KEYWORDS: teens, lord, europe, family, shepherds, things

Getting Back On Track for Jesus--Part One

Karen Zerby

Maria #205DO 28909/93

Mama's Letter to the Family in Europe

Required Reading for Junior & Senior Teens, YAs & Adults

Introduction—By WS Staff1/94

(To be read by all teens, YAs & adults prior to reading Mama's Letter.)

Dear Family,

God bless you! We love you very much & have you in our prayers!

A few months ago it became apparent that both the young people & the adults in the Family in Europe had some serious problems & desperately needed help. After hearing that quite a few of the teens & YAs in Europe had left the Family in the last nine months, & after receiving many reports about the sad, confused & degenerate state of some of the Homes‚ Mama wrote a Letter to the Family in Europe. In this Letter she explains the history of what went wrong in Europe, & she addresses some of the main problems & gives lots of counsel & answers & solutions.

What happened in Europe could have happened anywhere. Therefore, Mama's Letter is being published for the Family worldwide so that all may benefit. As the old saying goes, "A wise man learns from his own mistakes, but a wiser man learns from the mistakes of others!" This Letter will undoubtedly be an eye-opener & warning & shake-up for all! As you read this, please try to apply it to your own situation where appropriate. It's easy when reading a Letter that is written to a particular individual or area to think, "Mama is writing to someone else, not to us." In this case, there have been numerous confirmations that some of the same problems that Europe is facing are also prevalent in some other areas to varying degrees.

You may initially be shocked or discouraged when you read this Letter & see the extent of the problems that have come up in Europe. But please don't worry or let this bad news upset you or get you down, because there is light at the end of the tunnel & the Lord is already winning many big victories in Europe. PTL!

A substantial amount of time has already elapsed since these problems came to a head. This Letter from Mama was written to the Family in Europe over four months ago. You will read the Letter in the present tense, as it was written to the European Family. This verb tense can give the impression that Mama is addressing a very current situation. But please try to remind yourselves that some time has elapsed since the European Family Members read this Letter, & the Lord has already been working in their lives for several months. TYJ!

In October of 1993, there was a YA seminar which was hosted by the European Shepherds & some visiting Shepherds & attended by some of the YAs & adults from Eastern & Western Europe. This Letter from Mama was read at that seminar & it caused no small stir!—In fact, it caused a revolution! PTL! After this week–long meeting, small teams of adults & YAs who attended the meeting began visiting the Homes in Europe. In each Home where they've visited, they've read Mama's Letter. The results have been very encouraging. You'll be happy to know that the young people & adults in Europe have repented, forsaken their sins‚ learned many precious lessons, & are now back on the attack for the Lord! The European Family overall is more encouraged & they are uniting in their battle against these inside attacks of the Enemy! So things are already going much better! TYJ!

Of course there are still many battles to fight & our dear European Family still has a long ways to go‚ but they're making progress & the Lord is helping & strengthening them! PTL! Please keep the Family in Europe in your prayers!

Because of the strong subject matter of this Letter, we want to share some guidelines for reading it.

Before the united reading sessions, the Home Teamworks should take the time to review LNF 124, point #11, "Public MO Letter Readings" (GN 392) & LNF 147, "Tips for Public Readings" (GN 492).

It's important that the people who read the Letter aloud in your united meetings be well prepared by having read the entire Letter thoroughly & prayerfully beforehand. Please take time in advance to study all three parts of the Letter & pray about it, so you can deliver the message well, with emotion & understanding & the right spirit.

Also, please try to have your best readers read the Letter aloud.

Please begin each reading session with desperate prayer, asking the Lord to prepare your hearts & to anoint the readers.

Also, please end each reading session with a full-of-faith, positive, uplifting prayer.

You'll notice that there is a prayer for forgiveness at the end of part three of this Letter. If you choose to pray this prayer together as a group‚ we suggest you try to plan ahead & make sufficient copies of the prayer so that everyone can read it aloud, or take turns reading portions of it, or at least follow along as it's read. However, if it's not possible to make copies, you can pass the single copy around with each person reading aloud one verse. Or, the group leader could read the prayer, verse by verse‚ pausing after each verse so the rest of the body can repeat the verse after him in unison. When doing it this way, the group reader should first read the verse in its entirety, & then read the verse phrase by phrase, stopping after each phrase long enough for the group to repeat the phrase. Please wait until you have finished reading all three parts of Mama's Letter before you pray the prayer of forgiveness. This will help everyone to go into such a prayer in a properly repentant mood, after having heard the full counsel from Mama.

We suggest you plan your time so you don't end your reading sessions at points in the Letter that are very heavy. This could cause people to worry or feel discouraged. Please try, when possible‚ to end on a positive note. (You can, however, close a reading session at the end of part one, even though the ending of part one is not real uplifting.)

Please don't discuss the details of the problems amongst yourselves, except when necessary in order to apply the Letter to your situation & see what lessons you may need to learn along the same lines.

It's best to avoid gossiping about the problems that are reported herein, especially with JETTs or younger children. This is "heavy meat" & we don't want to stumble the younger ones! Instead of wasting time gossiping, please pray for continued victories‚ not only in Europe, but in your own Home or area, if similar problems exist.

As you hear Mama's Letter, you may have some questions. But as the Letter progresses‚ many of those questions will probably be answered. So please have patience as you read or hear the Letter, & remember that it takes a little time to explain the whole situation & all the whys & wherefores of what happened & what needs to be done to improve the situation. Of course, if you find that your questions are not being answered as the Letter progresses, please ask your Shepherds or parents or teachers.

We pray that the reading of this Letter will help clarify any news or stories that you might have heard via the grapevine about what's happened in Europe, & that it will be a blessing to you all! God bless & keep you & give you great victories, sweet unity, fervent love for one another, & the will & determination to stay on the attack for Jesus! Praise the Lord! Keep fighting! We love you!


—By Maria

Dear European Family‚

1. GOD BLESS YOU! I love you very much & thank the Lord for each one of you! You have been in my prayers & thoughts, & I've cried out to the Lord for your strength & encouragement.

2. As you know‚ it's very unusual for me to write Letters that are directed to a specific area of the World. Usually Dad's & my Letters address the needs of our whole worldwide Family in general, so that everyone can benefit equally. This is especially true right now as we are facing urgent persecution battles in many countries, & we're literally fighting for the future of the Family! I hardly have time for anything else but to finalise the most timely pubs, to hear the many urgent reports from our field officers that come in weekly, & to counsel with Dad & our leadership as to what to do, which direction to go, & how to advance in this ever-increasing worldwide persecution emergency! Thank the Lord, He is helping us to win many battles, & we can look forward to a wonderful victory! PTL!

3. In spite of the urgency of our present warfare against our enemies who are seeking to destroy the Family‚ because of the serious problems that have been plaguing the European Work for months now, I feel constrained to write you personally to try to help you see the seriousness of the situation you've gotten yourselves into, to answer some questions & clarify some points of confusion‚ & to hopefully encourage you & motivate you to get back on track for the Lord.

4. I hope to cover as many aspects of the situation in Europe as possible in this Letter. I will be explaining where you've gone wrong, & exposing some of the problems, & sometimes I will also have to give a little correction. But before I go further I want to make it clear that the problems & weaknesses of the European Work are not the fault of any one age group or any one leader or group of leaders. The problems are quite complex, & they're the result of mistakes, misunderstandings, shortcomings, sins, & failures on many people's parts.

5. As you can see, this Letter is quite long & it can't be read completely in one sitting. So at first, as you begin to read through this Letter, you young people might feel like you're getting all the blame. You might feel a little resentful or discouraged, thinking that I, Mama Maria, don't see the situation clearly‚ because you wonder why the adults aren't also getting a spanking for their mistakes & the things they have done wrong. But please understand that as the Letter progresses, & especially in the third part of the Letter‚ I will get around to talking more specifically to the adults & giving them the correction they need too. So it's best to reserve your judgement & reactions until you've read the whole Letter. Okay? Thanks!

What's Going on in Europe?

6. Dad & I have been watching the progress in Europe & have been burdened by some serious ongoing problems. We've been especially concerned, in fact burdened to tears, to hear report after report about how quite a few teens & YAs have decided to leave the Family over the past months, the majority simply wanting to "try out" the System. Of course, we couldn't help but wonder what in the world is going on & what is causing our young people in Europe to be so unhappy, dissatisfied, discouraged, & so lacking in vision that they actually leave the Family. It has become increasingly alarming to see the contrast between what's happening with our young people in Europe & what's happening in other parts of the World, where for the most part our young people are growing, maturing & very happy serving the Lord.

7. Obviously there's something very wrong in many or most of our Homes in Europe, or at least in Western Europe. Perhaps you have felt it too & wondered about it. I believe many of you adults & teens have questions & are confused & feel quite weak & desperate for change. It seems the Family standard in many of our European Homes has become unclear or almost disappeared altogether. Bickering, strife, bitterness, resentment & lack of respect are destroying your unity & choking out your love for one another. Contentions‚ differences of opinions, & a lack of communication are causing many teamworks to be ineffective. Many adults & teens are spiritually dead, due to a lack of the Spirit & the Word, & a lack of vision & challenge has made many teens feel there's nothing to live for in the Family, nothing to fight for any more.

8. Listen to the heartcry of one teen: "I don't want to stay confused. The adults find it real hard working with us teens, & don't know how to react to us. It's sad. It's hard, real hard to hear or see other teens in other areas that are happy doing whatever they're doing, fulfilled & happy. Why? Why are so many of us teens in Europe leaving?—And if rescue doesn't come to our aid now, or at least soon, we'll all leave. Not because we want to, but because we need to find something to help us be happy.

9. "I know there's a good quote that says, 'The way to be happy is to make others happy, & we'll have a little Heaven right here.' One thing I'm sure of is that I want to feel that Heaven down here in my heart, to replace all this frustration & confusion. But how can I try & make others happy when I don't feel like talking to anyone, much less hugging them?

10. "Poor Grandpa & Mama, they try so hard to make this Family a better place of service, & they've changed things, in order to help us teens serve the Lord better & benefit the entire Family. But all we teens do is sit on our fannies & criticise the Letters & people. It seems that's what we do all day. Lord forgive us.

11. "I pray that one of these days I'll be able to see things clearly again. In the past months I've gradually lost my conscience & feelings. I've realised that us teens are old bottles, & we just can't handle the new wine that's being poured into us, we just crack. And that's another reason why a lot of us don't understand the basic Letters & their spiritual principles.

12. "Grandpa talked about us being a pure generation. What happened?! Are we the wrong ones? What's the goal of the Family & where's it headin'? Why are the teens in Europe all mixed up? I gotta know." (End of excerpts of a teen's letter.)

13. This dear teen's reaction is heartbreaking. Maybe some of you other teens are wondering the same things. Let me tell you, you're not "the wrong ones." To the contrary! You are very much the right ones, the pure generation‚ the Prophets of Jesus' Endtime Army that Grandpa loves & needs & cherishes; & that's why the Devil is fighting you so hard & trying to get you so sidetracked & discouraged. Together, let's try to get to the bottom of some of your questions & these problems & see what we can do to turn this situation around, so you teens can be happy, challenged, productive & at peace.

14. For several months I've been hearing reports from your Shepherds, & also from Josiah & Solomon, who as many of you know, have been travelling through Europe & other areas doing a special project. So I've been keeping up with the details of what's happening, & although Grandpa hasn't read all the details, he is aware of the general situation.

15. The worst & most distressing news we hear from Europe is that quite a few teens & YAs have left the Family. I'm sure it's been very difficult for you too when you've seen or heard of teens & YAs leaving—some of whom may have been your brothers or sisters, or your close friends‚ or your boyfriends or girlfriends. And with so many leaving, perhaps you've begun to feel like maybe they're right‚ that maybe there is something out there in the System, & that maybe you should try it too.

16. Along with this very major problem of losing some of our precious teens & YAs, there are other serious problems as well, which can be seen if you look below the surface & at what is beneath the tip of the iceberg. Many of you, especially you teens & YAs‚ are probably aware of these problems. I may not be telling you anything new. But it might surprise you to see that I have been following your progress carefully, & I have prayed desperately for you on many occasions, that the Lord would strengthen you against these devastating inside attacks of the Enemy.

Summary of Problems

17. Here's a little summary of what's going on, at least as I see it. We'll come back to some of these points later‚ but for now, this is a little overview: There is an underground movement or rebellion amongst some of our young people in some European areas in which the attitudes, thoughts, desires, motives & goals of those involved are contrary to the very foundation of our Family & the principles upon which we build our lives for the Lord. Apparently you young people feel that your communications with the adults have been so bad & they're so out of touch with you that there's no hope of ever fixing it, so instead of even trying to work it out, you have chosen to just forget it, go your own way, & do your own thing.

18. This underground rebellion has progressed to such a degree that in one country there is a "secret" slogan circulated amongst the teens that says, "Never trust an adult!" How sad! And these attitudes have not been unique to only the teens & YAs, they have filtered down through the ranks to the point that they've also infected & negatively affected the JETTs, OCs‚ & even the younger children. Such divisive attitudes have eaten away at your unity & love, & the end result has been a lot of heartache, confusion & misunderstandings.

19. You have also been experimenting with different freedoms & liberties, many of which have been taken to the extreme. Some of you have adopted the attitude that such freedoms are your "right" & the adults or your Shepherds have no right to even question you concerning them. As a result‚ the adults have been at wits end & unable to rein you in, which has caused chaos & confusion in your Homes. As a result, you've experienced different periods of extreme looseness, which have been followed by extreme restrictions, so that the pendulum has swung very far from one side to the other, when, as you see it, the adults have overreacted, clamped down on you real hard, & tried to legislate righteousness. Plus‚ by this time the adults are pretty fed up & disgusted with you teens, & in many cases have pretty much given up hope of being able to work well with you. They are resentful & feel, "Is this what we get after all the years of love & care & training we've tried to give you?"

20. The seemingly insatiable desire for System music that some of you teens & YAs have is also a serious problem. While the availability of System music & your attitude towards it varies from country to country & Home to Home, overall, what was supposed to be a well-shepherded experiment of allowing a little more variety & some selected System music has turned into a free-for-all where you've become polluted through listening extensively to the music of some of the most evil hard rock musicians.

21. We've also received reports that many of you teens & YAs are swearing, drinking, fighting, stealing, unwilling to share the workload in the Homes, refusing to read the Word‚ walking off your jobs & out of Home meetings, & exhibiting many other unloving actions & attitudes. You haven't respected the teen relationship & sharing guidelines, which has resulted in many people being hurt. You've had a lack of vision, a lack of feeling needed & useful, & you have become discouraged with unfruitful & uninspiring witnessing.

22. As you can see, I've heard many disturbing & heartbreaking things about teen life in our Homes in Europe, which have made me desperate in prayer & concern for you.—Desperate to help you raise the standard back up to where it can be seen waving high above you & to where the rallying cry will be so strong amongst you that the Enemy's voice will be inaudible‚ or at least insignificant. And this is why I'm writing. The situation in Europe is desperate, & something has got to be done to turn things around immediately! God help us!

Most of Our Teens Worldwide Are Happy

23. The Family at present is like that little lump of coal that's made into a diamond under pressure.—The pressure is really on with persecution mounting worldwide, enemies attacking on every side, & the media smearing us with the lies they've heard from backsliders, anti–cult groups or the ACs. The Lord is using these attacks to force us, under pressure‚ to shine like never before. Once again, our adversary has become our helper. PTL! The Lord is making us into His tight powerful Army‚ & we've already begun the march into the Endtime.

24. With this big battle raging all around us, it really saddens us to hear that teen life in many Homes in Europe is one of so little Word & prayer & witnessing, & so much bickering, System music & goofing off. Your lack of inspiration, lack of respect, rebellious attitudes, very shallow attitude towards sex, & desire for the World greatly concerns us.

25. Does it surprise you to hear that what you're experiencing is not the norm? Did you ever wonder whether teen life is the same in other parts of the World as it is in your Home or your country or most of Western Europe? We've heard that some of you have asked this very question, & the answer is no! There are many teens & YAs who are challenged, inspired‚ happy & very much a part of this Revolution for Jesus. If you've somehow gotten the mistaken idea that all the teens in the Family are miserable‚ dissatisfied, confused, frustrated & bored, you're wrong! That's just a trick of the Enemy to try to get you to believe that there is something wrong with the Family & the Word & our lifestyle.

26. Of course, we're not saying that any of our Homes worldwide are perfect. Naturally there are some situations in other Homes around the World where the adults & young people are still learning to communicate & work together with mutual respect & trust. We do still need to improve in many areas; that is why the PER was initiated, because there is room for improvement. So we're not saying that our Homes & young people in areas other than Europe are completely problem-free. That assumption would be unrealistic. Also, we know the Enemy's bag of tricks is the same everywhere, & he has tried to use these same devices to corrupt & lead astray & destroy the teens & YAs in other areas as well. There are problems in most other areas with such things as lack of respect, swearing, desire for System music, negative peer pressure‚ etc., but thank the Lord, the young people elsewhere have not succumbed to the Enemy's temptations to such a serious degree, & therefore their problems have not gotten so out of control, nor have the young people been so terribly discontent as to want to leave the Family. TTL!

27. When you're evaluating your happiness & the quality of your Home life, it's good to remember that even if you're living in the best of circumstances or in a nearly perfect setup, you will still face spiritual battles, which sometimes make life difficult. Fighting the Devil, & resisting his negative thoughts & temptations, & overcoming the battles he bombards you with when you're sincerely trying to serve the Lord & invade the Devil's territory isn't an easy life, & it's natural that sometimes you feel battle–weary or discouraged or just plain tired. Serving the Lord can be a battle, & fighting the Enemy a real difficult & trying experience. But such spiritual battles do not necessarily indicate that something is wrong with you or your Home or the quality of shepherding you're receiving. We all have battles & tests & trials, because we're in a spiritual battle, we're in a war, & we all have to fight, & keep fighting for the Lord & our Family & all those Christians who have gone on before, who are cheering us on & counting on us to finish the war. In the end we'll join our great worldwide Christian Family with all those we have won & all those who have gone on before in one great celebration of victory, the biggest & best fellowship meeting with each other & Jesus ever! PTL!

28. The majority of our young people are sticking it out & are determined to serve the Lord‚ in spite of the rough spots or "growing pains" in their working relationship with the adults, & in spite of the spiritual battles they have to fight. The very fact that we're not having large numbers of teens leave the Family in any other area besides Europe speaks clearly that our young people overall are not experiencing the same intense battles with dissatisfaction & disillusionment as you are in Europe.

29. Now I understand that there may be, & probably are, some Homes in Europe where you teens & YAs are happy & satisfied & challenged, for which we're very thankful. But from what we can see‚ these situations are the exception, & thus I'm addressing the majority of you teens‚ who I believe long for a change. I believe you want to be happy & serve the Lord. Isn't that true? I don't believe you teens are rotten apples. I believe you are David's Children who want to serve the Lord & be in the Family. I believe you love the Lord & Grandpa & me, but right now many of you may be weak & confused & discouraged. You need someone to help you find your way back to the Father's House where you can once again enjoy sweet fellowship with the Lord & your Family.

30. You teens & YAs are a very important part of our Family. We need you & love you! You're called & chosen‚ & I know that the years of training you've received have not been in vain, & the Word you've read is still in your hearts & will not return void. But there are some things that are covering & smothering it, quenching the spirit that the Lord's given you, choking out your fruitfulness, & causing you to be miserable & unhappy.

31. So where did things go wrong? Why aren't you more inspired & challenged? Why don't you have more unselfish love amongst yourselves? Why has such a different standard & almost a completely different set of values been adopted by some of you, so that you have lost sight of the goal & let go of some of the very basics of what we believe in? What are the solutions?

The Lord Can Give Us the Solutions

32. Before I get into some specifics, let me explain that I know that not all of your situations & "histories" in the Family are the same. You've all had different types of Shepherds & been through different training programs. Some of you may have spent a lot of your teen years in situations that were pretty loose & where you took liberties & got away with things that weren't right. Others of you may have been in situations that were tighter & more rigid.

33. Some of you have been around teens who had wrong attitudes & whose behaviour affected you adversely, even some "rotten apples" who have now left the Family, but who left their evil seeds of pride, doubt, & rebelliousness in you & your teen group before leaving. Others of you may feel that you've been unfairly judged in some past situations, or misunderstood. And still others of you may have been considered good, faithful, loyal teens by your Shepherds‚ but eventually the negative peer pressure became too much for you to withstand, until you too fell into the camp of the rebellious doubters & murmurers.

34. I'm sure if I were to talk to each of you individually, I would find no two stories the same, because you're all individuals & you've each come in contact with many different situations & people & Shepherds‚ which, when combined with the personal choices you have made, have contributed to making you the person you are today. But in spite of all this, I believe there are some causes of the problems in Europe that are common to you all, & therefore I feel it would be fair & safe for me to address you as a group concerning these points.

35. I believe the Lord can give us the solutions!—And that if both you adults & you young people will take ahold of these answers & explanations, & will make the changes that are needed in your lives, then things can be radically different for you from one day to the next. You can again shine & be inspired in your lives for Jesus. You can become sweet & loving with each other‚ affectionate, challenged, envisioned, on fire & greatly used of the Lord.

36. I pray that you'll each be open to what I have to say to you, & that if there are any "hard sayings" in this for you—either for you adults‚ or for you YAs or teens—that you'll nevertheless look beyond that to see what the results can be if each of you will grab ahold of these changes & make the push that's needed to bring them to pass in your Homes & personal lives.

37. Already in this Letter I've enumerated many of the problems you're facing, & as we go on, you'll start to see more & more clearly where you've gone astray, as the weaknesses in the European Homes will be highlighted in more detail. To have to explain & address & expose problems isn't much fun for me, & to have to listen to all of this & wade through it I'm sure isn't much fun for you. You may feel shocked & embarrassed as you read this Letter. You may even begin to feel overwhelmed or discouraged or condemned. But remember, the Lord has the solutions & He will bring the victory.

38. If you just look to Jesus & cast your burdens on Him‚ He'll carry you through these difficult times; & by His grace, you'll be like the bird whose pinion was broken but who eventually flew higher than ever before. Or you'll be like the little lamb whose leg had to be broken & who was then carried in the arms of the Shepherd until their love & bond was so great that the little lamb never strayed again. PTL! So don't get discouraged, & certainly don't let the Devil condemn you! "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit!" (Rom.8:1)

39. If you are sorry for past mistakes & sins & have repented‚ you are once again "walking after the Spirit" & the Lord will not condemn you for those things, & neither will we. Just as He said to the woman long ago, so He says to you, "Neither do I condemn you; go & sin no more!" So if the Lord doesn't condemn you & we don't condemn you, neither are you to condemn yourself. If the Lord & we don't think it good to condemn you, or right to condemn you, what business do you have taking on such an unapproved activity as condemning yourself? That takes up a lot of your energy, it saps your strength & lessens your motivation to do things for Jesus, & in general it just does not bear good fruit.

40. To God, such unfruitful activities as condemnation are a "no-no." They're bad for you‚ they're bad for others & they prevent you from being a fruitful‚ strong, on-fire, always-ready-to-fight soldier in His army. In fact, Jesus not only tells us not to condemn ourselves‚ but He tells us what to do instead: He says, "Go & sin no more." (Jn.8:11) In other words‚ go & do what I have commanded you to do, get busy & do your work for Me!—And, while you're at it, do a good job of it & don't sin anymore!

41. So, dear young people‚ please heed this counsel & don't condemn yourself in any of these things, but keep your eyes on Jesus & keep looking forward. There are so many battles each day that we need our energy for, that to waste our time in dwelling upon our past is not good, & is why the Lord commanded us to "forget the past." Any of the sweet lessons we have learned & the beautiful times we've had, even though they may have been a little difficult, can be remembered fondly; & even our mistakes & failures can be remembered for their lesson value—not remembered with remorse or condemnation, but thankfulness, because of what the Lord has taught us through them.

42. Jesus loves you, Grandpa & I love you, & your Family loves you! So hang on! Don't get discouraged & don't give up!

The History of the European Work Since the BTC Seminar

43. The vantage point from which we view the Work can be compared to viewing a battlefield on a big movie screen. We see the troops on both sides—ours & the Enemy's. We can see the moves each side is making, the maneuvers that are planned, & the booby traps that are being laid & walked into. We see some battalions & groups of soldiers falling, & others being victorious. We watch to see which way the battle is going & what needs to be done to ensure victory.

44. Concerning the spiritual battle in Europe, some ground has been lost to the Enemy, some of which we've virtually given to him. This surrender of territory has seriously affected your unity & strength & ability to rise victorious over him. So how & when did this happen?

45. Let's go back in the history of Europe to the very end of 1992 & the beginning of 1993. I'm sure you've all heard of the Budapest Training Centre (BTC) Seminar. Many of you may have attended those meetings‚ which I believe have now been dubbed by some as the time of the "teen freedoms" or "teen liberties." Those terms have always concerned me a bit, & now as we've watched the battle for our European teens progress over the past months, the reasons why these terms have bothered me have become clearer.

46. We'd like to explain how we see the BTC Seminar, again from the vantage point of looking at our big movie screen. The BTC Seminar took place after it was reported to your European Shepherds that several teens there were dissatisfied, to the point of wanting to leave the Family. In fact, two had already left & were staying in a campground near the Home, & a third boy left to join them shortly thereafter. From what I know, this was the first instance of such a major "walkout" amongst the teens in Europe, & of course it caused the Shepherds & the other adults & teens there great concern.

47. As you know, Eastern Europe is a tremendously fruitful field with very sweet, receptive people, & many of you have desired to join up with some of the teams there to be able to burn free in your witnessing. It hasn't been possible yet to give all of you that opportunity, but a great percentage of the older teens & YAs have been able to go there. But somehow, with the movement of teens & YAs to Eastern Europe, quite a few weaker teens & even some real "rotters" congregated together in that one Home, the BTC, & in that area of Eastern Europe; & these rotters & weak teens very quickly spread their criticisms & rebellion to others.

48. These boys who have left from the BTC & some of the other teens & YAs there had a long-time desire for the System & its ways. They were very rebellious & had an attitude of, "Don't tell me what to do!—I'm going to do my own thing!" They freely talked about their criticisms amongst themselves & with the other teens.

49. Some of these teens & YAs had been serious problem cases in Home after Home‚ area after area, & with teen group after teen group. Even after they were given explanations & answers to their questions & lots of love, prayer‚ Word, help & personal shepherding, they still refused to change or forsake their sins, doubts, murmurs & divisive spirits.

50. These teens lacked any kind of fear of the Lord in their open attacks on & disregard for some of the principles in the Family that we hold "sacred"—not sacred in the sense that they can't be talked about & explained, but in the sense that they are Biblical Truths which are the foundation upon which we have based our faith, & by which all dedicated Christians throughout the ages have lived & died.

51. When the European Shepherds heard about some of the teens & YAs leaving & the big mess things were in at the BTC, of course, they were very concerned & wanted to do all they could to salvage the situation, to clear things up & answer any questions. So two of the European Shepherds met with the local Shepherds in Hungary & they gathered together quite a large group of teens from the surrounding countries, & they held what is now referred to as the BTC Seminar.

52. During this seminar the teens present had an opportunity to ask their questions & voice a lot of things that were on their hearts. They talked about their desire to have certain freedoms & liberties & to redefine the guidelines regarding listening to System music. They also shared many things that bothered them about the way the adults had been treating & shepherding them, much of which genuinely did need to be changed. In fact, it was hearing the heartcry of the teens at this BTC Seminar that prompted me to look further into our teens' needs throughout the World. Some of you participated in meetings in other areas of Europe with your Shepherds & were asked to share with me your feelings about different aspects of your lives. And as you now know, the PER is partly based on the recommendations from these & other similar meetings that were held throughout the World.

53. So the BTC Seminar could be described as an initial step toward the PER. Many of the desired changes that the Shepherds & teens discussed in those meetings were the same or similar to those that we've now begun worldwide through the PER, such as: more encouragement, greater trust & responsibility for our young people‚ the opportunity to voice your needs & desires‚ more affection, more liberties, more open communication between adults & teens & YAs, & more opportunities for you to counsel together about things, rather than just being told what to do or having rules so strictly enforced that you have no say in them whatsoever.

54. However, in some ways the results of the BTC Seminar have had pretty much the opposite effect in Europe than was intended, & have wreaked havoc amongst the teen groups, brought confusion to your minds & hearts, & generated a loss of conviction as far as what the standard really is in certain areas. By now the Family standard amongst you teens has fallen so low that it's been nearly invisible sometimes.—And, as a recent visitor to one of your areas commented, he hardly recognised you teens as Family teens.—How heartbreaking!

55. I've read different reports in which the BTC Seminars have been described as lifting the lid off of "Pandora's Box."* This was probably because there was so much underneath in those few rotten–apple teens' hearts that wasn't right, but that had merely been suppressed or kept under control somewhat by force because of the different rules that were placed on them up until then. But when the opportunity came for them to express themselves & work together with others to bring about change, the changes & liberties they wanted to have just burst all the boundaries, & it was like a flood. The rotten apples refused to submit to their Shepherds & had no fear of the Lord & seemed to infect just about everyone. (*To lift the lid off Pandora's Box is a figure of speech based on a story from Greek mythology. It means you unwittingly open the door for a lot of evil.)

56. Before long, things got pretty out of hand in some Homes & areas to where there was almost a mutiny, as some of you teens, following the example of the "rotten apples," would walk off your jobs or Home ministries, be disrespectful to your Shepherds, & pooh–pooh the schedule & needs in your Homes. Some of you lacked interest in real in-depth witnessing & soul-winning & Family life, to the point that one of the only things that interested you was music, either listening to or playing music. System music of all types was listened to at will, & at all times. There was no regard for our sharing guidelines amongst teens, so that many liberties were taken without the right balance of responsibility or even loving principles. Some teens were unloving & uncaring to children, & lost sight of our main goals of witnessing & winning others to the Lord. A hunger & desire for the Word & prayer was also lost. To some of you this description may seem extreme, but unfortunately‚ this is what happened in several Western European Homes!

57. While all this was happening, more teens & YAs continued to leave the Family in Europe. It's been heartbreaking to hear & read these reports time & again, & we're sure it's been quite shocking & demoralising for you too, & has greatly affected you.

Visitors' Impressions of a European Combo

58. To help you see how bad things have gotten in your area, I'll include below some excerpts from reports from Josiah & Solomon, who have recently had the opportunity to visit many Homes in many different countries in Asia & Eastern & Western Europe. Josiah & his team were able to come in & see things in Europe "with a fresh eye," & what they saw in many cases was not a pretty sight! The following reports were written after their visit to a Combo in the northern part of Western Europe.

59. From Josiah: "Solomon spent quite a bit of time with the teens in this Home because he felt a real heartcry from them, & also because of how serious their situation seemed to be. Actually, we were quite taken aback by the teens when we first arrived‚ as they hardly looked like Family teens.

60. "We have seen a number of differences in the different fields & Homes that we have been to in our recent travels, & in fact, all the Homes we've visited are a bit different in their ministries & Home life, etc. However, in most places, the teens are obviously quite well integrated & feel a part of the Work, & you can tell they are happy & fulfilled. However, the situation with the teens here seems quite different in that they were all more or less 'not there'.

61. "The very day we arrived at this Home, one teen had left the Family‚ & just a few days before that another YA had also left. But the thing that surprised me was that there did not seem to be much commotion made about these kids leaving. It did not seem like the adults were planning to really address the issue, & the teens didn't seem to think it was such a big deal either. Even the younger sister of the girl who had left didn't seem to be too bothered by it.

62. "Apparently the teens all talk amongst themselves about 'wanting out' of this place. They don't all want to leave the Family—most of them just want to go to other fields—but they all talk amongst themselves about leaving. Even the Teen Shepherdess told me that she wants to go elsewhere. She admitted that the teens were not doing well & said she was hoping that someone could come in to 'revive' them all.

63. "Needless to say‚ we were quite burdened about the situation. Whenever we interviewed the teens, we were quite shocked at the strange out-of-it answers they'd give, to the point that we finally just decided not to interview them much. Solomon was so broken up about the whole situation after talking to a number of them that he begged to be able to stay there until someone else could arrive to help those young people.

64. "Of course, the problem doesn't lie only with the shepherding—although it's obvious that the Home & NAS Shepherds are quite out of touch with the teens. Both Solomon & I felt that the kids themselves needed a shake-up as well, since the solution is not just a matter of being fulfilled & challenged in their present situation‚ but more a case of their really getting ahold of the Lord‚ personally & desperately."

65. From Solomon: "I got the feeling that something was wrong here pretty much from our first encounter. The YAs & teens & even some of the JETTs were distant & aloof.

66. "I started noticing the teens' behaviour, & it was pretty easy to see that things were not quite right. Even their manner of dress was real different. I have absolutely nothing against dressing in style & looking up to date, & up until now we hadn't encountered anything too odd in the Homes we visited. But with the teens here, maybe it wasn't so much the styles they wore, as much as the combination of both their clothes & their spirits. Many of them had these multi-leather straps around their necks & wrists with crosses‚ etc. Again‚ it is not that this is so wrong, but some of them came across like punks. By this I don't mean 'punks' in the sense of fashion or appearance, but in the sense of behaviour & attitude.

67. "They really lacked the light that most of the other JETTs & teens & YAs have in the other areas that we visited. I haven't seen teens in such a bad state in years‚ & certainly I don't think I've ever seen so many in such a bad state collectively. I feel that unless something is done to change their situation, we may have a mass exodus on our hands. Several of them told me that they gossip a lot among themselves & can't communicate with the adults. They said they're all pretty much bored & not challenged at all.

68. "There have been nine people who have backslidden within the last year & a half. Two teens recently left; one of them left the very day that we arrived, & one girl told me that there is another girl contemplating taking off. They listen to System music, & some of the ones I spoke to said they have zero connection with the Lord.

69. "The whole situation was quite overwhelming, & I feel like there is some sort of 'underground' teen movement going on here. A lot of them seem spiritually dead & hard to reach.

70. "The adults seemed pretty out of touch. Of course I was only in that Home for a short time‚ but things are so obviously wrong that I have a hard time understanding how some of the adults can be so passive about it. It's obvious that people are out of touch. The lack of Spirit couldn't be any more obvious. There were many stone-dead faces on the teens. After talking with one teen, the brother who was travelling with us asked if the boy was in the Family! However, after talking to some of the teens I had the hardest time leaving, because there is such a big need here. To me it seems like the Family here is sitting on a time bomb & the clock is ticking.

71. "One evening I went to spend some time with the teens, as the majority of them were just 'hanging around.' These teens, like the ones in another Combo we had visited, seemed quite frustrated, dead & bored. Since they looked so bored I thought I could inspire them with some testimonies, to which they barely reacted. Then I wanted to get them together for some photos, but I had to fetch them all back into the living room as they all left at the mention of my photo–taking. I finally got them to do a human pyramid, which got a laugh out of them at least. Then I suggested we have a little dance before their video‚ & they all immediately left the room, leaving me standing there alone. It was really, really an odd thing. After trying all these things to get through to them‚ I finally just stepped outside & prayed desperately. It was really an awful feeling & I did a lot of praying that night.

72. "The difference between these teens & those we've visited with in every other area is as drastically different as night from day. I got close to one teen who told me how frustrated he was. He commented on how much the Lord had done for him‚ & how up until a few months ago he had been really turned on for the Lord & had wanted to make the Family the best Family in the World. But now he just didn't care about anything, he couldn't care less. He said he had gotten fed up, because he really wanted to reach people with the Message, but nothing was happening. He figured there was nothing he could do to change things in his situation, therefore he had left it all in the Lord's hands. But he confessed that he had finally even stopped praying.

73. "I had a real good talk with him & listened, but I also tried to challenge him. He seemed pretty receptive & appreciative & really responded to my talk & time with him. I gave him a lot of hugs & walked with my arm around him. To be honest, I was really crying out to the Lord for him as he seemed real lost.

74. "Later, another teen came to me in tears & asked if the teens in other countries that we had visited were the same as the ones there. I was glad I could honestly say no. She said that that was good, because if things were the same she would just leave.

75. "Other things some of the other teens confessed to me are: They fool around sexually behind the adults' backs. They listen to System music. Some don't get in the Word any more, nor do they pray. Gossiping is the accepted thing, & talking behind the adults' backs. The teens find it difficult to share their hearts with others about doubts, or problems, or not getting along with others, because they already know the 'formula' answer they'll get from the Shepherds: Get ahold of the Lord, put your heart into your ministry, & get in the Word.

76. "When we said goodbye to the Home, a lot of the teens came out & gave us hugs. The girl who was contemplating leaving (she didn't know that I knew that) hugged me & really cried. I said a prayer for her & encouraged her to hang on. I had a chance to offer a little prayer to each one I hugged & told them I would write to them soon. I just felt I had to say something to let them know we weren't just taking off on our merry way‚ leaving them with all their problems. Actually when I told you (Jo) that I didn't want to leave, I really meant it, & if you want, I'd be happy to go back there to help salvage those kids for the Lord. It just really hurts to walk away from this situation.

77. "Every time I talked to them‚ I would flash on someone from our Home or so many of the other happy & fulfilled & challenged YAs & teens that we've seen in our travels. So I know that these kids can also be happy & challenged." (End of reports from Josiah & Solomon.)

Mama's Response

78. After hearing these reports from Josiah & Solomon, I sent a message to the European Shepherds. Below are excerpts of that message:

Dear Ones,

79. We love you very much & are praying for you desperately. This is just a quick note to pass on to you these reports we just received from Josiah & Solomon.

80. Josiah & Solomon's reports are both heartbreaking & infuriating. It's almost unbelievable to hear that our young people are in such a deplorable state & that both the local & national Shepherds don't seem to be doing anything about it‚ or worse, don't even seem to be aware that the kids are hurting so much!

81. Something needs to be done about this situation immediately! If it's not, then we're going to lose more of our precious teens‚ which is a horrible thing to happen. God help us! This needs to be attended to right away, it can't wait. Potentially losing a number of teens is as serious as potential raids on Homes by the authorities, perhaps even worse, since when we are raided at least the Lord usually brings about good publicity & many long-lasting victories. —But losing our teens, whom we've poured into for years & years, is tragic! Why is it happening? What are you going to do to stop it?

82. This is about the fourth or fifth time there have been problems like this with our youth in Europe. Nowhere else are we losing so many teens & YAs. We're losing the war for our youth in Europe & we need to do something now to turn it around!

83. Please tell us immediately what you plan to do specifically about the situation in this Combo‚ & later let us know why you feel we've lost & still seem to be losing our precious sons & daughters to the World & the System, & what you feel needs to be done to turn the tide. Thanks!

84. We're praying that the Lord will lead & guide you in this emergency & that He will show you what to do. No matter what it takes‚ you need to try to rescue this situation. God bless & help you!

Love, Mama

Reactions from the European Shepherds

85. Below are some excerpts of the responses & reactions from some of the European Shepherds to the above message, & what the Lord showed them, which confirmed to us the seriousness of the situation‚ & helped us to understand what went wrong & what we need to do to remedy it!

86. Before we go on to share their reactions, I want to make it clear that while we had to send a strong message to the European Shepherds to shake them up to the importance of finding a remedy, we cannot place all of the blame on them. They visit all they can!—Some of them practically live on the road, visiting Home after Home & jumping from one needy situation to another. They write advisories, letters, & messages till they're blue in the face. They counsel people personally in the Homes they visit‚ & they hold seminars & area meetings with Home Shepherds, Teen Shepherds or NASs whenever possible, during which time they pour out almost nonstop day & night! And all the while they're also called upon to direct major battles with persecution.

87. The recent teen problems, as well as the teen problems that have been occurring in Europe since the beginning of the year, have been a real concern for your European Shepherds. They have had the desire to help you teens & have tried to make sure you were well shepherded, strengthened & full of vision. However, because of the immensity & complexity of their overall job, it has not been possible to give you teens the attention that you need.

88. When looking at the whole European work, both East & West, & all that it entails, it's easy to see why some things just couldn't be better overseen. The European CRO area is divided into six very different NAS areas. Europe has the largest concentration of YAs, teens & JETTs of any area in the World. Europe has Homes in 22 countries. Outreach, mail ministries, media presentations, persecution battles & informing the public through the mailing of Statements‚ etc., must be conducted in 17 different languages.

89. And all this is overseen by a team of only four people! So judging from the magnitude of their huge responsibilities & all they've been doing, even though you'll see that they blame themselves for the problems‚ we certainly don't place all of the blame on them!

90. Okay, now for excerpts of some of their reactions:

91. From P.: "Thank you so much for sharing with us the very heartbreaking & heart-rending reports from Josiah & Solomon. After reading them‚ I could hardly do anything but just desperately pray & cry out to the Lord that He would somehow intercede & do a miracle to help us find the solution to the problems we've been faced with over & over & over again here in Europe! On the one hand, it's really heartbreaking, heart-rending, but on the other hand, as you so aptly said, it's infuriating to see what the Devil is doing & how he's been able to have such a heyday with God's children!

92. "We cried out to the Lord in desperate prayer, asking Him to intercede & help. When we were praying, one encouraging thing the Lord gave us was a vision of a runner who had fallen in the mud & muck & was lying prostrate on the ground with his face stuck in the mud. But as we were praying‚ it's almost as if some spirit helpers were lifting him up & helping him to get out of the mud, & as he stood up, strength was supernaturally given to him so he could go on to run the race & finish.

93. "It seems in many ways that's a picture of a lot of our teens here; they've fallen into the muck of carnal-mindedness, doubts, worldliness & the ensnarements of the Enemy, to the point that many of them have their face down & they're caught up in all that. They're not looking up, they're not looking at the Word‚ they're not looking at the Lord's answers, all they're looking at is the 'mud' that's in front of them. And as Josiah's & Solomon's reports brought out, some of the Heavenly Homes the Lord has provided for His children have turned into—in the teens' eyes—dead-end streets, or perhaps even 'mud‚' or nothing that they would consider worth fighting for.

94. "Lord help us to somehow help the teens get their eyes on the goal ahead, so He can give them that supernatural strength as was shown in the vision‚ & make them into the flaming Endtime prophets He wants them to be.

95. "We all feel somewhat overstretched with all that there is to do, but it seems like what General Foch said applies, 'My right has been rolled up! My left has been driven back! My centre has been smashed! I have ordered an advance from all directions!' That's what is needed here in Europe. Like the vision of the runner in the mud, though the spirit helpers helped him to get up‚ he had to keep running—& that seems to be what the Lord is expecting of all of us—we've got to run the race that is set before us, by looking unto Jesus & laying aside the weights & sins that have beset us." (End of reaction from P.)

96. From D.: "Until the BTC Seminar at the beginning of this year, I felt our teen battles & problems here in Europe were basically the same as everywhere else. But something happened at that seminar, something didn't go right for some reason, which caused a spiritual breach to be opened, which eventually spread throughout the whole area & infected almost all our teens here.

97. "I personally, & we as a Teamwork, have all prayed & counselled about this many times. We've wept & been so burdened with every report we've received of more teens or YAs leaving. You're right, Mama, there have been several waves of kids leaving. There was the immediate wave shortly after the BTC Seminar where three or four teens & YAs left, then another one or two waves from the Eastern European area, then from the British Isles‚ Switzerland & Italy, & now Scandinavia. I can hardly stand it, it grieves me! I just hate to think about it or hear these things!

98. "One thing that weakened our teen situation at the BTC was that we had several rotten apples together there‚ & they really did infect the rest of the teens. In addition to that, there were others who were very borderline; & it didn't take much to pull them the other way, so that they also became infectors.

99. "I believe things would have gone much better if we'd made a decision to get rid of the original three or four rotten apples at the beginning, like was done at the HCS at the time of the 'Shake-Up!' (See HOPE #8.) At the HCS Peter didn't hesitate one bit in getting those rotten apples out! After all, the Lord doesn't force us to serve Him. As in most other churches & organisations, if people start complaining & criticising & spreading division, it soon becomes apparent that they must not want to be there & they usually are invited to leave if they won't stop their murmuring. If we had done the same at the BTC, perhaps we would have lost one or two other teens or YAs who would have been upset that we'd kicked the rotters out, but it probably would have saved others who later got contaminated by their rebelliousness & negative attitudes.

100. "Also, & perhaps more important, it would have made the distinction very clear about what the Family standard is, & would have sent a clear signal that‚ regardless of the changes that need to be made in the shepherding or the rules or whatever, everyone has to have conviction & be willing to uphold the Spirit & dedication of the Family, or they don't belong with us!

101. "In looking back, I can see that some confusion arose at the BTC which greatly hindered our teen shepherding in Europe. The Shepherds misunderstood or were unclear about what areas they needed to change in & what areas they needed to stand firm in. Of course, they needed to change their manner of communicating with the teens & their rather condescending, untrustful attitudes towards them. They also needed to learn to not talk down to the teens‚ to include them & listen to them, to ask their opinions, to act upon their ideas, to give them more choices, etc.—all the ways the PER outlines that our adults need to change.

102. "But when being faced with all these ways they needed to change, they lost sight of the unchanging standard that we uphold as a Family & expect from everyone, teens & adults alike—our discipleship standard, which is required regardless of how good or poor the shepherding is. Also, there was some confusion about which Home rules are open to change & variation, according to the wishes & desires of the teens, & which ones are definitely the Family standard & God's rules that are not subject to change.

103. "At the BTC there was an underground movement going on with teens in which they were entertaining & spreading many attitudes that weren't right, along with secretly listening to System music & gossiping amongst themselves, etc. The Teen Shepherds there didn't have a good line of communication with many of the teens‚ they really didn't know what to do with this group, especially the rotten ones. So they just sort of treaded water, & didn't really act on things‚ even things that really did need to be corrected. The teens were dissatisfied with the shepherding for some legitimate reasons. However, when the time of change came, when the teens had an opportunity to ask all their questions & get their grievances out, it seems that in some ways they (the teens) came out on top & the Shepherds were the ones left 'in the doghouse,' needing to repent, change & relearn, etc.

104. "Of course‚ there were many mistakes on the Shepherds' part, such as lack of listening & counselling with the teens, lack of following through on the teens' requests‚ making promises that weren't kept, giving quick answers which didn't really satisfy the teens, etc. All this was wrong & needed to be changed. However, there were also very wrong attitudes on the part of some teens. While these were also addressed, in the end, it seems that the main responsibility to change was left more on the Shepherds than the teens, & the teens knew it.

105. "Some of the Shepherds were demoted, there was a change in the teen shepherding teamwork, so the teens knew that we were trying to make things better for them. But the attitude of some teens was sort of waiting & watching, & as we later found out, there came a point where a core of rotten teens even consciously made a decision to take the new liberties as far as they possibly could, with the intent of just leaving when the crackdown came—which they knew would eventually come.

106. "When we tried to bring about a change in the Shepherds' methods of shepherding‚ it seems to have caused confusion in their hearts & minds. Of course‚ they felt bad about the way they'd been & they sincerely wanted to change. They didn't want to make the same mistakes again. But they couldn't differentiate between the unchanging Family standard & the things that needed to be changed. They didn't know where or how to get away from running things the old way, legalistically & by the law. They didn't seem to be able to shift over to the new way of shepherding & running their Home—by being more prayerful & more Spirit-led, counselling with others & taking into consideration their opinions‚ & putting into practice the counsel in the new Letters.

107. "The end result was, with the Shepherds feeling shaky because of their recent mistakes & what they were learning, the teens pretty much ran all over them. Because the Shepherds didn't want to fall back into their old ways of handling things, & because the teens weren't responding as maturely & as responsibly as they should have to the new way, things got way out of hand. Some of the teens acted just the way you have warned in the PER GN that they shouldn't act, Mama. There was havoc!

108. "Maybe the BTC Seminar wouldn't have turned out this way had we not had a few very strong bad-apple characters in the teen group. We realise‚ Mama, that in the PER you were talking to the vast majority of our young people who are sweet, patient & dedicated, & who will likely respond maturely & appreciatively. I believe if we had not had those few very rotten apples who greatly contaminated things, we could have 'lifted the lid' on our teens & allowed them more leeway, more open communications, more freedom, etc., & we would have gotten beautiful results, which is what's happening around the World now as a result of the PER. We lifted the 'law,’ which was made for this type of character, the law-breaker, & they didn't respect the PER method of shepherding we were trying to bring in. The result was chaos.

109. "In addition, as mentioned above, the main Shepherds had been through a 'spanking' for their faults, & naturally after a time like that your confidence gets all shaky & it takes a little time for the Lord to rebuild it. Some members of our teamwork did return to the BTC several times after the seminar to try to help the Shepherds & bring the teens through, but overall the results of the seminar were just too much for the Shepherds to handle, & the teens had a heyday, as we later found out.

110. "It's like all the safeguards & stops were gone & the Shepherds weren't sure how they should handle it & how much freedom they should let the teens have. It's a common problem that a leader who has been hard & dictatorial before, in an effort to change‚ becomes wishy-washy & afraid to step in or discipline or correct at all. The Shepherds weren't able to get back to the right balance or find their footing again. Some of the Shepherds felt their hands were tied—the old type of shepherding hadn't worked, & it looked like the new type of shepherding wasn't working either, because some of the teens took gross advantage of it.

111. "Even in a situation I've been involved in more recently, the NASs & the Teen Shepherds have said they just don't know what to do. They said they're trying to be the Shepherds they should, to be more open with the teens, listen more & consider their needs, but that some of the teens still listen to System music‚ want to wrestle & fight, use swear words, etc. They're also worried about their JETTs & younger children on down the line, as this bad attitude of the teens is affecting the whole Home.

112. "At this Home I visited, there was also a backlash of adults who were snappy with the teens because of their (the teens') bad attitudes, & then the teens would hold or use the adults' 'snappiness' against them‚ because they knew that's not in line with the PER. The Shepherds said they'd had pow-wows to determine the standard, but that there were a few teens who just totally disregarded them.—Those teens were the main instigators, who were causing havoc in the whole Home. The Shepherds were at wits' end wondering what they should do about it.

113. "When I heard all this, I got really upset & told the NASs & Teen Shepherds that I'd just ask those teens if they love Jesus & want to serve Him with us, & if not, then they should leave! Lord help me, some of these situations just really get me mad! But I told them I wouldn't put up with it for two minutes, regardless of whose kids they were (the rotters were the NASs' kids) or what the Shepherds' lessons were! These rotten apples were just going to cause more & more problems for the Home & the other children if they didn't discern who they were & get the rotters out!

114. "Subsequently two teen boys left without hesitation when they were asked. Another boy asked to stay & is doing better, it seems, TTL. Later another left. Of course‚ this Home is still battling with a lot of things, but they say it's much better with those rotten apples out of the way.

115. "So to summarise, it seems some of the teens have taken advantage of the Shepherds needing to learn some lessons, & the Shepherds have been confused as to how much patience & tolerance they should have with the teens, wondering when the '70 times 7' ends, & when they should say, 'Enough is enough! Get the victory or out you go!' It caused a breach when the rotten apples were allowed to remain‚ so that they infected the whole barrel full, & problems went on way too long, because of the Shepherds' fear of blowing it again by being too strict or going back to their old ways of talking down to the teens, etc.

116. "Another thing that's affected the teens is System music. At the BTC Seminar, & at the teen meetings held shortly thereafter in two other countries, it was determined that rather than the teens being forbidden to listen to any System music at all, they could pow-wow what they wanted to listen to with their Shepherds & certain things could be allowed. This new freedom came about when the teens explained that they felt there was a double standard‚ because the adults could listen to System music, such as Richard Clayderman & classical music & things like that, so why couldn't they listen to the System music they liked, as long as it was acceptable music. They felt it was just a matter of personal opinion & taste as to what System music was okay & what was not. Of course the teens aren't turned on by the slow stuff that adults listen to, but they felt if adults can listen to System music of their choice, then they (the teens) should be allowed to as well.

117. "Of course there was never an across-the-board okay for them to be able to listen to anything & everything, & in the pow-wows that we had with them, the teens & all agreed that hard rock music & all that Devil-inspired stuff was out. The teens said they didn't want that! But little by little they started desiring more & more System music; & even though they started out with the 'better' music, they soon began listening to the more demonic music. They went overboard listening to headphones all day long, & the guidelines of what music they could listen to weren't obeyed.

118. "The music they listened to really had a bad effect on them. This 'little door' of System music became a wide open crack & allowed much pollution to enter in, which we believe is the source of a lot of the foul language & swearing, etc. This really needs to be cleaned up & purged out.

119. "Another thing that's happened which is combined with all this, & somehow encompasses it all, has to do with what Solomon said about how the teens leaving & talking about leaving is not such a big deal amongst some groups of teens & even adults. I think this end result is our biggest problem, which is a breach in our wall of faith or in our way of seeing things in the Spirit, where a carnality has entered in, a real flatlander way of looking at things or accepting things to where the tragedy of leaving or 'trying the System' is not there any more with some.

120. "With time, teens from the BTC moved to different areas. Some of them brought criticisms, wrong attitudes, & division with them that quickly polluted the teens in their new Homes. Other things spread by gossip & through the grapevine. Eventually the lies, deceit & poison of the Enemy has affected our whole Work in Europe & has contaminated & weakened our young people overall. God help us!" (End of reaction from D.)

To Be Continued!