Last week Monday we started our outreach week with nightly meetings,
and street evangelism during the day. We used a Christian TV program
called BON-T(H)E (meaning good tea or goodness)
done in our neighboring country Burkina Faso, where young people
discuss hot topics that concern them, like sexuality, HIV, drugs,
etc. Every night we showed two (related) half-hour programs, each
one followed by a live-discussion that I moderated. I put together
a team of 5 people, 3 Christians and 2 Muslims, who discussed the
topics, with the audience occasionally adding their opinions. We
had a very fruitful time, even though there weren't as many people
in attendance as we'd have liked.
Wednesday, we had our children's program for street kids as always.
The week before I had taught the kids on evangelism, and now it
was time to do it. The difficulty is our turnover of kids, and so
quite a few hadn't heard the teaching, but I did a review, and they
were able to catch on. In fact, we had a good number of kids, and
many prayed with us to give their lives to Jesus. Barely saved,
it was already time to tell others. About two thirds were willing
to go with Paul and me, while Simeon stayed with the remaining third,
praying for us. I showed the kids how to walk up to people, what
to say, to ask if they can pray for them, and in the end give them
an invitation to the evening meetings. I have to say, it worked
out really well. Some were timid, others just went for it. One little
boy just went from person to person, and it was a joy to see the
contentment on their faces when they "did it". Some people
let them pray for them, others just walked on.
The highlight of the week was the party on Friday night to close
out the week. We cooked a special meal for 100 people, and many
came. We projected African worship DVDs, while kids and adults danced,
until the food was ready. I didn't allow them to keep me from serving
the kids and adults myself, and they all enjoyed the food. Then
it was time to tell a story. I was so excited about the story/parable
the Lord had given me that very afternoon - a parable on what Jesus
did for us. Everybody looked at me intently, riveted to my words
- it was awesome! You could feel Holy Spirit moving among people!
I prayed a prayer of commitment for them to pray for themselves
if they wanted to. After that, we did a tombola, giving away gifts
to people, before putting the music back on to dance.
On Sunday, we actually saw more people than usual, which was wonderful.
In fact, since my short trip to the States in Jan, we've really
seen increase in numbers as well as in what the Lord's doing in
A week ago Sunday, one of our new church members brought a friend
along who wanted to become a Christian. Read my blog of what happened
"And tonight, at the end of the service, a young man by the
name of Hassim came up to me because he wanted to become a Christian.
He hadn't even been in the service!!! This is not the first time
someone comes wanting to become a Christian, and I always ask them
why, and what a Christian is. Like always, he had no clue, so we
sat down and I presented the gospel to him. It was as if the light
came on, and he still wanted to become a child of God. Since he
doesn't speak French, and his Bambara is poor as well, his friend
Jean (our new church member) who brought him, translated into Dogon
- I prayed in French, Paul translated into Bambara, Jean into Dogon,
and Hassim repeated the prayer in Dogon. Praise God for a new member
of the family! Since Hassim (and neither his friend Jean) can't
read or write, I gave him one of the mp3-players with the word of
God on it to listen to."
On Saturday night, we always pray together, and the Saturday before
our outreach week, we had a night of prayer (our second ever). And
the Lord surprised us by coming the way He came, touching each one
of us, talking about REALLY knowing Holy Spirit. For three hours
we were worshipping Him, before going into several hours of intercession.
ADDITION TO THE FAMILY: BROUHAMA
A few days ago Sekouba introduced his friend Brouhama to me. He
already knew Brouhama back in his hometown Segou, and they were
both sent to a Muslim teacher in Bamako, and both to the same. Now
Brouhama has also run away because he couldn't stand the beatings
any more, and Sekouba asked me whether he could stay with us. I
prayed, and how could I NOT say yes! So, now I have two sons living
with me :-)
& VAN FRUSTRATIONS
Have you ever done the same thing over and over without achieving
anything? Have you ever felt like trying to walk up a wall, but
you never get any higher?
That's the way I've felt the past few weeks, moving forward with
the property and the van. What would literally be a matter of minutes.
is still not done weeks later (property). What seemed to be a simple
matter, becomes more and more complicated and further and further
out of reach (van). We persevere, but it's discouraging at times.
I've been going nearly every day over the past four weeks to Yirimadio,
where our new property is. And I never achieved my purpose for going.
In the beginning, another pastor was coming along, to help us, but
he was soon too frustrated to bother any more. Then Emma helped
out, with his brother's car, but he also got frustrated. But I kept
on, saying, we just need to persevere!
So, God-willing, tonights appointment will work out, for us to
be introduced to the village chief. A few days ago I talked to the
village elder who's our contact person, and all he said was encouraging.
One of the best news is that the government has lifted the 3-year
ban this very week, a ban that did not allow any property to be
given away. So, we can now not only start building, but also the
paperwork. After tonight's meeting, they will be moving the people
that are currently on our property, and then we'll be ready to start
the building process.
now have a van, a parked van, and no authorization to drive it -
how frustrating. I've been trying to look at all the options and
know what to do, but things seem to constantly change, with new
information coming. Since we are NOT an NGO, we need to pay customs,
and customs is very high, since the van is already 19 years old
(the older the more you pay); in fact, customs is more than the
price of the van was.
If we become an NGO (another long process), we would not have to
pay customs. But some legal issues I was told of would not allow
us to become an NGO. So I'm trying to get all the information and
make the right decision. PLEASE PRAY!!!
TRIP TO AUSTRIA
the time has come for me to leave for Austria (on the 1st). On one
hand I'd like to stay, but then it will be a great chance for my
team to take responsibility and use their giftings. All the Bible
students will preach and teach and lead.... I know my cat will miss
me, and little Hama as well. You should see his face light up when
he sees me! And during the outreach week, he got to sit on my lap
every night, during the videos, like he does every Friday night
during the movie. I've come to love those times with him, in fact
every minute I spend with him.
While it is hard to leave, I'm also full of anticipation of what
the Lord will do in Austria. If our prayer night is any indication,
as well as some of the things God has shown me.... :-)
Please pray God will give me the grace to preach in German - a first!
I hope I will be seeing many of you again, as well as making new
friends. If you want to know where I am when, please look to the
left, and go to the CALENDAR page of my website for more details.
I've made a new video presentation that I will be showing, but you
can also watch it online by going to the VIDEO page of my site,
or clicking right here on your preferred language to download it:
English or Deutsch.
My phone number in Austria, from March 9 onwards, is the same as
always: (+43) (0) 676 / 426 7617
Yesterday I gave my church family a "holy commission"
for them to be sanctified and advance with the Lord, even while
I'm not with them in body. I want to leave you today with the following
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you
with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ
may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being
rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all
the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the
love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that
you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now
to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory
in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for
ever and ever! Amen. (Eph 3:16-21)