need a few thousand dollars/euros
for school tuition, school supplies and school uniforms. Any
help is welcome! Send a check, make a transfer or click on the
online donation button on the left. Thank you!
YEARS IN MALI & MINISTRY
day before yesterday I remembered when I stepped off the
plane in Mali 15 years ago. It was very dramatic
how God opened the door for me to go to Mali - which I had prepared
for for 8 years (you'll find the story in my book).
I found a little Muslim High School to teach German
at, and the school director picked me up from the airport. He drove
me to his elementary school, put a mattress on the floor,
and told me that that was where I'd be sleeping. During the day
I was with his two wives and numerous children. On the second day
after my arrival I had my first teacher's meeting,
where I heard about the (predominantly male) teachers having sex
with the girls and forcing boys to pay money for grades. What a
didn't take me long to find an appartment a 10-minute
walk away from the school. It was tough being all
alone, but I had come to the point that Jesus was all I
needed. It was tough having no money or support, and the
money from the school not even covering the rent, but I had come
to know that He would take care of me. It was tough
before fast internet and Facebook, which makes missionary life so
much easier today. Yet, two months after my arrival,
a neighbor gave his life to Jesus and became my
first leader. Just over a year after my arrival,
I started a church and a Bible School
and did the first party for street children. After
two years of teaching at the school, I laid it
down to focus on ministry. However, all my experiences in the school
system is what fuels my urgency for us to get our
own school up and running. Please pray for a teacher and
for our building to get finished.
years in Mali, 15 years in ministry, 15 years of laying
down my life for the people of Mali, sacrificing my own
comforts, even my health, and the desire to start a family. Was
it worth it? Hundreds have been healed,
hundreds have been saved, hundreds have been touched
by the love of God, dozens of children have received an education,
and I have had the honor of raising up a Malian "Billy Graham"
in Paul. From nothing God has created something
- as only God can do, and it's only the beginning!
days ago two of the three children that had run
away a few weeks ago returned to us - again. The
same three children ran away twice these past few months, and both
times during Muslim holidays when people are generous
and it's lucrative to be on the street. The instigator - and youngest
of the three - told the other two to go back to our center, but
warned them that anybody dying in our place would go to hell. Yacouba
and Hama (brothers) didn't care and came back.
They said they wanted to continue school and follow Jesus, and so
we took them back in.
for the street children spending the night on our
base, we had hopes of taking in quite a few of them before the beginning
of the school year. However, somehow we ended up having not
one eligible kid to move into our home, which was disappointing.
Please pray for more street children to come spend the night on
for the 33 children in our sponsorship program,
our resident kids have already started school,
while everybody else starts school on October 1st.
We are in the process of buying school supplies
for all of them, as well as paying the first installment of their
tuition. The last big expense will be the school
uniforms for all of them. In total, the return to school
costs us thousands of dollars/euros and is a big
challenge every year. We have not been able to get rid of our deficit,
and now all these big expenses are added to it. We'd appreciate
any help we can get at this time of year.
are very proud that all of our children have passed either
the High School exam or the big exam at the end of 9th grade (70%
failure rate). The two High School graduates both want to attend
university, and we are in the process of helping
them work it out. As for the 9th graders, only one continues on
to High School, while the others are all pursuing a career in a
professional school: midwifery, public service,
tile-laying, and architecture.
I'm very excited that we found the perfect solution for our very
own Bakary (14). He left school a year ago, because
it was simply too hard for him, never having overcome being on street
at the age of 3. Our carpenter moved to our base
to set up his shop, and then suddenly changed his mind. Bakary was
supposed to be his apprentice, and so all he ever
did was to wait start working for him, and it never happened. We
have now found a training school for carpentry,
where he first has some classes to teach him theory, and then it
will all be hands-on practical training. I guess
he'll be the one setting up his shop on our base!
before our kids have to be in school in the afternoons as well,
we took them all swimming which we hadn't done
in at least two years, so it was way overdue. The hotel
we go towas attacked and partly burnt down by jihadists
last year, but has been beautifully restored. It's even better than
before, as there are now 4 swimming pools and even a water
slide which the kids loved. The kids never once left the
water and had so much fun, and for a few of them, it was their first
time at the swimming pool ever. It's a shame it's so expensive,
so we can't do this more often. Even with our special rate, it still
cost us $100 or 80€ to do this, but it was
definitely worth it.
to InTouch Ministries, we returned to Mali with
200 audio solar Bibles that have the Bible in two
local languages on it. Summer time is when it's rainy season
in Mali and so many of our villages are not accessible
until the water recedes. The other day, Paul made his way back to
Sebela with 30 audio Bibles. Sebela
is deep in the bush, with no electricity, and most
people being illiterate. It was two years ago that the only believer
from this village asked us to bring the gospel, and over
200 people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We
now have some thriving Bible-discovery groups and
people still find Jesus, some through dreams. I wished you could
have seen their reaction, when Paul gave them the audio Bibles.
They were overjoyed! Even though people don't usually smile for
pictures in Mali, they sure do on these pictures! Please pray for
God to use these Bibles powerfully and for the distribution
of the remaining ones.
Luggage - Thank you for your prayers that brought our
luggage back to us. After five and a half days, when they were
still saying they didn't know where they were, our remaining suitcases
were delivered. Just in time to pack for our
return to Mali!
Bank Account - Once again thanks for praying. Right after
writing you, everything was resolved and our
bank account was restored to us.
Warfare - We need more intercessors
to hold us up in prayer, especially now that Randy is prayer-walking
all of Bamako, going out nearly every day. Please connect
with us on Facebook where we also have a secret
Imam - The imam who was healed and then
had dreams of Jesus and decided to follow Him
whole-heartedly is growing in his faith. However,
he has still not left the mosque, even though he is starting to
suffer the consequences. Please pray for him; his main worry is
how to support his family after he leaves.
- Because of rainy season and many roads being inaccessible,
most groups have been left to themselves during
the summer. As rainy season draws to an end, we hope to start
regular visits again in the next few weeks. Please pray for our
groups to flourish and multiply.
Update - Construction had to be paused because of rainy
season but is about to start again. Believe with us for the remaining
56.000€ or $66,000 to come in so we can finish it
and start our school.
Teacher - We are still looking for a French-speaking
first grade teacher to join our team in September. There
is such a need for a good, Christian school where the children
are treated with dignity and learn something.
Many of our Muslim neighbors would send their children to our
school. Please pray we'll find a teacher by fall!
Director Paul - Paul's wife Rokia has been sick and is
currently undergoing some tests to find out what's
wrong. Please pray for her and for Paul.
Situation - Yesterday was Mali's Independence
Day, and the government shut off the
internet and phone networks to keep people from organizing demonstrations.
The current president was reelected, but there are demonstrations
against him regularly as people contest the results. Please pray
for peace. Pray also against the jihadist
threat and for our protection.
Baby - We're still believing for a baby. Please pray
for it to manifest on earth!
- Do you want to come change an orphan's
life? Do you want to heal the sick? Preach
the gospel to those who've never heard? Come to Mali
for a season and let God change your life. No language skills
needed, but French skills are helpful.
Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God's
wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], even when he is
old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6, AMP)