Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Prayers & Politics

Merry Christmas! It has been some time since you have received an email update from me. I apologize for that, yet this time away has been a necessary quiet time of healing. I had a wonderful time with Pioneers at a spiritual retreat in October. It was a time of renewal and wonderful fellowship with fellow missionaries from all over the world. I also have had a wonderful time being home with the family and spending time with friends who I have not seen in quite some time. It all has been medicine for my soul and I am thankful to God for every moment.

I will be returning to Sierra Leone January the 8th. I am looking forward to my return and diving back into the work God has called me to. I received an update from Pastor Emmanuel concerning the Tree of Life project. The last class will be held today and we will have our first 9 graduates! Glory to God! The graduation will be held when I return in January. I am so proud of Pastor Emmanuel for his leadership while I have been away. I am also proud of these 9 students who have worked hard in educating themselves about health, the moringa tree and the Word of God. Please continue to pray for them. Pastor shared with me that they have begun a home Bible study on Thursdays as a result of this class. Pray for those who are seeking Truth! My heart is overjoyed at this news!

I do ask that you continue to pray for the political situation in Sierra Leone. Elections were held in November, and from the reports given to me thus far, there have been only minimal amounts of unrest. Please continue to pray for peace and for the leadership of the country. Pray for God’s protection and for unity among the citizens of Sierra Leone.

I do ask that you continue to pray for me. I received word this week that my house was broken into again and that my remaining possession were stolen. I have lost all of my books, clothes and kitchen items. The house was also damaged which I have to repair. This is disheartening yet comes with the territory. The timing has been difficult as I have been paying for some medical costs as well as increased costs of being home in the U.S. I ask that you pray that God will supernaturally provide for these needs and the ones not mentioned. He has been faithful thus far.

I love you all and thank you so much for your continued prayers, love and support. Please write me and let me know how I can pray for you as well.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Moving up and out!

I feel like I have climbed Mt. Everest today. We have been preparing the Tree of Life curriculum for several months now, and today I give thanks to God that all the lessons have been completed and are now print ready.

Many people and lots of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this process. I want to give special thanks to Joshua Smith, Moses Kamara, Mark Sesay, Sullay Kargbo, Sada Herrera, Megan Ryan, Kerry Kennedy, and everyone else who has encouraged and prayed us through this process.

We have completed 15 community health lessons that are picture driven and designed for learners who cannot read or write. They are laminated with the English and Krio written lessons on the back. We also have three lessons dedicated to moringa education in the same format. This makes a total of 18 lessons. We have also 18 Bible lessons starting from Genesis and going through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Each class will contain both community health lessons/moringa lessons and Bible stories. By the time the class is done, we will have shared the Gospel with the students in each class.

We will have our first class in Jui, Freetown and will soon be traveling to the Makeni area, where I am based, to take this education and Truth to the rural villages. We have about a half dozen people who will be the “Dream Team” behind this ministry here in Sierra Leone. We hope to be training them in the coming weeks. I also know that all of you reading these blogs, giving and praying are our extended team around the world. Thank you and may God give back to you all that you have given us 100 fold.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Move to Makeni

The gazillion stones I moved one by one...this is half the pile!
Time in Africa seems to move at an exponential rate of slowness. I know that I have been communicating my move to Makeni for the sake of the project for months now. It has taken these months to secure housing, make repairs, and tie up loose ends in Jui, my previous home. We, Joshua and I, arrived in Makeni last Saturday, August 18th.

I do have mixed emotions after living two years in Jui. I am so use to my neighbors calling my name in the streets, the warm greetings and the adorable children stopping by for a cup of water or candy. I also am missing my two other disciple Mark and Moses. They came and helped with the move on Saturday, but I felt tears coming to my eyes when I realized that they would no longer be dropping in every day for a meal or bible study. I hope that God will allow us to continue our discipleship from afar. Both guys have committed to visiting here often, and I will be going to Freetown every month as well.
The finished comes the planting!
So the house is nice and big. I am anticipating teams from partnering churches and family members visiting as the project grows. We have been working hard on the house the last five days in cleaning, prepping, making wire mesh widow screens to combat the mosquitoes, and removing a gazillion large stones from the garden area in the back. FYI I did ALL the work in the garden myself!

Joshua hard at work making wire screens to protect us from mosquitoes
Joshua has been a big help and it is my first time seeing his carpentry skills come alive. He is doing a great job and I definitely admire his skills. He has been such an asset to the project and I know that God will continue to use him in the ministry. He is talking about full time missions and is still reading eagerly the Word of God. Continue to pray for him and me both. Cultural differences have been our biggest challenge. I am praying for unity, trust, honesty and understanding.

I have completed 15 Community Health Lessons that are print/lamination ready. I also have 5 moringa lessons and another 20 Bible Stories. Since February, this has been the giant staring me in the face, but today I knocked that Giant in the head with a stone and am celebrating that the translation, research and compilation of these 40 lessons are coming to an end!

The next step will be training local pastors/Christians in executing the project. That is my next step. I hope to plan a two day seminar that will give them all the prayer, tools and encouragement they need to go teach their communities that God wants them to be healthy and whole through Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for us as we finalize these lessons and begin preparing for training.
Gusteau the Security Dog!

We are still raising money for a car to help us get to the remote areas of the country. Pray that the right car will meet us with the right price. Pray for my brothers, Mark, Moses, Sullay and Joshua. Pray that they will continue to hold tight to their faith as we adjust our means of discipleship.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Meet Gusteau, our new watch dog! The only thing he watches now are the flies he tries to catch on the veranda! ;-/
I love you all and will update as soon as I can! Please write and let me know how I can pray for you as well.