I DO love to tell about all the Lord is doing here. We had a great time in December when Seth, Paige, and Eden came and spent Christmas with us. Then Richard and Ruth also came so that we could get to know Richard a little. He has now proposed to Ruth, and they are planning their wedding on May 5. As you know, Nathan Schrock and Hannah are planning their wedding on May 8. What a busy, wonderful week this will be. These weddings follow the graduations of Nathan Schrock, BA of Biblical Studies with an emphasis on Missions; Ruth, BA of Elementary Education; and Seth, Master of Biblical Studies with an emphasis on New Testament. We are planning, Lord willing, to come to America from April 15th through May for all of these memorial events. Please pray for all the travel and details.
While they were here, both Seth and Richard preached to our boys' class Saturday mornings. A young man in our youth group, Brice, has been growing in the Lord and is helping as well teach this class. Brice has also matured to the point of leading the singing in the church. We are so encouraged, not only when our own children walk in truth, but also when our children in Christ are growing up. There are several young men now helping to lead the youth.
Every Tuesday evening, Dan leads visitation and passing out tracts in the church area. Our kids enjoy this, and I cannot estimate the hundreds of tracts and pamphlets of John and Romans we have distributed. Pray for the tract ministry that people will read, understand, and accept Christ.
Dan spoke at a dowry ceremony in the village; it was interesting. This ceremony is the two families having a meeting with witnesses, to accept the man as a spouse for their daughter. It is THE MARRIAGE in the African mind. On this particular day, the young man was sick and could not come. The ceremony went on none-the-less; a wedding without the groom?
On February 10 Dan and I went on a trip to a northern city, where Dan was speaking at another wedding. It was a wonderful weekend centered on God's Word and lots of fun African culture.
Monday, we went to a village farther north off a dirt road. We had a great day of preaching and teaching all day long. That is what we love to do. People do pray to get saved —in dialect. We are starting a church in this town —it is Pastor Konan's hometown, and he is burdened for them. Their new chief is Pastor Konan's uncle and is already saved. This is the town where the very old man (138 years old) lives. This time, the man had a toothache. He can get no help since everyone is afraid to work on him because of his age. The idea in Africa is to take him to the village to die; don't work on the elderly. We bought him some amoxicillin and Tylenol; it will help. They are planning a three-day conference next time. They seemed to really like the teaching and us. It was super hot and dry as you can see by our dirty feet. We got home at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
The roads have not improved at all. Dan has to take two days for car repairs after these trips. They ARE working on the roads and have detours all around in town. The detours go on BAD DIRT roads, and the people put in big speed bumps so that all the extra traffic has to go slow and not kick up so much dust!!
I DID notice that I have a higher personal interest in the villages after having been there and having met the people. It is not just Dan's ministry in the villages; our whole family is praying for them. (That is also why it is great to have people come and visit us. We are stretched thin and are praying that the Lord would move Nathan and Hannah to come here as well. This country is so open. Our one HUGE goal is to win souls. He that WINNETH souls IS wise (just witness and bring people to Jesus). You must BE wise if you are to win souls. It is THE MOST WORTHY GOAL.
While we were gone on the trip, the kids did great playing the piano and serving at this church in Lac. One of the young men in Dan's Bible school class from the village came to town and did the preaching. Again, it is encouraging to see the men get saved, learn, and grow to the point of being able to witness and preach.
Thanks for all your prayers for us. We DO SO MUCH appreciate them and you. May you have a VERY blessed, wonderful day of Easter ---because He lives, we can too.
Dan and Joan Cuthbertson