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January 2014

Mandela and The Miracle

Dear Friend,
 
My wish for 2014 is that we would forgive those who hurt us, because that is the way to happiness.  Nelson Mandela was not perfect.  He was not a saint.  He made some very serious mistakes, even using at one time violence against his oppressors.  Yet during his long and lonely imprisonment he chose the path less travelled, and made a decision that changed millions of lives for the good.  He chose to forgive the oppressors of his people.
 
John Carter visits Mandela House
 
When he was finally released and elected president of South Africa, he with his friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu proclaimed peace, forgiveness and reconciliation to his former enemies.  When I was recently in South Africa, I heard dreadful stories of how apartheid once operated.  The whites went to the good stores, schools and restaurants, while the blacks and coloreds went to inferior ones.  Many years ago I was invited to preach in Cape Town but was told that the audiences would be segregated.  “If that is so, I cannot come,” I told them.  How could I condone practices that were a repudiation of Christ’s Gospel?
 
Many expected a blood bath when Mandela and his African National Council got control of the country, but it didn’t happen.  President Nelson Mandela said,  “I forgive you.  Please stay and let us together build a nation of equal opportunity for all.”* This was Mandela’s miracle. It was the reason the people — whites, blacks and coloreds — loved him so.  Unlike other African leaders like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, he served for only one term and then chose to relinquish power.  He was not a saint, was not perfect, but he forgave his foes and displayed humility.  He was an example to a world where pride is so often glorified and where vengeance is the prerogative of the victor.
 
Home in Soweto
 
Don’t you sometimes wish that there were more forgiveness and less hatred, more softly spoken words of kindness and less harsh critical rhetoric? There can be, but it needs to start with you and me.
 
We have a greater leader and example than Nelson Mandela.  We have Jesus Christ who on the cross prayed, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
 
This year can be better for you and me if we forgive those who hurt us.  That’s what Jesus taught and is the secret to happiness.  It takes grace, but grace is free and available.
 
It is this Gospel of peace and forgiveness that we share with an angry, hurting, lost world.  Will you not be my partner in this ministry of reconciliation?  (See 2 Cor. 5:18)
 
This year we plan to share the precious Gospel of the Savior in places torn apart by hatred, fear, and violence.  We are working hard to raise a million dollars for evangelism.  Colombia is calling.  Please be my partner.  Please write to me.
 
John Carter greets member of a South African congregation
 
I wish you a blessed 2014.  May your life be perfumed by the incense of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness.  Know that our Heavenly Father loves you and is preparing a home for you in Glory.
 
With much love and many blessings.  Thank you in Jesus’ name,
 
 
John Carter
The Carter Report, Inc.
 
JC/aj
 
* South Africa still has a long way to go.  In some ways things are worse than they were during the times of white supremacy, but the blame rests not with Mandela.  His policies of peace, forgiveness and equality are needed now more than ever.
 
P.S. When you send your gift for evangelism, please request my DVD, “Draining the Swamp”  Please quote this DVD number:  LW1304**.
 
**All gifts to this ministry are tax-deductible as defined by U.S. Treasury regulations.  The fair market value of the DVD is $15.00 and all tax-deductible receipts will be in accordance with U.S. Treasury regulations.  The DVD is a gift to you, but according to the tax-laws of the IRS is not tax-deductible. The market value is $15.00 and your receipt will reflect the tax requirements of the IRS.
 
Please look for our special edition, 56-page Ebenezer magazine that you will receive in February.

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