Saturday, July 19, 2008

Week Ending July 18, 2008 - Washington, DC

Obama's Rock Star Tour / State Dept. now concerned about persecution of Iraqi Christians / Dems want funds for abortion and forced sterilization / Our mission to Jordan / The mission to Israel / Hope School in the West Bank / Sderot, a city under seige

OBAMA ROCK STAR TOUR - Shortly after winning the Republican nomination, Senator John McCain traveled to Iraq and other nations. CBS news gave his foreign tour 16 seconds of coverage during one full week. Now, Obama is going on his first trip ever to Iraq and the anchor of CBS News is traveling with him as are the news anchors of NBC and ABC. So far the big three, ABC, CBS and NBC have given Obama fully twice the coverage in number of minutes as they have McCain. The liberal media does not care what Obama's policies are or what he may do as president; they just want to be a part of electing the first black president. Read more

STATE DEPT. NOW CONCERNED ABOUT IRAQI CHRISTIANS - For years the Religious Freedom Coalition and others have been beating on the doors of the State Department and the White House to draw their attention to the persecution of Christians in Iraq. Most of the Iraqi Christians population has now fled their country. In October of last year the fact finding mission led by myself and Gov. David Beasley signaled a turn around in our government's attitude toward the crisis. At first State fought against the findings of our fact finding mission, but slowly the media began to investigate. Stories appeared in unlikely publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Then 60 Minutes did a segment on the persecution of Christians and even the Doonsbury comic strip ran a series about this topic. Suddenly the State Department stopped fighting us and admitted there was a problem. The change became clear when State actually sent a representative to the monthly meeting held by various NGO's, including the Religious Freedom Coalition, who assist Iraq's Christians and other non-Muslim minorities. The Bush Administration now admits that there could be a problem.

DEMOCRATS WANT TO FUND ABORTION AND FORCED STERILIZATION - This week the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a Foreign Operations Bill that contained language to undermine the Mexico City Policy (which prohibits taxpayer funds for NGOs that "perform [or] actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations") and also undermines the Kemp-Kasten annual pro-life rider. Kemp-Kasten prohibits funds for "any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization"). If the new pro-abortion language is approved, it would likely face a veto from President Bush. The President stated in a letter to Majority Leader Reid, "I will veto any legislation that weakens current Federal policies and laws on abortion, or that encourages the destruction of human life at any stage."

NEW CHAIRMAN'S REPORT - The all new July 10, 2008 Chairman's Report is now available to read in PDF format. The Chairman's Report contains some material and photos that have not previously been displayed at our Internet site including new details about our Middle East mission. Click here to read the all new issue.

Christian Camp in Jordan OUR MISSION TO JORDAN- My full report on the current mission to Jordan is not complete and will be posted in a few days. To briefly mention some of the highlights: I did deliver much needed medical supplies to two Christian operated clinics in Amman, Jordan. I also inspected two different food distribution projects. One of the projects had run short of funds in June and distribution had stopped. The Religious Freedom Coalition gave the project sufficient funds to restart and operate the program for the next two months. While in Jordan I also visited a Christian summer camp for children operated near the Israel border. It was a blessing to see boys and girls playing together and singing praises to the Lord. In many neighborhoods these children have no Christian friends to associate with. (NOTE: Photograph of children purposely blurred) Read more at my refugee blog.

MISSION TO ISRAEL - Upon my arrival in Israel, I drove directly to Ariel, Samaria where David and Leah Ortiz have a ministry to both Arabs and Jews. On March 20th their 16-year-old son Ami was severely wounded in a bombing of their apartment. My wife Nancy, my daughter Katie and I have all stayed at the Ortiz apartment at one time or another. On this trip I once again stayed with the Ortiz family. The dining room table where the bomb went off had been replaced. Also, all windows on both floors of their two story apartment were blown out by the blast and had been replaced. It is a miracle of God that Ami was not killed as he stood just inches from the bomb when it went off.

My second day in Israel I went with David and Leah to visit Ami who has been moved to the Children's Hospital for rehabilitation. He had been in intensive care for six weeks after the bombing. He looks much better than the pictures sent to me right after the bombing and is recovering well. The doctors had said he may never see again, but he can see. They said he might never walk again, yet he can walk. The Lord is restoring Ami day by day, although he still faces more operations and treatment.

HOPE SCHOOL IN THE "WEST BANK" - I really despise the name "West Bank" used for the area principally made up of Samaria and parts of Judea. It was called the "West Bank" when Jordan occupied it because it was situated on the west bank of the Jordan River. Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus, is considered a part of the "West Bank." On my third day in Israel I drove to Beit Jala which is adjacent to Bethlehem. This is the location of Hope School which the Religious Freedom Coalition has supported for many years. The Headmaster, Solomon Nour, showed me some improvements that had been made with the $5,000 grant given to the school in 2007. I presented him with additional funds for 2008.

FINAL DAY - While in Israel I drove to Sderot, which has been bombarded with over 3,000 missiles fired from the Gaza Strip in the last seven years. When Israel abandoned the Gaza strip two years ago, the number of rockets increased. SEE VIDEO. I talked to several residents in the city which has a population of 20,000. There has been a genuine economic downturn as those with the financial ability have moved to safer areas.

CHRISTIAN THEMED GIFTS AND BOOKS - There are literally tens of thousands of Christian theme items available at our affiliate store including jewelry from the Holy Land. It is a great place to shop for birthday gifts. The store is located at Please help us with our various projects on Capitol Hill and overseas by shopping at our affiliate Christian Superstore . Contributions to the work of the Religious Freedom Coalition can be made at

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