Tuesday, September 30, 2008
URGENT PRAYER REQUEST!
Dear beloved sponsors and friends of Good News India.
We have never seen anything like this. We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work. But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage.... And it seems to be totally under the radar of the Western Media ....
Let me explain.... A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of Orissa and "reconverting" people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa last weekend. Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up..."Kill the Christians!"
And the horror began.... In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds of churches being blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been slaughtered. For no other reason than they bear the name of Christ.
Night and day I have been in touch with our Good News India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa... they are right in the middle of all this chaos. In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home. They were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and "finish the job." Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past 3 days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer.
More police have come to offer protection. In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace. In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore.
All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in house and burned them to death. Many believers have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road.... even women and children. At another orphanage run by another organization, when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: "We stay with our kids.... we live together or die together, but we will never abandon what God has called us to do."
More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen.
This will continue for another 10 days.... supposedly the 14 day mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down. The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God can calm this storm. None of us know the meaning of persecution. But now our kids and staff know what that means. So many of our kids coming from Hindu backgrounds are confused and totally bewildered at what is happening around them. So many of their guardians have fled into the jungles and are unable to come and get them during these trying times.
Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our goal: the transformation of a community by transforming its children. Orissa will be saved... that is our heart's cry. If we can take these thousands of throw-away children and help them to become disciples of Jesus, they will transform an entire region. It is a long term goal, but it is strategic thinking in terms of the Great Commission.
What can you do?
First, please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second, pass this e-mail on to as many friends as you can. We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order to live for His Kingdom. The next 10 days are crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on and help us to get as many people to partner with us on this cutting edge effort to fulfill His mandate: Go and make disciples of all nations.... Prayer works!
Blessings, Chip & Sandy Wanner Col 2:2 MBI
Team Facilitators to YWAM frontlines
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday night we enjoyed a nice dinner at her place, baked cookies and watched a chick flick.
Saturday morning we took a free walking tour of some of the monuments and then had lunch at this delicious restaurant near the White House. That evening I had my first introduction to Ikea! What a great store. I got a new trash can for my office, some glass jars to store craft stuff in, and some giant boxes to hold my current craft projects. I think I'm in love with Ikea! We had delicious Swedish meatballs there and then rented "Made of Honor" on the way home to watch as we enjoyed our McDonald's sundaes.
After that, we drove to the nearby monastery to tour the gardens because they're ranked amongst the Top 10 gardens in the country. They were very beautiful. We stopped in to listen to their sermon and it was very interesting.
The monk/priest was talking about the parable of the workers where the guy who worked for an hour got paid the same amount as the guy who worked all day. He then went on to extrapolate this to mean that we may all get in the door of heaven, but how far into heaven we get depends on how much we work and how saintly we are on earth. Then, they closed the service with a song singing "Hail to Mary". Very interesting. Sad. But interesting.
Thanks so much, Katie, for a wonderful weekend!
This morning on my way to work, I was cut off by a car coming from an exit lane. I guess being in one of the three available lanes was not good enough for her. I was just slightly peeved at this point, but something in my gut told me to keep my distance from that car.
At the next light, she proceeded to cut off another driver. The following light, she squealed her tires as she tailgated the driver in front of her.
I knew she was going to cause an accident, so unfortunately, I was not suprised when I came up over a hill and saw she ran a red light, t-boned a SUV causing it to flip, and then spun into a guy waiting to make a left hand turn.
I just read online that the accident caused the road to be closed in both directions for about an hour and a half during peak rush hour. Two people were also sent to the hospital as a result of the accident.
I don't care how late she was for her college class or whatever it was she was heading to, but it's better to be late than dead or injure/kill one of your fellow drivers.
Next time you see a car driving irradically, please keep your distance. And for all of us, please leave 5 minutes early or accept the fact that you'll be late. Speeding and driving crazy is NEVER worth it.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Partial-birth abortion is a controversial subject in our society today. The topic of partial-birth abortion can spark heated arguments on the Senate floor, in the workplace, to the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice groups. I believe to get a clear understanding of what partial-birth abortion is it should be seen from the baby’s viewpoint.
My name is Baby Jane; I was conceived through a one-night stand. My mother, who is a very successful businesswoman, started a small business in lower Manhattan that just recently expanded. My father is someone my mother knew briefly before my conception.
Before my mother knows I exist, I am already eighteen days old, my heart is formed, and my eyes are beginning to develop. At two months, my mother has not seen her menstrual period, and makes an appointment with the doctor. By this time I am well proportioned, being 1 1/8” long and weighing 1/30th oz. All my organs are present, and my heart is beating sturdily. My stomach produces digestive juices and my liver is making blood cells, even my little kidneys begin to function, while my taste buds are being formed.
After my mother discovers she is pregnant, she goes home despondent. The next few weeks are a whirlwind. She cannot locate my father and the real problem is her business. What will she do? Who can she trust to run it? She discusses her situation with close acquaintances. They have many solutions, but which one is right? The subject of abortion enters the conversation. Would this be an option?
I am now 4 months old, I have fingerprints, my eyelids and palms are sensitive to touch, and I can even suck my thumb, and have fingernails. I can kick, turn my feet, make a fist and even practice breathing. I can grasp a hand, swim, and turn somersaults. If I were born now I would not survive.
My mother has kept her monthly doctor appointments. I am 6 months now. Fine hair grows on my eyebrows and head. I have a chance of surviving at this age.
From the outside it seems that my mother has resolved her feelings about her pregnancy, but she is taking the advice of a close acquaintance, and is seeking information about abortion. She finds that there are many different types of abortions. One is the menstrual extraction method. This is a very early suction abortion, often done before the pregnancy test is positive. Another is the suction-aspiration method. In this method, the abortionist must paralyze the cervical opening and then stretch it to insert a hollow plastic tube with a knife-like edge on the tip that cuts the placenta from the inner wall of the uterus. The abortionist then proceeds to suck the baby’s body into pieces. This suction is 29 times more powerful than a home vacuum cleaner. Then there is the Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) method. This procedure is similar to the suction method except the abortionist inserts a curette, a loop-shaped steel knife, up into the uterus, and cuts the placenta and baby into pieces and scrapes them out into a basin. Hemorrhaging is usually profuse.
Because I’m now over 6 months old, the doctor and my mother choose partial-birth abortion. This is a breech-like delivery. The entire infant is delivered except the head. Scissors are jammed into the base of the skull, and a tube is inserted to suck the brains out. The dead infant is pulled out.
The appointment is scheduled and the day is set. I am 6 ½ months. My mother enters the hospital alone. Where are her acquaintances now? She is taken to her room, and given medication to ease her nerves. It is time for the abortion. My mother is prepared and wheeled into the operating room. Labor is induced. Once her uterus is dilated, the procedure is set into motion. I feel someone grabbing at my legs with forceps. It is not time for me to enter this world. I can her their voices. I can just make out my mother’s voice. I scream in my world, I am not ready. Nevertheless, I am pulled into the birth canal. I am delivered down to my head. What has happened? Why did they stop? Something is piercing the base of my skull. The pain is too much for me to bare. I scream and move to avoid the piercing, however; I am held in place. The person holding me is puncturing my skull, and opening the hole by opening the scissors. The scissors are removed. By this time I am losing blood and consciousness, I can barely feel the insertion of the suction catheter. As my brains are sucked out my last thoughts are, “Why? Why? Why did my mother allow this to happen to me? Didn’t she love me as I was being formed in her inward parts, or was I an inconvenience?” These questions will not be answered now. My skull has collapsed and I am removed lifeless.
There are no flowers for me, just a cold slab for my little body to lie on. How could this have been prevented? Not just to me, but the many other Baby Janes and Joes. What laws are there for my life to be preserved? There are laws to preserve the wildlife and the trees, and there are laws to save the sparrows, but my life is worth more than many sparrows. I could possess a hope and a future, nevertheless; the law allows such barbaric crime to be brought against me. Who will eventually stand for my rights? What government official or Supreme Court judge will be bold enough to go against the grain, and stop calling good evil and evil good?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
My stud of a brother lounging on the beach.
Our early morning boat ride to go parasailing. Don't you just love the windblown look?
Brock and hubby's grandma getting ready to go up!
That's me up there on the right...proof that I actually did it!
Coming in for a landing...finally!!! And, another sad photo that I had to chop hubby's head out of :(
Chowing down at one of the few decent restaurants on the island. Again, had to chop hubby out of the left of the photo sadly.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Brock in front of Liberty Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Standing in the room where the Declaration was signed. That big chair in the middle was the one that George Washington actually sat in.
Stopping by the Liberty Bell. Brock looks much better than I do. It was a early morning drive for me from the beach and the humidy of the morning did not help the hair!
Monday, September 8, 2008
My parents came out for Labor Day weekend to help us, and the boys immediately got to work on getting all the moldy stuff torn out of the basement and mom and I set out to clean, scrape paint off spindles, and jot down all the floor plan dimensions.
The neighbors are fantastic. We had so many people stopping by just to say hello and they were loaning us tools and coming over on their day off to spend hours helping us on the house. It was so great. We even got invited to the neighborhood pool party on Saturday night at this gorgeous house!
The only downside to the whole weekend was that we learned that while our neighborhood is great and the houses are beautiful and well protected, this also makes the neighborhood a target for crime from the less desirable areas around us. Case in point:
On Friday the 29th we were having our dumpster delivered so my dad & hubby would have a place to put all of the moldy items they were pulling out of the basement. In order to do this, we had to dismantle the fence off the alley in the backyard so the truck could get in there. Well, later that afternoon, my dad decided to go back out and start putting the fence back up so we would be able to park our car in there at night and lock it up. A neighbor across the alley from us loaned Dad a shovel and told Dad to just leave it on his back porch and shut his gate when he was done.
At about 4pm, my Dad finished and was walking over to return the shovel. As he was coming out of the gate, this nice Mercury Marquis starts backing up slowly down the alley towards him. Seeing how he met some of our super friendly neighbors earlier, Dad just assumed this was someone else wondering who this stranger was coming out of so-and-so's yard. Well, when he saw the gun pointing out the window at him, he quickly realized this was an armed robbery and he was the victim! They asked for his wallet and he told them he didn't have one, but he handed them the thing that held his driver's license and credit cards. The kid got in the car and passed this on to the driver. The kid then gets back out of the car, points the gun at my dad again and starts circling my dad while patting him down, looking for his wallet. When he realizes my dad really doesn't have a wallet on him, he demands his cellphone. So, Dad gives them that, the kid gets back in the car, and they drive off throwing my dad's license and credit cards out the window as they leave. He quickly picks it up and makes a dash for our backyard.
Hubby & I are upstairs trying to call the gas company so they can connect the gas and we can take hot showers instead of cold (which never did happen for the whole weekend by the way!) when we hear my Dad start yelling for us. At first we thought he was just joking about the asbestos in the basement or something, but then he tells us his story and I look at his cellphone holder on his hip and realize it really is empty and I yell for hubs to call 911. It was so surreal.
After we call 911, we call the neighborhood "Flashlight Mob" coordinator (now we know why they have one of those!) who gets the neighborhood security guy there ASAP. Good thing he got their fast because it took the cops an hour to respond to an armed robbery! Turns out the security guy saw the car parked in the neighborhood earlier in the day and wrote down the license plate number because it was a car he hadn't seen in the neighborhood before.
The cops finally arrived and they said they got the call 15 minutes before they got there and they were mad when they found out we had called it in 45 minutes before they got the call. As they're calling in my dad's description of the car, we hear back over their radio that they kids stole the car earlier in the day and that in addition to my Dad, they also robbed someone else. Thankfully, two hours later, the cops come back by to let us know that they found the car and caught the kid (we don't know if they caught both of them, or just the one that had the gun) and asked my Dad to come to the police station that night to identify the kid.
So, we go to the station that night and learn that they probably have my dad's cellphone in evidence, they take his story again, and they ask us to come back the next night. Needless to say, the three of us (Mom wasn't in town yet because she was working a trip still) didn't sleep that soundly that night as we kept hearing strange noises.
The next night we go back to the police station and my Dad identifies the kid in a photo lineup and i.d.'s the car and the kid's clothes. Then we learn the crazy way of the courts in this city. That is, if my dad doesn't return to court this week and identify the kid in court, the kid walks. How crazy is that? They catch the kid in a stolen car (the one my dad identified nonetheless), with my dad's cellphone, and my dad id's the kid in a photo lineup, but if he doesn't purchase another airline ticket, get a hotel, and take time off work to go back to court, the kid walks! I have never heard of a more messed up judicial system in my life!!
Anyway...the good news is that my Dad is safe and still here with us. It could have been an entirely different ending to this story. Hubby & I have signed up for our gun permits and are starting to look at handguns.
For those of you who know me personally, though, please don't let this story discourage you from visiting us because this was a random act of violence. We just learned that we won't be living in the country anymore and need to be a little more on guard. There are other crimes in the neighborhood...and these crooks have guts (as we saw another one in broad daylight trying to steal a car from across the street while 6 of us were outside working on our house)...but we learned to sleep soundly by the last couple nights once the home security system was hooked up.
Most importantly, we are still feeling God is calling us to this place. All this event did was open our eyes to how much this city needs hope. We're praying that God will open our eyes and prepare our path to be his hands and his feet to those desperately needing Him in this city.
Pictures of all our work will come in a future post.