Thursday, September 27, 2007

September Newsletter

September 20, 2007
Dear Friends and Family
With cooler winds blowing through our windows, it’s hard to believe that summer is already giving way to autumn here in Bristol, Connecticut. My first month with Hillside Missions has been very eventful with the arrival of two new interns, Jessica and Jon, and the departure of a previous intern, Brittney, to China for her three-month externship. It has been so encouraging to be around and feed off of others who have the same passion for missions. Already I have witnessed a change within me in response to this opportunity to work in such a loving and dedicated community. God is so good!
Classroom work this month has largely been centered on understanding Muslim culture and current events in Iraq. Our focal point has remained that we are commanded in the scriptures to love our neighbor, which includes the people in Iraq. Our team supported Director of the Christian Defense Coalition Patrick Mahoney in Washington DC about a week ago. We stood with him in praying for and supporting our brothers and sisters in Iraq who are currently undergoing much persecution, but to that point had very little voice in the United States. As a direct answer to prayer, the newspapers this week have been filled with articles quoting different government officials concerning the topic of religious minorities in Iraq. It has been very rewarding to see this important element of the war brought to press and given proper consideration.
In the way of prayer requests, I am currently looking for part-time work in order to cover living expenses. I am also beginning to raise $2000 for a short-term trip to China, which has been scheduled for the first two weeks of December. And finally, one of my main projects is to continue recruiting teachers and interpreters for our missions school in Matachi, Chihuahua, Mexico. Please pray that we might be connected with willing teachers and interpreters for our students. Thank you so much for your prayer and support for me.

Love and Blessings,

Kati Willems
Hillside Missions Staff Member

Monday, September 17, 2007

Prayer Vigil

On Monday, 9/10, our team supported Pat Mahoney's church in hosting a worship and prayer night in remembrance of 9/11. We set up in the park that is located in front of the White House and spent the evening praying the God would move through our leaders in government. And that the people of Iraq would know Christ. We also prayed for the Christians in Iraq, that God would strengthen them and provide protection for those who haven't fled under the religious persecution. Most of all, we prayed that one day Iraq would stand as its own people, without the necessary assistance of our U.S. troops. It was an awesome time of seeking God's will.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Demonstration at the Capital

For the last six days, our team has been in Washington DC helping Rev Pat Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition. Yesterday we had the exciting opportunity to participate in a demonstration on the back terrace of the capitol. It was in support of the Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq. Sadly enough, we were the only voiced Christian presence on Capital Hill all week, through the Senate Committee discussions surrounding the reports of General Patraeus and Ambassador Crocker. Our stand was this: Regardless of whether we were right to enter Iraq, the fact is we are there now. What is important to remember is that the security of millions of people will be at stake if our troops pull out prematurely. When speaking with Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki and cabinet members at the prayer delegation in Baghdad, Iraq some six weeks ago (see previous blog), our representatives (including both Mahoney and our director Kris Keating) were told that Christians in Iraq would be completely eliminated if the US presence was to be removed too soon. Therefore, the blood of all Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities will be on American hands if we allow the security provided by our US troops to be taken out before the Iraqi army is capable of defending it's own nation. As Christians, we are commanded to love our neighbors. This includes the Christian people of Iraq, who have very little voice in America.
What an experience! Rev Mahoney also held a press conference during this demonstration and it was really awesome to get to be a part of it. For clarification, what you're seeing here is sixty latex gloves spray-painted red on the back terrace of the Capital building.(top and left: with Susie Boyed: another a Hillside Staff Member, right: with Jessica Ross, Hillside intern)