March news update and photos
Dear Friends and Partners,
We want to thank you all for being so faithful with your prayers and support of our African partners even when at times we don’t have much to share! Thankfully we just received a long and detailed news update from Pastor Sika which we have posted on our news blog and we will share much of the news here and in the next newsletter. You will see that it has been very tough in the past month or two for him and his family, but he has also accomplished great work for the Kingdom! It is great to be able to be a part of his ministry and what God is doing there in West Africa. Before sharing the news, I just want to tell you of another little scripture booklet that I have produced, along the lines of the Promise Book (2 letter pages printed on both sides, then cut in half and folded). It is called “Wise Words for Today’s Youth” and you can download it free. It has over 90 verses from Proverbs quoted from the Easy-To-Read Version and New Living Translation, making it especially meaningful for youth (and others!) of today. It would make a great addition when sending a card to a graduating student!
Be blessed, Gerald and Shirley.
Pastor Sika in Togo writes that he is thankfully recovered from a very bad bout of malaria and the flu, where he was bedridden and on an IV drip for about 3 weeks. In addition his wife, Lucie, and son, Frazee, were also ill. This has been an additional financial burden and we pray the Lord will quickly meet these needs. He tells about his continued ministry in prisons, schools and with Samaritan’s Purse, which we will share more next month.
He was able to visit the Joseph Project Orphanage in Sika-Kondji last weekend and says that they have taken in another 5 orphans, making a new total of 16 in all. They are all doing very well and are very grateful for their new home and life. I was personally very encouraged when I compared the new individual photos of them that he has sent, with their original photos taken over 6 months ago. All of them look as though they have gained weight and they appear much healthier (although of course it’s hard to see on a group photo!! This photo was taken at their Christmas/New Year celebration. The second photo shows them standing on the site of what will one day be the new church building there inside the compound. The congregation has grown to be too many for the small bamboo shed, and so the pillars have been erected in readiness for a new roof as soon as funds come in for that purpose.
The well has been dug deeper to a depth of 15 meters and a pulley installed to help extract the water, making it much safer and more sanitary. With recent special donations, work has gone ahead and doors and windows are being installed in the new building. Funds are still needed to complete the plastering, ceilings and painting and so we pray that it can be finished soon. One of the other original dormitory buildings is in bad shape with cracks and damp spreading up the walls, so we pray for funds to rebuild that as well…..such a project that touches and changes the lives of so many children (as well as being a living testimony to the villagers) can be expected to not be easy!!!
Michael in Kenya just got back from a trip south for a weekend of ministering in an orphan girls school there. As guest speaker he was provided a nice place to stay and sent this photo of his bathroom where he bathed each morning! He continues very busy with the local school bible studies and sent this photo of the students praying and worshipping at Shekinah school. He also recently helped interpret for a British group that visits Kimilili periodically bringing wheelchairs distributed through the mobile clinic for handicapped children. He prays with the children there and entertains them with puppets and Christian skits. In mid-April he will travel south again with his team to do children’s ministry and also do children’s ministry training. We pray for health and protection for him and his family – and for healing for little Jayne who has just come down with measles!
Pastor Honoré in C.A.R. wrote to tell us that they are all doing fine, except that his elderly father passed away a couple of weeks ago. They have been busy with the family and funeral in his home town, and we will keep him in our prayers.