The Mountain Operations Brigade is providing security, logistical support, and facilities to U.S. personnel, who are administering medical and dental services to thousands of Guatemalans via three Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs). The Guatemalan Military is also serving as the liaison to San Marcos’s residents throughout Beyond the Horizon 2016 , which will benefit 100,000 people in the Central American country. The MEDRETEs are providing free medical exams, which include pediatric, optometry, dermatology, gynecology, and cardiovascular services to patients in Aldea Villa Hermosa, Esquipulas Palo Gordo, San Pablo, La Blanca, and San Marcos. Doctors are aided by a clinical analysis laboratory. Guatemala’s Armed Forces and the United States also cooperate to fight organized crime by conducting joint training operations and maritime interdiction missions. The Guatemalan government, which views international cooperation as a key component of its national security strategy, is working with member countries of the Central American Armed Forces Conference, the Inter-American Defense Board, and the Organization of American States. “For these communities, poppy production represents their livelihood,” Maj. Gen. Bor stated. “As the state, we have to go in, attack the activity properly, and bring other satisfactory ways for them to be able to survive. It’s not an easy task.” Security and logistics Beyond the Horizon is also educational for Guatemala’s Armed Forces. “We are learning much as well. SOUTHCOM’s help allows us to take stock of what the communities’ needs are,” Maj. Gen. Bor said. “Reducing conflict and curbing illegal activity are essential to be able to satisfy the needs that these communities have. Education, health, and safety are equal to development.” History of cooperation By Dialogo May 16, 2016 “Brazil has Military personnel working in our country on education issues,” Maj. Gen. Bor explained. “A team of Colombian Military personnel deployed in Guatemala deals with questions of how to fight drug trafficking. Our allies are ready to cooperate.” Five hundred members from the Guatemalan Army’s Mountain Operations Brigade, which is based in San Marcos, joined 400 U.S. Military members from all branches of the Armed Forces for the exercise that will run from February 24th-July 3rd. The U.S. contingent is relieved every 22 days “as a display of support and commitment to our country,” the Mountain Operations Brigade’s Commander, Major General Byron René Bor Illescas, told Diálogo. This exercise gives U.S. Troops valuable training to hone the skills they rely on during combat. Troops receive training in engineering, medicine, and logistics by working on construction projects that include building community centers, schools, health clinics, and water wells in underdeveloped communities, Diálogo reported in March. The civilian population has a high level of trust in the Armed Forces. “ The presence of the Army in the fields of public safety, humanitarian relief, and many other fields is accepted and appreciated by the civilian population,” Maj. Gen. Bor said. “Fortunately, we have 85 percent acceptance of Guatemalans.” Guatemala’s Armed Forces and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) are working together to provide free health services to residents in the department of San Marcos through the humanitarian exercise “Beyond the Horizon 2016 . The joint exercise is part of SOUTHCOM’s Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA) program, an annual initiative that provides medical, dental, and engineering services in Central and South American and Caribbean countries that need social and economic development. Guatemala has a close and ongoing cooperative relationship with the United States. “Relations are at the highest point in their history,” Maj. Gen. Bor stated. “We have open cooperation. It’s the best thing that could be happening to Guatemala through the modernization processes that has been implemented ever since the signing of the peace accords. Our action plan is focused mainly on respecting human rights.” Guatemala’s ministries of Education and Social Assistance, non-governmental organizations, and private organizations are also participating in the initiative. However, the Armed Forces of Colombia, Chile, Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago are participating as observers so they can all broaden their experience with these types of humanitarian relief missions. Guatemala’s Armed Forces and the United States have been cooperating on humanitarian operations since 1993. Beyond the Horizon was held in the departments of Jutiapa in 2001; San Marcos in 2007 and 2012; Puerto Barrios in 2010; Petén in 2010; Cobán in 2012; and Zacapa in 2014. The initiative has also been held in other countries, such as El Salvador. Fighting poppy production San Marcos borders Chiapas, Mexico, and its highland region, known as the “Golden Poppy Triangle,” is home to most of the poppy fields that are cultivated for the production of heroin. The drug has a value of about $30,000 per kilogram at the Guatemalan border with Mexico, El Universal reported on February 16, 2015. The U.S. government is also bolstering education in the Central American country by supporting the construction of two schools: one in Caserío Nueva Florida, in the town of Catarina, and another in the town of San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta. In addition, U.S. Troops are also constructing medical clinics in three villages and towns within the department of San Marcos. “Personnel have been participating during these medical campaigns and have been providing excellent Military-quality service,” Maj. Gen. Bor said. “The final objective is to provide humanitarian relief to people and give them the perspective that we as the Military are at their service. Guatemalan doctors are providing free external consultations in all specialties, including surgeries.”
New Delhi: Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has slammed the cricket pitches in India, saying the tracks are “boring” and are more in favour of the batsmen. “Test match cricket pitches in India are boring…The first 3/4 days the contest is far too in favour of the bat…needs more action for the bowler…My thought of the day …,” Vaughan tweeted on Friday.His comments came during the ongoing second Test between India and South Africa being played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune where the Indian batters have dominated the proceedings. Skipper Virat Kohli and Mayank Agarwal scored brilliant hundreds and have taken the hosts to a commanding position.Even in the first Test, the Indian batsmen had a great time at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. While Mayank scored a double hundred, Rohit Sharma — in his debut match as an opener in red-ball cricket — scored hundreds in both the innings in the game which India won by 203 runs. IANSAlso Read: Jasprit Bumrah shares motivational post on social mediaAlso Watch:All Assam Bengali Youth Students’ Federation in Biswanath demands error-free NRC
By PeaceTV, January 7, 2016: The writer is in the second year of a three-year middle school. His father is Korean, his mother Filipino. He received the top award for witnessing success during a one-hundred day witnessing condition. He brought twenty-two of his friends to join the church. This is his story in his own words. He is fourteen years old. This is an extract from the True Peace Magazine December 2015 issue. Find out more on the Peace Tv official webpage Han Seok In: On May 9, 2015, my mother went to Cheon Bok Gung for the National Exemplary Families’ Awards Ceremony for the One-Hundred-Day Activity for the Second Half of the Year [Beginning after Foundation Day 2014 and ending before the anniversary of True Father’s ascension]. My father was not able to make it, so my brother and I went with her, representing him. Many men and women of all ages came to the ceremony. It was a bit crowded, but as soon as I entered the Grand Chapel, my jaw dropped at the sight. The chapel sparkled like a golden palace; the men wore black suits and the woman wore white formal wear, suitable for the chapel. It was such a beautiful sight. The awards ceremony began and Rev. Ryu Kyeong Seuk, the president of FFWPU Korea, entered.In truth, until that day I did not even know who President Ryu was or what he did. After I saw him, I wondered, Who is he? First, they showed a video on True Parents’ lives and achievements. The video deeply touched me and I started to tear up as I reflected on my own life. I did not want to let my mother see me crying, so I closed my eyes and started to pray, but the tears collected more. After the video, President Ryu went up to the podium and gave a speech.The exemplary families had already received their awards, but those receiving a grand award received it directly from President Ryu and his wife. I realized, “Not just anyone can receive a grand prize, can they!” I realized something else as well: Many young people in school uniforms were sitting in the front rows. Seeing students in uniforms between all those adults in suits caused me to think that I wanted to be in that group too.Before the awards ceremony finished, something the emcee said caught my ear. “Following the ceremony, we will have some time for the awardees and their families to pose for a picture with Rev. Ryu and his wife.” We stood in line and were the 39th family to take a photograph with them. Seeing president Ryu up close, I felt he was bright and warm and came to respect him thinking, “He is not in this high position for nothing!” It was a very special day for me because I felt determined, for the first time, to try witnessing.True Parents with meOne day as I was looking through my social networking service, I saw a video of a giant’s skeleton being excavated. I searched the Bible on the internet to find out if giants actually existed. In Genesis chapter six, I found the Nephilim giants mentioned. After satisfying my curiosity through the Bible, I thought I would check Cheon Seong Gyeong. I immediately began looking through it. As I did, I came across a photograph of True Parents. I liked that picture so much that I snapped a picture of it and saved it as my cellphone background screen. Early the next morning I experienced something amazing. I finally had a dream of True Parents. I was honored to have such a dream but I was also a little afraid. I called my pastor to explain what happened and he interpreted the dream for me. I relaxed when I learned that the dream was a message from God.The dreamOne day, (inside the dream) a loud noise coming from outside woke me. I went out, still in my pajamas. As soon as I opened the door and walked into the hallway, my mouth opened in surprise. The entire rest of our apartment complex had disappeared; only our building remained. Where there should have been apartments was a huge stage, in front of which were countless people in white clothing. I calmed my racing heart and took the elevator down to the first floor.As soon as I stepped out of the building, my heart started to race again when beside our apartment building I saw the magnificent Cheon Jeong Palace. Opposite the palace, was President Ryu onstage holding a microphone and giving a speech. I pushed between people, an endless crowd, to move closer and hear what he was saying. At that moment he shouted, “Everyone, let’s all turn around and run vigorously toward Cheon Jeong Gung, which you see behind you!” All the people then turned around, shouting “Aju!” and ran toward Cheon Jeong Gung, cheering. I also ran, but suddenly President Ryu called my name and I looked back. All the people, who only moments ago had been directly behind me had run around me, no one blocked my path. Reminiscent of Moses’ miracle, when he parted the sea, people were rushing along each side but my path to the stage, where President Ryu was motioning for me to come, was vacant of people.I looked up at President Ryu at the podium and he looked down at me. With a big smile he said, “True Mother is looking for you intently. She is behind the stage. Go to her right away.”As soon as he finished speaking, I went behind the stage. True Mother appeared as she did at the Cheon Il Guk Coronation of the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, wearing the holy robe and holy crown, which signify her unity with Heavenly Parent, and holding the heavenly royal scepter symbolizing the authority of the True Parents of the substantial Cheon Il Guk.She was sitting in a chair with the Seal of the True Empress of Holiness and Virtue, the royal seal of the Heavenly Parent and the Heavenly Royal Seal, True Parents’ royal seal, nearby. True Father’s holy robe and holy crown were on the chair next to her.However, I was still in my pajamas and hesitated to approach her. I went home to change into better clothes and as I was putting on my pants, I heard the ever-fading sound of a helicopter moving farther away. When I came back outside, everything that had been there a moment ago was gone.This dream reminded me of what True Parents have often said, “Now that the time is here, you must prepare to greet it.” To follow this, I began to attend early morning hoondokhae and as God planned I was able to witness and started to enjoy it. I deeply realized that nothing is impossible if Heavenly Parent and True Parents are with me.Difficulties I facedFirst, it was difficult because of resistance and opposition from those of my friends who followed other religions. I remember that I would lament and cry inside as they criticized my church, calling it a cult, a false religion in front of me. I recalled what Cheon Seong Gyeong says about responding to criticism of the church—I had to repent for and indemnify my ancestor’s sins and my own sins. Thus, I abandoned all my pride and calmly accepted their cursing.At the end, I said just one thing. “If you truly believed in God and were with God, you would never curse at me like this when I also believe in God.” They stopped and thought a bit and one said, “You are not wrong,” and left. I trusted that this was all part of Heavenly Parent’s plan and continued to witness. Today, my first spiritual child, Park Sang Hee, also works hard to witness with me.The conclusion I have reached“Witnessing is my mission to bring Heavenly Parent’s lost children to him and to teach them to believe in him and attend him.” With these words in my heart, I will do everything at the risk of my life to pray, offer devotion, witness and advance without stopping toward Vision 2020.