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Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance. (Ps 2:8)


Kickoff Party & First Service

Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch

6 September 2005




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Dr. Claudia R. Wintoch
Centre Apostolique Malien
BPE 1654
Bamako, Mali
West Africa




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It's Friday, September 2, time for our kickoff party to celebrate our return and the beginning of our activities. We invited our neighbors, friends and street children, and a few of our women were already busy cooking a sauce for 50 people in a big pot over the fire. We bought two sheep, and Seybou, my guard, cut one into pieces to be cooked with the sauce, while the other one stayed at the butcher`s to be grilled and picked up later.

And then the rain came. It's still rainy season, and it rains every other day. We were praying, but the rain continued, and so we finally postponed the party to the following night. On Saturday, clouds were menacing, and I prayed like Elijah (that was prophesied over me) that the rain would not hit us during the few hours of the party. The sun came out. Emmanuel was supposed to be here two hours before the beginning of the party, but he didn't come. When he finally came, he said, "It was raining so I thought it was cancelled again." While it was raining in his part of town, we had sunshine over our property. Praise God!

Being in Africa, the only ones on time are the children who are eager to participate in the action. About 30 kids came already, and I was ready to practice a children's song with actions with them I had just translated into Bambara. I told them we'd show it to the adults later, and they all loved it!

Slowly people started coming, while we kept the children busy with coloring books – something they don't have in Mali.

We ended up with about 120 people, half of them children. We served them our sauce with bread and grilled sheep, prepared for 50 people, and all 120 people ate and got their fill. Hallelujah! Because of the famine in the north of the country, prices for basic food have risen, and I was happy to be able to serve them a special meal with the love of Christ.

Friday night is movie night, and so the screen was waiting for the sun to go down so we could project a French-African worship video with African style music. First, we did the children's song with actions we had practiced in the beginning, and 60 kids were jumping, clapping and twirling, following my example. Then it was time to introduce ourselves to our guests, and tell them why we are here and why we are doing what we do – all because of His extravagant love. Then it was time to get out the flags and praise Jesus with our dancing. Of course, every kid wants to use a flag, and so I handed them out. Several kids flocked around me, wanted me to pick them up, and I danced with them. Never have I seen kids so want to be with me! They held my hands and followed me around, dancing with me for Jesus, while most adults just watched us.


On Sunday it was time for our first service after the break. Many children came back, and so two thirds of the congregation were children. In the end, it was them responding to the altar call. I sat down on the floor, while little Alimatou came forward and sat down next to me, wanting to know Jesus and follow him. Emmanuel translated my prayer and she received the Lord. Little Aisha followed suite, while all the other kids looked on. Alimatou and Aisha are the two girls right in front of me in the picture.

They all wanted to sit with me and enjoyed trying to talk to me, with my still limited Bambara. They didn't even want to leave, and I didn't want to let go of them. But then I invited them to come Wednesday, when we start our weekly kids' program, for neighbors' kids as well as street kids. Please pray for our first event tomorrow.

A few updates:

CHURCH RECOGNITION – I went to deposit the papers, but one of them wasn't what they wanted. I'm now waiting to get the right paper from California. The clock is ticking!

SIMEON – Please pray for his healing and deliverance. The situation is rather unpleasant.

SIMON-PIERRE – He spent all of his summer in the village and should come back next. I called him and found out that his Mom died in June. And he's having malaria right now. Please pray for his healing and that he will be drawn closer to the Lord.

SEYBOU – My guard, who's become a Christian, is in his village this week to fetch his wife and two kids. They will return next Monday. His brother Siriki also moved in just like that during my absence.

CLIFF'S VISIT – The preparations have started….

TRUCK – There is a Toyota truck for 12,000USD available right now. It's in good shape. My truck fund has 0 dollars in it. Anyone out there who wants to change that?

RESOURCES – Expenses are rising (e.g. weekly feeding of kids) without the necessary incoming funds.

I welcome any and all email, especially words of encouragement!

All HIS,