Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Surely this can't be real...

But if it is real, it sure is awkward....  (click to enlarge to see the elements)

Picture from www.failblog.org

Muslim Activity

Here are some recent news bits from around the world involving the "religion of peace"....

Pakistan (Country threat level - 5): On 18 July 2010 a suicide bomber blew himself up near a Shiite mosque in Sargodha city in eastern Pakistan, killing at least one person and injuring several others. The bomber was able to evade security officers who were positioned in front of the mosque to guard against such attacks. Authorities allege that the attack is the latest in a string of bombings orchestrated by Sunni extremists against other non-Sunni Muslims.

Kenya (Country threat level - 4): Kenya is set to vote in a constitutional referendum on 4 August. The draft constitution contains several highly controversial clauses that have bitterly divided the proponents and the opposition. In particular, many Christians in Kenya are highly opposed to a clause that would allow abortions to save the life of the mother, and a clause that would allow Muslim courts a limited jurisdiction. The 13 June grenade attack targeted a group of Christians who had gathered to protest against the new constitution, and it is likely that two men most recently arrested may have been planning a reprisal attack against  proponents of the constitution. Early opinion polls indicate that a majority of Kenyans plan to vote in favor of the draft constitution..

Nigeria (Country threat level - 5): Early on 17 July 2010 suspected Fulani Muslims attacked the village of Mazzah, which is located approximately 9 mi/14 km from Jos, Plateau state, in northern Nigeria. Reports indicate that the heavily armed  attackers targeted the home of a Christian pastor and killed eight people, including the pastor’s wife, children and grandson. The perpetrators entered Mazzah between 0130 and 0500 local time and shot their weapons into the air to lure residents from their homes in order to kill them. Authorities have deployed soldiers to the area in an effort to prevent any additional violence. Violence between Christian and Muslim populations is common in northern Nigeria, and local rights groups report that as many as 1,500 people have been killed in such unrest so far in 2010.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Jimmy Monroe, the youth minister at Immanuel Baptist Church in Muskogee, lost a bet with the kids that they couldn't memorize the books of the Bible.

Get Ready!


Mmm!  Chocolate!

Another Birthday

I can't believe I am ANOTHER year older!  Once again, this birthday came while I was at KBA children's camp in Talihina, OK.  Audrey and Emily arranged a surprise party for me.  The music guy, Joe McKeen, also arranged for the entire camp to sing "Happy Birthday" to me just before my missions presentation.  Pretty cool stuff!

Thanks Audrey and Emily!

Also, I must always remember to thank my mother for giving me life!  Thanks, Mom!

Missions Presentation at KBA

I was honored to serve as camp missionary this year again, at KBA.  Tuesday was about Thailand, Wednesday was about West Africa, Thursday was about China, and Friday was about Disaster Relief.

Dressed up in my Guinean Bu-bu

In my Disaster Relief Chaplain's Uniform


We had a wonderful time at KBA this year.  (Kiamichi Baptist Assembly).  There were 675 campers and 67 professions of faith!

The tabernacle has been refurbished and looks wonderful! The ceiling is clean metal and there are two LCD projectors for words and/or pictures.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Fulani in the News

When Sally and I were in West Africa, we were assigned to a team that worked with a sub-group of the Fulani.  The Fulani are the largest people group/tribe in West Africa, coming in at over 20,000,000 people.  Our sub-group had about 2 million.

I subscribe to a news alert email system that lets me know different trouble spots in the world.  It is very handy if you have an affinity to a certain country or part of the world, as much of the news that they send, you won't find on CNN or Fox.

Today's email included a bit about the Fulani in Nigeria:

Nigeria (Country threat level - 5): On 4 July 2010 approximately 200 suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked Gana Wuri, a Christian village in the Riyom area of Nigeria’s northern Plateau state. Riyom is located approximately 19 mi/30 km south of Jos, the state capital. The attackers were heavily armed, and at least one person was killed and two others were injured in the incident. Authorities believe that the perpetrators were cattle rustlers from neighboring Kaduna state. At least seven people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

ASI Comment: The incident is the latest in a series of violent attacks against the minority Christian population in the region. Similar incidents also took place in the Riyom area in March and April 2010, during which at least 14 people were killed. The attacks also come soon after Boko Haram, a local militant Islamist sect, threatened renewed violence on the one-year anniversary of its attacks that killed at least 300 people in Bauchi, Borno, Kano and Yobe states in July 2009.
You can subscribe to HotSpots by clicking this link: www.asigroup.com

Pray for the Nigerian Christians.  Pray for the Muslims in West Africa.  Pray for the missionaries who engage the Fulani.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Blown Tires and Blessings

One of the ladies in our church is teaching Audrey how to crochet.  I drove Audrey over there this morning and her husband, Fred, wanted to show me something.

The left front tire on his motor home exploded!  It exploded with so much force, it blew a piece of the fiberglass body off the coach.

He told me that they usually go to bluegrass festival this week in Missouri or Arkansas, but neither felt good and they decided not to go.  He said he thought it was a blessing that it didn't happen while they were driving 65 mph down the highway.

It reminded me of another time I saw a tire blow while just sitting there.  It was when I lived in the Ivory Coast.  Larry Rowell and I drove from Abidjan to Ouagadugou, Burkina Faso.  While we were in Ouaga, the spare tire on the Jeep exploded.

We, too, were happy we weren't tooling down the road (at the speeds that Larry drove).

Testimony of God's Power

I was appointed by the International Mission Board to serve in Guinea back in 1998.  While things didn't quite work out there like we expected, I do have a remarkable testimony provided by a young woman who taught school to the children of other missionaries.  Her name is Brandy Keith Mason.  While she was single then, she is married with children now and lives in Missouri.

I was walking through our neighborhood one afternoon when I was approached by a neighbor. She stated that her daughter had a sore on her foot, and she wanted me to come look at it. There was another missionary lady with me, so we both went to their porch where the little girl was sitting. They removed the haphazard bandage and what was below the bandage made my heart drop. I have never seen anything so grotesque. A sore the size of a small lemon covered the entire back part of this little girl's foot. It was covered in something black and looked crusted over. I asked, in my limited Pular, what had happened. The mother explained that the little girl had gotten a scratch/scrape and then it began to hurt more. The sore "grew" so they tried "local" remedies like motor oil (Yes, motor oil!! Thus, the blackness!). When those did not work, they took her to a witch doctor.

I explained that I would need to go back and get some of my medical supplies and would be back. I asked one of our lady workers that spoke English to go back with me to help with the translating. Upon arriving back at the porch, we removed the dirty, torn bandage and began cleansing the infected area. The little girl grimaced but was quickly "hushed" by her mother...a sermon in itself :). After cleansing as much as we could, I applied neosporin and cotton and wrapped the foot with a clean bandage. As I finished wrapping the foot, I knew it was time to discuss the little string bracelet with shells hung ever so clumsily. I gently placed the bracelet between my two fingers and asked what it was. I will never be able to put into words the "darkness" that fell over that place at that point. The mother solemnly stared at me, and in her eyes I saw a battle. "Should I be honest and tell her what that is? Does she already know?" She explained to me (with the help of the translator) that it was really nothing...just a bracelet. The Spirit of God became VERY CLEAR, and I was compelled to express these words, "I WILL NOT SHARE MY GLORY...I WILL NOT SHARE MY GLORY". I explained to the mother that God would not share His glory with ANYONE or ANYTHING. The bracelet HAD to be cut off.

It seemed like hours passed as the battle raged in the eyes of that mother. She finally agreed to remove the bracelet. We gently cut the fragile bracelet off the little girl's ankle, and their was intense anticipation on all parts!!! I asked if I could pray before I left. The mother agreed. I asked the translator to translate the words of my prayer so that everyone there could understand my words. I ended the prayer very strongly in Pular with "In Jesus' name".

As I walked home that afternoon, I felt my own battle. I found my self praying, "Please, Lord, do not test my own faith in this situation." I prayed frequently throughout the evening and night for that little girl. I prayed for a miracle!! I prayed that God would receive GLORY through his situation.

When I returned the next morning, I was met by the mother running frantically to me yelling something that I could not understand. I finally realized that she was saying the little girl was up most of the night crying with pain. I found my self saying..."Oh, Jesus, help me here!" When I reached the porch, the little girl sat in quiet anguish; tiny tears streaming down her little face. I slowly removed the bandage, and as I began to pull the cotton off, the little girl jerked her foot away. Once again disciplined by her mother, she slowly placed gher foto back in my hand. At that moment, I realized that the cotton had "grown into" the sore. "What in the world, Lord?" That is all that I can think! I gently began to "cut" the cotton/scab off. And what was eventually revealed, was a clean, open wound that was immensely smaller than it had been and practically COMPLETELY HEALED. Immediately the Spirit said to me, "Brandy, this is EXACTLY what I wanted. This is EXACTLY what I want for everyone. I , yes I, will remove the 'hard outer coverings'. The coverings that man strives for...wealth, pride, material possessions, etc...that he tries to fill his life with in order to feel complete. I, yes I, will remove those. It may hurt, just like it did for this little girl, but now look what I have to work with...a clean, vulnerable, open area that I can heal." Tears filled my eyes as I knew the Lord was working in this place and in my very own life!!!

As others on the porch realized what had happened, gasps could be heard all around. And softly I could hear the words, "Iisaa, Iissa" (Jesus, Jesus) beginning to be muttered. The voices grew louder and stronger until there was clapping and dancing, and the name of Jesus was being shouted from this front porch where the battle had RAGED the day before. People were PRAISING THE NAME OF JESUS AND THEIR OWN LANGUAGE!!! God was being glorified in a manner beyond what I had ever seen! Tears rolled down my face as I simply thanked God for working a MIRACLE that I was allowed to see with my very own eyes..for being the AMAZING God that He is...for being the I AM!!!

I left that home that day having learned numerous lessons of my own. And when I returned to check on the little girl the next morning, I was greeted with the most amazing smile..a smile that could have brightened the darkest of nights. The little girl, who previously had to be carried around due to the sore on her foot, hobbled out (on her own) to meet me. I will never forget that hug...or that miracle!

July 1st?

How in the world can it already be July 1?  Where did June go?  Where has 2010 gone?

I often realize how fast my life is going when I turn over each new month on the calendar.  The Bible says,

As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. (Psalms 90:10 NASB)
I have another birthday this month.  Even if I take the "eighty years due to strength," my life is more than half over.  My children are still young and have their whole lives ahead of them.  I fear the world in which they will live.

So, more than half-way through my life, I need to take an assessment.  Not one for public scrutiny, but one to make sure I'm on track.  My goal, my mission in life is to "Know God and to make Him known."  I think I'm doing that satisfactorily.  But there is room for improvement.

I look at older men and women whom I have respected for many years and wonder if I am to be like them.  Will younger men look up to me and respect me, not necessarily for what I've done, but for what God has made me.

Yes, turning the calendar is a time for reflection.  Are you on track for where you want to be in YOUR life?