Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
'She died doing the Lord's work': Mother's grief for aid worker killed by the Taliban for being Christian
Heard this on the radio this morning, it struck a cord within me, just wanted to share it.
The mother of the British woman who was shot dead by Taliban gunmen in Afghanistan has spoken of her grief at losing her daughter.
Gayle Williams, 34, was walking to work in Kabul when she was gunned down by two men on a motorbike because she was working for a Christian organisation.
Her mother Pat Williams, who lives in London, said her daughter 'had died doing what she felt the Lord had called her to do.'
Mrs Williams, who, along with her sister Karen who lives in Johannesburg, is considering flying out to Kabul, said: 'Gayle was serving a people that she loved, and felt God called her to be there for such a time as this.
Gayle was murdered shortly before she was due to arrive at the office. Reports say that two men on a motorcycle shot her and then fled the scene
'We know her life was blessed and she was a blessing to those around her.
'No one could have asked for a more humble daughter with a loving heart.'
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, saying its leaders had ordered the murder of Miss Williams because she was spreading the Christian message.
But the British-registered charity she worked for, SERVE Afghanistan, said this was a 'convenient excuse' for a 'completely opportunistic' killing.
Miss Williams, from London, had been an unpaid volunteer with the organisation for two-and-a-half years, helping to raise awareness of disabilities in Afghanistan and rehabilitating disabled people in their homes.
The aid worker was described by the charity's chairman Mike Lyth as a 'lovely girl' who was passionate about her work, crazy about sport and a lover of life.
He said she had only recently been pulled out of the southern Kandahar province because it was considered too dangerous to work there.
Shock: Serve spokeswoman Rina van der Ende, addresses reporters in Kabul after Gayle William's execution
Gunned down: Gayle Williams, who was shot dead in Kabul, Afghanistan
'She came back about six months ago as we felt it probably wasn't a good idea to stay on there because we heard the Taliban had been seen coming in,' he said.
'Kabul is supposed to be the safest place in Afghanistan. Our people are thoroughly trained and Gayle always used to come by different routes to avoid risk.
'She gave herself for those who were disadvantaged - that was her passion. It was people who were marginalised and helping them to get on track which drove her on.'
Afghanistan's interior ministry said Miss Williams had been shot in the body and leg with a pistol. She died almost immediately.
A Taliban spokesman claimed she was killed 'because she was working for an organisation which was preaching Christianity in Afghanistan', adding: 'Our ( leaders) issued a decree to kill this woman,' he said. 'This morning our people killed her in Kabul.'
Daolad Khan, who was working on a building site opposite the murder scene, said: 'They raced up the street and stopped in front of the lady. They took out a gun and shot her on the spot. Then they rode off.'
Her Kabul-based colleagues said in a joint statement: 'Gayle never spoke of the rigours and privations of aid work in Kandahar, one of the most difficult places for a young woman to work in the world, but she kept a smile on her face and always had a good-humoured chuckle at the difficulties she must have endured.
'Gayle will be remembered as one of the inspiring people of the world who truly put others before herself.'
Miss Williams, who also holds South African citizenship, attended secondary school in Britain before moving to South Africa where she completed a sports degree with a view to working with the disabled.
Aid agency: Vehicle at the SERVE Afghanistan office for which Gayle Williams was working. Williams was shot to death in the western part of the Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.
She moved back to London where she worked with people with special needs, before choosing to work with the charity.
The aid group she worked for - Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises - describes itself as a Christian charity registered in Britain.
Its website states that SERVE Afghanistan's purpose is to 'express God's love and bring hope by serving the people of Afghanistan, especially the needy'.
Rina Vamberende, a spokesman for SERVE in Kabul, said the group was a Christian organisation but added: 'They are here to do aid work. It's not the case that they preach, not at all.'
In Afghanistan, proselytising - converting a person from one belief to another - is prohibited by law and other Christian charities have faced severe hostility.
In August, Taliban fanatics killed three women working for the U.S. aid group International Rescue Committee while they were driving in Logar, a province south of Kabul.
Miss Williams' death will lead to a growing sense of insecurity in Kabul. Kidnappings targeting wealthy Afghans have long been a problem, but attacks on Westerners have also increased.
Militants swoop: Afghan security officers at the scene of the shooting in Kabul
Article taken from the Daily Mail website(Mail Online)
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Israeli archaeologists have also unearthed evidence corroborating the Book of Jeremiah. A completely intact seal impression or "bula" bearing the name Gedaliahu ben Pashur was uncovered in Jerusalem's ancient City of David. It was found just a few meters from the site where a second seal, belonging to Yuchal ben Shlemiyahu, was found three years ago. In the Book of Jeremiah, both men are mentioned as ministers to King Tzidkiyahu. The Bible says these men demanded that the prophet Jeremiah be put to death, because Jeremiah predicted that Jerusalem would fall to the Babylonians and that anyone who did not surrender would either die by the sword or from famine and pestilence.
Meanwhile the Israeli Antiquities Authority has announced that it is planning to make photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls available on the internet. The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the most significant archaeological finds in history and have been described as "the most sought-after and examined documents on earth." The 2,000-year-old scrolls, found in the late 1940s in caves near the Dead Sea east of Jerusalem, contain the earliest known copies of the Old Testament. There are several large scrolls still intact as well as about 15,000 fragments that make up about 900 documents.
The announcement has stirred excitement among archaeologists and Biblical scholars. Using special equipment, experts plan to photograph every single fragment of the scrolls from multiple angles. It will take museum workers two years to complete the project. Then the vast collection of highly detailed photographs will be made available to everyone via the world wide web.
Digging Up the Truth
Any archaeological discoveries that appear to substantiate the Biblical account of history undermine the Palestinian cause. Such discoveries underscore Israel's long and rich history in the Promised Land. It is a legacy that Israel's enemies would like to erase. They claim that the idea of a historical Jewish homeland is a hoax – invented to justify Israel's occupation of Palestine.
Yet with each passing year, more new discoveries are made which corroborate Jewish claims to the Holy Land. This explains why Wakf (Islamic Trust) officials, bulldoze sensitive archaeological sites on the Temple Mount with blatant disregard for the treasures buried there. Israeli archaeologists and volunteers have sifted through the piles of ruins discarded by Wakf officials - rubble taken from the Temple Mount to a city garbage dump. Amidst the rubble they have uncovered numerous history-rich artifacts dating back to the First and Second Temple periods.
Article from Koinonia House
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Precious Saints and dear friends in Christ!!!
What a friend we have in Jesus!!!! That is actually an old, old song but oh so true.
Sunday night at church I didn’t feel particularly spiritual, actually felt a bit empty and dry, had a really hectic week with the flu, laryngitis and backwards and forwards visiting my mom (she had broken her hip a week ago) in Tygerberg hospital, dealing with the old age home, doctors and nurses etc…. felt tired, worn out….
For those of you who were there Ronnie (our minister) was talking about getting a special touch from Jesus, then he made an altar call. Oh Ronnie why’d you do dat? I was planning on scooting straight out of church as soon as it had finished to get home as early as possible in order to go to bed as soon as possible.
Then the altar call. And boy did the people come up. I didn’t feel like going up, I wanted to go to bed! Anyways I had a few choices but it just basically meant getting past my current emotional status and being obedient to His call. It wasn’t just Ronnie who called for the ministry team to come up, His Holy Spirit just called me as well. I went up, unsure as to what to do. There were so many people and seemingly so few of the ministry team. I was led off to the one side and then just started ministering to people one on one. I just kinda put ‘me’ outta the way and His Holy Spirit just came and worked powerfully through me. And all this time He was just so much more than touching me, He was guiding me, showing me His incomparable love that He has for His children. I was just quietly and gently blown away. Clint and Debbie (Roach) assisted me in places, so many things happened, tongues, tears, resting in His spirit and time just stood still. Then when I turned to my dearly beloved friend Clint, who had been helping me with ministry I could just see that he wanted a special touch from Christ. So I just took the opportunity to pray with and for him. What a beautiful moment. What happened between God and Clint is his story to tell.
So there you go, oh yeah and His touch just lingers and lingers on and on. Did I fully understand what happened on Sunday night? No not really I just experienced it constantly checked it with His word and then trusted in Him. As always I’m stunned, amazed by the way God works, He constantly takes the ordinary and does the extraordinary. What amazing grace, love and mercy.
PS I did get an early mornings sleep. I fell asleep reading a book about the Psalms at about 1.30am.
PPS I had no intention initially of writing any of this ‘stuff’!!! I was just gonna say hi to you all via Pete’s email.
Came across a rap version of the old song by Bobby Jones. Here it is.