CHILDREN LEARNING TO READ AND WRITE
of the things I love to do most is teaching school.
All the more was I very excited to start teaching "my"
street children who have been spending the night on our
property these past 3+ months. Many of them have been bugging me,
pleading with me to allow them to stay with us and go to school,
but our current 10 beds are occupied, and construction has barely
moved forward. I keep telling them to pray that Father God sends
the money to keep building, and then there'll be room for them to
in the meantime, I can teach them to read and write their
language, as I've done with the kids that have been with
me for 2+ years. About two thirds of our regular
kids - about 30 sleep in our unfinished dining hall every night
- were very eager to start class.
of them have been to school before, for a year or two, but others
have never been to school. You should have seen their joy,
when I handed out to them their first sheet of paper, and a pen,
and twenty minutes later, they were able to distinguish between
two words. However, writing is much harder to learn than reading,
but they are making progress. Every morning we
take about 45 minutes for class, before they return to the street
for the day - until their return in the evening!
love this season of advent, as we eagerly "await"
the birth of our Messiah, and to make it special for the kids, I
brought a few advent calendars with me from Austria. Every night
- with the help of a flashlight - I draw 6 names from the street
kids present. Four of them open the calendar and get the chocolate
inside, and two get a much-coveted soda. Then I
read a true story of Christians who have suffered
or died for their faith (from JESUS FREAKS), before we pray
for them and they go to bed. Of course, they get a meal
at night, as well as in the morning. There is also a time of worship
and Bible study in the morning, before literacy
love these children, and I wished we had the space, money,
and workers to take in more of them. Lord, look at these
little abandoned kids, and have mercy on them!
HOME FOR ABANDONED JEREMIE
tenth and last bed was filled with 12-year-old Jérémie
- a sweet little boy who has now found a loving family on earth,
and an awesome heavenly Father. His biological Dad was so angry
with him, he wanted to put him into the children's prison,
but Jérémie got away. When we got his permission for
Jérémie to stay with us, he still wanted to put his
little boy into prison, but thankfully he relented. Now Jérémie
is safe, knows Jesus, and was baptized.
you like to become Jérémie's "parents" (as
we say in Bambara), i.e. his sponsors to help us
cover costs for food, school, medical care, and whatever else needed?
It would mean sending €40 or $60 on
a monthly basis.
STREET KID NOT ALONE ANY MORE
ago we were asked to take in 4-year-old Bakary
who has no parents, and his grandparents can't take care of him.
The little guy had to look for food on the streets every day, and
learned to survive and copy the foul talk of adults - something
he has to unlearn now.
first day with us, he ran away from kindergarten
to return to the street, searched for food in the trash
in our house, and ate dog food that was on the
ground for our dog. He also played with toys for
the first time, and was hugged for the first time,
saw a shower for the first time (he's still afraid
of it), and had 3 meals a day for the first time,
and there were a few more first times.
is settling in well, and I'm looking forward to seeing him grow
and become a man of God.
now have 9 resident kids,
and 9 non-resident kids
with sponsors - an they all go to school - and then about 30 street
kids that sleep here every night. About 120 different street
kids have come through our doors since September, and you
can see their names and faces on the STREETKIDS
expenses have risen a lot over this last year,
but the support remains below a third of the money necessary. Doing
the math for 2008, we have spent more than €5.000
a month, i.e. over $7,000, and our incoming money
is far from that. Please consider helping us out. We would also
like to do something special for the kids at Christmas,
but that's not possible at this point.
it's not only money, it is WORKERS we need. It
is basically Paul and I who take care of everything, and we really
need more faithful and dedicated, trustworthy people of integrity,
Malians and Westerners. Right now, several of our activities lie
dormant because of lack of workers (e.g. the Bible school).
you are the one who could come to Mali for two weeks, or two months,
or two years, to help?
Dupont - Christian doctor Dupont (originally from Congo)
has been helping us out medically, coming on
a weekly basis. We thank God for much-needed medical help!
- Paul's week off has paid off big time. He was refreshed physically
and spiritually, able to refocus and realign himself with God's
will. Thank God!
- If you look to further up to the money still needed to finish
the dining hall, you might notice that the amount has gone up
since last email. The Euro amount actually hasn't changed, but
the value of the dollar against the euro has, therefore the higher
Children - I'm thankful that 6 of the 7 new children
have found sponsors - thank you! Now Jérémie is
the only one who still needs a sponsor for €40 or
$60 per month.
Health/Travels - I've just caught a cold, so please pray
for my healing. In January I take a few days in an alternative
center founded by a Christian doctor. I will be in Kansas
City, Wichita, Topeka,
and Pasadena Jan 6-Feb 2 and
still have openings to preach and share. Also, if there is anyone
who could lend me a car in Kansas City Jan 6-28,
I'm willing to pay, and would be very thankful. Please look at
the CALENDAR page for my detailed
said, "Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such