I'd like to introduce to you the team I'm working
with, the young men of God I'm raising up to become all God has
created them to be, walking in the fullness of God, doing the works
Simeon Assogba, 32, is from Benin. He came to Mali three years
ago to work, and was my neighbor during my first year. Two months
after my arrival in Mali he dedicated his life to the Lord, and
immediately started following the Lord radically. The Lord gifted
him in the prophetic, and Simeon was and is pursuing HIM with all
his strength. In the summer of 2004 Simeon lost his job and heard
from the Lord to live by faith, evangelizing in the streets of Bamako.
This past summer he had the awesome opportunity to go to Mozambique
for three months, where he did a school with Heidi Baker.
Last year, Simeon ran all the errands for me and the church, and
was half-supported by me and half by a donor in the US. Right now,
Simeon does not have any function with the church, and no support.
He needs about $100 a month, and is in a serious financial crisis
right now. He continues to evangelize in the city. I had to cut
down his responsibilities for good reasons, and I'm now giving him
some room to grow in character and maturity. Simeon's greatest passion
is still to serve the Lord with his everything, and he's a second-year
student at our Bible School.
points: Inner healing, character development, financial
Emmanuel Dolo, 22, is Dogon (Mali). Emma grew up in a well-respected
Christian family and moved to Mali two years ago, at the same time
I came to Mali. I've known Emma since 1999 (my first time in Mali),
and have known him as a young man who has an intense hunger to know
the Lord intimately, who's yet frustrated by the spiritual desert
around him. Emma is a passionate writer, but enrolled at the economy
department of the university in Bamako. God has spoken to him repeatedly
about his call to be a pastor, which he has fully embraced. However,
he needs to fulfill his obligation to the family and finish his
This past year Emma was hardly ever with us because of the situation
at the university. This year we have him back as a member of our
team. Emma has a passion for preaching, and preached at CAM for
the first time a week ago. I'm intending to let him preach once
a month to encourage him in his gifting and help him grow. Emma
is very sensitive to the Holy Spirit, yet has a lot of fears that
keep him from many things, including releasing complete control
to the Lord. Emma is a first-year student at our Bible School.
Points: Deliverance from fear, grace for studies.
Paul Traoré, 17, is Bambara (Mali) and an Albino. Albinos
don't only have severe physical problems, but are socially ostracized,
especially in the countryside. Paul comes from a catholic background
and has a deep desire to know God and serve Him. His step-Mom Elisabeth
was the first to come to CAM from his family, part of our literacy
class and one of the ladies we gave a sack of coal to sell to. Last
year, Paul came by from time to time, more and more so, and he's
now become an important member of our team. Paul has finished his
"middle school", and is about to start "lycée"
(grades 10-12). He's been greatly discouraged this weekend because
for some reason his name was not on the list of students to start
lycée this week, which means no schooling for him. He will
try to find out whether that's an error or not this week. And tomorrow,
he's going to an eye doctor to get a prescription for glasses (Albinos
have very bad eye-sight), which I'm praying we'll have the money
to have made.
Paul is a gifted interpreter and interprets me on Sundays, as well
as for the children's program, movie nights and other events. He's
also a new student at our Bible School, and extremely stretched
by it. Until a few weeks ago, he had never even opened a Bible!
However, he's very eager to learn and hungry to know God more and
grow, so he's giving his best to cope with the amount of information
and homework to do. He is also faithful in coming to our team prayer
meetings, and helps out wherever he can. Paul's desire is to preach
the gospel to all people, and he's on the best way there.
points: Placement in lycée, glasses, ability
to learn and absorb.
Simon-Pierre Dembélé, 18, is Bobo (Mali) and was
my German student these past two years. He comes from catholic background
and became a student in our Bible school a year ago. Simon-Pierre
is a brilliant student, very intelligent, and has a very tender
I have not seen Simon-Pierre yet this year, because he spent all
summer in his village. When I came back to Mali, I found out that
his Mom had died in June which was quite a blow for him. With the
new school year starting tomorrow, he is back in town but I haven't
seen him yet. I've talked to him on the phone, and he should be
back for Bible School this year. Simon-Pierre is still a part of
his catholic church, where he is also involved quite a bit, so that
he hardly joins us for any activities. He has a call to be a pastor,
of which he is not aware yet. I have seen some growth in him this
past year, but there is still much he hasn't grasped yet.
points: a living, vibrant relationship with God,
comfort for his loss.
Seybou Ongoiba, ca. 28, is Dogon (Mali), and so is his wife Fatoumata.
They have two children – Hama, about 2, and Sarata, about
half a year. I hired Seybou as my night guard last November, and
found out a few months later that he had a family in his village
more than a one-day trip away. I prayed about it and told him I'd
like for them to be reunited. So, when I got back to Mali end of
August, I sent him to get his family from the village, and they
now all live with me, in the little house behind my house.
Seybou has been very faithful and trustworthy as a guard, and with
the arrival of his wife and the need to employ her as well, I have
given him more responsibility, more important tasks to do, many
of those Simeon used to do. Seybou was one of the first students
in our literacy class, very eager to learn to read and write. Over
the months, through reading the Word as well as the movie nights
and services, he was constantly coming closer to the Lord. Coming
back from my summer travels, I found out he was serving the Lord
now. He still has ways to go, but he is on the right path.
It's a lot more difficult with his wife Fatoumata, who I'm having
a hard time to connect with, and who only half-heartedly joins our
activities. Her baby Sarata is in really bad shape physically –
visibly malnourished. I gave them vitamins for both kids, but that
might not be sufficient. (Any advice?) The little boy, Hama, has
put on weight since coming to Bamako, looking a lot healthier now
than he did at first. Every time he'd see me, he would start screaming
in terror. He had never seen a white person before. He told people
around him to hit me. Unfortunately, Hama couldn't run away from
me. He was born with his left side partially paralyzed, unusable,
therefore he cannot walk or use his left hand. By now, Hama doesn't
scream any more when he sees me and lets me pick him up, even though
he is still not comfortable. I grab him every week to pray for his
points: Hama's healing, Seybou's growth, Fatoumata's
POTENTIAL TEAM MEMBERS
Marie, already a Christian, recently joined our
English class, and then our church.
Hassim came to our service a week ago wanting
to become a Christian. We prayed together, and he's coming over
often, to learn more. He's joined our literacy class, so he can
read God's word for himself as soon as possible.
Sekouba, my new son, is now sleeping on our property
every night. He has also joined our new literacy class, and I'm
working with him more often so he can read as soon as possible.
We also sit down at times, and I read God's word to him, and we
I'm planning on sitting down for half an hour or so every night
with Seybou, Hassim and Sekouba. They desperately need to hear God's
word, and find out how to pray. I'm hoping to be able to start doing
Finally, remember praying also for me. I just had malaria for the
very first time – interesting experience. My schedule is pretty
full, and my only prayer is to stay close to HIM, to have my precious
times of intimate encounter with Him, which are being challenged
all the time. There is so much to do, yet only so much time and
energy. I need wisdom in all I do and say.
To Him, who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever
ask or imagine, be all glory, power and praise! AMEN!