Monday, December 17, 2012

Mind Control, Robotic Arm 'Unprecedented'

Human Trafficking Border Interception Programs Greatly Exceed Expectations

Contact: Colette Bercu, Free for Life International, 615-969-9052

FRANKLIN, Tenn., Dec. 17, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Free for Life International is pleased to report that the results for their partner border monitoring interception programs for the current year are in. They can now share that 150 girls were rescued from slavery in combined efforts between their two existing border stations. Free for Life Intl, along with their partners Peace Rehabilitation Center, operate these programs along the Nepal border. They also are celebrating the capture of 17 traffickers this year through this project. These border stations are among the most effective anti-trafficking programs in this part of the world.

"The results are significantly better than what we had expected for 2011. Needless to say, we are thrilled about this. Even if just one girl had been rescued and spared the trauma of being a sex slave the stations would have been a great victory," states Colette Bercu, CEO of Free for Life. "Building on last year's success at their border station on the Nepal-India border, when the opportunity to open the very first border monitoring station on the Nepal-Tibet border opened up, Free for Life made the investment and jumped at the chance. This is the only crossing between these two countries for a very large distance, so this was a very strategic move to position ourselves at such an important location."

Free for Life's newest Tibet border monitoring interception station opened in March 2012 at the Friendship Bridge. Results are equally promising as Free for Life Intl. and their partners PRC rescued 30 girls since opening at this new location. They expect that this number could be as high as 100 girls in 2013. Notably, the program working along the Nepal-India border is on record-breaking course having rescued significantly more girls this year than were rescued in 2011.

For the past 7 years Free for Life International has partnered with shelters and individuals globally in the fight against human trafficking. Their work includes shelter support, border monitoring, sustainable projects, and scholarships for survivors and for those who are high risk. "We believe it is important to have a multi-disciplinary approach to the rescue and restoration of trafficking survivors, but first and foremost girls must be free. This year the average cost to set a girl free was only $300," Bercu continues. "That is why we have launched a new campaign called Put A Bow On Freedom."

To learn more go to or call Free for Life at 1-888-335-8835.

What's the Christian response to USA school shooting?

USA (MNN) ― The deadliest school shooting in United States history has everyone shaking their heads and asking, "Who does something like this? Who kills innocent children at school? How can someone be that evil?"
While those questions are common, branch operation director and mental health practitioner at Bethany Christian Services George Tyndall says children all over the country will be affected by this tragedy. "To see this sort of thing on the news can create fear, 'What if that happens at my school?' So then you could see responses from kids: stomach aches, headaches, and that sort of thing--complaints of not feeling well in an attempt to stay home, try to stay safe."
Tyndall continues, "Everyone's response is, 'How can this be? How can we go on?' With children, in particular, reestablishing that sense of safety is the number one piece."
Vice President for Outreach at Biblica, Rich Blanco, says, spiritually speaking, "There are just more and more reminders of us living in a fallen world. But I'm also reminded that as Christ-followers, we're called to overcome evil with good."


God is at work among rescued girls

India (MNN) ― With 55,000 children reported missing in India, they may have "vanished without a trace," but their fate is likely a grim one.
There are about 2.5 million kids trapped in India's commercial sex trade, and of Mumbai's 250,000 commercial sex workers, over a third are children under the age of 12. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 12-years-old is the average age of entry for kids in the sex trade.
"It's a huge problem worldwide, and it's the helpless of the helpless that are usually trapped up in these systems," says Jeff Palmer with Baptist Global Response.
Typically, there are three main levels of national involvement in human trafficking:
  • Sending/origin - countries where children are sent from
  • Transit - countries where children are moved through and temporarily kept on the journey to their final destination
  • Receiving/destination - final stop for trafficked children
Some countries, like India, fall into all three categories. Children from origin nations like Bangladesh and Nepal are taken into India and through India to the receiving regions of Pakistan and the Middle East. Although exact figures aren't known, it's estimated that between 5,000 and 7,000 Nepalese girls are trafficked into India for sexual exploitation every year.
A large portion of trafficking in underage girls for the sex trade happens inside India's borders. The 2005 National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Action Research Study found that a majority of victims came from low-ranking castes like the Dalits, or "Untouchables." The NHRC also estimates that nearly half of the kids trafficked within India are between the ages of 11 and 14.
Is there any hope in this story? Yes, and you can help restore a child pulled out of the sex trade.
BGR works with a shelter in India for rescued girls aged 8 to 18. The Courage Home is a transition home designed to help girls start on the path of healing and growth.
"We're looking at caring for them emotionally, physically, and spiritually," says Palmer, "and a part of that is sharing the hope that is in Christ."


'Grieved' -- Conn. Baptists responding to shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn. (BP) -- Area Southern Baptists are preparing to provide any assistance that may be needed for families impacted by Friday morning's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, where at least 27 were killed, including 20 children.

Bryan Sims, pastor of Southbury Baptist Church about 15 minutes from the school, said hours after the tragedy he was contacting members to see if any of them were directly impacted. A resident from the Newtown area has been visiting Southbury for a few months, Sims said.

"We're all very grieved, definitely praying for those who are going through that down in Newtown. It's such a tragedy. It's one thing when it's adults, but when it's little children being killed, it's just hard to fathom," Sims said. "I've emailed everybody in the church and put it on our church Facebook page that ... I'm here to talk, pray if anybody needs to. I'm kind of gauging the response right now. I'm not sure if people want to come to the church or if they want to be with their families right now."

Itamar Maciel, interim pastor of the Spanish-language-speaking All Nations Church, a Southern Baptist plant in nearby Danbury, said his church will sponsor a community prayer meeting Saturday at 7 p.m. in response to the tragedy.

He said the children of his 100 members are likely enrolled in public schools in Danbury, rather than Sandy Hook Elementary, the scene of the mass shooting.

The tragedy unfolded when one or two gunmen entered the school and began shooting. Police were still on the scene Friday afternoon (Dec. 14); the presumed shooter was dead inside the school with other victims.

Sims said Southbury could itself use prayer to know the best way to respond to the tragedy.

"We're just here to reach out to anybody we can," Sims said.


The Outcome of Intercession

“In order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:12
Prayers that Paul prayed for the churches and co-workers who were recipients of his epistles reveal a great deal about the nature of prayer and God’s desire for us. They are also guidelines by which we can learn to pray more effectively. In this tenth devotional reflection of the series we get fresh insight into the ultimate purpose of intercessory prayer.
Many of our public prayers are quite general as we pray for God’s blessings or for those in crisis, for our city and nation and for leaders without specifically stating how we want God to bless or what we want Him to actually do. Our private praying is often dominated by intercession for others with special needs in which we ask God to comfort, heal or guide them. But do we ever think through these petitions as to why we are asking God to bless someone, heal the sick or reveal His will in a certain situation?
Paul expressed a lot of specific prayers, but in this passage he says, “To this end also we pray for you always” (2 Thess. 1:11). He then goes on to identify three objectives and an over-arching result of his intercession regardless of the specific focus on his prayer. He wanted God to answer his prayer, to respond to his intercession, to meet the need of his readers (1) that God would count them worthy of His calling, (2) that they would fulfill God’s desire for goodness, and (3) in their lives would be manifested the work of faith with power.


Bible doesn't command wealth redistribution, presenters say at theological meeting

MILWAUKEE (BP) -- Scripture does not require governments to redistribute wealth to help the poor, presenters in a session at the Evangelical Theological Society's annual meeting said this fall.

"Class warfare, wealth redistribution, and socialism can, at best, make people only equally miserable," Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Craig Mitchell wrote in a paper he presented during a session titled "Does God Require the State to Redistribute Wealth?"

Mitchell asked, "Is it surprising that free markets, which respect property rights, maximize both producer and consumer welfare, and create wealth (rather than dividing it) are far more compatible with biblical Christianity?"

The meeting, attended by more than 2,000 evangelical scholars in Milwaukee, included the election of two Southern Baptists as officers. Thomas Schreiner, a professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., was elected president-elect, and Gregg Allison, professor of Christian theology at Southern, was elected secretary.

Focusing on the theme "Caring for Creation," plenary session speakers at the Nov. 14-16 meeting included Russell D. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the school of theology at Southern, and E. Calvin Beisner, founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

In addition to Mitchell, the session on wealth redistribution featured Scott Rae, professor of philosophy of religion and ethics at the Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, Calif.; Art Lindsley, vice president of theological initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics in McLean, Va.; and Wayne Grudem, research professor of theological and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona.

Mitchell, chair of the ethics department and associate director of the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said those who argue that the Bible requires governments to redistribute wealth often take Old Testament passages out of context. He told Baptist Press that the Land Center's website includes audio, video and printed resources on economics from a Christian perspective.

God required Israelites to leave a portion of their crops in the field after harvest for the poor to gather, Mitchell said, and He instituted the Year of Jubilee, when land was returned to its original owner every 50th year. But neither Old Testament requirement means that modern governments should redistribute wealth to the poor, Mitchell said.

"The laws concerning the gleaning of fields in the Pentateuch (Leviticus 19:9-10 and also Deuteronomy 24:21) require the poor to work by picking up the leftovers at the edge of the fields," Mitchell wrote. "Those who own the fields do not have their produce taken by the government and then given to the poor. Since the Old Testament extols the virtue of work and deplores the vice of laziness, the contemporary concept of wealth redistribution is alien to the Ancient Israelite conception of justice or righteousness."


Tiny Texas town opens its homes to 76 children in need

The tiny Texas town of Possum Trot has no stoplights, no street names -- and one huge heart.
Over the last 16 years, 25 families in the working-class community have adopted 76 children in need, opening their homes in a town that is struggling financially to the point where the local food bank is empty and has been closed for months.

Sixteen years ago, W.C. Martin, the pastor of the local Bennett Chapel Baptist church, helped organize his congregation to help foster children in need, believing they should have regular homes after so much hardship.

“It’s not a whole lot that we have to offer children right here in Possum Trot,’’ Martin told NBC News’ Craig Melvin. “But love, peace and joy and happiness – we can offer them that.’’

Martin and his wife, Donna, have adopted four children themselves.

“The challenge with the kids is (them not) really, really trusting the love that you have to give them unconditionally,’’ Donna Martin told Melvin. “Some of them were beaten, molested by family members, just the most horrible things.’’

A Clash of Organizations in the War on Christmas and the Good Guys Win -- Nativity Returns

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 17, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- On Saturday morning, December 15th, John Satawa with the help of family and friends and the Boy Scouts once again erected the Nativity on a public median in Warren, Michigan. The joyous occasion was the culmination of a four year legal battle in defense of the Nativity waged by the Thomas More Law Center against the County Road Commission and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
While the Nativity was being erected, Warren police controlled traffic as well-wishers gathered, reporters and TV stations conducted interviews, carolers sang Christmas songs, a priest from nearby St Anne's Catholic Church blessed the display, and passing cars and trucks sounded their horns and drivers gave a 'thumbs-up" in approval.
A Nativity at that location was a tradition begun by John Satawa's father in 1945. It was observed every year thereafter without a single complaint until 2008 when the Road Commission capitulated to a demand letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and ordered Satawa to take it down. That is when John Satawa contacted the Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The beginning paragraph of the U.S. Court of Appeals opinion which ruled in favor of the Nativity, described the clash between the Thomas More Law Center and the Freedom From Religion Foundation as follows:

    "The Macomb County Road Commission faced a dilemma.
    "The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization dedicated to 'protect[ing] the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of church and state,' had written a letter objecting to a private citizen's placing a crèche on a sixty-foot-wide median at Christmas time, as the citizen and his family had done for more than sixty years. The county immediately ordered the crèche removed. In response, the Thomas More Law Center, an organization dedicated to 'restor[ing] and defend[ing] America's Judeo-Christian heritage,' took up the citizen's cause . . . "
    Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, commented:

      "The Freedom From Religion Foundation conducts seek and destroy missions of Christian expressions throughout America. But thanks to the perseverance of John Satawa and the insight of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals panel that heard our case, this is one battle they lost. John Satawa is now able to resume this wonderful tradition started over 60 years ago."
      As a result of the Court of Appeals ruling, the Macomb County Road Commission agreed to allow John Satawa to resume the annual tradition of erecting the Nativity display during the 2012 Christmas season and all future Christmas seasons. The Nativity display will stay up until December 29th.
      The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America's Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (734) 827-2001      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit our website at

      Christian Newswire

      Helping Kids Through the Connecticut School Shooting Trauma

      Responding to the Connecticut School Shooting: Six "T's" for Helping Kids through Trauma
      FOREST, Va., Dec. 15, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT (
        Yesterday, an unspeakable tragedy took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Fox News reports that 26 people are dead; 20 of the victims are elementary age children. It's horrifying, mind-boggling and surreal -- an unspeakable evil and every parent's nightmare.

        Pray for the families of the victims and the entire community of Newtown during this confusing and desperate time. There will be many conversations about why tragedies like this happen... and questions from kids about whether or not they're safe, especially at school.

        As one mother on the scene put it, "I'm in a state of shock. I don't know how I'm going to handle having [my daughter] know... about the whole situation."

        Trauma is best understood as any event that shatters our sense of safety. Immediately, one can become hyper vigilant -- overly sensitive and set on emotional alert. Fear rules, especially in kids. The pictures online screamed of the horror. In these moments, children need adults who are attuned to their emotions and tender to their needs.

        Six "T's" for Helping Kids through Trauma

        Togetherness. This is a time where your kids need to have you close. They need to know they're safe. Pull in together as a family. Pray together. Be together. The antidote to trauma is safe, loving relationships. Coddle your children a little bit more. Stay in close proximity to them, particularly if they're anxious or afraid.

        Touch and Tenderness. Touch is an expression of affection that reinforces proximity and closeness. It produces a calming affect. Fear makes our minds race and wander, but tender touch dispels it. Hold a hand. Stroke your children's hair. Let them sit in your lap. Wrap your arms around them. Kiss them. Be present emotionally. If they're acting out a little bit with anger, rebellion or defiance, it very well could be a fear response. Be sensitive to their behavior.

        Talk. The questions will come: "Will a shooter come to my school?" "Why did he hurt those kids?" Be present, sensitive, and don't offer pat answers. Engage them in age-appropriate discussion. Contrary to what many of us believe, talk doesn't perpetuate anxiety -- it helps to reduce it. Avoid graphic details, but don't skirt around the issue. Become a safe place for them to bring their questions.

        Truth. Fears of the unknown can paralyze us. Anchor their hearts in truths like, "Not everyone in the world is bad. You're safe now. God loves us and is close to us." Remember, our kids absorb us. Your mood, thoughts, and actions directly influence theirs. These truths flow through you -- Mom and/or Dad. Share the promises of God's Word with your kids. Pray for, and with, them.

        Triggers. Someone screaming. A door slamming. A siren. What children experience or see on the news can deeply affect them. Don't let your kids get overdosed with the news stories and all the gory details. This can lead to nightmares, excessive bouts of crying, deepening fear, and not wanting to attend school. Be attuned to your children. Don't react to their emotions, respond lovingly.

        Time. Don't rush or ignore this process. Over the next several days, we will all be flooded with information about the shooting. Keep your life as normal as possible. Sameness and routine reinforce the message of safety for your kids. Your family stability over time will help dispel their fears.

        Our children are not immune to the darkness and brokenness of our world. We may think that if we ignore this incident, our kids won't know about it or feel the impact. Nothing could be further from the truth! Our kids need parents and teachers -- those who have influence in their lives -- to be emotionally present and invested, especially in moments like these.
      Tim Clinton, Ed.D., (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University.

      Christian Newswire