(Issue #46; July 15, 1998.)
It is far better to forgive and forget than to resent and remember.-- Unknown
Brandon Roy, 12th child, born to Phoebe and Tim.--Brazil
Daisy Taylor, 2nd child, born to Chris and Dom on April 8th.--USA
Alyssa, born to Mary and Samuel Wholeheart on April 18th.--USA
Jean D'Arc, 5th child, born to Cherish and Jeremy on May 2nd.--Taiwan
Jonathan Andrew, born to Faith and Andrew on May 6th.--Holland
Baby (no name given), 7th child, born to Faith and Jonathan on May 7th.--Australia
Alan Grant, 1st child, born to Genai and Bernie on May 8th.--Hungary
Lily, 9th child, born to Lydia and Paul on May 10th.--Japan
Sharon Rose, 10th child, born to Hope and Zac on May 11th.--USA
Cheryl, 2nd child, born to Dawn (22) and Justin (22) on May 18th.--USA
Angel Dawn, born to Andrea and Andrew on May 18th.--Austria
Sean Garey, 1st child, born to Rosita and Piper on May 21st.--Russia
Sean Valiant, 1st child, born to Peace Livingstone on May 24th.--Slovenia
Arthur, 3rd child, born to Ruthie and James on June 1st.--Ukraine
Brandon Arthur Pioneer, 1st child, born to Claire Joy and Simon Austin Pioneer on June 3.--Brazil
Audrey Jeanette, 9th child, born to Vicky and Robin on June 16th.--USA
Simon Austin and Claire Joy got married on April 16, 1998.--USA
Steven Victor and Vanessa tied the knot in May, and she is now pregnant with number two!--USA
new laborers - April, May 1998
Faith Hope (South African), plus two kids, Wian (10) and Peter (2), joined in South Africa.
Bruce and Jackie (South African), plus two kids, Ashley (14) and Rayghana (9), joined in South Africa.
Eli (21, Bulgarian) joined in Hungary.
Sasha (21, Ukrainian) joined in Ukraine.
David Philip (20, Russian) joined in Ukraine.
(From Sam:) We held a three-day meeting in June with the young people in Chile. Our classes centered around the new GNs--"Year of the Bottom Line," "Hold on to Your Crown," "Wham! Bam! Junk the Punk!" etc. We had some on-fire inspirations, Word-based skits, and wonderful times of hearing from the Lord.
The next day we read "Be a Missionary for Me" (ML #3178), and the Lord gave us a neat idea. We gave each group of three or four people 10 minutes to prepare a presentation, based on one of the prophecies in the GN. As each team presented, all the other teams scored their presentation. Everyone loved this and really got into their presentation of prophecies in the form of skits and drama. We went through the skit-prophecies in the same order they were given in the GN. It was a fun way to get a lot out of each prophecy.
Toward the end of the meeting, the Lord showed us in prophecy that there were many who wanted to make personal commitments to the Lord and rededications. So we gave everyone half an hour of personal time alone with the Lord to walk on the beach and make their commitments. Everyone was very touched.
(From Happy and Willing:) We held a week-long summer leadership camp for 80 deaf catacombers (from 16 cities) in the beautiful mountain resort of Shimla at the foothills of the Himalayas. This was the second camp we've held, though the first time for each of the attendees, and a success on all counts. The theme was witnessing and the Endtime. After five days of classes we had two days of camping, including times of sharing power and protection stories and testimonies around the campfire! We were able to distribute video tapes of all the previous classes we've given; we now have 15 titles which the deaf catacombers in all cities possess. TTL!
(From Mark:) We held a four-day meeting for 45 senior teens, YAs and SGAs from June 29-July 2, at a hotel. The main themes were "days of preparation," "freedom and choices," and "dedication and commitment."
(From Marie Claire:) Sam and I held two five-day junior teen meetings from June 16-27 near the HCS, with 35-40 attendees at each session. The classes focused on forsaking all and the days of preparation that we are now in. It was one of the toughest meetings yet to shepherd, and we had to continually go back to the Lord in prayer to get His counsel. At the end, however, it was inspiring to see that many had caught the vision, and at least some will go on for the Lord and make the changes necessary to be what the Lord wants them to be.
One teen girl who said that she could never go to the mission field because it was so dirty and poor, and she wouldn't have her "fun things," etc., wrote a beautiful reaction to the class on forsaking all. She realized how her motives were really wrong, and that the Lord would only bless her if she gave these things up as unto Him.
During one class (after we had just finished praying for the gift of prophecy), we felt led to ask if there was anyone who wanted to try and get something for the whole junior teen group. To my amazement about 10 of them raised their hands. Most had never received a prophecy before, and yet received beautiful prophecies. We compiled these and printed them on nice parchment paper and gave them out at the end. It seemed to boost the confidence of the ones who received the prophecies, to see that we valued them as we did, and many said later that they were amazed to read over what they had received, and it made them want to try and hear from the Lord more.
on the net
International Family Website and Members Only Site - May 1998
GP and Members Only sites stats report
In the month of May, 721 MB were downloaded from the International Family site, averaging nearly 28 MB per day. The International Family site was visited 3,520 times.
The Members Only site was visited 1,405 times and 405 MB were downloaded from it!
Work completed and uploaded in April
Complete listing of all movies rated watchable (and not-recommended) on the Members Only site!
Work in progress
"Latest News" section for the GP site, of exciting happenings (with audio and video clips, DV) of the Family's work around the world. This project is still in the embryonic stages, so all prayer (as well as any reports, photos or video clips of such happenings) are very appreciated!
ASCRO Web Stats - June 1998
This month we had a record of over 10,000 visits with 1.14 gigabytes downloaded.
Thai Family Site
413 Mb downloaded
1104 video clips watched
Countdown/Future Foretold Site
556 MB downloaded
379 video clips watched
[We got 902 searches for the word "Armageddon." It seems that people are searching for information on the upcoming movie and are getting info on the real thing!]
Heart to Heart
158 MB downloaded
An All Young People's Home!
(From Sandra and the VIPs:) It all started one chilly summer day in the Arctic, where several young people from a city in northwestern Russia were manning a witnessing outpost. We'd just gotten back from a show and were locked out of our apartment, sitting on some pipes waiting for a key to arrive when the idea came up: "You know, we oughtta open a Home together!" We carried on excitedly discussing ideas, all the while thinking, Sounds great but it'll probably never happen.
A few days later we took the idea to the Lord. To our surprise He told us that this actually was His plan, but that it just wasn't the right time; we needed to finish up the projects we were already working on. The Lord even showed us which city to go!
Six months later, around Christmas of '96, our team had shrunk down to three people: Richard, his Russian wife Joan, and little me. Latvian Martina came to the rescue to be our fourth person, and we were on our way towell, it was a little more complicated than that. We had very little money, hardly any equipment or materials, and two of us needed to renew our visas. After praying about our situation again, we got that we should go ahead and step out by faith, and that the Lord would supply and take care of us. We even received a prophecy from a guy who called himself "the Braveheart of Russia." He said, "This is what I always wanted to do! I'm gonna be there with you. I'm gonna be your shadow!"
The most outstanding feature we've noticed about this city is the amount of students, particularly foreign students (with every shade and color represented). It's a personal witnessing paradise, and we get to use just about every language we know!
The Lord provided a big apartment right across the street from the train station and around the corner from the student dorms. Well, the fun (and the battles) had just begun! Our flat didn't have a stick of furniture, and we spent our first few months sleeping in sleeping bags, sitting on plastic crates, surrounded by bare cement walls, and our office desk made out of some boxes with a board on top to place the computer on! TTL, nothing lasts forever, and since then we've gotten a lot of our basic furniture needs through provisioning and some Homes that closed down in other cities. When one Home closed, we not only inherited a few of their beds and dishes, but two spunky Brazilian girls, Brisa and JoCeline (Joy)! A little later Andrew joined us, and just recently Angel arrived to be our eighth member and sixth girl. (Boys, take note! We need you!)
Our main emphasis has been a student ministry. We have several sheep and potentials that we meet with regularly for classes in our apartment or at their dorms. We also have two regular CTP projects, and a church ministry where Martina translates for a Nigerian pastor and a few of us lead the inspirations! The rest of our time is filled with follow-up of friends and contacts, provisioning, fundraising, as well as all the basics of daily living that life is full of.
(From Julia:) RAD hits the road! Well, believe it or not, RAD has been rockin' out in and 'round Rio! It's been great to use the music more in witnessing, and the response has been really neat! Our studio/busking team has been singing and distributing hundreds of CDs, and winning lots of souls.
On the studio front, the music continues to roll. RAD is cranking out some new numbers; so get ready for some fun! "It's a Nu Dayof Love," "Groovin," "Rapturous Feeling" and more!
We recently were assigned the project of completing a new children's song tape.
The BLAST studio has just moved in, which means that RAD and BLAST are under the same roof!
(From BLAST:) Hey wait, Julz (a.k.a. Julia)! Can we let them know that since we've moved in we've been having a great time? It's a real blessing to work together under the same roof and literally next door to the two RAD studios (as ours is between their two studios). We can "interact" more, listening to each other's material.
We've also finished revamping the translations of the children's songs that are in the new Kiddie Viddie series, so we can produce it in Portuguese. We're presently working on translating the songs for an upcoming Christmas CD, and we're also ready to start mixing the songs for a Brazilian-style CD.
Oh, we forgot to mention that we were just visited by Philly, from IVM, who spent 10 days with us all. We enjoyed sweet fellowship together and were able to talk shop and exchange ideas on how to streamline and simplify the production of the local language versions of the videos. Philly is on his way to Peru now, where he'll be helping for about two months with Spanish productions. Thanks, HCS, for lending him to us. What a Family!
Country to Country
[Note: All songs on Side A courtesy of Friends, from their GP CD Follow On.]
1. Keep My Eyes Open - Paul (3:35)
2. Honesty Pays - Micah/Martin/Martin, Micah (4:19)
3. Passin' Through the Valley - Micah/Micah/Unknown (4:33)
4. The Light of this New Day - Paul/Unknown (3:59)
5. Lord of Love - Paul (3:49)
6. Follow On - Micah (4:26)
7. I Can See - James (Jubal) (2:36)
8. Your Love - James (3:44)
1. The Stranger - Jerry (5:23)
2. Betting on Tomorrow - Jeremy, Katrina/Jeremy/Jeremy, Zeb, Micah (3:47)
3. It's a Wonder I'm Here - James, Katrina/Casper/Casper, Barry, Windy (4:18)
4. Forgive and Forget - Katrina/John Phoenix/John P., Micah, Jeremy (4:06)
5. Broken Heart - Katrina, Eman, Emmanuel/Katrina, Beloved, Eman/Jeremy, Micah, Mark T. (5:17)
6. Up There - Martin (4:28)
In Grapevine #42, it says that Mario New is the 1st child of Sara Croatian; he is actually their 3rd child.
In Grapevine #44, we announced the birth of Casandra Roan. However, her name is Rowen Cassandra. Sorry, little girl!
To All Missionaries, from Family Care Foundation (FCF)
We are thrilled with the many testimonies we hear of the wonderful work you are doing worldwide, and would like to assist you in your missions. As you may know, FCF is a non-profit California Public Benefit corporation, and one of our objectives is finding ways to help missionaries around the world raise funds for their missions. The IRS (the U.S. Government's tax department) has granted us tax-exempt status to conduct certain "exempt purpose activities" which we can justifiably undertake under our tax-exempt status.
Our three main exempt purposes are missionary activity, religious publishing, and supplying goods and services to the poor. One of the ways we help missionaries is by finding projects to operate in association with, thereby allowing FCF to fulfill our exempt purposes in a greater, more efficient way, and to reach and serve more people.
To this end, it is possible for your local ministry to come "under the umbrella" of Family Care Foundation as a "FCF-sponsored charitable project." Additionally, this would mean that in conducting your own local fundraising for your ministry, you could, within certain guidelines, offer U.S. donors and/or taxpayers a tax deduction for their gifts.--Not to speak of attracting potential donors and sponsors of all nationalities who might be encouraged to support you because of the official recognition and legal standing of your association with Family Care Foundation.
Since FCF is an American tax-exempt organization, any projects operating under our umbrella are able to attract tax-exempt funding from U.S. donors. The benefits of this are not confined to those in the USA. For you missionaries operating outside the United States, this could apply to financial gifts that you receive from relatives or donors in the U.S., or from U.S. businessmen, corporations, or U.S. military abroad, or possibly even non-Americans who have bank accounts and/or businesses in the States.
Furthermore, for any of you whose American parents or relatives may be considering leaving you an inheritance and/or turning over stocks or other assets to you, your Family Care Foundation project status would offer you a way to put more of that money to use in your mission, and your donors the opportunity for major tax breaks.
So if you are already getting support from American donors, or have a burden to pursue this avenue of fundraising via your mail ministry, or face-to-face with American expatriates or corporations in your local area, then the FCF umbrella program could prove to be a big blessing to you and your local work!
Please note that FCF will be able to accept a maximum of 50 new projects in the second half of 1998, and we are offering you this opportunity to qualify. Please respond soon if you would like more information. Applicants will be evaluated on a number of objective criteria, so when you receive and fill out your application, you would need to provide us with a complete picture of your project.
If you are interested in finding out what is involved in qualifying for this umbrella program, please send us your e-mail address, and request our information pack.
or write to:
Family Care Foundation
P.O. Box 6070
Orange, CA 92863-6070
Mama jewels on kids' appreciation for parents
--comment made after going over one of the Zines
This Zine section, "Your Name in Lights" is so touching, but I wonder how many of the moms and dads whose kids have put words of appreciation in there about them are going to see it. I hope folks do read this section, because it's beautiful to see how their kids love them, and how people in the Family are appreciated.
Someone was telling me that one of the sections in the Grapevine that gets the most input is the "Grapes of Thankfulness" section. We're flooded with sweet notes of appreciation, as Family members tell of the loving and sacrificial things that others have done for them and their family or Home. That's so encouraging to hear! Even though at present we're backed up with many more than we can print, Peter and I both thank the Lord--and you, our sweet Family--that so many of our Family are taking up the Lord's challenge to serve one another in love.
(From three grannies:) Firstly let us tell you that we are living in London. Our Home consists of three single grannies (we were four, but one granny left for Taiwan). Our main ministries are outreach, clowning, provisioning, and gallivanting. We have one teen boy soon to leave for sunny Brazil; one teen girl, recently back from India, and one six-year-old boy. All of us are in London for family reasons, and we desire nothing more than to be on the fertile fields of other continents, but praise God, He gives us the desires of our hearts and lets us out occasionally for faith trips. It is one such faith trip that we would like to comment on today. We are:
Julie, hereafter #1 Granny
Mercy, hereafter #2 Granny
Joy, hereafter #3 Granny
(Listed by order of "appearance" in our story--not by importance, by any means.)
#1 Granny had been on the pioneer team to Albania in '92 and had started an indigenous church. With the "love'm and leave'm" vision, the pioneer team met, fed, watered and helped along many young folks there until some of them joined the Family. Today there are eight full-time Albanian disciples, five live-out members, and four bellwethers waiting to join, and lots of sheep. Wow! They are mostly between the ages of 19 and 26.
#1 Granny mentioned to #2 Granny that she was thinking of taking a faith trip to Albania. (She was so in love with the folks there and never stopped talking about them, praying for them, etc., that #2 Granny just had to go and see what it was all about!) After prayer, the Lord supplied two airplane tickets to Italy, and from there half-price boat tickets across the Aegean Sea to Albania. #3 Granny couldn't leave the country at that time, and someone needed to hold the fort ("Boo hoo!" she sobbed), so she stayed by the stuff. GBG! (God bless Granny!)
#1 Granny had been able to contact Charity, who sends aid to Albania from England; they agreed to help the Family there with some of the things they had collected. Charity had also collected some little shoe-boxed Christmas presents for children of various ages to give away in schools, orphanages, etc. There was a possibility that the two grannies could help to distribute some of these boxes if they made the trip.
The two grannies took the faith trip (seize the day!) and were met off the boat, in time, by a team from the Home. (We did have a slight panic when after quite some time we were the last ones left on the dock with no one to meet us. One sweet taxi driver remembered Julie from before and told us in broken Italian not to worry--he'd be the one to rip us off! Ha!) The brethren took us through the ropes of getting the right bus, dodging goats and sheep, rolling our trolley bags on the uneven roads and through the mud, etc.
We were wonderfully welcomed at the Home, and even though it was a bit strange at first, we soon settled down to the different routines, waiting for the water to come into the taps so we could use the shower, waiting for the boiled water to cool down so we could drink it and, worst of all, discovering that we had forgotten to bring English Breakfast tea. Oh no! Then there was the theme song, relevant to many Eastern countries also, "When the Lights Go Out!"
The thing that impressed #2 Granny most was that the folks in the Home accepted us and made us feel part of the plan (even though we had turned their Home upside down with the noise and confusion we caused!). They went out of their way to help us adjust. When we went to meet sheep, or visited parents and old friends, one of the brothers was always with us to translate. We also went to the country to do a show in another town, travelling up and over the mountains. The kids in the school were so receptive and enjoyed the fooling around of the clowns and the puppets and the little dolly. We prayed with them and their teachers, then gave out the boxes of presents to all the children.
We say "jolly old hats off" to the chaps there in Tiran. We love you and think you're amazing! Thanks for treating us as equals. We do so much appreciate it!
(From Margie, HCS:) Following the GN giving the call to the young people of Japan to go pioneering, Johane and Lydia have been praying about how to put this into action, and the Lord put on their hearts to open a Home in sunny Okinawa during the colder months of winter. They prayed about it and got encouraging prophecies to do so. Their vision is to have a place where they can receive Family young people and give them the opportunity to witness to not only Japanese but also English speakers, as there's a very large US military base there.
Johane and Lydia will also help with the upcoming National Training Seminar which will be held during July. Our SGA nationals will get specialized training in follow-up, business, hospital and doctor visits, computer work, provisioning, etc., via classes which will be taught by some of our top national experts. So far 30 young people will be attending, and it will be very inspiring for them (and us!) to see our second generation help share the load in some of these ministries which have until now been mainly manned by our precious first generation nationals.
Our seventh time
(From the DC Home:) The 1998 Easter Roll marked the seventh time we have been invited to entertain at the White House in the past six years, such a miracle! Beginning in 1992 and spanning administrations of both the Republican and Democratic parties, we have performed four times for the Christmas Candlelight Tours with a performing group of up to twenty, and this spring was our third performance at the historic Easter Roll.
This year's Easter program with the theme of increased literacy for children featured mainly storytelling, with members of the Cabinet and Congress, famous children's authors, and dramatists all delivering stories and monologues, as well as a few hand-picked and specially invited actors and actresses who were considered "politically correct." After prayer and prophecy, the Lord told us that the message of "The Rock in the Road" on kindness and helping others would be an important one for the thousands of kids that come every year. This year an estimated 40,000 attended the Easter Roll on the South Lawn of the White House.
Liefke and Lisa put together a very animated yet simply produced set, a very large storybook, and costumes for this great story. The Family's was by far the most colorful and captivating presentation, even among the professionals! Though we were invited as back-up entertainers, we prayed beforehand that we would get a nice slot of time for our story, and the Lord answered prayer.--We were given two time slots! It was a hit for both parents and children!
Some of the people we met included: Jane Seymour, who was also a storyteller accompanied by her husband and five children. She was easy to meet, very sweet and interested in our Christian materials, and she thanked us for the videos and tapes we gave her. Performing after her on the main White House stage was Art Garfunkel, formerly of Simon and Garfunkel, who sang a few songs; his wife, Kim, who read "The Ugly Duckling;" and their eight-year-old son. We later met with Kim, and she was very sheepy, as well as her mom who is a born-again Christian.
After we finished our story time, while we were packing up, one of the organizers informed us that we had been requested at the main White House stage! He said someone higher up had asked if we wouldn't mind doing our very good story again! We were able to introduce ourselves and inject a little blurb about the Family and our local work before beginning, then Lisa and Liefke again presented our story.
Before leaving we met with the executives of the production company that sponsors and organizes the event each year for the White House. When Ahlai said, "Well, maybe we'll see you next year," they replied, "No maybes--for sure!"
Living through the Indonesian riots
--by Byron, Marie, John D. and Peace, for the Indonesian Family
The city lay quiet and still, awaking to the dawn of May 27, 1998. Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia (the world's fourth most populous country) had recently experienced an unprecedented economic collapse, resulting in skyrocketing prices and massive inflation. Though the currency had been repeatedly devalued over the past months, things had remained relatively calm with not too much obvious ado over the ever-increasing hardships the crisis was creating. However, the normally sweet and humble Indonesian people, who have been withstanding so much for so many years, were beginning to show signs of reaching the point of breaking under the heavy load of oppression and poverty.
Today, the morning serenity that seemed to pervade proved to be merely on the surface. As the sun began to move westward, the casual outlook with which many people viewed the precarious situation quickly transformed to incredulity as the city began to explode with the worst riots and civil disturbances in over 30 years. As if out of nowhere, crowds of students began to form in the streets, at first peacefully protesting the steep rise in prices. But as time wore on, the demonstrations escalated into full-fledged riots and massive-scale street violence. The city which we had spent so many years in and had grown to know and love so well had become a battle zone of anarchy, destruction and turmoil.
Triggered by the deaths of four students, the city went from peaceful to berserk as thousands of students and unemployed workers looted, burned and destroyed over 5,000 offices, shops and mall stores--not to mention thousands of homes and vehicles--in this large metropolitan city of 12 million. A dense and foreboding cloud of smoke hung over the city as some of Jakarta's central buildings went up in flames. Tragically, many people were trapped in buildings that had been set ablaze, including babies in a maternity hospital which was torched. Nearly 1,200 deaths were recorded in Jakarta alone.
The Chinese became the focus and principal target, due to much resentment on the part of the poor who begrudge the hard-working, intelligent and efficient Chinese--who, as a result of their work habits and government favors, hold much of the country's wealth and own most businesses. Chinese houses, shops and vehicles were the main objects of the looting and violence. Even some of their women and very young girls were raped, with the intent of degrading and taking vengeance on the Chinese.
In certain hard-hit areas it got to the point where mobs would pull off the helmets of all passing bicyclers and motorcyclists, and if they were Chinese they would brutally beat them--in some cases to death--on the spot. The charred marks in the asphalt from the cars and motorcycles that were burned will henceforth serve as a reminder of all the unfortunate commuters that fell that day.
Large areas of the city were blocked off, including the main highway to the international airport, which was closed for nearly two days, as looters were stopping cars, robbing and in some cases murdering the travelers, and burning their cars.
The US, English, Canadian and German embassies hastily organized evacuation plans for their citizens. As many as 40,000 foreigners evacuated the country via non-stop, round-the-clock flights that transported them to Singapore and Bangkok--anywhere--so long as it was out of the country. The airports were bulging with desperate, frightened people, sleeping all over the floors or anywhere they could find a horizontal spot. Some waited 50 or more hours for flights since the airlines had more customers than they could possibly deal with.
TV crews from major networks around the globe reported live on the action. It was as if we were seeing some of the events predicted for the Endtime in full-color. That, of course, quickly got us on our prayer bones as we looked to the Lord and His Heavenly helpers for protection and the answers to our many questions. It was like, "Hey, is this the Endtime, or what?!"
Family Home surrounded by mobs
You're probably wondering how the local Family was faring in all of this carnage that you were seeing on CNN, BBC, etc.?! Well, God never fails! Here's the story of how He protected one of the most exposed Homes in the area.
Located near our Service Home is a large Marine Corps base with the best, most highly-trained and disciplined soldiers in the country. They've always been amiable and helpful. So when we got a phone call from one of our Family Homes (that has mostly Asian members of Chinese decent) whose subdivision was completely surrounded by rioters and looters, with the roads cut off to both incoming and outgoing traffic, we sought the Lord desperately as to what to do.
A Muslim friend that we've been ministering to for quite a number of years lives nearby and is well-known and respected in our area. He helped us to get the help of three machine gun and grenade-toting, powerfully-built marines. After desperate prayer and prophecy, a team of six--two Family men, three storm troopers, and our Muslim friend at the wheel of our van--set out across Jakarta, to evacuate the other Home's members, and bring them to the Service Home.
As our team departed, the Family all over Jakarta were in earnest prayer for our little commando band of liberators. The miracles began as soon as they drove through the streets and were able to find many back streets that were still open. The looters in the streets which were closed literally jumped back and saluted when they saw the Marines in the front seat of our van, who had their weapons clasped to their chests and faces set as hard as flint.
As they drove up to the subdivision, the frenzied mobs peacefully parted at the sight of the "big guns," and our team was able to get into the subdivision where the Family Home had been surrounded and cut off for two days and nights. Everyone was a bit in awe that we had the Marines with us, as even top people couldn't get their help to move around at this time. Only God's ambassadors get this kind of VIP treatment! What a welcome relief the Home members felt as the van pulled into their driveway! The brethren who had been waiting on their knees in desperate prayer welcomed the Marines and our team with open arms, grateful sighs, and great praising of the Lord for His protection.
The Lord came through again, and the entire Home was able to move into our and another nearby Home. Another Home also evacuated and joined the rest of us when the burning and looting came within blocks of their house. We made it, thanks to the Lord's spirit helpers and some sweet local friends who were our angels of mercy in times of trouble. It sure pays to witness to your neighbors and trust in the only real help and protection we have--the Lord!
In the months leading up to this event, all the Homes in Indonesia had been faithfully putting aside food, water, gas for stoves, diesel for generators, etc. Because we prepared in this area, none of the brethren needed to leave their Homes during this time of upheaval and demonstrations, which lasted about one and a half weeks. That was a blessing, since venturing out during this intense period was not exactly a great idea, ha!
Through prayer and prophecy in each Home, the majority of the Family decided to remain in the country, receiving promises of protection and provision along with encouragement to give the Indonesians the answers from the Word which they desperately need at this time, and to "bind their wounds". A couple of families safely moved on to other countries.
As a result of all the mayhem and in the midst of all of the earthshaking events, President Suharto, one of the longest reigning rulers of modern history (he was 32 years in power), stepped down. His vice president, Habibie, took charge, received the military's backing, and has since been trying to institute changes and open up the country so that the common people have more of a voice in their government. Many do not feel this is enough, as Habibie was so closely connected with the "old regime," so it remains to be seen how things will continue to unfold.
We see this as a fulfillment of Dad's many Endtime warnings, including the Hale-Bopp Comet prophecies regarding "death to kings," fire, drought and severe crisis throughout the land--all of which have plagued Indonesia in the last nine months. Someone even got regarding the economic crisis that this was the "beginning of sorrowssurely these things must come to pass so that the wicked one may be revealed." We know all of this is part of God's plan, and we're thrilled to be a part of it and witness these exciting "Last Days" events firsthand.
The garment of prophecy and being in God's will
We were having regular prayer and prophecy sessions in the Homes to receive the Lord's guidance before things exploded, but when the riots started in full force we desperately sought the Lord with all of our hearts. At times when our future seemed ominous and we were unsure as to what the next day would bring--or if indeed we would witness another day on Earth--we would miraculously feel the Lord's strong arms supporting us. Most of all, He gave us the peace which passes all understanding that yes, we were in the center of God's will--as the little sparrow perched in the midst of all the chaos that surrounded us--and He would protect and provide for His Own.
We daily saw the power of His Word and protection, and needless to say, we are now joyful prophecy junkies, and are thankful for Mama's and Peter's initiative and continued encouragement along this line. It kept us hallowed about with His tranquility, despite the many rumors, worried people, wild news reports, etc., circling round about us.
Our friends and contacts
All of this has greatly affected our friends and contacts--and in fact everyone with whom we come in contact. There's such a hunger in the land for solutions to people's problems and battles. Now that things have calmed down, we have been sending out teams to feed and minister to our friends and meet new people. Everyone is pretty much blown away at what occurred in such a short time. They never thought something like this could happen, so they are very open to our witness.
Please continue to pray for the Family here. Although through all of this the Homes have been making it financially, they are feeling the pinch more and more, as people just don't have the money to give that they used to. Also pray for wisdom for the rulers and leaders of the country, that they will take the right steps in the coming months to bring this titanic back to the surface and keep it afloat so there won't be more violence. Thanks very much to all of you for your daily desperate prayers for all of us, as well as to those of you who have been sending gifts. They are certainly needed and much appreciated at this time!
I just wanted to write a note to say "Happy Birthday!" and tell you how much I love you. I'll never deserve the love you show all of us! Knowing that you'll love me anyway is what has kept me holding on by faith. The Lord, through you, has been my inspiration these last few months.
You introduced me to the greatest Lover I could ever dream of. You showed me that He wants me just as I am, ending the agony of false pretenses. You lit my fire, you set me free, you encouraged my desire to love Him with all my heart. I'm eternally indebted to you for shining His light of love on my soul, and inspiring me to follow Him.
You've brought the love that we've all been longing for to life by your obedience and acceptance of His will. We're all partakers of the blessings of your "willingness to be made willing." Thank you so much!
Happy, happy birthday! May all the desires of your heart come true! You are very much in my thoughts, my prayers, and my heart. You will always have a big place in my heart.
--kisses, one of your daughters
(Editor's note: And on behalf of the rest of us--we agree with the above wholeheartedly! Happy Birthday to you, sweet Mama! We love you!)
We really need your help! The Albanian team (which does many shows) has no vehicle! Send designated gifts to the Albanian Vehicle Fund, in EURCRO, via your TRF.-- three gallivanting grannies, England
We are David and Lauren, SGAs living in Kenya, now preparing to pioneer an as-of-yet-unreached country in West Central Africa. We need your help to get funds together for this major undertaking. Gifts can be sent via EURCRO, designated for "David and Lauren (Kenya), for pioneering." Rest assured that you'll hear from us and we'll let you know exactly where your giving has gone!
We are a small family serving the Lord in Botswana. Have you been praying about where to send a gift? Look no further. You can support us and help reach this vast continent. Gifts can be sent directly to us at "The Family" c/o M. Patel, Private Bag BR336, Broadhurst, Yaborone, Republic of Botswana, Africa. Tel: (+267) 580-115.--Ben and Meekness
Movies Rated for Junior Teens and Up
SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS (1998)
Harrison Ford, Anne Heche
Comedy/drama about a couple who are on a South Seas vacation when the woman is called away on business to a nearby island. She hires a rough-around-the-edges pilot to take her there, only to encounter unexpected difficulties along the way. Light entertainment only.
Skeet Ulrich, Bridget Fonda, Christopher Walken
Drama about a young man who has the ability to effect miracle healings, while suffering stigmata (bleeding as Christ did on the cross). Many good points for discussion.
Movies Rated for JETTs and Up
TRUMAN SHOW, THE (1998)
Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris
Inventive drama/comedy about a man who suddenly discovers that his entire life since birth is being broadcast as a 24-hour television program.
Movies Rated for YCs
AIR BUD (1997)
Kevin Zegers, Michael Jeter
Cute Disney story about a dog who is able to play basketball. Sweet lessons about giving love, caring for others and working as a team. Beware of the bad example of the first coach. It's generally fine for younger audiences to also watch if they're around, but it may need some explaining.
The Truman Show
(Dad speaking:) This is the kind of movie that I would have liked to be in--a movie with meaning that shows the evil controlling media empire that has taken over the world and tries to force everyone to conform to the plans of the evil ruler. But very few of these types of movies can get through.
God bless Jim for standing up for what he wanted to do, what he wanted to show. He's got himself in a position of fame and popularity, so the producers felt they could afford to take a chance on a show starring him that wasn't as foolish as his previous movies. Those producers have to weigh the message that they want to get across with the fame of the actors, and with what the sponsors will accept. Thank the Lord they did manage to get across a pretty strong message, though veiled, and at the same time entertaining. (End of prophecy.)
Love Lines - CM or FM?
Q: Is it possible for people to specify in their Love Lines ads whether they are CM or FM? It can be helpful if you know right off the bat before contacting someone.--Anonymous
A: (From the Grapevine editors:) We're sorry that we initially forgot to include this important detail when asking folks for their ad information. However, now most people do include their status when submitting an ad. For simplicity's sake (and because status transfers are fairly common), we'd like to ask that each person receiving Love Lines be responsible to find out, if they don't already know, the status of the person(s) they are communicating with.
letters to the editor
All from the Letters
Recently there has been much comment about our young people and education. I guess I would have to weigh in with the "pro-education side." Due to the nature of my ministries I think my education has been very important. A good education and broad general knowledge can help in relating to a wide variety of people.
One day I'm shaking hands with a director from the UN in Geneva or a top manager from NATO in Brussels, winning them as friends to our work. The next day I'm organizing and leading a seminar for managers and government representatives on Disaster Response. On another occasion I'm researching, interviewing experts and writing a 1,000-word article on the social impact of recent events in Russia for an international System magazine. And yet on other occasions I find directors of schools asking me to design and teach special courses for them.
You can't be a dummy to do things like that. There's no way around it. You have to have a good education. But since I dropped out of school at 17 to join the Family, I'm not sure where I learned how to do all this. I guess it's just from studying the Letters!
--Nat (FGA), Russia
Esther (of Spanish Victoria), Olivia and Valorie (of Martin and Charity, met you in Switzerland), where are you? Maria (of John and Marianne) would like to contact you. Add: P.O. Box 20197, Humewood 6013, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. E-mail: email@example.com.
Amber (of Eman and Meek) would like to contact Paul and Ruth (of Sapphire), Jadina (of Noah and Martha), Eric and Michael (of John and Peace) and Marie (we lived together in Charluio). Add: Casilla 277-12, La Reina -Santiago, Chile. Or via the Chilean ABM.
Gabe (18, of Jonathan and Ruth) would like to contact ASAP Lizzy and Heidi (somewhere in Africa). Add: De Francesco Gabriele, C.P. 103, 48018, Faenza (RA), Italy.
SGA Maria (a.k.a. Miracle, of Jo and Dove), please write Philip and Meekness in Namibia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victor in Puerto Rico is trying to contact Ian (last known to be in Miami, but believed to be in S. Carolina now). E-mail: email@example.com. Tel: 769-4581.
Lillie P. in Siberia would like contact Dutch Wilfried who was in Holland at the beginning of last summer and was planning on going to Russia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Add: P.O. Box 93, 630058 Novosibirsk -58, Russia.
Aaron and Dulci would like to contact Finnish Magda (last heard of in Ukraine). E-mail: email@example.com. Add: M.R. Apdo. 50909, 28080 Madrid (Spain).
Alana would like Shelly, Nana, Nashy, and Nina (better known as "Bear") to contact her ASAP. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snegana and Pauline, this is Gabe that was in Petersburg. Please write me. E-mail: email@example.com
Charlene, Heidi and Toni please write Sheryl YA. We met at the EE Camp held in Hungary. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could Forty (last seen as John Ralph with Pocahontas) please contact Jewel, his sis. E-mail: email@example.com.
(From the Grapevine editors:) Please take note that as of now we are going to discontinue printing legal (last) names in this column. Keep this in mind when writing your find-a-friend requests, as the person whom you're trying to locate may not appreciate having their legal name broadcast to the whole world. Thanks!
grapes of thankfulness
For all the dear brethren in the Lord (friends and FM) who have over many years helped our CM Family by providing addresses, helping take care of legal papers, providing a place to stay when having to come back to home countries from the fields, etc., WLY! In particular, Peter and Peace, Jonathan and Ruthie (Germany). Steven and Marie Claire (Switzerland), and Samson and Christina (France).
--Abi and Faithy (single mom with six kids)
Andrew, Miracle and family, we love you and wanted to send you a special word of thanks for the gift you sent us through your TRF in December. It touches our hearts that you are willing to sacrifice for us, knowing that you are in a difficult field yourselves. THANKS!
--Juan and family, Cameroon
As FMs who went to India for a six-month SWIFT we'd like to say a big thanks to all the brothers--young and old--that really loved us and made us feel a part of the Family. With special mention to Elkanah and Faith, and Gideon and Mary: That Home included us in their CTP ministry twice a week, included us in their Family Day, their excursions, etc. Much, much love and thanks to you and your children. Also, Abel and Marie-Claire took a 30-hour train ride to come and visit us. All this was a token of Jesus' love for us.
--Michael, Mary and four children, France
I would like to put your names in lights--Mark and Marianne, and John and Maria in Kosice, Slovakia, because of the kindness you showed me when I was there. You really are a sample of what the Family is all about! Mark, thanks for bringing me breakfast that morning when I was sick! Flame, Angie and Marianne, thank you so much for taking me in your circle of friendship. It was like I'd always known you!
--Claire (19), Ukraine
We, the Foz Home, want to THANK the Home in Brasilia for being sooooo sweet, loving, kind, thoughtful and sharing by letting David come here for a month to help us in our time of need (when little David was so very sick). We couldn't have done it without you! We love you and thank you with all our hearts!
--Ana, for the Foz Home
request for your stories
--send them in to the Grapevine!
#1: Calling all brave pioneers who have lost sight of their former comfy shores, having launched out to fertile mission fields, and are now fruitful, happy and in the center of God's will!--Are you one? If so, please write up your testimony and send it in. Your account may help another struggling soul gain the courage to try it themselves! Thanks!
#2: Mama would like to solicit testimonies from those of you who had either an exceptional amount of money, higher education, benefits, tremendous career, etc., while in the System. In a nutshell: What did you have to forsake and give up in order to join the Family, and why did you give it up?
tips on how to help teens who leave the Family
--by Gideon and Rachel, England
A very important part of the media ministry is the reconciliation ministry, and we have seen it blossom over the last few years and bear tremendous fruit in many ways. We have worked a great deal with adults who have left the Family; some of them left many years ago, and we have found that a considerable number have become supporters, live-outs or FMs. Mama and Peter have led the way and encouraged the Family in the direction of reaching out to former members and apologizing to those who have been hurt. Now the Wine Press is making an even bigger difference in their lives, and we are receiving beautiful responses.
But what about the teens who have left? Being in England we have a considerable number here, who have congregated mainly in London. There are a number in the US too, as the teens often speak English as their first language and therefore prefer to live, study and work in English-speaking countries. We ourselves know what it feels like to have our teens leave. There is a whole range of emotions which can accompany your child's decision to choose a different life from the one you had hoped and prayed for since they were born--feelings of failure, shame, discouragement, etc. Sometimes it is hard to know how to react to them and respond to their new way of looking at things, which may be very different from the way we see things and the way we tried for so many years to train them. Thus there can be problems, breakdowns in communication, even angry exchanges which unfortunately lead to further problems.
As we often communicate with the teens in London on behalf of their parents, or sometimes when problems arise, we have found there are certain keys to help to ensure that our teens overcome their bitterness, making them less likely to fall into the hands of the ACM. They are also more likely to succeed in adapting to their new lives successfully, and by this we mean not turning to heavy drugs, stripping, etc., but rather finding a job and leading a fairly normal, well-adjusted life.
The most important thing seems to be the parent/child relationship before they leave--a good strong relationship based on mutual respect and unconditional love. Then once the teens leave the moral support of the Family, if possible, they need help with finding housing, jobs, courses, etc. You cannot overestimate the importance of keeping in touch--regular letters and phone calls, and don't forget their birthdays.
Also try to show appreciation for what they are doing. If they have a job and are working hard, encourage them. Two teens here in London took a nosedive after a well-meaning visit from their father where he gave them a strong "talking to" and "delivered his soul;" they began taking hard drugs and going downhill. Whether it was true or not, all the teens in London heard the story and blamed the father. Thank the Lord, they are both doing much better now.
We have also had parents send us letters to their teens, asking us to see whether the wording was all right before we gave the letters to their children. In some cases we have had to advise them that it may not be exactly what they needed at that time, as at times the strong meat would only have driven the child further away. We have to remember that these kids are not usually seeing things from a spiritual point of view any longer, so references to Babylon the Whore do not go down too well, ha!
We do believe that many of these teens will learn their lessons, but we believe that we can leave it in the Lord's hands and just pray desperately for them, rather than sermonizing when they are not in a position to receive it.
We are trying to help the teens who leave in whatever way we can by being a listening ear, providing job references, recommendations, etc. We speak to potential employers on the phone and try to provide practical help when we can. However, we cannot do as much as we would like to do, and when all is said and done, our teens do make their own choices. We pray that we can all work together to help our teens, in or out of the Family. Bathe your teen in the Lord's unconditional love and prayer and it will pay off!
workshop 1998 feature: media team report
--compiled by Marc and Claire, USA
Recently, representatives from most of the media teams around the world were able to attend one of the workshops held after the '98 Summit. We were able to coordinate our proactive work, as well as our public relations efforts, in particular defending the Family from the recurrent attacks in the media and legal arenas, and we pray this will result in more effective proactive work and greater preparation for the future. As the Family has undergone many changes since the early '90s, when many of us were engrossed in lengthy media and court battles, it seemed to all that it would be helpful to update the Family as to what service media teams are presently providing for the Family, and what fruit their proactive work is bearing:
The Lord has helped the media teams around the world to make many important advances on the proactive front. We're certainly thankful for this time of peace to prepare and inform key people about the Family, which has been very beneficial in getting our beliefs and the truth about us known, while working to counter the negative image our enemies and the media had created. Media teams have participated in many interviews over the past years, which have been crucial in telling our story and helping people to better understand us. They have engaged in dialogue with representatives of other religious movements, as well as government officials overseeing the religious situation in their countries. They have been able to represent the Family to law enforcement agencies, courts, students in university classes, at international academic or religious conferences, etc., as well as sending mass mailings to key government, law enforcement, parliamentary, academic and legal representatives.
Media teams also provide a window for outsiders by making the Family accessible and open to those seeking more information. Open access has been established through national phone numbers representing the Family, some of which are printed in the yellow pages of local phone books, as well as GP e-mail addresses, open Homes, and the Family Web site. Media teams have also participated actively in the Ministry of Reconciliation, serving as points of contact between former members and the Family. They have also provided much legal research and counsel for the Homes and their particular situations as the need has arisen.
Family representatives have also been able to meet with academics who specialize in the field of new religions, several of which have written books, papers or chapters on the Family, or are presently in the process of doing so. Several of these academics have done in-depth professional studies on the Family, whether from a sociological or a psychological perspective, including surveys in which a significant number of Family members have participated, as well as on-site research in Homes around the world. Their research places them in a position to speak knowledgeably about the Family when the need arises.
In several areas, the media teams have been able to meet and minister to government officials, informing them of the activities of the Family, as well as keeping them abreast of persecution situations, the activities of the anti-cult movement, etc. Media teams have also participated in lobbying efforts, religious liberty activities, etc.
Another crucial means of disseminating information on the Family to the public has been the Family Web site. Media teams have been able to contribute information to the Dossier section of the meaty Family Web site, such as academic writings on the Family, and other publications of interest to academics, the media or students of religion. Our site has also been linked to several university sites on religion, making it more accessible.
It appears there is at times a misconception that media teams are actively approaching media outlets, seeking publicity or interviews. The general consensus was that approaching media outlets is not one of the functions of the media teams, as they usually are busy taking care of the media that knocks on their door requesting interviews, besides their many other obligations. The exception to this would be when the media teams have actively approached the media with press releases and offered interviews to tell our side of the story, such as during the French, Australian or Argentine raids.
At times media teams in counsel with their CROs have opted to participate in programs that turned out to be negative, as the Lord indicated that He wanted the Family to be present to counter the lies and give His truth. These were usually done with much counsel and prayer and confirmed by prophecy. On the other hand, on some occasions the Lord has also shown us not to participate in certain programs, which has resulted in the cancellation of the program against the Family.
As you can see, the media ministry is one that requires a lot of prayer and prophecy. Please pray for your media teams, as facing hostile media or anti-cultists is not an easy task and they can certainly use all the support in prayer you can give them!
The desire of your media teams is to continue to be a blessing to your area through their proactive work, as well as be ready to go to battle should the need arise. WLY and are so thankful for your prayers and support and to be a part of such a wonderful Family!
With much love,
Your Media Teams
Discover Africa, part III
--by Aaron and Joshua, Lagos (Nigeria) Home
In this article, we would like to give you a rundown on some of the different countries on the African continent. Because of the news you've probably heard about them in the past, you may have never considered living in some of these countries. We pray our surveying of the land will shed light on what these very potential countries are really like.
Our team of four--Aaron, Joshua, Phebe and Rima--took five weeks to pioneer and survey the land. We had just enough money to pay for the visas. The Lord supplied most of the airline tickets for free, and took very good care of us during the entire trip.
Ethiopia--The Enchanting Country!
We flew in a small Cessna (nine-seater) from Nairobi, Kenya, to the border town, Moyale, where we spent the night. The flight was a lot of fun, as I, Aaron, got to be the co-pilot. The next day-and-a-half we traveled by the one and only, rugged African-style bus to the capital, Addis Ababa. We were thankful we traveled this way, as we got to see the beauty of the country. We had always thought of Ethiopia as being famine-stricken and destitute, but we found it to be just the opposite--lush and beautiful in every way. The people are the most precious that we've met in Africa--happy, sweet and gentle, always hugging and touching one another. Our funniest experience yet was when one Ethiopian girl took Josh by storm, and practically climbed over him to sit next to him on the bus. Ha!
We found Addis full of helpful people. Each person who stopped to give us a ride ended up taking us all the way to our destination. Our team had to learn how to talk to the Ethiopians differently, as we were used to witnessing in other parts of Africa where the key is to be very emotional and persuasive. But the Ethiopians won't listen to you unless you're calm and polite.
The main religion is Orthodox Christianity, and teams must be mindful that the majority of Ethiopians are proud of their religion. However, although they don't like people coming to try to "change their religion," most have an open mind to missionaries who are there to help their people.
Registration might be difficult. We were told that some NGOs (Non-Government Organization) have recently been asked to leave--evidently for abusing their NGO status and trying to make money from imports they, as NGOs, did not have to pay duty on. (Ethiopia has over 200 NGOs.) It's possible that you could meet someone who is already set up there, who could help you go in under their organization initially, though this isn't necessary.
Ethiopia is one of the most exciting fields in Africa, especially for a team willing to lay down their lives for this special people, by becoming one and investing in a more long-term commitment. It is the second largest country in Africa, and has a population of 60 million people, though Addis Ababa is the only city large enough for a Home. The youth are alive and vibrant, educated, and have a lot to offer in terms of discipleship. Everyone we witnessed to was very open, and received the witness and posters with receptive hearts.
Addis is a mixture of something like an East Bloc country (it was under a radical communist government from 1974-1987, and still has the traces of communism on its monuments) combined with a Third World look, much like India 15 years ago. There is a good infrastructure, though, and there is little crime or any kind of civil unrest in Addis Ababa. However, there has been fighting recently on the Eritrean border, which has a lot of potential to intensify. (Any teams planning to go should be prepared should tensions escalate.)
Provisioning is something new for the people there, but the Lord always supplied for us. Most hotel and restaurant owners were sweet and helpful. There is industry in Addis, and good possibilities for kings and sponsors. Americans receive a one-year multiple-entry visa upon request at Ethiopian embassies, while most other nationalities receive a one-month visa which must be renewed. Both visas cost $70. Ethiopia and its people are so special, and there are many possibilities for a Family Home in that exciting country. Single brothers beware! Ethiopian women are some of the most beautiful women in Africa!
People tend to think of Uganda as a trouble spot, remembering Idi Amin, who ruled the county in the '70s, and the country's next leadership during the 80s, who were apparently even worse, or at least just as bad. But for the past four years Uganda has had a stable government, and has once again reclaimed the description given it by Winston Churchill in 1908: "For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life, plant, bird, insect, reptile, beast--for the vast scale, Uganda is truly the Pearl of Africa."
We landed at Entebbe Airport, a 45-minute drive from Kampala, the capital, and largest city in Uganda. From Entebbe, you travel alongside the second largest lake in the world, Lake Victoria. You could have a home right on the lake. Houses vary from $300 to $500 a month for a three-bedroom house in the Entebbe area.
The first thing we noticed was that the roads are great--lacking the giant craters we became used to in Nigeria, or like what we saw in Kenya. The standard of driving, and of vehicles, is much better than we've seen in other African countries.
Kampala is a bustling city, set in a lush valley, surrounded by small hills, with greenery everywhere. The weather is fantastic! It never gets hotter than 26 C, and there is no humidity. Everything is available, and the infrastructure is well set up. There were only a few short breaks in the electricity while we were there. Communication is great. There is very little crime. Uganda, on the whole, is making giant strides toward becoming one of the most stable countries in this part of Africa, and is receiving a lot of support from the West and from the States, which was made evident by Clinton's recent visit. Americans and Europeans do not need visas prior to entry. They are stamped in upon arrival, and can go in and out at will.
The Ugandan people we witnessed to and provisioned from were helpful in every way. There is a large Indian community that owns many of the large companies. They also were very helpful. It seems as though everyone knows everyone else. In order to make it here, it would be best not to come with an attitude of blitzing the country with videos and then leaving. In order to build confidence in our Family and the work, a team would need to be ready to become part of the community and willing to stay. It would be important to make a priority of developing kings and friends.
Several people we witnessed to were very excited about the possibility of Family members coming to Uganda to start a permanent work. For instance, one well-known businessman, who put us up in his hotel, is very interested in working together with us. He is particularly interested in sponsoring a medical camp in one of the surrounding villages in collaboration with the Family. A precious woman we witnessed to, who has a hotel and restaurant and is involved with work in orphanages, is also looking forward to working with us.
During our time there, every door we knocked on opened to us. Our whole team agreed--Uganda is a fantastic place for witnessing! Everyone we met was very hungry for the posters and any Word we had to give. There is plenty of opportunity to raise funds and provision in this English-speaking country. Fifty percent of the people are Catholic; 30% are Anglican; and 20% Muslim.
Before arriving in Rwanda, we, like everyone else, had clear memories of the 1994 genocide that took place there. We were expecting to see only torn-down buildings and everything destroyed, as we had seen in Liberia. To our amazement, although Rwanda is still in a very delicate political state, and it is not yet safe to venture outside of Kigali, the capital, it is nothing like what we had seen in Liberia. Although Kigali is a very, very small town, it's clean and well-organized. The Rwandans are very sweet people. Everyone we witnessed to was so precious and receptive. They speak Swahili, French, and many also speak some English.
There are many NGOs in Rwanda, but most are finishing up their jobs there and are getting ready to leave. The officials are not pleased with the NGOs, as they feel they are just making money off of other people's tragedies. During our time there, we were able to meet with the Minister of Family and Social Welfare, who opened the door to the Family to be able to operate inside Rwanda through their ministry.
If you feel the Lord is calling you to help this needy field, we are looking for enthusiastic people who have a heart for the poor and needy to come to Rwanda for a four- to six-week period to help on a governmental project. French speaking skills would be a definite plus, but are not required. Prospective candidates must be over 18 years old, and are required to send in a photo and resum of their experience. You would need to supply your own round-trip tickets to Rwanda, as well as $100 for landing and emergency funds. Food and accommodations will be supplied.
We are looking for people with training in one or more of the following areas:
* teachers and child educators, preferably with experience in teaching others their skills
* persons with experience in computer sciences to train staff in the Ministry of Social Affairs
* persons with organizational, office and business skills, who could help organize school and health records, etc.
* people experienced in using music, drama and arts and crafts as a tool to teach children
More than anything, we are looking for people who are ready to jump into action and put their heart into training Rwandan locals. Any supplies you could bring to complement or assist you in your field of specialization would be a plus, such as flash cards, notebooks for the kids, counting sticks, textbooks, guitars, portable puppet shows, etc.
For those interested in helping this field from where they are, these centers are in great need of educational materials, school supplies, clothing, etc. (in containers or bulk amounts only, as smaller amounts would not be worth shipping). Those interested in pledging financially toward these projects, your help is desperately needed. You can send any gifts through your TRF to NI1510, designated for the "Rwanda projects."
[Text Box:] Send your rsum and scanned photo to: FCWA@INFOWEB.ABS.NET (Attn. Rwanda training projects)
Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire)
We had heard a lot about Zaire before going--reading books about this place will really scare you away, but we found it to be quite different in every way. Our arrival at the airport was safe and smooth, and we were able to get our visas at the airport. We met a sweet man who gave us a lift to town, which saved us the taxi fare we didn't have. Ha! Driving in to town, we saw that Kinshasa is a huge city, with many possibilities.
From what we'd read, Kinshasa was a dangerous place, and we were expecting much more of a mess. But a lot has changed with the new government, and at least for now, we found it to be as safe as any other African city. Ha! The people seem trustworthy, although there are thieves on the streets, so you have to be careful when you're out.
We hitched a ride from the airport to one of the nicest hotels ($270 a night), and were able to provision a room right away. The first night, we had dinner at a little restaurant where the owner introduced us to a precious woman whose husband is in the government. She runs an orphanage for 300 street children. We spent the next day with her, and were given a tour around the whole city.
French is a must (or be willing to learn it), as most people don't speak English. Things are expensive, about three times more expensive than in Europe. But there is a lot of industry, and provisioning is an open door. Rents are from $500-$1,000 per month, and they ask for three months in advance.
In 1991, Kinshasa was destroyed by civil war. There continued to be a lot of trouble until Mobutu was ousted for the last time in 1997. Since then, most buildings and infrastructure look like they've been bandaged up, and they are trying to revive the place. There's a lot to be done, though--Kinshasa is very Third World.
Things are beginning to stabilize, but there is a lot of discontent with the government for not doing as good a job as people think they should. So within the next six months it will be more clear which direction things are going to go. CNN and other news agencies are not painting a very good picture, mainly because the West is not able to control things like they used to, or would like to. So don't be too influenced by their portrayal of the country.
In the last two years, there have been different levels of tension. Anyone going to the Congo would need to be aware of the instability of the situation there, and be sure to have return tickets and a security buffer in case you have to flee in an emergency. One of the biggest problems seems to be the military. They have a reputation of giving expatriates (one who has taken up residence in a foreign land) a hard time. If they are not happy with you, they can easily throw you in jail for a day or so, but that is mainly toward the business community. If you mention that you are a missionary, people in this country seem to be helpful and respectful.
There are tremendous possibilities of reaching the top here. It only takes a team with faith to come here and claim the land. Everyone we witnessed to was receptive. Most of the places we provisioned at told us how honored they were to have been able to help! This entire country is turned on by music. They love it!
Want more information? If you're interested in any of the special lands on the continent of Africa, please write to EURCRO, and they will send you an up-to-date info-pack with more details of prices and conditions in different countries. For teams that are interested in moving to these countries to live and work permanently, we have contact information of people who will help you get set up once you're there. These are people that we have met on our pioneering trips, and who want our people to live in their country.
If you are planning to come to these countries for short-term visits or faith trips, it's important to remember that most of the major cities in Africa are small when it comes to provisioning hotels and restaurants, etc. They can easily be burnt out if there is not some form of coordination and counseling with other teams in the area, to learn from each other's experiences, and be able to avoid over using any one contact. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or information on any of the above countries at: Fcwa@infoweb.abs.net. (Attn: NAFR VS team- c/oAfrican Info)
Africa reality check
--by Lisa (CRO)
With all the exciting news and testimonies that have been published from and about Africa over the last few months, we pray that you now see this continent in a different light than before--as a fruitful mission field with many opportunities. We realize that many of you are now praying about whether this should be your future field of service. Therefore we wanted to add a little more about other sides to living in Africa that would be useful to consider before arriving in this new and unknown field.
It will be a great advantage to you in adapting to Africa if you are willing to leave yourself very open to new ways and methods. We have found that the traditional methods of getting out videos and tapes for support, while possible, can be very limiting on a poorer field like Africa.
South Africa is an exception, but because so many Homes live off tool distribution there, not many more Homes can fit while using these same methods without stepping on each other's toes. Of course, if you have home support, use pledges or develop a ministry to kings and supporters, it might be fine for you to come to several of these countries without the worry of conflicting interests.
Africa is in desperate need of more personnel. The key is to expand our faith and find new ways of supporting ourselves to eventually be able to spend less time raising funds and more time on witnessing by means of the exciting new ministries available. You might find it more fruitful to go beyond the conventional and try new witnessing and provisioning opportunities.
The Lord has urged us on several occasions to get out the Words of David in Africa by the millions. To have such frequent witnessing road trips, it is helpful to have a bit of a financial base to be able to make such an investment.
If your plan is to open a new Home in Africa, our suggestion would be to have at least $5,000 (US) upon arrival (per team, not per person); some countries suggest more. Then you will have enough to get a place to live and a little time to learn about your new field, make friends and establish new contacts and supporters. It is also highly recommended that you come with a good computer and a working knowledge of how to send and receive e-mail. This can greatly help relieve frustrations with communications and help you not feel isolated, not to mention the blessing of having the Word at your fingertips and providing your children with more variety in their schooling.
Clothing and supplies are available in most African countries, but are often more expensive than in the West. It would be wise to bring these items, particularly women and children's clothing and supplies.
Africa has a reputation for serious sicknesses of various kinds. But apart from several Family members catching malaria (which they thankfully are able to cope with), they haven't been any sicker than when they were in India, the East and other such Third World countries. You might find it helpful to read over, review, apply and adapt much of the counsel in our pubs on health and hygiene and living in the tropics.
You might also be more exposed to sickness here while doing certain CTP projects. But again, it's amazing how the Lord has protected the Family when they obey Him to love others and follow the good health guidelines we have. In regards to your children, it might be good to research and seek the Lord and the pubs to have it settled and clearly agree on where your faith stands concerning vaccinations. You will be faced with this question, and some say that the common childhood diseases are more dangerous in many African countries. The Lord has kept us wonderfully so far, and no children in our Family have contracted anything along these lines yet. However, knowing where you stand on this issue will help you have faith and trust and peace when hearing different stories.
Some teams have asked what the possibilities are of coming on short term and travelling through Western Africa witnessing. To do this freelancing seems premature at this point; it might even be dangerous and not bear so much fruit. Such road trips could be fruitful in East and South Africa if well coordinated with the Family there. We would very much appreciate staying in close counsel with any teams going to East or South Africa for such shorter trips, because there are not as many hotel and provisioning possibilities as you might be used to in the West. Therefore the way we approach and take care of them is very important, so that they don't feel "used" by many teams passing through, which could have negative repercussions for the permanent work in that country.
When first arriving from the West to these Third World countries, you will find that the infrastructure is not what you are used to and leaves much to be desired. There is also a very different mentality about business and services, and you might at times find yourself very frustrated. The worst thing you can do in such situations is to get angry. Our advice is don't get angry, even if you are right. You will find that it only makes matters worse, and can even lead to dangerous situations. Pray for the grace to take the lower seat and don't challenge their authority; instead of making enemies you can make longtime friends. "A soft answer turns away wrath" is very wise and workable counsel in Africa.
The teams who have pioneered here ahead of you would like to stress the importance of being and acting prayerful as you arrive in your new field. You are faced with a completely new culture and new ways of thinking and doing things, and, if not led by the Lord each step of the way, can unintentionally easily offend or say or do the wrong thing, with serious consequences. Taking the time to hear from Him fresh every step of the way and drawing from the experience of your spirit counselors, as well as new friends around you, will help you to have success in winning and reaching the people you have come to serve.
This includes dress code, where you might find that you have greater success in taking a more moderate stand than in some Western countries. You will find many different types of peoples, some more liberal than others, but until you learn to know your field and the options they allow, it's better to be safe than sorry.
We would like to advise against clumping many Homes together in one country, firstly because there are so many countries still untouched, and secondly because you might not find it as fruitful at this pioneer stage of the work in Africa because many cities are smaller and/or don't offer possibilities for supporting a large number of people through tooling or outreach. In counting the cost, you need to consider that most likely you will not have as much Family fellowship as you might have been used to. On the other hand, you will probably be so busy establishing a work that this might not turn out to be a very big issue. There are also plans of teams and Homes working together on certain projects, and these situations will give opportunities for fellowship and working with others besides your immediate Home.
Please pray about and consider coming to Africa with a long-term vision, and be ready to invest in and take the time to build a work in your respective field. Pioneering and learning about a new field takes time. It even often takes time in lessons and growth before the Lord can trust us with big opportunities and greater fruitfulness, as He teaches us how to better understand and relate to people. Some teams who have stuck it out for two to three years are now experiencing the greatest fruitfulness and excitement ever.
When all is said and done, we want to underline that the spiritual preparation is by far the most important. If you take time to hear from the Lord in prophecy about all the different aspects and concerns you might have in launching out into this new territory, we assure you from personal experience that it will be a comfort and strength. We can't stress enough the importance of using the new weapons in your pioneering; they are the keys to fruitful progress as well as being able to change with the new and let go of the past, and to seeing things through fresh eyes.
Taking along some do-or-die courage to keep on trying will be very valuable as well! You have to resolve to accept and have the faith that when you dangle there in midair waiting, it is not because the Lord has forsaken you, nor that you have necessarily done something wrong or are in the wrong place. You might just be waiting for the Lord's perfect timing and setup. Isn't this what you have been longing for?--To live the excitement of the faith life and put your faith to the test in new ways? Wonderful things await you if you let go and open up to try new things!
your views on issues
Wild, fervent singing
(From Grace, 20:) I'm a new disciple. I had to wait 10 years to join the Family, and each day during all those years I prayed to be with you all, my dearests. Now that I'm finally in the Family, I can't say that I'm disappointed, but there are a few things that I can't understand and that make me sad. Sometimes I think I was born 10 or 20 years too late, because now our Family has changed very much.
I appreciate all the changes accomplished after the Charter and I know that before the Family was not perfect, but tell me: Where is the fervent movement full of young people who sang the songs of happiness and love in the streets? When I see so many SGAs and teens without a vision, who are living their half-Systemite lives and complaining about this or that, I just pray that the Lord will send someone who could lead a new revolution of the young people in the Family.
I know there are lots of young inspired brothers and sisters, but they are somewhere off in the mission fields, not in the "normal countries," for example in Europe. I don't want to be critical, so I will express myself briefly. I feel alone. We have such beautiful music, much more lively and joyful than the churches. But I don't know anyone who does this now, neither in Western Europe nor in my home country (Poland). Don't tell me that this kind of witnessing is not possible because of persecution, or because times have changed; I don't believe it.
One year ago, when I was a student in Poland, I was a member of one of the Catholic movements, "Renewal in the Holy Spirit." One or two times per month we witnessed in the principal square of Warsaw. We were nearly 40 young people singing and dancing, praying with people. After that (six months ago) I lived in Paris and met another Christian group called "Jesus Christ's Church in Paris." They organized a meeting for the general public in a big hall, and were singing and giving testimonies about the Bible and Jesus.
I know that my place is in the Family and that the Family is the best, and I can't express my thankfulness for the Lord calling me here. But I can't stop thinking that we could reach many more people not just through witnessing, but also through our loving, fervent singing--it could also be a way to get out tools as well.
To tell the truth
(From a concerned disciple:) In the eyes of the world, Christians are supposed to be honest and manifest a large measure of love in their actions and deeds. Isn't this true? The question I have is, why do some people feel that because they are in the Family this somehow "exempts" them from this level of honesty?
Let me give you a few examples: I don't know how common these things are in the Family, but I had been living with a shepherd of a Home who would take the teens from the Home to a pizza special one afternoon a week where it was all you could eat for a set price. The challenge came in not how much the teens or this shepherd could eat, but how much they could put in their bags to take home. Often it wasn't taken home to share with the others, but rather so they could boast about how much they "got away with!"
On other occasions this same shepherd told the Home they were going witnessing, and then would see a movie or just go window shopping. I recently heard that the teens would do the same things when out "witnessing" on their own, even stuffing the posters somewhere and coming home with "witnessing testimonies" that were fabricated.
It is a real shame for those who are supposed to be a sample of Christian living to have so little conviction in their personal samples. I wanted to ask that we up our level of conviction and even desire to be helped in these weak areas. If you know you have a weakness with these particular things, ask for prayer! Ask for safeguards and confess and get them out in the open, as these temptations are "common to man." The Lord and His love have the solutions, and He is waiting with outstretched arms to forgive and forget.--But we have to start by being open and honest with ourselves and the Lord, then the rest will follow.
Brown sugar syndrome
(From Michael:) Thank God this "eat-what-is-set-before-thee" junk-food habit has been exposed! Whenever I feel like my body needs an extra boost of sugar-energy, I've found that fruit or fruit juice is a good substitute. Did you know that orange juice, for example, contains about 10% sugar--natural fruit sugar, or fructose? It tastes so much sweeter ever since I figured that out! I thank God for all the good sugar He put into His creations!
I often have the impression that the only thing some people remember from Dad's health pointers is not to use white sugar. Some go to the extreme of just replacing white sugar with brown sugar, then they think they're living healthy. Just a few words after "killer and thief" [in ML #353; "MO's Pointers for Health"] it explains that brown sugar is hardly any better! And when it says that it's "almost pure carbohydrate that has an affinity to calcium," that goes for over 97% of the contents of brown sugar too! I think some people deceive themselves; the color doesn't make it much better.
Page 308 of the Kidz Mop explains what a balanced diet is: 60% veggies and fruit, and 40% proteins and carbohydrates. That wasn't written just for kids either! I wonder how many people follow this basic simple rule. If you do what it says, you feel so good! You won't need those gigantic portions of starch that many are addicted to! Of course, it's much easier to cook lots of starch than to prepare lots of veggies or a nice salad. But if you do it, these nice meals don't just fill you up, they are also tasty, nutritious and fun. All that starchy food enlarges your tummy, makes you tired and leaves you craving more. Lots of poor people are fat and have no energy for that reason--they eat mainly starch! (People who eat lots of starch feel hungry more often, because after eating starch, the blood-sugar level rises, then a while later the insulin that the body produces makes the blood-sugar level sink again. This low blood-sugar level makes you feel hungry, even if you ate plenty just a while ago!) You don't have to eat much to get all that your body needs, but it has to be well balanced. That's the secret! This is repeated often in "MO's Pointers for Health."
My wife and I lost a total of 30 kg by cutting down on starch. At that time I made it a habit to look up the amounts of starch, proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc., that are in certain foods. It's fun to figure these things out! I'm over 40 now, and I don't need to eat such large quantities anymore, but I sure enjoy the quality! It feels good to know you ate everything your body needs, and to enjoy a healthy meal! People who eat healthy won't be hurt by an occasional exception. An occasional ice cream can taste fantastic, if you can enjoy it with a clear conscience, knowing that you eat healthy otherwise.
GP searching for friends in the Family
My name is Edis, I'm from Albania. I'm going to school at the American University in Washington, D.C. When I was in Albania I had some friends that I think might have been in your organization. The girl's name is Cristina from Hungary and the boy's name is Harold. They were my friends when they were in Albania, but I don't know where they are now. I would really like to get back in touch with them. Cristina and Harold, please write me! Add: American University Hughes #315, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W, Washington, D.C 20016. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
prayer request for Mama
(From Peter:) We love you and pray for you! Thank you for your fervent and faithful prayers for Mama's health. The Lord has answered wonderfully, as evidenced by the miracle He has done in keeping Mama from bleeding for the past months!
In the last week, however, she has begun bleeding very heavily again, which has sapped her strength, and she is now extremely weak and is pretty much confined to bed. We'd like to again request your effectual prayers on Mama's behalf, that the Lord will stop the bleeding and raise her up immediately. Here are excerpts of a prophecy regarding her health:
(Jesus speaking:) My dearly beloved queen, I have made your vessel weak so that you can be strong in Me, and dependent on Me and My power fully. But don't despair, for healing is on its way. I want to restore you. I want to heal you with My mighty power. Do what you can do. Fear not to ask for prayer. Have I not answered time and time again? Call for the help of your children. This is not a burden for them to carry, but rather a blessing in drawing each one closer to Me and to you, My dear queen. So will I intercede. I cannot fail and I will answer.
The Enemy is out to weaken and destroy you, but I am here for your healing, to restore you, to fulfill My promises. I cannot fail, but I depend on the prayers of your children. The fervent prayers of My children will raise you up, and My power is here ready for your healing! (End of prophecy.)
the September series
(From Mama and Peter:) Don't miss it! Coming your way in September, God willing, is a new and exciting series of GNs on goal #12 for 1998: How we can more fully live God's Law of Love! We are now busy preparing and putting the final touches on this very thrilling, helpful and revelatory series!
The purpose of this announcement is to let you, dear Family, know that the Lord recently called this series of GNs a "special study course," and gave instruction that He would like to designate the month of September for all the Homes to make a push to read and study these GNs!
The idea is not to stop your other activity (as we do during the Feast time), but rather for each Home to plan their time in such a way so as to be able to fit in some extra time of study, making a push to go over these eight or nine GNs within the month of September.
As these GNs near completion we will be sending further counsel, helpful ideas and tips from the Lord on how you might best organize your individual and united Word time and get the most out of it as you study these milestone GNs.
It will not be necessary that you limit or minimize your witnessing and other important duties in order to read through this series. But in light of the need to absorb these GNs, we would like to suggest you plan ahead as much as possible and avoid time-consuming special projects or events that could possibly be taken care of earlier or postponed, in order to reserve the needed time during September to thoroughly read and study these GNs without unnecessary distractions. For example, it would not be an ideal time to plan lengthy road trips, camps, seminars, etc.
You're not going to want to miss out on this priceless counsel! Please continue to pray for us and our helpers as we all work to prepare this special study course of invaluable instruction and guidance! Thanks so much!
Included with this file:
peanuts 'n' raisins
Caption 1: So, did you have any dreams?
Caption 2: No, it was too dark last night.
The New Dayz
Caption 1: Watch those cars in the left lane
Caption 2: Does he think I can't see for myself?
Caption 3: Slow down a bit here
Caption 4: This "rider" thing is just a waste of time!
Caption 5: Watch out for that
Caption 6: Truck.
Caption 7: As I always say, there's nothing like a good rider!
(End of file.)
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family