Monday, September 18, 2017

THE DEMAS SYNDROME

I SHARE the preoccupation of Mrs Major M. Lloyd on the subject of officers who resign (January 1991). The problem surfaces from time to time, searching for a solution.
It is sadly true that when officers leave the ranks, they disappear from their comrades' view: we learn of their resignation (at least in this territory) only by rumour, or sometimes a note from THQ, and we don't even know their address. At the moment of leaving they are deeply wounded, often bitter and at times unfair in their judgments, preferring to cut off any connections with the Army. That is not to say that they disappear from our thoughts and prayers, or that we withdraw our friendship.
To consider them 'failures' would be to pronounce a daring, even incorrect judgment. Some of them may quite sincerely have been mistaken in their calling. (Several in this territory have served faithfully in other denominations. They were probably not destined to be officers.)
In our officership, we pass through critical phases which make us want to stop, take stock and get our breath. These may be caused by overwork or nervous tension. It is regrettable if an officer then sees resignation as the only solution. This suggestion of the Adversary must be repulsed and some means found to reorganise life and work, in certain countries such as France it is possible to obtain a few weeks' break through the Social Security system, to regain general equilibrium.
Critical periods can also be caused by disagreements about our work or doctrinal queries. To have no other option than resignation is discouraging.
The regulations make provision for leave of absence for specified family reasons only, If this could be extended to include officers who honestly and sincerely are going through a difficult period, they would no longer feel 'prisoners' of their officership. It would also enable than to discuss their situation with their superiors with the opportunity of clearing up any misunderstanding. Even so, some resignations will be inevitable.*
In my 38 years of service I never considered resigning, because of my
strong sense of vocation. Several times. though. there was inner unrest, and once, after more than 25 years of service, a situation arose which made me want to distance myself momentarily from the Army (the six weeks' extended furlough did not exist then).
Later I recognised it as a weakening of my consecration and obedience. It was a time of great turmoil, until one day I happened to read the following lines which made me continue on the path of service:
Your days are not your own
To spend just as you please.
Your days are meant for more
Than comfort, fun and ease.
For you were shaped to spend each day
In helping others on their way.
When a cadet in training I had been very impressed by the story of Abraham fighting the birds of prey which attacked the sacrifice he had placed on the altar. Bravely 'he drove them away'. We too have to watch over our offering to God. It is an old story but it is always applicable.

SUZANNE BARBELL, Lieut-Colonel (R),

France

Sunday, September 10, 2017

FREEDOM OF WORSHIP IN RUSSIA IS SHARPLY CURTAILED



A leadership conference of 1,000 pastors in Moscow in May 2014. The pastors were deeply concerned about the worsening situation regarding religous freedom in Russia. Recently, 74 pastors were tried under the law on "terrorism." In the photo: Laura and Hannu Haukka beside Bishops Vasily Yevtsik and Alexey Rudenki.

Russia’s ongoing crackdown on religious minorities, foreign missionaries, and evangelists has earned it a spot among the worst countries in the world for religious freedom.
“This reminds us of the Soviet Era,” says Vladimir Rjahovski, an attorney with the Council For Law And Justice in Moscow.
The Churches of Russia have pleaded with us to print more Evangelism books, New Testaments and Bibles asap. We believe we have a short window of opportunity.

Freedom of worship in Russia is sharply curtailed.
The Russian government has cracked down on all the evangelical churches with new laws and restrictive regulationsthat were signed by President Putin last year.
To enforce these new laws the government is compelling all evangelical churches in the country to re-register their charter.
The government now states any Evangelical Christian church with 50 members or more is designated as a “potential terrorist target,” and as such, must hire and Russian secret security agents to be on site at every church service.
In addition, every church is required to purchase and install very expensive metal detectors to the entrance to their church.
Churches cannot afford to pay for these security measures. It is simply a way to crush the churches financially.
Some pastors are trying to work around this law by removing all but 50 people from their membership rolls. For example, churches with 400 members are removing 350 of members.
Christians whose names are removed wonder what will happen to them. Will they be forced to gather someplace else? Will they be able to attend as visitors? Right now, no one knows.
Further, the Russian government is requiring anyone who leads in the church in any way--- such as Sunday school teachers or youth pastors--- to go through government training programs and receive certificates to continue teaching.
The problem is the government has their own curriculum and will tell these Christians what they can and cannot teach.
Providentially, while the Russian government has restricted the church in almost every other area, printing presses inside Russia are still accessible. But GCMM president Hannu Haukka says that we have less than 10 months to get these books printed before the doors closes completely.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

        
Texans suffered greatly under the Hurricane Harvey’s aggressive landfall, with many people being left homeless, stranded or left with no basic necessities, such as food and/or water.
         To aid the victims was a woman who brought a total of 400 hamburgers to the site and divided them to locals isolated from the rest.
         This, however, didn’t seem appealing to the Red Cross, which decided to call the woman out on bringing the food there in the first place, and what they did next represents a pure absurdity at its best.
         Lindsay Scott was able to bring 400 hamburgers to those affected by the heavy floods with a little help from a pilot, who volunteered to help out.
         Scott, a Texas-born, was appalled to learn what the Red Cross had in store for her, saying their treatment was hostile, to say the least.
         ‘I’m astonished at the behavior of the Red Cross husband/wife team at the mid-county Jack Brooks airport yesterday. Who together accosted me and took turns berating me because I was trying to bring 400 warm hamburgers to our hungry evacuees, who according to them did not need the food because they had “already had a sandwich.” Yes, they had 1sandwichh in 24 hours. They were desperate for a hot meal! The Red Cross proceeded to try and load the warm, ready to eat burgers into an ice chest.
         The pilot, who had donated his time, fuel, money, plane and arranged the delivery of the burgers was horrified at not being able to serve them (he actually came to volunteer as well). I confess I just stood there with my mouth gaping open, fighting back tears while they told me that I did not know what I was doing and they had not even seen me volunteering.  This is not a normal reaction for me but either exhaustion or pregnancy hormones got the best of me because I simply couldn’t find the words to fight back…,’ she said.
         ‘The Red Cross was not there at 6:30 am when we got there to find we had no food to serve the 100s of evacuees who had sat on a bus all night and some who had not eaten in 24 hours. They were not there when the sun came up and they woke up hungry, angry, tired, scared, and frustrated. They did not see them fighting over donuts that OUR friends and family answered the call to bring at 7:00 am. They did not see the tears over dehydrated babies while we worked to arrange the delivery of Pedialyte and formula.
         They showed up HOURS later…. when we had already coordinated the delivery of food and supplies with our LOCAL community members  (who came out in droves) and The Sky Hope Network through our wonderful State Representative Dade Phelan after just a single phone call.  And the reason they didn’t see me (sweating and sunburned) is because I spent most of the day on the aviation side of the airport on the tarmac coordinating the landing, unloading, and transport of supplies the Sky Hope Network was flying in all day. (which was no easy feat considering the insane, chaotic state of the Jerry Ware terminal).
         I do not care they weren’t there (I understand the vast, severe, damage that ranges from Corpus, Rockport, Houston all the way to Louisiana). I do, however, care how they treated the people of our community when they arrived!’ she continued. ‘These supplies/donations were made by OUR LOCAL community members and the Sky Hope Network (not the Red Cross) and the Red Cross wanted them all shipped to their warehouse for processing and distribution. Apparently, they don’t do “local distribution.” Say what?! We need these things here, locally, NOW. And while we refused to turn away anyone who came on foot or by other means (evacuee or not) or any other church, group, or organization asking for supplies…the Red Cross tried to prevent us from sharing OUR donations (contributed by our community for our community and surrounding areas). The kids that are barefoot, need shoes NOW, not two weeks from now…and we had more than enough to share.’ ‘And the way, these two representatives of Red Cross treated local people who were donating their time (many in the wake of having lost everything of their own) and spending countless hours away from their kids and families in the wake of such tragedy hurts my heart. I pray this is not representative of the Red Cross organization as a whole.
         People who donate their money would be horrified. I’m thankful for our local volunteers who continued to fight with them (when I could not) and saw that the burgers and supplies were distributed to ALL those that needed them. As OUR motto was, we turn no one away,’ she explained.
         The Red Cross was called out on numerous occasions about not doing enough or obstructing what other were doing to help Texans during the crisis.
         Also, many reports suggested the Red Cross does not use all aid received during a particular crisis but sets aside monetary funds, which go to the organization’s personal benefit.

         This goes to show that we do, indeed, live a semi-crooked society, ran by liberals. I wonder, doesn’t humanity strike them as necessary at times?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

REPRIMANDS - RESIGNATIONS - REASSIGNMENTS

We need salvation! Sally Army's officers in despair as two bosses quit after computer meltdown causes unpaid bills chaos
Chaos was caused by new digital accounting system introduce to the charity in April
Last night a Salvation Army source said the finances were in a 'massive mess'
The Charity Commission is investigating after officers were left without bills paid.


Lieut-Col Read further revealed that two senior Salvation Army finance officers, territorial finance director Caroline Emerton and chief accountant Hilary Pearson, had resigned on August 11
For more than a century the Salvation Army has been helping desperate people who have fallen on hard times.
But now the Christian charity is facing an investigation after leaving its own officers in ‘despair’ over a computer system failure that led to thousands of pounds worth of bills going unpaid.
The chaos has been caused by a new digital accounting system called SAASY – introduced by the charity at the start of the financial year in April to ‘centralise’ its finances – which has been failing to process payments on time.
Last night a source from the Salvation Army said the charity’s finances were currently in ‘a massive mess’.
She also revealed that officers, who are not paid and receive a modest allowance each month for their work, were being bombarded with final demand letters because the unpaid bills were in their names – even though it was the charity’s responsibility to pay them.
The Salvation Army source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We’ve had hundreds of court demands and final pay demands.
‘Red letters are arriving every day. The officers are being pushed to the edge by the sheer stress of the situation. Some are so fed up with the financial pressure they are being put under that they even are thinking about leaving the Salvation Army. It is completely out of hand, an utter shambles and just one massive mess.’
In an email Salvation Army trustee Lieutenant-Colonel Alan Read sent to the Salvation Army’s 1,000 officers last month – which has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday – he wrote: ‘I am horrified to learn of the difficulties many of you have encountered during these long weeks and despite the distress and anxiety this has caused and the depths of despair some of you have plumbed, you have continued your mission work.
 'I applaud you and say that it is against the difficult backdrop of SAASY that you have continued working. Sorry will never be a big enough word.’
Lieut-Col Read further revealed in the email that two senior Salvation Army finance officers, territorial finance director Caroline Emerton and chief accountant Hilary Pearson, had resigned on August 11. 
Last night it also emerged that the joint heads of the Salvation Army in the UK, commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams, are being moved to positions in Sweden and Latvia.

The charity’s problems with its computer system are being looked at by the Charity Commission.