Full Life Crusade Update . . .
I was almost in Florida when my cell phone rang. It was
Martha, my daughter in Israel. The voice on the other end of the line trembled,
broke, and then she informed me, "This is the worst news that I could
ever give you. Phil is dead. He died this morning from a sudden heart attack
at our home here in Jerusalem."
So on January 16 I did a quick U-turn and headed back to Indiana, telling
her, "Ill get there just as soon as I can."
On the way I called and cancelled all of my speaking engagements, including
the television interview scheduled for January 20 with Marsha Yarbrough,
TBN in Jacksonville, Florida. Everyone was so understanding and kind. Then
I called El Al Airlines to make a reservation. Their flights go out of
New York City headed for Tel Aviv every night except Friday. But they told
me that I could not board their aircraft because my passport would expire
February 20. I would have to get a new passport before I could go see my
grieving daughter. I knew that this would delay my journey by several days.
Unless God helped me out I would not even get to Jerusalem until after
So I prayed most of the way as I drove back to Indiana. The last 120 miles
slowed me down quite a bit, since there had been a snow storm and the roads,
in some places had the traffic slogging along at only 30 mpg.
When I finally got home I went straight to the photographer and got my
passport pictures taken. Konda had downloaded and printed the forms to
fill out from her computer. But just before I headed on up to Chicago to
the passport agency office the thought ocurred to me, "Call Delta
Airlines." I never fly Delta, but for some reason I obeyed the little
nudge and gave them a call.
"We can have you on a flight tomorrow to Israel. The cost will be
$2800!" In my excitement I blurted out, "I'll take it."
Then the Delta agent asked me why I was going to Israel on such short
notice. I told her that my son-in-law had died of a heart attack, leaving
my daughter, Martha, and her five children, all under the age of seven.
"Are you aware of the bereavement fare?" she asked. "No,
I'm not," I replied.
"If you will allow me to put you on hold I will check to see if we
have any bereavement seats available." After a few minutes she came
back on the line. "We do have a seat available for you, but you must
furnish us three things: the name of his doctor, the name of the hospital
where his body is being kept, and the telephone number."
I did not have any of this information.
"Then I cannot guarantee this special rate for you. However, if you
can furnish this information tomorrow when you check in at the airport
then your fare will be $1,300 instead of $2,800."
I immediately emailed my daughter in Jerusalem and asked for the information
and told her the time of my arrival. At about 3:00 a.m. an email came back
telling me what I needed to know.
When I checked in at the airport everything went off perfect and the Lord
saved me $1,500! But in order to get to New York City I had to fly from
Ft. Wayne, Indiana to Cincinnati, Ohio, then to St. Louis, Missouri, and
finally to NYC. By the time my plane left for Israel I had already been
traveling more than 12 hours. Plus, I was pretty tired from the long drive
from Florida to Indiana.
But my heart was warm and happy because there was only one place that
I wanted to be on this earth, and that was with my daughter, Martha.
By God's grace he got me safely to Israel in time for the funeral. It
was all so heartbreaking. Tears were flowing everywhere. Narkis Street
Church surrounded us with their love, kindness and generosity. We can never
thank Chuck Kopp and his wonderful congregation enough for bringing in
food, organizing the entire funeral, and loving us.
Philip Berg was buried in Jerusalem, Israel, the land he loved and with
the people he loved and served for 25 years.
Martha is a widow now with her five babies. She will need our prayers
and love in the coming months and years. I plan to stay with her here in
Jerusalem for at least one month. We are taking one day at a time and trusting
God for his outpoured grace upon our lives.
Phil had just written an article for Shevet Achim a few days before he
died. The article is entitled, "Knocking At Our Door"
"I have been reflecting lately on what it is that tends to touch
my heart the most about our work here at Shevet Achim. There are day-in
and day-out logistics of getting the job done. Every week, anywhere from
three to seven families from Gaza are profoundly touched by the intervention
of their neighbors to the north as their child is given a new lease on
life. But the stories that pop most readily to my mind are the ones that
involve the Iraqis.
Why is this? I am beginning to see more powerfully than ever before that
there is no substitute for relationship.
When we bring a child from Iraq we are much more "hands-on" involved
in their lives than we are with the Gaza children. This is necessarily
so since the Iraqi patients are far from home and have no one else to look
out for them. Prior to surgery, the Iraqi patient and escort stay in our
home here in Jerusalem. Also, after surgery there is a period of time that
the patient and escort stay in our home as they wait for further checkups
and a final OK to return to Iraq.
It is at these times that a very special bonding takes place. The opportunity
to exercise the hospitality factor makes all the difference in deepening
this bond. Preparing a quiet, cozy bedroom, sharing meals together and
taking walks around the streets of Jerusalem---these are the memories that
are etched into my mind much more than standing alongside a hospital bed.
"Home is where the heart is." I think all of us are looking
for a home. Being a third-culture kid myself and having traveled the world
for many years, there were times when I was not sure where home was. I
remember being invited into people's homes on occasion and experiencing
a place of refuge.
Of course, we have a new home being preepared for us by our Lord. But
in the meantime, perhaps the best expression of heaven that we have on
this planet is a home where the Lord rules and where peace and comfort
and refuge are offered to anyone who may come knocking at your door.
I am so glad that the Iraqi families come knocking at our door. My wife
and I and our children are so much richer for having had these gracious
guests in our home."
We will never forget Philip, his life and the words he has written. How
apropo that he was knocking on heaven's door even while he was typing this
last newsletter article. Since home is where the heart is, it is apparent
that Phil's heart was heaven-bound.
We have set up a memorial fund for his family here at Full Life Crusade
and 100% of the money you send here for this purpose will go to Martha
and the five children. Martha plans to remain in Israel to continue the
work that she and her husband were doing with Shevet Achim (taken from
Each of her sisters plan to visit her on different months so that she
always has something to look forward to. If you would like to go to Israel
to see her she would welcome you with open arms. I plan to go again in
September/ October and lead a team. You are welcome to join us then.
May the Lord bless you richly for your consistent and generous help to
the outreaches of Full Life Crusade.
In His Service,
This article appeard in the Jerusalem Post, January 24
in the 'NEWS IN BRIEF" section:
Shevet Ahim's Jerusalem head
Philip Berg, head of the Jerusalem office of Shevet
Ahim--the non-profit organization that since 1997 has brought hundreds
of Palestinian children to Israel for lifesaving heart surgery--was
buried in Jerusalem on Sunday. Berg, only 55, died in the Shevet
Ahim office of an apparent heart attack. He leaves behind his wife
Martha, and five small children, Asher, Adam, Nathan, Sara, and Anna.
The gorup has worked in cooperation with Wolfson, Schneider, Sheba
and Rambam hospitals.
*Jerusalem Post Staff
In Haiti conditions have worsened to the point of anarchy.
A native worker was driving his vehicle through the streets of Port-au-Prince
just a few days ago when three armed men leaped into his car, attempting
to rob the three white people who were with him. He was so brave! And
even though the robbers brandished guns he fought with them to protect
his guests. He was beaten quite profusely for his efforts, but he was
able to force them out of his car and drive away. Very often the driver
is killed if he resists. This is not an uncommon event in Haiti these
I remember so well thirty
and forty years ago when my entire family walked through the streets of
Port-au-Prince at night and we were perfectly safe. So things have gone
from bad to worse in Haiti, and at this point in time I cannot even visit
my friends and relatives down there. They have told me not to come until
things calm down.
In the town of Gonaive the recent flood killed at least
2,000 people and we have sent some relief help there. There is a desert
near the city and because the water was so deep it flowed into the desert
carrying many hundreds of bodies with it. As the water receded the bodies
became visible and began to decay in the hot Haitian sun. One of our workers
who was there just a few days ago told me that the stench was almost unbearable.
He was carrying a truckload of food to the starving people. But gangs
with guns are robbing the welfare workers and then selling the food at
astronomical prices. Fortunately, our workers were not attacked and were
able to place the food in a church and pass it out to the congregation.
Helping during a time of crisis leaves a very powerful witness for Jesus
My daughter, Martha, and her husband, Philip, live with
their four children in Jerusalem. They, too, have a very dangerous mission:
traveling into Gaza to pick up Palestinian children who have special heart
ailments. Without medical treatments these children will die. By God’s
grace and with his help Philip brings these children to Israel so that
Jewish doctors are able to perform intricate operations with life-saving
Do I worry about my daughter and her family? I must admit that at
times I do worry about them, but I am certain that being in the center
of God’s will for their lives is the very best place for them to be. And
I am so proud of them for leaving the comforts of theUnited States to help
the helpless. They are definitely on the cutting-edge of modern warfare.
They love Israel, but they need support—and they need workers. If you
love Israel and want to help them in their ministry just get in touch with
The need in China is so vast. The Gideons are attempting
to get into the hotels, schools, and hospitals with their Bibles, but so
far the communist government has not allowed this to happen. If and when
the government gives clearance for this the Gideons are hoping to place
30 million Scriptures in China. This sounds like a lot of Bibles, but
it is still merely a drop in a bucket when you consider that China’s population
is now in excess of 1.3 billion souls.
So we are continuing to print Bibles
inside China on underground printing presses at the cost of $1.50 per New
Testament. Courageous believers pick up the printed Scriptures and distribute
them to every one of China’s twenty-six provinces. Our teams from America
also carry in complete Bibles during their 10-day trip to China. In this
way Full Life Crusade is able to reach many thousands of people with God’s
Word. We are still told that every Bible touches at least 100 people since
a Bible is seldom laid down once it is placed in the hands of a spiritually
hungry Chinese person. Only in heaven will you and I find out how many
souls have come to know the Lord Jesus because we invested in the Bibles
to China outreach.
Our website (http://www.flc7.com/home.html) also has a
complete Chinese Bible posted for everyone to read. There are about
100 million Chinese now who have personal computers, so they are able to
read the Bible, print it out, and pass it around to the house churches.
This is a major breakthrough for our ministry and enables us to literally
“leap over the Bamboo curtain” with the gospel of Jesus Christ. My Chinese
friends are telling everyone they know to go to our website so that they
can read the Bible and print it out. Amazingly, this is a totally free
way to give the gospel away to the Chinese people!
When I first visited Pastor Pradhan his ministry was quite
small, but very powerful. A typhoon swept into the Bay of Bengal just
after our plane landed, and we wound our way by jeep up and up into the
highest mountains on earth—the Himalayas. Brother Pradhan and his co-workers
waded through ankle deep mud for seven miles to come to the hotel where
we were to meet. I will never forget their courage and kindness to us.
My two sons-in-law visited him several years later, taking him money and
gifts for the work there.
Today Pastor Pradhan has more than 120 churches
in the Himalayan Mountains, in the shadow of Mt. Everest. Buddhists have
threatened his life repeatedly, but he continues to carry the gospel of
Jesus Christ like a flaming banner to his people. I cannot emphasize enough
how important it is to support indigenous workers like Brother Pradhan.
He consistently sees signs and wonders accompanying his ministry. He told
me that the only way a Buddhist will believe is if he sees a sign. In
his part of the world reasoning with a Buddhist has never worked to bring
about a full-blown conversion to Jesus.
North Korea has a population of 23 million people, of
which 13 million are presently starving to death. Robert and his faithful
wife are continuing to make very risky trips into North Korea to help the
starving believers there. They are carrying food and medicine from China,
where they live, across the border and back. The stories they have told
me of extreme heartache, starvation, and disease are emotionally rending.
The North Korean government continues to mistreat its citizens and Robert’s
ministry has literally kept many people alive. I know that you will pray
for this brave couple.
“ . . .The Word of God is not bound.” 2 Timothy
I just finished reading The Heavenly Man, by Brother
Yun. If you have not read this book you need to get it and read it. It
is probably the best Christian book I’ve ever read.
Brother Yun preached
in China for many, many years. Much of the time he was in prison for preaching
the gospel, where he was tortured repeatedly. The Chinese communists branded
him as a threat to their government, just as they have told me that I am
a “National Security Risk”. But each time Brother Yun was sent to prison
he entered with the thought, “There must be people here who are in need
of hearing the gospel message.” So he considered the prisons where he
was incarcerated as mission fields. This is a unique and original thought!
probably won’t be able to lay the book down. I liked it so much because
it confirms what we have been saying for thirty years: THE
CHINESE NEED AND WANT BIBLES, and PEOPLE ARE STILL BEING TORTURED AND IMPRISONED
FOR THEIR FATH IN CHINA!
If you have not read these books, they
are also excellent reading for those who are interested in learning about
China: China, Alive In The Bitter Sea, by Fox Butterfield; Life And Death
In Shanghai, by Nien Cheng; The Rape Of Nanking, by Iris Chang; and Safely
Home, by Randy Alcorn.
I just received an email from our man in China.
He told me that the funds Full Life Crusade sent to him last week are safely
in his bank account. He will now go to the printer with the money and
print another large shipment of Bibles. You and other partners of Full
Life Crusade’s ministry have paid for each one of these Bibles. How thrilled
we are each time we are able to bless the Chinese with Bibles in their
During this crucial time when the Bibles are being printed
and distributed throughout every province of China we need to be praying
for protection from the Public Security Bureau. The PSB would love to
find out where our Bibles are being printed (each time we use a different
printer in a different city) so they could burn them all, arrest the printer,
and imprison the couriers.
One of the ways we have of tricking the PSB is
that some of our people send out emails that they know will be monitored
and read by the communists. In these emails we give the name of the city
and building where the Bibles are being printed. Of course, the real place
of printing is many miles away in another city. On one occasion when I
sent out a “public” announcement of the whereabouts of the printing operation
the Public Security Bureau spent many weeks and months thoroughly searching
a 75-story high-rise building with its hundreds of offices, looking for
Long before they completed their search our Bibles had
been printed and carried throughout the country by our faithful couriers.
Jesus told us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. One of the
ways that we know that the PSB is hot on our trail is when our Chinese
contacts see them react to some of our “public” reports.
Tens of thousands
of Chinese believers have been called out by the Holy Ghost to walk the
Silk Road all the way from China to Jerusalem. They are preaching as they
go, establishing churches, and doing whatever they can to spread the gospel.
Most of these teams are small: only six or eight on a team, but they are
Unlike the seminaries here in the United States, one
of the things they learn in their “Bible School” is to be able to jump
from a second story window with their hands handcuffed behind their backs.
Because as they go they expect to be arrested, imprisoned, and beaten many
times over. This is not only happening in China, but also where they preach
to the Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims in other countries.
The timing of
their long journey is so absolutely perfect. Only God could have orchestrated
this! Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion Of Christ” is still being shown
in Muslim countries and Muslims by the thousands are coming to Jesus.
Now, as these teams of dedicated Chinese preachers come through their areas,
they can encourage the new believers, as well as see new souls saved.
of us in the West were wondering how the Muslims could ever be reached
with the message of Jesus’ love and gift of eternal life. Now we know
how God is reaching them.
It is through these dedicated Chinese who have
left their homes, their jobs, and their families to make the long, long
journey to Jerusalem.
I am so encouraged to pray for these people and thrilled
to know that many of them came to know the Lord by reading and studying
the Bibles that Full Life Crusade has printed over the years. As a donor
to this ministry, you too, must feel deep satisfaction in knowing that
your offerings have been a catalyst in spearheading the spread of the gospel
all along the Silk Road.
My daughter, who lives in Jerusalem, has told me
that more than 5,000 Chinese have already entered Israel! What a time
in which to be living. Jesus is coming soon, but before he returns to
earth there are many more millions of souls to be reached.
these 40 years Full Life Crusade has dedicated itself to one main purpose:
To teach and preach the message of the Bible all over the world. This
journey has taken us to 45 nations. We have been to China 60 times, The
Philippine Islands 35 times, Haiti 40 times, and many, many other places.
website is being read and studied by people all over the world. More than
100 million Chinese now have computers and can access the entire Chinese
Bible on our website FREE (http://www.flc7.com/audio.html)! Years ago
I would never have dreamed that we could jump over China’s Bamboo Curtain
through the means of a computer. The believers who access our site are
printing out entire books of the Bible, reproducing them, and passing them
out in home meetings. Only in eternity will we discover how far-reaching
this ministry has been.
Your part is vital! Because without your generous
gifts to Full Life Crusade we could not print one Bible. But because you
have obeyed the Lord and helped us we are beginning to get a glimpse of
the vast multitude of people we are reaching with the gospel.
Each Bible we print in China for a mere $1.50 reaches
at least 100 people. At least 100 Chinese read each Bible that we print
This must be
missionary week here in Indiana: In the past five days I’ve entertained
missionaries from China, the Philippines, and Kenya! Henry Mulandi told
me that from our crusade in Kenya a church was born that is now 1,500 members
strong and they have birthed more than 300 churches in Kenya and in six
neighboring nations! He urged me to return with a team in 2005.
hearts failing them for fear . . ." Luke 21:26
In Beslan, Russia Muslims
carrying automatic rifles invaded the local school and held more than one
thousand people hostage in the gymnasium, 70% whom were children. They
turned the peaceful school into a charnel house. The Muslims were demanding
their “rights”—never mind the rights of the innocent people whom they were
raping, torturing, and killing.
The gymnasium was so hot that by the third
day people stripped to their underwear and others fainted. Some became
so desperate that they drank their own urine. Before the explosive incident
came to an end the Muslim terrorists had murdered 323 Russian citizens,
most of them children who had been shot in the back. Ten Russian soldiers
also died in the siege.
During the ordeal the terrorists raped many of the
young girls in front of the entire student body. Who could imagine anyone
invading a public school and doing such things? Well . . . these are the
days in which we are living.
Jesus words, “beginning of sorrows” seems appropriate
here. He also said that because iniquity (sin) shall abound that the love
of many shall wax cold. What could be “colder” than to keep more than
one thousand people penned up in a gymnasium without water for three days,
torturing, killing and raping them?
Our media continues to hammer home the
theme that Islam is a “peaceful religion”. It would be easier to believe
this lie if the Muslims were not killing, torturing and raping people around
Another interesting thing about the media is that it has
never identified the terrorists in Beslan as Muslims—NEVER! Instead it refers
to them as Chechens, which really disguises who these cold-blooded killers
are. They are fanatical Muslims. If Christians were butchering people all
over the world do you think for one minute that the news media would refer
to them merely by their nationality?
Now the real question comes home to
Could it happen here?
“Anyone who thinks that massacres like the one in Russia
could not happen in the United States is living in a fool’s paradise.”---
A former Hamas member by the name of Mohammad Salah was
arrested in Israel. After his release he migrated to—guess where—the United
States of America. And guess what job he found, a teacher in one of the
public schools in Chicago, Illinois.
Why are terrorists seeking out employment
with our children?
Another known terrorist, Kamal Elzhabi, was found driving
a school bus in Minneapolis! Hmmmm.
Salah and Elzhabi were both members of
Islamic terrorist groups connected to al Qaeda.
All of our public schools
are gun-free zones. If even one radical Muslim with an automatic weapon
entered a school, what could the teachers or administrators do about it?
Would they throw spitballs at the terrorists?
My guess is that terrorists
will attempt to do something to impact our fall elections in November. One
of the softest places for them to hit are the children in our schools. May
God help us if we are faced with an “American Beslan”! One terrorist plan
was to “hit” 100 American schools all on the same day.
John Ashcroft has called
for anti-terrorism neighborhood watches-- Volunteer Security Committee (VSC).
Maybe you did not know, but during the Second World War there were Block
Captains posted throughout major cities all over the United States. Homeland
Security cannot keep a vigilant eye on the “soft spots” all over the country.
But dedicated Americans can and should be alert and on the lookout.
want to be the people who place our heads in the sand and just hope that
“something terrible won’t take place where we live”.
Some people think that
an “American Beslan” cannot happen here, especially in small rural America.
However, Beslan is a small rural farming community and the people there felt
If you want to become more actively involved in helping
to protect our wonderful nation contact the VSC to see the possibilities
for service. If only one school stayed safe because of a Volunteer Security
person it would have been worth the effort.
The news reported that Jack Hensley
and Eugene Armstrong were beheaded in Iraq. They were American businessmen
with families. Their heads were not chopped off, they were sawn off.
minute 23 second video was made of the butchery and is being shown Salah
and Elzhabi were both members of Islamic terrorist groups connected to al
Qaeda around the world. Another video shows 62-year-old Kenneth Bigley begging
for his life before they murdered him. Abu Mus’ab Zarqawi, a known al Qaeda
terrorist, has informed the news media that he was the one who did the killing.
what are we Christians to do during times like these?
church across our nation should have prayer meetings and actually
pray—on their knees.
The hour is too late to call a prayer meeting and
then instead have a hymn sing. Wednesday night was the traditional
night for prayer vigils in churches all across America up until the 1960’s.
Today most Wednesday night prayer meetings have been cancelled. The
churches are closed that night. If we have ever needed to pray to God
it is at this hour.
Homeland Security is doing an excellent job, but only
God can protect us from Islamic Terrorist Groups.
If your church does not
have a prayer service, a real prayer meeting, then I encourage you to
start one. If the pastor won’t allow you to pray in the building, then
start a prayer meeting in your home.
The battlefield is definitely coming
to America unless we pray and God intervenes. Only a national repentance
and turning to God Almighty can save our great nation.
I know that this
is not the normal letter I send out, but I have felt such a fire inside
of me lately about these recent world events that I just had to express
If you know of anyone who does not know where to place
his missionary offerings, give this newsletter to him or her. We always
want to do more to spread the gospel, but we can only give away what comes
Thank you so much for standing with us with your prayers
and finances. You are the lifeline to many souls. Those who are helped
send their heartfelt gratefulness to you. May the Lord richly bless you
for sharing with those in need.
In His Service,
Click Here to View Past Newsletters
P.O. Box 398
Winona Lake, IN 46590
Wesley E. Smith