In this newsletter:
STREET KID PARTY
been our tradition to go swimming on Christmas
- our kids' favorite activity - but not so this year. It's been
an unusally cold winter, for one, plus our finances
have been worse than ever. So we stayed home.
tradition has been to go to a restaurant, with
ALL the children (including non-resident) and workers for a chicken
meal. With the restaurant going bankrupt, and our financial situation,
we decided to not do that either. Instead, we bought over
40 chickens at the market - and they're very expensive
at this time of year - as well as potatoes and salad to make our
own Christmas chicken meal.
we had a beautiful dinner of grilled chicken, fries, salad and a
soda, that everyone enjoyed. Then it was time to gather in my living
room for our actual celebration. Thankfully everyone
fit in, and some children looked in a awe at the Christmas
tree with ornaments and chocolates, as well as the gathered
gifts. For a few of our children it was their very first
I talked about the meaning of Christmas, asking them questions,
and we talked about the Light of the world who
has made us into lights to bring good news in a dark world. Then
I lit one sparkler, and the kids quickly lit their neighbors' sparklers
with theirs until there were sparkles all over the room. Then we
sang "Happy Birthday" for Jesus, followed
by a prayer time of expressing our gratefulness.
Christmas cookies our kids had made were being
passed around, and then it was time for the gifts.
I first explained that there were fewer this year because of lacking
finances, but that Jesus was the most important gift
we could have ever received. One child would then come forward to
receive his/her gift and pick one gift whose recipient would be
the next to come forward. Before sitting down again, they got to
choose a chocolate to take off the Christmas tree.
the name of the kids' sponsors, I had put together
a little bag of goodies for each of the sponsored kids, and so everyone
was blessed with candy, school supplies, practical stuff and toys.
There were a lot of happy faces all around!
look at all the pictures, click
On the 26th we had our Christmas party for the street children.
This year we had 30 kids show up. We started off
with a few games until we had one winner at the
end who won the prize of a piece of clothing of his choice.
it was time for upbeat Bambara praise songs, followed
by a time of explaining the whole gospel to them.
Then Paul asked them questions to see whether they'd
listened, and correct answers were rewarded with candy.
Of course they all had an opportunity to start a life with
Jesus - which was especially important for the good number
of new children who had come.
their Christmas lunch not ready yet, they first got to watch the
MATTHEW movie in Bambara - seeing the life of this
joyful Jesus who loved people and loved blessing them, and hearing
the exact words He had spoken.
movie was followed by lunch, and then it was time
for their gifts. One by one they came into my house
where all the shoes were waiting for them. We picked
the right size for each one, gave them a soda,
as well as a chocolate off the tree, before sending
them off with a blessing.
street children got to hear the Good News, had a chance to start
living with Jesus, and experienced love in action. Thanks
for making this possible by your prayers and giving!
look at all the pictures, click
Year's Eve - We're looking forward to an evening of looking
at the pictures of 2013, eating cookies and drinking
soda, playing games, and looking forward to the next year.
- School expenses, accident and anniversary conference have led
to us being $7,500 or 5.500€ short which
is the biggest deficit we've ever had at the end of the year.
So far we've spent that exact amount just for tuition, uniforms,
school supplies etc. We're
still praying for a financial miracle!
Trouble - The mechanic has assessed our totaled
bus but not given us the numbers yet of how much repairing
it would cost. In the meantime, our remaining two vehicles
(22 years and 13 years old) alternate getting repaired at the
mechanic's, costing us a lot money.
at YWAM - On Jan 10 Joseph and I are flying to Dakar.
We get to stay in a beautiful beach ressort for free for 2 nights,
before he starts his YWAM discipleship school on January
13th, which is the day I'll be leaving for Europe. A
new chapter for Joseph is starting, with a lot of firsts, not
just his first flight and first time seeing the sea.If you would
like to help us with ticket and school
fees for Joseph, please mark your donation with "Joseph".
Future - Please continue to pray for Cleon and me. I'm
glad that he'll be joining me in the US for part of my trip, so
those of you in Kansas City and in Harrisburg
will have an opportunity to meet him (calendar on the left and
on the website).
- We always need volunteers in Mali who can stay a few
months or more. If you'd like to come help us, please contact
Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give
you peace. (Num
the best for 2014,
Standing from left: Adama, Suma, Saloum, Joseph, Abdias, Florentin,
Middle: Claudia, Paul, Rokia with Christian, Jérémie,
André, Yacouba, Amadou, Fanta
Sitting from left: Adou, Hama, Boubacar, Bakary, Aaron, Sarata,
- current monthly support, red - support needed