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crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 CRITICAL ALERT Taliban Abducts South Korean Missions Team

(7/21/07)
Saturday evening, GMT:
Hostage to be killed tomorrow, Sunday.



Taliban Abducts South Korean Missions Team

The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian has just learned that yesterday – Friday, July 20, Taliban insurgents abducted about 20 South Korean Christians who were on an evangelical mission to Afghanistan. The young Korean evangelists were sent to Afghanistan from the Saem-Mul Protestant Community Church near Seoul, South Korea on July 13, 2007 and were scheduled to return to Korea on July 23, 2007.

They were traveling on a charter bus from Kandahar to the capital Kabul, when the armed insurgents stopped the bus 110 miles (175 km) south of Kabul in the Qarabagh district of the Ghazni province. A local Taliban commander named Mohammad Sharif has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
Currently, the Korean embassy has launched a search operation and has begun negotiations with the Taliban kidnappers who have demanded the release of Taliban prisoners in Afghan prisons.

ICC Policy Analyst for South Asia, Jeremy Sewall, said, “This immediately made me think of when the Taliban kidnapped American missionaries Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry in 2001 and held them in harsh prisons for three months. In fact, it was in the very same area of Afghanistan that these two kidnappings happened.
While Mercer and Curry’s story ended happily, it was only because anti-Taliban forces attacked the prison. Under the Taliban, it is abs olutely illegal to preach Christianity. This courageous South Korean missions team is going to experience the ultimate test of their faith. I want to make an urgent appeal to all concerned parties to pray for this missions team.”

Pray that God would do a miracle and permit them to be released without the use of force.

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Mike Balog

 2007/7/26 0:32Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: CRITICAL ALERT Taliban Offers Exchange

Update and additional facts


Taliban Offers Exhange for South Korean Hostages
Saturday, July 21, 2007

A purported Taliban spokesman said the hard-line militia killed two German and five Afghan hostages on Saturday but were willing to release 23 South Korean Christians in exchange for the freedom of imprisoned Taliban fighters.
The Afghan government, however, said it had contradictory information concerning the Germans, casting doubt on the purported spokesman’s claims.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, who claims to be a Taliban spokesman, said the Afghan and South Korean governments had until 7 p.m. (1430 GMT) Sunday to agree to the release of 23 Taliban militants or the Korean hostages would be killed.
He said the Germans and Afghans were shot to death because Germany did not announce the withdrawal of its 3,000 troops from Afghanistan. The seven were kidnapped on Wednesday in the southern province of Wardak while working on a dam project.
“The German and Afghan governments didn’t meet our conditions,” Ahmadi told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location. Ahmadi offered no proof of the killings and said the Taliban would give information about the bodies later.

The Afghan government, however, said one of the Germans died of a heart attack and the second was still alive.
“The information that we and our security forces have is that one of these two who were kidnapped died of a heart attack,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen said. “The second hostage is alive and we hope that he will be released soon and we are trying our best to get him released.”
Ahmadi earlier said the kidnapped Koreans, including 18 women, would also be killed Saturday if South Korea didn’t withdraw its 200 troops. Late Saturday he changed those demands, and also said the militants were holding 23 Koreans, up from the 18 he earlier claimed. He said several Koreans spoke the Afghan languages Dari and Pashtu and had been mistaken for Afghans.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun urged the Taliban to “send our people home quickly and safely.”
Roh also spoke with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and asked for cooperation to quickly win the release of the South Koreans, Roh’s office said.
A senior Korean official said the South Korean government was “maintaining contact” with the Taliban.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a phone call to Karzai, expressed “grave concern” over the abductions and called on the Afghan government to “do its utmost” to secure the hostages’ release.

The South Koreans were kidnapped at gunpoint from a bus in Ghazni province’s Qarabagh district on Thursday as they traveled on the main highway from Kabul to the southern city of Kandahar. It was the largest-scale abduction of foreigners since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.
Ahmadi warned the Afghan government and U.S. and NATO forces not to try to rescue the hostages, or they would be killed. The provincial police chief in Ghazni province said his forces were working “carefully” to not trigger any retaliatory killings.
“We have surrounded the area but are working very carefully. We don’t want them to be killed,” said Ali Shah Ahmadzai.

It was unclear what the Koreans were doing in Afghanistan. The Yonhap news agency reported that most of the hostages were members of the Saemmul Community Church in Bundang, just south of the South Korean capital, Seoul. A year ago, hundreds of South Korean Christians were ordered to leave Afghanistan amid rumors they were proselytizing in the deeply conservative Islamic nation.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jeager said a crisis team was pursuing “every clue” and was in close contact with the Afghan government.

Germany has 3,000 soldiers in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force who are stationed in the mostly peaceful northern part of Afghanistan. South Korea has 200 soldiers in the U.S.-led coalition who largely work on humanitarian projects such as medical assistance and reconstruction work.
“We are doing whatever we can to secure their release, and we hope that those who have kidnapped them will respect the Afghan and Islamic culture not to harm them and let them go back to their homes safe and sound,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Baheen said.
In South Korea, family members of kidnapped victims urged the government to accept the Taliban’s demand, noting Seoul had already decided to bring home its soldiers by the end of this year.
“We hope that the immediate withdrawal (of troops) is made,” Cha Sung-min, a relative of one of the hostages, told reporters.

South Korea’s troops run a hospital for Afghan civilians at the U.S. base at Bagram, and the facility has treated over 240,000 patients. The kidnapped civilians are not affiliated with the military.
South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-soon reiterated Seoul’s plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year as scheduled, hoping to appease the militants.
“The government is in preparations to implement its plan,” he said.



South Korea urges release of hostages

South Korea’s president has urged the release of citizens held captive in Afghanistan, saying he will make “sincere efforts” to win their freedom.
Roh Moo-hyun made his appeal after the Taleban threatened to kill up to 23 captives they hold unless South Korea’s 200 troops left the country.
South Korea already plans to withdraw its troops by the end of the year.

The Taleban later said they would begin to kill hostages if an equal number of militants were not freed by Sunday.
The Taleban also said on Saturday they had killed two Germans taken hostage in a separate abduction.
The Afghan government cast doubt on the claim, saying one had died of a heart attack and the other was still alive.

Mostly women
The Koreans were taken at gunpoint while travelling in a bus from Kandahar city to the capital, Kabul, on Thursday.
The Taleban initially said there were 18 but have revised up the figure to 23. Seoul has not confirmed the number taken.
They were reportedly Christians on an evangelical and aid mission. At least 15 are said to be women.
The seizure was the largest-scale abduction of foreigners since the fall of the Taleban regime in 2001, according to the Associated Press.

In a brief televised appeal on Saturday Mr Roh said the captors “should send our people home quickly and safely”.
He did not specify what measures Seoul would take to try to secure a release.
South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Cho Hee-yong told AP the government was in contact with the kidnappers.

Some relatives of those kidnapped have urged the government to accept the Taleban’s demand on withdrawal of troops.
One, Cha Sung-min, said: “We hope that the immediate withdrawal is made.”
Foreign Minister Song Min-soon had earlier said that Seoul would stick to its schedule.
“We have only several months to go... You cannot withdraw 200 people overnight,” he said.
Mr Song says his government is working closely with its Afghan counterpart and a crisis team from Seoul was scheduled to arrive in Kabul on Saturday.

-- -- -- -- --
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Mike Balog

 2007/7/26 0:33Profile
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Joined: 2007/1/31
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 Re: CRITICAL ALERT Taliban Abducts South Korean Missions Team

I am praying right now!
thanks brothers for posting
May God do something amazing
in his love
charlene


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charlene

 2007/7/26 0:35Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: CRITICAL ALERT 03 Army ‘surrounds Taleban captors’

Army ‘surrounds Taleban captors’

Security forces have surrounded the location where Taleban fighters are holding 23 South Korean hostages, an Afghan defence ministry official says. But the Afghan deputy interior minister has stressed that negotiations are continuing and no military operation is currently under way.

The Koreans were abducted in Ghazni, south-west of Kabul, on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the body of one of two German nationals abducted on Wednesday has been found, local police said.

Optimism over talks
Deputy Interior Minister Gen Munir Mangal, who is in Ghazni with a delegation negotiating the South Korean hostages’ release, told this correspondent that talks were continuing.
“We have members of parliament, the provincial council and elders from Ghazni, and I am optimistic that they will be freed soon.”
“There are no military operations. I categorically deny it,” Gen Mangal said.
A team of South Korean hostage negotiators arrived also arrived in Kabul from Seoul on Sunday.

The South Korean hostages were abducted from a bus travelling from Kandahar to Kabul on Thursday.
They are reportedly Christians on an evangelical and aid mission. At least 15 are said to be women. A Taleban spokesman said on Sunday that they were in good health.

The Taleban say they want to swap the 23 men and women for jailed fighters and are also demanding that South Korean forces leave Afghanistan.
Earlier, Gen Mohammad Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry, told this correspondent: “We have surrounded the area. We haven’t launched an attack right now and we are assessing the situation.”

A spokesman for Nato forces said it was unaware of an operation but was ready to help the Afghan and South Korean governments if asked.
The seizure is the largest-scale abduction of foreigners since the fall of the Taleban regime in 2001.

An eight-strong South Korean delegation, including a presidential envoy, arrived in Kabul on Sunday and was meeting Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other officials.
Seoul confirmed on Sunday that preparations for its troops to withdraw by the end of the year were under way but that the withdrawal had already been announced and had not been affected by the abductions.

German captives
Meanwhile, police in Wardak province said they had found the body of one of two German hostages kidnapped last Wednesday. The cause of death is not yet known.

The Germans, whose identity has not been revealed, were seized with a number of Afghans in Wardak, where they had been working on a dam project.

A Taleban spokesman had said both men were killed on Saturday because Germany refused demands to withdraw its 3,000-strong force from the country.

But Berlin said it believed one hostage was still alive and the other died of a heart attack or stress.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “We must assume that one of the kidnapped Germans died in captivity.

“Nothing points to murder, all signs tell us that he fell victim to the strain to which his kidnappers subjected him.”

One Afghan provincial official said the German who died was a diabetic who had no access to insulin. The fate of the Afghans captured with the Germans is unknown.

-- -- -- -- --
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Mike Balog

 2007/7/26 0:36Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
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 Re: CRITICAL ALERT 04 Taliban kill one Korean hostage

Taliban kill one Korean hostage

Afghanistan’s Taliban killed one of the 23 Korean hostages on Wednesday – July 25 – after Kabul failed to free Taliban prisoners, a spokesman for the group said, adding insurgents would kill more if their demands were not met.
“Since Kabul’s administration did not listen to our demand and did not free our prisoners, the Taliban shot dead a male Korean hostage,” Qari Mohammad Yousuf told Reuters by phone from an unknown location.

Latest deadline expires tonight, Wednesday 21.30 GMT.

Pray as if nobody else prays. . .



AFGHANISTAN: ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS CONTROL THROUGH TERROR

One day Jesus was teaching and healing, and as he looked out over the crowds he felt great compassion for the harassed, helpless and directionless masses. So he instructed his disciples to ask the Lord to send out more workers/servants (see Matthew 9:35-38).
Up to 17,000 Korean Christians serve the Lord abroad in this way, most in war-torn, volatile, hostile and ‘restricted access’ nations. There are around 100 South Korean Christians from a dozen humanitarian organisations and churches presently engaged in voluntary work in war-torn Afghanistan. Since 2002, some 400-500 South Koreans have visited Afghanistan every year in response to the Lord’s sending. They do voluntary work in health, education, agriculture, information technology and other fields for the benefit of the people.

In early August 2006, Korean Christian professionals with the Institute of Asian Culture and Development, a Seoul-based Christian humanitarian-aid group that has run medical clinics in Afghanistan since January 2002) were suddenly deported. The IACD had organised a three-day ‘Peace Festival’ to celebrate five years of Korean aid work in Afghanistan. The festival was to include a medical conference, a round-table on reconstruction and two soccer games at Kabul’s Olympic Stadium between Afghanistan’s national team and a Korean team.

The group’s director, Kang Sung Han, said the aim of the festival was to give ordinary Koreans and Afghanis the opportunity to interact and have fun. But when Muslim clerics protested, the festival was cancelled and the Koreans were deported, citing security concerns. According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, while the clerics complained that the Koreans were actively proselytising, a spokesman for the chief of the Afghan National Police said there was absolutely no evidence to support that, adding that if there had been any evidence then the police would have ‘put them in jail according to the law’. In order to maintain their hold over the people, the clerics are depriving the people of a future.

On Thursday 19 July 2007, Taliban militants in Ghazni Province kidnapped 23 South Korean Christians who were in Afghanistan doing medical and humanitarian volunteer work. The Koreans, most of whom are nurses, are members of the Presbyterian ‘Saemmul Church’ in Bundang near Seoul. They were en route to visit a kindergarten in Kandahar which serves some 100 destitute children and war orphans when they were ambushed and kidnapped.

The Taliban is threatening to kill the hostages unless South Korea withdraws its forces (which are non-combatant, engaged only in reconstruction) and the Afghan government releases the 23 Taliban prisoners held in Ghazni Province. This is the largest contingent the Taliban has ever captured. Because the group is so large the Taliban might drag the negotiations along, releasing one hostage (bargaining chip) at a time. They might also feel that because there are so many, they can afford to kill a few to increase the pressure on the two governments. On 24 July, Afghani villagers in Ghazni demonstrated peacefully in the streets for the release of the Korean hostages. Once again, Islamic fundamentalists are robbing the people and exerting control through repression and terror.

South Korea has now banned its citizens from travelling to Afghanistan, one of the neediest places on earth.


PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR:
* God to give the Korean Christian hostages all the grace, strength, endurance, courage and wisdom they need to bring blessings to Afghanis and honour and glory to the Lord in their new circumstances, which are doubtless exceedingly unpleasant.

* God to protect all those who have left home and family, and sacrificed security and comfort to go into Afghanistan in order to help and serve traumatised, needy Afghanis; and may the Lord in his mercy deliver the Korean believers to safety.

* the Holy Spirit of God to draw into humble dependent (or even just desperate) prayerfulness, all those who are in Afghanistan to further freedom and civilisation for the benefit of the people (God’s creation). May they learn dependence, and rejoice in the faithfulness of the Lord our deliverer. (Prayer - Psalm 140:6-8).

* the Taliban, al Qaeda, and all other enemies of civilisation in Afghanistan to be profoundly defeated. Pray that the ‘sword of God will strike them’. (Isaiah 31:8 NLT)



WHO ARE THE TALEBAN?

The last couple of years have seen the re-emergence of the hardline Islamic Taleban movement as a fighting force in Afghanistan.
Nearly five years after losing power in the country, the Taleban are making their presence felt by launching guerrilla operations against Nato forces, killing aid workers and kidnapping foreigners involved in reconstruction work. Parts of eastern and southern Afghanistan have been rendered more and more insecure due to the increasingly daring Taleban attacks.

There has been a huge increase in violent attacks in recent months, particularly in the south where Nato forces are helping the Afghan government to extend its authority. The government blames most of the violence on what it calls “enemies of Afghanistan” - shorthand for the Taleban and their al-Qaeda allies. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to establish with any certainty who is behind some of the violence.

The Taleban first came to prominence in the autumn of 1994. Their leader was a village clergyman Mullah Mohammad Omar, who lost his right eye fighting the occupying forces of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Their target was the feuding warlords known as the mujahideen who had forced the Soviet troops out of the country.

The Taleban’s promise was to restore peace and security and enforce Sharia, or Islamic law, once in power. Afghans, weary of the mujahideen’s excesses and infighting, generally welcomed the Taleban.
Their early popularity was largely due to their success in stamping out corruption, curbing lawlessness and making the roads and the areas under their control safe for commerce to flourish.

From their birthplace in the province of Kandahar in south-western Afghanistan, the Taleban quickly extended their influence. They captured the province of Herat, bordering Iran, in September 1995.
Exactly one year later, they captured the Afghan capital, Kabul, after overthrowing the regime of President Burhanuddin Rabbani and his defence minister, Ahmed Shah Masood. By 1998, they were in control of almost 90% of Afghanistan.

Pakistan ‘the architect’
The circumstances of the Taleban’s emergence remained the centre of controversial debate. Despite repeated denials, Pakistan is seen as the architect of the Taleban enterprise.
Suspicions arose early on when the Taleban went to the rescue of a Pakistani convoy stranded in Kandahar following attacks and looting by rival mujahideen groups. Many of the Afghans who joined the Taleban were educated in madrassas (religious schools) in Pakistan.

Pakistan was also one of only three countries, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which recognised the Taleban regime. It was also the last country to break diplomatic ties with the Taleban.
The US put Pakistan under pressure to do so after the 11 September, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington.

Pashtun sympathies
The Taleban were overwhelmingly Pashtun, the ethnic group that forms the majority of Afghanistan’s diverse population and also inhabits the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan in neighbouring Pakistan.
Even now, the resurgent Taleban draw considerable sympathy from fellow Pashtuns in Pakistan. Some of their fugitive leaders are able to find refuge across the long and porous border in NWFP and Balochistan.

Once in power, the Taleban set up an authoritarian administration that tolerated no opposition to their hardline policies. Islamic punishments, such as public executions of convicted murderers and amputations of those charged with thefts, were introduced.
Television, music and cinema were banned after being adjudged as frivolities. Girls aged 10 and above were forbidden from going to school - working women were ordered to stay at home. Men were required to grow beards and women had to wear the burqa.
The Taleban’s religious police earned notoriety as they tried to implement these restrictions. Taleban policies, particularly those concerning human and women’s rights, also brought them into conflict with the international community.

Bin Laden and al-Qaeda
But what was to bring much greater conflict was the Taleban’s role as host to Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda movement.
The August 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that left more than 225 people dead prompted Washington to present the Taleban with a difficult choice.
They were required to expel Bin Laden, who the US held responsible for those bombings and other attacks, or face the consequences. When the Taleban refused to hand over their Saudi-born guest, US President Bill Clinton ordered a missile attack on a Bin Laden camp in southern Afghanistan.

As further punishment, the US persuaded the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Taleban-ruled Afghanistan in 1999.
Harsher UN sanctions were put in place in 2001 in another effort to force the Taleban to deliver bin Laden. The sanctions, and the denial of Afghanistan’s seat in the UN to the Taleban, increased the political and diplomatic isolation of their regime.

It also prompted it to pursue a more isolationist and fundamentalist agenda. For example, the Taleban went ahead with the destruction of the priceless Bamiyan Buddha statues carved out of a mountain cliff in central Afghanistan, despite international outrage.

US onslaught
The events of 11 September signalled the beginning of the end for the Taleban’s control of Afghanistan. The US reiterated its demand that the Taleban hand over bin Laden to face trial for masterminding the attacks on US soil. But again, the Taleban defended bin Laden and refused to expel him.

On October 7, 2001, a US-led coalition intervened militarily in Afghanistan and by the first week of December the Taleban regime had collapsed.
Mullah Omar and most of the other senior Taleban leaders, along with Bin Laden and some of his senior al-Qaeda associates, survived the American onslaught.
Mullah Omar and his comrades have evaded capture despite one of the largest manhunts in the world and are believed to be guiding the resurgent Taleban. The Taleban retreat enabled them to limit their human and material losses.
However, differences on strategy and Mullah Omar’s authoritarian style have prompted some Taleban to quit the movement or become inactive.

-- -- -- -- --
Intercessors Network


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/7/26 0:38Profile









 Re:

This is so harsh. They're all kids, and eighteen of the twenty-three missionaries are women.

Jesus, please help them.

 2007/7/26 0:57
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Pray for the Korean hostages

Indeed it is brother.

Saints, I am quite reluctant on the one hand to make notice of this and digress for a moment to point out something here or make this an object lesson ...

For shame, having seen this for the last few days and still with only a smattering of prayer to suddenly have a revelation ...

What might a great deal of present discussions or arguments look like to our brothers and sisters now in their predicament, what might they have to say to us ... would they turn away in shame as well? Would they pity us in our trite controversies or wonder at the spirit that even some of those things worthy of discussion are laced with?

This is to thwart nothing of discussion only to challenge each of us independently to examine ourselves in light of their present situation, shake our perceptions and proprieties, priorities.

Can we use some of our imaginations that are often judging before the time, jumping to conclusions, suspicious of intent and motive, misconstruing each others thoughts and climb into their stead and place, their shoes for just a moment, humble ourselves and ... think.

And then begin to truly pray? Pray as it was noted, [i]as if nobody else prays. . .[/i]

[i]There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.[/i] 1Jn 4:18

That they might all be filled with perfect love.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/7/26 8:57Profile









 Re: Pray for the Korean hostages


Mike thanks.

I had heard of these hostages on the news, and guessed they might be Christians, being South Korean, but I had no idea they were missionaries... as if that makes anything better.

Hebrews 13:3
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [i]and[/i] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Hebrews 11:36
And others had trial of [i]cruel[/i] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and [u]imprisonment[/u]:


Only in recent weeks have these verses begun to haunt me as they should.

 2007/7/26 9:31









 Re:

Quote:
For shame, having seen this for the last few days and still with only a smattering of prayer to suddenly have a revelation ...

What might a great deal of present discussions or arguments look like to our brothers and sisters now in their predicament, what might they have to say to us ... would they turn away in shame as well? Would they pity us in our trite controversies or wonder at the spirit that even some of those things worthy of discussion are laced with?



I'm in total agreement with you on this one brother - and guilty on all counts.

I imagine that even reading "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" two times over can't begin to relate the terror these kids are facing.

I only hope they understood as missionaries that this was a possibility - and that they're preparing for further evil.

God help them. We have to pray.

 2007/7/26 21:11









 Re:

iansmith had posted this yesterday, but I can't find where that thread is. I posted to it, but can't find where it is. He took his from a blog site and some of the comments were very upsetting. They were saying horrible things to this article and finally one man came on and said it like it should have been said or seen.
I wanted to find that thread to go back to that site and view if any more posts were added after that one man's.

Maybe he put it on a different forum then Miracles ?


edit: time correction.

 2007/7/26 21:47





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