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