...without a vision, the people perish ~ Proverbs 29:18
[click here to go to journal account
of Leona's work]
The name Pachacutec comes from PACHACUTEC INCA YUPANQUI,
which means "He who makes the world". He was the ninth Sapa Inca (1438-1471) of
the Kingdom of Cuzco. Pachacutec expanded the Inca dominion from the Valley of
Cuzco to nearly the whole of civilized South America.
Perhaps it was Pachacutec’s expansion to regions beyond
that prompted the naming of a refugee settlement after him. Pachacutec,
Ventanilla is a barrio that has expanded from hilltop to valleys and on to cover
all the surrounding hill tops. It is located in the district of Ventanilla,
which is about a forty minute drive from Lima.
The development of Pachacutec began in the 80’s when
peasants from the Andes and other areas escaped the terror of the Shining Path
(a communist terrorist group). They settled on the government owned coastal
dunes. In time, the government gave the land (deeds) to the squatters, so that
today many own the square area where their dwelling stands.
Yesterday (September 8, 2008), I visited Pachacutec for the
first time. In early August, a friend shared with me that there were thousands
of kids in Pachacutec, since that time I had been praying for the area. Through
prayer the Lord filled my heart with a vision for Children’s Churches, and I was
impressed with Pachacutec as the area for the first of this type of outreach.
The last week in August I taught a class in the Spanish Bible College on
Children’s Ministry, with the goal of sharing my vision and forming a team. On
September 7 the team (12) and I met for the first time, and yesterday I was
given a tour of the area I had been praying for!
As we traveled on dirt roads from hill to hill the extent
of the poverty was striking. Some of the shacks, closer to the main road, have
electricity, but there is no city water or sewer system. Households have large
trash can type containers which are filled with water for their families use.
Holes are dug for human waste.
Pachacutec is known to be one of the most dangerous areas
in Peru, as a result most residents have dogs (not the friendly household pet).
The first child I met was under two and was being carried by his mother; we gave
them a lift. When they were seated next to me in the car, I could see the
child’s face was badly wounded. The mother explained that her son had been
attacked by a German shepherd, he had over 80 stitches! Throughout the rest of
my "tour", I wondered how common that was each time I heard dogs barking as we
Child and spousal abuse are common throughout Pachacutec.
One of the missionaries’ working with Pastor Raul told me that the molestation
of children is the norm. I know that the Lord’s heart is broken for these
children, and He desires to do a work in their lives. I pray He allows me to be
part of His healing process.
Pastor Raul started a ministry to children, and an adult
Bible study in one area of Pachacutec. He has been in prayer about reaching
further into the hills, to make contact with children in other areas. The
Children’s Church could be an answer to his prayers. There are many seemingly
impossible obstacles to conquer, but I know through God all things are possible.
It is even possible that the name Pachacutec could change in meaning to "He that
created the world".
Proposal for work in Peru
outreaches that go on throughout the year from Calvary Chapel Bible College
Lima, (in cooperation with existing Calvary Chapels and new church planting
teams) come in contact with thousands of children. Many of these children are
homeless; others come from troubled families and rough neighborhoods; all are
spiritually and emotionally needy. These children present us with an awesome
opportunity to reflect the love of Christ, and to invest in the church of the
and train a team to follow up with these children through an ongoing "Kids Club"
which will involve a structured weekly program, such as the Confident Kid's
program (available in Spanish).
of children accepted into the program would be limited to five children to one
adult ratio. Sign-ups would take place a week before the clubs would begin
(succeeding clubs will be available).
have accepted the Lord and completed the program will be given the opportunity
to become a member of the Children’s Church (new church plant). During this
phase, the children will learn what their commitment to Christ means; what they
need to do to grow in the Lord; and the part the church plays in that growth and
Short Term Goals
Class on Children’s
Ministry offered in Spanish Bible College
Form a Prayer Team
Through prayer determine
the location for the first club
Team Training and
Four Phase Strategy
One: Kids' Club
be taken home and signed
Registration (must present signed flyer)
explain program, expectations, rules, consequences
Kids Club Meeting
Two: Believers' Meetings
that have accepted the Lord "graduate" into the second phase.
Children’s Church Pastor and the traditional Calvary Pastor teach the basics
as is taught in adult church, but scaled down
Three: Children’s Church
format as adult Calvary, scaled down
Children are ushers, make announcements
Pastor (young man (Samuel?)) is under the supervision of Calvary pastor
Senior (traditional) pastor (Raul) will be involved in the Children’s
communion services, baptism, etc.
Four: Youth (14) enter traditional church
at church to receive these young people
The first three phases will be repeated every six weeks for a year.
METHOD OF APPROACH
A. Meet with
base leader (John Bonner) to share vision discuss details
with John in July and at his request shared at the staff meeting
with John in August discussed class to recruit team members
Children’s Ministry Class offered in the Spanish Division of the Bible College
first week in September
(5 evenings of two hour sessions)
vision with students (adults and young adults)
for team members (12 signed up)
meeting with John discuss location 9/4/08 (Pachacutec approved, pending
pastor’s agreement (Raul)
Meet with Pastor Raul 9/5/08
vision, discussed logistics, prayed
will be location
Meet with team 9/6/08
Pachacutec with Pastor Raul
Begin Phase One!
Pastor Raul shared that he had been praying about moving into another area of
Pachacutec and that he has been discipling a young man (Samuel is a student at
CCBCL) that he believes would be very good for the Children’s Pastor. Samuel is
from the area of Pachacutec.
GOALS FOR THE
In addition to training in the use of Confident Kids program (for Kids Club
phase) I want to pass on the vision of starting a Kids Church.
This church will differ from the traditional church Sunday School or
Children’s Church in several ways.
The children are not being
brought to church by their parents (although an unstated goal would be to
reach the family through the children).
The participants will have completed two phases before entering into the
a. Kids Club (a follow up
b. New Believers Class
The children will have a
measure of authority in their church, so they feel they have ownership.
will be the "Leaders" of the church and will meet regularly with the Pastor (I
hope it will be the young man from Iquitos).
Bible Study will be through the Bible, but will be geared for children in
length and content.
Sunday School there will be no craft, the format will follow that of an
adult church, but geared for children.
vision stated and the differences presented, the goals for the class include a
prayer team, which will consist of the students:
a. A list
of potential locations for the church plant will be presented the first day
of class. List will come from staff recommendations.
Minutes to a half hour of class time will be used for prayer, seeking
direction and location.
A church planting team (of at least 5) will be formed from the
students by the end of the class. If the class is offered the first week in
September, the team could go to the chosen location on Saturday, September 6th
(dates depend on class scheduling).
First Saturday (9/6/08)
announcing the registration need to precede the registration day. This could be
accomplished through an outreach.
have registration, forms will be made up that will enable the team to get as
much information as possible on each child. It will be explained to the children
that only 20 children will be chosen for the first club, but that there will be
other clubs to follow so they will have an opportunity to participate.
is limited so there is a 5 child 1 adult ratio. This will ensure the maximum
benefit. My suggestion is that the first group be ages 9-12 with a group mix of
10 boys and 10 girls.
KIDS CLUB Second Saturday 9/13/08—10/18/08)
Club begins and will run for six weeks. Children who have accepted the Lord
will be "promoted" into the New Believers Class.
Eighth Saturday (10/25/08—11/15/08)
to learning what it means to become a believer, and the significance of baptism,
there will be an introduction to the role the church plays in the development of
be a very special celebration.
FIRST SUNDAY FOR CHILDREN’S CHURCH (11/30/08)
is non-traditional the church service could actually be on Saturdays instead of
Sundays. That might be a better option for a variety of logistical reasons. If
they meet on Saturdays the service could follow the Kids Club that would be
reaching the next group of children.
was founded in 1847 with three primary purposes:
1. A place where free black men
could prove their equalities and abilities.
2. To eradicate slavery at the
3. To take the gospel to all of
first colonists, or pioneers as they were also called, arrived in what is today
known as Monrovia in 1822. They were sent out by the Colonization Society from
America with the aim to return freed slaves to Africa. Funds were provided by
the American government and by private donations. While still on the seas,
several churches were founded on board the ship.
colony’s leaders for the first 20 years were all white men assigned by the
Colonization Society. They were responsible for:
Negotiating with tribal chiefs for
Forming the government
Defending against attacks by the
Designing the city and setting up
Liberia was declared an independent state on July 26,1847. The government was
modeled after the American system (Liberia is Africa’s oldest Republic) and a
very similar constitution was drawn up with one notable exception. It was
specifically stipulated that it was Liberia’s responsibility to train and bring
the gospel to the tribal peoples. The leaders believed this was their God given
Unfortunately these noble aspirations fell short of being carried out for
One reason for failure was that they equated "civilization" with Christianity,
so when they "Christianized" the tribal peoples, their goal was also to bring
them up to the 20th century through education.
Fear and mistrust existed between the two groups
Perhaps the greatest hindrance to success was that only 14-20% of the settlers
(pioneers) were actually Christians.
seeds of hostility that were sown between these two groups are evident to this
day in Liberia.
hierarchy developed in the social system: all the political positions and the
higher paying jobs went to the Americo-Liberians (Americo’s were the
original colonists along with their children; they became another tribe). Menial work was done
by the "civilized" tribal peoples. The Americo-Liberians imposed a form of
forced labor on the local people.
1930 both Britain and America broke off diplomatic relations with Liberia for 5
years over the issue of forced labor. The Americo-Liberians were able to gain
social and economic domination over the tribal peoples because they held total
political power. They ruled the country until 1980 when they were violently over-thrown in a coup led by Samuel Doe.
was from the Khran tribe and he relentlessly persecuted the Americo’s. In time
this persecution was directed at several other tribes, one of which was the Mano
tribe. In 1989 Charles Taylor, an Americo, led a small number of rebel
insurgents from the Ivory Coast border into Liberia. The resulting government
counter offensive was so violent that soon the uprising grew in popularity. The
civil war that ensued led up to 10,000 deaths.
rebel forces broke into two factions; the other led by Prince Johnson from the
Mano tribe. By July 1990 Johnson had captured downtown Monrovia, President Doe
held the rest of Monrovia and Taylor controlled all the rest of Liberia. Johnson
captured and executed Doe in September as ECOMOG (West African peacekeeping
forces) landed and took over the greater Monrovia area (i.e. Doe and Johnson held
From September to November 1991 a severe famine gripped the city and interior
regions. This was alleviated when the security situation in Monrovia improved
(first cease- fire) enough to allow relief food aid into the city. The tribal
factions used this time to rebuild and the cease- fire broke down by June of
1992. The civil war that started in 1989 lasted for fourteen years and was
reputed as being one of the most brutal wars in history. In 2003 a peace accord
was signed. The UN peacekeeping forces began the task of disarming tens of
thousands of rebels. Elections are planned for 2005.
There are 29 languages spoken among the 3.5 million population. The practiced
religions are: Christianity, Islam and Animism. The country has not yet
recovered from the many years of war, and the peace is precarious. There is a
problem brewing over the current governments’ treatment of the Basa tribe.
Reportedly Basa have been unjustly arrested and have been tortured and flogged
while in detention. There have also been mass evictions of Basa tribesmen in
Grand Basa and Rivercress counties. The Basa claim the government has declared
war on them and they have taken to the streets in protest. This situation poses
a serious threat to the continued peace of Liberia.
greatest victims of this war have been the children. Children as young as 8
years of age have carried arms in the conflict. They have participated in the
most horrifying forms of violence or have been victims of it. An entire
generation of children has been affected by the war and has been traumatized as
a result. The most pressing need facing Liberia in 1991 was the counseling and
reorientation of its children. The nation did not have the resources to address
this problem. The Liberian church had a burden and concern for this desperate
need. However, their leaders were not trained in counseling war- traumatized
children. MedAir, a Christian Relief Agency, responded to this need.
Women With A Vision
June 1992, seven months after the
first cease-fire, WWAV seconded Leona Karni to MedAir for the period of three
months. Her position was that of Biblical Counseling Trainer for
Health Project. Her responsibilities included assessment of needs, building
relationships with Liberian staff workers caring for war traumatized children
and then designing and teaching seminars and workshops for them, concentrating
on practical application.
representatives from all the orphanages in the coalition, teachers, nurses, and
other staff from schools and churches including a group from the
Christian Women Association whose goal it was to set up a neighborhood
The Objectives were: to give a
basic understanding of the emotional needs of children; to give a basic
understanding of Biblical counseling principals; and to challenge participants to
make a greater commitment to reach out to children.
The Method of approach was
through lectures, discussion, and question and answer sessions. The participants were then
assisted and supervised interviewing children, assessing their needs and
developing a strategy in counseling.
National Re-Adjustment Center
Leona Karni facilitated a group-session with ex-combatants. Sessions were held once a week for a total of six
weeks. Approximately 100 boys attended these sessions, which were conducted at
the NRC building.
The Objectives were to
stimulate awareness of attitudes (i.e. victim, government owes me etc). Encourage
the boys to consider the effect of these attitudes on their behavior and to
examine the consequences of their behavior. The boys were challenged to set
goals for change in areas they were able to control—thoughts
and emotions. They
were then encouraged to set realistic goals for change in the area of their
personal relationships as well as for their future beyond NRC.
of approach was a lecture (Biblically based) followed by discussion with a high
level of class participation.
Bridging the Gap
By Leona Karni
[Written for REACH, a magazine for the
Relief Agencies in Liberia]
Training concerned women to be
effective lay counselors in a 20-hour course presents one with an interesting
challenge: Where to begin? Presumably none of these women have had any previous
training. What should be included and most challenging and how to move from theory
to application. These were my concerns as I prepared recently for such a
Since Liberia has a strong Christian
influence and the women attending the seminar were all committed Christians, I
chose to begin the series with an examination of the Christian worldview. This
was followed by a discussion of Christian values as they relate to the absolutes
to be used in counseling.
Included in the sessions
that followed were basics on personality development and infantile reactions to pain. We used
Bible characters to observe how a personality develops when using pride or anger
to deal with rejection. We then went on to observe how attitudes are passed on
from generation to generation. One example being that of the struggle between
Isaac and Ishmael which continues to date in the Israeli-Arab conflict. This was
then easily related to the tribal conflicts in Liberian society.
Each of the women was assigned
homework through which they applied to personal lives specifics from the
lectures, such as examination of the tribal prejudices they held. Other
assignments included choosing an authority figure from childhood and an incident
where they were hurt by this authority figure. They, then, considered how they
dealt with the pain from that incident. After this, they spent time with an assigned
partner discussing the ways they had developed in their personalities to deal
In addition, each woman was required
to interview a child (not a relative) concerning their life during the crisis
(war). These interviews were shared in class and together we evaluated the
issues in the child’s life, which needed to be dealt with for the child to
mature emotionally. Together we then developed a strategy for follow-up
interviews. The strategy involved leading questions intended to help the child
share their feelings on the experiences leading up to, during, and following the
The participants in this seminar
enthusiastically embraced the homework assignments and actively participated in
classroom discussions. According to their remarks following the seminar, the
overwhelming response was positive. They reported that what they learned had a
tremendous impact on their personal lives as well as how they viewed the needs
The women were amazed to find the
needs of the children were so great. One woman summed it up like this: " I
thought that since the children were playing and going back to school that
everything was fine. I realize now that everything is not fine. We must begin to
reach out to the children to help in their healing process if we want a future
NOTE: For more information about seminars that Leona
presents to women see the Seminar page.
The Khmer Rouge communist
forces won a five year struggle for control of Cambodia in 1975, almost
two million people died under this reign of terror. Vietnam invaded
Cambodia and drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside in 1978.
Thirteen years of fighting followed the Vietnamese invasion. The UN
sponsored elections in 1993 which helped to restore some semblance of
normalcy. In 1998 a coalition government was formed and since 2000 there
has been political stability.
Islam in Cambodia
The world of Islam has a
strategy to make Cambodia an Islamic nation by 2030. Iran has invested
heavily in building mosques and has effectively placed Muslims in key
political positions such as governors in several provinces. In addition,
they have built several orphanages and have been involved in various
Buddhism in Cambodia
Cambodia was a Buddhist
nation before the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Most of the population
identifies themselves with this religion. There have been great efforts
to restore and to build new Buddhist temples. Japan has invested great
sums towards this effort and is now in the process of building a big
temple on river front property in Phnom Penh. Male children are able to
seek refuge in Buddhist monasteries where they receive housing and a
free education. They are also indoctrinated in the principals of
Buddhism and are required to become novice monks.
Background of the
In 1553 Roman Catholicism
was brought to Cambodia through Portuguese traders. In 1863 Cambodia
became a French protectorate and many of its officials were practicing
Catholics but no attempt was made to translate the Bible. Protestant
missionaries arrived in 1921 and translation of the Bible into Khmer
(language of Cambodia) was begun. The first translation of the Old and
New Testaments was completed by 1940, but in that same year the
government brought out a new dictionary which rendered the previous
phonetic system obsolete. The final translation of the Bible was not
completed until 1954 at which time it was printed by the British and
Foreign Bible Society. In the early 1970s there was an incredible
revival in Cambodia with thousands accepting the Lord.
Following this mighty
movement of the Holy Spirit, the Khmer Rouge took control of the country
and the church went underground.
In 1989 ten pastors
courageously signed a petition requesting permission for the church to
become official; permission was granted in April of 1990.
There are thousands of
Home Churches throughout Cambodia, but few have been able to actually
build or rent a facility. There is no Sunday school program for the
children and no trained leaders to train and assist in setting up
children’s programs. Sunday School materials and supplies, workshops
and/or seminars to train Sunday school teachers is the greatest felt
need of the Cambodian church.
Cambodia is struggling to
develop after years of war; 1999 was the first full year of peace in
thirty years. The population lacks education and productive skills,
particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an
almost total lack of basic infrastructure (World Factbook-Cambodia).
Thirty-six percent of the population lives below the poverty line and
eighty percent of the work force is engaged in agriculture.
Child Slavery in
It is estimated that
10,000 to 20,000 children are working in the streets of Phnom Penh alone
and countless thousands struggle to survive in other major cities and
towns throughout Cambodia. Street children are one of the most tragic
evidences of Cambodia’s traumatic history and poor economy. Thousands of
young children are sold to the slave market by their impoverished
parents. Thousands of others are tricked into thinking they have
legitimate work and are then locked in a room, tortured and forced to
have sex. Still thousands of other hungry children are exploited by
pedophilias who proposition them on the streets. These pedophilias come
to Cambodia as tourists and most of them are residents of Europe and
Response of the
The church is grieved
over the crisis situation concerning children in Cambodia, two of the
pastors interviewed have taken into their homes (adopted) several
of these at risk children. Cambodian Christians have a burden to rescue
and protect the exploited children of Cambodia, but are greatly limited
by lack of financial resources and training. To give an example of the
day-to-day living situation in Phnom Penh, one the pastors interviewed
had forty people living in his home, four of whom were street children
he had adopted. His house would have comfortably housed six
people by American standards.
The possibility of
developing a ministry that would aim at preventing children from
becoming ensnared in the slave market through providing a Christian home
environment and giving them an opportunity to attend school was
discussed. The pastors felt strongly that this would need to be a church
based ministry, and that the church was eager for such an opportunity to
reach out and meet this need. Also discussed was the need of outside
assistance in order to develop such a ministry.
First Phase Proposal
In order to begin the
process of establishing a relationship with local churches, and to
support these churches in their desire to develop Sunday school
programs, Women With A Vision (WWAV) will sponsor a short term mission
trip in December 2002. Through this outreach donated Sunday school
supplies and materials will be delivered to three churches.
Additionally, small gift items (sufficient for three hundred children)
will be distributed at parties sponsored by WWAV and held in these
This mission trip is part
of a long-term strategy that has as its primary goal the development of
a church based ministry, which will rescue and protect children from the
slave market. In addition, WWAV intends to assist in the development of
a Sunday school program, for children (ages three through twelve) in
each of the three churches. This will also involve future training
seminars and the provision of material and supplies.
mission trip in December was very exciting; the Lord provided toys and
gifts for three parties and two Deluxe Flannel Graph sets for the
churches in Siemreab and Phnom Phen. These were donated by several
Calvary Chapel churches and by Calvary Chapel Christian School Murrieta.
The first party was in Siemreab where there were over 150 children in
attendance from all the local churches as well as the children of
construction workers. Each church had their children sing a song for us,
what a blessing! Some of the children lived in distant villages and
actually started walking at dawn to arrive by 9AM. We left this party to
fly to Phnom Phen for our second party. There were 100 children in
attendance representing most of the local churches. These children had
also planned a program of songs and traditional dance for us. Due to the
poor roads and remaining land mines from the war, we were unable to
travel (in the time we had) the distance for a third party. The gifts
were left in storage in Bangkok.
takes time to build relationships in Asia, as it does anywhere. The
contact with these two key pastors has been positive. Siemreab and Phnom
Phen are both large cities, (neither of them are on the Thai-Cambodian
border). The plight of thousands of children in these cities is
desperate, and there is no question that there is a need for a ministry
that will prevent children from entering the slave market. But at this
point in time, the Lord has not revealed to me how this will unfold, for
now the contact with these churches and the pastors is a good start.
praying about traveling to Cambodia again I was impressed with the need
to visit towns that border Thailand. There are two areas where just
inside the Cambodian border are large Las Vegas type Casinos. Thais
cross the border to gamble. Cambodians cross into Thailand to find work
and to sell at the Border Market. Children owned by gangs beg at
these borders. Recruiters find children here for various aspects of the
slave market. There is a border crossing in Burirum and another at
Aranyaprathet (several hours from Bangkok). When I go to Thailand I will
need to research these border towns to find if there is a church or
Christian work there.
July, I spent several days at the two border crossings mentioned above.
The Burirum crossing was the least active. There are only two
Casinos on the Cambodian side and no town. On the Thai side there is a
border market. This is a market where Cambodians sell used clothes,
blankets, etc. that are sent to Cambodia by various church groups and
charitable organizations, in Thailand it functions as a second hand
market. There were a number of children begging at this border crossing,
but most of the activity was that of Thais crossing into Cambodia.
Contacts: No contact possible on the Cambodian side as there is no town
only the casinos. On the Thai side I met with a pastor (Narin) who may
be a contact for a safehouse for Cambodian girls until they can
be returned safely to Cambodia.
crossing is much larger and very busy. On the Cambodian side there are
17 Casinos and the small town of Poipet on the Thai side there is
another border market. Children are used to carry used clothes, blankets
etc. across to sell at the market. This is accomplished by wrapping the
clothing or blankets around the waist of the child then the child puts
on a large shirt to cover the articles. The reason for this is because
the border guards on the Thai side do not stop the children and
therefore they are not taxed (import tax). The children spend all day
crossing the border, selling at the market, returning and then the same
routine all over again. In addition to this scam children are also
begging. The youngest child I saw, carried on the hip of another child
was about seven months old.
Contacts: Syna is a
Cambodian who escaped to Thailand during the Khmer Rouge era. She
accepted the Lord in a refugee camp in Thailand and eventually was able
to come to the USA. Syna later attended Bible College, married a
Cambodian Christian, and they returned to Cambodia as missionaries with
C&MA about 12 years ago. They were just returning from furlough in July
when I met Syna and this term they moved to Poipet! Syna has a heart for
the children, especially the girls who are being sold into prostitution
to the casinos. I shared with Syna my vision to partner with Christians
in Cambodia to develop a ministry for theses children.
the year and a half since I made contact with Syna there has been very
little contact. Through the few emails that I have received I understand
that their primary interest is in church planting.
Concerning the churches in Siemreap and Phnom Phen: The senior pastor
has taken a year off due to burn out, and there has been no further
contact. They also are committed to church planting and development and
are unable to stretch themselves any further.
ministry developed in cooperation with nationals is the ideal, however,
the Christian nationals I have had contact with are involved full time
in church planting and development. They are unable to make a commitment
to a ministry as demanding as a ministry whose focus is on the rescue of
children from slavery would be.
development of a house ministry patterned after the house ministry in
Thailand (pioneered by WWAV) by a foreign missionary may be the only
Single women or couples with a call to Cambodia and a burden for
exploited children. They must be able to raise personal support and be
willing to complete a training program that would include spending time
UPDATE September 2006
There is a ministry in Thailand (an extension of WWAV) that has a burden
and a strategy for Cambodia. One of the girls from the house ministry
started by WWAV has graduated from Bible College and is preparing to go
to Cambodia in response to this need.
Arabs are the descendants of Noah through Eber the son of Shem (Genesis
10:21). The early Arabs were nomads who wandered the Arabian Peninsula,
eventually the name Arab came to refer anyone whose mother tongue was
Exodus 15:14 the "inhabitants of Palestina" were a people who occupied a
portion of the land of Canaan. The name Palestine was officially given
to the southern portion of the Roman province of Syria and was used
until after the fall of the Crusader Kingdoms (1187). Under the British
Period (1917) the name Palestine was revived as an official title.
Palestinian Christians date back to the day of Pentecost. In Acts 2:11
Arabians were among those who listened in amazement to the wonderful
works of God in their own tongue. Until the time of the Islamic conquest
(635), when Arab Muslims entered Palestine as conquerors, Christians
were the overwhelming majority in the Holy Land. By the time of the
British Period (1917), the Christian population had dropped to 9.6
the earliest use of the name Palestina in Exodus, the title referred to
a people group in a particular geographic location. During the Roman
usage of the title, and later the British revival of the official title,
Palestine and Palestinian people remained a people group in the
geographical area of modern Israel. The Palestinian people have never
known any form of self-government; they have always been a people under
Zionists began to purchase the land in Palestine with the dream of
establishing the Jewish State of Israel, the local Palestinians
protested. This protest became known as the "Arab Rebellion" (1930s).
The Palestinians became known as "Palestinian Terrorists" and the term
became ingrained in the Western mind. In 1948 the state of the
Palestinians was described as: …confined to their reservations,
shafted by the Arabs, defeated by
the Jews, and forgotten by the world…"
Yasser Arafat, the late Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation
Organization, has been attributed with leading "…the Palestinians out of
the deserts of obscurity into the land of Prime Time…." The words
Palestinians and Terrorists became fused together in the
minds of people all over the world. While 60,000 Palestinian families
were dependent on the PLO for their economic well-being, 99 percent of
the Palestinian people had never been involved in terrorist activity
Since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the Palestinian
population has been spread abroad in countries throughout the world. The
vast majority of the people-group referred to as Palestinians live
outside of modern Israel and the territories of Gaza and the West Bank.
Jordan annexed the West Bank and East Jerusalem from 1948 until the war
of 1967 when Israeli forces began the occupation of the area. Egypt
occupied Gaza during the same period. It is in these previously occupied
areas that the Palestinians hope to establish an independent Palestinian
state. The West Bank and East Jerusalem cover an area of 58,000
kilometers. There are four geographical areas: the Coastal Plain in the
north; the Uplands which include Nablus, Jerusalem, Hebron and the
mountain range; and the Eastern Foothills, including Jericho and the
Coastal Uplands. Sixty-six percent of the population on the West Bank
was born after 1967 (1995). Twenty-six percent are under the age of 14
(1995). In 1995 the Christian population stood at 2.8 percent.
marked drop of Christians is attributed to a lower birth rate and
emigration. Forty percent of emigration has taken place since 1967 and
the emigration of Palestinian Christians is three times that of
Palestinian Muslims. The reported causes for Christian emigration are:
the limited opportunities in the areas of employment, recreation and the
arts. The unreported, but understood, reasons for emigration are:
increased pressure by Muslim Palestinians for Christian Palestinians to
leave, physical abuse of Christian Palestinian children by Muslims
Palestinians, and the forced participation of Christian Palestinian
children in violent acts against Israelis. Palestinian Christians on the
West Bank are a minority within a minority.
of the Occupation
Intifada means the shaking off and implies the shaking off of the
Israeli occupation. It began as a reaction to the accidental death of a
Palestinian by an Israeli driver. The Palestinians believed the death
was in retaliation for the murder of an Israeli settler. Children took
up stones and warred against the occupying forces. With international
recognition, the movement picked up momentum and many children were
encouraged by adults to continue in this effective uprising. Not all
children on the West Bank were actively involved in the Intifada.
Intifada lasted for seven years. The schools on the West Bank were
completely closed for two and a half years. For another year-and-a-half,
they were closed for fifty percent of the school days. Education on the
West Bank was interrupted for four years. It was illegal for children to
assemble; children who were not participating in the Intifada were not
permitted (by their parents) to go out doors. Obviously, there was no
possibility for them to play and experience normal childhood activities
during these years.
Violence was a part of daily life and equally devastating was the
violence that the children heard about. Adults were not careful when
discussing violence around the children. Often what they imagined, as a
result of hearing adult conversation, was worse than what the children
burden of the Intifada and the resultant Peace Settlement rested on the
shoulders of the children; they became the heroes. It was difficult for
young children to return to normalcy, in the home and the classroom
after experiencing the excitement of being war heroes. Throughout the
Intifada the children were rewarded for their aggression. Following the
Intifada parents and teachers found the discipline of these children to
be a problem.
residual effect of the violence has impacted most of the children on the
West Bank. Of four hundred and fifty recently tested, all were found to
be developmentally delayed. The art of the children reflects war and
violence. Bed-wetting and depression are common complaints. Almost all
the children have been damaged emotionally.
of the greatest needs for these children is recreation according to the
teachers, parents and agencies working with them. There is not one
public park on the West Bank, and private schools or institutions own
the existing recreational facilities. There are no playing areas,
football fields, or swimming pools to which the Palestinian children
have access. These youth have a lot of energy and aggression and no way
to channel it positively. During summer months, when schools are
traditionally closed, there is very little opportunity for the children
on the West Bank to play and be stimulated. Children’s group-play is
universally the way we learn teamwork, fair play, and camaraderie.
Palestinian youth on the West Bank, between the years of 1987 and 1994
were either rewarded for their aggression or were locked in doors.
Currently (1995) they are discontent, and with the closure of the West
Bank, are without hope of a peaceful future. They are facing long hot
summers with days void of supervised activity. This is a perfect
environment for another uprising. Each of the Palestinian leaders on the
West Bank who were interviewed by Women With A Vision, strongly believe
that recreation during the upcoming summer (1996) is the greatest felt
need of the children. They emphasized that any effort to meet this need
would be worthwhile.
WOMEN WITH A VISION
children on the West Bank are facing summers that have the potential of
being boring and uneventful following years of political upheavals, the
Intifada, and the current closure of the West Bank. These children are
in critical need of organized recreational activities. As the leaders of
the Peace Settlement, West Bank youth have learned and been rewarded for
aggression which has facilitated their development into rebellious
teens. Palestinian parents and educators prior to the Intifada held
tight reigns on their youth. They have never had to deal with the
aggressive behavior which is now common in the Palestinian children on
the West Bank. Summers are void of supervised recreational activites and
provide a medium for further youth uprisings.
Women With A Vision (WWAV) has completed a fact finding trip on the West
Bank and based on these findings WWAV believes a summer recreational
program is a viable means to reach the Palestinian youth on the West
Bank and to meet a need which is felt by the community.
July and August 1996
To provide a three week Summer Day Camp Program in several
To use short term missionary teams to work with an existing
evangelical organization and private institutions with recreational
To provide a program, which would include art, music, crafts
sports, with a goal of teaching the children how to identify their
feelings and respond to them using Biblical principals.
Participating churches will provide human resources and
sponsored three summer camp programs in Ramallah and East Jerusalem.
Additionally, WWAV trained youth workers and coordinated two summer camp
programs in Beit Zahour and Beir Zeit.
Calvary Chapel Bible College East Jerusalem
Christian-Arab communities in the Middle East have limited access, if
any, to a Bible College. There is the Bethlehem Bible College in
Bethlehem. They offer a full time program with on-campus housing and
extension classes. The classes are taught in Arabic and the course
offering is traditional with the exception of their emphasis on
replacement theology (the belief that the church replaced the Jews).
There is a need for a Bible College that will offer well-balanced
teaching of the Word of God such as Calvary Chapel Bible College.
need for an extension campus to the Calvary Chapel Bible College
in Murrieta, California was presented to the administration in Murrieta
and approval was given to lay the foundation for the extension campus.
Word for Today donated the 5000 series of Pastor Chuck’s teaching
through the Bible tapes. Calvary Chapel Long Beach donated
reference books including the International Bible Encyclopedia to
add to the already existing reference books that Leona Karni had
accumulated. A church in Randers, Denmark has donated a VCR for the
video classes that will be used, and Spring Valley Calvary Chapel
in Las Vegas donated the video series from the campus in Murrieta on the
book of Ephesians taught by Larry Taylor.
anticipated enrollment is 10 students all of whom are fluent in English.
The students will begin with a Bible Survey class using the 5000 series
audio tapes, and Ephesians using the video class.
Inductive Bible Study Seminar will be offered. This will be
taught by Dan Finfrock.
facility was rented in East Jerusalem which provided a classroom and
office. Course offerings increased due to the involvement of Calvary
Chapel Rancho Santa Margerita. A representative from the church and
the Bible College in Murrieta visited East Jerusalem and set the campus
in order concerning course offerings, credits and administration. Leona
Karni was in close contact with the main campus to follow through on the
issues of course credits.
Calvary Chapel Bible College East Jerusalem had its first graduate.
Pastor Chuck Smith presented the diploma. Plans were made for George
Fellmon to take over the work of the extension campus under the
supervision of Calvary Chapel Rancho Santa Margarita.
Calvary Chapel Bible College East Jerusalem was established in 1998
with the required course selection needed to complete a two-year
program. There were 15 students actively involved in taking classes and
attending seminars with one having completed the courses and having
received her diploma. It was believed by all involved that for the
college to continue successfully there needed to be male leadership. The
work was turned over by Leona Karni to Gerorge Fellmon and Rancho
Santa Margerita in May of 1999.
to poor communication between George Fellmon and Rancho Santa
Margerita, and the political situation on the West Bank, the Bible
College became inactive. In 2000 Pastor Chuck Smith suggested that Paul
and Nancy Dorr contact Leona Karni in regard to work among the Arabs in
the Middle East. Leona Karni shared with them the work and vision for
the Bible College in East Jerusalem and referred the Dorr’s to Gary
Kusunoki pastor of the church in Rancho Santa Margerita. In 2001
the Dorr’s moved to Jerusalem to take over the work of the Bible
Bible College in East Jerusalem had almost dissolved by the time the
Dorr’s arrived. They have been working with the students that have
remained interested. This is very challenging since there is no longer a
facility and much of the class material, supplies and records are
There are now students who are not fluent in English who wish to take
classes through the college. This requires that the material be
translated into Arabic. The Dorr’s would like to begin the translation
project with Pastor Chuck Smith’s teaching on the book of John.
For further information contact:
P.O. Box 8598
Women With A Vision
Background & Outreach
Leona Karni was a founding
member of WWAV and served as President of the organization for
many years. Leona represented WWAV in Thailand (and other
countries as well). In Thailand she conducted the research and
pioneered the work which prevented girls from entering the slave
Women With A Vision (WWAV) was a non-profit organization founded in the
United States in 1984 whose interest was with exploited women and
children. In 1991 WWAV was registered as a national organization in
Thailand as a social work organization under the religious department of
the Thai government. WWAV functioned as a non-profit organization
registered under the government in the United States from 1984 until
2001. In 2001 WWAV was dissolved as an independent organization and
came under the covering and supervision of Missions at Rocky Mountain
Calvary Chapel. Also, in 2001, WWAV Thailand expanded its work to
include church planting and a house ministry for boys; the name was thus
changed to Grace Ministries North East Thailand.
WWAV sponsored a research project in Thailand on the child slave market.
Using the information obtained through this research, WWAV developed a
strategy in prevention targeted for girls from the northeastern
provinces of Thailand.
WWAV implemented this strategy in prevention which
involved a house ministry in the Ampur of Non Sung in the province of
A second house was opened in Krasang Burirum.
A third house was opened in Chumpung Korat.
Due to the lack of committed house parents for the
day-to-day running of the program, the house in Korat was closed and six
of the ten girls were transferred to Burirum.
The house in Chumpung was closed and five girls were
transferred to Burirum, again due to lack of committed Christian
Also in 1996 a missionary couple who had been receiving
their visa through WWAV increased their commitment from teaching a
weekly Bible study to overseeing the project.
Grace Ministries North East Thailand (WWAV) continues to
run the girls house ministry. Additionally, they have opened a boys
house in Krasang. GMNET has also
a church and
developed a work to help poverty stricken farmers.
Studies done by the Foundation for Child Development and
Child’s Rights Protection Center show that children as young as ten
years old are employed in Bangkok at all-night food markets, factories,
and private homes. The reports go on to say that these children are
allowed no contact with their families, they are beaten, burned, raped,
and forced to work up to eighteen hours a day with no breaks. During the
few hours they do not work, they are locked in a small room with as many
as twenty other children. Of all the children involved in the labor
market, 80% come from the Northeast of Thailand.
The Northeast of Thailand is an agricultural area that is
often plagued by drought. Farmers are hard pressed to support their
families. Commonly a child is taken out of school after completing sixth
grade (12 years old), often younger, and are expected to participate in
earning the family income. Illegal Job Agencies are aware of
these circumstances and send recruiters to the villages to lease
children for work in Bangkok.
Recruiters promise the parents a secure position for the
child and offer an advance on the child’s wages. If the parents agree a
contract is signed and the child leaves the village with the recruiter.
The child is then considered the property of the recruiter they are
taken to a Job Agency in Bangkok where they are commonly raped
and beaten and kept imprisoned on the top floor of a shop house until
they are sold. The Women’s Rights Protection Center reports that it is a
common procedure for the agents to rape the young girls as a means of
While this is the most common way for children to arrive
at the job agencies there are some who travel to Bangkok on their own
with the hope of finding work. Recruiters are stationed at the train and
bus stations with the purpose of meeting these children. They offer them
assistance in finding housing and jobs. They are then taken to the
Employers looking for cheap labor frequent these
agencies. Brothel owners are able to place a special order for
young fresh girls. The employer pays an advance on the child’s
wages, this goes to the agent. A contract is signed and the employers
telephone number is verified. From then on the child is completely at
the mercy of the employer.
A house ministry, within walking distance of the
government school, was established to provide for all of the physical
and educational needs of the child. Two housemothers, who live on site,
have the day to day responsibility of running the house. The daily
schedule for the girls involves, chores, study time and Bible study.
The selection process is done through a scholarship
program, which is offered in cooperation with the school district. The
girls are chosen on the basis of need. The scholarship is presented in
an award ceremony at which time the program and rules are explained.
Participants enter the program at the beginning of 7th
grade and are able to continue on through university if they apply
themselves. Vocational training is also an option.
Girls House (WWAV)
There are currently 12 girls residing in the house in
Krasang. The housemother (Ewe) is a young woman who first came to
the house when she was 12 years old. Her assistant (Kaew) received
assistance from WWAV for Secretarial training but did not live in the
Boys House (GMNET)
There are currently 4 boys residing in the house. The
housemother and assistant are both girls who grew up in the house
ministry (Dik and Pell) and both have graduated from five- year Bible
Saitanrak Church (GMNET)
The housemothers and two of WWAV girls who are in their
last year of Bible College are a part of the leadership team for the
church. Saitanrak meets in the house for Sunday and mid-week service.
Charles Harvey (missionary) is acting pastor. Witoon, a young man from
the Northeast who is a Bible College student assists Charles. The church
membership consists of new believers (led to the Lord through the
ministry of GMNET) and the residents of both houses.
Leona Karni (founder of the work in Thailand) continues
to be involved through annual visits. During these trips Leona functions
in a teaching and consultative capacity. In 2004 she and another
American woman sponsored Christmas parties for both houses and one as an
outreach for children in the town of Krasang.
Leona made several short term trips to Thailand during
these years. In 2007, in addition to visiting the work she pioneered in
the Northeast of Thailand, Leona taught, counseled and was the speaker
for the Evangelical Church of Bankok’s Christmas Outreach Luncheon.