Home » Children of God Publications » Exotic Lands and Faraway Places

The Family / Children of God

Internal Publications and Secret Directives

DISCLAIMER: The sole purpose of this page is to document the existence of a publication produced by The Family International a.k.a. The Family, Family of Love, Children of God and various pseudonyms (hereon referred to as TFI). It is provided for the record, for educational and research purposes, with the principal aim of promoting accountability by the TFI for its teachings and statements, which have proven detrimental to the lives of many. By replicating this material, exFamily.org neither endorses the views expressed in this publication nor justifies the existence of this publication and its statements. Reader discretion is advised. The material on this page may be unsuitable for minors and may contain disturbing words of racism, hate mongering, directives to unhealthy lifestyles and/or criminal activity, and/or contain plagiarized works.
THIS PUBLICATION MAY HAVE BEEN "SANITIZED." This digital format of this publication was extracted from TFI's HomeARC 99, which was subjected to encryption and editing by TFI, who, in order to hide its controversial writings and thus escape moral and/or legal accountability for past/present core beliefs and directives, sanitized (edited) and purged (deleted, destroyed, burned) its texts—both printed and electronic. Where possible, exFamily.org has compared this digital material with the cult's original paper-printed versions to ensure that this publication accurately reflects the original, uncensored version. Locations where the text has obviously or potentially been sanitized is hilighted with bright-red [DELETED] or [EDITED] markers.

FSM 323       CM/FM        Exotic Lands and Faraway Places

Copyright © 1997 by The Family -- 11/97.

       Incredible Indonesia       1
       Lively Lithuania       6
       Marvelous Middle East       8
       Receptive Romania       10
       Celestial Central America       14
       Challenging China       17

       Come over the mountains and cross the sea!
       Step out by faith --
              and you will see
       So many in darkness,
              just waiting for you;
       Now that you've seen them...
              what will you do?

From Mercy Delight (of John), Michael Indonesian (of Sharon), Tim (20, of Brother Sun and Julia) and Shelly (17, of Byron and Marie)

       On the distant island of Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia, stretching its borders towards the Philippines, the crystal sands of Manado glisten in the warm sunshine. Famous for its ethereal beaches, fascinating coral reef and dazzling Indonesian beauties, this celestial city lies waiting to be ravished with the Words of David! Our visit before Christmas last year had been very fruitful, and we were left with an inextinguishable desire to return. The local population is predominantly Christian, which is rare in a country which is 95% Muslim. We received affirmative prophecies from the Lord, encouraging us to go with the message of David, saying that they had "a little light," but they would be "hungry for our message." We never anticipated the magnitude of our witness!

Miracles of supply all the way
       Mercy: By an incredible miracle, we were able to provision airplane tickets for just a minute percentage of the actual price. We then sent some faxes to places we had stayed last year, and within one day we got a reply that they were expecting us and would put us up! Upon our arrival they had sent a car to pick us up at the airport, and they treated us like VIPs!
       Shortly thereafter, we called a restaurant that had fed us last time, which happened to be the most exclusive and plush restaurant in the entire city, which only the rich could afford. The manager was elated that we were back in town! He asked how long we would be staying, to which we replied that we'd be there for about three weeks. "You must eat at my place every day!" he said with a mixture of pride and enthusiasm. Another woman who had fed us for two weeks on the previous road trip also exclaimed, "Please eat at my place every day!" Incidentally, at the same time that Tim and I were talking with her, Michael and Shelly met someone else who said, "Yes, you can eat here as often as you need to!" So the Lord clearly spoiled us! We could choose between chicken, beef, fish or whatever!

The impact of our tools
       Michael: The people in Manado are extraordinarily sheepy! On the first day we had no concept of what to expect, and went to a bank where we were cordially ushered into the manager's office. He was pleased to meet us, and took a couple of videos. We got out a heap of videos and tapes in that first place and the other team did just as well. Even the Christian pastors we met in the city thanked us emphatically for the posters, and said they're going to use them in their sermons.
       Tim: One day when checking out a follow-up referral at a bank, I was a bit dismayed by the security. The security guard led us downstairs and we went through some procedures before finally getting to go back upstairs to see a man whom Mercy had met last year. Initially he said, "Well, I'm sorry; I've helped so many other people and I just don't think there's much I can do for you." However, no sooner had he spoken than he called his management and secretaries and brought them all in. They proceeded to listen to the tapes one by one, and to our delight, all 16 of them took something! It was just like that everywhere!
       At first we were a little hesitant in some places to talk to the secretaries, and preferred to talk with the "big boss," chiefly due to what we had seen in other countries, with the secretaries being busy, not being able to make the final decision, etc. In contrast, however, here they are surprisingly open. We reached a point where we would say to the secretary, "Oh, we have Christmas music on this cassette," or "We have verses put to song," and they'd listen to it and take some without hesitation!

Going "gaga"
       Tim: The common expression here is "Ini gaga," which means, "This is great!" No matter where we were, we could predict the reaction of people when they'd listen to Fear Not or other tapes: They would subsequently exclaim, "Ini gaga!" The reaction seemed to be automatic and served to advertise our tools positively!
       It was terrific for me to see the appreciation and receptivity of the Indonesians, as I came from the wealthy West where our tools are not esteemed as highly. Everyone-- secretaries, and even security guards and police, etc.--would buy tapes for their kids. It was remarkable! The outstanding thing about it all is the fact that they take the tools not simply out of kindness, pity or solely to help our work, etc., but because they value them!--And the tools, particularly the posters and tapes, go out in large amounts!
       Shelly: Yes! They'd put the headphones on and go crazy! Tons of times we'd walk into an office or bank and see only two people sitting, and think, "This looks pretty dead." We'd pull out our tapes and within two minutes they were playing them on the loudspeaker, and all of a sudden from out of nowhere, it seemed, there were literally 50 people around! They'd come out of the woodwork, and the tapes just sell themselves. You don't even have to try to persuade people to take them, they like them so much. We'd go into places and get out 10, 12, 16, and in some places as many as 25 tapes in one shot!
       Packing our bags at night was a difficult task, as we had to try to figure out how to fit everything in! We'd take 15 tapes of each title, with more of the Christmas and Fear Not tapes, and the maximum the bag could hold was 62 tapes, so we'd be sitting there jamming it to the very top with as many as it could hold!
       Tim: The posters were in high demand! People would say, "Oh, I want this one for my Sunday school class," or "I want to study more about the Endtime," and while giving those out, more people would come up and say, "Where's mine?" When we'd meet new people they'd often say, "Oh yes, I got this poster from my friend. I read it last night." Likewise with the tapes they'd say, "Oh yes! My mother got it the other day. I listened to it and it's great!" Since it's a small town, our music and the Words really got around. PTL!

"Neglect not ..."
       Shelly: The manager for the second hotel where we stayed was a Chinese Buddhist, but was very open-minded about our Christian beliefs. He gave us some rooms that were really "cozy," compared with the the big fancy aircon rooms with double beds and fancy bathrooms we had been in--which had made us a tad bit lazy there. This place was clean and cute, but Lilliputian--ha! We opened the door and just about jumped into the bed and that was all there was to the room. The hard part about it was that there was no window and no aircon, just a tiny little fan. The fish market nearby would wake us up at 5:30 a.m. as well. So we felt like real pioneers again! But we were thankful because we just needed a little place to stay, and didn't want to spend a lot of time in our room anyway. The guy was really friendly, and always checked on us to make sure we were okay.
       Tim: We were treated royally wherever we were. After coming from rich places in the West and having certain less than pleasurable experiences, like when you couldn't seem to find a meal, or you were up till 1:00 a.m. searching for somewhere to stay the night, this was a big change. Throughout this whole trip, despite our sometimes not knowing what was going to happen next, it all worked out. Everything was so easy and the people were so sweet.

Back to "the blue lagoon!"
       Michael: People told us that a trip to Manado wouldn't be complete unless we went to see Bunacin Sea Garden and Marine National Park, which is an internationally famous diving and snorkeling island. So each time we saw a travel agent or tour place we asked if there was room on the boat for us to hop on, because if someone pays to rent a boat you can jump on. But it seemed that all the doors were closed even though they really wanted to help.
       Shelly: Then one auspicious day we went into a Toshiba salesroom and were talking with a guy who took a few videos and tapes for his staff. He asked us if we'd gone to Bunacin. We told him the Lord hadn't opened the door, and he said, "Well, He has now!" He said we couldn't leave without going, and begged us to go with him. But in order to go it meant we would have to cut out one of our OR days. We went home and prayed and heard from the Lord about it, and He encouraged us that we had been pouring out and He wanted us to enjoy this special treat and not worry, that He can do anything and isn't limited to how many days we have. So we ended up going and it was a lot of fun!
       Michael: It was a Romans 8:28 situation (not that we were having any trials about it or that it looked bad to us, ha!), as during the trip to the island we were able to get to know this man, his girlfriend and employees better. And as a result of the trip, five souls got saved. PTL! They really appreciated our knowledge of the Word and especially the Endtime; it was something they'd never heard about before. So we felt it was a trip planned by the Lord, both a reward for our time witnessing and to win these precious souls.
       Tim: For all of you in the cold north, this is the place to be!! It's really fun--a dream come true. The island that we went to was just like the "Blue Lagoon." It's always been the desire of my heart to go to these places, so I finally got to experience what I'd been dreaming of. It was a paradise!
       Shelly: Prior to going, I used to see documentaries where people were diving around coral reefs, and it looked so very boring. I used to hate that when I as a kid, to sit through those boring shows. But I could never have been more delighted than when I was able to experience it firsthand. We went in a glass-bottom boat, and it was so pretty! Then we went swimming before we got to the island. The water was crystal clear and so tempting; we jumped in with the snorkel. It was so neat swimming underwater and breathing; you feel like you could go on floating forever with no effort. It's so pretty--reaching out after the fish and trying to grab them. And some of them are really big and colorful and you see little schools of tiny little purple and orange fish. I think I was "gone" for about an hour! (Tim: I had to "save" her!--That was the fun part!)

His eye is on the little ones
       Tim: Our next destination was a quaint little town up in the mountains, where the air was cool and fresh and the stars seemed to fill every fraction of the night sky. Going up was genuinely picturesque, with coconut trees bending over the road and trees dotting the mountainside. We witnessed at a hospital, which to our delight was playing our music in all the wards! We then went to another hospital in a "bendi" (horse cart) and got out a few tapes to the nurses, from which we were referred to a Catholic school for mentally handicapped children. We explained to the head nun what we were doing and she was so appreciative of our work and that we had come all the way up to the mountains to visit them.
       They led us to where the kids were and they sat us in the front as the guests of honor. We put on the tapes and they all got up and started dancing and clapping their hands. It was so amazing and uplifting! They pleaded with us to come back again sometime. We left them smiling and waving, happy that they got our tools!
       Mercy: The music meant so much to them. They were so excited that they were coming up with their own choreography! We were impressed at how obedient they were; as soon as the music stopped they all sat down respectfully. It was such a sweet spirit! We were very touched; it really changed something in our hearts. One 13-year-old was holding my hand the entire time.

"God's messengers!"
       Michael: While staying in a hotel, we overheard the manager say to his staff, "These are God's messengers!" He believed in us as being the Lord's anointed and asked us to do a fellowship for his staff, and cast out the evil spirits from the place. This country is quite full of all kinds of ancient spirits, but the people give credence to prayer and were very appreciative of us coming.

Taking the banks by storm
       Tim: We went into another large bank and the manager wasn't there. Sometimes you have to wait and it does take a bit of persistence, so we were talking to some other people in the meantime, and a secretary finally said, "Okay, I will help you." It was a huge bank and we were sitting in a spacious lobby area right next to a security guard. He was all turned on that foreigners were there and was asking all kinds of questions about religion and everything, when we were trying to be a little low key, ha!
       All the while this secretary was going around getting out tapes to everybody, and coming over saying, "We need four of these and three of these and five of these." Before we knew what was going on, people were coming up saying, "What are these? Let me listen!" and a whole slew of tapes went out, PTL!
       Another time we got a referral to go to the National Bank, a mega-ponderous building in the government sector. Due to the magnitude of the building we felt a bit like David with Goliath. So we walked in trying to look authoritative (ha!) and at the same time trying to be careful. We were asking for a specific man when someone approached us and said, "What are you doing here? Who do you want to see?" Mercy explained what we do and as soon as she mentioned tapes, he said, "Oh, I want to see the tapes." It was right in the front of the inside of the building so I was trying to discreetly hand him a few tapes. He went into all of the top accountants' offices while we were standing behind this huge counter, and suddenly people from their offices began coming up to us putting the earphones on and listening to the tapes. And they nearly emptied our bags!
       Then all of a sudden we heard over the loudspeaker, "The Lord is my Shepherd ..." and when we "came to" (ha!) we realized that Fear Not was playing! It was like that everywhere--hospitals, banks, it didn't make any difference where--everywhere, they stopped everything and put the tape on. It was quite neat!

Always on stage
       Shelly: We learned a lot about our sample and standard, because we're used to thinking that we're never going to see the people we meet again, or at least not immediately. But it was so different there because we ran into the same people all the time. On one street everyone knew us and as we walked by, people would say, "Oh hi, how's the Family?" Some people we would meet one day and the next day see them in another office and they'd say, "Hi, how are you! I really liked the tape. Can I have another one?" We were constantly running into people who we had met previously, so it was almost scary to realize, "I'd better be a good sample."
       Sometimes we'd come to a place to see someone we'd never met and they'd say, "Oh, I saw you the other day." We met one man in an optical shop who told us his parents had just arrived from Jakarta 3 days ago. We said, "Really, so did we." And they walked in and said, "We saw you, on such-and-such a plane and flight." So it was convicting for me to be a good sample, as I found that there were people watching us all the time. Sometimes we'd walk into places and people would already know who we were and would say, "Oh, here come the 'tape people!' Can I have one?"
       Mercy: It's such a small place so you're on stage all the time. It was so nice to be so open about praying and testifying and living our faith, since the people there are mostly Christian and respected us so much. Sometimes people with certain uniforms intimidate me a little bit. But here they all have their personal faith and are so happy to meet people who are also professing their faith.
       Shelly: When they eat, they stop, close their eyes, bow their heads and pray, so it was important that we didn't forget to pray before eating, especially since sometimes they knew we were getting our food for free, and expected to see us pray for it. It was so sweet that even if the managers were Buddhist or some other faith, they admired us for our conviction to pray, as well as from finding that we live to help others.

"I've got to start witnessing!"
       Michael: One time, Shelly and I met a man named Rico in a travel agency. He said, "I really want to serve the Lord! I had a vision that I need to do something for the Lord. Every year I meet about 600 people, so I've just got to start witnessing, but I don't know how." We taught him some of the basics of how to witness. The next day he came back so bubbly, saying, "I won my first soul!" He met a young German girl who didn't believe in God, so he took it as a challenge, and finally the girl prayed and received Jesus.
       Shelly: He was ecstatic, telling us all about it in the finest detail, GBH. We gave him the Living Waters on Salvation, and went back the next day with the Salvation tract, checking with him on how the souls were going, ha! He was thrilled that there were people who had made it their life's calling to win souls. We met many people who said it was so reassuring to hear that there are people giving their lives to witness and win souls.
       Michael: This trip was a fulfillment of the prophecy the Home received for us before we went. The Lord said, "Give and give and give, and it shall be given unto you." The Lord gave us even the minutest desires of our hearts, as we were faithful to witness. One night we were late in meeting up with the other team and knew there was no way we'd get there in time if we were to go on public transportation, so we stuck our thumbs out and boom! A car stopped and it was someone who had met us while we were in a shop selling videos to another guy, and had bought tapes himself. He reminded us where we met, and we marveled at how the Lord had engineered everything!
       While we were talking I told him there was just one thing I hadn't tried yet, a traditional drink from Manado. So this guy said, "I know a place," and stopped his car and got us some "sager," this traditional drink.

Soaring stats
       After being back only six days, we have already received eight responses in the mail! Here are the stats from our thrilling four-week trip to Manado:
       * 130 Souls
       * 104 videos
       * 40 CDs
       * 1015 Tapes
       * 2400 Posters
       All this [DELETED] in a city of merely 350,000 of the 200 million people in the lovely islands of Indonesia! So please come join us in this tropical paradise of receptive people, or help support our work here with your prayers and gifts!
       We love you!
       Your Indonesian Service Home Family

From Byron and Mercy

The facts of life
       Imagine the following scenario: You're a couple with 8 kids, living by yourselves in your home country where the GP is saturated with the Gospel and the sheep hard to find. You're basically just existing to teach and train your children [DELETED] . Then things like The Charter, "Find Fertile Fields," etc., arrive, and you start to wonder what to do. "Where are we going to go? Who will want to team up with us? How can we once again go pioneering with so many children? How will we support ourselves?" If this sounds familiar to you, the similarity is intentional.--Ha!

Without a vision, the people perish
       As we were seeking the Lord about what to do, we happened to read an article in Newsweek about Lithuania, a former Soviet Republic which gained its independence in 1990. Along with Latvia and Estonia, these three countries form the Baltic States, and they are the only former Soviet Republics that are not members of the "Commonwealth of Independent States." Having just read some counsel from Mama about hearing from the Lord before making any move into new and unknown territory, we prayed and received direction from the Lord that it was His will for us to go there, and that where He was guiding, He would also provide.
       We got all excited about going there on a SWIFT trip, to check out the possibilities! The Lord miraculously supplied a van to pull our caravan and house our family of 10. We stayed in Lithuania for two months and fell in love with the sweet and humble people we found, so open and receptive to the Gospel! That was the summer of '95.

The preparations
       After returning to our home country, we decided to go back to Lithuania the following year to start a work there, using the winter months in Western Europe to raise funds, find supporters, provision needs and look for others to work with. We put a Want Ad in our local bulletin, and within the next few months, Abner and Lily and their daughters, YA Esther and teens Ruth and Marie, joined our Home. During that time, the Lord supplied 40 boxes of nice clothes, which we shipped to a needy orphanage in our pioneer field, a tent and another caravan to travel with and house our growing Home.
       So at the onset of the summer we stepped out by faith, not really knowing what was ahead of us, and left our home country.--Destination: Lithuania!

Who said it was gonna be a bed of roses?
       After camping for almost three months, doing all the house hunting we could, and looking into possibilities to extend our visas, nothing had come through yet. The battle was raging, time was running out, and the summer was coming to a close. Three other teens, Nathanael, Michael T., Sam Apostle, and the one and only Lithuanian national, Francesco, were waiting to join our team (the teen girls were feeling lonely, ha!), and we didn't know what to do. We were wondering: "How are we going to house all these people? It's getting colder, and living in tents can be pretty tough in cold and rainy weather. Should we pack up and return to our home country, telling the incoming teens to stay in their former Homes?"
       We got together and asked the Lord to speak, and He told us to walk by faith and believe.--He had done so many miracles already to supply all our needs, and He wasn't going to fail us now! He said that we should proceed as though possessing, both the house and the visas! Without prayer and the emphasis on hearing from the Lord through prophecy in the recent mags, we don't think we would have had the faith to go ahead just taking the Lord at His Word and standing on His promises. It was an exciting time to get back to the basics of living by faith and just believing the Lord for what He had said.

Burning the bridges ... the final test
       Just at that time Byron's father passed away, and Byron had to return to his home country to take care of some legal papers, and pick up our belongings and the winter clothes for our team. Bringing our stuff to Lithuania was like burning our bridges and believing that the Lord would make it possible for us to stay here, because there wouldn't have been enough room in our cars and caravans for our whole team and all our belongings if we had to leave Lithuania.
       We still didn't have a house or extended visas. Again, all we had were His precious Words to hang on to--the promises that He had given us through prophecy to help us pass this final test.

Sweet answers to prayer!
       Upon Byron's return, the Lord provided a house, and worked it out so we could extend our visas for one year, free of charge. Just as the Lord had promised, He stayed true to His Word and didn't let us down! We now have a fruitful work taking care of the MM members; teaching and training the catacombers and a precious national new disciple, Francesco; working on an ongoing CTP project to help under-privileged people, and supplying humanitarian aid to orphanages and needy hospitals!
       We want to say a heartfelt thank-you to the Lord and dear Mama and Peter for the Charter and all the recent new Letters, for it was only through the Word that we had the faith to step out and put the Lord to the test. The Word set us free to follow the Lord according to our own faith, and the Lord never failed us! Thank the Lord!

From Sam and Samaria
       (Account of a pioneer road trip to the United Arab Emirates [EDITED: "UAE"] and surrounding areas.)

Heavenly Christmas scouts doing a good job!
       Over the years we have visited the UAE many times.We have many precious friends there. It had been over a year since we had last visited, and this time we were amazed at how many people either had had a feeling that we were coming soon, had dreams about us coming, or were thinking about us when we arrived. It was just like Dad said about the Christmas scouts (see ML #3076:16) who prepare the people's heart to receive us before we see them. It was neat when we read Grandpa's message and saw the fulfillment right there. It's so true!

Scout "setup"
       There was a former member that we had wanted to see while in the UAE, but he had moved since our last visit, and we didn't know how to reach him. He had said he might be going back to India, so we weren't even sure if he would still be there. But, lo and behold, while we were at our friend's supermarket shopping (our friend helps us with around $150 of groceries every month), I looked up and saw him leaving the store. I ran after him and he was shocked how the Lord had arranged for us to meet together again!
       It turned out that this young man was a great help to us while there this time, transporting us and helping us with our provisioned goods, etc.

Another chance encounter results in God's supply
       We met this next man on the elevator while going up to try to see someone else in the building. We got off the elevator and started heading to an office, which happened to be the wrong office, but it was the office of the man we had just met. He invited us in and we were able to explain about our work. At first he said he didn't help charities, but he then asked for a fax and time to think about it. So we faxed him regarding some of our electronic needs (for the Homes in our country), like VCRs, rice cookers, irons, etc.
       He didn't answer back, and when we were almost at the end of the trip, we tried to contact him again. He was sick in the hospital and it was quite a struggle to get through to him. The funny thing was that, while in the hospital, he was flipping through magazines and his eyes fell upon just the model of rice cookers that we had asked for. It was the Lord's way of reminding him to help us! We finally did get in touch with him, and on the day before we were leaving he invited us out to lunch and then opened the trunk of his car to show us that he had bought us two rice cookers and a VCR. God bless him!

A testimony of Jesus' help in time of trouble
       We've known Mr. G., a Hindu, for quite a while. When we met him last year, he was thrilled to meet us, and promised us a computer. He had just started his business and was getting set up then. He said he had been through a big crisis in his life, as his business partner had left with all the money, and his business was falling to pieces.
       One night he prayed and asked Jesus to help him. The next day, he had to either pay or go to jail. Unexpectedly, a friend flew to the UAE and offered him some money to join up in a partnership with him. He was able to pay his rent and clear all his debts, and his business has been picking up since them. He was thrilled with what Jesus had done because he had asked Him. After he told us about all this, we asked if he wanted to pray and ask Jesus into his heart, which he did.
       When we went back to see him this year, he was thrilled to see us. He said, "I used to have heart palpitations and I couldn't sleep at all during the night. After you came to my office and prayed with me and I asked Jesus to come into my heart, I've slept like a baby since! My heart palpitations have stopped and I don't feel sick anymore. I don't worry about things anymore, I just feel relaxed and go right to sleep!"
       He asked us for a picture of Jesus so he could put it up on his wall. So we got him a beautiful picture of Jesus carrying a little lamb and gave it to him, along with a Daily Might. We had asked him for a computer motherboard, and he gave us not only that but a donation also. He said that when we come next time he'll give us a full computer setup. He's really thankful for what the Lord's done in his life.

The testimony of the suitcases
       There was a sweet Iranian man whom we had met years before and who had helped with shoulder bags. Last year, we ran into him "by chance," and he was very happy to see us and gave us a ride. It took us a while to remember who he was, since we hadn't had regular contact with him. But after he dropped us off, we realized that we didn't know where he lived or worked so we could follow up on him.
       As we were walking in the main market area on this recent trip, we turned into an alleyway and suddenly found ourselves in front of the shop that this Iranian man owned. We didn't have much time, but we decided just to go see him and say hi. We walked in and he was thrilled to see us! We didn't know we had made such an impression on him! After we had talked a while, he asked, "What can I do for you this time? Do you need anything?" He ended up giving us 15 good quality hard-shell suitcases, a handbag and four baby bags. These people &&&really give from their heart. God bless them!

Video customers become close friends
       People all of a sudden became solid friends. Some who we had known as video customers became very close and helped us out a lot. One example is a man who is a top designer. He's the jet-setter type, taking care of top models and designers in UAE. He helped us a little in the past but we had never had a chance to get deep with him, because he always had a lot of commotion in and around his office.
       This time we asked the Lord to help us get through to him. At our first meeting we gave him two videos for his kids . The next time we went to see him, he said that his kids just loved the videos. He then took us aside into a quiet room and we were able to talk to him for two hours. He completely lost track of the time! The office had already closed down but he wanted more, so we kept on witnessing. At the end of the trip he also helped us with about $750. PTL!

From Peter and Hannah

       What are the prospects for a large family in France to go to one of the poorest countries of Central Europe, if they don't have enough support to stay there?--Go find a camper and go for the summer. And what if summer is almost gone because you are not ready? Go for the fall, and God may even take care of the weather. Such is our story.
       We are French Peter and Hannah with our five younger kids--Jeanne (14), Faithy (10), Michel (6), Cecilia (3), and Emmanuel (2). Though we had the desire of going to Romania for a long time, the Lord only started to move for us after we made it our top priority, in June of last year. He then did so many miracles that we owe Him this testimony out of our thankfulness, even though it is not so easy to explain them all in a few words.

Looking for a vehicle
       At the time we had no vehicle and very little money set aside for it--only about one tenth of what seemed necessary to buy the cheapest vehicle we had found that could suit our purpose. After searching for one month, we found an ad that seemed a little different, the chassis of a Mercedes pick-up on which someone had arranged a caravan. It was quite far away and on top of that, the caravan was in one place and the pickup truck in another place, 100 km. further. We were desperate enough to decide to go and visit. The caravan seemed big enough and fit our need, so afterwards we went on to see the vehicle, which seemed to be in very good shape and running condition. The ad had been in the newspaper for three weeks but we were the first ones to be desperate enough to travel so many kilometers and visit both parts. Actually, as soon as we showed ourselves interested, the owner got calls from many people who offered even more money for it. But he had promised to reserve it for us and kept his word.
       Before buying this camper, we had the idea to check if we could insure it properly. Our hearts sank when we were told it was only registered as a pickup truck and not as a camping car. We knew that to get it registered as a camping car meant it'd have to pass through all kinds of tight regulations and tests--almost an impossibility in this area of France where they are known for being very strict.
       This was a big trial for us, as it was already mid-July and we had no other vehicle in view. We were tempted to overlook the problem with the insurance like the previous owner had done, but we knew it was not according to the Charter and would be displeasing the Lord. He told us: "Now that I have put this camper into your hands, you don't want to give it back to Me!--Like a toy that you give to a child, and then he doesn't want to give it back to Daddy, even for some instant repair on it because he is so fearful to lose it. Continue to look up to Me and not to the thing that I give. This is a test of your yieldedness to Me: Are you willing to let it go if it is not My will?"
       We chose to trust the Lord, and told Him that if He wanted us to go as missionaries, He had to give us a vehicle soon enough, and if it was this vehicle, He had to make it possible to pass the tests. We went ahead with the initial test before committing to buy the vehicle. The answer from the office in Paris finally came--and it was positive! The owner even lowered the price a little bit, and by this time we had just enough funds to pay for it. So the Lord was beautifully confirming that where He guides, He provides.

Preparing the vehicle
       Afterward we had to go to the registration office to find out which changes or improvements had to be made in order to pass inspection. This was the beginning of a long process which took us almost one month of preparations. Many times we felt a bit weary or worried, and we had to come before the Lord to face our fears that it was never going to happen. He always reassured us that through all of this He was teaching us to come to Him. He said that if we "have faith, you will travel," and that what He had started, He was going to complete. The Lord helped us to surmount each hurdle, and at an absolute minimum of expense. Provisioning at all levels had been our main witnessing at this time, through which the Lord led us to very friendly people whom we have followed up on, and some of whom we believe will become supporters.

Disappointments, His appointment
       When at last we were ready with the vehicle, we had a big disappointment, as the office told us that they could not give us an appointment before the end of August. The summer was gone! At the time we were unable to see the blessing in disguise, though it is exactly what it came to be. The Lord showed us we could use this delay to build a puppet show, which would be a very nice way for our older girls to witness, as well as an opening for CTP ministries. Though it seemed a little crazy, we went for it and what had seemed at first a very difficult project flowed wonderfully.
       We provisioned everything we needed and it was soon built. Also, thanks to this delay, we were able before our departure to receive our CLE course and another course in French. This enabled us to have school on the road without having to be under the pressure of having to come back as fast as possible to begin the school year. At last the great day came to pass inspection. Everything went okay! PTL!

Gathering support
       We had been expecting some back payment from the government (children's benefits), which would have given us some funds for the trip, but it didn't work out. This also happened to be a blessing in disguise, as we were forced to follow up on some people we had met previously. A Catholic priest even let Peter give a testimony in his church in place of his sermon, and gave us all the money from his collection and probably more of his own. We even contacted some people we had only met once, for just a short time. It was tough on our pride, but we were surprised to see that many answered our call and helped. Like the Lord showed us, even though it cost us more in effort and time, He didn't want us to make it without their help, because He wanted to bless them in the process, and for us to be a blessing for them.

Our trip
       At last, on the 10th of September, we left. It was a cold, windy and rainy week. The Lord had done so many miracles that it was easy to resist the temptation to be scared. We knew by this time that He was going to arrange everything for us, especially the weather--which He didn't take too long to do. I guess we had been so busy preparing and had so much to attend to, that we had no time to worry about the actual trip, ha!
       We traveled slowly to reach Romania, as we wanted to let the children enjoy the trip, let them see things, and learn as we went. There is so much to learn when you travel, like calculating your consumption of gas, kilometers and speeds, time calculations, different currencies, geography and maps, rudiments of languages, etc. We were also learning how to travel in a camping car and about our general organization, the need to follow and obey little instructions, etc.
       One week after our departure, we were at the border, loaded with tools from the PPC--our tools plus the tools for two Homes in Romania. We were praying everything would go okay. They especially seemed to check on the foreigners. The customs officer, an older lady, asked us if we had anything to declare, "like weapons," she said. When she saw our genuine and amused surprise at her question, and caught sight of the cute little faces peeking out, she just waved us through, with a big smile.

The Lord's protection
       It was too late to even travel to the closest Home that evening, as it is not advisable to drive after dark, due to the state of the Romanian roads. So we drove to the closest city and looked for the parking lot of the best hotel in town, which we figured would be well lit and guarded. (On the subject of safety, we actually did this during our trip each time we were in a city where there was no Home. The Lord did the rest and beautifully protected us.) Needless to say, we noticed a better quality of prayer and desperation than usual in our united prayers for the night! If we happened to forget to pray specifically for protection, one of the kids would always remind us. We had only one incident, in Oradea, where Peter got robbed of his wallet while shopping. TG we only lost 100 DMs. This was a good lesson on not keeping a wallet in the outside pocket of our jacket, but in the inside and closer to the body. We also realized that we were starting to take our protection for granted, and we began keeping our guard up more. We also kept a very close eye on the kids while out postering.

       When traveling to a city where there was a Home, we first contacted them and they told us where we could poster, etc. It was a wonderful experience for the kids to poster in Romania. After his first time in Timisoara, our 6-year-old Michel exclaimed: "Everybody is so sweet and taking the posters here!" We had some exciting times postering which we will always remember. Once in Cluj, we saw crowds of people going to the cemetery. It was November 1st, when everyone is bringing flowers or lighting candles on the tombs of their departed loved ones. We felt the Lord's compassion for all these people and got inspired to immediately go and give them some comforting posters like, "Come" and "Your Best Friend," which have a beautiful picture of our loving Jesus on it. (That is an advantage of a camping car, we always had all our tools with us). It is hard to express just how receptive the people were to the posters, and touched by the kids, their hearts being already softened and sobered by the thought of their loved ones.

Our first puppet shows
       In one city, the local Home asked us if we would consider staying over the weekend to be part of their weekly visit to a center for delinquents. We got excited with the idea, and Jeanne and Faithy worked on their dialogues and play for the puppet show, and got ready to take the plunge. When we arrived at the center, it was 11 a.m., and the children had not had their breakfast yet. The lady in charge asked our brethren if they could pick it up for them from the City Hall. There was a real spirit of fear in the center--a 7-year-old girl was being mistreated by a caretaker, a touchy situation that our Family there successfully helped to sort out. It was quite an experience, which made us appreciate the CTP efforts of the Family in Romania. Our two daughters, though a bit taken back by the situation, did very well with their puppet show. Then a national sister led the 20 kids (from ages 7 to 16) to pray, which they did with all their heart.
       We were able to perform the puppet show many other times afterwards. In Timisoara we performed at an orphanage, a daycare center for mentally handicapped, and even for 150 children in a kindergarten--centers that were part of the CTP ministries of the Homes. Catacomber Angela translated the dialogue in a very lively way and led all the children to the Lord.

Following the Lord wherever He led
       Ready to go, ready to stay ... that's the way the Lord kept us, as often we didn't know what to do. We noticed that we had the tendency to want to go too fast and leave a place too soon, when the Lord often had something else for us there. Once, for example, we intended to stop for a couple of hours while traveling between two cities, so the children could run and play a little bit while we prepared the meal. As we parked in a field, the owner of a house nearby opened the gate of his garden and insisted that we come in. He proceeded to offer us some grapes from his vine. (Funny thing, our little Emmanuel, 2 years old, had been praying for grapes on that same morning, but we had no idea how the Lord would answer that one, as we didn't have the faith to eat the grapes in the marketplaces!)
       In the afternoon, we were going to thank our host and leave, but his wife had planned to invite us for tea. After that it was dark and too late to leave. We spent the evening together with them and their boys, explaining what we were doing. They liked the children very much, and our posters, especially on the Endtime. They told us they were Seventh-day Adventists and insisted that we come to church with them the following day. We spent the next day fellowshipping with the entire community, young and old, meeting the pastor, etc. Well, we ended up spending four days there, not knowing exactly what we were doing and more or less trying to leave.--But each time we asked the Lord, He told us to be patient. We felt that perhaps He was building bridges of fellowship for the Endtime. They really liked our "Lion, Dragon and Beast" poster, and asked for many copies of it to pass out. Their youth flipped out over the music tapes that we had in the local language, like New Worlds.

Fellowship with the Homes
       We really appreciated being able to meet with the Family in the cities we went to that had Homes. They sometimes prepared meals for us or offered to take care of the kids to give us a break, and allow us to take some Word and Rest time. We were even invited to watch the Summit videos in one of the Homes while they took turns with the kids, GBT. It really touched our hearts--not to mention the extreme blessing of the laundry and showers when we travel like this, or to be able to plug in to the electricity, which allowed us to use our electric heater when necessary. We admire our Family there for the sacrifices they are willing to make in order to stay in their field, like sometimes having to be separated from their mate to be able to raise support in Western Europe. We also really love the precious nationals!

5000 kilometers of miracles
       The Lord took good care of us. One time, for example, we traveled for 200 kms without being able to find a gas station that had diesel fuel. We even tried to buy some from the tractors that passed by, but nobody wanted to sell, even for a good price. The inevitable finally happened: We ran out of gas. Thank God it was in a village, in front of a little bar. As I asked the boss where I could find some gas, he told me to just sit down and to wait a little bit, while he was enjoying the end of his drink. Then he calmly proceeded to go to an old truck he had in the back yard and pumped 10 liters of gas out of its tank. He didn't even want to be paid, and just asked that we send him a postcard of the Eiffel Tower, once we got home, for his 14-year-old daughter, ha!--When the whole day we had been trying to look for diesel!
       Another time, as I was unwisely maneuvering to park on the side of the road, near a field, one of the wheels of the camping car slipped into a muddy hole and would not come out. While we were praying and considering what to do about it, the Lord sent along a tractor whose driver offered to help before we could even ask him. PTL! It is also a testimony to the Romanian people's kindness to foreigners.
       We had just enough funds for our trip, a miracle in itself. Another of many miracles is that the Lord gave us mild weather. The day we left from Oradea, on November 12th, we took a picture of Michel without his shirt on as he said he was too hot. I grant you that he is a hot-blooded little guy, but it was truly a warm, sunny day. Two days later, as if to make us appreciate our blessings, we were caught in what we could almost call a snowstorm, on the highway! There was enough snow for the children to build a big snowman in one of the highway rest stops in Germany. PTL!
       During those two months, we enjoyed the freedom of being mobile and following the Lord wherever we felt He wanted us to go. It was fun traveling with the kids, and getting close to them in such a tiny space. We experienced the truth of this quote: "When we hear from Him and then do what He says, when it works and is fruitful, we easily and clearly see His hand in our lives, and the result is that we praise Him" (ML #3102, GN721). We pray this testimony can be an encouragement to you.

From Juan, Maria, Cefas and Rebeca, Mexico

       (Testimony by Maria.) We were invited by a Christian group to help with some events for poor children in Nicaragua. These people have a special burden for poor children and try to give them the message with a setup like a circus with a clown show, songs, etc. We participate with a puppet show and a show team, and they really love working with us.
       When we heard the idea of going to Nicaragua we were thrilled! We got together to pray and hear from the Lord, and we got very encouraging Words and a clear lead on what the Lord was going to do. The following are some excerpts: "Take the seeds and fill up your bags! Sow it on the pathways, saturate these towns with My seed. My Words will not return void. [DELETED] I bring My pearls over these lands, these people. They are seeking Me, they call to Me, they love Me and they need Me! ... I'm going to lead you to places where the hunger for the Word is the biggest need of all!"
       Our first idea was to send the show troupe and the puppet team, a total of 15 people, but the Lord closed the doors for the show troupe's legal papers, so the final team was only four of us, a little Gideon's band. We only had a little car, and our mechanic joked that the only way it would make it to Nicaragua with us was if we were to take a picture of it, ha! At the start of the trip we had no money and only a quarter-tank of gasoline, but we had a lot of faith and believed the Lord was going to do it.
       It took us three days to arrive in Guatemala, and the Lord put beautiful people in our path who were willing to help us with gasoline, food, hotels and donations. When we arrived at the border, we asked the Lord how He wanted us to act, and He showed us to be very open and witness to everybody. We had 15,000 tracts with us, and they proved to be the key for the whole trip. We distributed them to everybody--immigration officials, beggars, police, etc. It was amazing to see their reactions and the change on their faces as they read the title "To You, With Love!"
       When I (Maria) went to get my visa for Guatemala, the lady at Immigration said that I needed to pay a big fine for not having an exit stamp from my last visit. I started to witness to her and she softened a little bit. Then I gave her a poster and that was the key. She smiled real big, and with shining eyes said, "Don't worry about it, I'll fix it right now for you!" She didn't make us pay any taxes! From then on we provisioned the car's taxes at almost all the borders. TTL! They also respected the fact that we're missionaries and that the purpose of our trip was to do something for the poor children.
       The first thing we found at the border was a bunch of people, most of them children, who came running to us thinking that we were tourists, and asking to do something for us so we would give them some money. We talked and prayed with many of the children, some of them younger than 8 years old, who were living alone and surviving on the streets. At Nicaraguan immigration, we waited for a long time while trying to provision the taxes. So we who were waiting outside decided to get out the puppets and do some Bible stories for the children and pray with all of them; they had never seen a "moving dolly" before, so that was a special treat that even the nearby adults enjoyed.
       Our stay in Guatemala was very inspiring. There is a Family Home there, and we also were able to meet some of the former members who are a big help to the Home. It was inspiring to meet Paul, a new disciple who's on fire and already has a little flock of young people to whom he gives regular classes. One of them is ready to join soon. It looks like the youth in Guatemala are ready for something different than the churches, and the brethren there are desperate for laborers. Paul sent us a special request and plea for young people that are willing to help him reach the youth there!
       We put on some performances in orphanages, which the kids from the Home were able to participate in as well. We also visited churches and did some personal witnessing to the street kids. Most of them were high on drugs--some of them were only 12 years old! Faced with the reality of the world and seeing the big need that there is in the world for love and for the Lord, made us question if we are doing the best we can to reach others and help them. Our problems seemed so small in comparison. It's true what Mama said in the "Problems and Solutions" GNs, that one of the solutions for our internal problems is to get out and see and feel the need.
       One night out witnessing we met Armando, a transvestite who had gotten saved a week ago. He was totally changed and wanted to witness too. This was his first witnessing night. He told us afterwards that he felt a little bit awkward because all his old friends were there, but when he started witnessing, right away the Lord gave him a sheep who wanted to pray, so we helped him and showed him how to do it.
       El Salvador is another country where we witnessed. It is a very small country recuperating from guerrilla warfare, a little bit dangerous at night, because there are a lot of bandas armadas (armed bands). But the people were very friendly and it was easy to get out tapes. There were some contacts in the Congress to visit also, and we were able to have an appointment with one of them and we had a very sweet time.
       We didn't stop in Honduras since we needed to get to Nicaragua soon, but there we did witness the protection of the Lord and the promise that He would give His angels charge over us. We were near the Nicaraguan border at 7 p.m., and it was dark already. As we drove, it started raining, and when the driver pressed the brakes the car lost control and we flew off the road into the bushes. We didn't know what to expect after the bushes. In a matter of seconds all kinds of thoughts and prayers went through our minds, when suddenly we ran into a dirt path and we were able to stop the car! A few meters beyond, there was a very deep river, and it was just a miracle that we were alive and the car was intact with the engine still running! We were able to find a hotel to rest and take time to pray about it. TTL! We were very sobered, realizing the big fight that is going on in the spirit. This incident changed our attitude for the rest of the trip. We made sure we prayed over everything! We changed drivers often so they didn't get too tired, and made sure we obeyed the little checks, listening to each other more. We were very thankful for another day of life in service to Him!
       Our entrance into Nicaragua was not easy, since the roads are in very bad shape and poorly marked, but we finally arrived in Managua safely and had a beautiful greeting from the other Christian brethren. The next morning we had a testimony-sharing time, and they were impressed with our trip, how the Lord supplied all our needs. That afternoon we had the big event in the football stadium. A lot of people knew about it because the TV had been announcing it for the last two weeks, so it was packed with at least 8,000 people. The event was aired on the news the next day and many people commented they had seen it on TV. It was organized by six different churches and associations, and it was the first one of its kind in Managua. The vision for this was something symbolic of Christmas for all these poor people; we did the show, we prayed with them and gave them dinner and some toys.
       These kids are used to fighting to survive so they are quite violent, and managing such a quantity of people was a complete miracle. Some of them were getting a little bit out of hand, with only three policemen who were afraid to face any problems. So we were the ones left to get in there and keep things under control (later on we found out that this was quite a dangerous thing to do, since a lot of them carry knives and are on drugs).
       Our time working with the other Christians was very sweet; they are open-minded and admire our conviction and dedication. When we left Nicaragua, the pastor said, "I never saw Christians like you who come all the way here just because of your love for the people. Usually Christians that come to do events, if they come from so far away, they always ask us how much we are going to pay them." They were a big help--giving us donations, helping us to fix the car and taking care of us for all the days we were together. We saw they really love the Lord and it was sweet to hear their testimonies of how the Lord brought them to His service. But we saw how far away they are from putting the Word into practice and giving it first place in their daily lives. For us it's our life, and we're used to having the Word first thing in the morning, getting together to pray, and that's where our unity comes from. On the other hand, for them, the only time they got together in prayer was when they had the service. The only reference they have to solve all their problems is the Bible, and in some situations they don't know what to do, as one of the pastors told us.
       After working with these Christians, we realized how much potential we have in the Family: Each one, young and old, is being trained to be a leader. Maybe some people go through battles feeling that the Lord can't use them because they don't have a place of leadership inside the Family, but the truth is that each one, young and old, can be a leader of hundreds of lost sheep outside. The world is in need of people willing to do something! The need is there; we just need to be willing to fill that need and be the ones to sacrifice and go! We saw so many young people in need of help!
       We love you! Central America is waiting for you! Do you want to come to help?

From Jonathan

       Three of us: Mark (of Mary), Sunny (of Jonny), and myself (Jonathan) had the privilege of going on a 2½ week road team into China from our Home in Taiwan. God bless our sweet mates and children who "stayed by the stuff" in Taiwan. They sacrificed a great deal to hold the fort as well as raise the rent and yearly auto insurance bills in our absence! --Real saints, God bless them! We traveled extensively, visiting many cities. We also were blessed to be able to visit some of the brethren there. It was an inspiring and touching time for each of us. Every aspect of the trip was special and enlightening.
       Before we went, I had some preconceived ideas and mental pictures of what China would be like. I'd heard of the new economic reforms and about how China was changing, but I still pictured a pretty backward country, mixed with the oppressiveness of communism and a "Big Brother is watching you!" spirit (like we'd experienced in pre-glasnost Eastern Europe in 1979 and '80). What I found instead was a rapidly developing country, very little feeling or evidence of oppressive government "control" or people being "watched," and millions of friendly and sweet people!
       To qualify this, we mainly visited cities that have been designated SEZs (Special Economic Zones) for as many as the last 15 years. A SEZ is an area which has been "opened" by the Central Government to foreign commerce and investment. Chinese businessmen have opened private companies. Overseas companies and businessmen have been allowed to build factories and open businesses, build department stores and apartment complexes, etc. Since labor and materials are cheap, the margin of profit is great, and this has attracted a lot of investment from overseas. American, European, South American, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, etc., businesses have poured money and technology into China (in these SEZs) and there is still lots of building going on. Whole city blocks of older buildings are being pulled down and new high-rise skyscrapers are going up in their place--hundreds of them in nearly every city in the new SEZs.
       Along with the influx of capital, foreign businessmen and businesses from overseas, there has come a relaxing of some of the restrictions that used to keep the foreigners and Chinese as separate as possible. Now it seems everyone freely mingles and socializes, and there don't seem to be many, if any, "restricted areas" for foreigners. Not only does everyone mingle, but you can actually "feel" the vacuum in many, many Chinese to get to know more about the West, to get to know the foreigners--they are genuinely friendly and want to have communication. (Note: This is true in the southeastern areas of China. We understand in the northeast and more to the west, that some cities and areas still have some of these old restrictions in place.)

More on China and her sheepy peoples
       If you're considering coming to China, please know it's important--really essential--to have a vision to learn Mandarin. Speaking from personal experience, in many countries we haven't been so faithful to learn the local language, as many spoke English. In China you'll experience frustration at not being able to communicate well, until you pick up some of the language. I had a phrase book, but wasn't able to find what I wanted fast enough to fill the need. From the point of view of the brethren already here, each team coming in should make language study a priority. You can either go to school (maybe the best option for the first months) or get a private tutor who has good pronunciation (a native of Beijing is best!). There are many willing to teach for a reasonable fee.
       A testimony along these lines: I felt frustrated, as I wasn't able to communicate well. My attempts seemed to fall short and I got discouraged. When I stopped and prayed and asked the Lord to help me, He opened my eyes in the spirit to all the people around me. In a moment they changed from being so "alien" and difficult to get through to, to being sheepy, humble, receptive and just waiting for me to do my part and learn to communicate with them. From that point on, I continually felt like I was surrounded by thousands of sheep every minute of the day. That feeling hasn't left me to this day. My heart's been "won" and I know we need to fulfill God's will and go back and care for this multitude of hungry, lost, sweet and uncomplicated sheep! TYJ! (Got the vision?)

Another advantage in coming to China
       China is still very much in the "developing" stages. It hasn't "arrived" materially, although it's quickly becoming quite modern. The people are still very unassuming, sweet and respectful, and the youth are the same. The younger generation studies hard, applies themselves, and doesn't waste a lot of time frivolously. There doesn't seem to be the "heavy spirits" of worldliness, over-accentuated materialism and negative peer pressure that are so prevalent and even dominant in the States and other places. For us it feels so refreshing and inspiring to be in a field where the sheep are multitudinous, the distractions minimal, and the Lord's blessings bountiful!

Teaching opportunities
       As far as opportunities for longer visas and even possibilities to raise partial support while in the country, there are 300 million Chinese studying English right now--and only a couple of thousand foreign teachers. In every city we visited, in nearly every university and school, there was a need for foreign teachers to teach English and even other languages. Most schools aren't strict about your credentials.--You don't need a college degree to teach most places. Also, many if not all cities now have many private "kindergartens" (ages 3 to 8 or so) for the newly wealthy families' one child, and they are bilingual, teaching the children both in Chinese and English. Nearly all of these can offer qualified foreigners a free apartment (small two- or three-bedroom) and small (modest) salary to teach a specified number of hours a week in their school(s). It would be enough for a single and perhaps even a couple to live on, if they were frugal. (Families would need some extra support.) There are other private English teaching opportunities: professionals, businessmen, companies wanting their employees to learn English, etc. And many are willing to pay fairly well for it.
       We met a 70-year-old American woman who "heard the call of the Lord" and came to China three years ago "by faith," praying and following the Lord, step-by-step. She told us how she was led by the Lord to come, how she didn't have any contacts in the country when she arrived, no sponsoring church or donors. But she just prayed, and the Lord led her to a school where she walked in, offered her services teaching English, and was hired on the spot. She's been teaching there ever since. All the kids knew her and waved and smiled at her as they walked by. She works four mornings a week, and has the rest of her time "free." She ministers to the kids, neighbors, friends, businessmen, etc.--a little saint. GBH! I marveled, as I know we have at least ten times the experience and training of this woman, yet here she was "in faith," following the Lord and feeding His sheep, while I'd been hesitating to come and "cross that frozen river," wondering if we could make it. Ha!

Underground church
       There's a very strong catacomb church in China called the Home Church. At the time of the Cultural Revolution , there were an estimated 1-2 million Christians in China. Now, estimates range as high as 50 million or more. And they're strong believers, as it costs something to be a Christian, here. It's not easy believe-ism or "bargain counter religion" as it can be in other countries. It can cost someone their job and even their freedom if they are discovered. These dedicated Christians--young believers, so to speak--lack teaching and doctrine and they say they want "teachers"--older, more experienced Christians to help them learn more about the Bible and how it all fits together, including prophecy. They don't want to become "Western" or part of some denomination. The whole Home Church in China goes to great lengths to not be denominational and to keep the "unity." GBT.

China is still communist and "sensitive"
       One word of caution or advice, if you will: China is a "sensitive" country under our Love Charter. Family members already living inside China help to set the ground rules. It's a unique situation, as more than ever what affects one, affects all. All ideas (especially far-out, spur-of-the-moment ones) need to be prayed and counseled through before being enacted. Right now there is no "open" witnessing--no postering or DTD. The Family is not a registered organization in China. So it's discreet, one-on-one personal witnessing for the most part. It takes time to get to know the Chinese people and for them to know and trust you, especially the older generation, who have been through so much in their lives. (Reading books on the history of China really helps!)
       Also, the government is still communist, totalitarian, and in spirit and reality strongly against Christianity. Consequently, it's very sensitive. One unprayerful action can potentially cause big problems. Hence, parameters are defined and those in China need to work in great unity and cooperation. It can seem very open and in many ways it is, but the Lord has said that it's very dark behind the walls, and that there's only a "crack" in it right now. Eventually it will crumble, but it hasn't yet, and if someone pokes or upsets the "sleeping giant," it may be felt everywhere and could potentially affect the whole work.
       It's an exciting place to be right now in so many ways! (We met a number of businessmen, even Chinese who've been living overseas for decades, who are moving back in now!) The sheep are the most prolific and sheepy of any place I've ever been. (My opinion!) It's definitely China's hour, as the Lord has told us so often, recently. When we were preparing to come, the Lord continually told us, "Say not ye there are yet four months and then cometh harvest. Behold, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white, already to harvest." And He kept telling us to "Take one step for me, and I'll take two for you." Every time we put Him on the spot, He more than answered and fulfilled His Word and promises. We had been in the States for so long and LHM, my faith has grown weaker in some ways. (God bless my wife who's always had the faith that the Lord is doing it!) The Lord kept emphasizing that He will supply and we don't have to worry about it. We just need to get ready and go! Ha! Oh me of little faith!
       Everywhere we went for the last weeks--and this is something we heard over and over and over again--people told us, "You are welcome here." I never felt it was contrived. It was always sincere and I knew it was true. We are welcome in China. I hope this testimony can be a blessing to you. Lots of love and prayers, and hope to see you in China real soon. Keep us in your prayers [DELETED] and send support if you don't feel you can come!
       Love, Jonathan and Amor

P.S.: I want to thank all the brethren in China who helped make our visit so special. You made us all feel welcome and needed. GBY! I'd like to apologize if I've pre-empted your testimonies in any way by writing this one. You're much more qualified to write about China than I am. And a lot of this information I gleaned from you! But I just felt constrained to write and share my feelings and experiences, too. Please forgive me if I said anything wrong. It's in good faith and with a sincere prayer that it will encourage and help Family members and bring more laborers to the field. TYJ!

* * *

From Abner and Delight, Italy:
       One afternoon while falling asleep at naptime, I began to get a song in the spirit. I then began to see a Chinese man standing on a map of China towards the southwest, near a big city on a large river. It seemed as if the place I saw him standing was Chungking. He wore the outfit of a Chinese farmer--a round pointy straw hat, baggy pants, etc.
       After the song he explained that he was an orphan and he had been raised by a missionary, and that was why he could speak English so well. He said that the missionary had named him Li Sing because he was always singing! Ha! He asked me to send this message in to the Family.
       Here is the song he sang:

       The river flows,
       The river flows,
       But I don't know
       Where it goes.
       Come to the land
       The land of mighty rivers
       With the Word of God
       That delivers.
       The river is like
       All my life
       So full of trouble
       Pain and strife.
       The river flows,
       The river flows,
       But I don't know
       Where it goes.
       This land is so empty
       And full of greed,
       Come and give us
       What we need.
       We need His love
       And Words of Life.
       We need you here
       To lead us aright.
       It's been so long
       And we are so alone,
       Our hearts are now
       As cold as stone.
       Come now and warm us
       And give us light.
       It won't be easy,
       You'll have to fight.
       Won't you hear my cry
       And answer soon?
       Come right away,
       Before all is doom.
       China is calling,
       Calling you now!
       Come to the land,
       The land of Mao.
       We will change it,
       You and I.
       Jesus will rise
       And fear will fly.
       We're all so afraid
       And don't know what to do.
       We need Jesus,
       And we need you.

[EDITED: "End"]

Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family