Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time and experienced the love of Jesus during the Holiday season. We here in Accra had a nice Christmas. We were able to buy a few gifts for many of the guys such as shirts, mosquito repellent, soap and handkerchiefs. We also bought a lot of apples, bananas, bread, crackers and some cookies to go along with their Nescafe instant coffee, Lipton tea, Millo hot chocolate and water. The guys really enjoyed having a little time of fun and friendship.
We do always strive to be good stewards of all the resources God provides us with. We have taken Matthew 25 seriously. We have used the resources to buy untold amounts of bread, fruit and other food items to help give some nutrition to the guys. We have made a shower and toilet facilities available to them, we have handed out over 300 shirts, over 300 pairs of flip-flops. We have provided medicine to help with anything from malaria to pimples to pink-eye, first-aid for injuries ranging from cuts and scrapes, to twisted knees and sore muscles from carrying loads too heavy. We have two little schools we have helped them start so they can learn to speak English and to read and write and to do basic math. We have passed out somewhere between one and two thousand Gospel cassettes, Jesus videos and bibles. We have been able to now place four Proclaimers (audio New Testaments in the Zarma Language) in areas where they can come listen to the words of God. We have fixed bicycle tires and brakes, we have provided them with soap and a bucket so they can wash their clothes, we even let them use the dryer here at the house to dry their clothes so they don't have to wear them wet as they normally would have to do here.
There is so much we have been able to do and we thank God for you all and for your faithful response to God's calling to come alongside us in this ministry. There is much more to be done and I know God will continue to supply all our needs. I truly thank God for His faithfulness.
Please know that all this has been done to honor and glorify God. We have seen so much going on in the lives of some of these young men. One young guy was preparing to return home last week when he came to greet us goodbye. He told of hearing the Gospel for the first time, he told of believing it was true and his desire to know more. He spoke of the kindness and love he has felt from the Christians who have come to share with him.
We have people now coming to us asking for cassettes. One guy came to the house just two days ago, I had never seen him before, he was a lot older than most of the onion guys, maybe 30 to 32 years old. He drank a cup of coffee, then started looking around the kitchen, as he spied the box of cassettes on the table he looked intently at me and said he needed some of them. He said he had heard them in the village when one of the young guys brought them there last spring, now he had his own radio cassette player and wanted to have his own copies. What if I had none to give him? What if we had never given the ones to the young guy who took them to the village in the first place?
One young guy told Mitch* he had come to believe that Christianity was true because of the kindness, compassion and Love he felt from us and from all the Mission team members who had come to share with him from our Bible. He had heard for the first time about Jesus through this ministry. What if we had not been able to be a part of his life, what if we were not taking Matthew 25 seriously when Jesus talks about being hungry, thirsty, cold, sick and lonely?
Just this week we had six of the guys listening to the Proclaimer here at the house. They were listening to the birth of Jesus when they got into a rather long and detailed discussion about whether Jesus really was the Son of God and was He the Messiah?
It has been amazing to be here and to watch as God has worked in the hearts and lives of so many. I praise God for you all and for your constant prayers and support.
Now, we are seeing God and hearing Him as he directs us into 2012. We see many wonderful and exciting changes coming. We feel God is going to use us in new ways in the next few months, we feel God has allowed us to come to a time of growing and reaching out to new areas. We feel as if Mitch will take a new more pastoral role here in Accra. I believe I am to go to the village next year for a period of time to work on my language skills and to also share with them what we have been trying to share here. We have many relationships that are extending from one place to the other and we want to be there to allow God to work through us there also.
Mitch* just passed up an offer in the north that would have given him a solid future financially, he said he needed to follow Jesus and share the Gospel rather than do what was offered him there. Please join me in prayer for all that God is doing, that I will be faithful to do all and only what God would have me do. Pray that I will be faithful to be a good steward of not only money but also of time. Pray that I will be able to spend the time wisely this year doing all that needs to be done to make each end of the ministry effective. Pray that I will always and only be in the will of God.
- Praise God for His Son Jesus.
- Praise God for all He has done in the hearts and lives of so many here.
- Pray that as God continues to work here that many will accept Jesus as Savior.
- Pray for each Gospel cassette, Jesus video, Proclaimer that through these God will speak to the hearts of many and that many will come to know Jesus as Savior.
- Pray for Mitch and his family as we make changes and shift things around. This is a very tenuous time for them, as they are looking to add a new family member by the end of March. Pray for them as they prepare for this new little baby!
- Pray for Barbara* as she is having a difficult time with this pregnancy. Next week she needs a blood transfusion, the doctors agree this is vital to the health of her and the baby. This is beyond their means but we decided to do it and trust God to provide.
- Pray for us as we feel God lead us in new directions. Pray that we will be faithful to do all we can to glorify and honor God in all we do, pray we will be prepared to go through whatever door where ever it may be to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ.
In His Service,