as some loving Jesus songs such as "Footprints." I just love the song "If I Never Saw Your Face."
I haven't seen any of the FTT love songs on the Burn Free shows, but if you all get around to it, it would be nice to see how those turn out. The Burn Free videos are
-- young female, USA
Bold and Brave was absolutely super duper! -- The best one yet! With each new FTT that comes out, I think, "Wow! This is the best! It couldn't get any better than this." But then the next one comes out with something even cooler.
It's amazing how we can produce tapes where nearly every song on the tape is an absolute hit. When you buy a tape of System music, on the whole tape there are two or three songs (at the most) that you can even stand to listen to, and
the rest is just junk. -- But everything on our tapes is so cool.
-- Leila (20), India
I was turned on to read that Paul (Pethuel), Micah and other musicians hope to record some more Family music for the "older generation." I enjoy the FTT tapes, and songs like Jerry's "Golden Butterfly," Martin's "Please Call Home," and other songs are very feeding. I also want to sincerely thank our second generation for putting out such wonderful songs, as well as some of the remakes, which are very ins
piring and uplifting.
-- Jim (formerly Bani, of Lily, parents of 10), Turkey
Makes my day! Something with a good beat, rap, if it's cool, it'll blast my mood. "Charlie," "Tap into the Power," "Emmanuel," "They've Got the Money," and "Comin' of Age," balanced with "All Hail to the Queen" and "Till the End of Time" to take care of a nostalgic mood. Our music is really picking up! Music to a beat is a blast. New tapes hit the deck and keep me HIGH!!! Thanks a million to Mama and Peter and all
those at our FTT studios.
-- Ester (17), Pakistan
The FTT tapes are GREAT! I used to occasionally listen to contemporary Christian music, such as DC Talk. But now that we have the FTTs -- with so much more inspiration and more message -- there's no need to listen to the other stuff. I really enjoy the love songs to Jesus; one of my favorites is "Safe in the Arms of Jesus."
-- K. (17, female), U.S.A.
Question: Can we share the Family Fun videos with selected frien
ds? They're so feeding.
-- Meek Shunamite, Pat Quixote and Max, USA
Answer: While the official classification for the Family Fun video series is DO/TS and they are generally geared towards Family children, in prayer and counsel with your Home, you may show relevant parts to outside friends. You may find that portions of the Family Funs can be used as feeding material for the children of your friends and contacts when visiting your Home.
letters to the editor
I was a little disappointe
d when I read the recent Rumor Mill in Grapevine #8. It seems that all some people do is sit around and think up horrendous rumors. To see that the rumor about Grandpa dying "alone in a bare, dark room" is an utter fabrication, all you have to do to know that isn't true is read the multitude of Letters about how concerned Mama, Peter and their staff were for Grandpa. Mama barely left his side. If he had a cold, cough, or was sweating in the night, she would ask the whole Family to pray for him.
She probably had more love for Grandpa than any of us have ever had for another human being. Where is our trust in them and their tender loving care?
-- Francesca (18), Kathmandu
The question about whether the NACRO shepherds have a BMW or not (Rumor Mill, Grapevine #8), to us, doesn't really seem important. According to the Charter each person can operate according to his faith, and if someone has the faith for a BMW or another nice car and the Lord supplies it, then that's great! It does
n't offend us, as our shepherds probably need a comfortable car to travel in.
-- some young people, Japan
problems & solutions
-- responses to the recent GN series
"Has the Family failed?" -- No way has the Family failed! I'm not meaning to take any credit or pat ourselves on the back, but to give credit to the Lord for this miracle! The Family is like the bumblebee. It doesn't know that it can't fly, so it flies anyway! We're one of the few outfits -- if not the only one in the world
-- that lives by faith. Just look at our stats, the souls won through the years and the number of people we've witnessed to!
Yes, sometimes I wish that we would win more lasting fruit, but this drives me closer to the Lord in desperate prayer. If I'm not satisfied with the results of my witnessing, I know that I don't have anyone to blame except myself. There's nothing wrong with Dad's plan or counsel. There's more than enough Word on how to do it! I wholeheartedly agree with Mama that the ans
wers are in the Word, and all we have to do is live the Word in order to expect His blessings!
-- C. (female), Poland
I've been in the Family for 22 years and have 11 children. I've found that, since the implementation of the Charter, it is easier to get the job done, teach the kids, witness, rest and have fun.
Some people are blaming the Family for their problems, but what is "the Family"? The Family is made up of individuals. The Family is not WS. I understand that policies may need to
change or improve, but I realize that WS is not going to resolve all my financial or personal problems. Of course I would like to see my VSs every six months, but it doesn't always work out. Still, I can't blame my problems on the VSs failing to visit. I have lots of battles, and life in the Family is not a free ride, but I choose to ride it whatever the cost. Sometimes I do good, sometimes I do terrible.
I've been thinking about the Christians in China that are suffering persecution: Do they
have any "WS" to blame? No, and it doesn't look to me that they are blaming God. They are just taking it and fighting on. Thank God we have the Family -- a taste of what Heaven is going to be like. We have Jesus, our dear Lover, we have His Word, His seeds, His forgiveness, and lots of lost souls to win for Him!
-- an adult woman, Europe
We recently read with the teens "Problems and Solutions" Parts 2 and 3 (ML #3070, ML #3071), about how the Family is being hit with a barrage of doubts a
nd major attacks. As the class progressed, we made a list on one side of the white board to expose the Enemy's arsenal -- doubts, worldly pulls, teens feeling unchallenged and some even leaving the Family, etc.
On the other side of the board we listed the things that the Lord has been inspiring Mama and Peter to do to remedy the situation and meet these attacks head-on. The list just grew and grew. For example, getting desperate and hearing from the Lord; wonderful prophecies received; Peter v
isiting the Family despite security risks; the TSers and live-outs being lovingly drawn into greater service and closer fellowship; the Grapevine; Mama encouraging the teens and YAs to write her; and bringing YAs and SGAs into her own Home to shorten the cord and get their input. Wow!
The class concluded with a discussion on how these attacks, breakings and problems are all part of the Lord's plan, and are bringing a victory from seeming defeat. We're now more of a Gideon's band. We're learnin
g to stand on our own faith and live the Charter. It's getting us united and better prepared for the future. We're still getting the message out. What great preparation for the Endtime events soon to come!
-- adult teen shepherd at the HCS, Japan
Since we've been able to put into practice the series of Letters that Dad and Mama wrote on how to reach Japan, we've received nothing but blessings. Our finances are taken care of, we've found outlets for the kids to witness, our Home standard ha
s risen considerably, we've established friends and contacts who we minister to regularly, and we've gotten to know our children better than ever and have a more personal connection with them.
Before the Charter, it was very difficult to try to put into action Dad's counsel on Japan, with our huge departmentalized Homes. But now with our smaller Homes we are able to follow the suggestions therein more easily, and they have been a key for us to better reach our area.
The many changes that are
coming about in the Family are wonderful to see. We're thankful that Mama and Peter take everything into consideration before making changes, and we know that big changes take time. We're amazed, though, at how fast changes are taking place in the Family, especially concerning communications with the Free Zine and the Grapevine, as these pubs seem to be helping to bring the whole Family closer. It also seems that now everyone's ideas and suggestions are taken more seriously and have more effect
, and that we Family members have more power to affect policies.
-- an adult couple, Japan
We wholeheartedly agree that if we don't have enough finances, it's our own fault. Recently the Lord spoke to us, convicting us that our attitude of not wanting to work with large families because they are a "burden" and would "slow us down" was wrong. We decided to change and invited a family with eight children to work with us. The Lord blessed it so much -- for the first time in years we were able
to work within a budget and the Lord provided a beautiful house for us.
I wanted to share a little challenge and a practical tip to prosperity. If you are having financial problems, try to put into practice all that the Word says. Invite a large family or a single mother with a lot of children to work with you -- and watch the windows of Heaven open up and the blessings pour down! Put God on the spot and lay down your life for others. Obey it and you'll see that it works!
-- L. and S., Hung
Although we appreciated the amazing openness and honesty with which Maria hits all these problems on the head, we found some of these "problems" a little difficult to relate to. Looking back over what the Lord has done in the last 25 years, we can only thank the Lord for the mighty ways in which He has used the Family.
We have lived in wonderful countries, and seen the message preached to millions of people and thousands of souls get saved. Despite many obstacles, we have had a good ti
me and the Lord has always taken care of us. We have seen the effect the Family has had on other groups and churches, and we believe the ripple effect has been enormous.
The Charter was the best thing that could have happened to the Family, and we are thrilled to see people really stretching their faith. Of course, there are problems here and there as we adjust. There will always be tests and trials, but the Family has certainly been faithful to Dad's vision. Look at victories the Lord has won
through all the court cases. Let's be proud of what the Lord has done through the Family!
-- an adult couple, England
the latest additions ...
* Rosie, born to Mary and John. -- Taiwan
* Chia (girl) born to Maria and Peter SGA. -- Japan
* Holly Joy, born to Claire and Michael. -- Australia
* Kristiana Celeste, born to Joy and Paul. -- Australia
* Luisa Marie, born to Joany and John. -- Hong Kong
* Maja, 8th child, born to Mary and Stephen. -- Australia
* Daniel, bo
rn to Marie and Gabe in January. -- Philippines
* Akari (girl), 11th child, born to Dorcas and Paul. -- Japan
* Baby boy (no name given) born to Ruthie and Luke. -- Japan
* Christian Shane, 1st child, born to YAs Debbie and Ivan. -- Japan
* Nicholas, born to French Maria of French Matthew. -- ASCRO
* Porn pon, 3rd child, born to Thai Faith and Thai Josh on January 11th. -- Thailand
* Shannon Michelle, 1st child, born to Vicki and Matt on January 13th. -- USA
* Carlo Samuel, born to
Joy and David, on February 11th. -- Canada
Q: There have been all kinds of rumors flying around here in regards to Ike leaving the Family: that Peter and Gary yelled at him for three straight days, that he is saying that Mama lives in Texas and that he visited her and that she's "off her rocker" and that there is one girl in Mama's Home who sits in her room all day talking to spirits.
Can you help squelch these rumors, as they seem to be causing a lot of confusion?
A: (From Peter A.:) As reported in Grapevine #9, Ike and his wife Julia, as well as Scotty (Mordecai Inky) and his wife Meek left the GPU. At that time Scotty and Meek became TRF Supporters, but have since stopped reporting.
After leaving the GPU, Ike and Julia moved into a DO field Home. After a few months in that Home they moved out, and have since ceased reporting. The Home from which they left officially asked for a right of redress against Ike and Julia for a number of actions whi
ch Ike and Julia did that the Home felt contravened the Charter. However, since Ike and Julia are no longer Family members, the matter could not be further investigated.
As far as Gary and I yelling at Ike for three days, we don't know where this rumor could have come from. As reported in Grapevine #9, Gary and I did spend a week at the GPU listening to comments, suggestions, complaints and ideas from Ike, Scotty and Josiah. (see Grapevine #9, "What a Downward Spiral Being Critical and Negativ
e Can Lead To!" -- by Josiah). We listened to them for several days, letting them do most of the talking, as we wanted to be open to the things they had to share. We went to great lengths not to get upset at the criticisms that were given, and at no point did we ever yell at them, as the recorded tapes of the meetings as well as those who attended, including present members of the GPU and the secretary who took the notes, can attest to.
As far as Mama living in Texas, it is our policy not to r
eveal where Mama lives. However, in this case we will make an exception by telling you where she doesn't live, and that's in Texas. Neither is there a woman in our Home who sits in her room all day long talking to spirits.
We're not sure where such crazy rumors start, and we find it hard to believe that Ike would be telling people that he visited Mama in Texas. Ike hasn't visited our Home for years and hasn't been a CRO for over two years. He has made a decision, for whatever reason, to leave
the Family. That is his right and we respect that. It is our hope that he and Julia will carry on serving the Lord in some capacity.
We too have heard rumors that Ike is calling numerous current and former members, speaking against Mama, Gary, the CROs and me. We hope that is not the case, but if it is, there's not much anyone can do about it, except to pray for them, and carry on doing our job for Jesus. We suggest that you do the same. As Jesus said, "What is that to thee? Follow thou Me."
Q: Since the Free Zine shows boys with long hair and earrings, does that mean that this is being promoted by WS now? Although it says the Free Zine is not a WS policy setter, nevertheless, in the Family we tend to "follow the leader," so the sample and the pictures speak louder than the disclaimer!
-- Curious First and Second Generation adults in South America
A: The Free Zine is a young people's magazine, published by young people, for young people. Therefore the articles, artwork, and gen
eral tone of the magazine is for our youth. The artwork contained within it is for young people; hence, the young look.
As stated in the Free Zine, it is not a WS policy magazine. There is an upcoming GN which will discuss the questions of appearance and dress. In the meantime, please remember that any official WS policy on this matter, and other topics alike, are contained in the Love Charter. When policies are to be changed, it will be clearly stated as such in a GN and followed by an amendm
ent to the Love Charter.
The following is what the Love Charter has to say about appearance:
"DO Family members should recognize that their body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and as such, do not abuse it in any way. Keep a clean and presentable appearance, and actively and regularly endeavor to stay healthy and physically fit.
"As witnessing Christians, our appearance is part of our testimony, so we must endeavor (which means to make an earnest attempt) to stay healthy and physically fi
t. We must also keep a clean and presentable appearance which is compatible with the country and culture in which we live."
The Love Charter also states: "DO Family members should endeavor to conduct themselves as good Christians, showing outgoing love and concern for others, and refrain from activities or behavior that would be a reproach to the cause of Christ and/or reflect negatively on the Family.
"Each of us should be a good example of a Christian and of a Family member, for our sample
speaks much louder than our sermon. As much as possible, our actions should lift up Jesus, and none of them should defame or blemish either the Lord or the Family.
"In different areas of the world, this could mean refraining from different things. Wherever we live, we must take into account the traditions and culture of the community or country and try not to do things that would offend individuals of that culture. This is part of trying to comply with the Biblical counsel to "become all thin
gs to all men" (1 Corinthians 9:22).
"There is, of course, a great deal of counsel in the Letters regarding our sample and actions which applies no matter where we live." (End of excerpts from the Love Charter.)
find a friend
* Trust (Abigail, of Josue; Philip and Andria's mother) is looking for Andrew and Comfort (Prisca). Add: APDO 218, 20130 Urnieta (Guipuzcoa) Spain.
* Victor New Flower (TS, single), living by himself, working full time for the Lord in this town of 200,000 souls
would like to find a friend, possibly a girl. No Homes nearby. Add: G. Capelli, C.P. 34, Alzano L.DO, 24022 (BG), Italy.
* Peter Faithful (Hungarian), please contact Amie (of Tony and Joy; Australian), via the PACRO Office.
open forum topic
(From Jenna:) Everyone ready for another Open Forum topic? We've gotten significant response to some articles which have been printed regarding "the generations." So, we'd like to continue to prime the pump by taking a stab at addressing some of t
he problems and the solutions on this theme. Here are a few questions and ideas for discussion topics:
1) Young people, how do you overcome familiarity with your parents or other adults?
2) Adults, any tips on how to relate better to young people, or gain their respect?
3) Young people, any tips on how to relate better to the adults, or gain their respect?
4) Adults and young people, what is the most important thing that you would like the "other generation" to understand about you?
5) Have you found any "keys" to resolving generational differences? Has your Home been able to successfully "merge generations?" Share your tips with all!
But in order for this Open Forum to work, we're going to have to hear from both sides -- not just the younger generation, and not just the older generation. It's a merging of the generations, and we're looking for solutions, tips and for "what works" on both sides of the fence! Let's break down the walls! Waitin' to hear from you all!
(From Jenna:) Thanks for writing in! Here are some of the first responses to the questions listed below:
* Single mothers (and fathers), do you feel those who you live with do what they can to help take care of you and your children, or do you feel neglected? If so, in what ways do you feel neglected?
* Single moms (and dads), what practical things could those around you do to make you and your children feel more loved and cared for?
* Do you others have any comments regarding
your interaction with single parents, either positive or negative?
* Are you happy to have single mothers and their children in your Home, or is it a burden? Why?
* Do you feel you are giving all you can to help our single parents?
I was a single mom for nearly two years (not in the DO Family), totally alone with my six children. After that experience, living in a Family Home with brothers and sisters who help to share the workload is like Heaven on Earth. There is a strong spirit of lo
ve in our Homes that we single moms and our children can partake of. This is something we should treasure like gold.
When the men give the single moms' kids an extra hug, let the little kids sit on their lap, or give the older ones an encouraging word, it means so much to both the children and the mom, as they feel accepted, loved and welcomed. -- Those little things mean a lot!
-- C., Sweden
Moving from a combo situation with groups and parenting team-works to a small Home was quite a s
hock for me. I was told to grab hold of my kids and learn to discipline them properly, but I felt I wasn't capable of that.
A single brother moved to our Home and started to help me with my OC and JETT boys. He didn't feel led to get mated, but helped out as a real father anyway. It was such a change to have someone to counsel with. I think this could be the solution for our single parents who haven't found a mate -- someone in the Home could help out and fill that gap.
When I had seven youn
g children to take care of, even though the physical load was heavier, I found that to be easier than caring for older children, as the older ones need a lot more shepherding.
-- C. (single mother of five kids), Russia
As a single mom, I appreciate when Home members take an active role in my two-year-old son's discipline. I find that it's easier to be consistent when others step in and correct him when he behaves badly. My son is familiar with me, so many times he will take it better from
someone else. Of course, I can't let the fact that he is familiar with me become an excuse for not disciplining him as much as I need to.
-- C. (SGA), USA
I have been a single mom for eight years and have five children. I believe most single mothers are in great need of being treated as women -- not just disciples, not just mothers -- to receive compliments, to hear we look pretty, for someone to notice if we dress extra nice, to carry heavy things for us and to love us, not just because w
e are in need or because they feel sorry for us, but because they like us.
Physically and spiritually I have been and am pretty well taken care of, but emotionally and sentimentally most of us single mothers are in great need of feeling attractive to someone. With the lack of enough single brothers to fill this need, I think that couples need to pray for more special love for whatever single mother they live with, so she doesn't always feel that they are sacrificially supplying a need, but enj
oying it and receiving in return.
-- single mom with five children, Earth
One way to help the single moms and large families could be to encourage the Homes that only have a few children and good income to put aside extra funds for these families. They could have attack days for them, and extra finances could be designated towards schooling these children, as the CLE program is quite expensive.
-- a married man, Mexico
I'm a single father with five children, ages six to 14. Perhaps t
he fact that I'm in a wheelchair on top of it intensifies some of my impressions. I've found that others often don't "tune in," or really ask the Lord to help them feel and understand what it's like to be a single parent. -- It's a whole different world. Consequently, it seems it is often very difficult for non-single moms or dads to relate to the difficulties, problems and battles that one is faced with.
People have said to me, "Well, just do this or that with the kids, then the situation wil
l be OK," without really being aware of how it is to be alone and faced with the many situations that a parent is faced with, besides the immense emotional battles at times! On the other hand, some people really do go out of their way to help. I often see teens who really care and see when there is a need.
There's a need to be more sensitive to the needs of single parents, spiritually, emotionally and physically. -- Also not to just take care of the physical and forget the most important thing
s: love, support and emotional help for her/his situation. I think the answer lies in really wanting and thus praying to understand what it is like to be a single mom or dad. Then you will understand and want to help!
-- Michael By-Grace, Czech Republic
I live with my parents and receive a lot of support and love from them. I don't have any complaints and I think they go out of their way more than they need to.
As for practical ways to help single moms, a lot of times it's hard to ask pe
ople to watch your baby while you shower or go to the bathroom. (I've often said that's one of those times when a husband would come in handy, ha!) I don't usually ask people to watch my baby unless I really need the help, so I think it would be nice if people could look for the need a little more.
Some single moms seem to almost be looking for a way to criticize the Home they are in or the way people treat them. Maybe it's a tendency to feel sorry for themselves, but I've seen it happen and i
t gives all of us single moms a bad rep. Of course, those are a minority, but that is the other side of the coin. We single moms need to see that we should be able to handle our kids, even if we can't always get all the help we want!
-- single mom (21), USA
For two years, three of us single moms lived by faith in a campground, caring for our 10 children. I am thankful for that time, and for the fact that it was not a Home that cared for me, but Jesus. In fact, when I had proven to Him that
He was what I wanted most of all, He gave me a precious husband!
We have a city-father friend who shared his point of view on government support for single moms with us. He said that instead of supporting single moms, the state should support wholesome families! The fact that life is made quite easy for single parents can often cause them to easily give up on a relationship that could work with a bit more desperation and thankfulness. Keeping my marriage going is a bigger fight than surviving
proudly by myself in the past, but I know it is more Godly.
I've seen single parents take advantage of their "plight" and drop themselves into a Home's cozy lap, after having rejected a mate that did not exactly suit their taste, but would have made a good father or mother had they only yielded to each other in gratitude. I don't think the goal is that Homes get bogged down taking care of single parents that could have a mate, had they only been sweeter to them, but that family units carry th
eir own weight and then turn around to help the dying world.
-- C. (adult woman), Europe
I am a single mom and have three young children, a boy (8), and two girls. In recent months, I was having a difficult time meeting the needs of my eight-year-old, and consequently he was becoming hurt, hard to handle, distant and resentful. I feel that being honest and expressing my need for help was important. Being specific and giving examples of when and how I needed help was probably helpful as wel
l. The daddies in my Home are much more involved with the children now, and it's been a tremendous blessing. -- These dads are jewels!
Things that make me feel neglected are: On Family day, when I'm left to fend for myself while other couples make their own plans. Those have been some of my loneliest times. It really touches my heart when another couple invites me to join them on an outing, or offers to take some of my kids to the park for get-out, or show a video which my kids can watch as we
ll. Parenting teamworks can be a real blessing, and it's nice having another adult for company when doing things with the kids.
-- J. (single mom), USA
I generally manage fine as a single mom. The fact that everyone in my Home is very helpful has a lot to do with it. There is one time above all others when I appreciate help the most, and that is if I'm sick. When I'm sick, it seems that being a single mom is the most difficult, especially with a young child. It can seem overwhelming or tot
ally hopeless to do a good job as a parent or even survive as a mother when you're feeling so awful physically. Or even the things that I ordinarily manage to take care of without help seem so difficult, and it's easy to feel very alone. I've been so thankful for those who offer to take the baby, put her to sleep or clean the room so I can get some extra rest when sick. It's always such a blessing.
-- Bethy (single mom, 23), WS
I've been a single mom for about eight years. The Lord has alw
ays given me the grace and faith for it, and most of the time I had precious brothers that helped me here and there with my eight children.
The Charter specifically brings out how single parents need special attention. However, the part that is mostly emphasized, at least by my Home, is that the responsibility of the children falls on the parents' shoulders. I've had that quoted to me several times, and I feel the burden of responsibility for my children like never before. This certainly makes
me desperate with the Lord and gets me on my knees often, but it also makes me feel discouraged, frustrated and totally incapable and helpless!
I understand that some of the single men feel they don't have the support of the moms when they discipline their kids, so they are discouraged about this. But, like Mama brought out recently, if the kids feel they have a father, and that more love and attention is being poured into them, not only will the kids be more receptive to the correction and d
iscipline, but the mother will also feel like supporting the discipline, if she feels that he really loves her children and cares about them.
-- T. (single mom), ASCRO
I think we could do a lot more to show our singles that they are loved and appreciated. Some practical ways of saying "I love you" could be: saving them a nice seat on video night, saving a plate of food for them when they've been out witnessing all day, or giving them an appreciation card from the Home for all they do. Or e
ven simpler things like asking them how they are feeling, putting your arm around them or helping to wash up the kids after dinner, etc.
These are simple things, it's true, and often seemingly unimportant, but I've been in situations where little things like this weren't done and it caused folks to feel unappreciated. I know if we all tried harder to show love and remember these little things, it could make a world of difference for our single mothers and fathers.
-- female (17), USA
a single mother, I feel fortunate to be in a situation where I receive a great deal of support, and from one of the couples I work with in particular. They have been a big blessing in making me feel welcome, and are ready and willing to jump in and offer their time, care, and counsel to both me and my children, which I greatly appreciate.
I think, however, that feeling neglected or unwanted as a single parent is not the whole issue by any stretch of the imagination. It is much more complex! Th
e Devil can have quite the heyday and barrage you with a mountain of negative thoughts, feelings and doubts. These range from doubting the Lord's care, feeling isolated, feeling that you and your children are a drag to others or the work, to being a bad parent for not providing a second parent for your children, loneliness, discouragement, and hopelessness. This can especially occur if you have been a single parent for many years, with no real solution in sight. I greatly admire all of our singl
e parents, particularly those with many children, who continue to fight and stick it out despite their trials and battles.
I believe that the Family is the very best place to raise children, whether you are a single parent or a couple. You and your children receive much more support and love than you would in the System, raising your children on your own. Even a situation that has its lacks is a hundred times better than facing parenthood on your own.
-- B. (single mother), Earth
Baby quotes gift
For Christmas follow-up, we provisioned folders and prepared books with the Baby Quotes, already colored, making a special gift for kids! It's touched people's hearts to see that we gave them something special and different than what the world has to offer.
-- Philip and Meekness, Africa
We send Word-based, inspirational faxes to our contacts and sheep twice a week, first thing in the morning. Everyone has expressed their appreciation for the Word w
e share with them this way.
-- Philip and Meekness, Africa
are you eligible?
(From Matthew, WS:) God bless all of you front-line soldiers who faithfully distribute our wonderful tools! We'd like to establish some eligibility guidelines for our Shine On shiner reward system, which we pray will be a blessing to you.
We'd like to set a minimum Home member requirement in order to be eligible to receive the monthly Shiner tool gifts, in the hopes that this will enable more Homes to be able
to participate, and not give an unfair advantage to Homes which may have no children or just a couple of adults, thus considerably upping their chance to obtain a higher per-adult average.
In order to be eligible to win the Shiner rewards, you must fulfill one of these two requirements:
-- have four voting members in your Home
-- have a minimum of two voting members and two children
We realize that this does not allow for a Home of one, two or three voting members with no children to be e
ligible for the shiner rewards, but since the vast majority of our DO/TS Homes do have children to care for, we felt that in fairness to the overall Family, these guidelines would be beneficial.
The above requirements will go into effect immediately, and the next Shiner rewards list, which will be published in Grapevine #16, Lord willing, will reflect this change. We love you and pray for you!
* In "Victories of 1996 and Plans for 1997" (#3102) Peter stated that the GPU would
be producing four booklets with the goal of getting them to the printers in early March.
The GPU writers were well on their way to meeting the deadlines set for these booklets when the Lord intervened by giving some new direction concerning the presentation of two of them. This change of direction means that two of the booklets, "Pulling Through" and "The Secrets of Successful Child Training," are having to be reworked and therefore will not meet the March deadline.
We wanted to inform you o
f this change so you wouldn't feel that the GPU wasn't accomplishing what they had set out to do. The GPU members are working hard to finish the two other booklets, "Know Your Future" and "Heaven Bound," which, though still in the works, should be completed shortly. Please keep them in your prayers.
* God willing, you will be receiving 30 new Charter amendments in the very near future, most coming into being as a result of suggestions from you! We hope these changes will make things run more
easily and efficiently in all of your lives and Homes. Additionally, we hope to have the revised Charter to you in book form by the beginning of '98. Please pray for the publication of this book, as well as the many other WS publications that are in the pipeline at various stages.
* February 10th marked the second anniversary of Peter's heart attack (see GN 636). Thank you for your fervent prayers for his health and strength, which have miraculously strengthened him, enabling him to spend a
bout half of his time on the road visiting and holding meetings during the last two years.
For months after his heart attack he could barely walk around the block, so his being able to be so active and spend so much time out ministering to the Family is a tremendous answer to prayer.
We'd like to again request your prayers for Peter's anointing, strength and health, as he (along with two helpers) will be visiting several CRO areas this year, where he will be counseling and holding meetings w
ith various shepherds and heads of the studios, SCs, NPCs and other Family service personnel, in order to strengthen the Family structure through the streamlining of present procedures and implementing new ones, as the Lord leads. Peter will be making his first trip in March, and Lord willing, we'll share more details with you in upcoming Grapevine issues.
* (From a WS Pubs Home:) A recent highlight from our Home was our yearly talent night or variety show, which, as always, proved to be not
able in more ways than one! The personal favorite of many of the girls was a dance by three of the YA/SGA males -- you shoulda heard the howls from the audience! Comical poems, juggling geniuses, clever literary and musical adaptations, original musical contributions -- and more -- kept the audience on the edge of their seats for well over three hours!
There was also a time for "feats of skill and daring," where volunteers competed for yummy homemade prizes (edible) in gravity-defying competit
ions such as standing on one's head, passing the orange, and who could blow the biggest bubble (gum provided on a "special occasion" basis)!
The Family Feast also provided a very special time this month where those whose work allowed them to were encouraged to get some extra rest and time with the Lord, along with reading the Feast GNs, which were feeding indeed! The Commission ceremony was a memorable occasion for all, recreated with costumes for those standing in for the king and queen, and
laminated pledges for all to keep. We ended the Feast with a fun afternoon of united games and chocolate cake, and then a wild dance night till the wee hours!
-- Please pray for German Faith (of Philip) in her continued battle against breast cancer. Though she's very positive, trusting and full of faith, her strength is failing rapidly, and it seems as though the Lord may call her home to Heaven soon. Please pray for Faith's encouragement and comfort, and for her family du
ring this time.
-- Please pray for the complete healing of Luke (9, of Nehemiah and Meekness) in the BI. Luke recently began having symptoms of vomiting, strong headaches and light bothering his eyes. He was taken to the hospital and was diagnosed as having pressure on his brain and spine, caused by a build-up of fluids. He underwent a minor operation. However, a couple days later, he had to be rushed back to the hospital for a second operation. The doctors want to keep him in hospital for f
urther examinations and blood tests.
Please pray for Luke's strength and for grace, as the pain is very strong and the pain medication isn't having much of an effect. Pray against fear and for the Lord to be close to Luke and give him peace. Also for comfort and wisdom for Nehemiah and Meekness, during this trying time, and that the Lord will anoint the doctors to find out exactly what the problem is. Thank you!
international want ad
Well, I'm a lil' gal jus' about eighteen
And I'm ne
edin' some help (if you know what I mean).
I rock out ev'ry day, ev'ry night
Sharin' His love with everyone in sight.
But my heart is breakin', babe, and it is killing me
'Cause we's jus' my pops, mum, kid sis and me.
Uh-huh, I wait one, two months, three months, four
Five, six, seven months, I can't wait no mo'.
It's a harvest field so ripe and ready
Yup, ya know I'm talking about Turkey.
Jus' come on over and you will see
That it's COOL, it's GROOVY, it's the place to be.
I tell you man, this is where it's going on.
Come on, honey, I'm all alone.
Hey! Baby, it's mighty neat:
CTPs, road trips, universities…
(Jus' gonna add if you've got a guitar
Might wanna bring it, MUSIC is the key to their hearts.)
OK, dear Braveheart, wher'er you may be
Yeah, I'm calling you now, come and follow me.
Tropical beaches, pretty gals (and cool dudes too)
So needy and receptive
-- Your wildest dream come true!
NOW is the time, so please don't hesitate
Write immediately before it is too late!
(PS. Please keep in mind the MUSLIM MINISTRY:
Long-term vision, patience, wisdom and quality.
Read up in the GV #4: "Pioneering," page three
And the spiritual void the young have here you'll see.)
IZMIR NEEDS YOU, OH SO DESPERATELY!
--Claire Tenderlove, Turkey
Add: PK 125, 35251 Konak-Izmir, Turkey
now that's funny!
A competition for the best short story is held in an English college. One may take any topic but must meet four prereq
The Queen should be mentioned in the composition.
God should also be mentioned.
A little bit of sex should be included.
Indicate a mystery.
The first prize was awarded to a student who met all the requirements by putting the whole story in one sentence: "My Lord", exclaimed the Queen, "I am pregnant and do not know by whom."
Science facts and fantasies
-- These are actual quotes from students' submissions to science teachers.
* "When you breathe, you inspire.
When you do not breathe, you expire."
* "H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water."
* "When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide."
* "Water is composed of two gins, Oxygen and Hydrogen. Oxygen is pure gin. Hydrogen is gin and water."
* "Blood flows down one leg and up the other."
* "The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader."
* "A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold."
* "Mushrooms always grow in damp places an
d so they look like umbrellas."
* "The body consists of three parts--the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowls, of which there are five -- a, e, i, o, and u."
* "The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects."
* "The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joi
ns in this fight."
* "A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is."
* "Germinate: To become a naturalized German."
* "Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away."
* "Vacuum: A large, empty space where the pope lives."
* "For a drowning: Climb on top of the person and move up and down to make artificial perspiration."
* "For fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above the hand instead. Or put the head between the knees of
the nearest medical doctor."
* "To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow."
TEAMWORK PER ADULT TOTAL
SOUL SHINERS FOR JANUARY, '97
Juan/ Susanna (TS), Ecuador 1,250 2,500
Esdras/Raquel (TS), Mexico 1,092 2,184
Juan/Sara Pescador (TS), Venezuela 833 2,500
Magdalena A/Sunshine F/Pedro A (DO), Mexico 345 3,800
Daniel/Marisa/Elias/Sofia (DO), Bolivia 340 1,700
Esther Joy/Jehosofat K/Vessel P (DO), Mexico 325 1,300
Servant/Phoebe Holyhole (TS), Mexico 250 750
el/Christie/Marek/Esther (DO), Ukraine 243 1,461
David/Virginia (TS), Chile 233 466
Juan/Letizia (DO), Albania 215 646
POSTER SHINERS FOR JANUARY, '97
Marie Smith (TS), South Africa 2,000 2,000
Dust/Diamond/Tim (DO), Moldova 1,850 14,800
Heavenly Wings (DO), Japan 1,213 4,852
Isaac/Meekness/Abner (DO), France 1,126 4,504
Michael and Maria (DO), Japan 1,088 4,353
John Azi/Angel (TS), Portugal 1,056 2,113
New World BB (DO), Japan 1,046 4,184
Francis Davidson (TS), United Kingdom 1,0
Santiago/Lydia Gardener (DO), Puerto Rico 1,000 3,000
Pines (DO), Japan 913 5,481
TAPE SHINERS FOR JANUARY, '97
Pedro (TS), Peru 80 80
Abner/Maria/Jonathan (DO), Paraguay 50 150
Jan/Eva (DO), Russia 46 93
CTO (DO), Taiwan 29 117
Paloma (Marie Finnish) (TS), Finland 27 27
Peter and Crystal (DO), Taiwan 26 105
Jonathan/Priscilla/Tamara (DO), Brazil 26 182
Steven/Christina/Michaela (DO), South Africa 22 68
Bernardo/Clara/Talita (DO), Brazil 21 84
Apolos Fighter/Ma Clara (DO)
, Mexico 20 41
VIDEO SHINERS FOR JANUARY, '97
Erastus/Esperanza (TS), Chile 168 336
Faithy (TS), U.S.A. 166 500
Francois Daybreak (TS), Canada 80 80
David/Promise (TS), Costa Rica 75 150
Joshua/Faith/Martin (DO), Belgium 57 285
Tropicana (DO), Taiwan 53 214
Samuele Sperante (TS), Italy 53 53
SWISS TOMMY - Abner/Mary (DO), Switzerland 52 260
Juan/Letizia (DO), Albania 51 155
Tim/Esther (TS), Italy 50 100
Santiago/Lydia Gardener (DO), Puerto Rico 50 150
1998 by The Family