Friday had come,
and we still had lots of invitations to hand out for our Easter
activities that weekend - the MATTHEW film Friday night, THE PASSION
OF THE CHRIST Saturday night, and then our big Easter celebration
on Sunday. So I sent out my kids and team, two-by-two, to go into
the streets of the neighborhood and invite people, be open to share
the gospel, and pray for people, and especially to pray for every
sick person they'd cross. I've been building their faith for miracles,
now it was time to act.
Paul has been very eager to go into the streets and pray for every
sick person, and God honored that. He saw a man sitting at the side
of the road and approached him. As he started to speak he realized
that the man didn't understand him. He was making signs with his
hands only, and Paul made signs back. The man was mute, maybe also
deaf. Paul was excited and laid hands on him together with Abdias,
praying for the man's healing. And suddenly he started talking.
It was a little hard to understand what he said, but he spoke. Praise
God! Now he needs to learn to speak.
Paul was all
excited, invited him to our church, and wanted to leave. But in
the meantime people had gathered all around in amazement and wanted
him to speak. So people told them the gospel, and after they had
promised to come to our activites, he left. (They didn't come.)
Paul came home
all excited telling me what had happened. He wanted to go out again,
go to the mosque in our neighborhood, to find more people to pray
for. None of the kids wanted to join him, and so he grabbed Issa,
another adult team member.
The people at
that mosque are known to have stoned people before, and our oldest
kid Saloum was a Quranic student with the imam there. Plus it was
Friday, the Muslims' holy day. Paul was very aware of these things.
He went to the entrance and shouted who was sick and wanted to be
healed. One paralyzed man was sitting there on his special hand-operated
tricycle. The lower half of his legs were bent all the way back,
and he was unable to move them. Paul and Issa started praying for
him, and then they helped him up, each taking one arm. As they lifted
him up, his legs suddenly opened and went down, and were perfectly
alright. He was healed, standing on his feet for the first time!
Now he has to learn to walk. Paul was disappointed that this man
didn't come to our activities either.
seen so many healings, but people still don't give their lives to
the Lord. It's puzzling. It's like Mali is filled with the nine
lepers Jesus healed and who never came back to Him.
CELEBRATION FOR (STREET) KIDS
On Friday night
attendance at our movie was low. A lot more came to see THE PASSION
on Saturday, but as soon as I started sharing the gospel after the
film, all the people got up to leave.
On Sunday we
were excited to serve the least of these, to invite those who have
nothing and nothing to give back, to serve them as Jesus would,
seeing Jesus in each one of them. Thanks to the generosity of recent
visitors from Europe, the US, and neighboring Guinea, we had plenty
of food, juice, candy, toys, balloons, and clothes to bless them
decorated our garden with balloons, and our first visitors showed
up well ahead of time. Each kid received a number and a candy as
they arrived. About 80 children showed up in all, most of them street
children, but also the neighbors' children. While they gathered,
we gave them each some juice to drink - something they never have.
I enjoyed serving them.
it was time for some games. We formed two teams, and they had to
pull a rope, seeing which team is stronger. The winning team was
divided in half to form two teams again, until there was one winner
in the end. They took it so seriously, one hand wounds on his hands
Then we did
a tombola, giving away little toys they were very happy about. Their
time had passed already, some of our adult visitors even left. Paul
took the mic, and together with Firmin, and Saloum playing the djembe,
and Abdias the tambourine, they started singing and praising the
Lord in Bambara. The kids loved it and were dancing joyfully.
they sat down to listen to what I had to say. The Lord inspired
me, as I shared His wonderful Father's love for each one of them,
what He had done for them, showing them a picture of Jesus on the
cross as well as a real nail and flogging instrument. I showed them
the state of sin they are in, and the offer God has for them, of
life today and in eternity.
eyes of many were riveted on me while I spoke, catching every word
I said. I could see the longing in their eyes when I spoke of someone
who loved them in such an incredible way. When I asked those who
wanted to receive Him today to stand up, many did. I didn't count
them - maybe 20-30 who were serious. And then we prayed together.
I never stop there, I always pray for those who are sick. Four children
wanted prayer for healing, and all four were healed partially or
totally! Praise God! Two completely, and two reported improvement.
One of the guys healed is a teenage boy who always comes to our
Saturday program for the street children. You should have seen the
amazement on his face when all the pain from the angina was suddenly
gone. I told him to start following Jesus seriously now.
had flown by, and the children were already very hungry. So we started
serving them - we had more than enough, and everybody ate until
he was full. It was a special meal of couscous (normally they have
rice), and a great sauce with meat - they were all eager for a morsel
our program wasn't over yet. It was time for the gift of clothing
they'd been waiting for all night. They got their numbers out, and
one by one they went into the house where we had already arranged
all the clothes they could choose from. Many of the street children
went straight for the shoes, and amazingly, they all found their
size. Others were desperately in need of pants of shirts. Each one
chose what they wanted and left with joy, some shouting and jumping
as they showed their gift to the kids waiting outside, before they
left. The picture shows a little street kid who just found tennis
shoes his size and is overjoyed.
After 10 hours
including preparation and cleanup, we were all tired, but had a
deep sense of contentment and joy. Today the kingdom of God had
come to these children.
Update - My BREAKING NEWS email last week was a little
premature, since the original report I received wasn't really
accurate. They are now moving the people who illegally built on
our property, but the mayor was very clear and openly demanded
money if we wanted to see those papers. Corruption is rampant
in Mali; it's a part of life, their way to get rich.
Visit the CONSTRUCTION
page on my website for updates.
May a team of 6 young Americans is
coming to do ministry as well as a documentary on what's happening
here (dates on the left). I believe their visit is gonna have
a great impact, and so we're preparing in every way possible for
those two weeks. We will spend several days in Dio doing 3 open-air
meetings, and also 3 meetings on our property. We will also do
street evangelism, pray for the sick, and minister to children.
Pray as we prepare for those activities.
believing with us for a Toyota double-cabin truck.
It would be very hard and risky with our current old vehicle to
host the team of 6 Americans and do what we have scheduled to
June I wll be in Austria, more exactly June
4-July 2. I'm looking forward to being in my home country.
I'm now starting to schedule my visits to different churches,
so just email me if you'd like me to come.
is this: Love each other as I have loved you.(Jesus in John