About Me

  Patricia Hammell Kashtock

Aka: Pat Kashtock. Mother of three, wife of one. BA in Social Work and Biblical Studies. Graduate work at Virginia Tech interrupted, then derailed by oldest child’s brain tumor...

My life has not followed the course I planned. But I am not complaining. Pain is to be expected in a world broken apart from its Creator.

The miracle resides in the ability to find joy when least expected...

 

To translate this website into a language other than English, please go to: Google Translate

Go to the third section and paste in the web address. Select "From English" then to which language you want to use.

It isn't a perfect solution, but you can get the main points covered in a basic way.

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Windows to the Woman’s Soul (W2WSoul)
Hope's Home
A Redeemed Life
The Writing Life
Kendall Harmon Titus 1:9
A Mom's Life
Robin's Nesting Place
CanalPhotos.net

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Blessings,

Pat

For What It's Worth

Each life is a journey. The voices of many guides try to direct us, saying, “This is the path – walk in it!” Yet each one leads in a different direction.

I believe only one Voice can be true. That Voice will lead us in ways most unexpected, into worlds yet undiscovered. It will lead us up the hill, around the river and through the forest. And sometimes, it will lead without mercy.

Or so it seems.

I have made listening for that Voice and following it, my life’s quest. I will share some of what I have heard that Voice say with you. But I am not in the business of telling people how to think or what to believe. Each has to decide for himself. Only you can decide if you find the truth of the Voice in these words. And only you can decide how much it is worth to know the Voice, and follow.

But for me, it is worth the whole world.

And then some…

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Thursday
Jun132013

Rescue from the Kilns

273 people. 273 slaves. 273 men, women, and children who had been robbed of their lives were forced to do hard labor every day for up to 17 or 20 hours, seven days a week. Never allowed a break. Never allowed to leave.

 273 people were freed Monday evening as we sat in the 

 training session of IJM's advocacy summit through the desperation of one official from Chennai, India when she learned of their entrapment. Originally she understood there to be 32 workers enslaved and reached out to IJM to help free them. When they went in, they found two brick kilns owned by the same remorseless man, and not 32, but 273 slaves begging to be set free.

 


Please tell me: how can we turn deaf ears to the millions of people in the same straights?
Tell me.....I want to know.

 

Thursday
Jun132013

200+ Police Officers and Government Officials in Henan Province of China Raid a House Church

From China Aide's newsletter

...last year the officials raided the house church where 54 young people were quietly attending a Bible study class.

          Suddenly, more than 200 police and government officials surrounded the meeting place and took all the students away, including a mother and her one-year-old infant!

          The entire police force of Ye county, officials from the township government, armed police and the fire brigade, and anti-terrorism police were all out in force to execute the police action.  Police were also equipped with two water cannons. In addition, the Pingdingshan Public Security Bureau and officers from the police stations of two neighboring townships also assisted in the raid.

          The Ye county Public Security Bureau has repeatedly refused to produce the legally required paperwork to the family of the detainees.  The relatives learned through private connections that the Public Security Bureau has already formally arrested the Christians and criminally detained them on the charge of “suspicion of organizing a cult to undermine national law enforcement.

           This persecution shocked ChinaAid so we’ve closely monitored the developments, calling on the development of the facts of the case.

           Our independent investigation finds that these house church members who are under arrest have not done anything wrong or anything illegal. They are being persecuted for nothing more than the exercise of their right to religious freedom by peacefully gathering to worship God.

This persecution shocked ChinaAid so we’ve closely monitored the developments, calling on the development of the facts of the case.

           Our independent investigation finds that these house church members who are under arrest have not done anything wrong or anything illegal. They are being persecuted for nothing more than the exercise of their right to religious freedom by peacefully gathering to worship God.

          Click here to help those illegally detained present an appeal.

          Now, fast forward to the current day . . .

          where in Henan the seven were sentenced on April 1 to prison sentences ranging from three to 7-1/2 years, according to the well-known Christian lawyer Li Baiguang.  Their defense lawyers received the verdict and sentencing papers just last week. 

          Those who were sentenced were: 

          Han Hai is 60 years old and received a seven and one-half year sentence. 

          Hu Linpo is 49 and from Singapore, a seven year sentence was received.

          Yang Lianbing, 23, received a three-year sentence.

          Zhang Mian, the owner if the residence received a four-year sentence.

          Cao Xia is in her 50’s and she received a 3-1/2-year sentence.

          Wang En and Li Dan, both females in their 20s each received a three-year    sentence.

          It’s unclear whether or not these sentences can be appealed, but, ChinaAid is looking into each case – it’s costly to appeal as each appeal can cost between $3,000 and $5,000.

Here is some of the information from

Ye County People’s Court of Henan Province Criminal Verdict 

Translated by China Aid Association 


The opinion of the seven defense lawyers was that the activities of the seven defendants involved in this case constituted a house church meeting of believers and they did not violate legal regulations. As for the conclusion that the three books are Shouters cult literature, this cannot be used as evidence because the Domestic Security Protection Squad of the Pingdingshan Public Security Bureau is not qualified to make such a determination; besides, the actions of the people involved in this case do not [conform] to the cult characteristic of being anti-government, anti-human, anti-social and anti-science, therefore, they cannot be identified as a cult group. The conduct of the seven defendants constitutes legal conduct of religious believers and the seven defendants are innocent. 

An investigation and trial have determined that at about 10 a.m. on April 14, 2012, Ye County Public Security Bureau, using information it had obtained, ferreted out an illegal meeting of the Shouters cult at Daying Village, Rendian Town of Ye County, immediately taking into custody 32 people who were attending the illegal gathering and confiscating 440 copies of the Shouters cult book “Morning Revival,” 340 copies of “New Testament Life Readings,” 271 copies of “Works of Watchman Nee,” 90 copies of the Bible, 50 copies of “Hymns,” 20 copies of “Classes in Truth,” 10 copies of “Correct Sisters,” 16 copies of “A Trip of the Bible,” 260 video tapes of the gatherings, 330 discs, three computer desktops, four LCD monitors and two electronic keyboards. Pingdingshan'sDomestic Security Protection Squad and anti-terrorist branch determined that “Morning Revival,” “Works of Watchman Nee” and “The Holy Bible Recovery Version” are the propaganda materials of the cult group the Shouters. 

The opinion of the seven defense lawyers was that the activities of the seven defendants involved in this case constituted a house church meeting of believers and they did not violate legal regulations. As for the conclusion that the three books are Shouters cult literature, this cannot be used as evidence because the Domestic Security Protection Squad of the Pingdingshan Public Security Bureau is not qualified to make such a determination; besides, the actions of the people involved in this case do not [conform] to the cult characteristic of being anti-government, anti-human, anti-social and anti-science, therefore, they cannot be identified as a cult group. The conduct of the seven defendants constitutes legal conduct of religious believers and the seven defendants are innocent. 

An investigation and trial have determined that at about 10 a.m. on April 14, 2012, Ye County Public Security Bureau, using information it had obtained, ferreted out an illegal meeting of the Shouters cult at Daying Village, Rendian Town of Ye County, immediately taking into custody 32 people who were attending the illegal gathering and confiscating 440 copies of the Shouters cult book “Morning Revival,” 340 copies of “New Testament Life Readings,” 271 copies of “Works of Watchman Nee,” 90 copies of the Bible, 50 copies of “Hymns,” 20 copies of “Classes in Truth,” 10 copies of “Correct Sisters,” 16 copies of “A Trip of the Bible,” 260 video tapes of the gatherings, 330 discs, three computer desktops, four LCD monitors and two electronic keyboards. Pingdingshan'sDomestic Security Protection Squad and anti-terrorist branch determined that “Morning Revival,” “Works of Watchman Nee” and “The Holy Bible Recovery Version” are the propaganda materials of the cult group the Shouters. 

Sunday
Jun092013

IJM Advocacy Summit 2013, Washington, DC

Tomorrow!

 

Monday
Mar112013

The Endless Supply of Forced Brick Kiln Labor

Sometimes I wonder if brick kiln owners ever actually employ people. Perhaps the practice finds roots in the Egyptians’ enslavement of the Israelites to make their bricks. Or maybe the job is so onerous, no one volunteers for it.

Whatever the reason, International Justice Missions (IJM) has pulled off yet another rescue operation at a brick kiln. This time they rescued 36 families encompassing 149 people, out of slavery. The youngest slave was a three-year-old.

A three-year-old brick-making slave. That defies a sense of reality, let alone a sense of decency. Yet in this brick kiln, the owners forced a small, bumbling three-year-old to work day in and day out.

An NGO in south India, Jana Jagriti Kendra (JJK), asked IJM for help after an escaped slave told them about the kiln. Together they worked with the district government and local police to free those enslaved inside the factory. They entered after nightfall and found people still working. A pregnant woman had been kicked when she begged for rest. A man had been beaten so severely, his bones showed through still bleeding wounds. Sunken cheeks and bellies attested to the lack of food supplied to the slaves. The kiln owners would not even allow them a full night’s sleep.

To read IJM's article, please go here

Monday
May142012

Mother’s Day Revisited

I stood there absorbed by the crimson rose one of the church kids had given me. “What would you like to do for Mother’s Day,” my husband asked.

“I’d like to take the flower,” I said.

So we drove out to Woodbine. As we walked through the wrought iron gate and down the stone path, the deep azure of the sky enveloped me. The sun shone so bright, yet a brilliant cold pierced my skin and lungs. As we walked along saying nothing, divergent thoughts began to swirl around me. They began to merge into one.

As we reached the site, we found a blanket of buttercups and clusters of tiny blue flowers. A gift. Planted by the One who knew I would understand. Not everyone would know the name of the small blue flower. And almost no one else would know buttercups always made her laugh. Someday I will write “Buttercup Laughter.” But for now, my heart is too raw

 

Mother’s Day

Posies by a gravestone peeking from its side,

       Tiny dots of blue with yellow deep inside

Little band of color stands alone in shades of green

      Planted by a Hand that for now remains unseen.

 

And on this day the bright sun

        barely warms my heart

The bright sun that hangs in heaven….

       where You once hung suspended

And it could not warm Your heart

       The bright sun could not warm Your broken heart…

 

I stand here by the graveside, a mother lost in pain

        yearning to see her child dance lightly once again.

Longings fill this place with empty solitude

       where hope is whispered silently through periwinkle blue.

 

 “Forget-me-not,” the flowers whisper;

        as if I could forget

your love and lilting laugh

        and carefree dance

“Forget-me-not,” they whisper

        As a breeze strokes their heads

        And I think of the other One

whose love I’ve known

 

“Remember Me,” You cry through flowers like the star

      that hung once in the night for another mother’s child

That child, You were also born to die too soon

     while a sword pierced her heart with an empty solitude.

 

“Forget-Me-not,” Your flowers whisper

        as if I could forget

Your love and joyful laugh

        and steady hands....

“Forget-Me-not,” You whisper

        And pain stabs my heart

To think I could forget the One

        Whose gentle love envelops me

 

And on this day the bright sun

        barely warms my heart

The bright sun that hangs in heaven….

        Where You once hung suspended

And it could not warm Your heart

No, it could not warm Your heart

        The bright sun did not warm Your broken heart…

 

Wednesday
Jan182012

February 26th, 2012 is Freedom Sunday

From a Not For Sale newsletter:

 -- an international day of unity among faith communities, 
 taking action to end slavery.
  • Access FREE resources to help you take action to end slavery.
  • Download the new Fast for Freedom Devotional
  • Feature your faith community on the Church Locator Map 
  • Learn about the many exciting ways you can participate in the third annual celebration of hope -- from a single prayer to an entire service.    
Visit FreedomSunday.org for more details, registration, and resources to prepare and educate your faith community to take action to end slavery. 

 

REGISTER | FREEDOM SUNDAY | FEBRUARY 26

Become part of The Underground Church Network (UCN)

http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/action/faith/underground-church-network/

Excellent article of worship leading and freedom fighting:

http://www.freedomsunday.org/downloads/Wors_lead_BJS.pdf

Tuesday
Dec132011

IJM Newsletter

If you have trouble viewing this email, please click here.

International Justice Mission
Malavika's story

Dear Patricia,

This Christmas, people just like you all around the world are standing up to boldly counter the lies of slave-owners and other thugs. Together, we’re proclaiming that the lives of children like Malavika and her family matter that nobody should live as a slave. It’s a beautiful message of truth and hope as we celebrate Christmas.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to make a year-end gift please consider giving today. And if you have already made a gift so IJM can rescue others like Malavika, thank you.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from the IJM team around the world.

Gratefully,

signature - gary haugen

Gary A. Haugen
President and CEO, International Justice Mission 

Tuesday
Dec132011

Polaris Project Matching Funds

A newsletter from the Polaris Project:

Dear Patricia,

I’d like to introduce you to Antonio.

Antonio was approached by a man in his home country who promised him steady work on a farm in the United States, a place to live, and a work visa. Antonio jumped at the chance and arrived in the United States with hopes of making enough money to send back home to his ill parents.  

When Antonio arrived he realized that the man who had recruited him to the United States had lied. His accommodations were in a run down, decrepit building. He was forced to regularly work 18-hour days, and was not allowed to take breaks. One day Antonio couldn’t take it any longer. He was exhausted and took a break. He was subsequently beaten and denied food and water by his controller.

Antonio was able to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline where a call specialist connected him to a local service provider, legal aid, and hope for the future. Please donate today to help us continue to serve trafficking survivors like Antonio.

Our call specialists can help Antonio, and thousands of other victims like him, find assistance and support throughout the country. We have helped build a national network to fight human trafficking that today consists of local and federal law enforcement, shelter programs, social service providers, anti-trafficking organizations, task forces, pro bono attorneys, and others to build a coordinated response to human trafficking.

The trafficking hotline is the single most effective national resource to identify victims of trafficking and ensure they get support. Will you donate today to help us ensure that there is a live person available 24 hours day, 7 days a week to answer calls from potential trafficking victims like Antonio?  

Thank you for your support,

Thursday
Jul212011

Your Voice Is Needed to Ensure U.S. Fights Slavery

xEmail from Free the Slaves.

Please join with us. It only takes a minute. Locate your Senator here: http://www.senate.gov/

 

 

FTS Website fts blog donate eupdate archives FTS Store donate
Free the Slaves

e-alert

Dear Abolitionists:

You may already know that slavery is connected to you. It’s in the products you buy, the clothes you wear and the car you drive. There are thousands of slaves in America, some hidden from view, others standing on street corners you pass every day.

Ever wonder: What can I do to stop it?

Here’s one simple but vital thing you can do: Call or e-mail your U.S. senators, and urge them to support the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (S.1301).

capitol

This critical legislation is pending in the Senate right now. Your voice could make the difference in ensuring the U.S. continues to fight trafficking and slavery.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act ensures the U.S. will remain a world leader in combating slavery.

It directs authorities to raid brothels and sweatshops, freeing slaves and prosecuting slaveholders. It enables rescue shelters and rehabilitation programs to operate, inside the U.S. and overseas. The Act helps Free the Slaves conduct programs that you support in India and Haiti.

This landmark anti-slavery initiative was created by Congress years ago, but the Act expires soon and must be renewed. Any delay could jeopardize the remarkable progress the U.S. has made.

It’s easy to find your senators’ contact info at the top right corner of the Senate’s website. Here's what you can say to their receptionists, aides or voicemails:

“My name is ___ and I live in (your state). I'm calling to ask the senator to co-sponsor S.1301, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. I also would like the senator to support strengthening the Act, by requiring major companies to disclose on their websites and in annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission what they’re doing to end trafficking and slavery.”

The battle against slavery has always been a bipartisan effort that brings lawmakers together, even in polarized times. Senators are working on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act behind the scenes, even though other issues are center stage at the moment. Your senator needs to hear from you now. Please contact them today.

Thanks for your continued support.

Karen Stauss
Director of Programs
Free the Slaves


   



1320 19th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036 USA (202) 775-7480 info@freetheslaves.net
Content Copyright ©2011 Free the Slaves. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun142011

Tomato Slavery

Tomatoes from the local farmer's market, blanched and ready to peelI am disheartened. I knew about slavery on the Ivory Coast in the cocoa groves, slavery in rice mills, on coffee plantations, domestic slavery. But on tomato farms?

I grew up in New Jersey, a state known for its bright-tasting summer grown tomatoes. Families grew tomatoes and sweet corn on their truck farms and sold them at stands on the roadside of the property. Pride would fill the young seller’s face as he or she told you, “Corn was picked in the hour,” thus guaranteeing its sweetness.

Nestled next to the corn, the tomatoes shown in red glory, begging you to slice and salt them, then bite into their juicy goodness. Wholesomeness all the way around.

Then I read the article in WaPo yesterday. When I first saw the header for the continuation of the article, I thought it was a food joke along the lines of tomatoes tasting so wonderful they hold the writer in slavery.

Not the case.

The header was for Jane Black’s  synopsis/review of Barry Estabrook’s Tomatoland. Right here on the east coast, four states away, men tricked into slavery harvest tomatoes to sell in the US.

In Jane Black’s own words,

“Lucas Mariano Domingo came to the United States from Guatemala hoping to find a job that would pay him enough to send money home. But he was soon broke and homeless. And so it must have seemed like a lucky break when Cesar Navarrete, leader of a Florida tomato-picking crew, offered him false papers, room, board and a job that, if he did well, could earn him $200 a week.

It quickly became clear, however, that this was a false opportunity. Domingo was lodged with three other men in the back of a box truck with no running water or toilet. Food was scarce. Navarrete charged extortionate fees for just about everything. After a hot day in the fields, Domingo was docked $5 to stand naked in the back yard and wash himself with cold water from a garden hose. He was paid irregularly and in small, arbitrary amounts. Worse, Navarrete warned that Domingo or any other laborer who attempted to leave would be severely beaten. It took Domingo nearly three years to escape — and even longer before members of the Navarrete family were charged with what Douglas Molloy, the chief assistant U.S. attorney in Fort Myers, Fla., described as “slavery, plain and simple.”

In the 21st century, such horror stories should be uncommon. But over the past 15 years, Florida law enforcement officers have freed more than 1,000 men and women who were held against their will and forced to work in the fields.”

 

Read the rest here:<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/barry-estabrooks-tomatoland-an-indictment-of-modern-agriculture/2011/04/11/AGei5rOH_story.html"> Barry Estabrook’s ‘Tomatoland,’ an indictment of modern agriculture </a>