future workshops & businesses will serve as dorms and classrooms
for our elementary school until the main building is built.
With another $64,000 or 56.000€
we can finish it. If you'd like to contribute, please mark your
donation with "building fund". Ways
to donate on the left.
ANNIVERSARY & CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION
December 22nd we had our yearly anniversary and Christmas
celebration. This was the first time I was not there for it in the
15 years since we started the church, and it's
our biggest event of the year. Paul told me how
much he missed me, but he did just fine without me. About 500
people came and 8 were baptized. I'm so
proud of my son and told him he really didn't need me,
which he vehemently protested. What fruit he is of this ministry,
and what joy to know that the work continues whether we are there
led everyone in a time of Bambara praise and then
told the history of the ministry which is usually
what I do. We had more baptism candidates than ever, and there were
even more that were indisposed that day. What a joy to baptize our
own Jonathan (11) who was born and has grown up
in our center. After the baptism our French helper Ivan prayed
and prophesied over them together with Paul. Then it was
time for the preaching. We are so blessed that
Ivan recently arrived from France to stay with
us for a few months, and he did a great job preaching. Paul then
invited everyone to start following Jesus and many responded.
After praying for some people, and seeing some healings,
it was time for the special meal of couscous with
a great celebration!
to see more pictures of that day.
KID CHRISTMAS PARTY
the 27th we put on our Kids Christmas Party. Last
Christmas we set new record when 350 children came. This Christmas
573 showed up!!! Every child gets a number when
coming onto our base that they later exchange for a gift in the
order they came in. Where do all these kids come from? Paul said
they had come from greater distances than ever.
challenging to play games with that many children,
but Paul did it. First they played "Simon says" (we call
it "Jesus says"), and then they had to balance marbles
on a spoon in their mouths across a bench. They had lots of fun!
Then came the big challenge of cramming that many children into
our dining hall. Once done, Paul led them in Bambara praise,
before explaining the gospel from beginning to
end. He then did a Q & A time to see who listened
and gave out candy for correct answers. Finally he invited everyone
to pray a prayer to start following Jesus with
had not been prepared for that many children, so neither the food
nor the gifts were sufficient. We had 200 pairs of shoes,
as well as clothes to give away, and they were all gone. In the
future, we really need to prepare for a lot more children, and simply
trust the Lord for the funds to come in. This year - I guess because
of our absence - we've had less donations than ever
come in at Christmas, while we have not had any less expenses. We're
thankful that He takes care of us, and that you listen to Him and
give as He leads you so we can do these events.
to see more pictures of that day.
the 24th we celebrate as a family which includes
all our sponsored kids and workers. It's always a very
special time, and I was really sad to not be there with my Malian
children for the first time ever. That meant no advent calendars,
no Christmas tree and decorations, and the celebration in the dining
hall instead of our living room.
always everyone went to the restaurant for a meal of chicken
and fries with a drink. For most that's the only time a
year that they are in a restaurant, and one of very few times to
get a soda. Paul called me per video-chat and went
around so I could see all the children, and so they could see the
triplets. It was so wonderful to at least see them that way! It
was also great to see our friend Ivan.
the restaurant they returned to the base where they gathered
in the dining hall. They talked about the meaning of Christmas,
lit candles to remember Jesus the light of the world, and then finally
exchanged gifts with each other. It wasn't the same, but they still
had a great time. Once we get there, we will bring a whole lot more
gifts to hand out.
to see more pictures of that day.
WILSON FIVE IN MALI
had planned to be in Mali for Christmas and New
Year's and had even found a few people who wanted to come with us
to help with the babies. However, I discovered that tickets
cost twice as much during Christmas season and were therefore
not affordable, so I had to abandon that plan with a heavy heart.
tried to make the best of being in Austria during this special
time of year, celebrating Christmas for the first time
as a family. My Mom and her husband came by one day, and my brother
and his family another, and we had lunch with friends on Christmas
Day. I put up a Christmas tree to make it more
special, and the babies wore the cutest clothes.
is still the same as it was last month, as we spend most of our
time feeding and changing diapers, doing house work and office work
in between. They smile back at us now, and weigh
between 4.2 and 4.6 kilos (9.3-10.1 lbs). Connect with us
on Facebook to see lots of baby pictures.
we could not find anyone available to travel to Mali with
us in January, so it will be the two of us with three babies.
We leave very early in the morning on January 21st,
first flying to Paris, and then rushing to our connecting flight
to Mali. We will both have a baby on our laps (they
pay 10% of the ticket price each) and had to buy a third
seat for the third baby (paying 75% of the ticket price).
We will have 8 suitcases of 23 kilos each (50 lbs)
and 2 with 10 kilos each plus carry-on. Please pray for
us for this greatly challenging travel day! Pray also for
our time in Mali, for health, protection, grace, wisdom, and everything
to work out just fine. We will be there for two weeks,
as the babies have doctors's appointments, and Samuel physiotherapy
(he has dead tissue in his brain affecting his motor skills).
day 125 Emmanuel
or watch online next Saturday!
- We pay for the schooling of over 30 children
which is our biggest expense, from school fees to supplies and
uniforms. We've barely recovered from those, when it's already
time to pay the second installment of school
fees. Thank you for helping us with all these expenses.
Permit - Paul is still working on getting a building
permit so we can continue construction, but to
this date we have not received it. Please pray we get it soon.
from France - For years Ivan has been telling us of his
desire to come to Mali to help. In December he
contacted me, and a few days later he already arrived, even though
we were not there. It's been a little challenging
for him health-wise etc., so please pray for him. Pray
he'll be a blessing and be blessed.
Teacher - We are still looking for a French-speaking
first grade teacher to join our team. 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!
Director Paul - Paul has been leading the ministry in
Mali by himself for quite some time now and he's tired.
Please pray for him!
Situation - Mali is becoming more and more radicalized
by jihadists. Also, the population is rising up against the government,
still not accepting the president's election. Please pray for
peace, and for protection from
Designer - We desperately need someone to redesign
our website since it was accidentally deleted quite some
time ago. It will have to be multi-lingual. Please pray God leads
the right person to us to do it.
- 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.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.