Monday, July 23, 2007


Today I head to Branson, Missouri, for a board meeting of the Evangelical Church Alliance followed by the annual convention. The ECA is America’s oldest association of Evangelical churches, clergy, missionaries and chaplains. Among other notable accomplishments, the ECA now has the largest number of active duty Evangelical armed services chaplains. I am honored to not only sit on the ECA board of directors, but also to serve as chairman of its Committee on Church and Society. Our guest of honor this year is none other than “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore, who is well-known to our Faith and Action family. The Judge speaks Wednesday evening; I’ll address the convention Thursday morning and return to Washington Friday.

While in Branson, I’ll visit the construction site of a new Christian theater being built by another pair of Faith and Action friends, Glenn and Shirley Eshelman, who founded the enormous Sight and Sound Auditorium in nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Back in 1984, when Glenn was putting together sound tracks with a series of photographic slide projectors, he generously contributed his skills by creating our first multi-media presentation. No one then could have predicted the Eshelmans would eventually oversee the most sophisticated, fully dressed state-of-art “Christian theater” in the world! Today, over 800,000 people a year enjoy one of their many Bible-centered productions involving live actors, real animals, bedazzling technology, original music scores and rich scenery. The new Branson facility will open in spring of 2008 with Noah, a spectacular telling of the great flood epic.

Speaking of spectacular, that will describe the sight of a Christian ministry delegation going to Baghdad this week to hold a series of prayer meetings in that war-torn nation. Our own Rev. Pat Mahoney will lead this historic mission. He will carry with him a Faith and Action plaque of the Ten Commandments (like the ones we give to U.S. government officials) to present to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Rev. Mahoney has worked on this project for nearly three years. This breakthrough is perfectly timed. (As if we doubt God’s sovereignty!) Pat will return from Baghdad just in time for the much anticipated Iraq report to the President and Congress by the top U.S commander there, Army General David Petraeus. We will anchor the prayer delegation from headquarters here in Washington and join Rev. Mahoney in a prayer vigil at the U.S. Capitol on the eve of the General’s testimony.

Just as an aside, when Rev. Mahoney and I first met with Iraqi diplomatic officials in 2004, we presented them with an antique Civil War era Bible from our own library here at our ministry center. The Iraqis were absolutely delighted and held up the Bible, kissing it and thanking us profusely. It remains prominently displayed in the Embassy.

And, speaking of Iraq, I’d love to know your opinions, concerns, insights and any other thoughts you may have about the war. Would you write me this week? The Bible says there is safety in the multitude of counselors, and you are one of my best advisers. Please share with me what you sense about all this. Thanks!

Well, it’s summer, so I’m trying to keep these postings brief so you can enjoy yourself! Be back later . . .

Your missionary Washington, DC,

Rev. Rob Schenck

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