ON FLORENTIN'S HEART OPERATION
of November we were overjoyed to be informed that the county of
Upper Austria is covering all the expenses for
Florentin's heart valve replacement. We were totally
amazed by the fast and positive response! I immediately called the
leading cardiologist at the hospital to set a date for the operation.
As I was already traveling to Europe right after Easter, Florentin
will now travel with me. We'll have about a week in Vienna before
going to Linz and him checking into the hospital on April
15th. He'll be operated 2-3 days later. After his operation
he'll spend 10-14 days in the hospital before being released. Thankfully,
a local sister church in Linz will take care of Flo when he's released.
He'll then return to Mali with me end of May.
looking forward to introducing him to many of our Austrian friends.
He's probably the only one of our children to ever have the privilege
to travel to Austria, as the visa requirements are nearly impossible
to fulfill. I'm very thankful for the way God has been making this
possible step by step, but there are still some hurdles.
Mali has no Austrian representation. I've talked to the Austrian
consul responsible for Mali and was told that we need to
travel to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, for Florentin's
visa. Now that's no easy thing to do for several reasons.
One, flying within Africa is very expensive. Then you need a hotel,
already spent a LOT of money to help Flo - starting
with the medication he has to take daily, and injections he needs
every few weeks. Then the next challenge was a passport...
has a brother who works at the passport department - thank God!
We were told that the production of passports had already stopped
for this year. However, after presenting our case to the top guy
there, we received Florentin's passport within 24 hours.
Praise God! Of course, it also cost money.
I tried to use my miles for a flight to Dakar - to no avail (I didn't
really want to fly first to Paris, and then on to Dakar, or via
Nairobi, which would have taken 24 hours or more). So we have to
pay full price.
was the question of a hotel. I considered the hotel
where Paul & Rokia stayed in January and loved it so much. It
included a buffet three times a day, and was on
the beach - why not give Flo an experience. However,
it's outside Dakar and I was concerned about how much it cost.
left quite an impression with the European owner there. After hearing
our request and reason for travel to Dakar, she told us we'd be
our guests and could come for free! WOW! Now we
still have to pay the pricey transfer between the
airport and the hotel.
visa is also not cheap, then we need insurance
for Flo, and a couple of other things that cost money. The expenses
just keep growing. And we have a big problem.
fly to Dakar on Sunday (today it's Tuesday) and
we don't know how to pay for the flights that cost $1,500
or 1200€ (and that's not adding all the other
things to pay for). We were hoping to sell our oldest car this week,
but the buyer informed us he won't have the money before January.
Both our American and Austrian account is empty (and our debts have
been growing), and I'm at a loss. Even though the time before Christmas
is always financially difficult, we've never been this desperate.
can you help us?
Events - Last night the Malian prime minister was arrested
by the coup leader who then forced him and the whole government
to step down. He claims it's not another coup.
Please pray for calm, and that this doesn't affect the intervention
in the north.
Health - Please pray for me. I've been dealing with a
skin condition since April, and even though I'm taking medication
and applying creams, it's progressively gotten worse,
and don't see how I can conquer it. Also, I've been extremely
tired and don't know whether it's due to the medication or just
- We're thankful to the church making our family celebration
possible. If you'd like to help us put on the Christmas party
for street children, we'd be thankful for your contribution.
We are currently a few thousand euros/dollars short as too few
donations have come in.
Among Us - We believe we know who the thief on our base
is who has been stealing for the past year and a half. We'll be
setting him a trap now; please pray we can get
proof and catch him.
- Because of our dire financial situation,
we can neither fix the crumbled walls ($2000) nor continue construction.
US Secretary - We are looking for someone who'd like
to help us out by becoming our new secretary. It's only a
few hours per week - picking up mail, entering checks
online and depositing them. That's the primary job, with occasional
other things to do. Ask me for more details.
in German - It was exciting to hold the German translation
of my book in hand, and get to immediately present it in a new
church. I'm looking forward to doing so many more times while
in Austria next year. You can order it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austrians Coming - The first 2 Austrians arrived a few
days ago, and we're very thankful, especially in light of the
trip to Senegal that we couldn't have done if it wasn't for them
- We need volunteers in Mali who can stay a few months
or more. If you'd like to come help us, please contact me.
may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply
and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your
out to HIM,
Standing from left: Claudia, Paul, Rokia, Saloum, Tierno, Adama,
Joseph, Florentin, Karim, Fanta
Sitting from left: Jérémie, Tidiane, Yacouba, Amadou,
Youssouf, Hama, Boubacar, Bakary, Aaron, Sarata, Jonathan
- current monthly support, red - support needed