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FSM 260 / FN 369 DO
"Temper the Wind to the Shorn Lamb" -- Special Issue:

© Copyright Oct. 1994 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

       Introduction       1
       Tests of Our Faith--By Maria       2
       Caring for Our Children after Raids & Detention       3
       "They'll Be Happy Again!"       10
       From Institutions to Family Life!       11
       Reactions from Family MOMs       12
       "Lessons from Australia Helped Guide Us"       13
       Letter from Mama to Children Who Have Been in Institutions       14
       A Call to Arms       16
       Children's Confidence in Public       18
       Family Training Shines in Institution!       19
       Communication with Relatives Improved in Persecution!       19

       The following reports were sent in by our brethren in Australia, & Argentina, in reply to a request from Mama for lessons they had learned in helping their children over any ill effects from the raids & being held in institutions.
       These dear Family Members, along with others, experienced traumatising raids, their children being put in institutions, & deprogramming attempts & cruel treatment of themselves & their children. They also endured gruelling hours of court business & legal paperwork, lies, threats & pressures from governmental agency workers, financial struggles & a raging media war!--And some did not yet have the benefit of all the persecution-related counsel, tools & encouragement which have since been published.
       In the midst of these difficulties, concerned Family parents & teachers witnessed the immediate effects of System injustices upon their children. It was understandably difficult for them to see the emotional, disciplinary, & spiritual setbacks in the children's lives caused by the traumatic experiences they went through. Hearing their reactions & uncertainties is very touching, & you will be thrilled as you read of the wonderful healings & victories that the Lord brought about in the children's lives, as parents & caregivers faithfully persevered & applied the cleansing & strengthening power of the Word.
       Their experiences are powerful testimonies that although our children may experience some temporary setbacks in their lives due to such circumstances, the Lord can bring about greater victories through them. (Romans 8:28) We pray these reports will be a great encouragement to any of our loved ones in similar circumstances, & touch the hearts of all our Family Members to understand the needs of these dear ones, & pray earnestly for them in their time of recovery.

--Comments on "Temper the Wind" Testimonies--By Maria       Maria #228
       1. These testimonies are powerful! They are not only a confirmation of what the Lord said He would do in these situations, but they are very reassuring for the future for all of us in the Family--to know that the Lord can also keep us & our children in similar situations if they should arise.
       2. While these testimonies may show that our adversaries were initially somewhat successful in instilling some fears & doubts in our children, they also show that the problems our children have suffered as a result aren't permanent & the Lord is giving us the victory! They prove that the Lord is able to rectify the problems, no matter how bad they are.
       3. These testimonies also show how wonderful our children really are, since bad behaviour that began appearing in our kids for the first time after such a traumatic situation is actually just normal behaviour for many System kids!
       4. It may be somewhat discouraging for some of you to realize that problems may result from our children's traumatic experiences which can be quite serious, probably moreso than most of you have imagined. This could perhaps cause you some fear about the possible after-effects of such experiences on our children. Nevertheless, this is a strong confirmation of what the Lord repeatedly has said about how He will care for His Own & not let our children be permanently harmed.
       5. The Lord even promised they would "come out without even the smell of smoke on them," & I'm sure by that He meant they would come out in the end without even the smell of smoke.
       6. It isn't always immediately apparent the moment we're delivered from our fiery furnaces that we can't even smell the smoke or see the results, like it was with Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. God doesn't work in the same way with everyone.
       7. We know that in some cases healing takes time. Sometimes God does perform miraculous instantaneous healings, but other times we hardly realize that we're being healed, the healing process seems so slow, but by & by we are healed. So all of the details of that analogy of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego can't be applied exactly in every case, but the principle that God does fully deliver holds true, no matter how He chooses to bring it to pass.
       8. The Lord has many good reasons for not always treating every situation the same as Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego's. In their situation, fire was something that everybody knew would burn these men alive, it would kill them. The Lord let them come out of the fire in that special way for a very obvious public testimony, for the benefit of the king & the whole nation that had to have a very great sign.
       9. But in our situation, it is usually a bit different. We don't usually see the difficulties our Family around the World goes through unless we hear about the effects, & when we do, it causes us to greatly admire them for all that they have endured & for how bravely they faced their fiery tests. It also causes us to have greater sympathy, compassion & concern for their needs while their healing is taking place. We see how in spite of these things, they are gaining victories, & the Lord helps them through it because of our prayers & theirs. Such situations help us to be more compassionate & understanding as a Family, & He makes it a team effort!--He makes us all responsible to help those in need through our prayers.
       10. We can't always expect that our kids & adults who have been through these things will not show any immediate signs of problems caused by such extreme circumstances. In such cases the Lord uses these problems as a test of our faith--battles that will, in the end, make us stronger if we fight them. His Will may be better accomplished by allowing problems which will eventually make us stronger through the process of overcoming them, rather than making it so easy that immediately upon coming out of them we show no signs that we have even gone through them. If there were no signs or evidence of the hardships of our experiences, no one would believe how difficult the situation was for us, & the miracle of our deliverance, & the Lord's overcoming power at work in our lives would not be so apparent.
       11. So there are a lot of differences, & I don't believe that every situation is going to be exactly the same. Our fiery furnace may be different than Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego's, & show different results, but in the end, after we have suffered awhile, the Lord will strengthen, stablish, settle us, & make us perfect (1Pet.5:10).
* * *

Caring for Our Children after Raids & Detention
From Becky, Sydney, Australia
       All of us, parents & children alike, were thrilled, elated, & so thankful to be reunited, after experiencing the raids which resulted in the children being held in detention for one week. The children were very happy to be back with their folks. We suspended normal Home activities as much as we felt we could at that time, in order to have some special Family Days together. We also arranged excursions in family groups, & other family activities. During this time the parents made a special effort to lay aside all their other work & worries in order to have some quality time with the children. It was a general time of thanksgiving for us all.

Benefits of Parental Communications
       However, looking back one year later, many of the adults have expressed that they wished they had put an even greater emphasis on giving more time to communication with the children during those first few weeks after they were released from the institution. They expressed that they wished they had taken even more time with their children--to talk with them more, comfort them more, pray with them more, & strengthen them more with the Word during the first weeks that the children were back in the Home after their traumatic experiences, as it was a time when they very much needed parental comfort & reassurance.
       Of course, during those first weeks we did this as much as we felt we could at that time, but it was easy to be busy, with the court cases in session, the need to spend time with our lawyers, etc. We went home at night to hours of writing statements & doing other paperwork for the courts. Many of these responsibilities could not be put off, but there was one area in which we now see we could have used our time more wisely, & thus possibly given more attention to the needs of the children.
       We had a rotating schedule so quite a large team could be in court each day, & a few who were acting as our "court reporters" were there every day. We realized later it would have been better to have had a smaller team in court, & to have rotated court duty more amongst us so we could have devoted more time & resources to help our children through this recovery time.
       Also, with court tying up so many of our people, this meant that our teachers, childcare people & mothers were often left to care for the children day after day, while also trying to shepherd them through these difficult times. It was easier for these adults to become frustrated & feel neglected, as at times they had insufficient prayer, counsel & support from the other parents.
       We're sorry now to see that we didn't fully understand this need, & it may have made it more difficult & taken longer than necessary for the children to get the victories they did. Of course the Lord has done many miracles, & the children are coming out stronger & closer to the Lord than ever.--It's just that we might have made the transition back to Family life easier by giving their needs greater priority than we did. It is very encouraging, however, that the Lord has more than made up for our lacks!

Adult Uncertainties
       Everything happened at a very fast pace after the raid & throughout the following months, & we adults were quite unsure about our situation. Everything was so new--facing such a major attack, being unfamiliar with courts & lawyers, & being inexperienced as spokespersons. Since this time, however, we've received a great amount of counsel, Word & training through the Statements, & we are much more experienced now in giving answers on important matters.
       We received continued visits from the DOCS (Department of Community Services) in the first weeks, & they were hostile & aggressive, threatening further action against us & the children. There was also a possibility that the children would face further interrogation by them. Our children already had many new questions about our beliefs & policies as a result of the interrogations in the institution by this agency. They needed their faith encouraged & many questions answered from the Word, but we felt badly that we had so little time to devote to this, & couldn't always answer all of the children's questions right away as completely as we wanted to.
       It was also a great shock for us to see the changes in the children, in their habits & behaviour, their fluctuating hunger for the World, etc. It looked as if their good Family training had gone down the drain. At times it looked quite bleak to us as parents. We would sometimes be tempted to wonder if they would ever get over these ill effects.
       For example, we went through a time where we swung away from disciplining the children for fear that it would be used against us. In our wavering, we let our standard of discipline with the children slip, but as we re-established our Home Discipline Rules, & got the children back into the swing of things with their groups & daily routines, this helped us get back on the right track.

Daily Prayer Together Helps Adults
       We adults & parents got together each night to pray desperately for the Lord to intervene for our kids, & overcome any hurt they had suffered. We desperately needed His direction on how to handle the complex needs that came up at that time.
       He showed us to stay very positive with the children, & cautioned us against allowing impatience or other negative feelings to show. He emphasised that the children needed a lot of love, care, patience & prayer. We could see that many of the children's ways of relating to their little world had been dramatically & traumatically turned upside down, & they seemed somewhat confused about things.--But as we adults prayed desperately for them each night, the Lord answered & helped them recover.
       One of the main realizations we came to was that healing & progress takes time! We learned not to despair at any seeming lack of progress, but to hang on & keep going with determined faith, no matter how dark it seemed. Many of us got hit with discouragement, & needed these times together after the children were asleep to pray together, pray for each other, & hold on to the Lord. The FSM series of "Prophecies on Persecution" was very strengthening to hang on to through discouraging times.

Allaying Our Children's Anxieties
       Many of the children, especially the younger ones, were very confused & anxious. They seemed to have common questions in their hearts, such as: "Am I going to be taken away again?" "If we lose the court case, can they take me away again?" "Do we still use Family rules & standards?" Their whole frame of reference had been shaken & needed time to be restored. It took time to draw out their questions & fears, & answer the doubts about the Family that had been sown in their hearts by their interrogators.
       Our greatest concern was for the quieter children. While they may have been better behaved outwardly, there was much pent up inside them. We needed to pray for them & spend time with them in order to help them & draw them out, & get them to put their feelings into words.

Meeting Requests for Parent Time
       Upon returning home from the institution, many of the children wanted to be with their parents constantly. If we even had to step out of the room for a few minutes, the kids would often ask in a worried tone where we were going, & could they come along. They seemed to need lots of reassurance that we would be back very soon. Many of the younger ones just couldn't face going back to their school group & being away from their mummy & daddy, so the children slept in the room with their parents for as long as they wished to.
       Some of the more sensitive younger children were very affected, & felt insecure, wondering, "Is the same thing going to happen again?" We just let them go along with their mummy or daddy as they went about their daily duties, & we didn't have them go back fully into their group activities & schedules right away.
       We began having the children go back in their groups after the first week or so, re-establishing school, their schedules & routines, etc., & this seemed to help. However, when we did this we found there were still times when the children would unexpectedly get anxious, & want to see their daddy or mummy. We found it best to assure them that they could see their parents at any time, & they simply needed to ask first.
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: If you were to ever find yourself in a similar situation, you might find that a week would be enough time for the children to stay with their parents before returning to their school groups. On the other hand, you might find that you need more time. Those involved should look to the Lord for His leading because the circumstances & needs of the children will vary greatly in each case. It is commendable that not only the needs of the group, but also the individual needs of the children were considered, & that the children who needed more time with their parents were given that opportunity. Fully meeting the emotional & spiritual needs of the individual children immediately after such traumatic experiences is much like the investment of "a stitch in time" that may save nine. It would be sad to underestimate the extent of the effects of these experiences on our children, & expect more of them than they are able to bear in this time of great need.)

Helping Nighttime Anxieties
       Many of the kids had developed new problems with bed-wetting, from the youngest children to older JETTs. This was especially embarrassing for the older ones, & in some cases they were ashamed to admit it. In the case of one boy, this was a source of such shame for him that he began to put on a macho image. He would even get up at night & try to wash & dry his sheets & pajamas so no one would discover his problem, GBH! Mummy discreetly got up to help him, & no one made an issue of it, which helped him save face.
       In this case as in others, we found it helpful to explain to this boy that this problem was a spiritual attack of the Enemy, rather than a shameful weakness. We encouraged him to pray & take a stand against the Enemy himself, which he did, & several adults also prayed for him. We also did not make this known to others at his request.
       We had to have a flexible wake-up time for quite awhile in the beginning, to allow for sleep-ins after some rough & restless nights. Bed-wetting was often accompanied by bad dreams. These bad dreams were often violent, as the children would relive some of the violence of the events & the actions done to them during the raids & experiences in the institutions. Some of the more aggressive boys had dreams in which they violently destroyed & annihilated their enemies, etc.! We found it helped to let the children talk out their dreams with parents or a Shepherd, who reassured them that the frightening aspects of the dream would not happen. We needed to teach them to pray & rebuke the Enemy, & claim Scriptures against these "terrors by night!" (Psa.91:4; 2Tim.1:7; 1Jn.4:18)
       Nighttime was a particularly sensitive time. Several of the children developed a fear of the night. If, for example, the dogs in the neighbourhood began barking, or if the cows in the nearby pastures lowed, they would awake quite fearfully, & ask, "Who is coming?" This seemed to be more of a problem with the quieter ones.
       Recently it was arranged for some JETT boys to sleep with Room Shepherds in a nice new caravan in the yard. One boy was reluctant to move in, & after careful probing it came out that he was concerned about being outside the house at night. At the time of the raids he & his group had been sleeping in a caravan, & they were dragged from their beds half asleep. The boys were so bewildered at the time, that they ran around the yard screaming until the DOCS personnel dragged them onto the bus & drove them away.
       During the first year after the raid, the boy was again temporarily sleeping out in a caravan, but we noticed that he was getting very run-down & tired easily, had a lot more colds, etc. He then admitted he couldn't sleep well there, as he would lie awake & worry for hours, but he felt too ashamed to confess this, fearing that his older classmates would tease him. Since moving him into the house to sleep he's much happier, sleeping like a log, & his general health is improving.

Discipline: Finding the Balance
       One of the most noticeable & immediate effects, of course, was in the behaviour of the children. Some of the children returned with bad habits, bad language & bad behaviour, & this was quite a challenge. Suddenly we were seeing the children use a lot of sarcasm & make unkind comments towards each other. Angry tempers would flare more readily between them, & they'd be quite rowdy & aggressive, sometimes even pushing & hitting each other.
       Faced with this extreme naughtiness that we'd never seen in our kids before, we were tempted to get angry with them, & get upset at their bad or obnoxious behaviour. We were tempted to correct them harshly & quickly. Sadly, some of us did express anger & frustration toward the kids.
       One teacher disciplined the children for wetting their pants & beds. Since wetting themselves was a common occurrence, she became quite frustrated, & the children wet even more & became more anxious & emotional. We learned it was better to refrain from disciplining for this, & that this was not the way to handle the problems that were arising. Instead, we suggested that the children's caretakers come to another adult for prayer & counsel when they became frustrated.
       This also taught us a lesson about being Spirit-led in all of our discipline of the children at this time. The Lord checked us that we needed to take more time to pray, & to hear from Him about each disciplinary situation that came up, as there was a lot going on in the young ones' hearts that required a lot of tender love & mercy.
       Above all, the Lord showed us that the children wanted the reassurance that we still loved them, & that they had done well & been faithful fighters while being held in the institutions. They needed the reassurance that we were proud of them, & to hear that Grandpa & Mama & everyone was proud of the way they had stood up for their faith, even if they had gotten a bit "dirty" in the process!
       ({\ul \i Editor's Note}: What a beautiful & important point! Almost {\ul \i anyone}, including adults, could have problems or show some signs of what these children had been through after such traumatic experiences. They'd need lots of counsel, care & prayer to get over the hump, & correction too in some cases.--But if we put ourselves in their shoes & picture ourselves going through what they have, it will help us have more compassion & patience & a burden to pray more earnestly to have the right responses & reactions to their new problems.
       (It's a very different ball game after having your mind & heart mixed up by people trying to deprogramme you, like these kids experienced! That is bound to mix anyone up to some extent & produce some negative side effects. The kids weren't {\ul \i trying} to be bad, they'd simply gone through some rough experiences that had rubbed off, & had been without normal shepherding through those times. Yet they were {\ul \i still} {\ul \i good} {\ul \i soldiers}, & had battle wounds that needed Spirit-led action & tender love & care to help to heal. And like Grandpa says, "The best healing takes time!" & "Time solves so many problems!" In these situations, when new disciplinary problems arise, we need to depend all the more on {\ul \i prayer} for the Lord to show us how to help them overcome & gain valuable lessons, rather than just trying to attack the outward manifestations in our own strength & wisdom.
       ("By mercy & truth iniquity is purged" [EDITED: "Pr.16:6"]. It would be wise to prayerfully counsel with others first to decide what steps need to be taken when correction is needed during the early days, when the children will probably be experiencing a lot of emotional upheaval. Then be Spirit-led as you apply them {\ul \i mercifully} & with lots of {\ul \i understanding} & tender, patient {\ul \i explanation}. As you will see below, the Sydney brethren discovered that overcoming disciplinary problems could become a case of one step backward being turned into two steps forward. In spite of the difficulties, by God's grace they were still able to win the hearts & minds of the children by patiently teaching & explaining the Word on any needed subject, & how it applies, with lots of love & wisdom.)

Defending Our Standards with the Word
       One effect the time away in detention had was that the children were somewhat confused now about what the boundaries or guidelines were for their behaviour. The effects of their interrogations came out as the children now began to question principles they had never questioned before, such as why they had to abide by certain safety rules, or act in love & kindness. They questioned whether the standards in the Family were really right or still in effect.
       As alarming as this seemed to us at the time, we can now look back & clearly see the Romans 8:28 in this. In our desperation with the Lord for the children, we spent a greater amount of time explaining the basis for our Family standards & guidelines to them. Because they wanted to be answered straight from the Word, we were challenged to show them the Scriptural basis for our standards in the Letters & the Bible, & therefore they have come through this with greater conviction than ever, praise the Lord!
       For example, for the first week, get-outs proved to be quite wild. The boys now climbed all the tall trees in the yard, up the outside of the two-story Home, had sword fights & jousted with sticks, hit & broke trees & bushes in the garden, & were even cruel towards our pet cats, etc. We had to stop everything & point out the dangers, pray together & insist that they abide by the rules of playing safely & prayerfully & considering others.
       They challenged this, so we took them to the Word about it, & explained that we don't have these guidelines because we are all "brainwashed", but these rules are there for reasons, namely for safety & consideration for others. In praying about it at the time, we felt the children were not rebelling as such, but it was the fruit of the seeds of doubt & questioning that had been planted in their minds about the standards & policies they had grown up with. They were testing their boundaries, & now looked for reassurance that these Family policies were still valid, that we still believed & obeyed them, & that these had not changed despite all that had happened.
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: This important lesson of taking our children to the Word to show them the reasons for our behaviour guidelines is in itself a positive outcome of these battles. This is the heart of what training our children is all about--training them to form values that are built upon the Word through diligent teaching & discussion of the Word, helping them to form their own conclusions concerning the rightness of our values by providing them with adequate information from the Word, & helping them to appreciate & apply its wisdom in their own lives--not just expecting them to take everything we say at face value.
       (Explaining to our JETTs that we have these guidelines for very good reasons, & not because we're "brainwashed" is a good shepherding suggestion for all of our teachers & Shepherds. It's vital to our children's faith & understanding--not only for today, but for their future & all that will be expected of them, that we lay a good foundation & explain things to them well, & with the Word.)

Defeating the Devil's Doubts
       We knew that the children had been exposed to attempted "faith-breaking"--aggressive interrogation intended to turn them against their religious beliefs--when they had been in the institution. Evidence of this came up in relationships between children in some families. This was even more pronounced if all of the children did not have the same biological mother or father.
       In the case of my family, for example, my older children suddenly became quite cold & unloving in their actions & comments towards their two little sisters who were born after their father & I separated. Before this they had been very loving to them; we had talked & read & explained the situation, & they had accepted each other very well. They now began to comment that these younger ones were "not really part of our family", "Daddy doesn't love them as much as he does us", "How does Daddy feel about them being in our family too?" etc. Some of these comments were made directly to the little ones, which caused quite a bit of hurt all around.
       My young JETT boy even manifested a sudden rejection & feelings of repulsion towards me as his mother, feeling that I had in some way done wrong, or not stayed loyal to our little family by having children "by someone else!" This was completely the opposite from our previously close & warm relationship & good communication. In another family, where both of the mates had children from previous marriages--which had been a very happy & close-knit family--there were sudden cutting comments & hurt feelings between siblings.
       We found that these evil seeds of unbelief about our basic beliefs & the Law of Love had been deliberately planted in the children's hearts & minds. We had a lot of desperate prayer to overcome this. We needed to go to the Word & explain over & over again to the children about these situations; the Word was a very great help in solving problems of this nature. It also helped to explain to the children that their inquisitors had been deliberately trying to plant such lies & doubts, & that this was a device of the Enemy. This explanation helped to get them on the attack & mad at the Enemy about it also.
       For example, several of the children were initially confused or felt ashamed of their parents' belief in the Law of Love. They asked why they should suffer ridicule for the Law of Love doctrine when they themselves had never played a part in it.
       We learned that they were not actually in rebellion against these doctrines, they just didn't understand them well enough. The beautiful Word that we have on the Law of Love has now more than answered their questions, & they now understand & have conviction about the Scriptural basis of the Law of Love. Recently one of the teens explained that reading this Word, including the Statements, GNs, & the Affection Revolution, has helped it all to "click" with her, & now she's quite excited to explain it to people who ask her about it when she's witnessing. She now stands up for the Family & for the principle of the Law of Love with strong conviction!
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Thank the Lord for the wonderful victories He brings through the Word! As you can review in GN#555 "Our Beliefs Concerning the Lord's Law of Love", the Law of Love is the guiding principle in all aspects of our Christian way of life. It is important for our children to understand that the Law of Love does not only apply to sexual relationships between consenting adults, which is a small part of it. It will benefit them to understand this, so that they know to emphasise this broader application, & learn to wisely explain this fully if they are ever called upon to explain their beliefs or understanding regarding the Law of Love. This is needful because outsiders tend to think that our Law of Love refers only to our sexual beliefs & practices, rather than to the standard for the behaviour we should try to have in all areas of our daily lives--when we clean our room, wash the dishes, pick up after ourselves, speak in a considerate way to others, avoid partiality by including others in our activities, or keep quiet at Quiet Time so as not to disturb others. The Law of Love is the guiding principle behind every thoughtful act & every loving & considerate deed in our daily life.
       (Our enemies mistakenly label the Law of Love as a sexual doctrine, when the fact of the matter is that the Law of Love is the broad principle of love for God & others that the whole Christian way of life is to be built upon, & the basic Christian standard of love & caring for others that is held by Christians worldwide. It is essentially Jesus' Own commandment--that we love God, & love our neighbour as ourselves. So when we are persecuted for following the Law of Love, we are persecuted for our love for the Lord, love for the lost, and our love for each other!--For our Christian beliefs, & our Godly sample of sharing our Homes, resources & talents in order to better serve others. Our enemies' attempts to belittle the Law of Love is religious persecution--an attack upon an important foundation-stone of Christianity.)
* * *

       The Lord's Law of Love is a big subject. Generally speaking, the Law of Love is the Godly principle by which our entire lives, as Christians, should be governed. Jesus summed it up very simply in the famous "Golden Rule", giving us the key to our relationships with others: "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the Law & the Prophets"--meaning that loving your neighbour as yourself fulfils God's Laws.--Such love is the "Law & the Prophets" (Mat.7:12). Ideally, this loving principle should guide all of our actions with others. This is a belief that millions of Christians hold in common with us. (ML#2858:2, GN 555).
* * *

Reactions to Outsiders
       After the children returned to their Home there was a big change in the way they perceived people outside the Family. Initially upon their return home they had an obvious distrust for all outsiders. They knew they had been lied to, deceived, & treated cruelly by the authorities, & they viewed everyone with a great deal of distrust & suspicion. When even a simple workman would ring the doorbell, they were all immediately on edge, nervous & worried. They were very unfriendly towards anyone not in the Family.
       It was a very trying time for the children, as we were having several weekly visits from the same welfare officials who had interrogated them in the institution, & the kids were constantly worried & tense during these visits. They would sit sullenly & refuse to talk to these people, or if they did, it was often done sarcastically or rebelliously. The children would even plot together to "get back at the DOCS" during their visits, with schemes like putting frogs in their pockets, dousing them with water, etc.
       This was a time of great uncertainty for us all. We did not know how to react to these visits by DOCS, as we were somewhat intimidated & unsure of ourselves. Our behaviour towards them ranged from trying to be friendly & co-operative, to being quite antagonistic & refusing to give any ground at all.
       We finally found that having the DOCS come visit at a time when we had an activity, such as a Word study time with a Bible class, get-out time, or even a video such as "Jesus of Nazareth" was a help. They could then no longer single out children or adults to question them individually, but they had to just follow along with the activities. Later the court granted a request we made, appointing an independent third party to carry out the weekly visits, & this helped a lot, until the whole case was dropped soon after!
       It took time to teach the children that not all outsiders were antagonistic, & that some very sweet people were favourable to our cause! This problem came up with the activities we were required to have the children attend as part of the mediation agreement. The children in some cases had a hard time trusting their instructors, or warming up to them. Most of these people were very sweet & not connected with the DOCS. It was helpful to explain that the children were acting cool towards them because of the trauma they had suffered at the hands of the authorities.
       This problem caused us to spend more time teaching the children about witnessing, & how to discern people's spirits & motives. Our children have attended these activities for almost a year now, & most of these instructors have heard a full witness and seen our kids' sample, & have come out strongly in support of the Family, praise the Lord!
       Finally, toward the end of the year, about 12 months after the raids, we had all the children visit the local police station on an excursion to try to bring about a reconciliation. (This was the police station which had carried out the raids!) The children were very friendly to them, & the police were very friendly in return. (We have heard that some of the police at this station had not been in agreement with the raids, & are actually quite supportive of us now, even though they cannot say this officially!)
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: God bless the dear children & those who helped them to be able to make this visit. After all they had suffered at the hands of these men & others, the friendliness the children manifested was a terrific witness to the Love & healing power of Jesus!--A good example of our children being "more than conquerors"! Praise the Lord!)

A Romans 8:28--As Always!
       Any of the children who were previously the most fascinated by the World have now become very sickened by it through some of their experiences where they encountered two-faced, lying people. They are now some of our strongest fighters against worldliness. A few who had wondered what going to a System school, or having a System job would be like, have grown sick of the enforced socialisation activities.--They've had to go even when they felt tired or ill, or it was stormy outside. Now they sincerely appreciate their Home Schooling & ministries in the Family, where their individual needs are respected.
       Looking back over the past year & longer, we see that the Lord has more than answered our prayers, & helped the children come through these things "without the smell of smoke upon them." In fact, most of them have come through with greater faith & conviction that the Family & all our beliefs & standards are right!
       God bless you! We love you, & pray this will be a blessing to you.
* * *

"They'll Be Happy Again!"
From Mary (mother of children who had been institutionalised in Sydney)

       God bless you! I love you & I am praying for all of the dear children & their parents who've suffered persecution, that the Lord will soothe the pains caused by our enemies. When I first heard that the children in France seemed shocked & disoriented when they were finally released, my heart went out to the precious folks there. Having come through the same storm of emotional battles involved, & having seen the Lord's healing process take effect, I am very encouraged. I'd like to encourage the parents involved in similar situations to hold on to the Lord!--The kids will become relaxed & happy again with lots of TLC, prayer & patience!
       I had four children taken. My youngest son, who was five at the time, was dramatically affected by the trauma of the raids & being separated from me. He was a very compliant, easygoing & gentle boy. On my only visit to the children's institution, my emotions overtook me, & I broke down & wept in front of the kids. I had not intended to let myself go like that, & I think this may have worried him. (I now wish that I had taken a partner to help comfort the children.) At this meeting my son seemed strangely distant from me, preferring to play some game with the kids or one of the social workers. This was very strange behaviour from him, as he was always very warm & affectionate. He seemed quite disoriented & unsettled.
       When he was returned to us, for days he seemed distant, & he did many things he'd never done before, such as wildly sliding down the bannister, running in the house & all over the furniture, repeatedly crashing his cars together in a very violent manner, pinching me, & hitting others, etc.
       We had desperate prayer for him, as well as a cleansing prayer for all of the children, against any bad spirits that they had picked up in the institution. With time, in answer to our prayers, my son regained his normal, happy disposition.
       When the children first returned, they slept in their parents' rooms, & they would wake often to check that we were there. Those first few days we had lots of Parent Time, & Word, & eventually re-established our united Home disciplinary standard, with prayer & counsel, as well as their normal groups & routines. This all seemed to help a lot in the miraculous healing process that the Lord did!--Thank the Lord!
* * *

From Institutions to Family Life!
From Victoria, Argentina
       The following report was received from Argentina, after the release of Family children who were detained in institutions for 3-1/2 months:
       When the children returned to our Family Homes, we found there were a lot of things that were very different for them & us. We had to put ourselves a lot more into their shoes, & try to understand how they were thinking & why they were responding in the way that they were.

We Needed to Define Priorities
       A lot of bad behaviour came up as a result of the months that they were in the institutions: they sometimes failed to show respect to adults, they were loud, & somewhat prone to violence, their table manners were quite bad, etc. (Some would take a few bites & get up & walk away. We had to try to find fun ways to get them to eat.) The kids were generally a lot wilder, & not as receptive to correction. They would often just walk away & ignore people who were just trying to carry on a conversation with them.
       However, we saw that we couldn't work on everything at once, & the main thing was to work on regaining their faith & trust in us, the Family, & especially the Lord. We had to set certain priorities regarding their behaviour, & decide what areas we were going to work on with them. In their behaviour, the main point that we had to get across to them was that they couldn't do anything that would hurt themselves or others.--We had to stick to basic things like that, & not suddenly present them with a lot of do's & don'ts, or get too strict with them about every little thing. We had to try to inspire obedience, rather than threaten or demand that they obey.

Participation with Them Helped
       We realized that they had been kept under guard in an institution, & they had been very restricted--they couldn't go out, they couldn't run & play when they wanted, & their guards had been with them at all times. Now they basically wanted to burn free & run from all restrictions. We had to slowly re-introduce our Family guidelines on safety & care, & find fun ways to do it! It seemed in many ways they just wanted to feel their freedom, & we had to try not to make them feel like we were "on them", although we had to keep an eye on them for safety at all times, of course. We found that we had to participate with them a lot more, rather than just watch them play. When we would get in there & play with them, they didn't feel that we were just guarding them.

Understanding Their Reactions
       We had to be more understanding of their feelings & realize that many of the things that they were doing were not because they were bad or naughty children, but they were responses & reactions to what they'd gone through. We needed to pray for the Lord to show us how to help them let go of these feelings, or at least get them out, or learn to overcome them in new ways.
       The following is an example of this: Whenever talking to one seven-year-old boy, if it got to the point of sharing hearts, or if you were trying to bring out something to him that he didn't want to hear about, he'd just get up & walk away! It was very frustrating & difficult to point him in the right direction. We tried to get him to open up, to share some of his feelings, but he wouldn't. He even acted this way with his mother.
       One day when I was talking with him & he walked away, I said, "You know, I have this fun idea--but I don't want to tell you now. I'm going to go do something else!"--And I got up & walked away. He said, "Auntie, what are you doing? Come back & tell me!" I said, "No, I don't want to tell you now. I want to go do something else." I began walking away & he just stood there in shock. Then I turned around & asked, "Honey, what's the matter?" He said, "You just walked away from me! I want to know what you had to say. I want to hear your idea."
       So I explained, "It didn't make you feel good when I just walked away when we were talking, right?" He said no, & I said, "Is that what you've been doing a lot lately too?" He nodded, & I explained, "See how it makes people feel when you just get up & walk away like that?" We had to find ways like this to try to illustrate the reason for different guidelines to the children.

Personal Witnessing to Our Children
       Most of all, we found that the children needed reassurance, & a lot of love, warmth & affection. We had to remind ourselves of what they'd been through. All their lives they had lived in a world where everyone was loving, surrounded by sweet "Aunties" & sweet "Uncles", a world where they were safe & secure & nobody would harm them or hurt them. Then suddenly they were pulled out of their familiar surroundings by people that they didn't know. They were lied to & hurt by these people, in their hearts, as well as physically in some cases. They suddenly found themselves living with strangers, & they learned that there were people whom they couldn't trust.
       We saw the importance & need for the adults to go on the attack & one-by-one try to win the children's trust, as the children didn't take it for granted anymore that everyone was sweet. You could see the children thinking, "Are you someone I can trust--or not?" Even though we tried to act nice, they still silently questioned: "Are you a sweet auntie or uncle--or are you one of those Systemites like we encountered in the institutions?" We felt that this was natural under the circumstances, because they had just come from having these System people watching over them 24 hours a day for months.
       We had to re-establish a personal relationship with each one of them. Personal Time with them was a very important part of winning them. We found this to be a very good way of helping them to open up, as they would more easily share their hearts & receive help when we were doing personal things with them one-on-one.

Helpful Reading
       There are many Letters that we have referred to, but we've found the following cross-section of counsel the most helpful for those working with children, to have a sensitivity to them & their needs.
       "Understanding Children & Making It Easy for them to Be Good", FSM 77, Maria Letter #85.
       "Let'm Ask!", ML#2650; "More on Letting'm Ask", ML#2651; "Let'm Explain!", ML#2652, Techi Series GN 453. (Also in DB 10.)
       "Blessings from Battles", ML#2632, Techi Series GN 446. (Encourages a positive outlook--to see the good that the Lord is going to bring about in our children's lives, which helps us bring out that good.)
       "Love Is the Answer", ML#1396, DB1, pg.581.
       "The Key to Your Child's Heart", Raise 'Em Right, pg.101.
       "Teaching Children Sensitivity", Raise 'Em Right, pg.281. (Teaches sensitivity to feelings, emotions, what others are going through, being sensitive to the good, & praising children--very helpful!)
* * *

Reactions from Family MOMs
From Sara:
       I appreciate very much being able to read these testimonies & learn from them. There have been many times that I've longed to learn from others' lessons in this very area, & now this FSM provides that very thing, as does the Hope Mag of testimonies from the teens who were in the institutions! ("More than Conquerors", DFO "Family in Action" Hope #4). We can glean so much faith & encouragement from this FSM! It's a beautiful testimony of our whole-hearted Christian life--even in the midst of persecution!

From Dora:
       These testimonies show that the Lord is able to rectify the problems no matter how bad they are. They give the Lord the glory & show that this truly is a Romans 8:28 situation. We know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord doesn't forsake our kids, & that He is there even when they go through hardships.
       I'm always impressed when reading some of the Good Thots testimonies of Christians, or the missionary stories of Adoniram Judson or William Carey. ("Great Men & Women of God--Part One & Two", CLTP 4 & 6.) They went through a lot of difficulty, showing that our Christian life isn't all a bed of roses, & there are thorns.--And yet the Lord makes us stronger through these. It is true that the thorns will prick & will hurt, but like Mama explained about the story in Daniel 3, in the end they won't have the smell of smoke on them.
       These testimonies help us to prepare our hearts for the difficulties ahead, & encourage our faith, so if or when it might happen to us, as it has to others, it won't come as such a big surprise. I feel the more testimonies like these we can encourage each other with, the better prepared we will be to face our fears, if & when such things happen to us.
       In Mama's message to the kids that had been institutionalised (see excerpts from FUN 17 in box on page 14), she shared such a beautiful explanation about the battle wounds. I'm sure it was a great encouragement not only to those directly involved, but also to the Family worldwide. It showed that Mama didn't ignore these battles & sweep them under the rug, but she acknowledged them, & she attacked them in a very faith-building & uplifting way. This reminded me of what Mama's shepherding was like with Techi during the Techi series time. She didn't ignore the battles Techi had, she faced them!
       I think these testimonies will help our Family to face things that most likely we'll still come up against. We have a tendency to sometimes be a bit "sleepy", so these testimonies should help to wake us up & make us more aware of the devices of the Enemy, & challenge us to better prepare for future spiritual warfare.
       The positive view we're taking on these problems is a testimony to our faith. We're aware that they exist, but we're on the attack, & we're not going to allow the Enemy to defeat us through them! Thank You Lord!
* * *

"Lessons from Australia Helped Guide Us"
Reaction from Victoria, South America
       The lessons that were learned by our brethren in Australia were a real help, strength & blessing for us in Argentina. We received some of their testimonies right before the first group of children were released, & along with the Word that the Lord had been leading us to, they helped us to know how to handle the children. There were many unknowns for us, so their experiences & lessons helped to give us some footing.
       Many of the children that have gone through these experiences have now gone to different parts of the World, & since they may continue to need special understanding & care, this counsel might help those not so familiar with their experiences.
       I helped for a time in a Reception Home for these families in Argentina. We had been fully supporting these dear ones in prayer, & it was such a happy occasion to welcome them back into Family Homes! However, I saw that it was a natural reaction for many of the teachers to be somewhat shocked that the kids were a little rowdy & restless & not as disciplined as the other children. This understandably caused them to feel a little frazzled. It was necessary to explain in detail what the kids had been through, & this helped everyone to be more understanding of their needs.
       We're very accustomed to our kids taking correction well & being obedient & easy to guide, & in a situation like this, if we don't fully comprehend what the kids have been through, we may expect them to just fall in line as normal, when they may not be ready or willing to respond in the normal way. In time, the children do need to re-adjust to their normal routine & ways, of course, but the way we go about helping them to do this is important. Understanding the experiences they've had helps us to relate to them wisely.

Healing for Adults as Well as Children
       The counsel about the need to understand the tremendous stresses our loved ones have endured who've gone through these experiences, & how much they need our encouragement & loving support, is very touching & important. This is a real key in helping us to shepherd the children, & also the adults that have gone through these experiences. Becky's article is a help in understanding that both the children & the parents have needs.
       The situation in Argentina was different in that the adults also went through the institutions & prisons, & they also needed shepherding & help in the healing of their wounds. They also needed the reassurance that they did well through their time in the institutes, as they were tired physically & weak spiritually, which made their battles feel more extreme.
       Love was what they all needed at this time! The adults were more able to express their feelings, but children could not always do so. Any help we can give our Family in understanding these needs will be beneficial.
       Those coming through these times do feel quite weak afterwards. They are strong in that they have stood the test & proven their love & loyalty to the Lord and the Family, & from their experience they have renewed confidence that the Lord will always pull them through. But they feel shaky on their feet for a while, & the kids feel uncertain & have these wounds that take time to heal. So it helps people to understand that with time they will be "without the smell of smoke," as Mama explains.

Parents' Need for Understanding
       We have learned that it is important to be understanding of the sensitivity that the parents feel about the children's behaviour. Under any circumstances, parents can be sensitive about their children's naughty behaviour, but they are all the more so in these needy situations. Parents can understandably feel more protective of the kids, & be concerned if they feel that people don't understand them.
       When it is necessary to address a child's problem & how to help them, it's very helpful & encouraging to make it clear to the parents that you aren't just labelling the kids as naughty, but that you understand they're simply reflecting some of the experiences they went through. Otherwise it is easy for the defences to go up, & for the parents to have difficulty accepting the counsel being offered. But if they feel that you understand that their child is not normally misbehaved, then discussing the problems & working together to find the solutions is understandably a little easier.
       It's helpful to remember that the parents have carried a heavy burden of concern for their children throughout the raids & institutionalisation, as well as during the time of readjustment. Lack of understanding of their needs or the needs of their children can sadly add a rather heavy additional burden to their battle-weary spirits. Time invested to show our concern & understanding can help to provide them with the loving encouragement that they, as parents, very much need.

Helping the Children to Open Up
       We noticed that it was easier for the kids to talk about their experiences & what they were feeling when the subject was presented indirectly, rather than directly asking them to talk about these things. For example, we wanted to have the little children open up more to see if there were things that were troubling them, yet we didn't want to address things head on. We thought about showing them the video "101 Dalmatians" to see if it could set the stage for a little talk time with them.
       When they watched the video they related very much to what was happening. It was almost like a re-playing of their own experiences & expressed their feelings. The kids were very open about their reactions in this situation, & could also better see things that had happened in their own experience that encouraged them. For instance, they saw that the mommy & daddy (dogs) fought for their children (puppies), & that everything turned out happy in the end. While this video is good for kids for persecution preparation, it also seemed to help them after persecution as well.
       On another occasion we were preparing video interviews with the JETTs for a Family video on persecution, so we got together with the JETTs to pow-wow this. Because they were going on video, this was recognised as something special, a positive forum for talking about their experiences & their lessons of faith, etc. They were all very open & presented some tremendous lessons as we discussed things together. They were very positive & deep in their understanding of their experiences.
       Making the video gave them a positive purpose, rather than talking just to get things out & talk bad about the institutes, etc. Even though the experiences were quite weighty & traumatic, the JETTs were on a positive channel & challenged to have this opportunity to be a witness via video. Being able to testify for their faith in this way helped them to express clearly how their experiences were worthwhile to them.
* * *

Letter from Mama to Children Who Have Been in Institutions
(Excerpted from FUN #17)
       {\ul \i Introductory note}: Quite a number of our dear children have spent some time in institutions because of the persecution against the Family in Barcelona, Australia, France, & Argentina. Here is a note of encouragement from Mama Maria for all our children who have suffered for Jesus & our Family in this way. Please read this letter to all children (age 7 & over) to whom it applies. You may also read it to younger children at the discretion of the teacher, parent, or Shepherd.

Dear Children,
       My heart goes out to you, & as you know, Grandpa & I have prayed desperately for you. We are so thankful that the Lord has brought you home again to your families.
       Now that you've been in the battle, the Lord is going to reward you because you've suffered for His sake! But because of the battle, you have some battle wounds like every soldier gets who really fights! What are some of your wounds? Some of you are having nightmares, some of you aren't getting along so well with your brothers & sisters, some of you are fearful & clinging to your parents, you're being rowdy, & you're having to learn again how to communicate lovingly with others & trust your Shepherds & teachers. These are some of the results of the experience you went through. These are your battle wounds. But what do you do with wounds? Do you do nothing about them & wait & see if they get better? No, you tend them, you clean & bandage them, & you take good care of them.--And in time they heal! Wounds are something that every soldier gets, but they heal. Jesus promised, "I will restore health unto thee, & I will heal thee of thy wounds."--Jer.30:17.
       You don't have to be fearful. You don't have to worry. Because if a situation like that happens again, you know that the Lord will see you through!--And you'll receive double reward! It's not something to fear or worry about. From your own experience as well as from the Word, you know that Jesus will take care of you. You can look back & remember that the Lord delivered you safely, just as He's told you He always will.--And He was with you in all your troubles, just as He promised: "Lo, I am with you alway."--Mat.28:20b. The Lord has promised that you're His children, & you're going to be His witnesses to the End! No matter what you're doing or where you are, He is with you. You've always got Him, & you're going to be accomplishing His purpose! Hallelujah!
       God bless you for being wonderful soldiers & shining examples for Jesus! Soldiers in men's armies who are wounded in battle get special medals. When soldiers in the Lord's Army are wounded, they get eternal Heavenly rewards which are much better. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him!"--2Tim.2:12. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne...."--Rev.3:21. Hallelujah!
       Keep looking to the Lord & the Word, & we know the Lord will pull you through--shining more brightly than ever! We love you!
       Love, Mama Maria
* * *

A Call to Arms
From Mary MOM
       It is heartbreaking that our kids have had these experiences, but I am so thankful for all the Word that came out during that time which reassured us that the Lord was with them, comforting them, working through them, and that He was going to deliver them.
       These testimonies increased my vision to pour more into our children. Even though I realize that these are things we may face, the Lord has given me a measure of faith for them. However, reading more about the reality of it all, & the effects that it had on the children, has given me more determination to give them more attention, more Word, more memory work & a greater understanding of the Lord & their part in His overall plan. These articles are a "call to arms" & should inspire the "fight" in all of us to more diligently prepare our children for their future.

Well-Shepherded System Experiences
       Dad has said in "System Survival" (ML#1772) that some of our children in the future may possibly be placed in System situations, & I think there is much we can do in the area of preparing them. I wonder if children who have been the most sheltered may be the ones who might be affected the most adversely if they were ever to suddenly be placed in the care of strangers. Ending up in an institution or Systemite's home could be much more of a shock if we haven't been arranging for them to take advantage of Family opportunities for outreach & excursions.
       Our children do not need as much to be sheltered as they need to be given well-shepherded experiences in interaction with System people through educational & witnessing situations. Close shepherding through experiences with the System will help our kids become more strengthened in their convictions.
       For instance, we can help by making sure that they are getting regular outings or excursions, whether for witnessing, for visiting points of interest, or just for learning how to get around in their city, how to read street signs, how to read maps, how to make phone calls, use local transport, etc.
       Involving the kids more in follow-up, inside or outside of the Home, is also helpful, not only for the witness' sake, but also to make sure they are learning from interaction with other people, & learning what people are like outside the Home. Having a variety of experiences increases their confidence in relating to different types of people & knowing how to conduct themselves in new situations.
       Although many of our kids live in the countryside, & it's a wonderful experience for them to live in the midst of God's Creation, it will help to equip them for their future if they're also able to learn more about what life is like for the majority of the general population who live in cities. This is true if they are able to learn from those experiences by our diligently shepherding & teaching them through them.
       Some of our mothers & children could probably also get more involved in "Open the Door for the Children" ministries--ministering to mothers & peers in local communities. Through experiences like these we can teach our children how to relate to other kids & be a good witness & example to them.
       If we're faithful to provide for our children & shepherd them through all the wonderful witnessing & educational opportunities that we can make available in our life-style, we can offer them the best of both worlds: protection from meaningless or dangerous situations, & ample opportunity for a wide variety of lesson-filled experiences which bring them in contact with a wide cross-section of the public.
       It's inspiring to see the Homes where kids are involved in a lot of what's happening in the Home, like witnessing, & going on follow-up. These children meet & learn how to interact with people who visit the Home on a regular basis. They're getting a wide variety of experiences, & it's maturing them & helping them to make solid decisions about their service for the Lord. They gain a greater understanding of how the Word applies to life outside the Family.

Applying the Word to Today's World
       In the children's memorization & Bible studies perhaps we could also help by showing them, "How does this apply to the everyday life of those we are witnessing to? How would you react in this type of situation? How would you follow this Word if you lived in the System?" I feel our children can learn more on how to apply the Word to daily life.
       Our children shouldn't only experience a "textbook" Bible. We're not able to fully explain to them just through the Bible all the ins & outs & wherefores of everything they would experience in the World if they were in the System. But with some well-shepherded experiences, I believe that they can learn how to cope & how to apply the Word to experiences they might face if they were suddenly thrust into the World of today.
       Keeping our kids from experiences can be a rather lazy approach to shepherding them, and can make us more lazy in teaching our children in general. But, if we are regularly getting our kids out witnessing, we'll probably be more on the attack to give them the Word they need to fight the battles they face in the World. Plus, the kids respond well to having a broader purpose in their Word classes, other than just getting over their NWOs, etc.
       I wonder if we need to check our hearts whether we're reaching our goals of teaching the kids from the Word how to minister to the World & those in need, while they keep their own hearts with all diligence--and that we don't lazily slip into, or rely upon a cloistered mentality as a shortcut or substitute for the training we need to give.

More Word for Stronger Kids
       Aside from experience & learning how to live and apply the Word more in their lives, many of our kids also are not getting enough Word, & a variety of the Word, so they're not as strong in the Word & in the Lord as they should be. Any traumatic experiences could find them a little lean in knowing how to handle themselves, & knowing how to come through them a more mature person & better able to understand why they're in the Family.
       I'm very excited about the new Word & memory curriculum to come. (See "Introduction to the Word Curriculum," FSM 258; "JETT & Teen Word Study Outline," HOPE #54 & "The Word Curriculum--Student Record Booklet," KIDZ No.79.) I feel it's going to cause a major Word revolution for our kids! Our Family is not always well organized in teaching the Word, so our kids often may have repetition in the Word that they do receive. The new curriculum should help solve that by meeting their needs more efficiently. In addition, there's probably much more that we all could do to more diligently feed & strengthen our children with the Word.
       The articles in this FSM should encourage us to pray more specifically about how we can prepare our children for all that life will demand of them. It helps to be aware of what the Enemy is up to as we prepare to face the System with our children. Our enemies don't realize that "God gets some of His greatest victories out of seeming defeats!" Through some of our precious little ones having to go through these things & suffer for the rest of us, we can all grow from their experiences. And if anyone should try to take more of our kids in the future, they will certainly have a lot to reckon with! Thank You Jesus!
* * *

Children's Confidence In Public
From Esther David
       Praying recently about teaching our children System survival skills brought to mind how my children, & most of our first Family children, were raised--with weekly & often daily witnessing, performing & interaction with the public. From their earliest years onward, our children witnessed in many countries--in scores of cities & city areas. Their experiences helped them to grow to be quite comfortable & open with people of all ages & backgrounds, young or old, rich or poor, & was good training for their future in the Lord's Work. They learned to experience the Lord moving through them, even to feel concern & compassion for strangers.
       I think they learned confidence in their beliefs & Family training because they were accustomed to going on missions with an attacking initiative, & they were giving something to others which was usually very much appreciated. Even their little loving ways & conversations were appreciated by their audiences & those they encouraged or witnessed to, & they could see that what they had to share was valued & much in demand.
       The training we had to give them during their witnessing also gave them a measure of self-confidence in public. On our excursions we would continually talk about our surroundings & locations, making sure they knew where they were in relation to home, or in relation to other cities or city landmarks, buildings or streets, etc. They learned to use a wide variety of transportation. We visited & witnessed at tourist attractions & educational landmarks. We discussed any interesting events, pointed out interesting situations or scenes, & taught them all that there was to glean of educational or personal interest along the way. There were also continual safety lessons or pointers that were involved in travelling & about our surroundings.
       This continual tour-guide style of commentary that we gave them on their level made travelling, even just through a city, interesting for them. It also helped train them to be alert & observant of their surroundings from a very early age, as young as three or four. Foolish behaviour or "tuning out" the adults or their surroundings was very unsafe, so it couldn't be tolerated during travel. We had to teach them to stay tuned-in, sober, aware of their surroundings, & safety-conscious. But they were also motivated to stay alert because they didn't want to miss anything interesting.
       There were numerous dangers involved in travelling with a group of children, especially because we used a lot of public transport. We'd pray against anyone getting lost, & in addition we made sure each one had contact names, addresses, telephone numbers & money which they carried with them. They were tucked in the pockets of older ones, & pinned to the clothing of young ones. We also agreed upon a meeting spot in each area we'd enter. Since we were often in new or unfamiliar surroundings in our travelling, we had to make sure each one had some idea of where they were, & how to get to where they needed to go should they be separated from the rest of us.
       I think we didn't realize how effective this was until the second day after our children arrived in Hong Kong. Our five-year-old son Josh was accidentally pushed aside & separated from us on a very crowded city street! We couldn't find him anywhere! This was our worst nightmare come true, but one we had tried to prepare the kids to know how to handle. We prayed he would report to some nearby store, which was our agreed-upon procedure, & he had our address on him as well, so we immediately called the police & expected to hear from him while we continued our desperate search. After a while, when the police had still heard nothing, we called home again & were surprised to learn that he had miraculously made his way home all by himself!
       To do this, he had walked alone down two very busy city blocks all the way to our apartment building, which was similar to many others. He even made it by himself to the right floor 18 stories up, by asking someone to push the right button on the elevator for him, & he knew the right apartment door as well, even though they all looked the same. He'd only come that way & approached our door once, the day before, when all the children had arrived after their long flight from Europe.
       We certainly praised the Lord that he'd been miraculously helped & guided in answer to desperate prayer!--But we also were very thankful for his powers of observation, & that he tuned in to his surroundings even though he was tired from his long trip & circumstances were so unusual. He said he knew how to get home because he'd walked that way once before! Thank the Lord!
* * *

Family Training Shines in Institution!
From Paloma, in Argentina
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Before being arrested and taken to prison in Argentina, Paloma was at the institution where many of the children were being held, helping to care for them. Family training paid off there, as the mothers, children & teens were able to organize, & do their best in an extremely difficult situation. Below are excerpts of a letter where she writes about carrying on our Family life in the institution.)

       Regarding our relationship with the authorities in the institution, we felt it was a case of Matthew 10:16, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Each day it was a challenge to know exactly how to proceed, but one thing was clear: the example we portrayed under these circumstances determined the way we were treated. It affected many things, like how many security guards were assigned to us, & how much freedom we were given to move within the institution.
       I think it surprised them to see our active & organized adaptation to the situation, even though to us it seemed like a disaster compared to our normal Home life! We soon had the kids divided into groups, & ministries got underway. We formed a team of "out front" people in contact all the time with the central office, trying to find out information as to our status, etc. With very little hesitation, we pretty much took over a major part of the daily activities, including ordering the food we needed, getting needs lists to the main office, dish teams working, clean-up crews operating, etc.
       Adults, young and old, shifted into high-gear, red-alert speed, as there was so much going on--dealing with the doctors, the maintenance crew, the police security guards & the director & vice-director of the institution. At the same time we had to fight to get together & pray desperately for guidance each morning, as things were moving so fast.
       Dividing up into the "out front" team, childcare and other ministries, helped to clarify our roles and make the situation not so confusing. We had someone watching the news all day, & we soon found how important it was to communicate to everyone important developments in the case each day. This helped to maintain unity, as otherwise some people felt they weren't involved enough, and it also prepared the teens & adults for questioning later.
       There were some problems with disunity, which I think can be expected under such stressful conditions. None of us had worked together in the same community in recent months. Since it was such a desperate situation, we had to make it work. It was such a blessing to have good, strong Shepherds, who were used to overseeing large groups & supervising the details of daily life. I really feel the Lord had it all under control.
* * *

Communication with Relatives Improved in Persecution!
From Rose, France
       I am so thankful for Mama's vision to feed our relatives. My parents were very much against my joining the Family 16 years ago, but since this recent persecution here in France with our children being taken away, they really wanted to hear our side of the story. My father was very thankful for the address of INFORM (a British government-sponsored agency for the study of new religious movements, or NRMs). He explained that they had gone to FAIR (a British anti-"cult" organization) for information only because they were desperate for news.
       I had had little contact with them in the past few years, but after the raids in France I appeared in an interview with ITN (a major British broadcasting station) which I knew they would see, so I called them and they were surprisingly positive. I explained about our literature & changes in our Family, such as our no longer FFing, etc., and my mother said, "I wish we had talked openly like this years ago." She said I looked very good on the TV news, but there were some "rather pornographic pictures" shown. (In the interview, I had explained about the Law of Love, and that many of our publications were not for children nor for public distribution.) My father said, "You are in trouble, aren't you? But we still love you!"
       I explained all about ADFI (French anti-"cult" organization) and the lies of backsliders, and my parents have taken a stand in our favour, as they feel the press is always untruthfully sensational. My father said he believes "all is straight in our corner of the world."
       They said the only thing they could not understand was why I hadn't given them my actual home address. I explained that it was because they had been so against my decision to be a missionary in the Family, & they had been attending anti-"cult" conferences where I knew that relatives were being solicited to arrange kidnappings of adults & children from religious groups.
       I explained that I did not want my children to be at risk in any way, & I reminded them about the literature I had sent them exposing Ted Patrick & the deprogramming business, which explained my concerns. They said, "But we are born-again Christians & all one in Christ.--We would never do that, we trust the Lord's Spirit to work things out." But I explained that we've learned that not all born-again parents share their point of view. My mother explained that she has formed a prayer group and wanted us to know that they had an army of prayer warriors going, not just for my kids, but for everyone in custody, including those in Argentina. God bless them!
       My mother did "preach" to me about how they felt badly about not having contact with me. I do feel I should have handled our differences with a lot more wisdom than I did. Now I realize I should have confronted issues that were dividing us straight out, which possibly could have avoided a very strained relationship.
       They are thrilled with the Statements, especially "Our Statement of Faith". They are still with the Plymouth Brethren, but mix a lot with Baptists and Pentecostals, & attend Full Gospel Businessmen dinners. They have written letters to complain to the judge, testifying that they are happy with their grandchildren's upbringing, etc. They sent Bibles to the kids while they were in custody, which the judge let them have. They still disagree with some of my personal decisions, & with some of our radical beliefs, but overall they are very positive, and communication is 100% better after this persecution, thank the Lord!
       ({\ul \i Editor's Note}: Many in our Family are seeing the fruitfulness of taking renewed steps to explain more fully exactly what we believe & how we live to outsiders, including relatives. After sending parents & relatives our updated lit & the Family policy Statements, along with thorough explanations in personal letters as to our way of life & our true Christian beliefs, some have received thankful, positive responses from those who were previously antagonistic. Some Family Members have also found that even supportive relatives had formed some mistaken impressions of the Family over the years, & these relatives are now happy to be better informed through the new materials that they are now receiving.
       (During the persecution the Family experienced in France, as well as in Australia & Argentina, some of the relatives of our Members played a key role in helping to defend the Family, bailing them out of jail, standing up against our enemies, speaking to authorities on our behalf, supplying our Family's needs while in prison or in institutions, etc. Many of them were won through these persecutions, although they previously had been antagonistic or sceptical.
       (The good example of these helpful parents during persecution is a great encouragement to not neglect our parents & relatives, but to include them in our ministry as well. It would behoove us to pray about how we can use the many tools at our disposal to win & minister more effectively to our relatives--to better inform them, defend our faith & explain our way of life.)

[EDITED: "end"]

Copyright 1996 The Family