Mitch! Please send Miguel an E-mail at: email@example.com.
former members and friends - seeking contact
I'm formerly Obadiah Messenger from the Thuber, Texas days (when Abner went to be with the Lord). I later became a ham radio operator for the Family. I was in Costa Rica and Nigeria (with the Family) and left in 1983. I would like to e-mail former friends in the family (if they're still around). One is Javan of ham radio days (he was
the head of the ham Radio operation), Nation and Sharon C. (he also was a ham radio operator; we traveled together in Central America). I was the one that help set up the printing press in Costa Rica with Nathan in 1977. Please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh (Tim O'C., last heard of in Taiwan), Guin and your daughter Janaei (former members) in the States want to get into contact with you. Please contact me Gloria at e-mail: email@example.com for more info or contact them at their
I am attempting to locate a couple of old friends who are family members, Louis and Stephanie K. If anyone can assist me in my search I would be grateful! Please forward the following to Louis and his wife. Call Lynn Southwood at 504-464-6410 or Casey Nunez at 504-822-4549. Or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael (in his early 20s) called the 1-800 line requesting to get in touch with Eric H. who is (they presume) still in the Family. He was calling on
behalf of his mother, Diana Marley (former Bible name Jubilee). Eric H. the man they are looking for is American from the Washington DC area. The last she heard from him was via a letter from him from Switzerland or Sweden some years ago. She knew him in 1977 in Italy, D.C. & France. She is also looking for Jeff J. & Jim D. who she knew in Boston in 1979. She had an aneurism five years ago. Her e-mail address is: email@example.com.
[JFK Jr. saved?]
Sarah C., Thailand: In light
of JFK Jr.'s recent death, I was reminded of an opportunity I had to witness to him! It's encouraging to know that he just might be in Heaven now!
In 1983 we were invited to a party of one of the foreign ambassadors. At the party I was talking and witnessing to a young man who was about 22 years old, very handsome and sweet. I didn't realize he was JFK Jr. until about 15 minutes later. The young girls were always surrounding him. I finally excused myself and went to another part of the room to
talk to someone else.
About a half-hour later he came over to me and said something like, “Can I talk to you again? I really enjoyed talking to someone who was actually talking to me and not trying to impress JFK Jr.” Ha! So I told him some of my testimonies about our work. He didn't actually pray with me, as that would have been very difficult as he was always surrounded by people, especially girls. But upon leaving the second time he said he thought asking Jesus in his heart was a good idea
and that he would do that. He was very humble and receptive. Praise the Lord for a very precious time with him!
Gold Coast Home, Australia: This month we saw Peace return to Madagascar after three months of miracles. While she was here, the Lord raised up a 40 ft. container and filled it to the brim with supplies for the Home in Madagascar, including two vans, tons of CTP clothing and medical equipment. We had three news articles, a radio show, and two magazine article
interviews as well. Through the news articles we received a steady stream of volunteers bringing supplies and offering their services. This also entailed raising $10,000 to cover expenses, $5,500 for the shipping alone, $3,000 for the vans, $1,000 to replace passports that were stolen by robbers in Madagascar, plus another $500 for specific needs.
We were greatly inspired to see the Lord open the windows of Heaven in this tough field. This sort of project was the key. It was very encouraging t
o see the Lord bless the missionaries on the field, and it was a real reward for them after “doing it tough” for the last two years in one of the poorest countries in the world. GBT!
I don't know if the Gold Coast is unique in this regard, but we have found the media to be sympathetic and helpful. If ever we need some publicity all we seem to have to do is call. It certainly was a key to the success of our container project, as our phone number was printed in the local paper, along with all th
e goods and chattels we received. One man phoned and offered $2,000 cash toward the project. For Homes that have been active in local CTPs and who are going overseas as missionaries, this could land them with a windfall like we have had.
[Better than ever]
Rose, Latvia: This time in the Family is the best that it's ever been for me, with so many challenges, opportunities and open doors. A couple of weeks ago, while on outreach, I was quite desperate, as Latvia is a small country and we've t
ooled to a lot of places. Some people have the means to get the tools, but most don't.
While praying before getting up one day, the Lord gave me the name of a man that I had never met, but I had looked at his business card a few times, since a team had given him some tools over a year ago. That same morning we made an appointment with him, and he ended up getting a set of English videos and tapes for a school that we do CTP for. Such occurrences are getting more common, the more we take time t
o hear from Jesus, instead of trying to do it in the arm of the flesh.
On that same day, we also got out tools the normal way, by walking around and getting a witness off a place, but that first appointment was such a boost. I wanted to say what a great place the Family is because of Loving Jesus, prophecy, the New Wine, and the Charter. I've never been happier in my life!
[Bumped to business]
Philip and Meekness, Namibia: The day of miracles is definitely not past! The Lord did an amazin
g one for us few days ago. We were supposed to fly economy class during the several-hour flight from Europe to Africa. When we arrived at the check-in stand the attendant told us that they have a special surprise for our family (two big and five little people). They said that they had prepared seats for us in the business class section!
We were dumbfounded, shocked and super excited! It was the first time we'd ever flown business class. We had soft, comfortable and convertible seats, fancy foo
d, snacks and drinks, surprises, goodies, lots of space to move around, personalized attention from the flight attendant and all the comforts of business class. TYJ! Prior to the flight we were traveling quite a bit and the kiddos needed extra rest. We had been concerned how our small kids (7, 5, 4, 2, and 6 months) would take this long trip. The Lord took care of this in a truly loving and caring way --giving us His best! What was going to be a tough trip turned out to be total fun!
Peter Pilgrim and team, Russia: On our last trip to Poland, Peter was showing his PR album of our work in Russia to many of his old friends. He was quite a well-known artist and photographer before joining, and some of his artist friends suggested he make a photo exhibition of his missionary work. After the owner of a gallery offered the use of a room as well as the costs of preparing the show, we committed the idea to the Lord and He gave us the okay, showing that it could be a good w
So the timing of the exhibition was set and on our next trip to Poland, Peter prepared photos from different concerts we did in orphanages, prisons, army bases around Russia, etc. He put them in frames on the wall of the gallery and we awaited the official opening day. In spite of the fact that the opening was on a sunny holiday, many people skipped their family outings and came to see Peter. Those who didn't come for the opening left their business cards with notes wish
ing to meet with him soon.
The next month we had lot of visits from people whom Peter hadn't seen for 15 years or so. All were pleasantly surprised and admiring him for sacrificing his artistic career to help people in Russia.
Two articles were published in main newspapers and one long radio interview aired--all very favorable and full of respect for our work, PTL! Special attention was drawn to the “Change the World!” newsletters put in the frames on the wall with testimonies from Russia. O
ne social activist who has biweekly TV programs began showing close-ups from them and quoted them as well in his talks. The exhibition helped also in provisioning and further follow-up. The pictures and the testimonies touched the hearts of many.
[Working with City Hall]
Romania Homes: Six Homes collaborated with Bucharest City Hall to distribute food and clothing to poor families and children. Large pictures of the Homes' CTP work were displayed on the panel with a big sign Familia in Acti
une, at the entrance and on the stage, behind the table where we gave out the clothes to all the families.
The show lasted two hours, and hours after it were spent distributing the clothes. Two TV stations--one national and one local--filmed the event. It was very favorable. Before the show took place, Adevarul and Romania Libera, two important newspapers, announced this event, mentioning that Fundatia Romana Familia (the local Family) and City Hall were working together in this, and inviting
people to come and see for themselves. The local Family had spent weeks preparing packages with sets of clothing for each family, according to the list of eligible families given to us by the City Hall. God bless them!
Movies Rated for Senior Teens and Up
COOL, DRY PLACE, A (1998)
Vince Vaughn, Joey Lauren Adams, Monica Potter
Drama/character study about a young lawyer who, after his wife suddenly leaves him and their son, wrestles with the responsibilities of single fa
therhood while attempting to rebuild his life and career.
Movies Rated for JETTs and Up
MIGHTY, THE (1998)
Elden Ratliff, Kieran Culkin, Sharon Stone
Touching character study and mild adventure about two unpopular kids who learn to help each other, and then embark on a mission to do good deeds, in the tradition of the Knights of the Round Table. Good points on true friendship, looking at people's hearts, the strength of weakness and the power of love to change lives.
PIRATES OF SILIC
ON VALLEY (1999)
Noah Wyle, Anthony Michael Hall
Biographical dramatization about the men who founded the rival computer giants Apple and Microsoft, and a look at the early days of the two companies.
WING COMMANDER (1999)
Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, Saffron Burrows
Light action sci-fi about a rookie space pilot who is assigned to deliver an encoded message about an invasion from an alien race.
A Cool, Dry Place
(Dad speaking:) This is a sweet movie, with sweet l
essons on love and communication. It has the potential to be sensitive for parents who are separated and don't have all their children with them, so anyone who's in that situation should pray and ask the Lord personally if they should watch it. But overall it's sweet, and helps you to feel a touch of what single parents in the System go through.
Even though in our lives in the Family we face difficult times, times of loneliness or separation or difficulties with our children, at least we have
the support of others, and most of all we know the Lord and we have His Words and promises to hang on to. When people in the System go through those types of things, they don't have anyone to turn to.
It also shows how difficult it is to raise a child in the System--the pressures of work often take the place of the loving parenting relationship that the Lord ordained. All in all, it's a good appreciation course for all that the Lord has blessed you with through His Words and loving solutions.
(End of message from Dad.)
(Dad speaking:) This is a touching movie. I like this movie; it's a real fighter movie. Even though they were young, it shows how working together can overcome obstacles. The Lord meant for it to be that way so that we could help each other, for what one lacks another can fill. There's lots of good lessons in this movie but I won't give it all away. It's a wholesome movie. (End of message from Dad.)
Pirates of Silicon Valley
(Dad speaking:) This mo
vie gives a pretty well-rounded picture of what it's like in the corporate business world. They picked a good title, too, referring to them as pirates. `Cause that's really what a lot of it is like--nothing but thieves and pirates, stealing from each other to enhance their own riches and advance their careers. And look at the way the one guy (Steve Jobs) treated his workers and even his girlfriend that had his baby! He was heartless, just heartless, in his demanding of perfection. That's what th
e love of money and the worshipping of the works of your own hands or mind can do to you. It's as the Bible says, “the root of all evil.”
It's interesting to watch because it chronicles an important time in the history of the world: the computer revolution--something which has helped advance our work and the getting out of our message, praise the Lord. It's helped the Devil and his people to advance their work as well, but that's another topic and you guys are all familiar with that side of th
When you watch this movie, don't envy the millionaires, or want to be like them, but pity them. Pity them, because that's all they've got. They're having their reward here and now, and when they get up Here, all their riches aren't going to count for much. Praise the Lord for His true wealth and the treasure of His Spirit. (End of message from Dad.)
(Dad speaking:) You won't find this movie very deep, but if you're looking for a little relaxation and fun action, witho
ut a lot of the blood and guts you find in so many movies nowadays, this one is a pretty good bet. It's got some sweet messages in there about love and caring, the dangers of foolishness and risking your life for a thrill--even the willingness to open your heart to love and not be afraid to be hurt. But mostly it's just entertainment. (End of message from Dad.)
stories and remembrances of Dad
--from staff members
Don't worry about getting the glory
Dad, another handyman and myself were
working together to set up security lights around our property. This particular day we were setting up one light that needed to be installed on a corner of the house which was very high, so we needed an extension ladder.
Dad had called for a volunteer to climb up the ladder, someone who wasn't afraid of heights, so I had volunteered. Just as we set up the ladder, one of our other handymen walked past, and in his eagerness and willingness to help, before I knew it, he was up the ladder and putt
ing up the light fixture.
During this time, I was holding on to the bottom of the ladder, looking down at the ground and thinking, “Boy, I was just about to climb the ladder and put that light up myself, and he just barged in and flew up the ladder before I could even say anything.”
Right at that moment, Dad was sensing my disappointment. Normally it wouldn't have been such a disappointment for me not to do the job, but since it was for Dad, I was disappointed that I was just doing a little
thing like holding on to the ladder; whereas I was the one who had volunteered to do the wiring and the installation of the light itself.
So there I was, looking down at the ground, sort of moping in my heart. Dad looked up at the other handyman who was putting the light up, and he said, “Oh, thank you for your willingness to climb up there, Son. We're praying for you, and please be careful as you're up so high. It's a dangerous thing to do, to climb up a high ladder like that. So hang on tigh
t and do a good job.”
Dad looked over at me at this point, and said, “We don't mind if the other handyman got to do this job, do we, Son?” He sort of got my attention, winked at me and nodded his approval for what the other handyman had done, but at the same time understanding how I felt. He caught my eye and made me smile, and then I realized that I was being sort of childish about the whole affair. But it showed me how concerned he was for my feelings. It was a job that I wanted to get the c
redit for, but it didn't really matter to Dad who did it. He just wanted to see it done, and done safely.
Dad's sense of humor
One time I was running across the yard and Dad called out to me, “Son, what are you doing?” I immediately thought, “Oh, he must be asking me that because he wants me to help on something; he wants me to do something for him.” So I said, “I'm not doing anything, Sir!”
He put his arms up in the air with a big smile on his face and he said, “Why not?--You're supposed
to be working!” He laughed and then asked me to come over and help him with something for a few minutes.
I'll always remember Dad's sense of humor. He was so witty and quick, and so forgiving, and always had a lot of fun. Of course, he took things very seriously and was prayerful and careful in everything that he did. But he never failed to enjoy life and to have a lot of fun, as well as make life fun for all those around him.
Slapping it together
We were doing some work on one of the bu
ildings on our property, renovating it for both an office and living situation. It was a pretty dilapidated building that we had started with, and little by little we had gotten it to a point where it was habitable.
Dad was looking around at all the different things we had done under his instructions, and he said, “Well, praise the Lord! Some of it may not be perfect, and some of it we've just slapped together, but praise the Lord--it's just like the Family. I slapped it together, and it's sti
ll holding together pretty good after all these years! Besides, we're only going to be here temporarily, and we don't want to make things too perfect, because we've got to move on...”--At that point he turned to us handymen and said, “Watch out that your perfection doesn't become your pride.”
He was always conscious of the fact that we wanted to do things just a little better and a little more professionally, and spend unnecessary time on certain things. He was always pulling us back and sayin
g, “Come on, boys, it doesn't need to be that perfect. Let's just get it done, get the job done.”
Dad would understand when it was necessary to do something a little nicer; if it was something that was going to be in view of the public, or something that was going to stay there and if we wanted to be a sample to the landlords. But most of the time he encouraged us to keep things simple, just to get it to the point where it was suitable enough, strong enough, sturdy enough and safe enough, of c
ourse, to be used. His main concern was the practicality of it.
Sometimes he'd even chide me; he'd say, “Son, you didn't have to put another coat of varnish on that table.” Or he'd say, “Son, you don't have to counter-sink those nails, and then have to use putty and sand it down to be perfectly flush. Just pound the nails in flush to the wood and paint over it, and don't worry about it. That'll be fine.” He was constantly reminding us handymen that we are only on this Earth temporarily, and ou
r places of residence are only temporary.
Playtime with the Folks' children
After living at Dad and Mama's house for a month, counsel had gone out about how when you are with children you should always be teaching them something, redeeming the time and sharing your experiences and knowledge with them. Make your time with them fruitful and double the effect by teaching them at the same time. Knowing that this was a bit hard for me to do as I just liked to play with children and have fun, I w
rote Mama a little note and bared my heart to her, saying that I really wasn't much of a teacher, but that one thing I did really like to do was to play with children. I had to be honest and say that I wasn't very good in using that play time as teaching time too.
The next day I got a note back from Mama asking me if I would like to spend my get-outs playing with her children! Here I was confessing that I couldn't live up to the new standards in taking care of children, and her response was to
ask me to spend play time with her very own children if I wanted to! It was so sweet, I'll never forget it!
Vera, Ukraine: My parents visited for a couple of days and were so inspired to stay in a Family Home! My mom was totally amazed that young Family girls are so good at cooking and saving, have such a good imagination preparing different meals, even when there isn't much to work with. She told me that every time she visits she learns something new, and was
surprised that she, at 50, is learning from us young people the basics of running a home.
Since it was my birthday we had some fun activities prepared for all to participate in after dinner, which turned into heavy Endtime witnessing. I was so surprised to see my dad asking questions--a real answer to my prayers, since he has never showed interest outwardly, and was passive about my “sermons,” so I never knew if any of those words were hitting receptive ground. It pays to pray and just take by
faith that one day He will bring all our words into remembrance in the lives of folks we witnessed to. Isn't it so rewarding?
They were so impressed that my two toddlers can understand three languages, and know so many songs and poems in Russian and English and can sight-read about 100 words in English. (All credit to numerous precious folks who've labored hard for years on the enormous amount of childcare material. Thank you so much for creating the miracle of the TAG. That is a masterpiece!
) My mom's conclusion was this: “The Family is the school of life. Instead of sending people to the army, they should send them to the Family, to learn about life in all of its aspects.” TTL!
[Little financial chiefs]
Jessica, Eliza and David, Russia: During the last few months we've instituted a new financial plan, which has been working real well. Instead of having one person who holds the finances, we have the finance deacon organize the budget at the beginning of the month and divvy the
money up into five envelopes: food, household, recreation, transport and bills. Each envelope is given to a different person who handles that portfolio for the rest of the month. The food deacon takes care of budgeting the food money, doing the shopping and seeing to it that everyone is eating well. The recreational deacon rents the movies, buys snacks, gives money to the families for excursions, and organizes any other activities. The bill deacon budgets and pays the bills, and so on. Everyone
has a say about finances and we all get to feel like “little chiefs” in our own way. It also evens out the responsibility so that not just one person has to feel the burdens of making decisions about money.
[Phone security reminder]
Brisa, Russia: We live in a sensitive country and received a phone call the other day from someone who used to live here. This sweet person forgot all about the phone security guidelines by which we here must abide and went on about “sweet sheep” and “what the
Lord was doing,” etc. Let's please be mindful of others' security, and if you do have some (sensitive country) Home's number and you happen to call them, remember that the country they are in may not be as open as your own. Be prayerful and cautious in what you might have to say. Thanks!
[Teens getting involved]
Home in Philippines: We're seeing that the senior teen girls play a big role in the shepherding of the junior teens and JETTs, as they spend more time with them than the adults do.
The teen girls now give a full hour of devotions to the juniors and JETTs, along with memory, review and praise time. They also do school and ministries with them on a daily basis, and go with them on weekly witnessing trips. They've also taken on the task of helping to preview movies for the JETTs and juniors. There is a lot of communication between the older teens/YAs with the adults as to the progress, problems etc., of the JETTs and juniors which is a blessing.
[Talk it out]
Home in Tai
wan: We had some good times talking together this month, which drew us closer together. There's a passage in the Bible which spells out the secret: “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more….” (Mt.18:15)
It's much more fruitful, rewarding and unifying to follow this counsel rather than yield to the temptation to do it th
e other way around. And it really works to go to the Lord first for counsel and advice on how to approach the other person regarding some sensitive issue, rather than keeping it in, getting frustrated and discouraged (which is an open door for the Enemy to come in with the line of, “Yes and what about all this other stuff as well!”) and building walls between you, which ultimately leads to complaining about each other--without ever having the conviction to go to that person personally! What a de
vice of the Enemy!
The Lord really blessed our honest communication, and we found that we each had fears about the other which all turned out to be either the Enemy's lies, misunderstandings, or even when they were founded in truth, they were easily resolved through our being willing to “hear out” the other person.
As in any relationship, it takes time to get to know the other person. In starting a Home together, we are facing the facts that there are bound to be things that rub us the wrong
way about the other, and it takes time to build up trust and a relationship, so we have to take the time for good honest communication and not to expect everything to be perfect right away. All that to say, it's really encouraged our faith for our future communications, TTL.
Ice cream is good for the soul
Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, “God is good. God is great. Thank You for the
food, and I would even thank You more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all. Amen!”
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, “That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream. Why, I never!”
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?”
As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly
not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.
He winked at my son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”
“Really?” my son asked.
“Cross my heart.” Then in a theatrical whisper he added, indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing, “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and th
en did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already.”
mama jewels on … silence vs. conviction
If we are silent when wrong things are said or wrong attitudes expressed, that signals our agreement to the people we're with. I know it's very difficult to say things to some people,
especially if they don't take contrary opinions very well, or are not accepting of the Lord's viewpoint on things, but the Lord's told quite a few folks recently that they need to stand up for their convictions, even if it means losing their friends. He's emphasizing that more now, because if we can't even stand up for our convictions with our friends, what are we going to do when we have to do it in front of strangers or enemies?
It's all part of our training and certainly not only good for u
s, but good for the people who we express it to. The Lord told a couple of folks that if they didn't stand up for their convictions, not only were they hurting the person that they were loathe to express their feelings to, but they were hurting themselves and being dragged down as well. So it's pretty important.
New book summary on MO site!
The Y2K Personal Survival Guide
Everything You Need to Know to Get from This Side of the Crisis to the Other
Michael S. Hyatt
rom the PACRO area
The main news from “the land down under” is the final completion of the court case. The DOCS has agreed to a cash settlement for the children involved in the raids seven years ago, as you read in the cover article of Grapevine #67.
With this milestone out of the way, it frees much of the Family there to go ahead with the “Aussies Advance” (GN #832) vision, and many are even now on their way to far flung mission fields. God bless all those who have poured their
time and energies into winning this case for years and who the Lord has now given the opportunity to move on to the mission field.
Get-togethers - We just held two fun activity get-togethers for our JETTs and junior teens here on the Island, where we provisioned the use of a beautiful resort at a beach area. We wanted to kick off the summer with something fun and memorable for our young folks where they could just enjoy themselves, fellowship, and strengthen their unity together. I
t wasn't a do-as-you-please get together; we held a lot of activities on the beach or at the resort lodgings, organized cook-outs and witnessed an aboriginal dance supplied by the hotel. We have a witnessing blitz planned for this summer--road trips, and beach invasions with our live band to draw the crowds! All this should prove to be lots of fun for our young folks to jump in on.
CTP projects - We continue to support a wide variety of CTP projects all over the Island. On the eastern side o
f Taiwan you've read a bit about the different ministries they have going with the churches, rice distribution, etc. They've just picked up a huge amount of clothing to be distributed to the aboriginal families. The folks there have so much to do they don't know what to do next! We're in the process of organizing a few teams of our young folks to help with some of their CTP ministries. This is an ideal situation for our JETTs and teens to contribute more to folks in need, and be a greater part o
f the work.
Youth ministry - Our teams in Taichung (second largest city in Taiwan) are continuing with their fruitful youth ministry and club. They hold weekly concerts at their club to attract the youth. Recently they took a team of their most faithful club members on the road, to give them a chance to live by faith and teach them to witness.
The challenge: We held a five-day meeting for the Japan CM Homes, consisting of 10 classes, attended by
100 delegates from all over Japan and one person from Korea. The classes were about taking time with the Lord, upholding the Charter standard, shepherding young people, unity/communal living, the childcare standard, education, witnessing, and fundraising.
The underlying message which the Lord gave throughout all the classes was the need to make a decision about our life and lifestyle, and that if we want to continue to be CM, we have to change many areas of our lives; we can't be CM in name on
ly. If we don't have faith to live up to the standard of CM, then we should become FM. The Lord was challenging everyone to make commitments in every area. Many folks loved it, saying how they realized they needed to change in different areas, which most took as an exciting challenge.
Besides the classes we held fun activities, such as show-and-tell (some TV footage and newspaper articles that our Family members are featured in, etc.), displayed the GP/DFO tools created by Homes and the educat
ional materials of different Homes' recommendation, and a very fun dance/game night organized by YA/SGA delegates!
Lydia's testimony: During the meeting, Lydia (of Johane) shared her testimony, about how the Lord's been using her sickness to reach people, and what a blessing it's been. She had no idea of what we've been sharing with the delegates as due to her health she couldn't attend the meetings, but a couple days earlier the Lord had given her a message in prophecy to share with the del
egates, which she read to everyone.
(Jesus speaking:) Please help the Family at the meeting to get rid of the fear of having afflictions, the fear of death, the fear of the System, the fear of what people think. I see that the adults have lost the spirit of Don Quixote. They flatter the System, and give them something which makes them happy.--Singing songs which don't have real meaning just to get support, and they are not witnessing; some of the adults are becoming a bad sample for the youn
Why are they afraid of revealing themselves? Why are they afraid of persecution? If they are, they should quit being a missionary, and get a System job to live. Where is the spirit of going into all the world to preach the Gospel? The time is short. I want you to ring the warning bell and plead with them to wake up. Be not afraid of what they think, as I am with you. Preach the Word which I have spoken to you, like Jeremiah. (End of message from Jesus.)
She was hesitant to give t
his message, since she felt like everyone would think that she was putting herself above them. But having gone through so much herself, she presented her testimony and the above message very sweetly, humbly and lovingly--broken, yet with conviction. It moved everyone, to hear from someone who is suffering from a terminal disease; she radiated love and peace, as well as conviction. It drove home to everyone that we all have to forsake all--whether it's forsaking a System job, forsaking independen
ce and selfishness in order to live with others communally, or forsaking your own ministry in order to tune into your kids and pouring into their lives, or even moving to another field to save them. Everyone said how much it helped them, and it was very easy for them to accept what she shared with everyone as it's not only in word or preaching, but she is actually living it and doing it.
Learning Japanese: At the meetings we proposed learning to speak Japanese enough to capably converse and
witness as an area goal for those 16 and up. We don't have a big problem with this in any of the Homes which are in small towns and cities or in the countryside. Both national, non-national children and young people, as well as non-national adults speak very good Japanese in these areas, and have truly become one with the locals. The problem is with the Homes in the big cities.
Unless our young people in these big cities speak Japanese, they naturally don't desire to converse with Japanese peo
ple, therefore they tend to lose the vision to be in Japan to witness, which is why we're here in the first place. If this is approved by the Homes, this area goal will help to weed out young people or adults who are not really here to reach the Japanese people, which will strengthen the work in Japan.
Witnessing/Fundraising - One or a few members in many of the Homes in Japan hold some kind of System jobs to raise funds, so at the Delegates Meeting we encouraged the Homes to re-evaluate the
ir System jobs and make sure that they are of the Lord, and to put more time and efforts into witnessing. As difficult as it is to raise funds in Japan by tool distribution, there are some Homes living entirely by faith. We asked these to share some testimonies, and they were very faith-building.
There are also many Homes trying their best to witness through their System jobs. For example, some Homes win many souls each month through wedding ministries, using the “counseling time” before the w
edding takes place. GBT!
Web Sites - The Japanese Family Web site has been receiving about 3,000 visits per month since February. Last month (June) we had 4,112 visits! Many visitors study the materials on the Countdown section and get the Endtime message.
Several Homes in Japan have local Web sites; as far as we know there are at least seven, covering Endtime subjects, local CTP projects, tips on human relations, etc.
Japanese Witnessing Tools - Some nationals from local Service Homes
have formed a “Japan Tools Committee,” where they discuss and pray about Japanese witnessing tools.
Awhile ago, Suzy at the Japanese Language Studio made a beautiful tape titled Akebono-no Tsubasa (Wings of the Dawn) with different hymns and Family songs for dear Lydia who is suffering from cancer. Later it was sent out to all Homes for their benefit.
Other GP/DFO Tools in the lineup include: Japanese Famine for Love CD, a “wedding CD” with many love songs which Homes can use for their wedd
ing ministry, a Praise Time song tape, and To Jesus - With Love and From Jesus - With Love tapes.
HCS - Since the beginning of the year, the HCS has gone through many changes, with the gradual relocation of the IVM ministry to the States and the departure of many of our precious brethren who have worked here at the School for many years because their ministries were related to the IVM. Many have now branched out and moved on to new fields. In the last six months, over 40 people have left our
Home.--Dear, precious, dedicated brethren whom we have very much enjoyed working with who are now scattered in many parts of the world, pioneering or contributing to new ministries. The last of the IVM team left in the middle of June. God bless them all. We're very much praying for the pioneering of their new ministry in their new location.
We are now a smaller team and our main ministries are to produce English music for the Family and the GP. We also house the Japanese Local Language studio
, the WS Audio Department, and the PAFED, which has also gone through big changes with dear Ginny moving on with the IVM ministry and Robin (Maggie) coming to help. We also have an Art Department, as dear Sharon continues to work on many new CD covers and other posters and projects, GBH!
The JAS's current main project is the new Heaven's Magic album.-- A collection of all-time favorite Heaven's Magic songs which are being re-produced by Michael (Martin M.), John L. and Francesco, and sung by F
rancesco, Jeff, Angelique and Chris. Jerry recently completed a new Christmas song “Baby Boy” to be released on the final of Christmas Beat for the Christmas season, and he is continuing to work on other FTT, LJ and GP songs!
Q: I've heard that there are 10 or 15 WS units in each of the CRO areas, or at least 50 WS units around the world? Isn't that an unnecessarily large administrational expense out of our Family tithes?
A: (Peter:) There are not 10-15 WS units in each CRO
area. Each CRO area has a CRO office, and some have a LIM. There are NPCs who print the Word for the Homes as well (in most cases they are combined with a CRO Office or LIM). Besides these Homes who serve at the local level, there are less than 100 people in WS, including children, to produce all of the CM/FM pubs, GP books and other materials, children's materials, CVC, set up and maintain the various Family WEB sites, write computer programs (such as the upcoming Windows TeleTRF), take care o
f the Family administration, stats, etc. etc! You do the math.
Those who serve you in WS are all working hard to redeem the time in order use each of your hard earned tithes to their fullest. Those in WS live as frugally as you Homes on the field and are very conscientious about spending the funds you so generously give for our support. Although we can't provision, we try to find the cheapest prices by shopping around and doing as much bulk buying as we can.
Seeing that everyone in WS has be
en on the field at one time or another, we too know how hard and long everyone has to work for the finances. We try our best not waste a penny of your hard earned funds, which you so graciously give to support us so we can serve you. We do our best to efficiently and economically produce all the WS pubs and provide services for you.
Although we have many blessings in our WS Homes and in our labors, living behind the scenes in WS is a sacrifice in many ways. There's virtually no witnessing, no
provisioning, very little if any fellowship with other Family members, no going to big meetings, no SWIFTS, no road trips, no CTP ministries, and the list goes on. There is a lot of work, too, much of it tedious and repetitious, lots of pubs to produce, prophecies to receive, reports to read and process, letters to answer, pages to type, pictures to draw, layout to be done, proofreading, translating, printing, shipping etc. And those who do it go virtually unknown. In my opinion, those who are w
illing to live behind the scenes to do this work are saints. They have a deep love for the Lord and for you. They know that their labors are worth something, because it's helping you in your service to the Lord, giving them happiness and fulfillment. They all feel that they, together with you, are doing the job to reach the World.
Thanks for your continued support for WS. Please keep those who serve you in this capacity in your prayers.
My dear fellow workers, God bless you!
It sounds like a common phrase in our Family but the Lord is really blessing us with lots of things. At the same time, if we had everything all the time we would never think about Him blessing us so much. Praise the Lord for our lacks sometimes; it makes us desperate. This may seem like a long prelude, but right now, I am desperate! I need your help, my precious Family.
My name is Lily; I am Russian, 28 years old. The Lord has been telling me to go to another field for more than a year. I am
on my way to Africa, but fundraising in Russia is not the easiest thing to do, though the Lord is able to do anything! I am not trying to put Him in a box, but I would really appreciate any help from you, either spiritual or financial. Please send your donations via TRF to Lily Vladivostok, Valentine Home Russia. Thank you very much!
My name is Faithy (25), I'm a Romanian national and I've been working in Romania since I joined the Family. The Lord showed me recently that He wanted me to go
to Africa and join the teams that are reaching this needy field. I'm very happy and I know that the Lord has his wonderful ways of supply. I would like to ask if any of you would like to help me with a donation towards my trip. I would be ever so grateful to receive anything big or small. If you would like to help, please send all gifts via the SEEC ABM, for Faithy Romanian (RO005).
We, Sam and Marie, (Thailand) are hoping to make a trip back to Australia with our family during October, to v
isit our aged parents and to take care of some legal work--our first visit in 18 years. As we have worked in behind-the-scenes ministries for the last 15 years we do not have a lot of fund-raising possibilities, though the Lord has been faithful to supply some, PTL! If anyone could help with a little towards this it would be a super blessing and even a little would go a long way! We can be contacted through the ASCRO office.
Divine Protection on the High Seas and in a Forbidden Land!--Part I
By Tim, for the Morning Calm Home, South Korea
Our summer SWIFT took on the qualities of high adventure and drama this year, and through it all, the Lord's direction through prophecy guided and kept us every step of the way! For the first time, my wife and I traveled with our three sons to the NE China/North Korean border area, both to learn more about the ethnic Korean-Chinese people that live there, to fellowship with brethren, and to deliver much-needed grain to the famished. The Lord had
given us some new contacts in this area and we were eager to follow up on them and see what doors would swing open to us. We scarcely realized the excitement and pioneering that awaited us!
The day of our scheduled ferry departure to China from the west coast of Korea approached just as a week of serious tension was building between the South Korean and North Korean navies in a disputed UN-mandated boundary area near the Demilitarized Zone that extends into the Yellow Sea. The very day before
we were to set sail, a South Korean patrol boat responded to cannon fire from a North Korean torpedo boat, and the North Korean vessel was sunk. This grim exchange marked the first time in the 46 years since the armistice agreement between South and North Korea that their navies had opened fire on one another. All of NE Asia held its breath, and much of the world as well, wondering if this would be the dreaded spark that would finally set off the tinderbox which sits astride the divided Korean P
eninsula--a part of the globe that President Clinton in 1995 called “the scariest place in the world.”
These events, we thought, couldn't have come at a worse time, as our ferry, the very next morning, was set to steam through an area only 27 miles from the battle zone! We had desperate prayer and asked the Lord if He wanted us to postpone or cancel our trip. The messages we got consistently and essentially instructed us: “Do not fear; go ahead.” Wanting to confirm our prophecies and balance o
ut our decision on such a weighty matter, we called our embassy and asked if they'd issued any travel warnings for their citizens in light of latest developments, but they responded that so far, no emergency warnings had been issued. We then called the ferry company to ask if the next morning's ferry would leave on schedule and they answered matter-of-factly that no interruption in the schedule was anticipated. We continued to pack, claiming His promises and asking the Lord to help us walk by fa
ith and not by sight.
We arrived at the ferry terminal the next morning and found the usual hustle and bustle of “ferry merchants” preparing their bulky cargo for passage through customs and stowage. We heard no words of apprehension about the previous day's naval clash from either the ferry crew or fellow passengers, which the Lord used to help keep us calm. We paused to look to the Lord one last time before boarding to see if there were any “last-minute changes” from the heavenly HQ; none se
emed to be forthcoming. “Okay, Lord, we're putting ourselves entirely in Your hands here and we're anything BUT spiritual giants, so You're gonna have to make things very smooth in every sense of the word!”
Well, the Lord responded in a phenomenal way in every respect! The Yellow Sea on the 16th of June was literally as smooth as glass, and our youngest son, Chris, hadn't the slightest touch of motion sickness that sometimes has bothered him in the past. As for any more fireworks between North
and South Korean gunboats? One naval vessel came within sight of the sea lane we were in, but much more significantly, we discovered from a news report at the end of our 27-hour trip that the day of our passage through the Yellow Sea had been the FIRST day in nine days in which there hadn't been a single reported incident between the two navies in the area! The confrontation that had escalated steadily for over a week had suddenly dissipated the very day we crossed the Yellow Sea! What an astou
nding answer to prayer and fulfillment of prophecies He'd given us!
A precious passage from Psalms 105 which we'd claimed for countless visa trippers who'd passed through Korea since 1975 now seemed suddenly to apply to us in our travels: “When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people He suffered no man to do them wrong. Yea, He reproved kings for their sakes, saying, `Touch not Mine ano
inted, and do My prophets no harm.'”
[coming soon: Part II--Entering the most isolated nation in the world--incognito!]
Would you like to help us reap this field of Korea? The possibilities are virtually limitless! We've been the only Home in this country for almost three-and-a-half years, and that's enough “do-it-by-yourself” tribulation for anyone! Ha! If it's the Lord's will for you to come, you can count on His divine protection, too! If you're interested in opening a Home or joining
a Home, please contact the Morning Calm Home in Korea via your ABM or CRO office. We're eager to hear from YOU!!
111.jpg: Chris (12) and Johnny (15) join Dad on the captain's bridge and scour the horizon of the Yellow Sea for other vessels.
222.jpg: The captain of our ferry points out to Danny (21), Chris (12), Dad and Johnny (15) on the navigator's charts how our ship's course will come within 30 miles of the naval battle zone that left one North Korean torpedo boat sun
k and several other ships on both sides damaged.
Chloe Shae, 2nd child, born to Spring and Godfrey.-- North America
Sean Anthony, 2nd child, born to Davina and Cromwell in May.--USA
Leena Hailey, born to Maria on June 2.--Japan
Matthew Aaron, 7th child, born to Christie and Sunny on June 18.--Australia
Gloria, 7th child, born to Jessica and Lucas on June 25.--Macau
Kevin, 1st child, born to Cheryl and Daniel on June 26.--South Africa
Caleb, born to Stefan and Ana on Ju
John Michael, 1st child, born to Ginger on July 1.--USA
Kurt Alan, 1st child, born to Madi on June 4.--Mexico
Annie, born to Rejoice and Stephen on July 9.--Mexico
Hana Grace, 1st child, born to Ruth and Samuel on July 10.--Japan
Keith Patrick Victor, born to Elisabeth on July 11.--Brazil
Richard, 3rd child, born to Smile and Christian on July 13.--Albania
Vanessa Chloe, 8th child, born to Meekness and Gideon on July 14.--Greece
Daniel, 4th child, born to Sophie an
d Lucas on July 29.--Hungary
Natalie, 1st child, born to Lisa and Luke on August 9.--Russia
By Janek, Sophie, Tim and Tabi, Slovakia
This year we are celebrating the 5th year of our work here in Slovakia! It's so wonderful to see the things the Lord has been able to accomplish through us, His little sheep. We have a faithful ministry to over 11 institutions of different sorts, ranging from mental institutions to orphanages and hospitals, plus schools and kindergartens. We ar
e able to give them provisioned goods, as well as supply them with specific goods that they request. We've also organized a variety of excursions for these institutions, from horse riding to off-road driving, movie theatres, boat rides, etc. Recently we were involved with the international Children's Day, which hosted over 300 children from mental institutions plus local schools. We provided them with the food for the occasion, plus were the cheerleaders in their sports competitions.
we were invited by one of the biggest institutions that we help regularly to a gathering in which they nominated us as their “Donor of the year.” There were many celebrities there, plus lots of top people and newspapers and radio stations. We were interviewed by the biggest radio station in Slovakia, as well as a magazine for the Catholic Church. We also received a diploma and recognition from the Slovak Humanitarian council for our faithful work here in Slovakia. PTL!
erday I was talking with my husband about some teens we know who left the Family--how they don't value the Heaven on Earth they have and think that in the System they'll have more freedom, but it's only bondage. I know this. I lived in a Charter Member Home and I am now living on my own with my husband as FMers, and I can see and feel it. Our salary just pays the bills, and if it weren't for God's mercy, I don't know where we'd be.
Boy, we have so many blessings in the CM Family that we don't
realize. For example, work hours are so tolerant and considerate of people's needs to rest, have get-out, lunch, etc. If my mate has a half-hour lunch break, that's a lot. He wakes up at 6 a.m. and returns home around 8 or 9 p.m.
When I visit my mom in the CM Home, I always comment that, “I supposedly have money and arrive with nothing, and you who only have faith, the Lord supplies so much for that at times I return home with the car full of food and clothing!”
I wish there was a way for me
to talk to these young people, to open their eyes to the blessings the Lord gives; the peace of spirit, love and communication between the brethren, abundant supply, helping each other, happiness, and a life without worries, etc, etc.
Gosh, I've already been so disappointed with the System. Your “friends” are so false that you constantly have to be in prayer and on guard, because they'll talk bad about you behind your back or twist everything you say. In the end you end up making more enemies
Today's my birthday, and I'm sitting here remembering the fun birthdays I had; maybe I didn't get a lot of presents, but they were so happy every year that I spent in a CM Home. Boy, I miss it! And Christmases! It was so nice the times we'd go out to sing, the impromptu manger scene the kids made, and the dinner that was all provisioned. There was no falsity, no ulterior motives or competition to show who got the most presents. I hope that some won't have to leave to miss all th
is, like I do.
I love you a lot and pray that others realize their blessings and thank God for the Family.
--female young person (FM), South America
now that's funny!
A boy was sitting on a park bench with one hand resting on an open Bible. He was loudly exclaiming his praise to God.
“Hallelujah! Hallelujah! God is great!” he yelled, without worrying whether anyone heard him or not.
Along came a man who had recently completed some studies at a local university. Feeling himself very e
nlightened in the ways of truth and very eager to show this enlightenment, he asked the boy about the source of his joy.
“Hey,” asked the boy in return with a bright laugh, “Don't you have any idea what God is able to do? I just read that God opened up the waves of the Red Sea and led the whole nation of Israel right through the middle.”
The enlightened man laughed lightly, sat down next to the boy and began to try to open his eyes to the “realities” of the miracles of the Bible. “That can a
ll be very easily explained. Modern scholarship has shown that the Red Sea in that area was only 10 inches deep at that time. It was no problem for the Israelites to wade across.”
The boy was stunned. His eyes wandered from the man back to the Bible laying open in his lap. The man, content that he had enlightened a poor, naive young person to the finer points of scientific insight, turned to go.
Scarcely had he taken two steps when the boy began to rejoice and praise louder than before. The
man turned to ask the reason for this resumed jubilation.
“Wow!” exclaimed the boy happily, “God is greater than I thought! Not only did He lead the whole nation of Israel through the Red Sea, He topped it off by drowning the whole Egyptian army in 10 inches of water!”
Luke Faithful and Lisa Daniella got married on Feb. 18, in Russia.--Congratulations!
new CM laborers … July 1999
Ukrainian Stephan joined in the Ukraine.
David Marvin (18, Holland) joined in Brazil
Tabita (20, Brazilian) with her daughter, Amanda, joined in Brazil.
Mariana (14, Colombian) joined in Colombia.
Ali (22, Venezuelan) joined in Venezuela.
new FM laborers … July 199
Alexandre (35, Brazilian) and Adriana (30, Brazilian) joined in Brazil.
Roberto (52, Colombian) with his daughter, Maria Paula, joined in Colombia.
Tito (43, Venezuelan) and Fe (38, Venezuelan) with eight children, joined in Venezuela.
Jose (42, Venezuelan) and Ana (35, Venezuelan) with six children
, joined in Venezuela.
Q: Would it be possible to put the Members Only Web site password on the front page of the Grapevine each month, so that it's easier to find it?
--Ben Fisher, USA
A: We'll try to put it on the first page from now on. Thanks for the suggestion!
By Gideon, for the Tashkent Home, Uzbekistan
A team of four went for one week to Charjoh in Turkmenistan. Pavel was born in Turkmenistan and lived there all his youth until his folks m
oved back to Russia when Turkmenistan became independent, so he still has many friends there. Pavel, Elia, Francesca and newborn baby Catherine went on the 24-hour train ride from Tashkent to Charjoh. They did a lot of personal witnessing there and people were very receptive.
Gideon and Pavel, with teens David and Philip, went for a two-day road trip to the provincial town of Namangan, six hours away from Tashkent. They went with the lady from the ministry of education in charge of
all the schools for handicapped children in Uzbekistan. We were able to bring clothes and wheelchairs for some kindergartens. When we arrived all the children were lined up in the school yard, with their local band playing. Then some children came with some flowers for each of us and a tray with some local flat bread and salt as a mark of hospitality. We did our puppet show for them and gave their school a set of our sponsored Treasure Attic videos in Russian.
Feedback from the GP Web site
I just love the MP3s you've added--especially the rock and alternative. My son has been downloading all sorts of secular MP3s with the same beat so I added some of yours to his files. He doesn't mind, as long as I give him the space to listen to it on his own. Please pray for him, his name is Gabe and he is 15 years old. Thanks!
I'm a former Family member. Is there a place on your site where I can download what we used to refer to as the “set card”? I'd like to re-memorize those verses bu
t I'd like to avoid retyping them all. Thanks!
I am dying to know more about the Family, therefore please reply as soon as possible. I am an agnostic and am in the process of learning about religions. I would love to visit your prayer gatherings in my area.
I would like information on how to join The Family. I live near Cardiff and would like to know if there is somewhere in Wales where I could join.
Dear Family Organization, I'm a Swiss boy. I would like to know more about your orga
nization and what your daily life is. I would be very proud to help you in any kind of helping.
Hello, I'm a 21-year old engineer in Computer science. I'm tired of the way this world is going. I have read a lot about The Family. Can I help you? Is the Family in Belgium? I would like to become one of yours.
Hi there, brothers and sisters! I was just in Italy visiting with the Family in Rome and Naples and had a wonderful time seeing old friends and meeting many new ones. I joined the Fami
ly in 1970 and was a member until 1980. I'm one of the people responsible for writing the songs “Gypsy Caravan” and “We are Gypsies Led by Abrahim.” I need some fellowship, and I'd like to get some tapes and videos to help me stay inspired and try to witness to others about your good work around the world! It's hard for me to relate to church people so I don't have much to do with the churches in my town, but I need some help to get myself back on the road to the Lord, and I figure you guys are
the closest thing to God's will I'll find on this planet…so give me a buzz. I'd love to hear from you.
My name is Megan and I live in the Northern Virginia area. I found out about The Family through a brochure that my mom gave me. After I read the brochure, I was very interested in what The Family is doing for others. It's great to see people showing God's love towards others through the things they are doing. In our everyday lives, it is easy to forget that God loves everyone and, as Christ
ians, we need to demonstrate His love. He loves the person who just cut you off while you were driving and the person who got in front of you in the grocery line. We need to remember that Jesus died for them too. I am interested in volunteering for The Family and would like more information on how I could do that.
GP SITE STATS
Distinct Visits: 11,673
Daily Average: 389
Total Downloaded: 2.3 gigs
Total MP3's Downloaded: 872
Top 10 MP3 Downloads:
46 Eagle Bleeds
31 Heaven Is
9 Hands Up
25 City of the King
25 My Life
22 Show Me
21 Sea Wash Over Me
21 Spend Time
20 Something Is Hot
20 Poster Screensavers (39 Posters each)
13 MO Letters (80 Letters each set)
12 Mountain Streams (13 MS each set)
10 Word Basics (Whole books)
9 Who Is Jesus
9 In Search of Truth
6 Living Waters (9 LV each set)
MO SITE STATS:
Distinct Visits: 10,296
Daily Average: 367
Total Downloaded: 4.3 gigs
Top Pubs Downloaded
38 Heaven's Library books
129 Book summaries
118 Heaven's Library
94 Spanish pubs
629 MP3s Downloaded
190 News Articles Downloaded
117 Jesus Scrawlathon Downloads (Pictures of Jesus)
34 Screen Savers (The CS collection and Poster collection)
26 Now it Can Be Downloaded (Photos of Dad)
We are so happy to receive another single sister (who just came from the mission field of Madagascar) here in our Home, even if it's just on a temporary basis. She's pregnant and has two OC girls. When she asked us if she could stay with us until after her baby is born, we took this question to the Lord and of course He asked us to take her. We had already decided to take her but we still wanted a confirmation from the Lord.
In the process of taking in this single mom and her kids, the Lord
provided for us a generous donation. We knew that her former mate, who accompanied her and the kids here, would give our Home a donation, but we hadn't expected this amount! We simply opened our Home, as we have room anyway so it really didn't hurt anything, but the Lord topped what wasn't even a sacrifice. He gave us a gift that we really needed but did not expect to get from this source. What a miracle!
--Home in Asia
One incredible miracle this month was an anonymous donation of $5,300--
which came via a friend of a friend. It was super encouraging to us all to see how even though we were only able to get out one outreach team 3-4 times in the week and we were financially sinking fast, and that we are such blow-its, still the Lord just loves us sooooo much that He would spring this surprise on us. TY sweet Jesus!
--Paul, Olivia and Michael, Kenya
Last month we decided to send $222 to the mission field, and even though we didn't have extra money, we did it anyway. And the Lo
rd sent us back $444 through a new friend! Our outreach, puppet shows, etc., also went good! TYL!
--Rejoice, Happy and Nina, Brazil
letter to the editor
Re: “Reply to all” beware!
I recently received an e-mail informing me that the sender's address had changed. I was thankful for the news, but kind of shocked to see my e-mail address at the top--along with about 50 others! I figured the sender just hit the Reply to All button when sending the message, since it's the easiest way to send
the same message to everyone on your address list. I picked up a couple of addresses of people I knew and was thankful for that. But I wondered who everybody else was, and if I wanted all those people to have my e-mail as well.
Perhaps it would be good to “look before you leap” when sending such messages, to see if it would be the best thing to do. I have also received this type of message which was sent to practically every Home in the country I live, listing the TRF code number for each Home
, the names of the principal members, and the e-mail addresses.
--”I got your number!”, somewhere in Cyberspace
for interest …
sorry, no name: I was going through an old MO Letter the other day when I came across these thoughts by Dad. After a long time our Home has finally gotten set up with a computer and e-mail etc., so I thought it was interesting how things have changed since this was written, and how the Lord has made things so much easier for us through the Internet, e-mail, CD ROMs
, CD players, etc. This letter was written in 1981.
BUT I KNOW ONE THING FOR SURE, BY HIS WORD, HIS GUARANTEES AND HIS SWEARING BY HIMSELF, HE IS GOING TO KEEP US GOING and He is going to take care of us no matter what! He is going to continue to supply our needs and your needs and your spiritual food in whatever form it may take or come in days to come.
I DON'T KNOW, MAYBE IT WON'T BE MAGAZINES, BOOKS and TAPES, maybe God's got some new way that hasn't even been invented yet! Maybe it wil
l be radio and television, videos. Maybe it will be this new method of telefaxing or the new non-mechanical electronic typewriter, all kinds of new things are coming out, micro-tapes through the mail.
WHO KNOWS HOW GOD'S GOING TO DO IT? Who knows how He's going to supply it? Who knows how He's going to distribute it? He may have methods in process of invention that we never heard of and ways that He's going to do it that we never dreamed of, just as He has before! All we have to do is obey, al
l we have to do is do what Jesus said, to forsake all and come follow Him and He will continue to make us fishers of men.
(God's Guarantees, ML #1027, par. 71-73)
young people and King Peter …
--casual question and answer sessions, compiled from Peter's visit to South America
Can someone be in the CM Family and have a System job?
Yes, the Charter allows for that if the Home agrees. Each situation is different and that is why you really have to pray and find out what the Lord's will i
s for you personally and as a Home. Sometimes people can get a job and they can use it to be a witness to many, or the job makes it possible for the rest of the Home to be free to witness, or the job enables them to have a long-term visa. But in most situations when someone holds a System job it's very difficult for them; it's like living in two worlds.
People who hold full-time System jobs often feel like they have one foot in the Family and the other foot in the System. You work during the d
ay, and when you come home you're tired, so it's hard to get in the Word. Even attending devotions, prayer days, meetings, fellowships with your Home and children and others is very difficult, if not impossible sometimes, because of the schedule and hours you have to keep--depending on your job, of course. Even if you do well, it's still a drain spiritually. It takes extra effort and determination to keep up with your Word time faithfully so that you don't get polluted by the System and influenc
ed by the many wrong attitudes that you encounter on a day-to-day basis.
Whether it's a good idea or not depends on the job, the person, how prayerful they are, and the effect it has on them. Many people get jobs and it pulls them away from the Family--especially if they have that job for an extended period of time. A few have counseled with their Home members or over-shepherds and sought the Lord and He's indicated that it's His will for them, and as they strive to stay close to Him, it bears
What's good for one person might be bad for another; that's why you have to be careful about judging other people, if they have a job. It might be exactly what the Lord has told them to do for that time and it might be bearing a lot of fruit.
But the people who have jobs who are the wisest are those who continue to come back to the Lord time and time again to make sure it's still His will for them to continue with their job. They don't go on the assumption that because at one po
int in time the Lord said “yes,” that that will indefinitely be the case.
What's the difference between sexual activity and sexual contact?
Here are the Charter definitions, which I think are clear.
Sexual Activity: any sexual relations, including deep kissing
Sexual Contact: any sexual relations that go further than deep kissing
I've heard that kissing outsiders is no longer considered sexual activity.
You heard wrong! Kissing an outsider is sexual activity and is an excommun
icable offense, that hasn't changed. If you make out with an outsider, not only do you get partial excom, you also have to get an AIDS test, wait for three months and take another before you can again have any sexual contact (remember, that includes no deep kissing) with anyone, and that is a bummer.
What about women with women?
The Charter rules are against having lesbian relationships. There is a difference between affection, or even sex between women, and a lesbian relationship. If you
go back in the Letters, Dad said that women being with women is allowed in the Scriptures because it is not disallowed, unlike men with men. But Dad said that it is unnatural for women to only want exclusive relationships with other women; that's not allowed. But if two women want to be together sexually sometimes, that's allowed--as long as it's not an exclusive “we don't want to have sex with guys” type of thing. There's a difference between normal, natural, okay affection and love, and even
sex between women, as opposed to, “I'm a lesbian and I don't like sex with men.”
Being a lesbian is not listed under the excommunicable offenses section, but the Charter states that if you constantly and repeatedly break the rules then you're going to be disciplined according to the guidelines of the Charter, such as probationary status, partial excommunication, recommendation to FM status, or full excommunication.
Where is the line drawn between partial and full excom? How do the CROs or V
Ss decide who can rejoin? Some people have been put on partial excom more than once while other people have done one thing and that was it--full excom, out of the Family! Some cases are more clear-cut, but sometimes you wonder, “Was that up to the CRO? What if the CRO doesn't like that person in particular?”
We've tried to, as much as possible, make it clear to the Family what the excommunicable offenses are. You know clearly that the judgment for doing any one of the offenses listed under t
he excommunicable section of the Charter is that you'll be excommunicated in some form. In the system a judgment for a certain crime may be to serve jail time. But within the law, the judge can determine the severity of the punishment; he doesn't have the option to let you go free, but he can give you either a lenient (minimum) or severe (maximum) sentence depending on the crime, the situation, your criminal record, etc. In the same way, if you do something that's excommunicable, you will be exc
ommed, but whether you are fully or partially excommed and for how long is decided by the CROs who prayerfully take all of the factors into consideration as any judge must.
If you're a young person and it's a first-time offense, depending on the circumstances, etc., you might get partial excom for X amount of time. Various factors are taken into consideration. If it's a repeated offense, that will be taken into account. Of course the offense will be taken into account as well. For example some
one who has sex with a minor will be fully excommunicated, whereas if someone kisses an outsider once, they will probably get partial. But if they continue to do so time and again, it shows they don't believe and or agree with our stance on this, and as such, they should probably be recommended to Fellow Member status.
There are also some things you can get excommed for that are not automatic excommunicable offenses. Let's say you smoke once; you don't get automatically excommed for smoking on
ce. But if after your shepherds or parents have talked with you and you have had prayer, you keep smoking, you might be excommed, or at least moved to Fellow Membership. There are some things that you are definitely always excommed for the first time, and there are other things that can become excommunicable if you do them too much.
We've tried very hard to make it so that the CRO can't excom someone simply because he doesn't like them. The CROs have rules that they have to abide by also. If t
hat ever happens, and God forbid that it would, the person being excommed can always write to us and ask for their Right of Redress, and we'll look into it.
On all excom situations, no matter who it is or what the situation is, we require two-thirds agreement from the CRO teamwork and that they also pray and hear from the Lord about it, so they have prophecies of confirmation from the Lord that they're doing what He wants them to do in each situation.
What happens if someone in your Home is
unloving to others, or your Home's interactions with other Homes or other Family members are unloving?
If what's going on is infracting the Charter, you can talk to your VSs or write your CROs about the situation. The CROs and the VSs have the authority to say, “This Home should be on probationary notice,” or even recommend the Home for Fellow Member status. The mechanisms are in place for problems to be dealt with. Read the Charter to find out how to take care of them! Problems that are ou
tside of your jurisdiction should be reported to the VS or CRO. They should then do something about them.
A lot of the trouble is that people don't report; they are too chicken to go to somebody else in their Home and say, “You're doing something that you shouldn't be doing.” What should happen is that a couple of people in the Home should approach the person and honestly say, “You need help in this area because what you're doing isn't right.” But most people don't want to do that; it's not ve
ry popular. They want their Home shepherds to do the dirty work, or they want their VS or CRO to do it.
But if your Home has problems, look in the mirror! Who does the Lord expect to do something about it? You! Of course you have to do it in love--speak the truth in love. Sometimes you have to sit down and tell people the truth, and you need to do it lovingly. But there comes a time when you have to say, “Your behavior is unacceptable in our Home. It's wrong. It's against the Word. I love you,
you're my friend, and I want to continue being your friend, but what you're doing is not acceptable and we as a Home don't want it happening here. Therefore either you change, or we as a Home are going to put you on probationary status and if that doesn't work we will have to vote you out of our Home or to recommend that you be moved to Fellow Member status.”
The Family is going to be as tight and as on-fire and loving as you are. It's your Home. If you don't like it, you have to do something
about it. Have the guts to lovingly bring these things up and to shepherd each other and help be your brother's keeper.
The other day while I was on the MO site, I read some things that were totally out of the spirit. It got me super angry. If it's a Family Web site, then why are there doubts posted on it? It was so horrible and out of the spirit that it made me cry! Don't people proofread what is posted before it goes up?
No. That's the thing about the discussion groups on the MO Web si
te--people can put things up there and we're unable to proofread them. We do have someone who monitors the site, and when they come across something that's very negative or out of it, they take it off. But that person can't sit there all day reading everything as it goes up. They read through it maybe every few days. Sad to say, some pretty out of it people post things that are very negative and out of the spirit. Depending on when our monitor logs on, such a comment or posting can be up there f
or a short period of time. We're very sorry about that.
Before there was a lot more of that and it was horrible! It was shocking to think that some people in the Family would say such things. At that time I posted a notice on the MO site to all the people who were writing those things, and we put a notice in the Grapevine about it as well. A number of them apologized and we hope that things have improved. Now we have switched things around so that if you log on, you have to give your actual e-
mail address. Before, you could just come on the discussion sites anonymously and post garbage--not that we automatically know who it is now, but we can find out if we need to.
I sure hope that people clean up their act and refrain from posting out-of-the-spirit, hurtful or ungodly comments on the Members' Only discussion site, or we're going to be forced to shut it down.
Remember folks, it's your Web site. If people are posting ugly comments against the Family, the Word, the leadership or t
he Charter they are posting ugly comments about you! You are the Family! When someone posts something like that, lovingly show them they are wrong, post the truth, post your positive convictions, don't let them just have their say without speaking the truth! Sock it back to them with the truth, in love.
But isn't posting things like that against the Charter? And if so, why are people still doing it?
The main reason is because there are some people in the Family whose bodies are in the Fam
ily, but their spirits are not. Often they can be very mouthy and say ugly things, when really they should just leave the Family, but they don't. We pray that these people who are not in the Family in spirit will make the decision to leave of their own accord, or that the proper actions according to the Charter will be used to move them to FM status or out of the Family.
Another possible reason for such postings is that the monthly password to get in the MO site is printed in the Grapevine, an
d the Grapevine goes to both CM and FM. A lot of our pubs somehow fall instantly into the hands of people who are no longer in the Family or who are outright enemies. Some people in the Family are giving the pubs to outsiders and even active antagonistic former members. God help you if you are! We may not know who you are, but God knows and we trust Him to take care of you. If you know of someone who is doing this, it's your responsibility to the Lord and the Family to report it. We're trying to
work out a better password system via the TRFs, so please pray for that.
Sometimes the people who get on and post such ugly things are not Family members at all; they're an ex-member who doesn't like the Family and is trying to cause trouble. We used to have people like this that would get on there regularly, and put a bunch of crap on it.
We do try to monitor the MO site, but that's tough too, because you want the Web site and discussion groups to be available for people to get on and talk
with each other. You don't want to be like Big Brother, “You're saying the wrong things so you're off.”
On the other hand, it is a Family site and what's posted should be, like the Bible says, things that are edifying and uplifting, positive and pure. We don't expect everyone to agree with everything that is posted. We don't mandate that everything posted has to be holy and spiritual. You can put fun things on there and discuss various topics, but we expect people to at least be Christian and
to speak faith. If they don't, we take their posting off. If it gets too bad then we can lock them out, but it takes a while for that to happen.
So maybe what you came across is someone who is really out of it and shouldn't be in the Family, or someone who isn't in the Family but who got the password and got on anyway.
Recently a number of young people left from Sao Paulo. Why didn't the CROs kick them out before they were able to do so much damage?
I wasn't there, so I can't judge or
say that somebody should have done this or that instead of what they did. I do know that as a shepherd, you want to give people a chance to change and make the right choice. It's a difficult call when it comes down to a young person's life and service for the Lord, and you're faced with kicking them out.
But there comes a time when you're pretty sure that someone has made up their mind, and then it is good to force them to make a decision. Say, “Either you're in and you have to be in 100% and
obey the Charter, or you're out!” Let them make the decision. As you saw in your peers who recently left, it's better for people who have crummy attitudes, and who are already out of the Family in their heart, to leave. If someone doesn't want to be in the Family and their spirit is already out of the Family although their body is still in, well, they might as well send their body where their spirit is. They can do a lot of damage if they continue to hang around, so it's better to have them go.
The Lord is bringing everyone in the Family to a point of greater commitment and impressing on each individual the need to uphold the standard. If everyone is faithful to lift up the standard and hold each other to fulfilling it, then situations won't happen where someone or a group of people who are half-hearted and heading out the door anyway will hang around for longer than they should.
I've reported things and problem situations before, but it doesn't seem like much ever happens about i
Sometimes you report and nothing happens. But most of the time when you report, leadership becomes aware of the problem and begins to work behind the scenes to get more information, to see what's going on. Just because you don't see any immediate fruit or change doesn't always mean that nothing happens. In any case, it's still important to report Charter infractions or other problems. Don't get discouraged about telling the truth of what's going on. Your leadership is not perfect; they ma
ke mistakes. They also have a lot on their plate, especially when there are lots of Homes with many problems; it's pretty difficult to keep on top of each situation, and they can't get around to investigating each report as quickly as they would like. But it's still important to report, as they will get to it as soon as possible.
Also, you need to realize that some problems should be taken care of by you and your Home, not the VSs and CROs. There is a tendency in the Family to push all problem
s up to the VSs and CROs and expect them to take care of them, when each Family member and Home ought to take more responsibility for the problems of their Home or Home members. You can and should discipline those who are contravening the Charter, sowing division, speaking against the Word, breaking your Home's regulations, etc.
If a parent has a teen that leaves the Family and the parent decides to go with their teen to help them get settled and find a job, would that be considered backslidi
No, a number of people have done that, and with CRO permission, can keep their CM status for a time even though they are not living in a CM Home. Or if it lingers on or becomes more long term, the parent(s) can be on FM status for a time until the teen is settled to where they are well taken care of or they reach legal age. A number of people do leave their CM Home in order to help their kids get set up, and they come back once their child is able to manage on their own. I can think of a
number of such cases, and we certainly don't look down on them. It's definitely important to make sure that your children are well placed and cared for.
In each Home the Charter can be seen so differently, because the Charter is broad in its perspective, depending on how the Home wants to view it. Under the Charter, you can vote on so many things that you want to do. You can be doing a certain ministry, but other people might look at it as something that they don't have the faith for or they
don't think is according to the Charter. But your Home might have decided that it's just fine and that's how they want to do it. What do you do about that?
It's your Home. You set your own goals as long as you are within the boundaries of the Charter. Your Home can't say, “Our Home is going to vote to go to porno movies five nights a week.” You can't do that because that's outside the boundaries of the Fundamental Family Rules. If your Home says, “We want to minister to street people,” well
, you can do that; it's within the Charter rules. If another Home thinks that you're really out of it, that's their opinion. But if you've prayed about it and heard from the Lord about your ministry, as long as it's within the boundaries of the Charter, it's okay.
If within the Home you want to have a ministry and the rest of the Home members don't think that's such a great idea, well, it's the Home's prerogative to vote against you doing that ministry. If you feel that's the Lord's calling fo
r you, you can try to either convince the Home or you can move to another Home or start your own Home.
The key to the Charter is the spirit of the Charter, to really catch what it is that the Lord has laid out in it. The answer is to work together, to work in love and in harmony, to listen to one another and to not be stuck on your own opinions or feelings about ideas. You should hear people out and pray about their ideas.
Maybe somebody comes up with an idea that sounds like it's way out th
ere, but if you pray about it, you might just find out that the Lord is also way-out-there! People need to be open-minded and open hearted to what the Lord might have in store. On the other hand, just because you think a way out there idea is great, it may not be. That's why we're always pushing, praying, and hearing from the Lord, so you can find out what the Lord's will is, and consequently be fruitful and blessed!
Shine On July `99
TEAMWORK Per Adult Total
SOUL SHINERS FOR JULY `99
muel/Rosita, Mexico 4,000 8,000
Mark/Faithy, India 671 1,341
Josue/Maria, Mexico 640 3,202
Francis/Marina/Dulcinea, Russia 360 1,800
Andres/Maria, Argentina 323 970
Timothy/Rejoice/Dove, USA 238 2,381
Steven/Claire/Daniel/Crystal, India 220 880
Emanuel/Joy/Tamar, Venezuela 207 1,450
Jesse/Maria Clara, Brazil 200 400
Pablo E., Chile 195 586
POSTER SHINERS FOR JULY `99
Peter S./Crystal S./Mary M, USA 4,207 16,827
Maria/Michael Christian, Japan 1,925 5,775
Tommy/Serena, Cambodia 1,85
Steven/Mercy, Japan 1,642 3,285
Christmas, Japan 1,142 1,142
Timothy/Rejoice/Dove, USA 1,081 10,807
Marie /James Giver, USA 971 1,942
Dalia, Japan 897 897
Francis Mountain/Joanna Rose, USA 846 10,147
Daniel/Becky, USA 744 1,488
TAPE SHINERS FOR JULY `99
Samuel/Clara, Spain 117 234
David/Madalena/Paula, Brazil 116 467
Sam/Maria, Brazil 98 197
Samuel/Rosita, Mexico 89 178
Dave/Heidi/Jenny, Czech Republic 87 522
Juan/Rosa, Spain 86 172
Pablo E., Chile 83 250
Mexico 80 239
Daniel/Becky, USA 75 150
Tim Newlove/Elisabeth, Spain 71 213
VIDEO SHINERS FOR JULY `99
Ben/Meekness, Botswana 66 267
Jesse/Maria Clara, Brazil 53 106
Juan F./Ester/Susana, Brazil 44 220
Miguel/Samuele/Paloma/Ester, Brazil 31 126
Andres/Pilar, Ecuador 27 81
Matthew/Jaime, Taiwan 25 127
Ezekiel/Maria Clara/Rosa/David, Brazil 24 74
Francisco/Joanna, Brazil 24 96
Victor/Pilar, Spain 23 70
Andres/Fe/Zulema, Bolivia 20 101
Also included with this file:
The new dayz
(By David Komic)
Caption 1: Not that. Not that. Not this one…
Caption 2: What are you doing?
Caption 3: Well, this is my prophecy list--the things I want to hear from the Lord about.
Caption 4: And?
Caption 5: I'm crossing off all the things that I'm too emotionally involved in to be able to get a prophecy about.
Caption 6: But you've only got one thing left on your list now!
Caption 7: Yes, I know! The only thing I'm not too emotionally involved in to ask the Lord about is whethe
r I should…
Caption 8: …cook my breakfast fried egg flipped over or sunny side up!
(End of file.)
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family