the grapevine
(Issue #29; October 15, 1997)


Copyright © 1997 by The Family

       The Grapevine
PO Box 4938
       Orange, CA 92863 USA

       The Grapevine consists of news and views from Family members, and is not intended to reflect WS policy.

       Suggested reading age for this publication is JETTs and up. Parents or shepherds may read with or allow portions to be read by younger ages, at their discretion.


newest arrivals …
Agnieszka Jeniffer, 2n d child, born to Rose and Steven Don Quixote.--Sweden
       * Jennifer Erin, 7th child, born to Leah and Casper on July 26th.--ASCRO
       * Rachel Faye, born to Maria (SGA) and Simon on August 4th.--ASCRO
       * Twins Robert Ellis and Michael Kenneth, born to Julie and James on August 9th.--ASCRO
       * Anita Katarzyna, born to Magda and Polish Matthew on August 25th.--Mideast
       * Jasmine, born to Gloria and Mark C. on August 27th.--ASCRO
       * Erin, 1st child, born to Arrow on September 29th.--USA

expectin g …

       Hannah (of Philip) is pregnant with their 12th child.--India


new laborers …
Xenya, who had been an outside witnesser/catacomber for two years, joined this month.--Russia

highlights from around the world

       * We met a sincere Christian who is starting his own magazine for the youth. He is eager to publish our posters in the first edition of his magazine, which will run 250,000 copies.--Steven and Christina, South Africa
TF1 (a main TV channel in France; viewing aud ience: four million) reported on the 50th anniversary of India's independence, and while the narrator introduced the story, the camera focused for quite a while on a poster on the wall of an Indian family's living room. It was our "Waterfall" poster with the quote, "Where love is, there God is!"--Samuel and Heidi, France
       * We gave a two-day seminar on "Keys to Effective Leadership" for 40 managers of the largest insurance company in Pakistan. The company has over 50,000 employees. Gideon was t he main lecturer, while Stevie and Mark YA were the "role playing" skit team. The response was tremendous!--Gideon, Pakistan


       (From Yana Beloved [Russian] and Jeremy [18]:)
We visited the northeast Kazakh city of Ustkamenogorsk, near the Mongolian border and the Altai Mountains. Ustkamenogorsk has a population of 500,000, mainly Russian, with 25% Kazakhs. The city has many factories, including four gold factories, and a number of universities. It is very polluted with radiation. There is a standing joke that when Japanese landed at the airport with their radiation detectors, they ran back to catch the next plane out. All the locals say they have to drink vodka to fight the radiation, ha!
       We found it to be a missionary's paradise, full of young people. Music was a key to reaching people's hearts. Day after day, we'd pray, go out, and the Lord would put people in our path--many who had never heard of God before in their lives. Everyone gobbled up our po sters! We met 20 people whom we are now feeding through the mail. The Lord helped us distribute 17,000 posters, personally witness to 939 people, win 330 people to Jesus, and teach 20 classes to 57 attendees.

       (From Jenny [20] and the Rijeka Home:) It's a cool August morning. The sun has just risen over the mountains. Suddenly, the stillness and calm is broken by the piercing cry of the muezzin from a village. It's the call to Muslims for the first prayer of the day, and even those of us who don't understand the words still feel the same unexplainable emotions: It's an echo of the mountains, a compelling call … it's the cry of Bosnia! It's hard to put into words the feeling you get when you are in Bosnia; it's life-changing. For some of us who had been stuck in the rut of day-to-day fundraising or just hanging around at home, this trip was a time of renewal and rededication.
       Our team of seven was Steven (of Angela), Daniela (25), Dust (22), Sara (20), Ike (20), Jenny (20) and Chris (16). We headed for Mostar. Three live-outs had arranged for us to stay at what had once been a beautiful house, now partially destroyed by an artillery shell. There, we joined up with 12 Italian relief volunteers and four other Family members: Maria (20), Valiant (21), Charity (20) and Joy (15).
       During the first two days we held two open-air concerts on both sides of the city. (Mostar is divided into two parts; the Bosnian Muslim side and the Croatian Catholic side. The inhabitants of either side aren't allowed to cross over to the other, or else they will get beaten up or even killed.) We were interviewed by two major radio stations and a newspaper.
       On the third day we left to hold a camp for 40 needy teenagers from the Muslim side, some of whom we had met last year. One of them, M. (18), had gotten saved and had started witnessing and spreading his new faith to others. He had endured quite a bit of persecution and had almost been killed a few times. Changing your relig ion here is not a small matter, as religion played a major part in the war; by changing your faith, you become a traitor.
       At the start of the camp, we sat by the fire and went around the circle telling our names, ages, where we came from, what we do, our goals in life, etc. (Our times around the campfire became a nightly occurrence, and most people started sleeping around the campfire, as it was warmer than in our tents.) We became engrossed in witnessing and singing songs to all nightly. Thes e people were super attracted to the Spirit in us and were genuinely receptive. We had to have three running translations at all times: Italian, English and Bosnian, which got to be comical at times.
       Over the next few days, our team, as well as a couple of Bosnians from the camp, went to two orphanages in Sarajevo to perform. Every time our team came back from a show, the whole camp would come alive. They would shout "Hallelujah" and "Potenza" (which means power), and run to hug and kiss us, a s if they hadn't seen us in a century!
       At one of these orphanages, we met T. (24), who grew up in the streets. At one time he had an experience with the Lord. After the show he promptly announced to us, "I know Who you're referring to when you're singing! Jesus is also my best friend!" Quite a statement, considering the country he is in. His eyes were shining with happiness at having found some real friends.
       We also met S. (20), who has been in an orphanage all of his life. He said, "I have been waiting my whole life for someone like you to come along. Is it going to take another 20 years for you to come back? You're probably going to return when I'm an old man sitting in the street smoking a pipe. People always forget us!" I assured him that we certainly want to come back ASAP! When I was leaving, he raised his hands and folded them in prayer, begging me not to forget to pray for him!
       On our last evening, we decided to do a concert for all of the guys at the camp, since several of them hadn't gotten to see our show. Oh boy, talk about any pride in us being smashed to a pulp! It had been super hot in the daytime, and pouring rain at night, so our equipment (bless it) fritzed out! But everyone enjoyed themselves, dancing and clapping to the music, like a huge inspiration. We were all united in the spirit!
       The next morning before leaving camp--talk about pouring rain, we got it! We all huddled under the largest covered space we could find, which happened to be the kitch en and food area, covered only by a canvas attached to four trees! We all got soaked, as did all our belongings in the tents. But nobody cared. We just stood there arm in arm, hand in hand, side by side, toes to toes, packed like a bunch of sardines under that canvas, singing songs together, and having a contest with the rain to see who would outlast the other. Naturally, we won. Those were our final moments together. A couple of us went to do a show for a blind school, along with some relief vo lunteers and Bosnians, while the rest of us packed up camp.
       Then our team headed out to do a clown show on the Catholic (Croatian) side. After the show, we all sat around talking about our future plans to come back to Mostar. We hadn't even left yet, and we already wanted to come back! We decided to send our clearance request the day we returned from Bosnia, and start fundraising a week from then!
       That evening, we invited the Italian volunteers and some of the Bosnians over to our house for a grand finale. We had a nice delicious dinner ala Italiano, and afterwards invited everyone outside for a sample of our clown and puppet show. Some of the Bosnians left our home at 2:30 in the morning, and showed up again at 7:00. Already two of them say they want to join our Home. Please keep them in your prayers. It was thrilling to see people's lives change right before our very eyes. Many young people, whose tough characters had been hardened by the war, were in tears by the time we left. " Please come back to us!" they begged, and so we will by God's grace. Please join us in praying for peace in this country!
       There you have it … our rendezvous with Bosnia!--And yes, we're hooked! The cry of Bosnia has certainly reached our hearts. We venture to say that it would have the same powerful effect on you, but, of course, you'd have to experience it for yourself! As anyone who has been there can testify … it's enchanting!

       [Fact Box: Mizoram (population 689,756 [1991]), state in nor theastern India. Mizoram means "Land of the Highlanders" in the local language. The Mizo Hills, which dominate the state's topography, rise to more than 2000 m (6560 ft) near the Myanmar (Burma) border. Mizo and English are the official languages. More than 80 percent of the population are Christians; most converted by missionaries during the 19th century. There are Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu minorities.]

       (From Simon Mountain and John Peter:) We went on a three-week road trip to Mizo ram, a largely Christian state in the northeast of India, on the border with Myanmar (Burma). Aizawl, the capital, is located over 2000 meters above sea level. Living expenses are very high, as everything has to be supplied from other parts of India, which usually takes three days traveling by road. Bus is the only form of transportation, except small 17-seater airplanes that land and take off in fields the size of two rice paddies.
       The minute people knew we were missionaries, they gave us the red-carpet treatment. Even the smallest restaurant would give us tea for free when they knew that we distributed literature about Jesus. The local people stop their buses when leaving town, and one person stands up and prays with everyone, asking for safety and protection.
       Everyone gets up early, and everything closes up at seven in the evening, as soon as it gets dark. We would have follow-up appointments at 6:30 in the morning, and once we were out witnessing, people would not let go of us. We had to pull away to make it home before the last available transport pulled out and left us stranded.
       We met several young people who are very interested in hearing about the Endtime and want to do what we are doing. They devoured every piece of lit that we gave them, and shared it with their friends right away. Our Home has been regularly sending mailings to many sheep in this part of India, and they have been translating the Word into the Mizo language. We look forward to going back, and following up via mail on the precious people we met.

moving missionaries

       It's been a big victory for us to be in Chile! Since the Lord confirmed it was His will that we leave the States (team of 10, and one on the way!) and go to South America, He has wonderfully supplied all our needs.--Including a discount on our tickets, a computer, printer, funds to purchase a car, clothing, educational books, etc.--Michael and Paciencia, Chile

think deep

       Blessed are they who can laugh at them selves, for they shall never cease to be amused.

legal and media

       * (From Marc and Claire:) Canadian academic Susan Palmer recently co-edited a new book entitled Millennium, Mayhem and Messiahs, which includes a page dedicated to explaining the "Loving Jesus" revelation. She was quite anointed in presenting it to the public. The book has pictures from the Endtime News at the beginning of each chapter, as well as four on the cover.
       * Two graduate students are presently working on in- depth studies on the Family. C. has spent three days with us every other week for a few months. J., who is writing his thesis on the Family since Dad's graduation, will be staying with us for a period of time while doing so.
       * Several surveys are being conducted on the Family at present, which hopefully will build up a good data bank of information on Family members, should the need arise in future persecution situations.
       * Bill Bainbridge (see LNF 263) let us know that he's been very happy to be receiving an average of six surveys a day. He has 94 so far. He has received surveys from every area except the US and Canada.

studio news

       (From Timothy:) The Treasure Attic filming is progressing steadily. The crew is making record-breaking time in finishing the dialogue filming for the next thirteen shows (in both English and Spanish)! Last week they provisioned the use of an airplane training lounge (it looks like an airplane on the inside, so they were able to do all the ne eded shots of Uncle Jim, Peepers and Bunny in an airplane) for the "Traveling" show! Next, they'll be going to a fairground for more filming (this is for the "Carnival" show)! Thank you for keeping them in your prayers!

The first Family music tape in Arabic
       (From Catherine:) Since I came to the Middle East in the summer of '95, I've had a burden to work on getting our songs into Arabic. That summer I met Michael Piano, and the Lord had us share the same burden and vision to produce our Family songs in the local language. However, at the time, the idea of actually having "official" time to work on producing songs in Arabic was still a dream. Finally this summer, Michael came specifically to help with the Arabic music project--and stayed long enough to be able to produce a tape. We read "Mama's Surprise" before embarking on this project. Despite my wavering faith, I felt, "If Mama can do it, I can follow her sample." Dad said that he was helping on this project, and I laugh ed when I thought of Dad speaking Arabic. His answer was, "What do you think I'm doing Here? I'm learning all kinds of things--even Arabic!"
       When Michael and I started actually working on the songs, the Lord said specifically over and over again that we need to hear from Him every step of the way and check in with Him. I've never taken so much time to hear from the Lord as I've done the past month and a half. But I loved every bit of it, because it taught me the Lord is not limited. It's just me who has to make that effort and tap into the power. The awesome thing too is I've gotten things straight in Arabic, which hasn't happened to me before. TYJ!
       We couldn't have done it without S., our new Iraqi friend and live-out, who is also a talented singer. We knew that our Family singers wouldn't be able to learn all these songs in classic Arabic in one week, so the Lord told us to choose friends who are humble and have a broken heart. Another Iraqi singer friend, I., told us she won't s ing mushy System songs, but she'll sing our songs. She's famous in Iraq, as she used to present children's programs on TV. She does the voice of "Snowflake" on the Arabic TA.
       While we were inspired about this project, the reality was that we didn't have any money to rent the studio to record the songs. But our God is a God of miracles! Just one day before the recording, the Lord supplied some funds through an anonymous Family donor. I pray the giver will find out what it meant to us. All glory to the Lord!

side a:
       Just Say Yes
Rewritten and arranged for Arab audience by Catherine and Michael; sung by a student friend who's a musician and quite a radical girl.
       Iraqi Medley (A collection of folkloric Iraqi songs, famous around the Arab world.)
Arranged by Michael, sung by Florence, Cheerful, David, Jonathan and S.
       Lift Up Your Brother
Composed by S. and Michael; sung by S.
       Beauty for Ashes
Composed by Michael, sung by I., the Iraqi singer mentioned above.
       The Famin e
Translated by S., sung by Florence.
       Jenna, Jenna (An Iraqi song written after the Gulf War, famous around the Arab world. We revised the words to say that we came to these lands with love in our hearts for them.)
       Arranged by Michael, sung by Florence, Cheerful, Marianne, David and Peter Pioneer.
       Change the World
Translated and sung by S.

side b:
       New World
(With an adapted Arabic-style melody.)
       Composed by Michael, sung by David, Cheerful and S.
       Beloved of the Music (A Loving Jesus song received in prophecy on the way to the Jerash festival.)
       Words by Catherine, music by Michael; sung by the student girl
       Arabic Medley (This is the medley we became famous for. It depicts Arab hospitality, love and care, even for unknown guests. Bedouins dub their guests, "the guests of God," and won't ask their names till the third day.)
       Arranged by Michael, sung by Florence, Peter Pioneer, David, Cheerful and Marianne.
       Hopes of the Children (Written in '95, dedicated to the children of Iraq; see ML #3049:33.)
       Composed by Michael, sung by I.
       It's the Music (An adaptation of the original song.)
       Composed by Michael, sung by Cheerful.
       Like the Eagle (Written during the Jerash festival in '96.)
       Composed by Michael, sung by S.
       Peace in the Midst of Storm
Arranged by Michael, sung by Florence.


--By Jaz

I Am a Toilet?!!

       We have all read that famous ML (#264), at various times in our lives, and it probably has special meaning for some of us. However, how many of our tiny children can really say the same? The subject of the "pot"--both big and small--is something that is indeed on the mind of many a Family parent of the '90s.
       A brave mother from Hungary wrote a query along this line, and since it was such a good subject, I thought it might be nice to appeal to all mothers, fathers, teachers and other successful potty-trainers to please write in and share any input and enlightenment that you may have on that glorious subject.
       You may still be a bit in the dark as to exactly what the question is, but I am not simply disorganized: In reality, I was saving the question for last. Since it was so well-worded by dear Tamara (the one who wrote in about it), I will just let her carry it on from here. Looking forward to hearing from you all!

       (From Tamara, of Paul, Hungarian national:) I'm a mother of two, with one on the way. One thing that I'm having a bit of difficulty with is potty-training my kids at night.
       I didn't ha ve much experience with children before I started to have my own; all I know is from the Word and a little input here and there. I'm finding that the Word is a very good teacher, but I haven't found too much on this one subject.
       Some mommies I talked to said they put their kids on the potty anytime they would stir in the night, because that's when they would usually go pee. However, I don't usually wake up every time my kids stir, as I'm a deep sleeper.
       With my eldest, I listened to some Sys tem advice to just wait till she stays dry by herself and not to bother trying anything else. She is now a bit over three, and still seems to wet the bed quite a bit.
       One sweet mommy I lived with before put her kids on the potty before going to sleep every night, and again in the early morning. I started to do that with both of my kids, the three-year-old and also the 22-month-old. To my surprise, the younger one caught on fast and started to wake up asking to go potty in the night! But for th e older one, it seemed to take a bit longer.--I guess she just doesn't have the habit, as I didn't train her. So that was a good lesson!
       I don't know if anyone else has some tips on this. Maybe others would also welcome some ideas on this from more experienced parents and CC workers!

       (Suggested reading to tide you over till you get more wonderful expert input: Techi's Life Story, Ch.22:17 [pg.132], Ch.28:all [pg.173]; Childcare Handbook 1, "Potty Prep" [pg.361], "Toilet Training Baby" [pg. 363].)

fruitful fields

       Albania - (From Christian, Marco and Gabriel:) All the boys are probably not in WS, but in Albania! Even the live-outs who are planning to join soon are eight boys and only three girls. So all of you girls who are interested in having a fun time serving Jesus in a sheepy country (of 3.3 million), you are most welcome!

what's up?

200 children saved
       (From Suzana [Dutch]:) A director of a school loved our videos and got a large part of the collection. Whe n we came out of her office, about 50 students came after me, calling me Xuxa (a famous children's TV personality), probably because I'm very blonde, which is rarely seen here in northern Brazil. I prayed about how the Lord could make the most of the situation, and went to sit at their cafeteria, motioning for all the children to come close. I asked the director if I could pray with the children, which she thought was wonderful, and nearly 200 students gathered around me. I explained salvation t o them and they all received Jesus!

Supply for Romania
       (From Johannes and Milcah, Eman and Claire:) A couple of months ago, we received a call from the regional president of an international doctors' association: "A maternity clinic is closing down. Do you need anything for your Romania project?" Eman and Johannes drove to the clinic right away, met the doctor, and divided the things the clinic would take to use in Poland, and what we would take for Romania. We got three hospital ma chines (worth about $50,000 each), a re-animation machine for babies, an incubator, 50 stainless-steel sterilizers, 10 bags of bedding, other equipment, medical appliances, and baby formula for newborns.--All given with a letter of recommendation from the director of the clinic. A friend agreed to store it for us until the clearance papers are worked out.
       One week ago we got another call from the same doctor. They had not been able to bring the batch they had to Poland, so asked if we wanted t hat too. We jumped at the offer, and received eight bags of blankets, a pallet of baby milk, diapers and a pallet of laundry powder. Our job then was to find transport. We had prayer day on Thursday, and on Friday we got the answer! A team on their way to Romania said they would be willing to transport part of it. Please pray that the clearance papers from the Romanian authorities will come through soon.

Suffering persecution
       (From Abner [of Lily]:) Recently, six members from a c hurch in the north of Lithuania (whom we had taken out postering one year ago) visited us for three days. They had split off from their church because their pastor did not want them to witness outside the confines of their church. They were not allowed to show any display of affection to each other, and if they where caught doing so, they were severely reprimanded in front of their whole congregation. After their split, the pastor had told the entire community not to interact with them or their children anymore.
       We gave them classes, and prayed with, comforted and encouraged them, as they were all quite broken by the ordeal. Most of them are professional teachers and translators, and want to contribute their talents to the Lord's service. Some have expressed their desire to join the Family, and are now studying our Statements.
       During a recent road trip in Lithuania, we met for Bible classes and prayer with the other members who had split off from this church. A few days later we he ard that one of the men that we had been ministering to had been beaten up by some ruffians of the baser sort, whom their former envy-filled pastor had sicced on them. Their main bellwether arranged a meeting with this pastor and told him that if this happened one more time, he would file a complaint with the police. Please pray for their situation, and that their former church will stop persecuting them.

Kids' videos change parents
South Africa
       (From Lena [YA]:) While on outreach we bumpe d into a woman who had taken videos from us previously. After showing her all of the new titles we had, she noticed a "Christmas Friends" Treasure Attic. "I bought that one last year," she commented. Lowering her voice, so as to not be heard by her husband who was working across the room, she continued, "My husband has never been much of a Christian, but after watching that video with our kids, he's really changed!" TYJ for our life-changing videos; not only do the kids get a witness, but the pa rents do, too!

Tracts save souls
Puerto Rico
       (From a female:) Last time I went out witnessing, a lady called me over and said, "I was driving with my son yesterday and he got a tract about the Hale-Bopp comet. I read it and prayed to receive Jesus." That encouraged me to keep getting out the message!

Spirit helper alarm
       (From David Michael:) I was out doing bank business when I parked in front of the post office to gather up the mail. In between the driver's seat and the passe nger seat is a small sort of table, where my pouch (with bankbooks, etc.) was lying. I completely forgot that my pouch was there. I got out of the car to mail the letters. Since it was a warm day, the car windows were open, and I usually don't lock the car when I'm right in front of a store and just going in for a short time.
       After walking a few feet, I heard a woman's audible voice saying, "Someone is going to take that pouch!" There wasn't anyone around, and it dawned on me that I had left m y bank pouch in the car! I guess the Holy Spirit allowed me to hear my spirit helper's warning! TYJ!

Kids' pubs teach adults
       (From Catherine:) In the Brazilian slums, most people read poorly or not at all. Everyone is very sheepy and hungry, but we have to go very slow and explain when reading, because our literature is geared for the more educated. We got the idea of donating 15 sets of Life with Grandpa for the children in the slums. We first showed the books to the adults, so the y could get the vision, and also to explain some of the Family terminology in them.
       However, the adults liked them so much that for weeks we have been using them in our adult Bible study group. They can easily follow along with the pictures, and the way the stories and testimonies are presented is at most of their levels. They love it! We pow-wow each story and see how it can apply to their lives.

Power of our pubs
       (From Charity:) One W&R day, Jareb, Joy and I were having a snack in a coffee shop. A woman asked us a simple question, and we ended up witnessing to her for over an hour and praying with her. The only little book I had in my purse was To Jesus - With Love. I read her one page and she was overwhelmed by the love. She kept asking me, "Where can I buy this book?" Now this lady and her husband are having Word classes with us and becoming involved in our CTP ministries.


Composer/author search
       (From IVM legal team:) In order to legally secure th e copyrights of the material used in our GP tools, we have been contacting the different authors and composers of our Family songs to get permission to use their songs (more information coming soon in an LNF, D.V.). So far many of our Family musicians have replied (thank you all!) and we're now on the homestretch with this project.
       We need YOUR help … as we have been unable to locate the following authors and composers, both current members and former members. We wanted to ask if anyone would have any information that would help us get in contact with these folks. If you know the addresses, phone numbers, or where to contact the different ones listed below (or if you find your name listed) we would appreciate it if you could get in touch with us. You can e-mail us at, or write us at: Bryan Davidson, Kanamari 4359-94, Tateyama-shi, Chiba-ken 294, Japan. Thank you so much!

Alphabetical list of authors/composers we're trying to contact:

Cana Bird - (Revolutionary Chil dren of God)
       Chronicles (Kirk Allen) - (Peace in the Midst of a Storm)
       David Z. (Colin York) - (Psalm 133)
       Fernando - (Now I Have Found My Place)
       Gideon S. - (The Room)
       Gordon - (It's Gonna Take a Lot of Love)
       Hannah Happy - (Man Overboard)
       Ishmael Harper - (I Love You)
       Jeduthan Light - (Change the World with Love)
       Joash Crow - (Greatest Story)
       John Phoenix - (Johnny's Shoes)
       Jonathan French - (I'm Born Again)
       Josiah - (Mountain Man)
       Little Zac - (Here in Shangri La)
       Mary Heart - (The Holy War)
       Michael Mountain - (God's Explosions)
       Miguel - (New Morning)
       Naaman Gypsy (Rod Holtem) - (Moments)
       Nahum Drummer, relatives of - (A Few Little Hugs) (He went to be with the Lord 15 years ago.)
       Nathan Ti Amo - (Gone)
       Nicholas Robinhood - (In the Beginning)
       Obed Buggs (Jonathan Harper) - (You Can Change the World)
       Paul Michael - (Prayer)
       Peter Artist - (Free, Free, Free)
       Publius - (Climb that Mountain)
       Reuel - (Little Girl)
       Ruth Selah - (Castle M ade of Sand)
       Ruthie Manuel - (The New Children Sing a New Song)
       Samson Drummer - (World Without End)
       Sergio Lombo - (Angels of Love)
       Shadrach - (Gypsy Caravan)
       Zach Waxman - (Robot)

Turkish lit available
       (From Turkish Lit Pic:) Heavenly Streams, Volumes 1 and 2 are available in Turkish and English!--Two books of 31 pages each of Reflections and DF type material, in two languages. Excellent for follow-up and feeding your Turkish friends. Available at the Turkish Lit Pic at $1 per book, plus shipping. Write to:

Spanish-speaking poets
South America
       (From SPALIM:) Thanks to all Spanish-speaking Family poets who sent in their contributions for our Alabanzas-2 (Praise songbook No.2, or rather praise poem book). We are particularly grateful to Marco Vinicio, Teresita, Miguel Vida, Guillermo Bueno, Jay P., Clara and SPALIM personnel for your touching, Heavenly rhymes. The booklet is now in its final stages and will soon go out in a m ailing. Please send us more of your inspired compositions, whether rhymed or free verse, as we are planning on pubbing a third songbook/poem book in the near future!

mama's mailbox

Dear Mama and Peter,
       I'm not a very spiritual person, and though I've had the gift of prophecy for a long time, I can be a bit of a Flatlander at times because I'm very analytical. The Lord has also gifted me with the ability to express myself in words and writing. So when you combine all that, even though I'd get things from the Lord, my carnal mind would be telling me that it was just me making it up. Because I was having a difficult time accepting that fact that I--being the unspiritual, little black sheep that I am--was hearing from the Lord, it made it difficult to unconditionally accept that all of the prophecies in the GNs were from the Lord.
       Here in Africa, you can tend to feel like you are on the absolute edge of civilization (as in "Family civilization"). It's all part of the sacrifice to reach this needy continent, and it's something that goes with the turf. But when you get letters from friends in the West telling you about something they read in a Grapevine, and you're still two Grapevines behind, you can feel just a little out of touch.
       A very encouraging thing--which totally reinforced the fact that the Lord really does want us to utilize this precious gift in all areas of our lives--is that a while back, a few prophecies came out in some of the GNs that were identical in content to some of the things that the Lord had given me in prophecy. Similarly, I had received some things from the Lord for one of my friends who left the Family some time ago. I later heard back from her, and she said that the prophecies were so specific that it was spooky. That was encouraging.
       I'm not sharing this because I think I've attained to prophet status, but because it's shown me that no matter how far away from civilization you think you are, if you're taking time to hear from t he Lord, He can keep you in pace with the rest of the Family. This has revolutionized the way the prophecies in the GNs affect me. Before it was like, "This stuff is pretty good." Now it's like, "Give me that!" (grabbing it away from the mail person) and "What does the Lord have to say to us?"
       I think it's fantastic that you have the gift of prophecy. When I read that I flew sky-high!
       --Shar (25), Kenya


       * Stacy and Liz Etheredge would like to contact the Hill family--Ruf us, Dulce, Windy, Ivanna and all! Add: c/o M. Etheredge, Apdo Postal 73, Admon. No 1, Veracruz, Ver. C.P. 91700 Mexico.
       * Simon and Vicky (Italian), please contact Mike A. (of Juan and Maggie) ASAP. Last lived with you in Hungary. Add: 294 Chiba-ken, Tateyama-shi, Kanamari 4359-94, JAPAN.
       * Anna (of Nic and Tender, Philippines) would like to contact Bianca (of Phoenix) and others she's lost contact with.
       * Jeremy (of M. and A., Phoenix) is looking for Kristina of Seabrook. E-mail: Ricndebb . Add: 610 E. Bell, Phx, Az 85022.
       * Charity SGA wants to find Andrew (of Amos O' Test), last heard of in Russia. Contact Ivy Home, Thailand via ASCRO.
       * We need to contact David (German Zack, who was in Russia) about important legal matters. Please contact Heaven, Hannah and Aaron (Japan) through PACRO.
       * Paulo and Nina are looking for Canadian John B. Add: C.P. 37822, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, CEP 22.642-970, Brazil, or via Brazil ABM.
       * James, (who was in the Monterrey office in 1991-2), an d Lydia (Puerto Rico), please contact Laura (formerly Shalom) via the Central USA ABM.
       * Esmy Fighter, please write Andrew and Joy Rose. Add: c/o C.P. Apdo 1863, Monterrey, NL. Mexico 64000

Mama jewels on … victory--by faith!

--to a young staff member

       I was so thankful to hear how the Lord has blessed you after you asked for united prayer against jealousy! It's amazing how many powerful forces He has released to help fight for you. The Enemy's going to try to tell you that it's not wor king, but don't believe him! Keep telling the Devil that those are lying vanities, and that the Lord has the victories for you, and you're claiming them!
       You might have to take it by faith for a while, like I do for my physical healing. The Lord said in my birthday prophecies that He would give me good health in the year to come, so even though I've been quite weak recently, I have the faith that I'm going to see His healing soon. At least my bleeding stopped for a while, thanks to everyone's prayers, and I was able to regain some of my strength. It has started again, but I'll just keep asking for prayer. It's a matter of just hanging on, then you will see the fulfillment. But if you let go, you'll never have the victory because you aren't accepting it. So don't let the Enemy get you down and tell you that you don't have the victory! Just keep believing by faith!

friends and former members and GP seeking contact

       * Keith Ross (formerly Micah) would like to get in touch with his ex-wife in the Family (Gabriella; now Maria?). Add: Keith Ross, c/o Cidade-De-Goa, Donna Paula, Goa, India.
       * Joseph (formerly Elijah) would like to hear from Steve and Emmie. We knew one another in Canada. I was with Shiloh, and have two daughters, Katrina and Crystal. Rainbow River (Edmonton in '77), where are you? My name was Simon Peter. Add: Joseph Tremblay, Box 572, Morin Heights, JOR 1HO PQ, Canada.
       * Lui Ponifasio is trying to contact the Atherall family, through whom he became a Ch ristian some ten years ago. E-mail:
       J* azz Singh is a member of a Vancouver-based band called Dal-Dil-Vog. He would like to contact Mary Johnston, who he met in Bombay during their band's tour in December '96. E-mail:
       * Phillis Cotton is trying to locate Ernest P. Fountain and Maurine Jones (Family members in 1977, who had twins on June 11, 1977 named Becky and Elizabeth). Mrs. Cotton is doing a research study on all twins born in the Kansas City are a during the year 1977, and would like to send a questionnaire to this couple. You can contact her via the phone number below, or send a message to the Web/e-mail/800 ministry and we can forward the questionnaire to you. Phone: (800) 525-2174.
       * Ivy Sams and Mary Rose, please contact Byron Kirchoff at: P.O. Box 231044, New Orleans, LA 70183.
       * I live in Torreon, Mexico. I want to make contact with my dear friend Michael Alexander (possibly in Finland). Add: Jesus Lopez Gonzalez, C. San Franc isco 321, Col. La Fuente, C.P. 27290 Torreon, Coah. Mexico.


--by Rose Midwife, USA

       Q: Some doctors suggest that you keep the umbilical cord wrapped until it falls off. I heard that if you do that, it could cause an infection. What's the best way to take care of it?
       A: Yes, if you keep the umbilical cord wrapped until it falls off, it can cause an infection. The infection is caused because the cord stays wet, so is more open to infections, like a wet or moist cut. This inf ection then enters the baby's bloodstream directly from the cord, as the baby's veins and aerators are located in the cord.
       The best way to care for the umbilical cord is to put alcohol on it every time you change your baby's diaper, and then to fold the diaper down under the cord so that it doesn't cover or touch the cord, allowing the cord to receive air. Then simply dress your baby. Be sure to clean the bottom side of the cord (the side laying on the baby's tummy) with alcohol also. The cor d doesn't hurt the baby when you move it; it's basically like cutting your nails or your hair. However, most babies do cry when you alcohol their umbilical cord, simply because the alcohol feels cold on their skin.

       Q: If a girl doesn't start her period until she's 16 years old, is it okay health-wise for her body to get pregnant right away, or is it better to wait a while--or does it not matter?
       A: It really doesn't matter if she becomes pregnant right away or not. She would need the same care and nutrition as a girl who had started her period earlier.

Did you know?
Praise (Family midwife in Mexico) recently came across one of our Family mothers who was nursing a baby of someone not in the Family, and the non-Family mother was nursing her baby. This might not seem like a big thing; however, AIDS can and does pass through breast milk, so this is not advisable. Also, it would not be advisable to use the breast milk of non-Family members for pinkeye.

ws want ads

       (Fr om the GPU:) The GPU team in California is in need of a full-time, dedicated childcare worker to join their team (preferably an SGA or FGA), to work with children ages five to 14. It is preferable to have teaching and record keeping knowledge--and a great love for the hope of our future! This is a partially behind-the-scenes Home. Contact the GPU at: The Family, P.O. Box 5784, Orange, CA 92863, USA (Attn: GPU); or via e-mail at "".

letters to the editor

       I agree 100% with the ad ult man from Slovenia who wrote in about punctuality. I used to be in a ministry that involved meeting people in the System often. We always had to be on time or even early for these appointments; if we were late, they didn't wait and we missed the opportunity. It used to frustrate me when, at Home, people would be 30 minutes to an hour late for various activities. I've noticed that I've taken a fatalistic attitude about this, thinking, "It's just the way it is." But I think we just need to pull up our socks in this area, and realize that when someone says we're leaving at 9:00, we're leaving at 9:00!--Not 9:30, not 10:00, but 9:00!
       --female, Pacific

movie ratings

Movies Rated for Senior Teens and Up

GAME, THE (1997)
Michael Douglas, Sean Penn
       Suspenseful thriller about a hardened businessman who receives an invitation to participate in a mysterious "game," which is tailor-made for each participant.

Julia Ormond, Gabriel Byrne
       Mystery t hriller about a young woman who is devastated at the death of a young Eskimo boy, and searches for clues about how it happened. Not to everyone's liking.

Movies Rated for Junior Teens and Up

Kim Basinger, Val Kilmer
       Action movie about a female cat burglar just released from prison, who is now trying to go "straight." Entertainment only.

Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin
       Docu-drama hosted by Al Pacino as he narrates, directs, di scusses and acts in Shakespeare's play "Richard III." Interesting look into film-making, and also gives a comprehensive historical explanation of this play.

       Movies Rated for JETTs and Up

Tom Hanks, James Belushi
       Comedy about an unsuspecting man who is mistaken for an undercover agent. Light entertainment only.

I'm wondering ...

       Q: We now have quite a bit of GP material available on the ARC that can be printed out and used both for the mail minis try as well as given out to individuals. However, the ARC is still quite new and daunting to many people, and they feel a little lost in knowing where and how to start. I was wondering if those who have experience in using the ARC for witnessing projects, follow-up projects, as well as personal Word time, etc., could write up their testimonies, explaining the battles, victories and progress, and thereby help to promote this terrific tool?--Lisa, Europe
If you have experience in utilizing th e HomeARC CD for witnessing and follow-up purposes, teaching your children, etc., please write in and share your tips with all! Thanks!

       Q: Is it feasible to let the writers of various articles know if their articles have been diverted to another pubs section? (As was mentioned in The Birth and Life of the Grapevine; see Grapevine #24.) Just so you're not left wondering what happened to the "terrific contributions" you sent in.--J., India
As much as we would like to, it doesn't seem to b e practically feasible. We receive so many articles and contributions, big and small, that it would generate the writing of many, many messages.--Not to mention the increased workload it would cause for the ABMs and CRO offices who would have to forward these various messages, track down the authors of these articles, etc. We're so sorry! Please do know, though, that we sincerely appreciate each and every one of your contributions. Sometimes it just takes time to get things out, as there is alre ady a lot in the pipelines, and there's also the constraints of pub space. Pray for us!

A Peek Into Mama's Home …

--game night fun

       (From Jenna:) Since we now have a good percentage of young people in the Home, our activities have risen to new levels, and we've all been stretching our imagination (and whittling away at our pride!) during our monthly birthday parties and other activity nights. Below is a fun collage of games which we've been experimenting with, and have found to be a blast . We're sure you'll derive some fun from them too!
       If your Home has been enjoying some unusual games, enlighten us all! Send in a brief but clear description of "how to do it." If we get enough responses, perhaps we can publish a game column listing from time to time. Enjoy!

       Don Quixote and Dulcinea: This is a cross between "cat and mouse" and "Marco Polo." Choose a boy and a girl volunteer. Everyone holds hands in a circle, with these two in the middle. Blindfold both of them and spin the m around. The boy calls out "Dulcinea?" and the girl must reply "Don Quixote!" Thus, the chase begins! Don Quixote has to catch Dulcinea by following the sound of her voice (naturally, however, she's going to scurry around the circle with her every reply, frantically dodging him). When he catches her, choose two more people and reverse the roles, with Dulcinea catching Don Quixote.

       ABC Adventure Game: Test the limits of your spontaneity and imagination! Choose five volunteers from the audien ce to stand in a line before everyone. The audience chooses an adventurous setting to place them in (e.g.: in the middle of the Sahara Desert, surrounded by nomads; strangers on a bus together; white-water rafting down a fast moving river). The five brave volunteers must then verbalize their adventure, one phrase at a time, starting with the first person to the last, then back to the first again. It's all impromptu, and each person has to make up a line on the spot, building on what the person b efore them said.
       The trick is that when your turn comes, your phrase must begin with the next letter of the alphabet. Here's an example, with the setting being a submarine going down the Amazon River:
       (Person 1:) About midnight, I awoke to a strange noise …
       (Person 2:) By the time I sat up in my hammock, the whole submarine had begun to shake from side to side …
       (Person 3:) Climbing up the ladder, I opened the hatch and peered out …
       (Person 4:) Daylight had come to the jungle, and the monkeys were all chattering and pointing at us from the trees …
       Get the idea?--And on the adventure goes until you reach the letter Z! If someone begins with the wrong letter of the alphabet, they drop out and join the audience. Try to make it from A-Z, and discover the hilarious story you come up with!

       All in One Breath: This takes some prep work. Using the dictionary, compile a long list of interesting and uncommon words from A- Z (e.g.: abacus, brontosaurus, colander, dietary, embroider y, finicky, gallant …). Choose a volunteer from the audience to take one deep breath, and then to read as many of the words on the list as possible in that one breath. Timing the person can also be fun. Then someone else can try. Make sure the list is fairly long for those with a big lung capacity! For challengers, read the same list backwards in one breath.

       Paper Adventure Game: This one is similar to the ABC adventure game. Make teams of three or more people, and give each team a large lin ed piece of paper and a pencil. The idea is to create an adventure story, each person adding on a few lines, but not fully knowing what the person before them wrote. You can give the teams five or ten minutes to create their story. Let's say that Joe, Mary and Scott are a team:
       Joe begins by writing: The young lady was very happy and excited about her upcoming trip …. Then Joe folds the paper carefully over, to cover the first line, and writes for Mary to see:
       so she prepared by …
Mary loo ks at the last line which Joe has left for her to see, and adds: doing a massive exercise-video workout. After showering, she then dressed and left the house. Then Mary folds the paper to cover her first line, and writes this line for Scott to see: On her way to deliver the important message to the president …
Scott writes his line, folds the paper over, adds another lead-in sentence, and hands it back to Joe, who either completes the story, or keeps it going by passing it around again.
       When the story is done, one member from each team is selected to read their complete adventure to all. Tip: Decide beforehand whether your adventure involves a man or woman, to avoid distasteful results.

       The Adverb Game: Let the actor in you come out! Volunteer "Joe" leaves the room, while everyone else decides what adverb they're going to act out. (e.g.: romantically, happily, lazily, slowly, quietly, enthusiastically, awkwardly, etc.). Joe returns to the room, and in order to guess the adverb, he tells everyone to mime the adverb they have chosen through various actions. He might say, "Dance this way." If the word chosen was "romantically," then everyone would put forth their own interpretation of dancing "romantically" at the same time. The audience cannot talk. Joe can continue asking the audience to do various mimes, such as: talk this way (no actual talking, since you're miming), swim this way, eat this way, sleep this way, etc. When Joe thinks he knows the word, he can guess it. If he's wrong, he can have a few more miming clues, and guess again.

your views on issues

30-minute commitment
       (From Daniel:) My son expressed his trial of feeling that it seems his needs are at the bottom of my to-do list, so I made a commitment to spend at least 30 minutes with him every night. We are having so much fun together! One night I taught him math, another night about computers. Another night we went for a walk together. It is really bearing good fruit.
       One night I had to finish the TRF. My son knew this, so he said that in an emergency like this, we could skip our time together. I told him that emergencies will always happen, and that is why I made a schedule and commitment. So we had our time together, and I began work on the TRF at 11:00 p.m. Whew! But it is more rewarding to spend time with my son first.

European tours
       (From an adult man:) I've met and heard about some teens and SGAs coming from the States and Canada, making what would am ount to Europe-wide tours of Homes and countries. Although this in itself isn't bad, I really wonder if this is what serving the Lord in Europe is all about. The amount of money these young folks spend or have to raise on such travels could be invested otherwise and reap everlasting fruit in the lives of the lost.

Single brothers
       (From Joyful:) Much has been said about single moms, but I want to put our single brothers in the limelight! In this field, there are quite a few single bre thren. They're the ones who often sleep on the floor when there is no extra bed; who go on the road time and again to reach the lost; who give a helping hand to families with many kids; who are often fundraisers; who forsake their own desires; who stand in the many gaps to sweep the floor, do the dishes, take out the garbage, do the shopping, cook meals … and the list goes on. They give their lives day in and day out without complaint.
       Yet with the emphasis on smaller Homes, there also seems t o be more of an emphasis on preserving your own personal family and not taking into consideration how it will affect the children of other families or singles. Often I have had to check my heart: Am I keeping the "One Wife" spirit in mind? How will it affect the other kids in my Home if I do this or get this for my kids? What about that single brother? Are his needs being met? Is he happy and comfortable? Does he feel that he lives in a family, or does he feel that he is the servant of the Home, living his own lonely life?

Neglected support avenue
       (From Eman and Peace:) I feel a push should be made for families to get pledged monthly support before going to the field. It's a neglected and lost art. The other missionaries we know on this field are either supported by their church or they have to raise their support before coming; then they are free to do their jobs.
       I noticed that on the quarterly ministry stats, mail support is lower than DTD and other field support. I'm wondering if it wouldn't help to do it like the missions boards do, and make it mandatory--even if people raised 50% of a realistic budget (via home support) it would help. Grandpa always emphasized mail support, but we've really neglected it.

Memorization, anyone?
       (From Joan Love [18]:) I made some attempts to start memorizing daily, but never made much progress. I imagined myself in a cell in the Endtime, trying to remember my verses and they wouldn't come! So I got desperat e about memorization and the Lord did it! It just took some umph!
       The wonderful thing is that as I started memorizing and reviewing, I began getting more out of the Word. I started hearing from Jesus more frequently, and my hunger for His golden seeds increased. I'm getting so much more accomplished and I'm more organized (my mind started working well because of exercise, ha!). I can hardly wait to go out witnessing! I just obeyed, and now I'm feeling great! I'm addicted to memorization! If I don't do it one day, something is missing!

       Family videos
       South America
       (From Jeremias:) The New Latin American Video News #3 was terrific! Also the Asia Video News! It's such a blessing to get to see the Family everywhere, and to see the fields white unto harvest. God bless those who worked on them. I was just a bit saddened when not many people in the Home sat down to actually watch the videos, or if they did, did so with a ho-hum attitude. It's the most fellowship we get, and some seem ed a bit uninterested in Family videos. It's a shame. I wish there was more emphasis put on Family videos and less on System videos. "Why the Family?"

Safe fax
       (From Micah and Jewel:) We have been receiving faxes from different Homes containing what we feel is "inside information." We would feel more secure if such things were encrypted and put in our e-mail box. Maybe we should remind everyone sending faxes to be more security minded. (Editor's note: Faxes are unencrypted and can be intercepted as easily as a live phone call. So they aren't a secure method to send something of a private nature.)

Making others happy
       (From Renee:) Before coming to Taiwan, I met some brethren from the GPU, most of whom had been in WS units for years before surfacing to work in this new ministry. I was impressed by their examples of loving concern and sincere, caring attention towards just about each person that they came in contact with.
       At the end of the Feast we had a local a rea dance night which several adults from the GPU attended. I was going through a few battles at the time, as I had been staying with my father for several months while awaiting my clearance to Taiwan. (I'm single with two children.) I was feeling lonely and longing for someone to talk to, when I started watching the sisters who had come from the GPU.
       They dressed in a simple but feminine way, and danced with, it seemed to me, whomever they felt needed loving. You could see on their faces that they seemed genuinely happy to be with the person they danced with. They were tender, giving and loving, and used their femininity to make others happy. I was especially convicted, as I had been feeling sorry for myself. The end result was that it helped me get out of myself and dance with others to make them happy instead of trying to fill my own needs. God bless you, Heather, Bonnie and the other three of you (I don't remember your names, sorry)!

open forum

--thinking of leaving?

       * Ha ve you ever thought of leaving the Family? If so, what made you decide to stay in the Family?
       * Or, if you've had a close friend who left the Family, why did you decide to stay in the Family even though they left?

       Yes, I have considered leaving the Family quite a few times, and I guess it has been the Lord's infinite mercy that I'm still here. My older sister left the Family four years ago, and at first it was really hard for me and I resented her for it. I wouldn't talk to her. Eventually I got over the hump, and now we get along well. I still love her tons. She's happy working and is going to get married soon.
       I have had my fair share of ups and downs these last years, but I think the hardest was when my best and most dear friend I've ever had decided to leave the Family last year. Ouch! I was shattered! We had a very close relationship and shared so many dreams and wishes. But we started to get off track and the Enemy seeped in slowly but surely; then we'd murmur and critici ze the way the Family did things. Eventually we decided to leave the Family. Four days before we were going to leave, our VSs came for a visit and we were going to watch the Summit meetings. I wanted to try them out, but she had totally decided not to go and tried to convince me not to go also. But I felt this was my only hope of getting a re-injection of Jesus. I went, and I am so very thankful that I did. It was the best week of my life! I would never trade the Family for something else.
       --C . (18), South America

       We were on a road team with two other families, in between fields in the US. The other families were blessed with comfortable motor homes. We had a Dodge van, and all six of us lived in it--Andrew, myself, and our four children. The situation was a test in every way. I was missing our former field and having a difficult time with the people here.
       One day, I felt somebody had misunderstood me or offended me. It seemed it was all I could take, and that was the last stra w. I remember having a kitchen towel in my hand, and I threw it to the ground, saying to myself, "That's it! I've had enough! I'm throwing in the towel!" A voice said in my head, "Cast not away thy confidence!" I heard it as loud as if somebody was standing there talking to me! I went outside and asked one of the teen boys if he could find the full passage, and we read it. (Heb.10:35-39)
       I felt like my guardian angel or spirit helper had supernaturally spoken to me, using the Word! I encourage d myself in the Lord--that He loved me enough to speak to me like that when I was in the pit of discouragement. Since then, we've had a very exciting and wonderful, fun-filled time serving the Lord together! The Lord even blessed us with another child! He never fails if we keep trusting Him! Just like the song, "You'll be glad you trusted Him tomorrow--yes, tomorrow!"
       --Crystal (of Andrew Greeneyes), USA

       Through my teen years I thought about leaving the Family. I always felt close to my Sy stem relatives, and couldn't see anything so wrong or bad about their rich lifestyles in California. I didn't decide I wanted to be in the Family until I was 18; I wanted this to be a solid, lifelong decision. What won me, or who won me, was the Family in Peru with their sweet, loving and pure spirits, which I now understand is the Spirit of David!
       I had a very strong lifelong relationship with my sister. We had always managed through the years to influence each other in the right way, but we became dependent on each others' opinions. When I heard that she and her husband wanted to leave the Family, I can't say it made me want to go join her in the System. On the other hand, I didn't feel close to anyone for miles around, as I had just moved to Russia and left everyone I'd lived with for years in South America. This is what hurt--the feeling of being so alone. However, I now have wonderful friends here in Russia who love me and know me well.
       What made me decide to stay in the Famil y is the Family! Just the fact that a place like this exists in the world is a pretty awesome thought. I think many intelligent people dream of creating an international organization full of good people willing to give their time, money and talents to make the world a better place--and on top of it, they are free, loving and happy! What else could we ask for? I think only our wonderful Jesus can keep a group like this running, and getting better and better all the time!
       --Salome (23), Russia

       Since I had to wait three years after meeting the Family to finally be able to join, leaving the Family was something I never thought I would battle. After being in the Family for one year, I couldn't believe I was being hit with these battles! For weeks and months, nearly every day I was telling myself, "I'm gonna pack my things, take the first train and go back to my parents." I felt so weary in well doing, thinking I wouldn't make it another day. It seemed there was nothing left of the vis ion I had joined with--to change the world, to live and die for Jesus. I still loved Jesus very much, but I felt my relationship with Him becoming distant. Discouragement hit me hard. On top of it all, I was doubting the Word.
       Looking back, I think the Lord used those situations to purge me, and to test my convictions and faith. When the "Problems and Solutions" GNs came out, they rekindled my faith that the Word does have all the answers and can be exactly the help you need, if you make the d ecision that you're gonna believe and stick to it no matter what.
       When I made it through that, and was back on track for Jesus, the Devil came up with another dirty trick to try to get me out of the Family. Out of the blue, somebody offered me a good job with very good pay--something I had wanted to do before I met the Family. It just so happened that when I was offered this job, my parents began to pressure me about making a future for myself. TTL, I had wisdom enough to pray about it first, and ask the Lord for a prophecy and confirmation of His will for me--whether He wanted me to serve Him in the Family, or if was okay to do it my way. He came through so sweetly, just like your best friend giving you their honest opinion about the situation, knowing that the actual decision is up to you.
       Being in the Family is not a decision that you make once in your life; it's something you have to decide every day. If any of the above sounds familiar to you, take it from me: The Family at it s worst is better than the System at its best!
       --Naomi M. (20), Hungary

       Over a year ago, my wife left the Family. I had to make the big choice of whether to stay in the Family or go with her. It was hard, because we have two little girls and they mean the world to me. My ex wanted a different life, system job, etc., but my concern was my daughters. I wanted them to be raised right, in a good, clean and Godly atmosphere. We worked it out for each of us to have one of the girls and go our se parate ways. I know the Lord has His hand on all this. It's been worth it all, as I can see my daughter growing strong in the Lord and in the right place.
       It's not easy being a single father, and I've had to adjust to this challenge. Now I have a lot more sympathy and love for our single mothers. I just want to say thank you to all the people who've helped me along the way, and have lent a helping hand in times of need. All us singles really appreciate the time and attention that you give.
       - -Ike (23), Mexico

       I've thought about leaving the Family on more than one occasion, with my complex "why" reasoning ranging from wealthy boyfriends offering me the world, being weary in well doing, wanting financial stability (a.k.a. a job and doing my own thing), to close friends leaving, etc.
       The reason I've stayed is pretty simple. It boils down to the fact that I love Jesus and I want to make Him happy. Granted, the Family isn't the only place that people can serve the Lord, but I know it's the only place I want to serve Him. If not the Family, then what? I could go and get myself a nice little job, and live in my own little apartment, with my own little car, in my own little world, having a nice little time--for what? Like that's going to make me happy? Yeah, right. Dream on! Maybe some of the struggles I go through now will be over--but only to be replaced by different ones. Grandpa said there's no such thing as a bargain-counter religion; you always get what you pay for. I figure this life is pretty short and forever is a long, long time. So the choice isn't all that difficult.
       If I said that I've put all that behind me and I'm no longer tempted to pack up and go, I'd be lying. The life of faith is still a struggle. There's always something that comes up that makes the grass on the other side of the fence look a whole lot greener; not to mention the fact that the fence always looks easy to hop over. Let's face it: Life (even in the Family) can get pretty discour aging sometimes, and Family living can at times lose its apparent value (sad but true). Sometimes you want to throw your hands up in the air, quit and take an easy way out. But it's a matter of priorities. What is 10 or 15 years as one of God's ambassadors when compared to the rest of eternity?
       --L. (24, female), Africa

       I stayed in the Family mainly for my kids' sake, as I feel without a shadow of a doubt that this is the best place to raise kids. My oldest kids (one SGA/two YAs) are respo nsible and mature young people who have been a tremendous testimony, thanks to the loving shepherding of those who tuned into them during their early teen and JETT years. I want to give that same opportunity to my three other children. Hats off to all our CC and teen and JETT shepherds throughout the world!
       --Charity Milestone (FGA), Thailand

       I was on my way out the door after I had some very close friends and loved ones (including my first husband) leave the Family. We had started a YA Ho me with good intentions and goals. We couldn't wait to try our wings after the Charter came out, but after a year we ended up leaving each other with broken dreams, broken hearts and hurt feelings. Four had left or were leaving, and I had my bags packed for about three days, still deciding which road to take--either to a hotel and the System, or to my parents' Home (in the Family). Here were some of the thoughts running through my head:
       * "Everyone is leaving the Family anyway! My Home has fai led, my marriage has failed. I am a single mom with three children under age five; who is going to want me anyway?"
       * "I feel I need more education.--But for what?!"
       * "But why should I leave and give up now? I've served Jesus since I was born. Am I just going to throw away my birthright?"
       * "Well, we're saved and going to Heaven. I gave most of my years taking care of kids and witnessing; I want to take it easy now and slow down."
       * "I don't have the strength to keep fighting. I don't h ave the strength to try to be a good mommy for my own kids."
       * "I can't fail my children, and live on welfare or get a job while they go to daycare. They'll miss all the training that we had in the Family, and I'll have to give account one day to the Lord."

       I finally decided to stay, and then was hit with doubts about the Word. Until my parents arrived to pick me up, I repeated over and over: "Your Word is true. Help me believe it, as I don't understand it. I know Your Word is true." I tho ught the Enemy had me for sure, and if it wasn't for the Word, I am sure he would have. I know now, by personal experience, that if you just hold on--even if it seems that the Lord has broken His Word, or that He doesn't seem to understand--your dreams are just around the corner, custom-made for you!
       I know what it's like to lose friends, mates, and to be a single mom. I also know that there is hope when there seems to be no hope. Nine months later I was asked to help VS. The Lord knew a desir e of my heart was to work with teens, which I did for a year. On top of that, one-and-a-half years later, Cupid shot my heart and I have a dear husband, Gary, who is not only a father to my children, but a loving, concerned and caring husband. I know it's only Jesus' love which gave me the grace to stick it out, but in the end the blessings always outweigh the hard times. It is worth it to hold on!
       --Sharon (24, of Gary), USA

       When I rejoined a CM Home after living FM with my parents for a year, I was full of dreams to make the world a better place. I quit school, moved in, and prepared myself for an exciting life of missionary service. Can you guess what happened? After a few months of never-ending dishes, babies and toddlers, potties and highchairs, schedules, JJTs, scrambled eggs and porridge to make in the morning, cleanup afterwards, etc, my thoughts were: "What am I doing with myself?"--It's called being weary in well doing.
       There were two other girls my age in the Home at the time, and, sad to say, we weren't good influences on each other. For one thing, we were just teens, and teens the world over have the same loves: music, adventure, thinking incredible thoughts and doing non-conformist things. I know God put these desires in our hearts, and He wants our teen years to be magnificent. It's a time of experimentation and freedom. Our problem was that we were forgetting about the Lord and looking for the Devil's counterfeit.
       I didn't realize what was happening to me. I thought I was just becoming more "open-minded." I wasn't going to be a brainwashed dupe who agreed with everything just because "the group said it was so." It seemed totally brainwashed not to listen to certain types of music, or not to read certain things. And why on earth couldn't Family teens have "normal" lives? There were a few okay guys offering to take us out to clubs and parties, but we had to say no, and sit at home on Friday and Saturday nights crying tears of frustration and boredom. There had to be more to life than this. So I started reading books on spiritualism, self-healing, and hypnosis. I had too much fear of the Lord to get into witchcraft and Satanism, but that could have been the next step. For now, it was the New Age thing.
       I missed having my sweet, spontaneous friendship with Jesus, and I'd often apologize to Him, explaining that I just had to figure things out on my own. I knew He understood, but I could sense that He was sad.
       Well, the inevitable h appened: I was leaving the Family. How was I ever going to know what "real life" was like, or if I could be a "normal" (whatever that is) person unless I tried it? I could study, hold a part-time job, and save up money to backpack around Europe cheaply. Then maybe I could join some organization like UNICEF and save the children after I'd had my fun. Besides, I wasn't happy in the Family anymore. As a matter of fact, I was totally miserable. I'd stopped going to devotions because I couldn't handl e it anymore. I couldn't stand hearing Family tapes playing, because they always said something about not giving up, not compromising. My favorite thing to listen to was Alanis Morrisette. I could relate to her misery and cynicism. She didn't try and cheer me up when I didn't want to be cheered up.
       Two days before I was going to leave the Family, "The Road to Commitment" GN (ML 3064) came out. Even though I was still on my babes status from rejoining, my Home shepherd said I could read this Le tter. Well, I didn't want to read that Letter. I was afraid to read that Letter because I knew it might change my mind. It was a real struggle! Talk about wanting to be open-minded; I couldn't even handle the Word!
       I finally decided to give it a casual browse. The opening section gripped me at once. David--the David--had all the same trials I did! It was like reading my own feelings written out much more accurately than I could have expressed them. I felt I knew him already. I sympathized with him, and couldn't wait to read how he had worked everything out. I sat down in the middle of all my packed bags and read the whole thing.
       Tears were streaming down my face by the time I was done. I felt like I had been groping in darkness crying for the light, when all I had to do was open a window! I fell to my knees and begged the Lord to forgive me. I felt like a wife who had been cheating on her husband, but the Lord tenderly took me back in His arms. Right then and there we had one of th ose precious conversations that I'd missed so much. It was just like old times. All was forgiven and forgotten, and now we were even closer! I could feel that the Lord was so happy, and I was thrilled! It was a long fight, but by that evening the battle was over, and the Lord and I rested in each other's arms. The Lord told me I should ask the Home for united prayer, which I did. He said He would lay a field on my heart, and a few days later, I got one word: India--just like that!
       There's a sa dder side to the story. My good friend ended up leaving the Family. Even though she's got everything we used to want so much, she's unhappy and confused. She told me that she would do anything to turn back time and join the Family again. She says she doesn't have any friends that she can talk to about real things like she can with me.
       I've lived for the past year doing what I was doing before: childcare, meals, cleanups, etc. But now I'm doing it with a purpose--to help these kids grow up to b e happy, loving people; to cheer someone up with a nice meal. I'm now ready to go to the field. The Lord has fulfilled all His promises, and I know He'll continue to do so. I know He's going to work things out in my friend's life, too, in time. Remember, Jesus is always there for you when you're struggling, and the Word is our greatest source of power.
       --female (18), Australia

open forum question

       What kind of influence--either positive or negative--do movies have on you, or on others in your Home? How active a role should movie-viewing take in our lives? What are the benefits; and what are the pitfalls, and how can we avoid them in our Homes?

ideas and tips

Trading tools
       When closing down a Home, we offered our extra tools to nearby Homes to buy, in order to generate the needed funds to give each member their Tool Gift upon leaving our Home. The local Homes benefited and we benefited by not having to carry so many tools with us when we moved.
       --Phil and Marie, USA

Newspaper ads
       Placing ads in local newspapers for needed household or electrical goods has been a good way to meet new people in our neighborhood. The people who respond are usually quite sweet and concerned, and it provides a way to witness to them and share our faith and beliefs.
       --Giddel and Kumiko, Japan

Prophecy pals
       If you enjoy writing and receiving letters, you might wanna try "prophecy pals!" It's receiving a message from Jesus for the other person, and it's fun and exciting w hen your friend says, "Hey, this is so timely!" or, "How did you know what I needed?" You reply: "I didn't, Jesus did. Thank Him!" Try prophecy-exchanging instead of gossip-story-swapping sometime. It's a whole lot cooler!
       --Nikki (16), Philippines

Promoting kids' groups
       We have a company in our city that promotes our kids' singing group, puppet show, etc. They have a professional approach and can package us better than we can ourselves, plus they always know when there are openings.
       -- Joshua, Taiwan


       * Madagascar team needs your help (via CRO and prayer) for printing and monthly support. We're reaching 16 million people, many of whom haven't heard the Gospel.

brief ads

Computer difficulties?
       (From Peter New Creature:) I am a Microsoft Certified Product Specialist for Windows '95. I'd like to make myself available for anyone in the Family for Windows 95-related troubleshooting (including LAN [local area network] related issues). Peopl e could write or e-mail me with their problem, and I will prayerfully do my best to come up with a workable solution. Add: W&P Maurer, Box 56122 - 407 Laurier Ave W. Ottawa ON Canada K1R7ZO. E-mail:

on the net

--helpful WEB sites; sent in by you!

       (Editor's note: These have not been checked out by WS.)

The Gospel Music Archive:
(contains lyrics and guitar chords to over 50 Christmas carols)

thanking …

--for your spirit story contributions

       Ruth (of Ho, China), Tommy French (Thailand), Matthew and Claire (China), John Listen (HCS, Japan), Jonathan (of Mary, Hungary), Justin (USA), Mary (Brazil), Jemima (Finland), John Frank (USA), Nikki (16, Philippines), John (of Sara, Paraguay).

grapes of thankfulness

       We wanted to "amen" Abner's comment about the blessing single moms are. We know a precious single mommy who helped support us with regular donations for three years, while at the same time caring for her kids and raising funds to help her eldest daughter get to the field of South Africa. We love you, dear Summer (now in the Ukraine)!--Kazakhstan team

       They had never met us, but they opened their doors and took us in, as they have done for many a weary traveler having to leave the difficult mission fields of the former CIS on visa trips--they gave till it hurt. This is a large family, with every reason to be unable to help, but their attitude is: "This is why we are here--to help others!" Three cheers for John and Joy Fireball, and their beautiful family in Austria. We think that you are super samples!--Jonathan, Mary, and seven kids, Ukraine

now that's funny!

The Cookie Thief

       A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
       With several long hours before her flight
       She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
       Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

       She was engrossed in her book, and happened to see
       That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
       Grabbe d a cookie or two from the bag between,
       Which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene.

       She read, munched cookies and watched the clock,
       As the gutsy "cookie thief" diminished her stock.
       She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
       Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd blacken his eye!"

       With each cookie she took, he took one too.
       When only one was left, she wondered what he'd do.
       With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
       He took the last cookie and broke it in ha lf.

       He offered her half, as he ate the other.
       She snatched it from him and thought, "Oh brother,
       This guy has some nerve, and he's also rude,
       Why, he didn't even show any gratitude!"

       She had never known when she had been so galled,
       And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
       She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
       Refusing to look back at the "thieving ingrate."

       She boarded the plane and sank into her seat,
       Then sought her book, which was almost comp lete.
       As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise.
       There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!

       "If mine are here," she moaned with despair,
       "Then the others were his and he tried to share!"
       Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
       That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!

ws news

       (From FC team:) Busy now with book deadlines! The 400-page MLK Book Vol. 1 just got mailed to the printers. The TAG (Teaching and Activity Guide) for ages 0-4 years is on its last leg and should be shipped out by the time you read this! Our work on the OC DB's is approaching the finishing line. The new Dito Book is on the home stretch. We just went through lots and lots of pictures of dear Dad and the kids to choose from to add in! We sure need and super appreciate your prayers.

peanuts 'n' raisins

       [Cute Kidz illustration: After a somewhat exhausting family day, I was watering the garden when my son Joao Felipe (age 5) asked if he could water t he garden too. I answered a bit impatiently, "No, son, I'm watering so I can try to relax!" He said, "Well, afterwards can you let me relax a bit?"--Tabita Fe, Brazil]


Status Change, New Disciple Stats, January 1 - July 25, 1997.

       A = Adults
       YA = YAs
       T = Teens
       C = Children

ASCRO       A       YA       T       C       Tot

New CM disciples       4       0       0       1       5
FM to CM       1       0       0       0       1
Ex-members to FM       4       0       0       0       4
New FM disciples        5       1       1       4       11
CM to FM       0       0       0       1       1
*CM to ex-member       3       0       0       0       3

EURCRO       A       YA       T       C       Tot

New CM disciples       11       6       0       2       19
FM to CM       13       0       8       21       42
Ex-members to FM       2       0       0       1       3
New FM disciples       14       0       2       4       20
CM to FM       1       0       0       0       1
*CM to ex-member       9       10       5       12       36

NACRO       A       YA       T       C       Tot
New CM disciples       2       3       5       1       11
FM to CM       23       5       20       47       95
Ex-members to FM       12       1       4       11       28
New FM disciples        13       1       5       16       35
CM to FM       12       8       11       13       44
*CM to ex-member       23       24       14       24       85

PACRO       A       YA       T       C       Tot

New CM disciples       2       0       0       0       2
FM to CM       0       0       4       0       4
Ex-members to FM       5       0       1       8       9
New FM disciples        2       0       1       5       6
CM to FM       15       2       6       16       39
*CM to ex-member        2       16       11       2       31

SACRO       A       YA       T       C       Tot

New CM disciples       11       5       1       4       21
FM to CM       18       1       17       39       75
Ex-members to FM       10       1       4       25       40
New FM disciples       5       0       0       5       10
CM to FM       4       1       1       3       9
*CM to ex-members       14       4       8       15       41

WORLD TOTALS       A       YA       T       C       Tot

New CM disciples       30       14       6       8       58
FM to CM       55       6       49       107       217
Ex-members to FM       33       2       9       45       84
New FM disciples        39       2       9       34       82
CM to FM       32       18       33       93       94
*CM to ex-members       51       54       38       53       196

* (leaving the Family).

book printing attack day results

       (Fro m WS:) A special thanks to all of you who participated in the August and/or September attack days to raise funds for the book project. We really appreciate the sacrifices you made, and we know that when you receive the books that will be coming your way you'll agree they were well worth it! Thanks to your efforts during these attack days, we will be able to print over 20 books in the coming months, something we would not have been able to do otherwise for lack of finances.
       You'll notice that a ccording to the above chart, we didn't quite reach our goal as far as the amount of funds each area was allotted to raise. However, you witnessers did raise over 72% of the total needed, which was quite a substantial amount, God bless you! And during the same period WS received some additional large gifts for the book printing project that have made up for the difference!-A special thanks to Kanti in India, Maggie, Paul and Dorcas' Home in Japan, and Johanne and Lydia in Japan for this extra hel p! Despite what initially seemed like a daunting prospect, the Lord has supplied as He promised He would, and the book printing project can go forward as planned. Thank the Lord He had showed us to proceed by faith with preparing the books even though we didn't have the funds yet, so most are ready to go to press, or will be soon! Thanks again for your prayers and sacrifice to make this possible. We love you!
       (PS. The reason for the lower figures for SACRO in the above chart is that many of th e Homes did not receive the notice in time to have their attack days in August and September. Therefore, many of the Homes will be having their second attack day in October, and those figures are not included here.)


[the newdayz, by David Komic: Planning for Family Time]
       Dean: Mum and Dad, what do you think of my latest paintings?
       Dean: This one's called "family time"
       Mum: Nice
       Dean: (pointing to a picture of a screaming baby and frustrated adult) And this one's called "fami ly time without prepare-planning!"
       Dad: (with sweat beads pouring down his face) [gulp!] That reminds me … it's family time in one hour!
       Mum: You start praying I'll get the activity books!

[Peculiar People (true accounts) by Zeb: Peter and the Academic]
       Academic: As a Christian, we do not believe in modern-day prophecy!
       Peter: Really?
       Academic: Yes! Particularly prophecy for individuals!
       Peter: Oh my! I'm sorry but, before I came to see you we heard from the Lord for you and had i t typed up.
       Academic: You did? Do you have it with you?
       Peter: Yes! But, I mean, if it's against your beliefs…
       Academic: Are you kidding? Gimme that thing!


Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family