Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mission's Report - Merry Christmas

The group that came to visit us put together two short videos that you might find interesting.  Lots of nice pictures to see. 
I'll take this time to say Merry Christmas!!!  May God bless you this season and this year.  Thanks for all your prayers for us.  
Love in Christ,
Dan and Joan
Here are the links to the 2 videos:
Erik's video that we showed yesterday at the reporting service:

Thursday, November 21, 2013


November 2013


We are having a rainy snap—so nice after all the hot, dry days. The kids are out playing in the rain—sound fun?

            Last month I was able to do two deliveries. It is always great fun to be a part of a huge miracle. One delivery was right after church and was super fun and quick. God's timing is always so amazing to see. The other was an overnight, long work, which Lydia and Susanna got to watch. That was fun with them helping and learning a little of the birth process. 

            School started at the end of August, and I am teaching Bible in our church school three days a week from 4:30–5:30 p.m. There are over 120 students from first to sixth grade. Some days it is more of a challenge than others to keep all these kids quiet, listening and learning as they sit squished into benches in the heat.  We are trying to get more benches made so we won't have to be pulling benches from the other rooms every time. I do love teaching—especially Bible. Not only do I get to teach the foundations of life but also we can reach out to their families. I give them tracts and booklets of John and Romans to take home to their parents. Now we are working on invitations we can put in the booklets and send home with the kids. People love to receive literature out here. Pray that they read it and that God will open their eyes to the truths of His Word. He promises that His Word does not return void. My job is to learn it, speak it, live it and pass it out. It is God's part to bless it, open eyes and use it in their hearts to change lives.

            A group of six men from Ambassador Baptist Church in MI was just here to help out and encourage us. Pastor Elwart preached and preached - Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday again (all of Dan's times). Dan did the translating. Pastor also did an all-day seminar in the village on future events.  Each of the men gave his testimony. They really encouraged us and the people. They seemed to enjoy Africa and also the ministry. One in the group is an artist. He traced and everyone helped paint a mural for the church, which was a huge project.  Three pieces of plywood had to be prepped, framed and painted. Then Erik traced the scene (three 8-feet-tall pieces): the manger scene, Calvary and the Resurrection.  We will put it at the church as a way to display the Gospel (John 3:16). Our church is called Evangel Baptist Church and exists to get the Gospel out, search and rescue. 

            The men also fixed bikes and motorbikes and painted the bottom trim of the stairs.  We had run out of paint for the bottom trim.  So there the stairs were—all nice and a wrong smudgy color toward the bottom.  What to do?  Dan wanted to redo the whole thing.  Then we got the idea—just draw a line and paint the bottom part a different color.  We asked Erik, the artist in the group.  "Sure, do it ORANGE!"  (The rest of the wall is a grey-blue.)  It really looks sharp! It is nice—better than before, and better than I was imagining it could be.  When will I learn to relax and wait on God? His timing is always perfect, and His ways are ALWAYS better than mine. 

            We also took the team to the beach here and also a day to Grand Bereby, a beautiful bay not far from here. Though the day was overcast, the water was very warm, and no one got sunburned. Susanna even came home with some exotic ocean frog fish for her ocean aquarium that Erik helped her set up. The kids have been having fun going to the beach, catching minnows and watching the frog fish eat them—not my kind of thing at all. 
So you see it was a busy week—preaching,
testimonies, projects, fixing bikes, painting projects, fun and food. Erik even sandwiched in an art class which everyone enjoyed. 

            The day before they left, they got to experience a new monkey; someone brought him to the gate to sell.  He is tiny.  Our whole house gets happy when we get a new little pet.  I think the men enjoyed, at least a little bit, living in the zoo. 

            On Friday Dan took the team to Abidjan, and now they are back home.  Thanks for all your prayers for us.  We are so thankful that God has called us to serve Him here, and are thankful for your part in keeping us in this ministry. 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!  May God bless you. 


Love in Christ,


Dan and Joan, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, Gideon (Ruth Marie, Hannah, and Seth in Bible college)


Friday, November 15, 2013

one picture - smile

I am about to write, but there is so much news. Meanwhile, just a picture of our three in college --we sure do love them. Thanks for all your prayers.
The picture is at the missions' banquet. Ruth's dress is from Quatar. They had fun dressing up :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Update - from Hannah

Dear Friends,
I realize I have moved a lot since my last update. I'll do a brief overview of what's been going on. For those who may not know, I spent several months in Africa with my family. It was so nice to be home for awhile, and to be able to be involved in the ministry there. I enjoyed teaching and spending time with the kids, and helping out with the music at church. I am so glad for the time God gave me to be at home.
My mom wrote about our cousins who came out in July, so I won't repeat that. It was fun to show them Africa and spend time with them.
In August, we all came back to America together (Seth and I and our cousins who were visiting). We came down to Lattimore, NC and started school at Ambassador Baptist College after spending a few days in Winston Salem with family there. We love it here! Ruth came back from Thailand about a week after Seth and I arrived. It has been so fun to be at school all together. We have many of the same classes, and have been enjoying them very much. The people are friendly, and the preaching and music are so good! It has been so nice to be here. I'm glad for the way God brought me back here in His timing and not in my own.
We are just settling in to church and are enjoying that. I just started tutoring for a lady down the street. She has an 8 year old boy that she is trying to homeschool this year, but she does not like math. So I have been going over there about 2 days a week to teach him math. It has been going well thus far. I have enjoyed the fact that the schedule is flexible and their house is very close--within walking distance! They are not Christians, and have just recently moved to the area. I would appreciate prayer for their salvation and that God would give me opportunity to be a good witness and to share the gospel with them. It was interesting how I met them. Seth was out on visitation one day and happened to visit their house. They were very open to talking with him, and he was able to share the whole plan of salvation with them. They know it, they just need to make it personal in their own lives.
It has been so neat to see how God has provided and guided throughout the whole transition/settling-in process. I am amazed at how fast time is going. Just as I am beginning to get into a routine and feel like I know what I'm doing, midterms are coming up and the semester is almost over! I'm trying to make the most of each day and enjoy life as it flies by.
God is so faithful. I am thankful for the way He has been taking care of us and keeping us safe. Thank you to all of you who pray for us. The other day I was playing softball and got hit in the head with the ball. I was in the outfield and was supposed to be catching the ball, but I missed and it hit me in the forehead instead. It swelled up almost immediately. I was so thankful that it did not give me a concussion, hit me in the eye, break my nose, knock out a tooth, or do any real damage. Thank you all for your prayers for me :) God certainly did protect me. The swelling shifted down into my eyes, and eventually went away, leaving me with 1 1/2 black eyes. Thankfully, it didn't even really hurt--just felt like a bruise. It has been getting a little better each day, and is almost back to normal now--Praise the Lord! Ruth told me I looked like I hadn't slept in about 3 weeks--smile.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

update letter - from Ruth Marie

If you already received this - just delete - like what else would you do with it? smile. Have a great day!! May God bless you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


September 2013


      Dan and I were talking a bit about the annoyances of the monkey.  I said, "How many people get to look out their window and see a monkey in the yard? How many kids get to look over and see a genet cat sleeping next to them?"

       Dan said, "How many people have a horse walking around the driveway, or how many people get to have twelve kids?"  God has blessed us so abundantly. I really like that verse, "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox." (Proverbs 14:4)  When you are tempted to complain about the mess or the work, just count your blessings, and you will turn that session into a worship service.

      I was able to deliver another baby and all went super smoothly. The mother and baby are fine. She came at 4 a.m., banging on the gate in labor and delivered at 4:45 a.m. That means I got a good night's sleep and did not have to wait too long for the excitement to start; that is how it is from a midwife's viewpoint (smile).

      The seven young adults from the States have come and gone. It was fun having them. I pray that God worked in each of their lives to bring them closer to Him. Activities were  lots of cooking (they brought our number up to nineteen), painting the halls, painting the den, going to the beach on Mondays, cleaning, laundry, painting the trim, painting the woodwork, passing out boxes and boxes of tracts, witnessing, going to the village twice a week, seeing a baptism in the village, good food and fun, reading time every night, trips to the market, seeing and smelling fish and dried fish--you have to experience that to get the full picture, Bible preaching every day at 1 p.m., going to the port, looking for shells, going on a picnic to another beach an hour from here that has a kayak, sleeping in the village--real roughing it in the bush in Africa, experiencing water off and electricity off (a few even slept after only rinsing in ocean water--not me), and participating and helping in a three-day basketball camp--get the kids in and preach the Gospel. Our friends, the Kings, organized and led that. So, they had their time filled just living life along with us here in San Pedro.

      Dan continues to teach Bible school every Sunday afternoon from 1:30-4:00 p.m. We have three villages in a row that we are working with-teaching, with the goal of having leaders. I also teach the ladies every week in a different village. At least, I can teach the same lessons.  The problem is that sometimes I forget where I am with "this group."  We love teaching and preaching, only our bodies get tired sometimes. Thanks for all your prayers for us. A boy got saved last week—one-on-one. I stopped the car so he could pray with me. 

      Dan and Seth baptized 21 on the first Sunday of August.  It is so great to see the growth in these people's lives. It was a hectic day from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.--that is how our Sundays go.

      This month, I went to a ladies' retreat at our church down the hill at Baptiste Biblique.  It was great to get with ladies who really want to know God's Word.  They had organized the retreat--the theme, food, speakers, everything; and I am really proud of them.  The theme was "Deliverance."  This city and culture are steeped in Pentecostal teaching, and they wanted to know what the Bible teaches about deliverance, casting out demons, etc.  I also wanted to cement my thoughts and find out "where" the Bible teaches this or that on the subject.  It was a good time of learning, sharing, food and fellowship.

      Our ladies' picnic at the beach went well on the Saturday after the retreat; it was one busy week.  Though the day started with rain, it cleared up and we had a good turnout. 

      Our church school is growing, and Dan is building another room at the church. He is adding on a class and also another room for Sunday school. The great, challenging news is that I will be teaching Bible to the school kids every day at 7:30 a.m.  I never want to lose sight of the goal of search and rescue. God is searching for us to rescue us from our sin and misery (wow!). "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

      Our own school has also started. We have eight kids in school this year, if you don't count Gideon, who comes anyway. He is so cute and is learning the basics of kindergarten.   

      I know this letter is a scant summary of the month. It would be way too long if I wrote all the details. Thanks for praying for us!!


May God bless you as you live in obedience to Him.


Love in Christ,

Dan and Joan, Ruth Marie, Hannah and Seth in college, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

God is Good - from Hannah

Eventually the kids will have their own mailing lists. I know some of you are getting the same letter from Hannah and then from Me --sorry. Hey, it just gives you something to delete --that is a fun thing - smile. Have a great day.

Hello friends!
God is so good! The water is on, the electricity is on, everyone is healthy, God is blessing us and taking care of us and life is going very well--that about sums it up--smile.

I stopped working at the hospital a few months ago, so have had more time to focus on other things; such as helping kids from church with their homework (especially English and math), doing some projects around the house, helping some of my younger siblings with their school, and reading some good books =).
Seth is here on summer break from school. It has been nice having him back. I love my family--smile.
I am planning to return to the states in August to start school at Ambassador. I'm very glad for this time that God has given me to be with my family. I am glad I didn't start school right away last January and that I decided to wait a semester. This time has been very good for me. I feel rested and revitalized and now have a new desire for ministry that was a bit tired before. I now feel ready to go to school--which I wasn't so sure about before. =)
Seth and I and my dad will be traveling to Abidjan later today to do some shopping, try to sell some puppies, and pick up our cousins from the airport. They are coming in tomorrow. We are very excited to have them come visit. We have some fun things planned to do with them; then in August, Seth, Max, the group that is coming out, and I plan to fly back to America together.

Down the street from us there is a soldier barracks where all the soldiers sit around. We walk past them about every day. They are our "friends"--smile. It is nice because most of the soldiers all around town know us now so they don't hassle us anymore. Anyway... we stop and witness to them every once in awhile--not nearly as much as we should. We COULD go there every day! They sit around a lot with nothing to do except play checkers and talk. Seth and I went down there yesterday and had a good talk with them. Most of them are Muslim. They are very mixed up, but they had a lot of questions and we had a good talk with them. Pray for God to work in their hearts and that they would get saved.
Thank you for your prayers. Life is good. =) God is faithful! May He continue to bless you!
Have a great day!
Keep smiling!

Prayer Requests:
Pray for safety as we travel
We have 5 puppies left that we would really like to sell. Pray that God will bring buyers along.
That the soldiers that we talked to would get saved.

Oh, we recently got a new pet--a genet cat. I'm not really the pet person in the family, but some of you might like to hear about the pets...
We also have 6 little puppies that are at the very cute stage right now. We are trying to find homes for them.
Susanna continues to enjoy her horse, Koda. Koda is gaining more and more weight, and Susanna is really hoping she is pregnant. One of these days, I might go out there with my doppler and see if I can find a colt heartbeat =). Did you know horse pregnancies are 11 months long?? That was an interesting fact I learned.
Lucy is super cute--she is Stephen's little monkey. She runs around the yard--it's neat to have a monkey that can be free in the yard without us worrying that she might run away.
Here are a few pictures of the genet cat. She runs around free in the house. =) Normally we would keep a genet cat in a cage, but this one is super friendly--the nicest one we have had for sure. She sleeps in Lydia's room =). Her name is Zingga.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

short note

Dear Praying Friends,
As you know, I send out update letters from time to time for Ruth, Hannah and Seth. Thank you so much for your continued PRAYERS and interest in them. They are now being pushed out of the nest, young adults on their own --don't worry, it will be a long time before we have an "empty nest syndrome." I praise God so much for the work He has done in each of their lives thus far.
Before, they have said that if you wanted to send money to them, you could send it to our mission - BWM - to receive a tax receipt. This is not an option. If you want to help one of them, it is best to send money directly to their college address. They are all going to Ambassador Baptist College and have mailboxes there and will get anything you send. Ruth and Seth have greatly enjoyed their first semester and are looking forward to going back with Hannah also. Their addresses are the same except for the box number --and I don't know Hannah's yet. I hope this clears up any questions. Thank you again for your continuing interest in them. Please continue to PRAY for them. Their fast pace lives can make their old mom fearful. We trust our Great God. Ruth is on the way to Thailand right now. I pray all the time.
Hannah and Seth are doing much preaching and teaching. We are doing a lot of evangelism, maintenance, and house projects. This month we want to tile the baptistry at church and there are 23 lined up to be baptized. Growth takes time but every bit is encouraging. Have a great week.
Love in Christ,
Joan and Dan

Ruth Cuthbertson
Ambassador Baptist College
P.O. Box 3385
Lattimore, NC 28089

Seth Cuthbertson
P.O. Box 3387

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

up-date from Ruth

For some reason in two sections the sentences are cut off. If I wait for that problem to get fixed and for me to have more time on here another two weeks will go by. Have a great day!! May God bless YOU.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dan is back

Hello again! Better frequent shorter letters than one long epistle I think. Friday we had just arrived in the village for our meeting when I got a call that my mom had slipped and fallen - she is 77. I left the group to carry on --Praise the Lord for Seth to lead singing and preach, Isaiah to play the guitar, Lydia on piano, and Lydia and Hannah teaching the children. We have a great team of faithful kids. Susanna was holding up the fort at home.
I could see that something was definitely out of place. An x-ray showed that Momma had dislocated her wrist - praise the Lord it was not completely broken. Since it was Friday night, nothing was going to happen any time fast. Back we were for a 9 AM Saturday appointment --not fast either. They put Momma to sleep to reset the wrist and didn't get their "group" together until 11:45 --a doctor, an anesthesiologist, and another doctor. Meanwhile, I had to go out and buy the necessary supplies. Hannah was allowed to watch - fun for her. After all was done - another x-ray to make sure it was done right. Here is Seth getting beaten in arm-wrestling ---can't win over a cast.
Dan just got back from America. I am so happy to have him back on this continent. He came up on the bus today. I will happily give him back our wall problem ---though I think it might be almost at the end. The men have been working hard.
Thanks for all your prayers --for us, for Momma now, and for our wall situation. Pray for Ruth as she is traveling --to the Philippines - then to China to do a delivery - then back to the states. All the young adults go back to Ambassador in August. Love in Christ,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Home - heaven that is

Dear Friends,
Dan's dad is now home. We are only pilgrims on the earth - looking for our final, eternal home --that word alone is so comforting - "Home." How sweet it is when children come home!!
We are glad it wasn't a long drawn-out illness and there seemed to be no suffering. The funeral will be on Sunday the 23rd. Thank you for continuing to pray for the family, especially Dan's mom as she is now in a new phase of her life.
Love in Christ,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pray for all - PS

Dan's dad is dying. He is saved and will soon be stepping on shore. Wow. He had another heart attack and stroke and is on a ventilator - not able to respond. The doctor said that as soon as they unplug the ventilator, he will die. The family is getting together - of course Dan also needs to go. I think the memorial / funeral will be next Saturday or Sunday. Anyway, Dan left yesterday to go to the states --he will be in Detroit on Thursday afternoon and will be there 12 days. It was all sudden. Pray for his safety in travels and for all the family. Now we know why I didn't go to Liberia ---all God's timing. It is something when you see it so clearly.
Have a great day.
Love in Christ,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June letter

      I was planning to write to you before my trip to Liberia for a delivery for friends there. Just today, I found out that the mother Sara had delivered last night! Wow! Praise the Lord all is well. Sara and their son (seven-pound Noah) are both fine. It was a nice, "easy," quick, uncomplicated, exciting birth. Thank you for your prayers for her. Now that my services are not needed, we are trying to get a refund on the ticket. Please pray that it will work out.

      This has been an encouraging month. Our attendance has been better, despite all the rain. We have had outreaches due to a member of our church who died.  He was a faithful man with a fruitful life. His wife is also a member, so Dan had a lot to do with the services and burial--a more Christian funeral, as opposed to the pagan way of weeping and wailing. She has been a good testimony through it all. Here, the funerals are like the old-time wakes--you sit up with the dead. It started at 9 p.m. outside under tents. Hannah, Max, Seth and I were in the crowd passing out tracts and witnessing on the street. We also had to make sure that all those seated received tracts and booklets of John and Romans, with the plan of salvation on the back. If we missed anyone, someone would come to one of us and tell us (wanting us to come to their section). We stayed from 9:30-11 p.m. both Saturday and Friday nights. The "wake" went on for a week. Dan preached and also did the graveside service on the next Saturday morning. God held off the rain for the morning service, although it was pouring again on the drive over. There were probably around 300 there on the first Saturday and 600 on Friday night. Salvation was clearly presented. People listened and all received the tracts. Pray for all those who heard. We will never know of the fruit until we get to heaven. This was all a very different experience for Max (the young man who is here visiting). Imagine using a funeral as an evangelistic outreach.

      The rain has fallen for four days and nights straight. Our new wall has a crack in it and is very bowed out. I have been praying that it will not fall down. Like in the day of Noah, God is in control of the storm, and He is also in control of the wall (the ark). The ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic was built by professionals (smile). I read that somewhere. The rain makes a good illustration of the story of Noah, which I am teaching right now. The sun, when it is out, is very hot; that makes a good illustration of hell--the fires that burn and burn and never go out. Women here make a fire every day to cook over; the sun is flames put in motion by God. Every time there is an earthquake, a hurricane, etc., it is showing just a drop of the awesome power of God.

      The rain has not stopped our normal church activities. Dan teaches in the village every Sunday afternoon from 1:30-4:30 p.m. It takes us 30 minutes to get there. A while back, there was only one main bad hole in this spot with a stick in it. Now, there are two--with just enough space to go through in the middle of them.  You have to know where that hole is and not come upon it suddenly.  Continually pray for our safety.

      Dan started with six students who registered for Bible school class and now has 21. It encourages us to see people wanting to learn. We are willing to teach, and we need people who are disciples who want to learn and take the time and effort necessary to study. It has to start in the heart. 

      During this time on Sunday afternoons, I go teach the ladies. Three villages are lined up some miles apart.  Every week, I go to a different village.  Again, the ladies are eager to learn. They requested that I come, they line up the meeting and I get to go "preach." 

      Pray for all these who have heard. Pray for the tract ministry. There is not the plethora of reading materials here as in America, so people like to receive tracts and read them.  It is God Who has to open their understanding, and His Spirit who has to convict of sin. Pray for people to understand and be saved.

     Thanks for praying for us and the people here.  Have a great day! May God bless you and smile upon you.


Love in Christ,

Dan and Joan, Ruth Marie, Hannah, Seth, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

upcoming schedule to pray over

We have a lot going on in the next few months and need a lot of prayer. Someone said, "Pray as you plan, and plan as you pray." We do not want to be trying to lead God our way. We want Him to direct our desires in the planning. We need His power, not just a lot of activity on our part.

On May 6th Seth and another young man named Max arrive.
On June 7th I am going to Liberia to do a delivery for a missionary couple.
I come back on July 5th at the same time as 3 of our nieces and another young man arrive. Dan can pick us all up in Abidjan on the same day.
August 9th All of the young adults (7 of them) will fly to America together ---including Hannah. Ruth, Hannah and Seth will go back to Ambassador Baptist College for the August semester.
August 10th begins camp here. Lydia and Susanna are planning to go to that. Camp in Africa is a whole different experience than what you are thinking.
So, PRAY about all the travel in the air, the luggage, and the travel on the ground here on these very bad roads.

Evangelism and Activities:
We are trying to start a church in a village. It is going great, but we want to do more door to door and lots of witnessing, passing out tracts and also invitations. We want the neighborhood to know that our church is there and alive!! We want to do the same thing for the church here in Lac. That is the biggest, most important prayer request --that God will give His power, the their eyes will be opened and they will see the truth.
Sunday afternoons in the village Dan teaches Bible school to 24 men. I teach the ladies - many who can't read and aren't saved.
The book room at church is covered in dust. I cleaned it once and organized it ---got rid of a family of rats and roaches; but it looks like 5 years of dust again. Every week we clean all the benches and tables of dust. The piano was the worst. Last time Dan cleaned it very well and I put a sheet over it. I should have done that so long ago. I will try to get a picture of that for the next letter. Anyway, there are necessary jobs that come from life in Africa.
We have so many house projects that have been dragging along --painting - (It has now been about 14 years for some of this paint - that is a long time for Africa), putting in a counter, varnishing, cutting down a tree, fixing the play area for the little ones, so many books to organize - the list goes to about 20 items. It will be great to get some of them done.
We also have lots of fun things planned. It will be a challenge for the whole group to go anywhere together ---don't worry, we will manage. I think we have crammed 19 into it before - a Toyota Land Cruiser. It wasn't a far distance.

Thanks for all your prayers. How to pray? Just pray. How to pray well? Pray much.
May God bless you.
Love in Christ,
Joan and Dan

Thursday, April 11, 2013


My last letter was about family news, and since there are a lot of us, it is hard to keep my letters short. A very quick update on the kids: Ruth and Seth are finishing their first semester at Ambassador Baptist College. They have done well and really like the school.  Ruth just started working at a birthing center in South Carolina and is making plans to travel to Thailand to perform a delivery this summer, and maybe have an opportunity to spend some time in the Philippines. The missionaries who requested that she come will pay for the Thailand trip. What a blessing to be able to help people and also be doing what you love to do.  Seth is planning to come help us for the summer. There is so much to be done in the ministry here, and we are looking forward to his coming.  Hannah continues to work at the hospital here, learning new things and observing various surgeries. Her camera was stolen recently. Here, they want to cover up corruption. It's no wonder the country will not progress. Pray that I will have a chance to witness through this situation out of love and not out of the hate I have for the corruption. I think she will soon stop working there. It is difficult to see corruption day after day and not be able to do anything about it.

The church ministries both here in Lac and in Petit Pedro are going great. The people are growing--even though it is slowly. Baby steps are better than no steps at all. At another village near Petit Pedro, there was a church where the people and the man leading them were completely untaught. Dan has had a bit of contact with this man, and he has wanted Dan to teach him. Then he wanted his group to join our group. To make the story short, the two groups are joined, and Dan is trying to lead them all. It is a lot of work, and there is no one trained and available to help. This is where Seth used to preach every week. Majorus, a saved and baptized member of our church, is leading the ministry there on Sundays. Dan prepares his own message in French, and then gives a copy to Majorus to teach out in the village. The increase in church attendance has been encouraging. 

Meanwhile, Dan has been teaching five men the Bible school every Sunday afternoon from 1-4 p.m. Last month, men from those two villages wanted to join. The class has gone from five men up to twenty. We praise the Lord and are encouraged by men wanting to learn the Bible. The women of the two villages are trying to figure out a time when I can go teach them.  Now Dan gets home around 6:30.  Maybe I will go teach the ladies during that same time.

When Seth is home this summer, he can help a lot with the preaching. Majorus is at the end of high school, although he is in his 20s, and needs to study for his end-of-the-year exams. With Seth here, we could plan some overnight trips into the village, teach health, and do more preaching and witnessing.

On Thursday, I went to visit a lady. That sentence alone leaves me wondering how to make this short without leaving out all the glory of God. Some visitors came to see Fatiha, so I was thinking, "Good, I will be able to get home early."  I stopped to dump the trash on the way home. A well-dressed, white-haired man jogged up to me and stopped to talk. We talked for at least an hour, and he prayed to get saved right there by the trash dump. What an unexpected joy.  I left the house tired, not really wanting to go visit the lady, but "needed" to.  I had thoughts of going home a different way, but since I had the trash to throw out, I went by the dump. Do you see all the little details of God's hand in that--the feeling to go, the lady's visitors cutting that time short, and being by the dump at just the time when the man came? Wow. By the way, the man was one Seth had witnessed to before. Some plant, some water and some get to pick the fruit. How sweet it is. 

Thank you for your prayers for us and for our kids. God keeps us healthy and joyful and able to serve Him. Please keep praying for faithfulness in us and in the people at church, for our health, and for safety in all the traveling Ruth and Seth will do. May God bless you.

Love in Christ,

Dan and Joan, Ruth and Seth at Ambassador Baptist College, Hannah, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I know I just wrote last month, but as always, there are so many new developments happening all the time. The first huge surprise is that when Dan came home he brought Hannah with him. Dan was in the States to settle the three older kids in college. Ruth and Seth are at Ambassador Baptist College and are doing well. They are still looking for jobs.


Meanwhile, Hannah decided to come home for a while until August, and serve the Lord here with us. This truly does my heart good. It was a huge surprise. I knew the week before because of the ticket information that came back to my computer (smile). I was reading along and said, "Hey, what is this? A ticket for Hannah?" It has been pretty fun to watch everyone else though, who did not know she was coming. We are all enjoying having her home, for sure!!! 


We have gone to several offices, and Hannah is cleared to work at the big hospital here for five months doing a practicum. In each office, we witnessed and gave out tracts--wow, it was great! In the first office, we waited for two hours--no time wasted there. Hannah said we were out on evangelism for two hours. Yes, God had us there for a purpose. 


Today was Hannah's first day of work, 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. I stopped in at lunch to take her some food and she had already seen a C-section, and is lined up to do a delivery this afternoon. She looks so pretty in her pink, pin-striped lab coat. What a witness and testimony she can be there. As I was coming home, I was just praising God for this opportunity for her and for the good choices made in the past that enabled her to be able to do this; like learning to speak French (her French is better than mine).  Also, I was thanking God that, with all my "run-ins" with the hospital, I never lost my testimony or my friends there. Decisions today determine what you will be tomorrow. We are already seeing so great a need. I had written a long paragraph.  I'll just say, things here are done way different than we would do them.


After a month, we will go back to that first office and find out what we need to do to get her Ivorian midwifery license. She is here learning and laying a groundwork for a potential future maternity center in a village. God doesn't lay out the whole plan for our lives. He wants us to make right choices as He opens doors of opportunity. It is the waiting that is so hard sometimes. Keep praying for Ruth, Hannah and Seth in these new phases of their lives. Prayer is an exercise in waiting. When we pray and don't get an answer right away, we want to give up or get discouraged. Remember that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day. So, pray and wait.


We are all fine. During the holidays, the flu struck hard. I was happy to be losing weight (smile), and happy when all the kids got better. There is a great spirit at church. I am happy to have Dan back and in charge of all that. Speaking of which, the wall that fell down is rebuilt. There is only about 1-2 weeks' worth of work left on that project for it to be finished. Work projects do not move fast in Africa; it is the money that flows fast everywhere. 


Thanks for your prayers! We do so appreciate you.


Love in Christ,

Dan and Joan, Ruth Marie, Hannah, Seth, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther and Gideon