was Good Friday, and I had to stop at our Malian bank. A friend
had made some comments, and so I asked how much was on our bank
account that I knew to be empty. Our construction superviser was
also with me. Both our mouths dropped as we heard the amount. Someone
had transferred $30,000! That was enough to finish
our house and then start the next building. Praise God!
then, the bathroom has been done, the fans installed, the handles
mounted on the doors and the windows ordered. They still have to
do the kitchen and paint the house, inside and out.
has also started the next building - the Dining Hall.
We are praying for it to be done before the start of rainy season,
since it will give us a place to do our services inside. It will
also serve as class room. And during the night, we will open it
up to street children to have a safe place to sleep.
our Christian carpenter Caleb (see picture) will
move into one of the storage rooms for the time being, since he
is desperate for a place. He wanted to try to get to Europe illegally,
but thankfully he has given up his plan. He and his wife and two
children will live with us. Caleb will have a workshop, and teach
our teenagers some carpentry. While I'm in Europe in April, he is
teaching them once a week how to carve little figurines.
you can see, our future dining hall will have lots of purposes until
the rest of the buildings are built.
IN THE VILLAGES
Bamako we showed the MATTEW film (life of Jesus),
the following day THE PASSION, and then we had our Easter service
that was definitely very unique as the Lord did not respect our
program but changed everything (see blog
for March 23).
Monday I sent Paul with three of our teenagers to the villages.
One of the villages that has come to the Lord last year had been
calling us for weeks and weeks, pleading with us to come and show
MATTHEW. Over 400 people gathered for the movie.
Paul led Bambara worship to start with, when a huge snake came into
the gathering, slithering towards Paul. The villagers killed it.
Paul said it was bigger than his arm.
people loved the movie, and the following morning about 70 people
stayed to listen to Paul preaching, while most people had to go
work on their fields. After the message, they started praying for
the sick, and nearly everyone was healed.
most memorable was this young boy in the picture. He couldn't walk
on his own; his father had to hold him up, and he was constantly
trembling. They prayed, and the Lord healed him. The boy walked
away on his own, without help for the first time in his life. Praise
now we have all heard of and experienced the rise of costs for food
and other articles. When food prices increase, it's the poor nations
that suffer first and extensively, as already poor people find themselves
unable to feed their families any more. In neighboring Burkina Faso,
food prices have doubled, and people riot against the government.
There have also been demonstrations and people killed in our other
neighboring contries like Ivory Coast and Senegal. We thank the
Lord for calm in Mali right now, though our food prices are also
rising. Rice is now more expensive than ever, and
I'm concerned how things are going to develop in the weeks and months
to come, when things are traditionally hard before the rains start
and the harvest is brought in.
our God is the God of multiplication, and we trust Him to feed us
and the 60 people we feed daily or nearly daily.
Let's pray for Mali and West Africa, that the food crisis would
be averted. Pray that we would be able to help out those families
on the brink of starvation.
- We bought a new engine for our pickup to make
it run again, which ended up costing us $3000.
But for some unexplainable reasons, we continue having to repair
it regularly. We'd like to also put a new engine into our old
car, since we really need a second vehicle, which would allow
us to go into the villages more. That second engine is much cheaper
because it's a smaller car; it would cost us just over $1000.
- Our 14-year-old Abdias can finally see! We sent all our boys
to have their eyes tested, and only Abdias has really bad sight.
He got his glasses just last week. Now he can
read what I write on the blackboard. We thank the German NGO CCARA
for making this possible.
- While I'm in Austria, a graduate from our Bible School who is
a teacher and also assistant pastor, is using his free time to
teach my teenagers. I'm very thankful for that. After his first
morning with them before I left, he told me that their level is
high, and they could be able to go to regular school next year.
So now we're working towards bringing them up to a certain level
in all subjects so they can go to a private school
next year. That will free me up considerably; I would be able
to teach our little handicapped boy Hama, as well as do a literacy
class and French class for adults again.
for Hama - I went back to the organization that had given
us Hama's walker, and showed them the progress he's made. The
director was so excited! She went off and gave us specialized
crutches so that Hama can walk on our unpaved property.
Now he'll be able to learn to walk really independently. Praise
Schooling - Paul (my main assistant) is finishing High
School this year, with his final exams beginning of June. He can't
wait to be done with it and focus on ministry, and I as well am
looking forward to having him full-time. However, there are serious
problems in the educational system in Mali, and the government
is discussing whether to have this year not count. That would
mean, that Paul and every other student has to do this academic
year all over again.
am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing
and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up
to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind
that the God who started this great work in you would keep
at it and bring it to a flourishing finish
on the very day Christ Jesus appears.