‘Hate will not overcome love’, El Paso shooting memorial attendees told

People embrace during a memorial for the victims of a shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

By Julio-César and Chávez

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – With “El Paso Strong” shirts on and with the sun setting behind them, thousands of people crowded into a baseball stadium in the town on Wednesday evening to remember the 22 people killed by a gunman at a local Walmart store on Aug. 3.

“Words cannot express the heartbreak and loss our community has encountered,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo told the crowd gathered in the U.S.-Mexico border town during the memorial.

“Yet tonight all of the Paso del Norte region stands together to honor those taken from us,” he said. “To grieve, comfort, and love one another as a united binational people.”

People take part in a memorial for the victims of a shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

People take part in a memorial for the victims of a shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

The attack on the largely Hispanic community was the first of two recent mass shootings that have rocked the nation and entered the political debate.

El Paso was followed 13 hours later by a mass shooting in a busy nightspot in Dayton, Ohio, that left nine dead.

The memorial came 11 days after an attacker, who police say drove hours to El Paso from a Dallas suburb, killed 22 people and injured dozens more. The attacker said he was specifically targeting Mexicans, according to police. El Paso is a largely Hispanic city.

As El Pasoans entered the baseball stadium Wednesday they were greeted by emotional support dogs, brought by a group that has been visiting disaster areas since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

“Some people said they hadn’t smiled since that Saturday, some people hadn’t cried yet until they touched the dogs, but that warm fur just starts that emotion,” said Janice Marut, of Lutheran Church Charities, while memorial visitors played with large golden retrievers.

The baseball infield was dotted with 22 stars made out of luminarias, paper bags with candles or lights inside, to remember those killed in the El Paso attack along with nine circles commemorating the dead in an Ohio shooting that happened just hours later.

People take part in a memorial for the victims of a shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

People take part in a memorial for the victims of a shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

The memorial was streamed live on the internet to different places around the city, including a park one block north of where the shooting happened.

The largely Democrat-voting city cheered on Republican Governor Greg Abbott as he said elected officials would meet to discuss hate crimes, gun violence, and domestic terrorism next week.

On the stage along with the governor and El Paso’s mayor were Mexican government representatives, taking part to remember the eight Mexican nationals who died in the same attack.

The governor of Chihuahua, the neighboring state, and the mayor of Ciudad Juarez just across the border, condemned the resurgence of white supremacy in the United States.

“We don’t just share business or industries, or shopping at Walmart. We share culture,” said Chihuahua governor Javier Corral.

Margo, who spoke last, reiterated the ties in the binational cities and cultures saying the attack would not change El Paso.

“Hate will not overcome love, hate will not define who we are,” he said.

(Reporting by Julio-César Chávez in El Paso, Texas; editing by Rich McKay and Hugh Lawson)

Argentine survivor of New York attack pleads for justice, love

The flag hangs at half mast at the Argentine Consulate, in honour of the five Argentine citizens who were killed in the truck attack in New York on October 31, in New York City, U.S., November 2, 2017.

(Reuters) – “What has the world turned in to?” a friend of the five Argentines killed in the New York attack this week asked at a news conference on Friday, alongside three other surviving members of a group of former classmates.

Guillermo Banchini, an architect, and friends were cycling in New York during a 30-year high school reunion trip on Tuesday when a driver of a pickup truck plowed down a bike path.

“How could someone think of, plan and do something like this? We cannot get our heads around it,” Banchini said at the Argentine consulate in New York.

“Let there be justice. Let this not be repeated, not here nor anywhere in the world.”

Eight people, including a Belgian woman, a New Yorker and a New Jersey man, were killed and 11 injured in lower Manhattan in the attack along the Hudson River.

The suspect, 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov, was charged with acting on behalf of Islamic State, whose followers have carried out vehicle attacks in several cities, mostly in Europe.

The five deceased Argentines, businessmen and architects aged 48 to 49, were all alums of a polytechnic high school in Rosario, Argentina’s third-largest city.

Another member of the group, Martin Ludovico Marro, was injured and hospitalized in Manhattan and did not attend the televised news conference.

Banchini, speaking on behalf of the other Argentine survivors, said the pain they were feeling would always endure, but they would move forward the way they had learned as close knit childhood friends.

“In the name of those values, and a way of life, we want to make a bet – love conquers hate,” he said.

 

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Andrew Hay)

 

Giving Or Getting? Do These Kids Have the Answer?

In Atlanta, 83% of the children that go to the boys and girls club come from low income families. Many of these children live where most homes cannot even afford a Christmas tree. Many of these kids were asked one of the most difficult questions when UPtv decided to talk to them about their Christmas wishes.

As each child spoke of the thing they wanted the most, their eyes sparkled with the magic that children feel this time of year. They described the dream of that most special gift that they just might, despite all odds, receive.

There were many children that UPtv spoke to. Beautiful kids such as Destiny, Miracle, Austin and Brooke. Each made their wish. For example:a computer, a barbie doll house, an Xbox system. And then they were asked about their families. What would their Mom like as a present? Or their Dad? Or the whole family? A new television, a ring for my Mom, a watch for my Dad, a christmas tree and a necklace were some of the wonderful presents these children imagined.

Two days later UPtv sat these children down again and set before them the gift they had wanted so badly. They also presented the gift that they would want to give to their family, Mom or Dad. As their eyes grew wide, they were offered the chance to take home one of the gifts. Either the one for themselves or the one for their parent or family.

Their young faces told the story of how very difficult this choice was. Yet within mere moments, without hesitation, they each picked the gift that they would love to give. When asked why they picked to give a present instead of get one, Miracle told UPtv. “If I get a laptop, then my mom will lose something. She’s my Mom and she’s special!” In each case, the children picked a gift for giving saying that toys are not important, but making those they love happy, giving back to them for all they have done, means the most of all.

After unselfishly giving up their gifts, UPtv decided to give up a few too and happily gave the children the present that was intended for them as well. The thankfulness, the joy and the smiles of these wonderful kids is what makes the magic of Christmastime.

In a world so full of negativity and injustice. At a time where we despair over the future. It is the children who see our sacrifice and know…truly, how to give.

You can see for yourself this wonderful presentation on UPtv: “The Other Christmas Gift,” by watching the video below:

3-Year-Old Starts Movement to Help Homeless Community

Compassion is not an emotion reserved for adults and three year old Patrick McClung from Anchorage, Alaska is the perfect example.  

According to local news station KTVA,  Patrick broke down in tears back in October when his mother, Destinee McClung, explained to him what being homeless means.

“Everyone he knows has a house and has food and has toys,” McClung said. “And so it really genuinely hurt his heart to kind of realize that there are people that go without.”

He even cried over the matter, saying through tears in an emotional video McClung posted to her Facebook page that, “I don’t want them to sleep on a piece of cardboard.”

ABC News reported that Patrick was so affected by what he had learned that he put his hurt into action. The 3-year-old and his mother have set up donation boxes around town, collecting clothing and toiletries for homeless people.  

People have been eagerly donating to Patrick’s project with blankets, socks and other cold-weather apparel, to hygiene-related items like shampoo, conditioner, soap and diapers.  The toddler himself has gone to great lengths to donate, selling his beloved trains so he could buy items for those in need.

So far Patrick is proud to show others that he has collected 10 large bags of donations for those that have so little.

“It’s for all the people, and they don’t have homes,” Patrick explained to KTVA, showing off the items. “And they’re very cold.”

In addition to collecting goods for the homeless, the 3-year-old has also started volunteering at a soup kitchen handing out desserts and chatting with people.

Morningside Smiles and Welcomes Bobby Conner!

Where Bobby Conner goes, joy in the Lord follows.  This past Friday night, here at Morningside, Bobby gave the prophetic Word on Hope.  “What a difference a day makes!”  he smiled.  “The Lord told me to tell His people to war against the raging cloud of doubt.  Doubt is deadly!  Hang on to hope because one day can make a difference in your world!”

Pastor Conner remarked that through his years in ministry he always has people ask him, “Do you have any advice?”   “Well… YES  I have some advice… some good advice…Live your life with swift and complete obedience!  The happiest people on the planet are obedient to God!  The most miserable people I know are Christians trying to live like they are lost!  Be SINGLE MINDED in your love for God!”

Everyone at Morningside truly does rejoice in hearing the Word from Pastor Bobby Conner!  His Love of Jesus is so apparent that it shines through with his smile. That love came through while telling the story of Mark 5 when Jesus cast the demons from a man in the area of Gerasene.  This man was completely mad with demons who had possessed him and had to live in a cave because people were so frightened of him.  Jesus cast out the demons in two thousand pigs that promptly rushed down the hill and drown.  When the people came to see Jesus they saw this man perfectly healed and happy.  The townspeople asked Jesus to leave out of fear and the fact that they had lost two thousand pigs, and when Jesus was leaving the healed man asked him if he could go with Jesus.  Christ told him that He wanted him to go out and tell all he met about how God had healed him.

“This man woke up that morning a maniac and went to bed a missionary,  ah yes…what a difference a day makes!”

Thank you Bobby Conner!

Learn to Love the Journey

I am constantly asked how I got to where I am today.  How did you get to Morningside?  How did you become the co-host of an internationally syndicated television program at 24 years old? Was it easy?  Did it happen overnight?  I want to say a resounding NO.  It did not happen overnight. Of the stories you have heard so far I feel like I have lived a pretty supernatural life.  I have always been sensitive to the supernatural realm and I listen to the Holy Spirit inside of me.  If He tells me to do something, I do it. Continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day To Our Mom…Lori Bakker

Proverbs 31:28, 29 (NIV) 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

Dear Mom,

Years ago, God fulfilled a dream for all of us by bringing you into our lives!  You have always gone above and beyond as a mother and have never wavered for what God wanted for us. We know it has been hard for you sometimes.  You have held our hands when we were hurting, and rejoiced when we were happy. We appreciate so much how you have always strived to do your best as well as knowing when to be loving and when to be firm.   You never compromised when you knew what you felt was the right thing to do and stood strong through every struggle, always ready to share your wisdom.  When we have struggled, it has been your prayers that lifted us up and helped us move forward.  Most important of all, you have loved us, each of us…unconditionally. In so many ways you have shown us how special we are to your heart. Continue reading

The Loudest Voice

This is such an epic time in the world! God is speaking to the world but it seems that very few people are listening! He couldn’t be speaking any louder and he is letting us know what is coming through the signs in the world. One sign after another, one harbinger after another, day after day, and I HOPE our eyes and ears are open to receive them! This is why our ministry exists to help people see with their whole heart and to understand what God is doing in the earth.

As these prophetic events unfold, I feel led to remind you of WHY God gives us these signs.  Why does the Lord bring us these signs and these special harbingers? One reason. LOVE. Continue reading

The Ultimate Valentine

Traditionally, people have considered Valentine’s Day a time to celebrate romance but I prefer to think of it more as “Love Day”. Did you know that the word” love” or “loved” is mentioned in the Bible over 400 times! It seems to me that every positive emotion we could ever have is tied directly to this all-encompassing love. Without it, everything we do has no meaning.

There is no doubt that God wants us to love each other! In 1 Corinthians 13, He tells us very clearly how important love is and exactly what that one little word means. Anyone who has ever been to a church wedding will have heard this, but have you taken the time recently to REALLY hear what He is telling us? Continue reading