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SOS Monthly Newsletter - December 2001
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Dear Christian Friends,
As this world heads toward increased danger and uncertainty, we trust in the One who was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. Jesus will soon return to this world as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Until that day, our world will be filled with violence and evil. As Christmas, we think of our Lord's birth and the peaceful manger scene. However, two years later, King Herod ordered every infant boy in Bethlehem murdered. That, too, is part of the Christmas story.
There have always been evil people, but our improved technology now allows them to kill more people. The three greatest mass-murderers of all time lived in the 20th Century. Stalin killed about 42 million people. Mao killed about 35 million. Hitler killed about 16 million, in addition to those who died in World War II. At the time, Communism and Fascism were the greatest dangers in our world.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the greatest threat to world peace has come from militant Muslims. Like the Communists and Fascists, they seek to gain world domination through violence. They are responsible for most of the wars and terrorism on the earth today. The radical Islamic government in Sudan has murdered two million people, although this is rarely reported in our newspapers. Radical Muslims are responsible for over a million deaths in other nations.
The persecution of Christians in Islamic nations has increased since the September 11 attacks. One reason for this is that these nations are now our "coalition partners," so the U.S. won't criticize them for persecuting Christians.
However, the U.S. has increased its criticism of Israel since September 11. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that those attacking Israel aren't really terrorists--despite the suicide attacks, bombings and shootings of civilians. When Israeli Prime Minister Sharon accused the U.S. of appeasing the Arab states, the President's press secretary called his comments "unacceptable."
Today, according to one estimate, 15% of Muslims (about 100,000,000 people) are Islamic "extremists" who support the use of violence to spread Islam worldwide. While this is not the majority, it is a lot of people, capable of causing much destruction.
These are difficult times, and we should respond soberly and wisely. Many Christian leaders are calling for Christians to unite in prayer for revival. (2 Chron. 7:14)
Finally, we need to dedicate ourselves to reaching this world with the gospel. "Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold...and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matt. 24:12-14). By proclaiming the gospel throughout the world, we will see many people come to know Jesus Christ before He returns. Evangelizing the Muslim nations is a difficult and dangerous task. But God is able to open doors that no man can shut.
One exciting report comes from Gospel for Asia. According to their web site, 300 million Hindu "untouchables" are on the verge of leaving the caste system and embracing another religion. Some are becoming Buddhists. After September 11, they decided not to consider Islam. Christian leaders are meeting with their leaders, urging them to turn to Christ. Pray that many of these Hindus will be saved.
Those of us who are called to live in the U.S. also have a great harvest field to labor in. In the San Francisco area, we can witness to tourists, students, and immigrants from almost every nation on earth. Immediately after September 11, a few Christians called us, wanting to join our outreaches. Since then, it seems that too many Christians have followed our President's advice to get back to normal. For them, "normal" means not witnessing for Jesus.
On the Streets
On October 5, we witnessed at the SF Giants baseball game at PacBell Park. This was the game in which Barry Bonds broke the home run record. It was also the longest nine-inning game in major league history. We witnessed until 12:30 AM. We were blessed to have Mark Whitehead join us. He, Eric and Brandon preached to tens of thousands of people leaving the park.
Note: All outreaches are subject to change. Call (510) 531-5325 or (510) 244-0277 (pager) to confirm outreaches or for more information.
Friday November 30, December 7 and 14, January 11 7:30-10 PM Witnessing in various S. F. neighborhoods. (Call for meeting location.)
Thank you for your prayers and financial support for this ministry. We are printing 40,000 of our new "September 11" tract (in red, white and blue) as well as 100,000 other tracts. The cost is about $2000. Also, a brother from my church, ( New Life Christian Church )Michael Hamilton, is updating and improving our web site.
We have one opening in our Oakland ministry house for a spiritually-mature Christian with a calling in evangelism. Call or write us if you are interested. We also need Christians who can witness with us on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. We especially need musicians to sing and lead worship on the streets on Friday night.
Please pray for those who have responded to the gospel this past month, including Bill, Salina, Ricela and Jasmine (all prostitutes), Bazil, Andy, and Fastro (all homeless teens in Berkeley), Jimmy, Karen, John, Herbert, Paul, Neal, Jeffrey, Justin (homeless, kicked out of his house when he was 13), Shawn, Phil, Violet (homeless with 2 young children), Tim, Lee (backslidden), Marie, John, Tony, Gray, Ishma (Muslim), Kang and Chen (Buddhists), Kelly, Tim, and Michael (an atheist, terminally ill with leukemia).
Our Tape of the Month is Give Me Souls by Nicky Cruz. Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." I hope you will join one of our outreaches this next month. Christmas is a time when people are more open to the gospel. We expect this to be particularly true this year. I hope that you will have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Yours in His love,
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