Thursday, February 08, 2007


Pictured right: Pam Cope and some of the children recently rescued in Ghana play "dogpile" at the Village of Hope.
Photo from

TODAY, Friday, February 9, The Oprah Winfrey Show features the story of seven children rescued from slavery in Ghana. These children, blessed by the efforts of Touch A Life Ministry founders Randy and Pam Cope, now have a home in the loving Christian community, Village of Hope. Randy and Pam Cope are the brother and sister-in-law of the much loved preacher, Mike Cope.

The Village of Hope, its director Fred Asare and worker, Tommy Drinnen, derive support, love, and fellowship from the Church of Christ at White Station and Harding Academy, the places in Memphis where I am privileged to worship and work.

Between Iraq, Memphis, and several of my friends, good news seems overshadowed of late.

The writhing of Bagdhad and the morass of national politics often dominate my thoughts and drain my joy. The sadness is redoubled for me when some of my fellow Christians defend this unjust invasion, argue in favor of torture, and dismiss the suffering of Iraqis as the price of defending
our freedoms.

The writhing of this city, Memphis, with poverty, crime, and corruption often dominates my thoughts and drains my joy. The frustration is increased as indifference and many of our public policies minimize the plight of the poor and uninsured.

The writhing of hearts and bodies of friends fighting cancer, surviving death and divorce often dominates my thoughts and drains my joy. The sadness is increased when I think of the calloused cruelty of the surgeon's knife, the chemical drip, and their ex-spouse's scorn.

Thank God and bless you, Randy and Pam Cope, for going before us, not allowing the cruelty of nature or of man to contort your life. You strengthen us all by acting in love, with vision and purpose.

Thank God and bless you, Fred Asare and Tommy Drinnen, for using your sharp minds, big hearts, willing hands, and beautiful feet to serve the Village of Hope.

From writhing to healing, from darkness to light, Jesus empowers redemption.

Today is the day for Good News to dominate thoughts.

TODAY may His Kingdom continue to come as we witness His will done on earth as it is heaven.

Jesus said,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of the sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's fav