for Church & Orphanage
starts in October.
Building Fund: $3,700
1 am I finally went to bed last night. I was just falling asleep,
when the doorbell rang. It was Seybou's cousin Hassan who had been
looking for Seybou all over town. He said he'd found some relative
who'd seen Seybou. Seybou came to him to borrow money, because he
had lost my $500. We were relieved to have SOME kind of news at
least. At least we knew he was okay, and that it was a question
of lost money.
in the afternoon, Hassan came by with some news. Seybou had called
him, his cellphone was now turned on, and I called him right away.
We all talked 15 minutes with him.
had happened? On the way downtown, Seybou lost the money he should
use to pay the rent and buy a mattress for the little kids. He was
too ashamed to return home. instead, he borrowed money from some
relatives, probably sold his little motorbike, and took the next
bus to Abijan, Ivory Coast, Mali's southern neighbor. That's where
he was when we were talking to him on the phone. His plan was to
find a job there and earn the money that was lost, before returning
home. He simply left with this plan of his, without telling ANYone.
His wife Fanta has been in tears since his disappearance. She was
the first one to guess he'd lost the money. And her guess was also
that Seybou would never come back. She couldn't believe that Seybou
would just leave her with the kids like this. What would she do?
Where could she go? Alone with two little kids?
Fanta was talking to us like this today, I put my arm around her
shoulders, and told her that we love her and her kids, and how could
she even think thoughts like that. Seybou and herself, they weren't
just employees. We're a family, and I'd NEVER send her away! As
a family, you hold together, you're there for each other.
I was glad to have Seybou on the line. I told him very clearly to
come back home right away. This was only money, only some paper,
that was lost; he shouldn't allow that to destroy his life. His
place was with us, his family; we needed him. He said he was too
ashamed, that he wanted to earn the money first. I told him, Simeon
had lost money before as well, and that it could happen to just
anybody. He should just come home where he belongs.
Hassan, Paul and I had talked to him, he said he was coming home.
Abijan is a long way from Mali. We hope he took the next bus the
opposite direction, and if so, he should be home by tomorrow.
pray for Seybou, for protection for his body but also his soul.
Pray for peace, that he won't listen to any more lies the enemy
is speaking to him to keep him from coming home. I can't wait to
embrace Seybou and show him the unconditional love of Christ, and
I've encouraged everybody else in our family to do likewise, rather
than bombarding him with accusations. He should never ever again
believe that running away is a solution.
1:30 am, and I was just gonna send off this email, when the doorbell
rang. It was Hassan with Seybou. Seybou had taken the next bus back,
after we had talked on the phone. Seybou was all downcast, barely
talking, and not wanting to look at me. We only talked a few minutes
since it's late. I found out that after he lost the $460, he came
back to the house and took the $40 food money to buy the ticket
to Abijan. I simply replied that losing money can happen, but taking
the $40 was stealing.
is gonna pick up his job right away and watch the house tonight.
Fanta came to the door, saw Seybou, and simply turned around going
back inside. Please pray for their mariage that even before was
in trouble already.
also for Hassan, who has seen and experienced much of the Lord (he
was healed of 8 years of pain 18 months ago), but still hasn't made
the choice to follow Jesus. Just now, he made some remarkable comments
about Seybou needing inner healing, and I should pray for him for
God to do a work of change him, and the like; he was acknowledging
the power of the God we serve.
kids have been studying for two months now, and this Thursday and
Friday it's time for final exams. I've been teaching them every
morning from 9 to 1, enjoying it thoroughly. On Thursday they have
to do their Bible, Maths, and Reading exam, on Friday it's Writing
and French. Right now they all have one or two F's, and the rest
all D's with one or so C. Studying is still a rather foreign concept
for them, and the motivation not very high.
we happened to watch Heidi Baker's documentary Mama Heidi,
about her marvelous work in Mozambique that is like a blueprint
for us. They all saw it for the first time; I was translating into
French, and Paul into Bambara. All the kids were captivated by what
they saw - the street kids in Mozambique, and Heidi's work among
them. Especially Sekouba is very sensitive to Holy Spirit when he
watches what God is doing. He always praises God loudly at every
miracle, and simply relives what is happening. At one point in the
video tonight there is a young boy who's still studying at night,
before an exam. Somehow that must have spoken to Sekouba. A few
minutes later, he was sitting at the desk studying! And Abdias did
the same a few minutes later. Only Fousseni watched the video with
us to the end. I myself was glad to have watched it again, to encourage
myself, and Paul loved it anyway!
after the exams, Johanna from Austria is arriving in Bamako to improve
her Bambara. She's a student of African studies in Vienna, and contact
was made through her present and my former Bambara professor. We're
all looking forward to having her for a few days now, and for a
month after my return from the US.
on July 12, I'm leaving Mali for a much-needed
time of rest and refreshing (see itinerary on the left). Paul will
carry all the responsabilities while I'm gone, staying with the
kids in the house. He keeps telling me not to worry, that God is
with him, and he's right of course.
Once more it's
well past midnight and a short night ahead of me. Thank you for
your emails of encouragement and your prayers!
blessings In HIM,