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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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Gaither Vocal Band – Bringing Southern Gospel to Sydney, While Avoiding All the Crocodiles

The Gaither Vocal Band crowd have returned home safely after Saturday night’s Sydney Opera House concert. Praise God that they avoided getting eaten by all the crocodiles.

I always thought Americans viewed Australia as a place where you couldn’t walk down the main street without bumping into a kangaroo. I was wrong. Thanks to Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin they now apparently believe there are crocs everywhere.

Here’s a Gaither diary entry for last Thursday:

What fun we have had in Sydney so far! We visited the Taronga Zoo, made famous by the "Crocodile Hunter" himself, Steve Erwin. As you might imagine, Mark Lowry had a heyday in the zoo acting out a new song called, "Why Not Crocodile Me?" which he and Woody Wright have written just for this occasion.

(Steve Irwin actually works from Australia Zoo, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, more than 1,000 kilometres north of Sydney.)

And the concert itself?

The Vocal Band was having the time of their lives. Mark Lowry was brilliant, Janet Paschal was the picture of perfection, the Easters hit a home run with their new song "She Loved" and Anthony just about had an 'out of body' experience on the Hallelujan Chorus medley. Taylor Mason, too, was having a heyday with this crowd and his Crocodile Hunter jokes were received with overwhelming enthusiasm.

It’s kind of ironic, don’t you think, that when I start imagining what life’s like in the southern states of the US, one of the images that springs to mind is crocodiles. Wow, the power of Southern Gospel – bringing the world together. (Or is it just the power of Steve Irwin?)

I’m a huge fan of the Gaither Homecoming music, and was highly disappointed that they flew all the way to Australia for just one concert, in Sydney. I thought they would at least have come to my city – Melbourne – as well. With 3.5 million people we’re bigger than most American cities.

So here’s some information about Melbourne that might entice them next time:

Our biggest attraction is the fabulous nightly Penguin Parade at Phillip Island, when hundreds of little penguins waddle up the beach at sunset, bringing food for their babies.

Then there are the koalas, platypuses, deadly snakes and 200 other species of Australian wildlife at the Healesville Sanctuary. Meanwhile, Australian fur seals and quokkas are at Melbourne Zoo, and kangaroos and emus in the Australian Grassland area of the open range Werribee Zoo.

And hardly a crocodile in sight.

November 5th, 2002


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