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