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24 posts from October 2007

October 31, 2007

Fields Part Two

I don't know if it was something I said in my last post, but Fields of the Fatherless shot to the top of the Amazon charts today and was the #1 book in the Ministry section ahead of books by Joel Osteen and Andy Stanley. So, it's sold out again. Hopefully this results in many individuals, churches and business getting involved in the lives of the fatherless and making a difference. Thanks everyone and happy All Saints Day!

Product Details: Fields of the Fatherless

Hardcover: 146 pages

  • Publisher: Global Publishing Services (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971410011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971410015
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: based on 8 reviews. (Write a review.)
  • Sales Rank: #2,639 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

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October 30, 2007

Fields of the Fatherless

Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive of the book, Fields of the Fatherless. It sells out regularly on Amazon, but you can always order from me or from the Fields of the Fatherless website. There are quantity discounts available by the way! I am re-writing the book and it will be released in the spring of 2008. Lost of new material will be added including a chapter on adoption and a study guide.

Angel and Russ Weir, two new friends just did an interview segment with me. Below are the videos. You can also go to her website about adoption here and participate in her book club on Fields of the Fatherless. Here's a portion from the site and the videos:

THAT'S RIGHT LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!! Last weekend Russ and I went to a conference where Tom Davis- Author of "Fields of The Fatherless" and "Red Letters" was speaking. He was so gracious and even did a four part interview with us so that I could post it on my blog for our book club and share it with our church. We were so inspired by what this amazing organization is doing.

October 28, 2007

Red Letter Review from China

Some friends of mine in China managed to get a copy of Red Letters and reviewed it. Dan and Sara are great people of faith and have moved their whole family to be involved in some incredible things. Here's the review:

"In the summer of 2006, we had the privilege of sitting down with author and Children’s Hope Chest director Tom Davis to share our call to China - and to hear more of his heart for the millions of orphans in our world. After reading Tom’s latest book, “Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds”, I am struck again at his insight and passion. No hidden agenda here: this blog entry is a flat-out appeal to our readers to get this book.

“Red Letters” is unique in many ways. Tom uses a combination of personal stories, statistics and scripture to powerfully develop his theme, but even more importantly, Tom devotes the final chapters of the book to next steps - if you read “Red Letters”, you will be moved. At times, you will feel angry, despondent, frustrated and helpless. Thankfully, we are not left in that place. Idea after idea, organization after organization are detailed for the reader in the final chapters." Read the entire review here.

To find out what this awesome family is doing in China, check out their blog here.

October 26, 2007

Report from Russia - Zoya and Misha

Thanks again to everyone who helped Zoya and Misha. We have raised $2,120 to take care of their medical needs. You guys are awesome! Read the original post here. This is an update from Olga:

"Zoya's condition is stable, yet very hard: heavy pains, fever and low hemoglobin (red blood cells). Olga has been able to arrange for admitting Zoya to a hospital in Vladimir next week for the purpose of surgery.  Misha is having bad headaches, his condition is satisfactory.  On Oct 24 his records are being taken to the Regional Trauma and Orthopedic Center where he'll undergo the surgery on is forearm.  The preliminary cost of the surgery has been estimated to be 25 thousand rubles (about $1000).  We still don't know how much Zoya;s surgery will cost.

Lakinsk staff has been able to collect 15 thousand rubles and the boys who earlier graduated from the
Lakinsk Family Center for boys have taken a big part in that.  We're very glad to see that we've been able to teach them compassion, love and gratitude to their caregivers.

We thank you all for your prayers, for your care for lives of our staff, and we all believe that Misha and Zoya will be soon again among us thanks to your help and support and that of our colleagues and children.

With deep graditude,

Olga Petrusenko.
May God help you in doing good

October 25, 2007

Burma Struggles to Breathe

Thanks to my partner in crime, Seth Barnes, President of AIM for this post. This is a follow-up to a post I did on Burma you can read by clicking here.

One of our World Racer's, Stephanie Fisk, wrote about ethnic cleansing in Burma.
Myanmar (previously Burma) has been under attack since the seventies - by their own government. And it's not getting any better. Imagine the Mexico/USA frontier; move it to Asia and place it between Myanmar and Thailand. Compared to Myanmar, Thailand appears to be a wealthy country. Just like Mexicans, people from Myanmar are seeking a "better life"; the difference - they are seeking refuge from persecution.

You know those times when your ignorance shines so brightly that it blinds you to the truth even when you are looking it in the eyes. Yes, I know that Myanmar is very poor and a closed country to the Gospel; but I had no idea the extent of persecution taking place within its borders. Just like the Jews during WWII (ethnic cleansing) and Christians in southern Sudan (religious persecution), the Karen people are being persecuted because they are Karen…and many happen to be Christian. Their very own government is trying to wipe out the "inferior" race and attempting to suffocate the Christian church.

Imagine 50,000 refugees trying to live a "normal" life inside the confinements of a camp. Yes, the walls are meant to protect, but from the perspective of many living inside - they are seen as a prison sentence. It is rare to leave these confinements - years spent inside "your community."

The day after we visited Myanmar, we were able to visit one of the refugee camps on the Thailand border. The camp has been established for around 17 years. People continue to come daily, and the camp has expanded now to three different zones to accommodate the influx of people. While inside the camp, the government only allowed us to visit the school.

I imagine that this camp initially started off as a temporary solution to an immediate need, but over the years has evolved into a living, breathing community. At least on the surface level people appear content: women washing clothes in the stream, kids playing by the water, students learning.

Yes, the Burmese (Myanmar people) are grateful for this place of refuge, but above all, their eyes are set on returning home. They want to grow up on their own land, farm their own land - feel like they belong. They are tired of receiving UN food rations; they are ready to "go fishing for themselves."

Acute brain drain is another issue that, because of my American perspective, I totally overlooked. Replacement of Burmese refugees to the UK or America is draining Myanmar of the very individuals needed to restore their country. I guess we (America) like to accept those that show potential and will not be a drain to our economy - thus we eagerly receive those with an education and those that can make a life for themselves in America. But what happens to those in dire need: the widows, the handicapped, the orphaned? They remain in the refugee camp. I know that we are only trying to help, but a very real concern for many Burmese is that we are draining them of the very people that could turn their lives and country back around for the positive.

"We just need to go to the root of the problem and stop it there," exclaimed Wado, a 31 year-old Burmese man who has been living in the camp for 15 years. "Go to the government. If we can somehow remove or change those in leadership positions, I believe everything else will talk care of itself. We will be able to go back home, and I will be able to see my family again."

He believes in God. But the tone of his voice insinuates that time, frustrations and life have left him with more cries for help "unanswered" than "answered."

October 22, 2007

Where is Jesus?

Where can we find Jesus? For me, it was on a cold "spring" night in Russia in the eyes of a little boy. In this video post, I explore some of the themes of the first chapter of Red Letters.

October 18, 2007

A Writing Update

I thought you might like to see a recent picture of Emily and kiddos. Hudson didn't make it on this trip, he stayed back with Brett and Nicole. Look, Hayden's almost as tall as his mom!

Familyfall07awakening_025 A couple of other things: I've been posting to my new blog called, An Author's Blog that has some great resource information for those of you who are aspiring writers! My new book with Thomas Nelson called, Confessions of a Good Christian Guy, releases on December 10th. You can pre-order it now and receive ant extra 5% discount. Currently, I'm working at part one of a three part fiction series. The title of that book is Scared. More info on my writing experiences on This Post.

Great news! Red Letters is doing very well and is already in its second printing. I so appreciate all your publicity and support of the book. Many of you have asked what you can do to help. This is important: drive your friends, neighbors, and strangers to the bookstores to purchase the book. What makes a differences is how many books are sold through the stores. Remember for a limited time, just by buying the book you're feeding an orphan for a month!

October 17, 2007

South Africa Losing AIDS Battle

You're going to see more and more of these kinds of reports. Countries that have ignored the AIDS crisis cannot 'make up lost time' and gain the advantage on this disease. South Africa has major problems: HIV/AIDS infection and death rates are outpacing treatment, infant mortality rate is rising (95 deaths per thousand births - almost 10%), infection rate in some areas has climbed to 50%, by the year 2015 there will be over 5 million AIDS orphans in this country. Again, multiple millions will die and many more will be infected in the years to come. This crisis will drastically affect our generation. What will you do? Start doing something by joining 5 for 50 at today! Read the rest of the article from BBC HERE.

October 16, 2007

Misha and Zoya Update from Russia

More details on Zoya and Misha are below. Please consider making a gift toward their medical expenses by clicking here. Please note "Lakinsk Medical Fund" in  the notes. Thank you, Tom.

Many of you have asked the status of Misha and Zoya, the orphanage staff worker in Russia, who were injured. Here is the e-mail from our staff in Russia, and thanks again for your continued prayers:

"Both Misha and Zoya remain in intensive care unit, both in heavy condition. Olga showed their Xrays today at some progressive orthopedic center and was told that they can take Misha in only next week after the brain swelling is reduced. Misha's injuries are contusion of brain, heart and lungs and fractures of collar bone and forearm and Zoya's are dislocation and fractures of pelvic bones, burns and concussion.

"As to Zoya, the orthopaedic center refused to take her in based on her X-rays as they don;t think they can provide her with treatment she needs. There also is a problem transporting her. She has burn injury of her back of second degree (pretty bad). So Olga is looking for ways to get her over to a Moscow clinic and again any treatment will be for pay. Zoya will need at least two surgeries to help with 4 fractures of pelvic bones. One piece of a bone has been detached and is "wandering" inside the pelvis. At first the doctors believed that she will never walk again but now they;re saying that with proper and timely treatment she may be already on crutches in a few months. At this point in addition to prayers, money for medication is needed in the amount of 30 thousand rubles."

Children's HopeChest has started a special fund to raise money for Zoya and Misha's expenses. There's already been almost $1,000 in gifts given by their co-workers at the orphanage. Right now our staff members are trying to do what they can to raise money as well. We suspect their care will be expensive and long term. I would ask you to consider giving to this fund by going to this link and making a gift. Please be sure to put "Lakinsk Medical Fund" in the notes section.

Zoya is one of our Family Center houseparents at Lakinsk. A Children’s HopeChest Family Center is a home where a small group of teenagers (five to eight boys or girls) are placed in a family environment. Living with responsible Christian adults who play the role of mother and father, the family center environment provides a good family model for young people with abusive backgrounds. During a resident's stay at the center, professional counseling is provided according to the time necessary for the child to acquire independent living skills. As a houseparent, Zoya is “mom” to the boys in her Family Center. Please pray for them as they go through this ordeal and struggle with the reality of Zoya’s condition. She is in worse shape that Misha. Zoya is a long-time caregiver and staff member—someone who is truly loved and truly loves the children she serves. Please continue to pray for her and give toward her medical care as you can.

Thanks—from me and the whole staff at CHC.

October 15, 2007

Relevant Magazine Front Page Review

Thanks to my friend, Jeff Goins, (who rocks by the way!) Relevant Magazine has posted a front page review of Red Letters and another book by some guy named Bill Clinton. Click here to read the review.