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I'm a bag of mixed emotions at the moment. Lately we've been experiencing a few injustices that sometimes see me feeling quite angry about how unfair society can be, and sometimes see me quite spontaneously thinking, "How exciting! It's evidence that we are getting closer to the end." Somewhere in between, I just try to rationally analyse it all.

It is so stupid of us to worry as much as we all do about what people think, when there are other issues in the world that are so much more serious to deal with. We have, for example, been keeping secret for months now that Reinhard is being held in detention in the U.S. for having overstayed his visa there. We did not want people to use it as a way of suggesting that he was a criminal, and that is why we kept it quiet. Because of the court case involving the assault on him, the authorities would not deport him, but neither was it clear what they were actually doing about bringing him to the court. It has left him in limbo for months. It seemed so unfair that he is the one being punished while Jared and John are getting away with so much.

But then Reinhard has been using his time in detention to translate several whole books into German for our German web site. And he's been getting great food and free accommodation, as well as a chance to really rest up from all the responsibilities that he had as a leader in the U.S. It has also given the others in the U.S. a chance to take more initiative in leadership. And to top it all off, he has met some wonderful people while there, and was the only one in the centre who could speak the languages of all the detainees, from Spanish to Russian. He has earned the respect of staff as well as detainees. One refugee, who is now out and free to live in the U.S. has actually started doing some Russian translations of our material, as he continues to maintain contact with us. So what is there to complain about? Praise God for his provision!

Reinhard overstayed his visa largely because we knew that if he left the U.S. before the court case, it would have been easier for the Long Beach police to use that as an excuse to drop the case altogether, which they've been trying to do from the start. And that, too, is one of those frustrating injustices. Jared and John eventually pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon, and were found guilty, but the police prosecutor himself actually ASKED (after they were found guilty) for the charge to be changed to a misdemeanor instead of a felony, in an apparent attempt to let Jared continue to teach school despite other acts of violence on his part which were also covered up by the authorities. We presume that the argument for making the assault a misdemeanor was that they were justified in trying to kill Reinhard because their son had joined the Jesus Christians; but we'll never know, because it all happened in a secret hearing... another injustice as far as we are concerned. In fact, the police never, in all of their investigations, even ASKED to interview Joe about what he knew about the case, even though Joe is a vital witness. Then the judge said he/she would wait for a whole year (the maximum time) before imposing any penalty on Jared and John. In the meantime, it is REINHARD who continues to sit in custody while Jared and John walk free! He, the VICTIM of the assault, could be there in the detention centre for a whole year while the court dithers. More injustice.

But hey, the main thing we wanted was a guilty verdict so that Reinhard could recover some of the more than $30,000 in medical expenses that he has incurred since the attack. Now we have that opening. So that's not so bad. And revenge was never our goal in the first place. We know that John and Jared (and Sheila) can never be trusted not to repeat the attack, because they have never acknowledged in communication either with Joe or with Reinhard any guilt, or shown any remorse. Nevertheless, time in jail would almost certainly not have achieved that either. So good luck to them! All we Jesus Christians have to do is to stay as far away from them as possible. Reinhard is recovering well, and the U.S. government even insisted on paying his fare back to Europe, despite our offer to pay for it. Wonderful!

Then there are the Quakers. A few months ago the gang over at the Rick Ross forum started getting their act together big time, and they set out to destroy our relationship with the Quakers. At the moment they are having immense success. Gossip is flying all over the world (literally) amongst our so-called "Friends", and we are shocked at how quick people have been to believe the rumours. It feels like we are in the middle of a maelstrom of hate with a lynch mob mentality behind it all.

But once again, what is it that has us so worried? Isn't it just the sting of knowing that our opponents are winning at the moment, and that many people whom we assumed were our "friends" have turned against us? But isn't that what we have been saying would happen for years? That they ARE going to succeed, and eventually reach a point where people will feel justified in killing us because their hate has become so intense? Yeah, sure, it hurts to think that some of the people who have been famous for centuries as leaders in the art of tolerance and peace have been so quickly turned on their head by a gang of hate-mongers, but, once again, this is precisely the sort of stuff that we have been saying is going to spread around the world in these last days. They are proving us to be right. And really, what we're seeing now is nothing by comparison to what is yet to come.

What does Jesus say? "Rejoice when you are persecuted!" What is happening amongst Quakers is actually a victory for us as well, in that it has forced many Friends out into the open who have been opposed to us for years. There is this horrible nasty side to some Quakers (which all of us are capable of giving in to) that is virtually indistinguishable from the horrible nasty side of the worst fundamentalists and war mongers, and it's coming out in some of the most unexpected places. It is sad to see how far-reaching it is, but at the same time, this present persecution is bringing to the surface those rare individuals who really do believe in the core values of Quakerism like ourselves. We've seen it happen in the past that Friends have pulled out of what could have been a spiritual nosedive with some very powerful spiritual giants amongst them steering others back to their core values. And we still have some hope that it will happen this time.

So on the whole, these are exciting times to be alive, and to be witnessing what is happening from, what we believe, may be God's perspective. The masks are being ripped off, the teeth are being bared, and, while our job seems to be to act as bait, we understand that it's all part of the overall scenario that will lead to the return of Jesus. What we are experiencing at the moment is nothing in comparison to what is yet to come; but it is a good opportunity for us to get things into perspective and to laugh off the threats and accusations of the Enemy. So praise God, and let them bring it on!

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