Monday, November 29, 2010

Mother, Father and Their New Baby Share Same Birthday

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- When Jamal White, Jr. entered the world Wednesday at Regions Hospital he had already accomplished something with extremely long odds. He managed to share the same birth date with his parents, Tiara and Jamal White, Sr.

Jamal, Jr. was born on Wednesday, Nov. 24, the same birthday shared by his parents, who live in Saint Paul.

"He's the best birthday present we could ever had," Tiara told KARE, "Now his birthday will be the only one that matters to us."

Jamal Jr. was born at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and is a healthy 7 pounds, 13 ounces. He's the first child for both Jamal and Tiara.

"It's just fate!" said Jamal, Sr. about sharing the same birth date with his wife and first child.

The couple already shared the same last name when they met in 2009. Jamal, Sr. told Tiara, "It's fate. Same last name and birthday!"

Tiara laughed. "I didn't believe him at first. Then he showed me his drivers license and sure enough, same last name, same birthday!"

Tiara, who was born at the same hospital, didn't need any I.D. for her end of that conversation. Her birthdate, 11-24-1989 appears in a tatoo on her left shoulder right below the word "Saggitarius."

It wasn't planned that way and the birth was not induced to create a birthday that will be easy for the White family to remember.

"They told us he was due November 19th," Tiara said, "And that if he wasn't born by the 26th they'd induce labor."

When she went into labor on the 23rd, she thought for sure the babe would come that day.

"It was a really long labor," Jamal said.

"Yes, he hung in there, almost as if he was determined to come on the 24th," Tiara added.

The odds of three persons in the same family sharing the same birthday, according to one mathematician, is one in 133,155. Although the dynamics of that probability equation (365 x 365)would be affected by the fact that Jamal's parents chose to be together.

click to read full story from

President Obama To Freeze Federal Wages For 2 Years

Click to read full story from

NEW YORK ( -- President Obama will announce a two-year freeze in the wages of federal employees Monday, with the intention of saving $60 billion over the next 10 years.

Obama was scheduled to announce the proposal later Monday.

According to an administration statement, the two-year pay freeze will save $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next decade.

The freeze does not apply to military personnel, but will apply to all civilian federal employees, including those in various alternative pay plans and those working at the Department of Defense.

"This freeze is not to punish federal workers or to disrespect the work that they do," the White House said in a statement. "It is the first of many actions we will take in the upcoming budget to put our nation on sound fiscal footing -- which will ask for some sacrifice from us all."

Wycliffe Bible Translators Raise $250M To Help Finish Last 2,000 Translations

click to read original article from Christian
The world’s largest Bible translation organization has already raised nearly $250 million, or one-fourth of its $1 billion goal, for the campaign to translate the Bible into every language by 2025.

Even in the current economic tough times, supporters donated generously and helped the campaign make significant progress within two years, said Wycliffe’s president. The ten-year Last Languages Campaign has the ambitious goal of beginning Bible translation for all languages that still need the scriptures by 2025.

“To raise nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in two years is impressive even in a booming economy. In the current climate, it’s nothing short of miraculous,” said Bob Creson, Wycliffe USA president and CEO. “We are so grateful to God and our supporters who partner with us to make sure that all people have access to the Bible in the language and form that is most meaningful to them.”

When the campaign first launched in November 2008, an anonymous donor gave an astounding sum of $50 million to Wycliffe for the Last Languages Campaign. It was the largest single gift in the ministry’s 75-year history.

More than 2,000 languages still lack translations of the Bible, leaving more than 350 million people without Scripture in their own languages. The Last Languages Campaign was launched to gather people, prayer and financial resources to at least start Bible translation in all remaining languages within our lifetime.

“In spite of economic uncertainty at home and a daunting task abroad-including political roadblocks, security concerns, restricted access to certain locations and the sheer number of languages yet to be translated – we are is participating in the greatest acceleration of the pace of Bible translation in history,” Creson said. “These financial resources will ensure that the mission stays on this pace.”

There are more than 6,000 languages spoken in the world and about a third of them do not have Scripture translation. The Last Languages Campaign will use cutting-edge translation techniques to accelerate the pace of language development and Bible translation from 125 years to 17 years.

In 1999, Wycliffe was averaging 20 new translation starts a year and there were about 3,000 languages left.

Ten years later, however, Wycliffe had 109 new translation starts in 2009. The average new translation starts for the past 10 years is 75, noted Paul Edwards, executive director of Wycliffe’s Last Language Campaign, in an earlier interview with The Christian Post.

“Our hope and desire as we look at 2010-2011 is that North American churches can wake up to and choose to engage in this thrilling, final lap,” said Edwards. “Can you name another 2,000-year-long continuous movement that is going to have its closing in our lifetime?”

The exact amount given in pledges to the Last Languages Campaign as of Oct. 31 is $231.5 million.

Founded in 1942, Wycliffe Bible Translators exists to make the Bible accessible to all people in the language and form that is most meaningful for them. Nearly 6,000 translators, linguists, aviators, humanitarian workers, educators and administrators, along with dozens of partnering organizations, are working in 90 countries on six continents.

Besides Bible translation, Wycliffe also contributes to community development by establishing water purification systems, AIDS education, human rights and community empowerment programs.

2 Churches Torn Down In Tanzania

click to read original article from Christian
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (CDN) - Radical Islamists are suspected in the demolition of two church buildings on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar on Sunday (Nov. 21), as members of the congregations have since received death threats from Muslims.

The church buildings belonging to the Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) and the Evangelical Assemblies of God Zanzibar (EAGZ) in Masingini village, five kilometers (nearly three miles) from the center of Zanzibar city, were torn down at about 8 p.m., said Bishop Fabian Obeid of EAGZ. Mwera police received reports on the attacks on Monday morning (Nov. 22).

The latest in a string of violent acts aimed at frightening away Christians in the Muslim-dominated region, the destruction on the island off the coast of East Africa has raised fears that Muslim extremists could go to any length to limit the spread of Christianity, church leaders said.

“One Muslim was heard saying, ‘We have cleansed our area by destroying the two churches, and now we are on our mission to kill individual members of these two churches – we shall not allow the church to be built again,’” said one church member who requested anonymity.

The TAGT brick building was under construction and nearing completion; members of the congregation had gone to worship in their new building for the first time on Sunday. The EAGT building where more than 30 members met was a mud structure.

EAGT Pastor Michael Maganga and TAG Pastor Dickson Kaganga said they were fearful about the future of the church in Masingini. Pastors in Zanzibar have scheduled a meeting on Saturday (Nov. 27) to discuss how to cope with the destruction of the two buildings, said the chairman of the Pastors Fellowship in Zanzibar, Bishop Leonard Masasa of EAGT church.

Muslim extremists in Zanzibar, in concert with local government officials, have long limited the ability of Christians to obtain land for erecting worship buildings. In some cases they have destroyed existing buildings and put up mosques in their place.

Frustrated at obtaining government help to apprehend criminals, church leaders said they have little hope that the perpetrators of Monday’s attacks will ever be caught. In most cases the government sides with the attackers, delaying investigation out of fear of upsetting the majority Muslim population that opposes the spread of Christianity.

In 2009, officials in Mwanyanya-Mtoni colluded with area Muslims to erect a mosque in place of a planned church building of the EAGZ, Pastor Paulo Kamole Masegi said.

Pastor Masegi had purchased land in April 2007 for a church building in Mwanyanya-Mtoni, and by November of that year he had built a house that served as a temporary worship center, he said. Soon area Muslim residents objected.

In August 2009, local Muslims began to build a mosque just three feet away from the church plot. In November 2009, Pastor Masegi began building a permanent church structure. Angry Muslims invaded the compound and destroyed the structure’s foundation, the pastor said.

Church leaders reported the destruction to police, who took no action – and also refused to release the crime report, so that the case could not go to court, Pastor Masegi said.

Meantime, construction of the mosque was completed in December 2009. The planned church building’s fate appeared to have been sealed earlier this year when Western District Commissioner Ali Mohammed Ali notified Pastor Masegi that he had no right to hold worship in a house.

Zanzibar is the informal designation for the island of Unguja in the Indian Ocean. The Zanzibar archipelago united with Tanganyika to form the present day Tanzania in 1964.

Muslim traders from the Persian Gulf had settled in the region early in the 10th century after monsoon winds propelled them through the Gulf of Aden. The 1964 merger left island Muslims uneasy about Christianity, seeing it as a means by which mainland Tanzania might dominate them, and tensions have persisted.