Dear Friends and Partners,
One of the problems of sending out a monthly newsletter is that sometimes big news comes in from our African partners a day or so after we send a newsletter!! This happened once again this past month, when we received a wonderful detailed report from Pastor Sika in Togo, sharing some amazing testimonies along with several photos. Thankfully, now we have the new website format, I can easily include such news as a new post. There is also a place where you can subscribe to receive e-mail notification of all new posts – making it so much easier to keep up with the news and prayer needs. For this newsletter I am including some highlights of Pastor Sika’s recent report, along with the most recent news from him. You will see just how important our ongoing prayers are for him, even when we aren’t aware of what is going on! Thank you for your faithfulness and continual support and prayers for all our ministry partners. Blessings, Gerald and Shirley.
Pastor Sika‘s report includes wonderful testimonies of two new churches he has started in recent months – both in pagan villages very resistant to the Gospel. He was turned away TWICE from Fiokondji before the villagers allowed him to enter when he brought shoeboxes to distribute from Operation Christmas Child. Follow up by one of his team since then has led to a new church (right) which now has 80 people in regular attendance!!
In the village of Kovie (left), which was even more closed to the Gospel, the school superintendent begged Pastor Sika to come and preach the Gospel to the students, and as a result 400 students are now studying bible courses and about 80 have accepted Christ! His report includes many other inspiring testimonies of his ministry in recent months.
This week he told us that after several meetings, the US directors of OCC visited Togo and promoted him to be supervisor over half a dozen teams at the national level. This means he will now work from the OCC office there and no longer have to travel around the country, which will relieve a great deal of stress and physical exertion for him. His work with OCC had become increasingly burdensome in recent years, and so this is a wonderful improvement.
He spent several days last week visiting the Joseph Project Orphanage in Sika-Kondji, where he has made some important changes, which he will report to us in detail soon. Since the orphanage has now been in operation 4 years, most of the children are now teenagers and it is time for some to move on, so Pastor Sika is working on deciding which new children to accept there. Thanks to some special donations from our supporters, Pastor Sika was able to take more building supplies to enable construction to go ahead again on the new building inside the JP. Please pray that God will soon supply what is still needed for the roof, doors and so on.
Finally, he also sent us word that the car he was in was involved in a terrible wreck as he was returning home to Lomé. It was truly a miracle that he was not killed, and we all praise God for divine protection once more. He will send us more details once he has recovered from the shock. Please pray for his total recovery and peace of mind.
Michael in Kenya has sent us several nice photos of his recent ministry:
- (Left) At Christco church, Mike and a coworker (Jophas) had to minister to all the children outside the church during a special service that was being broadcast by radio.
- At this girls school (right), Mike held an evening worship service and the head teacher liked it so much she has asked Mike to return each month.
Mike and his coworkers have been visiting churches and doing follow-up where they trained new children’s ministers. Here, Gladys is greeting one of the girls there.
Mike’s oldest child, Trevor, is a big help now to his dad – here he’s helping load bibles and Christian literature to distribute.
Here Trevor is helping his dad in another way – by shaving his head at home!
Pastor Honoré in Central African Republic just sent us several photos and an update, in spite of battling with computer and internet problems for the past few weeks. The church on the CEERCA ministry site continues to flourish, with about 120 regular congregants each Sunday. They recently celebrated Mother’s Day there and this photo (right) shows Clarisse teaching about the godly role of women in a conflict society, as well as the role of women in a Christian family as opposed to their traditional role.
The photo (left) shows the children’s choir led by Pastor Honoré’s son James. The service was followed by a special meal, particularly enjoyed by the children! Pastor Honoré is planning the first week-long VBS there in July – please pray for God to provide special funds so that this can be a success.
They have still not been able to continue with the construction, but this photo shows the team resting after keeping the foundation clear of weeds. Next week Pastor Honoré will start teaching a leadership seminar, followed by one for children’s ministry training, at a church of a denomination he has not previously taught in. We pray this will go well, inspire many and produce much fruit.