Acts 16. Paul
and Silas have it all figured out. Asia is next on their itinerary.
However, suddenly all plans fall through, nothing works out, and
they probably wonder why. Hadn't they prayerfully made their plans?
They continue on, wanting to go to Bithynia, but again, no transportation
works out (my guess), and they're left wondering what's going on.
And then the Lord clearly calls them to Macedonia, and off they
They know they
are where God called them, but once again, nothing seems to work
out according to their own plans. They find themselves flogged,
beaten, bloody, in the inner cell of the jail, chained to the wall,
in utter darkness. Now, they had all reason to complain, to wonder
where God was - hadn't He told them to go to Macedonia? What good
were they now in prison? Why didn't He protect them? They could
have started to grumble...
that he's been beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, hungry, cold and has
had many other hardships and sufferings (see 2 Cor 11), and yet
that same Paul tells us to rejoice at all times,
in every circumstance, and alway
thank Him for all things. Is that what you do?
Do you thank him when you lose your job? Do you thank him when a
friend hurts you? Do you thank him when you can't pay the next bill?
Do you thank him for every situation at all times?
You all know
what Paul and Silas did. In the darkness, with all the physical
pain, they were singing songs of praise to the Lord! And their praise
rose like a fragrant offering to the Lord, and released God's answer.
An earthquake liberated them, and the jailor and his whole family
were saved. Hallelujah!
at all times, be joyful in every circumstance. He knows what you
need, and will take care of it. All your worrying will not add another
day to your life.
As you well
know from my last email, I still fail miserably in this area at
times. I thank the Lord for our 20-year-old car that has lasted
for nearly a year now. Emmanuel (who found it and takes care of
it) told me recently that he would have never thought it would last
that long - praise God! I rejoice because the Lord is good and He
is in control of everything. Who knows what He protected us from
by keeping us from going to the village this weekend. We're praying
that when we get to go, we'll see double the fruit we would have
seen this weekend.
For now, we're
looking for another part that has to be exchanged in our
old car. Hopefully we'll find it soon, so the car will be operational
After a frustrating
two days Friday and Saturday, I reminded myself of these principles
Saturday night, and thanks to some emails from you, I was convicted
and repented before the Lord. I felt I should preach on this very
subject Sunday, and several people said it was the best sermon I've
ever preached (to God be all the glory!). For an hour I talked about
being joyful and thankful in all circumstances, and many were convicted
and encouraged. If you speak French, you can download the sermon
from our church
So we were all
filled with joy and confidence on Sunday, especially Paul and myself.
Paul had been very miserable because of the whole situation, and
now we're hoping our village pastor Enoch will be able to listen
to the sermon as well. He has suffered the most in terms of losing
face in his community.
of the Lord have prophesied that 2007 is the year of recovery
- I even preached that in our church. Yesterday, as I was praying,
the Lord suddenly reminded me of what happened nearly three years
It was a huge
miracle, quite an answer to prayer and great testimony to the way
our Lord works. However, then it all fell through.
That June day
in 2004 in Independance, MO, a lady I did not know at all handed
me a check for $30,000 for a car. She said she
had completed a business deal that very morning and asked the Lord
what that money was for. The Lord answered that it was for a car
- which she didn't understand since she had a good car. That night
at Bible School, after I had a chance to share, the Lord told her
it was for the car we needed, and so she handed me the check. However,
due to some circumstances, I never saw a dime of that money. You
can read the original report in my email archives by simply clicking
is the year of recovery! Stand with me in faith believing
for the restoration of that which was lost!
handicapped Hama who lives with his parents with
us on the property, has moved into the house with us - just for
the nights for now. His Mom was glad to be rid of him, and Hama
himself was so excited to have his own bed in the room with the
other boys, get his own pyjama and towel, and just be a part of
us. He will now have to learn some boundaries, since he can't
do anymore whatever he wants, like sleeping whenever he decides
Easter we're doing three days of special activities
in a row. On Friday, we're showing the MATTHEW film. On Saturday,
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and on Sunday (April 8th) we're doing
an Easter party for street children and adults, with a banquet.
Please pray for finances, for strength, grace and favor as we
praying for favor with the Malian government
and everyone we come in touch with as we get ready to build. The
title deed for the property should be given any day now, and we're
starting the process of building the well. Pray for our American
architect Peter, and our builder Kossi
And we know
that in all things God works for the good of those
who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom
That would be