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Welcome to a window into our world.We have been fortunate enought to have enjoyed and been challenged by the faith, education, wildlife, work, culture and people we have encountered in the various places around the world that we have lived in. These experiences have moulded our thinking and lifestyle.
Ben has returned to the US and at the end of last week he heard that he had been accepted for the Musicians Institute in LA. Pray that we are able to access grants, scholarships and various other creative funding streams to facilitate this next eduction phase. We are a little new to the whole scholarship scene so if you are aware of any of the above please contact Ben directly at email@example.com or bounce a reply to this email.
Our friends in Colorado who were having tests to check out about a suspicious cyst in the pancreas have been diagnosed as negative for cancer which is a huge blessing. However, we would ask that you continue to pray for Linsey's sister-in-law who will be having tests on her neck artery and for Kevin's Mum. Pray that God would give them peace, healing and strength.
Recently we heard that the IB program, that Joshua is in the middle of, was going to be cut due to the financial problems in California. Also that these cuts were going to affect the music program which Charys was involved in and this too was going to be axed. We have since chatted with the principal and the IB program is safe and it looks like the music program will also be kept. The school has to raise funding from within the private sector and the principle, who is great, believes this is doable. However, please pray for the inner city kids here; these programs and especially the after-school programs are key to helping keep the kids off the streets and to actively engaging them away from predators and pimps who would abuse them and from the pressures of gang involvement.
Linsey is enjoying her courses this quarter but 2 of her classes are very intense and she is finding them extremely challenging. We have also applied for various scholarships for her, please pray for favor.
OasisUSA is still facing some financial challenges. We have submitted grant proposals with several foundations and would appreciate prayer for those to be successful. Oasis will be running a Fair Trade/Traffik Free chocolate fondue silent auction event on May 1 in Pasadena, CA to help the funding shortfall. There are some excellent items in the auction, signed merchandize from THE FRAY, Memorabilia from the TV series CHUCK signed by all the cast, high-end photographs and paintings, etc... There will also be music and it should be a great evening, check out the Oasis USA web site for details. If anyone would like to donate an item to the auction please contact me. OasisUSA would be very grateful and Ben is helping organize this event.
Kevin ask for strength and fruit as he grapples with the issues of anti-traffiking/slavery and sees again the horrendous characteristics of this trade. The stories that arise of women and children being systematically raped, beaten and brain-washed so that they can be controlled by individuals or gangs brings deep sadness and anger. People being de-humanised. In a recent IJM video it was stated that slaves used to be sold for about $50,000 yet today children are being sold for $20, $30 or $40. You can get details of the film at http://www.attheendofslavery.com/, it's an excellent media piece.
This work reminds him of our previous work in India with the women who were HIV+ and from the red light area. Also of the stories of Amy Carmichael who rescued children from temple prostitution in South India in the early 1900s. In these places the love of Christ lived out through His people made a difference and God's blessing and provision was encouraging, freeing and restorative. He firmly believes and hopes that this will also be the case for todays women and children.
One of the key factors in the current case of people who are enslaved is that they are cut off from their communities and isolated so that they can be controlled. Pray that Oasis would be able to further explore and implement the opportunities of a safe house and/or a reintegration community within the metro area.
Pray that we and Oasis would be able to impact and influence the LA metro communities and partner with the national movement in obliterating traffiking & slavery. Pray also for Christian Growth international as they facilitate our stay here and as they move forward with Cherish Uganda (http://www.cherishuganda.org/) and in dynamic church growth around the globe. You can see the scope of what CGi is involved in at www.christiangrowthinternational.org.
As a family we would all appreciate prayer for insight and resources as we engage in the adventure and opportunities lying in front of us.
If you or anyone you know of would like to join with us and invest in fighting slavery contact Richard Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Hong-Lange at email@example.com.
Also check out the connect page and you will be given the details of how this can occur.