The Chairman’s Report for April 26, 2019

In this issue of the newsletter:

New: Working on Capitol Hill to expose the murders of Christians in Nigeria
New: Senator Rand Paul will quote me in his new book on socialism
Update:  Food for Nigeria orphanage – Helping start a farm to feed themselves
Update:  Diapers for Refugees – More adult diapers for special needs elderly

Continuing work on Capitol Hill

Asking Congress to speak up on Nigeria – In late March I had lunch with Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX) and his Chief of Staff. Cloud won a special election to fill a vacancy in mid-2018 and was forced to run again in November — and he won again.

Congressman Michael Cloud

Michael Cloud’s political campaign site is a true Christian witness that includes his video explaining the importance of faith in his life. The purpose of the lunch was for me to go over the situation in Nigeria with him and see if he would be willing to speak out.

            I started out by talking to him about the very publicized mosque shooting in New Zealand — and then pointed out that three times that number of Christians had been slaughtered in Nigeria in the 14 days leading up to the March 15th attack in New Zealand. In one of those Nigerian attacks, every single worshipper in a small village Catholic church had been killed.

            Congressman Cloud was literally shocked about the lack of media coverage and promised to discuss the situation in Nigeria with other members of Congress.

            The first week of April I met twice with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who has been outspoken in his opposition to American support of Sunni jihadists in Syria, and of American support of Saudi Arabia’s war on the people of Yemen. In that war, Saudi Arabian mercenaries, mostly from the Sudan, have raped and pillaged in Yemen while Saudi aircraft have bombed school buses, wedding processions and funerals.

            Senator Paul spearheaded a Senate resolution calling for the withdrawal of American support for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen. He pointed to the murder of a journalist and the total lack of human rights in Saudi Arabia as a reason to withdraw aid. Although Senator Paul was only able to gather six other Republican votes, the resolution passed by 54 to 46.

            The anti-Saudi resolution also passed the House, and President Trump threatened (or did) veto the resolution as he sees Saudi Arabia as the number one customer of American defense firms. In the last year for which there are full records, Saudi Arabia spent $18 billion on weapons from the USA. But the United States also spends billions of dollars protecting the royal family of Saudi Arabia and their interests.  I have never understood why, after 9-11, we spend billions protecting the Saudi royal family and the other wealthy Sunni Muslims there who have financed jihadist fighters worldwide.

During March and April, I attended or participated in numerous other events on Capitol Hill that included both Republicans and Democrats, getting the message to them about the persecution of Christians throughout the world.

What I do in Washington is difficult, because the two political parties have only one agenda — and that is being in power. No issue matters unless it can be used to either remain in power or obtain power, and no issue is safe from compromise.

Senator Paul surprises me: At a reception in Washington on April 6th Senator Paul surprised me by announcing that he had quoted me in his upcoming book. He had before told me he had read my book, Utopian Road to Hell, and planned to quote me in a planned book on socialism. The title of his book, to be released this fall, has not yet been determined.

Dr. Paul is a brilliant thinker. President Trump calls Senator Paul from time to time to ask his opinion on issues, despite the fact that the Senator is a critic of the President on many issues. One of those differences is Saudi Arabia, which Senator Paul views as a “supporter of worldwide jihad.” It is an honor for me that the Senator will use some of my material in his upcoming book.

Our missions to help the persecuted church

A farm for the orphans in Nigeria: I have previously described the meals that are given to the children at the orphanage we support in Nigeria, but here it is again as a recap:

BREAKFAST: Gruel every day, with one egg on alternate days (4 eggs per week per child)
LUNCH & SUPPER: Grain based every day, with meat or fish three times in the week.

The cost for three meals a day is $1.50 per child or $60 per month. To put that in perspective, the cost to prepare the average public school lunch in the United States runs from $2.40 to $3.10, depending on the area and the level of school. A child at the orphanage is being fed three times a day for about one half the cost of one school lunch in the United States.

It is very difficult to set up a sponsorship program, and for many years I have been leery of setting up a per child monthly program for anything we have done. Yet I have started to look at doing just that to help the children at the orphanage.  Why? Because the food budget is currently not being met, and the children have not been getting the eggs, meat or fish for weeks   at a time.

Before I could develop a program to aid with the food, I received a proposal from the camp director to help rent two hectares of land and obtain supplies for a small farm for the older children to plant and grow some of their own food. (Two hectares is five acres.) The budget came to 2.5 million Naira or $7,500 USD.

What the $7,500 will cover:

1. Land: Rent of two hectares for one year
• Manure: 20 bags of fouls’ droppings
• Fertilizer: NPK 25 bags and Urea 15 bags
• Herbicides: 20 bottles
• Hoes: small and big for planting, weeding and cultivating. Small hoes 30, and big ones 20.

2. Crops to plant: maize, soya beans, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes and groundnut.
• Quantity: 50 measures of maize grain, 20 measures of soya beans, 2 measures of groundnut, 2 bags of Irish potatoes seedlings, 2 bags of sweet potatoes seedlings.

3. Hiring of land and transportation logistics.

4. Storage facility

I prayed about participation in this brand-new program that is currently not in the ministry budget. There was no way to contact supporters in advance because the planting season begins soon.

            The Lord gave me peace in my prayers that this was indeed an opportunity that He had presented to serve His children. I immediately wired the funds to Nigeria.

            A farm of this size cannot feed the 87 children that are currently in the orphanage. But the farm will do more than supply some of the needed food. The children will be learning not only farming, but about responsibility for their own welfare. Farming will teach important lessons to the children that they would have learned at home with a father and mother.

            But they are not at home; they are in an orphanage. We must now pray that their small farm will not be invaded by the Muslim Fulani Herdsmen, who often run their cattle onto Christian farms.

Funds will still be needed to assist with the daily cost of $1.50 per child for gruel, grain-based meals, and some protein every other day or so. At this point I am not ready to take on the entire meal budget for the orphanage, as funds are not available. But I do want to send some funds now to make sure the protein is added to the meals, as this is a must for growing children.

Emmanuel Ogebe and I stand beside the wreckage of the car used in the suicide bombing in 2012.

Our Nigerian memorial dedicated: On Easter Sunday last year I attended a Catholic church in Jos, Nigeria that had been the target of a suicide bombing in March of 2012.

There were fourteen killed and many injured in the suicide bombing of the church. Several of them were the young boy scouts who were directing traffic into the church yard at the time … the same church yard in which I parked my car when I visited there.

The memorial to those lost that the Religious Freedom Coalition contributed to.

While there, I met with the families of the victims of that bombing. The twisted wreckage of the car was still there on the grounds of St. Finbarr’s church. The only memorial to those killed was some faded photos. I just felt that there was not enough done in memory of the victims and offered to help fund a permanent memorial.

Just before Easter this year the memorial to the victims at St. Finbarr’s was dedicated. In the time between my visit to the church in 2018 and the dedication of the memorial this year, hundreds more Christians have been massacred in Nigeria.

Diapers for Refugees: Officially we are supplying diapers for 1,060 children but often times we are reaching more than that. Last month up to 1,200 babies and toddlers were helped by the program; this is about 200 more than we can promise to help with the current budget.

Our ministry partners in Iraq have become experts at purchasing and getting the best deal — not only because of our programs but because of other programs they administer. For example, they distribute eggs once a week for a German ministry that also runs a water purification plant.

The well water on the Nineveh Plain is as salty as the sea and must be filtered to drink. The salt problem is why cloth diapers just will not work until the water lines from the river fifty miles away are rebuilt. All of this has taught our ministry partners to get the best buys possible.

The water lines, bridges and power lines were bombed by Western nations so those assets would not be available to the Islamic State. Sadly, that also made those assets not available to civilians. Most power is still by generator.

Imagine if you would, that all the power lines and water lines to your city were cut off and the sewer system no longer worked. That is the situation on the Nineveh Plain for Christians. Still, thousands of Christian families are returning and trying to rebuild homes and business and they still need our help.

Jordan – The oldest in need: The Diapers for Refugees program has focused on Iraq for several years. As the program matured, I became aware of the critical need for adult diapers and we have tried to meet that need on the Nineveh Plain. That same need for adult diapers for elderly Christian refugees in Jordan also exists.

As the Islamic State overran the Christian areas in Iraq, many families fled to Jordan. Often younger men took their parents there for care and went back to Iraq to fight. With most Christian homes in Iraq destroyed, there is no place for many of these elderly who have special needs to return to, and often the younger family members have been killed. They are alone and living on handouts in Jordan.

Our ministry partner in Jordan has been pleading with me to send funds for adult diapers for those in critical need. The only way many of the special needs elderly are going to get a real night’s sleep is if they have the diapers which are as expensive there as they are here in the U.S. We are working to get the price down, but they cost nearly 50 cents each.

I have visited and prayed with some of these adults while in Jordan and I know the needs that they have. In April I received several urgent pleas for help with the adult diapers. As the Islamic State drops out of the news and the fighting dies down, people forget that for many the suffering has not stopped.

The call for aid had to be answered and in April we sent sufficient funds to supply 100 special needs adults for one month.

Can we do this again in May? Much depends on the response to an appeal for funds that I made to supporters this month to continue to fund the Diapers for Refugees program. Please pray with me that we can continue to fill this critical need that other ministries and aid organizations are not filling.

Please pray: Our work on Capitol Hill, in the Middle East and Africa needs your continued prayers. The needs are great, and we can only help a few, but my prayer is that those we help will have life changing experiences because of our help that will bring them closer to the Lord. Please pray with me that we can show His love through all our actions.

William Murray, Chairman

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