* CAM is short for "Centre Apostolique Malien", the
name of our church.
In this newsletter:
It's 7 am when the alarm clock in our boys' dorm
room goes off during holiday season (rather than 4:45 am). There
are now 12 boys sleeping in double and triple bunkbeds
there, and there is room for another one or two. The older boys
sleep in another room together. They all get up and gather in the
living room for their daily half hour of listening to the Bible
passage and devotional for the day and prayer. Then it's
time for breakfast and showers. Because of all the rain, the water
coming out of the tab is pretty cold now, meaning that some boys
just pretend to have showered.
9 o'clock starts the voluntary daily hour
of prayer at my house. A few boys never show up, those
in the difficult teen years, while mainly the young ones come -
maybe it's the added incentive of getting a sticker for their sticker
book for every 5 times of showing up. I connect my computer to the
TV set and start broadcasting the audio only Prayer
Room from Kansas City, which is all our slow internet connection
can handle (at least most of the time). Some kids read their Bibles,
others pray, others seem to not do anything, some sit, some lie
down on the floor. The last 15 minutes are either more of the same,
or praying together for subjects, or I anoint them individually
with oil and pray over them.
10 o'clock it's either time for our workout with
my Wii that the little ones love joining me for, or I go straight
to work while the kids leave to play. If the rains are on a break,
they often play soccer, otherwise they have to
stay inside to play with lego, or cards or something else.
11 am it's time for French homework which
usually lasts about an hour. It's followed by the boys doing their
daily chores. Each kid has a chore for a week,
then it rotates - from sweeping to washing the floors, to cleaning
bathrooms and making sure the living room is tidy.
on how much the rains impede shopping and cooking, lunch takes place
either earlier or later, and it's always their staple rice,
though with different sauces.
lunch, it's time for "soaking" or "glorified
sleeping", or as we call it in French, "marinating".
Joseph puts on a French worship CD, and the kids lie down on couch,
floor or even put their mattress on the floor.
their time of rest, it's time for French class.
Some days I work with all 16 of them together in the dining hall,
other days I split them into two groups - those who can write and
those who can't write yet - and do class with them in my living
room. We've made quite a lot of progress
this summer, and some are pretty good students while others couldn't
care less. Since I don't watch time, class can last up to 2 hours
and it's certainly never under 1. The first question after class
is always, "Can we please watch a movie?",
and I usually say yes. That occupies them for the next 90 minutes.
on Thursdays - that's when we have our weekly
prayer meeting at 5 pm. So there is no French class in
the afternoon and sometimes no movie. I get on my piano, and we
start praising and worshiping God in French. In
fact, I recently uploaded a little video clip of
our time that you can watch at this link: http://youtu.be/V5zhZ1YKFEY
never know what God is up to in the meeting, but often there is
prophetic singing with God speaking to us, while
other times it's more intercession. Last Thursday
we were very blessed by our visitor, pastor Anthony Turner, who
prophesied over each child which greatly encouraged
them - and me.
then there is not that much time left before it's time for dinner
at 7:15 pm. But it's enough time for them to memorize
their Bible verse of the day from the passage of the day.
Some memorize even 2 or more verses for extra credit (in stickers
dinner it's time for showers and getting ready
for our nightly family meeting at 8 pm. It's the one time we all
come together - including our "old kids" that would be
in evening school during the year. I can really tell we have more
kids than ever now; it makes quite a difference.
days of the week we first meet in the dining hall where
the street children sleep. On Friday there is no family meeting
at all because we have movie night in the courtyard
where anyone can walk in to watch Christian movies. But the other
nights we sit down together with the street children, and currently
I'm reading biographies of great men and women
of God to them; one children's book like that per week. Some kids
listen better than others.
the street kids lie down to sleep, and the rest of us goes to the
living room for our family meeting. First I check
whether everyone has done their chores, and then
their memory verse. We talk about anything that
needs to be talked about, whether about that day or the following
day. Sometimes we have much fun, joking around, and other times
the mood is more somber when things have gone wrong. Once we're
done talking, I lay hands on each child and pray
it's "hugging time". I won't let them
pass through to the dorm unless I get a hug! It's such a beautiful
ritual I wouldn't miss. And sometimes we have the best time as I
walk with them to the dorm to watch them go to bed,
and we still talk and joke around until it's "light out".
Their day has ended, while the night guard's work has really only
just started. As for me, I often walk to the office to take advantage
of uninterrupted, quiet working time. Sometimes it pays off to be
a night owl!
Floods - This week Bamako has seen the worst
floods ever because of the continual rain (rainy season
lasts another month or so). Over 60 people have been killed
and thousands have become homeless. Please pray.
I hope our walls won't crumble again as they did last year.
to School - Looking at last year's expenses, we calculated
that it costs us about $150 per child at the
beginning of the school year to purchase school supplies
and uniforms and to pay the first installment of tuition.
We will enable 35 children to go to school this
coming school year. We'd be thankful for any help with these expenses.
Night Guard - A few weeks ago former street child Suma
became our new night guard and moved in with us. He's been doing
at YWAM - We're waiting to hear whether the Discipleship
School in the south of Mali (starting end of September) is actually
going to happen as they need a minimum of 10 students. However,
we felt strongly that Joseph should do his school in Senegal
as a way to take steps towards establishing our center there.
The school in Dakar only starts in January.
Repairs - The bus has been at the mechanic's for weeks
now and is about to be returned to us repaired. I'm praying it
will run a while before the next repair (it's over 20 years old).
Already the repairs cost us more than anticipated.
- The documentary about us done by a Malian organization
that will put it on TV is moving forward. When
I get back to Mali after my next trip, they will start shooting.
Child - Our last free bed was filled a few weeks ago
with Amadou, in short Adou, who is about 13 years
old, and things are going very well with him. There were others
we would have liked to take in, but we can already feel the difference
having added quite a few kids this summer, and we need to have
more beds made first.
- On August 11th, during the second round of elections,
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) was elected as our
new president and is taking office on September 4th. The elections
went well and peacefully. IBK is not the one we would have liked
to see win but we pray God will use him for His purposes.
Time - After over a month of just having fun, I started
teaching the kids in July. It's been a fruitful time
of improving their so important French skills which will help
them big time in school.
American Visitor - We were extremely blessed by the short
visit of our friend Anthony Turner from CO; he
came to bless us and he accomplished his goal.
God used him big time, and saying good-bye was really hard. This
picture shows our kids praying a good-bye blessing over him. Thank
God for having shining representatives of His Son on the earth!
- We always need volunteers in Mali who can stay a few
months or more. If you'd like to come help us, please contact
make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky and give them
all these lands. All the nations of the Earth will get a blessing
for themselves through your descendants.