Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Fun

We had a delightFULL weekend! Praise God for quieted coughs enough to enjoy them...Our German Kindergarten class was fun with a visit from St. Nicolas (still working on those pictures). We headed over to the Winter Fest in Tinley with reindeer, Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, sleigh rides & so much more. Here are some captured memories to share as we celebrate the season. Not enough room in one Smilebox to hold them all....

PS: Don't forget to vote for Ms. Gracie Cakes photos in the Christmas Moments & Scared of Santa contests. Those with all their Christmas shopping finished can vote every day. :o)

Click to play Winter+fun
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a scrapbook!



Click to play Winter+fun+part+2
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a scrapbook!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Grace moments to share

Christmas Grace This photo has been entered in the Christmas moments event. It's one of my all time favorite pics of the Gracie girl. Log on & vote for Ms. Christmas Grace.

I've entered Gracie's 1st visit with Santa picture in the Very Merry Christmas...Santa gone wrong contest. Check it out & vote for little Grace.


 Gracie face & Santa

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweetness~

Sweet as pink sugar frosting, Grace said last night getting ready for bed, "Mama, I love you. I'm never gonna let you go. Don't ever let me go, Mama."

Moments like this make it all worthwhile~
Special thanks to Sarah for this great cake face photo during our visit. AND a happy CONGRATULATIONS on your own little cupcake in the oven! We love you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First things first~

Look at me...I am all about Christmas & didn't even post my Thanksgiving Smilebox & memories yet.

We are indeed thankful for many things...foremost in our hearts this season is Nicki's recovery, healing & restoration. How wonderful to sit & laugh with this guy who was near death just over 5 weeks ago. Thanks to you who prayed with us, for us and believed for a miracle on his behalf! Check out that smiley guy on the cover page of my Counting My Blessings smilebox~
Click to play Counting our blessings~
Slideshows, scrapbooks, and ecards | Powered by Smilebox
Make a slide show, scrapbook, or ecard

Also really thankful for a great time at Tracy & Dave's house with Dad, Russ and the kids. Bring on the Rumicub & something new, but not so speedy...Monopoly Electronic Banking edition. Hmmm....let's play with the money folks, but we still had a great time. Something about those dice sure made for lots of laughs. :o) We've got to find that coconut cream pie recipie~ Sweet visit with Aunt Helen & Bill...thanks for the under the tree surprises~ AND we took a drive to visit our most loved Grandma-Aunt Jean. The kids cooked her up a birthday cake and seranaded the lovely as she donned the "Birthday Cape". Fun! Lots of giggles from Bob & Angie. Sad we are so far with visits so few between. I don't know...with a promise to dazzle Grace for an overnight visit...I might just make my way down there really soon.

Discovering Christmas


Click to play Christmas Firsts
Let's just say we've made some discoveries the last few days. A couple of weeks ago, crazy us braved the weather, the train and the crowds to particpate in that silly world record breaking Christmas caroling group. Yes, we did & had fun doing it! Here we are singing with 12,000+ other voices. Directly in front of the WLS booth, if you look reallllllly close, maybe you can see us! Yes, that's us right beside fellow CLCers Stacy & Caitlyn. Fancy seeing someone we know rightwhere we landed the stroller. Oh what fun....

Anyway, so we made history with that big sing along. THEN finally, the Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights began with none other than Mickey Mouse himself leading the parade. Minnie Mouse came along later. Thankfully, Grace caught a glimpse of a few princess-ish ladies. No matter it was not Cinderella or Belle as she hoped. The no show was Tigger. Interestingly, he was also absent at the Winnie the Pooh & Friends production earlier in the day. If you recall, that bouncy guy was no where around at the zoo with the other Pooh friends. I digress.... Rounding out the evening downtown, Santa Claus rode in on his sleigh accompanied by a blizzard of paper snow. Delight-FULL!

Now we've discovered Christmas parades and Santa. We are sure we like decorating gingerbread houses and singing Jingle Bells with a frenzy of other people. Forward to Thanksgiving Day and the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. THAT is a parade! Gracie just so happened in the room when Island Princess made her debut; singing, swirling & twirling, capturing my Gracie's heart. Now we've discovered Barbie & just how lovely she is with her blue gown and feathers behind her head. Couple this wide eyed princess wonder with a cousin who has a Christmas wish list....viola! Now we've got a letter to Santa with wishes of our own.

Over the last few weeks, we've happily watched the scary lawn ornaments turn festive with Christmas cheer...snowmen & Santa, to the messiah in the manger. Gracie wants to decorate for Christmas. She wants to have a Christmas tree. In efforts to appease the little miss without totally losing my senses after driving 6 hours in the rain from St Louis back to Chi-town, I pull out her little baby tree. Moments later, she's adorning her little EVERgreen with unbreakable pretties; ever so carefully placing this one & that in her cozy "teddy bear" jammies, as papa called them. She's happy now...but not for long. Come tomorrow evening, we will put up our big tree, twinkle lights and all.

I'm happy to have one so delighted in helping me adorn the tree with memories from here to China; from pewter Edelweiss to blown glass from Lake Como to Baby's 1st Christmas rocking horse. It's the most wonderful time of the year indeed! Hope you enjoyed this Smilebox of Christmas discoveries & firsts for the growing up Grace.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Like family~

Gracie, Papa Jerry & Grandma Chris


Gracie had special visitors at preschool yesterday for Grandparent's Day. My long time, but certainly not old, pastors, Jerry & Chris McQuay, accompanied her to this special celebration of folks we love. It was really special to have them there given my family lives so far away. No doubt Gracie was delighted to have the undivided attention of not one, but two play partners...she told stories all the way home about pink cupcakes, birthday parties and building barns with legos...who was who while playing house and who did what. She's all into role play, "Now, I'm the mom/princess/teacherl, etc and you're the....daughter, dog, doctor, etc." I think Grace enjoyed most being chased around by Papa Jerry and she said she hopes they come again tomorrow. Sweet!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Childhood

video"Walk in the rain, jump in mud puddles, collect rocks, rainbows and roses, smell flowers, blow bubbles, stop along the way, build sandcastles, say hello to everyone, go barefoot, go on adventures, act silly, fly kites, have a merry heart, talk with animals, sing in the shower, read childrens' books, take bubble baths, get new sneakers, hold hands and hug and kiss, dance, laugh and cry for the health of it, wonder and wander around, feel happy and precious and innocent, feel scared, feel sad, feel mad, give up worry and guilt and shame, say yes, say no, say the magic words, ask lots of questions, ride bicycles, draw and paint, see things differently, fall down and get up again, look at the sky, watch the sun rise and sun set, watch clouds and name their shapes, watch the moon and stars come out, trust the universe, stay up late, climb trees, daydream, do nothing and do it very well, learn new stuff, be excited about everything, be a clown, enjoy having a body, listen to music, find out how things work, make up new rules, tell stories, save the world, make friends with the other kids on the block, and do anything else that brings more happiness, celebration, health, love, joy, creativity, pleasure, abundance, grace, self-esteem, courage, balance, spontaneity, passion, beauty, peace, relaxation, communication and life energy to...all living beings on this planet"
Bruce Williamson, It's Never Too Late To Have A Happy Childhood, 1987

Missing mom-being a mom: part 2

In the spirit of missing mom, I began to bake assisted by my sous-chef, Grace. Sous-chef: 2nd in kitchen command. Sous-chef- we learned that from Ratatouille, the movie. According to Gusteau, "Anyone can cook!" I don't quite have the French accent down, but...May I say this about Ms. Grace: she is quite the egg breaker now, without much mess outside the bowl. She really tries to refrain from putting her licked finger back into the bowl when there's something tasty in there-now she washes first. :o) She's learning some things might look tasty, but really aren't that yummy. The girl fearlessly holds the mixer now & actually keeps it in the bowl. This is good! She loves to measure and at this point believes every recipe calls for one cup of water. Ha! I love it! It is really a cooperative effort now in the kitchen & I am delighted! Mom would be delighted as well!

So now we have bannan nut bread using mom's recipe with just a pinch of nutmeg added. We have chocolate chip cookies- not her recipe but mom would have loved them, do doubt. What else....oh & 2 scrumptious pumpkin rolls. This was typically my official contribution to the holiday fare but I haven't made one in YEARS! I threw in some walnuts on one of the rolls & I must say-what a treat! It was all I could do not to slice that baby up! We only ate the ends cut off to make the roll pretty & presentable.

Also, following the likeness of my mom...we are sharing our creations with others...well, maybe not the cookies. Banana bread will go to Grandparent Day. Pumpkin roll....one will be frozen for Thanksgiving & the other, maybe I'll send that for Grandparent Day as well. We'll see~

Cooking is a sweet way to remember mom & accumulate experiences with Grace. This is how we pass tradition from one generation to the next~ I have a feeling Grace will be baker & love to share it with others.
Busy weekend...if we stay healthy, in Jesus name. German kindergartden this morning then we are headed downtown!!! It's the annual festival of lights kicking off the holiday season. We plan to join thousands of other carolers in attempts to break the world record for largest holiday caroling group! Whooo hoooo! There are a ton of activities before hand...Christmas Around the World and the Holiday Mitten Tree. After the caroling, we will enjoy the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade with Mickey & Friends. We are all about the princesses-Cinderella, Jasmin, Snow White...so hoping we get to see those friends! Yeah!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Missing mom...being a mom

I miss my mom today. Today is not unlike the others...just can't stop the tears today. Maybe it's the holiday season approaching...maybe it's the effortless way she prepared for and received us home at Thanksgiving. Maybe it's the thoughtful and scrumptious trays of cookies & candy she prepared for...seems like everyone we knew-teachers, pastors, the clerk at the thrift store. She was thoughtful though I didn't always appreciate it. Thoughtful~

Gracie has a special program next week for Grandparents...she's been singing a little ditty 'round the house celebrating those precious folks. Wish mom could be here and she would be here, no doubt. She loved that sort of thing. I'm thankful that God places the lonely in families. I'm thankful for those that make loving deposits in my heart and, even more, in the heart of my Grace. Thankful~

I have a prayer posted by my computer that I found somewhere, personalizing it Grace's name. I don't remember where I found it, but it's a prayer based on Ephesians 6:4 and Proverbs 22:6...I think with the Amplified twist. I look at it everyday...remind myself everyday that this is my calling now: to rear Grace with a knowledge, example and love of the Lord, herself and others. No easy task. I know that now. God help me as I try every day to be more like Him so she desires Him.

I will not provoke, irritate or fret my Gracie. I will not be hard on her or harass her or cause her to become discouraged, sullen or morose, or to feel inferior & frustrated.

I will not break or wound her spirit. I will rear her tenderly in the training, discipline, counsel & admonistion of you, Lord.

I will train her in the way she should go (and in keeping with her individual gift or bent) & when she is old, she will not depart from it.


The duties of children and parents
from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible


The great duty of children is, to obey their parents. That obedience
includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts, and in every age prosperity
has attended those distinguished for obedience to parents.

The duty of parents:
Be not impatient; use no unreasonable severities. Deal prudently and wisely with
children; convince their judgements and work upon their reason. Bring them up
well; under proper and compassionate correction; and in the knowledge of the
duty God requires.

Often is this duty neglected, even among professors of the gospel. Many
set their children against religion; but this does not excuse the children's
disobedience, though it may be awfully occasion it. God alone can change the
heart, yet he gives his blessing to the good lessons and examples of parents,
and answers their prayers. But those, whose chief anxiety is that their children
should be rich and accomplished, whatever becomes of their souls, must not look for the blessing of God. (Eph 6:5-9)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

So, mountain, who do you think you are?

Zech 4:6-10 Message translation~

Then he said, "This is God's Message to Zerubbabel: 'You can't force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,' says God-of-the-Angel-Armies. 'So, big mountain, who do you think you are? Next to Zerubbabel you're nothing but a molehill. He'll proceed to set the Cornerstone in place, accompanied by cheers: Grace! Grace! or Yes! Yes! Do it!'"


8-10 After that, the Word of God came to me: "Zerubbabel started rebuilding this Temple and he will complete it. That will be your confirmation that God-of-the-Angel-Armies sent me to you. Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They'll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!"


Blessed God, You have drawn me to Yourself and have sheltered my life in the impenetrable stronghold of Your grace. Forgive me for drifting back into trusting in my works or abilities. Lord, I believe in Your grace! I shout "Grace, grace!" to the mountains that stand before me! In Jesus' name!

Plansee - one of my most favorite spots for a daytrip while living in Germany...a little lake surrounded by majestic mountains~

Jeremiah 29:11-14 The Message (MSG)
10-11 This is God's Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 12"When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. 13-14"When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree. "I'll turn things around for you. I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you"—God's Decree—"bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.

Elberfelder (ELB)
11 Denn ich kenne ja die Gedanken, die ich über euch denke, spricht der HERR, Gedanken des Friedens und nicht zum Unheil, um euch Zukunft und Hoffnung zu gewähren.
12 Ruft ihr mich an, geht ihr hin und betet zu mir, dann werde ich auf euch hören.
13 Und sucht ihr mich, so werdet ihr [mich] finden, ja, fragt ihr mit eurem ganzen Herzen nach mir,
14 so werde ich mich von euch finden lassen, spricht der HERR. Und ich werde euer Geschick wenden und euch sammeln aus allen Nationen und aus allen Orten, wohin ich euch vertrieben habe, spricht der HERR. Und ich werde euch an den Ort zurückbringen, von dem ich euch gefangen weggeführt habe.




Friday, November 09, 2007

Walking through the past & working through the wounds

"God's forgiveness is unconditional; it comes from a heart that does not demand anything for itself, a heart that is completely empty of self-seeking." ~ H. Nouwen

"Sons and daughters of the Father are called to a higher law, in order to resemble the forgiving Father....only the experience of being forgiven makes it possible for us to forgive....grace alone melts ungrace.....in the final analysis, forgiveness is an act of faith... I am trusting that God is a better justice-maker than I am...though wrong does not disappear when I forgive, it loses its grip on me and is taken over by God, who knows what to do." ~ P. Yancey

Extending grace to one another is believing in His sovereignty which is big enough to cover all our sins.

"The Lord! the Lord! a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth!" Ex 34:6

We need to all spend less time scrutinizing one another, and look toward Him.


I'm really having a hard time lately in this area. I have some memories; pictures in my head of actual events that are very painful. I just don't know what to do with them. Actually, they weren't offense to me but I saw wounding of others I love. Not just words but, raised voices & raised hands that should have held & comforted. I just can't shake the memories. I asked God this week...what do I do with these short video clips that play & replay in my mind. There's guilt that I can't shake. I should have done something. I should have done more. What's my role now? Maybe He's answering me a bit this morning.

My xanga friend had just what the doctor ordered this morning...thought I'd share just a bit. What's your take? What's your suggestion? My heart longs to be free. What's your advice?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Welcome Alivia

Hi, my neice had her baby this past week, Alivi Grace Chander. What a cutie! Here's her 1st smilebox. They print out so beautifully. So mom has some memories she didn' have to work hard to share...unless you count the last nine months. Happy day to you~

Alivia Grace Chandler
Slide shows and scrapbooks - Powered by Smilebox
Make a slide show, scrapbook or ecard

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving. Love compels giving...generous, lavish giving. Giving of your time, attention & resources. Where your heart is, there is also your treasure.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More fall fun!

We had a delightful time dressing up for all the fall festivities. So many parties! So many costumes. The girl loves to dress up~ None of which was the horse costume we purchased this year. After trying on the step-in, strap-on horse, Grace quipped "My feet are supposed to go in the stirrups, but they are way up here. This isn't right." And there you go...don't horse around when it comes to the girl's equine interests. So, she picked the pumpkin from last year for the zoo and Deutsche Kindergarten party and Belle from her play closet for her ballet class debut & fall parties on halloween night. What fun!

AND...Grace's Pumpkin patch pics were featured as the Smilebox of the Week. Yeah!! Sweetness to share~ PS: my dear friend, Melanie, is having heart surgery today, replacing a valve. Please lift Mel up in your prayers today. Thanks so much!

Click to play Fall fun!
Slide shows and scrapbooks - Powered by Smilebox

Smilebox of the Week


















Smilebox of the Week

Follow the adventures of adorable three-year-old Grace, as she visits picturesque Butterprint Farm. Mom Carmen told us "Thank you, Smilebox, for helping this busy single mom organize, preserve & share these experiences with our loved ones so far away via email & blog." Thank you, Carmen - we couldn't have said it any better.
Happy Halloween - It's easy to share the Halloween fun and festivities with this fresh, colorful scrapbook.


If you would like to see your Smilebox creation here, please send it to community@smilebox.com.
Our design team will review it and select one to feature each week.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Praise report

Hey...an update with good news & singing God's praises!

My dad called last night reporting that Nicki opened his eyes, trying to speak & moving all around as if he had just woke up from a nap instead of 3 weeks. When asked if he wanted a kiss from his mom, he puckered right up. We know he is cognitively in good shape considering the news earlier this week.

I just can't express my gratitude to those of you who have prayed, messaged, called, consoled, emailed, believed and been there through this. Heartfelt thanks from me & my family. I fully embrace the scriptures where two or three agree as well as my favorite, two are better than one.

Blessings to you & yours tonight. I'm sleeping better tonight for sure!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A me reminder

This is the premise & foundation of my life's list, 2007 manifesto by Mark Batterson, author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

  • Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
  • Set God-sized goals.
  • Pursue God-ordained passions.
  • Grab life by the mane.
  • Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
  • Keep asking questions.
  • Keep making mistakes.
  • Keep seeking God.
  • Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.
  • Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.
  • Stop playing it safe and start taking risks.
  • Expand your horizons.
  • Accumulate experiences.
  • Consider the lilies.
  • Enjoy the journey.
  • Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.
  • Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.
  • Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God.
  • Burn sinful bridges.
  • Blaze a new trail.
  • Criticize by creating.
  • Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks.
  • Don't try to be who you're not.
  • Be yourself.
  • Laugh at yourself.
  • Quit holding out.
  • Quit holding back.
  • Quit running away.
  • Chase the lion!

2 Sa 23:20

Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.

2007 Manifesto for the congregation of Mark Batterson, author of "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day".

It's too good not to share. Read it slowly; enjoy it thoroughly; live it courageously per pastor Jerry, inspired by Batterson's book.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nick update

Thanks sooooooooooo much for praying..for joining your faith to mine in reaching heaven. Super thanks to Wilma who called me to see where I was this weekend. Nice to be missed~~

Ok...Update~ surgery went very well & hopefully, this well relieve some of the pain he's been experiencing. Dr's believe his lack of responsiveness is due to this extreme pain...they were able to uncrimp a nerve caught in the broken bone mess. this should restore movement capabilities in his lower extremities when this pelvic girdle & hip heal.

There was indication yesterday of some brain damage beyond their original report...I believe the report of the Lord that says there is no damage or damage is reversed!

Ok...more late as I get reports. Super thanks to Tracy for being there, praying words of life over Nicki-praying God's word right back to Him. You rock, Sis!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thank you for praying for Nicki. Sorry, I've been out of touch the last few days. Lots going on, obviously.

Nicki is headed into surgery as I type this. 8:00 AM CST to repair/set his broken pelvic cradle and hip. The doctors strongly believe his lack of responsiveness is in most part due to the immense pain he is suffering. They hope once this surgery is complete, he will be in less pain and more responsive. FYI, they predict 8 hours in surgery with a good number more hours in recovery.

The tracheostomy is moving ahead to preserve his vocal chords and larnx. The longer he is intubated through his throat, the most damage to his vocal tract.
Ok..thanks again for praying & inquiring. Makes a world of difference to know there are believers in agreement for healing, restoration and salvation.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Continued prayer for Nicki

Thanks so much for those praying for my step-brother, Nicki. While making incremental progess the past two weeks, his condition took a nose dive today. He has pretty much stopped responding even out from under sedation. Infection is a serious concern but they are unable to locate the source at present. There is concern it is in his brain. We believe God is able...I know when two or three agree, things are subject to change. In Jesus' name~

Heartfelt thanks & then some from me & my family~

In His Grace,
Carmen

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Basic Getting Along With Others Post

While Grace is resting, I'm reflecting on basic decency. Run of the mill, simple "how to treat your neighbor" stuff. Amazing that some folks miss these foundational social skills. I'm posting a classic by Robert Fulghum. It's worth repeating AND doing a self-check. Admittedly, I fall short. A check up from the neck up, as they say. Hugs to you & yours~

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything

Play fair.

Don't hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Flush.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life--learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup--they all die. So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned--the biggest word of all--LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all--the whole world--had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are-- when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

--Robert Fulghum
Hmmmmm. Well, let's see about an update. My battery has been dead twice this week...cold weather maybe? Thank God for my neighbor who got out of the nice warm bed twice to help me outside in the biting cold. I was determined to get a new battery today until the preschool called to say Gracie is sick...pick her up.

Get the sweet but lethargic girl & swing through McDonalds to get her a Sprite...that's what my mom gave us with an upset tuumy. Does that really work? I guess I'll find out. Anyway, so while I'm talking to the magager about this coupon being an "After School Snack" coupon and there is nothing that say I have to wait until after Halloween to use it...I am also wiping up Gracie as she is doing the sick thing again. Ok...got the Sprite, go down the block to Walmart. While we were waiting just to see how long a battery installation would take, Gracie gets sick AGAIN (X5) in her carseat. Guess we will just go on home without a battery. Doesn't look like I'm going anywhere tomorrow anyway.

Some days are like that, huh? God is good despite the small bumps in our path and even in the magnamimous events that wipe us off the map...He just holds us tighter. I'm thankful~

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

Gorgeous day today to visit the pumpkin patch. Grace said her favorite part was the "fast bumpy" hayride but she giggled more on the tire swing. What a great day!

Click to play Pumpkin Patch 2007
Slideshows and scrapbooks - Powered by Smilebox
Make your own slide shows and scrapbooks

Thursday, October 18, 2007

31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids

Parked in our driveway, enjoying the peace accompanying a sleeping child, I was weeping & praying for the families of recently martyred Christians in Turkey. 3 year old Grace, still buckled in her safety seat, woke up and quickly asked, "Why are you crying, Mommy." I simply told her I was praying for other people who were hurting and asking God to hold them...to heal them. Tenderly, Grace began to pray, asking Jesus to hold and heal.


What a moment for this mission's hearted mom.Even before her birth, I prayed for my daughter to have a heart for the harvest. If you are like, me you want God's very best for your child...every gift cultivated, wisdom in situations, protection and so much more. I've found a great tool to help me pray effectively for my daughter.


A praying parent himself, Bob Hostetler developed a parent's prayer program assists us in covering all the bases when it comes to covering our children in prayer. 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids pairs a character trait or fruit of the spirit with a scripture for every day of the month.Per Mr. Hostetler, feel free to duplicate it -- or improve upon it -- to help you pray specifically and purposefully for your children to experience and evidence:


1 Salvation
"Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory," (Isaiah 45:8, 2 Timothy 2:10).


2 Growth in grace
"I pray that they may 'grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,' " (2 Peter 3:18).

3 Love
"Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to 'live a life of love,' through the Spirit who dwells in them," (Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22).


4 Honesty and integrity
"May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection," (Psalm 25:21, NLT).


5 Self-control
"Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be 'alert and self-controlled' in all they do," (1 Thessalonians 5:6).


6 A love for God's Word
"May my children grow to find your Word 'more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb,' " (Psalm 19:10).

7 Justice
"God, help my children to love justice as you do and to 'act justly' in all they do," (Psalm 11:7, Micah 6:8).

8 Mercy
"May my children always 'be merciful, as [their] Father is merciful,' " (Luke 6:36).

9 Respect (for self, others, authority)
"Father, grant that my children may 'show proper respect to everyone,' as your Word commands," (1 Peter 2:17a).


10 Strong, biblical self-esteem
"Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are 'God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus,' " (Ephesians 2:10).


11 Faithfulness
" 'Let love and faithfulness never leave [my children],' but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts," (Proverbs 3:3).


12 Courage
"May my children always 'Be strong and courageous' in their character and in their actions," (Deuteronomy 31:6).


13 Purity
" 'Create in [them] a pure heart, O God,' and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions," (Psalms 51:10).


14 Kindness
"Lord, may my children 'always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else,' " (1 Thessalonians 5:15).


15 Generosity
"Grant that my children may 'be generous and willing to share [and so] lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age,' " (1 Timothy 6:18-19).


16 Peace, peaceability
"Father, let my children 'make every effort to do what leads to peace,' " (Romans 14:19).


17 Joy
"May my children be filled 'with the joy given by the Holy Spirit,' " (1 Thessalonians 1:6).


18 Perseverance
"Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to 'run with perseverance the race marked out for [them],' " (Hebrews 12:1).


19 Humility
"God, please cultivate in my children the ability to 'show true humility toward all,' " (Titus 3:2).


20 Compassion
"Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion," (Colossians 3:12).


21 Responsibility
"Grant that my children may learn responsibility, 'for each one should carry his own load,'" (Galatians 6:5).


22 Contentment
"Father, teach my children 'the secret of being content in any and every situation. …through him who gives [them] strength,' " (Philippians 4:12-13).


23 Faith
"I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them," (Luke 17:5-6, Hebrews 11:1-40).


24 A servant heart
"God, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, 'as to the Lord, and not to men,' " (Ephesians 6:7, KJV).


25 Hope
"May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit," (Romans 15:13).


26 The willingness and ability to work hard
"Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, 'as working for the Lord, not for men,' " (Colossians 3:23).


27 A passion for God
"Lord, please instill in my children a soul that 'followeth hard after thee,' a heart that clings passionately to you," (Psalm 63:8, KJV).


28 Self-discipline
"Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire 'a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair,' " (Proverbs 1:3).


29 Prayerfulness
"Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to 'pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests," (Ephesians 6:18).


30 Gratitude
"Help my children to live lives that are always 'overflowing with thankfulness,' 'always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,' " (Colossians 2:7, Ephesians 5:20).


31 A heart for missions
"Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all peoples," (Psalms 96:3).


"I believe this simple prayer program will not only change how we pray, but also how our children pray…and, by God's grace, how they live as well." Bob Hostetler


Bob Hostetler's books include the award-winning Don't Check Your Brains at the Door (coauthored with Josh McDowell) and They Call Me A.W.O.L. He lives near Oxford, Ohio, with his wife, Robin, and two children. You can purchase his 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids prayer cards and other prayer tools at NavPress. Check it out!

More prayer

Hi folks...my step brother, Nicki, was in a serious car accident on Friday. Though miraculous he survived, he remains in critical condition with a brain injury & several broken bones. We were advised yesterday there is evidence of 2 strokes, potentially impacting his right side function. He is intubated at present, though he is breathing some on his own. However, with intubation comes a serious threat of pneumonia.

Nick has a wife & two cutie pie girls. He needs God...healing & salvation. I know God works through tragedy and believe that Nick is in His hands. Thanks, in advance, for praying for Nick & our family.

Friday, October 12, 2007

30 Days of Prayer - Pakistan




An Islamic Offshoot - Zikri Baluch



Zikri


Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 30 for October 12


The Zikri Baluch are an offshoot of mainstream Islam that is concentrated in the Baluchistan Province of Pakistan. There are about 750,000 adherents in this group. Most Zikris live in Baluchistan, but a large number also live in the region around Karachi and Iran. A high percentage of Zikris are involved in fishing, mainly along the coast of the Arabian Sea. Some are also involved in farming, basket weaving and making other hand crafted items.


Muslim But Different


Their practices are based around the teachings of Syed Mohammad Jaunpuri, a 15th century and South Asian Islamic Messiah figure (Mahdi). In religious practice, the Zikris differ greatly from mainstream Muslims. Zikris perform five daily prayer rituals called Zikr in which sacred verses are recited which differ from orthodox Islamic prayer. Zikris do pilgrimage to their most famous shrine at Koh-e-Murad, near the city of Turbat in Baluchistan, on the twenty seventh night of Ramadan. “Koh” means “mountain”, and “Murad” is a name, meaning “aim”or “desire”. It has been reported that the Zikris perform rites similar to a traditional Hajj when on pilgrimage to the shrine.


The name Zikri comes from the Arabic word dhikr (pronounced “Zikr” in South Asia) that refers to remembrance, usually of Allah. This is reflective of the Zikri worship, focused on the recitation of Islamic credos. The movement of Syed Jaunpuri started as a reaction to the worldly pursuits of the Muslim elite. Zikris have faced persecution mainly from Sunni Muslims, but this usually has occurred in areas where they are in a minority, or in conflict with non-Zikri power groups. The Zikri came to Baluchistan seeking safety, and in their isolation, they deviated from the Muslim majority practices.


The Future Question


It is probable that many other influences will come into the lives of the Zikri in the coming years. The Pakistani and Chinese governments have been deeply involved in developing the Gwadar deep-sea port which is being linked to the rest of Pakistan, to China and to Central Asia through a system of roads and pipelines. Gwadar’s population is about 50% Zikri. If the forecasted economic development based on the port actually takes place all of Baluchistan and the region will be significantly affected.


It has been reported by a couple of fishermen that Jesus appeared to them in a storm and rescued them while on a fishing trip. Pray that many more Zikri fishermen would truly encounter Jesus, and become real fishers of men!



Prayer Requests for the Zikri Baluch:


* In recent years a number of Zikris who have become followers of Jesus. Pray for growth in the ways of God (faith, hope and love) for all of these new believers (1 Cor 13).


* Pray also that these new believers would make known their faith among their family and friends, and that whole families and clans would become followers of Jesus.


* Pray that the top religious leaders of the Zikris would come to know Jesus, through the Scriptures, testimonies, films, dreams, visions, healings, etc., so that their followers would also embrace the Truth.


Background information, map and statistics about Pakistan can be found on our site here …>>

Thursday, October 11, 2007

30 Days of Prayer - India

The Hindu Conversion to Islam


Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 29

Place: Nashik District, Indian State of Maharashtra
Population: 4 million
Christians: Less than 20,000 people, 0.5% (all denominations combined).
Muslims: 600,000 people, 6,7% (mostly city dwellers)

Nashik, (also Nasik), is a medium size, fast-growing city. The river Godavari flows through the city and the temples and steps on its banks make Nashik one of the holiest places for Hindus all over the World. Once every 12 years the city hosts millions of Hindus participating in the pilgrimage festival called Kumbh Mela (the Urn Festival). In Hindu mythology, Nasik got its name when the sister of the demon Ravana proposed to marry the god Rama. Hearing this, Rama ordered her nose (‘nasika’ in Sanskrit) to be cut off. Thus Nashik got its name. This is the context in which Muslims in Nashik live – surrounded by ancient Hindu tradition and culture.

Power to Heal the Sick
It was not until the establishment of regional Muslim kingdoms in the 14th and 15th centuries and the arrival of Muslim missionaries that the Muslims began to form a distinct community. The two leading Muslim missionaries in Nashik were Khunmir Hussaini (1520) and Syed Hussaini (1568). It is believed that both came with zealous preaching and the power to heal the sick, thus many Hindus readily converted to Islam. Devotion to these Muslim saints continues to this day.

The vast majority of Muslims in Nashik (as in all of India) are Sunnis who have been influenced over the generations by Hindu religion and culture. Some of the Muslims peoples residing in Nashik district are the Sayyed, the Pathan, the Malik, Muslims from Rajasthan, the Lakarharas (or wood-sellers who are a mixed population of Shaikhs), and a Shia sect called the Dawoodi Bohra. The majority of Muslims in the city are from the Sayyed group.

The Plight of the Muslims
A simple visit to Nashik city will easily demonstrate the plight of the Muslims living there. Many live in congested areas where the city infrastructure is of poor quality. When we wrote this article (summer 2006), there were no known ministries daily reaching out to Nashik’s Muslims with the Gospel. However, this does not mean God is not at work among them.

Many genuine believers in Nashik have been praying for the Muslim community. Some are fearful of Muslims as well, caught up in the historical Indian prejudices between the varying religious communities. Another area for prayer is Malegaon, a city in Nashik district a few hours drive north east of Nashik city which is over 70% Muslim, far exceeding the Muslim population of Nashik city. Malegoan has a reputation for its communal tensions between the religious communities and the more volatile Muslim population.

Prayer points for Nashik, Maharashtra, India:
* May God send labourers into the streets, alleys, homes and families of Nashik to proclaim Christ to the Muslim community (Mt 22:9-10).

* May God prepare the men and women of peace (Luke 10:6) among the Muslims of Nashik who can receive the message.

* May God help the Christians of in the area to move beyond prejudices to really loving and caring for the Muslim community.

* May God pour out His Spirit giving the Muslims a hunger and thirst to know God and His Word (Luke 24:27-32).

Background information, map and statistics about India can be found on our site here …>>

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Remembering Mom

It's been a challenging couple of days to say the least. I've had 3 exams in 5 days. This is the real deal; make or break if this dream is to become a reality. Wiping the tinist of sweatbeads off my forehead last night after the anatomy & physiology class, I thought to myself "I don't know if I can do this." With sadness, I remembered this challenge is different. It's the 1st major undertaking without my cheerleader, my enourager saying "You CAN do this! I believe in you. Just work hard and you can do it." Thank God I still hear her voice in my head and in my heart.

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mom's death. The loss remains profound--a gaping chasm that cannot be filled. I don't cry everyday anymore. Progress. Memories are returning of mom before she sick. For the longest time, I just couldn't see her healthy, happy, confident, loving life self that she was growing up. Worried about this, I asked Russ if he had the same problem. Only memories remained of her healthy self for Russ. He assured me they would return for me as well. That's something Mom would have said, "Don't worry. You'll find them again. You'll be ok in the meantime."

I miss her. I miss her when Grace asks about her Grandma. "Tell me again. Where is my Grandma? Oh, that's right. I remember, she's with Jesus now. I miss her. I love her and she loves me. She sang songs to me and read books to me." Or she might ask me if I have a mommy. Sweeter still is when she asks, "Remember when Nana got me these jammies? They are so cute. Remember when she laughed and laughed when I was jumping in that jumper thing?" Of course, she remembers the anedotes and stories I've told her about her & Nana. No, I won't forget and Grace will remember her Grandma in the stories I tell; in the songs we sing.

Below is a post from last year but fitting for today... a tribute to mom.

In loving memory...

Nellie R. O'Neal


Jesus Loves Me
Print by Kathryn Andrews Finch

This has been a big week for us - turning TWO is a BIG deal! Gracie never ceases to amaze me but this week I shed some tears. For weeks, Gracie's belted out "Deep & Wide" - there's a fountain flowing deep & wide; a song she learned in CLC KidsTown about the never ending fountain of God's love toward His children. This week as I was putting Gracie's shoes on & she started singing another familiar tune~



Jesus loves me this I know

for the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong.

They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me!

The Bible tells me so.


Though she missed a few of the words, it was by far the sweetest melody. This child's song is powerful when you really think about those words. The declaration that Jesus, God almighty, creator of heaven and earth, loves ME. And I KNOW it! We, as His children, belong to Him; treasured and cherished of our Heavenly Father. Though we are weak, He is indeed strong; strong enough for whatever makes me afraid. To quote an old song, "His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. He'll carry us when we can't carry on. Raised in His power the weak become strong. His strenth is perfect. His strength is perfect."

Jesus loves me - it's been a favorite for a long time, holding special meaning for a number of reasons. One of mom's favorite stories to tell from when Tracy & I were kids was the one about Halloween when we were 2 & 3 years old. She took us trick or treating and our "trick" was singing Jesus Loves Me. One lady was so moved, she recorded the song to send to her son in Vietnam. I wonder if two giggly girls singing this Sunday School favorite brought a smile and perhaps reassurance that he was being held by the everlasting love of Jesus. I believe it did.

Jesus Loves Me comforts the soul. My mom was sick, sick, sick in the hospital - I had no idea it would be the last day she lived. While visiting her, Grace persisted in getting a book off mom's nightstand. Thinking it was a Bible, I told her "not for Grace" a dozen times. Finally, I decided we could look at the "book" together. Turned out it was a hymnal. Then I remembered my sister telling me that she & my cousing swiped one from the hospital chapel so they could sing for mom. Mom was a singer when she was younger - lovely, lovely voice. I treasure the memory of her singing to me, with me when I was little and then, mom singing to and with Grace. The words were sometimes jumbled, but charming still.

Mom affirmed she would enjoy it if we sang a bit. I went through the songbook, finding old favorites I hadn't sang in years...Standing on the Promises, What a Friend We Have In Jesus, Amazing Grace and finally, Jesus Loves Me - with all the verses. Mom enjoyed the others, moving her lips to sing as she was able, but when I began to sing Jesus Loves Me, she began to breathe deeply, relax & "rest" in the song. I remember all day mom looked very deeply at Grace & me, like she was drinking us in. I think mom knew that it was the end. This song gave her peace to rest eternally in the arms & love of Jesus.

So sing on Gracie! Sing it 'til that message is embedded in your little soul, because He does indeed love you! Sing it for others so they will know they are loved as well.

PS - the print above by Kathryn Andrews Finch hangs in Gracie's room as a reminder of this precious love. AND special thanks to Christian Life Center KidsTown Children's Program http://clctoday.org/children.htm for singing with my little Grace. You'll never know how far your efforts go!





30 Days of Prayer - Muslim Universities

Muslim Universities


Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 28 for October 10

The evolving world of Islamic universities has become a major challenge for Christians. The mission of Islamic education is to establish Quranic values and promote Islamic rule and influence worldwide through university community life and studies. The biographies of leading Muslim fundamentalist intellectuals have become essential reading for many students. Muslim academics are often persuaded that the West (which is often perceived as being Christian) is a major threat to Islam through secular democracy, globalisation, individualism, and liberalised morals.

God at work in Islamia University
The Jamia Millia Islamia has become the largest Muslim University in Delhi, India with 10,400 students and over 1,500 faculty and non-teaching staff. In the Urdu language, Jamia means University, and Millia means National. JMI offers bachelors, masters and PhDs in 32 specialised departments with twenty specialised research centres partnering with Universities around the world. Indian Muslims attend the University and international students come from 38 nations including the Middle East, Africa, Central and South Asia. JMI students and teachers are predominately strong Muslims yet God is at work!

One JMI student recently had an encounter with Christ through a dream, and today he is a committed believer sharing his faith with others. God continues to open several doors at this university for the Gospel. Making disciples of Muslim students and effectively training them to walk with God is vital to reaching Muslims worldwide for Christ.

Strengthening the Moral Character of Islam
The Jamia Markazu University near Calicut has recently become one of the major cultural and educational institutions in Kerala (Southwest India), attracting students from various parts of India. Ten thousand students study Qur’an, Hadith, Islamic law, Arts, Science and Technology. According to the university’s web site “Its influence reaches far beyond the walls of communal and social barriers. Its work strengthens the moral character of the Muslim society. By developing the leadership capacities of leaders and the Muslim community, Jamia Markaz directly affects the cities, towns and even the rural areas … Armed with renewed vigour and Islamic spirit, Markaz students return to the society with anew wholeness, a new sense of responsibility and practical skills to bring about a moral revolution.”

Many Indian Muslim students and university personnel are involved in or support the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which is officially illegal. This group is actively seeking to orient Indian society toward Islamic values over against Hinduism and secularism. The movement encourages living on the basis of the Qur’an, the propagation of Islam and jihad for the cause of Islam. SIMI, and groups like them play a significant role in propagating fundamentalist Islam worldwide. The student led movement seeks to present Islam creatively through an intellectual and scientific approach (with some success).

Prayer points:
* Pray that Muslim students and staff will have many opportunities to meet Christians with godly life styles and servant attitudes.

* Pray for supernatural encounters with God through dreams and visions among the students and the staff.

* Pray for students to be open to the Gospel and become followers of Jesus. May they plant churches among their own people when they go back home after their studies.

* Pray for God’s wisdom for an effective approaches and partnerships among those witnessing to Muslim university students and staff.

Background information, map and statistics about India can be found on site here

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

30 Days of Prayer - India

The Forgotten City - Firozabad, India



Firozabad Bangles


Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 27 for October 9 (We are posting these one day early to include all time zones.)


Firozabad is a significant city of approximately a half million people located 45 minutes east of Agra by car (the city where the Taj Mahal is located). Firozabad is still being researched for ministry purposes. No local congregation of Christians exists there at the present time. It appears that about half the population is Muslim. The remaining population is comprised of Hindus and Jains (believers in Jainism). A very large Jain temple is located on the outskirts of the city.


Breathing Glass in Firozabad


The glass industry is very well established at Firozabad. It has been called the glass capital of India. Local artisans and factories produce glass bangles (bracelets), drinking glasses and a wide variety of other glassware. Some people have observed that the people of Firozabad do not breath air but glass. Dozens of shops in the markets sell nothing but glass bangles. Thousands of children work in the glass industry around the 300 glass factories polishing and painting the glass bangles in very poor conditions. The city also suffers low literacy and there is significant pollution linked to the glass industry.


The tallest building in the city is the main mosque in the heart of downtown. During Friday prayers this mosque is full with several hundred Muslims present. Large numbers of young boys are attending the Qur’anic school linked to the mosque. It is still not certain if most of the Muslims in this city are truly religiously Muslim or simply culturally Muslim. The women wear traditional Muslim dress.


No Known Churches… Yet


There is no known believer in this city. Some Christians who recently visited Firozabad saw God open doors for the Gospel with four young Muslim men. They gave a copy of the Bible to one of the young Muslims who is also sharing it with the others. Through phone calls and e-mails it seems that they continue to read the Bible. Some of the visiting Christians were even invited to a wedding in the same family as the young man who has a copy of the Bible. The young Muslim men know that the Christians are followers of Jesus and that we pray for them daily. Hopefully Christians visiting the city will continue to find men and women of peace and good will.


Firozabad in some ways is what you would call a forgotten city. It is the closest large city to Agra, the tourist capital of India, and yet there are no tourists who visit this city. When a tourist does come to Firozabad, traffic literally stops on the streets.



Prayer Points for Firozabad:


* Pray for God to raise up workers to go to this city and share the Gospel message (both short term and long term workers are needed).


* Pray for discernment of those who go to work in this city as they do research and minister.


* Pray for God to speak to the city’s youth through His Word (including those mentioned above).


* May people become dissatisfied with Hinduism and Islam and long for more than they presently have.


* Pray for the many children used as cheap labour in the glass factories and for real solutions to the pollution problems.


Background information, map and statistics about India can be found on site here …>>

Monday, October 08, 2007

30 Days of Prayer - Bangladesh

Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh



Flag of Bangladesh


Population: 11 million


“You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelations 5:9)


Dhaka has been called “the city of the 1,000 mosques”, but at the start of the 21st century the capital of Bangladesh has many more than 1,000 mosques. The region was first exposed to Hinduism and then to Buddhism. Muslim raiders introduced Islam to Bangladesh from North India in the tenth century and later by the Mughal (Mogul) rulers. Almost 90 per cent of the population today follows the Sunni and Sufi forms of Islam, which are dominated by ‘holy men’ and folk Islamic practices.



Dhaka is a busy centre of government and commerce and attracts students from all over the country. Recently identified as the world’s most polluted city, the government is struggling to manage the traffic and provide adequate housing facilities for its growing population of 11 million people. Non-governmental organisations try to help in the huge challenge of alleviating poverty. Bangladesh’s gross national product (GNP) per capita is still among the lowest in Asia, and the country depends heavily on foreign aid. Crime rates are rising and reports of hijacking, extortion, mob killings and murder can be read in the newspaper every day. Political violence is common, and rivalries between the political parties, coupled with corruption, hinder serious efforts to address the multiple problems.


Dhaka’s major waterfront called ‘Sadarghat’ is on the bank of the river Buriganga. This bustling waterfront reflects Bangladesh’s varied and widespread river traffic. It is crowded with all kinds of river craft, from minuscule boats to steamers and fishing boats.


Bihari Muslims of Dhaka, Bangladesh


Dhaka is also home for many Bihari Muslims. They fled the riots in the Indian State of Bihar after the partition of India in 1947. Favoured by the government of Pakistan, they sided with the West-Pakistani Army when the Bengalis in East Pakistan fought for their independence in 1971. After the war the new country of Bangladesh was born and the Urdu-speaking Biharis were seen as traitors. To escape from the revenge of the Bengalis they were gathered in refugee camps to await their repatriation to Pakistan. With the help of international relief organisations, half of them have been repatriated over the years, but 250,000-300,000 still remain in the 66 camps in Bangladesh. The Biharis in Bangladesh have a strong Muslim identity. Only a few secret believers exist among them.


Web resources:
http://www.virtualbangladesh.com/
http://www.bangladeshonline.com/tourism/spots/dhaka.htm



Prayer for the Muslims in Dhaka, Bangladesh:


* Pray that the churches in Dhaka will be encouraged to reach out to those who have not yet heard the Good News despite the rising intimidation which they face.


* Pray for unity and mutual trust among the national churches and the Christian organisations working in the city.


* Pray for many church-planting teams to be established that will take on the challenge of reaching out to the vast Bengali Muslim population (including the Biharis).


Map of Bangladesh