Monday, January 7, 2002

When the President of the United States declared a war on terrorism, the lives of millions of American military personnel suddenly changed dramatically. Some of the first to be affected were the crews of our major combat ships, like aircraft carriers. In a matter of days, thousands were shipping out. Reporters were trying to guess what their destinations were. But, of course, not even the crews knew. Except for a few commanders, their orders were unknown.

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Several of our team members were driving together to ministry events in a nearby state. We were in two cars, but we stayed in touch by means of walkie-talkies. At a couple of points, one of the men in the car behind me pointed out a hawk he spotted soaring gracefully above us. We saw several of them, actually. Now, when you see a hawk or eagle, it is always an event for a city boy like me. But as my friend - who was not driving at the time - pointed out one of those hawks, the man who was driving said, "Well, I just saw a dead coyote on the shoulder." As our walkie-talkie conversations went on during the trip, that wasn't the last hawk the one man saw - or the last road kill that his driver saw.

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

When America decided to go after the Taliban in its war on terrorism, there were a lot of warnings about what a difficult battleground Afghanistan can be - and what a tough enemy the Taliban would be. That is why so many of us were so surprised when the Taliban fighters seemed to retreat so quickly from city after city in Northern Afghanistan as the Northern Alliance advanced. But Taliban defectors said that the relentless American bombing had really affected their morale. The U. S. military strategy going into the Afghan conflict was not a new one - begin with an air war - heavy bombing to "soften up" your enemy before the ground forces make a move. As we learned in the Gulf War, it can lead to a surprisingly quick victory.

Friday, December 28, 2001

My wife was just a girl when her grandparents down the road started building a little farmstead to live in. Because she had expressed a desire to be a missionary someday, Granddad thought she needed to know how to do things for herself - including laying block for a building. So, she got to help lay the block for her grandparents' house. Now in the amazing, surprising ways of God, we are now living in that house - many years after it was built. We kinda kid my wife that the crooked blocks are the ones she did!

Thursday, December 27, 2001

For three months, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer had been prisoners of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, accused along with other aid workers of trying to convert Afghans to Christianity. In October of 2001 their prison cells was shaken by the thunder of U. S. bombs falling on the city of Kabul. Weeks later, after a cold, sleepless night in a steel shipping container, the girls and their colleagues found themselves in a new prison south of Kabul, with rockets crashing down on the contested town they were in. Suddenly, men were banging on their prison doors. They believed that their Taliban captors were returning, and now their fate was clearly uncertain as the situation around them dissolved into chaos. Then, to their surprise, an anti-Taliban soldier came in with reams of ammunition around his neck. He was just shouting two wonderful words - "You're free! You're free!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

My wife and I were traveling with our daughter and son-in-law and our two dynamite little grandsons. We were in adjoining motel rooms for a couple of days - and that's what occasioned our son-in-law's amusing comparison of our rooms. You see, our rooms were basically identical - when we each moved in. We moved our stuff into our room - they moved in themselves, their children, their children's world, and some "office on the road" stuff. Well, on our second day, our son-in-law plopped down in a chair in our room and he made this bemused observation - "You know, your room is three times bigger than our room!" Not true. See, our room was the same size. It was just one-third as crowded!

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

It's got to be the Christmas season--I can tell by the UPS trucks going up and down our street. This time of year, those drives are working real long hours and I mean, they are earning every dollar. They must collapse into bed at night. Course, the UPS driver's job could be worse. What if they had to shop for what's in that package, and buy it, and package it? Well, fortunately, it's not up to the UPS person to create the package--he or she only has to deliver it! Just like you and me.

Friday, December 14, 2001

Well, it was a sight many of us never expected to see in our lifetime. Here were the members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, standing together, singing "God Bless America." What a moment! Of course, it took the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, to bring them together like that. We saw similar scenes of the leaders of both parties emerging from White House meetings with the President, speaking almost as one voice; the combined Senate and House responding in total unity to the President's address to Congress. An unprecedented bipartisanship left most of us totally amazed. Suddenly, it seemed as if our leaders had discovered an identity that transcended Republican or Democrat. Suddenly, we were all just Americans.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

It happened during the Gulf War, and we've seen it in the war in Afghanistan. It's those amazing high-tech weapons that hit their target with pinpoint accuracy. There are, as they say, occasional "targeting errors," but, for the most part, those weapons go right to their intended target - weapons like Cruise missiles and what they call "smart bombs." I still remember a correspondent in Baghdad, during the Gulf War, who described this Tomahawk missile roaring in over the city, pause, and then turn left and then straight down into a military facility. Its tracking system apparently determined that it was slightly off course, corrected it, and went to the target. Amazing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

I was out of the country, and my wife was visiting her father, along with our daughter and son-in-law. She convinced her dad to hike with them back into the woods to the spring where they used to go to get water when she was a little girl. Eventually, they came upon a scene that was printed on her memory like a photograph - that spring gushing from the rocks, just beneath a cave above it. They spent a few minutes exploring and then headed back. That night our son-in-law showed the video he had shot of their little expedition. As the picture panned past the darkened cave, he stopped the video and rewound it to get a closer look. And there, gleaming in the darkness, were the two eyes of a big cat - as in panther or cougar. They had not seen that cat - they had been exploring right beneath that cat -- and they had never known the danger they were in.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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