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 #)