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Posts from December 2015

2015 in Review

It’s been a wonderful and challenging year and I give thanks to God for making it possible. And a SPECIAL THANKS to those of you who supported us financially through our New Zealand supporters and SYRIOUS LOVE (Syrian Refugee Ministry).

Some highlights from 2015

We worked in these countries: Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Hungary, Poland, and Germany.

Jones family 2015

I taught at my favourite European Festivals. At SLOT Festival in Poland I taught for 4 days on “Church Different”, outlining the new reformation of church and tracing the history of how we got here. At Freakstock Festival in Poland I taught on the MainStage about God’s plan for families and raising children. At Meziproster Festival in Czech Republic my title was “Back to the Garden”. I looked at our relationship with creation, what was lost in the fall and how God’s people are repositioning themselves to live sustainably and in harmony with their environment and each other.

We fed the refugees at the borders and along railway tracks. And we did generally did not photograph them. When I saw representatives of one organisation drive up to a squat in Serbia, take photos and video and then drive off to do their fundraising, I decided that we would not abuse the vulnerable people who needed our help rather than their picture on a newsletter. It was a little crazy. We dumpster dived for food. We threw away our refrigerator - one of those crazy moments that symbolised our desperation in finding and storing food in the truck for the refugees at the borders. 

We participated in three Rainbow Festivals, in Serbia, Slovakia and Egypt. It was hard for me and the kids eating vegan food for so long but we had so many rewarding conversations about God and the spiritual life. But they were great times and we were often the only followers of Jesus inside a much bigger world. Debbie did extremely well and found herself become a spiritual “mama” to hundreds of young hippies and spiritual seekers. Debbie also got bitten by a scorpion in the Sinai desert and ended up at a hospital in Cairo.

Truck 2015

We traveled for six months with a LOT of young nomads. At one stage there were 20 of them in our truck. This wasn’t so bad when there were places we could put up tents but when it was raining, or if we were traveling through cities, we all had to sleep in the truck and it was quite cramped. You can imagine.

Debbie and I took an online language learning course through Wheaton College. It was very helpful and empowering. 

I visited refugee camps and talked to leaders of ministries reaching out to the refugees. I also spoke to many Syrians about their needs and the best way for Westerners to offer help. In Germany I attended a special gathering of leaders involved in refugee ministry. We visited a few camps and discussed the needs around Europe. We also committed to provide resources for volunteers and start an informal network where we can share stories and advice.

A mission in USA set up a fundraiser called Syrious Love and raised almost $3000. This helped our team of 20 volunteers buy food, travel to where the refugees were bottlenecking at the various European borders, and show compassionate care to the refugees where the need was greatest. Others gave through other means and this has helped me travel to the camps and the leaders involved in the relocation and compassion initiatives. We want to raise more money to help create a network of key leaders in each country to coordinate efforts and provide training resources. Will you help me?

I took part in a gathering of veteran fresh expression/church leaders in Prague. We spent three days together talking and praying. A very valuable time that I now refer to as The Nicholas Sessions, named after the Nicholas Hotel where we stayed. I might host another one in the future.

Nicholas sessions 2015

In the Sinai desert of Egypt I enjoyed many discussions about God, Islam and the Sufis. I am learning a lot about Islam and find in the Sufi poetry many potential bridges and connection points for our talks about Isa al-Masih, Jesus the Messiah, and the way of following God.

On the negative side, all my Wordpress sites and blogs were brought down recently by “Muslim” hackers. I have yet to pinpoint who has been paying them to target me but the attacks started around the time I stated that ISIS were not true Muslims. The invasions happened daily, despite my efforts to keep the hackers out. My sites went down one by one. They even invaded my computer. And I am still getting threats that they will continue to [mess] with me in the near future. I have felt quite vulnerable these past few weeks, and bullied. But I will not stop speaking out. I have shifted for the time being to my old blog on Typepad.

We also lost our two churches that gave us much-needed funds for 2015. The senior pastors of both churches, who have been friends of mine for many years, either retired or moved on. This means we enter 2016 without a single church to back us financially. Would you pray that God would raise up two churches who believe in our mission and want to support us with prayer, 

This was our first year representing and being cared for my friends in New Zealand. They have been wonderful support and have partnered with us gently and wisely. They understand us. They provide half our personal support and are helping us to raise the other half. When we joined them last year we asked to be placed on under the poverty level so that we could minister among the poor as one of them. They graciously allowed us to do so but watch carefully to make sure all our needs are met and we are ministering from a healthy base. 

Thomas Merton has been my favourite author in 2015, especially his interactions with other religious leaders. His books have been inspirational. I need to read them with reading glasses which is a first for me.

Debbie has emerged as a spiritual leader in her own right, with an enormous amount of respect and authority in the world of Eastern religion, paganism and earth-based religions. She is often the first representative of Jesus and the Christian tradition that they have encountered who they admire and want to emulate.

Debbie 2015

Our daughters Quill (Hannah) and Bones (TJ) had an eventful year. Spending time in Prague with all the children at an emerging Christian community was a highlight for them. After six months of traveling Europe and the Middle East with hippies, they needed a break (who wouldn’t?) so we retreated to Prague for Christmas, leaving Debbie in Egypt at the Rainbow Festival. TJ is enjoying the company of kids her own age. Quill is volunteering at a hostel in Prague. We hope to catch up with Debbie in Africa soon.

Whats up for 2016?

- The Syrian Refugee Crisis is at the forefront of my mind and has been there since the summer. How the church responds to the Syrian refugees, and the other refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, etc, is one of the most crucial turning points of our current moment. Will we emerge from this new reformation as a church of generosity and compassionate understanding or will retreat back into fear, xenophobia, and insulation? My primary focus in 2016 will be to continue showing the love of Christ to refugees, feeding the hungry, guiding the homeless wanderers, resourcing the leaders, enabling the relocation efforts inside the various countries, and keeping the eyes of the church on this tragedy long enough to allow them to see it as the momentous opportunity that it really is.

- In 2016 we will continue to be a Christian presence inside the new spirituality and the related festivals, eco-communities, and events. 

- If God allows, we will return for some time in North Africa. 

- I have received a lot of requests to train young people in the summer of 2016 in Europe. Most likely I will select a small number of them and set up a one to two month training in June/July.

- Prague will be a base and launching pad for us again in 2106. We want to start a small monastery here. Perhaps we could start with the truck and then take over one of the buildings. There is an old barn that could potentially, and quite possibly, become the training centre we have always imagined. My theological and missiological books are already in the barn, waiting to become the library. Stay tuned.

Prayer.

We are enthusiastic and we are located exactly where we need to be but we are financially under-supported. Pray that God provides some people and some churches to join with us in our mission. Pray for safety in the Middle East and North Africa. I am no longer as anonymous as I intended. But I am not afraid. If God is for us, who can be against us?

Support

Direct gifts to the Syrian refugee crisis can still be received at the Pure Charity campaign called SYRIOUS LOVE

 Personal support? Send me an email at tallskinnykiwi at gmail dot com and lets talk about it.

Thanks!

 


Christmas Greetings to my "Muslim" Hackers

As you might know, I was hacked about two weeks ago, right after the blog post where I suggested ISIS-Daesh are not real Muslims. The hackers have continued daily to bring down all my websites and they are still rattling around inside my servers and files even as I write this.

This was one of their badges left on my new Syrian Refugee blog.

1548062_10153382164554053_4475022815606840104_o

So I am shifting my blog back over to Typepad for a while where it will be safer and I won't have to have to play catch up everyday with these "Muslim" hackers.

Merry Christmas everyone!

And a very, very Merry Christmas to my hackers. In order to say Merry Christmas to ALL my hackers, I had to dig a little deeper. Hope I am including everyone here - its a wonderful Christmas surprise and I wouldnt want anyone to miss out.

Merry Christmas to the Moujahidin Team in Algeria who left their badge on a few of my broken sites, the hackers at XdewelaX, Anonymous-Arabe, to crazzyguycool@gmail.com, azizchouaf@gmail.com, and any other ISIS-sympathising hackers involved in taking down my sites, or just some young greedy hacker like Abdul Aziz Yassin Hua (عبد العزيز ياسين شوافof Algeria who has threatened me with "force" on facebook and has been attempting a Paypal phishing scam from my site over the past two days. Hey Abdul, you need to work on your English spelling.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 02.02.41

Despite all the "Muslim" rhetoric, it's apparently all about the money. As Abdul said on Facebook, its "getting $ for hacking Facebook". 

But Christmas is not about the money or greed or hate or revenge. 

Its about peace on earth to all men and women and children. The Salam from Isa al-Masih is for everyone. And so I wish peace to my "Muslim" hackers this Christmas. May Isa al-Masih Himself visit you in your dreams this Christmas and give you peace, and guidance and wisdom and "baqa"  - the sobriety-after-drunkeness - that your great Sufi masters often talked about. May Allah give you 'baqa' so that you can discern right and wrong, and see through the confusion that ISIS has planted in your young and vulnerable minds. With this wisdom, you could use your computer science skills to help the world, to help Syrian refugees, to help spread peace instead of hatred. 

I also have left a Christmas stocking in the folders on the server. It looks like this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 05.51.18

Inside the stocking, (although you should really wait until Christmas morning to open it) you will find this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 05.51.32

 . . .  because you have been naughty this Christmas! Its tradition.

But hey, its not too late to change from petty paypal thieves and ISIS-minions to become agents of peace and love.

To help you do this, I will be adding some Christmas cards to the folder so that you can send them to each other and spread the Christmas cheer around. I hate to show them early and ruin the surprise but here are a few of them.

Delicious christmas card for xdawelx

Christmas card to my hackers 1 seventh day of christmas

Christmas card to my hackers 4

 

Christmas card to my hackers 2
Spread the love, my dear hackers. And if you wish to repent and do right, I suggest you donate some of your stolen money back to charity. Give it to the Syrious Love campaign that funds efforts to bring compassionate care to the 4 million Syrian refugees who are suffering because of the atrocities of Daesh.

Syrious.Love was one of my websites you took down last week. I will launch it again soon, because the refugees are on my heart this Christmas and a major part of my current projects.

And so, I say to all of you, have a very, very Merry Christmas!

UPDATE: Christmas Eve

After taking a look at some of the Facebook accounts of the hackers and seeing who is friends with each other, and who is the biggest showoff (probably Ahmed the PayPal thief), I thought I would post a few links here for my friends to personally wish them ALL a Merry Christmas. If you feel you are wrongly named in this list, please email me and let me know. 

The AnonWolfTeam

Abdul on Facebook

Oussama Zuckerberg https://www.facebook.com/Derx.Fox

Yuzarcif Yucuf https://www.facebook.com/Yucuf.Hacker

Dxman Benz https://www.facebook.com/sifou.babor.5

Darkmau Zarzi https://www.facebook.com/HJCZerolag250

Ismail Ghosto https://www.facebook.com/ismail.sins

Abderrahmane Sitifiano https://www.facebook.com/abderahmane.sitifiano

Oh, and Ahmed https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009753405160

Ahmed afgm the paypal thief