Last Sunday I closed out the seminar on marriage and raising kids
Pascale and Corinne had been teaching with a strong message on children
from Matthew 18. We are not to look down on these little ones (v.
10), and we should be very careful how we treat them (v. 6). Whatever
we do to them, we do to Jesus. When we bless them, we bless Jesus;
when we hurt them, we hurt Jesus. And I'm sure their angels see
the Father's tears rolling down his cheeks when we do (see v. 10),
and maybe He sends them forth to protect them.
While Pascale & Corinne were here for two weeks, we spent more
time with the children on a daily basis than I've ever had, and
they were flourishing.
Hama was like a little sponge, soaking up the love and attention
he got from the ladies. He walked more on our hands than ever, and
visibly became stronger. And his laughter has changed. He now truly
laughs, from his heart, with real joy. Also, when I pick him up
now, he puts his arms around my neck and wants to be squeezed and
doesn't let go.
But we didn't just see the positive, we also saw the ugly that
broke our heart - the way he is treated, the lack of hygiene, and
the lack of boundaries. I had another conversation with his parents
about basic hygiene and how to deal with him, and they received
it with a grateful heart. My our little one be healed in body, soul
Pascale & Corinne were here, we offered a French class - five
mornings during the 2 weeks. I ended up being the one teaching it
(since I have plenty of teaching experience), and we had much fun
together. We had street kids, neighbors' kids, as well as two adults.
We played games and learned words, and colored papers and solved
puzzles. Sometimes they were very numerous, sometimes it was a small
group, some came once, some every time.
And a few of those regular kids are on our list of kids to be taken
in, because they have shown that they are serious. Yes, the time
has come! We've actually started taking in kids - two as of now.
A non-government organisation in Germany is managing the sponsorships
in Europe - CCARA e.V.. If you would like to sponsor one of our
children, contact me, and I will put you in touch. If you're not
in Europe, you can still sponsor a child (tax-deductable).
I've spent much time before the Lord asking for wisdom, to know
how, when, what, what way, to do this, and I still don't have all
the answers. But HE is the one that has given the go-ahead, and
it's now been over 2 weeks that these children live entirely with
me. Yes, Sekouba has been here since October, but he only slept
here, working during the days.
One challenge is the lack of workers. Right now I'm taking care
of the children as much as I can, while doing all my other work;
a situation that cannot go on indefinitely. Thankfully, Paul's schoolyear
is nearly over, and he will spend the 4 months off assisting me
with teaching them, and supervising them the rest of the day.
In fact, we're starting our school on Monday. They will have Reading
& Writing Bambara, French, Maths and Music, preceded every morning
by a time of prayer, worship and Bible reading. Mon-Tue, Thu-Sat,
Please pray that the Lord shows us who is to be our school-teacher
and/or send us the right person.
We nearly lost Sekouba while I was away in March, and I had to
have him make the decision whether to stay entirely or to leave
entirely. He decided to stay, and ever since, I've been amazed at
his explosive growth, especially in the Lord. This is his story:
Sekouba was born in Bamako on the very day Mali's dictator
was overthrown in November of 1991. He is the eldest son, because
the previous children all died. He lives happily with his father
and mother in Bamako until he turns 7 when his uncle comes from
Koulikoro and takes him with him. Unfortunately, even though sending
him to school, this uncle is very mean and is beating Sekouba all
the time and using him as a slave to do all the work. Three years
later, at the age of 10, Sekouba has enough and runs away, back
to his father in Bamako. His father had in the meantime divorced
his wife (Sekouba's Mom) and remarried. Today Sekouba has no idea
where his Mom is. After two weeks back in Bamako with his Dad, his
evil uncle comes and gets him a second time. He does not know how
much time he endured there that time until he ran away a second
time. But he didn't go back to his Father who had not protected
him; and he hasn't seen him since. Sekouba did go back to Bamako
though, and lived on the streets for some time. When he heard that
his family was looking for him, he starting saving as much money
as possible to go to another town - the town his ancestors are from:
Segou. In Segou he lived again on the street, but soon became a
Quranic student with a marabout (teacher of the Quran), where he
was beaten again, had to memorize the Quran, and beg for money all
day long. After 2 years, he fled once again, at the age of just
about 13, back to Bamako (because you can earn the most there),
where he became a lone street kid again. When he showed up at our
center last September, he had lived on the streets of Bamako less
than a year.
Sekouba is now part of our worship team, playing the tamtam. He
has one of the MP3-players with the New Testament on it, and listens
to it all the time, more than all the others. And God's word always
bears fruit. He prays on his own, and on the night Pascale taught
on the baptism of the SPirit and speaking in tongues, he received
the gift of tongues. Last Saturday, after the evening session of
the seminar, we all sat down to have a bite to eat. Pascale &
I were talking, while Corinne cooked Sekouba's meal, and Sekouba
seemed to have fallen asleep. However his lips were moving. Well,
to make a long story short (go to my blog for details, to April
29), the Lord spoke to him through a dramatic prophetic experience
(like I've never seen). The following day, we had a very extraordinary,
dramatic, service. During worship, Sekouba started warring in the
Spirit on his tamtam, and God started speaking to me, giving me
the interpretation of what He had shown Sekouba the night before.
The fear of the Lord fell..... Read my blog for the awesome details,
Sekouba has also shown to hear God's voice on other occasions,
and he has more confidence already praying aloud. I thank the Lord
for "my son" Sekouba. I love his laughter, him playing
around, and I've been said not to see him joyful since our French
visitors left. May the joy of the Lord be his strength!
If you would like to sponsor this special kid on a monthly basis,
with 40€ or $50, please contact me. That amount includes food,
clothes, medical, and school supplies.
On May 15, we're having a birthday party for four
people, including Sekouba (we didn't know it was his birthday end
of March) - Sekouba (15), Paul (18), Sarata (1) and myself (33).
Abdoulaye joined us while the French ladies were here. He had a
wound on his leg, and that's why he spent the first night here.
And he's still here. This is his story:
Abdoulaye was born in Welesebougou (Bougouni/Sikasso region
in the south) in 1993. He lived with his parents and went to school
for 4 years. During those 4 years, his Father divorced his Mother,
and according to local customs, the children belong to the Father
and have to be left with him when the wife is sent away. His Mom
married again and moved to Gao - the city the furthest away possible
(north-east, at the edge of the Sahara). At school, his teacher
beat him severely, to the point of his physical state becoming critical,
and he had to leave school. For two years he was at home with his
Father and stepmother, not doing anything but help out - from age
10 to 12. During that time he decides to leave home and find his
Mom and live with her. Again, those two cities are the farthest
away possible within Mali. At the age of 12, he leaves, making his
way to the capital Bamako, where he needs to take the bus to Gao.
He has an uncle in Bamako who he is staying with, but that uncle
doesn't want him to go to Gao. Though he treats him well and takes
care of him, Abdoulaye doesn't receive everything he wants (his
words). His goal is still to find his Mom, so he leaves his uncle's
house with the intention of working and saving money for the bus
ticket. That's how he ends up on the streets, at the bus station,
and that's where he is invited to come to our Wednesday program.
Abdoulaye has also started to flourish, craving every little sign
of love and attention he can get. He is eager to learn, and has
a beautiful smile. Unfortunately Sekouba and Abdoulaye don't seem
to like each other too much, maybe seeing each other as rivals,
especially on Sekouba's side. Abdoulaye is 13 years old, but only
looks like 8. So far, I can't tell yet how serious he is about following
If you would like to sponsor Abdoulaye on a monthly basis, please
Both these kids are now permanently with us. I'm honored to welcome
Jesus Himself into my house, and fearful to raise them according
to the Lord's will.
have asked what happened to the car. First of all, thank you to
all of you who gave their advice on transfering the engine - I've
never had that many replies to an email before! The transfer was
done in a day, and for little money, by a mechanic. When Pascale
& Corinne arrived from Paris April 19, I drove it for the first
time - it worked out just in time! We had some problems after that,
but they were taken care off. The van now runs smoothly and is a
great blessing. Thank you for all your prayers! It took nearly 3
years of praying for a car - but God knows the right timing!
May your eyes become His eyes, may your mouth become His mouth,
may your ears become
His ears, may your heart become His heart,
and may your hands become His hands.