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"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
The REVEILLE EQUIPPER First Quarter 2007, Vol. 11 No. 1

 Is God Really a Career Manager?
Matt Dubois
Matt Dubois Knows the Answer  

Post Desert Storm Downsize Lands AF Pilot in Ministry to Underground Churches

Seventeen years ago when I graduated from the Air Force Academy, no one, least of all me, would have predicted the direction the Lord’s plans would take me. I was heading off to pilot training, and I fully expected to spend many years breaking the surly bonds of earth before I would ever have to think about what would be next.

So, what happened? At the time it seemed an unfortunate turn of events, for my flying career anyway. Finishing pilot training at the same time as the military began a significant downsizing following Desert Storm resulted in a non-flying assignment for me. Worse yet, it was probably the worst assignment that I could imagine – I would be performing logistical research analysis – nothing could be more unappetizing to a young lieutenant who had just finished burning up the sky in T-38's.

To sum it up, I spent the next six years doing my duty in various scientific and management jobs, leaving the service and pursuing a civilian career in project management. Interestingly enough, I spent the next seven years building, designing, integrating, and testing mail, package, and parcel distribution centers. I worked in postal centers throughout the U.S. and Europe.

During this time, the company I worked for also paid for me to attend law school, and when I left that job, it was to work as an attorney in a Denver law firm. So what was the plan? I could never really figure it out, but looking back now, it was clear that God was preparing me for something that only materialized to me in the last 3 months.

I just became the president of .W Ltd. (.W = dot W which stands for Doers of the Word), a company that develops fundraising campaigns, which we think of as discipleship campaigns, for various national and international ministries. Great title – but what do I do?

Would you believe – we advise ministries on logistics, distribution, mailing the gospel into countries that are closed to the Bible, and developing contacts with the underground churches in countries that lack religious freedom. How could I have known during those boring days of studying logistics planning, the nights spent evaluating mail distribution systems, the weekends spent studying law, that the Lord’s plans were to pull all of that together.

My job description now is one that has been purposely designed as a unique combination of the skills and experience that God has brought me through.

The Lord clearly has a plan for my life. He has carefully guided my steps through positions that were difficult for me and some that were a blast. Looking back, it is unmistakable how God was training me for His purpose. God always knew the hope and future that he held for me, and what I needed to do was serve faithfully in each position, trusting in the blessings that God’s plan, and not mine, would bring.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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World Evangelical Alliance - Religious Liberty Commission News and Analysis
by Elizbeth Kendall
Indonesia and Thailand Try Appeasing Islamists with Shari'a

Not all Muslims want to live under Shari’a Law. Non-Muslims definitely don’t. When Jakarta granted Aceh autonomy and the right to enact Sharia Law it brought peace to Jakarta, but at the expense of the Acehnese.

Now Thailand’s military-appointed Prime Minister is proposing the “Aceh model” as a means of ending the Islamic insurgency in Thailand’s deep south. This would doubtless bring peace to Bangkok, but it would be at the expense of the southern Thai, 20 percent of whom are Buddhist. Southern Thai would pay for this “peace” with their lives as such autonomy morphs into religious persecution and ethnic cleansing.

Curiously, Thailand’s new interim Prime Minister, Surayud Chulanont, was appointed by coup-leader and Army Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, Thailand’s first Muslim Army Chief.

Surayud Chulanont, a former member of King Bhumibol Adulyade’s Privy Council, played a key role in the promotion of General Boonyaratkalin to position of Army Chief. The recently installed cabinet is allegedly little more than a political front for the military, and while Thailand is less than five percent Muslim, the most significant and powerful posts are now held by Muslims. The Defence Minister, Boonrawd Somtas, is a Muslim; and the Interior Minister, Aree Wongarya, is also a Muslim.

Thailand's South

Muslims count for less than five percent of Thailand’s 65 million people, but they form local majorities in the southern-most provinces of Pattani (69% of 415,000), Yala (88% of 600,000) and Narathiwat (82% of 662,000) according to the 2000 census. Around 90 percent of Thai Muslims are ethnic Malay and speak a Malay dialect.

While a separatist struggle has simmered in the deep south for decades, the Islamic insurgency which erupted in earnest on 4 January 2004 has now claimed more than 1,700 lives. Most Christians and Christian ministries have fled the region. Militant Islamists target Buddhist monks, government-run schools, karaoke bars and other entertainment venues, Thai soldiers, police, checkpoints and other pro-government individuals or institutions for decapitations and bombings.

On Thursday, 9 November, eight car and motorcycle showrooms were bombed almost simultaneously at noon in Yala, leaving nine wounded. While Thai Muslims have historically been well assimilated, several factors have contributed to the growing Islamic unrest and the rise of Islamic terrorism in the Muslim-majority southern provinces.

In May 2005, International Crisis Group (ICG) asserted that despite the rise in “puritanical strains of Islam,” “Muslim anger at the deployment of Thai troops in Iraq,” and growth in “Islamic consciousness and a sense of persecution and solidarity with fellow Muslims,” the violence in the south is not an Islamic jihad but is driven by local issues like discrimination, police repression, and government corruption.[1]

While these issues definitely contribute, overlooking radicalization does not help. In mid 2004 noted, “Authorities have known for quite some time that many Muslim Thai activists went overseas to Islamic schools, where they came under influence of hard-line teachers. Some were reported to have joined the jihad war against the Soviet Army in Afghanistan and returned to Thailand as extremists.”[2]

Radicalization, however, does not affect all Muslims. Many Muslims, especially in South-east Asia, actively resist radical (Wahhabi) ideology. For this the bearers of “true Islam” label them “apostates,” persecute them, and sometimes kill them.

Samart Disuma is one such Muslim community leader who has resisted separatist elements in Yala for decades. Now he and his family live in a virtual fortress. Rungrawee C. Pinyorat writes, “While critical of government policies, a number of Muslims in the south work for reconciliation and show no desire to live in a separate nation. Although Samart’s fortress has never been attacked, at least three Muslims in his village have been slain in the past two years.[3]

According to Samart, separatists and security forces have been clashing for decades, but today’s violence is more rampant and increasingly indiscriminate. Whereas rebels used to operate from remote jungle bases, today’s insurgents base themselves within village communities, putting everyone at risk. Regardless of their claims, political and militant Islamist leaders never speak for all Muslims.

Thai PM Proposes Aceh Solution for the South

Reuters reported on 22 October 2006 that the new Prime Minister has reversed his predecessor’s policies saying he wants talks with militant leaders toward a peaceful solution. On an official visit to Jakarta, Surayud hailed “the Aceh model” as “a good example to bring peace to southern Thailand.”[4]

Thai News Agency reported on 8 November 2006, “Prime Minister Surayud said that Thailand will not let go of the territory of the south, but that the government was open to negotiate various forms of polity including self-rule, autonomy and the establishment of shari’a (Muslim religious) law in place of Thai civil law.”[5]

What Has Shari'a Achieved in Aceh?

When Jakarta ended the insurgency in Aceh by granting the Acehnese autonomy and the right to implement Shari’a Law, it was appeasing the real power-brokers behind the insurgency – the Islamists. The deal ensured that Aceh’s Islamists would no longer be Jakarta’s problem, only Aceh’s. The expansion of Shari’a into Aceh will demonstrate how Shari’a not only divides Muslims, but also expands once implemented.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) issued a report in July 2006 entitled “Islamic Law and Criminal Justice in Aceh.”[6] It notes that the Muslim Acehnese have long been divided over Shari’a. During Indonesia’s battle for independence, Acehnese elites expressed preference for Dutch-style secular administration. Even Aceh’s ulama (religious scholars) were divided between those favoring secular administration and those favoring an Islamic State based on Shari’a.

The ICG notes that, the issue was more of power than of ideology. The elites did not want a religious bureaucracy that could expand and threaten their authority, while the Islamists desired a religious entity from which they could expand their influence.

The ICG notes that the leader of the Acehnese Islamists, Daud Beureueh, led the Acehnese in jihad against the “kafir” Dutch occupier specifically with the aim of achieving an Islamic state. Sukarno courted and rewarded Beureueh with assurances that Indonesia would be built on Islamic principles and Aceh would have Shari’a Law.

After Suharto’s downfall in 1998, President Habibie offered Islamic Law to Aceh as a political solution to Acehnese unrest and disaffection. The ICG reports that Jakarta regarded Shari’a law as “something the Acehnese wanted (although how much was debatable – after the Indonesian parliament granted it, one Acehnese called it an ‘unwanted gift,’ and he was not alone)”[7]

Since Shari’a has been legitimized in Aceh, it has expanded considerably. The religious bureaucracy codifying it is committed to “its own expansion; a focus on legislating and enforcing morality; and a quiet power struggle with secular law enforcement.” They expand the reach of Shari’a by revising legislation and increasing the number of crimes that can be dealt with by the Shari’a Courts.

For example, they have proposed revisions to the laws covering khalwat (illicit relationships between men and women) so that any woman who alleges she was raped must follow Shari’a protocols and produce four male adult Muslim eye-witnesses to support her claim in order to prove it. If she cannot, she will be found guilty of making a false accusation and of having illicit sex and then be caned accordingly.

In 2004, Aceh established the highly unpopular vice and virtue patrol, the wilayatul hisbah (WH), which is responsible for monitoring compliance with Islamic law. Not only has Aceh’s WH already grown from 13 members to 33 in one year, its powers are constantly increasing. What’s more, the very presence of the WH is fueling the rise of hard-line Islamic vigilantism.

The ICG also notes that as the religious bureaucracy expands it will rely more and more on young recruits who are motivated primarily by their contacts with intolerant radical foreign elements.


    Appeasing Islamist terrorists by granting them the right to enforce Shari’a Law is a betrayal of all non-Islamist citizens, both Muslim and non-Muslim.
    Employing the “Aceh model” in southern Thailand would not bring lasting peace to Bangkok.
    Furthermore, it would close southern Thailand to Christian ministry and mission, and it would strip all southern Thai of their right live with security under the Thai Constitution which guarantees religious liberty.
    It could also result in southern Thailand becoming a haven for terrorists.
    Most immediately and seriously, it would mean abandoning up to 400,000 Buddhists to their fate in an Islamic State.

Thailand Muslim Area


1) “Southern Thailand: Insurgency, Not Jihad,” Asia Report No 98. 18 May 2005.    

2) “Thailand Islamic Insurgency.”

3) “Thai Muslim village leader builds fortress against rebels” by Rungrawee C. Pinyorat KRONG PINANG, Thailand, AP, 30 Oct 2006.

4) “Bomb kills soldier, wounds monks in Thai south.” 22 Oct 206.

5) “Thai PM presents Thai road to democracy to world media,” BANGKOK, Nov 8 (TNA).

6) “Islamic Law and Criminal Justice in Aceh,” (Asia Report No 117 - 31 July 2006).

7) International Crisis Group, page 4.

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Here is a testimony from Praying Through the Arabian Peninsula (PTAP).
Arab Muslims in Saudi Arabia Celebrate Christmas

    Sitting at our usual coffee shop, my Arab Muslim friend, Sarah asked me, “Where is the Christmas party this year?”
    I answered her that I didn’t know if I was going to have one because I was so busy at my job.
    She looked at me and said, “You have to have one! Look, we will all cook and come over to your house. All you have to do is decorate.”
    Of course, I agreed. Walking away, I laughed to myself. Did my Muslim friends just demand that we celebrate the birth of Jesus?
    Dressed to the nines with food dishes in hand, my Arab Muslim lady friends were ready to party the night away. And that they did! Not five minutes had passed before the Arabic music was cranked up and women were dancing all around the room.
    Among the dancing intermissions, we ate, gave gifts, and took pictures of them by the Christmas tree. They even insisted that I play and sing Christmas carols!
    Amidst the fun, I found myself wondering, would this party really show Jesus to them? I had explained about the birth of Jesus and I had given them a CD with Bible stories, but was it making an impact?
    A few days later, I was sitting with my friends. They started talking about the CD and explaining to me how much they loved the Bible stories. I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited over how much this had touched their hearts!
    About nine of my female Arab friends have these CDs. Pray that they would all listen to these stories of scripture and many would ask questions.
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News & Analysis:
The Big Challenge to the West in the GWOT is Not Arab
by Jay Smith

Most Christians I meet who are moving into ministry among Muslims increasingly focus on the Arab world. Yet Arabic speakers represent only fifteen percent of all Muslims.

One Christian scholar with experience in Palestine criticized my direct approach for exacerbing their victimization, but Palestinian Muslims represent barely two percent of Muslims worldwide. Most non-Arab Muslims are not victims at all, but dominate local politics and minorities in their respective societies.

Moreover, most conflicts in the Arab world don’t challenge Christians theologically and have little impact on Christians. Most of the violence in places like Iraq and Palestine stems from local political problems. Iraq, for example, features Muslim factions struggling for power in the vacuum behind an overthrown dictator. Palestine features a prolonged dispute over land. While religion serves as a useful tool, religious convictions are not what Arab world antagonists fight about.

Outside of the Arab world and excepting Chechnya, Kosovo, and Kashmir, belligerent Muslim groups are not political or land dispute driven, but want to bring back the ‘Khilafa’– an Islamic state based on the seventh century model and ideology of Muhammad. These are the Muslims who, like Al Qaeda and Ahmadinejad, consider the West to be their greatest enemy, not only politically, but also economically, socially, and theologically, since all of it, they assume (rightly or wrongly), is underpinned by a Christian world view.

This latter resurgence represents a formidable danger for Christians. With public debate, literature, and web casting, its promoters assault the theological foundations of Christianity. The best and most popular Muslim debaters like Ahmad Deedat, Shabir Ally, and Dr. Zakir Naik are not Arabs. Almost all of them originally hail from the Indian subcontinent, and they speak fluent English. Their principal challenges are not political but are focused against the person of Jesus, the nature of God, and the authority of the Bible.

A recent survey of Youtube reveals over 34,000 videos attacking Christianity, Jesus, the Bible, the Trinity, and church history. Only a handful of videos provide a Christian response. For this reason in September 2006, I began posting my videos on Youtube (see:

This radical form of Islam based on a “divine scripture” and a “divine prophet” offers a universal paradigm considered to be above critical human inquiry. Against it secular militaries, politicians, and scholars cannot compete. Bombs, bullets, clean water, reliable electricity, and democratic reforms cannot defeat such a religious ideology. Only a better ideology can accomplish such a feat.

Resurgent Islam is an ideology based on a scripture (the Qur’an), modeled by a man (Muhammad), with a growing desire to dominate the world. Christianity also has a scripture (the Bible), modeled by a man (Jesus). It also claims universality and seeks to fill the earth.

Modern secular states are poorly equipped for advancing sides in theological struggles. The modern condition of church and state separation demands neutrality, while focusing on the narrow interests of security, social justice, and economic productivity by the state.

Even moderate Muslims respond to the perceived hint of favoring one side over Islam with violent overreaction, as towards the Danish cartoons of Muhammad and the alleged Qur’an flushing by guards at Guantanamo. No wonder Tony Blair and George Bush take great pains to disassociate Islam from its radical proponents while tirelessly reiterating that Islam is a religion of peace.

Church spokespersons and institutions, however, have no such constraints. Christianity can challenge the foundations of Islam, namely its scripture and prophet, with its own alternative, bastioned by its own critical scholarship.

Starting from similar assumptions about divine revelation, sincere Christians understand the energy behind radical Islam’s growing influence over large populations. Conservative Christians also understand the effects of rigorously scrutinizing divinely inspired scriptures and prophets, having endured a century of higher criticism and academic scorn.

Conservative Christians no longer fear scholarly inquiry into the historicity and integrity of their scriptures and prophets, believing that truly objective inquiry has only served to authenticate their conservative faith.

Islam, however, has no similar critical tradition. Neither has it been able to stand up to the scrutiny of a reasoned and public polemical debate (I should know; I have participated in over forty of them).

Last year with his now infamous reference to Muhammad’s occasional preference for violence over reasoned debate, the Pope called for just such scholarly inquiry while Muslims themselves illustrated his point. Although governments and pundits dared not express what everyone was thinking for fear of retribution, the Pope began an interfaith debate immune to economic boycotts or threats of violence against any state.

The following week Lord Carey, the former archbishop of the Anglican Church, advanced the challenge by stating that it wasn’t just a small extremist element within Islam which was the problem but that Islam and the West were like “two world views colliding in public space with no common point of reference” (The Times September 20, 2006, pg. 2).

Subsequently, Bishop Michael Nazir Ali publicly criticized Muslims for their “dual psychology,” in which they desire both “victimhood and domination, believing that it is always right to intervene when Muslims are victims, as in Bosnia or Kosovo, and always wrong when the Muslims are the oppressors or terrorists, as with the Taliban or in Iraq” (The Times Online, November 05, 2006).

Now is the time for other church voices to carry the exposé forward. Now is not the time to rely on relatively impotent militaries, economies, diplomacy, and the state. Now is not the time to invest in the political intrigues of the Arab world which lie only on the fringe of a great theological struggle. Stopping radical Islam requires radically committed Christians and a radically energized Church preaching the radical example and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ to Muslims everywhere.

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An Indian Ministry Reports Statistics on Muslim Conversions

Salem Voice Ministries in India reports the following remarkable statistics in an article on their web site, “Millions of Muslims Converting to Christianity” (

  • 10,000 Muslims accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior throughout India in 2006
  • 5,000 Muslim converts to Christianity in Iraq since the end of major combat operations
  • 14 new churches opened in Baghdad
  • Dozens of new churches in the Kurdish area of Iraq
  • Over one million Bibles shipped into Iraq since 2003
  • Around one million new followers of Jesus in Egypt over the past decade
  • Annual sales of JESUS videos in Egypt increased from 3000 in 1990 to 600,000 in 2000
  • 750,000 Arabic language JESUS cassette tapes sold in Egypt in 2000
  • 500,000 Arabic language New Testaments sold in Egypt in 2000
  • 10,000 worshippers each weekend in one congregation on the outskirts of Cairo
  • Kazak Evangelicals grew from 3 in 1990 to over 15,000 today
  • Uzbek Evangelicals grew from none known in 1990 to over 30,000 today
  • Iranian Evangelicals grew from 500 in 1979 to over 1 million in underground house churches today
  • Sudanese Evangelicals have grown by than 1 million since 2000, and grew by 5 million during the 1990s
  • More Muslims converted to faith in Jesus Christ over the past decade than at any other time in human history

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Article Reviewed by Dr. Bruce Sidebotham:
Can Democracy Flourish in Muslim Lands?

Journal The Winter 2006 issue of the academic journal put out by the Council on Faith and International Affairs ( features an article by Noah Feldman titled “Imposed Constitutions and Established Religions.” In it he addresses some of the problems faced in setting up constitutional democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Feldman notes that equality and democracy are not equivalent. Historically, democracy has often been characterized more by tyranny of the majority (majoritarianism) than by inclusiveness and equal rights. Today, in America, we equate equality with democracy, but that is not an accurate correlation. Equality is not a democratic value. It is a social value towards which democracy in America has grown very slowly.

Democracy anywhere in the Muslim world is likely to oppress minorities for a long time before it matures beyond the “slavery,” “manifest destiny,” and “separate but equal” stages through which America itself passed.

Noah Feldman notes that democracy is not a “technology for implementing the equality of all citizens.” He says, “Democracy itself cannot so easily escape the feature of self-determination that derives from its basic structure of majority rule. Egalitarianism and liberalism [in the classic sense] may provide constraints on majoritarianism; but they cannot fully swallow it up and still expect to claim the name of democracy, as opposed to non-democratic egalitarian liberalism.” In other words, even dictatorships can be egalitarian and democracies are not by definition non-oppressive.

Feldman points out that Islamists learned an important lesson about democracy from their surprising election victory in Algeria in 1991. “If Islamists could win elections, then why not embrace democracy? Having moved in the direction of democratic politics as a result of their own sense of their majoritarian appeal, the new Islamic democrats are unlikely to be induced to abandon democracy’s majoritarian component by the argument that ‘true democracy’ demands that egalitarian principles trump the very values that their constituents support.”

Feldman warns, “Pressing local elites to adopt egalitarian constitutional formulations that strictly conform to Western ideals misunderstands the way constitutional formulations as a technology of government work over time.” He underscores, “So long as egalitarian or liberal principles are imposed on political elites against what they perceive as their own interests, they will resist them with all means at their disposal.” On the other hand, “Constitutional practices emerge and ripen into custom when the relevant political elites see it as consistent with their interests for these practices to be adopted.”

Feldman is not pessimistic about the chances for the advancement of equal rights in the Muslim world. He just just puts it on a very slow timetable. He is optimistic “about the capacities of constitutionalism to succeed when constitutional norms are adopted by political elites as a matter of selfinterest.” He claims, “The Islamist movement's cautious embrace of democracy itself over the last decade has been largely the product of self-interest.” And he hopes, “Once the elites begin to articulate their commitment to a set of principled terms, it becomes much more difficult for them simply to walk away from those principles when convenient.”

Finally he optimistically observes, “Constitutional democracies tend in the long-term towards greater liberty and equality, not less.”

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Book Book Promotion:
Conspiring to Change the World from Sarejevo

Two men pass a tiny newspaper clipping across the table in theBelgrade café, Zlatna Moruna. Under the light of a gas lamp, conspirators against the European political order decipher coded words and understand that Archduke Franz Ferdinand would be in Sarajevo. He was coming to oversee military maneuvers taking place in the neighboring mountains. At this small table in an obscure little café, a plot is born that would transform the world. . . We called it World War I. . . Our task was simple enough. Like Gavrillo Princip and his rebel band, we were to come together with like-minded conspirators and, with limited resources and personnel, become an overwhelming minority. Only this time we wouldn’t be shooting bullets in an effort to stir up hatred and dissension. We were to communicate forgiveness and reconciliation as can only be found in the name of Christ. I was about to learn how difficult that would be. -Excerpt from book

Overwhelming Minority could be about you. Read how a regular family got mixed up in something beyond what they were ready to encounter. Journey with the Eslers as they take a leap of faith into unknown, enemy territory. Discover what happens when we make ourselves available to God.

For more information go to . . .

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Audio-Visuals of Naaman Initiative Consult 06 Available from Operation Reveille

Samer MP3 Audio and MP4 Video recordings of Samer’s presentations at this event on the following topics are available from Operation Reveille upon request.

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Veterans in Missions Network Gets Started


Only members may access the group web site at for archives of past messages and a list of other members.

Visit for information on how to join.

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Send Bibles into Closed Countries


Through Bibles Unbound, Christians in the free world can partner with Christians in countries that are hostile to their faith through the direct distribution of New Testaments.

Each month people who sign up at and commit to participate in one or more ministry operations will receive five or more New Testaments in the appropriate language along with corresponding address labels, a description of the operation(s), packaging, and the necessary postage to mail each Bible into the assigned restricted nation.

They are then able to follow their Bible mailings on line where they will be able to access an archive of all the individuals to whom they have mailed a New Testament, along with updated information and testimonies that are direct results of the mailings.

An on line map displays the nations to which they have sent Bibles, becoming a permanent reminder of their partnership in serving along side today’s persecuted church.

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The Reveille Equipper
Volume 11, Number 1 - First Quarter 2007