Monday, January 23, 2012

When you tell one of God's stories, don't let anyone change it!

The local village elder was a recent convert from Islam and was eager to learn more of the stories himself. A hush fell over the indigenous home because when a village elder speaks everybody listens. The man began to repeat a portion of the story he heard from the boy. But the boy grew uncomfortable. We didn’t know the language but we could tell there was something wrong. The boy’s youthful impatience bubbled over until he finally interrupted the elder. Shock and laughter blew through the crowd.

I asked what had happened. It turns out the elder had misremembered a point in the boy’s story and while his comments were by no means unorthodox, they betrayed he did not know the boy’s story as well as he thought he did. The boy’s father had taught him that God’s stories were the most important stories on earth and that when you tell one of God’s stories you must not let anyone change it. The boy was not willing to let even an elder change the story he told.

The elder joined in on the laughter and thanked the boy for his correction. In that one moment, the boy was more than a boy. He was a brother helping another brother to better follow Jesus. It just so happened that at that moment his brother was the village elder and he was a skinny shoeless boy who knew one of God’s stories.

The boy learned this story, as he did dozens of others, from his father. His father learned it from a neighboring village elder. That elder had learned it from an Ethiopian Christian trained to plant churches using Chronological Bible Storying among his native people. The boy was using the same methods and stories that his father was using to plant churches. While the boy’s current audience happened to be all believers in Jesus, he continued to do what he did in any context: share the stories of God’s Word. To our amazement standing in front of us, was a nine-year-old boy who was trained to be a church planter.

(extracted from Doug Bender and Steve Sims, Short-Term Trips, Bible Storying and Church-Planting Mission Frontiers, January-February 2012, U.S. Center for World Missions)

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Only a Catastrophic Flood can Explain Flat Plains Across the World

Nearly flat plains that are dozens of kilometers across are found all over the world. Evolutionary scientists have developed many different theories, all of them assume that the earth has experienced uniformitarian conditions with only tiny gradual change going back millions of years. But each theory has fatal flaws. The only scientific explanation that works is that these erosion surface were created by water runoff during the retreating sheet flow stage of the Genesis Flood, recorded for us in the Bible!

Selections from Origin of Appalachian Geomorphology, Part II: Formation of Surficial Erosion Surfaces, by Michael J. Oard.

(These selections by Marko Malyj are of the article published in Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal, Volume 42, Number 2, Fall 2011)

An erosion surface is a land surface shaped and subdued by the action of erosion, especially by running water. A nearly flat erosion surface is called a planation surface. Gravel-capped planation surfaces are found all over the Earth. Good examples are found in the northern High Plains of western North America. Figure 2 shows the flat surface of the highest planation surface, the Cypress Hills of southeast Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan, Canada (Oard and Klevberg, 1998).

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Cypress HIlls planation surface near Reser Lake, Canada, Elevation 1300 meters.

In the 1800s, many geologists believed that erosion and planation surfaces were caused by marine planation during sea level rises. Then in about 1900, William Morris Davis developed the “cycle of erosion” or the “geographical cycle” for the formation of erosion surfaces called peneplains.

The Rise and Fall of Davis’s “Cycle of Erosion”

Davis imagined that the many erosion and planation surfaces there were caused by ancient rivers and streams sweeping back and forth, smoothing the land over millions of years. Davis’ idea was strongly influenced by the theory of evolution (Flemal, 1971).

Davis believed that, just like life, landscapes evolved through progressive stages, each exhibiting characteristic landforms. Davis applied the popular analogy of age to landscapes. They initially started in their youth, with the tectonic uplift of a level surface; progressed to maturity, with strong dissection by rivers and streams; and finally reached old age, where the land is finally subdued to a low relief peneplain near sea level (Johnson, 1954) and ready for another cycle.

But this idea is fraught with difficulties. During the early 1900s, despite its popularity, geologists slowly became skeptical. By the 1950s, the hypothesis was widely rejected.

Davis could not demonstrate the transitions between stages by detailed observations and experimentation. When challenged on that point, he simply pointed out the many flat surfaces of Earth’s landscape as evidence for his hypothesis (Johnson, 1954; Chorley et al., 1973, pp. 242, 243)—a logical fallacy called begging the question, a type of circular reasoning.

Peneplains are rolling erosion surfaces. To form a flat planation surface would take more time than was available, even on the geologic timescale. Ollier (1991, p. 200) claimed that just one-half of Davis’s cycle took the last half of the Phanerozoic, or 250 million years, in the highlands of southeast Australia!

Another major problem is that streams and rivers dissect a surface; they do not plane it. Davis also failed to provide any examples of the ending stage: a peneplain at sea level (Flemal, 1971; Chorley et al., 1973, Phillips, 2002).

The Weathering Hypothesis

A number of other hypotheses have been proposed in place of the cycle of erosion, but none seem to have fared well. These hypotheses include Walther Penck’s erosion during slow tectonics, Lester King’s parallel retreat of slopes, John Hack’s dynamic equilibrium, C. H. Crickmay’s lateral planation and unequal erosion, and the weathering hypothesis developed in the early to mid-1900s. The weathering hypothesis is the most popular idea today and seems to have survived among geomorphologists.

In the weathering hypothesis, erosion or planation surfaces form by two processes. First, a landscape is chemically weathered downward with time. The boundary between the weathered debris and unweathered rock is called the weathering front. Most weathering is accomplished by ubiquitous shallow
groundwater (Baker and Twidale, 1991, p. 81). Second, the weathered debris is removed by sheet wash, stream erosion, or other mechanisms.

However, there are many problems with the weathering hypothesis.

1) Weathering causes a rough surface, not a planation surface. Most telling, weathering does not form a planation surface and would form an erosion surface only with great difficulty. Factors driving weathering rate vary spatially (Birkland, 1984; Hall, 1988), as does erosion. Lithology and drainage patterns are especially relevant to the weathering rate (Summerfield, 1991). Therefore, the weathering front should
be rough and not planar. Twidale (2004, p. 160) stated: “Weaknesses
in the country rock are exploited by moisture and the weathering front is frequently irregular in detail: a topography is developed.” How could an exceptionally flat surface over a large area form by such irregular weathering?

2) weathering is more likely to destroy a planation surface than to create on Hall (1988, p.12)

3) Weathered debris must be stripped from the area. Even if the weathering occurred on a planar surface, there is the problem of stripping the debris away just as evenly (Bishop, 1966). King (1975, p. 309) questioned how deep weathering products could be removed from a flat surface, leaving no weathered material behind.

4) planation surfaces sometimes cut across both weathered and unweathered surfaces, indicating that planation is independent of weathering (Bishop, 1966, p. 149).

5) How would the weathering hypothesis account for all the rounded rocks on top of some planation and erosion surfaces, especially those obviously transported long distances? The weathering hypothesis cannot account for any of these, whether on the high plains of Montana or the rolling plains and plateaus of Kentucky.

Evolutionary Uniformitarian Hypotheses do explain Flat Plains

Davis confidently predicted that uniformitarianism would lead to robust explanations of landforms during the twentieth century, but it seems he was as wrong about that as he was about the cycle of erosion. Why have scientists failed to explain such common, obvious features? Once confident in their explanations, geomorphologists now wander in the wilderness (Baker and Twidale, 1991, p. 81). Could it be that their basic starting premise of uniformitarianism, or actualism, is wrong and needs to be discarded?

Ahnert (1998, p. 229) noted that new approaches with new methods are required to understand erosion surfaces (his peneplains): “There are still many aspects of peneplains to be explained. Perhaps some entirely new approaches with new methods are needed.”

I agree that a new approach is needed—a catastrophic approach.

Erosion Surfaces were Created by Runoff from the Genesis Flood

Davis’s antipathy to the Genesis Flood led geomorphology into a dead end. That is because the key to geomorphology is the Genesis Flood (Oard, 2008), precisely contrary to conventional thinking over the past century.

It is looking like planation and erosion surfaces can be explained by—and only by—the retreat of Floodwaters off emerging continents. Since many planation surfaces are quite large, covering areas > 2,500 km2, planation requires a large-scale process, best explained by the sheet-flow phase of Walker’s (1994) model (Figure 38).

Figure 38. Walker’s classification of the Flood into the 150-day flooding stage and the 221-day retreating stage with five phases. Large scale erosion surfaces were created by water runoff during the retreating sheet flow stage.

Proponents of the weathering hypothesis can take comfort in one thing: no other secular geomorphological hypothesis explains the observations either. They all have numerous weaknesses, as noted by conventional old-age geologists (Crickmay 1974, p. 192, brackets mine):

The difficulty that now confronts the student [all who study geomorphology] is that, though there are plenty of hypotheses of geomorphic evolution, there is not one that would not be rejected by any majority vote for all competent minds. This situation is in itself remarkable in a respectable department of science in the latter half of the 20th Century.

This situation is remarkable indeed! The only scientific explanation must be a catastrophic approach. Planation and erosion surfaces that are common worldwide must have formed in the past by some large-scale unique event (Oard, 2008).

Large erosion surfaces would have easily formed during the sheet-flow phase of the retreating stage of the Genesis Flood. Like many similar locations worldwide, water flowing away from the rising Appalachian Mountains planed the land, creating erosion surfaces on both sides of the mountains. The speed of the erosional event, the extent of the sheet-flow currents, and the water velocity are all recorded in the presence of large erosion surfaces with erosional remnants and resistant gravels transported over great distances.

References (selected)

Baker, V.R., and C.R. Twidale. 1991. The reenchantment of geomorphology.Geomorphology 4:73–100.

Birkeland, P.W. 1984. Soils and Geomorphology. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Bishop, W.W. 1966. Stratigraphical geomorphology: a review of some East African landforms. In Dury, B.H. (editor), Essays in Geomorphology, pp. 139–176. Heinemann, London, UK.

Chorley, R.J., R.P. Beckinsale, and A.J. Dunn. 1973. The History of the Study of Landforms or the Development of Geomorphology—Volume Two: The Life and Work of William Morris Davis. Methuen & Co. LTD, London. UK.

Crickmay, C.H. 1974. The Work of the River: A Critical Study of the Central Aspects of Geomorphology. American Elsevier Publishing Co., New York, NY.

Flemal, R.C. 1971. The attack on the Davisian system of geomorphology: a synopsis. Journal of Geological Education 19:3–13.

Hall, K.J. 1988. Weathering. In Moon B.P., and G.F. Dardis (editors), The Geomorphology of Southern Africa, pp. 12–29. Johannesburg, South Africa.

King, L. 1975. Bornhardt landforms and what they teach. Zeitschrift für Geomorpholgie N. F. 19:299–318.

Oard, M.J., and P. Klevberg. 1998. A diluvial interpretation of the Cypress Hills Formation, Flaxville gravels, and related deposits. In Walsh, R.E. (editor), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Creationism, technical symposium sessions, pp.421–436. Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA.

Oard, M.J. 2008. Flood by Design: Receding Water Shapes the Earth’s
Master Books, Green Forest, AR.

Summerfield, M.A. 1991. Global Geomorphology. Longman Scientific & Technical, New York, NY.

Twidale, C.R. 2004. River patterns and their meaning. Earth-Science Reviews 67:159–218.

Walker, T. 1994. A Biblical geological model. In Walsh, R.E. (editor), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, technical symposium sessions, pp. 581–592. Creation Science
Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The bus driver cursed the dead grandmother for denting his bus. 19 years later...

In 2010, missionary Curtis Sergeant was visiting a friend in an East Asian country.

A Christian woman came to their door, very excited. “I’ve got to tell you about this place I visited. It was amazing! Every village has churches. The worship is phenomenal. They’re sending out missionaries! The government formerly persecuted the Christians, and now they are encouraging churches because the crime rate is down.

His friend asked, “Where is this place?” Sergeant smiled when she named the same province in which God had used him so many years back.......

It was 1991. As the overcrowded and under–maintained bus slowed to pick up a passenger on the rural Asian road, an older woman stepped out of the bushes. The bus struck her and knocked her 20 feet, killing her instantly. A small boy and girl, probably her grandchildren, fell on her body weeping. Curtis Sergeant, a strategy coordinator for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, witnessed this from the back of the bus. He was with a national friend and they were about five hours into their ten-hour journey across the province that was to be his new mission field.

Sergeant was pained, but having spent years in less developed countries, had seen such accidents before. But what happened in the next few minutes shook him and caused him to grieve in his heart.

It wasn’t even that the bus driver spat on the body and cursed the grandmother for denting his bus. Sergeant, too far back to be able to exit to off er assistance, said to his companion, “You have to tell the bus driver to stop.” “Why?” the friend puzzled. Sergent replied “Because those children there are all alone, and someone needs to do something to help them.” Then his companion spoke the truth about the people in this mission field that caused even this veteran missionary to question God’s wisdom in sending him there. “Everyone on this bus has enough troubles of their own.” So the bus rumbled down the road.

Th is incident took place in 1991. For the next five years, Sergeant worked strategically in this province, and saw his efforts wonderfully blessed by God as a great church planting movement began in this area. Sergent remained until 1996.

The churches tended to be small. Seldom did a house church grow much larger than 30 members before it spun off a sister church. This splitting accomplished two beneficial results: it avoided attracting government attention, and it caused faster growth. A good summary of the structure of these house churches is to look at the acronym Sergeant developed, POUCH churches:

"They can model POUCH Groups." Believers (sometimes joined by seekers) can take part in these groups at home, and then become comfortable with the concept and the accountability involved as they help in church-planting. Ideally, each believer is involved in two groups: the one in which he or she is a participant, and a new one that he or she is starting. In a church-planting movement, much the same thing happens.

Nineteen years later, the same province in which God had  used him so many years back—the province that less than one generation before had been, a place of “heartless, evil people” with no hope in their hearts—was now transformed to a place where many people follow Christ.

(extracted from William Smith, Can Short-Term Teams Foster Church-Planting Movements? Mission Frontiers, January-February 2012, U.S. Center for World Missions)

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Katya the Goth meets Jesus the Savior

"When Katya, a 15-year girl from Belarus, first showed up at youth camp two summers ago, she wore only black clothing and makeup; she identified herself with the Goth subculture. Her good friend had invited her and Katya felt accepted at New Hope Youth Camp; following camp she agreed to go to church with her friend from time to time.

"The next summer when Katya returned to camp she had embraced the Emo subculture; her favorite songs focused on death and one of her favorite pastimes was wandering around in the local cemetery at night. Again Katya had a good time at camp, as the New Hope team befriended her.

"Fast forward to the campfire on the final night of camp five months ago. "All that day," New Hope worker Uriy remembers, "we focused on the topic of having a pure heart. When the campfire was set all the kids started to come closer to it. One guy shared his testimony (he has HIV), and then we all sang worship songs together. And then I started to teach, using the parable of the prodigal son as an illustration. The kids listened attentively and quietly as the fire crackled.

"I compared the prodigal son's need for love and forgiveness to our need for love and forgiveness from the Father and explained that we can receive forgiveness only through faith in Jesus Christ and real repentance before Him. At the end I asked, 'Who of you, being aware of his or her guilt before God, wants to pray such a prayer?' It was very quiet as several came forward. One was a girl with tears in her eyes-Katya!"

"That night Katya asked God to take control of her life-and nothing has been the same since! Today Katya comes to teen club every week. Please join us in praying that the truth planted in Katya's heart-and hundreds more like her this past summer-will take root and blossom in them!

(from New Hope International newsletter, January 2012)

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Commandant demanded, "What are you smiling about !?"

I was brought before the deputy camp commandant, a red-faced woman with heavy forearms and large, splendid teeth. "You've been preaching about God to the prisoners. It must stop!" she warned. I said that nothing could stop it. Furious, she raised her fist to strike me. Then stopped, and stared.

"What are you smiling about?" she demanded, her face blotchy with rage.

I said, "If I am smiling, it is because of what I see in your eyes." "And what's that?" "Myself. Anyone who comes close to another person can see themselves in her. I was impulsive, too. I used to rage and strike out, until I learned what it really means to love. That is to be one who can sacrifice self for truth. Since then, my hands do not clench into fists."

Her hand dropped.

"If you look into my eyes, you'll see yourself as God could make you!" She seemed to tum to stone. She said quietly, "Go away."

I have wondered often if Pilate did not look into Jesus' eyes and see the ruler he might have been in the "king of the Jews" whom his own wife represented to him as innocent and just.
Sabina Wurmbrand had a deep, abiding faith. It enabled her to persevere through many difficult years, including working with her pastor husband under the communists, caring for her son and the church while her husband was imprisoned for 14 years and, finally, enduring her own imprisonment.

The Pastor's Wife is Sabina's account of her life from the time the Soviet tanks rolled into Romania until her family escaped Romania for the West. The book portrays a woman who was incredibly strong and utterly dependent on God.

The Sabina documentary, produced more than 10 years after Sabina's death by her son, Michael Wurmbrand, tells the story of her earlier years. It shows how a beautiful young woman became the wife of a fiery war-time pastor. Sabina paints a picture of a woman who deeply loved her family, the underground church and, above all, Jesus Christ.

(from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, January 2012)

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Friday, January 13, 2012

I Am Second

The I Am Second ministry has gone world-wide as both an outreach and a training resource. It was originally begun as an evangelistic effort in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas area in 2008.

"Being able to turn to Jesus
after the shark attack kept me alive."
The visible face of the ministry is a website, which has striking and unusual filmed testimonies by people, some well–known, others more like your next-door neighbor. Bethany Hamilton, subject of the film Soul Surfer, shares her faith. St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is on it, as is Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton talking about his recovery from addiction. Others discuss how God has rescued them from a myriad of conditions, from abuse to war. The site offers opportunities for seekers or strugglers to call, chat or email for help. People are attracted by the testimonies, and invited to consider giving their lives to the Lord. It is a great tool to use to lead seekers to Christ in urban areas that have Internet connections.

(extracted from William Smith, Can Short-Term Teams Foster Church-Planting Movements? Mission Frontiers, January-February 2012, U.S. Center for World Missions)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jesus loved me so much - that he sent me to prison

"A house church leader in China who has been arrested seven times and spent years in jails, prisons and labor camps In his particular "house group," which is composed of over 6 million believers, they use New Testament scriptures to teach that persecution can be a normal part of the Christian experience. Today he teaches in caves, factories, fields and apartments, mostly leading seven-week courses broken up one week at a time to avoid detection. House churches, which do not permit censorship of their sermons, are growing three times faster than the state TSPM church.

"I asked this house church leader how his imprisonments have affected his teaching sessions, and, as he ate a piece of melon with his chopsticks, he replied, "Jesus loved me so much that he sent me to prison."

(from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, January 2012)

In August of 2011 another leader, Shi Enhao, deputy leader of the Chinese House Church Alliance (CHCA), was sentenced to two years of “re-education through labor” – a sentence that requires no trial or conviction, according to the China Aid Association (CAA).

Shi was officially charged with holding “illegal meetings and illegal organizing of venues for religious meetings,” due to his leadership of a house church movement of several thousand people meeting in several venues around Beijing,

(from House Church Alliance Leader in China Sentenced to Labor Camp, Compass Direct News, July 29, 2011)

In the West the church often struggles with shrinking membership rolls; not so in China. The house church movement in China is experiencing exponential growth. According to the communist government, Christianity would endanger national security by destroying the “present balance between religions” in China, since house churches resist government control and persist in “illegal Christian evangelism.”

(from China House Church Alliance Leader Sentenced to Labor Camp, Open Doors, August 4, 2011)

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Duckling Discipleship

"When you see a family of ducks crossing the road, only the first duckling is following the mother. The rest are following the duckling in front of them.” explains Curtis Sergent, a strategy coordinator for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“None of us has achieved the full measure of the stature of Christ. Every one is mature enough to be a leader of another duckling. Follow me as I follow Christ.” That’s a lot of responsibility on new believers, but they seem up for it. “Each of us, including a brand new follower, is ready and responsible to lead others to Christ. Everything we receive, we have an obligation to pass on to others.”

(extracted from William Smith, Can Short-Term Teams Foster Church-Planting Movements? Mission Frontiers, January-February 2012, U.S. Center for World Missions)

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Friday, January 06, 2012

New Constitution of Hungary safeguards Marriage, the Unborn

The new Constitution of Hungary went into effect on January 1st, 2012. In many ways it provides a model to other countries in safeguarding Christian values.

The protection of the right to life and human dignity from the moment of conception. "Human dignity shall be inviolable. Everyone shall have the right to life and human dignity; the life of the fetus shall be protected from the moment of conception." (Article II)

Protection of the family and the institution of heterosexual marriage. (1) Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage, understood to be the conjugal union of a man and a woman based on their independent consent; Hungary shall also protect the institution of the family, which it recognises as the basis for survival of the nation. (2) Hungary shall promote the commitment to have and raise children. (Article K)

The condemnation of practices aimed at eugenics. “Practices aimed at eugenics, the use of the human body or its parts for financial gain, or human cloning shall be prohibited.” (Article III)

The Reaffirmation of the Underlying Christian Values of the Hungarian State and Society. The Preamble declares Hungary is “proud that one thousand years ago its King, Saint Stephen, based the Hungarian State on solid foundations, and made the country a part of Christian Europe.” Moreover, Hungary explicitly “acknowledges the role that Christianity has played in preserving the nation”. (Preamble)

The Cooperation between Church and State. "In Hungary the State and the churches shall be separated. Churches shall be independent. For the attainment of community goals, the State shall cooperate with the churches." (Article VI)

The country's governing Fidesz party pushed the law through parliament in April 2011 after winning a two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections. On January 2, 2012, mainstream media reported "tens of thousands" of people protesting in Budapest over the new constitution. The EU and US had also asked for the constitution to be withdrawn. But the constitution is supported by the overwhelming majority of Hungarian citizenry, which few reports have noted.

This constitution is a symbol of a growing trend among new EU Member States to protect life and the family. As the Turtle Bay and Beyond blog noted when it was drafted in April:
It is amazing how quickly the condemnation of the new constitution has arisen. Comments regarding the lack of transparency in its drafting and the fact that it did not follow a referendum have come pouring out of leftist EU institutions. Funny how these institutions never condemn the lack of democratic fairness or lack of transparency when legislation is rushed promoting their issues. The fact is, the new Hungarian government enjoys a super majority because the people of Hungary so voted. The new constitution is a symbol of that vision.

(quotes from the new Hungarian Constitution taken from For more detail see Constitution of Hungary on Wikipedia.)

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Why Mercy?

God's Word challenged us to "spend ourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed." (Isaiah 58:10).

He is delighted with life-saving medical care for a child in Honduras.

The three-year old girl lay listless and moaning in her mother's arms when they arrived at the weekly MTW medical clinic in Armenia Bonita, Honduras. The missionaries quickly diagnosed a serious case of pneumonia, but the weeping mother was too poor to afford to take her daughter to the hospital The team did what they could, giving the girl a breathing treatment and some antibiotics. Only a week later, the little girl ran into the clinic, jumped into the lap of the MTW missionary, kissed her, and said, "Gracias!"

He is delighted with food offered in His name to hungry gypsies.

The mother was in tears because she had nothing to feed her family. Like all Roma (disparagingly called gypsies) they live, despised by all, on the edge of society in Slovakia. But God heard her cry, sending a believing Roma neighbor with the last bag of potatoes purchased for distribution by an MTW missionary. The grateful mother could only sob, crying repeatedly "How did you know?" She like others in the village are seeing multiplied acts of sacrificial love by God's people-softening hearts to the gospel, redeeming their dignity, and opening doors for the building of God's Church.

Why do we do mercy?

Because we know God.
And love God.
And we are commanded to love others
(even more than ourselves).

from MTW (Mission to the World) newsletter, December 2011

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Monday, January 02, 2012

What do persecuted Cuban Christians ask for? Horses

In Cuba, where the communist government tries to control religious institutions while keeping its citizens mired in poverty, a horse and cart is one of the tools they need. "Donated" horses costing $500 horse are serving the needs of rural pastors and their entire congregation. The horses enable pastors to travel farther and reach more people with the gospel.

"Josue" Gonzalez, was one of five Cuban evangelists received a horse this year through special channels. He had to walk 15 to 20 miles to reach a community where he ministers. He would walk for several hours, arriving hot, sweaty and tired, in order to preach and share with people. Today Josue rides his horse, which saves him a great deal of time and energy. Now he arrives more rested and ready to teach the Word.

The horse carts can serve as transportation to bring believers to church or as an ambulance in a medical emergency. As many as 10 people can squeeze into the tiny wooden cart for church, and the carts have also been used to take women with labor complications to a medical clinic. During the week, pastors can use the horses as work animals on their small farms to help earn an income and feed their families. A contact in Cuba said, "The Christians have asked for so many horses that we can't keep up with the demand!"

(from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, January 2012)

Marko comments: you may be thinking, "Horses? What about cars?" Perhaps you did not know that in Cuba people still drive Studebaker cars left over from the 1950's before Fidel Castro took over, started persecuting churches, and changed Cuba to a communist utopia... But the winds of change are upon Cuba, the government just recently legalized car ownership.

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