Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Monday, July 10, 2017
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Monday, July 3, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Beginning in January, we had great times with our visitors (Laurel and Matthew, Misty and Pedro). I hope you will be able to see all the pictures they took; we are trying to get them onto our website. The heat was very bad. We were just walking, slippery with sweat (how is that for a word picture?). The fridge and freezer were hard put to keep up with cold drinks. February has come with some rain, which is a relief from the dust and heat.
The guys DID go work at the church in the heat. They helped dig foundations for two new rooms and also helped patch the roof. I made sure they drank lots of water to prevent heatstroke.
We all walked around a lot giving out tracts and witnessing. We want everyone to experience the openness of this country. We are living on perpetual visitation. Maybe you have seen a sign over a door, "You are now entering the mission field." We are assaulted with the burden for the lost every time we leave the house.
The schools were supposed to start school on January 5. (A great quote: "Make your plans in pencil and let God write them in ink." We Americans who like schedules especially have to learn to be flexible in this country. God's timing is always right on time.) The teachers, doctors, and other government workers were on strike the whole month and into February. We were finally able to do our big "pass out tracts day" at the public school. Our American helpers were gone, but nine of us went to help, even Gideon and Esther. We split up for both exits. Each one had a stack to pass out and boxes to replenish from—just keep giving them out: Gospel tracts, John and Romans pamphlets, a Romans Road tract translated from Little Red Book Ministry, an invitation to church, and lollipops. Dan estimated that we distributed to 3,600 or more people. We were only there from 10:45 until noon. Quite a few prayed with me to get saved. I guess I should have written decision cards—God knows. Our church is not so far from the school. Follow up is hard in this country. The road system is about non-existent, and people don't have addresses. We witness, pray for, and disciple everywhere we go. Pray for the tract ministry. It IS a ministry —here and in America. It takes time and effort and the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. You have to get prepared, praying as you go.
Also since the strike ended, I have started teaching Bible in our church school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are about 60 kids, and I love teaching them. Our school did not have the strike, but the schools that were on strike would threaten and harass those who tried to go to school. Pray that this country stays open and in peace. When people are poor, don't get paid, and jobs are threatened, there tends to be an undercurrent of dissatisfaction.
Dan has started building a church building at Petit Pedro. We have been meeting there in a small building that is supposed to be knocked down when the city puts in its power lines. The kids have been meeting outside on mats. When the church building gets built, we can use that other building; we'll take it apart and rebuild it on our property (way easier said than done) for the kids.
Right before Christmas, a little five-year-old girl came to live with us. Her name is Naomi, and this is not a permanent thing. We are letting her live with us while her mother works as a live-in nanny. They give her two Sundays off each month, and she gets paid $80 per month. Jestina is looking for a different job, but in the meantime, we are taking care of Naomi. I am teaching her kindergarten, and everyone is learning patience and kindness. In one of our times together, Jestina got saved. It seemed like a genuine prayer. I thank God for that. Not only do we want to continually be going out, we want to take all the opportunities to witness to those who come to our house. Meanwhile, we are praying for Naomi to get saved. She is thinking and asking a lot of questions. Many of the kids are involved with an intentional outlook for her salvation.
Cute Gideon lost his two front teeth (so cute). He turned 7 on Feb. 16. The moms get to birth the babies and then make the birthday cakes every year. I have started telling our kids, this is OUR day (smile).
The pets are fine. Our visitors enjoyed the monkeys. Matthew was getting quite loosened up, even letting the monkey sit on him with no diaper. You are going to be sweaty and dirty anyway—how bad can a monkey be?
Keep praying for us for health and safety and that we would be found faithful to the end.
In His grip,
Dan, Joan and family
Sent from: Serving with: Serving in:
Evangel Baptist Church Baptist World Mission 01 BP 125, San Pédro 01
16994 Telegraph Rd. P.O. Box 2149 Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa
Taylor, MI 48180-5108 Decatur, AL 35602-2149 225-4147-0070
734-946-5680 256-353-2221 336-446-9997
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Merry Christmas!!! It is better to be early than to be late (smile). Already since Thanksgiving, we are giving thanks for His Unspeakable Gift - wow, Jesus born to die for us. And this Gift is to be given to ALL THE WORLD. Let the whole world know. We are so blessed to be in a country where the people are so open to the Gospel. We need more preachers who speak FRENCH.
I pray that parents would rethink how they are directing their kids. The French countries are way behind the English countries spiritually. They don't have the abundance of messages on the Internet or Christian radio. We need more people to witness in French. You know, people are willing to commute to work if the benefits are high enough. Even if the living conditions are rough, if it is worth their while, they might go. Soldiers are willing to go and die for the cause of bringing freedom to the helpless or to prisoners. They learn to follow their commanding chief. What about all the people in the prison of sin who are dying and going to hell? God's benefits in the Bank of Heaven are way OVER the top. Are you willing to commute for Him?
It has been either dry, dry (dust) or rain, rain (mud) lately. For the first three weeks of October, there was no rain and no water in the pipes at church; therefore, we could not have the scheduled baptism because there was no water to fill the baptistry. Then it poured and poured, which kept people out of church and closed some roads. Today, going to church, the taxi in front of us got stuck in the mud, and we had to go around a longer way. We took the lesser of the bad roads.
Gideon was waiting to be baptized. He was so cute counting down the days and then so disappointed when it had to be postponed. Finally, he was baptized along with two other ladies on November 13. Baptisms are exciting because they show that these individuals have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and have understood the significance of baptism. It is a symbol of growth, and that is what we love to see.
Please pray for our youth. We have about 20 very needy young people. We are trying to disciple them, which takes a lot of time and energy. It is great to have a super group of our own kids to help—being friends, doing things with them, and encouraging them. Dan, Isaiah, and Stephen made a new basketball backboard and fixed the trampoline. They also made a new "floor" for the foosball game. Everything in Africa deteriorates. (Actually, everything in this world does, and we will leave it all behind.) These games are drawing factors as well - if I can be patient and tolerate the noise. Can you see that we need a youth pastor who speaks FRENCH?
In December and January, we are planning many outreach meetings: passing out boxes of John and Romans in the village and in the city, an outreach in the high school, outreach films; tiling the baptistry (which leaks), fixing the roof at church (which leaks), cleaning and organizing the library at church (which is WAY past a mess!), putting up a very nice bronze bell at the church in the village (that involves building a bell tower so that it will not be stolen), and who knows what else will be crammed in. How do we expect to get all that done? We have a wonderful five-people group coming from America: Laurel Timblin, my sister, and her son Matthew; Misty Reid and her son Pedro; and our daughter Susanna. We are excited with the new energy that is about to arrive. Pray for all these plans, Lord willing, and for all the traveling both for those from America and for Dan's safety while driving.
Please pray for those who have received tracts and those who have been witnessed to. Only the Holy Spirit can give life. Please have a ministry of prayer for us.
Our friendly petting zoo is doing well.
We had another smooth delivery with a healthy baby and mom. Praise the Lord for that.
Thank you for your continued prayers! We appreciate all you do that makes it possible for us to serve here.
Witnessing for the Lord,
Dan, Joan and family
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Dan's trip to the church plant works in the West was very encoura-ging. He enjoyed seeing the works, spending time with the Christians, encouraging, and being encouraged. The works are based out of the bigger village of Zouan-Hounien. He was able to visit all eight of the smaller village works, one each morning from Monday through Thursday, and one each afternoon. The roads were all dirt and mud between the villages. On Wednesday night, it rained quite a bit and made the mud impossible to drive through on Thursday. They had to walk about a mile to the first village, and then another mile and a half to get to the last village. Because of the slippery mud, a woman who came with us from the Zouan-Hounien church slipped and dislocated one bone in her wrist and broke the other one. She continued on to the meeting, walked on to the last village for another meeting and then sat through that one, before having her wrist set by the village "doctor." She didn't get any pain medicine for this….everyone heard the screams.
Dan taught "The Exchange" booklet to the church people and taught the leaders both Fridays, Saturday and each evening from 8 until 10 p.m. He also spent time talking with the leaders and helping to solve problems. On Sunday, 25 people were baptized, and during the week at the different villages, 25 people made professions of faith. It is definitely "roughing it" in village life. The people enjoyed having Dan there and treated him like royalty.
Thanks for those who have given to help with these works. We presently have four village works needing roofing ($350 each) and six works needing cement ($410 each). We also need to buy two more bikes for evangelism ($100 each), need to repair Pastor Konan's motorcycle ($85), need to buy land in a village ($50), and need $250 to continue the evangelism. Please pray for these needs to come in. We do have a special projects fund in the mission, if any of you would like to help out. Thanks so much for your continued prayers!