Dear Prayer Team,
On the eve of October 31 our website was found again by the Google search engine. This website was not the only one that disappeared. The experience was interesting in a number of different ways. I am very thankful for you that have prayed for me and this ministry. Let me share three answers to your prayers.
God answers prayer!
The restoration was by your prayers. God even works in the world of high-tech. I could not get the information I needed from Google about what the specific problem was. So I could not fix it. One of several knowledgeable brothers who were trying to see what the problem sent me a link to a blog where it mentioned recent changes in the way Google searches. I noticed that this tech blog started out by mentioning a website that had also been disconnected from Google. Because it was a tech blog, I wrote a few comments about my website's problems. I mentioned that I did not know the reason my website was taken off the Google search engine. Most interestingly, the head of the Google spam team was reading the blog, answered me by telling me the problem and provided a link to my offending page. He told me that this certain page had hidden text.
Hidden text are words that are on a web page but not viewable to the average web reader. I then remembered that I put about 25 words of hidden text on that page by making it the same color as the background (black). I did not use it for any malevolent purpose but only to help the search engine find my web page because it otherwise was just a series of graphics. God answered prayers. Google did not answer questions that I had submitted. Everything else I tried failed. So it was special that I happened to 'meet up' with the head Google anti-spam guy on an Australian blog page.
The world is changing
Secondly, I realized how dependent I am on the Lord. In a moment, this ministry could have much less influence. Over those 27 days, we missed 40,500 visits to our web pages! Probably about 70%. Google has that much power. God's power, however, is greater. "The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes" (Proverbs 21:1). I doubt the author here thought about the power of search engines when he wrote this, but the truth is still there. We as God's people are not victims to those who have power and influence over us. God is yet greater.
Waiting upon God
Last year after returning from my short term mission trip, I got a bad back that required me to lay in bed for about 3 weeks. This year the BFF website 'laid in bed' for 3 weeks. Because of your prayers, God enabled me to quietly pursue answers and yet patiently seek Him. This was a time for special training. I did not want to miss His message. I realize that my days of ministry can be finished at any time. Time is short. It gave me time again to dedicate the ministry to Him. He has started it, empowered and will use it as He sees fit.
Through this whole experience, I was able to see that it would be wise to start another website for protection from being totally crippled. Perhaps we will start another site with either the Biblical material or the leadership training material. It will not happen overnight, but I can start moving in that direction.
I also realized that censorship of my website might come sooner rather than later because of a growing anti-Christian spirit. There might be pressure upon the bigger search engines to refrain from serving websites that speak up on the truth in one or more areas. I can easily see how some governments might use their authority to shape which sites would show up or not (e.g. Pornographic sites are okay but not those that talk about traditional families!).
I need to continue to expand my contacts with Christian leaders. These contacts largely come from those that contact us for free material. I should be more conscious that this might be my future link with these individuals all around the world.
We need your prayers as we step ahead into the future. Paul has been blessed by speaking a lot lately. He has, however, not been able to finish editing the articles and audio recordings from the six recent seminars.
Thanks to God
Plugged back in to the search engines!
Grace and clear thought for recent speaking opportunities, even the one in Chinese.
Recovery for Christy and health for Joshua our first grandson.
Strength for Linda as she worked double time helping Christy and managing church Children's Ministry coordinator responsibilities.
Praise God that another church is planning to put BFF in their mission's budget.
Safety and close to finishing house jobs before winter.
Final touches on federal 501C(3) application!
Requests to God
Wisdom on how to proceed with plans for restructuring BFF's website.
Discernment for an invitation to Nigeria in first half of 2008.
Begin to refine and format materials from the six seminars.
Blessing to those who come to our website. Here is one letter from a pastor in India that we sent a free BFF Library. Pray for this pastor and many like him.
"I have been blessed by your website and the various articles. I am the director. We have 6 evangelists spread across India. Our vision is Revival in the Church & Training for the Church. I am interested in receiving your Library. I can share the material with all our evangelists who in turn can use it for their teaching in churches."
Serving Together for the Glory of God,
Paul and Linda Bucknell
Biblical Foundation for Freedom
3276 Bainton St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Write to Paul with your comments:
Have your church link to our website! Or even better, use your blog to link to us. People will be glad you did. The BFF logo is below if you would like to use it!