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Family, Faith and Favorite Things
In March 19 Issue
By Linda Stephens, Columnist

ACEFI is Affordable Christian Education for Internationals, Inc. I'd never heard of this organization until I listened to a program on Crosstalk, a radio program aired at 3:00 PM our time on WTHL, 90.5FM. ACEFI's founder, David Benoit, has a strong desire to share the gospel story with youth around the world. After prayer and fasting he came up with a unique idea of bringing international high school students, Christian schools and Christian families together.

In recruiting students for these schools he discovered a major concern of parents was the safety of their children while living in the United States. When he shared with them that their child can live safely with a Christian family, their fears are relieved.

This organization places these international students in Christian high schools that a provide quality, affordable education.

The graduates of the schools are admitted to top colleges and universities. They now have 50 schools in 25 states, with one being in western Kentucky. I was impressed with Desert Christian Academy in California with 100 students. Their average ACT score is 1061 and 95 percent of their graduates go on to college.

Christian families who want to be in mission work can do so right at home, by hosting an international student to live with them. Think about the possibilities here… many students could be won to faith in Jesus Christ and return home to share the good news of the gospel with their family and friends.

They're Playing Games Literally in the Department of Justice. That's a head line in a recent issue of the Washington Examiner. This is another government agency with a bloated budget. President Obama and Attorney General Holder have requested a $143 million increase for 2012. That would increase staff positions by 815. It's a 14 percent increase in manpower and an 18 percent increase in spending, compared to 2009. This is the agency that should be defending DOMA-the Defense of Marriage Act.

Under President Obama, this is a prime example of government waste. There is chronic tardiness and several attorneys demanded permission to arrive late to work. Because the DOJ is doing little if anything under Obama's administration, the attorneys are so bored they are playing solitare and other computer games, watching videos and venting!

This is not the way our government should be run. The DOJ should be doing their job. And Congress should not approve any increases in their budget and should cut their budget, as should be done to all government agencies.

This is what Liberty Counsel's Founder Mat Staver said about the Obama administration in their newsletter, The Liberator. "

The Obama administration is the least experienced in recent history. Most are academics with radical ideological ideas. They lack experience in the private sector.

Most have never run a business. In their misguided view, government is God and people are their lowly servants.

Further, the Obama administration is the most immoral in American history. Barack Obama shunned the National Day of Prayer but declared June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender month for the second year in a row. He has appointed to power an outlandish group of radicals, and together they are pushing for taxpayer funded abortion, sexual anarchy and overt socialism."

LaVere. When you hear the name LaVere, you know who I'm talking about… LaVere Black. A special lady and a special friend to me, LaVere passed away this week. She's gone to her heavenly home and joined her husband Clisby Black who passed away in December. I'd say their reunion was joyful. I met LaVere Black the day I interviewed for the job as County Extension Agent for Home Economics in Russell County, way back in December, 1972. She was wearing a black dress, so it was easy to remember her name, LaVere Black. She was a charter member of the Russell Springs Extension Homemakers Club and an active member for over 50 years. There's not many folks who stay with something for 50 years but LaVere did. She stayed with Clisby, the Russell Springs United Methodist Church and her Homemakers's Club for over 50 years.

I could always count on LaVere. She helped me with all kinds of Homemaker activities and events. One night we went to talk to a group about forming a Homemakers Club. I asked her to share with them what Homemakers had meant to her. She gave an "outstanding testimony" saying that she'd never gone to college but felt like she received a college degree from all she'd learned in Homemakers.

As a young, "green" Extension Agent, that really made an impression on me and I never forgot it. She was so talented… excellent cook and seamstress.

And could arrange flowers beautifully. When the county organization celebrated their 40th anniversary, LaVere was County President. We did a cookbook to mark that special occasion and LaVere designed the cover. LaVere was a woman who had her priorities right… her faith, her family and her community. LaVere, I'm going to miss you.

Well, I want to share one more thing with you… The National Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center is having a benefit on Saturday April 2nd for raising awareness for the child victims of dangerous drug environments.

It will be in Lexington at the Singletary Center on the UK Campus. Showtime is 7:30 PM EST. Tickets are $35.00 and can be purchased at And performing for the benefit is….. EXILE , an award winning musical group from right here in Kentucky, that many baby boomers remember!

And in closing, here's a prayer that is a favorite thing of mine: "God be in my head and in my understanding; God by in my eyes and in my looking; God be in my mouth and in my speaking; God be in my heart and in my thinking; God be at my end and at my departing."

Thanks for reading my column. Till next week.

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