Praise and Prayer

Pray: German Home-School Student Placed in Foster Care, Parents Not told Location-In Nuremberg, Germany, a 15-year-old girl, seized from her family home in a dramatic police raid over accusations her parents were home schooling, has been placed in foster care, reported on Feb. 20. The girl's parents have not been told where she is being held. Melissa Busekros was home schooled by her parents after she began having trouble with two of her subjects in school. Her four younger siblings are in the German school system. Authorities barged into the Busekros house Feb. 1, with 15 members of the police force at hand and seized the girl. She was then placed in a psychiatric ward for assessment after it was decided she had a "phobia" against public school.

The original edict banning at-home instruction-which became law under Adolf Hitler's government-has been resurrected over the past decade, with accelerating persecution of families attempting to keep their children out of the mainstream curriculum. Home schooling could not be allowed, County Education Director Heinz Kohler stated, because, "children should not be encapsulated or kept apart from the outside world. In these cases, the parents' rights to personally educate their children would prevent the children from growing up to be responsible individuals within society."

The International Human Rights Group (IHRG) has been working with the girl's family and lawyer to achieve a compromise with the state social workers. A five-hour court hearing held Feb. 16 failed to resolve the situation after the social workers rejected the compromise presented by the girl's parents and the judge.

"This is a precedent that's going to affect not just Germany," Joel Thornton, president of the IHRG, told WorldNetDaily. "This is an extreme case, even for Germany, but it won't be extreme any more if they get away with it."

By Gudrun Schultz at

Praise: Water for the Poor-Establishing 1,000 New Wells in Ethiopia-The Blair Foundation has accepted the invitation of Yaregal Aysheshim, state president of Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia, to drill sanitary wells in 1,000 of his poorest villages . According to UNICEF, Ethiopia is one of the two poorest countries in Africa, in large part because only a small percentage of the people have access to safe drinking water. Only 11% of the rural population of Ethiopia has access to safe drinking water. In Benishangul-Gumuz, people walk long distances, frequently for hours, to fetch unsafe water from the nearest river. Blair intends to utilize local materials for both the drilling and the construction of each well and pump, and projects a cost of $687 per well, including materials, labor, and training. Blair Foundation is relying on the partnership of individual donors and organizations to sponsor the drilling of these new wells. To learn more or to become a sponsor, contact

Blair Foundation press release

Praise: Habitat for Humanity closing in on 1,000-Home Goal Post Katrina-Nearly 20 months after Hurricane Katrina swept over the Gulf Coast Aug. 29, 2005, Habitat for Humanity is closing in on its initial 1,000-house goal to help low-income families displaced by the storm. According to a Religion News Service release, as of mid-February more than 700 homes had been built or were under construction, with plans to meet the organization's goal of having its first 1,000 houses complete or under construction by mid-summer. Once those homes are completed, Habitat has already begun to acquire land and plan for the next 1,000 homes, which will help ensure that local affiliates will be able to deliver affordable houses to qualifying low-income families. "I am proud of the exceptional work that dedicated Habitat for Humanity affiliates, volunteers, supporters and employees are doing in the Gulf Coast recovery," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.

Religion Today via MissionNet

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