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  • One of a Kind | The Family International
    sense of fun School with her wasn t limited to worksheets and textbooks She took us on excursions and trips to the park and used her artistic talent in order to get us interested in arts and crafts One day we children asked Can we have coffee like you and the other adults and the next day for snack we were delighted when she served us kid coffee milk that she had turned coffee color with molasses She also had a knack for making each of us feel special and one way she did this was by speaking positively about us to others often even when we were within earshot I can still recall the pride I felt upon overhearing her tell another teacher how well I was doing in spelling It was satisfying to know that my efforts had not gone unnoticed Auntie Marina s care and love extended beyond the school years For quite some time after our family moved to Taiwan she sent me notes and cards Ten years later I still have several of them When I reread one of those notes recently I marveled at the concern and interest she had shown in corresponding with an eight year old Yesterday I came across your picture as I was preparing a photo album of the children in my life those I ve cared for and taught over the years and I was reminded of how much I love you my dear young friend On my ninth birthday she wrote A very happy birthday to you I pray that it will be a wonderful special day for you and a great new year of your life full of good surprises and love filled experiences I m happy to know you On June 9 2005 after a prolonged

    Original URL path: http://www.thefamilyinternational.org/en/viewpoints/reflections-life/82/ (2016-02-15)
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  • The Golden Cobra | The Family International
    Do I scream Do I duck down Do I try to grab a stick or a rock No wait Freeze like a statue Isn t that what Dad said I should do if I ever ran into a snake The snake hissed Andrea stood her ground and held perfectly still but the snake didn t back down Suddenly a second command broke through her fear Run Without a second thought she whirled around and hurtled down the rocky embankment her feet moving faster than she could think about where she would place them next Was the snake pursuing her She didn t dare look back Several breathless minutes later she reached the bottom of the hill and caught up with her mother and sister What happened her mother asked The girl launched into an emotional mixed up account still panting and groping for words At the house they found the rest of the family gathered for a birthday party aunts and uncles cousins and second cousins grandparents and siblings The room fell silent and all eyes were on Andrea as she recounted what had happened When she had finished conversation resumed first a trickle and then a rush of jibber jabber as everyone discussed the incident An elderly aunt wondered if it was safe for children to play on the untamed property below the house Another said that no snakes were out of their holes at that time of year At the first voice of doubt others jumped in Some said the girl must have seen a stick that looked like a snake Some of the older children teased her about the report of the golden snake and declared that they would scour the hillside and prove that there was no such thing Andrea didn t know which was worse facing down a cobra or no one believing her when she told them of her harrowing experience After the cross examination she was on the verge of tears Then her grandfather stood up Leave her alone he said It s obvious that she s had a big scare today I don t think anyone has any reason to doubt her story Golden or otherwise it s quite possible that there are snakes down there Let s just be thankful she s safe Grandfather had said his piece The subject was closed At least someone believed her A few weeks later her grandfather was out on his deck a beautiful balcony of wood and glass with a panoramic view of mountains and ocean that stretched out in all directions As he watched the fluorescent glow of the sunset something on the rocks below caught his eye There basking on rocks still warm from the afternoon sun was a large golden yellow snake that he immediately recognized as one of the deadliest snakes in southern Africa or the world for that matter a Cape Cobra Of course I was delighted when my grandfather was able to validate my story Andrea told me

    Original URL path: http://www.thefamilyinternational.org/en/viewpoints/reflections-life/38/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Not a Problem! | The Family International
    ready for bed and was about to lie down he started vomiting again I got up changed him and cleaned up the mess but no sooner had I finished when he threw up again this time all over me So I went through the entire cleanup routine again only to have to go through it again a fourth time a couple of minutes later Thankfully after that he fell into a peaceful sleep As I lay there watching him sleep I thought about what had just happened Although he had made a mess of himself several times I didn t mind having to clean him up over and over I didn t feel disgusted at him in the least and the thought of distancing myself from him because of his messes never crossed my mind To the contrary love compelled me to take him into my arms care for him and make him feel safe and loved Can a woman forget her nursing child and not have compassion on the son of her womb Surely they may forget yet I will not forget you Isaiah 49 15 Jesus I reflected is like that with us Regardless of how many times we mess up He s always there ready to take us into His arms clean us up and make us feel loved and secure His love for us isn t in any way diminished by our sins and shortcomings and whenever we turn to Him for help He s always there for us He understands our frailties and loves us anyway and nothing can separate us from His love Reposted courtesy of Activated March 2008 issue Tweet All Topics Views on Issues The Future Reflections on Life Relationship with God Hearing from God Bible Studies What are Viewpoints These articles

    Original URL path: http://www.thefamilyinternational.org/en/viewpoints/reflections-life/81/ (2016-02-15)
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  • You Are Never Alone | The Family International
    while they were having a picnic on the beach Huda s cries echoed around the world Don t leave me alone Please don t leave me alone Within days Huda had become a symbol of Palestinian suffering but the more I thought about her the more she seemed to be even more than that Perhaps she is a symbol of all the children who suffer in our world today I thought Perhaps she exemplifies the children of Sudan the Congo DRC Iraq Afghanistan and other war torn countries and the many millions of children who are malnourished and all of the children who have suffered the loss of loved ones in natural disasters or to diseases like AIDS But Huda was not alone I knew God cared for her and not for her only He cares for all who suffer I was reminded of many promises from the Bible that one day soon God will wipe away every tear and bring forth beauty from the ashes of defeat White lilies will spring up where once there was nothing but blackness The meek shall inherit the earth and there will be no more war death or destruction Soon the promised era of peace will come where love shall reign supreme Until then please take heart and don t lose faith dear little Hudas of the world You are loved and never never alone God is there to comfort and care for you It s not here yet but the day is coming when there will be relief from all suffering The day is coming dear children when all the sorrow and sadness will be wiped away Until then we must be brave and ask God to help us face the blows of life with heads held high and we must always

    Original URL path: http://www.thefamilyinternational.org/en/viewpoints/reflections-life/37/ (2016-02-15)
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  • The Giovanna Solution | The Family International
    flash she went from doing her famous A frame exercise on the bed head and feet firmly planted on the mattress bottom up arms crossing the A to landing on the floor with a thud She looked surprised but thankfully wasn t seriously hurt She sat there for a moment with an expression that was a mix of shock disbelief and embarrassment After she recovered and stood up I offered to pray for her because I was sure that such an unexpected fall must have been at least a little painful As soon as I finished the prayer Giovanna opened her big brown eyes and there it was that unmistakable sparkle of playfulness She unfolded her hands and was ready to get back to the important affairs of her young life more jumping and playing A few days later her father needed to travel to another city and be gone for a couple of days and she missed him He has made a habit of spending one on one time with her at the same time each day whenever possible and that was when she missed him most while he was away One day my daughter told Giovanna that instead of being upset she should pray for her daddy and they prayed together Immediately her expression changed from one of worry and loss to one of peace and trust she was her happy playful self again Her simple faith made me reevaluate my own It s one thing to pray and trust that God will answer that s why we pray in the first place because we expect some kind of answer but it s often something else to pray and immediately stop worrying about the situation because we truly believe the answer is already on the way Giovanna really

    Original URL path: http://www.thefamilyinternational.org/en/viewpoints/reflections-life/77/ (2016-02-15)
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  • The Tapestry of the Japan Tsunami | The Family International
    see only the chaos the messy mesh of threads and fabric in the incomprehensible devastation and aftermath of the tsunami earthquake disaster We have no answers But the ultimate Designer of our lives is the one who created us with a plan and purpose for each strand for each one of us In life or in death if we leave it all in the Great Designer s hands He will make and use that life to produce the resultant beauty in the big picture of humanity Someone once said To bring about the beauty of the flame there must be ashes Something must go to ashes Is there beauty emerging from the ashes The pain anguish and suffering may yet bring forth the miracle of a changed life a closer knit family a compassionate nation There s a greater purpose that lies beyond and it s there for all those who are seeking it We ve heard reports since the disaster of how people are responding One organization even called it a Tsunami of Love when they reported about the overwhelming response from people in one city in Japan far from the destruction in Sendai Those affected are calmly and intentionally trying to get over the tragedy with everyone stretching themselves to help others Yes there are those who are in need themselves but they extend themselves to help others in greater need They put their lives on the line look at those working to contain the nuclear reactors They are out there doing all they can with no thought of their own lives at risk Read the story of 50 technicians and firefighters braving the possibility of radiation and fire at the reactors Others in and out of Japan are doing what they can to send help or actively participate in projects to help those in the major areas of destruction China and Russia both of whom have been engaged in territorial disputes with Japan have stood by and committed themselves to do whatever they can to help Japan in her hour of need As the rubble clears I am sure we will hear of more random acts of kindness and sacrificial love heroic deeds of individuals In the weeks and months that follow we will also hear of some positive life changes On Twitter we have already got from personal tweets of such loving kindness and strength Last night when I was tired out waiting for the train at the station the homeless people gave me one of their cardboards to prevent the cold even though we usually ignore them in daily life So warm Last night when I walked back to home from Campus a female baker gave us bread for free even tho she had already closed the store It was moving that I could find people who do things they can do in such situation My heart became warm Tokyo is not something dumped There was a train driver who had been working all night

    Original URL path: http://www.thefamilyinternational.org/en/viewpoints/reflections-life/76/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Onion Soup | The Family International
    off the dressing table It barely made a sound as it hit the floor but I was so tensed up that it was enough to make me jump A look of concern flashed across Mom s face but she tried not to show it Honey she said I could use your help in the kitchen if you have a few minutes We went downstairs and she set a pile of onions on the table I heard Mom that if you peel them under water they don t sting your eyes I offered That always takes too long she answered with a knowing look As we began to peel and slice the onions for Mom s delicious French onion soup we smiled through our tears I was feeling better already when she said You know Joyce from time to time I make onion soup I have had years of practice and it always tastes delicious Sometimes on a day when I wake up feeling blue thinking about loved ones who have passed on or missing you kids or going through some difficulty or feeling homesick for Heaven I put on my apron and make onion soup It feels so good to sit and cry and commit my heartaches and worries to the Lord I let the tears fall openly and then if Dad comes in or someone comes to the door I just smile real big and say Don t mind the tears I m just making onion soup I have made some delicious soup that way and I have spent some precious time searching deep in my heart and giving it all to Jesus You might want to try it from time to time I followed my mother s advice and found many times that onion soup was just what

    Original URL path: http://www.thefamilyinternational.org/en/viewpoints/reflections-life/35/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Walk a Mile in His Shoes | The Family International
    the poor in Calcutta India for nearly 30 years and she would do the same for nearly 20 more she was awarded the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize She began her acceptance speech with the words Life is life She went on to explain that all human beings are special and of great worth no matter who they are and that only when we have learned to respect that fact can we begin to help them improve their lives Most people would be happy to walk a mile in a pair of plush designer shoes or top of the line athletic shoes but how many would want to step into a poor laborer s shoes When I was living in Uganda East Africa I found a discarded pair of shoes that became to me a symbol of Africa and its sweet spirited but struggling people It was apparent from the cement splatters that their last owner had been a construction worker a human cement mixer Like many others I observed there he no doubt worked long days in sweltering heat with no protection against the sun and had only a couple of sticks of raw sugar cane for lunch He had worn those shoes until the holes in the soles had gotten so big that the shoes no longer served their purpose When there was no point in wearing them one more day he left them for me to find It wasn t his intention of course but those shoes put my own petty problems into perspective No I didn t actually walk a mile in them or even try them on Just looking at them was enough to make me appreciate my many blessings including the casual comfortable shoes I usually wear There wasn t any question in my mind

    Original URL path: http://www.thefamilyinternational.org/en/viewpoints/reflections-life/34/ (2016-02-15)
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