Important ministry news
Dear Friends and Partners,
As many of you are aware, Gerald and Shirley moved from Texas to Maryland in the past year to be with family. After much investigation and prayer as to how to move IMOF Inc. as a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization to be registered in Maryland, it was unanimously decided at our recent board meeting to dissolve it as a non-profit corporation. Much has changed since its inception in the early 1990s and since Gerald and Shirley are now both officially retired, after considerable discussion and prayer the decision became clear.
Therefore as of February 28th, 2019, IMOF Inc. will be officially dissolved, and no more donations or gifts can be received or passed on to our ministry partners in Africa. All donations received by us prior to that date will be passed on by us to them in Africa, but as of February 28th, any donations we receive will be returned to sender with a cover letter explaining how to enable the funds to reach our partners.
Other aspects of the ministry however will be unaffected. Gerald and Shirley will continue to be in communication with our partners in Africa and other parts of the world, and will continue to send out the monthly newsletter with latest updates. Our website will also still be maintained and updated, and Shirley will continue to write and share spiritual insights and helpful resources on it regarding children’s ministry and missions. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and encourage you to stay involved by reading the newsletters and praying. We are excited to see how God continues to move through the ministries of our African partners, as seen in the following updates.
With love and blessings, Gerald and Shirley
Michael in Kenya – is presently in the U.K. on a two month long visit to speak in churches and share about his ministry to children and youth. He has sent us several photos showing his speaking engagements which are taking him all over England, including to the Isle of Man which is half way to Ireland. As he stays in the homes of different believers, to help share about the culture differences, he enjoys making “ugali”, the staple diet of East Africa. It is a type of corn mush, eaten of course with the fingers! He will be attending and speaking at some children’s ministry conferences, and also meeting up with many partners of Wheels for the World, which sends teams each year to Kenya and Uganda to distribute wheelchairs. Mike has helped in many ways with these mission trips through the years and so has made a number of friends. We pray that God will protect him and use him greatly on this trip; keep him well and also protect and keep Irene and the family well back in Kimilili, with her little store seen here.
Pastor Honoré in C.A.R. – has been through a very rough month unfortunately. He was very ill for several weeks, being unable to go to church or even get out of his bed for a while. Unlike here in the West, the diagnosis at such times often remains a mystery as medical tests and expertise are both seriously lacking in Africa. Thankfully he has now fully recovered and tells us that he and his family also had to move into a new rent house recently, which was a huge task given that U-hauls are unavailable there! Once moved in, they discovered the electricity had not been connected correctly and so had to do without that for several days as well! Thankfully he is once again in contact via the internet so we look forward to hearing more news soon. He did tell us that work continues on building the brick walls for the church. PTL!
Pastor Sika in Togo – sends his sincere thanks and appreciation for all the love and support for him and the Joseph Project Orphanage, which continues to make a very positive impact on the surrounding villages. Orphans from those villages are often brought to the JP for help, but sadly it has not been possible to include them into the program full-time due to the lack of finances. After looking into getting the JP registered officially with the Togolese government as an orphanage, it became apparent that in doing so, the government would gain considerable control over the management of the orphanage and expect political allegiance. Considering the corruption and many problems within the government there (especially recently), it was wisely decided not to pursue the registration. However the JP is officially covered by Bethany Baptist Church there in Togo.
The mining authority recently brought electricity to the village of Sika-Kondji but until the villagers can pay for the purchase of poles for the wires, the project cannot be completed and the village (and orphanage) must remain in the dark. Some good news is that after planting a number of fruit trees around the JP compound four have actually grown large enough to start producing fruit! This first photo shows the JP orphans and friends enjoying a meal in the shade of the two avocado trees and two mango trees that have already produced fruit. In addition there are five others (avocado, coconut and mango) that are growing well and should start producing before too long. This will help with food both for them and others in need. The second photo shows Pastor Sika and Lucie with the staff and children in receipt of the special cards we sent them for Christmas, with personal greetings and scriptures in French, and photos of our faithful supporters.
Pastor Sika reports that at present he is very busy with the distribution of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. A total of 37 container loads were received for Togo, of which more than half are entrusted to his care and supervision for distribution in Lomé and the southern part of Togo! Truly a mammoth task! He has held many training sessions around the area for those who are helping with the distribution, and now it is time for the actual work of giving them out. He requests our prayers for the salvation of many children by means of these shoeboxes, which are used as a key part of evangelistic outreach all over the region. The final photo shows him with the national board of Samaritan’s Purse in Togo and two members of the organization who are visiting from the USA.