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Hello Volunteers,

Just back from working on the Prison Chapel at Hominy, Ok. We’re
trying to get this one finished up so we can move on to the next one.
Joe is recovering from a hip replacement done from the front (a new
procedure) and is walking in 8 days without a walker !! God is good. We
are working on 3 Chapel buildings in the Philippines doing preparatory
things before the teams come to build in Feb, April and July next year.
So, I’ll be back in the Philippines very shortly and give you some first
hand reports. Since the last note, we continue to baptize which is what
every Church should do and can report another 17 souls baptized into
Christ. I wanted to share a story from my military days. As we get
older, it seems that more and more of my old Army friends are getting in
contact by e-mail.
On Oct 29, 1963, Dan Pitzer was captured by the Viet Cong in Viet Nam.
He relates the following: “My upbringing was fairly religious. During
the first year of captivity, I kept asking God, “Why are You doing this
to me ? Why am I being put through this kind of torture ?” It was fist
shaking time and I was angry. On Dec 24th, a Forward Air Controller
appeared over the prison camp and dropped red smoke. It was a rescue
attempt. It was frightening and exasperating. I was running and hiding
from my own country’s aircraft because I was dressed in black pajamas and
looked like a Viet Cong. I looked up through the trees to see a Huey
that was so close, I could read the “US ARMY” tag on the door gunner’s
jacket as he set behind the M-60 machine gun. I was afraid to get out in
the open and signal them. No one was rescued and we were really down
mentally. The guards told us to get ready as we were moving to a new
camp immediately. We marched for several hours through the jungle into
the night. As we came around a bend in the river, we saw a huge
evergreen tree that reminded us of a Christmas tree – thirty or forty
feet tall, standing alone by the water. Something in the tree was
attracting fire flies, thousands and thousands of them and their
twinkling looked like strands of lights. A very bright star was moving
over the top of the tree. One of the guards said in his language, “My
heavens”. A powerful feeling came over me. We were taken on to the new
prison camp and I thought about that event almost every night. I decided
that God didn’t have to use lightning bolts or burning bushes to talk to
me; he had chosen to use something we recognize every Christmas. From
then on, when I spoke to God there in my bamboo cage, all by myself, and
the guards would come by to ask who I was talking to, I always replied,
“Someone you don’t know.””
I am praying that more and more are knowing by the witness of those in
the Church we built in Viet Nam.

Merry Christmas to all and Thank you for your continued support,

Bro. Ed, Pat, Becky, Susan, Tommy