Friday, April 27, 2007

A letter to the Global Church from The Protestant Church of Smyrna

These men were tortured and martyred for Christ. Let us stand with the persecuted Christians in Turkey and pray, pray, pray as this letter from The Protestant Church of Smyrna is requesting. I have left a few of the gruesume details out of this blog but you can find the entire letter at if you desire.
For His Glory,
Joe & Shirley

Letter courtesy of
ASSIST News Service (ANS)

Dear friends,

This past week has been filled with much sorrow. Many of you have heard by now of our devastating loss here in an event that took place in Malatya, a Turkish province 300 miles northeast of Antioch, the city where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26).

On Wednesday morning, April 18, 2007, 46 year old German missionary and father of three Tilman Geske prepared to go to his office, kissing his wife goodbye taking a moment to hug his son and give him the priceless memory, “Goodbye, son. I love you.”

Tilman rented an office space from Zirve Publishing where he was preparing notes for the new Turkish Study Bible. Zirve was also the location of the Malatya Evangelist Church office. A ministry of the church, Zirve prints and distributes Christian literature to Malatya and nearby cities in Eastern Turkey. In another area of town, 35 year old Pastor Necati Aydin, father of two, said goodbye to his wife, leaving for the office as well. They had a morning Bible Study and prayer meeting that some other believers in town would also be attending. Ugur Yuksel likewise made his way to the Bible study.

None of these three men knew that what awaited them at the Bible study was the ultimate testing and application of their faith, which would conclude with their entrance into glory to receive their crown of righteousness from Christ and honor from all the saints awaiting them in the Lord’s presence.

On the other side of town, ten young men all under 20 years old put into place final arrangements for their ultimate act of faith, living out their love for Allah and hatred of infidels who they felt undermined Islam.

On Resurrection Sunday, five of these men had been to a by-invitation-only evangelistic service that Pastor Necati and his men had arranged at a hotel conference room in the city. The men were known to the believers as “seekers.” No one knows what happened in the hearts of those men as they listened to the gospel. Were they touched by the Holy Spirit? Were they convicted of sin? Did they hear the gospel in their heart of hearts? Today we only have the beginning of their story.

These young men, one of whom is the son of a mayor in the Province of Malatya, are part of a tarikat, or a group of “faithful believers” in Islam. Tarikat membership is highly respected here; it’s like a fraternity membership. In fact, it is said that no one can get into public office without membership in a tarikat. These young men all lived in the same dorm, all preparing for university entrance exams.

The young men got guns, bread knives, ropes and towels ready for their final act of service to Allah. They knew there would be a lot of blood. They arrived in time for the Bible Study, around 10 o’clock.

They arrived, and apparently the Bible Study began. Reportedly, after Necati read a chapter from the Bible the assault began. The boys tied Ugur, Necati, and Tilman’s hands and feet to chairs and as they videoed their work on their cellphones, they tortured our brothers for almost three hours*

Neighbors in workplaces near the print house said later they had heard yelling, but assumed the owners were having a domestic argument so they did not respond.

Meanwhile, another believer Gokhan and his wife had a leisurely morning. He slept in till 10, ate a long breakfast and finally around 12:30 he and his wife arrived at the office. The door was locked from the inside, and his key would not work. He phoned and though it had connection on his end he did not hear the phone ringing inside. He called cell phones of his brothers and finally Ugur answered his phone. “We are not at the office. Go to the hotel meeting. We are there. We will come there,” he said cryptically. As Ugur spoke Gokhan heard in the telephone’s background weeping and a strange snarling sound.

He phoned the police, and the nearest officer arrived in about five minutes. He pounded on the door, “Police, open up!” Initially the officer thought it was a domestic disturbance. At that point they heard another snarl and a gurgling moan. The police understood that sound as human suffering, prepared the clip in his gun and tried over and over again to burst through the door. One of the frightened assailants unlocked the door for the policeman, who entered to find a grisly scene.

Tilman and Necati had been slaughtered, practically decapitated with their necks slit from ear to ear. Ugur’s throat was likewise slit and he was barely alive.

Three assailants in front of the policeman dropped their weapons.

Meanwhile Gokhan heard a sound of yelling in the street. Someone had fallen from their third story office. Running down, he found a man on the ground, whom he later recognized, named Emre Gunaydin. He had massive head trauma and, strangely, was snarling. He had tried to climb down the drainpipe to escape, and losing his balance had plummeted to the ground. It seems that he was the main leader of the attackers. Another assailant was found hiding on a lower balcony.

To untangle the web we need to back up six years. In April 2001, the National Security Council of Turkey (Milli Guvenlik Kurulu) began to consider evangelical Christians as a threat to national security, on equal footing as Al Quaida and PKK terrorism. Statements made in the press by political leaders, columnists and commentators have fueled a hatred against missionaries who they claim bribe young people to change their religion.

After that decision in 2001, attacks and threats on churches, pastors and Christians began. Bombings, physical attacks, verbal and written abuse are only some of the ways Christians are being targeted. Most significant is the use of media propaganda.

From December 2005, after having a long meeting regarding the Christian threat, the wife of Former Prime Minister Ecevit, historian Ilber Ortayli, Professor Hasan Unsal, Politician Ahmet Tan and writer/propogandist Aytunc Altindal, each in their own profession began a campaign to bring the public’s attention to the looming threat of Christians who sought to “buy their children’s souls”. Hidden cameras in churches have taken church service footage and used it sensationally to promote fear and antagonism toward Christianity.

In an official televised response from Ankara, the Interior Minister of Turkey smirked as he spoke of the attacks on our brothers. Amid public outrage and protests against the event and in favor of freedom of religion and freedom of thought, media and official comments ring with the same message, “We hope you have learned your lesson. We do not want Christians here.”

It appears that this was an organized attack initiated by an unknown adult tarikat leader. As in the Hrant Dink murder in January 2007, and a Catholic priest Andrea Santoro in February 2006, minors are being used to commit religious murders because public sympathy for youth is strong and they face lower penalties than an adult convicted of the same crime. Even the parents of these children are in favor of the acts. The mother of the 16 year old boy who killed the Catholic priest Andrea Santoro looked at the cameras as her son was going to prison and said, “He will serve time for Allah.”

The young men involved in the killing are currently in custody. Today news reported that they would be tried as terrorists, so their age would not affect the strict penalty. Assailant Emre Gunaydin is still in intensive care. The investigation centers around him and his contacts and they say will fall apart if he does not recover.

The Church in Turkey responded in a way that honored God as hundreds of believers and dozens of pastors flew in as fast as they could to stand by the small church of Malatya and encourage the believers, take care of legal issues, and represent Christians to the media.

When Susanne Tilman expressed her wish to bury her husband in Malatya, the Governor tried to stop it, and when he realized he could not stop it, a rumor was spread that “it is a sin to dig a grave for a Christian.” In the end, in an undertaking that should be remembered in Christian history forever, the men from the church in Adana (near Tarsus), grabbed shovels and dug a grave for their slain brother in an un-tended hundred year old Armenian graveyard.

Ugur was buried by his family in an Alevi Muslim ceremony in his hometown of Elazig, his believing fiancé watching from the shadows as his family and friends refused to accept in death the faith Ugur had so long professed and died for.

Necati’s funeral took place in his hometown of Izmir, the city where he came to faith. The darkness does not understand the light. Though the churches expressed their forgiveness for the event, Christians were not to be trusted. Before they would load the coffin onto the plane from Malatya, it went through two separate xray exams to make sure it was not loaded with explosives. This is not a usual procedure for Muslim coffins.

Necati’s funeral was a beautiful event. Like a glimpse of heaven, thousands of Turkish Christians and missionaries came to show their love for Christ, and their honor for this man chosen to die for Christ. Necati’s wife Shemsa told the world, “His death was full of meaning, because he died for Christ and he lived for Christ… Necati was a gift from God. I feel honored that he was in my life, I feel crowned with honor. I want to be worthy of that honor.”

Boldly the believers took their stand at Necati’s funeral, facing the risks of being seen publicly and likewise becoming targets. As expected, the anti-terror police attended and videotaped everyone attending the funeral for their future use. The service took place outside at Buca Baptist church, and he was buried in a small Christian graveyard in the outskirts of Izmir.

Two assistant Governors of Izmir were there solemnly watching the event from the front row. Dozens of news agencies were there documenting the events with live news and photographs. Who knows the impact the funeral had on those watching? This is the beginning of their story as well. Pray for them.

In an act that hit front pages in the largest newspapers in Turkey, Susanne Tilman in a television interview expressed her forgiveness. She did not want revenge, she told reporters. “Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do,” she said, wholeheartedly agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23:34).

In a country where blood-for-blood revenge is as normal as breathing, many many reports have come to the attention of the church of how this comment of Susanne Tilman has changed lives. One columnist wrote of her comment, “She said in one sentence what 1000 missionaries in 1000 years could never do.”

The missionaries in Malatya will most likely move out, as their families and children have become publicly identified as targets to the hostile city. The remaining 10 believers are in hiding. What will happen to this church, this light in the darkness? Most likely it will go underground. Pray for wisdom, that Turkish brothers from other cities will go to lead the leaderless church. Should we not be concerned for that great city of Malatya, a city that does not know what it is doing? (Jonah 4:11)

When our Pastor Fikret Bocek went with a brother to give a statement to the Security Directorate on Monday they were ushered into the Anti-Terror Department. On the wall was a huge chart covering the whole wall listing all the terrorist cells in Izmir, categorized. In one prominent column were listed all the evangelical churches in Izmir. The darkness does not understand the light. “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” (Acts 17:6)

Please pray for the Church in Turkey. “Don’t pray against persecution, pray for perseverance,” urges Pastor Fikret Bocek.

The Church is better having lost our brothers; the fruit in our lives, the renewed faith, the burning desire to spread the gospel to quench more darkness in Malatya …all these are not to be regretted. Pray that we stand strong against external opposition and especially pray that we stand strong against internal struggles with sin, our true debilitating weakness.

This we know. Christ Jesus was there when our brothers were giving their lives for Him. He was there, like He was when Stephen was being stoned in the sight of Saul of Tarsus.

Someday the video of the deaths of our brothers may reveal more to us about the strength that we know Christ gave them to endure their last cross, about the peace the Spirit of God endowed them with to suffer for their beloved Savior. But we know He did not leave their side. We know their minds were full of Scripture strengthening them to endure, as darkness tried to subdue the un-subduable Light of the Gospel. We know, in whatever way they were able, with a look or a word, they encouraged one another to stand strong. We know they knew they would soon be with Christ.

We don’t know the details. We don’t know the kind of justice that will or will not be served on this earth.

But we pray-- and urge you to pray-- that someday at least one of those five boys will come to faith because of the testimony in death of Tilman Geske, who gave his life as a missionary to his beloved Turks, and the testimonies in death of Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, the first martyrs for Christ out of the Turkish Church.


Note from the church: Please pass this on to as many praying Christians as you can, in as many countries as you can. Please always keep the heading as “From the Protestant Church of Smyrna” with this contact information: //

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Presidential Proclamation of the National Day of Prayer 2007

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

GEORGE W. BUSH (April 25th, 2007)

A prayerful spirit has always been an important part of our national character, and it is a force that has guided the American people, given us strength, and sustained us in moments of joy and in times of challenge. On this National Day of Prayer, we acknowledge God's grace and ask for His continued guidance in the life of our Nation.

Americans of many faiths and traditions share a common belief that God hears the prayers of His children and shows grace to those who seek Him. Following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, in towns all across America, in houses of worship from every faith, Americans have joined together to pray for the lives that were lost and for their families, friends, and loved ones. We hold the victims in our hearts and pray for those who suffer and grieve. There is a power in these prayers, and we can find comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God.

At this important time in our history, we also pray for the brave members of our Armed Forces and their families. We pray for their safety, for the recovery of the wounded, and for the peace we all seek.

The Congress, by Public Law 100 307, as amended, has called on our Nation to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to respect the freedom of religion by recognizing each year a "National Day of Prayer."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2007, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance, comfort, and protection. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.


Source: National Day of Prayer Task Force

Friday, April 20, 2007

Prayer Alert-Nigeria

Hi Friends,
Having been to Nigeria twice I understand a little bit about the importance of this election. The battle on the ground is intense, and the price of freedom has been with the lose of tens of thousands of lives over the past few years. Please take this battle into the spirit realm, to the throne room of grace, and let us seek the Father until Jesus Christ reigns completely in this beautiful nation of Nigeria.

For His Glory,

in Africa’s most populous country


Major intercession is needed for Nigeria as security forces of Africa’s most populous country have been placed on high alert ahead of crucial elections to “clamp down heavily” on anyone threatening to undermine the vote.

Voters head to the polls Saturday, April 21, 2007 to cast ballots for the national legislature and the president―a vote meant to give Nigeria its first-ever civilian-to-civilian transfer of power.
Previous electoral transitions in the country—Africa's most populous nation with 140 million people and its largest oil producer—have been interrupted by annulments or military coups.
April is “a month of very critical national choices and decisions that will have very far-reaching consequences,” President Olusegun Obasanjo said. “The Nigerian police and all other security agencies have therefore been placed on full alert to clamp down heavily on any persons who engage in actions that threaten our collective desire for trouble-free elections in the coming days,” he said.

Obasanjo’s 1999 election ended years of military rule and the 2007 vote, if successful, would be Nigeria’s first transfer of power between elected leaders in its coup-ridden 47-year independence from Britain.

Last week, campaign group Human Rights Watch said Nigerian voters faced violence and intimidation. Clashes between supporters of different candidates have left scores dead in recent months.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks after a main opposition candidate, Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar, was barred from the race by the electoral commission, which said a government panel had found him corrupt.

Abubakar, a one-time Obasanjo ally who fell out with his boss, called the decision politically driven and is fighting his disqualification in the courts. Abubakar and Obasanjo split last year after the vice president helped quash a drive by Obasanjo's supporters to amend the constitution and allow the president another term in office.

The two other main candidates are Katsina Governor Umaru Yar’Adua, of Obasanjo’s ruling People’s Democratic Party, and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a former military leader.

Yar’Adua is a Muslim, whose wife is reputed to be involve in planting mosques. His running mate is Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, a nominal Christian and governor of the oil-rich Niger Delta region, located in southern Nigeria.

Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples’ Party, attempted to turn Nigeria into an Islamic nation during his time as a military head of state. His running mate is Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, a nominal Christian from the eastern part of the nation.

There are two Christians vying for the post of President, the Rev. Chris Okotie of the Fresh Democratic Party and Professor Pat Utomi. “It will take supernatural intervention for any of these two to be elected as president,” the Movement of African National Initiatives (MANI) said.

Presidential candidates of the three largest parties are Muslims from Northern Nigeria, which is a big challenge for the Church in Nigeria.

“Humanly speaking, the stage looks set for a Muslim to come to power come May 29, 2007,” MANI said. “It will take a clear divine intervention for the situation to be otherwise. The intervention is urgently needed now. Nigeria must have as her next president, a man chosen by God to lead her into His plans and purposes.”

The Church in Nigeria experienced persecution for the past eight years of democracy under the regime of Obasanjo, who is a Christian. Many states in Northern Nigeria adopted Sharia during Obasanjo’s presidency, which led to intense persecution of Christians.

“As it is today, Christians in many states in the north are treated as second class citizens in their motherland,” MANI said. “Will it get any better under a Muslim president?”

Recently, Christians have been appallingly persecuted in Northern Nigeria with churches burned, Christian children kidnapped by Islamists and Christians killed. On March 23, 2007, the building used by a 500-member church belonging to the Evangelical Church of West Africa was torched in the northern state of Gombe.

Nigeria is ranked No. 27 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of nations where Christians are persecuted for their faith.

Pray for:
  • The forthcoming elections, that God will raise up before the people His candidate, a “Cyrus” whom God will use to lead this nation of some 130 million, half of whom are not Muslim, and most of whom just want peace, justice, equity, liberty and progress. (Isaiah 45:1-13)
  • God to spare Nigeria during the elections from violence, blood shed and breakdown of law and order. (Joel 2:17)
  • Nigeria to fulfill its place as a nation with a divine destiny. (Acts 17:26)
  • The local, state and presidential candidates who are going into covenants with Satan, so they can attempt to win the elections. Pray that the presidency and all other positions will go to the ones appointed by God. (1 Kings 2;15, Daniel 4:17,33)
  • God has led Nigeria through troublous times in the past. Pray that He will do it again. Pray Isaiah 51:9-10 over this key 10/40 Window country.
  • The Christian population to feel empowered to vote for candidates who will rule with justice, particularly on religious issues. Pray that the Christian minorities in the north would band together in order to force concessions out of candidates in the final stages of electioneering. Pray also that the concessions would be a clear commitment to protect Christians against future persecution.
  • God to comfort and give peace for all the persecuted and fearful Christians in Northern Nigeria, where persecution is systematic and brutal. Pray for God to encompass His people amidst trials and terror, protecting them from hostile forces.
Sources: Associated Press, Compass Direct, World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission, Open Doors, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Poem from Judge Roy Moore

America the Beautiful,
or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride;
I'm glad they'll never see.

Babies piled in dumpsters,
Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty;
your house is on the sand.

Our children wander aimlessly
poisoned by cocaine
choosing to indulge their lusts,
when God has said abstain

From sea to shining sea,
our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God's love
and a need to always pray.

We've kept God in our temples,
how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool,
and Heaven is His throne.

We've voted in a government
that's rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges;
who throw reason out the door,

Too soft to place a killer
in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby
before he leaves the womb.

You think that God's not angry,
that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait
before His judgment comes?

How are we to face our God,
from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do,
but stem this evil tide?

If we who are His children,
will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face
and mend our evil way:

Then God will hear from Heaven;
and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land
and those who live within.

But, America the Beautiful,
if you don't - then you will see,
A sad but Holy God
withdraw His hand from Thee.

~~Judge Roy Moore~~

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pray for Nigeria NOW, TODAY... please...

Courtesy of

Nigeria: persecution, elections and looming strife
- requesting prayer for Nigeria

By Elizabeth Kendal

World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEA RLC)
Special to ASSIST News Service

AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- Christians have been appallingly persecuted in northern Nigeria recently with churches burned, Christian children kidnapped by Islamists and Christians killed.


Compass Direct reports one such incident on 21 March when Christianah Oluwatoyin Oluwasesin, a teacher at the Government Secondary School of Gandu in the northern state of Gombe, was preparing to supervise an exam. In line with standard anti-cheating procedures, she collected all the students' bags before the exam started and put them at the front of the classroom. One girl then cried out that because a Christian had handled her bag the Quran in it had been desecrated. With the Muslim majority of students shouting 'Allahu Akbar [God is great]' another teacher managed to rescue Christianah Oluwasesin and get her into the principal's office. Then Muslims who rushed into the school, stoning the building and the staff, dragged Christianah Oluwasesin out and clubbed her to death. Evangel Chapel, where Christianah Oluwasesin (married and mother of two) taught Sunday school and participated in prayer ministry, is in shock and grief. Two days later a nearby 500-member church belonging to the Evangelical Church of West Africa was torched.


On 14 April Nigerians will elect state governors and on 21 April will return to the polling booths for the presidential election. This will be the first time power will have passed from one elected president to another, but the situation looks ominous. President Obasanjo's PDP party has put forward Obasanjo's favoured candidate, the sickly and reluctant Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, who wanted Obasanjo to stand for an unconstitutional third term. Because he is so quiet, many believe Yar'Adua, governor of Katsina State which implemented Sharia in 2000, is little more than a puppet.

There are two other main contenders: the pro-Sharia Islamic hardliner, retired general and former military dictator Muhamadu Buhari who lost to Obasanjo in 2003; and Obasanjo's Vice President Atiku Abubakar, also a Muslim. Buhari has strong support in the Muslim north but little elsewhere. As Vice President, Abubakar was assumed to be the natural su ccessor, but a major spat between Obasanjo and Abubakar has left him fighting for his political life in the courts. If Abubakar is banned from running, the great threat is he might throw his considerable weight behind Buhari in exchange for immunity from prosecution. To compensate, the PDP could offer other candidates immunity from corruption charges in exchange for their support for Yar'Adua. One non-Muslim candidate of high intellect and integrity is the widely respected Dr Patrick Utomi, but he is considered an outside runner as his African Democratic Congress is a fringe party.


Meanwhile, the most volatile region, the Niger Delta, is set to explode. A group calling itself the 'Coalition of Niger Delta Forces' has issued an ultimatum to the Nigerian government to withdraw its security forces from the Niger Delta or face war. Nigeria's largest armed militant group is the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF). It is n oteworthy that the leader of the NDPVF, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari (imprisoned in 2005 for treason), is a devout Muslim and vocal supporter of Osama bin Laden, with whom he reportedly has both financial and personal ties. Asari, born into a Christian family as Dokubo Melford Goodhead Junior, changed his name after he converted to Islam. His father is a High Court judge. The Niger Delta situation is yet another example of the union between separatism and Islamic imperialism.


  • God to comfort Christianah Oluwasesin's family and her fellow believers in Evangel Chapel.

  • comfort and peace for all the persecuted and fearful Christians in northern Nigeria where persecution is systematic and brutal.

  • God to encompass his people amidst trials and terror, protecting them from hostile forces.

  • the forthcoming elections, that God will raise up before the people his candidate, a 'Cyrus' whom God will use to lead this nation of some 130 million, half of whom are not Muslim, and most of whom just want peace, justice, equity, liberty and progress.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


By Heidi Baker : Apr 11, 2007 : Iris Ministries, Inc.

bakersAlways Enough--The Vision

Years ago, I had a vision of Jesus surrounded by a multitude of children. Jesus looked at me with His intense, burning eyes of love, and I was completely undone. He told me to feed the children, and I began to cry out loud, "No! There are too many!" He asked me to look into His eyes, and He said, "I died that there would always be enough."

Then He reached down and broke a piece of flesh out of His right side. His eyes were so magnificently beautiful, yet His body so bruised and broken. He handed me a piece of His flesh, and as I took it and stretched my hand out to the first child, it became fresh bread! I gave the bread to the children and they all ate.

Then He put a simple poor man's cup next to His side and filled it with blood and water. He told me it was a cup of "suffering and joy," and asked me if I would drink it. I drank it and then started to give it to the children. It became drink for them. Again He said, "I died that there would always be enough." Since that day, I have taken in every orphan child He has put in front of me, and have asked my co-workers to do the same.

For the next ten years, I learned a lot about provision for the poor. With delight, I have watched God place bread in our hands for the children to eat. By His grace, everyday--there is somehow always enough food. Since the vision, Iris has gone from caring for 320 children to over 6,000. My heart is so full of praise and gratitude to God for how He has blessed us with all these beautiful children. I have stood in awe as God has grown us from a few churches to over six thousand in ten years time.

Jesus has given us fresh bread from Heaven. We live to be in His glorious presence. He has poured out His love to us without measure. He has called us to bring the lost children home. I love him more than life! Every breath is for Him.

The Recent Cup of Suffering and Joy

In the last few days, I have learned more than I ever imagined about the cup of suffering and joy. Our nation Mozambique has been hammered with floods, cyclones, and monster waves. Pemba, Cabo Delgado, was hit with cholera. Finally, a few kilometers from our Zimpeto children's center in Maputo, a large ammunitions dump blew up, spraying mines, missiles, and shrapnel for thirty kilometers around. Hundreds of people were killed. Houses were leveled leaving the victims crushed beneath the rubble. I have never seen such suffering as I have seen in the last thirty days.

As I stood in the ruins of a house leveled by a missile and held a weeping woman in my arms, I drank of His cup of suffering. As I embraced Marcelina, 14, Edwardo, 15, and Carvalho, 12, orphaned by the blasts, I drank His cup of suffering. After driving all day through the mud and potholes of Zambezia to minister and deliver food to a distant village devastated by floods, I rocked a tiny, starving baby in my arms and tried to find milk to no avail, and I drank the cup of His suffering.

After arriving in Caia, a town with a refugee camp on the flooded Zambezia River, I spoke to the director of a large non-governmental organization as he was evacuating his workers and helicopters because he could not get past all the corruption and red tape. I drank of the cup of suffering knowing those very helicopters could have fed many precious people stranded in the flood zones starving for weeks. I opened my eyes wider still to see and drink the cup of suffering.

I also drank the cup of joy. God opened the door for us to provide food for fourteen refuge camps in Zambezia Province. I drank the cup of joy watching my Mozambican son, Norberto, lead the relief effort for the province. I drank the cup of joy seeing the faces of hopeless, desperate people run to meet King Jesus and thank Him for saving their lives.

Worship of our beautiful Savior reached Heaven in Zimpeto when the children, co-workers, and missionaries gave glory to God for sparing their lives as missiles and bombs flew in every direction above them and around them. I listened to the testimonies of children who were rescued from the streets thanking Jesus for holding them in His arms as the terror of the blasts continued all around them.

Pastor José spoke of the amazing opportunity God had given all of them to worship in the middle of the frightening chaos. Missionaries shared how they would gladly give up their lives to protect the children, and I drank the cup of joy. We offered a home in our center to Marcelina, Edwardo, and Carvalho, and watched their tears turn into laughter. God made a way to bring the children into families.

Truly, we are filled with inexpressible joy knowing we dwell in the shelter of the most High God. We rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He is our refuge and our fortress. We put out trust in Him. He covers us in His wings of love and we find safety in Him. We have opened our hearts to Him and He is our dwelling place. He loves us, He rescues us, and commands His angels to surround us. We have called on Jesus. We have acknowledged Him. Trouble has come to our nation, and we have opened our eyes and have seen the pain.

We have opened our ears to hear the cry of the desperate, and so we drink His cup of suffering. We drink His cup of joy knowing we can be His hands extended in the midst of it all, and knowing--He died that there would always be enough.

Love in Jesus,

Heidi and Rolland Baker
Iris Ministries, Inc.

Permission is granted (and you are also encouraged) to reprint these articles in hard copy form, as well as sending them to your own email lists and posting them on your own websites. We ask only that you keep ElijahList website, email contact info, and author contact information intact.

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Phone 1-541-926-3250

Monday, April 09, 2007

North Carolina Senate Apologizes for Slavery

Courtesy of BCN @

"Such an apology will help us to try to be better children of God and better representatives of all the people of this state."

AP/TN (April 7th, 2007)

The North Carolina Senate this week apologized for the Legislature's role in promoting slavery and Jim Crow laws that denied basic human rights to the state's black citizens, and the Senate unanimously backed a resolution acknowledging its "profound contrition for the official acts that sanctioned and perpetuated the denial of basic human rights and dignity to fellow humans."

"This is a way to reflect upon this and express our understanding and our regret for official actions of our state," said Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, adding that such an apology will help us "to try to be better children of God and better representatives of all the people of this state."

According to the AP report, the North Carolina House would have to approve the measure for it to be formalized.

The report added that several white senators recalled their own links to slavery, with Democratic Sen. Bill Purcell saying his grandfather had owned slaves and Republican Sen. Jim Jacumin saying his ancestors' suffered due to religious bias. "Any conflict or wrongdoing can never have a closure until there is an apology or reconciliation has occurred," Jacumin said.

Source: AP

Sunday, April 01, 2007


By Patricia King (Courtesy of The Elijah List)


Miracles, signs, and wonders are accelerating in the Body and will continue to do so as Heaven invades earth! The supernatural will become more natural for believers in Christ. Many songs will be written on the supernatural dimensions of the Kingdom of God and artists will express the supernatural in exponential degrees. Numerous books will be written in the next seven years that portray the miraculous power of God--some will be fictional and others Biblical accounts and testimonials. Script writers are going to be visited with Heavenly inspiration for movie and entertainment content that will portray the supernatural Kingdom of God. The internet will also testify through print and video media of the miracle power of God like never before.

Many believers will engage in power confrontations, demonstrations, and manifestations similar to what Elijah experienced on Mount Carmel. The Church will be growing in the supernatural, miracle-working power of God. Even children will be working miracles!

Healings will increase. Miracles of provision will increase. Supernatural deliverances will increase. Closed doors of opportunity will suddenly open. Miracles of household salvations will be made manifest and prodigals will return.


The word "miracle" is from miraculum: Latin for a wonder, a marvel. Webster's Dictionary describes a miracle as: "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs."

It was a miracle when Moses parted the Red Sea and when the manna fell from Heaven in the wilderness. It was a miracle when Elijah met the needs of the widow at Zarephath.

It was a miracle when Jesus healed the woman with the issue of blood, when He brought Lazarus forth from the grave, when the loaves and fishes multiplied, and when the storm was silenced by His word.

It was a miracle when He walked on water and when He turned the water into wine. It was a miracle when Peter and John healed the leper at Gate Beautiful and when Paul raised the man from the dead who fell from the balcony at his meeting. It was a miracle when the prison was shaken and the prison doors opened.

In the New Testament Greek Lexicon, a miracle is described as a sign or a token. In Mark 16:17, the Scripture says "These signs will accompany those who have believed...." Miracles are for believers to "work."

You can work miracles!

1 Corinthians 12:10, in the KJV version, describes one of the gifts of the Spirit as being the "working of miracles." The word "working" means the operation of or the doing of. The Lord makes it clear in His Word that His people who believe will work miracles. If you are a believer, that means you! The Holy Spirit is within you and in Him are His gifts. The power to work miracles is in you right now if Jesus is your Savior and Lord.

In Acts 1:8, the Scripture teaches us that we receive POWER (Greek: dunamis--the miracle working power of God) when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. This power has been given to you by God's Spirit so that you might do the works of the Kingdom.

In Matthew 10, when Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach the good news of the Kingdom, He anointed them with power to do the works of the Kingdom. You are filled with this same power and have been given the same mandate.

John 14:12 reveals to us that the same works Jesus did we will do also. That means that you, as part of His Body in the earth, will perform miracles, signs, and wonders in Christ's name.

In John 20:21, Jesus said that as the Father sent Him, so also we are sent. The world and even all creation is waiting for the manifestation of Christ through His Church (see Romans 8:19-21).

The following points help you to believe for miracles:

Believe that the Lord desires to manifest miracles today.

Pray for the Lord to work miracles through you for the glory of His name (meditate on Mark 11:24).

Find a need and declare with faith the promise of God into that need.

Believe that you are called to be a worker of miracles and begin to move in the operation of them (i.e. lay hands on the sick in order to see a healing miracle). Notice that the Scripture tells us to "heal the sick" in Matthew 10:8. It doesn't say to "pray for the sick." And in Mark 16:18, it says, "...lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." It does not say to pray for the sick. Action is important. Believing is not enough. Faith without works is dead! (James 2:20)

Persevere in your faith and the operation of miracles. If you are beginning to operate in healing miracles, minister to many people and "work" the anointing. If you want to grow in securing financial miracles, then believe for many financial miracles. Do not be moved by lack of results. Keep pressing in and continue to "work" the miracles. Rebuke discouragement. If you do not see results then press in some more. That is the nature of "working" the anointing.

Worship the Lord as a Miracle Working God. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in this way. When you focus on His miracle working attributes, you will empower those attributes within your life. Always praise Him and thank Him for His wonderful works.


In the following passages in Mark, there are keys to the performing of miracles. Find these keys and note the miracles in each reading. You will discover that Jesus modeled, taught, and provoked His disciples to move in miracles.

Week One: Mark 4
Week Two: Mark 5
Week Three: Mark 6
Week Four: Mark 7 and 8

Patricia King
Extreme Prophetic

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