Monday we had a big birthday party, celebrating four birthdays -
Sarata (1), Sekouba (15), Paul (18), and myself (33). It was a precious
Life is a constant up and down, but with God the downs also have
a purpose and bring fruit when we walk through at His hand. It's
been an interesting season, with quite a few things to discourage,
but also things to encourage. These past few weeks I've had the
fear of the Lord on me like never before, however, I fear for my
sheep that they don't have ears to listen to what the Spirit is
saying. They are in HIS hands, for HIM to do as HE wills, as is
this ministry. I'm but the servant carrying out His boss's commands,
the daughter doing what the Father is saying.
Today I want to update you on my team and the property:
Emmanuel grew up in a Christian home and has felt for many years
the call to be a pastor. These past few years, God has confirmed
that call over and over again, directly and through others, so that
he cannot deny his call any more. God has also spoken cleary that
he is to be part of our team.
Emmanuel has been torn over his call and his family's wishes that
are in opposition to each other. Obeying his family, he's now in
his third year at university - something he knows is not what God's
plan for him is. This inner battle has been eating at him, and causing
turmoil on both sides, his family and in our team. Three days ago
he told me that he's taking a break from the ministry to get a grip
on his life. Him leaving is a great loss for our team who needs
him very much. Please pray that Emmanuel will be able to do the
right thing, do God's will.
Simeon was the first to get saved, two months after my arrival
in Mali. Less than a year later he lost his job, and hasn't worked
since, only doing little jobs on and off. He loves the Lord and
wants to serve Him with all his heart, yet due to a difficult childhood
he's greatly in need of inner healing. For that reason, he's taking
a break from the ministry right now to get healed up and set free.
Marie joined us in September and moved in with me in October. She's
been a great blessing in establishing Bambara worship in our services.
Marie has been torn in wanting to be in ministry, helping us with
the children, but also pursing a career. She's chosen her career
and is getting married in fall. Her current job will take her away
from us between now and then, which means another team member less.
Remember Sekou? When we started the church one and a half years
ago, he got saved and joined our team. After half a year, his family
made him choose between church and them, and he chose his family.
However, he kept following Jesus secretly, and alone. He's now praying
again with Simeon, secretly at night, and he has come to our birthday
party and joined us at the swimming pool. His family is wondering
what powers he has, because all the curses laid upon him don't work.
When we move to our property, Sekou will come with us.
Paul, who just turned 18, has become my most faithful team member,
interpreting and being a blessing to many. It's amazing how he's
grown since joining us in fall. He has a shepherd's heart, and now
preaches occasionally, stunning people who can't believe that's
still the same Paul. When our French visitors were with us in April,
he was greatly blessed. Paul has a heart to see the lost saved,
and has seen people healed and delivered. He's also singing in our
Bambara worship team - and very contagious in his childlike joy
Paul is having his finals this week, and then has two more years
of High School ahead of him. I'm paying for his schooling in the
private High School. Starting next week, Paul will assist me with
teaching the kids, as well as monitoring the kids these 4 months
to come, before the next academic year begins.
Sekouba, a former street kid, has been staying with us since October,
just after he got saved. However, it's been a month since he moved
in totally, staying here all day and all his needs being met by
us. During that month, he's grown rapidly in the Lord, and God has
used him considerably in the church. He is now part of the worship
team, playing the drums, and attending our school. A week ago, he
found as sponsor. Praise God!
Abdoulaye moved in with us while our French visitors were with
us, because he was injured. Two days ago, he also found a sponsor
so we can take care of him. Abdoulaye has a contagious smile, and
is also learning basic skills in our school. We soon realized his
great need to be delivered, since he was being visited and directed
by spirits. We prayed with him, and Abdoulaye was set free. He's
been fine since. Praise God!
28, AND FAMILY
Seybou is the like the "man for everything" around the
house. He guards the house at night, takes care of the garden, of
repairs, and goes to pay the bills. He's been a believer for close
to a year now. His wife and kids joined us last September. His wife
Fanta gave her life to the Lord in January, and is now cooking for
all the kids. They have two kids - Sarata, who just turned 1, and
Hama, who is turning 5 soon. Our French visitors in April taught
a seminar on marriage & raising kids, and we required them to
be there for the sessions, hiring somebody else to do the cooking.
Fanta said, now she knows how hard it is to be sitting all day -
she constantly fought with falling asleep.
their firstborn, was born crippled and cannot walk or use his left
hand. However, he can stand and walk at your hands, and in fact,
he LOVES to walk and dance. I always dance with him in worship,
and he just loves it! While the French ladies were here, he received
more love and attention than ever before, and those 10 days have
changed him permanently. He now laughs more freely than before,
and he learned to hug, wanting to be hugged all the time. Him and
his sister are now constantly at the front door, wanting to come
in and be loved on, and I often let them in while we're having school
in the mornings. I've been told of a center where they can teach
the parents exercises to do with kids like Hama, so he learns to
walk, and we're going there this week, to help him that way, until
he will be healed.
Fusseni is the third kid to join us, and he also has got a sponsor
already. Praise God! Fusseni has been around lot, and God has put
him specifically on my heart. He came with one torn shirt and one
pair of short pants. On this picture, you see him proudly wear his
If you want to find out more about our three former street kids,
their life stories are on the BLOG
page of my website.
I've now been teaching our two kids for about two weeks - reaching
and writing Bambara, maths, French and music. As a teacher, I greatly
enjoy those precious hours, though they are also tiring, with special
needs kids like ours, who have suffered more in their lives than
any kid should - beatings and deprivation. Discouragement and lack
of concentration comes easily. And yet, it's very rewarding to teach
them. I'm going to do just that until my next trip in July.
The plan is to find a Malian teacher who will join our team, full-time,
moving in with us to teach them in the morning, and monitor them
the rest of the time. I would send that person to a Christian teacher
training in the south of Mali in July and August, and he/she could
start teaching in September. Please pray that we will find the right
Emma and Paul with me in the back, Abdoulaye and
Sekouba in the front.
past week, a government official finally showed us the property
we're requesting to be given. The paperwork is moving on, and we're
expecting the final papers any time soon. Yesterday, we went to
the property as a team, to look at it, but also to pray and take
it for God's kingdom. We also wanted to make contact with our future
neighbors, and blessed them with dates we handed out to everyone.
While we were praying, more and more kids started to gather around
us, and we ended up doing some songs with actions they all loved.
Then I took advantage of the opportunity and shortly told them about
Jesus and why we were there. By the time we left, they waved excitedly,
and said, "see you tomorrow". I love those kids already,
and can't wait to be back to minister to them! If you want to read
more details of our time there - like the signs in the heavens God
gave us - and see more pictures, go to my BLOG
page, to May 20.
How fitting that we watched the TRANSFORMATIONS video
at our weekly movie night on Friday! Our land to be is dry, all
rocks, and seemingly unable to produce anything. However, it will
be a testimony of the transforming power of God!
Plans are to start construction after the rainy season,
in October. My team thinks the property is big, but the vision is
big, and we'll need every squaremeter of it!
What do you see when you look at the picture? I see
the wall, and the main building, and the garden, and the two little
houses, and the playground, and the well.... By faith we receive,
and by faith we will build.
Do you want to help make
this vision a reality?
Thank you for your prayers and your support. I have to admit that
the heat (it's the hottest time of year) and the workload are getting
to me, and I'd like to ask you not to stop praying, for WISDOM and
STRENGTH. It's another two months before I get to make a "break",
traveling to the US (see schedule on the left).
But, what more rewarding work could anyone do? I've found fulfillment
in snatching kids out of the enemy's clutches and making dangerous
men and women of God out of them! And you have a part in that as
In HIS service,