Bangladesh Adventures

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Letter 2007

This Years Christmas Letter is Brought to you by Charles and Chase

Stout’s 2007 in Review

January-We spent 15 days traveling in Rajasthan, India, 30 Dec thru 14 Jan. The state of Rajasthan is in the desert region of India and is still like something out of “Tales of the Arabian Nights.”

We along with 1,000s of other India tourist were visiting the Taj Mahal on New Year day. The marble changes colors from bright white to a rich golden sheen, then slowly turns pink, red and finally blue with the changing light as the sun sets. It was cool because it was made out of marble and gems.

Our favorite part of the trip was our 3-day Camel Safari. We absolutely loved it! It was cool how you just sit on a camel and having it stand up- you have to hold on for dear life or you will first fall off frontward then fall off backwards. Sleeping under the stars on the sand dunes was excellent because you can’t see the stars in Dhaka. The Sunset was beautiful over the desert!

March-CJ’s Birthday 26th (AKA Bangladesh Independence Day). CJ had 5 friends over and turn 4 years old.

April-We went to St. Martin’s Island, farthest point of Bangladesh. The boat ride took 2 hours.CJ threw up on the boat ride (disgusting) while the boat rocked from side to side. At the island, there was no electricity so the hotels used generators. The island was cool because of all the coral.

Chase’s and Chad’s Birthday party were together at our house for Friday and the kids stayed over for a sleepover if they could then on Saturday we went to ‘Fantasy Kingdom water park’ for our second part of the party. Chase and Chad had a great birthday- 11 and 8 years old respectively.

May- Charles played at church. He played My Redeemer Lives on the piano and sang- he was (really) good.

June-It was the last month of school and it finished on 14th of June 12:00 o’clock.

Then we went to USA for summer break in Pennsylvania at our grandmother’s house for around 2 months and it was AWSOME because we got to see our relatives and eat good food. YUM YUM!!

July- A Bangladeshi, Kajal replaced our dad in his job for country director of Compassion Bangladesh. Now Dad is in the region of Asia and supports 7 countries. We also went to Cap Cod for a wedding but the kids weren’t aloud so we had a babysitter (first time ever). There we went to the beach. The sand was very gritty- OW! We also went to New York city with our cousin’s the Hasties and saw all the sites there. We liked going there because

· We went up to the top of the Empire State Building

· The subway was cool

· The Staten Island ferry ride. (We saw the Statue of Liberty)

The last trip we took was going to North Carolina to meet our friends the Morrison’s that used to live in Bangladesh; they are from America. We liked going there because they are our good friends.

August-We went back to Bangladesh and started school. Charles’ Homeroom teacher is Mr. Robinson. He is from Australia. Chase’s homeroom teacher is Mr. Ferdinando. He’s from England. Chad’s homeroom teacher is Mrs. Snowden who is from England and CJ’s is Mrs. Doorey from New Zealand.

September-Charles, and Chase had dengue. Chad had something like it but his blood test confirmed that he didn’t have dengue. We skipped a week of school. Dad had hepatitis A for about 3 months Sept-Nov.

October-Charles’ birthday party was at our house. He had 5 friends over. We went bowling and the party was a sleep over.

We went to America, just Charles and Chase with Dad for Elliot Moore’s wedding for a week. We also got to see Evan Moore’s college, Grove City and spent a Night a cousin Nick’s apartment in the Philly area.

November-Our aunt Prova’s friend, Dipty was getting married and we all went. Chad was the ring bearer. Charles played and sang a song at the start of the wedding (solo). The song was called ‘Testify to Love’. The food was good (as always).

December-Chad was in a choir and had a concert on the 8th. For our Christmas Productions at school we did plays. Charles’s wrote the play for his class called “Santa meets Jesus.” Charles was Santa. In Chase’s play he was Zachariah and in Chad’s play he was a sheep named Shaun.

Back to Dad and Mom:


From Kevin, Nita, Charles, Chase, Chad and CJ

Thought for Christmas:

“Jesus provides an oasis of grace in the desert of grief.”

During the Christmas season, we often read Isaiah’s prophecies of the coming Messiah who would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14) and called “wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6). But perhaps we should also include the words of Isaiah 53: “He is … a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief … Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows … And by His stripes we are healed” (vv.3-5). The psalmist reminds us “The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” Ps. 147:3

Have a wonderful Christmas Holiday- Jesus is here for you!!!!

Visit the Stout’s Adventures (blog) at:

12290 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80921-3668

Friday, December 21, 2007

Children at Risk Networking Agency

Shifting Paradigms for Invisible Children

THAILAND, BANGKOK, Dec 5, 2007: Viva’s latest conference brought together 340 Christian leaders from across Asia to seriously consider the idea of “invisible children.” From street children to child soldiers, conference speakers brought light to the issues facing these oft-forgotten children, forcing participants to reevaluate their current thinking and ways of working.

Asia Cutting Edge is a tri-annual regional conference that helps practitioners to engage in cross-cutting issues pertaining to their work with children. Participants explored the theme of Invisible Children through plenary sessions, workshops and working groups. On the opening night, Stairway Foundation presented a touching theatre performance about child sexual abuse, as seen through the eyes of the abused. “Cracked Mirrors” brought the theme to life and kicked off the challenging 5-day conference on a strong note.

According to Dr Nomer Bernardino of the Philippines, when invisible children are seen, valued and nurtured, they can become honourable and effective leaders.Throughout the conference, participants were challenged to reconsider their ways of seeing children who are typically invisible. The invisibility of these children was explored deeper through 5 lenses: disability, AIDS, ethnic minority, prison and child protection.

Aside from meeting in large groups, participants also met together in country groups and working groups. Whilst individuals spoke of their own paradigm changes, country groups worked on plans to address invisible children issues. Four working groups held post-conference also gave participants the chance to strategize and plan for future action. Some outcomes expected are the development of further animations to raise awareness about child sexual abuse and further seminary involvement in Holistic Child Development trainings.

Key aspects found in every Cutting Edge are the spiritual nurturing and networking aspects. The morning devotions and shared breaking of bread in the closing plenary were particularly powerful and spiritually encouraging. In their evaluations, participants reported that they had agreed on future cooperative activities with others and many left feeling nurtured, encouraged and changed.

A shining moment for a small organization came during the last night of the conference. Sahabat Peduli Foundation (‘Friends who care’) from Jakarta, Indonesia was awarded with the first-ever Asha Award, for innovative and quality work with children who have been sexually abused. Established after the riots and rapes of 1998, Sahabat Peduli boasts a high quality counselling programme designed to help abused children in their healing and to regain their dignity in society.

Bunga Kamase Kobong, a counsellor who has led the organization since its inception pointed out that abused children remain invisible, unhealed and unaided because of the stigma. It is hoped that the recognition received from the Asha award will help Sahabat Peduli in its efforts to break the silence in the Indonesian church and society.

Viva also launched a new book, Understanding God’s Heart for Children: Toward a Biblical Framework which participants eagerly purchased along with other resources such as Viva Equip’s Restore magazines. Each participant also received a CD with almost 200 resources enclosed; each annotated and linked to one of the conference topics.

Ian de Villiers, Viva Asia’s coordinator says, “We’re delighted to have been able to facilitate such a collaborative venture, with many significant contributions in thought, networking and resource-building, given generously for the Viva community by the various International Associates and national networks.” Viva’s next international gathering will be held in July 2008 in the United States.


Viva creates networks among Christians caring for children because of the belief that collaboration brings greater effectiveness. Based in the UK, Viva represents a group of organisations, church bodies and individuals who are committed to every child having the opportunity to become all that God intends. Viva’s work provides vulnerable children with more services of better quality, plus a bigger voice to speak up for their interests. Website:

Day of Eid Korbani

A Teaching Opportunity for MBB’s – The Day of Eid Korbani

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today is the morning of Eid Korbani in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As I crank out this document, I am hearing the bleating of goats about to be slaughtered. As we drove into our parking garage last night after a fellowship event with some friends, we counted five cows unknowingly awaiting slaughter on the next day. Yesterday, our teenage daughter was invited by one of her wealthy Bangladeshi friends to go cow shopping! We agreed to let her go provided she would agree to fifteen minutes of Bible study. This family bought two large cows for 100,000 taka! Our agreement with our daughter is the reason for our cranking out this document. I felt this might be of some value to Muslims and so I am offering it to you to share with your network of Muslims.

In fairness to our Muslim friends, in their minds when they reflect on the religious significance of the event, it has more to do with the obedience of Ibrahim (Abraham) than as an atonement for sin. Yesterday’s (20 December 2007) Daily Star (the leading English newspaper in Dhaka) renders a popular understanding of the event by an educated Bangladeshi Muslim:

“To commemorate Hazrat Ibrahim’s devotion to almighty Allah proven by his readiness to give up His dearest son Hazrat Ismail, well-to-do Muslims will sacrifice animals and share the sacrificial Meat with their relatives, neighbours, and poor people. Hazrat Ibrahim, who had been asked by Almighty Allah to sacrifice his dearest son, arranged everything to implement Allah’s order at Mina near Makkah. Satisfied by his sincere intent, Allah ordered Ibrahim to sacrifice an animal in Place of his son. Marking the event, which symbolizes highest loyalty and submission to the

Almighty, Muslims at Mina and around the world sacrifice animals on the 10th day of the month Of Zilhaji.”

So the event commemorates Ibrahim’s obedience more than atonement ascribed to the act of sacrificing. It is well-known that a gospel conversation can be launched by comparing Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son with Allah’s (God’s) not only willingness but actually offering his Son Isa (Jesus). In fact, Galatians 3:29 clearly links Ibrahim and Isa:

“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendents, heirs according to promise.” (NASB)

However, this humble document will not go that direction. While we can point to Genesis 22 in the Torat to substantiate that it was Isahok (Isaac) that Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice, if we ask the Muslim to point out where in the Quran it states that Ismail was sacrificed, he will not be able to do so. However, neither is it the purpose of this document to go that direction.

The purpose of this document is to state that sacrificing animals is no longer necessary in light of the once for all sacrifice of Isa-Al-Masih (Messiah). One of the best places in the Injil (New Testament) to go to see this is the book of Hebrews. According to 9:11-12, 10:4, 10:10, 10:12, 10:14, 10:18:

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle….not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”

“we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

“but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the throne of God.”

“for by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”

“Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.”

This should suffice, and may God bless your work with Muslims.

Four Country Offices in Two Weeks

I just finished visiting four Compassion Country offices in two weeks as part of my new job with Compassion. I visited Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand. Indonesia has two country offices one in the East part of the islands that make up Indonesia and the other in the west. These four offices make up East Asia Area for Compassion. The Asian Region has two areas, East Asia and South Asia. South Asia is made up of two offices in India and one in Bangladesh. However, this trip was about East Asia area. I flew Singapore Airlines so while I was at the Singapore Airport I had the opportunity to see the new Air Bus 380 (Double Decker) picture above. However, I didn't get to fly in it- it only goes between Australia and Singapore.

Compassion East Indonesia, Manado: This office is only three years old but inherited some projects from the original Indonesia office. The Manado office currently works with 67 projects with more than 12,400 precious children. I left Dhaka at 10 p.m. on Saturday, 1 Dec 07. I flew Singapore Airlines from Dhaka to Singapore; then from Singapore to Jakarta, Indonesia. I had an eight hour lay over at the Jakarta Airport before flying on a local airline to Manado, Indonesia. The flight from Singapore to Dhaka was four hours, Singapore to Jakarta two hours, and Jakarta to Manado two and half hours.

Manado is a Christian Island in Indonesia. Indonesia has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. I’m the CIV Specialist for the Asian Region. CIV stands for Complementary Intervention. Compassion only has three programs: 1) Children Survival Program (CSP); 2) Children Development Through Sponsorship (CDSP); and 3) Leadership Development Program (LDP). CSP is a program that is pre and post natal plus maternity care for babies up to 3 years old. CDSP is our sponsorship program for children 3 years old up to 18 years old. LDP is a scholarship award for 18-22 years old for emerging leaders coming from the CDSP program. These three programs are all funded thru sponsorship.

CIV is funding from partners and donors of Compassion that is not tied into child sponsorship i.e. Compassion can use this funds to help the church, child, family or community in a developmental way. Sponsorship funding needs to go to an individual child but CIV funds can be used in many ways to help the broader community that the child lives in.

I was with the Learning and Support Team, 3 other people that work at the Regional level. We were at this office on Monday and Tuesday, 3 and 4 Dec 2007.

Compassion Indonesia, Bandung, Indonesia: This office is many years old and works with 240 projects with more than 45,000 children. This is one of the big office among Compassion’s 26 Country offices around the world. I met with the CIV Administrator and the program team about new processes in CIV plus strategic planning. We traveled on Wednesday from Manado to Bandung. We flew from Manado to Jakarta then drove three hours to Bandung from Jakarta.

Compassion Philippines, Manila, Philippines: This office currently works with 196 projects with more than 40,000 children. We worked at this office on Monday and Tuesday, 10 and 11 Dec 2007. We traveled from Bandung to Jakarta by vehicle than flew from Jakarta to Singapore and then from Singapore to Manila. We arrived Saturday night. I went to Nita and my friends house for Saturday and Sunday, Jonathan and Thelma. They work with prostitutes around greater Manila Metro with Samaritana, a non-profit organization.

From Manila we flew back to Singapore then Bangkok, Thailand and on to Chang Mai, Thailand.

Compassion Thailand, Chang Mai, Thailand: This office currently works with 174 projects with more than 28,500 precious children. We worked with office personnel on Thursday and Friday, 13 and 14 Dec. My favorite food in Thailand is Phat Thai Sai Khai (fried noodles, egg, vegetables, lots of dried chili pepper- HOT, little sugar and grounded peanuts). Friday night our friends the Coats came down from Chang Rai to take me out to supper, it was great to catch up with them.

RED LETTER DAY, 15 Dec- I get to go home! Since Singapore Airlines was my base, I needed to fly Chang Mai to Bangkok to Singapore to Dhaka. I left Chang Mai at 9:45 a.m and ended up in Dhaka at 9:30 p.m. But it is all worth while when four boys run and jump into Daddy’s arms, with CJ and Chad screaming Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

China Visit:

I spent 4 days in Zhong Dian, Yunnan Province. The airport is called Shan-gra-la. The three pictures are a good description of my time near Tibet. The hardware store had Chinese’s tools, 100%! Not one tool was from another country. I was in China and everything was Chinese made- how many countries can claim that. All hardware stores around the world have goods made in other countries- but not good old China- everything 100% Chinese Made- Proud.

The other picture is from a Yak butcher. Yes, they eat all parts of the Yak in Yunnan. The final picture is from National park we walked thru, I’m pictured with Rick who works with Compassion as a Communication Specialist- a great guy!

One of the moving moments of the retreat was when we heard about and reflected on decanting. It is from a message at the spiritual retreat in China from a missionary in Singapore teaching at a seminary for the last 17 years. He is a deep thinker, spiritually. I hope it may help you (whoever) when you are going through a tough time in life or feel empty.

I believe God has sent a decanter, men who pour from jars, tilters, those who tip vessels, them that pour off, troublemakers, or wanderers into your life to empty your vessels. This comes from Jeremiah 48:11 & 12.

Jer 48:11 Moab has been at ease from his youth, settled like wine on its dregs;

he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile;

therefore his flavor has remained and his aroma is unspoiled.

Jer 48:12 Therefore, the time is surely coming, says the LORD, when I shall send to him decanters to decant him, and empty his vessels, and break his jars in pieces. 13 Then Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.

Moab was complacent. As Christian, we are constantly to put off the old self and renew ourselves in Jesus Christ. The flavor/aroma of JC is not a counterfeit. When we are complacent in some aspect of our life God sends a decanter or troublemaker to empty ourselves so God can fill us up. Even good in our life can become useless over time and we need to continually take off the old and put on the new in JC. This process of decanting brings us closer to God.

Kingdom life is being poured out continually and filled with the Holy Spirit continually.

When we are being decanted don't cling (hold on) to the old jar; don't bring the settlement (dregs) into the new jar, very important; and don't look back, let God change you to become or smell like Jesus, not like the old self (old man).

However, this is not the end, the story of Moab is completed in Jeremiah 48:47 "Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, says the LORD." You will be restored; no question! And when it is over, you will have the aroma, strongly of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Remember: Salvation (justification) is free but discipleship (sanctification) cost you everything!