I have no desire
to go into the details of all the events with Seybou and his family
again, but invite you to read my blog from Friday,
August 29 through Monday,
September 1st. Let me give you a short summary, then an update
on the current situation.
& HIS FAMILY GONE
years ago I hired Seybou as my night guard when I moved into the
rented house where I/we lived for 3 years. He was not a believer,
and illiterate. He joined the literacy class I was teaching and
became a believer in the course of it. A year after he started working
for me, he was baptized.
months after him joining me, I found out that he has a wife and
two children back in his village. I explained to him that his family
needs him, and we brought them to join us. His first-born, handicapped
Hama, was 4, and his girl Sarata
just a few months old. After a few months with us, Seybou's wife
Fanta also decided to follow Jesus, and was baptized at the next
sent Seybou to driving school, and he became our driver, driving
the kids back and forth to school and running all the errands. I
trusted him completely. His wife Fanta did all the cooking and laundry.
I came to love their children as if they were my own. Especially
handicapped Hama who was totally neglected, unable to smile, when
he came. I loved him to life, and we worked with his physical as
well as mental handicap, to give him a future. That culminated when
he and his sister were enrolled in an international school, where
they made a lot of progress during the first two weeks there.
children ran to me every time they'd see, and always came to me
for comfort. I was always their defender, comforting them, and sometimes
just holding them in my arms, a secure place, until they'd fall
asleep. In June, their third baby was born, and I had the honor
to give him his Christian name, Jonathan.
that has come to light about Seybou even since their departure is
absolutely mind-blowing to me. I would not have thought him capable
of any of those acts. He changed after move to our property in February.
He became really close with our (non-Christian) night guard, who
was into watchcraft, and succeeded in drawing Seybou away from God
and into all kind of stuff. To the point where it looks like it
was the two of them who tried to steal our solar panels two days
before my return. Seybou also stole kitchen ustensils and mattresses
when he left, and he had already rented a place in the same part
of town. More info in my blog.
Mother's heart was broken when my little ones were taken
from me so surprisingly and suddenly. Seybou does not allow us to
ever see them again. Handicapped Hama (now 7, but mentally 3-4)
has no future in this culture, but to become a street beggar. I
pray they don't think I kicked them out, that I didn't love them,
that their parents don't tell them lies about us. I pray for their
protection, and their future.
only have my beloved little ones been taken from me, but the guy
who has been with me for four years and who I trusted completely,
has betrayed me, stolen from me, and taken advantage
of me, and refused to even talk to me about everything when he left
in anger. That hurts.
a few days of weeping - primarily over the loss of my children -
I realized more and more how much God was in all this.
He had answered my prayer to bring the fire so that only what is
holy can remain. Seybou chose to not follow God, and the hidden
sin could not remain in the camp. I always pray for everything that's
hidden to come to the light. That prayer was answered. We have promises
from the Lord that His glory would live on our property. Nothing
unholy can remain in His glory.
past year has been a year of losses in terms of
relationship - from my spiritual Dad, to several team members and
children. We've been reduced to a small core group. I believe we
- the few of us - are the ones the Lord can now build His house
with. There is now a solid foundation to build on. Yes, we're small.
Yes, it's seems like we're starting over. Good! It's time
to build, time to grow, time to move forward!
first, the enemy wanted to completely finish us off after his first
victory with Seybou:
long after Seybou left, and after I came out of my short time of
grieving, things started to get worse with my four
remaining teenagers and Paul. Disobedience on the boys' part, and
Paul getting angry about everything I'd say or ask, with His anger
rising. Some degree of chaos started reigning, and I cancelled all
activities. And then Paul came to me today asking for all his documents
because he was leaving us. I started talking to him, reasoning with
him, and in the end, he said he'd go pray. Good choice.
time later he came back, saying he'd stay. We finally sat down to
talk. He shared with me that two nights ago he had a dream.
In this dream he was packing and leaving our house. Then the Lord
told him to stay, and he stayed. So, he had already dreamed the
whole situation, and God told him he was to stay - in the dream.
conversation was very fruitful, and peace restored,
also with the children. We all know this was the enemy's attempt
to destroy us completely, and because of unhealed places in every
one of us, he had some measure of success. I'm glad Paul agreed
to some inner healing sessions (TPM).
decided to go ahead and have our weekly prayer/worship meeting.
We started off hugging each other, and then I had each person say
something he liked about each person. It was great! Then we worshipped
God together, and His presence and peace just washed over us. It
was a beautiful time.
night we picked up 24-year-old Matt from Topeka,
KS, from the airport. He's helping us out for one month. We're very
thankful for him coming during this difficult time. His first day
was sure eventful. We pray that his time with us will be a mutual
new night guard is watching for his second night
tonight. We pray he is the right one (one has already come and gone).
He has a wife and 5 children, 3 of whom live with them. If he's
the right one, they would all move in with us some time in the future.
Christian carpenter and his wife and two children
(1 and 3) are moving in with us in about two weeks. They are wonderful
people, and the wife is going to take over Fanta's tasks. Until
then, Paul is taking care of breakfast and dinner, and Elisabeth
is still coming as always in the morning to prepare lunch.
now also need a new driver to drive everyone to
school and back and run errands. My oldest boy, Saloum (18), is
going to driving school right now. We're also considering hiring
Firmin as a driver, since I paid driving school for him, and he
lives closeby. Thankfully school doesn't start until October.
had our pick-up truck for one year, and have been
repairing it every other week or so. We just paid a lot to have
it repaired again (something rare), and should have it back tomorrow.
Without that car, we cannot pick up the street children
for our program, since the other one is too small. We plan to start
the weekly program again next week. It was suspended
during rainy season since we had no inside place to do it.
Sunday we had a day of prayer and fasting, but
this Sunday we plan to start a new chapter, doing the service inside
the dining/meeting hall for the first time. It is not done, but
the roof is done. We're hoping to open it up for the street kids
to sleep in very soon.
- a teacher and gradute of our Bible School - is teaching
my teenagers every morning right now. They are going to enter the
regular school system this fall, and he's trying to prepare them
for that, so they can start in as high a grade as possible. School
starts in October.
all the news for today. We need your prayers during this time of
breaking and rebuilding. I'm praying that God sends us the right
people, and keeps away the others. I'm also still praying for mature
believers and Western people to join our
ranks to advance God's kingdom in Mali.
what I've done? I've given you a job to do among nations and governments—a
red-letter day! Your job is to pull up and tear
down, take apart and demolish,
and then start over,
building and planting.
(Jer 1:10, MESS)