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New Directions International Alumni

January 29, 2013

Hello to all the NDI Alumni.  I have a story about our Holy Land trip in November 2012.

We were just finishing a day of touring in and around Jerusalem, when our tour guide asked J.L. and me to wait in the lobby for a few moments before going to our room.  She said that the head of the bus company that was taking us around, who was also the owner of the hotel, wanted to meet us.  It was a customary thing to thank the tour leaders for choosing them for their transportation and hotel needs. 

Very soon we were introduced to a tall, distinguished Arab, Hani Abudayeh, the head of NET (Near East Travel).  He welcomed us to the Ambassador Hotel and expressed his appreciation for our business.  We told him how smoothly everything had been going.  The conversation continued like this:

“Where are you from?” he wanted to know.
“North Carolina.” We replied.
“North Carolina?  I am a great patron of your state.  In fact, I’ve contributed a lot to your state’s economy.”
“How in the world is that possible?”
“Well, my oldest child graduated from Davidson.  My next one graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill.  And this one, my son, graduated from Brevard.”
“You have got to be kidding!  That’s quite amazing that all of your children have gone to schools in North Carolina.”

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Dear Friends & Partners,

In the past quarter century, many of the historic mainline denominations have been going through great spiritual and ecclesiastical conflict.  As a result of some of the leftist leanings of many of these churches, there has been a hemorrhaging of membership for decades.  Millions of church members have walked.  They have voted with their feet and pocket books against this liberal leftist detour from Biblical orthodoxy.  Many of these disillusioned and disenfranchised church members left their church for other more conservative evangelical churches.  Like many Europeans, others left the church altogether.  Some have become what I call "Believers" who are not "belongers."  While they still retain a belief in God and the church, they have not been able to settle down in another church long-term.  They live with "church-burn-out."

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