(Issue #45; July 1, 1998.)
Copyright 1998 by The Family
PO Box 4938
Orange, CA 92863 USA
The news and views from Family members published in the Grapevine are not intended to reflect WS policy.
--Martin Francisco, 6th child, born to Maria and Timothy on March 3rd.--Chile
--Leonardo Cigano, 7th child, born to Maria and Felipe on May 13th.--Brazil
--Baby (no name given), 7th child, born to Phoebe and Timothy on May 17th.--Brazil
--Anna Mari, 5th child, born to Sarah and Tiago on May 17th.--Brazil
--Victor David, 1st child, born to Tabitha and Pedro on May 19th.--Brazil
(From Dawn:) We just finished a series of meetings--a meeting/fellowship in Constanta, and the EE Family Camp (held June 10-14). Both went miraculously well and seemed to be fruitful in many ways. We had a big group!--Around 450 people altogether! It was a strengthening and uniting time for all.
(From Joh and Milcah, Eman and Claire:) We were not able to have a teen/JETT camp for all of France due to lack of staff, so it was a blessing to hold a one-week minimum-JETT camp in our house with a total of 12 JETTs/junior teens from the region. They went witnessing on roller blades, won 27 souls and got out 270 tracts! We went swimming and to a miners' museum. We had lots of inside activities, and ended with a beautiful Easter dinner and dance night. This was staffed by three adults, one YA and a senior teen.
We would suggest others hold mini-teen and JETT camps, with 8-12 teens or JETTs at a time. It is much easier to handle and less stressful for the organizers. If you want more info or how-to ideas, contact: Johmilfr@aol.com.
It's kindness in a person, not beauty, which wins our love.--Unknown
legal and media
--for the months of April and May
Belorussia - Three Treasure Attics were shown on Mogilov-1, a local TV station in Belarus, reaching three million people. Mogilov-1 also broadcast the Fantastic Friends song "Look Around" four times, reaching an estimated four million people.--Nat, Reina, Claire and Bowy
Uzbekistan - We participated in a documentary on family values in Uzbekistan. Gideon gave an interview about his large family and presented our work with disadvantaged children.--Gideon, Lily, Elia and Francesca
Romania - We took part in a weekly talk show, Juventus, for Radio AS (audience: 130,000) reaching the area of Suceava on April 7 and 21. We sang songs and gave a powerful witness about our ministries.--Josiah, Joy P., Joy B., Victor and Julia
Albania - NESER TV, a private TV station with an audience of 80,000 people in Tirana, broadcast KV Christmas Joy twice in a row on Sunday, April 19.
We did a short interview for Radio Contact (audience: 300,000 in Tirana) on April 20. We sang two songs and read the full To You - With Love! tract.--Christina, Marco and Gabriel
Spain - Amistad Radio, a local radio station in Malaga, broadcast the full tape of "How to Win" several times on Easter Sunday. This reached approximately 15,000 people.--Victor and Pilar
Kenya - Daily Nation, a Nairobi daily newspaper with a circulation of 60,000, published an article about our organization, "Action in Focus," doing humanitarian work in the country.--Andrew, Lily, Franz and Mary
on the net
Update on Spanish Family Web site, May 1998
1. April Web Stats Report
a) 301 Mb downloaded, about 10 Mb per day.
b) 1597 people visited the site, about 52 people per day.
2 . Work done in May
a) Added new FARs
b) Added Statements to "Dossier" section
3. Work in Progress
a) Adding new FARs
b) Adding MO Letter condos to "Our Founder" section
c) Adding the Charter to "Dossier" section
d) Redoing sound clips for CD section
e) Adding Feedback form
Members Only site
(From the Web team:) Good news! We will now be making more pubs available for downloading off the Members Only site! We'll announce them in the Grapevine as they're posted. At present the following is available on the MO site:
Grapevine 43, 44
Heaven's Library 33-36
Hope TKs 48-50
Wine Press 4-5
Word getting out in Vietnam
--from the Lit-Pic Home
We have been trying to get many of the translation projects rolling and finalized. So far we have finalized about 20 posters, and 29 Mountain Streams and Reflections. The Daily Might and the Treasures are just about to be put into book form.
With world conditions worsening here in Asia, it makes us want to press in and get the Word out in Vietnamese. Since we as foreigners can't get out huge quantities of lit, the Lord has led us to seek out His sheep, in different areas of the country, who are able to do so. The Lord has raised up people whom we can follow up on and who are willing to carefully distribute quantities of posters to their friends and relatives. So far, this has proven to be a good way to get out the Word.
Maria Italiana, there was a mistake in our ad in Grapevine #42: Our full postal address is: Mr. Chakor, Le Moulin, Rte de Dole 70140 Pesmes - France. Tel # is no longer valid; e-mail is okay.--Paul and Lilas, France
(From Joshua, Maria, Matthew and Rose:) Our team of four went from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on a 10-day, 2700-km round trip on the road to scout out the land in Burkina Faso (meaning: land of the upright).
The Lord started us off wonderfully. We were hitchhiking and had gotten stuck in boonie land in the afternoon in north Ivory Coast (Abidjan is by the sea in the south). We felt the Lord had someone special we had to wait for. It was almost dark when Gilbert, a sweet Catholic man, picked us up. He got saved right away and then started to pour out his heart about personal problems. He was so thankful to have us counsel and pray for him that he drove us to the big city in the north, paid for two nice air-conditoned rooms for us, and invited us for a special dinner at his house, where his whole family got saved. In the morning he gave us a large donation--which just about covered all our expenses for the trip--and had his driver, a sweet Muslim who also got saved, take us 50 km to an intersection en route to the Burkina border. What a start!
One of the two major cities in Burkina Faso is Bobo Dulasso, which lies in the green belt of Burkina. We arrived just at the time of the big biannual festival of arts, crafts and music. What a lively place! Although all the hotels and guesthouses were packed, the Lord was faithful, and one kind hotel owner paid for our stay at a mission. We got out lots of tracts in the streets and visited some student dorms, where just about everyone in sight got saved.
Burkina's population is pretty evenly divided between Christians and Muslims, and there are some animists. They all get along amazingly well, and it is incredibly easy to pray with any of them. Many of the Christians are from the Assemblies of God (who don't believe in eternal salvation), and really need our message. All together we won 380 souls just passing out tracts!
Next we went to the capital, Ouagadougou, where we gave out lots of lit in the streets and especially had fun at a high school, where the kids really flocked around us. Ouagadougou lies in the semi-desert-zone of Burkina, and April is the hottest month of the year here, so we were cooking away, ha! We had to drink about six liters of water daily to avoid dehydration! But it was so rewarding to minister to such sweet people. We can't wait to get back.
The next country we will explore shortly will be Mali, with the mystical Timbuktu. Mali is a lot more Muslim. The Malians we have met so far have also all been super sheepy and easy to pray with. After that it'll be Niger, Liberia, Guinea, etc. The need and the possibilities are just incredible. What do you think? Wanna come? West Africa is such a wide-open harvest field. We sure need workers!--Especially in the French-speaking part. Anybody considering making the jump would be welcome to land in our place, and if by that time our Home is not yet full you might just want to stay with us. You can write us via your reporting office.
Finger rhymes are a fun and often beloved activity for older babies and toddlers. There are a whole bunch of very fun ones in the Rhyme Book. To add to those, here are a few originals that I thought you might like. Does anyone have any other homegrown ones? Send 'em in for all to partake of!
By and By
Heavenly City, up in the sky
(Hold thumbs and index fingers together in pyramid shape, way up high, with the rest of your fingers clenched into your fist)
Is coming down to Earth, by and by.
(Float your pyramid slowly to the ground)
All the little children will fly, fly, fly,
(Wiggle your now spread fingers around)
Fly up all together, by and by.
(Lift your still-wiggling hands upwards)
(From "The Mighty Motor of God," MLK #11")
Here's my little motor
(bring both thumbs and index fingers close together and rotate one hand around the other)
It's small like me!
(make a "small" motion with your other hand, by holding up your thumb and index finger not far from each other)
Not very powerful
(shake your finger for "no")
As you can see!
(hands spread open)
Here's a great big motor:
(churn both hands around in a "rolling" motion)
The power of God!
(point up for "God")
Strength and love and blessings
(do the rolling motor again)
Come out like a flood!
(flow your hands out from the motor--like in the "love like an ocean" song)
Up to Jesus
(This is a "lap-riding" song, with the baby bouncing up at the end.)
Bumpy road, heavy load
Tired and weary here below.
Who can help me? Oh, I know!
Up to Jesus in prayer I go!
(This can be done with several children in a circle. Each child makes their hands into fists, each of which is a flower. One flower kisses the other flower who kisses the next flower, and so on around the circle.)
See the little flowers, closed up tight?
They're starting to give love to all in sight!
Kiss a flower, kiss a flower, kiss a flower, kiss!
Now we are so happy for Jesus like this! (open hands as if smiling)
(You'll have to think of your own actions for this one--I'm stumped! Thought it was a cute rhyme, though!)
Round and round went the lump of living clay
Jesus said, "Who shall I make today?
Someone very special and beautiful (handsome) too ... "
And then--guess what? Jesus made you!
Here is the Bible
(hands flat with palms together, like a book)
Open it wide
(open hands up)
So many treasures
(clench hands into fists)
(fling them upwards and open)
Knock knock knock knock
Jesus at the door!
Come and live inside my heart
Forever ever more.
Bangladesh (From ASCRO:) For anyone interested in the Subcontinent--have you considered Bangladesh? With a population of 100 million plus, this predominantly Muslim field is ripe and ready for re-pioneering. Though there have not been any Homes in Bangladesh for many years now, there was a very fruitful and productive work there in the past--and there could easily be so again, as it has TREMENDOUS potential!
Bangladesh, in the northeastern portion of the Indian subcontinent, is bordered on the west, north, and east by India, and on the southeast by Myanmar (Burma). It is the world's eighth most populous country! An interesting factoid--most of the people are relatively young, some 45 percent being under the age of 15 and only three percent being 65 or older--how's that for a ready-made youth-oriented outreach?
The low cost of living makes it one of the cheapest fields in our area. You can find beautiful large housing at amazingly low rental costs; food is cheap, as is transport and most other commodities. Home support would probably be needed, much as in other needy, newly re-pioneered mission fields, though a little would go a long way!
As with other fields in this area, witnessing and outreach are a little lower key than some may be used to, but the potential for long-term fruit and results is fantastic. Opportunities for establishing very fruitful CTP ministries abound, and as the need is great the possibilities are great too! Previously there was a very fruitful catacomb work in Bangladesh, with quite a few disciples joining the Family as a result.--The same could very easily happen again with a little investment and time spent on the field. There is so much to do, and if you have the burden we can assure you that there are lots of avenues to explore in this virtually untouched mission field.
So if you're already considering the Subcontinent as your choice of mission field (or even if you haven't--till now!) why not try Bangladesh? There are new frontiers just waiting for some brave soul to come and conquer them. For more information please contact the ASCRO office or India ABM. We love you and look forward to hearing from you!
Beauty contestant gets saved!
(From Jewel [of Josiah]:) A mutual friend introduced us to the 19-year-old representative to the Miss Universe contest, who is from a Hindu background, asking if we could coach her in English in the few weeks remaining before she had to leave for Manila for a beauty contest. We were flipped about this witnessing opportunity and the Lord confirmed that it was His will. Angie had the idea to use "Charity and Charm" and "Talk Time" booklets for teaching material. She liked "Charity and Charm" so much that we photocopied the most appropriate parts for her to keep.
When praying about her last visit, I got a little message from the Lord: "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that counts," which I thought the Lord wanted us to share with her. So on our last visit, we shared the little message with her and before leaving, she prayed to receive Jesus. Afterwards she shared that while we were praying with her, she could feel that it was a very special and touching thing, and that she would always remember this experience.
Teaching Baby to Read seminar
(From Gideon, Heidi and Mary:) This month we organized another educational seminar on the topic of teaching your baby to read. We charged $25 per ticket for a 1/2 day seminar/workshop, and nearly 40 people attended. This time we requested some of our friends to sponsor tickets so that teachers from centers for handicapped children in the city could also attend. This proved to be a big help for these teachers and schools, and provided a good support base for us as well.
We have found this to be a terrific way to reach people, and a great community service project which people really respect, as education is held in high regard in our area. This has also gained us a good deal of credibility and is leading to more open doors. Besides all this, the most exciting thing is that they are really practicing what we teach them. In our follow-up calls to all the attendees of our last seminar, we found that over 75% were implementing our training in their work with children, whether they were parents or teachers of larger groups. Although it takes a good deal of work to prepare the material for a seminar, once it's done it can be used again and again with little preparation.
Breaking into prisons
(From the Whitewaves Home:) This month we made our first visit to a Chinese prison here in East Taiwan, with the help of Father Bernard, our French Catholic priest friend. We performed in two prisons and a military hospital psychiatric ward. Personnel from five different Homes worked together to put together a show packed full of love, witness and the Lord's power. Our JETT and teen dance group performed five songs, and we followed this up with a Box skit, and the salvation message. It was a tremendous witness.
When we arrived at the women's prison we had to enter through a total of five gates to get to the place where the women were. Here we found 80 of the 300 women prisoners squished into a room no bigger than a classroom, for our one-hour program. We were shocked to see young girls and gray-haired old ladies in the group, along with toddlers that the girls had given birth to in prison and who had lived there for their whole lives. At the end of the show all of the women prayed with us, and the wardens said they had never seen the women so happy. One of the wardens even opened the barred door to the adjoining room they were in, so they could all wave goodbye to us--a sight that made all of us weep.
Our performance there made it into three national newspapers and one local newspaper, complete with photos of us performing. Later that evening we were at another prison for men, where they crammed 400 men into an auditorium with a stage, where we put on a stage show complete with lighting and hi-tech sound, which in our opinion turned out fantastic. The officials were really impressed with our message and the effect we had had on the prisoners.
The next morning we visited the psychiatric center at the military hospital with Father Bernard where we again performed and were well received by patients and staff alike. Overall we found there was a vacuum for our message of the Lord's love, forgiveness and encouragement in all the institutions we visited. Why not check out the possibility of visiting the men or women's prisons in your local area or city, if you haven't already?
Teaching to TV
(From Jonathan and Sarah:) "What's this? The atmosphere is so different!--An English lesson where the teachers and pupils are smiling? What kind of English class is this anyway?" That was the reaction of the interviewer, and the introduction to his show on the most popular radio station in our city. He went on to present the students' reactions to the class taught weekly by my wife and some of the children, at a nearby senior citizens' home.
Actually, this interview was a follow-up to an article written about our eldest son, John (17 and available!), and his involvement with our work at the senior citizens' center. One visitor to the center was so impressed with John's sweet method of teaching and the old folks' enthusiastic response, that she told her grandson (who is a reporter), and he right away wanted to do an article on John and his classes there. This resulted in a quarter-page article, including photos of John with our three-month-old son. Because the response to this article was so great, they decided to do an interview with John and Mommy on a prime-time radio show! The article and interview reached about 1,000,000 people.
(From the Rose Garden Home:) Every month or so we help to organize a fellowship in our city. Last month we had some people leaving our Home and a new YA from Australia join our Home, so it was a wonderful reason to have a fellowship. Adults, YAs, and teens came from each of the six Homes in Bangalore--about 50 people total!
Several of our Home members prepared delicious Chinese chicken noodles (all provisioned, of course), lemon juice (locally called nimbu pani), cakes, chocolate topping and nuts for the icecream, and of course we can't forget those fishballs! (Is that what they were?!) Then there's the setting up of the huge mega speaker system in the living room, moving out the furniture, etc. What a relief when it finally comes together!
We had dinner on the roof, with the wind blowing and lots of natural lighting. We were serenaded by an acoustic band, then headed downstairs for wild and fun dancing, pausing to take a break for some games. Let us not forget "Los Harvest Moon Amigos," (see Zine #16) who sang Spanish music for us. We also had provisioned drinks for all. It was so unifying, lots of fun and a real inspiration. Occasions like this have helped us all as a city to be more unified!--And when adults, SGAs, YAs, nationals, and teens all have fun together it's beautiful! So if you're not having city fellowships--where young and old unite and have a blast together--give it a try and you'll never want to stop!
(From the Rose Garden Home:) It's so inspiring to see how much our pledgers have grown in the Word, faith and believing in the power of prayer. We have about 30 monthly pledgers and when we go to pick up their gift every month, we read some Word with them, pray for them and spend time talking about how things are going with them. They have begun to really treasure this time and try to always stop any other work they may have to do so they can read with us and pour out their hearts. Most of them are Hindus, but they really respect us and love to have us pray for them. The Lord has done miracles in their lives which they will testify is because of the power of prayer!
news from Family Care Foundation
Treasure Attic and Kiddie Viddie Now Shown on Nationwide US TV!
Family Care Foundation is happy to announce that beginning July 6, 1998, OKTV of the Primestar satellite broadcasting company will be the first US station to program select episodes of Treasure Attic and Kiddie Viddie nationwide! These programs are scheduled to be shown daily between 11:00 to 11:30 am (EST) on a pay-per-view basis. Primestar subscribers should check their pay-per-view listings for OKTV (Only Kids Television) to confirm these times. Don't miss three brand-new Treasure Attic episodes, "Happy and Healthy," "Around The World" and "Our Beautiful World," as well as three of your favorite Kiddie Viddie programs which now have new introductions and trailers.
Please call around and tell your friends, contacts and relatives to view these exciting programs. Once you have seen the program, feel free to call the station (at 805-582-8680) and let OKTV know what a wonderful product they have! And please encourage your friends and contacts to do the same.
If for any reason there's a problem with last-minute schedule changes or you have questions regarding Primestar broadcasts, please call OKTV at the same number, (805) 582-8680, letting them know that you've been anticipating the program and ask for details. Be sure to keep your friends updated on any schedule changes.
We are also happy to announce that "Countdown to Armageddon" is now in the hands of a US distributor and will soon be stocked in various video outlets. Once we find out further details, we will let you know so you can tell those you are in contact with how to obtain their copy.
Family Care Foundation is working with a worldwide distribution company to pursue negotiations and business management of further video broadcast and distribution deals. We hope this is exciting news for you and we appreciate your prayers for the success of these wonderful products!
Notice from Family Care Foundation
We have been receiving communications from various missionaries who have encountered people in their countries interested in broadcasting some of these video series (TA or KV) on TV or distributing them commercially through video outlets, bookstores, department stores, etc. We would like to request that all such inquiries continue to be directed to Family Care Foundation and we, in turn, can then discuss any such inquiries with our agent.
For this reason we are requesting that each potential licensing, distribution or publishing situation that you submit to FCF include all the necessary information about you and your contacts, in order for us to formally communicate business details with our distribution agent.
When you contact FCF, please provide us with:
--Your full legal name.
--Your address and phone and fax numbers.
--Your e-mail address (if applicable).
--The contact's company name.
--The name and position of the person to whom communications should be directed.
--The contact person's phone and fax numbers and e-mail address.
--Their stated intention concerning the videos, whether for broadcast or commercial distribution, which series, and other related details.
Thank you very much for your help with this. This will enable us and our distribution agent to communicate with you and your potential contact directly and promptly.
I would like to describe to you some encounters I had with dear Dad from the spirit world. When I was still single (Dad was already in Heaven), one night I desperately cried out to both Jesus and Dad for a mate. In answer to my prayer I heard Dad's voice: "I will do it!" Not long afterwards, a new brother came to our Home. At the moment when he entered our dining room and I saw him for the first time, I heard Dad's voice telling me: "That's him!" After some time the Lord put us together, and we now have a little son.
Recently we were going through some marriage trials and I was on the verge of giving up; I had almost stopped fighting for our marriage. Here I was, again desperately seeking the Lord. The light in my room was dim and I had a picture of Dad (the one from the Charter) on the wall.
Guess what happened? Yes, you guessed it! Dad started talking to me. But what was most interesting was that he talked to me straight from the picture. He was there! His eyes were full of different expressions, and it deepened what he was talking about. He told me not to give up and to fight for our marriage; he even gave me some detailed counsel about what to do. His eyes were warm and lovingly smiling. Next he told me that I needed to love Jesus more. Dad's eyes were sad, like he was expecting me to do better in this area and I had failed, but at the same time, he knew that I could do it. This was a big encouragement for me.
In the meantime the Letters "Eat Right" and "You Are What You Watch" were coming out. I was sad because these Letters didn't immediately change the people in our Home (now things are better; it just needed some time to sink in). I asked Dad what he thought about it. Again his face on the picture came alive, not only his eyes but his whole face. Dad's eyes and lips were expressing certain feelings. He encouraged me to fight and not to give up concerning putting these Letters into action in our Home. This was a very new spiritual experience for me to have Dad speaking to me, where I could even see his presence.
--R. (adult woman), Europe
--Paul and Joy (Lovelight) are looking for Steven and Rose, as well as old friends. E-mail: JZA04414@niftyserve.or.jp.
--Steven Don Quixote (Polish) would like to contact April and Uriah (used to work in Poland), and Ready (formerly Joseph Eastman) and Dulcie (also worked in Poland). E-mail (a friend's address): WATASHI@FRIKO5.ONET.PL.
--Tally (16) and Esther (15) would like to contact Vicki (16, in Russia) ASAP. Add: 8452 Fredricksberg Rd. Box 215, San Antonio, TX 78229. E-mail: Starcrown@aol.com.
--Sorinskiy Dima would like to contact David and Peace and kids. They came to Russia from Japan and lived in Irkutsk for two years. I believe this family is now in Germany. E-mail: Xemi@irk.ru (Attn: Sorinskiy Dima).
--German Mary would like to contact Brazilian-Japanese Praise and Tim Lens, last heard of in Romania. Also German Joanna who joined us in Calcutta and then went to Japan. E-mail: email@example.com.
--Abner (Deutch) and Lily (French) could you please contact Ruth Meekness in Puerto Rico. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Add: PO Box 81 - Mayaguez 00681 Puerto Rico. Attn: Ruth M.
--Crystal Parry, please write Michelle. E-mail: Kenlarapaq@aol.com. Add: 25 East Hoyle St. #139, Norwood, MA. 02062 U.S.A.
--Ready and Joan, where are you?! Please contact Tim F. E-mail: email@example.com.
--Brian, Eric and Andy, please contact Tim and Techy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
--Rachel Claire (of Faithy) would like to contact Angie, last heard from you in Brazil. Add: PK 125, 35251 Konak, Izmir, Turkey.
--Kristie (Lilie, of Faithy) would like to contact Heidi (of Bill and Mercy); lived together in Chicago in '94. Add: PK 125, 35251 Konak, Izmir, Turkey.
--James Cielo (Jimmy): I think I got the wrong e-mail address, and now can't find you. Met you in Brazil. Please contact Tina at e-mail: PXQ2224@niftyserve.or.jp.
--from Promise, CLE Family Distributor
Clarification on new Airmail Shipping Chart
The "New Family Airmail Shipping Chart" that was sent out on the flyer "CLE price changes, updates and tips" (published in April) only applies to airmail shipping. A few people have thought that these are new shipping charges for all orders. If your order will not be sent to you by airmail, then you would still use the shipping chart for surface mail on "The Family's CLE Order Summary."
New Grade 1 Language Arts ('98)
Many brethren still have old order forms which do not list the Grade 1 Language Arts Lightunits and Answer Keys as the new ('98) ones. Brethren using the older forms will need to note if they want the new ('98) Language Arts Lightunits and Answer Keys or the old ones. On the newest order forms, if brethren still want the older Language Arts Lightunits and Answer Keys, they need to order these on Page 10 under "Old Courses."
Sue, a CLE worker who handles our Family orders, explained to me that the new Grade 1 Language Arts ('98) Lightunits do not have Answer Keys, as the answers are in the "Language Arts 100 Teacher Handbook." This is a mistake on their new order form, as it still has a place to order Answer Keys.
If you order these Language Arts ('98) Answer Keys, I will replace them with the Teacher Handbook, which is just $5.95, compared to $22.50 for the set of Answer Keys.
Price changes/sending extra money
It's sad how often I have to drop items from an order because of a lack of funds. The CLE order form is not easy to fill out, and often people make mistakes. Another reason for a lack of funds is price changes, and people having older order forms with the old prices listed.
CLE faithfully sends refund checks if there's more than $2.00 left over. If the Family could get in the habit of sending extra funds, even if their calculations are correct, they will get a refund check which they can either cash or send with their next order as credit towards their order.
What happens with an order
I often get letters from brethren where I can tell that they don't realize a Family person is processing their order. They write the letter as if it's to CLE. Since a Family person (me!) receives their order at the "G.T." address, their actual order does not go to CLE, so everyone can feel freer to fill out their orders more fully--including Bible names and e-mail information.
It's helpful when people include their e-mail address, as I can get back to them with questions. For example, if they lack funds I might ask which item would be best to drop; if I feel they might have marked the wrong box for an item I can double check with them; if a number on their address isn't clear I can ask for a clarification; if they sent the wrong kind of check I can let them know faster, etc. Otherwise, I often have to make decisions by faith so as to not delay their order getting sent off.
When I send modems through the ABMs I usually only have a system name and their mailing address from their order. I don't have a Home number or Bible name, and this often delays your message reaching you or makes it harder for the ABM to pass it on. So if brethren could include more information, it would be helpful. "The Family's CLE Order Summary" was originally designed to be forwarded to CLE; however, now the form doesn't pass through their hands.
(From the Boston Home:) Recently we got the idea to start a translation company. This may be a way to help some teams in foreign countries get regular support. The idea is to work through the Internet. We have already registered here as a legal company and have been doing all the preparations for setting things up. The more languages we can translate in, the better the chances would be of getting large companies who need translations on a regular basis. If you are fluent in a foreign language and would be interested in working with us on this project, you could contact us at the following e-mail address: email@example.com.
I'm wondering ...
Bel and the Dragon, Zine
Q: I really like the Zine and I know my children love it, so this comment represents just a very small wonder I have concerning the comic strips that have appeared sometimes with the story of Daniel in it. As far as I know that's not a true Bible story; maybe you should put a little explanation with it so people are aware of what they are.--C. (adult woman), Russia
A: (From the Zine team:) In Zine #11, in which the first portion of this comic ran, we included the following note of explanation from Dad's Letters about this story "Bel and the Dragon," which was from the Apocrypha: "There were some Books between the Old and New Testament books called the Apocryphal Books. There was some argument in those days as to whether some of the Books were inspired or not. [The scholars] were split on the issue, some of them thought they were inspired and some of them thought they were not. Some thought they were fairy tales, some thought they were just history. But they finally decided to include them in the Catholic Bible. But why did they throw them in if they weren't inspired? You can use two words for it. They were edifying and educational." (From MLs 2689:4; 2357:24,25; 1470:56.)
grapes of thankfulness
A big, big thank you to the Home in Nakhodka (Russia), Joshua, Consuelo, Karen, Aichan and Lily. Josh brought a vehicle from Japan for our home in Omsk. They also housed one of us for over a month and were a super sweet blessing. Thanks!
--Luke, Mercy and Abigail, Russia
GB the dear Home in Frankfurt, Germany--Micha and Christiana's--and David Courier: They've been sending children's and adult's clothes for us and for our CTP projects! Out here in Siberia it's a major help, as there is no other source of things like that. We want to express our gratitude to them for their taking their time to neatly pack everything, and sometimes even extras--for example, fruit from provisioning and vitamins. By the time it reaches our land of snow, it's a big blessing! Thanks, sweet Family!
--Virginia, Steven, Martin, Charity and Ange, Russia
Big thanks, hugs and kisses to all our generous givers, friends and helpers: Daniel Mountain, John Fireball, Baruk and Ruthie, Magda, Papa Josh, Esther and Mark, Eliza, Phillip and Constanta, Petrishor, Eman and Clair, Simon and Ruth (JA069), Traugott, ESs, WS, Odessa, Deer, Suceava, MM, Timisoara, Moscow, Petersburg and Voronej Homes!!! Without you we wouldn't be able to make it through this tough winter!!!
--Blossom Mission, Moldova
We would like to thank Paul and Clara (from the Ocala, Florida Home) for all the help they've been to us in the last years. They were always glad to take us in to their home when we needed them most. And because of them we were able to make a trip to Russia last year which was really inspiring
--Santiago, Libertad and family, USA
Mama on mixing and matching
--to a staff member who was accompanying Peter on a short trip
Don't we have a wonderful Family? We can just "mix and match" whenever needed. You know, that was the original reason for the "All Things" revelation--when one of the men had to go on a road trip without his wife because she was pregnant; Dad got the revelation that another sister could go with him, and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think that's the first time we ever did it, and that was at TSC. (See ML #302A)
It sure makes things convenient to be able to, if you're not near the one you love, love the one you're near, as Dad used to say.--And in our Family the one you're near, you also love, so that works real well. So please have fun, Honey, and take good care of Peter. Do try to rest and relax, because you also need to have some time to get refilled and tanked up with the Word.
letters to the editor
Open letter to Aussies
Okay, everyone that tried to scare me out of going to India, guess what?--I LOVE it! And I am real glad I didn't listen to any of you! Don't get me wrong, I'm not implying that you didn't know what you were talking about. Everything you said about the filth, the poverty, the strictness--it's all here, but that's exactly what makes India what it is! A rich, full way of living that is not at all dependent on modern comforts or entertainment. It's sort of above all that. You suddenly discover that you've gone to a level above the latest styles and crazes, and they don't matter anymore. Talk about freedom! Even if you were the coolest person on the planet, nobody here would know it, so you might as well just be your natural self. Cool, hey?
So, to anyone sitting at home wrapped in cotton balls, wanna try out real life? It's tough. You can't just pull money out of the sky and you stay pretty desperate. But it's made me so thankful for things. I'd say India's the land of positive thinking. When you see people who have nothing, smiling and enjoying life, you realize there's something you can learn from everyone. And if you're a YA or an SGA male, you'll be treated like a king here, because your species is very rare and precious.
And we've got our own little luxuries, too. Like a servant to sort the veggies and take out the rubbish. And the stuff you can get in little roadside shops to snack on makes chips and sausage rolls taste like cardboard! And it's much cheaper and healthier. Can you tell I'm crazy about India?
Sam, mate, I'm talking to you now, and you know who you are. I think the world of you, but babe, if you're still in Australia by the time this is in the Grapevine, well, you're missing out so bad it makes me want to cry! India's waiting for you, along with stacks of beautiful girls, so what's keeping you? As I was saying to Michelle the other day, sure it's tough, but we're not made out of jelly. So where're all our tough blokes?--Try your hand at India!
--Kylie Rain (19), India
Re: Appreciation for school time
Dear Anonymous in Pakistan,
I agree that it's sometimes difficult to challenge teens in the area of scholastics. One thing that I think can help (at least I feel it would've helped me when I was a teen) is for adults (and YAs, of course) to refrain from making comments like, "This stuff never did me any good" or "You'll never use most of what they teach in high school or college." When you're young you really don't know what you'll end up needing later in life and it's hard to interpret such comments with wisdom since you're inexperienced as to what academic skills are needed in later life.
I also feel that scholastics should not be left to teens' and JETTs' personal initiative, and whether they decide they want to study or not. Those are decisions for the parents (or overseers), not the kids! Some teens and kids don't find studying a joy and pleasure, but it's just something they need to do! If we take on the responsibility of home-schooling our kids instead of sending'm to outside schools, we'd better make sure it gets done and not leave it up to whether they have enough self-discipline to do it themselves.--If we don't, they may end up regretting it and resenting us later!
I'm really thankful for the adults who have the vision for our teens' education, as it's such a need! GBY, "Anonymous in Pakistan;" some day those teens will probably be very thankful you got on their case.
--S. (23), Russia
Open letter to shepherds and teachers
Teaching and taking care of children has its joys, but also gives the responsibility of supplying their spiritual, scholastic and emotional needs. Having been a CC teacher for the past couple of years has nurtured in me a growing love, respect and appreciation for all the precious souls who played a role in teaching and training me. I know it wasn't always easy (knowing myself!), but you stuck it out and I'll always be grateful to you for it! I want to thank all the dear shepherds and teachers (not forgetting my loving parents) who took care of me throughout my life, for all your labors of love and the multiple sacrifices you needed to make to help me out! Know that they are not forgotten!
--Ariana (18, of Andy and Maria), Colombia
Re: Privacy of Mail
I wholeheartedly agree with Dan [see Grapevine #37] about voting members having an unbreakable right in the Family to privacy while communicating with others in the Family. The person in charge of communications should stop reading the note after the introductory line saying who the message is for. If a teamworker wants to know something more about what was written to the person, they can simply ask.
Of course, there is another side to sending open e-mail messages which can be read by other people who are interested in your doings. Many people write super-details of their lives, and the latest gossip in their e-mail notes. According to the Charter, every Home should use modems and encrypt e-mail as much as possible. So if the Home Officers want to check that whatever comes or goes from the Home is secure, it can be justified in that case.
We had this problem in our Home; people wanted to write mooshy-gooshy stuff, send prophecies to others, etc, all via open e-mail. This is a serious problem if you are a foreigner in the former USSR (there is a 95% chance that your phone is tapped). We decided that open e-mails are similar to a postcard-type message, with greetings, wishes, and things that don't infringe on your security. If you want to write more details, ask for a CPY key, or send it encrypted via your ABM.
new idea from you!
Word study corner
I thought it would be a blessing to have a "Word Study" corner in the Grapevine. Sometimes our devotions get a little dry, and since it's one of the main ways people get Word time, it's a shame to let it get boring. Maybe those who have found a special Word study could share with us the references of the Word studies they have already done! People could include things in this column like: references to Bible verses, DB Letters, what the Charter has to say, New Wine, GT stories and even songs that go along with the subject of the study.
--Katrina (of Andrew), Brazil
(Editor's note: So if you've got one--send it in!)
(From the WS Web/songbook team:) We hope you've been enjoying the Songbook section on the Members Only site. As mentioned previously, once this is completed, we'll be able to send this songbook out on CD to each Home. We'd like to put in a plug for any of you musicians (or others) who have downloaded or referred to the songs on the site, to let us know of any flaws necessitating fix-its--i.e., missing or incorrect chords or words--that you happen upon (and if possible, please send in solutions to the problems you discover). Also, you might notice a song here or there that doesn't have any credits. If you happen to know who wrote a song--or even be that person yourself--then please do let us know. (You can do all this by using the "feedback" section in the songbook site.)
Thanks to those of you who have written in with suggestions for the songbook and how to improve on it. We're now working on a program with some hot new features, which will enable you to create custom-made songbooks, transpose chords to your preferred key, etc. Also, a topical index for all the songs is in the works. Thanks for your prayers!
Forwarding e-mail via your CRO Office
(From the NACRO Office:) We receive quite a bit of e-mail from all over the world to be forwarded to various Homes here in the NACRO area. It's possibly the same situation for the other CRO Offices, but it's often very difficult to track people down when there is very little information given as to who or where the person is. When you send e-mail via your CRO Office, please put as much information as you can about the person(s) your message is destined for.
For example, we often receive letters addressed to "Dear Mike" or "Dear Dad" or "Please forward to Lisa, somewhere in North America." We do our best to get these messages to those they are intended for, but it can be pretty hard to locate "Dad" or pick from the personnel list which of the five "Lisa's" is the right one. So to ensure that your mail reaches its destination safely and quickly, we would like to request that you please include at least the name, last name and Home number (if you know it) of who it's to, as well as any additional information you can (such as parents' names for mail to SGAs/YAs or teens, the name of their mate if married, etc). This will help expedite the forwarding process. Oftentimes we receive messages from overseas that we are not able to pass on because of a lack of information.
We'd also like to ask if everyone could please try to send directly to the Homes as much as possible. In your notes it would also be good to ask for the other person's e-mail or postal address, as we generally would prefer to only forward one message and then leave it up to the individuals to connect directly from there. You can also send your messages via the ABMs, who know how to send things to the other ABM areas, but again in this case you would need to include your e-mail/postal info so that you can start communicating directly rather than having to have your mail forwarded. Thanks so much for your help with this. WLY!
Movies Rated for Senior Teens and Up
FULL MONTY, THE (1997)
Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy
British comedy about a group of unemployed steel workers who put together a male striptease troupe to make ends meet. One unexpected but brief scene involving homosexuals.
Movies Rated for Junior Teens and Up
HORSE WHISPERER, THE (1998)
Robert Redford, Kirstin Scott Thomas
Three-hour drama/character study. A Montana cowboy who can communicate with troubled horses becomes involved with an editor, her daughter and their horse after an accident. Lots of beautiful cinematography and horses.
WHO'S HARRY CRUMB? (1989)
John Candy, Jeffrey Jones
Comedy about a kind-hearted, bumbling detective assigned to investigate a kidnapping case. Light entertainment only.
Movies Rated for MCs and Up
Trini Alvarado, Tony Shalhoub
A smart parrot, who talks and understands what he's saying, heads off on a journey to find his owner. Beware of one part where the parrot uses a bit of bad language.
STARSHIP TROOPERS (Casper Van Dien; 1997)
The Full Monty
(Dad speaking:) I thought it was pretty good, fun, wholesome entertainment. Other Christians would probably look down on this sort of thing, because they don't have the freedom to enjoy stuff like this because they're bound by their law and traditions. But we have the freedom of the spirit, and the humility to laugh and enjoy fun things like this movie.
I thought it had a very sweet message about accepting yourself the way that the Lord has made you. The wife of that one guy who was a little overweight was so sweet and really made him feel at ease with the way he was. Then he was kind of set free to enjoy himself, because he knew that she loved him just the way he was. And the other guys weren't hunks either, but that didn't matter. It's kind of like our guys and gals. They shouldn't worry if they're not hunks, models or beauty queens. The Lord loves them, and their brothers and sisters love them, just the way they are. (End of prophecy.)
Who's Harry Crumb?
(Dad speaking:) This movie doesn't have a whole lot of good in the way of good lessons, strong message, heavy morals and pow-wow points, but it doesn't have a lot of evil in it either, in the way of bad influences, Satanic message, bad language, etc.
I've never been one for outright foolish movies, but I have enjoyed sitting down and watching a good comedy when the occasion warranted it. Just make sure that you have a good, healthy balance. You can be too foolish, but you can also be too sober. Take time to enjoy life, but also make sure that you're getting the right priorities and balance; that's what the Lord will really bless. (End of prophecy.)
(Dad speaking:) It's a relief to see a movie like this that can be suitable for our children. It's quite amazing to see something produced at this time for children that has messages of love, of learning to understand, and shows clearly the good and the bad. It even gives an important message of speaking up and sharing your heart with those around you. Yes, the parrot is kind of cocky, and everything he says is not the best, but overall it's an uplifting and fun video. (End of prophecy.)
Titanic [rated in Grapevine #35]
(Jesus speaking:) This movie has been made by men who do not fear My name, but nonetheless the message of love is preached. This is a different kind of love--not a selfish, greedy or lustful love--that this movie portrays. It is sacrificial love, giving, laying down one's life for another. There is so little of this love in the world today that it is amazing that this movie portrays this so well.
James Cameron isn't such a great person for having made this movie, nor are the actors great, for they did what would make them famous and give them respect in the eyes of the world. Nevertheless, Christ is preached because there can't be this sort of love without My love.
For those who watch this movie, I ask that you remember Me and the love I have for you. You were as a lonely passenger on a lost and lonely sea, but I came along and warmed your heart and filled it with immeasurable pleasure and happiness. But unlike this movie, you will never have to give Me up. You will never have to be far from Me, for I will never leave your side. Though the Devil may try to separate us on an angry sea of tempests and trials, never will My love be separated from you. We will hold on tight to each other and brave even the coldest of seas, the wildest of gales, and the roughest storms.
This movie is a sad story and yet so wonderful. It has touched the hearts of countless millions and will forever change the way people look at this tragedy. While it may not be a correct portrayal, and all the details may not be correct, and while there may be many things in the movie that reflect System values and pollutants of the Enemy, the message of this is that there is a love that is real. This is a message that the world needs to hear.
Look at how many have flocked to see this film. They have come searching for real love, and this helps keep alive the flame of hope that one day they will find it. This movie softens the hearts of those who have closed their hearts off from love, and it makes them more receptive to Me and My loving. (End of message from Jesus.)
highlights from EURCRO
--Summit 1998 feature article
(The following excerpts were taken from one of the Summit meetings, in which each of the CRO teamworks gave a 30-minute presentation. Please bear in mind that these aren't comprehensive outlines of all that's been going on in each area--just some highlights of what's happened since the last Summit meeting in 1996.)
EURCRO SAGA '98
Only 30 minutes to talk about EURCRO, you say?
Well, we do believe in miracles, so hey!
We'll give it a shot, hold on to your seats;
Jesus, help us to share all the vics--no defeats.
First we'll tell you about the size of this CRO;
She's a big one, more like an elephant, you know!
56 million square kilometers, they say,
Members in 46 countries, as of yesterday!
Almost 400 Homes--now ASCRO, don't squirm,
We borrowed Cephas last year; Silas, is it your turn?
To You - With Love in 34 languages we need;
We gave up on perfection, still tryin' for speed!
Now come the violins--we're a poor, poor field;
Africa, Russia, and EE, the funds sure don't yield!
But true riches are plentiful; souls and disciples you can't beat;
84 joined these past two years, fresh off the street!
Our nationals need training, young and older ones, too.
King Peter's vids helped a whole lot, his personal visit too.
VSs're gettin' rolling, camps and seminars--it's been a fight!
Do you ever feel you're way behind? LHUs get it right!
And the media, it's like the weather, we're in for the big blow!
El Nio's just a small fry, just wait for the real show!
We've got Abi, Jo and media team, they help to row the boat,
Please keep 'em in your prayers, so we can stay afloat.
So that's our wee brief intro, the full is yet to come;
Thanks so much for your love and prayers, we need 'em everyone!
The EURCRO area includes
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Botswana, Cameroon, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mauritius, Moldova, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Island, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe!
The EURCRO teamwork is
Dawn, Gallio, Lisa, Phillip, Mary, Gabe, Melody and Magda.
In EURCRO there are
216 CM Homes -- 2,397 CMs
186 FM Homes -- 968 FMs
EURCRO'S average monthly stats are
-- 20,462 souls
-- 644,340 tools/pieces of lit (posters, tapes, videos, tracts, etc.)
-- 156,772 personal witness
During the past 12 months
-- 56 CM new disciples have been won
-- 30 FM new disciples have been won
-- 13 Former Members changed to CM status
-- 74 Former Members changed to FM status
-- 157 FMs changed to CM status
-- 112 babies have been born, or an average of nine per month
[Note: The above includes both CM/FM stats, and is taken from a 12-month average.]
In the last two years we've added three new CRO members to our team: Gabe, Melody and Magda. We also had Cephas (from ASCRO) visit for six months, so he's an honorary EURCRO-ite. Since Summit '96, 70 new Homes have opened in Russia, Eastern Europe and Africa. We've held 15 delegates meetings throughout the area, including five which were held during Peter's visit. During this time, various members of our team have made supervisory trips to 30 countries, from South Africa to Kazakhstan to Norway, and passed through or visited such places as Rwanda, Cameroon and the Congo. We've shown the Summit '96 and bellwether videos to the majority of the Homes in the EURCRO area.
At the time of the last Summit we had three VSs. We now have 30. EURCRO's Family population has grown by 122 people since the last Summit. The most significant change was in Africa, where the population grew by 85 percent. There were also a lot of transfers from FM to CM membership. We now have 440 more Charter members in EURCRO than two years ago (a 22% increase), and 318 less Fellow members (a 25% decrease). There was also a lot of movement out of Western Europe, where the overall population decreased by 8 percent.
We've had twelve new countries open: Lithuania, Estonia, Uzbekistan, Bosnia, Madagascar, Botswana, Cameroon, Reunion Island, Gambia, Ghana, Namibia and the Ivory Coast. And one country, Bulgaria, closed because of persecution.
In the last two years, we've held seven camps for young people. Several of those were held in Western Europe, one was held in Eastern Europe, and one in South Africa. Members of our teamwork also attended eight meetings that were organized and attended by Fellow members from ten countries.
During the last couple of years, our office staff has doubled, making it possible for us to give better service to the field. Of course, the job is immense, and we could always use more help, but we are doing the best we can with what we have--a wonderfully dedicated staff for which we are very thankful.
Although the FED department was in place at the time of the last Summit, it has grown, with the addition of an artist in 1997. At this point, we have completed and sent to the Homes 70 local FED pubs. Seven of these were made available to order, while the rest were sent out to all Homes.
Many of the pubs sent out (some of which are still is the works) are series, such as: Feed My Lambs (22 booklets), Illustrated Memory Chapters (21 booklets), Illustrated Grandpa Quotes, Reader Series 1-3 (41 booklets--still in the works), Mother's Reference Material sections (1-3), Kids to Kids (1-7), FED News (1-7), CVC Bulletin (1-4), Signs of the Times (1-5), and more.
(Editor's note: Further information will be published regarding how and when these materials can be ordered.)
At the time of Summit '96, our media department had just increased from two to four people (Abi, Jo, and SGAs Stella and Lisa). They are a big help with the vast amount of media activity in Europe. The media situation has continued to intensify, with constant work to be done and a steady stream of situations arising that need help in East Europe, West Europe, as well as Africa. The media team processes hundreds of messages every month, while helping the Homes with media difficulties, writing rebuttals, and monitoring religious freedom in less tolerant countries. They also coordinate the work of smaller media teams who regularly step in to help with localized situations. Gideon and Rachel, our spokespersons in England, handle many radio, television and news print interviews, as well as participate in speaking engagements.
There are ten PPCs in Europe, each taking care of different language areas. In the last two years, two of our PPCs (Hungarian and Italian) have made big strides towards being able to commercially mass market our tools, by doing the necessary paperwork and legal procedures to become official organizations.
On the Home front, we have had ten or more Homes become their own legal entities. They have formed associations so they can carry on CTP activities, get out tools and also do provisioning in the name of their own organization.
Our first EURCRO Video News is done, and numbers two and three are in the works to get out really soon.
Eastern Europe and the Mail Ministry
Dawn and I have been basing out of the Mail Ministry Home, which has had to move twice since the previous Summit. As with all large Homes, moving is a monumental task that doesn't just include the moving of people, but mountains of supplies as well. For the MM, this includes huge stocks of literature--banana box after banana box after banana box full of mailings that are all pre-packaged and destined for the MM sheep that write in. During these moves, we have trimmed down the size of the MM Home from 65 people to 45 people. This may not sound like a big reduction, but as a result, two additional Homes were opened: the Hungarian PPC and the VS Home. With many of our young people getting married and having their first children, the make-up of the Home has changed a lot. This has made the MM Home an even more exciting place to be, with babies busting out everywhere. PTL!
This past year we were blessed by a special visit from Peter to the Ministry Home, which everyone really appreciated. His visit was a tremendous boost and inspiration, as our precious king had so many words of encouragement to give to the many precious ones who are continuing to work so hard in feeding the Lord's sheep via the ministry of the mail. In spite of everything else that's been happening at the MM Home--including the production of the first three European Video News, and the continuing operations of the European Media Desk--the LitPic departments have continued to help with translations in Romanian, Hungarian and Slovenian. They also help sponsor and oversee field translations of Czech, Polish, Croatian and Albanian lit.
The Mail Ministry department has also continued to faithfully feed and minister to thousands. During the past two years they have corresponded with people in 13 different languages, sending out 67,880 mailings and receiving 27,378 responses.
--by Magda and Melody
During the last couple of years, almost our whole CRO teamwork has visited Russia at one time or another, so everyone has been involved in the Russian work and played a part in all the Lord's done there! Meetings and seminars were held to discuss and pray about ways to establish better follow-up and care for the sheep; how to better establish the national church; provide more personalized visitation and shepherding, and the setting up of VS teams. A seminar was also held on how to better care for the precious "knew" disciples being born to us in Russia, as well as each of their mothers.
In recent months, since the law restricting religious freedom was passed, the situation in Russia has progressively tightened; it has become more and more restrictive, just as the Lord told us it would, to where now it is no longer legal to witness. Several of our teamwork members have been seeking the Lord about what our focus in Russia should be during these times of change. The Lord has been very encouraging in every way, not only about the present situation in Russia and His promises of protection, but also promising that He will cause more fruit to be borne during the days ahead by those who stay in Russia to carry on His work.
The main point He's stressed is the need for each one to keep closely connected to Him and linked to His voice and the voices of those on the Other Side who are helping us, so that we will know how to adapt to every situation. The Lord's given a lot of clear insight on what His priorities are for us at this time--the main one being the need to focus on follow-up and establishing the national church. This means helping to strengthen our precious national Family members, as well as each of His dear sheep, live-outs, catacombers and outside witnessers who will be some of the main ones who will continue to disseminate His Words in the days ahead.
It's been thrilling to look back and to see how He's been so faithful to guide us and prepare us in every way for this day. His direct voice of prophecy has really proven to be our "secret weapon." We just flipped when we read the message from the Lord, "Endtime Prophecy Power," as it's been so applicable to the present situation in Russia. The gift of prophecy has been vital to our survival and ability to get His specific orders daily, which has been what has guided and kept us, even warning us of things to come that we would have never known otherwise.
We've also had the wonderful blessing of receiving further counsel and guidance from the Lord and the Folks regarding the work in Russia in light of the tightening conditions. The Lord is calling everyone in Russia to seek His will as to whether they should stay on, or move to other fruitful fields where they will be able to operate more openly. As each one seeks the Lord about their place, it will undoubtedly result in a Gideon's band remaining in Russia--those with the faith and burden and calling from the Lord to lay down their lives in order to continue reaching and training the national church.
Things are already tightening up. There are police stops everywhere in Moscow. At the metro stops there are sometimes about 20 police teams checking registrations, etc. Sometimes the police will just stop you because they say you look "different," that there is something "different" in your eyes. This has happened numerous times to our brethren. Needless to say, it keeps everyone desperate and prayerful.
We can also really see the negative effects of the ACM's activities in Russia, even in far-off cities, where you'd never expect the authorities to have material compiled by the ACM about the Family. Quite a few Homes have been visited by the KGB, and one Home was even asked for the addresses and names of all their Russian friends in the area. It is a serious situation and a big change for the field, yet it's exciting. Because you're so desperate with every step you make, you can really feel the Lord's presence.
Thank you for your prayers for the Family in Russia!
At the time of the last Summit, there were four Homes in Africa, now there are 22! We have eight new disciples in Africa, and many more on the line. It's been incredible to see all that these few Homes have done, and I believe we're facing a very exciting year ahead. When we prayed about direction for the New Year, the Lord said, "This is My year for Africa, for I have been preparing the hearts of My children and putting within them the call to be missionaries to this lost and wayward and needy continent. The work that needs to be done is so vast that no man can accomplish it, but through My Spirit and through My little ones who are yielded to Me and willing to go and be all that I can be through them, there is hope for the peoples of that land."
One of the most exciting things about Africa is how hungry the people are for the Word and the Words of David, specifically for the new prophecy tracts. If you give them a Reflections, they say, "Only one page?" Our videos and tapes are also reaching many. There are programs being broadcast on radio with our music and testimonies, as well as the salvation message. And it's only the beginning; there's no limit to what can be done! We're not just using the regular Family outreach methods, but exploring new and different methods, because there are so many opportunities.
You'd be so proud of our young people, because they really are up there in front, trying new things. For example, YAs Josh and Mike were on a faith trip in Nigeria, and they ended up in a city they were not expecting to be in. But it seemed to be the Lord's leading, so they witnessed to the people they met, and got in touch with executives from an oil company. It seemed these folks had a very bad conscience about how they'd been exploiting the country and not doing anything to help the people. So they said, "You come to this village and tell people about Jesus."
So they went by hovercraft--as that's the only way you can reach the village other than by helicopter--and they were able to pray with the whole village. They first prayed with all the children, because their parents were very reluctant and suspicious of foreigners, and stayed away. But when the children returned home with their testimonies, the parents came too, and the next day they all got saved.
Josh and Mike asked the villagers, "What else can we do for you?" And they said, "We don't have a school." So the boys boldly went to the heads of the oil company and said, "Listen, they need a school." The people from the oil company said, "We'll build a school if you can find a teacher." So they went to a missionary society and said, "If a school is built in the village, could you please provide a teacher?" And they did! Then they provisioned supplies for the school, and they go back regularly to follow up on them.
They also have very fruitful prison ministries, besides being involved with medical projects, schools and orphanages. There are many such opportunities, but the difficult part is that there are too few people to be able to properly follow up on every lead.
One thing the Lord told us when the first teams went to Africa was that we were going to be a great encouragement to other organizations and groups who are trying to do something for the people of Africa, but who are often lonely and disillusioned. This has happened, as we've been able to feed many, and encourage them in their jobs, as well as teach them new and better ways to minister to others. For example, some nuns in Kenya had a computer donated to them, but they didn't know how to use it. Lauren, one of our Family young people, helped them set up their computer and gives them weekly classes on how to organize their mail ministry. Our Family has been able to touch these people's lives in a very personal way.
To fulfill the vision the Lord has given for Africa, we need a lot of help! Please help us with your desperate and frequent prayers, that we'll be able to get the funds needed to print millions of posters and tracts, and to produce all the other beautiful tools that are so needed and appreciated in Africa.
Please also pray for the teams that are preparing to scout out new countries, that the Lord will lead them to the right places, so that through their particular gifts and talents, they will be able to meet the specific needs of each field and bring forth much fruit.
Also, Africa can be dangerous, so please pray for protection against sickness, robberies, accidents and any other dangerous situations. We also need more labor leaders. So please pray that the Lord will call them, and that they will be willing to give their all to love the people of Africa!
--We're writing from a city in Russia--on the delta of the Volga River. We just got another year's visa. We have $500 home support; most coming from gifts from CMs and FMs, but for our family of 13 this isn't enough. If the Lord puts in on your heart to help us, any amount is welcome! Our ministries are seminars for PG mommies, puppet shows, FU, and training our catacombers and kids.--David, Paloma, Sam YA, Cristina and kids.
your views on issues
A deadly tool
(From Someone:) In Grapevine #41, Marie Claire touched on gossiping. We also have that problem in our area. Personally it really hurts when people gossip about me. I know we've had quite a few young people come to our Home from other fields, and before they even reach our Home they know everything about the new Home and the people, and most of the time it's told to them in a negative way. Then they enter the Home and hear more gossip from the other teens.
I feel very sad and disappointed that some teens have nothing else to talk about but gossip. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying all the teens do it, but for those who do, I know it's a real tool of the Enemy to cause division and disunity between each other. This is the Endtime and we have to learn to work together and look at each other with the eyes of love. We all know that we are not perfect but we must speak well of each other. We are all here for Jesus!
Letting kids experience it
(From Cedar [of Jason]:) I felt I made some big steps in my personal gift of prophecy while at the Summit meeting. Having to tackle such big questions which had to do with the overall Family seemed to take a lot of faith, and at first I didn't feel I would be able to contribute. But I felt so desperate to hear from the Lord, and to be part of what the Lord was doing, that I would make myself volunteer for prayer and prophecy questions. The happy end was that my faith has grown in hearing from the Lord for myself personally, as well as in shepherding others.
Now at home if I have questions, I like to ask the Lord about them. I don't always have tons of time, but recently when I'm nursing my baby to sleep, I use that time. Everything is quiet and it's a perfect time to take my questions to the Lord. I finish putting the baby to sleep feeling like I really accomplished something, ha!
I recently had a class with my kids on prophecy, and then we heard from the Lord together. The older ones got a few verses and then I got a prophecy for the kids about how much the Lord loved them. The kids were awestruck! It was so cute. They said, "Was that really Jesus speaking to us?" They were super encouraged by what the Lord had said, and were very touched by it.
I had been feeling convicted that we adults use and practice the "new weapons of the spirit," but I wanted to do it more with the kids, and they had a far-out experience with it!
--a new idea from you!
WHOLE WHEAT FLUFFY PANCAKES (for two people)
1 cup flour
cup powdered milk
1 tsp baking powder
tsp baking soda
3 tbs oil
1 cup water
Mix dry ingredients.
Separate eggs and beat whites till fluffy. Mix water, oil and egg yolk. Fold in egg whites and add to dry ingredients. (A secret to fluffy pancakes is to not stir the batter too much. Stir it carefully, leaving a few lumps.) Adding a tablespoon of yogurt helps them to rise well.
After you have mixed both the wet and dry ingredients separately, combine them. Fry batter in a hot, lightly-greased skillet.
[Note: One cook suggests doubling the measurements of salt and baking powder in whole-wheat flour recipes.]
--for your spirit story contributions
Tommy French (Thailand), Joanie (Mideast), Peter Shepherd, (Mideast), Claire (Ukraine), Tim (Spain), Rose (of John Little, Spain), Olivia (17, Thailand), John Servant (Paraguay) and Steven Schaf (Ivory Coast).
Members Only Family Web site
August UserID: august
August Password: shirt.house
Family WEB discussion group
(From Peter:) As most of you know, there is a Family discussion group on our Family Web site, where you can post your comments and have discussions with others who frequent the site. While many Family members have used this as a tool to share ideas, prayer requests, prophecies, words of help and comfort as well as a forum for meaningful discussion, we have recently received a number of letters about some of the material that has been posted there, a good portion of which has consisted of comments either tearing down or actively preaching against Family pubs and principles, such as promoting System music, junk food, violence in movies, etc., or attacking others personally in a most unloving and un-Christian manner.
We'd like to thank those who wrote in, as well as apologize to you and any others who have been disheartened or offended by these negative postings. In response to your letters, as well as some concerned comments from those who monitor the site, I read all of the postings (reading some aloud to Mama) which were put up during a three-week period, and did an analysis of them. I then wrote an open letter which was posted on this site. We have now erased all the old postings and are starting afresh. Here are a few portions of my letter, as well as just a couple of responses to it, for those of you who are unable to access the Web personally.
"We found much unloving, sarcastic, hurtful name calling, other material which is unedifying as well as some which is quite critical of our Family beliefs. One of the saddest parts is that so many of the subjects that some of you bring out are already covered in the Word, yet there are very few who bring out the Word in answering the various posts. Sometimes people do make reference to the Word but it's often done in an extremely self-righteous, critical or hurtful manner, that puts others down rather than lovingly trying to help them or answer their question.
"There are, thankfully, some of you who put in some very sweet and encouraging comments, who bring out the Word, put in prayer and prophecies, etc., and when reading those it's like taking a breath of crystal clear air after having breathed in a great deal of stench. It's heartbreaking to see how un-Christianlike some of you can be. The names you call each other, the discussions you post, and the fact that a number of you comment in such an ugly manner to each other is appalling.
"It would be sad to have to take away the blessing this site can be for overall Family because of the sins of a few, but if you offenders can't be more in the spirit than you have been, then we'll just have to shut it down, along with giving a clear explanation to the Family.
"If you can't be more Christ-like, if you can't refrain from starting 'flame wars' [term used by internet users meaning a heated exchange over the internet] by your unloving, unkind, self-righteous, ungodly comments, then please stay off the site. The Family as a whole isn't interested and it causes them to stay away from their site because it has been abused by you.
"Mama and I love you, but we also love the rest of the Family and we can't stand idly by while a few of our wayward children wreak havoc for the rest. Please straighten up or get off the site. Amen?"
Responses to Peter's Letter from Family members, via the discussion group:
As you can see I like to talk/fellowship a lot, and in the "multitude of words there wanteth not sin." I'm afraid I might have gone a bit overboard!! I'm sure I got out of it at times and did not reflect the Family spirit; for those times I apologize for opening my big mouth. I learned quite a bit from this "internet" and hope I didn't offend anyone too badly.
I'd like to add my thanks to those already posted! I knew something had to be done. At the same time I'd like to apologize for any self-righteousness on my part. Thanks for deleting all the old messages. However, I'm glad you're keeping the site open for now; I find it a good source of prayer requests as well as general communication. This can be a fun and useful site if we don't abuse it.
I know I have posted some controversial things on this web page. In the sense of fairness to all, I promise not to mention these things again and only to reply to other subjects that are already posted. I will also refrain from using language that some would deem offensive. If possible, though, could we try to have a bit of variety in our discussions?
Thank you so much for your desperately needed correction. I must admit that I have been one of the guilty parties to whom you were referring, and I want to send my apologies to you and anyone else who may have been negatively affected by anything I have said or promoted. You are 100% right and I'm glad that something is finally being done about it. LH us/me to be more encouraging and edifying in speech, and to use this site to praise and glorify You, Jesus, and to be a source of strength and unity. Amen!
now that's funny!
A man boards an airplane and takes his seat. As he settles in, he glances up and sees the most beautiful woman boarding the plane. He soon realizes that she is heading straight towards his seat. A wave of nervous anticipation washes over him. Lo and behold, she takes the seat right next to his.
Anxious to strike up a conversation, he blurts out, "So where are you flying today?"
She turns and smiles, and says "To the annual Nymphomaniac Convention in Chicago."
He swallows hard and is instantly crazed with excitement. Here's the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen, sitting right next to him, and she's going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs. Struggling to maintain his outward cool, he calmly asks, "And what's your role at this convention?"
She flips her hair back, turns to him, locks onto his eyes and says, "Well, I try to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality."
"Really," he says, swallowing hard again. "And what myths are those?"
She explains, "Well, one popular myth is that African-American men are the most endowed when, in fact, it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess this trait. Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers, when actually it is men of Jewish decent who romance women best, on average."
"Very interesting," he responds.
Suddenly the woman becomes very embarrassed and blushes. "I'm sorry" she says, "I feel so awkward discussing this with you and I don't even know your name."
The man extends his hand and replies "Tonto. Tonto Goldstein."
Comics and pictures
[Peanuts 'n' raisins, "What's running through your head?"]
[Bottom Line, courtesy of SACRO secretaries]
[Peculiar People, "Why is it always raining?"]
[Newdayz, "screen man, egg lady, chicken man"]
SOUL SHINERS FOR MAY '98
Juan/Sara Pescador, Venezuela
Magdalena/Samuel M./Pedro A., Mexico
Ruth Marie/Joy L./Isaac E./Juan S., Mexico
Pablo E., Chile
Ezequiel/Rejoice, Jonathan, Brazil
John M.,/Charity/Seth/Lily/Gideon, Mexico
Delhi Deaf Home, India
Timothy F./Rejoice E./Dove F., USA
POSTER SHINERS FOR MAY '98
Peter S./Crystal S./Mary M., USA
Jonathan/Clare Livingstone, Japan
Timothy F./Rejoice E./Dove F., USA
TAPE SHINERS FOR MAY '98
Lydia G./Ruth M./Santiago G., Puerto Rico
Pablo E., Chile
Dave/Jan/Rosemarie, Czech Republic
Andrew G./Crystal/Angela D./Maureen, USA
Dave/Jan/Rosemarie, Czech Republic
Pedro Fisher/Maria Fisher, USA
VIDEO SHINERS FOR MAY '98
Titus/Gioia Firstlove, Taiwan
Joao/Clara,Clara Cristalina, Brazil
Micah, Matthew, Taiwan
David/Esperanza, Santiago, Peru
David/Joana, Suzy, Brazil
Francesco/Clarie Moon, Taiwan
FREE POSTER SHINERS FOR MAY '98
Gateway/TULIP Home, Russia
Black Sea Hoppers, Ukraine
Cliff/KAYAK Home, Russia
Mount/NECTAR Home, Russia
P.A.S./NODE Home, Russia
Blossom Home, Moldava
NUT/PEARLS Home, Russia
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family