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      January 2011

BOOM!! - Merry Christmas!!
BANG!! - Happy New year!!

Such were the greetings in Nigeria, in Jos and Maiduguri according to news reports and texts from our friends there. On Christmas Eve, bombs went off in 4 locations around Jos killing a reported 32 people. At the same time in Maiduguri, 3 churches were attacked and 6 people killed with one of the churches and parsonage being burned. The group Boko Haram, is claiming credit for these attacks. This is the same group that went on a rampage in 2009 in Maiduguri attacking police stations and Christian churches, businesses and believers. Their name means "Western education is sacrilege." In addition, the government is also considering the attacks, in Jos especially, to be political terrorism. As you may know, federal and state elections are being held this April and many feel that the Muslims are trying to cause division in the country because they do not want to have another Christian president at this time. Therefore, they are trying to force the current president, a Christian, to withdraw from the race by showing that he can not keep peace in the country. More violence was reported in Jos and Maiduguri on Sunday and the week following Christmas. There is no peace without the Lord!

February Trip?
I have seriously been considering making 2 trips to Nigeria the first part of this year. One at my usual time in February, to conduct our outreaches to the villages and continue pursuit of the land that has been promised to us. Then again in May, to participate in the P&M conference in Jos that we have been privileged to share in over the past 16 years. Unfortunately, even the brethren in Maiduguri have not been able to go to the villages at this time due to security restrictions. So making a trip in February has still not been decided.

PRAY - PRAY - PRAY
Thus, the end of the matter is this, Pray - Pray - Pray, with us as we seek God's face to know His perfect will whether to travel at this time or not. For though we have not the spirit of Fear, along with Power, He has also given us Love and a Sound Mind to use Wisdom as we labor for Him.

Family Update
Let me bring you up to date with what has been going on with the Koontzs this past year. A new year means a new year, literally, for the kids as they all celebrate their birthdays this month. Robert and Lauren turn 17, while Kristen will be 15. They continue to be home schooled, are active with the youth at church and take piano. All three of them performed in a play at the community theater this past fall with Robert and Kristen continuing to work with a teen group from there this winter. The girls volunteer at church in the after school program for elementary children and Robert has earned his First Degree Black Belt in Karate. So they keep busy, busy, going, going, all the while, the twins are learning to drive!! To top it all off, Sarah and I celebrate 33 years together/ forever this month as well.
 

So from our house to yours may this New Year be filled with the Peace and Joy of the Lord that only comes through knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Happy New Year

Your Servants In Christ,
              Larry - Sarah

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