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March 2008
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May 2008

Ephraim or Eli

Today we received our monthly phone call from Mrs. Padovan (Ephraim's Pre-K teacher).  She only had one concern to bring up with us this month; Ephraim has informed her that he no longer wants to write Ephraim on his school work.  He prefers to write Eli.  Obviously, Mrs. Padovan was a bit confused.

What she did not realise, until I explained to her, was that I call Ephraim by the name Eli.  Ephraim's middle name is Elias.  I had wanted that to be his first name when he was born, but Elizabeth felt it was too close to Silas, so we made it his middle name.  Nonetheless, I often call him Eli - or Ephraim Eli.

Ephraim explained to Mrs. Padovan that he preferred writing Eli because it is shorter.  Go figure.  He's a short-cut kind of kid; a lot like his big sister!

Also, today, Ephraim got his haircut.  Ordinarily, this would not be such a big deal except that Ephraim is nearly four years old and this was only his second haircut.  Miss Laura cut off nearly six inches of hair!

Before & After
Ephraim_2


Eli_2


The Persecuted Church

I picked up a book out of the church library a couple of weeks ago that I have been really enjoying.  The book is called "God's Smuggler."  It is the story of Dutchman Brother Andrew (founder of Open Doors) and his early years of smuggling Bibles and support into communist countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and the Soviet Union.  It has been a fascinating read (and I'm almost finished).

I had heard of Brother Andrew prior to reading the book, but knew little about his ministry and his adventures.  Elizabeth and I have been discussing the risks and sacrifices of Brother Andrew and other Christians like him and comparing them to our own lives.  Simply put....there's no comparison!  It's almost embarrassing how cushy and easy we have it as Jesus-followers here in Canada/North America.

This morning I decided to take a look at the Open Doors website to read more about what is happening around the world.  My heart broke as I read some of the stories of the suffering that so many people are enduring in the name of Jesus.  I actually wept.  They were tears of sorrow, tears of guilt and tears of compassion.

My first response was to pull out my credit card and make a big fat donation, which I knew would result in some serious marital counseling later on.  We're already stretched pretty thin with supporting our local church and another international ministry.  And then I noticed another link on the Open Doors website that peaked my curiosity.

I discovered that I can write letters directly to churches and individuals who are persecuted and/or imprisoned as a result of their faith.  And so I did!  I wrote three letters this morning and included some of the Sunday School artwork that my kids had recently done as a way of encouraging those who are suffering.

I will pray that God might provide a way for us to help in a financial way, but in the meantime, for the cost of a letter, I can help.  And I want to do that.

If you want to know more about the Open Doors letter writing campaign, you can check that out here:  LETTER WRITING GUIDE