Bangladesh Adventures

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Prayer Update

1) With a heavy heart, I want to inform that our precious child Rezu Moni (BD2030060) has passed away on 22 February 2007 due to Congenital Heart Disease. Please pray for her family specially parents, project staff and her sponsor.

2) My beggar fried Parvin found her 7 year old son Ruben- Praise the Lord. Thank you for your prayers.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Do We Really Want to Follow God?

Here is a daily devotion for you from a network I’m (Kevin) on, ‘Love justice, do mercy! (Zech. 7:9)’

May the Peace of the Lord Disturb You!

From: PRISM ePistle []


From Nashville, we covered 8,792 miles to get there, and soon after arriving I was plunged into an evil I had hoped existed only in nightmares. I would have long since conveniently buried this experience beneath a mountain of rationalizations if I hadnt looked deep into the vacant eyes of a 12-year-old sex slave and vowed never to forget. Her expression cannot be purged from memory, and sometimes my mind plays tricks by imposing her face on some little girl I see walking in the mall or playing at the park. Returning to my past world of ignorance would relieve my grief, but its impossible to go back.

There are some details about my rude awakening in South Asia that I cannot tell you, including our specific locations. I traveled with a small band of highly trained professionals from International Justice Mission, which covertly deploys operatives around the globe to rescue victims of horrific human rights crimes, usually involving children. I saw BATMAN BEGINS, but I didnt realize there are actually people who risk their lives under cover of night, swooping in amid the horror to save innocent young lives from the clutches of evil. These people are real heroes, and I met them in the dark alleys of one of the largest red-light districts in the world.
My job was to tag along, do exactly as I was told, and witness this heartbreaking tragedy with my own eyes. Arriving on an oppressively humid night, I taxied down into the red-light district with a guy Ill call Ron. We spent the evening posing as customers looking for action, in order to identify brothels forcing young girls into prostitution.

During the cab ride back, Ron detailed the terrifying trap that captured these girls. Lured to the city by the promise of earning money as domestic household servants, they are taken captive, transported by night to a brothel, and sold to the highest bidder. Locked in a room the size of a closet, they are told they will be providing sex to customers on demand. When the first customer comes, the child resists and fights back. The brothel owner beats her into submission with iron rods and electrical cords. She finally consents and begins providing sex six days a week, with up to ten customers daily. She is rationed one meal a day and not allowed to leave the brothel. When touring their bedrooms (four to six girls crammed together per dingy room) I almost lost it emotionally upon discovering that the same little girls forced to give sex still sleep with stuffed teddy bears and rabbits.

My worldview was turned upside down in the length of time it took to walk past the line of little girls waiting outside a clinic to receive treatment for AIDS and every sexually transmitted disease imaginable. I couldnt get back on the plane to Nashville quick enough.

I had a lot of time to kill on that long international flight, so I sat and I thought and I wondered, Where was God today?

Yes, I know God is omnipresent, but I wondered, specifically, where was God today? Where did he go? What did he see? How did he feel? I began imagining God present at that miraculous moment a precious life was born into the world, the joy and marvel of the newborn bearing Gods image and uniquely fashioned by his hands. Taking in the beauty of a brilliant blazing sun slowly descending behind endless ocean waves, I have felt the company of the Creator amid the splendor of his handiwork. Jogging a woodland trail one autumn morning I passed an aged couple leisurely strolling in conversation hand in hand. God must have been there smiling as these soul mates shared a ripe and tender love, a gift from God, who is himself named Love. These simple but magnificent miracles inspire love and adoration for God deep within and draw me to him.

Somewhere over the Atlantic, 40,000 feet above the earth, these nice thoughts about God gave way to disturbing images I wish I could forget from my trip. Now the question Where was God today? tortured me. Today a 10-year-old girl is being strapped down tight to a bed and brutally and repeatedly raped. God is present. Today an 8-year-old emaciated boy is covered with a cardboard box and left to die. Slowly he slips into unconsciousness. God is present. Today a young mom of three wails in bed as her skeletal body writhes with the unrelenting agony of AIDS. God is present. Still, I grew angry. Why was God pushing these horrors in my face? I was emotionally spent and wanted to go home to my world. God could have THAT world; that was his deal, hes God; I didnt live in THAT world.

Or did I?

Sitting in 13D, I uncovered something unsettling about myself. I dont really want a relationship with God. Heres what I want. I want to share with God all I feel, all I need, all that grieves me, all that makes me happy, the puzzling things, the fun things, and the hard things, but I would prefer that God keep his stuff to himself. I dont want to hear about his pain and share in his grief. I dont mind listening to God as long as Im receiving solutions, answers, and advice. Maybe what I really want is a divine vending machine: pop in my prayer, press the button for my need, and Im good to go. A professional live-in massage therapist and a Starbucks within walking distance would be nice too.

Any relationship involves two people, you and the other. It seems that in a relationship with God, we would desire to listen to the other to learn what the other is really like. But how is this possible without going through the adventure of each day with the other? Can we personally and intimately know someone without sharing experiences, doing things togetherlittle things as well as big things, and taking the risks of love together? Wouldnt we want to learn how to love those whom the other loves, to see them through his eyes? We would want to rest and celebrate together, to share beautiful things, to laugh together. But wouldnt we also want to enter into the pain and grief the other feels when pain, injustice, and cruelty are inflicted upon those he loves? In every abusive home where a child cries in fear and pain, and in every city street where a homeless person shivers under newspapers on the pavement, the living Christ is there. Whether its across town or on the other side of the globe, suffering people surround us. Maybe carrying Jesus cross is our free choice to become compassionately involved with him in the pain of others and be partners with God in bringing healing and transformation.

Just a small glimpse into Gods world was enough for me. Its staggering to consider the intensity of anger and anguish I felt witnessing just a few injustices compared to what God must feel being personally and fully present to countless such heinous horrors 24/7. Youd have to be comatose not to feel Gods hurt and anger ooze from the pages of Scripture over the oppression of the weak and vulnerable. Even after all my sophisticated exegesis of the Old Testament prophets and words of Jesus, I cant seem to get away from the fact that the main message of God to his people about injustice is to get off our rear ends and do something! This goes way deeper than feeling guilty about doing more; Im trying to figure out how I got to the place where the things that break the heart of God are so marginal to mine.

Im starting to wonder if I can even have a relationship with God this way, and Im left with the question of how much I really want to know God. Theres no having it both ways. Whether I like it or not, the God who dances over the breathtaking sunrise weeps over each victim of brutality.
[Used by permission. Adapted from DIVINE NOBODIES by Jim Palmer (Thomas Nelson Inc., Copyright 2006).]
The above story could be from Cambodia, Thailand or Sri Lanka- they are the three biggest Sex Tourism destinations for children- Pray for those countries and especially the children being raped.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

BD Government Cracks Down on Illegal Structures

This is from a friend of mine, Nripen Baidya from Bangaldesh Baptist Fellowship. It is about how the new government crack down on illegal structures on Government land is affecting the poor. Please cry out to our LORD through prayer for the displaced poor people of Bangladesh. Thank you

Now, we want to share you one of our difficulties. I believe that you all aware about the present Caretaker Government of the Bangladesh took the responsibility in a critical moment with some specific agenda and now they are trying their best and taking necessary initiatives to hold a free, fair and creditable election. They are trying to clean up corruption, illegal arms, illegal business, seizing rotten and expired food items and illegal fertilizers, medicine, arresting terrorist, corrupt political leaders and businessmen as well godfather of the terrorist and demolishing the illegal and unauthorized slums and buildings and separation of Judiciary division. The present government movement against illegal and unauthorized establishment is being highly appreciated by all quarters. The Government also evacuating the government land which is illegally using by the muscleman, political and other people. Some of them sold land to the people who are not aware that these lands are government land so, now they are becoming victims.

In Bangladesh as many as 5.4 million people live in the slums spread over six metropolitan cities and there are 9048 slums. In the capital city 37% of the population lives in slums (Report NIPORT and University of North Carolina). These slums did not come up in a day and rise and growth took place over the years and by the patronage and protection by the political muscleman alongside willful negligence of the last government. They did this for their personal benefit. A portion of the income from this land also went to pocket of the government staff. Most of the poor and low earners live in these slums. Some of the slums also become the center of criminal acts, drugs addiction, drugs trafficking, and small firearms with the support of the local muscleman. However, though they are living in unhygienic condition but keeping our cities clean. In any event we strongly feel that a proper and lasting program needs to take for their rehabilitation by the government as well as NGOs should come forward in this regard.

In Dhaka City we have two churches among the Telegu community with over 100 families who are living in Gupibag, Wari, Outfall, Mohammadpur, Mirpur and Agargoan. These people came in Bangladesh during British Rule to clean the city and also work for the railway. The government settled in these areas. Till those who are in government service they will not face any difficulties but those do not have government job but living in these slums illegally have to evacuate their residence very soon. The government has already served a noticed to these illegal inhabitances to evacuate the house otherwise they will demolish their houses with their household goods. But in Dhaka city these people do not have alternative source to take temporary shelter with their children and household goods. Moreover, they have no ability to get rent a room in Dhaka city to live. So, now they are in danger.

Finding no alternative way they came to BBCF church leaders for seeking help for rehabilitating them in a safety place. But BBCF leaders make them understand that it would not be possible to rehabilitate them in Dhaka city with land. They proposed them to rehabilitate them at Savar (about 30 KM north of Dhaka City). It would be possible for BBCF to rehabilitate these 100 families in Savar if we get support from our generous supporters.

Secondly, about 50 families of our Gosherchar Baptist Church at Gopalgonj also facing the evacuation difficulties. Infact these 50 families in Gosherchar they purchased land from the landlord without checking the legal side of these land as they were not aware about this issue. Historically the land they purchased is now a char (river raised land or river land). All the rivers land in Bangladesh belongs to government as Khas. Eventually the present government has identified that these are khas land the people have to evacuate their houses within two days. These 50 families already evacuated the houses and took shelter at church premises in tent (made by polythene) in the mean time northwester has started with rain and the polythene has gone through by air. So they have no shelter at all on their head. So, they are in danger with their children and household goods. Until settled this condition these people cannot go for work and being poor and low earner they do not have food. Being the BBCF church members it is our responsibility to looking after these people. BBCF have started providing food to these families at its church premises but the fund BBCF it is hardly enough for five days to feed these people. It has become a moral obligation to rehabilitate these people in a secured land.

Third, about 25 families of Sarisabari Church at Jamalpur were living at Railway land. They got lease permission from the government but this was not officially legal. The lease was false. Some political influential people give them lease taking money from these poor people. Now, the present government identified that this lease is false so they demolished their residences with their belongs. Now they are living in Church house and some are living putting polythene over their head.


Friday, February 09, 2007

3 White men and 3.5 million Muslims together

On Saturday, 3 Feb 07 Elliot, teacher at Grace from England stands 6 ft 4, another man from the USA and myself, small USA looking person attended the three day Biswa Ijtema. However we attended it with, get this, 3.5 million Muslim men in an area of maybe 160 acreas or less. Biswa Ijtema is the second largest Muslim gathering after Hajj (Saudi Arabia). The whole area was covered by a gigantic canopy made out of burlap (jute).

It was unbelievable!! I have never been around so many people, I have never been around so many men, I have never been around so many Muslims, I have never been around that many men praying, before. I have wanted to come to this prayer gathering for 20 years but finally made it this year.

I wanted to bring the four boys but my wife said, “No way!” in both English and Bangla. She was afraid of the Muslims, afraid of the boys getting lost and afraid of me doing something that would bring attention to us. She knows me well. However, there were no children there at all- so my wife was right in that account.

Many scholars of Islam from BD and abroad gave sermons throughout the day. Biswa Ijtema was started back in the 1920s to both reform and revive Islam.

We walked around the outside first then went through a walkway under the canvas covering. On our way back from the other side to the point where we started we could not find a walkway and ended up walking thought, over, and around a lot of men who had just finish lunch and were relaxing on their prayer mats. Everybody was very nice to us.

The normal conversation went like this:

Muslim man, “Salaam A lekume!”
Kevin (me), “Walkume Salaam!”
Both- shake hands.
Muslim man, “What country are you from?”
Kevin (me), “From the USA!”
Muslim man, “Good. Are you Muslim?”
Kevin (me), “No, I’m a Christian.”

Now repeat that by 1 million conversation plus multiply it by 3 because it was the same conversation for all 3 of us. So we figure we met 3 million Muslim men that day!! Not bad for 2 USA and 1 English men.

Remember: I told a cousin of mine 15 years ago when I worked in the no man’s land between Iraq and Jordon during the first Gulf war with evacuees. He told me I was crazy to be over there without a gun. My answer to him:

“It is amazing how nice people are to you when you don’t have a M-16 machine gun pointing at them.” I have been around the world, in many hot spots and have be with 3.5 million Muslim men and NOT ONCE did I ever feel threaten or scared.

I know most of you don’t believe in peace and being a dove or you only give lip service to Jesus' teachings on peace but you should try it sometime!?! Guns and invasions are not the answers to the problems of this world. Moreover, just to keep you all happy or upset with me- please tell President Bush that!

Teaching Opportunities at GRACE

Grace International School is where boys are going to school. Once again, Grace is looking for a few good committed teachers. Is God calling you to serve overseas? It is a two-year contract with home leave in the summer months paid for- great opportunity to experience a third-world country and serve the Lord. You can check out the web site at:

Grace International School, Dhaka, Bangladesh

GIS is a growing Christian School teaching a British-based curriculum to expatriate children (3 to 16 years) from 30 countries. We are currently expanding to offer IGCSE courses.
We invite applications from qualified and enthusiastic teachers looking for opportunities in Christian service.

We are in need of:
Primary Class Teacher
Secondary Subject Teachers

The school offers:
· Well-motivated children
· Living allowance and accommodation
· Annual return flight
· Free schooling for children

Further details from the Principal.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Please Pray for Missing Boy

I have talked with the same beggar lady for three years. I have given her money; Nita has given her boys’ clothes and her a sari. Almost once or twice a week she is at the traffic light begging. We have talked about many things over the years. She is simple is the best way to describe her. I think she has been married three times- that is not her fault but poor Muslim men that can divorce very easily and look for a richer bride even if it means another beggar lady that is making a little more money.

The lady’s name is Parvin and she has two boys, Ruben, 7 years old and Redio, 2 years old. 7 days ago, Ruben did not come home from a government school. He is missing. Please pray that he is safe and will come back to his mother. Parvin has been looking everywhere plus sending a rickshaw around with a microphone asking for help.

The first time a saw Parvin after her son was missing- I could tell something was wrong. She had a look in her eyes that there was no hope left and nobody to turn to. What a sickening feeling when there is no hope and nobody to turn to. That look in her eyes- I will never forget. Please pray for her. Thank you.