packed up in the morning, and my new friend Helene came
at 9 am to drive me to the airport. I was ready and all
set. I was wondering whether I had made a mistake to shorten
my time in Quebec, as it hadn't worked out to meet with
this one guy, plus this pastor emailed me that he wanted
to meet me. Had I stayed, I could have met both. It is
as it is.
said good-bye to my friend Helene, and started the US
customs and immigration process that is done on the Canadian
side of the border. I had to think back to Toronto in
2003, when it was the same situation, and they wouldn't
let me go to Kansas City. It was pretty bad, but God used
it to open the door to go to Mali. It's a long story,
but you could look it up going to the email archive, looking
for July 2003.
got on the plane, flying first to Detroit, and then on
to Kansas City. It's kind of lonely to arrive in a city
and not be picked up by anyone. After having gone the
wrong direction, I find the right baggage claim area and
got my bag, and then made my way to the shuttle bus to
go to the rental car agency. They have a central place
with all the agencies.
is the third time ever I've rented a car, and all three
times it was in Kansas City. The first time I ended up
paying double than what they'd said on the internet. Then
last time, I was really happy with the agency, and the
people were extra friendly. However, I went with another
agency this time because it was cheaper online.
I got there, the guy asked all kinds of questions, and
in the end, wanted to force me to take an insurance that
would cost a lot of money. He released me to go to another
agency, and I went straight to the one from last time.
The guy there was super-friendly again, and very kind
to find me the best rate they had to offer. I told him
it needs to be as cheap as possible, and I couldn't pay
for any insurance. I got a good one. Praise God!
I drove away on the familiar highways of Kansas City,
I poured my heart out to God, telling Him He was my Insurer,
and affirming that He was my Provider, however bleak our
financial situation is right now. He touched my heart
deeply as tears were running down my cheeks, realizing
this was absolutely the truth, and that He was with me.
I was overwhelmed by the goodness of my awesome God.
enjoyed my ride from the north of Kansas City to the south
where I was staying with friends of mine. When I got there,
nobody was home. I called them, and made it into the house
through the back door. That was a good thing, because
my hosts' son only came back after midnight, and my hosts
are out of town for a week.
was gonna settle in and drive to IHOP, before getting
a good night's rest, but it turned out differently. I
got online and watched the Lakeland Revival and got stuck
with it. I never left the house, and ended up going to
bed late, taking advantage of the internet connection.
short night. I grabbed a quick breakfast, before we headed
to church. These past few days I've come to know a good
number of people from the church ALLIANCE ET VIE, and
I have to say they are really wonderful people. I was
looking forward to being in their church.
wasn't prepared for a 5-hour service, though. We got there
at 9:30, and they started shortly after. It's a very prophetic
church, and what they do is to worship and prophesy over
people during the first half hour, before they enter into
"worship only", the real worship time. Many
were in the front worshiping, when they started prophesying
over the first person. Then, suddenly, they called on
me to receive a word. I was at my seat and walked forward.
Three different people then prophesied over me, and it
greatly blessed me. I had tears in my eyes by the time
they were done. It's all in French, and I'll need to transcribe
and translate it. In any case, God had not forgotten me
and was encouraging me big time.
worship time was wonderful, as they were singing a lot
of their own songs. Worship songs written in French, and
it's very obvious they're not translated. I wished we
could sing those in Mali! They might possibly give me
the chords. In any case, I've got their CD.
Charlie Robinson came up to preach. He preached for over
2 hours, and it was good.
service was over by 2:30 pm. I had been waiting all week
to get to a Christian bookstore with French stuff, and
went there right away. They only had a little book corner,
but I saw lots and lots of books that would enrich our
Christian library in Mali. If I could, I'd have bought
them all! So I just looked through what we'd need most.
Unfortunately there weren't any French worship CDs or
DVDs. I chose a few books, including a children's Bible,
and they had to check whether I could pay by credit card.
the meantime I took the opportunity to talk to Charlie
for a few minutes. Unfortunately we were interrupted and
couldn't finish the conversation.
was allowed to pay by credit card, but my card wouldn't
get through. I already saw myself leaving all the stuff
of the ladies I had met that week came up to me and asked
where I'd be the rest of the day, because she needed to
come over and see me before I leave. I said I'd be home
in the evening.
lady now said she could drive me to an ATM to withdraw
money from - but would it work there? Suddenly someone
decided to buy me the CD of the church worship group.
Then another lady said she wanted to pay me the one French
worship CD. Then they said I could have the sermon on
CD for free. What I had to pay was down to a $100.
the lady who was gonna come by tonight came over again
and asked how much money I still had to pay. I told her,
exactly $100. She gasped and said that this morning God
had told her to give me $100. So instead of coming over,
she'd just pay my bill, and she did. Wow! I needed those
books for Mali, and was ready to spend money I don't have
on them. Right now, all we have are debts, and I don't
like it. But when do I get a chance to buy Christian materials
in French? God saw the need, and provided. Praise God!
was 4 pm by the time we arrived at the restaurant
to have lunch. I was pretty hungry by then! And
now I was in a restaurant for the first time since
my departure from Mali! I chose a steak :-).
9 of us had a great time together. As we finished
eating, some had it on their heart to show me Montreal,
even though rain was on the horizon. So a few went
home, and six of us started out on our tour.
went downtown Montreal, to the harbor, where I took
these pictures. The picture below shows "weird"
apartment buildings that were built especially for
the world EXPO in the seventies.
their we walked into the old city, through little
streets with restaurants and gift shops. Much reminded
me of France or Europe. This picture shows the flag
of Quebec to the right.
was this fountain, and there were all kinds of artists,
from juggler to painters.
new friends were burning to introduce me to a local
speciality called "queue de castor", which
means translated "beaver tail". It is
like a flat donut covered with whatever you want,
in my case chocolatey nut creme. It was really good!
got back to the car, and continued our tour in the
car. We drove up on "mont royal", a mountain
in the city from where you have a nice view of the
city. It was raining by now, but we went up there
and looked out over the lights of the city, since
it was dark by then.
I saw this animal very close to me. I was told it's
a racoon, and it wouldn't hurt anyone. In fact,
people were feeding them, and they came all the
way eating out of their hands. It was my first time
seeing racoons in reality. Though it was raining,
it was fascinating.
continued our tour, and stopped at a coffee shop
for coffee and hot chocolate, before continuing
on to the olypmics stadium. A very impressive structure
from the eighties!
started dropping off people, and it was time to
say good-bye to everyone. In these few days, they've
really become friends. We drove home, where we arrived
just before midnight. Now it's after 2 am, and high
time to go to bed.
three days, and 10 meetings - that was the Montreal Prophetic
Festival, which was a conference with Bobby Conner, Paul
Keith Davis, and John Laframboise, organized by Charlie
Robinson. It was a wonderful three days, but also a very
tiring few days. The ride back and forth to the location
of the conference was about an hour, and my host church
was very involved in the conference with its worship team
and dance team. They were the last ones out at night,
and sometimes the first ones in. It meant short nights
and constant tiredness for me.
speakers were great, as was worship. It was all very much
focused on Montreal and the region, but I still got something
out of it. I enjoyed getting to know the people from the
church here, especially during our long car rides. During
break times, I usually went to the grocery store nearby
to get some bread and cheese, and then just sat outside
the church eating and reading a book.
are my hosts here in Montreal. They had to work during
the day meetings, but were able to join for the last day
Saturday. I've really been impressed by their church,
how close-knit everybody is, a real family. They are a
very prophetic and art-oriented church, with a woman pastor.
A unique place.
tired all the time, I was encouraged during the conference
and thankful I participated.
got up at 7:30 am; I had slept nearly 12 hours! And I
had sure needed it. I had woken up a few times during
the night, and realized I had a pretty bad headache. My
nose hadn't stopped running either. I felt pretty bad
when I got up, and took something against the headache.
I had some tea and toast, and started the day slowly.
My hosts were already off to work.
watched some local TV - interesting - and then went to
my room for some rest, reading, and worship music. Around
noon I got really tired again, and fell asleep. I woke
up when my host came home at 2 pm. We finally met, and
started talking. I got some lunch, and then she had to
lie down for a nap.
hosts don't have internet, and so I called the lady from
the church here who's organized everything for me. She
said she'd find out whether the church where the conference
is has internet. The conference starts tonight, and I'm
going with my hosts. They said we'd have to count on driving
for an hour to get there.
had dinner at 5 pm, and I found out that there is
no internet at the church. And even now, nobody
knows yet where and how I could connect.
left at 6:15 pm to drive to the church. We were
7 people in a minivan, all people from the local
church here. It did take us an hour to get there,
with all the traffic. But it wasn't boring. They
made me tell them my life story, how I ended up
in Mali, and I gave them a short version.
at the church, it was already 7:20 or so. The service
should have started at 7 pm, but hadn't yet. It
wasn't that full, and some church people had reserved
seats for us, thank God! So I sat in the fourth
row or so. I met the church administrator for the
first time, who'd organized everything for me. And
then, to my greatest surprise, I met a family I
know from Mali. The husband is in Mali for his job,
and I know especially his wife. I had emailed them
a few weeks ago, since I was told they were in Montreal
now, but never had an answer. They never got them.
the service started, I also walked up to Charlie
and John, who I had both emailed repeatedly, and
told them that. John said he'd never received an
email from me. And Charlie said the same thing,
adding he'd been having problems with his email.
Bizarre, isn't it? God must have wanted me to make
contact with this church here.
was in English, and though it was good, I didn't
really connect with God. It just showed me how much
I needed God right now. John then did the first
session, and it was good. He shared his story, and
he did a healing part. In the end he said he wanted
to pray for impartation, as he's just spent 10 days
in Lakeland. So we all lined up - only about 250
people - and he prayed. The power of God touched
me - how I've missed His presence! And I need so
the meeting, I talked with my friends who I know
from Mali for some time. I'm gonna see them more
the days to come. Then we were standing in the lobby,
waiting for someone else, and Charlie's son came
by. I addressed him, reminded him that we were both
in Malawi in 2003, and he asked what I was doing
now. He was very interested. Then John came by,
and he said to grab him in the morning so we could
finally left there, nearly being the last ones.
It was 11 pm, and it was midnight by the time we
got home. Construction work on the highway caused
some traffic jams that slowed us down.
it's time for a short night, as I have to get up
early for my ride back to the conference.
overnight flight from Mali is crueling. You leave at 11
pm, and fly 5 hours, so it's 4 am when you arrive in Paris,
yet 6 am local time. I had only an hour of sleep before
they woke us up again.
set a record for arriving early as well - a full half
hour! It was 5:50 local time. My flight to Canada wasn't
leaving until 1:15 pm.
I passed through more checks and arrived at the lounge
for frequent travelers. I'd have many hours to rest!
got some breakfast, and turned on my computer. I purchased
a few hours of internet, which was perfect. That way I
got some stuff done, and watched the Lakeland Revival
for the first time, and time went by quickly. I enjoyed
it! It didn't seem so long after all!
when I got to the gate to board the plane, we were informed
that Air France personnel was striking. Our flight was
delayed. Great! While waiting, the Canadian next to me
started talking with me, because he recognized me from
Bamako - he'd also come from there. He was from Montreal,
so I tried to find out more from him. He works for some
humanitarian organisation, traveling to Africa.
finally took off with a 1-hour delay. I was shocked to
see that there are still overseas planes that don't have
individual screens! Great! I guessed I wouldn't watch
a few good movies this time. Flight time was 7 hours.
tiredness and sleepless night were catching up to me.
Again and again I'd fall into a deep sleep for some time.
But also, I had to hold tissues to my nose constantly,
and it started turning red. Did I have a cold? The climat
change? The plane air?
arrived in Montreal after 3 pm local time. In Mali, it
was four hours later. It took ages to get my bag, but
I finally did and walked outside into the hall. There
were so many people waiting there, I was wondering how
I'd find Helene who was picking me up. I didn't know what
she looked like, but she'd seen a picture of me.
didn't take long for her to address me. She welcomed me
warmly, and left with my bag to get the car, while I withdrew
money at the ATM. She then drove me to my hosts' house,
which took quite some time. I enjoyed talking to her,
and finding out more about Quebec - a place I've never
been to before.
hosts were both gone. It was a public holiday in Quebec,
and they were visiting with family. Helene stayed with
me for some time, and we just talked and talked. I really
enjoyed her company!
finally left at 6 pm or so, and I was told my hosts would
come home at around 8 pm. I took a shower. It was so wonderful!
Hot water coming out of a shower! And LOTS of it too!
then the quietness - I loved it! I got my book out and
started reading it; even on the plane I'd been thankful
I had taken it along. I'm gonna finish it soon. After
some time I got really tired. I wanted to wait for my
hosts' return before going to bed, but it finally was
after 8 pm and couldn't stay awake any more. It was midnight
in Mali, and I decided to go to bed. I wrote them a little
note, and went to bed at 8:15 pm.
think I got everything done before leaving for my long
trip. It wasn't easy though, since we had more power problems
than we've had in the while. Now that it rains more, there
are clouds, which means even less electricity. So today,
we had no power from the panels, but only when the generator
was one. So we had to have it running for longer, and
pay more gas. Half an hour before leaving for the airport,
as I was finishing up packing, suddenly the power went
out because the generator was out of gas. What timing!
It was 8 pm, and I couldn't see a thing! At this point,
I didn't care any more - I'd be leaving behind this electrical
mess real soon! I got my flashlight out...
day or not, I also had to go to Daniel's house to work
on our papers. I was there for 2 hours. To my great surprise,
he wasn't actually there at the appointed time, but had
me wait for 45 minutes! After that, we got some work done,
and I had "homework" to take home with me, that
I did in the afternoon. So I was still pretty busy with
had his first of four days of final exams at High School.
It was English today, and he said it went very well. Please
pray for him until Thursday, which is his last day. Pray
also for the kids, who'll be alone during the day, until
he gets back from school each day.
told you that Emma is revamping our accounting, which
is an answer to prayer. We'll have to do contracts for
those working with us, and find a good system for fair
salaries. The problem in Mali is that people only see
the cash you put into their hands, but don't count what
you spend on food, schooling, medical, etc. Taking all
these into account, Seybou gets far too much money. And
then I realized that Elisabeth wasn't getting any, only
these services for her 5 kids, which just isn't fair,
so I decided to make some changes even before leaving,
until we implement Emma's system. I'm just talking about
the cash given each week. Paul is done with school, and
will receive more as a full-time "vice-president".
I slightly reduced what Seybou gets, and also reduced
what Fanta gets, and Elisabeth gets less than anybody
else since she's only with us half a day right now.
told Seybou there'd be slight changes now, and he came
into my office in the afternoon to ask about them. I was
already scared of him, because when he "loses it",
he makes irrational unwise choices with big consequences,
which he has proven a few times in the past. Thinking
of Hama and Sarata, and their future, the thought of Seybou
and his family leaving scares me.
Seybou asked, and I answered. As expected, he wasn't happy.
He said he can't live with a little salary like this and
will leave us. I told him, when Emma comes back, everything
will be settled justly. He simply rambled on and didn't
hear a thing I was saying. I've tried to make him understand
in the past that the food etc. also costs money, but he
simply doesn't get it.
had a stone face for the rest of the day and refused talking
to me. Not only that, he'd do the opposite of what I was
saying on purpose.
was running, and I was nearly half an hour late when it
was time to leave for the airport. I said good-bye to
my kids and walked to the car. Seybou would drive, and
Paul would also come along. I had called Emma, who is
from the same ethnic group as Seybou, and who has a very
calm way of dealing with people. He said he'd call Seybou
later to talk to him, and recommend I'd go through with
arrived at the car, but no Seybou. He's the only other
person with a driver's license, and he knows it. He knows
I don't want him to leave. He knew I had to leave for
the airport, yet he wasn't there. Finally he strolled
over to the car, but didn't have the key. I told him to
hurry up, that I was already late, and he walked away
even more slowly.
finally left - Seybou driving, me next to him, talking
with Paul in the back seat most of the time. I noticed
he was going extremely slowly, so I asked him to speed
up. He then drove far too fast, endangering us, and so
I told him to slow down. Again, he would go extremely
slow. I said something a few times, and finally I gave
up. The last part of the trip, we moved VERY slowly towards
the airport. Better than too fast. No point in saying
something again. I was shocked, to say the least, at Seybou's
childish behavior. Seybou will be 30 in July.
said good-bye to Paul, and they had to leave right away
to not get into trouble with the police.
was sad as I left, and wanted to call Emma and let him
know what the situation was with Seybou. Unfortunately
I had no credit left on my phone.
checked in, and went into the full lounge for frequent
flyers. There wasn't that much time left anyway.
I felt like I had accomplished everything I needed
to do before leaving, and did have peace that they'd
have a good summer here while I'd be gone.
it was time to board the plane. The plane is close
to the terminal, and they check all carry-on bags
right in front of the plane before you climb up
the staircase. These past few years, we'd always
walk from the terminal to the line for the check.
However, today there was a bus. For us? Curious,
I got in. The bus then did a tight turn and stopped.
It was so close, he only turned! How funny!
had my "traditional" seat on the plane,
and this time I didn't feel as tired as most of
the time I leave. I watched two movies, before getting
one hour of sleep.
air is out, the balloon deflated, as we would say in German.
I've spent all I had to give, and now it's time to get
recharged again. So I'm looking forward to my 2-month-trip,
and amazingly, even that seems tiring right now, as I
look at my itinerary. But I know some wonderful things
past week I've gone over to Daniel's house nearly every
day to work for an hour or two on our papers with him.
We've made good progress, and the papers for the church
will be deposited this week. He said it should only take
about two weeks to get the recognition, since it's a Malian
association. Once they're here, Daniel's gonna deposit
the children's center papers. So by the time I get back
to Mali, all the papers should be there. Daniel is gonna
follow up on everything while I'm gone. I have to work
with him even tomorrow, the day of my departure. My plane
leaves at 11 pm.
week I've been wanting to take pictures of the complete
Ongoiba family, including the new addition. We finally
did it yesterday, but the sun was rapidly disappearing.
I guess better pictures will have to follow in the future.
has become such a beautiful little girl, only 3 years
old. I sometimes fear for her, growing up in this environment
of street children with all kinds of brokenness. She needs
special protection from God.
left for the south of Mali today, where YWAM is doing
an accounting seminar for its accountants. I was allowed
to send one person there to participate, and Emma has
just agreed to start working for us as an accountant,
among other things. I'm very excited about that, and Emma's
brain has already been working on finding the best system
for salaries and pocket money etc. Thank God!
High School finals start tomorrow. It's 3 or 4 days in
a row - they don't know yet. Tomorrow he has to leave
the house at 5 am - poor guy! I'm paying him a taxi this
week, since the school he has the exams at is a long way
I distributed clothes to my teenage boys. In the current
system, they have to wait three months before receiving
the same item again, for example pants or shoes. Abdias
destroys everything right away, but the others are not
that much better. Today they each received 4 pieces of
clothing, and were very happy. Now they should look decent
for their different programs while I'm gone.
gonna miss my cat, Hama, and Sarata the most. Sarata and
Hama always want to be with me. Every time Sarata sees
me, she runs to me, and doesn't leave my side, and Hama
would too if he could. I thank God for them, and even
when things are tough, and you wonder why you are here
- it's been worth it just for those two, if that was all
the fruit there is!
pray for our finances; things are not looking good, to
say the least.
days have been rather quiet, doing paperwork, getting
things done that have been waiting for a long time. I
wanted to keep teaching my kids in the morning, but I
simply didn't have anything left in me to do so. I just
really need a break, and my mind is only set on getting
everything ready for my departure.
spent some time with Saloum and Fousseni, who will go
to Koutiala for a 3-week evangelism camp with YWAM. We
talked about some of the details, what they have to take
along. I hope it will work out fine.
Souleymane, and Sarata will do a one-week program for
kids organized by the international school. Since none
of the kids is going to Dio, they could do a second or
even third week there, if they like it and we have the
money. Right now our financial situation is extremely
the evening, Emma and Jean came by. It was Jean's first
time on our compound, and it's a shame he came when it
was dark. He was still very impressed. He had some questions
about what I expect of him if he helps us out, works for
brain has already been at work for us, thinking how to
optimize our accounting, how to restructure food expenses,
salaries, pocket money, etc. It all needs to be redone.
He had some questions about details, and I ended up explaining
everything to him, showing him how I'm doing all the accounting.
It helped him big time to see how to change things.
Sunday, he's going to Koutiala for a two-day seminar on
accounting organized by YWAM. I'm thankful they let him
participate, though he's not YWAM. I have good friends
a lot of good things are in the making. That's encouraging.
Daniel kept working on our papers today. He called me
to say it's more complicated than he thought, so he's
not done yet.
I had lunch with a friend who doesn't live in Bamako,
but was here for a few days. It was good to see her and
talk to her. She had just spent three months in France.
He echoed what Daniel and others have said - I need people
to help me out. And she emphasized that I need non-Africans
to come help.
made a few little clips that show construction work
on individual buildings from the same angle from
beginning to end:
was the second day I went to Daniel's house to work on
our church and children's center papers. Daniel is an
old-time Christian who was still formed during better
days in Mali. He's much sought after, and we thank God
that he's willing to be our consultant for a year. He's
charging us the minimum price, which is still a financial
burden for us at this time.
loves our work, and has good instincts recognizing the
situation. He told me if I don't get help, I'm gonna break
down sooner or later. I know he's right. He told me I
need some mature Christians, but he also knows how hard
those are to find.
and Jean came over today as well. Emma is part of the
executive committee, together with me, Paul and Seybou,
and so he had to sign some papers.
is Emma's long-time friend. He's catholic but doesn't
really know God. He's just finished his law studies and
has agreed to help us out. Daniel was looking for someone
he could form during his year as a consultant, so that
that person can take over then. We'll see whether Jean
is that person, I hope so. I hadn't seen him in two years
or so. He's coming over some time this week to see our
compound and we're up to.
news on the legal front: Our church name is still CENTRE
APOSTOLIQUE MALIEN, but Daniel suggested we'd change the
logo. So I split up the logo, one for CAM, and one for
CAMAEI which is the name of our children's center - CENTRE
APOSTOLIQUE MALIEN D'AIDE AUX ENFANTS INDIGENTS. The red
cross is with the church, and the children are with the
was a very special service, because we had Fanta's baby
to dedicate, as well as the graduation for our Bible School.
been bothering Seybou for weeks so he'd tell me the baby's
name. He finally explained to me that it is his father
- the baby's grandfather - who has to choose a name, not
him. So he had to send word to the village, and somehow
hear what he's decided. He said he'd tell me this morning.
afternoon, half an hour before needing to get ready for
the service, I finally called him to tell me the name,
so I could write the certificate for the baby dedication.
He said his name was Oumar. Then I asked him what his
second name - his Christian name - would be. To my great
surprise, he told me to choose that name myself. I had
told him to pray about it and ask God what it was. Now
the ball was in my court, and I only had half an hour!
I would have liked to spend more time before God and find
out what name He has chosen for him.
sat down at the computer, and discovered that Oumar means
"eloquent" and "speaker". I then prayerfully
picked out a few names, always looking at the meaning
as well, and finally narrowed it down to Jonathan. It
means "gift from God". So, may I introduce to
His Mom Fanta is on the left, and the Albino lady is Elisabeth,
her best friend, and the one who's been at her side since
the birth. Both ladies cook for all of us every day.
always, only the neighbors' kids were there when
we started the service. What was different from
usual was that Seybou wasn't back yet, and a goat
was occupying our unfinished dining hall. The big
celebration for the baby is tomorrow.
Firmin didn't show up for the service, though he
told me yesterday that he would start working with
Hama again Monday. Too bad he missed it all today.
Paul led Bambara worship with Souleymane helping
him out. Saloum played the drum set, and Abdias
and Fousseni each played a Malian drum. While they
were praising God, more and more people showed up;
including the two other graduates from Bible School.
Annie came with her whole family.
I did 4 (usually 3) worship songs in French, and
a few people entered in with me. I then welcomed
everyone, and it was Saloum's turn to do the offering.
This was the first time I had given him a task like
this. Saloum now is 18, and I have a few months
to transition him from a child to a team member.
This was his first big assignment.
called him up for the offering, when I was informed
that he hadn't prepared anything. I was disappointed.
He told me later that he had told Paul in the morning
already, but Paul failed to let me know. Saloum
said he just hadn't find any verse on giving.
I did the offering myself. We have this beautiful
silver box a friend gave me, and everyone came up
putting in their offerings, while Paul sang a song.
it was time for the baby dedication. Seybou was
sitting all the way in the back, while Fanta was
up front. After some time, I finally asked him to
join Fanta in the front, since what I had to say
was for them primarily, and for the others secondarily.
It was an atypical sight, seeing them sit together,
as they are never all together - Seybou, Fanta,
and their three children.
read from Luke 2, about Jesus being brought to the
temple on the eighth day to be presented to God,
and coincidentally, it was the 8th day of the baby
on this earth today. I talked about the way baby
Jesus grew in stature and wisdom and favor, and
also talked about the parents' responsibilities.
finally asked Seybou and Fanta to come up front
with the baby. So far I had not revealed his name.
Even Seybou didn't know the Christian name I had
chosen. Seybou didn't want to come up front, and
asked several times if he had to, the same way he
hadn't wanted to sit next to his wife, but finally
asked them two questions whether they'd raise the
baby up according to God's will and standards, and
they both replied yes to both questions. Then I
took Jonathan into my arms and started praying for
him, blessing him, and dedicating him to the Lord.
Then Fanta sat back down with the baby, while Seybou
went back to his last row seat.
it was time for the second part of today's
special service - the Bible School graduation.
I continued speaking from the Word of God
for a while, about spiritual milk and solid
food, and shared about our Bible School, and
our three students. Once I got more into that,
I asked Paul to sit down and asked Emmanuel
to take over interpreting, which he joyfully
asked whether any of them wanted to share
anything, and both Hyacinthe and Paul did.
Then I gave them each their grade reports
for the whole five semesters, before I asked
them to come up front to receive their diplomas.
They all got an associate degree in Biblical
having given them their diplomas, I prayed
for all three of them. Then I congratulated
them a second time, and we took some pictures.
They were all happy! All of them would like
to continue their studies, going for a bachelor's
degree next, and I'll have to see whether
I can teach myself again, partnering with
Faith Bible College in Kansas City.
It's just a challenge time-wise.
service was over, and people left. Seybou
drove back those from our old neighborhood,
and Hyacinthe wanted five minutes to talk
to me before he left with Annie and her family.
still wanted to talk to Emmanuel as well,
and he and I were the only ones left. We ended
up talking much longer than I had expected.
And while I've been discouraged about being
director of a kindergarten - because my team
is young and immature - and about our need
of more team members, and mature Christians
at that, I was somewhat encouraged by the
time Emma left.
known Emma since 1999, and he moved to Bamako
the same time I did. He started his studies
then, and he's just finished them. He should
have his diploma in July. Emma has grown up
in a Christian family, and has known since
childhood that he is called to be a pastor.
His family pressured him into studying economy,
and now they're pressuring him to take certain
has been around us little these past five
years, mainly due to the pressures of his
family. He's suffered a lot that way, and
has therefore never entered into God's calling
for his life. He loves doing ministry, and
you see him come to life when he has a chance
to pour out. Tonight, he showed me again how
much input he has to give, what a blessing
it would be to have him on board. We've talked
a lot, and he said he'd slowly start telling
his family that he's gonna work for us. Please
pray for him that he'll have the strength
to do God's will. It would not only make a
huge difference for him, but also for us.
night, there was another incident in our house
again that just confirmed how much we need
a father in this house. A mature Christian
man. God, unite me with my husband soon, please!
just looked where I always keep my passport, and it wasn't
there. I had it with me at the police station, since they
don't like other forms of ID in Mali, and remembered taking
it out of my bag to put it where it belongs - and now
it wasn't there. I panicked, and started looking everywhere.
How could it not be there? Being a pessimist, I wondered
how to travel, how to get a new one, etc., all the while
asking the Lord to show me where it is.
He did. I suddenly remembered that I had scanned it to
send a copy to the Austrian consul here in Mali. It was
still in the scanner! Great! Those were a few anxious
had rather been discouraged today, realizing how
much we are in need of skilled people, of mature
Christians, because I cannot do it all alone. The
email from the Malian Christian lawyer said the
very same thing, and he showed some empathy for
wasn't very keen on doing tonight's prayer meeting,
after the way the last one went. But Paul had told
me that he had spoken to the kids after last time,
since their behavior had been totally unacceptable.
And so I was surprised tonight, to see that that
had made a difference. Thank God!
our three generators are in the repair shop right
now, and so I've been trying to use less energy
today. We've been spending lots of money on gas
for the generators, but today they stayed silent.
So the power will probably go off some time during
keyboard needs power, and I need light to read the
music. But I asked them to leave the fans off -
however, I myself couldn't stand the heat after
a short while, and so we turned them on.
tonight, to my great surprise, we really entered
into God's presence. We hadn't had a meeting like
this since my return from Austria, as far as I can
remember. It was wonderful. Paul and two of the
boys had little images from the Lord that were encouraging.
leading worship, I remembered the video clip from
Kansas City I had seen last night, and felt I needed
to show them. It's from the church I was part of
during my two years in KC, and where I also went
to Ministry School. This video shows a 9-year-old
under the power of God, praying for people:
always show them videos and clips that show the
power of God, to show them there is so much more
in store for them, to stir the hunger in their hearts.
I then said a few words about hunger, about God
wanting to come down and visiting us, but it depending
on us, since He responds to hunger and not need.
was nearly up, and so we spent some time praying
for the street kids, handing out the food tonight,
and the program tomorrow.
our car broke down once again today - same problem
again - and it's in the repair shop. I was hoping
Emma would come back with the Americans in time,
so we could use our new car. Emma showed them around
Dogonland these past three days. In the end, Paul
took Fousseni, and together they went to the bus
station using public transportation. It will also
mean no children's program tomorrow.
the way, it's Hama's 7th birthday tomorrow!
news! I just got word from HIM - the network
I'm a part of - that they have agreed to ordain
me this summer. Hallelujah! The ceremony is
July 30th, a day after the first board meeting
Daniel came over to help us. He's a Christian lawyer,
one who's solicited by everyone because of his competence.
Three of his children also study law, and with the school
system deteriorating, chances are they'll never be as
good as Dad, but it's still encouraging to have people
didn't work that long today. He just wanted to get a better
grasp of the situation, and what needs to get done. I
believe he understood very well where we are at. He saw
that I'm doing all the work, and that we need some competent
people. He admitted himself that it's hard to find those.
also understood well that this big vision we have, it
needs a solid foundation in every way. He's gonna help
us to get the legal, administrative, side up. He said
he'd commit to one year of helping us, for a minimal fee.
And it's up to us to find a law graduate during that time
who could work for us, and who he would train. Good luck!
For Our Teenagers
week it was high time to continue teaching our teenagers.
Their French really needs to improve dramatically,
and so we're are solely focusing on that now.
- our oldest - is the most motivated. Fousseni can
be motivated at times, and does take school seriously.
The problems are with Abdias, who is not serious,
not concentrating, and not putting any effort into
school. And it's such a shame, because he's very
intelligent. When I first started teaching them
over two years ago, he was my best student. My guess
is that the abuse he's lived through in school as
a little boy is now haunting him in school.
Ready For My Trip
11 days I'm leaving on my long trip, and so it's
time to prepare. I've started printing out flyers,
and I should also update my video presentation;
I don't know though if I'll have time for that.
week, I need to work with the lawyer for two days,
so we get all the paperwork done and can deposit
it at the Ministry downtown before I leave.
I still don't have any place to stay in Montreal,
which is a mystery for me. I was convinced God wanted
me to go there, and still am. In the end, all these
troubles must be a good sign. However, it would
be nice to know there is someone I could stay with.
Several people are trying to help, but no success
so far. In any case, I'm coming to Kansas City a
few days earlier because of this. Home, sweet home
- KC, I'm coming! On June 30!
had to get up early, since it was a long drive to the
police station downtown, especially during rush hour.
It was the first time having the new car saved us, since
we were able to go there without worrying how to get the
kids to school and back, how to pick up Elisabeth and
get them to the market etc.
took us - Paul and me - about 50 minutes to get to the
police station, and then we couldn't find a parking spot;
cars were already parked everywhere. We were 10 minutes
late, and the police chief already called Paul where we
were. How remarkable in a country where punctuality is
the guy representing the Malian association of churches,
wasn't there. I called Baba who works right there, and
he came some time later. So we walked in by ourselves,
and the commissaire welcomed us warmly. He then took us
to the police chief.
had a very simple office, and asked us to sit down in
the chairs in front of his desk. I gave him the copy of
our registration papers, and he started asking us questions.
He told us that their suspicion had been child trafficking
which is what they try to crack down on. They take that
very seriously now, which is encouraging for me to see.
we talked, he become more and more favorable towards us.
Before long, he told us that once we've finished our building
project, we should tell them so that they could send us
children. He said that when they do raids on the streets,
they need to put the children somewhere. He said to just
tell them what ages we take - even from birth onwards
since they find babies on the streets - and they'll send
them to us. Wow! Baba hadn't even come in yet. When he
joined us, he did speak up for us, speaking in highest
tones about us. He then told us that he had been in Darfur
together with the police chief, so they are friends. Awesome.
The chief even said he'd help us where he can. Wow.
left there encouraged. Isn't it amazing how God turns
around what the enemy means for harm, and uses it even
to further His kingdom? Now they know us there, and we
are in good standing with them. Praise God!
fasted because of this whole situation, I decided to go
eat with Paul before returning home. lt was good to talk
and have a nice meal.
the afternoon the tiredness - all the tension etc
of the last few days - hit me in such a way that
I could not get any work done. Later in the afternoon,
some of the Americans came over to do more interviews,
this time with our children. Paul and I interpreted.
It was a precious time to hear them talk.
also saw Fanta's baby for the first time. He was
sleeping when I took this picture. I'm glad Fanta
is taking time to rest.
morning, Hama didn't scream when he saw the baby,
but was still wary. Later in the day, when someone
carried him to the baby, he was screaming again,
being totally terrified. Pray for him.
you can see, they are putting up the beams, preparing
everything for the roof. Tomorrow is the last day
of them working, since we've run out of money. The
roof needs 10 tons of cement, plus more steal, and
all that costs a lot of money. Tomorrow Kossi is
gonna tell me how much money we need to just put
the roof up. Every time it rains - and it's raining
right now - it breaks my heart as I think of the
children out on the streets, wet and unable to sleep.
morning Fanta informed her husband that the time had come.
Seybou put her in the car, went to pick up Elisabeth,
and then they went on to go to the clinic downtown. They
got there in time.
little baby boy was born at 10:55 am. He was 52 cm and
3250 g. He doesn't have a name yet. Seybou informed me
today that his father has to choose the name. That worried
me, since Seybou now is a Christian and shouldn't go down
the pagan path of all that needs to be done when a baby
is born. But he doesn't understand that yet, and refuses
to listen. His family's power over him is very great.
Please pray for protection for the child, and for Seybou
to want to do this God's way.
3 pm - four hours after the delivery - Fanta was ready
to go home. I couldn't find Seybou, and so Paul, Sarata
and I got into the car to pick her up. It's quite a long
found Fanta & the baby, and Elisabeth, and I saw the
baby for the first time. You can tell that he's a healthy
little boy! Fanta looked tired, and sad, which is the
way she looks most of the time. I asked her whether this
wasn't one of the most joyous days in her life, and she
said no. I said the little boy looks good, and other women
around said no, to my puzzlement.
took the baby, and we all got into the car to drive him.
Elisabeth stayed at Fanta's side, and did a little cooking
for Fanta and the two little kids. It was good timing
since we were all fasting today and didn't need any meals
cooked. I told Fanta to get some rest, and she laid down.
I then told them to not let her work tomorrow, when Seybou
told me that Fanta couldn't leave her room for 7 days
now - another tradition. In any case, I hope we can dedicate
the baby to our one and only mighty God next Sunday.
was excited and interested in her new little brother.
When we arrived home, I told Hama that his baby brother
has arrived. He excitedly came towards me, and I took
him inside to show him his little brother. As we came
close, he suddenly started screaming from the top of his
lungs. He was terrified of the baby! I had to take him
out of the room! I was totally shocked! I've seen Hama
scream for fear like this. We have this video made for
children, with babies on it, and he'd be scared all the
time, seeing those babies. If that's not spiritual, then
I don't know!
Kind Of Sunday
cancelled the service in the last minute. Instead,
we had a family prayer and worship meeting in the
evening. I think it was a good time, though the
kids were so hungry because of the fast that they
had a hard time concentrating on God.
Saturday, a Christian Malian lawyer should have
come by to help us with all the paperwork still
needed - so the timing of the police incident was
amazing. Instead of yesterday, Daniel came by tonight.
I had met him once before, which was about two years
ago, and so he was amazed when he looked at the
property and the construction work. He said how
visible God's hand is on all this.
sat down and had a good time discussing everything.
He said he'd help us write all the different papers,
and all we need to pay is gas money for him to get
to us. That's awesome! We need to get it all done
before I travel in two weeks. He's also very confident
that our summons to the police chief tomorrow will
now have to create two more organizations, one for
the church, and one for the children's center. We
will then have three registered associations in
Mali, two Malian ones and one foreign one, which
is the one we have right now, and which will serve
as the mission that works with the church and children's
center. With the way things have been going, it's
gonna be somewhat of a challenge to fill in the
four positions with each organization.
was time for a "regular" street kid program again.
Though our American visitors came, they only came as observers,
and to do more filming.
didn't have many children, because the police had done a raid
at the bus station last night and put many children in prison.
Still, there was a good number who came, and we had a great
time together. The program went really well. I gave three
mini-teachings on different subjects, and we did a few different
games. Time passed quickly, and things had gone really well.
then had lunch together, which is a precious time, before
it was time for the kids to leave.
rest of the day is "history". To read what happened,
I invite you to read my email update here.
was high time to start working seriously again. What they
need most of all right now is to learn French, especially
to improve their writing skills. So that's what we focused
the afternoon, the Americans came over to our house to
do some more filming. One of them works for CBN (an American
Christian TV station) and was charged to bring back good
material so they can put a report together. I'll let you
know when it will be aired.
first they filmed the time of worship, Bible study and
prayer that we have every morning. (They just repeated
this morning's.) Right now, that is still in "Claudia
unavailable" mode, with the kids taking turns in
teaching. That's a great opportunity for them to get to
share and develop a skill.
they were done, I was wired to explain everything on the
property to them to be filmed. Then we sat down and I
was interviewed. I felt encouraged by the time the interview
Americans had put all their bags into Paul's room. As
Paul and the kids were rearranging the living room, one
of the Americans went into that room to put something
away. As he entered the room, there was Daouda, money
in one hand, and one of the Americans' wallet in the other.
He was caught, and no excuse stuck.
one hand I was shocked - after just having typed out his
testimony with him yesterday - on the other hand I was
not surprised. He was caught stealing off the property
at night more than once. A few days ago he had a fight
and said it's no problem if he has to leave. Recently
he's been totally unmotivated in terms of school, and
I've noticed boredom and indifference when it comes to
Daouda simply started packing. Having been caught stealing
several times the first time, and gone to prison for it,
before returning to our house, he had vowed never to do
it again. But here he was. It's sad and disappointing.
packed his stuff, and we gathered around him to pray before
he left. After our prayers, we said our good-byes, and
he walked off our property.
at night, we went to the bus station to hand out food
to street children and invite them to the program tomorrow,
and there was Daouda. He told us he's leaving town to
go to Sikasso, a town in the south of Mali. He has some
family members there. Only a few days ago we found out
that Daouda is not 15 years old, but 18. He's adult. May
he never forget what he's lived at our house, and find
a true relationship with Him.
really amazed me was that the other boys seemed totally
untouched by his departure. I brought it up in the family
meeting, and they said that after what he'd done, it was
only right for him to leave. That brought up the subject
of Firmin. I had never explained to them yet why Firmin
had to leave, and now they were open and ready to hear.
So I explained it to them, and they seemed to understand.
one has left the house, but it felt as if our family only
drew closer because of it. I love my kids, each one is
precious to me. We prayed for each one before they went
to bed. In the midst of all this, I had amazing peace.
God is in charge of everything. I still felt sadness as
I removed Daouda from the page of our kids, and looked
over the kids that had been with us but are no more -
Sekouba, Solomani, Eli, Abdiel - wondering where they
are today and what will become of them.
morning we took Hama and Sarata to the international school
for a trial day. They wanted to have a look at Hama to see
whether it would work. I was amazed how easily Hama fit in
from the very beginning. He immediately loved it, and enjoyed
being with the other kids. The teacher (see picture) was also
wonderful with him! We dropped them off just after 8 am, and
when we got there at 1:30 pm to pick them up, they were having
lunch together, and Sarata and Hama were each sitting on one
side of their teacher, obviously feeling "at home"
already. The teacher said that it had worked wonderfully,
though Hama's concentration left before the end of the day.
She said it would work for him to be in the school, which
was wonderful to hear.
think it would be great for both of them to go to this school,
though it's not a Christian school. They would get a great
education, and in Hama's case it's the only school that would
take him. The only challenge now is financial. They would
get to pay only half-price as Malians with poor parents, but
for this coming year, that would still be over $3000 for both
- and only if we enroll them by June 20. Afterwards, the enrollment
fee will be higher.
pray with us for God to provide if He is the one who's opened
there, we went to Hyacinthe's school, which is where all the
other kids are gonna go next year. I hadn't actually been
to the school yet, so it was good to see it with my own eyes.
The one thing that concerned me was that I noticed the absence
of older kids in lower grades. Hyacinthe
said it wouldn't be a problem to put our kids into the school,
but now I'm not so sure any more. Being 18 and in a class
with 8-year-olds is really not fun. So let's pray for the
you can see, the floor is done in the dining hall, as
are the pillars. The roof is next, but we don't have enough
money yet to put it up. It's rained 3 times in 4 days,
and while it is a blessing in this dry country, I don't
rejoice any more but can't stop thinking of the kids out
in the street who cannot sleep when it rains but try to
they put the AC back in my office, after it had been cleaned
and the gas exchanged. I thought it would work with the
generator on, but I was wrong. We simply do not have enough
electricity for an AC.
was with us. He said that LOTS of people come for his
weekly teaching in Diago. He wants us to come and teach.
Now that we have a second car, there is no more excuse
not to. I've had it on my heart to go teach an intensive
basic course. Pray we'll know what the right day is, and
that I'll be able to pull away from the work in Bamako,
and have the strength to do this.
Americans came back to Mali yesterday, and found their own
way to their house. Today Seybou brought them over to our
property at noon, since they wanted to do more filming. They
told me they'd like me to show them around the property, and
film my explanations. They said to start at the gate. One
half of the gate was open.
a car appeared, wanting to drive inside. One of the Americans
was inside, and I was all puzzled. "Protestant mission"
was written on the side of it, so I wondered whether a mission
had lent them a car to use for their time here. And then there
was a big, red bow on the hood of the car. They pulled the
car inside and closed the gate. Dannie was now filming, as
I was told that this was a gift from ORPHAN'S PROMISE to us.
I was speechless!!!
Meeuwsen (sitting on the left -picture from Aug 2007) - co-host
from the 700 CLUB - heads up Orphan's Promise which is linked
to CBN and Operation Blessing. She'd indicated her desire
to help repeatedly, which blessed me every time, and now she
had arranged for this. WOW! No more excuse for not going to
the villages. No more wondering how to get kids to school
when our car is in the repair shop. Now there are two of them!
picture on the left shows our family in front of the car,
and the one on the right Ryan (the American team leader) and
Saloum, with our unfinished dining hall in the back.
BAMAKO INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY does a summer school that is
open to any kids, and since our oldest three do a 3-week
evangelism camp with YWAM, I enrolled the two younger ones
for one of those summer school weeks. The theme of their
week will be animals.
I looked at their website, I started wondering whether Sarata
couldn't go to this school in fall. It's a great school,
with tiny classes, good teachers, Western standards, where
children really learn something. It's all in English, and
since Sarata is only 3 years old, she'd pick it up easily
and learn it as if it was her mother tongue. Wouldn't it
be awesome for her to attend this school!
we took her along today, as I went to look at the school
and give them the papers and money for the summer school.
We left Sarata with the other children, who were just on
break, and she had fun. You can see her on the very left
on the picture, with a tricycle. Doesn't she fit in well?
director showed us (Seybou and me) around the school and
told us more about it. This picture shows the classroom
Sarata would be in.
I found out that they also have two handicapped children,
and so I asked them whether Hama would also fit in. They
told me to bring him over, and they'll have a look, but
they were very confident. How exciting!
only downside is cost - it would cost us $2000 each for
them to go to school there next year, and it's even more
if we enroll them after June 20. Do we have the faith to
believe God for $4000 to put them into this great school?
And the costs rise with each grade...
the evening, I finally showed my Austria pictures to my
family - after all, many of the pictures I take are just
for them. We sat down around the computer, and they enjoyed
hearing the stories and seeing the pictures, though they
didn't want to hear about the wonderful food and great
mountains, without them being able to be there or eat
it themselves. It was a good time we had together.
morning, Paul did the teaching in our "chapel"
time, and after that, I was totally amazed as the kids
came over to me to say good-morning and hug me. Wow! What
a change! However, after what happened yesterday, they're
grounded for now. No leaving the property, and no video
too exhausted to write about today. In short, the kids chose
to not obey and do whatever, it escalated, and they were all
gonna leave together. Paul wasn't home. When he came back,
he talked to them, and then they talked to me. They chose
going to bed early; maybe I can write more tomorrow.
restful night I was looking forward to didn't materialize
- but it was long. For some reason I kept waking up throughout
the night; I don't know why. But I got up 11 hours after having
gone to bed.
I had breakfast with my friend. The first thing I noticed
was the silence. It was so quiet! No generator, no bunch of
breakfast we sat down to talk. My friend has been in Mali
for 23 years, so she has a lot of experience and insight.
I was hoping to glean from her accumulated wisdom, hoping
for some helpful input into all the challenges and problems
I'm facing with my team/kids.
while I didn't get any answers, what I got was a lot of nods
and understanding. I found out that they and their mission
have had exactly the same problems with Malians all those
years, exactly the same frustrations, and they haven't found
the answers either. People's mentality here makes working
together hard or impossible, and it takes a lot of time of
growing in the Lord before they are able to overcome those
mentality and cultural issues.
it comforted me to know I'm not the only one facing these
problems, it did not help to solve them.
another plunge into the swimming pool, it was time to go.
I called another friend of mine who was meeting with me for
lunch at the nearby restaurant.
I hadn't seen that friend in over 6 months either, and so
it was good to catch up. Especially since she's leaving Mali
in a few weeks and might not come back.
then came to pick me up from the restaurant, after having
dropped off the kids at school for their afternoon classes.
I rode home in silence with him, while he told me about
another flat tire, and more money that needs to be spent.
I sure am tired of spending that much money.
home, I received an icy welcome - or rather no welcome at
all. The kids didn't return my greeting, and Paul didn't
talk to me either. I was dreading our nightly family meeting,
and turned out to have reason.
eyes could kill... I asked them whether they had anything
to say or discuss, but there was only silence. So I told
them the program for tomorrow, which was starting school
again, plus some other things. Then I got out the verse
and topic we'd pray over them tonight, before Paul and I
split to pray for 3 children each. After every prayer, we
hug each child. Saloum - our oldest and most spiritual right
now - refused to hug me. So I finally spoke up and said
that if they had something against me, if they were angry
with me, then they should speak up and tell me, and let's
discuss it. I told them not to let the anger boil and grow
and create bitterness inside of them, because it would destroy
them and separate them from God. However, they did not want
to listen. I had to let them go.
expected Firmin to come to his daily session with Hama,
however, he did not turn up. He had simply not told me that
he had chosen not to work for me - but Paul already knew.
I called him and found out that his family had put a lot
of pressure on him to not work for me, since I had just
sent him away. I was shocked that he had given in, since
I know he loves Hama and the other boys. Firmin now lives
closeby with his uncle, and working with Hama, he'd be able
to do what his gifting is, and still see the boys every
day. That was the whole idea. A few friends are gonna talk
to him, and hopefully he'll change his mind. He'll need
the money, in any case.
Sundays, I spend my day with the Lord until 3 pm, when our service
starts. This morning, I did a lot of crying before the Lord, as
I felt the hostility from my kids when I went ouside to get something.
They gave me a list of things that bother them about me, that
Firmin had written. I gave Paul Numbers 12 to read, just as a
again, we are at a breaking point as a family, and once again
I'm very much aware of the consequences of my decisions and the
weight of it is crushing. I thought back over different situations,
different people - young and old - that had come and gone, finding
fault with myself in each one of them. What if I had been more
like Jesus? What if I had loved more?
I know is that I don't make these decisions lightly, which is
why I wait a year (Solomani) or two (Firmin) or several years
(Simeon), after having tried everything else, with no other choice
left, before they need to leave our house. All I know is that
I try to always hear God and do what He shows me. All I know is
that I always try to do what's best for everyone.
that must be good enough. I believe it's all God asks of me. Even
when those around me disagree and blame me, I have a clear conscious
having done what I felt God had shown me.
wondered what to preach, and wasn't even very keen on preaching,
but had the story of Joseph on my heart. At noon, the power went
out, and nobody went to buy more gas for the generator, though
they know to do so. So because of that, we didn't have any power
for the service. No keyboard, no sound system.
enough, none of our regulars showed up, only neighbors' kids.
Where are all those who were saved and healed?
it might have been the best thing today, because we probably broke
our record of the shortest service ever; it only took an hour.
Bambara worship was pitiful, and then I did the 3 French songs
a capella, and nobody sang with me but Paul, so it was rather
pitiful, and then my sermon was totally unanointed. I was so glad
it was over. And I was so ready to leave the compound for my night
Hyacinthe showed up with a guy from another church who also works
with children. He wanted us to exchange experience and work together.
I really wasn't in a mood to talk ministry, but did some polite
small talk. And then Hyacinthe had the audacity to invite me to
preach in another church in two weeks, which that pastor had asked
him to pass on. Nothing could be furthest from my mind! I was
so glad when the two left, and I packed my few little things.
got into the car with Seybou and Paul's family who he always drives
back and forth, plus a few street children that had come out of
their own desire, which is great. As we pulled out of our compound,
Fousseni yelled after me, "don't even come back!". It
hurt. It hurts to have your family hate you.
dropped me off at my friend's house, where I'd spend the night
in an airconditioned room, plus they have a swimming pool. I was
glad to be there. I hadn't seen my friend since some time last
jumped into the pool, and then had dinner with my friend and her
guests. After the guests left, we spent a little time talking,
but we were both very tired. It was only 8 pm, and I was fried!
A few days ago I had looked into the mirror and seen black rings
under my eyes - if that is not proof that nights are difficult
in this heat.
we both went to bed early. I had deliberately not brought my computer
with me. I turned on the AC and lay down, looking forward to a
long, restful night.