August 2006

August 2006

Dear Friend,

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how
we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-25

It's been a long time since I can recall the news being as troublesome as it is now. For those of us at Advocates International the news becomes very personal because we have friends and colleagues living in most of the hotspots around the world. Although we face major challenges in the USA impacting freedom, faith and family, as well as wrestling with personal health, financial and related issues, relatively speaking our lives are trouble-free compared to those of many of our friends.

In times of trouble - as well as blessing - it is helpful to fall back on basic truths to spur us on and not get discouraged. If you would like, you may request some When Things Go Wrong cards that you may want to share with those you know who are facing trials at this time. A word of encouragement, coupled with truths from the Word and prayers, can give great comfort in times of trouble.

Let me share the names of a few friends who have contacted us in recent days who are in special need of prayer and encouragement at this time:

§ Botrus is a leading Arab Christian lawyer in Israel and directs the 1,000-student Nazareth Christian School on a campus of a little more than one acre. It is ranked as one of the top 5 schools in the country. Recently rockets have fallen on Nazareth. There are about 100,000 Arab Christians in Israel.

§ Marvin is a key lawyer and leader among the 3,000 Messianic Jews in Israel. He and his wife direct the pro-life work in Israel. They live in Haifa which has been hit with hundreds of Hezbollah rockets and missiles in recent weeks.

§ Jonathan is a Palestinian Christian lawyer who's had an office in Bethlehem and lives in Amman, Jordan, with his family. As you can imagine, being a Palestinian, Christian and a lawyer in Israel can be a lonely journey. He has helped bring together followers of Christ in his profession within his region.

§ Joseph leads one of the two main Christian lawyer groups in Pakistan. Persecution in Pakistan is now the worst it's been in many years. There are 2 to 5 million Christians in Pakistan and about 150 Christian lawyers.

§ Tehmina helps direct the 200-member Christian Law Association of India. The persecution of Christians by extremist Hindus in India is now the worst in 50 years. Efforts are underway to make evangelism a crime. About 3% of the one billion people in India come from Christian traditions. Tehmina is the key person in India helping organize the 6th Advocates Asia conference to be held in New Delhi during October 26-29, 2006.

§ Nail may be the only Christian lawyer in Uzbekistan where the government recently kicked out nearly all the Western advocacy groups.

§ David is the leading Christian lawyer in Vietnam. He attends church in Hanoi. There may be 10 other followers of Christ in the legal profession among 75 million Vietnamese. David has participated in our conferences since 2000. He has been harassed more and more by the police over the past six months.

§ Robb is a colleague in Tirana, Albania, who directs an educational training ministry that has helped thousands of Albanians. The government is looking for tax revenues and is considering taxing not-for-profit groups.

§ A dear friend, who wants to remain anonymous, has faithfully helped thousands of prisoners over the years. She is facing a major conflict with her government seeking to undermine her work through confiscatory tax policies.

The good news is that the Body of Christ exists to reach out and help each other. Each week, Advocates International circulates a Global Prayer Calendar sharing the needs. In addition Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America have regular Regional Prayer Calendars that serve as the glue keeping the regions connected.

There is no doubt that the relationships built locally, nationally, regionally and globally over the past 15 years serve as a source of encouragement when trials come. There are active or emerging Christian lawyer groups in most nations where Christians are facing difficult times.

Thank you for your prayers and support enabling us to come alongside our colleagues around the globe, while...

Living in His-Story,

Sam Ericsson
Founder & President