USA - The 'SORROWS' BEGIN? - by Andrew Strom I write this as an outsider who loves the USA. I am a New Zealander now living in the United States - currently involved in the relief effort in Mississippi. The destruction here is an eye- opener for sure. But something is amiss in this country - something so serious - that the loudest warnings from above are seemingly falling on deaf ears. For the last 250 years, from a christian perspective, America has been one of the greatest "Lands of Revivals" that there has ever been. Since 1741, America has seen more Great Awakenings than any other nation. It wouldn't be hard to make the case that America is the most "Revived" nation in history. Yet that has begun to change. America has grown rich, and has forgotten God. She has turned away from the very one who blessed her in the first place. And lately it seems like no matter how loudly God shouts at her to turn around, she is too preoccupied to listen. Things are about to get pretty rough here. As I write this, yet another category 4 or 5 hurricane is bearing down on the Texas coast. If it hits the oil-refining region below Houston, it could have a catastrophic effect. Either way, it is difficult to see how the nation can keep absorbing these massive shocks. The human tragedy is indescribable. Four years ago, God sent the first of these wake-up calls to this nation. All he had to do was lift his hand of protection for an instant. After 9-11, America did get somewhat "religious" for a season, but this has since worn off. There was no permanent repentance. Comfort, entertainment, and materialism still rule the land, and God alone knows what it will take to change that. The size of the shocks that are necessary - only He can tell. What will it take for America to repent - to turn back to the God of her fathers? 9-11 didn't do it. The four hurricanes criss-crossing Florida last year didn't do it. And hurricane Katrina destroying the casinos, the oil, and the "Southern Decadence" city of New Orleans didn't do it either. The mayor was back there within weeks, urging them to gear up for the next debauchery parade, known as Mardi Gras. Throwing it in the very face of God. These people have learned nothing. And thus, the wake-up calls will continue. But what about the church? Is she blameless in all this? I have a friend here who believes that America is about to become a third world country - all because she will not repent. The process is already underway. This is but the "beginning of sorrows." Because of the new hurricane, I will likely head across to Texas with a load of supplies and tools on my way home this weekend - they may need it more than Mississippi before long. Rick Walth, a revival preacher from Iowa, is due to take over the base here. He is an excellent brother. Meanwhile, Darren Smith of "Streetscape" is now coordinating efforts for BOTH disaster zones - the one here and the one due in Texas. Please keep us in your prayers, my friends. By the way, we need MORE PEOPLE to come down and help. We have an excellent base here, and many needy people (and there will likely be one in Texas also). Please phone me if you can make it down - (985) 788-9939. Please pray for Texas, my friends. Pray for mercy in the midst of judgment. God bless you all, Kindest regards in Christ, Andrew Strom.