Nov 13 - Ministry in the Village of Goro

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Yesterday was theoretically a day off. However, a number of people came to meet visiting pastor Gerhard so he spent a few hours talking to people and praying for them. We were all really tired, in any case. As for me, I was constantly drinking tea all day long hoping for the coffein to do its job, but it didn't help. I spent a lot of time writing about Sunday and uploading pictures, and doing some daily stuff. For the kids it was a regular school day - except for

a strike that allowed them to go home early.

 

Today we had to leave at 8 am, and I knew it would be tough, especially since I'm not a morning person. In addition to that, we have not only been very busy, but the power goes out every night and it's too hot to sleep without a fan. Last night it was 3:30 am when it happened, and stayed awake for a while, showering and trying to somehow sleep. When the alarm woke me at 7 am, I felt very exhausted and just went through the motions of doing what was necessary.

121113-01At 8 am it was time to leave - Paul, Gerhard, two boys that attend evening school, and myself. I was functioning better than expected by that time, and I was the driver, with Gerhard sitting next to me. We had a 2-hour-drive ahead of us, having to cross all of town first. Just as we were leaving town, we stopped on the side of the road so Gerhard could by himself some much-needed sunglasses - for $2.

121113-023 kilometers before you arrive at Goro, you need to leave the paved road to enter the bush and make your way. The path was pretty bad at times. I love this little sign pointing towards Goro just as you leave the paved road.

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We arrived in Goro at 10 am and were disappointed to see so few people. However, we realized on the way there that this was the weekly market day - something Paul and the village chief had not thought of when today was decided upon. So a lot of people had gone to the market to sell their goods, rather than coming to the meeting.

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However, when you play the drums, more people do come.

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Paul started off with a time of Bambara praise, with Joseph playing the drums. Since Paul had a headache, it only lasted 15 minutes. People were dancing anyway, and I'm going to upload a video clip of the dancing to youtube.

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Then I addressed everyone for a couple of minutes, and introduced Gerhard.

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It was time for Gerhard to come up and preach.

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Paul wanted him to preach a specific message from last weekend - about faith that moves mountains - and that's what he did. Everyone was listening carefully.

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121113-18After the message, we prayed for the sick, and I thought it was great that Gerhard challenged the people to put the preaching into practice and keep speaking to the mountain in their lives. Some were completely healed immediately, others said it was better.

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There was unusually many babies there were sick. Also - as so often - a huge number of people complained of the same problem; today it was the combination of headache and chestpain. But our God is a healing God!

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It was so great to see this father with his little daughter, since it's so unusual to see men with kids. I guess she stuck to him like that because she was sick

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121113-24As every year, we prayed for the village chief's eyes and other issues. He was very thankful.

Many children in Mali are scared of white people, but amazingly, this little girl walked up to Gerhard by herself and embraced his leg. She just loved being with him!

After we were done praying, we were asked whether we could go to a nearby house to pray for someone who had been unable to come to the meeting. Of course we said yes. It was a nice walk over there - especially for Gerhard who has never been to Africa before.

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121113-27When we got there, they explained to us that 25-year-old Assitan fell off a tree six months ago and broke something in their back. She's been unable to walk since, with one leg paralysed. First she prayed a prayer of commitment to Jesus, and then we prayed for her healing. Gerhard told her he expected to get a picture of her jumping and running at one point.

121113-28Then they took us to the house nextdoors where there was an elderly believer who usually comes to the meeting but couldn't today because of breathing problems. We prayed for him, and he was breathing just fine.

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121113-29These are a few impressions from there.... this cute little lamb was sittingin the shade of the tree, and didn't mind at all that I came over to pet it. This church member is proudly presenting his millet field - ready for harvest.

Back at the meeting place, three more village elders had arrived from a village meeting and asked for a prayer of blessing. Then the village chief asked for a prayer of blessing for the village, and Gerhard prayed it.

While we were waiting for Paul who had gone off, the village chief mentioned the pastor who used to be in charge of them. I then explained to him how much all that happened with him had hurt my own heart, as we had no idea, and it never been our intention for any of this to happen. I think it was good he heard that.

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We also prayed over the village's water, having found out about their dire water situation. The village chief's well in the picture provides water for 20 households, and it often runs dry - as so other wells in the area. And as you can see, it's not even covered. Unclean drinking water is a major cause of sickness. We need to do something about this and see to it that a public well with pump is being built.

We then said our good-byes and jumped back into the car to start our 2-hour trip back to Bamako. We were all very tired, and a few people took advantage of the ride by taking a nap. After 2 hours or so we arrived at the restaurant for a late lunch. The Malian boys - Paul, Joseph, Tidiane - had Western chicken, as always. Their food came fast, while we had to have more patience. And then there was even dessert! Everyone left there full, happy and tired. I had Joseph drive us home from there as the exhaustion started hitting me big time.

We were glad to be home, and everyone went to lie down. I slept a little bit and felt more exhausted afterwards than before. We had our daily family meeting at 8 pm, then did some more talking and working. I was starting to write and choose and edit pictures, but at 10 pm (early for me) I noticed my eyes falling shut and my inability to work any more, so I decided it was time to bed. It did take until 11 pm before I finally turned off the lights, hoping for electricity to last longer tonight.

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