Changing Of Seasons

Until a few years ago I used to blog every day. Then I stopped. My last blog was a report on a conference I attended last September where God did some profound things in me. I haven't written since then... no words about the remarkable season that ended a few weeks ago. It's probably for the better. It's been a season of heights and lows, of glorious times and very tough times, one that has been very emotional for sure; one that I didn't think would end but just be a beginning of a great future ahead.

One thing is for sure - I have

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The New Terrorist Training Ground

The Atlantic,

Last year, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb did something no other modern terrorist group has: conquered a broad swath of a sovereign country—Mali. Since then, despite French intervention, northern Mali has become a jihadist  front, with Islamist militants flowing in from around the world. While America remains focused on threats from the Middle East and South Asia, the new face of terror is likely to be African.

Gao, the largest city in northern Mali, is a place of extremes. It’s a sprawl of one- and two-story mud-brick houses that lack power lines and running water, but it’s also home to the garish, McMansion-style estates of Cocainebougou, or “Cocaine Town,” a deserted neighborhood that once belonged to Arab drug lords who controlled the region’s smuggling routes for hashish and cocaine but fled, fearing reprisals from local citizens who blamed them for the Islamist invasion. The city has few high schools and no universities, but many of Mali’s leading guitarists and percussionists learned their craft in Gao’s decades-old youth orchestras; it is a proudly secular city that also houses the Tomb of Askia, one of the oldest mosques in Africa, built in the 15th century to honor a regional ruler. Gao was for centuries best known as the capital of the ancient Songhai Empire, which once controlled a region larger than present-day Mali. In the summer of last year, an al‑Qaeda affiliate known as AQIM, for “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” took over Gao and made it the capital of the rump state the group created after forcing the Malian army out of the north. Months earlier, the Tuareg, a separatist minority long bent on independence, had laid the groundwork for AQIM and its Islamist allies when they captured the city. When I visited northern Mali in March of this year, a black-metal billboard the extremists had erected on the main road leading into the city was still welcoming visitors to the “Islamic City of Gao.”

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Touched By An Angel

130905Last Sunday night I was touched by an angel - the second time ever I had a physical "collision" with an angelic being. The first time was in a Jill Austin meeting that I place somewhere between 2001 and 2003. So let me back up to tell you what led up to last Sunday night.

Last year - January 2012 - God started me on a period of transition when he said priorities would be switched around, with Mali 2nd and itinerant ministry 1st. At first it seemed like blasphemy with the previous 16.5 years having been all about Mali. In February 2012 He renewed my calling to Europe. The transition continued with


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Nov 15 - Downtown & Prayer Meeting

Gerhard's last day in Mali! After a long and intense week we were all tired, but it was high time to show Gerhard the town. Planned departure time: 9:30 am.

Again, I woke up pretty tired from this past week. Gerhard wanted to record a few minutes of video, and I knew it would be a challenge this early. And I do feel like I didn't do very well; I do much better in the afternoon. But Paul did a great job with his sharing.

We did a little detour on our way downtown to stop at


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Nov 13 - Ministry in the Village of Goro

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


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Nov 11 - 8th Anniversary Celebration

121111-00Today was our big day - our anniversary celebration that we celebrate every year. This year our speaker was Gerhard Kisslinger, pastor in Vienna, Austria. After two days of meetings, this was our big finale, and it was to start at 3 pm.

Thankfully, because there was lots to do until then. The first thing to do in the morning was to kill the sheep that would be dinner, and all the kids


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Nov 10 - Second Conference Day

Yesterday we had 2 sessions (though the first one was interrupted by a hail/rainstorm), and today we had 3 more sessions, going from 9 am until 3 pm.

I was very exhausted when I got up this morning - not the best conditions for a long day ahead - and the first big issue coming up made me react in a less than ideal way. As can be expected, things don't always go as planned. Add to that tiredness... and I'm not a morning person anyway.

At 9 am we all prayed in the dining hall, before going outside to


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Nov 9 - First Conference Day

Last night the power went out at 11:30 pm - and stayed out for 9 hours. I had a pretty bad night being hot and being eaten up by mosquitoes. Normally there are hardly any mosquitoes this time of year, but the past few days it's been overcast, with a few raindrops here and there. It never rains in November!

I was glad to hear that at least


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July 19 - Wonderful Holy Spirit Release

What a wonderful, refreshing prayer meeting we just had!!! Today I saw some of the freedom that we used to have return! Hallelujah! I'm full of joy and thankfulness and love for our God who is so gracious and abundant!

On Thursdays we


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April 10 - Update on Crisis in Mali

Today's newspaper articles:

REUTERS: Malians march for "liberation" of rebel-held north

AFRIBONE: Un groupe islamiste nigérian présent au Nord

BBC: Mali coup leader rejects possible Ecowas intervention

DER STANDARD: UNO fürchtet "wachsende terroristische Bedrohung"

April 9 - Update on Crisis in Mali

Today's newspaper articles:

REUTERS: New north Mali Arab force seeks to "defend" Timbuktu

REUTERS: Algeria says hostages still held, may shut Mali border

April 8 - Update on Crisis in Mali

Today's newspaper articles:

REUTERS: Peace Corps leaves Mali, new US travel warning issued

REUTERS: Sahara states at odds over Mali rebels

REUTERS: Mali's president resigns, neighbours discuss north


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April 7 - Update on Crisis in Mali

Today's newspaper articles:

CNN: France welcomes deal to end Mali coup crisis

REUTERS: Mali junta sees civilian government "in days"

NY Times: Junta in Mali to Step Down

DER STANDARD: Malis Generäle versprechen ihren Nachbarn die Rückkehr zur Demokratie

AFRIBONE: Présidence du Mali : le capitaine Sanogo accepte une transition civile

REUTERS: Mali junta sees interinm government "in days"

April 7 - Arrival in Austria

I woke up a little bit when we landed in Casablanca where we had a one hour stopover. The only reason for that was that the Air France crew would be exchanged. Because of the insecurity in Mali, they did not want their crew to stay there but the journey was too long for them to go all the way to Mali and back. So they'd stay in Casablanca, and a new crew came on board. I fell back asleep quickly.

We were scheduled to arrive at 5:30 am (which is 3:30 am in Mali), but

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April 6 - Update on Crisis in Mali

Today's articles:

REUTERS: Mali's neighbours back junta exit plan

CNN: Mali coup leader agrees to return power

AFRIBONE: Un accord cadre-junte et Cédéao signé le 1er avril, dévoilé ce vendredi soir

REUTERS: Mali junta agrees power handover deal with neighbours

BBC: Mali coup leaders to step down as part of Ecowas deal

 


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April 6 - Boubacar's 10th Birthday & Departure

120406aSince I'm scheduled to leave home at 4 pm this afternoon, I decided to celebrate Boubacar's 10th birthday tomorrow a day early. Yesterday I made his birthday cake, and so this morning it was time to celebrate - with a bit melancholy because of my imminent departure.

120406b120406cI made a white

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April 5 - Update on Crisis in Mali

Great video report on France 24 - Crisis in Mali: Could the Sahara become a haven for al Qaeda?

Today's newspaper articles:

BBC: Amnesty warns Mali is 'on brink of major disaster'

AFRIBONE : Conséquences de l'embargo de la CEDEA sur le Mali : Une pénurie de viande se fait déjà sentir sur la Côte d'Ivoire

NY Times: France Rules Out Sending Troops to Mali as Rebels Declare Ceasefire


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April 5 - Remarkable Last Prayer Meeting

Today it was time for our weekly prayer meeting, less than 24 hours before my departure. I  decided we needed some quality worship time, but also prayer for our country.

More street children than ever showed up, giving us the biggest prayer meeting crowd ever. We started with a time of praise and then worship, and had a really good time. After about 40 minutes I knew it was time we shifted towards

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April 4 - Update on Crisis in Mali

Today's newspaper articles:

REUTERS: US suspends $13 million in aid to Mali

BBC: UN Security Council urges end to fighting in Mali

REUTERS: Mali parties reject junta talks, Qaeda stokes fear


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April 3 - Update on Crisis in Mali

120403aI will be adding articles to this blog all day long.

What's new? Malians line up to get as much gas before it runs out. The Islamist faction conquered Timbuktu from the secular faction and wants to impose sharia law on all of Mali.


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H2TNI est une organisation à but non-
lucratif enregistrée en Georgia, USA.
H2TNI est aussi enregistré en Autriche.
H2TNI fait partie des réseaux apostoliques
de Che Ahn, Randy Clark et Bill Johnson.