FSM 243 / FN 352 "Witnessing Adventures! No.2" 7/93
"The Family Singers" Perform at the White House!
From Ado, Jay East & Team, U.S.A.
(Editor's note: In December, 1992, a group of Family teens were offered an open door of singing at the U.S. White House, & subsequently the U.S. State Department! Needless to say, it was quite an exciting & unique event, as well as a sobering & important one--to be performing right in the home of the President of the United States!
(But before reading the amazing account of how the Lord anointed the teens' performance, we'd first like to set the stage by sharing with you the very encouraging & feeding message that Mama Maria sent to the teen singing group prior to their presentation, to help inspire them to go in the strength of the Lord & in the power of His might!)
TO THE WHITE HOUSE SINGING TEAM!--From Mama Maria (Editor's note: This can be applied to all of our singing teams.)
Maria #199 ML#2863
Dear Shepherds & Teens, 12/92
1. God bless you! I love you very much, & am praying for you as the day of your performance draws closer. God bless you for putting your all into the preparations for this show, & filling your hearts & minds with His Word to help give you the strength from Him that you'll need, so that out of the abundance of your hearts your mouths will sing & speak.
2. In praying about your upcoming performance, I've been thinking that compared to the other choral groups & singing troupes which will be performing at the White House for Christmas, alongside them your group may appear unprofessional & more untrained. Unlike members of a highly trained & technically perfect choral group, your main ministry has been that of witnessing & winning souls, for which you'll reap eternal & everlasting rewards. So that's why we're suggesting that you & your singing group just be yourselves & be natural & not try to take on more than you are equipped for or can be trained for in this short period of time. Nor should you feel that you should try to compete with other very professional groups who have probably been together for years & whose main goal has been to learn to sound good for the System, & to make their mark in the World musically.
3. I was thinking how, in spite of the fact we aren't usually nearly as polished & professional as System groups, the Lord often opens doors for us to perform right alongside them. And although according to System standards we're not as professional, refined, polished or trained as most of the World's groups, the Lord always comes through our precious Family performers so beautifully, & people sit up & take notice.--Not of our great talents & abilities & musical perfection, but of His Spirit shining through us.
4. It reminds me of the Scripture, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter & John & perceived that they were unlearned & ignorant men, they marvelled & took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). The people who were listening to Peter & John's preaching & witnessing were probably used to hearing speakers all the time who were much more polished & eloquent than Peter & John. So listening to Spirit-filled Peter & John was probably quite an unusual occurrence, & their difference from the other speakers was enough to draw people's attention to them.
5. The most obvious difference initially was that Peter & John were rough & uneducated. But the people were drawn to Peter & John because of this initial difference. As they kept listening & watching, they realised that what they were seeing & what they were so fascinated with was God's Spirit taking over these ignorant & unlearned men & making them glow with the Lord's presence. This gave Peter & John the ability to touch others in a way the people had never felt before.
6. Perhaps you teens, as well as you adults, are often tempted to think, "We're so inferior & we don't measure up. We don't compare so favourably with all these Systemites & all their talents & expertise & professionalism." But why would you want to? Do you want to have people look at you & say, "Listen to those singers! They're so skilled! We can see that they've had expert musical training, & their voices are so well-trained & their harmonies are perfect & their stage presence is impeccable!" Or would you rather have them look at you & say, "These folks really stir us! These are the ones who move us & touch us & do something to us! We're not quite sure what it is, they may not be perfect, but when they sing, we feel like they're singing right to us, personally! Their singing reaches out to us & into our hearts, & we feel enthralled when they sing, we feel loved! We can see a real peace about them & a light on their faces & a warm glow that somehow is missing from the other singers. This group has really won our hearts!"
7. Would you want to have the people see you as professional, polished, refined, tutored & highly trained, but without His Spirit, His Light & life-giving Love? Or would you rather have the people see Jesus in you, & feel Jesus flowing through you, even if they happen to see your weaknesses & your untrained or unprofessional qualities in the process? Wouldn't you rather have His treasure in your earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, & not of you? For it is not you who live, but Christ Who liveth in you. For when you are weak, then He is strong, for His strength is made perfect & manifested in your weakness. It's the lame who take the prey. (See 2Cor.4:7; Gal.2:20; 2Cor.12:9; Isa.33:23.) In fact, if you were so polished & musically perfect, people would have a lot harder time seeing Jesus in you. They would instead think that the beauty they were seeing was coming from your talent & your skill & your ability.
8. So, although your performance may seem average & simple in comparison to other groups, I believe that when you sing, the power of the Lord's Spirit & His Angels & His Holy Spirits will flow forth through you & will make your music take on a very special quality that none of the others will be able to match. But it won't be anything of you; it will be Jesus Who is singing through you! And we're praying that His Heavenly magic will touch many hearts & stir them & help them to think about Jesus, & that even though you may not be able to talk to them, in some way they will feel Him reaching out to them.
9. So be confident that with the Lord on your side, you're unbeatable & you're brilliant as you shine with His Light! And as you're faithful to follow step-by-step, the Lord will show you more & more why He has opened this door. God bless & keep you all! Our heartfelt prayers are with you!
With much love always,
Caroline, a member of the White House staff was assigned to take care of us during our visit, & when we arrived, she began by taking all of us on a VIP tour of the East Wing. She explained that there would be a slight delay in our performing. Then suddenly, just as we finished the tour, she rushed us into the East Room & asked that we start our show immediately! So with no time for tuning up or sound-test preparations, the teens started off the show with "Joy to the World!", accompanied by one guitar! (Although we had all the BMTs to the songs in our programme, we had also practised all of the songs acoustically in case of power failures or any other such unexpected mishap.--And TTL we had!) The teens were singing in the large East Room, which all the visitors from the general public on a tour of the White House passed through.
Halfway through that first song, while the equipment for playing the BMTs was still getting set up, a group of children afflicted with cerebral palsy, accompanied by their teachers, began passing through as the day's first visitors from the general public. Some of the children were screaming & having what appeared to be epileptic fits when they entered the room, but as soon as they heard the teens singing, the fits stopped. One Secret Service man remarked that it was the music that had calmed them down. We were told later that throughout the rest of the tour they were very well-behaved, & one of the directors from their school asked about the possibility of us performing another show for them, as the children had enjoyed the music very much & really absorbed it.
First Lady Barbara Bush unexpectedly showed up in this same line with the handicapped children! For a few moments, she quietly watched the teens perform & observed the children's positive reaction to the music. Then she walked over & stood alongside the teens, continuing to watch their performance. As soon as the first song finished, Mrs. Bush greeted each of the teens one-by-one with a big hug & kiss in front of the onlooking crowd! Our personal White House chaperon later remarked that this was a highly unusual thing for Mrs. Bush to do!
When we first arrived at the White House, we had given one of Mrs. Bush's aides a Treasure Attic Christmas Video to deliver to her. Included with the Video was a note, saying that the Video was a gift for her grandchildren & wishing her & the President a Merry Christmas. Apparently, as soon as she received the Video & knew we were there, she rushed down to see the teens.
As Mrs. Bush stood beside the teens, she made the following announcement to the visitors who were passing through the East Room at that time: "This great group came up from Florida, & they're friends of our son. We met them there in our recent travels. But we're thrilled you're here. That's great! And what a special group you're singing for [the handicapped children]."
After Mrs. Bush left, the teens went on with the programme, singing non-stop for the next two hours! They had planned several breaks in the show, of course, but our personal chaperone had left us temporarily in order to check on something & the Secret Service man on duty said he couldn't authorise anything, not even a break! But the Lord anointed the teens with incredible physical & spiritual stamina & they sang like Angels, in fulfilment of prophecy & prayers! It was so beautiful to see them radiate the Lord's Love to the crowd & fill the halls of the White House with the Spirit of God & the Message of the true meaning of Christmas as the Holy Spirit took over! Many of the thousands of people who passed by in the course of the teens' performance were awed by what they saw!
The teens were very relaxed & were warmly greeted with waves & smiles by many of the passers-by, & between each song they wished those passing a Merry Christmas, which seemed to touch their hearts. Some, obviously Christians, gave a "thumbs up" sign as they heard the name of Jesus & the Salvation Message in the songs. Others smiled from ear to ear. One lady from Miami had seen the teens working at the shelter in Homestead when she took food to the Hurricane victims. She was very excited & moved to see them again in this very different setting! Some people said they came through twice, waiting in long lines for another chance to see "The Family Singers"!
The Secret Service men waived the normally very strict rules & allowed us to not only take exclusive photos, but also to video the teens during both their VIP tour & performance. PTL! When one visitor on the GP tour questioned a Secret Service man why we were allowed to take pictures & video & they weren't, he answered, "They were invited by the President & Mrs. Bush to perform!"
At the end of the performance, we were served a special snack by some of the White House cooks. The man who served us said that Mrs. Bush had specifically asked him to take good care of the teens! While snacking, the teens also had the opportunity to witness to Caroline a little more about our lifestyle, & she was very positive. During the conversation, Caroline said that she couldn't imagine any other job that would enable her to meet as many people as she does unless she did what we are doing! She also remarked that the teens were still smiling just as big at the end of the show as they had when they first came in, & she was very impressed. PTL!
As we were leaving, our sweet hostess gave each of us a big hug & we felt a very special closeness to her. PTL! Many of the Secret Service men congratulated the teens on their performance & commented on the music, which they said could be heard throughout the White House. One Secret Service man said it was refreshing to hear Christmas songs that were different from the traditional ones & he liked it very much! PTL!
There were battles all the way--first with the computers not having our names recorded at the checkpoint at the gate, & then unexplained equipment failures during the show--but the Lord got a victory in every instance! PTL! At the gate, they soon let us through, even without official clearance, & when the sound system went out, the teens continued on steadfastly "a cappella" & then with guitars. From a comment one of the Secret Service men made later, he thought it was part of the show! PTL!
Afterwards, as we rejoiced in all that the Lord had done, we realised that our singing in the White House was not only a Family "first" but it was also a White House first to receive His Endtime Children!
PRAYER REQUEST: For further contact with the Bushes & others met through this performance.
U.S. State Department Hears the Glad Tidings!
From Ado, Jay East & Team, U.S.A.
The day that the latest round of Arab-Israeli peace talks began at the U.S. State Department* in Washington, D.C., some Family teens were there!--Singing about Jesus! As with the teens' performance at the White House, this was just as much of an historical event for the State Department as it was for us. One man, after seeing the teens sing, said that he had never seen such a thing take place in the 44 years he has worked for the State Department! (*The State Department is the branch of the U.S. government that handles U.S. foreign policy & diplomatic relations & operates the U.S. embassies worldwide.)
(Editor's note: A very dear & long-standing lawyer friend was instrumental in working it out for the Family teens to be able to sing at the White House, & helped arrange several other appearances for them in the State Department building. He assured his associates that they would have the best party in the building this year, & acting upon his enthusiasm, they sent out invitations to quite a number of other people in the building.)
There is an immense amount of security there & all of the nearly 8,000 workers must pass security checkpoints to go in & out of the building. However, we found that we were able to move around freely in the building, sometimes without an escort. It was actually quite a miracle to be able to perform in the cafeteria & at two office parties, as it is prohibited to sing religious Christmas carols or talk about Jesus in this or any government building! Even our friend who made the necessary arrangements for us was amazed at how we were allowed to sing in the cafeteria, no questions asked!
The Lord took over, as He did at the White House, & the name of Jesus & His Message of Salvation echoed throughout the huge cafeteria for thousands to hear as the teens sang non-stop for 45 minutes! The sweet manager of the cafeteria even asked them to turn the volume up, as some people in the back said it was difficult for them to hear. This same man danced in the aisles to the rhythm of "Feliz Navidad"!
Christians came out of the crowd to ask in amazement, "How can you get away with this? How did you even get in here?" In a well-to-do suburb of Washington, D.C. there had just been a major protest by Christians because the local government, out of fear of reprisals from the AC-run American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), had outlawed the singing of traditional Christmas carols because they are "religious". So to sing in the heart of the State Department about Jesus, Salvation, His Birth & Second Coming & the real meaning of Christmas was nothing short of a miracle!
We had several Family adults throughout the cafeteria monitoring the volume & audience response & it was interesting to note the varied reactions. There were those who sat with eyes glued on the teens during their whole show, & others who didn't appear to outwardly pay any attention at all. The teens remarked how they could easily tell who in the crowd was interested, & they would sing to & pray for them. One of the teen girls said that she prayed for some young men who looked rather stern & bothered, & after the next song, they began smiling & obviously enjoyed the music.
In order to proclaim to all in the cafeteria who we were, as well as to help document the event, we hung a huge banner--eight feet high & eighteen feet long--on the wall behind the singing team. It read, "MERRY CHRISTMAS, STATE DEPARTMENT!--FROM THE FAMILY SINGERS!" It was a fantastic way to let everyone know who we were! PTL!
Later that afternoon, at the office party our dear friend had arranged for us to perform at, the mood & setting were quite different from that of the cafeteria. The teens sang & danced & preached the Gospel through song to many of his important associates. It was obvious that the Word "Jesus" was "strong meat" for some. There were those who stayed there clapping, enthralled with each song, & there were others who quickly moved to another room as soon as the name of Jesus & praises of His Love rang out. Throughout the afternoon, a number of people approached us declaring their own Christian faith. Little by little, we heard people acknowledging the conviction & enthusiasm of the teens.
The teens said they felt that these stiff, proud government officials--many of whom were lawyers or researchers--just didn't know how to react to the Message in our beautiful Christmas songs & that they sensed very strong "peer pressure" amongst them.
It helped break the ice & melt hearts when the teens mingled with the crowd after singing, to talk & explain our Work. We were told later that one woman who attended the party was so enthusiastic about our teens when she related the story to her husband, that he said he wished he could "trade in" his 15-year-old daughter for one of our teens who were so bold & sang with such conviction. It reminded us of the story of the woman at the well, where the townspeople first believed in Jesus because of the woman's testimony. (See John 4:39.) As we packed up to leave, one State Department lawyer encouraged our friend to take the teens to another office party on a different floor, where all the lawyers for the State Department were gathered. "Crash it!" he said. "These bureaucrats need to have the true Spirit of Christmas infused into them!"
Led downstairs & then through now nearly empty corridors of the State Department by our two very enthusiastic Don Quixote guides, we arrived at the party. The teens lost no time setting up their equipment, as one of the adults approached a group of men to explain that we were about to sing. Unbeknownst to her, one of them was a high-ranking member of this department & host of the party. This very top lawyer, who is frequently in the news, very cordially introduced the teens saying, "Please meet `The Family Singers' who sang in the White House last week!"
With that, the teens broke loose with "Feliz Navidad" & a medley of Christmas songs done with lively dancing & a lot of rhythm! Although surprised with the teens' boldness in getting out the Message, the crowd & our two dear friends loved it! The host of the party, ever playing the part of a lawyer, went up to our close friend & jokingly asked how he felt this performance stood legally in light of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, which is (mis)interpreted to promote separation of church (religion) & state (government). Our friend said that before inviting us he had studied it in great detail & felt it was just fine!--Ha! They both had a good laugh.
Many people we met wanted the teens to sing at other parties or gatherings, & we gave out lots of business cards bearing our name, "THE FAMILY SINGERS", address & phone number. One lady attending the party asked if we would be willing to perform in prisons, & offered to introduce us to her husband, who is an administrator of correctional institutions. Another man from the department of commerce, eating in the cafeteria during the performance, told the teens that he had heard them singing down the hall & just had to come in & see them. Another man, on an important committee there, asked if the teens would sing in an old folks' home near his house!
An official from the National Institute of Health was also touched. He is a Christian & wants to get to know us better. The only reason he came to the office party, he said, was to meet us, because he'd heard so much about us from our friend. Others who work at the State Department as career employees said they want to make sure the teens come back next year! PTL! Another man offered to help us get our activities publicised in local newsletters & expounded on the importance of good PR.
Unlike the White House performance, both teens & adults had many opportunities to witness personally & mingle with the many important people attending. Quite a few of these people were executive lawyers & we were able to give many a complete witness about our way of life & beliefs. There were also the secretaries & security guards who were inspired by the teens' singing & asked for tapes of the songs, or some way to stay in touch.
The next evening, our dear friend who set up these engagements told us that the teens had been the talk of the State Department that day & that many of the people he spoke to were quite impressed. According to him, the teens were a particular hit with the older, conservative types.--Ha! He said one man was even persuaded of the virtues of home schooling after talking to one of our teen girls! Upon hearing how many business cards the teens collected from those they witnessed to at the party, our friend was notably impressed. "Those guys don't give their cards to just anyone!" he said. Because of the change in government with the election, many of the people we met no longer hold these posts. We're so glad we got to witness to them before they left Washington, & we're sure His Word won't return void.
It was definitely an outpouring of the Spirit in a traditionally very stuffy & ungodly place!--In fact, one of the most staunch AC strongholds in the American government! Quite an unusual setting for our Christmas show, but one obviously engineered by the Lord to get the Message out! PTL! He did it!
PRAYER REQUEST: For our dear friend who had the faith to arrange these shows & for the Lord's leading & wisdom in any follow-up of those met & won during this visit to the U.S. State Department.
Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton Receives Poster!
From Marc, U.S.A.
(Editor's note: A scouting team of Marc, Ahlai & EA Rebecca had just arrived in Austin, Texas, when they heard from a university student that Bill Clinton, then campaigning for the U.S. presidency, was due to speak at a political rally near the school library in just a few minutes! Here's their exciting account, written before "Another Sign of the End!-Clinton's Election!" [See ML#2827, GN 535].)
When we heard that Bill Clinton was due to arrive on campus any minute, we immediately headed for the rally site, praying that the Lord would make a way for us to get close enough to say a few words to Mr. Clinton & give him a Poster. When we got to the spot, we found a crowd of nearly 7,000 people waiting in the hot Texas sun to hear Mr. Clinton speak. The crowd was very fired-up & enthusiastic in their support of Clinton.
After listening to Clinton's speech, we learned that he would be attending a meeting with his Texas campaign managers in the library before proceeding to the next city on his campaign tour. When we saw his motorcade leave the library without him, we went around to the other side of the building. Sure enough, that was where he was planning to make his exit. We were also able to determine immediately which door he would be using, as barricades were being erected & security was beefed-up. It looked pretty impossible to get anywhere even close to the door. Suddenly, a policeman stepped up & told us,"If you want to move over there by the door, that would be OK." Wow!
We waited there for an hour & a half, & during that time got word that Mr. Clinton would be shaking hands with those standing by the door, exactly where the policeman told us we could stand! PTL! One of God's little miracles! We prepared a Poster, "Signs of the Times!", & a little note which said, "We love you & we are praying for you!--On behalf of The Family Christian Missionaries."
When he finally came out, he started down the line, shaking hands in the usual campaign style. As he got closer, we could clearly see that he was very tired & worn. His eyes were puffy & he was moving quite slowly through the crowd. When he got to us, we shook hands, & Ahlai presented him with the Poster, repeating the message on our note, "We love you, & we're praying for you." At that, he stopped in his tracks. Still holding Ahlai's hand, he said, "Would you do that for me? Please, I need your prayers!"
It was a very touching moment & we felt it was a real sincere heartcry for help & for strength that he knew he didn't have. Our impression was that he wasn't so much asking for us to pray for his campaign or for him to win the election, but for him personally, as he was obviously having trouble coping with the pressures he was being faced with. He then took the Poster & put it in his pocket. As we left, we prayed together for the Lord to make sure he read it.
We were also able to meet his wife Hillary, who was much different than her husband. Her countenance was quite hard, & when we handed her a Poster she immediately handed it to one of the security men & didn't seem too happy about us giving it to her in the first place. There was a sharp contrast between her spirit & her husband's.
P.S.: We just received a short personal note from Bill Clinton, addressed to "The Family" & mailed to the address on the Poster we gave him. The letter reads as follows: "Dear Friend, Thank you so much for the poster of Jesus & His teachings. Hillary & I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Sincerely, Bill Clinton"--So it seems that he did get to read the Poster as we prayed he would! PTL!
Why Search?--I've Already Found It!
From Teen Justin, Australia
Recently, when I went with another member of the Family's legal team to the office of some of the lawyers defending us, I had a chance to talk to J., the son of one of the lawyers. I first met J. about a month ago & talked to him a little then, but it wasn't until this second meeting that I actually got to ask him more about himself & witness to him a bit. He's about 22 years old & he doesn't have a job so he usually just hangs around the offices & does odd jobs for anyone who needs his help. When I saw him, he was going through a set of Daily Breads that his father had for legal purposes, & marking all the controversial stuff that might come up in court.
We got into talking about different systems of government, mainly Communism, & he told me that a few years ago he belonged to a Socialist youth group that sells Socialist newspapers in the city. He's read Karl Marx, etc. He left the group a while back because he thought that they were too weird.
He also said that he had bought a Bible just recently, but he hadn't had the time to read it yet, so I suggested that he begin with the New Testament. When I asked him if he believed in Heaven, he said that he wasn't sure. He went on to say that his stepmother was a Buddhist & he had attended a few Buddhist youth camps held in the mountains. Just about all of the other kids there were either Vietnamese or Chinese & he didn't much like the camps. I asked him if he had ever gone to church, & he said that he hadn't & wouldn't want to.--Ha!
When he was about 16, he said, he took off from home & travelled around, just doing his own thing & getting heavily into drugs, mostly methadone & heroin. He had been caught & said that this turned out to be a very heavy time in his life. He also named quite a few different countries he travelled to with his parents when he was younger. Having rich parents, he's had everything he's ever wanted, but it's easy to see that he isn't satisfied with it.
All throughout our conversation he was drinking & smoking. He offered me a beer as well, but I declined. He looked really tired & worn out.
He asked me about my schooling & whether or not I was doing anything besides working on the case. I told him that right now I'm getting training in office organisation & management, & learning computer & typing when I'm not helping on the case. He said he envied me because I had Home Schooling & he wished that he could have done that when he was young.
By this time he had finished going through DB8, so I picked it up & flipped to the Letter, "In Search of Truth!" I told him that would be a good one for him to read.
Next, he started telling me that he believes everyone, when they get to be about my age, should launch out on their own to see the World & decide what they want to do with their life. So I explained to him that I have already made my decision to stay in the Family & serve Jesus. It isn't necessary for me to go searching for something worthwhile to do with my life because I've already found it. A little earlier he had asked me about "The Age of Decision!", which he had seen listed in the table of contents of one of the DBs, so I explained briefly what the Letter is about.
While explaining why I didn't need to leave the Family to "find myself", I was able to explain more extensively that most people usually decide what they want to do with their lives in their teen years. By that time, the teens in the Family have nearly all made their decision to stay, just as I have. Apparently not satisfied with that, he asked me why I didn't just leave for a couple of years to see the World & then rejoin. So I explained that if I were to leave for even a short time, I would probably miss out on a lot of the exciting things that are going on in the Family right now & also miss a lot of the training that I could be getting.
Then I asked him how long he thought the World could last, anyway. He said that he thought that it would be generations before anything major happened. So I explained that we believe that the World will end soon, when Jesus returns. "The way it's going now," I said, "it couldn't possibly last much longer." I told him about Matthew 24, where it says that evil men shall grow worse & worse, & there shall be famines & earthquakes & wars. I also suggested that he read the whole Chapter when he got a chance.
I asked him what he thought about our Family, & he said that he likes the way we didn't condemn people for enjoying themselves & don't try to be "holy" or act self-righteous when we witness. He feels that we are normal people & not at all like what our accusers say we are.
He didn't get saved this time, as he is still not convinced that there is a Heaven. I was kicking myself for not having a Bible with me, as I could have answered a lot more of his questions if I had. I only hope that I'll get another chance to witness to him. Until then, I'll send him some things to read & write him a letter.
Talking with J. really showed me that the rich are just as dissatisfied as everybody else, & they also are searching for the answers. I think J. is. Please pray for him, that he'll really want the Truth & that the Lord will work in his life.
PRAYER REQUEST: For J. & for loving, Spirit-led handling of all the lawyers & other precious friends & helpers the Lord is bringing to us through the present wave of persecution; & for the Lord to continue to grow up our young people to help with these very important witnessing opportunities.
Teens Pray against Gay (Sodomite) March! --And the Lord Answers!
From a California Home, U.S.A.
When someone spotted an announcement for a Gay March being planned for the next day, the teens prayed fervently against it. One of the teens prayed specifically, "Lord, send an earthquake to stop it! Shake 'em up tomorrow, Lord!" The next morning, at approximately 5:20 a.m., Los Angeles had the biggest earthquake in 40 years! 7.4 on the Richter scale! The teens jumped out of bed & started praising God, thrilled at His direct answer to their prayers several hours earlier! The quake was also followed by many aftershocks.
Our Home felt the shock waves but, TTL, He protected us marvellously as He always does. Witnessing teams were mobilised & Los Angeles got the warning message while everyone was still quite shaken up! It turned out to be one of the most fruitful days of witnessing we've ever had. PTL!
Better than Gold!--The Real Champions of the Barcelona Olympics!
From the Barcelona Olympics Road Trip Team
(Editor's note: The Area Shepherds received a message from Dad & Mama asking, "What would you think about having a team of witnessers congregate in Barcelona to hit the Olympics with our `Religious Persecution' Statement? It seems that this would be something that our older teens & EAs in particular, would love to do!" So a small commando team of Family teens & adults was commissioned to champion the Truth at the Barcelona Olympics. Witnessing daily throughout the Games, they distributed over 35,000 Posters & 37,000 Statements & won many souls! Here is what these fearless front-liners had to say about their experiences while still in the thick of battle:)
Reuben, 17: I was real thrilled to be chosen for this mission as it has always been my desire to go on such adventures. When I first heard about it I got the verse about "the time when the kings go forth to battle" (2Sam.11:1). That's just what it's like--a real battle in the spirit!
Getting out & firing away with the Posters & Statements is super exciting, especially seeing the mixed reactions of the people. I try to look people straight in the eye with a big smile when I give them the Statements. They usually respond with a smile, but when they see what it is all about, their smiles don't always stay so big & bright. Some see the "Religious Persecution?" Statement & sort of mock it, to which I reply, "Well, read it & watch out! You could be next!" That kind of sets them back & gets them thinking. Others look rather shocked. A few people get really mad. But TTL, if I give them another big smile, that sort of cools their hot heads. In spite of those who reject it, the Message is really getting out & there are also many sheep here who are turned on to it. TTL!
Joy, 16: It's such fun to pour out our hearts to these people & meet them head on with the Truth! When they find out who we are & ask why we get persecuted, I quote or show them all the verses about how "all that live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2Tim.3:12).
Auntie Joanna: We study portions of the Statements every day to "fill up our hearts" & "know whereof we speak" because we have to be ready for anything. Some of the people get mad & just crumple the lit up in our faces, some are indifferent, & others read it with interest. The first day, because we were distributing our tools free of charge, a lot of Posters ended up on the ground, but every time we go out now there are fewer & fewer. Sometimes we see people picking them up & collecting all the different titles!
Reuben: One funny thing is how many little old ladies come & ask for the Posters. Some of them get "Pleasures of Paradise!" or "Heavenly Homes!", & they really like them.--Ha!
Uncle Francisco, Spanish national: The first day while Postering, I met a 20-year-old girl from Barcelona, & when she saw one of our Posters she said with amazement, "I have a lot of these Posters in my room!" I witnessed more to her & she asked me about the persecution. I shared a few verses with her about persecution & explained our side & she really got turned on. She received the Lord & was very thankful. The last thing that she said to us was, "Please, be careful!"
We also found a 25-year-old man with long hair who already had a Statement in his hands. We gave him "Heavenly Homes!" & he read it right there in the street. He came to me 20 minutes later & asked me, "Are you the COG?" I explained to him about the Family's origins & our beliefs & he agreed with them all. I also told him my testimony. When I explained that I didn't receive Jesus by going to church, but as a result of reading one of Dad's Letters, he was so moved he almost cried. I invited him to receive Jesus & he prayed with all his heart.
Joy: While out Postering, I met a huge professional basketball player from the American "Dream Team". At first I was kind of taken aback & I didn't know what to say, but he was just standing there like a big sheep & I had to do something, so I just started talking to him about Heaven & Jesus, & he prayed with me right there! As I showed him different verses, he just drank it all in. PTL! The verse "Be not afraid of their faces!" really came to life for me. Hallelujah!
We also meet lots of people who are really broken. They came to the Olympics with their hopes up high, but when they or their heroes don't win, their whole Olympic dream collapses & they are crushed. Thank God we have something that's real to give them!
U. Francisco: We also run into a lot of churchy people who are unhappy about our Posters about Heaven. When the teens witness to them with real conviction & back it up with verses, it is so powerful that the churchy people just stop talking & listen.
Daniel, 15: Just before leaving for this trip I read the series of GNs about the Family being unique. There are so many Christian groups out on the streets here, but none of them are like us. It is so amazing to see that even adult System Christians do not know a fraction of what we teens in the Family know & can quote from the Word! Every time I go out, I become more convinced that what we have to give the sheep is a hundred times better than what those other groups offer. I noticed that we are practically the only ones getting people saved & talking to them personally. A few other groups are just carrying signs that turn the youth here off. One churchy sign read, "You are going to the Lake of Fire, No joke!" While witnessing, I've had people tell me that instead of helping them to love Jesus more, these signs make them more rebellious. I am so thankful that we can witness the meat of the Word in a winsome way, using our Posters & Statements! PTL!
U. Francisco: Barcelona is also full of police. While getting out the Statements, we move around every half hour to avoid the police asking us what we are doing. Still, we get stopped quite a bit by secret police & local policemen. That's when we really feel the prayers of our Family. We've had some Posters & Statements confiscated, but in the end, the Lord has gotten a victory every time!
During our second day, a secret policeman stopped us & told us that it is totally forbidden to give out any type of literature during the Olympics. He was ready to call the local police to haul us in, but we witnessed to him & the Lord changed his mind.
Another time, we witnessed to a policeman who stopped us & he gave us permission to distribute for another half an hour. We talked some more & told him we had enough Posters to last us a whole hour. He smiled & agreed to let us distribute one more hour in his area. Other times, we've seen the police stop other people from passing out literature of various kinds, but they let us keep going, right in the same area. PTL!
Another morning, two secret police stopped two teens & me while distributing. In the beginning they were quite tough, asking for our passports & calling in the area police. But when we started talking about Jesus, they became much sweeter & started telling us all their trials & problems. One of them even apologised for stopping us. They left us, smiling as they shook our hands. PTL!
In yet another incident, after being stopped by two secret police & witnessing to them for about 10 minutes, they got really turned on. About that time, the area chief came & we also witnessed to him & told him our personal testimonies, explaining that Jesus did so much for us that we want to repay Him by giving Him to others. We gave the chief the Poster, "Pleasures in Paradise!" & the "Religious Persecution?" Statement. He looked over them quickly, smiled at us & said, "God bless you! The Lord be with you!" The two secret police told us to continue our job, shook our hands & took copies of the Statement & Posters for themselves.
Daniel: It is really exciting to be able to hit Barcelona back with the Message & show the Devil that we are not going to take his attacks lying down. I can see how these Statements are a real testimony to the people of Barcelona, as well as the whole World, that we are not going to hide our light away. We are proud to be in the Family & we will stick up for what we believe, no matter what it costs! I know it is also going to be a real warning to all of our enemies around the World that we are not just going to back off when they persecute us. We are going to stand pat, knowing that the Lord is always faithful to give us the victory in the end. God bless Grandpa & Mama Maria for having the vision for us to give our Message to the whole World during the Olympic Games!
"Hearts Aflame" Light Black Sea Resort!
From Auntie Mimi & the Black Sea Teen Team, Europe
(Editor's note: For an entire month, a team of JETTs, teens & EAs witnessed & busked their hearts out to the many thousands of young people & tourists who flock to the resorts along the coast of the Black Sea in Romania. Following are excerpts from a report by Auntie Mimi, who accompanied them:)
We've had so much fun pow-wowing our witnessing & sharing testimonies & tips each morning over breakfast. We also take time to dive into the Treasures, ET classes, Poster Book, & our Bibles so that we'll know where to find the best answers & Scriptures for the many questions these kids have.
Busking on the beach is so powerful! Our teens, JETTs, & EAs just burn free. "Get on fire, & the World will come out to see you burn!"--And they do! Many people stay to meet & talk with us personally & often comment with surprise, "You're so alive & have such Spirit. It's so different from our religion! We can see you're so happy!" It's like inviting people into the very essence of our lives, which is the ecstasy & fullness of all the love, freedom of the Spirit & joy He's given us.
Often, after singing a few songs, we have whole groups of people sitting before us, waiting to be fed. We can't possibly personally witness to them all, so we split them into groups & give them classes right then & there, sticking to simple truths about Salvation, God's Love, the Bible, etc. It reminds us of the seminars we give to potential disciples, friends, Catacombers, etc., throughout Eastern Europe, but this is done right on the "highways & byways", calling in "whosoever will". The teens, EAs, & Catacombers are up every night until midnight or later, witnessing & giving classes.
Almost as soon as we arrived, we met a group of other Christian teens who were also putting on a show with pantomime. Some were Canadian, some Swiss, & some Romanian. They were very sweet & sincere, & David & Sapphire had an immediate rapport with them. Every night they came to be fed, to listen & to learn from us.
When our teams read the new series of Letters from Dad & Mama on "We Are Unique!" it was being vividly confirmed by the way these Christian kids were drawn to us for feeding & strength. They kept saying, "You've got something we don't have! Your music & songs have such Spirit. You know so much Word!" It sure made us feel for these sweet "other sheep" & made us more thankful than ever for all we have!
The greatest difference, of course, is that we have a Shepherd who has taught us so much over many years. These System kids lack a Shepherd, & while they love the Lord enough to witness to others during their holidays, they couldn't hold a candle to our teens, who burn so brightly & are like giants in the Spirit by comparison. Our younger generation are such fighters & have such a firm foundation & knowledge of the Word, & best of all, a burning desire to love & win lost souls into His Kingdom! I was so proud of them!
PRAYER REQUEST: For follow-up of those won by the Black Sea Summer outreach team.
"A Very Present Help in Trouble!"
From D. & B., Catacombers in war-torn Yugoslavia
(Editor's note: The following are excerpts from a letter received from B. & D., two of our faithful Catacombers from war-torn Sarajevo, in what used to be Yugoslavia. They fled to Serbia before the heaviest fighting started. Both are safe, TTL, but please pray for their continued protection & that of our other dear Catacombers & sheep who have not yet been able to get out. B. & D. are 19 & 20 years old.)
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
We love you very very very much! We were so so happy to receive your letter, which came just at the time when we needed it most. We were jumping for joy, we were hugging each other, etc. Thank you so much for all the literature you sent us & all the Posters, because we already ran out of them. We are fine, TYJ! Your letters are giving us so much hope & encouragement that we want to do even more for the Lord. TYJ!
Our brothers & sisters from Sarajevo are not able to write to you, but we can tell you some of the miracles of protection, how God is protecting them in this time of war. We were able to hear from our sister M. & she told us that she had a hard time hearing from God, but we comforted her that God will talk to her & reveal Himself to her when she needs Him the most. Thank God, that's what happened! She was in the flat with her mom & her grandmother & she was standing in front of the mirror trying on a dress. But then suddenly she heard a voice telling her that she needed to get out, to go to the cellar & stay there, & that she needed to take her mom & grandmother with her also. This voice was telling her to do this as soon as possible. So she asked her mother & grandmother to go to the cellar with her, but her mom didn't see any reason why she should do that. M. couldn't say that God told her to get out of the flat because they wouldn't believe her. But when they saw her conviction, thank the Lord, they went down & stayed for a while. When they came back up, they saw that their flat was completely shot up. There were bullet holes all around & especially in the place where M. was standing when that voice told her to get out. Grandmother was lying in the bed when M. called her to leave & there was a bullet in the bed exactly where her head had been. They all knew that the Lord had saved them!
Another time, two of our Sarajevo catacomb girls were witnessing to another girl on the phone when suddenly they heard some shouting through the phone, then everything went silent. They put the phone down & prayed for her. After a while she phoned back & said that bullets had shattered the mirror that was right over her head & all the glass had fallen on her, but she didn't get even one little scratch. Thank God! TYJ! (See Psalm 91:7; 46:1.)
(B. & D. sent a donation & said:) "We would like to send you more. Actually we would like to start tithing. The rest of our money we are saving to buy some Bibles for other brothers & sisters. Thank you so much for all the literature. Please send us more Posters. We love you very very very much!"
PRAYER REQUEST: For peace as well as openings to comfort & get the Salvation Message to as many as possible, particularly the refugees, wounded, soldiers & others in life-threatening situations.