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VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 5   |   Release date: October 15, 2003

In This Issue
Manna Appearing Again
Baseball Curses
Harvest Party Tips
Where are the Christians?
Amish Radio Station Folds
European Christian Confused
Motion-Activated Sprinkler System
Survey Results
October Church Sign of the Month

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Manna Appearing Again in Sinai - Locals Still Complaining
Manna up-close (left) and a valley full of manna (right)

SINAI PENINSULA, EGYPT – In a startling new discovery that is turning the heads of biblical scholars and skeptics alike, manna—a nondescript bread-like eatable—has reportedly been found covering the ground each morning in a dry and desolate region outside of Serabit El-Khadem.

Hossam Almeleh, an anthropology student at the University of Cairo, was conducting a research project with Dr. Daunis Abadi and two of his classmates when he stumbled upon a 27-acre desert flat completely covered with a white bread-like substance.

"I had only walked over a knoll a few feet from our camp to relieve myself when there it was," Almeleh explained. "At first, it looked like a salt-flat, which also would've been strange for this region, but then I saw people putting the white substance into baskets and others were eating it. 'That's gross!,' I thought."

Locals from a small village nearby told reporters through a translator that the substance is food and they had been gathering and eating it each day for weeks.

While most people are only concerned with the cause of these events, some locals, who are the beneficiaries of the acres of manna, haven't changed their attitudes in thousands of years.

Cooking with manna
Cooking with manna

"This sucks!" grumbled Josai, a farmer's son. "Since this crap is free my parents barely let us eat anything else!" He added, "Me and my brother even have to gather it for them!"

Many people throughout the village share Josai's perspective and wish it would just go away. One woman lamented, "If I have to eat these stupid honey wafers for forty days, let alone forty years, I think I'll die."

Furthermore, and to the Almighty's dismay, even a local vegan group refuses to eat the manna, based on their uncertainty as to whether or not the divine gift contains eggs. Some members, who presume the bread does contain eggs, are leading demonstrations and petitioning other townsfolk to "not eat from God's plate of animal cruelty."

This story is gaining the attention of biblical scholars worldwide who claim it is further and irrefutable evidence that God indeed performs miracles and that the Old Testament accounts of Moses and the Israelites are true.

Dr. William F. Kraiser Jr. (The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant? - Intervarsity Press, 2001) is elated by the news. "This is an incredible thing that is going on in the Sinai, but I must say that I'm not completely surprised. God has been working here on earth throughout history and this is simply another example if His divine hand." His wife agreed.

In a similar response, Brother David Paul—a 20th century prophet—confidently said, "One thing is for certain—this is no mere coincidence or natural anomaly. God is at work here." He added, "I actually predicted that something like this would happen sometime around now. I wasn't sure of all the little details, but I knew it would happen."

Churches across the United States celebrated after hearing what many are calling a sure sign of God's existence. Likewise, intercessors everywhere are rejoicing and many claim that this miracle must be the direct result of their frequent prayers for the "unknown needs of people everywhere."

Not everyone is convinced, though. Skeptics of this story are speaking out, and may even have a louder voice than that of the story's supporters.

Dr. Martin Bleamer of Vanderbilt University is doubtful. He has been onsite in recent days studying the events in an attempt to explain this mystery. He comments, "Our goal right now is to reverse engineer a recipe for the bread so we can pinpoint its origin and maybe even patent a mannaburger."

Dr. Bleamer is confident that his research will discount any possibility that God intervened, but his team is running into some minor difficulties. Roger Block, his assistant, explains, "We've tried numerous times to transport the substance back to our lab at Vanderbilt so we can perform more in-depth experiments, but each time by the next morning the sample is smelly and full of maggots—no matter how well we preserve it!"

Sharing the doubtful sentiment, biblical scholar Dr. John D. Crossan believes the story is a fabrication or a hoax. "This is just another 'tears of Mary' ploy to convince the witless that God actually performs miracles. I mean, c'mon, a crying statue? What's the point?"

It's the apparent pointlessness, as suggested by Crossan, that has many onlookers puzzled. Even some locals are confused.

Exodus 16 in the Old Testament tells a story of how God sent manna from heaven each morning to feed the Israelites for 40 years. "This is what I don't understand," exclaims a local English-speaking leader. "The Lord originally sent manna because the Israelites were starving in the desert! Our village has been well fed for years, especially since 1999 when we launched our e-Commerce Web site to increase our trade in the global economy." He added, "Most of the time we just eat the manna as a side-dish—you know, to dip in gravy and stuff like that. Mmmm."

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