for Church & Orphanage
starts in October.
First Estimate: $70,000
Building Fund: $5,000
Current need: an architect
eyes were closed, as he was playing the "drums" on the
table. A few days ago our djembe (drum) gave way to his playing.
and tore. Now he was playing in the Spirit again - it's been a few
weeks since he last did like that. Paul, Abdias, Fousseni, and me,
we were walking around the table, waving flags, singing and dancing.
The intensity increased, and all of us couldn't help but start shouting
the name of Jesus, and Hallelujah. It was only 9 in the morning
- as an evening person, I just about handle walking up and down
praying in the morning. But now I was starting to run around the
table with the kids, shouting the name of Jesus joyfully. I don't
know how many circles we ran, but I was awake now. And yet, I had
missed breakfast once again because I was simply too tired to get
up. We have breakfast from 7:30 to 8 o'clock. At 8 we all go be
with Jesus for 45 minutes. The kids are still learning to read,
so they listen to God's word for half an hour, and then they pray
15 minutes. At 8:45 we all gather together to sing, study a Bible
passage, and pray together, until school starts at 9:30.
I stopped running around the table, but Sekouba's
eyes were still closed. I can see when he's in the Spirit, and when
he stopped playing, and we had prayed and sat down, I could tell
something was still up with him. His eyes were closed, and even
when he opened them, he wasn't with us.
gave him some time, and when he came back to himself, I asked him
what God had shown him. He started talking to the other two kids
very seriously, saying that He told him that they all had to listen
and obey me because I was now their Mom, and they also had to obey
Paul who was now like their Dad. If they did, God would do great
things in them and through them. Then he said that he saw our house
on the new property, and all of us sleeping there.
Wow. Our time was up, and after a review of yesterday's
Bible study, school started with French class, followed by Reading,
then Writing, and Maths. By 1 p.m. we were done and ready for lunch.
I enjoy teaching, even though it's often challenging with them.
WEEKS IN THE HOUSE
Exactly two weeks ago, the bunkbeds were finally ready and installed,
and the kids excited to move in. Now they had their own room, and
own bed, and they each received a box for their stuff, a towel,
the first pyjamas of their lives, a washcloth, toothbrush and paste,
and deodorant and shower gel. They could hardly contain their joy!
Two weeks later I have to say that things are going much better
than expected. The kids want to obey, want to follow the rules,
and they love me and Paul. Paul (18) moved in at the same time as
them to help and will stay all summer until his school starts again
in three months. He's doing a great job, being responsible for his
young age, while sometimes being a kid himself who suddenly has
many of the amenities Malian kids have never seen before.
having lots of fun together, playing video games (EYETOY is great!),
badminton, and watching movies for kids but also of testimonies
of God's power and glory.In the afternoon they have to work another
two hours, doing homework and playing educational games on the computer.
At 9:30 they have to get ready for bed, and then we all sit down
together, talking about the issues of the day, asking forgiveness
of each other, and discussing what needs to be discussed. When we
are done, I lay hands on each of the kids and bless them and pray
Yes, lives are being transformed, one nanometer at the time. And
yes, it takes EVERYTHING. I gave up my privacy. I gave up my freetime.
I gave up "my" possessions. I gave up the right to be
undisturbed. I gave up the right to do what I want to do when I
want to do. I gave up having to get things done that day. I gave
up getting up at the time that's best for me and spending the mornings
with God. And the list could go on.
In return, I not only am blessed with four (including Paul) wonderful
kids I can pour my life into, but I also battle with tiredness,
frustration over their disobedience and behavior, broken this, broken
that, and my own failures as I seek to give my best and adapt to
this new way of life.
And as I said, things are going better than expected.
The Lord used Abdias's horrible accident and following visits to
two hospitals (see report from May
25) to connect us with Dr. Alain (Alan). Dr. Alain is a Christian
doctor who loves what we're doing and who is now available to us
24/7. He has a a little medical center, but also comes to our house.
In the days to come he's gonna check all our kids and coworkers
(for worms etc.), and give them the most basic innoculations.
All our five kids (the 3 in the house with me, and the 2 of the
guard and his wife who also live on the property) have found sponsors.
They are so happy and proud that they put their sponsor's pictures
above their beds. Thanks to those sponsors, I was also able to make
some changes to the way we manage the meals and the quality of what
they eat. Fanta now cooks for everyone (except me), and they no
longer have to eat rice morning, noon and evening. Now they eat
different food each night. Praise God!
just celebrated his 5th birthday (the picture shows him with his
gifts). It was his first birthday party, and he had the time of
his life. Hama was born with a deformed leg and left hand, so that
he cannot walk. He also has a lot of inner wounds from the way people
around him and his own parents treat him. Hama now wants to be in
the house with me at all times. He pounds on the door until I let
him in, and then he just has the greatest smile when I open the
door and clings to my neck, not wanting to let go. A few weeks ago,
Hama started a therapy because with the right exercises he will
be able to walk. And we're still praying and believing for his complete
More kids are coming to our program on Wednesdays and are on our
list of potential candidates to stay with us. When I return from
my summer trip (see details on the left), we will be taking in several
more kids. I wished I could take them all, but right now we don't
have much room. We need to build on our property quickly to be able
to save as many as possible.
By the way, I learned that thanks to the NGO in Germany who is
managing the sponsorships, I can now take more stuff with me on
the plane when I travel. So I'll be happy to take clothes, shoes,
toays and bedding you want to send to Mali with me.
When our French visitors were with us two months ago, the Lord
spoke to us very strongly and clearly, correcting and warning us
as a church and church members (see my blog).
The fear of the Lord fell on me, and for weeks I was walking in
it like never before, while continuing to preach strong messages
on holiness and obedience to the Lord. He showed us that we were
at a crossroads, two ways before us, which way would each one choose
to go? The easy way, or His way? I felt His terror, and was afraid
for those who chose wrongly - and some did.
CAM (our church's name) was being shaken; it was as if we were
in an earthquake, and everything that was not built on the rock
was coming tumbling down. A good thing, right? It doesn't feel good
when you're in it.
But I thank God that He loves us so much as not to leave us the
same. He loves us so much that He corrects and purifies us. I've
been inviting His fire to come on our church, and He sent it.
The lukewarm people who'd only come to the service on Sundays (arrive
late and leave early) don't come any more. Two core team members
have left the team, and one needs inner healing before carrying
responsibility again, leaving me with one person to work with (Paul).
And then even our programs were shaken. Just because God once said
to do something some way doesn't mean it's meant to last the rest
of your life. As you transition, some things need to go to make
room for the new. And some things leave for a time before being
picked up again.
We stopped the weekly movie nights and the English classes. I also
changed the format of our Sunday service, which is now more interactive,
giving people a chance to participate and ask questions, as well
as express prayer requests and pray for others' requests. On Saturday
night, we now go to our new property in Yirimadio to minister to
our neighbors and their kids.
Here in Mali, most every time you buy a property you will find
out that three other people bought it as well. Thankfully, we don't
have to buy a property, but the government is giving it to us, as
it is dedicated to be used by a church. However, private people
have been doing construction work on it, and still do. Now the government
told us to put something up as soon as possible. In fact, even though
we have oral promises that it will be accorded us, the truth is,
whatever church is first to put SOMEthing up on the property will
be given it in the end. We should have a simple hangar up within
the week; we're still looking into cheaper options since the first
one would have cost a ridiculous $820 (for a temporary structure!).
On the government level, the papers are still held up somewhere.
Please pray for them to come through.
Right now, we're in the middle of the rainy season. Our plans are
to start the construction work in October, when it's over. So we
still need an architect right now to have the plans drawn up. Please
pray that God will connect us with the right person.
Never fun, always necessary. We always need to advance, even if
that means throwing off the old to welcome the new.It may seem that
things are not what they should be, but in the end the result will
be much more glorious. We will be built on a solid foundation, with
Jesus as the cornerstone, to be a dwelling place for His glory,
and a beacon in this country. My guess is that we have about another
year, or 10 months, before moving onto our property. A very important
step; a step into the purposes of God, into the destiny God has
for your prayers and support.
the word, and let's see what the Lord will do!
In HIS service,