Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Attacked for good works by a Muslim mob

Narsbek was invited by the school principle and several village leaders to distribute Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes in his home village of Ak-Kyia in Kyrgyzstan.

As his team they greeted the principal and other leaders, the village mullah (mosque leader) appeared with his students in tow. He ordered the group to stop the distribution immediately. Instead, the principal directed the team to move their vehicles on to the school yard, and the mullah left.

But a few moments later, he reappeared, this time with a group of about 20 young zealots with him. The mob shouted “Allahu Akbar” and rushed in to pummel the visiting Christians, flinging rocks through the air. They grabbed Narsbek and his brother-in-law, Marazat, pinning them to the ground to beat them. Narsbek was hit in the back of the head with a rock, and another attacker clenched his hands around his throat.

“At that moment, I remembered how I used to encourage the young in faith to persevere even when it hurts. This was my test,” Narsbek said. As he felt himself about to lose consciousness, he prepared himself to meet Jesus.

Unexpectedly, the grip on his neck loosened. His slight wife had fought through the mêlée to reach her husband and her brother and surprised them into releasing their holds. Narsbek and his wife scrambled through the crowd to reach their minivan. They slammed the vehicle into gear and drove out in a shower of rocks that damaged all but the minivan’s windshield. Marazat and the other two team members also fled in the second vehicle, though the attackers pursued them for several kilometers.

The remaining zealots collected the Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes and burned them in the school yard in front of the students and school staff.

The distribution team notified local authorities of the incident, which occurred on April 11, 2012, but police took no action. Narsbek and Marazat were both treated at the hospital, but Narsbek still has remaining damage to his right eye, as well as reoccurring headaches. His wife has been under constant stress since the incident.

The man who attacked them was same person who managed to put Narsbek in prison 14 years ago after he became a believer. He claimed Narsbek was injecting people with a special drug, then “programming” them to become Christians. He even produced a false witness, and Narsbek spent a year in prison. For his zeal in the fight against infidels, the mullah was promoted.

Narsbek decided to file a case against the mullah to prompt authorities to act, but even that didn’t get results until Narsbek and his family got a lawyer from another city to come speak to the local state attorney, police and village leaders. The lawyer reminded the local officials that Kyrgystan’s new president had stated it was important not to have conflict over ethnic or religious issues and that the country’s laws must be followed.

The case is of crucial importance for all Christians in Kyrgyzstan, who risk beatings or even death by local extremists even though they are officially protected by the law.

Kyrgyzstan’s laws do promise to uphold religious freedom, but in practice these laws are not always followed. Believers face property destruction, intimidation and physical harm regularly. The 2009 Religion Law requires churches to seek registration, which is often denied. A proposed amendment to the law would further limit and censor any religious literature imported, stored or distributed in the country.

It appears that Narsbek’s case will go all the way to the country’s Supreme Court. Narsbek wrote, “We are pushing this case not for our own benefit, but so that everyone will feel safe and not afraid of being beaten or killed because of their religion. People… are very afraid to think about following Jesus. … Please pray that justice would reign and that there would be freedom, and not fear, in following Jesus.

The team has not been able to continue their work for the last three weeks because they have to be available to the prosecutor’s office. They are thankful for their bold lawyer, as well as others who are supporting them in prayer. “Without your prayers and encouragement and letters, we would not have had the strength to continue,” said Narsbek.

(reposted from Kyrgyzstan: Team Attacked, Voice of the Martyrs, July 9, 2012)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Helium atoms in Zircon minerals point to a young creation

Yes, zircon minerals have lots of lead produced by Uranium decay that by today's rates occurs extremely slowly, over billions of years. But zircons also have a lot of helium atoms, that are lightweight, fast-moving, and not chemically sticky. They remain in microscopic zircons for only thousands of years before escaping. So these "ancient" rocks must be only thousands of years old! Here is a yet another sign that our world is young, and supports what the Bible says: "in six days God made the heavens an the earth" (Exodus 20:11)

(reposted from D. Russell Humphreys, "Zircons: God’s Tiny Nuclear Laboratories,"  published in Creation Matters, a publication of Creation Research Society, Volume 17, Number 3, May/June 2012, to appear at http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2012/CM17%2003%20for%20web.pdf)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)

This looks like a good time to re-tell the story of zircons and radioactivity since, after seven years of publicity about the RATE project [see reference], there are still some people who haven’t yet appreciated this marvelous evidence for creation. I say “marvelous” because it seems as if God esigned zircons as microscopic nuclear laboratories specifically to show some of the amazing things He did with radioactivity.

How did lead get inside zircon crystals? Evolutionists claim that there was no lead present during the creation of the crystals, and that the lead which is present is a result of radioactive decay of Uranium 238, which has a half-life of 4.46 billion years. They argue that if the earth were only 6,000 years old, there would not be as much lead present in the zircon crystals as is currently found.

Retelling the story

When zircons form, they chemically attract
uranium atoms and chemically reject lead
atoms. Afterward, the uranium decays,
depositing both lead and helium within the
First, in molten granitic rock today, there are lots of silicon and oxygen ions (electrically charged atoms), and some zirconium, uranium, and lead ions (as well as many other types of ion). As the melt cools, the first crystals to start forming are zirconium silicate, or zircon (ZrSiO4), because zircon has the highest melting point of all the minerals common in granite. Each zirconium ion has a +4 electric charge, giving it four chemical “hooks” with which it grabs onto the silicon and oxygen ions surrounding it, to start laying down a crystal lattice.

However, the uranium ions in the molten rock also have a +4 electric charge and four chemical hooks, and they are only about 20% larger than the zirconium ions. So, as a uranium ion floats by a zircon lattice that is forming, the lattice will often reach out (electrostatically), grab the uranium ion, and stick it into the place where a zirconium ion would normally go. As the crystal forms, it will have uranium ions distributed throughout it, often in up to 4% of the normally-zirconium sites. In fact, most of the uranium in crustal granites is concentrated in zircons.

Getting the lead out

But what about the lead ions in the molten rock? It turns out that the most common type of lead ion has only +2 electric charge (only two chemical hooks) and is more than 40% larger than a zirconium ion. (There is another type of lead ion that has +4 charge and is about the same size as a zirconium ion, but at the temperature of the molten rock it is much less common than the first type.) This makes it difficult for the lead +2 ion to fit into the lattice, so the lattice rejects it. Laboratory experiments with zircons forming in lead-enriched molten rock show that the zircons absorb very little of the lead.

Thus, zircons forming naturally will start out containing a lot of uranium and very little lead. Most of the uranium is the most common uranium isotope, uranium 238.

However, it turns out that zircons in pre-Cambrian granites have quite a bit of lead, almost all of it being lead 206, the isotope descended from uranium 238 decay. Relatively little of the lead isotope that is not descended from nuclear decay, lead 204, is in the zircons. (If there are significant
amounts of thorium 232 in the zircon, then significant amounts of its descendant, lead 208, will be there also. Lead 207, the descendant of the relatively scarce uranium 235, is also in zircons in small amounts.)

Zircon is also a very hard crystal with a tight lattice, so once it has solidified, very little uranium and lead can enter or leave it.

Helium for the ages

Lastly, of course, there is the helium produced by uranium decay. It is there in the zircons, in large mounts — consistent with the amount one would expect from the amount of lead 206 in the zircon if it were produced by nuclear decay. Helium atoms, being lightweight, fast-moving, and not chemically sticky, would depart from microscopic zircons in only thousands of years. The fact that helium is STILL THERE is the conundrum for long-agers upon which the RATE project team seized.

It follows that the only answer to the original question (how does lead get into the crystals?) which I can imagine is this: most of the lead — on the order of a billion years’ worth at today's decay rates — got into the zircons by nuclear decay of the uranium 238 that was in the zircons from their beginning. Yet we know from Scripture that there were only thousands of years available for the decay to take place. So billions of years worth of decay took place within thousands of years ... accelerated
nuclear decay! 
The young helium diffusion ages we got for RATE’s zircons confirm that.

Marko comments: The Bible says that "scoffers will come, and will say, 'everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.'" (2 Peter 3:4) Mainstream scientists would say that radioactivity is included here - that the half life decay time of atoms like Uranium 238 has always been 4.46 billion years. This helium evidence from the RATE project shows the contrary, the decay time was much much faster only a few thousand years ago. Wow, this is when the Bible indicates God created the heavens and the earth!


Humphreys, D.R. 2005. Young helium diffusion age of zircons supports accelerated nuclear decay,
ch. 2 of Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, Volume II, Results of a Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative, L. Vardiman, A. A. Snelling, and E. F. Chaffin, editors, Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, CA and Creation Research Society, Chino Valley, AZ, pp. 25-100. Archived at:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"I saw the face of a wolf" - Demonic Oppression vs Power of Prayer

For the last 13 years Ruben has gone to sleep with certain apprehension. During the night he often senses that someone is in the room with him, and then feels an oppression to such an extent that he cannot move his arms and legs, or even speak. Sometimes he feels a cool breeze. Then it passes away. He is not dreaming, he is wide awake. Because he feared for his wife and children, he came to a Christian missionary for help....

Ruben and his wife began attending our mother church in Guadalajara, Mexico, about two years ago. After a year they both gave their lives to Christ.

But the demonic oppression became even more intense. I asked if anyone in his ever been involved in the occult or if there were any items in his house tied to the occult. He said that there was a relative deeply involved, but that his house was clean.

Then I asked Reuben and his wife to begin praying in the name of Jesus against this oppression and to fast every afternoon for three days and see what happens. The next week he came back and said that the oppression had become more intense, and that one night when one of his children was in bed with him and his wife, he felt that presence next to him. As he extended his arm over his child to protect him, the presence leaped on him and he saw the terrifying face of a wolf!

Ruben is at war against the powers of darkness. He is not alone. Guadalajara is a very Roman Catholic city, but it is full of witches, palm readers, and all kinds of demonic practice. Many people in our church come from homes where the occult is readily practiced. Almost all those asking for help from demonic oppression have a parent or grandparent or an aunt or uncle who practices witchcraft. Quite frequently this opens a door that affects the extended family.

In the weeks that followed the spiritual attack on Ruben's family, Ruben and his wife continued to pray and fast, and gradually the oppression diminished. They now report that they have not experienced any demonic oppression in more than two months.

The demonic activity in Guadalajara is evident everywhere - in resistance to the gospel, in the 75 percent divorce rate, in much sickness in our churches, in the increasing crime and violence, and more.

Paul reminds us that our struggle is against the vast spiritual forces of evil, but I take encouragement in that God is at work breaking these bonds of oppression - that "He who is in [us] is greater than He who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

(Kenton Wood, MTW church planter in Guadalajara, Mexico, Network Magazine, Summer 2012)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A review of The Devil's Delusion, by David Berlinski

Did you see the 2008 documentary Expelled in the movie theatres? You may remember David Berlinski’s conversation with Ben Stein in the film. Berlinski holds a philosophy Ph.D. from
Princeton, has served on the faculty of several universities, and lives in Paris.

Recently, Berlinski wrote The Devil's Delusion (2009), as an encouragement for people “frustrated by endless scientific boasting. They suspect that as an institution, the scientific community holds them in contempt” (p. xvii).

(selections from Don B. DeYoung's book review, published in Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal, Volume 48, Number 4, Spring 2012)

The author readily takes on and exposes the shallow atheistic arguments of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and others in this sorry band of doubters. Many of Berlinski’s phrases and statements are quotable, and a sampling follows.

• Natural selection is described as “the Darwinian business of scrabbling up the greasy pole of life” (p. 17).
• Regarding the science establishment,“the worldwide fraternity of academics who are professionally occupied in sniffing the underwear of their colleagues for signs of ideological deviance” (p. 52).
• Concerning Stephen Hawking’s 1988 A Brief History of Time: “Widely considered fascinating by those who did not read it, and incomprehensible to those who did” (p. 98).
• Concerning the popularity of the multi-universe idea: “It is better to have many worlds than one God” (p. 135).
• An understatement concerning the comparable mysteries of the particle-wave nature of light and the Trinitarian nature of the Deity: “This is not an analogy that has captured the allegiance of scientific atheists” (p. 93).
• “A miracle is what it seems: an event offering access to the divine” (p. 182).
• “Computer simulations of Darwinian evolution fail when they are honest and succeed only when they are not” (p. 190).
• “Although Darwin’s theory is very often [said to be] as well established as gravity, very few physicists have been heard observing that gravity is as well established as evolution. They know better and they are not stupid” (p. 191).
If God directly addressed scientists, he might say, “You have no idea whatsoever how the ordered physical, moral, mental, aesthetic, and social world in which you live could have ever arisen from the seething anarchy of elementary particles” (p. 201).

Berlinski suggests that evolutionary science itself has become an unwieldy, outdated religion complete with an ecclesiastical hierarchy, museum edifices, Darwinian holy books, and extreme efforts to convert doubters. Supporters of this secular worldview are thus in a similar position to the geocentrists of the 1600s, including inner doubts that cannot be expressed in public.

The Devil’s Delusion
by David Berlinski
Basic Books, New York, 2009
238 pages, $16.00.

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)

Friday, August 17, 2012

With Christ into the Fukushima nightmare

A Japanese man was scheduled to work the night shift at the Fukushima Power Plant just hours after the earthquake and tsunami struck. When he saw the destruction, he became deathly afraid for his own life. Instead of reporting for work, he remained in the church where he and his wife had taken shelter earlier in the day.

Over the course of the next week, as his fellow power plant workers exposed themselves to dangerous radiation and worse, he stayed in the church. He knew what his coworkers were doing. Doubt and guilt tore the man apart.
Surrounded by believers at the church shelter, he heard the gospel and surrendered his life to Christ. He now knew that he could sacrifice his life in the radiation, and that Jesus would be with him for all eternity. So out of a sense of duty, but also out of a love for God and his fellow man, he tearfully said goodbye to his wife and headed into the danger to help.

It's amazing, isn't it, how God can use a disaster to awaken even the most hardened heart to the need for a Savior.
(from Mission to the World prayer letter, July 2012)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Nation Youth turn to Jesus in Canada

Jeff* is an outgoing and helpful young man who has attended the Native Youth Conference (NYC) in Western Canada for at least six years. But, Jeff identifies strongly with what he calls his peoples' traditional ways. He has always wondered about the reality of Jesus, and questioned whether the gospel message was for him.

Last month, on the last night of this year's NYC, the speaker gave a call for commitment. Who was the first to come up front? Bob,* a 55+ year old man with First Nations-style braids. He was one of 60 volunteers who worked hard all week-end at NYC.

Bob took the microphone and talked about how God was calling him to make an all-out commitment to following God's way. Jeff always admired Bob's commitment to his Native culture. Now Jeff was struck by Bob's statement! That was the turning point.

Jeff walked to the front and stood beside Bob and publicly confessed that Jesus is Lord.

Jeff was just one of 65 who made such a public profession of their faith at this year's conference.

When we began ministry in Canada in 1989 our prayer was not just to see Native people give their hearts to the Lord, our prayer was to one day see Native leaders working alongside missionaries in ministry. We praise the Lord that time has come! More and more across western Canada we see First Nations people taking their rightful place of Christian leadership in their own communities.

One place where this is very evident is among the next generation of First Nations believers. Youth and young adults are following the call to serve and lead. This annual gathering of nearly 300 young people from western Canada is almost completely planned, organized and executed by second-generation Native Christian leaders. To be sure, our missionaries provide support and encouragement, and work tirelessly alongside these young people, but the bulk of the work is done by these second generation believers.

(based on T.Dale Smith, InterAct Ministries newsletter, June 2012)

(To receive new uMarko posts via a daily email, please click Subscribe)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Still poor, husband still drunk, but now Bhagaila is happy!

For Bhagaila, there was a distinct before and after. Before she became a Christian, Bhagaila had problems at home. She was poor, and her husband was a drunkard. Since becoming a Christian, Bhagaila is still poor, and her husband is still a drunkard. And yet everything has changed. "Now we don't have problems like before," she said. "Now we are happy."

After Bhagaila converted from Hinduism to Christianity, her husband began to beat her. He said, "I don't want you anymore because you are a believer. Your church will take care of you." One beating damaged her left ear, but she wouldn't leave. VOM paid for the surgery to repair her eardrum as well as a surgery to correct her daughter's birth defect.

Like many new believers in Nepal, Bhagaila has faced more problems from family and neighbors than from the government. However, when Christians are beaten, abused or expelled from their homes, they know they won't get help or protection from the government either.

By outward appearance, Bhagaila's life may have gotten worse after she came to know Christ. And yet, she said, "I am very happy to be a believer." She asks only for prayer. "Pray that I will be a strong believer so that whatever comes in my life I will not give up my faith. Now my husband is walking in the darkness. Please especially pray for my husband, that he will know Jesus. I will be very happy to see my husband walking in the light."

(From Voice of the Marters newsletter, June 2012)