March 2002

 

March 18, 2002

Dear Friend,

"If","do" and "no." They are short, but powerful words.

If only things were different! If only we had done something! If only we had known!

"What must I do to inherit eternal life," the lawyer asked... "You have answered correctly, do this and you will live... Go and do likewise," Jesus replied. Just do it!

No! It can't be done! No! We're not interested! No! We can't afford it!

I'll never forget seeing the first post-communist edition of the Albanian Koran funded by Saudi Arabia. Inside the front cover it read, "We have defeated the devil of communism. We will now defeat the devil of Western democracy."

What should we do? What can we do?

Islam's 20-year goal is to make Albania the first European Islamic Republic by 2011. To reach their goal, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, among others, have funded small shops throughout Albania. To get funds, the recipients agree that a mosque will be built in their village - also funded by the benefactors. Hundreds of mosques have been built.

What should we do? What can we do?

In 1989, Muslim leaders met in Nigeria to develop a "master plan" to win Africa. The three-pronged strategy was to impact law, influence education, and put Muslims in key government positions. Thirteen years later, there is no discernable response by the Church to the plan. In recent months, 122 Christian schools have been closed in northern Nigeria. Libya's Ghaddafi has offered funds to build schools in Uganda on the condition that every school must have one Islam instructor.

What should we do? What can we do?

Since 1991, our mission has been to network Christian law professionals. Applying the Good Samaritan strategy we identity the "innkeepers" within a nation to promote religious freedom and to do justice. They have the languages, licenses, contacts and resolve needed to do the job. Their freedoms are on the line. They can't go "back home" to America because they are home! Outsiders, including Americans, can be encouragers and enablers, but there is no substitute for the foot soldiers on the ground.

Advocates' first video, Headwaters of Hope, moves beyond the ifof wishful thinking and painful regrets. It embraces the do of the Good Samaritan parable. It rejects the No of those who never try or choose to quit when things get tough. Eighteen African "innkeepers" from nine nations share their stories. They shatter stereotypes. Their hope is rooted in the reality of "Christ in us, the hope of glory." They refuse to bow to No! Beauttah, a Kenyan, says it all: "We use what we have to build up what we hope for."

If you could derail an effort to plant abortion-on-demand in Africa, what would you do? Reg and his colleagues in South Africa chose to dosomething. He shares the incredible result and Advocates' small but strategic role in it.

If you could prevent a municipality from closing down an AIDS babies' hospice in Africa, what would you do? Teresa chose to do something - and won!

If you could help untold thousands of homeless street children in Kenya to get the all- important "identity cards" so that they can attend school and get jobs, what would you do? Kenya's dynamic Kamotho went to court and helped change The System.

If you saw women in Zambia treated as if they were Kleenex - used and discarded - what would you do? Anne, widowed at 25, has committed her life to helping downtrodden women and children. She refuses to embrace No!

If the Ministry of Education demonstrated clear bias in favor of Islam and against Christianity, what would you do? Paul, Advocates' African Liaison in Uganda, acted and the President is taking remedial action.

* * * * *

There are three things we hope you will do to impact Africa, Europe, Asia and the world:

1) If you would circulate and show Headwaters of Hope - at a dessert or in a Sunday School class - it would enable us to engage many we have no other way to reach with these powerful stories. We have no radio or TV access, pulpits, magazines or books.

2) If you would give a $100 matching gift, it will pay for one hour's total costs for all our efforts to pursue a counter strategy to Islam's plans in Africa, Europe and Asia.

3) If you would pray for our advocates on the ground in Africa, Europe and Asia, this is the time when they really need it. They are engaged in a war!

We invite you to do something with us. We hope it won't be No, as we continue...

Living in His-Story,

Samuel E. Ericsson
President & CEO

P.S. After viewing the video in class or at home, review A Reality Check: The Bottom Line in the Battle for Religious Liberty and its backside What Does It Mean To Be "Salt" in 2002? Questions on the Cost of Discipleship. They will generate discussion, soul-searching and, hopefully, action. Please make copies of this letter and all the materials for those who view the video. You are our "PR Department"! Thanks for your help!