Howler's Update

Random thoughts and ideas as I buzz in and out of various places around the world

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Last night I watch the Grammy was interesting that those expected to win big were not mentioned, but those songs that spoke of the spiritual longings of people today won BIG time.

Bono said one of coolest thing of the night. When get got his award for Walk On, he said, great songs like this one are written when God comes into the room and touches what we are doing, He did that with this song.

Like he did at the end of their Elevation tour concert, Bono gave the glory to the Lord and many around the world heard it.

God is speaking today louder outside the "church" that inside it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

The Lord answered...
Akira (pastor of Youth House) met with the owner of "ZINC"
(the teen gathering place). Akira explained that renting the stage
for $800 plus receiving the gate money was a little much. The
owner was very understanding and admitted that he didn't think it
through thoroughly. So he presented another purposal that was
satisfactory to both parties. He proposed that if our group would
sell 60 tickets at $10 a piece then we get the stage for FREE!!!
Anything over 60 we recieve half the profit. Anything below 60 we
just make up the difference. What an awesome deal!!! We have
made up 150 tickets. Pray that we sell at least 60. Thanks for
your prayers!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

We have an urgent prayer request from Japan. Our pastor
Akira Niwa and one of our members talked to the owner of a teen
gathering place about having a concert on March 8th. They were
able to reserve the stage and we will have Christian bands and a
Christian DJ from the states. The problem is that the owner is
wanting to raise the price from $300.00 to about $800.00. They
are going to negotiate with him at 10:00pm tonight ( 7:00am
Tuesday Oklahoma time). Would you pray that they will be able
to get the place for the lower price. Our young people really want
to reach out to the lost youth of Japan and this would be a great
opportunity. It is a huge place and they will be able to share
about Christ freely. Many of our members will be going to mingle
in the crowd and share their faith. Pray that God's will is done in
this situation. We will let you know what happens. Thank you for
continually lifting up the work in Japan.

more from Finney in Chennai, India

The Lord is at work here. It's exciting and many young people are asking to set up coffee houses like these here in the city of Chennai. As you said it is a movement and God's anointing is here as we serve His kingdom. Praise God.

Last Saturday, I preached in an open-air crusade for the first time, many young people were touched by the power of God and few Hindu ladies gave their lives to the Lord. The Lord is using young people these days to reach for a new generation for the glory of God.

Monday, February 25, 2002

This is coming from Chennai, India...
About 35 young people came together at St Thomas Mount, Genx Coffee House. About 60% of them were non-Christians and 40% Christians. We had a good time of fun and games and music. We had a wonderful debate on the topic, 'One God or Many Gods'. Each one shared their views on this topic. Some said all Gods are one, since they all teach the same - good and bad, love and hate. Some refused to believe God, probably they were atheist or communist so they said they don't believe in any God or godesses. Some agreed that 'love is God', so everyone should love one another. A Hindu guy believed that there is only one God, but do not know who he is.

Sunday, February 24, 2002

This morning in church we had a panel discussion on giving. I was the moderator and had the chance to see how interested people are on the subject it was very cool.

We got some of the best input from the younger people in the church, they were relevant and to the point...sot so long winded...

The bottom line was the question of where is your heart? If it is in the right place...hearing from God... then you will just do what He says with your time, talent and money.

Saturday, February 23, 2002

Last night we went to hear Terry Talbot and Barry Mc Guire.

The first time I heard Mc Guire was in 1978 in Toronto, Canada...after teh concert he told me that he has been on tour for 50 years and this is his last one. The man is amazing!

We had a lot of fun and worshiped Him.

Friday, February 22, 2002

The challenge for the Fuller folks is to train people for the future. In order to do that, one needs to move from a maintance mode to a mission mode. Today, this has to be developed as one deals with the implications of post-modernity in the educational systems.

I’m not sure where these guys will take these ideas and concepts but with schools of Theology, Psychology and Mission, they are positioned to come up with some amazing possibilities.

Another thing, I just heard that the 24-7 Prayer folks have launched an on line adaptation of Operation World. This is a version created to speak to young people and keep them informed as they pray for the nations.

Check it out…

Thursday, February 21, 2002

These guys at Fuller are serious about developing a center that will be of real help.

I sat next to Dr. Jude Tiersma-Watson who is doing Urban Mission work in downtown LA and also teaches at the School of World Missions, she is one of the people behind this great new initiative.

Mo Leverett is another guy who is really doing the stuff, besides having an amazing ability to sing his own very cool songs, he has planted Desire St. Fellowship in New Orleans. This inner city church has seen hundreds of young people come to Christ. The whole staff is made up of converts who have been trained and return to serve the community!

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

I'm here in Pasadena for a consultation with Fuller Seminary as they develop an institute to equip young people and their families. Right now I'm visiting with Rudy Carrasco who was with us in Malaysia and Cartagena. He runs Harambee, a ministry in the inner city in Pasadena and lives in community with several other people.

They are impacting people by mentoring kids at risk and seeing God change many of them.

One guy Jamal, who also came to Cartagena and I gave free milage tickets to visit ground O in NYC. He was just planning to go to Nayck College in NY.

When Rudy picked me up in LAX he had just visited with a business man in downtown LA who told Rudy that he will provide the funds that Jamal will need to pay for his tuition.

This is great and a wonderful thing to see in a world that is so full of pain.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

My last trip to Indonesia showed me the extent of the division that exists in the islands that comprise that nation. This article from The Jakarta Post illustrates the extent of the division among these normally peaceful people.

Three years of bloody Maluku conflicts leave nothing but disaster

Edith Hartanto and Oktavianus Pinontoan
The Jakarta Post

AMBON, Maluku (JP): Three years ago, a petty dispute between a local and two migrants in the Ambon capital of Maluku degenerated into a full-scale sectarian riot which up to this year has killed 9,000 people and forced more than 500,000 people out of their homes.

The involvement of outsiders and provocateurs in the ensuing violence worsened the tension among what was once a harmonious community of various races and religions. The community became divided by blood, rage and deceit.

It all began on Jan. 19, 1999 at 3 p.m. local time when local public minivan driver Jopi Leuhery, from Ahuru, Central Maluku, became involved in a quarrel with two male migrants from Bugis-Makassar, named Nursalim and Tahang.

The two men apparently tried to extort money from Jopi at the Batu Merah bus terminal and threatened to slash him with sickle.

Upset by their action, Jopi ran back to his house, picked up a machete and along with several friends went after the two extortionists.

In their account before the court, where they were being tried for a purely criminal offense, both Nursalim and Tahang said they fled to the predominantly Muslim Batu Merah Kampung area near the bus terminal and yelled: "There is a Christian who wants to kill us".

Asked by the judge in the case why Nursalim shouted such words, he said that a policeman told him it would attract attention and ensure help. During the trial, the unidentified policeman was called "Mr. X".

The trial was held in March and April 1999. Jobi, Nursalim and Tahang were each sentenced to three months in prison. After they served their sentences, they were not heard of again.

Nursalim's action on that fateful day led to a fierce communal brawl, in which a group of angry Batu Merah residents went after Jopi, but failed to find him. The mass then burned a welding shop and a house belonging to a Christian in the border town of Batu Merah and the predominantly Christian Mardika area.

At around 5 p.m. local time on Jan. 19, 1999, the first place of worship, the Sinar Kasih Church in Waihaong, was set alight by rioters.

Rumors spread and tension began to take hold in the area, and unidentified people roamed the streets, spreading rumors of attacks. Who they were and what their roles were in the riots are still unknown.

Angered by the attacks, Mardika people with the rest of the Christian community conducted retaliation assaults on mosques in the area.

On the morning of Jan. 20, 1999 a false rumor spread that the Grand Al-Fatah Mosque was on fire. By this time people were already divided in their own respective areas according to their religion. People donned bandannas to signify their religion: red for Christian, white for Muslim.

The following days, and years, were full of rage and violence, as houses, markets, schools and business centers were either burned or vandalized by people from both Muslim and Christian communities.

"The Ambon riots actually started from a pure criminal case," then National Police chief Gen. Roesmanhadi said.

Analysts have said that if the security forces and the intelligence units had been quick to respond to the situation in the early stages of unrest in 1999, widespread communal conflicts could have been avoided.

From a criminal dispute, the Maluku riots developed into sectarian conflict that was loaded with economic and political interests, while the players in the conflict freely roamed the islands.

The involvement of outsiders such as the Jihad Force, which pledged to wage a holy war in Maluku, and small elements of the outlawed South Maluku Republic (RMS) separatist movement, have also contributed to the already complex strife.

Frustrated by the prolonged violence and losses in both Maluku and North Maluku, in a desperate effort the central government imposed a state of civil emergency in the territory on June 27, 2000.

Maluku and North Maluku were previously one province -- Maluku -- before the government split the area into two provinces in 1999 in a bid to curb the unrest and to obtain administrative and security control over the vast island territory.

The implementation of the state of emergency, if not too late, was undermined by the fall of the police base in Maluku during the Tantui incident on June 23, 2000, by which time security forces on duty in the province were already divided by religion.

More than 1,000 firearms and thousands of rounds of bullets were plundered by rioters from the police arsenal in Tantui. The police housing complex, hospital and everything on the base were burned to the ground.

Soon after the state of emergency took effect, the Maluku police chief, Brig. Gen. Firman Gani, and the Pattimura Military chief, Brig. Gen. I Made Yasa, were installed.

Massacres and conflict were reduced under the state of emergency, but the territory, especially Maluku, is still considered restive.

"The drastic decrease in conflict was mostly due to the deployment of neutral security forces in both provinces, comprising elite and professional soldiers.

"Had they been deployed sooner, peace would have been restored to Maluku as soon as the troops had the capability to quash armed rioters and at the same time enforce stability and law," a local journalist said.

Maluku Governor/Civil Emergency Administrator Saleh Latuconsina said on Wednesday that the state of civil emergency in North Maluku province and in parts of Maluku province would soon be lifted.

Observers claim that North Maluku province is relatively calm since most of the Christian have either gone or have been killed.

Latuconsina, however, revealed that there were still security threats in Maluku province since many areas, such as the Ambon islands, were still targeted by armed rioters.

"There are some parties and outsiders here (in the Ambon islands) who do not wish peace to return," the governor added.

In a bid to bring an end to the ongoing conflicts, a team of top Cabinet ministers and security officials will visit Ambon on Jan. 21 to Jan. 23. Among the entourage slated to attend the meeting are all three coordinating ministers, the minister of defense, the TNI commander and intelligence chiefs.

Whether peace will finally return to Maluku is up to all elements of society, the local administration and the central government.

"We want peace ... and we want to be able to live side by side again regardless of religion, race or ethic background. But the wounds have cut too deeply," a local resident said.


Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Howler's update
Well, I'm back in the office and I'm under a huge pile of papers. I can not believe it!
I'm busy planning the next two trip (as usual) I come back from one and start on the next!. Late Feb to Taiwan and Japan and then later in March to Chile.
Today, I spoke to Taade from Nuremberg, Germany. He is one of the leaders of the Jesus Freaks and he will join us in Chile and will share their story, they have 96 churches in Germany, Switzerland and Austria!

Sunday, February 03, 2002

Spirit of '76
The boys just got nominated for an embarrassing number of awards by the world's greatest rock 'zine: Rolling Stone. If Bono had a hamster it would've been firm favorite to win Rock Rodent of the Year.U2 are cleaning up.

A brilliant new book brought out by the great guys at (check-it) exposes the faith journey that fuels one of the worlds' biggest bands.
In 'Walk On' author Steve Stockman describes an evening on the latest 'elevation' tour... The concert closes to rapturous applause. Bono is repeatedly thanking 'the Almighty'. Then he starts chanting a simple word over and over again. Crescendo. Before long 16000 voices are singing 'Halelujah!, Halelujah!'. The smoking, drinking question that is Bono quietly leaves the stage.
Maybe you prefer Britney to Bono? (We'll pray for you) The point is this: as we pray for the tide to turn in our generation, these are neon signs for those with the eyes to see past the contradictions!
As is the fact that:

Creed are @ US #1
P.O.D. are receiving rave reviews inspite of their adamant assertion of faith
Lifehouse had the biggest selling US single of last year
Unknown Christian DJ Daniel Beddingfield is topping the UK charts
and the pilgrim Godfather Bob Dylan is winning rave reviews for his latest album.
Throw in the fact that:

Bono's been teaching Noel Gallagher of Oasis to pray
former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell's just done an Alpha course
Delirious? just charted a worship song in the UK
DJ Andy Hunter who features on both 24-7 CD's is getting serious interest from the guys who promote Dido and Coldplay in USA...
Throw in all these facts and we could maybe spare a moment to be quite pleased!

Don't be a bonehead
Jesus once told the crowds off for missing the signs of the times. Let's not be bone-heads and miss this moment of answered prayer!

But there's more...
This current crop of Christian muso's can be traced back to seeds that were sown many years ago. Musician T Bone Burnett reckons something amazing happened way back in the late '70's

"Beginning in 1976, something happened all across the world. It happened to Bono and the Edge and Larry Mullens (of U2) in Ireland. It happened to Michael Hutchence (of INXS) in Australia, and it happened here in Los Angeles (to Bob Dylan). There was a spiritual movement."
U2 connected with this world-wide spiritual movement through ordinary people daring to live radically for Jesus:

Teachers at Bono's school were quietly witnessing to him and praying for him.
Many of the school prefects were Christians.
Prayer meetings were taking place every morning and at lunch time upwards of 100 students would meet for praise.
The key moment came when a guy called Dennis simply had the courage to get out his bible in McDonalds and invited the future celebrities to his church...

Simple seeds sown 25 years ago have gone on to bear fruit beyond Dennis' wildest dreams as he munched his Big Mac.

When we talk about making history, it can all sound very grand. But nothing can compare to the power of ordinary obedience and consistent witness with our friends.

The Trippy bit
As reports come in of prayer rising once again in schools and colleges around the world, seeds are being sown that may well bear fruit before millions in years to come.
Amazing music is rising like smoke from Ground Zero, people are praying like never before for the poor rich and the poor poor. When they speak for their faith it's with grace and love and passion. Could this be the 'Spirit of '76' all over again, touching tomorrows celebrities and shakers in the womb of their formative years?
Thank God for what he's doing as we pray right now. But don't stop there! The long-term potential is even more exciting. This present investment of prayer could well be shaping tomorrow's charts and arts. Little prayers whispered. Little prayers lived. They could be starting snowballs that'll (rock 'n) roll for 25 years!