Monday, September 21, 2009

353 New Species Discovered in the Himalayas

Asian Babbler Bird

This story is so interesting!!

KATMANDU, Nepal — The world's smallest deer, a flying frog and catfish that stick to rocks — as well as more than 350 other species — have been discovered over the past decade in the Himalayas, making it one of the world's most biologically rich regions, an environmental group said Monday.

But researchers warn that the effects of climate change, as well as development, threaten the diverse habitat that supports these species.

"The group found that almost three-quarters of the discoveries between 1998 and 2008 were plants, including 21 new orchid species. But it also listed 16 amphibians, 16 reptiles, 14 fish, two birds, two mammals and at least 60 new invertebrates. Most of the discoveries have already been reported in peer-reviewed, scientific journals.

"There will be close to 3,000-5,000 species that will be discovered if a systematic study is done over the next five years," said Bittu Sahgal, editor of Sanctuary Asia.


353 New Species Discovered in the Himalayas -

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Persistent Porter


A few years ago my family was returning home from Malawi to Zambia. At the border we had to wait several hours for the bus that would take us home. When the bus arrived, we stowed our luggage and found a seat. But just as we were about to leave, a porter told our family to get off the bus and wait for the next one. Mother argued, for the next bus wouldn't leave until the next day. But the porter politely but firmly insisted. Reluctantly we obeyed.
As he retrieved our luggage from the roof rack, my mother started crying. "Why us?" she said. "We have no place to sleep except out in the open." Other passengers tried to convince the porter to allow us back on the bus, but he politely refused. Finally we accepted the situation and sat down to wait until the next bus the following morning.
During the night the loudspeaker at the bus terminal crackled, awaking us. "The bus that left for the capital city yesterday afternoon was involved in a fiery crash. Everyone aboard that bus is dead."

Mother sat up and started crying. "My dears," she said through her tears as she gathered us close to her. "We should have been on that bus. The porter who forced us off the bus saved our lives. God saved us."
We sat stunned, trying to comprehend that God had saved us from death. We were Christians but not Adventists at the time. We recalled that although the porter had insisted that we get off the bus, he was never rude. "Is it possible that he was an angel?" we whispered among ourselves. When we arrived home, Mother told Father what had happened, and we all rejoiced in God's salvation.

Later I met some Adventist students who impressed me with their diligence and commitment to God. When told to help clean the campus on Sabbath, these students refused but politely offered to do their share of work on Sunday. One day I asked one of them about his faith, and he explained that Saturday is God's true Sabbath, the day God set aside for us to spend with Him. When I learned this, I wondered, Could they be right about the Sabbath?
I visited the Adventist church and eventually was baptized. I shared my faith with my family, and they, too, became Adventists.

I don't know why God sometimes intervenes and other times He doesn't. I'm sure many of us have been protected from harm without realizing it. I was blessed to have seen God's hand in a marvelous way.

Your mission offerings help spread God's love from person to person. Soon the whole world will know, and Jesus can come. Thank you for hastening that day.