Welcome to the Oct. 19, 2006 Newsletter
From the President, Matt Slick
The trip to Southern California last week went well except for one problem. My initial reason for going was to visit my brother-in-law who is in a Mexican jail for five years. He made the huge mistake of using an American prescription to get medicine in Mexico. After he left the pharmacy, he was arrested. Though many people don't get caught doing this, he did. So don't use an American prescription in a Mexican pharmacy.
The situation in the jail is dire. It is extremely cramped and apparently unsanitary. My brother-in-law complains that the cockroaches crawl in his ears. He is given a bucket and a spoon once a week with which to take a bath. I discovered on my trip down there that that prison was at one time the ninth worst prison in the world. Chappy Dave, the minister I went with, said that when he first started going in to the prison 13 years ago, it was Sodom and Gomorrah. But now, it is the model prison in all of Mexico. Chappy Dave and others deserve huge credit for being faithful before the Lord and going into this prison on a regular basis, for praying for it and the prisoners, and for teaching the Word of God within its walls. It is through this effort and the effort of others doing the same thing that has changed this prison so dramatically. Nevertheless, the one day I arranged to go down there is the day that the Mexican nationals changed the rules. God in his sovereignty knew this and we trust that our presence there was to his glory nonetheless. So, we took matters into our own hands, if I can be jovial for a moment, and walked around the prison two times praying out loud for the prison, the inmates, and the guards.
After we left the prison, Chappy Dave took me to a woman's home where several nuns were working to feed and take care of women who were destitute. Their selflessness was admirable. I got to use my Spanish a bit helping explain to them how we were dropping off bread and explaining how we could not get in the prison. They were full of smiles and appreciation. Next, we went to a home in the barrio area of Tijuana. Chappy Dave informed me that a pastor began taking in the elderly when he found them on the streets. Apparently, some Mexican nationals in Tijuana dump their elderly parents and grandparents. They would just drive up in a car, take them out, leave them on the sidewalk, and drive off. This pastor, a rather short man with a huge smile, began to take them into his home. That was several years ago and now the place houses maybe 40 or 50 elderly.
We stopped there to drop off some bread that had been donated to that Ministry. I met this Mexican pastor and through his broken English and my so-so Spanish, he told us that a couple of weeks ago he and his family were driving in his van to another city. The right front tire blew out and van flipped over and rolled down a ravine where it burst into flames. He could not get his family out due to his own injuries. But praise be to God, some passersby managed to get everyone out. He showed us the burns on his arm and pointed to his chest where other burns were hidden under a shirt. All the while, he kept praising Jesus for his mercy. We were happy that he and his family were okay. Now, all the while he was telling me this, we were in a camper shell, the kind that goes on the back of a small pickup truck. Chappy Dave told me that that was his home. Apparently his real home had been taken over by all of the elderly he had taken in. I was impressed and I can still see his smiling face.
If that wasn't enough I was lovingly accosted by a man who approached us with arms raised high and in Spanish-accented English he started to praise the name of Jesus. He told us how this pastor who lived in the camper shell had found him under a tree seven years ago. This man said that he had been under that tree for three days recovering from a drunken stupor. No one was helping him and he was dying. The pastor took him in and nursed him back to health. With praises on his lips, he told me how he now uses his skills in construction is learned in the United States, to expand the home for the elderly.
After hearing these stories I walked to the edge of the hill and looked around at all of the homes, the dirt roads, the stray dogs, and broken down buildings that were strewn across the landscape. It was a different world, a different culture. Dust blew periodically down non-paved roads and distant children played in the streets. And though we were far enough into Tijuana that we could not see the United States, I was reminded of how good I have it in my large home here in Idaho. I thanked the Lord for his kindness for providing so much for me. But I can't help but wonder who is the richer, me or the people who give their lives to serve the discarded elderly. Of course, we know the answer.
After leaving home and heading back across the border, life returned to normal as I enjoyed the familiar comfort of my homeland. during that week, by God's grace, I was permitted to witness to a Buddhist, a Hare Krishna, and to two Mormon missionaries. Along with visiting old friends, it was a good trip. I'm glad to be home.
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Book form of Theology School
As many of you know, CARM offers three online schools. One is in Christian theology. Another is on apologetics. The third is on critical thinking. We have converted the School of Theology into book form for use in Bible studies and Sunday school classes. It is already being used. The school is offered in two forms: a teacher's edition and a student edition. The students addition has the lessons and questions. The teacher's edition has the lessons and the answers to the questions. Both books are identical in layout and content except that the teacher's edition has the answers. Each book contains suggested reading plans for different length of time, four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, 10 weeks, and 12 weeks. There is also a basic theology test of 20 questions that people can take, and Xerox off to have others take in the church, so that people will be motivated to study.
If you are interested in checking out the course, please go to http://shop.carm.org/shop/?shop=1&cat=14&cart=22830.
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Love and Hate Mail
CARM is constantly getting e-mails of thanks and praise and condemnation. Here are a few...in the raw. (At the suggestion of a reader, the hate mail is first so that the last taste in your mouth, is the love mail).
- You good people are the reason for WARS! I wish you would cease and desist in this manner. My heart and soul hopes that your own perfection is swifter than what you make this to be.
- I did not read fifty words before I was completely offended by your pathetic website. I was looking for more information about my religion, Wicca. The only reason you have info about Wicca is for your sick tactics of twisting the truth. The bible has as many contradictions as any other religion in the world if not more. It's your hell you burn in it!
- I appreciate the way that you are trying to help people follow the Savior. You must understand though that no matter how hard you try to convince others that Mormonism is false, it won't work. The truth will continue in its majesty. There will be nothing that will stop it. It is like the little stone that rolled out of the mountains that Daniel spoke of. This church will fill North and South America. This church will fill the world. I know it is true and we ask people to see what we can add to their truth that they have. Not to take anything good that they believe already.
- Love mail
- Hello, I am what you would consider a strong atheist. Often when I stumble upon Christian websites that discuss atheism it is condescending, rude and downright incorrect. When I clicked on a few of the links on your atheism page, however, I was impressed with how fair you treated the topic. I am pleased that you are not teaching you readers that you should hate atheists and treat them accordingly, as many Christian organizations do. You are teaching to be tolerant, accepting and fair, something that helps everyone. Usually when I think of very religious people I think of a quote by Ghandi: "I like you Christ, but I do no like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ." Your page has showed me a great example of Christians who really do treat others as the Bible teaches. Thanks for making the world a little bit of a better place.
- Hey Matt! My name is Xavier. I'm from Michigan but I live in Japan. I'm teaching English over here and witnessing in my spare time. I love CARM by the way. I have learned tons from you and your research. I catch the podcast of the radio shows once in a while. Thanks for what you do. I will be in prayer for you and your ministry. If you get 30 seconds here and there please pray for Japan and the earlobe of the body of Christ that is in Japan. It's pretty slow going here. Less than one percent of Japanese folk are saved. It's easy to get discouraged here.
- I just finished reading your discussion with the Mormons about the "one God" issue. I am currently witnessing to two Mormons and I just wanted to let you know what a blessing and a help your website has been.
- Matt, I absolutely love your show! I listen to the podcast every night because I don't get to listen to the show live, due to work schedules. God bless you Matt, your use of logic and truth is a breath of fresh air in the Christian community. I pray that your ministry will be expanded, God bless!
Same as Last Newsletter
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