Saturday, December 10, 2016

Merry Christmas!

            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

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.  

  Pray for God to open their eyes so they can see. There are so many superstitions and mixed-up beliefs, even among the intelligent.  The devil has blinded their eyes.  There will be a video on our blog of a woman who was in a church that claims to be the Israel of the Bible and the actual land where Jesus walked.  They teach that women have to always have their heads covered with a white cloth (one of many false ideas).  They have pagan worship mixed in with Bible stories.  Anyway, she got saved and came and burned her white headscarf in front of the group to show her complete change of life.

  One encouraging testimony to us was that one of the young men, who is very well-grounded in the Scripture, used to be in Joan's Sunday school class here in San Pedro.  At first, he came just for the candy, free bread and prizes, then got saved and is now one of the stronger Christian leaders.  We just need to be faithful giving out the Word. We WILL reap if we faint not, and we will reap IN A DIFFERENT season.  The secret is to NOT quit.

  Thanks for all your prayers.  Keep praying for these baby churches to grow.  The ministry is the Lord's.  He has said, "I WILL BUILD MY church."  What a wonderful message and promise if you read that verse with the emphasis on a different word each time.  Jesus is doing the building and it is His church.  

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!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

trying again

September 2016


      I did not realize this much time had passed, which brings to mind the verse, "The summer is past and we are not saved."  That is a sobering thought—wake up, wake up, the lost are all around us and they are not saved. Sound the siren; people are dying and going to hell. Jesus says, come to ME, or you WILL go to hell.

      We have enjoyed getting back into the ministry here, actually soul winning and preaching and teaching.  This really is the most open country I have been in, so far as people willing to talk and listen to things of the Bible. Even the Moslems are searching for answers.  We continually study and witness to show the Gospel clearly from the Bible.  There are also so many religious holidays here. It is great to get into conversations about the meanings of THEIR holidays (how they are Bible-based or not).  We are excited to preach God's Word— be it from the pulpit or on the street.  I want to ENCOURAGE YOU PARENTS to encourage your children to learn French.  Learn a language with the goal of using it for the Lord and witnessing to others.  French opens up Africa AND Europe to you.  Don't be lazy, learn French (smile).

      We have only had water on in the pipes during the day for one week since we have been here.  That means two months of water only coming on during the night with very low pressure.  Dan and the boys have been working on a water system and now have it finished.  Essentially, it is an above-ground well, as in, three reservoirs in our backyard and another in the attic.  When the water is off, which it is all day, a pump pumps the water into the house. When the water of the city comes on at night, with its low pressure, it fills up the tanks.  I am happy for a husband who knows how to do all these things or can figure them out and is helping our boys to learn it too. 

      Dan is in the village right now. The men in his Sunday afternoon Bible school class have started nine church plants to the northwest of here.  Dan is there teaching and preaching and encouraging the people (and seeing how the churches are progressing).  They have been doing all the work. With you and through you, we have been helping to put the roofs on and buy cement to help them build a place to meet.  Dan took a mattress and mosquito net. Here is another thing...he made a wooden bed the day before he left.  The pastor told him that if he put his mattress on the floor, he would be bitten by ants. 

      Everyone in the family is busy in the ministry. We go to the village of Petit Pedro on Friday evenings.  Lydia is teaching the kids in the village, playing the piano in the village and for the Sunday school here in Lac.  Isaiah is playing the guitar in the village and goes there every Sunday by taxi, taking turns with the other men in preaching.  He is a huge help in keeping that group based on the Bible. Stephen plays the piano on Wednesdays and Sundays for the main services.  All of them go out to distribute tracts and witness during the week.  Rebekah takes care of all the nurseries with Lydia on Sundays.  They teach the little ones verses and songs.  Don't forget, this is all done in French.  Can you tell that we need help?  God won't use you here if you don't get prepared; as in, learn French.  If you learn French while you are young, you might not have to go to language school when you are older. 

      Lydia went to youth camp, which is another whole story.  I helped ONLY two days in the nursery for the ladies' camp.  Imagine 19 babies, most of them afraid of white people, with Lydia and me.  The second day, we took Isaiah, Stephen and Krystal with us.  This was from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. We were prepared with more bread, lollipops, coloring for the few older ones, stories, and more hands to hold babies.  It was a regular workout.  The moms were enjoying camp, and they can't leave their nursing babies or toddlers at home.  We had sore muscles from holding two babies at a time, and we were all grubby and sticky by the end of the morning. 

      I probably can't tell all that Dan is involved in every day.  He has been encouraging the men who come here to the house to talk.  He continues to preach on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays and does visits on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturday afternoons. His men's Bible school class continues, which he teaches every Sunday afternoon.  Those men are about to graduate, and he will be starting over with a new group.  That is what we need — men reaching men.  God has been keeping us healthy and strong.  On the side (I don't know which side that would be), Dan has built this water system, patched the tanks so they won't leak, repaired broken things, and still studies and translates all his material, and tries to get to bed by 11 p.m. 

      My MAIN job is to keep everyone learning — Bible lessons, memorizing verses, school, piano, and French. The kids continue with their guitars; they have way passed me.  My main goal is to pray a lot and pass on a passion for soul winning and serving God. I love to go out "preaching" on the street. There are also quite a few deliveries lined up. Every delivery is in the hands of God; please pray much for safety and health. 

      Thank you for your prayers and support.  It is your money that is buying Bibles, building churches, buying and fixing bicycles for men to go to the villages, and helping to put roofs on these church buildings. 


Thank you so much for your faithfulness and interest in us.


In His grip,

Dan and Joan


Sent from:
Evangel Baptist Church 16994 Telegraph Rd. Taylor, MI 48180-5108 734-946-5680


Serving with:
Baptist World Mission P.O. Box 2149
Decatur, AL 35602-2149 256-353-2221

Serving in:
01 BP 125, San Pédro 01 Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa 225-4147-0070 336-608-6833 (internet #)








Thursday, June 30, 2016


We have finally arrived back home from a one-year road trip.  Furlough was fun, hectic, tiring and encouraging all at the same time.  I have distanced myself from all the work so that you wouldn't be overwhelmed with the details. 

June 3 was Seth and Paige's wedding in Illinois.  It was God honoring and very beautiful.  They are spending their summer ministering in Israel.

Ruth is keeping the home fires burning in Lattimore. She helps at the church playing the piano and teaching the kids and spends the weekdays in South Carolina working at a birthing center.  I pray that God will bless her hands and bless the families she cares for. She is a great midwife.  Hannah (in WI) and Susanna (in TN) are doing camp ministries this summer. They are loving it—all the contact with campers, counseling and meeting new friends.

The rest of us have arrived back home.  The first amazing thing was that we were headed back with two pieces of luggage each, plus some excess baggage and lots of carry-ons.  Groan.  We were anxious/stressed about our excess baggage and Dan was trying to get clearance for it.  I was fervently praying. Then, THE DAY before our flight, Dan saw that we were each allowed THREE check-ins.  It was some special deal with whatever tickets we happened to have.  Wow.  So, no more stress on the luggage.

We got to the airport with plenty of time (good thing), since we had a lot of luggage and people.  The next hurdle in the trip was that they did not want to let us leave since we did not have any proof of our visas upon arrival. There the airline people sat, looking at 33 large pieces of luggage and 11 of us—I think that might have made a difference; did they really want us to come back tomorrow or miss our flight?  After much more fervent praying and showing our prayer card and that many of our kids were born here, they let us go.  After that, they even checked through all our carry-ons.  We were also traveling with ten musical instruments.  It is a lot of work to move this group.

In Abidjan, it was so easy and great to be home and speaking French.  We have a friend who had lined up all the visas. They walked us through WITHOUT opening or even scanning a single bag!  What a blessing. Now, how were we going to get all that luggage to our sleeping spot?  Another missionary met us with his truck, AND in the parking lot, Dan met a stranger Lebanese man who offered to take the rest of it to the guest house for us.  Does God have Lebanese angels? 

The trip from Abidjan to San Pedro was LONG. Because of the rain and bad roads, we had to take the longer route, which took us eight hours.  The highlight of that trip was when Stephen saw a baby monkey for sale in a man's hand.  Of course, we stopped and bought it for Isaiah, who is on his last year here.  It has fast become his baby (very cute to see).

We arrived to no water and no electricity.  The electricity did come on at 8 p.m. though, and we were very happy about that.  I will let a few pictures speak for themselves of the dust, dirt, overgrown yard (that is a ankle /calf-height flowerbed), mustiness and laundry.  None of us are very allergic, but after a while, it can be overwhelming.  Bugs have again gotten in the woodwork, which made extra dust everywhere.  We did laundry with rainwater and vinegar and laundry softener.  It came out with an "interesting" smell, but was not as bad as it had been.  Imagine having to wash every speck of material and every spot in your house.  I guess next month would be a great time to come and visit us to a nice clean home. 

The churches are doing super great!  We will not take over anything that is going great. This year, we will focus on building up discipleship and evangelism. I am taking the market as a mission field.  People are always out and are everywhere (it is only my energy that is lacking).  Most of those ladies can't read. That makes it very difficult, because you can't even give tracts or reading material.  I went with tracts—they all want them anyway and will find someone to read it to them, and I have taken the time to sit and explain salvation.  Two ladies prayed with me just this week.  There is such a great harvest. The fruit is ready to be picked. Even on the road from Abidjan, I witnessed to a man, and I do believe he prayed that night.  There are so many "religious" churches that are not clear on salvation at all.  Pray that God's Word will convict and convince and that we would be bold and faithful to give out the Word daily.  Just plan a time and DO IT.  Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.

May God bless you.  Thank you for praying for us.

 In His grip,

Dan, Joan and family